Author photos taken by Robert Abrams in Paris, France.



THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY - Rebecca Buckley's Blog
Welcome to my blog. Here I'll talk about almost anything. Depends on the mood of the day. I'll also talk about publishing, writing techniques, and editing ... subjects close to my heart. So today, anytime you feel like it, feel free to jump in ... click on the COMMENTS link at the end of a post and give your opinion. If you sign in "anonymous" to comment, it's easier, just be sure you say who you are in the content of your comment.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

FAT TO MUSCLE

Reading "The Fat-To-Muscle Diet - Boost Your Metabolism for Permanent Weight Loss" by Victoria Zak, Cris Carlin, M.S., R.D., and Peter D. Vash, M.D., M.P.H. Published in 1987 by G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York.

So far this appears to be the most logical and doable program I've run across. Makes the most sense. Reducing fat intake and increasing metabolism alone would usually do the trick if you can do it, but I've been searching for a complete new way to approach aging and weight gain.

And believe me, I've got all the books ... Atkins, Southbeach, Fit for Life, etc etc ... an entire shelf of them. This one gives you three meals a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner), broken down into five components: starch, fruit, dairy, vegetable, protein . . . and gives you lists of foods that fit into those categories. You choose and create. If you snack you take something from the lunch or dinner groups, but you don't duplicate them, it's one or the other.

This along with exercise of course, it goes without saying. Doesn't work without exercise and drinking lots of water. Simple, simple, simple. Couldn't get any simpler. No fats at all for the first couple of weeks while you're acclimating to the change in your diet. After that you add a tad of fat to the mix. But at a minimum.

Something in the book that jumped out at me ... when you eat sweets and fats, each makes you crave the other till your diet is eventually made up mostly of the two. And I can attest to that as being factual. I've watched what I've been eating and it is so true. One breeds the other until they take over your food intake.

One thing I must do, though, is cultivate a taste for yogurt. Up to now I've never cared for the stuff. But I see it can be a substitute for fats in cooking. It works as a substitute for sour cream on vegetables along with spices although I don't like sour cream anyway, my downfall is butter). And you can use yogurt on baked potato, or as a mix for macaroni salads.

You can eat pasta, by the way, that's one of your starches - 1/2 cup at lunch and dinner. That appeals to me. Served with a half cup of chopped, seasoned, canned tomatoes or fresh tomatoes . . . perfect! I can do that, I do it already. Just need to make a change in proportions, evidently 2 or more cups at a sitting just doesn't hack it. Proportions are very important, I'm seeing. No overeating allowed.

Instead of mayonaise on tuna, use a dash of mustard and a spoon of yogurt with seasonings.

Instead of poaching fish in oil or butter (like I do) use a 1/2 cup dry white wine with seasonings. The alcohol burns off and leaves a well-seasoned protein.

Lots of tips in the book.

Sooooooooooooooooo ... a new me will emerge in a month or two, and I'm lovin' it!

Monday, January 10, 2011

James Patterson Takes it to the Limit!

Well, I don't know about you, but I was borderline appalled at the killing spree in James Patterson's SWIMSUIT. I know there are heinous crimes out there, I do know that. So I know it's reality, and I'm not feigning innocence. Every day we're reminded on the tele about the atrocities committed upon our human race - shows like CRIMINAL MINDS, LAW & ORDER: SVU, CSI, depict it all to the hilt. But are you noticing the horrid extent to which novel writers are going to bring that sadistic realism to readers?

It's like the influx of bigger and more extravagant casinos in Vegas, each one doing a one-upmanship. Same is happening with movies, TV shows, and crime novels. It seems the more blood is shed, the more sales are made.

But this time, as I read SWIMSUIT, I couldn't believe the continual vivid descriptions and the number of visual murders this book contains. I understand Patterson's reasoning(unless I'm wrong) of portraying the serial killer from the character's viewpoint making it seem more believable. Yes, I understand that. But you know, I read to be entertained, to relax, to be taken to a place that I can enjoy, and to also learn more about my craft of writing. And I know, I'm not the only reader out there. I'm aware that others read for shock value and excitement, something to feed that inner craving for horror.

And yes, of course I must admit the novel was a page-turner, I read it from cover to cover in a relativly short time in spite of the horrendous visuals, and I do understand why it is a page-turner. Patterson is a genius when it comes to knowing how to end a chapter and begin another: short, clipped, action-filled chapters, one driving you on to the next. So you might say, that's a learning experience for writers who are not aware of the importance of it.

But for entertainment, no. I was not entertained. The book left me feeling frightened, and left horrid pictures in my mind, left me wishing I hadn't read it, made it difficult for me to sleep.

It also made me rethink my recent desire to write a murder mystery or thriller. On second thought, it seems to me there are enough murder mystery writers, thrillers, and so forth out there. I think I'll stick to what I know best. Romantic suspense. Sure I have crime and death in my novels, but that isn't what drives them,there is more good than bad. I write what I like to read and it's going to stay that way. If that means I won't be a best-seller like James Patterson, then so be it.

Just want to add . . . I read THE POET by Michael Connelly just before I read SWIMSUIT. And although THE POET is also a serial-killer page-turner, Connelly's take was much more palpable. I enjoyed the read.