Why you THINK you’re so much better in the morning … or at night

Circadian rhythm: It’s the reason you find yourself full of energy at a particular time of day (or night) and really dragging at another time.

Biological clock: Your internal timing device; usually a 24-hour clock. Your biological clock produces your circadian rhythm.

So, what does this have to do with your productivity and whether you’re a morning person or a night owl?

Well, your circadian rhythm is based partly on DNA and partly on external factors, such as daylight. “Larks” wake up and go to bed early; they tend to find themselves more productive in the morning. “Owls”  rise and hit the sack later, preferring to get their stuff done in the evening or at night.

But researchers have found that most people hit their peak, creatively speaking, at precisely opposite the time they’re most productive. I, for one, agree with them.

I’m a morning person. When it comes to balancing my checkbook, editing my writing, or having to use my left brain, I perform much better between 6 a.m. and noon. However, the best ideas I’ve ever had for my writing–and ways to solve plot and character defects–always come in the middle of the night when I wake up to go potty or just after I slip into bed at night.

How does your circadian rhythm work with respect to your creativity?

Yes, You Really Can Have a Broken Heart

I read an article recently about a 61-year-old woman who went to the ER thinking she had a heart attack. Doctors learned she suffered a broken heart after her dog died.

Yes, there really is such a thing; it’s called takotsubo cardiomyopathy, or broken-heart syndrome.

Doesn’t this make a great premise for inclusion in a book?!

To read what Harvard Medical School has to say about it, click here.

IRS “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams for 2017

As a freelance writer, I research many subjects for both my fiction and nonfiction. Recently, during the research phase of a project for an educational text on identity theft, I learned that fraudulent tax preparers are among the “Dirty Dozen” of IRS tax scams for this year. Who’d have guessed?

irsDid you know:

  • To charge for preparing someone else’s tax return, you must have an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number and include it on all tax returns you prepare?
  • The IRS has a website with a list of all professionals who have credentials to file tax returns? You can visit this list to find qualified preparers in your area.
  • Paid preparers who complete returns for more than 10 clients are usually required to file electronically. If your preparer refuses to file electronically, find out why.

For more information about tax preparers, visit the full article, IRS “Dirty Dozen” Series of Tax Scams for 2017 Includes Return Preparer Fraud; Choose Reputable Preparers.

To see the Dirty Dozen list for 2017, visit here: https://www.irs.gov/uac/newsroom/irs-summarizes-dirty-dozen-list-of-tax-scams-for-2017

And the winner is…


No, I didn’t win first prize, but I placed 16 out of 25, so my short story, “Mama,” will be published in the 17th Annual Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition Collection.

Each year, Writer’s Digest sponsors a variety of writing competitions, the winners of which win cash prizes and/or have their work published in the magazine or one of the books it publishes. Since this was only the second short story I’ve ever written, I’m very pleased with the win.

Once I have details about how you can obtain your copy of the short story collection, I’ll post it here. I’ll be entering WD’s Annual Writing Competition next, so stay tuned for another announcement in October!