Posts Tagged ‘tips’

I may have understated things a little yesterday, when I said that my bug bites were just “extremely itchy.” They were driving me crazy, especially the freakishly large spider(?) bite that made my wrist look like a poorly-maintained baseball bat. I had some anti-itch stuff and it worked, but for short periods only, and the wrist had a puffy red circle that was three inches wide and still growing.

Not cool.

Cue dramatic rescue! My sister-in-law saved the day. Her recommendation? Vicks VapoRub. The full course of action was peroxide to clean the area, then apply a mix of Vicks and salt.

Being a science-minded sort in possession of a bumper crop of bug bites, I decided to conduct a little experiment.

Super official test protocol: Some spots got Vicks only, some got the full treatment. I won’t lie, the salt scared me a little. It seemed a bit too much like scratching an itch with your nails, deeply satisfying until the blood starts to run, the area resembles a monster-movie prosthetic, and you regret your life choices.


Results: I wasn’t 100% wrong about the salt. Scrubbing the swollen area rode a fine line between satisfaction and pain, and I could almost see the little grains scraping an already sore spot. (It was also a bit awkward to apply to and remove from non-wrist areas.) But! Once I stopped rubbing it in, I was able to leave it at that. No obsessive need to keep scratching even as the voice in my head said, “For the love of all that’s holy, please stop scratching!” Was it nerve overload, increased Vicks penetration, or…? I don’t know, but I liked it.

And then the swelling went down, the redness receded, and the itch went away. There’s still a little redness, a tiny bump where the demon venom spider fangs went in, and no real urge to scratch. The Vicks-only bumps are similar, so my guess is that the menthol etc. in the mix does most of the work. I’ll probably use that straight next time.

My verdict? Best sister-in-law ever:)

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Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash

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* Note from the future: After more experimentation (thanks, backyard bugs!) I’m shifting my position a little. Salt helps, and the peroxide (or other cleanser) seems sensible if you’re going to use sharp crystals against your skin. 

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Today I ran across a collection of tips from master writers. The Gotham Writers Workshop includes tips for aspiring writers from Elmore Leonard, George Orwell, Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood, P.D. James and more.

RULE SEVEN: The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something. It’s the people who do all of the work all of the time who eventually catch on to things.
— John Cage

Every – every – story is a story about people, or it sucks.
— Joss Whedon

I’ve seen a number of these suggestions before but many not. And when it’s Tuesday morning and the tea has yet to kick in, I find that every little bit helps. Happy writing!

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Today we have helpful hints on reading aloud (and presentation in general) from Mary Robinette Kowal.

As an accomplished narratorpodcasterpuppeteer and author with lots of touring experience, she should know. And she does!

Check out her 17-part series for a plethora of detailed and useful suggestions for handling stage fright, phrasing, breathing, recording, what can go wrong (and how to cope with grace), and so much more. If you have a tour in the offing or, you know, you just want to be prepared for your future as a literary genius, this series is for you.

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I like to cook. I like science. I extra like it when the two come together. Since Canada Day is coming up on July 1st and Independence Day is on the 4th, I thought I’d bring you this easy (and kinda science-y) way to tell if you have enough propane in your BBQ tank to make it through the festivities.

Thank you, America’s Test Kitchen:)

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