Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.

Is life stressing you out? Take a breath and relax. Or so we’re told. Some days, it’s not so simple. I’ve learned how to breathe four times in my life. Once, with that first, lifegiving gasp. The second time, when I was five and learning how to swim. Third time, in acting class, with lessons on voice projection and breath control. The most important breathing lesson came a decade later. As a young adult I was introduced to biofeedback, a kind of visualization technique used to control some of our body functions like heart rate, breath, muscle response, and brain waves. It can help relax muscles, decrease heart rate, and slow and deepen breathing. It has been clinically proven to help with a myriad of ailments. […]

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Black Pearl

Calisthenics for Characters

Recently, I came across a question from a new writer who asked, “Is it okay to use a real person to create a character?” That’s a tricky question because writers get their ideas from so many areas. A vacation we take might stir a potential setting. A newspaper article may influence a plot. But basing a character on a real person, especially if the person isn’t a public figure, can be detrimental to an author’s career. Lawsuits have been filed (and won) when a person recognizes themselves in a book. […]

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