Hallucinations and Psychology: What Happens When You Read?

This is fascinating! Big thanks to Kristen Twardowski for posting this!

Kristen Twardowski


I’ve talked a bit about the health benefits of writing, but what does reading do to the human body? Luckily the fine folks at the University of Virginia Library have put together an infographic on just that topic.

During the first stages of reading, the tactile senses are engaged, and people enjoy things like that book smell. Then people begin to experience auditory and visual hallucinations. Readers become entwined with the book’s narrative. Though some of the stages listed by the folks at UVA are a bit tongue-in-cheek, the graphic presents an optimistic overview of how people’s bodies and minds respond to reading.

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Image Attribution: University of Virginia Library, “What Happens One Hour (and More) after Opening a Book,” Accessed 31 January 2017, https://i1.wp.com/news.library.virginia.edu/files/2015/09/WHAOAB.jpg?ssl=1

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True Grit ~ Tuesday’s Words of Writing Inspiration


Image result for writing quotes

My Top 10 Books of 2016

2016 was an excellent reading year for me. I read almost twice as much as usual (99 books!!!), discovered some great new authors, and some addictive new series! The problem with reading so many books in one year is, how do I pick my favorites? Choosing 5 was impossible this year. So, in no particular order, here are my top 10 reads of 2016.

In a Dark, Dark Wood

This one really made an impression on me. So much so, that I’ve been even though there are so many books and so little time, I’ve been dying to read it again! Unfortunately, I let someone borrow my copy . . .


Into the Darkest Corner

This book was so incredibly suspenseful that it redefined what ‘edge-of-my-seat’ meant for me. I literally got chest pains from the tension. It made enough of an impression on me that, even though the other book I tried by this author was completely not for me, I forgive her. Almost.


The Great Zoo of China

This one took me back to my roots of good old, high octane, super fast paced, action packed thrillers. So what if it’s completely unbelievable? And what if some people think I’m a little silly for being a 30-something woman reading books like this? It’s Jurassic Park with dragons. Enough said.


Silent Scream (D.I. Kim Stone, #1)

In 2016 I discovered – and then devoured – this series. All 5 books are so freakin good that I spend 5 minutes every day sending fast writing wishes to the author so she puts out more soon.



The Kind Worth Killing

The plot is pure genius. I’m rather jealous that I didn’t think of it. Maybe I don’t entirely remember all the details after all this time, but it earned a spot on my keep shelf. No easy feat.



We Were Liars

This book started my 2016 love affair with Young Adult books. It made me gasp. It made me cry. It made me think. It kept me guessing and almost blindsided me. Very well done.



Now You See Me (Lacey Flint, #1)

Another series with a brutal writer who holds no punches! It introduced me to an incredibly damaged female lead – and a new theory on an old conspiracy that simply amazed me with both its brilliance and simplicity. Can’t wait to read more by this author.


If You Find Me

A debut Young Adult book that left me begging for more. The imagery, the voice, the characters . . . sigh. It made me both laugh and cry.




This was the best anthology I’ve read in a looong time. Every story was good. It inspired me to write more and to write better. It inspired me to think deeper, plot stronger, be more devious and creative. Maybe not my favorite as a reader, but as a writer, it’s true love.


Pretty Little Liars (Pretty Little Liars, #1)


I had to include this one because I ended up reading the entire 16 book series and a couple of the companion books. Okay, and maybe I watched a couple of seasons of the TV show, too. Even though it went on entirely too long, Sara Shepard did something entirely right when creating this series. Completely addictive!

‘Tis the Season for Apple Crisp

I just made this last night – my first attempt at apple crisp. I had a lot of the topping left over, but this was SO good – and gluten free! I highly recommend this recipe!

Live In The Nautical

Unless a tree has borne blossoms in spring, you will vainly look for fruit on it in autumn.” ~  Walter Scott


As a former pastry chef now living in the Concrete  Jungle. I don’t get a lot of opportunities to strut my baking chomps. After all, I live in the city known for micro apartments where you are lucky if you have a hot plate, and two is a modern day miracle.

Thankfully I live in the modern day miracle portion of this city and I am blessed to even have a stove! Gasps! Albeit it is a very tiny stove, but beggars can’t be choosers. While I can’t bake the sheet cakes and fondant creations I use too, I can at least get a pan of apple crisp in the oven. Which is what I did Sunday after a day of champion Apple picking the day before.



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Mount Washington, NH ~ through the hiker’s lens

At 6,288 feet, Mount Washington is the highest mountain in the northeastern United States, and one of the 48 New Hampshire 4000 footers. Home to a weather observatory, a cog rail, and an auto road, it’s accessible to anyone in the area that wants to visit. For those who choose to hike to the summit, it’s an entirely different experience – one as beautiful as it is dangerous. The view as seen from the trail: