The great pheromone debate =O

Is this cool or what?

Scent psychologist Avery Gilbert debates neuro- and olfactory scientist Leslie Vosshall about whether pheromones exert any meaningful effects on humans.

Click the link to watch — a 3 minute clip. And root for Leslie :)

The Great Pheromone Debate

Posted in Dark Chemistry by Kirsten Mortensen, Pheromones | Comments Off on The great pheromone debate =O

Soooooo close!!!!

Makes you want to read the novel, doesn't it?

Makes you want to read the novel, doesn’t it?

The novel is coming.


Are you excited?

I sure am!!!!

AND: the peeps who had a sneak peek are all saying it’s my best one yet :D

Will be available for all major e-readers plus print!

Posted in Dark Chemistry by Kirsten Mortensen, Romantic suspense, Romantic thriller, Writing | Comments Off on Soooooo close!!!!

Body, together

IMG_7329So it’s been a long time since I did a post on health-related stuff.

Partly owing to the evolution (de-evolution?) of the blog. When I first started blogging in whenever it was — 2006 I think? — I threw up posts on whatever was on my mind. Personal stuff, health-related stuff, politics, local news, etc. Today, I’m more active on Facebook than here. It’s easier to carry on conversations there — I’m not sure what FB the company thinks it is, but to me it’s an enormous open platform blog. I can post to my website and maybe somebody will chime in with a response. I post to FB and it can trigger a conversation among dozens of people. I like that :-)

There are two downsides. One, of course, is that the stuff I post on FB isn’t visible if you don’t have a FB account or aren’t my FB friend. The other — closely related actually — is that FB posts go down the rabbit hole. Whereas with my blog, once Google indexes a post, it will show up in the search results for-evah. Assuming it’s a decent post.

Which brings me to health-related stuff. Some of my blog pages on specific health-related topics get fairly regular hits from visitors, which I assume means they’re finding what I post helpful.

So I thought I’d update on my personal experience: here are the things I do today that I think have the most positive effects on my health.

DISCLOSURE: I am NOT a medical professional and this is NOT medical advice. It’s me blogging about my personal experience. Be smart and consider getting a professional opinion before you try anything you read about on the interwebs.


Still taking it. Iodine is the only thing I’ve ever supplemented that had a huge, immediate, tangible effect on my health. Here’s my most comprehensive blog posts about it.

You do need to exercise some caution if you start exploring iodine supplementation, particularly if you have health issues. Educate yourself. The links at my old post are a good starting point. Another terrific resource is The Iodine Crisis: What You Don’t Know About Iodine Can Wreck Your Life, by Lynne Farrow.

Next up: Fluoride, Migraines, Resistant Starch, and my fave go-to alt-health blogs . . . Continue reading

Posted in Health | Comments Off on Body, together

Beagle Date

I once caught a beagle, a stray.
Long tongue,
worldly eyes.
The kind that make the ladies sigh.

I lured him to the yard
and shut the gate.
But he didn’t stay.

Before I got to my phone
he’d found a hole and

he was gone —
Where have you gone?

Maybe home.
Maybe on
to his next beagle date,

The kind that makes
the ladies
ask him why.

Posted in Writing | 1 Comment

Famous neighbors: Scott Adams

A is Oxford, B is Windham.

A is Oxford, B is Windham.

I blogged a few years back about how Camille Paglia lived, for a time, in my hometown of Oxford, NY.

Turns out I had another someday-would-be-famous neighbor — not quite so close as in the same town, but I’m still counting it :-)

Scott Adams, who is three or four years older than me, grew up in Windham, NY.

Windham is about an hour and forty five minute’s drive from Oxford. That sounds like a lot except that the driving consists of winding through 2-lane mountain roads. I speak from experience. Delhi, NY, about halfway between the two towns, was (is?) one of the schools in the same sports section and division as Oxford; anyone who played or spectated Oxford sports was in Delhi several times a year during high school. I remember it as being the looooooong bus ride :-)

And Route 23, the main road into Windham, is well known to Oxfordians. It’s one of the main highways out of Norwich, the Chenango County seat.

As Upstate NY towns go, I don’t need to see Windham to know it has a lot in common with Oxford, although it’s probably a bit smaller (Adams writes in How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life that he had 40 people in his graduating class).

In his book, Adams tells a story of how his car broke down once between home and Syracuse on a “newly constructed highway through a sparsely populated valley in the Catskill Mountains.” I have to think that’s Route I-88, right?

Here’s a WaPo article by Adams — one of several that have appeared lately that are excerpted from his book. I read it today, because of course I want to be happy, and which reminded me that How to Fail… was on my TBR pile.

Highly recommend the book if you’re looking for some New Year’s encouragement :-)

Posted in NY | Comments Off on Famous neighbors: Scott Adams

On Resolutions

IMG_7707 (2)I’ve been thinking a lot about resolutions over the past couple of weeks.

I like to set resolutions. I know some people don’t. But my thinking is very much along the lines of Sarah Hoyt’s, as she blogs about it here. Humans, she writes, “live by ritual and symbols as much as by concrete things . . . I use the rituals and the dates and the symbolic turning points as a fixed point off which to rappel and change my direction.”

[T]here is a dreadful weight of inertia to human life.  Things-as-you’ve-always-done them become established in your mind and you end up doing them the exact same way over and over again, even if you hate it.  It’s kind of like trying to swim in a soaked overcoat.  And in this case, the habits formed during this year are the kind that, like that soaked overcoat, will be the end of me, if I don’t change them.

Exactly. Which is why resolutions can feel good. They can imbue your life with a sense of “getting somewhere,” of having some measure of control or at least influence on your destiny.

Only if you are kind to yourself about them, however. As Dean Wesley Smith notes in this post about setting writing goals, when it comes to goals, it’s important to be flexible about how we define “success.” If you set an “extreme” goal, he advises, “have fall-back success levels.” Understand that missing a goal doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve failed.

Er .  . . no.

Er . . . no.

Seven of my eight 2013 resolutions were writing goals, and guess what: they were all extreme. I didn’t meet any of them. But I made substantial progress on three. So out of kindness to myself, I hereby christen 2013 a success :-)

And also out of kindness to myself, I’m going to be careful about my 2014 resolutions.

I realize, in retrospect, that the resolutions I made last year set me up to fail not only because they were extreme, but because meeting them depended too much on things outside my control.

Without going into too many personal details: the daily claims on my attention are real. I’m a mother. I have bills to pay. Etc.

The time and energy I can devote to writing fiction are limited. That’s a fact. And if my resolutions don’t accommodate that fact, I’m doomed to miss them. So:

Lesson #1. Don’t set goals/resolutions that are too vulnerable to factors I can’t control.

So how do you get to goals/resolutions that are within your control? Continue reading

Posted in Writing | Comments Off on On Resolutions

Final cover, Dark Chemistry

Makes you want to read the novel, doesn't it?

Makes you want to read the novel, doesn’t it?

It’s done :-)

What do you think?

Posted in Writing | 2 Comments

Into the body of the protagonist

Via Futurity, researchers  at Emory University’s Center for Neuropolicy are exploring what happens to your brain when you read a novel.

It’s a small study, but intriguing — and reinforces my sense that what we experience internally is, in some respects, indistinguishable from what we experience in the 3D world:

“The neural changes that we found associated with physical sensation and movement systems suggest that reading a novel can transport you into the body of the protagonist,” Berns says. “We already knew that good stories can put you in someone else’s shoes in a figurative sense. Now we’re seeing that something may also be happening biologically.”

Read a book, and the protag becomes your avatar :-)

Posted in Science, Writing | Comments Off on Into the body of the protagonist

RACGate Update

I’ve been diligently pursuing RAC and LA Fitness to try to get some resolution to my request for a refund, as I laid out in my previous post here.

Here’s what’s happened since I first posted:

1. I talked to a couple more people, bringing the total to around 8 different individuals to date (some with RAC, some with LA Fitness). I.e., I’m still being bounced around, which is frustrating and unpleasant. That said, I’ve found the people in Rochester to be professional and sympathetic. I REALLY appreciate that.

2. As of 1 pm today, however, nobody has done the right thing, yet — I still haven’t received an assurance that my money will be refunded.

3. In the flashiest news to date, I was interviewed this afternoon by Vanessa Herring, a reporter with WROC Channel 8. Big thanks to Vanessa and WROC for supporting us in this! And Vanessa was terrific, very personable and professional. The interview will air tonight at 4, 5, and 6 pm.

4. I’ve heard that there are individuals who are getting refunds for unused personal training from LA Fitness. I REALLY hope that means I’ll be getting my money back as well. However —

5. Once again, that points to how muddled and inconsistent this is. If some people are getting their money back, why aren’t others?

6. I’ve heard from several other people who are in a similar situation to mine. Please keep reaching out — as much as possible, let’s coordinate our efforts to make sure that we are ALL treated honorably!

Posted in Rochester, New York | 2 Comments

To RAC/Fitness First & LA Fitness: DO THE RIGHT THING

Late last week, the Rochester Athletic Club (RAC) announced that it had sold two of its Rochester, NY locations to LA Fitness.

One of them is the club where I work out.

I wouldn’t mind all that much, except for one thing: I can no longer work with “my” personal trainer — a trainer who is qualified to do the type of work I need, which is exercise fitness therapy — and to date, neither RAC nor LA Fitness will return the money I pre-paid to work out with him. Continue reading

Posted in Rochester, New York | 2 Comments