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Month

January 2015

Our So-Called Blizzard

Everyone freaks out over the weather, unless they need to.  It amazes me really.  If the news reports that we’re all going to die, and nothing happens, everyone will say, “Boy that was a close call wasn’t it?”

No, it wasn’t.  Nothing happened.  Nothing was going to happen.  Same goes for the weather.  If the news says snow is going to be three feet deep, it’s the talk of the town until the next “event.”  “Did you get any snow?  We got some.  You remember that snow in ‘88?  It’s a lot like that was, only papa was able to get out of the drive this time.”  But if the news says nothing, and it snows several inches anyway, “Yeah, we got a little.  So what’s going on with you?”

Now I know they got snow elsewhere, but everybody acted like the world was ending here.  Absolutely amazes me.  So, without further ado (is that really how you spell that?  I thought it was French or something), I give you our “blizzard” pictures.

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They closed school for this.

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Yes, we survived.  We even have power.  Gasp!

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The Absolutely Shockingly Horrible Cake

We went grocery shopping and discovered something that will surely make it to our “Museum” soon.  Watermelon flavored cake.  Thinking, “Oh goody!  I love watermelon flavored items!”, I was disgusted when I tried to eat what smelled and tasted like watermelon bubble gum.  I couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t even lick the bowl.  Hoping the baked product would be better (and to be fair, it was better than the batter), I was disenchanted to discover I couldn’t eat more than two bites.  And the second bite was just to make sure it was as ghastly as we feared.  (You like that?  “Disenchanted”?  Yeah, I thought it was cute too.)  In fact, it was so awful that nothing, I repeat, NOTHING would eat it.  Arlis set it outside all night.  Not a nibble.  The missing parts are where we all tried a piece.  Most of that, of course, is now in a trash can.  Oh, and we don’t waste food.  Period.  First we tried the dog, then the cats, then the chickens.  (To be honest, the cats inspected it before the chickens got to it, so we didn’t actually try to get the cats to eat it.)

As you can see below, this morning’s picture shows that not a single coon, opossum, skunk, bird, or rat would nibble this thing.  That was one nasty cake!

watermelon cake

Odd Grocery Store Trip-Doughnut cereal

It’s time for another installment of The Food Museum.

Previous food museum post Next

Today’s trip includes:

Sea salt and vinegar popcorn

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Garlic butter and sea salt popcorn

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Chips made from pita bread.  This must be a fad.  I saw a lot of pita things this time.

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Lemon grass stir-fry sauce?

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Orange and lemon filled olives

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This could be because we eat kosher and so just don’t realize this is out there, but it struck us as odd.

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This was just cute-ducks!

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This is pretty good actually.  Bought some Smile.  What I love the most is that cereal companies have completely given up the façade of health and just flat out go for dessert now!

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BBQ and Cherry chocolate yogurt raisins.

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Sounds good to me.  I need to try some.

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Meat from Mexico.  There is not enough money in the world.

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I hope you enjoyed today’s journey.  Until next time!

The Truth About Self-Publishing Fiction

imagesPeople keep telling me to self-publish.  It seems everyone has a friend, relative, or both that has self-published.  Let’s discuss the facts:

SP=self-publishing

TP=traditional publishing

This applies to fiction.  Nonfiction is another world, and not discussed here.

 

1-Upfront costs

SP-$100 or more, depending on the outlet choice.  It can be in the thousands.  If the writer chooses to use Amazon or similar, it can be very small indeed.  But there’s a great deal to consider: cover art, internal art, professional editing, etc.  I’ll discuss these below.  In the meantime, here is an article on such matters.

TP-under $100.  Although you can always include the costs of writers’ conferences, etc, these costs are the same no matter your choice of publication, and are not included here.  The costs of marketing will be discussed below.

2-Payment and theft

SP-You don’t get paid until someone buys the book.  And the public’s access to your book is limited entirely by your knowledge of the book world.  Your returns per book can be higher in SP than through TP, but the numbers sold through TP more than make up that difference.  SP is almost entirely ebook.  Ebooks are notorious for theft, and many TP books are not available in that format until after their first year or more out.  Some never are available, just for that reason.  Here’s more info on that topic.  Oh, and Kindle books are increasingly decreasing in price.  Much like the casual video game, you get what you pay for.  Just as players aren’t willing to pay for a cheesy video game, readers aren’t willing to pay for a book that hasn’t been fully finished.  (Finishing includes professional editing and writing).

TP-Your book does go to a library, aiding those who cannot or will not pay for your book.  Your book is sold at yard sales, loaned or given to friends and neighbors, a task more difficult to do with ebooks.  Your ebook sales, if applicable, increase your profit and physical sales.  But, you get paid some amount whether your book sells or not, and you are not limited to your knowledge of the book world.  You are limited by your agent’s and the entire staff of your publisher’s knowledge of the book world.  You then get royalties.  Furthermore, if your book is stolen to a large enough extent, your publisher will probably be the one to instigate a lawsuit, not you.  You also have the teams of whatever guild you affiliate with to aid in your troubles.

3-Work involved

SP-You do it ALL.  If you want it to sell, you’ll hire pros for both editing and cover art, unless you are also a talented artist.  You have to figure out the format you want your book in and somehow get it right.  You have to line up your cover image just right.  You have to look up or know all the terms and what is meant by each.  And you do 100% of the marketing yourself.  People judge a book by its cover, especially me.  And it works.  If a book has a cheesy half-attempt at the cover, the book has a cheesy half-attempting writer.  You can return ebooks if you don’t like them.  If you don’t hire an editor, your book will probably be less than it could (or should) be.  This can cause readers to return what they’ve already paid for.

TP-You have a lot of work involved, but you have guidance.  You don’t pay the editor, the publisher, or the illustrator.  You don’t find them either.  Your agent does, or you publisher supplies the other two for you.  You go on book signings, library and school appearances, conferences.  You will probably want to do some of your own marketing, such as sample chapters to libraries and bookmarks and such, but nothing compared to SP.

4-Reputation

SP-When you tell another writer that you’re an author, they assume you mean TP.  Otherwise, you would have said “SP author” or “writer”.  If they find out you are only SP later, you will be scoffed.  You pretty much just lied to people.  A SP writer is not an author.  They are a SP author.  If you are upfront and say so, you will be respected as a writer, not an author.  But at least you will be respected.  SP used to be done by “vanity presses”, and still are to a smaller degree.  The name says it all.  “Vanity”.  (In looking back at my rejection letters for Bub the Tooth years ago, I found where a vanity press had propositioned me for “publication”.  It was embarrassing to think how amateurish I must have come across at the time to be propositioned like that.  I can only hope my queries are more professional now.)

TP-You’ve made it!  Your work is good enough to back and sell.  You can now officially call yourself an author.

5-But SP is a great launching pad while I’m waiting to get published, right?

SP-The chances of you becoming a successful SP author are very slim.  Here’s some more info about the truths of SP.  Stories of people making it are rare and often inflated.  SP should be your last resort.  However, if you don’t care about reputation, having a career as a writer, or making any money, than by all means, SP.  Enjoy yourself.  I know many writers who do.  They do it for fun.  It’s what they enjoy.  There’s certainly nothing wrong with it.  I just want you to know the truths behind it and not have the wrong expectations.

TP-When querying agents and editors, you are asked to include past publications.  You can NOT include SP titles.  So please don’t.  Do not assume you can sell some of a work SP and then query an agent and get representation for that work, hoping to get it TP.  It won’t work.  The only way that can work is if you’re the top Amazon book for a long enough time, and I don’t know what that time is.  It’s a very hard lottery to win.  Don’t try.  (Again, nonfiction is different).

6-In conclusion

To really see what a difference having a team of TP behind you, check out this.  Maze Runner was published by a previously published author.  But now the original writer of the book, a SP author, is staking claim.  He even formed his own publishing company to sell it.  But the TP version went to theaters.  The SP was never known.

Quest Teaching-The Ultimate Treasure Quest

Quest Teaching-The Ultimate Treasure Quest is an amazing tool for teachers of traditional and homeschooled students.  I was drawn to it originally because of the Ultimate Reading Quest.

the ultimate treasure quest

Wow!  Too awesome.  The Reading Quest has prompts to narrow down what kinds of books you would enjoy, and they give you a selection of authors from which to choose.  You can redo the questions over and over, giving you the opportunity to browse several different selections based on your tastes at that moment.

There are also activities for math, science, and many other subjects.  Some of these include classes, projects, and even instructions to help your child make their own Choose Your Own Adventure.  I’m considering making my own Choose Your Own Adventure Blog now.  What do you think?

So by all means, take a visit.  You won’t be sorry.

H.L. Burke Featured Self-Published Author

24596-1224050318I would like to introduce you to a self-published author that I love!  She’s a very Godly woman (Why does that matter?).  It doesn’t.  It’s just who she is, and I’m describing her.  She’s a mom, a marine wife, and from what I’ve gathered on her blog, she homeschools.  She writes fantastic books of fantasy.  I would classify them as MG.

I also hate her because she’s cute, has an exciting life, and is quite possibly a much better writer than I Winking smile !   But seriously, she’s a wonderfully nice person, and I think so highly of her, that I wrote this.  (Blushing yet?  Ha Ha!)

I met this author (online only) on Scribophile.  She had posted Thaddeus Whiskers and the Dragon.  Too cute!!!  This kitten becomes friends with a dragon, and the two have a fun journey.  There are also other characters: an evil princess witch, a lazy wizard, a pointless knight.  The chapters switch back and forth between POV’s similarly to an adult novel.  But it is written with such easy reading, that I honestly don’t think that’s a problem.  And in fact, because of its understanding ease, I think it’s a great book to teach readers to make that switch.

She’s also the critter (one who does critiques) responsible for the deletion of my first chapter of Kitchen Elf.  If it weren’t for her, I would still be building an overly complex plot and rewriting chapters that needed to be thrown out long ago.  Thank you, Heidi!

I have recently purchased //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=theburfar-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=1491241772&asins=1491241772&linkId=JGOSWXYOH6S3XYGX&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=trueThe Ordinary Knight and the Invisible Princess.  The Kindle version was only a few dollars, so don’t let that price in the picture fool you.  I ordered the Kindle version because A-I’m poor, B-I didn’t want to wait.  Otherwise, you should all know by now how much into real books I actually amSmile

I’ll let you know how it is once I actually get around to reading itWinking smile.

So be sure and check her out.  You won’t be sorry!

The First Chapter of Kitchen Elf

I’ve been writing a middle grade series for several months now. I think it started in September. I could never get the first chapter. After finishing the rough draft and getting a few comments on the second and third chapter, I decided to try my hand at a first chapter. A first chapter is horrifically important. Obviously, buyers will pick up a book, read a bit and decide. But it’s actually even more important than that. Buyers don’t see it until after the book has gone through an editor and a publisher. But before that comes the query process. The query process involves the first 10-25 pages of the book. Period. Not the best 10-25, the first. That means your first chapter has to hook in that agent or editor immediately.

So, one day, I just started writing. I don’t know what happened, but this (see below) came out. I thought it was pretty awesome, but others had problems with it. In fact every other writer that read it thought it was a turn off. I didn’t really care about that too much, although I did take it into consideration. I wasn’t writing for other writers. But one said that it was too much plot for the age group, especially to start out with. And they were right. I start out with a woman that’s only part of the series every beginning and end of each book. The flash forwards and backwards were too complex and confused many, even adults. They liked it, but for the first book in a middle grade series…

I didn’t want to get rid of it. I planned a time to lie in the floor kicking and screaming, but then I laughed. I had a hard time accepting the stupid chapter to being with. What was my problem? I couldn’t figure out how to make it work in the first place and was forcing it to, so why was I making such a big deal about it? So I threw it out. I decided the second chapter can stand on its own as the first, and if everyone says it’s not good enough, I’ll find another hook then. But the more I looked back over it, the better I feel that it will be OK. I pray it is at least. The first chapter will always have a special place in my heart and hard drive. Who knows? It may even turn into something else one day.

For your enjoyment, however, and just to show you what I’ve been up to, I decided to post the first chapter just for those following along. You’re welcome to comment, but bear in mind it is not, repeat not part of the final manuscript. Also, please note, that sense this is being tossed, it never made it to the final edit of tense agreement, typos, etc, so there are a few mistakes.  So, without further ado, I give you the first chapter of Kitchen Elf and the Secrets of Cupola.

 

CHAPTER 1: WELCOME TO CUPOLA

“Welcome to Cupola! The land of mystery of magic. Enjoy our mystical gardens full of fairies and nymphs! Ride our dwarven mine coaster or soar with our dragonettes!” Your tour guide spreads his arms as he opens the tall and rounded blue gates to the Magical World of Cupola. He is a short, portly man of about fifty. He is wearing a large hat of bright blue, green, and red colors with grandiose black and yellow plumage that shimmer brightly in the sunlight. It matches his multicolored sneakers perfectly but clashes horribly with his dark grey waistcoat and lighter grey, pinstriped suit. You follow along as our group enters through the gates and waits further instruction.

Beyond him, fairies fill the air, elves run across the paths, and citizens cheerily wave at the tourists. Every year the land of Cupola opens its doors to those of “the earthly realm” as they call us. It allows them to make a profit and prosper on the income of our visits.

He continued, “If you are one of our VIP’s, you may join our present ruling monarch for dinner.” He lowers his voice, his neck bulging over his frilly white tie, “I do apologize, but all VIP tickets have been sold out for the season. So there are, unfortunately, no upgrades allowed at this time.” He starts shouting again, opening his arms in invitation, “But you are always welcome to check back. Cancellations are rare, but they do happen.”

He continues to back away into the main road, gesturing in the different directions for where things are. “For those who are staying with us, the hotel is over there. Our main street with refreshments, finely created crafts, and souvenirs is this way.” He looks down at the foremost family, winks at the children and says, “Of course, our adventurous visitors will want to join Azizi and his dragonettes for excitement and thrills.” The children smile up at him with delight, and then a loud dragon roar sounds in the distance with rising flames and smoke. The children’s faces sag as they back away in fear and reach for their mothers’ hands.

But this façade isn’t why you’re here. Your interests lie elsewhere. “And of course, for your education, please visit our Library in the Tower of Learning, where you will learn of our history and culture.” And there it was, the history of Cupola and your reason for coming here. You share a history with Cupola that no other “earthly visitor” could dare guess. You’re the grandchild of the woman who was there when our two worlds met.

Your grandmother was an amazing woman. She never stopped. Her mind was vigorous, even until the end. But even more amazing, she passed on a secret to you that would change your life forever. Oh you didn’t believe it at first, of course. Who would? As she lay on her death bed, with you alone by her side, she handed you her diary. It told her story, the story. For you see, it was she who discovered Cupola.

Our tour guide points out some venders and activities and answers a few questions, dismissing the crowd. About half the visitors run off to seek the adventures that await them: caves to explore, forests to traverse, mines to visit, sword fighting to learn. There’s even a stable for those wishing to joust or take an equestrian tour of the realm. The other half jaunt off to the hotel, eager to check in so they can enjoy their day like the others.

You ignore them, avoiding the guide’s eyes, and slink away to make a quick detour. You traverse off the main road and into the forbidden residential area. Walking as quickly as you can while remaining silent, you remember the directions you made sure to memorize before arriving. Straight at first, then a right and finally a left. Slowly you creep down the path recently paved with flag stone, and stop outside one of the houses. Your breath catches. There’s something inside of you that tells you it’s the one. You just know. The wooden door is heavily grooved but feels warm to the touch. The sound of a nearby neighbor talking scares you to return to the “approved” course as quietly and hurriedly as possible.

As you near the worn stones of the road at the entrance gate, you let out your breath and look around you. You follow it onto the main street of the courtyard where it transitions into smooth, red paver bricks. The small shops outlining the courtyard are bright and open, ready to showcase their crafts for the doting tourists. Their scaled roofs slope sharply, providing privacy for the shopkeepers and their families. Their wooden windows are small and thick, some with wooden shutters, others adorned with boxes filled with glowing flowers.

You pass the costume maker with its lavish Victorian imitations, the jeweler with its grand exhibit of gems and precious metals. On the other side of the courtyard is a weapons shop, filled with large dwarven swords, shields, helmets, and armor. The architecture of many of these shops looked as though they were placed in at a later date. That would definitely support Grandma’s stories, especially since they weren’t built on top of the previous buildings, but appeared to be squished in between them. You mentally note the magic at work.

As you enter the middle of the courtyard, vendors serving “exotic meat” pies and milk shakes guaranteed not to melt call out for your patronage. But your mission stirs your concentration to pause and study the landscape, to get your bearings. You decide to check in at the hotel and drop off a few things first. There’s no telling how long it will take to do everything you came for.

You reach the hotel, a large, decorative wooden building. It’s completely out of place with the rest of the courtyard, almost as if it were a last minute addition, and more land were created to fit it in its place. Its window frames are so ornately engraved that the gems cradled within them appear bland. It is amazingly exquisite, obviously made just for these occasions. Its size looks as though it couldn’t possibly hold the population it claims to. You note another obvious use of magic and enter.

The receptionist is a small creature, about a foot tall, with rapidly flapping wings of the same size. She’s hovering over a large book, checking off the last of the names of what was once a very, very long line. There are some more creatures, just as herself, flittering here and there with burdens of feather dusters and drinks.

About six creatures groan at the strain of lifting one suitcase using a special harness made just for the demand. You habitually leave the line to help but falter when you hear the creatures shout at another patron for doing the same. The patron puts his hands up and apologizes profusely as they continue to berate him for his insulting action. Ah, wood sprites! You recognize them from your grandmother’s drawings. That explains the gorgeous carvings and purely wooden architecture. You smile as you realize how lucky the man was for not having to spend the rest of his day pulling sprites off of his body where they would have sunken their teeth into him. They were displaying a great deal of self control.

“Next!” The receptionist calls for you, one hand on her hip, her mouth smacking tree sap, and her wings buzzing softly as she hovers over her desk. “Thompson.” You had used a false name when making the reservation in order to prevent suspicion. She gives you a large leaf in the shape of a key. You thank her and head up the stairs for your room.

The key lets you into a sizable room, much larger than the outside appears, with wooden floors and huge leaves for wallpaper. Upon further inspection, you notice that the wallpaper is probably the wall itself. It is stiff and thick, almost like paper mache. The bed is a hammock made of flexible leaves and hanging between two wooden, branchless tree trunks.

You deposit your backpack on said hammock and pull out Grandma’s diary. You’ve read it so many times since you first heard about the Magical World of Cupola that you know most of it by heart. But here, actually here. You check the door to make sure it’s locked, make a sweep of the room for even the tiniest eavesdropper, and read again:

Dear Diary,                    June 18

I can’t believe what has happened to me these past few days. It all started June 6, just 5 days after my 16th birthday. A small light shone from the corner of my room. I didn’t notice it at first because of all the noise Dad was making from the TV in the living room. He always stays up late watching silly westerns and game shows and drinking his beer. If I am lucky, he forgets about me. If I am not, he finds reason to be angry with me.

But anyway, this light started to grow. It had rays that extended out in all directions, like the sun. And then the center started to change. At first I thought it must be another TV, because that is what it looked like. I saw a woman dressed oddly, and another woman standing next to her. They were both looking at me the same way that I was looking at them!

I got off my bed and walked over to the shining picture. They walked closer to me too, and for a long time we just stared at each other. Finally, their mouths started to move. It looked like they were trying to say “Hello.” I said “hello” back and waved. We all smiled.

They conversed with each other a moment, in such a position as I couldn’t see them, and then waved their hands in a “come here” gesture. This made no sense to me whatsoever! Come there indeed. How on earth did they expect me to do such a silly notion? I simply shrugged my shoulders and said, “I can’t,” exaggerating my mouth movements as I did so.

They nodded and pleaded with me so that I finally extended my arm towards their picture. But it went through! My arm went into the hole within the light!

I was sore afraid and pushed myself backwards, up against my bed. I shook my head repeatedly at their insistence that I try again. It was then that I heard my father get up from his chair and start yelling at my mom. I tried once to protect her. It did not end well. Fearing his wrath more than the glowing photo that moved, I dove into it!

It was only a slight sensation, like walking into a giant freezer. The air smelled differently there. It was crisper, cleaner, and a bit cooler. It was explained to me that I had traveled into the land of Cupola.

It was a beautiful place. I was there for many days before they were able to return me to my home. My family thought I had run away, but did nothing about it. My mother was glad I was able to get away, and my father was happy to have me away.

She went on to describe every adventure she ever had in this magical realm, including the main reason you’re here now. She also wrote down this place’s history, and how it came to be so beautiful. It wasn’t always this fabulous. Its past is rich and complex, full of mystery and adventure. She described the time before her arrival as one of great deprivation, a period when even the happiest of souls would shrivel in a life in Cupola. But that time also produced one of the greatest heirs Cupola would ever see. An heir that would bring it to the glory it has today. But finding that heir and making it all happen was up to just three children. This is the story she was told.

 

Another Day at Our “Museum”

It’s time for another post of weird food we found.

Previous weird food post Next

As the original post told, we often go to a local store where, as my husband puts it, “Bad ideas go to die.”  When looking at the pictures, be sure you read the whole box.  Often times, the wording/brand name/product name is even more hilarious.  Here are pictures from yesterday’s visit:

I know chicken can go on pizzas, and it’s a matter of personal taste, but do you have to buy it separately?  What’s wrong with just regular chicken, already chopped and packaged in bags, cans…?

chicken pizza

For the truly lazy who think boiling water and opening a can is too much work.

instant spam

This speaks for itself.

corn soup

Go ahead, read it out loud.

hallah mix

candy corn cereal

We actually bought this.  He hasn’t tried it yet, so I don’t know how horrible it is.

pop rocks cereal

I originally took the picture because of the peanut butter-gross.  But the other two deserved recognition as well.

peanut butter pop tarts

Pecan coffee?

pecan coffee

I am drinking this tea as we speak.  It has a very odd flavor.  I do NOT recommend it.

hibiscus tea

Would kids today even know what Scooby Snacks are?

scooby snacks

Pineapple flavored marshmallows.  With jelly inside-ew!

pineaapple marshmallows

They must have recently stocked up on Halloween leftovers because everything was pumpkin flavored.

pumpkin chips

pumpkin chips

pumpkin oreos

I bought these-totally awesome!!

birthday cake oreos

Want … to … try

brownie filled chocolate chip cookies

Ooooo … gooooeeyyyyyy … drool!

gooey chocolate chip cookies

We bought these on an earlier visit.  Amazingly wonderful!!

raspberry oreos

That concludes this visit.  I hope our next visit provides more entertainment!

This insanity brought to you by artificial sweeteners and incompetent doctors

It all started one day when I had that funny feeling again.  My stomach was being all weird again.  But this time, I felt my pulse.  I don’t know why, I just did.  Something said, “What if it’s your heart?”  As silly as that sounded, it was my heart.  My heart was skipping beats.

It wasn’t all that alarming at first.  I looked it up and thought it might be a vitamin deficiency.  I took a multivitamin, and it stopped.  I already had the appointment with the doctor, so I went ahead and told him what happened.  He told me to keep taking the multivitamin and sent me home.  The vitamin reaction turned out to be a coincidence.

But then it came back.  I was trying to lose weight at the time.  I had about 20 pounds to go, so I drank diet cokes.  There was a demolition derby one night at the fair grounds, so we went.  As I sat there, my heart started skipping beats so violently that I got dizzy and terrified.  I told my husband to keep an eye on me and get ready to take me to the ambulance 100 yards away that was on standby for the drivers.  He was pretty scared.

I made it home.  It finally succumbed enough to calm me down a bit.  We assumed it was the caffeine, and I stopped drinking cokes.  I was also running at the time, so my heart beats were far harder than most.  This, of course, was due to my increased heart strength.  But the beats didn’t quit skipping.  I had quit all black teas, all green teas, all cokes, what else could I be missing?

We gave it a week.  It can take quite some time for your body to adjust.  I had the privilege of an aunt with hypersensitivity to caffeine as well, although I’m not sure how privileged it makes her feel.  She gave me some pointers, including the time it would take to get the caffeine out of my system, and the fact that decaf tea is not, in fact, without caffeine.  It just has much less.

Well drat!  This means I have to give that up too?  I like herbal teas and all but puh-lease!  Not to mention the fact that they cost about 3 times as much!

I drank water for weeks.

They never went away, not completely anyway.  I went through a bunch of garbage with my doctors including a holter monitor and Mirenda.  I now have a new PCP who’s competent.  I shan’t bore you with the details.  This post has some of the details for the truly interested.

So, back to the heart beats.  Through a great deal of tears, pain, and suffering, I was able to deduce that it was artificial sweeteners.  But wait, I’d given up diet cokes.  Where was I getting them from?  That’s because they’re EVERYWHERE!  Sucralose is in everything nowadays.

Swiss Miss cocoa?      Even though the main ingredient is sugar, they add sucralose.

Gum?       Sucralose.

Soda Stream?        Sucralose.

Non-diet foods you would never think of (I think one was even a Hamburger Helper)?  Sucralose

Everytime I think it’s over, I’ll consume it again in some mysterious fashion.  It’s really annoying!  I’m like one of those people with a wheat allergy only they can say, “I have a wheat allergy,” and everyone nods in understanding.  I tell people, “I’m sorry, but I need to read every label of everything you serve me,” and…well you can guess.

I’m not trying to be rude, but seriously!  If I’m looking for it and miss it, do you honestly believe people who aren’t wouldn’t?  (Wait.  Did that sentence have too many negative contractions?  Was it even understandable?)  And my allergy isn’t life threatening (at least not yet) like theirs, but still!  What if it were?

Oh and guess what!  Not only do I get the joyousness of PVC’s (premature ventricular contractions), but these lovely beasts give me great anxiety, panic attacks, depression, weird cravings, etc.  And I’m far from the only one with this problem.  Look it up, there are thousands.

So if wheat, nuts, milk, soy, and pheylalanies (or whatever they are) are labeled, why not sucralose?  Does someone have to die first?  Do I have to sue someone first?

If anyone has an answer to the last section, please comment below and let me know.  It would be really nice to cut my grocery shopping time in half and quit worrying about eating out or at others’ houses.

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