After Work: #WritingChallenge #Week21

Felicia Denise, Author

Elevator photo

Week 21: 52-Week Writing Challenge.

A scene from a current WIP which I am absolutely clueless about!


Making her way to the elevator just after 6:30, Quinn was glad to see the end of the day. She spent the afternoon wheeling and dealing like a Wall Street broker securing new health plans to replace Martech after their premium rate hike. Quinn was successful so far, but at the expense of a migraine trying to form behind her eyes.

Pushing the down button, Quinn leaned her head against the cool, marble wall while she waited for the elevator.

“That kind of day, huh?

Quinn turned to find Fletcher Morgan… standing unusually close to her. She hadn’t even heard him approach.

“Unfortunately, yes. But it’s over… for now. It’s safe to make my escape.”

Fletcher nodded, knowingly. “Funny how a forty-hour work week so easily turns into sixty… or more. It seems…

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2 More Days! Historical Romance Month #Giveaway

A Few of My Favorite Things

Hope you’ve enjoyed Historical Romance Month here on Nesie’s Place. These amazing authors have given generously of their time and their work. I can’t thank them enough for their partnership this month!

As the banner says, the books featured during May are a few of MY favorite things. So, on June 1st, I’ll share my favorite things with a random winner.

If you have commented on any historical romance spotlighted book post… you’re already entered. If not, what are you waiting for? Contest is open through May 31st.

The Prize? An ebook set of any historical romance series featured in May.

Option #1 – Nicola Davidson’s The London Lords and Fallen series

Option #2 – Lily Silver’s Reluctant Heroes Series

Option #3 – Maureen Driscoll’s The Kellingtons Series

Option #3A – Maureen Driscoll’s The Emersons Series

Option #4 Natasha Blackthorne’s Fashionably Impure, Intimate Secrets or Regency Risks

Someone is going to win some of my favorite reads… then we can be Besties! Will it be you?

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Fibromyalgia and Multiple Sclerosis

MS or Fibro

There is so much mystery in the world of fibromyalgia, in large part because it effects everyone differently. Another reason for the mystery is due to the similarity in fibro symptoms compared to other diseases and syndromes. Fibromyalgia is sometimes misdiagnosed as a different problem and vice versa. This is because the myriad of symptoms associated with fibro are commonly found in other illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, also known as MS. So how can you tell if it’s fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis?

What Exactly is MS?

The National MS Society defines it as follows: “Multiple sclerosis (MS) involves an immune-mediated process in which an abnormal response of the body’s immune system is directed against the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves.” If you or a loved one live with fibromyalgia, you can definitely spot some familiar buzz words and phrases, can’t you? Specifically, “immune system,” “abnormal response,” and “central nervous system.” In fact, the similarities in symptoms become quite striking when you review a side-by-side comparison. Note that most, not all, of the fibromyalgia symptoms overlap with MS symptoms, making it difficult to distinguish whether it’s fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis:

MS SYMTPOMS FIBROMYALGIA SYMPTOMS
Fatigue Fatigue/Exhaustion
Numbness or Tingling Numbness &/or Tingling
Weakness Muscle Weakness
Dizziness & Vertigo Dizziness
Pain Pain
Emotional Changes Anxiety
Walking (Gait) Difficulties Impaired Coordination
Spasticity (i.e., muscle stiffness and spasms) Muscular aching, throbbing, & twitching
Vision Problems Vision Problems
Bladder Problems Bladder Problems
Bowel Problems Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Cognitive Changes Cognitive Problems
Depression Depression
Tremor Restless Leg Syndrome
Headache Headaches/Migraines
Swallowing Problems Dry Eyes & Mouth
Itching Itching &/or Burning
Sexual Problems Insomnia/Poor sleep
Speech Problems Ringing in the Ears
Breathing Problems Neurological Symptoms
Seizures Skin Sensitivities & Rashes
Hearing Loss

It is plain to see many similarities in symptoms between fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis, including clear neurological connections associated with pain, numbness, and tingling. However, experts explain that unlike MS, fibromyalgia does not show up as brain lesions on an MRI. Furthermore, while both conditions have no known source, MS is distinctly categorized as an auto-immune disease, but fibromyalgia is not. So that is one way to determine if it’s fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis.

A key difference in MS is that the patient actually accrues long-term nerve damage which leads to physical and cognitive impairments. In fact, some types of MS are progressive. Primary Progressive MS (PPMS), for example, “is characterized by worsening neurologic function (accumulation of disability) from the onset of symptoms, without early relapses or remissions.” While fibromyalgia, on the other hand, is often mistakenly considered an arthritic condition, it does not actually cause damage to joints, muscles, or tissues.

Just What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is primarily characterized by chronic and wide-spread pain. A close second is the debilitating fatigue. But as you can see from the chart above, the symptoms are quite broad. The problem many patients run into is that fibromyalgia resembles so many other conditions that it’s usually difficult to nail down a diagnosis. However, some physicians are more inclined to spot it than others.

How Are MS and Fibromyalgia Evaluated?

The University of Maryland Medical Center explains that a fibromyalgia diagnosis is comprised of a detailed muscle exam that includes checking for tenderness at specific locations on the body. Rating the severity of specific symptoms is another key part of the exam. The symptoms must be present for at least three months. They add that there are no blood, urine, or laboratory tests which can provide a conclusive fibromyalgia diagnosis. However, fibro diagnosis also means that no other disorder or condition can explain the symptoms.

Diagnosing MS, however, is quite different because it causes several more neurological symptoms than fibromyalgia. Thus, exams tend to focus on brain and nerve function, including a brain MRI and sometimes a spinal tap. Even though MS can also be difficult to diagnose, it is often easier than fibromyalgia. This is because the evaluation requires searching for lesions or damaged areas to the central nervous system.

How Can I Tell if it’s fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis?

It’s true that the similarities between multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia are striking. But given the neurological damage caused by MS, it is a condition that is slightly easier to target than fibromyalgia. Patients with MS are usually treated by a neurologist. But so are many fibro patients. As such, a neurologist likely has a keen eye in making the distinction between the two.

From Fibromyalgia Treating.com and posted here for sharing purposes only.  Please check their website for additional information.
Image from Shutterstock

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The Secret Schedules of Great Authors

A Writer's Path

by Andrea Lundgren

As I writer, I’m always curious about how other writers write. And much of what I’ve read on this subject is daunting: write every day, write even when you don’t feel like it, write first thing in the morning when your energies are at their peak, etc. Hemingway was a great proponent of early morning writing, starting at six, and even Stephen King’s excellent thoughts in On Writing are a bit daunting:

“Like your bedroom, your writing room should be private, a place where you go to dream. Your schedule–in at about the same time every day, out when your thousand words are on paper or disk–exists in order to habituate yourself, to make yourself ready to dream just as you make yourself ready to sleep by going to bed at roughly the same time each night and following the same ritual as you go.”

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Mental Health Awareness Month: Schizophrenia.

Mental Health Awareness! Good info!

The science of Stefania

Schizophrenia is a serious disorder which affects how a person thinks, feels and acts. Someone with schizophrenia may have difficulty distinguishing between what is real and what is imaginary; may beunresponsive or withdrawn; and may have difficulty expressing normal emotions in social situations. Schizophrenia is a devastating disorder for most people who are afflicted, and very costly for families and society.

“The overall U.S. 2002 cost of schizophrenia was estimated to be $62.7 billion, with $22.7 billion excess direct health care cost ($7.0 billion outpatient, $5.0 billion drugs, $2.8 billion inpatient, $8.0 billion long-term care). (source: Analysis Group, Inc.).

“Schizophrenia is a disease that typically begins in early adulthood. It starts between the ages of 15 and 25. Men tend to get develop schizophrenia earlier than women and most males become ill between 16 and 25 years old. Most females develop symptoms several years later, and the incidence in…

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The Importance of the Book Pre-Order to Authors

A Writer's Path

by John Briggs

Does it really matter if you order a book online before its official release date? Before its “book birthday” as they say in publishing? Well, maybe not to the reader, who’s happy to get the book they want to read when they want to read it, but pre-orders can make a huge difference to a book’s success.

How does a pre-order change the odds compared to a regular order?

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