Happy and Healthy New Year

Let’s talk food, one of my favorite topics.

After polishing off a large bowl of rice and beans, I started thinking about the health ramifications of eating this way, so I did a little online research.

I’m a follower/supporter of Doctor John McDougal, have been for about six months (www.drmcdougall.com) for health reasons. He promotes a history proven, starch-based method of eating. He points out that all great cultures of the world have been built on starch—rice and sweet potatoes in Asian countries, yams in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Oceania, potatoes in Peru, corn-based dough in The Democratic Republic of Congo and other parts of Africa and bread, well, bread (wheat) in too many countries to count. McDougal says that Roman gladiators were called barley men because they ate the grain as a staple.

Also, check this out:


People are starting to take notice of starch’s health benefits. For example, this article in The Huffington Post:

Japanese people are, as a whole, very healthy: They have the second-highest life expectancies compared to any other country in the world (the U.S. comes in at number 43) and have an obesity rate of just 3.5 percent, which is one-tenth of America’s 35 percent obesity rate.

The reason for Japan’s superior health? Their grain-heavy, high-carb diet. (https://www.huffpost.com)

I have to say, how great is a diet when you really can eat foods you love without guilt?

I am extremely happy to have finally given up eating dairy and meat just because it is supposedly healthy for me. Dairy and meat are two very acid producing foods that attack our bodies and our health. It certainly affected mine. Well, I’ll get off my soapbox and simply say–following the starch-based eating plan has enabled me to lose more than fifty pounds (at last) and my blood levels of cholesterol, liver enzymes, etc. have improved beyond my wildest expectations—better than normal.

Another interesting thing I discovered—that white rice (which I adore)—may be better for us than brown rice (which I only tolerate). Except for Thai and California rice, which have lower levels overall, many types of rice have alarmingly high levels of arsenic and need to be rinsed before cooking. Check out this interesting article:


That’s it for today. We are settling nicely into our new senior living apartment, loving it way more than the house we moved from, and we are looking forward to a new and exciting 2019. Have a very Happy and Healthy New Year!!

Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year Volume 3

My short story Jani-Lyn’s Dragon is included in the new release of Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year, edited by Sacchi Green and published by Cleis press. Very exciting and the reviews have been good. You can find it here:  

Singer JanisJoplin’s stellar rise to celebrity status and then tragic death from a heroin overdose at twenty-seven years of age spoke to me on a deep, visceral level. Ifelt that she was too young to lose her life and that a great burgeoning talenthad been taken from us. I also felt a strong urge to write a scathing pieceabout this act of treachery from the Universe. Instead, I turned the injusticeand sense of betrayal into, what else, but a story of love and eroticism.

Then I read, in an online biography, that Janis had crippling insecurity about returning to herhometown for a high school reunion. This fact, for me, was a perfectopportunity to extrapolate something more from this dreaded visit. Supposethere was another reason to return to her hometown of Port Arthur, Texas? Onethat would be a counterpart to the agonizing idea of an outcast attending herten-year reunion? I created an unnamed lover, an old schoolmate. Another outsiderwho had allied with Janis during other dark times. This story is told from herpoint of view.

I felt her before I saw her. I stood in the center of my small living room, my breathing shallow. The heat of her presence crept along my back, warming me. Turning my head, I inhaled her unique scent; cigarettes and whisky with an undertone of patchouli.

I love these two women. I love their passion and especially their vulnerability. Their ongoing,often difficult relationship. I wanted to show another side of a rock star, theside that led to the pseudo security of heroin use. Perhaps when away from theloving security of our nameless schoolteacher, Janis turns too often to heroin,a drug the Chinese call the dragon. Perhaps she was simply chasing that dragon,seeking some comfort.

She sighed and pulled me into the arms scarred with her pain. “I did, baby, and it was good. The dragon caught me last week though. I was missing you so much and stuck out there in Boston. It was hell.”

As writers, we strive to give our main characters compelling heroic qualities as well as endearing vulnerabilities. Janis Joplin, as a character, is a gift from the writing gods. Her vulnerability shines through in every photograph, every interview. She was clearly an underdog, an average kid from a southeast Texas oil refining town.

I saw the sadness that was so much a part of her, the familiarity of it soothing me somehow. I think if I ever saw true glee in those eyes, I would know she was an imposter and not my Jani-lyn.

Four albums and much stage-time later, she became one of the primary figures of 1960s music, ranking right up there with Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix. Yet she never lost that air of vulnerability, of being less than. And this led to her heroism, manifested by bravery, revealing these insecurities by using her raw, unfiltered voice to add an entirely new face to the music of her generation.

Though the worldonly had Janis Joplin for four short years, my unnamed schoolteacher had her, loved her, for more than a decade. Important, I think.

I was a Janis-junkie, giving up all hope of any other relationship just for these intimate, stolen visits. It was a lonely life. Sometimes I’d see her once in six months, other times three times in one month. I just never knew. Some of it had to do with proximity; if she was playing in a city within one hundred miles, she’d point the limo my way. If she was working on either coast however, I wouldn’t see her for a while.

I think the longing and the easy familiarity with one another is truly erotic. I hope that you will enjoy my portrayal of this amazing woman and, what could have been, her only real love.

 My other erotic stories appear in a handful of anthologies, such as Girl Fever:69 Stories of Sudden Sex for Lesbians and Women in Uniform. My novels and some of these anthologies can be found on my Amazon page at https://tinyurl.com/yc78b9ok

Nat Burns is an award-winning author, writing novels for three different publishers. Her shorter work has appeared in more than thirty fiction publications. Complete publishing information and most of her fiction work can be found at www.natburns.com or www.natburns.org. Social media is: www.facebook.com/natburnsworld , www.twitter.com/NattyBurns and www.instagram.com/nattyburns8. Her blog is at www.TheNattyBits.com

So this happened


Woefully behind on my reviews and trying to catch up I want to recommend 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗟𝗶𝗮𝗶𝘀𝗼𝗻 by Nat Burns. This is a really well written and well thought through science fiction story set in the reality of now, present-day New Mexico. Good twists in the plot, sympathetic main character and a concept just on the edge of our belief in alien contact.

Quick bit as I run out the door

Man, I am getting more and more disheartened and angry.

I was watching Megyn Kelly this morning and she did an in-depth report about the Willis family. They had twelve children in a large family and the four oldest daughters were raped by their father. He is now serving prison time. Megyn seemed to be okay with that.

However, moments earlier, and in previous shows, she has manifested a huge defense of supreme court nominee Kavanaugh, even almost ridiculing (A la Trump) the women who had come forward with their stories of sexual assault.

Now, I understand Megyn has sons and I have personally witnessed the huge connection most (almost all) mothers have with their sons. It’s amazing to witness from outside a family of mothers and sons. Anyway, I had daughters, two of them, and I know what daughters can deal with. What women can deal with. No woman wants THAT kind of attention when they tell their story.

Personally, in my own family, I have seen a mother spend the entire family fortune defending a son who was legally CONVICTED of raping and almost killing an INFANT. She paid his legal fees, supported him during his prison time, then let him take over her life when he was released, to the point where she was left penniless and he forced her out of her own home.

Yes, men deserve to be innocent until proven guilty but that DOESN’T mean you can ridicule a woman for telling their truth. Or make them guilty without due process. I cringe when Megyn, using her legal prowess, raves and argues about how men shouldn’t be condemned outright. And how women can lie about events that happened. I believe–my opinion–that many women who watch her religiously, could be damaged by this cold, logical law approach. Statistics report that women claim sexual assault falsely in about two to ten percent of reported cases. The statistic also includes legal cases that may be true, but can’t be proven, into that statistic.

In this new decade of #MeToo, which I personally am very proud of and encouraged by, it seems that women have an obligation to have one another’s backs. We are, and have been, a male dominated society for too long. Look at the male dinosaurs that rule Washington DC.  It is a FACT that women often go unheard. They suffer all types of abuse. Yes, men can be raped and sexually assaulted, true, but the minor numbers, when you compare them to female cases are astounding and the number of women assaulted,  alarming.

I just want to say shame on you Megyn, @MegynKelly, and I say what my mother often said to me. If you can’t say something positive, just don’t say anything at all.

Sorry if I have offended anyone. I just share my opinions here in this forum.

A lovely Thursday to you.

Good People by EJ Runyon

This is a review I just posted-enjoy!


Good People by EJ Runyon

Author EJ Runyon has written a mesmerizing tale about the healing of Bernie, once known as Bernadette Maldenado, then as Mrs. Carlos Obregon. Now, because she has separated from her husband on a trial basis, she is just Bernie. Names seem to be an important way of progressing this story as Bernie eventually becomes The Little Baker. But I get ahead of myself.
Bernadette enters the three-month separation detached from everything, her marriage, her family, her life and mostly herself. She’s an abused woman, beaten to the point of brokenness by the man who claims to love her. Hence this summer separation suggested by their court-ordered counselor.

This time apart is portrayed in a lovely literary tour de force as Bernie reawakens to life, a journey crafted skillfully by Runyon. She is a master of phrases. For example:

When they pounded her with their frowns and stares and demanded, “Who are you trying to be, Chica?”


Home alone, sleeping is what she concentrated on. Her sheets on the single bed took on the scent of ripened fruit, sweet.
And I especially like this one:

And she did the softest thing I’ve ever seen; through the crack, instead of opening it any wider, she reached out her fingertips, two slim fingers in a cupped curve, reaching like a kitten’s paw slipped under a closed door, a search for something she might know was there but couldn’t see. She waved them. “’kay.” The door closed. She was gone

Runyon has also peopled Bernie’s new life with catalytic characters that struggle with their own issues as they charm Bernie by turns. Meg, a tormented M2F transgendered neighbor, is the first to befriend Bernie. Then there are the others who are overcoming problems of their own, Baby and Rae and Fred and Judd…the list goes on. Where will Bernie fit into this morass of new acquaintances? Will they intimidate her further or empower her to be the strong, vibrant woman she once was? Only time will tell but will it require more time than one enchanted summer? Or will Bernie, with autumn, again become the Bernadette-of the too-long words and bookish ways-who painfully belongs to her husband and his expectant family?

This novel is an expansion of a short story in Runyon’s excellent collection Claiming One. I won that collection in a contest and as soon as I cracked it open, I realized how truly lucky that happenstance was. And of all the stories in Claiming One, this was a perfect choice for expansion and exploring to such depth.

To buy–


Peppermint the Movie

Just a bit:

I  saw the movie Peppermint earlier today with a friend. Sheesh! That is one amazing movie with a totally unexpected, suuweet ending. I loved it. Don’t expect scintillating dialogue because this is a dyed in the wool action movie. Jennifer Garner kicks some ass–rightfully so– and takes beating after beating and comes back ticking.  There were a few really unexpected moments and I this jaded movie addict really appreciated that. Go see it if you can. You won’t be sorry.


Image result for Peppermint movie


Fat and Diabetes

Good morning!

Years ago, I was a managing editor of the Diabetes Care medical journal so I occasionally check it out, even now. Imagine my surprise when I discovered some interesting new research.

Image result for diabetes care journal

First off, let me say that my mother was a Type 1 diabetic and I developed Type 2 a decade ago (in ‘remission’ now due to my diet) . I was told by every doctor, every grandmother, every friend, every well-meaning individual, that it was ‘sugar in the blood’ and that I needed to avoid sugar, especially white bread, potatoes, pasta. So I did but my diabetes got progressively worse. And my mother died when she was only 35 from this insidious disease.

Sugar. Sugar diabetes. Hmm.

While it is true that there is too much circulating sugar (glucose) in the blood, there was a theory that insulin wasn’t working properly to get the glucose into the cells. The body would then over-produce insulin but type 2 individuals were insulin resistant. But why?

They have now discovered that it is fat that is filling the cell and preventing the glucose from entering the cell.

Whoa! Whole new way of looking at it.

This is verified by my own experience. My diabetes did not go away until I gave up fat. I suspected early on (from something a doctor said) so I cut out meat and dairy but I was still eating mayonnaise and oils. Once I realized that and cut out these more hidden fats, it made all the difference.

Here’s part of the Diabetes Care article and the link to the full article:

The recent release of results from the Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study (FDPS) (1) and the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) (2) strongly confirm the hypothesis that interventions that alter diet and physical activity to achieve weight loss can prevent or postpone the development of type 2 diabetes in high-risk individuals. The next challenge will be to translate these impressive results into clinical practice. It seems relevant in this context to ask, “What is the best dietary intervention strategy to improve insulin action and prevent diabetes?” In the current issue of Diabetes Care, van Dam et al. (3) assess the association between diet and development of diabetes over a 12-year period in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS). They find that consumption of a high-fat diet and high intakes of saturated fat are associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. However, this association disappears when they adjust for BMI. They also find that frequent consumption of processed meats is associated with an increased risk for diabetes. Does this study alter the recommendations we make to individuals at risk for developing diabetes?


Here’s another article:


And then, of course, there is research from my favorite doctor of all time, Dr. Michael Greger on his videoblog Nutritionfacts.org. Amazing site.

Image result for Nutritionfacts.org



I find it very interesting that plant fat sources don’t have the same effect–such as avocado, oil-free hummus, and nuts. Weird.

Just thought I’d share this interesting Natty Bit–certainly was the highlight of my morning.

Make it a great day!


All great truths begin as blasphemies. — George Bernard Shaw

Whole Foods Mania


I’m a long-time Amazon Prime member as I do a huge percentage of my shopping online. Yes, I drank the Kool-Aid(TM)Then, lo and behold, Amazon bought Whole Foods grocery stores.

I believe what Chef AJ says, if you don’t live near a Whole Foods or a Costco, MOVE!!

I really like shopping there, mainly because, at my store, the people who work there are actually friendly and helpful. Plus I get an Amazon Prime discount when they scan my app at checkout.

Another interesting thing is, when I go there, I feel as though I have joined a special group of shopping bees who move as one unit. We move through the store with our mini-shopping carts, laden with our own reusable cloth bags.

A side note, I actually hesitated to buy produce there once because I forgot my reusable net produce bags. How gauche to use the green clingy-wrap bags provided to cover my apples.

Anyway, we Whole Food shopping bees move thoughtfully through every aisle of the store, intently reading labels and making informed decisions on what healthy foods to take home to nourish our healthy bodies. I love to watch this process out of the corner of my eye as I read labels and carefully choose healthy foods to take home to nourish our healthy bodies.

Here’s a funny spoof on shopping there. Watch with a light heart!

The Natty Bits

What are The Natty Bits?

To me, they are the bits and pieces of info or insight that often rise to the murky surface of my mind. The issue is, I’m a writer. Primarily a novelist. And a quote that is oh, so true, is from author Margaret Atwood:

I’m not a pundit; I’m just a lonely fiction writer. They don’t pretend to be experts on anything. They stare out the window and bump into furniture.

Yes, that pretty much describes me. I went to a conference this past Saturday–The Western Women Writers annual conference–and one of the speakers was acclaimed romance novelist Karin Kallmaker. She said a lot of interesting things but chief among them was the fact that writers are generally always writing somewhere in the back of their mind. No matter what they are doing. This is true for me. As a result, I’m often seen as absent-minded or, at the very least, a habitual daydreamer.

I’m currently working on three books:

The sequel to The Liaison, the first book in the Desert Willow series. It’s called Rosemary and follows the life of the baby from the first book as she grows up, There’s a huge space battle that should be kind of fun.

The second is called Progressive Proof, a modern romance.

Thirdly, I’ve had a mainstream drama on my mind concerning a homeless woman who is helped by another powerful woman. Just can’t stop thinking about it.

The problem is getting my butt in the writing chair–BIC. I’ve been working on decluttering the house to give me some peace of mind. And it’s working. As clutter goes away, I feel a huge sense of relief.

Other bits:

Did you know that the Mary Tyler Moore show is on Hulu? It’s been a hoot watching these old shows.

Penzeys Spices is an amazing store. I had a great time with my friend Nina sniffing all the samples. I-we both- walked out with a bagful of spice blends. A good thing, too, as Chris and I are doing very well with our whole foods plant based eating style.

I can’t wait until Chris gets blood drawn and sees the improvements. My improvements have already started–even my triglycerides are below normal and I’ve finally lost fifty pounds. I still have a bit to go but every evening we watch inspirational clips on YouTube teaching us how to properly prepare food and I have the freedom to eat three sweet potatoes in one sitting if I wish–just no butter or oil. It’s been a learning curve but the results are well worth the time.

I’ll post some YouTube links next time…

May the Wombat of Happiness snuffle through your underbrush.
Ancient Aborigine blessing