Friday Free For All – Something New

It’s Friday again! The weeks sure go by fast, don’t they? My daughter once said, “The days are long, but the weeks and months go fast.” I hope you’re ready for a wonderful weekend!

I told you about the red light therapy table in a previous post, and this week I tried something else new. Have you ever heard of Cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy is a technique designed to help the body heal by immersing the body in a chamber with extremely cold temperatures. Benefits include increased energy, improved sleep, reduced inflammation and swelling, and can help speed up the body’s metabolism and help with weight loss. The temperature inside the chamber gets down to -160 degrees Fahrenheit. Sounds brutal, doesn’t it? But you only stay inside the chamber for a max of three minutes. I started out at two minutes.

Here’s what the chamber I got into looks like.

Photo courtesy Revive Health and Beauty

I honestly had my doubts about this being anything other than utter torture, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it was not only tolerable, but the after-effects were rejuvenating and stimulating! I plotted my next book while waiting for the sauna to open up. Will I do it again? Most definitely! I guess, if nothing else in life, I’ve been adventurous. That hasn’t always worked in my favor, but this time it did. I’d love to hear from all of you. Have you ever tried anything like this?

I’m going to be starting a new blogging series next week that I’m calling “Wednesday Words.” I don’t think I can fit it in every week because of time constraints but will post a couple of times a month. It will encompass any and everything related to words. So, I hope you’ll join me for some fun!

On the reading front, I finished John Howell’s latest, “The Last Drive,” and highly recommend it! “The Eternal Road” gave me a lot to ponder concerning the afterlife, and his new book carries that theme forward in an expansive way. By the way, they’re both free on Kindle Unlimited.

While deciding what to read next, I came across a new author to me, and her book sounded like a fun, lighthearted read, so I picked it up. I’ll be posting reviews later this month, and maybe it will appeal to you, too. When I set my Goodreads challenge for 2023, I gave myself some breathing room by setting it at 85 books for the year.

On the writing front, I started critiquing with a new partner this week, and I think it is going to be so beneficial. While I will continue to critique with my sister, it never hurts to have another set of eyes on my work. This brings me to a question.

We all know there are some hard and fast (sort of) writing rules. In writing romantic suspense, do you think the book must open with some immediate action or with an introduction to the characters and setting? As writers and readers, what do you prefer, or does it vary from story to story? I tend to prefer stories with a slow build to a climactic event, giving time to set the story and characters. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Also, related to the world of writing, if you are of the praying type or just believe in sending good vibes, our fellow author, friend, and Story Empire contributor, Staci Troilo, lost her mother this week. It is a hugely devastating loss, and I’d love it if you’d join us in sending loving thoughts to the family.

That’s enough rambling from me for one day. I hope you all have a great weekend, and thank you for visiting!

44 thoughts on “Friday Free For All – Something New

  1. The cryo sounds interesting Jan. And I’ll look forward to your Wednesday Words posts. I’m sorry to hear about Staci’s mother. She’s been added to my healing light circle of prayers. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I tried to post this earlier, but it didn’t seem to go through. Hearing about Staci’s mom breaks my heart. 😥 I’m sending virtual hugs her way. As for stories, I like the slow build up. I like to be invested in the characters before everything goes to hell. Lol!

    My son does ice baths, so I thought Cryo was similar to that, so I’m glad you put a picture. I don’t think I could ever do an ice bath, and even though I hate the cold, I think I could handle three minutes of Cryo. Thanks for sharing that today, Jan!

    Yvette M Calleiro 🙂
    http://yvettemcalleiro.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your virtual support for Staci. And thank you for weighing in on the story question. I think we have to introduce our characters to the readers or else they won’t know who the story is about. Cryo is a dry cold. I’m not sure I could do the wet cold. It would linger longer. Three minutes in the Cryo chamber is definitely doable. If I can do it, anyone can. I appreciate you making the extra effort to leave a comment. Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have a good friend who swims in the ocean each day(actually, it’s more like a cove or bay connected to the ocean) with his wife. It sounds like it’s based on the same principles as cryotherapy. He does it because his wife is such a believer. She has some physical issues that seem to lessen when doing this. I’ve also heard them tell other people they feel more alert afterward.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is exactly the same principle, Pete. Only I don’t know if I could stand the wet cold. At least in the cryo chamber, it’s a dry cold. 🙂 It certainly gets the blood flowing, though! Thanks for visiting!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sending digital hugs to Staci. May the departed soul rest in peace.
    Cryotherapy… I would interpret it as cry… therapy! Never for me! You must be very brave for such adventures! 😀
    As a reader, I would like a beginning that’s not fake. Some books begin with a bang but then turn out to be nothing but inconsequential chitchat, especially in romantic novels.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm, an interesting thought, Balroop. I have read some books that started with a bang, then let me down as I went. Good point. Thank you for the support for Staci. I seem to have an adventurous side for sure. 🙂 Thanks for visiting!

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  5. I shivered thinking about cryotherapy, Jan. Maybe when its warmer outside! Congrats on a new critique partner. As for creating the mood and setting or hop right into action, I like both if handled with skill. Depends on the story and what is needed. So my answer wasn’t much help on choosing…lol. Always fun to find a new author to enjoy. Wednesday sounds fun! Have a great weekend and definitely sending out prayers to Staci and her family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, Denise. It’s cold, but short-lived. I like your answer to the question about beginnings. I agree with you that it depends on what the story calls for. I’m halfway through the new to me author’s book, and I’m sorry to say I’m a little disappointed. It was marketed as a romantic comedy, but I have yet to laugh at any of the scenes. You just never know. That’s why we tend to stay with tried and true authors, or at least recommended reads. Thank you for joining in with prayers for Staci and her family. Hope you have a great weekend, and thank you for visiting! Hugs!

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      1. Very true about staying with recommended authors over unknowns, it can lead to that disappointment, but you never know when you will run across that gem. Happy weekend. Hugs xo

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Cryotherapy sounds interesting, Jan. I haven’t tried it, but I used to do sweats in sweat lodges where we’d go from heat to ice cold (lake) to heat, etc. It was very invigorating. I can image you felt great. Congrats on adding a critique partner. We all need lots of eyes on our work to learn and be our best. It’s a great gift to give and receive. I like a beginning that grabs me, but it doesn’t need to be action. Just something that draws me in, plants questions in my mind that want answers. Action is great, but not if it’s there just as a device. The start of a book has a lot of work to do! And hugs to Staci. ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t had the pleasure of a sweat lodge experience yet, but it’s on my list. Ridding the body of toxins has to be a great feeling afterwards. How wonderful that you got to do the sweat lodge combined with ice cold. It’s a great way to wake up all the neurons in the body! Thank you for your input on a story beginning. You are exactly right. The start of the book has a lot weighing on its shoulders (as does the ending). Well…and the middle. 🙂 Thank you for your support today! I appreciate you stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What a great newsy post, Jan. I will pray for Staci and her mother. My heart goes out to her. I’ve never recovered from losing my mom and it’s been several decades.

    Cryotherapy –never heard of it! But it worked? Good grief. Extreme cold. I was in -175 F (a cold blustering winter day in Chicago Illinois). Would never want to do that again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jacqui. I know Staci and her family will appreciate any and all prayers. And I understand what you’re saying. I also lost my mom decades ago and still miss her. Women are tied together through lineage, DNA, and blood and it never goes away.
      I wouldn’t want to be outdoors in extreme cold like that either. At least in the chamber it was controlled and for a short time period. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I think a combo of intrigue and introducing characters and setting works the best. How a character reacts to the action or situation tells the reader a lot about him or her and entices them to read on. Saying this, I haven’t always done this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like that, Darlene. When writing, we have the option of combining different elements together. Suspense and introducing characters and settings sound like a good way to go. Thank you so much for chiming in!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hmm, I think I’ll pass on the Cryotherapy, Jan. I have heard excellent results from the experience and will welcome learning more from you. 🙂

    As far as romantic suspense, I want to be drawn into the story with some sense of intrigue. This does not necessarily mean action but the atmosphere of suspense from page one. Hope this makes sense.

    Enjoy your weekend. Can’t believe were through the halfway mark in January.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cryotherapy is a different sort of experience, for sure. I hope to follow up with positive results. I like what you said about romantic suspense, and the atmosphere of suspense from page one. That makes perfect sense to me. Thank you for chiming in! Have a great weekend!

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  10. Even with my hot flushes I think I’ll give the cryotherapy a miss! Brrr 🥶😂.

    I like the idea of your Wednesday Words and look forward to seeing those posts.

    Your daughter has it right: I always get a shock when I see your Friday Free For All posts! It’s like, not already!?! 🤪

    My thoughts are with Staci and her family. Thanks for your kind words on her behalf.

    Have a wonderful weekend, Jan. Hugs 💕🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, Harmony. I have to say I was pretty apprehensive about getting into the chamber but loved the exhilaration that followed. I agree about time. It goes by so fast. Thank you for stopping by and chiming in. We continue to lift Staci and her family with loving vibes. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. These Friday posts are so much fun. I think I will keep my ice in a glass, Jan. Good for you in trying new things. Thank you for the recommendation on the two books. I appreciate your help. Your Wednesday post sounds fun. Best wishes on it. My. prayers have been with Staci and her family.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lol, John. Ice in a glass is a safe bet, especially when wonderful concoctions can be added to that ice. 🙂 I do like to try new things. Maybe that’s why I read so many different genres of books. I can live vicariously through characters in faraway places I’ll never see. I am happy to boost your books. They are great stories and make you pause and think. I think the Wednesday posts will be fun. Some will be serious, and some just for fun. We continue to lift Staci and her family in prayer. Have a great weekend, and thank you for chiming in!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Jan,
    I don’t think I will be doing any kind of cold therapy. It is cold enough here for me.
    Congrats on adding a new critique partner. I have new one too and we will be starting in February.
    And I have been pondering over reading The Eternal Road by John Howell for some time. I think I will do it.
    Have a lovely Friday.
    Shalom Aleichem

    Liked by 3 people

  13. You are brave to try cryotherapy. Like Karen, I’m cold all the time. I’m not sure I completely warmed up from our trip to Alaska in 2012. 🙂 I’ll add my recommendation to John’s book. Staci and her family are in my prayers.

    Looking forward to your Wednesday Words posts.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Lol, Joan. I’ve always been a little on the adventurous side, so I had to try it, and then to find it so exhilarating was a plus. Thank you for adding your recommendation to The Last Drive. And yes, we will all lift up Staci and her family in prayer. Thank you for visiting!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. You piqued my interest with the cryotherapy, Jan. The after-affects you experienced sound terrific, but I can’t stand the cold. For me, 80 degrees isn’t warm enough. Can you bundle up in layers?
    Your Wednesday posts sound interesting. I’ll definitely be tuning in.
    Oh, my heart and prayers go out to Staci. I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of her mother. Thank you for letting us know, Jan. xo

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, Jill, I was in leggings and a sweatshirt, so sort of bundled up. Honestly, the short period of time I was in the Cryo chamber, I never thought I was going to freeze to death. They ask you to choose a piece of lively music, then put on headphones, so it’s a good distraction. I danced my way through the session. 🙂 I think the Wednesday posts can be fun. Some will be serious. Some not so much. It’s all about the words. 🙂 Thank you for adding your prayers for Staci and her family.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Very interesting post, Jan. On the cryotherapy, NO. Just NO!!! First of all, I’m horribly claustrophobic, and being shut into a space like that would put me over the edge from the get-go. Secondly, while I prefer cool or even cold weather over hot, minus 160 is too cold, even for someone who spent a winter in Alaska, once! Not gonna do it, thanks. 😮

    On book beginnings: Since I’ve been reading like a thing possessed for over 70 years, I’ve read just about every style imaginable. I like them ALL, provided they are well done and work with the overall tone/style of the book. There’s something to be said for each type, I think. I love a well-done prologue, too. No info dumps, of course, but rather, a look at the mystery that might lie ahead.

    I have The Last Drive awaiting me on my Kindle and am looking forward to reading it soon, and I’m also looking forward to your new series on Words. Words are good. I like them a lot, as you can no doubt tell. 😂Many days, I’ll only have time to Like and Share, but I’ll be checking out your new series for sure!

    Great post, Jan! And here’s to a super 2023!! 😊❤️😊

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for your input, Marcia, about story styles. I agree with you. I’ve read every style imaginable, and if it is well done, I enjoy it. I know you are going to enjoy The Last Drive. John gives us a lot to think about. I appreciate you stopping by and for adding your prayers for Staci and her family.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I have one word to describe your blog: WOW! I cannot imagine doing cryotherapy since I am cold all the time. Love your “Wednesday words” idea. Anxious to read John Howells’ new book. My prayers go to Staci Troilo and her family.
    Wonderful blog, Jan.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Let’s just say I was somewhat apprehensive about trying Cryo, but it was pretty amazing. Thank you for stopping by, Karen, and for adding to our prayers for Staci and her family. I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Hugs!

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