I Didn’t Make it Up

I’m really happy to welcome author Lynne Marshall to my blog today as she discusses some of the finer points of fact and fiction, and seasonal affective disorder. She states: IDidn’tMakeitUp! What could she be talking about? Here is what Lynne has to say:

Most authors use poetic license when writing stories.  For instance, I combined all of the beautiful seaside towns I’ve visited in Maine and Massachusetts and created the small town of Comfort in my latest book, Too Close for Comfort.  I wanted to highlight all the best parts of that area, and bring back the most wonderful memories from my visits. So I essentially made up the spot where Joy Waltham needed to go to chillax, and where Paul Donovan grew up and returned after his divorce.

 When Paul starts having Joy sightings, one of the things he notices is something you may think I made up, but I didn’t.  He refers to seeing Joy wearing a sun simulator gizmo, and I assure you these things exist!  I have looked high and low for the original picture that I tore out of a magazine showing a Scandinavian woman surrounded by nightfall and snow, yet wearing a white fuzzy bathrobe and a visor with the special lights attached.  Beneath the lights, she smiled. My being a writer, that image sent me to “what if” heaven.  Yes, wearing a sun simulator hat was definitely something my character, Joy, would do, especially being a lifelong California girl heading back east to Maine for fall. 

So what exactly does a sun simulator do?  It tries to fake out the brain into thinking it is looking into sunlight instead of gloomy gray light. As studies have shown SAD (seasonal affective disorder) is a real problem with many folks who live in the far north of the northern hemisphere. I say, good for the person who invented a way to lift a person’s spirits from environmental gloom.

 Here’s a short excerpt from Too Close for Comfort:   

After lunch on a dismal day, with most of the case interviews completed, Paul circled Comfort’s newly remodeled library in his car. Eyes alert to everything in his path, he saw the same woman he’d seen that morning. Now she sat on one of the benches in the park, wearing a white workout suit, hair in a braid, with some sort of combination ball cap/lamp contraption on her head.

He’d heard of sun simulating gizmos made to fend off depression, but had never actually seen a portable one before. Maybe that was what it was. Bright light meant to trick a person into thinking they’d seen the sun when they lived in a gray and dreary environment. Hell, Maine wasn’t that bad. Most people had the good sense to do that sort of thing in private, but that wouldn’t be Joy’s style. No. The crazy hat—complete with built-in neon spotlight—focused on the woman’s face.

Must be battery operated. He squinted for a better look.

Damn, if it wouldn’t be just like Joy to find and wear some wacky thing like that. The woman was a…a what…a flake? Nah. She was more of a “why not try something new”, an “always up for the adventure” kind of person. He could stand to be a little more like that himself these days. From this vantage point, she looked like a lounging northern snow goddess, regally assessing the bay while sunbathing in the fog.

Paul shook his head. He was either off his nut or his ex-wife was in town.

If you still don’t believe me about sun simulating hats, here are some examples.



 Attachable sun-simulating lights:   





I firmly believe I would need to build a sun room if I lived in an area that was dark or gray a great deal of the time. In a pinch, one of these head contraptions might work just fine, too.

How about you?  Are you a potential SAD sufferer?  Have you ever lived where half the year is spent in the dusk-like state?

Thanks, Lynne. Very interesting indeed. I live in the desert…the land of perpetual sunshine so I can’t say I’ve ever seen this device, but I hope it works for those in need. Lynne’s book: Too Close for Comfort, is available at a special deal for e-books at Amazon and B&N of 99cents until December 14th at midnight.  Maybe this would be a great stocking stuffer for Aunt Lilly or your young-at-heart Nana! 

Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/Too-Close-for-Comfort-ebook/dp/B009TTOUXQ/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1350922665&sr=8-18

Barnes & Noble (Nook): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/too-close-for-comfort-lynne-marshall/1113525849

 Lynne Marshall, www.lynnemarshall.com, is a multi-published author of romance books for Harlequin Medicals and Special Edition lines, plus over-forty romance for The Wild Rose Press.  Lynne’s latest book is Too Close for Comfort. To view some reader reviews: http://www.amazon.com/Too-Close-for-Comfort-ebook/product-reviews/B009TTOUXQ/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1




This entry was posted in Life. Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to I Didn’t Make it Up

  1. Hi Roben! Hi Lynne! Love the sun simulating hats and lights! As a native Californian, I don’t have to worry about sunshine, but what a great thing to have to combat, as you put so perfectly, Lynne, environmental gloom.

    I hope you both have week full of sunshine – whether the sun is shining or not. 🙂

    • Hi Robin – We are spoiled here in SoCal aren’t we? thanks for stopping by and reading this week’s blog at Robena’s!

      And thanks for the good wishes, I’m boomeranging them right back to you!

  2. I once lived in Seattle for a year and suffered horribly through the long gray winter. S.A.D. is no myth. I have heard of light banks you can buy for your office to imitate the sun, but never a hat. In spite of looking a bit goofy, it would definitely be worth it!

    • Hi Christine – I visited the Seattle area in October for five days during a writing conference, and that was about all I could handle before i felt energy leave my body. I notice here too, especially if one day is bright and sunny, and the next is drab – so am I. Then I’ll pep right up when the sun is out again the next day.

      Yes, we humans come up with some pretty great contraptions, right?

  3. Hehehe the book is on my kindle now. Can’t wait to read it.
    I once lived in Evansville, IN for 6 months. It’s a nice town. Fun to visit, for sure. It sits on a horseshoe bend of the Ohio River. I don’t know if that is why it is overcast so much of the time. I swear it only got sunshine 1 out of 10 days. The rest of the time it was so overcast it felt like living in a low-ceilinged room. I definitely had SAD there.
    It doesn’t take very many days of no sunshine to make me sad.

    • Judy, Judy, Judy!
      Thanks so much for putting me on your Kindle. I see we have a lot of potential SAD folks here today. I hope my sometimes goofy story brightens your day!

      Thanks for commenting.

  4. Janie Emaus says:

    I’ve never heard of that kind of contraption, but it sounds like a good thing. How clever to use it in your book.

    • Hi Janie – I could see you wearing something like that! 🙂
      You never know what will happen when creating characters. I love discovering little quirks like that about my characters, don’t you too?

      Thanks for stopping by!

  5. robena grant says:

    Morning everyone. I’m so tired after working until 3am that I think I need one of those baseball caps, even though the sun is shining. : )

    And yes, Lynne, I also went to a Bob Mayer workshop up on Bainbridge Island a few years back. The first day I thought it was kind of magical walking around in that soft drizzle and looking at gray sky, gray sea, gray buildings. By the second day I was looking for the sun and I never did see it until I reached California. We are so weather blessed here.

    • I hear you, Robena!

      Thanks for getting up early on my behalf, today. Go outside and soak up some of that natural energy – but be sure to wear your sunscreen. 🙂

  6. Love the name of the town…makes you relax just reading it. Sounds like a perfect setting for a book and I already love your heroine…anyone who wears a sun simulator is sure to be a treat to meet!

    Congrats on your book Lynne!

    • Hi Christine!
      Thanks so much for your kind words. Joy was a kick to write, but I must say – Paul was even better.

      BTW, I see the hero in your current book – Two Timing the Boss – had the last name of Donovan. I love that name so much, I named my hero – Paul Donovan.

      Great minds think alike! 🙂

  7. Gina Bono says:

    I love the cap with the sun-simulating lights 😀

    I don’t mind a bit of gloomy weather, but if it goes on for days and days, I’m definitely ready for some sun! When I lived in New Orleans I had a friend from Guam who loved rainy days because they were so different from what she was used to. Here in D.C. we have a pretty decent mix of sun and gloom. I can’t complain too much, although I sometimes get frustrated in the spring when the weeks are gorgeous and the weekends are rainy 😀

    • Hi Gina!
      I’m glad you like my sun-simulating gizmo! You’d look great in one, though, as you say, in your area they mix it up enough to keep you balanced.

      Hey, I hear you on the great week and lousy weekend weather bit. As they say – Mother Nature has a sense of humor…

      thanks for commenting.

  8. Lynne!! Even here in Texas, we have those gloomy periods were the sun forsakes me completely. After a day or two, I’m not a happy camper.

    I’ve read and love Too Close For Comfort!! It’s a treat for anyone to read.

    • Dear Jerrie – only a Texan would accuse the sun of forsaking them. LOL. Loved the phrasing.

      Thank you so much for reading my book. I am especially glad that you enjoyed it, and please keep telling your friends!

      thanks for stopping by,

  9. Marianne Strnad says:

    Hi Lynne! We moved from sunny Tucson to mostly-grey-in-the-winter Seattle area-what culture shock! But since I suffer the worst migraines, it was actually refreshing for me to NOT drive home from work with tears streaming down my face from the pain. I have learned to embrace this weather, thank goodness. However, this year I asked my hubby for one of those standing craft lamps that shine pure light on whatever project you’re working on for better visual acuity. I know that it will also help keep things sunnier when I use it. Win-win here!
    I loved these lines from your book excerpt:
    “Damn, if it wouldn’t be just like Joy to find and wear some wacky thing like that. The woman was a…a what…a flake? Nah. She was more of a “why not try something new”, an “always up for the adventure” kind of person. ”
    I love people who look on the bright side (since we seem to be talking about light anyway-lol!) of a situation. I hate folks who assume the worst. Great interview!

    • Hi Marianne,
      Thanks for another point of view. Bright light certainly isn’t something a migraine sufferer wants to deal with.

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the excerpt. thanks for reading, stopping by and sharing your SAD story. LOL

  10. Sam Beck says:

    My friend who lives in Seattle swears by her “Happy Lights,” (sun-simulating light-bulbs she uses inside her house), so when I read about Joy’s special sun hat in TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT, I never doubted for a minute they existed. I did, sadly, assume the healthy, low-cal. frozen food line that tasted great was a product of your imagination. 😉

    • Hi Sam – hey, I believe there can be good tasting and healthy frozen foods without loads of salt and whatever else they put in it. I’m sure Trader Joe’s has lots of that stuff, too.

      Thanks for going along with my poetic license…:)

  11. Liz Flaherty says:

    Hi, ladies! We’re in the gloom right now, and I’m having to fight the doldrums, even though I love the holidays. We’re snowbirding this winter–I hope it helps with the January-February sad times.

    I love Comfort, Lynne, and can’t wait to see your work, too, Robena!

    • robena grant says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Liz. I’m honored you’d want to read anything of mine. : ) BTW, I read your latest, One More Summer, recommended by Nan Reinhardt. I cried, and cried, and cried some more…but all in a good way. I will review it on Amazon when I lift my head from work…which is where I’m headed now because I hear those line edits calling my name. : )

    • Hi Liz – I think snowboarding is a great way to counter SAD. I’ve read that in Scandinavia during their six months of twilight, they recommend keping a tight schedule and exercise is a must! What a tough life change it would be for us, but if you grow up that way, well it’s what you know.

      BTW, you cheered me up today with a lovely Christmas card. Thanks!

      • Liz Flaherty says:

        I wish you were right, Lynne, but I’m snowBIRDing–going to Florida for a few months. Would that I had the courage for snowboarding! 🙂

        • robena grant says:

          Even with glasses on did not catch that. : ) Snowboarding and snowbirding would both be great for SAD. In my community we get the snowbirds from the northerly states and a ton from Canada. I know more about birds than boards. : 0

  12. Dee J. says:

    I’m lucky to live in So Cal with lots of sun! Wouldn’t trade it for anything! I don’t mind occasional gloom but couldn’t imagine living in it most of the time. I see where SAD comes from. Congrats on Too Close For Comfort! Loved it!

    • Hi Dee J – yup, we’re spoiled out here in sunny, CA.

      Hey – thanks for being one of my critique partners for Too Close for Comfort. Roben was also, and Gina – they got the first round, you got the second draft – and the book that is out is about the fifth draft! LOL. I hope you still love it.

  13. Lilly Gayle says:

    I’ve heard of this disorder and have seen news specials on it. They also make these large UV lights that look like make up mirrors that suffers sit in front of for 30 min. a day to help with seasonal depression.

    I live in the south, but I start feeling a bit blue from the time we set the clocks back until Dec. 22. Since the 21st is the shortest day of the year, then I know that starting on the 22, my days will only get longer.
    Thanks for a great post. I’m looking forward to reading Too Close for Comfort as soon as I can find the time.

    • Hi Lilly,
      Thanks for adding more interesting info into the conversation. I would definitely need the special light bulbs and would need to get a certain amount of “light time” each day in order to keep my spirits up.

      I hope when you have the chance to read Too Close for Comfort that you’ll enjoy it as much as you did One for the Road!