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.
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.
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!
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