A couple hours of exercise music (a half-marathon playlist)

Need a half-marathon playlist? Here’s a couple hours of music to get you there. Organized by beats per minute (bpm) from slowest to fastest so you can gradually speed up.

Exercise relieves stress, clears the head, and can make opportunities for creative breakthroughs.

90 bpm “Kyrie” Mr. Mister | Amazon | iTunes
95 bpm “Water Under the Bridge” Adele | Amazon | iTunes
98 bpm “I Want You Back” Michael Jackson | Amazon | iTunes
103 bpm “Something Just Like This” The Chainsmokers | Amazon | iTunes
117 bpm “Billie Jean” Michael Jackson | Amazon | iTunes
120 bpm “Oh Sherrie” Journey | Amazon | iTunes
125 bpm “High On You” Survivor | Amazon | iTunes
128 bpm “Born to Hand Jive” Sha Na Na | Amazon | iTunes
128 bpm “Shut Up And Dance” WALK THE MOON | Amazon | iTunes
130 bpm “Jump” Van Halen | Amazon | iTunes
131 bpm “Invisible Touch” Genesis | Amazon | iTunes
133 bpm “If I Had My Way” Peter Paul and Mary | Amazon | iTunes
133 bpm “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” The Charlie Daniels Band | Amazon | iTunes
133 bpm “Boom Boom” Rye Rye | Amazon | iTunes
136 bpm “I Am Free” New Life Worship | Amazon | iTunes
136 bpm “No Air” Jordin Sparks | Amazon | iTunes
141 bpm “The East Wind” Gord Downie & The Country Of Miracles | Amazon | iTunes
141 bpm “Generals and Majors” XTC | Amazon | iTunes
144 bpm “Written In Blood” She Wants Revenge | Amazon | iTunes
147 bpm “Born to Run” Bruce Springsteen | Amazon | iTunes
148 bpm “Bottle of Smoke” The Pogues | Amazon | iTunes
149 bpm “Heartbeat Song” Kelly Clarkson | Amazon | iTunes
150 bpm “Only If You Run” Julian Plenti | Amazon | iTunes
150 bpm “Bang Bang” Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj| Amazon | iTunes
153 bpm “The Promise” Within Temptation | Amazon
153 bpm “Sex On Fire” Kings of Leon | Amazon | iTunes
153 bpm “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” Queen | Amazon | iTunes
160 bpm “Greased Lightnin’” John Travolta | Amazon | iTunes
160 bpm “Zephyrus” Bloc Party | Amazon | iTunes
160 bpm “What I Like About You” The Romantics | Amazon | iTunes
163 bpm “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” Wham! | Amazon | iTunes
167 bpm “To Mistiko Mou Na Vris (I Can’t Help It)” Ivi Adamou| Amazon | iTunes
167 bpm “Georgia On My Mind” Ray Charles | Amazon | iTunes
169 bpm “Take On Me” A-Ha | Amazon | iTunes
170 bpm “Frei Zu Sein” In Extremo | Amazon
170 bpm “The Middle” Great Northern | Amazon | iTunes
170 bpm “I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked” Ida Maria | Amazon | iTunes
174 bpm “Man or Animal” Audioslave | Amazon | iTunes
174 bpm “Unstoppable” Sia | Amazon | iTunes
174 bpm “Change My Life” Ashes Remain | Amazon | iTunes
175 bpm “Attack Of The Ghost Riders” The Asteroids Galaxy Tour | Amazon | iTunes
176 bpm “Another Girl Another Planet” Blink-182 | Amazon | iTunes
176 bpm “Masai” Elli Kokkinou | Amazon | iTunes
176 bpm “Good Fight” Unspoken | Amazon | iTunes
176 bpm “I Am Yours” The Afters | Amazon | iTunes

Can fiction writers benefit from falsificationism?

In “The Falsification Mindset: How to Change Your Own Mind,” Mike Sturm explains why a belief system or theory should state “what specific evidence would prove it wrong.” For one thing, as proposed by Karl Popper, the theory isn’t scientific unless you do this. It’s also a useful exercise for making good life choices, even if you’re not a scientist. Contemplating the conditions under which you’d admit your own wrongness, Sturm writes, makes you explicitly state what you believe, realize that you could be mistaken, and commit to changing your mind if you’re proven wrong. This can spare you from making big mistakes.

I wonder how writers might use this insight in fiction. A fictional story as a whole, of course, is false. Still, the details of the story need to hang together consistently, and the insertion of certain details can spoil the story by introducing inconsistencies into its narrative. Other details may interfere with the insight or moral that the writer is trying to convey. Still other details may make the story seem implausible, absurdist, or nonsensical.

It may be wise for a novelist to divine ahead of time at least some of the words that simply will not work out within their tale. I don’t know what this process would be called. “Falsificationism” isn’t right, because the wrong details don’t falsify the fiction; the fiction is already false. “Parasitism” may be closer, because a wrong detail is like an invading organism that drains energy from the story. The writer or any given reader may be unaware of the parasite. Regardless of whether anyone notices it consciously, the parasite can injure or even kill the story. It may be a valuable exercise, therefore, for a writer to list the potential parasites that could threaten their story.


Image: Live Tetragnatha montana parasitized by Acrodactyla quadrisculpta larva. Digitally altered, based on a photo that appeared in Biodiversity Data Journal in 2013 and is available on Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons 3.0 license).

Spotlight: ‘Elegy for Mom,’ a caregiver’s memoir of empathy and growth

Elegy_for_MomWhile Vicki Kaufmann’s mother suffered from mixed dementia, Kaufmann learned about the challenges of caregiving. She knows that caregivers want to research medical facts and also to let themselves feel empathy for the person who is sick. In this memoir, she aims to provide caregivers a new perspective on what they do. Caregiving can be, as she puts it, “a pathway to new levels of grace, courage, creativity, and love.”

Elegy for Mom: A Memoir of Family Caregiving, Alzheimer’s, and Devotion was published by Middle River Press in 2015. You can purchase it through Kaufmann’s website Caregiver Families. It is also available on Amazon.

Spotlight: More books on Alzheimer’s Disease

AlzAuthors features the work of over 160 authors writing about Alzheimer’s, including books of non-fiction and fiction. Here’s five more books!


The Memory Keeper by Jessica Bryan

Jessica Bryan is a caregiver and author of four books. In this book, she describes coping with her mother’s advanced Alzheimer’s Disease as her mother’s memories disappear in the haze of dementia. What is raw and sad is also humorous and candid. She shares how she overcomes anger and frustration, and her words act as suggestions for others undergoing the same ordeal. She writes, “I hold the memories of this beautiful woman who is disappearing thought by thought, sentence by sentence and memory by memory. I want to remember the moments we have left, the good and the bad times, the laughter and the tears. I am the memory keeper.”


Somebody Stole My Iron: A Family Memoir of Dementia by Vicki Tapia

Faced with caring for both parents after their dual diagnosis, author Vicki Tapia watched helplessly as her mom and dad both descended into the rabbit hole of dementia/Alzheimer’s disease. Her memoir, Somebody Stole My Iron, weaves their family’s struggle into an engaging story, filled with humor and pathos. The narrative offers an honest and heartfelt glimpse into the ups and downs of life with memory loss and provides readers useful information and tips for coping. “I wrote my story to offer hope to others whose lives have been intimately affected by this dreadful disease,” she explains, “to reassure them that they’re not alone.”


Alzheimer’s Daughter by Jean Lee

Both of Jean Lee’s parents were diagnosed on the same day. Published in 2015, this memoir has over a hundred reviews on Amazon and was voted #5 in the best selling books about Alzheimer’s by Book Authority.


A Turbulent Mind: A Poetry Collection of a Mother’s Journey with Alzheimer’s by Jay Artale

This poetic memoir is about Jay Artale’s mother’s journey with Alzheimer’s. It’s a collection of 39 poems with a peppering of wry humor to destigmatize the impact of dementia.


My Two Elaines: Learning, Coping, and Surviving as an Alzheimer’s Caregiver by Martin J. Schreiber and Cathy Breitenbucher

Former governor of Wisconsin Marty Schreiber has seen his beloved wife, Elaine, gradually transform from the woman who gracefully entertained in the Executive Residence to one who no longer recognizes him as her husband. In My Two Elaines: Learning, Coping, and Surviving as an Alzheimer’s Caregiver, Marty candidly counsels those taking on this caregiving role. With patience, adaptability, and even a sense of humor, Marty shows how love continues for his Second Elaine. My Two Elaines was named a Best Caregiving Book of both 2017 and 2018 by Caring.com. Marty has also reached thousands of Alzheimer’s caregivers at more than 300 presentations around the country since November 2016.



Image at top: Based on a 2012 photograph of an elder Selkup woman in Krasnoselkup, Yamal. Photograph by Aleksandr Popov. Wikimedia Commons.

Spotlight: Books about Alzheimer’s Disease

AlzAuthors features the work of over 160 authors writing about Alzheimer’s, including books of non-fiction and fiction.

Here’s just three of them! These three books are all available in both paperback and Kindle eBook editions. If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, you can read the eBook for free.


Motherhood: Lost and Found by Ann Campanella

This memoir, the author explains to me, “tells the story of my mother’s descent into Alzheimer’s when I was in my early 30s and struggling through a series of miscarriages as I was trying to become a mom myself. I live on a horse farm, so horses are the backdrop of the story. My thoroughbred Crimson, a grandson of Secretariat, helped carry me through this difficult period of my life. I was honored to have my memoir named ‘One of the best Alzheimer’s memoirs of All Time’ by Book Authority.”


Finding Joy In Alzheimer’s: New Hope for Caregivers by Marie Marley, PhD and Daniel C. Potts, MD, with a foreword by Maria Shriver

The authors explain the importance of overcoming denial, accepting difficult situations, and finding hope, and they express their opinion about the role of spirituality. They provide tips for interacting with people with Alzheimer’s.


Forgotten Secrets (the first volume in the Singing River series) by Robin Perini

This fictional thriller features a crime witnessed by a person with Alzheimer’s.


Image at top: Based on a photograph c. 1900 of an elderly couple in Hampton, Virginia. Frances Benjamin Johnston Collection (Library of Congress). Wikimedia Commons.