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A sweeping, epic tale of first love, coming of age, and societal complexities of our times, Swim A Crooked Line takes place over a two-year period beginning in the fall of 2006. Affable John Jenkins and his beautiful wife Barbara live on a productive 500 acre, traditional family farm in western Nebraska. Two of their offspring have made widely divergent lifestyle choices following high school; decisions which will introduce dramatic events to their young lives.
The daughter, Dee D., former cheerleader and apple of her father’s eye, will attend the University of Nebraska on an academic scholarship. From there she will be thrust into unenviable situations that even a well-seasoned citizen would find daunting. Disgruntled older brother Chad, convinced he suddenly hates farming, makes a rash decision to join the army and will be catapulted into horrendous circumstances involving the Global War on Terror.
Ricardo Ramirez is a dashing, dark-skinned, half Brazilian, half Mexican American football prodigy, raised in an impoverished barrio south of downtown Los Angeles. Having his pick of scholarship offers from any athletic powerhouse school in the country, he decides to attend the University of Nebraska, where both his football aspirations and love life will take decidedly unexpected turns. Back in Los Angeles, his father Jesus and cousin/best friend Victor offer support while facing monumental turnabouts in their own lives.
While setting a highly emotional, oftentimes gut-wrenching course towards a riveting climax, Swim A Crooked Line incorporates and explores hot topic issues which are perhaps more controversial now than in 2006-08, such as endless war with unabated drone utilization by the U.S. government and the traumatic aftereffects of battlefield atrocities on soldiers. Other present-day concerns interwoven into the narrative include widespread utilization of GMO crops, corporate takeovers of traditional farms, big-box store decimation of small town shopping districts, proliferation of reality television and more.
Quintessentially, Swim A Crooked Light shines a light on many elements of the human condition, running a surprising gamut from unconditional first love to sudden death of a family member. Characters will at times succumb to frailties or nefarious behaviors which have skirted logic, injured associates and tormented consciences since man first dealt with fellow man.
Yet the indomitable spirit of the Midwesterner; the commonsense, forgiving and big-hearted attitude so ingrained in people of the heartland will hopefully prevail, to be celebrated.
Swim A Crooked Line is available exclusively through the Kindle Store. Download it for free on Wednesday, Nov. 26 and Thursday, Nov. 27. Otherwise, it lists for $9.99—a lot of reading for a very low price.
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Cabin fever is often associated with being cooped up on a rainy weekend or stuck inside during a winter blizzard.
In reality, though, it can actually occur anytime you feel isolated or disconnected from the outside world.
What is cabin fever?<p>In popular expressions, cabin fever is used to explain feeling bored or listless because you've been stuck inside for a few hours or days. But that's not the reality of the symptoms.</p><p>Instead, cabin fever is a series of negative emotions and distressing sensations people may face if they're isolated or feeling cut off from the world.</p><p>These feelings of isolation and loneliness are more likely in times of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/yes-covid-19-cases-are-rising-why-you-still-need-to-practice-social-distancing" target="_blank">social distancing</a>, self-quarantining during a <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-a-pandemic" target="_blank">pandemic</a>, or sheltering in place because of severe weather.</p><p>Indeed, cabin fever can lead to a series of symptoms that can be difficult to manage without proper coping techniques.</p><p>Cabin fever isn't a recognized psychological disorder, but that doesn't mean the feelings aren't real. The distress is very real. It can make fulfilling the requirements of everyday life difficult.</p>
What are the symptoms?<p>Symptoms of cabin fever go far beyond feeling bored or "stuck" at home. They're rooted in an intense feeling of isolation and may include:</p><ul><li>restlessness</li><li>decreased motivation</li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/irritability" target="_blank">irritability</a></li><li>hopelessness</li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/unable-to-concentrate" target="_blank">difficulty concentrating</a></li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/irregular-sleep-wake-syndrome" target="_blank">irregular sleep patterns</a>, including sleepiness or sleeplessness</li><li>difficulty waking up</li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/lethargy" target="_blank">lethargy</a></li><li>distrust of people around you</li><li>lack of patience</li><li>persistent <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/depression-vs-sadness" target="_blank">sadness or depression<br></a></li></ul>
What can help you cope with cabin fever?<p>Because cabin fever isn't a recognized psychological condition, there's no standard "treatment." However, mental health professionals do recognize that the symptoms are very real.</p><p>The coping mechanism that works best for you will have a lot to do with your personal situation and the reason you're secluded in the first place.</p><p>Finding meaningful ways to engage your brain and occupy your time can help alleviate the distress and irritability that cabin fever brings.</p><p>The following ideas are a good place to start.</p>
When to get help<p>Cabin fever is often a fleeting feeling. You may feel irritable or frustrated for a few hours, but having a virtual chat with a friend or finding a task to distract your mind may help erase the frustrations you felt earlier.</p><p>Sometimes, however, the feelings may grow stronger, and no coping mechanisms may be able to successfully help you eliminate your feelings of isolation, sadness, or depression.</p><p>What's more, if your time indoors is prolonged by outside forces, like weather or extended shelter-in-place orders from your local government, feelings of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety" target="_blank">anxiety</a> and fear are valid.</p><p>In fact, anxiety may be at the root of some cabin fever symptoms. This may make symptoms worse.</p><p>If you feel that your symptoms are getting worse, consider reaching out to a mental health professional who can help you understand what you're experiencing. Together, you can identify ways to overcome the feelings and anxiety.</p><p>Of course, if you're in isolation or practicing social distancing, you'll need to look for alternative means for seeing a mental health expert.</p><p>Telehealth options may be available to connect you with your therapist if you already have one. If you don't, reach out to your doctor for recommendations about mental health specialists who can connect with you online.</p><p>If you don't want to talk to a therapist, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/top-iphone-android-apps" target="_blank">smartphone apps for depression</a> may provide a complementary option for addressing your cabin fever symptoms.</p>
The bottom line<p>Isolation isn't a natural state for many people. We are, for the most part, social animals. We enjoy each other's company. That's what can make staying at home for extended periods of time difficult.</p><p>However, whether you're sheltering at home to avoid dangerous weather conditions or heeding the guidelines to help minimize the spread of a disease, staying at home is often an important thing we must do for ourselves and our communities.</p><p>If and when it's necessary, finding ways to engage your brain and occupy your time may help bat back cabin fever and the feelings of isolation and restlessness that often accompany it.</p>
Pope Francis spoke about the novel coronavirus, suggesting that the global pandemic might be one of nature's responses to the man-made climate crisis.
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