Research has proved that men are generally good with numbers and reading but I believe when a guy is in love, he'll also be good at being observant about his mate.
Some men might not talk much but they can surprise their woman by pointing out the minutest change in her appearance. They might compliment her on a new hair style when their best friend might not have noticed it. So any slight change in their lady's appearance or even behavior will hardly go unnoticed.
Now let’s test this theory by doing a little experiment, for five days make one change a day to see how observant your man is about you.
Day One – Change your hair. Put it up, if you normally wear it down. Straighten it, if you normal wear it curly. Or put a small braid or a small clip of fake hair in it.
Day Two – Change your signature scent. If you have a favorite soap, lotion, or perfume, change it for the day. It doesn’t matter if he loves or hates it. You just want to take note that he noticed it.
Day Three – Change your routine. Go to bed early, watch a different TV show at prime-time, or even reorganize a medicine cabinet or kitchen counter.
Day Four – Wear some different jewelry or makeup. The rage right now is to paint the ring finger of both hands a different shade than the others. Give it a try. You can even put his initial on the nail of your ring finger. You can put in a fake nose ring or wear an ankle bracelet if painting your nails isn’t your cup of tea. And if you love makeup, try a new lipstick or eye shadow.
Day Five – Wear a sexier, playful, or more conservative outfit for the day. Choose clothes that are different from your normal appearance but displays another part of your personality.
You can mix these choices up or add different ones like changing your eye color, rearranging the furniture, or putting a fake tattoo on your body for the day. Each day should be one different thing so if you put your hair up on Day One, then you should put it back to normal on Day Two before you put on a new perfume.
It will be interesting to see how observant your man is but keep in mind, if you have young children at home he may be too distracted to notice most of the changes. Little ones have been known to distract many adults and take them off of their normal observation patterns.
Try the experiment and let me know if your man makes the grade. I know you’ll be surprised to learn how attentive your man really is. :)
Over his many years of working with the Great ones, a seven-time New York Times Best-selling author and longtime Associate Editor for Sports Illustrated, Don Yaeger has compiled these sixteen characteristics that every winner that exhibits.
I think my fellow writers can apply these points to our own literary endeavors.
HOW THEY THINK
1. It's Personal
They hate to lose more than they love to win.
2. Rubbing Elbows
They understand the value of association.
They have faith in a higher power.
4. Contagious Enthusiasm
They are positive thinkers... They are enthusiastic... and that enthusiasm rubs off.
HOW THEY PREPARE
5. Hope For the Best, But...
They prepare for all possibilities before they step on the field.
6. What Off-Season?
They are always working towards the next game...
7. Visualize Victory
They see victory before the game begins.
8. Inner Fire
They use adversity as fuel.
HOW THEY WORK
9. Ice In Their Veins
They are risk-takers and don't fear making a mistake.
10. When All Else Fails
They know how - and when - to adjust their game plan.
11. Ultimate Teammate
They will assume whatever role is necessary for the team to win.
12. Not Just About the Benjamins
They don't play just for the money.
HOW THEY LIVE
13. Do unto Others
They know character is defined by how they treat those who cannot help them.
14. When No One Is Watching
They are comfortable in the mirror... they live their life with integrity.
15. When Everyone Is Watching
They embrace the idea of being a role model.
16. Records Are Made to Be Broken
They know their legacy isn't what they did on the field. They are well-rounded.
I had the genetic test for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes one year ago because my mother and two of my maternal aunt battle breast cancer in their lifetimes. I only told my mother because I didn’t want to alarm my daughters if the results were alarming. The wait was unbearable because if the testing showed I had a high risk of breast cancer, I would have to make some hard decisions. I don’t have the gene for breast or ovarian cancer but actress and director Angelina Jolie does and she decided to have preventive mastectomy for the sake of her children and her partner, Brad Pitt.
"My mother fought cancer for almost a decade and died at 56," Jolie writes. "She held out long enough to meet the first of her grandchildren and to hold them in her arms. But my other children will never have the chance to know her and experience how loving and gracious she was."
Jolie said she has kept the process private so far, but wrote about with hopes of helping other women. "I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy," she writes. "But it is one I am very happy that I made. My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent. I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer."
She is a very private person, yet she provided a step-by-step description of the procedures. She writes that between early February and late April she completed three months of surgical procedures to remove both breasts. "My doctors estimated that I had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer, although the risk is different in each woman," she writes today in a New York Times op-ed. "Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much as I could."
Based on John Gottman's, PhD, Relationship Research Adapted from his book "The Seven Principles for Making a Marriage Work"
Dr. John Gottman can predict with 96% accuracy within the first three minutes of a couple having a conversation whether the relationship he is watching will survive over the long-haul or not. Dr. John Gottman, a psychologist at the University of Washington, studied more than 2,000 married couples over two decades. He discovered patterns about how partners relate to each other which can be used to predict – with 94% accuracy – which marriages will succeed and which will fail. Gottman says that each horseman paves the way for the next.
The Four Horsemen are a metaphor depicting the end of times in the Old Testament. They describe conquest, war, hunger, and death respectively. Dr. Gottman uses this metaphor to describe communication styles that can predict the end of a relationship.
The first horseman in a relationship is criticism. Criticism is the act of finding fault or judging unfavorably. When you criticize your partner, you attack your partner’s personality or character, usually with the intent of making yourself right and your partner wrong. Criticism includes generalizations such as “you always…”, “you never…” and “you’re the type of person who …”
Example: "You never think about how your behavior is affecting other people. I don't believe you are that forgetful; you just don't think about me."
The second horseman is contempt. When we communicate from this state, we are being mean, treating others with disrespect by using sarcasm, ridicule, name-calling, and/or body language such as eye-rolling. The partner feels despised and worthless. Contempt is toxic and cannot be replaced with anything. It must be eliminated. Contempt is a feeling of disdain or scorn. Contempt attacks your partner’s sense of self with the intention to insult or psychologically abuse him/her.
Example: "I've been with the kids all day, running around like mad to keep this house going and you come home and just park yourself in front of the TV. You are just useless."
The third horseman is defensiveness. This is an easy one to fall into. Defensiveness is seeing yourself as the victim and warding off a perceived attack. When partners are defensive they are not open to learning and are also not able to access the vulnerable feelings underneath. Some typical defensive responses are:
- Making excuses (e.g., external circumstances beyond your control forced you to act in a certain way) “It’s not my fault…”, “I didn’t…”
- Cross-complaining: meeting your partner’s complaint, or criticism with a complaint of your own, ignoring what your partner said.
- Disagreeing and then cross-complaining “That’s not true, you’re the one who …”
- Yes-butting: start off agreeing but end up disagreeing.
- Repeating yourself without paying attention to what the other person is saying.
- Whining “It’s not fair.”
Example: Meredith: "Did you call Callie and Erica to let them know that we are not coming tonight as you said this morning you would?" Derek: "I was too busy today. As a matter of fact you knew how busy my schedule was. Why didn't you just do it?" He not only responds defensively but turns the table and makes it her fault. A non-defensive response would have been: "I forgot. I should have asked you this morning to do it because I knew my day would be packed. Let me call them right now."
The fourth horseman is stonewalling. When we stonewall, we avoid conflict either because we are unconscious of our own feelings or because we are afraid. Rather than confronting the issues with our partner, we make evasive maneuvers and simply stop engaging in the business of relating to another person. Stonewalling is withdrawing from the relationship as a way to avoid conflict. Partners may think they are trying to be “neutral” but stonewalling conveys disapproval, icy distance, separation, disconnection, and/or smugness. Some typical stonewall responses are stony silence, monosyllabic mutterings, changing the subject and removing yourself physically. Stonewalling is considered to be the most “dangerous” of the four horsemen.
Example: Christina leaving town and cutting off all communication with her husband, Owen.
(See http://www.gottman.com/ for more information on Dr. John Gottman.)
Recently, there has been a lot of buzz around the ‘Amanda Berry’ story. Ariel Castro maintained his home as a prison for three young women, Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Georgina "Gina" DeJesus, holding them in seclusion and sexually assaulting them for his own pleasure. The National Organization of Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault (SCESA) wants to remind our communities those survivors, and family members of survivors, of incest and other forms of sexual abuse may have a complex range of emotions about this news story.
Today join with me and encourage survivors to take care of themselves and remind your family and friends to be sensitive to the fact that seeing the news reports, or even talking about it in some cases, could be traumatic for survivors. Although every survivor you encounter will be unique, many will have one thing in common: Rape Trauma Syndrome (RTS). Human beings respond to trauma in different ways. Although many rape survivors suffer from the symptoms of Rape Trauma Syndrome, not all survivors respond to rape in the same way - some rape survivors may have none of these symptoms and others may suffer only a few.
It is important to treat each rape survivor as an individual and to try and understand what the rape means to that particular person. A person's religion, culture, class, race and gender may affect how they feel about being raped. The impact of a rape may be worse if the victim is physically or mentally handicapped, if they were raped by more than one person, or on more than one occasion; and/or if they were raped by someone they knew. Coping with being rape may also be more difficult if family, friends and colleagues are not supportive and/or blame the survivor.
Rape survivors seem to experience different symptoms of Rape Trauma Syndrome over time. In the first couple of days immediately after a rape, a survivor usually experiences a state of shock. After this shock has passed, some survivors try to act as if nothing has happened. This is their way of trying to block out the rape, because they feel that they won't be able to cope if they let themselves remember what happened to them. So, they may look as if they have not been affected by the rape. This has been called the stage of denial or pseudo-adjustment.
The effects of rape are long term. Rape survivors never forget being raped, but many learn how to deal with the memory. Studies have shown that the symptoms suffered by a rape survivor three months after a rape usually continue over the next three to four years, although they do seem to improve over time.
Below is the PSA for RAINN produced by Nancy Mancini. RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE.
Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz had a strong desire to return to her home. It was the place where she felt safe from harm and surrounded by people that loved her. Today, I’ve been thinking about what ‘home’ means to me and I realized I don’t really have a special place with that designation.
I was raised by a single mom that moved around often. When my maternal grandparents were alive, we called Arcadia, Florida ‘home’ because that’s where my grandfather built his house. But now, the house is gone and only the land remains.
I’ve lived in many places in my lifetime and I consider New Jersey the most familiar. It’s where I've spent the most time, learned hard lessons, and grew up fast but I'm missing my roots. My anchor. I know the feeling of being "at home" can't be bought; it comes from an intimate relationship between us and our most personal place. It's hard to be an adult and have to say I’m still searching for that.
I know many people worry a lot about how their homes look, but how they make us feel, emotionally and physically, is far more important. From a rented room to a sprawling McMansion, any home can become the foundation for a better life—all for the price of fresh thinking.
I believe a home is suppose to be a sanctuary. Home is comfort. Home is inviting. Home is a refuge from the world. Home is cozy, lived in space when your heart can soar. Home is a pair of shoes in the corner, a blanket on the sofa, books and magazines strewn about. Home is where you wear your coziest clothing with only comfort, and never fashion, in mind.
I’m going to have that kind of home one day because I deserve it and my soul is getting to weary looking for it. Days, weeks, and months go by so rapidly, so I have to have a place where I’m surrounded by the simple possessions that make me smile, you know... my favorite things. I need a home filled with my personal touches and sentimental collections. A home should be a secure place where a person is free to enjoy their life and fulfill their potential. Then and only then will Glenda the Good Witch’s chant ring true for me. “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.”
The trailer for The Butler -- the epic new film by Lee Daniels (Precious, The Paperboy) -- has arrived, and it features the heralded return of Oprah Winfrey to the big screen. Get a first look!
The period film charts the life and observations of Cecil Gaines, a butler (played by Forest Whitaker) serving under eight American Presidents over the course of three decades.
Did you know Mark Twain once said that he could live a full month on nothing but a single compliment? It’s a pretty sad statement but many of us feel the same way. While we all enjoy receiving a compliment, most of us aren't very good at giving them.
Some people think complimentary things about others but refuse to share them because they don’t want to sound silly. Others aren't even sure how to give a compliment. A good compliment takes work, and some people don't have the time, energy, or inclination to make the effort.
If you're looking for ways to improve your relationship with your mate, you can start with a compliment. It is important that your compliments are sincere and honest. When they are not, your comments turn into flattery which is untrue or insincere praise. Flattery is usually received with negativity and is often perceived as being manipulative.
Words are, indeed, powerful. Why are compliments so important and how can they benefit your relationship? In Gary Chapman's (1995) best-selling book, The Five Love Languages, he explains that people express and receive love in different ways. Dr. Chapman identifies these as the five languages of love: quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service and physical touch.
For people who have "words of affirmation" as their primary love language, verbal compliments and appreciation are particularly meaningful. Unfortunately, some partners forget or don't realize the significance of simple expressions of praise, kindness, and understanding that help nurture and sustain our relationships and help those we love feel loved.
Below is Mariah Carey’s latest single, ‘#Beautiful’ and I believe it will be a great summer jam. (Just wait for the remixes.) Please tell your mate that they are handsome or beautiful today and if you’re single give yourself a healthy dose of self-affirmation and love.
Farrah receiving the torch
Okay, my love affair with Milwaukee has come to an end and everyone is excited about the next stop for the Romance Slam Jam Conference. NEW ORLEANS!!! That’s right; the whole gang is getting ready to meet up in Louisiana in 2014 and Farrah Rochon and will be the host author. The torch has officially been passed and now is the time to plan your return to RSJ, the best author family reunion.
Here’s Farrah’s message to the RSJers,
For the past 18 years, Romance Slam Jam has been the ultimate gathering for fans of African American romance, and each year the conference gets bigger and better. On behalf of the 2014 RSJ Committee, it is my pleasure to invite you to join us in my hometown of New Orleans for the 2014 Romance Slam Jam Conference, Romancing the Big Easy, May 7th-11th, 2014.
If there’s one thing New Orleans is known for, it’s throwing a party, and the 2014 RSJ Committee already has plans to make next year’s conference the best yet! Explore the sights, sounds, and wonderful food of the romantic Crescent City, and enjoy hanging out with your favorite authors and fellow readers. We can’t wait to see you there.
Much love, Farrah Rochon
Well, I was able to have a nice one-on-one lunch with Farrah and she really wants next year’s conference to the best Romance Slam Jam Conference since its inception. I explained how author Evelyn Palfrey is encouraging me to teach a Facebook workshop next year since I taught her how to setup her author page so quickly. Farrah quickly agreed and sweetly reminded me she’ll be looking for my proposal.
I’ve also offered my assistance with other items that may assist her and the RSJ 2014 committee. I wanted her to know that I and CIMRWA (the Cultural, Interracial, Multicultural Special Interest Group of RWA) strongly support Romance Slam Jam and their attendees.
So I’m about to get on the plane now and head back to New Jersey. Goodbye Milwaukee, I’ll never forget the memories.
Yvette Hines and co-founder Emma Rodgers
With Romantic Times Convention taking place at the same time, a large majority of the winners weren’t in attendance but the winner that was present brought tears to our eyes. Yvette Hines is an author of erotica and we bonded quickly at RSJ this year. When I took her aside and expressed how much her novel Pleasuring the Queen caused me to view her as an innovative master storyteller.
She created a world of wonderful characters that weren’t of this world and yet her creativity made me forget that they weren’t human. She gave them so many layers and depth that the sexual encounters only reinforced the complexity of the plot. Yvette knows how to entertain, captivate, and stimulate her readers with a keystroke and that is why she was awarded the Emma Award for Author of the Year.
Angeline M. Bishop, Evelyn Palfrey, Yvette Hines
Please forgive me for not posting a video of the moment. I was too overwhelmed with emotion. Yvette is more deserving of this award and I’m so glad her aunt made the journey to see this momentous occasion. She was up against some strong authors but the body of her work is solid and her dedication to her craft was steadfast.
Emma Awards 2013 Winners
Suspense of the Year – Temptation Rising by A.C. Arthur
Sequel of the Year – Seduction’s Shift by A.C. Arthur
Steamy Romance of the Year – Any Way You Want It by Maureen Smith
Cover of the Year – Just One Taste by Celeste O Norfleet
Hero of the Year – Sean Donovan (Surrender to a Donovan by A.C. Arthur)
Heroine of the Year – Diamond Lassiter (Teach Me by Iris Bolling)
Debut Author of the Year – Harmony Evans
Book of the Year – Just One Taste by Celeste O. Norfleet
Author of the Year – Yvette Hines
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE WINNERS!
This blog covers novel completion, fellow authors and pop culture