Monday, July 30, 2012

The Changing Face of Romance by Deneice Tarbox

  Flowers?  Candy? Candlelight Dinners perhaps.  These things are nice and every girl or guy who wants them should have them.  However, after nearly twenty years with the same person, I have come to value a whole different kind of romance.  For me it’s the ability to joke about technically not being legally married—South Carolina didn’t rescind the law against interracial marriage until 1996.  We wed there in 1993.  That might be why the Justice of the Peace was smiling so broadly.  It’s acknowledging the fact that we have little in common, yet use our differences to explore and grow together.  Most of all, it’s the ability that this one person has to bring me back to sanity when I start to drift off in the wrong direction.

   One of my most romantic moments with my spouse took place over the phone.  No, there was no heavy breathing involved, although that might have been nice.  Being the work-a-holic that I am, I was wrapped up in work when my cell phone rang.  It was hubby calling to tell me that he had just spotted a bald eagle.  My first thought was to get after him for driving and talking on his cell phone.  My second thought was to give him hell for interrupting me at work.  But then something occurred to me, halting all prior thoughts.  Out of all the people in the world, he had chosen me to share that moment with.

   So keep in mind, anyone can give you flowers, candy, or a candlelight dinner.  But developing and maintaining a deep bond that only the two of you can comprehend is truly the epiphany of romance.

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About the Author:

Deneice Tarbox, the author of Healing Inc., resides in Maine with her husband and adult son. She currently works in healthcare but decided it was time to delve back into her passion for writing. Her mottos: Normal is boring and Laugh or wear a straightjacket.  Visit her on Facebook.

Monday, July 23, 2012

How Not to be “That Guy” on an Online Dating Site

Online dating’s great…with so many different sites and so many available singles it’s nearly impossible not to make a connection. Well, impossible if you’re not That Guy. Ladies, you know who we’re talking about (and gentlemen, take notes.) There’s always one suitor on every dating site who gets avoided like the plague and the sad thing is most of them don’t even seem to realize it! Do yourself and everyone else a favor and follow these simple rules.

Don’t Be Creepy:

Yeah, it’s open ended and sure, creepiness is “subjective” and all but you know what we mean.
DON’T use cheesy pickup lines and DON’T comment on a woman’s physique right off the bat…it’s all common sense. When starting a conversation with a potential mate try to imagine she’s standing next to her mother. Does your opening line sound creepy? Then don’t use it.

Don’t Be Desperate:

It’s something every That Guy has in common: they’re desperate for love and companionship. That desperation reeks of insecurity and if we’ve learned anything from “He’s Just Not That Into You,” it’s that insecurity is the polar opposite of sexy. Be confident online – it’s cool if you cry yourself to sleep in the fetal position every night, just don’t let everyone know.

Don’t Be Pushy:

Some guys seem to think borderline harassment is not only acceptable but, we don’t know, hot? They’re wrong. It’s fine to contact a lovely lady then try once more if you don’t get a response but in the online world being ignored more than one time usually means you should move on. Remember though, there’s a difference between pushiness and persistence: if you’re getting any kind of positive feedback from your online crush feel free to try and see it through.

Don’t Be Ridiculous:

The internet is a weird place so try not to make it weirder with your online dating profile. The goal is to be the best version of yourself while giving your online dating persona broad appeal – if you take pictures of yourself covered in your pet pigeons you’re only going to attract…yeah you’re not going to attract anyone with that kind of stuff. Keep your out-there quirks off your profile but feel free to let your freak flag fly
after you’ve really made a connection. Being yourself is great, just ease into it.

There’s nothing wrong with being different – your uniqueness is part of your draw! Just remember to play it cool initially and don’t overstep your bounds; sometime the Internet can feel so anonymous you don’t act like yourself. Dating websites come with its own set of rules and boundaries and every situation has some new hurdle to manage…use your best judgment and try your hardest not to be That Guy.


This post was written by Lior who is an expert in dating websites and online manners.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Break Up Test: How to Know When to Call it a Day

All relationships have their ups and downs, but sometimes the downs become too frequent and the best answer for both parties is to cut their losses and end the relationship. This can be a difficult decision but when there is a trouble in the air there are certainly signs you can look out for to determine whether or not the relationship has run its course:


When the relationship is new, your independence takes a back seat and you genuinely want to spend every waking minute with your other half. If you find yourself wanting to be alone, fantasising about a time when your other half wasn’t around or subconsciously planning a future that doesn’t involve them, then the relationship is doomed.


Everyone has rows, but if your disagreements are becoming nastier or more regular then it could be a sign of trouble looming. Similarly if you find yourself picking a fight for no reason or arguing in public, it is a clear sign that you’ve lost respect for each other.

Lack of Effort

Remember back in the early days how you’d go on dates or arrange romantic surprises? If those feelings have gone and you no longer feel the need to make an effort in the relationship then it’s probably time to call it a day. Indifference and apathy are clear signs that your heart's not in it anymore and the relationship has run its course.

Having Feelings for Someone Else

We’re all entitled to appreciate the beauty of the opposite sex, but if being with someone else becomes a real desire then there are clearly problems in the existing relationship. Some relationships can recover from affairs but be aware that it will require a lot of time, effort and genuine remorse.

No More Sex

Physical intimacy is a huge part of a relationship and if you find that there is no longer any enjoyment in your sex life then it can be a sign that the intimacy and love between you has gone. If everything else in the relationship is OK then this can be worked upon, but if it is the latest in a long list of problems then it’s probably time to cut your losses.


Francine Westbrook is a freelance writer from England who covers literature and textbooks for a number of student blogs and education websites.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Mark Your Calendar for the Upcoming Events

Black Writers and Book Clubs Literacy Festival, Hosted by Author Shelia Lipsey will take place from September 14-15, 2012 at LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Tennessee. For information, click here.

The Atlanta Black Theater Festival has accepted Secrets of a Kept Woman.” This huge theater event is popular in Maryland and Carolina and is now coming to Atlanta.  Join them and make history, from October 4-7, 2012. The 40 Plays in 4 Days is A Theatre Lover's Paradise. For more information, click here.

The 10th Annual Collingswood Book Festival will take place on Saturday, October 6, 2012, from 8:30 AM until 5 PM. This award-winning, all-volunteer book festival is a big literary event with a small-town, and friendly ambience.

Festival attendees will have an opportunity to stroll more than six blocks of the main street filled with nationally recognized authors/speakers for adults and children, as well as booksellers, storytellers, poetry readings, workshops, exhibitors, kid-friendly activities, and entertainment for all ages. All events are free.

The location of the festival will be on 771 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood, New Jersey. For more details, please click here.


To have your events posted on our Blog, email information at least six months prior to the date of event and in the subject area, type Upcoming Events. 

Monday, July 02, 2012

One Day by David Nicholls: A Modern Day Love Story

If you haven’t heard of David Nicholls’ award winning One Day, the chances are you may have been living under a rock for the last three years. Not only has it been made into a motion picture but it has been translated into 31 languages, appearing on best seller lists throughout the world and becoming the highest selling novel of 2010.

The beauty of the novel is its unique format. The story opens on July 15th 1988 as two students, Emma and Dexter, wake up together on their last day of university. This encounter marks the beginning of a special friendship which the reader revisits on this date for the next twenty years. Amidst births, deaths, relationships, careers and the various other twists and turns their respective lives take, Em and Dex maintain a ‘will-they-won’t-they’ relationship that keeps the reader guessing throughout.

But aside from the clever structure, Nicholls presents us with two characters that are intrinsically loveable, relatable and impossible not to care about. Dexter is good looking and charismatic but arrogant and lazy whereas Emma is ambitious and hardworking but stroppy and full of self doubt. Nicholls achieves the difficult task of making them feel real to us and many readers will probably find they know an Emma or a Dexter in their lives.

Their bumbling romance is as flawed and complex as their personalities and Nicholls plays on this in order to present the reader with a realistic, complicated love story. Comedy and honesty replaces over-the-top, gushy sentiment but this somehow makes their romance all the more touching and has enabled Nicholls to write a novel that appeals to the masses.

Both men and women love this novel because ultimately it is a believable account of a modern day love story that is told in heart-warming yet funny way. Nicholls, therefore, has succeeded in creating a romantic novel that has hit the mainstream market without abandoning creditability or intelligence.


Francine Westbrook is a freelance writer from England who covers literature and textbooks for a number of student blogs and education websites.