Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Are you super-duper fine?

Someone is always suggesting we enhance or modify our look or something else about ourselves. Others suggest we change, become, or act like someone or something else. Every season, manufacturers of cosmetics and clothing tell consumers that updating is necessary. However, I wonder, aren’t we already fine as we are? I believe so because it is not what we wear, the things that we acquire, or even the things that we hope for that make us beautiful, and worthy. Who we are -- our inner being -- is what makes us shine. I truly believe that.

I happened to read a book on beauty and in it were lovely photos of women like Jada Pinkett Smith, Pam Grier, Cameron Diaz, and Salma Hayek to name a few. The thirty or so celebrated women in the book were interviewed. Each was asked to give her definition of beauty. Although the answers varied, there was a common thread. Every woman, considered beautiful in her own way, stated that beauty was a belief, a state of mind. Each said in her own unique voice that beauty, to her, was a kind of knowing that causes a woman to glow. 

Many of the women also spoke of the double standard. We often hear that as men age, they look more distinguished. However, as women age, we are bombarded with the idea that we should change. We even receive subliminal messages. They whisper that fine lines and gray hair are unacceptable. It is suggested that we slide under a surgeon’s knife, to correct our ‘flaws.’ In the book though, renowned singer / songwriter Joni Mitchell offered something that caused me to smile. She said that sometimes a surgically altered look nullifies the character in a woman’s face. She said that afterward others can no longer see how the woman has lived, how much she has laughed or cried. I liked that statement the moment I read it! 

Don’t get me wrong. I believe to change one’s look is fine—if that is something a woman has chosen to do. However, I do not believe we should be pressured into anything.  If your skin is supple, or if it has the capability to be, then why not be grateful? If you like your hair, or lack thereof, then you are already fine. If you are a woman who adds extensions, or wears wigs, weaves, colorful scarves, or hats, for whatever your personal reason, then you could already be fine. Do your brown or other colored eyes serve you, and keep you from walking into walls—even if to do so you must wear contact lenses or glasses? Then you too are most likely fine.  

Is your inner woman someone worth knowing? Is she compassionate, or maybe even passionate? Have you taken up a cause? If you believe in something, or if you’re on an eternal quest, is that not something to be proud of? Do you listen well; or maybe you’re the woman who tells fantastic jokes and captivating stories--like me. Maybe you write poetry, or songs, or take fab photos. You might be a momma, a lover -- jilted, or still in. You could be baker, a quilter, a painter, a teacher, a seamstress, a preacher, or even a dreamer… Perhaps you’re the one who figures things out. If you're basically happy with you and if you can achieve then I say you're just fine. If you've done something that you can be proud of, or if you have encouraged someone else to take a leap of faith then you are already fine.
If someone loves you, even if it is only your mother, or your cat or dog; if you can clean up nicely, or not; if you can, or cannot recall a time when you’ve looked hot; if you, my lovely, are any of these things and more, then you are quite possibly already fine. So as Billy Joel's song says, 'Don't go changing...'  

Remember, it matters not what others suggest…the choice to enhance or update, to be or not to be is up to you, and you alone, because you are, in my opinion…already super-duper fine.

Until next time, shine brightly my darlings, shine brightly!


Thursday, July 25, 2013

You need the right bra, plain and simple.

Don't be confused, you need the right bra.
bra confusion
Did you know that a bra can be one of the most important pieces in a woman’s shapewear arsenal? Not only does it re-shape but it can even re-size, and this is important because drooping bazooms can make one look slouchy, or old. 

I'm telling you this because I don’t want you to be in the dark.  I'm also saying the right bra can create an enchanting, smooth and youthful silhouette, no matter what your size or age. The right one can cause you to appear pounds thinner, but most of all, wearing the right bra can elevate a woman’s confidence. Then you can go get that job, confidently make the team, or stand before that audience and proudly address the issue at hand.

To read more, click April's Bras Sense...

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A few tips on crafting a good story...

As a writer, I've often been asked by other writers, "How do you know when a story is finished?" Well, I know when I have no more questions to answer. Then the tale I'm telling is done. When every issue that was raised in the story has been put to bed, then I know I've done my job.

But how does an author keep track of everything that needs to be covered, one might ask. Well, you could keep an altogether different document that lists points that should be made. Then you could cross off or delete them as they are entered into your work.

Won't that take forever? This may be another question on a writer's mind. Well, it may take a little while, but crafting a good story is not a sprint. It's more a marathon.

But then listing points of interest may change the initial tenor of the story, you might say. I agree. However, that's where edits and re-writes come in. I don't know about others, but I couldn't craft a great story without the twins, Editing and Re-Writing. If made proper use of, they can become an author's greatest friends. They can make a good story so much better. Often they will even add interest, intrigue and suspense. In short, editing and re-writes can turn a story into more than the author initially dreamed.

Also, as writers and authors we must look at our work as our readers will. Readers don't like it when we mention things and then don't clarify them. Therefore, we must make sure to mark and fix those things. Now I don't mean belabor a point, that can become boring. But it would be most unfair to leave the reader hanging --unless, of  course, a sequel is planned. Then that should be stated, clearly.

I feel the only time we can leave a reader hanging is when we're going to revisit a point. Yet even then we must create an atmosphere of suspense, so that the reader will instinctively understand that they are moving forward, toward something.

Below, I'll give you an example of what I mean. It is an excerpt from my latest novel entitled Improbable... It's available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Do enjoy, and I look to see you again soon!

The only thing was...she needed to get him to commit, to her. But how could he, when his mind was always on that slinky, coffee with milk-colored black —girl who needed to move on? What was he doing with her anyway?

Sure, Jeremy had some Negro in him, as Mam-maw, Ashlee’s grandmother called it. But the negroidism was so far back in his family lineage until his genes had probably already rid themselves of the impurity. To Ashlee he sure looked white, and was...he...gorgeous! Ah, and he had been born into wealth, Ashlee remembered. That was most important.

So time to get to work, time to plan, because she had to make her new name, her new tits, her new hair color, and her whitened teeth pay off. She didn’t care what she had to do.

Heck, to get to this point, she had already done so much. She had even endured what she felt was too much. She’d given up her family, and her friends. She’d also left her home, so she was willing to go the distance. At this point, she would readily destroy any ‘obstacle’ that got in her way, and that included Gemma Janelle.

Ashlee felt she would do so because there was no way that she would go back to living in the shadow of the mountains. No freaking way.