Friday, March 30, 2012

Progress Friday + this week's excerpt from the WIP!

Hey peeps!

We've been having an absolutely awful week of rain and super-humidity - let me tell you, that kind of weather makes your muse and/or inspiration take a huge beating.

But I braved through, people! I sat down and wrote, and moved my word count by 4,908 words these past 2 days!

March went by me in a huge blur, and I have no clue what I've gotten done (except, if that makes sense, I know what I've not gotten done!). Should've been finished with the first draft of Transient Hearts this week, but I'm still way behind the half-way mark on this story. It doesn't help that I've had other stuff beating down my door (yes, freelance work. It pays some of my stuff, all right, but it's not something that easy-breezy. By the time I'm done with work, I barely have enough time or energy to dedicate to writing).

Speaking of, check out this amazing article a friend of mine sent me the other day - my life is about counting spoons too, though I do happen to have way more in my hands than someone suffering from something as restricting as Lupus. Do read this one.

So I knew it all came down to prioritizing, and as from Wednesday when I finished with the last of March's contracted work, my priorities moved to the WIP, and I've stuck to that. With 2.5 hours writing both yesterday and today, I managed to clock down nearly 5K (and I need to mention, it's 5K that actually makes sense! LOL).

Planning, hoping, that next week, I'll be able to dedicate at least 2.5 hours every day to the story, which should see me moving forward by some 12-13K, and well beyond the halfway mark.

I had a good idea it was the amount of contracted work on my shoulders that was blocking me from work - both literally and figuratively, because I no longer had any juice in the brain to come up with scenes, and so glad I'm over this at the moment.

Okay, and today I decided that, instead of rambling aaaaall the way about my writing and word count and all, I'll actually start posting a snippet of what I got written during the week.

So here's a little bit from Transient Hearts; from our hero's POV. This born-cowboy but turned-New Yorker is back home on his ranch, and has dug a hole for himself: he now has to go ride with the ranch hands, because that's the excuse he gave to escape his cousin's clutches when she wanted to rope him into another bickering argument between herself and the heroine. :)

'...
Should he be ecstatic that, at thirty-two, he could still get into the jeans he’d worn at seventeen? Years of hard partying with tequila, vodka, and beer, and he didn’t have any more of a belly than when he’d been a kid. An achievement? Probably not, given how he’d failed at everything else where his aunt and Aurelia were concerned...
Not for here and now, he told himself as he closed his eyes, and pressed his forehead to the mirror on the front panel of his closet. He’d have to take all this one moment at a time. Like getting used to those jeans again. He opened his eyes, turned around, then took a step, and another.
At first, after he’d taken a deep breath and pulled the pants on, the denim had chafed at his skin, sending an itch like the patrol of a hundred red ants down his limbs. He’d stopped counting how many times he’d had to fiddle with the back of the pants, in moves that weren’t far from Rafael Nadal’s signature shorts-in-butt-crack adjusting. But the more steps he took, the more the fabric smoothed over his skin and merged with his movements in a flow that came naturally, like instinct. He’d worn jeans in New York, but here, in cowboy country, wearing denim was a different, almost life-altering, experience.
It’s in your blood. The thought, once again, came through in his father’s voice. ...'

Hope you all have a lovely weekend, peeps!

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Link Thursday: 1000 Things You Don't Know About Women (Part 1)

Hey beautiful people!

A quick one today, because I'm hoping my Internet will cooperate. Yes, it is still acting up, no thanks to the torrential rains we've been having this week.

So, there's actually a thousand items on this list, and of course, cannot post them all right here, right now. What I'm doing is breaking the list into parts, that I'll post up every Thursday. 50 pieces every week - how does that sound?

Of course, you can bypass me and go read the full list on the Esquire.com site already. :) But I hope you'll be back each week to check out the list as it goes up here.

Without further blabbing, here we go!

*****

1,000 Things You Don't Know About Women

We asked the women in our lives to share their secrets about sex, relationships, and what we've been doing wrong (and right) all these years. Four months after our special issue devoted to women — and with continuing help from you on Twitter — we've reached a thousand pieces of wisdom. Hope they help.


No. 185: "Business casual": Easy for you, but bewildering for us.—Amy Keller, 27, Chicago

No. 218: What makes our skin crawl: cell phone holsters, crocs (really?), and when you leave your stupid bluetooth earpiece in 24/7. —Kelly Greene, 35, San Diego

No. 252: We know it's high maintenance, but, for the love of God, don't sleep on the decorative pillows.—Name Withheld, Portland, Oregon

No. 279: We love hearing about your family. Even when it's boring, it's good to know you think about them.—Alessia Viscomi, 21, Newton, Massachusetts

No. 989: We appreciate when you keep your condoms within close reach from the bed so we don't spend ten minutes waiting naked while you search the other end of the apartment. —Sarah Knowles, 29, Brooklyn

No. 944: We kind of wish we could chest-bump, too.—Rose Farnsworth, 19, Nashville

No. 964: Sometimes we want to be treated like a princess. Sometimes, we want to be treated like a sex object. It's up to you to figure out which of these we want to be at any given moment, because we certainly aren't going to tell you. —Julianna Mendelsohn, 29, Chicago

No. 896: Not all of us envy the whole peeing-while-standing thing. Seems messy.—Nicole Lee, 31, San Francisco

No. 850: If you meet us at a bar, please don't say, "I'd like to see you without your glasses." We could go blind, you know. —Amanda Bullock, 26, Detroit

No. 824: Be careful: singing to us can be totally cute. But only if you can actually sing.—Rose Farnsworth, 19, Nashville

No. 798: When we say "He was so great in the delivery room!" we are actually just happy that you didn't faint, gag or run screaming out the door.—Beth Malonoski, 34, Norristown, Pennsylvania

No. 726: We will be jealous of any picture of you and another girl on Facebook. It doesn't matter who she is.—Mallory Farmer, 23, Boston

No. 628: We think saying "ladies" at the end of any statement or question makes it kind of creepy. —Aminata Dia, 22, San Jose, California

No. 582: If we make it through an entire first date without seeing what color your iPhone case is, well, we just might fall in love.—Dina Sanchez, 29, Brooklyn

No. 340: If that piece of clothing does indeed make us look fat, simply say, "It's nice, but you don't look comfortable in it." Most of the time, it's true.—Nicole Lee, 31, San Francisco

No. 361: You cleaning your apartment is somehow incredibly sexy. Weird but true.—Amy Keller, 27, Chicago

No. 313: It's cute when you don't quite know how to dress, so long as your not knowing doesn't involve jean shorts or a fanny pack. We can only handle so much eyestrain.—Cassie Rodenberg, 22, Charleston, South Carolina

No. 155: It doesn't matter what your chosen profession is, as long as you love what you do and do it with passion, and it's legal and it doesn't involve being in a production of the Lord of the Dance.—Beth Malonoski, 34, Norristown, Pennsylvania

No. 396: We like it when you lend your favorite books to us. For several reasons.—Rose Farnsworth, 19, Nashville

No. 460: You'll lose points every time you use the word "pussy."—Katie Knies, 22, North Salem, New York

No. 505: When we ask you how we look, you lose points every time you answer with "fine."—Dani Ruiz, 21, Encinitas, California

No. 563: Some of us wouldn't mind if you bought us a good lap dance every once in a while. Just saying.—Dina Sanchez, 29, Brooklyn

No. 838: It's not that we like the flowers themselves, it's that the flowers mean you're thinking about us. And we love that. —Sherri Pitts, 43, Chino Hills, California

No. 763: When we run into an ex, we always play "Who Won?" And in our minds, we always won.—Aminata Dia, 22, San Jose, California

No. 870: We do want romance, but we don't want you to do these things because we intstruct you to. We want you to come by them naturally. —Julianna Mendelsohn, 29, Chicago

No. 925: We love it when you're in the mood, but we don't love it when you grind up against us while we brush our teeth.—Amy Keller, 27, Chicago

No. 972: We get to pick the baby's name. And it's not going to be your mother's maiden name. McCullen is a terrible name for a baby.—Rose Farnsworth, 19, Nashville

No. 790: Even the slightest idea of fashion can be very attractive. —Kourtney Cole, 22, Chino Hills, California

No. 748: We don't actually wear matching bras and panties all the time. Shocking, we know.—Nicole Lee, 31, San Francisco

No. 349: Hair starts growing in funny places when we turn fifty. Not much we can do about it. —Marie Mackler, 58, Takoma Park, Maryland

No. 973: The most important error most of you make when trying to figure us out is in thinking of us as mysterious, unknowable creatures who adhere to some cabalistic set of Girl Rules.—Anne Harding, 23, Wilmington, Delaware

No. 756: If you want your beer to be cold all the time, get a mini-fridge; don't let it take up too much room in our fridge. Unless you're chilling it for us. —Juliet Garlow, 20, Silver Spring, Maryland.

No. 535: We prefer an arm around us to holding hands pretty much any day. —Aminata Dia, 22, San Jose, California

No. 837: Shoes always fit. Hence our perpetually full closets. —Sydney Hayes, 19, San Diego

No. 265: The following posters on your wall are deal-breakers: Bob Marley playing soccer, Bob Marley exhaling, Bob Marley in green, yellow and/or red. Exemplars of the chill-bro variety are reserved, exclusively, for unwashed undergrads.—Eve Gleichman, 21, New York.

No. 125: It's okay for you to drink rosé. We know it's good.—Rose Farnsworth, 19, Nashville

No. 546: These days, with Facebook, chances are we know your favorite band well before our first drink with you. Something to keep in mind.—Robin Carol, 21, Eugene, Oregon

No. 673: Even we know this: The craziest girls are the ones who seem the most normal at first.—Aminata Dia, 22, San Jose, California

No. 737: Surprise field trips are the best, even if it's "guy stuff." If we roll our eyes, it doesn't mean we don't love the effort. —Amy Keller, 27, Chicago

No. 699: We say we love scary movies so we can cuddle up to you. —Alessia Viscomi, 21, Newton, Massachusetts

No. 595: Just because a model wore super-skinny jeans with pointy leather shoes and a plaid blazer doesn't mean that the ensemble is appropriate date attire for you. —Kellie Chung, 23, Boston

No. 880: If you call the movies "the cinema," we will only laugh. And laugh.—Dina Sanchez, 29, Brooklyn

No. 816: Seventy-five percent of the sounds we make during sex are purely for you. That's how much we care. —Rose Farnsworth, 19, Nashville

No. 914: Even if we're cool with your telling us a girl is hot, remember who you're coming home to. —Kourtney Cole, 22, Chino Hills, California

No. 859: We still like being asked on a proper date. —Robin Carol, 21, Eugene

No. 821: Even if we look sad, don't tell us that we look depressed.—Katie Knies, 22, North Salem, New York

No. 577: You should definitely buy us a drink. But know that it doesn't guarantee we'll stick around all night. —Aminata Dia, 22, San Jose California

No. 533: We agonize over text messages. For instance, a one-word response means you're not interested. Right?—Katie Knies, 22, North Salem, New York

No. 485: Though it might sound like it, Kegel exercises are not a military maneuver. —Marie Mackler, 58, Takoma Park, Maryland

No. 433: We think the clean-laundry smell of you in your undershirt is a thousand times more appealing than even the best cologne.—Dina Sanchez, 29, Brooklyn

*****

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - Calling Home Snippet #14

Hey beautiful people!

Another beautiful Sunday morning here in Mauritius. Life seems to be ebbing slow and calm lately, tiding us from one season into the other. Some things remain constant though... like Six Sentence Sunday.

I’m ready to sit down and browse some fine samples of writing from my fellow SSS posters – join me?

I’m taking you one final time to the Surrey mansion today... We’ve been with hunky doctor Jamie and uptight pathologist Margo for a good many weeks now,  but it’s time I let them go on this space, because another couple is screaming for their spotlight moment. As from April, we move to my upcoming release, and Book 2 of the Corpus Brides romantic suspense/espionage series. Change of pace from Calling Home (A Destiny’s Child Book)...

But today, we’re still with Jamie and Margo. Remember, in the past 2 weeks, Jamie proposed a singular kind of arrangement, and Margo was blindsided... Has she figured out what he’s just asked? Maybe this week, we’ll find out...


"Think about it," he said, his voice low and husky, terrifyingly male.

"What?"

"Emma; I can look after her."

She frowned while she recapped their conversation so far. "You want to be her—" she paused before saying the word—"nanny."

Jamie and that notion didn't go together; an image of the dowdy Mrs. Doubtfire flitted into her mind, and Margo couldn't quell her reaction - she laughed.


Don’t forget to check out my fellow Sixers today – good stuff in the works. Siobhan Muir, Sarah Balance, Lorraine Paton, JM Blackman, Jessica E. Subject, Cate Masters, Liz Crowe, among many others!

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Friday, March 23, 2012

Progress Friday - & the battle of the heroes!

Hey beautiful people!

Progress Friday post, but unfortunately, I don’t have any ms/WIP progress to report this week. I have been working on other stuff, mostly work-related, preferring to give my attention to some things and get them done with, instead of multitasking and getting nothing done. But next week, I should be free of other constraints, and the focus will be on the WIP (which is on deadline, btw... I need to remind myself of that...)

Anyhow, what am I posting about today then? There’s something going over the Net these days, called the Lucky 7 Meme. I’ve been tagged by a few people - *mad wave* at Christine Warner, JM Blackman, Lorraine Paton, Siobhan Muir, SK Whiteside, Sandra Bunino for tagging me in this one.

So the point of the Lucky 7 Meme is that you have to go to your WIP, head to page 77, paragraph 7 on the page, and then you post the next 7 lines.

I’m doing mine from Against The Odds, one of my WIPs currently on the backburner. The premise is this one – the hero, Magnus Trammell, is one of the most famous playboys of Europe. Summoned by his illustrious family to get back on the straight and narrow, he reluctantly heads to work at one of the Trammel haute jewellery stores. This is where he meets shrewish, sharp-tongued, and opinionated salesgirl Megha Saran. Sparks fly, but Megha has bigger fish to fry – she’s just been diagnosed with breast cancer.

This excerpt here is taken from the scene where Magnus comes to the hospital to see Megha right after her mastectomy (surgical excision of a/both breasts).

The nurse nodded. "Some people don't deal too well with anaesthesia. It's good she has you here with her."
He didn't reply, instead looking over at Megha.
"Visiting hours will be over soon. Do you want to stay?"
He turned to the nurse. "I thought only family members could stay over."
She frowned. "Oh, you're not..."
Her boyfriend. He shook his head. "I'm just a friend."
And maybe – just maybe – he wanted to be more...
What on earth was happening to him?

Now yesterday, fellow author & good friend of mine, Rebecca Royce, tagged me in the other version of the Lucky 7 Meme that is making its rounds on Facebook.

This one is for shorter works, and can be taken from a WIP, completed work, or even a published work from this year. Same principle, except that you head to Page 7, then paragraph 7, and post the next 7 lines.

Taken this time from my current WIP, Transient Hearts, which a contemporary Western romance set in Wyoming. The heroine, Shania Morea, is an Indo-Briton chef who’s been lured to Wyoming by a good friend under erroneous pretences, and who finds herself between a rock and a hard place as she’s already committed herself to teach the locals how to cook Indian sweets. Things move from bad to dire when the owner of the ranch on which she’s staying returns. Grayson Warner, a Forex broker in New York, is the prodigal son, who wants to be anywhere but in Wyoming. But life’s left him no other choice, and to move forward, he must face his past, and his demons.

This scene is taken from Shania’s first glance at Grayson (and if we’re friends on Facebook, you would’ve seen me post this earlier today).


The back of her neck prickled again, but this time with something else – physical awareness. She squinted in his direction, careful to conceal that she was overtly assessing him.

Tailored suit that hugged a lean yet broad physique; Italian loafers on medium-sized feet; big hands with well-cared-for nails; pale gold skin peeking above the collar of his crisp light-blue shirt; a chiseled jaw; thin-lipped mouth stretched in a smile as he gazed at Aurelia; a nose that was neither too sharp nor too soft; a shock of unruly dark hair, with wavy locks that broke from the swept-back style to brush his wide forehead; and in between his nose and forehead, the most beautiful eyes Shania had ever seen on a man. They slanted upwards at the outer corners, giving him an exotic look that hinted at Asian blood, and the irises were dark – brown or black, she wondered? – framed by thick lashes and topped by heavy, dark eyebrows.

Shania gulped. Character radiated off his face, and when she thought of his soft tone, she reckoned such a man wouldn’t need to raise his voice to be heard, or to make others listen.

So, battle of the WIP heroes! Who wins your vote?


Magnus of Against The Odds? (portrayed by the devastating Judas - actor Norman Reedus)

Or, Grayson from Transient Hearts? (portrayed by the sexy Ed Westwick aka Chuck Bass of Gossip Girl)

Chime in and let me know!

From Mauritius with love,
Zee

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Link Thursday: 10 Things Women Do Better Than Men

Hey peeps!


Let me say right off the bat that this is not a post bashing men! I'm all for equality and all that, but I'm not one of those feminists who say women are everywhere better than men. There's stuff women are great at and men totally suck at, and vice versa. In between the spectrum, you can find both sexes in marginal amounts.

That being said, this article was spot on with some issues. Check it out, and you'll agree with me. These are (mostly) based on fact and observation, so it's not male-bashing and women-glorifying.

The article is from Cosmopolitan, and I accessed it here on the MSN Living, Inspire section.

*****

10 Things Women Do Better Than Men


1. We evolve hotter.

A recent study revealed that women are getting better looking through evolution; meanwhile, men are staying the same. After following more than 2,000 people through four decades of life, the study showed that attractive women had 16 percent more children than average-looking chicks and that beautiful people are 36 percent more likely to have a daughter as their firstborn. All those gorgeous daughters mean more beautiful women than in past generations.

2. We survive car accidents more often.

This is sad but true: Men are 77 percent more likely to die in a car accident than women, according to a study done by Carnegie Mellon University. Our boyfriends should be thanking us when we nag them to "Wear your seatbelt!"

3. We're better at seeking comfort.

A Mind survey of 2,000 people revealed that women are far more likely than men to talk through their problems. Fifty-three percent of women talk to their friends about what's stressing them out, as opposed to 29 percent of men.

4. We're more recession-proof.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 80 percent of those who have lost their jobs since December 2007 have been men. Ouch. This could be because male-dominated fields have been hit the hardest, like manufacturing and finance. That really sucks...but hey, maybe it's time more men became nurses and educators.

5. We graduate college more often.

We already know that female enrollment is higher than male, but the Department of Education's statistics reveal that men are also less likely than women to graduate and get their bachelor's degrees. Men are also more likely to take longer than five years to complete their degree.

6. We eat healthier.

A survey of more than 14,000 people, conducted by the University of Minnesota, showed that women choose far healthier foods than men. While men are more likely to chow down on frozen pizza and red meat, women are piling fruits and veggies onto their plates. It all sounds pretty obvious, but we get so much grief for our chocolate addictions that we just had to point this one out!

7. We have stronger immune systems.

No wonder men act like such babies when they have a sniffle -- women really do have stronger immune systems than men! If there are little battles going on in our bodies, women have a secret weapon: estrogen. A study done by McGill University indicated that estrogen gives women an edge when it comes to fighting off infections. That's because estrogen confronts a certain enzyme that often hinders the body's first line of defense against bacteria and viruses.

8. We live longer.

Among the world's population of those who are over 100 years old, 85 percent are women, according to the New England Centenarian Study. In general, women continue to live five to 10 years longer than men as well.

9. We're better managers, especially in this economy.

This one is a little controversial, but a slew of experts are confident that women make greater bosses because they are better listeners, mentors, problem solvers, and multitaskers than their male counterparts. In a recent Daily News article, management expert Jay Forte said, "It's a very service-oriented economy [right now], so you need employees to be motivated. Women are better connectors than men and more astute about knowing how to activate passion in their employees."

10. We invest better.

A study of 100,000 portfolios showed that women's investment returns outperform men's, 18 percent to 11 percent. This could be because women are typically more cautious with their investment decisions and think longer term.


*****

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - Calling Home Snippet #13

Hey beautiful people!

It's a bright & sunny Sunday here in Mauritius - that perfect time just on the edges of summer and preparing for the cooler days of fall & winter. Ideal time to sit down in your front room with a cup of frothy coffee and a good read; from time to time, you look up and glance at the brilliant light outside and that's spilling through the French windows on your terrace. Hmmm, perfect for Six Sentence Sunday!

So, where were we with those excerpts? Still in Surrey, inside the double-fronted Victorian manor. We left hunky doctor Jamie Gillespie with uptight forensic pathologist Margo Nolan in Margo's kitchen last week. Margo's tween daughter, Emma, is causing some ripples in Margo's life, and Jamie's just proposed to help...

What will Margo reply?

The excerpt from last week was the cliffie ending of Chapter 3. Today, we move to the next six in the read - start of Chapter 4, Margo's POV.


'...
What is he asking? The soft pressure of his fingers on her knuckles blew another fuse in her rational brain.

Focus, Nolan; stop acting like a slow-witted airhead - she glanced up, her eyes searching for his.

Bad move; because a clump of functioning neurons went up in smoke when she encountered the dark brown depths of his eyes; expectation, and something else, swirled in them.

Heat...unabashed longing - Margo gulped; what did the bloke want, after all?

Concentrate. ...'


Don't forget to check the rest of the SSS posse list today - surefire goodies can be found at Siobhan Muir, Sarah Ballance, Jessica E. Subject, Christine Warner, Cara Bristol, & Sue, among many, many others! :)

Have a lovely Sunday, peeps!

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - Calling Home Snippet #12

Hey beautiful people!

It's a calm, quiet Sunday here. Weather is in limbo, trying to decide to stay summer-y or ease softly into fall & winter. Yes, I live in the southern hemisphere... *hear the sigh coming here...*

But anyhow, after a week that zipped by me on super-speed, I'm glad it's the weekend again, and I have a functioning Internet connection once again. Six Sentence Sunday is now a side-effect-free drug of choice for me, and I'm sure, for the rest of the participants too.

So where am I taking you this week? Back in Surrey, but no longer in the garden - we're now inside the mansion, where hunky doctor Jamie Gillespie lives in the front half... and in-over-her-head forensic pathologist and suddenly-a-mum-to-a-tween Margo Nolan is the other tenant and doing her best to cope with the situation.

An epic row has just taken place between the mother and daughter, after Emma's done a runaway act on her sitter and hiked alone to London and Margo's workplace. Jamie has a possible solution for Margo...

'...
A wild idea slipped through to his consciousness, and he paused.

Risky - he would be taking on a lot; the gain could be well worth the shot, though, and what did he have to lose?

Jamie breached the distance between them until he stood next to Margo; one by one, he unclenched her fingers from the railing, grasped her hands in his, and rubbed his thumbs over her stiff knuckles.

She made no move to escape his touch, and that fortified his resolve, or his recklessness.

He'd have the answer soon.

"Emma can stay with me, next door, after school, until you get home." ...'


Don't forget to catch the other SSS peeps today. Some if my surefire stops will be Siobhan Muir, Liz Crowe, JM Blackman, Jessica E. Subject, Sarah Ballance, Jennifer Lowery, Sue K, Christine Warner, DeAnna Felthauser, Cera duBois, & Tory Michaels.

Hope you're having a lovely Sunday! Thanks for dropping by, and double thanks if you leave me a comment. :)

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Friday, March 09, 2012

Progress Friday

Hey peeps!

TGIF? I'm ambivalent about this Friday. The week zipped by as if on fiber-optic cable transmission, and I saw the days pass me by without me able to park myself in my chair and get work done.

That being said, I did get some writing done. Transient Hearts jumped about 4K to clock in around 11K this week - all in all, not bad for 2 days' work this past week.

I'm back, somehow, on the routine that allows me to log off for a few hours in the morning and focus mainly on my writing, pushing my word count forward (a necessary evil when you're working on a deadline...). Seems like the routine is gelling once again, but I forgot that the time I devote to writing now used to be filled with social media/email attention. That's how I saw my inbox literally explode this week, and took today off to clear that pile up.

How do most writers write and be present on social media and attend to their communications and on top of it all, be wives and mums and daughters and friends?

Writer = Superbeing? I'm starting to wonder if that's the case. You need superhuman capacities to be present on all fronts and get all your jobs done. Unless you can have some minions... but most of us are not Queen Bees so tata, minion army...

Writer:- another definition for totally assumed multiple personality [dis]order?

What do you think?

Hope you all have a lovely weekend, peeps!

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Link Thursday: 14 So-Called Imperfections Women Obsess Over But Men Love

Hey peeps!

I'll admit I am puzzled half the time when my husband pays me a compliment. Why? Because his compliments come when I am least expecting them. For example, when I'm in sweats and the oldest T-shirt I own, without a hint of colour on my face. Or, when I'm wearing sneakers and not the peep-toe platform wedges that make me feel sexy as sin. And then I can be all dolled up to attend a wedding, and when he says I look 'nice', I can totally hear that he is saying that just to please me/he isn't any more affected than that by the look. And, he prefers me with glasses, not contacts.

So, based on that observation, it didn't come as a surprise to me when I stumbled upon this article. Yet, while we do know most men want a 'real' woman (yes, there are some out there not looking for the trophy wives, the Victoria's Secret Angels clones, the inflated airhead-y dolls), it never hurts to be reassured that what we sometimes see as down sides are actually pluses with our man.

I bet your heroine would love to know that too, and I'm sure your readers want to read about a woman 'just like them' who gets her HEA with the uber-handsome hero.

The article is taken from MSN Lifestyle, Love & Relationships section, and can be viewed in its original slideshow here. It's written by Meredith Turits.

***

14 So-Called Imperfections Women Obsess Over but Men Love


Step away from the mirror and stop agonizing over your alleged "imperfections." Why? Well, for one thing, you're gorgeous. And for another, the things you think are turn-offs are actually on guys' things-they-love-most-about-you list. Need proof? Read on!
by Meredith Turits

What Men Love: Your Lone Dimple
"My girlfriend has only one cheek dimple, which makes me love it even more."
—Philip, 24, New York City

What Men Love: Your Stretch Marks
"Stretch marks — especially on the hips … They're very personal and few men get to see them."
—Martin, 24, Boston

What Men Love: Your Gray Hair
"I find the strands of gray in my girlfriend's long, dark hair sexy. Silver and black are sexy. So is experience."
—Sean, 37, Brooklyn, N.Y.

What Men Love: Your Unique Nose
"Crooked noses, Roman noses … I like 'em. They give the face some character, and for some reason, I think they make a girl look smarter."
—Lucas, 34, Lexington, Ky.

What Men Love: Your Upper Arms
"I like girls who don't have muscular arms. I like squeezing them…it's fun to play with and makes them cuter."
—Steve, 24, New Brunswick, N.J.

What Men Love: Your Feminine Hips
"I've found that girls tend to be sensitive regarding fat on their hips even though I find it attractive and fun to feel and grab."
—Jon, 25, San Francisco

What Men Love: Your Curved Stomach
"While there's nothing wrong with a flat stomach, there's something beautifully feminine about that slight curve below the belly button."
—Ken, 33, New York City

What Men Love: Your Imperfect Eye
"When I was in college, I had a crush on a girl with an eye that had just a little bit of a drift. For some reason, it made her just that much hotter."
—Chris, 23, Baltimore

What Men Love: Your (Short) Height
"I love to spoon with short girls because they fit much better as the little spoon."
—Corbett, 27, Lawrence, Kans.

What Men Love: Your (Tall) Height
"I like tall girls. Long legs and perfect alignment!"
—Nelson, 31, New York City

What Men Love: Your Glasses
"I like it when a woman wears glasses. It tells me she's confident enough to know she's beautiful."
—Brian, 30, Sacramento, Calif.

What Men Love: Your Post-Baby Body
"The last girl I dated had a kid and disliked the fact that she had no hips, her boobs were 'ruined' from breast-feeding and that she had stretch marks. She had great hips and breasts, and the stretch marks were never an issue. A lot of women think they have 'imperfections' but I don't see them like that."
—Michael, 28, Kansas City, Mo.

What Men Love: Your Cellulite
"Cellulite. It's like rings on a tree stump or all those different hues you see when tipping a glass of really old red wine. I like it."
—Brian, 32, Brooklyn, N.Y.

What Men Love: Your Love Handles
"I'm normally not [explicitly] attracted to love handles, though the other day I saw a woman with them, and I had to leave so as not to get too lusty-eyed. If I think a woman is attractive or sexy, then she has no imperfections as far as I'm concerned."
—Zach, 27, Seattle

***

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - Calling Home Snippet #11

Hello beautiful people!

It appears like the super hot rush of summer is going away here - seasons changing and easing towards winter. Temps have gone down significantly, the wind is chillier... and my nose is giving me hell because of this change of the season. Ack.

So what better than to tuck down with a fuzzy afghan, a cup of hot coffee, and sensationally good reading aka Six Sentence Sunday? And yes, it's March, people! March!

Today, I'm taking you back to the Surrey mansion's garden. Wanna know how rational and cool & composed Margo fell hard and gave in to hunky Jamie's request that she come settle next-door to him? Read on. We left them last week with Margo spinning all sorts of sensual scenarios in her head.
Does Jamie know what he's doing to her? Many would say, he sure does!


'...
Margo looked up; bad mistake, because she saw into his eyes, able to imagine the spark of passion blazing in the dark depths with the glinting whiskey-gold flecks if he wanted her to surrender right then, she would, and she was sure he figured that out when she hitched a breath, and failed to conceal the sharp intake of air.

What is it you want, Jamie; what's with the mixed signals?

"Take it," he urged as his breath tickled her cheekbone; and she knew she shouldn't, because he embodied too much of a menace to all she was—even if he left in a few months, every day, every moment spent around him would bring jeopardy for her mind and heart.

"Margo, say yes."

His voice was a whisper, and if he stepped any closer, his lips would touch her cheek; Margo hitched in another breath, afraid to move, eager to move, because if she breathed too deeply, they'd touch  Don't say anything, Jamie.

"Please," he added. ...'


Catch the fantabulous SSS posse and their super snippets here. Thanks to all of you who visit every week; those of you who visit today; and those of you nice enough to leave me a comment. :)

Hope you're having a lovely weekend, peeps!

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Friday, March 02, 2012

Progress Friday

Hey peeps!

It's a cold, drizzly, and rainy afternoon here. The weather's gone from awful to good to back-awful again in the space of 2 days. Just yesterday, we were downing ice-cold drinks; today, I just left the hyenas with hot chocolate for their after-school snack in the kitchen (and got them out of my feet...).

So, absolutely dreary and awful outside, not looking too bright either inside. You see, I have a word count, but it was supposed to be much better. I stumped and stalled on Chapter 2, and in getting better acquainted with the characters and listening to them talk to me, I lost precious time and energy. *argh*

Anyhow, there has been some progress. I went from 0 to nearly 8K on the WIP of Transient Hearts. Not too shabby, but I really should've been able to clock over 10K and have 2 completed chapters right now.

*sigh* Oh well, there's always next week, right?

Looking forward to a quiet and stress-free weekend now... and hopefully I will get it, because this is the only request I've made to the boys this year... (yes, tomorrow is that special day... *grin*).

What are ye all up to?

Wish me perseverance and inspiration for next week, peeps. I'm gonna finish this WIP in March even if it kills me!

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Link Thursday: 10 Commandments for Texting A Guy

Hey peeps!

I was browsing through the links' folder today, and found this one. It was rather relevant to me because one of the characters I'm writing right now is a cell-phone addict, and she's always texting, FB-in, Tweeting, from her smartphone.

So if this girl was out there in the real world, and she was texting guys, what would be the rules?

As I ponder how to possibly giver her a story further down the line, I figured most young women out there today at some point or the other would end up texting a guy. What to do? What not to do? Read on to find out!

The article is a slideshow from MSN Lifestyle, Love & Relationships section, and is written by John Ortved. You can find the original slideshow here.

*****

10 Commandments for Texting a Guy


Ever wonder if you're going wrong with your texts? These ten rules could help set your texting behavior straight, especially when it comes to dealing with dudes.
by John Ortved

1. Thou Shalt Not Drink and Text
You think it's better than a drunk dial, that you're being all coy and witty. We know better. Drunk texting doesn't put you at an advantage - it takes away your leverage.
 
2. Thou Shalt Not Play (Word) Games

We're not talking about wordplay, we're talking about pretending you didn't get the text or ignoring them, or letting people see them who you know should not; it's immature and just plain mean.

3. Thou Shalt Not Get Into It

Text is not the forum for conveying serious or nuanced information. Don't get into a debate about the relationship over text. Don't ask us to explain ourselves over text. Don't ask us where we think this thing is going over text. Bad idea. Be real. Have those conversations in person.

4. Thou Shalt Not Sext
 
The Internet is a big place. And it's going to be around for a long time. And it's full of perverts. There will be fallout. And potentially super-unpleasant days for your dad at work.

5. Thou Shalt Not Break Up Over Text

If you ever think that ending things over a text message is warranted, or acceptable, you should probably be spending less time with your phone and more with books, specifically Emily Post.

6. Thy Texts Shall Have A Point

"I am watching a show about Komodo dragons" is not useful information. It is a waste of precious binary code. And if the recipient doesn't have some kind of unlimited plan, a waste of money, too. Unless, however, he happens to be really into Komodo dragons.

7. Thou Shalt Not Leave Out Essential Details

"I'm on my way," is a very different text than "I'm on my way with my parents and my brother who loves ninjas." The latter prepares us, and allows us to down a few martinis, or escape. The former makes us really happy, and then destroys that happiness as we try to smile during your sibling's discussion of the bo staff versus the katana blade.

8. If Thy Texts Fall Out Of Rhythm, Thou Shall Not Expect Dancing

Everyone has a texting rhythm. If you're used to him replying within the hour, you can't freak out when he doesn't get back to you in 15 minutes. If you're both used to responses within 10 minutes, he can't whine if you don't respond in 5. If you're used to him replying right away, all the time, well, be prepared for some fights.

9. Thou Shalt Receive What Thou Dish Out
 
Texting is, in many ways, no different than conversation. If you're rude, you can't take exception to a guy being rude back. Same goes for you being flouncy, aggressive or vulgar.

10. Thou Shalt Observe Thy Surroundings

This only has so much to do with guys. If you're having a nice date, or chill conversation, maybe it's not the best time to text your friends. If you're in a movie, it can be distracting for other people in the theater. If you're driving, it's just plain dangerous.

Most, if not all of these, have to do with respect, which has to do with our attitudes and outlook, and not just toward communication technologies. There's no need to follow any of these 10 commandments to the letter, as long as you're following the golden rule (do unto others….).

*****

From Mauritius with love,

Zee
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