Saturday, February 25, 2006

Article: Start the New Year Off Right in Your Relationship

Start the New Year off Right in Your Relationship
by Toi Moore

In order to start the new year off right in your relationship, you have to learn how to take the other person's feelings into consideration. I believe that people should treat you the way they want to be treated, no matter who they are, your husband, mother, children, family members, or friends. If you allow someone to disrespect you, or treat you in ways you're unhappy with, they'll continue doing it, and you'll continue being unhappy and upset. So, speak your mind and eliminate stress, even if it means eliminating the person who's causing it.

Granted happily ever after doesn't always happen, even in a marriage, but life would sure be easier if it did. Sometimes we come home after having a bad day and take our pain or frustrations out on the person closest to us, which is normally your mate. Now ladies, oftentimes most of our bad days are due to those PMS days. But I've learned to give everyone around me fair warning that it is that "time of the month." By giving fair warning, I'm advising everyone to give me the needed space and let me have my day, or two, or three, to deal with my mood swings. Once you give fair warning, everyone is on their own. Ladies, try to stay to yourself during those moody periods to avoid any unnecessary blow ups you may regret.

If you feel that those mood swings have given you the permission to be a bitch, you've gotten it all wrong! Remember, you wouldn't want someone to treat you like a bitch, so don't dish out something you can't handle in return! Remember the ole saying; "It takes one to know one!" So, don't be one! When you feel that you can't be nice, or treat people with kindness and respect, then be the lady I know you can be and back away, while giving yourself the necessary space to get it together. However, if your PMS symptoms last more than a few days and become uncontrollable, you need some serious help. So, go see a doctor and get the help you need instead of being a bitch and giving a bad rap for other women who are just having a bad day! No one wants to put up with a bitch. Not even you!

This excerpt is taken from celebrity author TOI MOORE'S new book, Unbreakable - A Guide to Understanding Marriage & Relationships. This book is also written with her husband, Earth, Wind & Fire guitarist, GREGORY MOORE. Together, this celebrity couple share their most intimate details with the world and how they've been able to keep their love lasting for over twenty years. This book explores the female view, verses the male view. You decide which view works for you. If you want to hear more details, you can buy their book for ONLY $10.00, with FREE shipping and handling for limited time only. Visit their website:, or send a check or money order to: TM Publications, PO Box 443, Colton, CA 92324. The couple is also available for speaking and public appearances by calling (909) 410-5151. You have permission to print or quote this article in its entirety, INCLUDING tag lines.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Short Short :: Rewriting the Ex-Factor

Rewriting the Ex-Factor
By shon

I spit chocolate caramel latte into the face of a man I thought I would never see again. He grabs a napkin from my table and wipes at his honey-colored skin, catching the latte before it drips onto his charcoal Armani suit. Somehow, I manage to go from a nervous woman who hopes her blind lunch date will be the man of her dreams, to a dribbling mute who believes she must have dated every man in New York in order to circle back to Chuck Peterson, the ex-love of her life.

Let me back track. At 25, I was in love. I cut my hair short because Chuck felt women wore long hair to compensate for some outer flaw. I took up running and died through four marathons for Chuck. I stopped calling my mother, for Chuck. Calling more than once a month showed dependency. He didn’t like dependency, unless it was to him. My dependency to him moved him to another woman, my ex-best friend. Fast forward six years, three days, and twenty hours—not that I’m counting. There I am, sitting at a table, with whipped cream on my chin, watching Chuck reenter my life.

Chuck tells me about his partnership at the law firm and his new condo in Manhattan. I rest my chin atop my fisted hand and listen to a voice that used to read me Yeats before bed. He goes on to tell me about a blind date he had last week with a woman who didn’t believe in shaving her legs and arm pits.

“Is that a reason to sit here and crap on her?” I ask.

“I’m not crapping on her, Dachelet. I just prefer women who practice good hygiene.”

“Hmm, how did she know you were clean?”


“Seriously. That lovely Armani suit could cover your funk.”

Chuck opens his mouth, and a belly-dwelling laugh resonates from him.

“I forgot how you always have to act up and have the last word,” he says.

I stare at him, and then reply, “So.”

“See,” he says, pointing at me. “And you know you would never be seen in public with hairy legs and pits with hair long enough to cornrow.”

I choke on my latte. “You right, but to each his…or her own.”

“Speaking of good hygiene,” Chuck says, “you look and smell great. Even grew your hair out.”

“I’m hiding my outer flaw really well with this hair.”

Chuck frowns and for a second, I feel like I’ve hurt his feelings.

“So, how are you doing?” he asks.

“Pretty good. I’m editor for Horizon’s new chick lit imprint. I get to read stories about great women who fumble through their lives looking for better jobs, long relationships and good sex until the long relationship arrives.”

“Fiction better than fact these days?”

“Fiction is way better than fact these days,” I answer. “But I do live a wonderful, imaginary life through the characters I edit.” I laugh. “I guess that’s something.”

“No,” Chuck argues. “Can’t beat fact.”

“How would you know?”

“I’ve experienced the better job, long relationship and good sex…all at once.”

I think about Sarah, the man-stealing tramp.

“When?” I ask, a little too eagerly.


That one syllable lifts the hairs on the nape of my neck. I can’t decide if what I’m feeling is attraction, remembrance, or anger.

“Why did you leave me, Dachelet?” Chuck asks me, his voice soft and fuzzy like nostalgia.

I bristle, but his voice keeps me from flipping the table over and throttling him. “Leave you?” I repeat. “You mean when I caught you with Sarah?”

“No, like when you broke up with me the week before you caught me with Sarah.”

“What?” I scoot my chair closer to Chuck. “I didn’t break up with you. Are you getting me confused with your other conquests?”

“Nope. You broke up with me. We got into a fight over you wanting to call your mother for the fifteenth time in one day. You told me I was suffocating you. Told me to go to hell and find another doll to manipulate.”

“I didn’t call my mom fifteen times a day,” I mumble. “Besides, how many times did I say, Chuck, leave me alone; this isn’t working?”

“Exactly. You became the girl who cried wolf, Dachelet. Didn’t it dawn on you that I left you alone for a whole week?”

“No. Once, we stopped talking for two weeks, Chuck. Two weeks.”

Chuck laughs, but the sound is hollow. “I love you, but you are one crazy chick, girl. Stop trying to live in your fictitious world and remember the facts, Dachelet.

“You told me to leave, for like the tenth time; I left. You came to my apartment; you found me with Sarah. Grant it, that wasn’t the best person to fall in bed with…”

“You think?”

“…and I probably should have waited a while before dealing with yet another crazy female, but for you it was over when you found me with Sarah; for me, it was over when you asked me to leave.”

A shrill sound fills the silence. Chuck answers his cell and talks for a few seconds before groaning and hanging up.

“I’m late for a meeting,” he says. He pulls money from his wallet and places it on the table. When he gets up, he drops a kiss on my forehead. “Sorry to run off like this, especially after…”

“It’s okay,” I say, waving my hand in the air. “Duty calls.”

“Will you call me?”

Confusion rattles in my skull, but when I look at Chuck, I nod. “Yeah. Same number?”

He offers me a slight smile. “Some things never change,” he replies. “Give me a call. We’re not finished with this.”

He turns and leaves, and I watch him go, speed walking through the throng of bustling people. When he disappears, I realize that I need to reexamine the story of my life for accuracy and make sure I don’t lose the hero.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Buzzworthy: Babylon Sisters by Pearl Cleage

Catherine Sanderson seems to have it all: a fulfilling career helping immigrant women find jobs, a lovely home, and a beautiful, intelligent daughter on her way to Smith College. What Catherine doesn’t have: a father for her child– and she’s spent many years dodging her daughter’s questions about it. Now Phoebe is old enough to start poking around on her own. It doesn’t help matters that the mystery man, B.J. Johnson–the only man Catherine has ever loved–doesn’t even know about Phoebe. He’s been living in Africa.

Now B.J., a renowned newspaper correspondent, is back in town and needs Catherine’s help cracking a story about a female slavery ring operating right on the streets of Atlanta. Catherine is eager to help B.J., despite her heart’s uncertainty over meeting him again after so long, and confessing the truth to him–and their daughter.

Meanwhile, Catherine’s hands are more than full since she’s taken on a new client. Atlanta’s legendary Miss Mandeville–a housekeeper turned tycoon–is eager to have Catherine staff her housekeeping business. But why are the steely Miss Mandeville and her all-too-slick sidekick Sam so interested in Catherine’s connection to B.J.? What transpires is an explosive story that takes her world–not to mention the entire city of Atlanta–by storm.

From the New York Times bestselling author of What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day... comes another fast-paced and emotionally resonant novel, by turns warm and funny, serious and raw. Pearl Cleage’s ability to create a gripping story centered on strong, spirited black women and the important issues they face remains unrivaled.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

My daughter is upstairs weeping. She’s been up there in her room for three days, six hours, and thirty-two minutes, weeping. For three days, five hours, and forty-one minutes, I indulged her. A broken heart may not be as visible as chicken pox but the scars are just as bad. So I listened and I commiserated and I clucked sympathetically while she examined and reexamined every detail of her first love’s betrayal. I took her meals upstairs on a tray, made tea to soothe her nerves and mine, and resisted every opportunity to say, “Phoebe, my darling, I told you he wasn’t for you in the first place.” The last thing you need in the throes of first heartbreak, when you’re still not sure you’ll survive it, is to hear the absolute, unvarnished truth spoken for the second time by your mother, who first uttered the words when you brought the young, betraying fool home and confessed, Oh, Mama, I think he’s the one!

He was never the one. He was handsome and interesting and sexy and as serious as she was about saving the world by next Tuesday at the very latest. He was also way too full of the blazing sexual energy of his emerging manhood to be anybody’s one for very long. But at seventeen, how was she supposed to know? She handed him her heart, and everything else that wasn’t tied down, and they were inseparable from October of her junior year until June, when they had to go their separate ways for the summer. She was determined not to let distance destroy their relationship, but once they were apart he seemed to be drifting away from her, and neither one knew what to do about it. After a summer of long-distance spats and tearful reconciliations, he confessed via a long e-mail that he had fallen in love with someone else and closed with a wish that they could always be friends.

That was three days ago, and I’m still sympathetic. I am her mother, after all, and I do love my child. But it was time for her to dry her eyes and blow her nose and get herself together. Nobody ever really dies of a broken heart except in the movies, and it is my opinion, motherhood aside, that more than three days in mourning for the demise of a relationship with any man is unseemly, not to mention a real strain on the women who have to help you through it. It was time for her to segue from self-pity to self-examination by asking the all-important question: What is the lesson here for me? Although it is deceptively simple, this question cuts to the heart of the matter because it turns that trembling, accusatory finger you’re pointing at everybody else right back around to yourself. My darling daughter had spent enough time blaming her boyfriend. Now it was time for her to look at what she could have done differently to avoid this painful moment.

When she was younger, I would consider the lesson question with her so she’d begin to understand how it always leads to the heart of the matter. When she got older, I would just remind her to ask it, then leave her to think about the answer all by herself. That’s what I intended to do tonight. She could review and evaluate her choices while she finished packing and I finished returning three days’ worth of phone calls. I love having my office at home, and since Phoebe went off to boarding school two years ago, it’s been not only convenient, but quiet, the last seventy-two drama-filled hours notwithstanding.

I’d better enjoy it while I can. Phoebe’s going to college next year. She’s got her heart set on Smith, and the Seven Sisters have never been a place for bohemian mothers living on a budget to send their darling daughters. It looks like after all these years of stretching my little inheritance and living by my wits, I’m actually going to have to break down and get a full-time job where somebody else signs the check and covers the health insurance. I’m going to try to keep some of my longtime clients. Most of them can’t afford to hire anybody half as good as I am, and they’ve never needed me more.

Head to to purchase YOUR copy of Cleage's latest today!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Amanda Hubbard's column: To the Write Path

In every issue of SisterDivas, aspiring-to-be-published author, AMANDA HUBBARD offers her experience on the journey to the ultimate 'paradise': PUBLISHDOM. Check out the latest entry in Amanda's journey!

Amanda Hubbard is from Enumclaw, Washington. After writing for several years, she’s decided to turn her love into more than just a past-time. At 23 and recently married, she’s working on finding an agent with the hopes of becoming a published novelist. She writes both romance and young adult. If you'd like to contact Amanda, e-mail her!


Waiting is the worst part of trying to get published. Want an agent? Send them a letter, and be prepared to wait two months. Want to be published? Send them a submission, and then forget about it, because it’ll be a long time before you hear back.

I’m not bitter about this; I think it comes with the territory. There are thousands upon thousands upon thousands of writers out there trying to make it. The fact that you can be looked at by just about any agent or editor (assuming they are open to submissions) is pretty remarkable. They’ll give you a minute or two of their time and look over your query letter. If it’s good, they’ll ask to see more, and could potentially invest hours of their time to read your stuff. You’re not paying them for their time, either. These experienced professionals are looking at your stuff for free and telling you if they think it’s any good.

So as a writer, you better get used to waiting. Hopefully, you get lucky and it’s only weeks instead of months. Hopefully, in the end, you have a publishing contract, and the waiting part means you’re waiting to see your book on a shelf somewhere.

For me, I’m waiting on all sorts of things. One of them is the book proposal I mentioned in my last column. I found out that a publisher was looking for authors to write for a series that they created. This means that it is a ‘packaged’ deal. They decide what the pay is, and they retain all the rights. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Gossip Girls, both very popular Young Adult series, were both created this way.

I submitted a proposal for a series about high school girls who sign up for a semester abroad. I wrote three chapters plus a two thousand-word synopsis. My critique partner and I nitpicked it as much as possible, fixing even the tiniest things, and then I sent it off.

Less than two weeks later, I arrived at home to find a medium sized white package on my stoop. When I saw that the return address was the publisher, I freaked, trying to rip open the impenetrable material that is Tyvek. Eventually, I found a knife, slit the envelope open, and out dropped a book. It was the third book in the series about study abroad girls. With the book was a letter from the editor, and to my delight, it was a revision letter.

The editor told me that she’d “found a lot to like” and that my tone was “just right for the series.” Some of my plot points, outlined in the synopsis, felt a little negative, and she was worried that the young heroine didn’t learn as much about herself during the semester. She invited me to revise and resubmit, taking her concerns into account.

I’ve never been more ecstatic in my life. Actual compliments from an editor astounded me. I raced off, worked through the revisions for the next week, and then emailed them off again. And now, I wait. Thanks to the holidays, things are slow. It’s been about six weeks, but I’m hoping that I’ll hear back in the next two weeks or so.

On another note, thanks to this revision letter, I’ve been in contact with a really wonderful literary agent. Although nothing is official, I’m hopeful that we’ll end up working together. Our first phone call was a bit of a debacle- first I gave her the wrong phone number, then the power went out and my cordless died! Talk about a nightmare-come-true.

I talked with the agent about another project I’m working on, about a group of twenty-something singles, and their jet-set lifestyle. She liked the idea, so I’ve been pouring my time into writing it, hoping to distract myself from my previous proposal.

In any case, I should have plenty to report in my next column, so stay tuned. Will I get a yes or no on my proposal? Will I sign with this agent? And if I do, will she like my finished novel enough to pitch it to some publishers?

See you next time. Same Bat-time, Same Bat-place.

Check out our relationship column, Dear ReRe!

Dear ReRe is SisterDivas' quarterly relationship column, and in every issue, ReRe brings it to readers REAL and with feeling. Check out one of the latest "issues" going on in the life of a SisterDiva:

Dear ReRe,

I have a big problem. I'm practically a newlywed, been married for less than a year, and my husband and I are constantly at each other's throats. Even before we were married, we argued, but the arguments have just increased from the time before the wedding 'til now. To make matters worse, a few weeks ago, I was on our laptop, typing up a resume, and I found out that he's been chatting on a few "friend" sites and stating that he's single and looking to meet women interested in a relationship. His e-mail inbox was full of responses from women. He "cheated" on me before with internet flings before we were married, and he swore he would never do it again. I believed him. I've been trying hard not to show my anger, to show my depression at my husband, but I'm at the point now where I'm ready to just walk away and say I made a mistake with this marriage.

To Flee or Not to Flee

To Flee or Not to Flee,

I wish I could sit you on the couch and talk more about your dilemma. So many questions are popping up into my head. Did you want to get married? Were you in love with your husband before you married? Why do you think you two argue so much? If I had to be real, and I'm nothing BUT that, I would tell you it's time to kick hubby to the curb. He betrayed your relationship prior to the marriage and now that you two are married, and not even for a year, he's back to his old tricks--that's if he ever gave them up to begin with. Whether you stay or not solely depends on you, and no matter what you choose, you still should get to the bottom of all this. Talk to him. Demand the truth. Demand to know what's going on in his head, to see why he's doing this. Be honest, too. Tell him exactly how you feel and what you want out of a marriage. Go to counseling if you want to salvage the marriage. The point is to do what YOU need to do to be happy in the long run. If you think you can leave with a man who says he will love you before all others and yet lies and cheats, go for it. If you want something better for yourself, cut him loose and find someone who is deserving of you.