When Noelle Harrison meets Clark Johnson on her way out the church doors, she immediately discerns that his kindness is not appropriate for a married woman. Already we can see Noelle struggling. Should she go out to lunch with the young, fine, Clark? He claims he just wants to be friends, is that possible? Can a married woman be friends with another man without romance being involved? This is the question I asked myself as Clark and Noelle made plans for lunch.
The plot thickens as we discover that Mr. Wayne Harrison is a workaholic who is always away on business. In fact, he is so busy that he practically ignores Noelle’s cries for attention and is not as helpful with their two sons as he should be. Frustrated with being ignored, Noelle continues to go on lunch dates with Clark while struggling to hold onto her integrity. Clark wants Noelle and he wants her bad. She has taken over his mind and is now all he thinks about. Noelle has no idea the kind of life altering decision a simple lunch date can be.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. For me, it has a mixture of everything. Of course, there’s the serious question of fidelity and married life but there’s also drama and laughs (Clark’s a bit of a crybaby. I am sure that’s him smiling on the cover.) When things got deep my heart broke for each of the main characters (Noelle, Wayne, Clark) at different points in the story. It reminded me of how precious marriage is but also how important it is not to play around with someone’s heart. The Love Labyrinth is a smooth read, not too fast and not too slow with some well-developed characters.
When you comment on a post that interests you (or disinterests you) on other blogs, it introduces you to that blogger and everyone else who sees your comment. If they’ve been blogging awhile, rest assured they will click on your name and check out your blog (Do be sure your name is linked to your blog. Jason Cushman explains how to do so HERE.)
Here’s a screenshot of an example. Even though the name of my blog is Pearls Before Swine when I comment what shows up is my actual name and photo so that it is understood immediately who I am and what I look like (in real life). Click on my name and it will take you to my blog.
It’s a Reminder
I follow over 400 blogs over the course of the three years I’ve been blogging. There’s no way I can keep track of them all and I won’t pretend as if I do. I don’t like or comment on everyone’s post. It’s just impossible. Likewise, bloggers that follow me don’t get to see and interact with my every post. I’m not crying about it.
There is a way to remind others that you exist and it is by supporting their blogs.
When you drop a comment on someone’s blog they are reminded of your support and will undoubtedly want to return the favor. I’m not saying be fake with your commentary. I am saying that support begets support. When people I don’t know comment on my blog, I click on their profiles and visit their blogs. I may even decide to follow said blog. In most cases, I do.
It Connects You / Builds Genuine Relationships
Commenting in the world of the Internet is the same as being involved in a conversation. Commenting on other blogs helps you to make a connection with others. It’s good because you don’t just connect with the home blogger, you also connect with their followers. It’s a form of genuine relationship building. You may discover you write in the same genre, both are allergic to something, both love the same foods, colors, both love History, etc. You may even want to join the same groups. I have connected to many of you better because of you commenting on my posts. We have in turn followed each other’s blogs, joined the other’s email list, bought the other’s books, and know more about one another. All because of commenting on the other’s blog.
Adds Value / Authority
When you leave comments on other blogs, it helps to add value and authority to your blog via search engines by way of back-links, which generates traffic. Here is Backlinks explained by the Shout Me Loud Blog:
“Backlinks are incoming links to a web page. When a web-page links to any other page, it’s called a back-link. In the past, back-links were the major metric for the ranking of a web page. A page with a lot of back-links tended to rank higher on all major search engines, including Google. This is still true to a large extent. Here is a glossary of common terms related to back-links that you should know:
Link Juice: When a web page links to any of your articles or your website’s homepage, it passes “link juice”. This link juice helps with the ranking of the article, and also improves the domain authority.
Commenting on other blogs brings more traffic to your site because of link juice and can lead to more subscribers. This is especially true if you leave detailed, well-thought out comments because it is a glimpse into the kind of content that can be found on your blog. Again, if the blogger is like me he/she will be inclined to click on your name (which you would have connected to your blog site) and check out your blog to discover more about you.
Combined these elements can help your blog to grow by:
Increasing Traffic / Views
Increasing Blog Subscribers
Before we go, make sure:
You don’t go around randomly commenting on people’s post after reading this. There is no right way or wrong way to blog but I have learned that such things as this must be genuine to work so don’t be fake, people can tell.
Your blog name is actually a name. Either your business name, Sara, Ann, Brandon, or Bob. Not 123_T or Princess_456.
Link your name with your blog so that when people click it this will take them to your blog. Learn how HERE.
Add an image to your gravatar. Preferably, a company logo or head-shot. I find human images better because it’s already difficult to trust people over the internet. Being transparent from the beginning by showing an updated image of your real self (Company Logos are good too) goes a long way. This is especially true if you’re an Independent Author. A brand tip is to make sure your author image and author name is the same across all your social platforms. I had to recently update mine so I am only saying this because I’m not very good at branding myself. I am working on it however and my first step was to go back through my social’s and ensure they all have the same image so that I am easy to find. I changed them all to the same picture and will also not keep changing them.
Make sure there’s a FOLLOW BUTTON on your blog so that when people are exploring and they like what they find they can follow you in the easiest and quickest way possible.
Note: The headline to this post has been changed to 5 Ways. When I first drafted it, I only had 4 ways. I’ve just went back over it and see there are five bullet points. I have not changed the link (which still says 4 ways) because this post has already been reblogged. Please excuse the miscount.
REMINDER: I still need your Thunderclap support! Help me reach 100 Supporters before July 15th. It’s free, easy, and only takes a second. We’re almost there!
True relationships are not scheduled, planned, and coordinated. True relationships are natural occurrences and are not forced. They blossom from a genuine pull towards that person. It is a connection of energy built upon similar states of mind. It is when two people share the same opinion without an agenda. Building relationships is not a strategy we can put into our pockets and hope will guarantee us some kind of success. Relationships instead are bonds that formed either from tragedy or triumph. Relationships in whatever form that they come rather a man to woman, a business partnership or author to reader, are built upon the vibration of similar frequencies. Humble people do not talk about their own humility just as generous people do not think they are very generous. That is because it is an innate natural characteristic that is real. Real relationships are just the same. They do not consciously seek out the other rather they are connected organically through similar thought processes and experiences. It is when two or more people are drawn to work together because they sense a connection. It is when you don’t have to convince that person that you’re genuine because their energy feels yours. It is not sitting at the cool kid’s table in hopes of being liked but rather letting the silent pull of another’s heart find yours.
When Jason and Kathy Miller marries in June of 1985, they are in total bliss. As any young couple is they are happy and giddy and excited to start their lives together. They are so happy in fact, that even at the beginning I knew things would not be all peaches and cream.
Twenty years and three children later and the fire dies. Once happy-go-lucky Kathy is starting to feel unfulfilled. The life of a Housewife is now just her duty where it had once been so much more. It had once been fun. Now that the children are older, Kathy seeks work to rekindle the excitement in her life but her husband is not pleased.
Jason can’t understand why his wife is so discontent and is unsure of Kathy’s love for him. After revealing that she’d like to start work, Jason is not happy but leaves it to Kathy to make the decision. She decides to work and though it makes her feel like she has a purpose, things do not get better.
When Kathy meets the owner of the Giordano’s restaurant where she works, everything she felt she was missing in Jason is handed to her on a gorgeous silver platter. Kathy is feeling Antonio Giordano and as hard as she tries to fight it, she begins to change and so does her marriage.
Jason notices the change in his wife and their relationship gets worse as they are met with trials that can threaten all the years they’ve built.
I like how Deborah let us into the not-so-good parts of marriage and the realness of Jason and Kathy’s feelings concerning their responsibility in the relationship. The author developed the persona of the characters well so that it is easy to see them as real people. I enjoyed being able to know what each person was thinking, how they were wrong about the other and ways in which they were right.
I think not having open discussions about marital issues causes a lot of people to feel alone like Kathy. Alone in the sense that others are not having the same kinds of problems but as those who are married know, we all have them!
The truth is that marriage is not all rainbows and sunflowers. If couples aren’t careful they can find themselves getting too comfortable and start to slack off in those areas that attracted them to each other in the first place. This is because not a lot of people realize how much work goes into a marriage. Once someone becomes a part of your life in such an intimate way, the relationship evolves and must be nurtured to grow. If a relationship is not growing it is dying. There is no middle ground.
Kathy is representative of many women who feel differently after children, especially if they are stay-at-home moms and have focused so many years on raising children and taking care of husbands that they forget how important their own self-care is. I think this is why it’s so important for women, wives, and mothers, in particular, to give themselves the same kind of love and attention that they give out. If you aren’t right mentally, spiritually, or physically you cannot be of help to your family or anyone else around you. Don’t forget to take care of you!
Jason is representative of many men who get comfortable as well in the relationship. Too caught up with work that they don’t realize how they are neglecting their wives in little ways and because men and women think differently, chances are he is not seeing it that way and thinks all is well. This is also why communication is so important. A lot of misunderstanding could have been resolved if Jason and Kathy told each other how they were truly feeling.
As promised, welcome to the resurgence of Movie Night Friday. Whoop Whoop! If you’re new to this blog, please visit the Movie Night Friday Page HERE and then take a look at last week’s post HERE.
Since this is the first week of our return, I decided I won’t go in hard. For our welcome back I decided to choose a movie that’s light and fun. One that is entertaining but also has many lessons that we can learn from. It’s been a minute since I’ve seen it but don’t worry, doggie and me was more than happy to re-watch it for you. To be transparent, I am watching it as I am writing this.
There aren’t many movies I watch just for entertainment but I do love this one (I’m a sucker for all black casts! Gotta love my people). Probably one of Terrance Howard’s funniest roles, let’s jump right in shall we?
“Harper Stewart (Diggs) is a young man living in Chicago with his beautiful and devoted girlfriend, Robyn (Lathan). However, Harper has a professional life as an author and is on the verge of a major breakthrough. He is hesitant about committing to a woman. Harper’s debut novel, Unfinished Business, has been selected by Oprah’s Book Club, pretty much guaranteeing him a bestseller.
Harper travels to New York City, where his best friend, Lance (Chestnut), who is a running back for the New York Giants, is getting married to a young lady named Mia (Calhoun), who is also an old friend of Harper’s. Harper is picked up at the airport by his friend, Murch (Perrineau), and they catch up in the car. Eventually, they meet up with Jordan (Long), Harper’s old what-could-have-been female friend who has obtained an advanced copy of his book and has been passing it around their inner circle of friends. Due to its autobiographical nature, Harper never intended for any of them to read “Unfinished Business” prior to the wedding.”
A romantic comedy, the movie surrounds the friendship between Harper and Lance leading up to his wedding. Harper is Lance’s Best Man and the movie deals with the tension building up to the point where Lance reads the book written by Harper and the truth concerning his perfect little Mia. Stupidly, Harper has laid out all the juicy details in his book.
What I love about this movie is that it has laughs, drama, and a message. It is not a movie I watch all the time anymore but whenever I need to relax to a laugh I put it on. Here are some bullet points and dear authors, don’t be Harper.
#1. Never write a fictional book based on real life events that you don’t want to get out.
This was by far the stupidest thing ever. First off, everyone knew who was who in the book, so even though Harper tried disguising the individuals, it was still apparent who they were. Harper, these are your college friends you still keep in touch with. They know you well. Did you really think they wouldn’t know who they were? People, if you want to air your dirty laundry then just do it. Don’t write a book about it.
#2. Ladies, don’t be controlling!
Murch and Shelby’s relationship is annoying. It’s annoying because the woman is controlling and the man is too weak to call her on it. We are supposed to be there to support our men, to stand by them, and to help them, not to control their every move. Men are natural leaders. Let them lead!
#3. Don’t Judge
Candy was a stripper yes but she ended up being the perfect match for Murch.
#4. Don’t be a hypocrite
One minute Lance is quoting the bible and the next he’s giving Harper permission to cheat.
#4. You are not in control
The more we try to control what is beyond our reach, the more mistakes we are bound to make. Everything also happens for a reason. If Lance would have never found out, maybe Harper would not have appreciated Robyn the way he did in the end and the information could have come up later in Lance marriage and destroyed it.
#6. Be forgiving
Lastly, no matter what you go through in your relationship, be forgiving. Robyn could have walked out on Harper and Lance could have walked out on Mia.
Forgiveness is powerful not just because of how it changes the individual but how it changes everyone involved. You are not forgiving just for their sake, but for yours. Forgiveness is powerful because what goes around, comes around. The energy you put out will come back. It’s inevitable. If you want to be forgiven of your mistakes, then you must be willing to forgive others. It’s the only way.
As I did before, here’s the trailer to The Best Man and no, I do not recommend Best Man Holiday. As much as I love this movie I did not like the sequel. Not only do I not celebrate holidays but part two was just …whack. Some movies cannot be remade.
Whatta man whatta man whatta man, what a mighty good man!
I wanna dedicate today’s 90s Jam to my hubby! OK so, yesterday was a suppperr busy day. Like, it didn’t even make any sense. So, I was still working when Moshe (hubby) got home and made dinner for us. I mean, he throw down anyway so it’s nothing new but he was so sweet about it. Made me go awwuee! PLUS he barbecued and it was so bomb.
I chose three of my favorite pics (well, I have more favorites but these are what I could find right now). The first is in Texas in 2010. The second is in Jamaica in 2012. That raised eyebrow of his is hilarious. The last one was last year, I begged him to take a selfie (or in this case, a us-ee lol)
Without further ado here is Salt N Pepa Whatta Man…
“I want to take a minute or two, and give much respect due
To the man that’s made a difference in my world”