Top Posts Giveaway - And the Winner is...

The picture is a screenshot of my stats page with the top posts all time. In a previous post, I listed the top ten posts on this blog (All Time) and asked readers to guess the top 5. A $25 Amazon gift card, and my two books free for those in Nigeria, were up for grabs. Well the following people attempted it and I was surprised at how close they came. The winner is Naija4Life with four correct guesses. Congrats and do send me your email address and how you'll like to receive your prize at myne@ mynewhitman.com. And this is Naija4Life's guess.

1. Re: Mercy Johnson - Marriage and Divorce in Nigeria

2. Faithfulness in relationships - How possible?
3. The kind of person I’d like to marry - Real Love Story
4. Blog Anniversary - One day to go
5. Debate Tuesday - Men are unemotional?



Others who took part in the guessing game and got some correct include Mz T. Omoba, Angela Brown, Think-about-it and Stelzz. I'll like to offer an eBook copy of one of my books as consolation prize and if any of you are interested, also send me an email with your preference and I'll attach it in reply.

How to support your Birthday author

A friend on FB made that picture as a birthday card for me. Afronuts also gave me a Photoshop makeover. Thanks also to Harry and Mike for the shout outs. For those wondering what gift to give, follow these links or go to your nearest book retailer, online or in stores. :)

ALR - (USCanada or UK)
AHTM - (USCanada or UK)
Complete distribution in Nigeria

Teralyn of A Writer's Journey recently listed ways to support your favorite authors, and I knew this was especially important for me as an independent author who does not have the weight of a big-name publisher behind me. I always smile, part happiness and part disbelief, when I receive my sales reports. Who are all these people buying these books, and how did they hear? For sure, I wouldn't be where I am today - bestselling author, public speaker, budding publisher - if many of you had not done the following;
1. Recommended my books to book store owners and managers.
2. Recommended them to any book groups you’re in.
3. Recommended them to your Library staff.
4. Recommended them to your friends.
5. Bought the books at their full price. Without waiting or asking for free books or giveaways :)
6. Gave them ratings on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, and Librarything. 
7. Posted that you read/liked/hated the books on Facebook, your blog, twitter, and any other online venue you can think of. Yes, yes yes! And you also liked my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter.
8. Sent me fan mail. Some of you also told me ways you thought I could improve. I love those.

I'll also like to make a request to everyone reading this. Pick out any of the above that you're in a position to do and do it now. Also, if you shop on Amazon,  and you've read my books, please leave a review? I'll really appreciate it.  I do not ask for positive reviews, just be honest. Even a one-star, as far as you state the specific reason you did not like the book is a good thing. It will make sure those buyers who want to avoid your peeve stay away from the book. That means one less person who doesn't like my book. Reviews on Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, Librarything, and other book communities are also welcome. Remember to show this love to other authors you also enjoy and want to support.

Thank you and have a great week!

Announcing a new online Nigerian News Aggregator

Zoomheader.com is a new online nigerian news aggregator website for Nigerians both home and abroad. It has a user-friendly interface that will make it easy for readers to find out the latest headlines from top Nigerian sites.

These sites include, 234Next, Sahara Reporters, Vanguard, PM News, Linda Ikeji, Guardian, Compass, TheNET, Bellanaija, Information Nigeria, Kick Off, Celebregion, Leadership, CP-Africa, National Daily, Nollywood, Zazugist, and of course Myne Whitman Writes :), among others.


The designers of the aggregator site hope this will change the way online Nigerians keep up with latest in current affairs, Politics, Entertainment news, Music, Sports, Events and Opinion because all the latest news from the listed top Nigerian websites will be streamed live on Zoomheader as soon as they're posted. Readers also have the option of baloontips to read excerpts of any news before linking to the author's page.

Zoomheader is billed to become an open website that will allow any Nigerian to blog on any news topic. It was designed and developed by the same person behind celebregion.com.

Find them http://www.zoomheader.com
http://twitter.com/#!/zoomheader
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Zoomheader

Stand a chance to win Love at Dawn by Lara Daniels

Romance Writers of West Africa (RWOWA) is a group dedicated to the growth of African romantic fiction worldwide and I am one of the founding members, YAY! We have set up our website, and will be rewarding our subscribers each month with a book from the published members. For October, the group will be giving away a free copy of Lara Daniels, “Love at Dawn. How to enter:
- Subscribe to RWOWA. The email form is on the right lower corner of the website.**

- Follow @RWOWA on twitter

- Like the RWOWA page on Facebook.


Two lucky winners will be selected at the end of October. The winner will be announced on 1 November so go, go, go ----

*E-book copy

**This giveaway is International. Contestants must complete a minimum of 2 of the above criteria to be eligible. Email subscription via the RWOWA website is mandatory. Contestants can choose between following on twitter or facebook and are encouraged to do both. Please mention @rwowa on twitter when you follow, or leave a message on our Facebook wall when you join so your entry can be confirmed.

PS, Hope your week is going well so far?

Birthday in pictures - A Surprise Helicopter Ride


Thank you all so much for the birthday wishes on my last post. I was blown away by those who actually called, and everyone that sent text messages or email, I appreciate you all.

To be honest, my head is still buzzing from the events of the past two days and I can't coordinate my thoughts. Below are the pictures from the surprise that Atala gave me on Tuesday - a helicopter ride! It was an amazing experience and one I'll treasure for a long time. Enjoy...
















How to find out what your blog readers want

As a blogger trying to stay on top of my game, one thing I do is look through my blog stats. They give me an idea about what my audience likes, what brings new readers etc. I have a free account with Statcounter.com that gives some pretty robust figures.

Also, the local blogger stats also tells me where most of my traffic come from (Google and Blogger) as well as what they're searching for (Myne Whitman and Relationship questions). These stats help me decide which of my blog ideas to turn to posts and which to postpone, or simply discuss with friends and family.

In a retrospective manner, the top posts on a blog also tells a lot about the direction of the blogger. I think my list below is very telling, I am indeed a versatile blogger. I blog about life (Opinion articles or Roundtable discussions), love (Relationship articles and Real Love Stories), Books (WIP and Guest Authors) and Nigeria (News and Opinion) and these are all reflected in the top posts.

I have listed below the top ten posts on this blog (All Time) and here's what's up for grabs. A $25 Amazon gift card, and if you're in Nigeria, you get my two books free. How to win. Guess the top 5, and put them with the highest ranking first, second, and so on. The person with the correct top five wins. If more than one person guesses right, the one who gets them in the correct order wins. So, guess away...

Are there husbands and wives in Nigeria?

From the Man's Point of View - Real Love Story

The Don Jazzy/ DBanj Oliver Twist Phenomenon

I told you I'd see you soon - Real Love Story

Re: Mercy Johnson - Marriage and Divorce in Nigeria

Faithfulness in relationships - How possible?

Guest Author: Geraldine Iheme - Disfigured Emotions

The kind of person I’d like to marry - Real Love Story

Debate Tuesday - Men are unemotional?

Blog Anniversary - One day to go

WIP - My name is Babatunde

“Yes, I missed you. So what are you going to do about it?”
He lifted her, and next thing she knew, she was seated on the priest’s table and he was standing between her lace-skirted thighs. It occurred to her that they hadn’t still been properly introduced and here they were getting over-familiar. He was kissing her again, but this time the niggling at the back of her mind refused to allow her to fully enjoy it. While her lips and her body melted into his, her brain went into overdrive. Folarin had called him Babs; but that would be a short form of his real name which could be Babajide, Babadele, Babawande, or…

Her eyes snapped open and Dunni pushed at him, feeling as if ice water had been poured on her. It couldn’t be! It just couldn’t be! Or maybe it was.

“Are you Babatunde?” she asked.
His attention appeared fixed on her lips and she could see he was not listening to her. He was coming in for another kiss. She pushed him away more strongly this time and jumped to her feet. 


Her whole family could not be in on this arranged marriage of a thing, could they? Could they have played on the respect they knew she’d show by agreeing to meet an older woman while they sent in the would-be husband? Was Toyin in on it too? They’d been in here for at least ten minutes and no other person had come in, not any potential mother-in-law, and not the accomplice Toyin was to have sent.
“What are you doing here? And who are you?”
God, let him not be the man her parents had planned for her because she was in trouble if he was. His handsome charm and sexiness were not enough reasons to throw her promises to herself out of the window, but could she resist?

‘Didn’t Folarin tell you who I was? I should be the one asking what you’re doing here.”
He folded his arms across his chest, his biceps flexing in the short sleeved brocade shirt he wore, and Dunni had to tear her gaze away. She didn’t know what to make of his question and glared at him while she got her equilibrium back.
“I don’t want to burst you bloated ego but I didn’t ask Folarin anything about you.”
“OK, no need to vex,” he soothed, “My name is Baba …”
Someone was pushing against the door and it was squealing again. They both turned towards it, and Babs, or whatever his name was, went to open it. A richly dressed and plump woman walked into the room drawing her Asha-oke around her with a smile.
“Ah, Babatunde my son. You’re here?”
He bent at the waist to greet the woman. “Yes, ma. Papa sent me.”
Pin-pricks of heat washed over her and Dunni died a million deaths where she stood. When Babs- Babatunde looked back at her with his trademark mischievous grin, she died all over again. All her worst fears had come true. She had fallen into her parent’s trap head first. Anger began to build in her as the woman walked further into the room.
“My daughter, you must be Dunni. Have you been waiting long? I’m sorry!” The woman, draped in jewelry and perfume, hugged Dunni and sat down in the nearest chair. “Ahhh…my feet are killing me. Some women waylaid me out there and would not stop talking.”
Dunni knew how many times that had happened to her and almost felt pity for the woman, but she hardened her heart. Babatunde stood by the door smirking, and she rolled her eyes at him, looking away when he smiled wider.
His mother looked up at him and Dunni was surprised when she frowned.
“Tunde, I want to talk to Dunni in private, please can you give us a few minutes?”
“Of course, Ma,” he replied, “let me just get this.” He bent down and picked up his cap which she vaguely remembered pushing off his head during their earlier clinch. He was still smiling but she refused to meet his gaze till he turned and left the office.
His mother sighed and Dunni turned to her, thinking of something vexing to say.
“I hope the priest’s son has not been disturbing you? He’s a very nice boy but we all know how much he loves women. I’ll tell his mother to warn him off if you want.”
“No…no, Ma.” In her mind, Dunni picked her jaw off the floor and shook her head blankly at the woman before her. What a comedy of errors! Babs was not this woman’s son nor was he her supposed to be intended husband. Thank God she hadn’t opened her big mouth and shoved her size tens in it. That could’ve been disastrous.
“So tell me about yourself, my dear. Your mother is a good friend, and it would be marvelous if our families could be joined in marriage. Your mother said you weren’t in the hall but with the organizers. That is very humble and hard-working of you. I like a girl who knows how to take care of people, in the same way she will cater to her husband and children…”
The woman was still talking when the door begun its now familiar noises again. It was her mother, and she was grinning from ear to ear. Dunni was confused, surely her mother didn’t know of her plans with Toyin? Or had she found out about Babs somehow? But her mother paid the least attention to her. She hugged the other woman and they begun chatting. Well, that was the end of her planned termagant character. Dunni excused herself and left the office.

________

So what did you think?

Nigerian Residents Only - Write and Win!

This is a promo for a friend's effort to get people writing and reading in Nigeria. The full details are at her website, Dianah's Place. All you have to do is write a piece with the Theme "Make Each Day Count For Good"

RULES
500-1000 words max
No obscenities
Nigerian residents Only
Full names Must be included in the mail
MAKE EACH DAY COUNT FOR GOOD should be the email subject to dianah@dianahsplace.info
To qualify just follow @diai227 on twitter and follow her blog


PRIZES
1st Prize- N10,000 and the piece gets published on DianahPlace Rant n' Rave page, twitter: @diai227 and on Facebook- Dianah'sPlace
2nd Prize-N5,000 and the piece gets published on DianahPlace Rant n' Rave page, twitter: @diai227 and on Facebook- Dianah'sPlace
3rd Prize- Piece gets published on DianahPlace Rant n' Rave page, twitter: @diai227 and on Facebook-

Bon chance!

Loving the one who loves you back

Sympathy love or not?

This is a situation that has always intrigued me especially since I have found myself in that scenario a couple of times. You meet a guy and you are friends for a while, and then you notice that he wants to be more than "just friends". This is the typical nice guy, he won't rush to jump your bones, or to define a romantic relationship. He only showers you with attention and affection. You name and he will do it, or has already done it. What will he not do? When I was in Uni, a guy said he would do anything.

"Anything?" I asked.

"Yes," he said.


I told him to lay down flat before me. Don't judge me, it was youthful exuberance and fresh memories of reading Estella in Dicken's Great Expectations. But guess what? The guy did. Let me not lie, it was very heady and sexy. At the end of the day, I still turned him away cos he was in first year and I was in second. There were a couple more times it happened. A very handsome guy, but not as smart as I wanted. One that was very caring and helpful, but not of the economic level I'd been brought up to expect.

We all have our lists, and I'm a big supporter of knowing what you want and sticking to it. But there are people who will love you so much and show it so well that you become confused. Maybe they even match half of what you're looking for. What do you do, throw out your non-negotiable and love them back?

Read More top posts;

How to have lasting online romance - http://www.mynewhitmanwrites.com/2012/11/how-to-have-lasting-online-romance.html

Safety tips for online dating - http://www.mynewhitmanwrites.com/2012/08/safety-tips-online-dating-social-networking.html

Arranged Marriage versus personal choice - http://www.mynewhitmanwrites.com/2012/11/arranged-marriage-versus-personal-choice.html

Can Online dating become lasting love? - http://www.mynewhitmanwrites.com/2010/07/can-online-love-become-lasting-love.html

How to Express love to your wife - http://www.mynewhitmanwrites.com/2011/09/how-to-express-love-to-your-wife.html

9 Ways to know when you're in Love - http://www.romancemeetslife.com/2012/11/9-ways-to-know-when-youre-in-love.html

How to Find out Reason for relationship breakup - http://www.mynewhitmanwrites.com/2013/03/wanting-to-know-reason-for-break-up.html

Steps to a successful relationship - http://www.romancemeetslife.com/2010/10/steps-to-successful-relationship.html

How to deal with unrequited love or the friend zone - http://www.mynewhitmanwrites.com/2012/12/unrequited-love-lets-call-it-friend-zone.html

Muammar Gaddafi dead, Backyard Crew wins

Muammar Gaddaffi's death is being widely reported in the media, and based on some self-righteous comments on Facebook, I updated,
"No matter how much of a monster Gadhafi was, Libya was better under him in the last 30 years than Nigeria with our mixed military democracy. The people who killed him are the same people killing Nigerians and other black Africans with reckless abandon. Why should any Nigerian or African for that matter be happy about his death?"

Libyans who have experienced the oppression under Gaddafi are of course within their rights to rejoice. But for others, especially Africans, I think the circumstances of his death should give pause for thought. Libya until a few months ago was one of the best countries in Africa, all the development indices were comparable to some countries in Europe. Gaddafi himself had always stood for Pan-Africanism and allowed black Africans to live and work in the country. I remember seeing him once in Abuja at an African Leaders summit to campaign for solving the HIV/AIDS issue on the continent. I am saying he was a saint? Definitely not.

But what makes the situation problematic was that his ousting and death were orchestrated by NATO, an organisation whose antecedents in Africa has not particularly been without ulterior motives. They seem to only care about removing heads of state that do not bow to their wishes, to the extent of installing despots and championing them even in the face of tyranny - example Mobutu Sese Seko. If NATO is so charitable, why aren't they assisting in Sudan and Somalia? NTC are the new leaders of Libya, but what do we know of them other than their guerrilla war against the former regime and the paranoid murdering of black Aficans?

Going forward, I do wish Libyans all the best. There has been a lot of destruction in the last few months and there needs to be commensurate hard work to bring the country to a better place.
_________________


Do you recall my initial post on the dance competition to promote Dbanj's single, Oliver Twist? Well Don Jazzy announced the winners on Twitter earlier today and the winners were my favorites won the first prize. The Backyard crew goes home with $2500 and will be featured in the official Oliver video. The 2nd to 5th positions also go home with cash prizes of $2000, $1500, $1000, $500 respectively. The sixth position goes to my next best favorites, the UAwonBois.

I'm not surprised Backyard Crew won, not only did they make an awesome video, they followed it up with great marketing. They left a comment on my Youtube as well as one here after I posted about them, and they also let me know to go vote for them, which I did. This drives home for me the power of hard work and reaching out for your goals. Well done Backyard Crew. Congrats to them all.

WIP - Demolishing a woman's defenses

Dunni couldn’t remember when she’d had to creep around like this. She’d thought her job was stressful, now she couldn’t wait to get back to it and leave this Nigerian drama behind. The memorial service and reception were over and her mother had come to where she’d been with the event planner and the caterers to tell her to go immediately to the priest’s office. Dunni watched through the louvered windows as the guests spilled out of the reception hall and milled around in the church premises. She had called Toyin after speaking with her mother to ask for an update. Toyin had assured her their plans were going accordingly, and that she’ll be sending someone along shortly. Dunni had given her the time and place for the rendezvous and now she was waiting.
Deciding from the clock on the wall that she had about ten minutes to kill, Dunni looked around the slightly cluttered office. The priest’s table was the only oasis of calm, and the polished wood shone, bare of any books or papers, or even the robes that were draped over the other chairs and surfaces. She had not paid much attention to the man during the service, having been huddled for most of it with Toyin, but now she wondered what sort of man he was. The sound of the door being pushed open had her eyes flying in that direction and her heart began to pound. A male hand cranked the door further open, and her thoughts scrambled over each other. It couldn’t be Toyin’s accomplice for her, he was way too early! The person was only supposed to come in after Madame Prospective inlaw had been in here for some minutes.
Dunni rushed forward to ask him to leave, and in that instant, the door was forcefully thrown open. It banged against the wall behind it, and she jumped back in fright.
“I’m so sorry…” the masculine voice trailed off and the owner smiled slowly as Dunni watched recognition light up his eyes. The familiar twitch began from the corner of his lips till they were stretched wide across the pearl white teeth that had refused to leave her memory.
“You!” she screeched.
“Hello, Dunni,” he said, walking further into the room after jamming the door shut. “I’m sorry about the door but it appeared to be wedged, hope you weren’t too alarmed.”
Dunni didn’t know what to think. Was he here at Toyin’s request? Had he been following her? But no one else knew she was here. The plan was for Toyin to send one of their male cousins to interrupt her meeting with the unwanted mother-in-law. Dunni would then tear into the guy with an unmatched rudeness that would’ve turned the woman off completely. So this was the worst possible time for him to be here. She had to get him out of here or he would ruin her plans. But how could she get him out? Why was he just standing there, staring at her?
“You look amazing! Very different from…”
“What are you doing here?”
“Don’t you just want to know?” he mocked, moving closer to her. “How long has it been now? I’ve missed you, did you miss me? Even if it’s just a little?”
So close, his scent enveloped them, filling her breath and making her think it was sticking to her skin, branding her. He smiled that killer smile again and she struggled to ignore how it set her insides fluttering, guessing he knew what effect it had on women. He reached out to touch her and she grabbed his hands and tried to use them to turn him around.
Her brain reminded her she had a plan to execute which was her only way out from an arranged but unwanted marriage and she briefly thought of the prospective mother-in-law that would be entering the office in the next few minutes. If she stayed here with Babs, the woman would walk in on them, and the result could be the same - a cancelled wedding. Still...
“You have to leave,” she said in a voice that came out husky. She dropped his hands and pushed against his shoulders feebly. “You can’t be here.”
The smile became even more brilliant if that was possible, and he allowed her to move him towards the door. Her hands felt hot where it touched him but it was only when he turned back to her that she realized what she had done. By stretching out her arms, she’d left her body wide open and his turn brought them flush against each other. In her heels, he was just that little bit taller than her, the perfect height she’d always dreamed would make for the perfect kiss. His muscular chest pushed into her, and her already soft insides melted. This man should have danger plastered all over him; he was a walking, breathing demolisher of a woman’s defenses. She knew hers were shot. Or maybe she had been celibate too long. 
She felt his arm go around her waist and looked up into his face. Maybe this would all work out for the best. It was somehow different from her agreement with her cousins but the end would justify the means. But think of the scandal, a small voice in her head mocked her, think of your parents. But Dunni was finding it harder and harder to think as he drew closer to her by the second and she wondered if something was wrong with her eyesight. Was he really coming in for a kiss?
The pressure of his lips against hers swamped her in a fog of desire. She relaxed and gave in to the delicious kiss, allowing her eyes to drift closed as the kiss went on, finally admitting to herself that she simply wanted more of the kiss.
And indeed the kiss was nothing to shake a stick at. Babs was excellent kisser. After the first brief kiss, he started again, small nips on her bottom lip and around the corners of her mouth. When she opened, he came in again, licking along the inside of her upper lip with just the tip of his tongue. She touched his tongue with hers, stroking from side to side, but when she tried to move closer, he withdrew completely. Dunni opened her eyes, and was met with his. She noticed that his pupils were brown and wide, different from the shrunk black she’d noticed in the sun of the Erin-Ijesha car park.
“So did you miss me?” he asked.
Dunni studied him for a moment and then thought; what the hell! She didn’t know why he was here at this point but she probably wouldn’t see him again after this.
“Yes, I missed you. So what are you going to do about it?”
_______

To be continued...

Why are people more rude and mean online?

It seems that once people get on the internet, they shed off most of their compassion, or what some call the human milk of kindness, and suddenly become bulling monsters. I have read some scathing and hurtful comments on this blog and others that I just said to myself, this person would never say this to someone's face. The few times they were on my blog, I simply clicked delete. The culprits are usually anonymous. So, I'm sorry to those Wordpress bloggers who keep asking if I can allow anonymous or Name/URL commenting, please use OPEN_ID.

The thing I've noticed is that when people have to put a name to their comments, it suddenly makes them more circumspect. I know that opening up comments to such anonymous people can make a blog a very interesting place as disagreements turn to free-for-all controversy-fests. But honestly, I dislike confrontations and can do without such bullies in my space.

You see, I was very active on a message board for about 3years, and I got my fair share of bullies and trolls.  On that site, the online war of words was called rofo-rofo, and I shiver now remembering some of the slurs exchanged. Some people went as far as insulting parents and whole families, as well as outright defamation. I decided to chill out of that site and focus on this blog after it seemed that one such troll became obsessed with me.

Funny enough, I got to know one of the bullies personally, and first thing I noticed was the difference between his online persona and who he was in real life. I finally asked him how he could go so far in being horrible to people online. His answer? It was all a game. He said he couldn't see the others to know their reaction so he just types what comes to his fingers. Also, it helps him burn off his own daily aggravations. Hmmm...talk about transferred agression. Totally not acceptable in my book.

What do you think? Is it simply the anonymity? Would you trust a known bully/troll as a friend in real life? Have you ever been the victim of trolls or cyber bullies?
__________

PS, Just read on TWP that some trolls were harassing Naeto C on Twitter recently and he fired back. Was he right or wrong? As a public person, maybe he should have brushed it off?

PSS, If you don't see much of me around, I'm visiting family in Alabama. This post was scheduled and I only added these PSes to update. See you all soon, and have a great week.


Cancer Awareness Month - Raising Funds for Cancer Patients

October is my birthday month (countdown to 26th, yay!) and is also usually the Cancer Awareness Month. To commemorate those who have passed from cancer, and those who still suffer, I was moved to feature a campaign to raise funds for cancer patients in Nigeria. 
ANNOUNCING 1K4CANCER
Wana Udobang is collaborating with Sebeccly Cancer Care and Support Center (SCC) with the goal of raising funds for women diagnosed with breast cancer. 1K4Cancer stands for each donor giving a minimum of one thousand naira to the campaign.
1K4Cancer arises from the dire need to assist breast cancer patients who cannot afford treatment. The vision is that if one thousand people donate one thousand naira each, 1K4Cancer will successfully raise one million naira for breast cancer patients. The funds will go towards chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment for a few women who are currently under the care of SCC.

Dr. Lola Salako of the Sebeccly Cancer Care and Support Center notes;
The 1K4Cancercampaign is a fantastic opportunity to shed light on the financial challenges breast cancer patients face and raise funds for needy cancer patients. Together, we stand to help patients become survivors [...] letting them know they are not alone in their fight against breast cancer. We can help lots of women start and or complete their treatment. All proceeds of the 1K4Cancer Campaign go to breast cancer patients.”
Campaign Leader, Wana Udobang says “1K4Cancer campaign is an opportunity to show that there is power in every single one of us to change our society; in this situation, assisting women with their treatment, one thousand naira can contribute to turning around a breast cancer victim into a survivor. Together, we can raise one million and more!”
1K4Cancer will run throughout the month of October and will document monies raised via twitter. This information will also be available on the SCC website alongside photographs taken with individual and organizational donors.
Sebeccly Cancer Care and Support Center is an organization dedicated to ending breast cancer through the power of grassroots action and advocacy by providing information, support, and campaigning for improved standards of care for patients. SCC is for ladies seeking awareness, for breast cancer patients and for caregivers.
Wana Udobang is a writer and broadcaster; currently an On Air Personality on 92.3 Inspiration FM, she hosts the daily "Afternoon Drive" from 3pm to 7pm. She is also a contributing writer for Elan, BellaNaija, and several lifestyle magazines.
For more enquires on the campaign and on how to donate, please follow Wana on twitter, email - info@sebecclycancercare.org, visit - www.sebecclycancercare.orgor call – 08090088922.
To donate into the SCC account
Sebeccly Cancer Care And Support Centre
Guarantee Trust Bank
0010849209

Blowing my Trumpet - 10 things I like about me

We need to credit ourselves more and know that we are full of "good stuff". So says Aloted of Purpose Driven Blog who thinks most of us rarely blow our trumpet due to social conditioning. I agree with her, and when she listed her own positive 10 things and threw open the floor, I decided to get on it. Watch out, cos I'll be tagging...

1. I can be very playful, and I like giving free reign to the child within me. It makes me feel very carefree, like going on the swings in a playground. I used to be a tomboy too, so don't be surprised if you see me climbing a tree. Thank God I'm still athletic enough to pull that off.

2. I find it very easy to say I'm sorry and mean it. Growing up I was very stubborn but with age, luckily, came some self awareness and maturity.

3. I don't take myself or things too seriously, I have learnt to let go and let God in most cases. If you insult me, I can even laugh. I might vex for a few minutes and then I brush it off my shoulders. Life is too short, abeg.



4. I think I make a good friend. I am a great listener (even if I do say so myself). Oh yeah, I'm blowing my trumpet here so let me go on soun :). I can be irritatingly logical if that is what you want, or we can throw sense to the winds and just do it. I will also be very loyal if warranted.

5. I usually look on the positive side of things. One of my tags on Twitter is Optimist and that's because I see it as a very big part of who I am. That is also the base of the romantic in me. I usually see an unfilled cup as half full rather than half empty. When I see a situation or a person, I first imagine what nice things might come of it.

6. I can be very open-minded, and will rarely judge and condemn a person or a situation. Most things have their good and bad sides and the debater in me will usually look for it, and help me keep my mouth shut, or try to be diplomatic when speaking.

7. I love love LOVE, lol... Yes o, anything to do with love sweets my heart. All kinds of love mind you, including the love of parents for their children, the bond between siblings, the links that friendships can build. But even more awesome is that love between two people that didn't know each other from Adam, and decide to be partners through thick and thin, and maybe for life.

8. I can get things done. I usually joke that once I'm part of something, it's not long before I'm noticed, and if I'm not careful, I'll be co opted into a leadership position.

9. I am generous. While I'm not father Christmas, I will usually give of what I have, and I will not ask for or expect anything in return.

10. I am adventurous. I like trying out new things in various areas. If there's a mountain, I want to climb it; a new city, let's explore it; an untried recipe, I want to put my own spin on it; having children, hmmm...why not? LOL...you get the idea.

So who will I tag? After doing it, I've decided to throw this open. I realize that not everyone might want to post something like this on their blog for all to see. However, it made me think, and I benefited from it. So, I encourage everyone to go ahead and do it, and it's left to you to post on your blog or not.

Have a great weekend. Mwah!

Faithfulness in Relationships - How possible?

Update: One of the comments raises an interesting angle. Should one partner's faithfulness be dependent on the actions/inactions of the other?

"Faithfulness isn't a trait you can sit back and expect your partner to just have. e.g. If I want to be the only one my partner has intimate conversations with, I need to let her know that. My role would be to always be available to her for that. If she goes off and has intimate conversations with someone else, i'd say she has been unfaithful. If I didnt make myself readily available, I can't totally blame her." - Think-about-it
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We've read about how Dunni was broken-hearted by her former boyfriend's infidelity. In fact, she caught him with another woman almost pants down after they'd been dating for two years. In his defense, he said he wasn't the monogamous type of guy and asked her to understand. So the question is, how possible is it for people to remain faithful to one person in a long-term relationship?


I don't know if you've heard of the 2-year itch, there's also the 5-year and 7-year versions. This is a situation where people in a longterm relationship develop a desire to check out. Their eyes begin to wander, they find the grass greener on the other side, another man or woman becomes highly desirable, and in most cases, they cheat on their current partner or spouse. Especially on the part of women, many of us believe that men cannot be faithful, and that's the reason to forgive them if they stray.

Is this true? Can men not be monogamous? What of women?

WIP - Not a monogamous type of guy

If you missed the first part of this scene, read it at WIP - I'm an intelligent high earning woman
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One Friday, she had been sent on an unscheduled overnight trip to New York, and had ended up at Douglas’s place after a tiring consultation with her clients. She had a key to his apartment and though she hadn’t surprised him before, she hadn’t thought twice about it. In her mind, they had been as good as married. In fact, her resignation letter was already typed out and saved on her personal laptop. She was only waiting till the end of their current project to submit it to her manager. Dunni almost bent over with the same pain that she had experienced when she had found him making out on the couch with a young blonde. They both looked up at her and she recognized the woman as the friendly bartender whom she’d met on one of her previous visits when Douglas took her to his favorite bar. Well, now she knew why. Dunni turned to run, but Douglas caught up with her before she got to the end of the hallway.
“Leave me alone!” She had whirled on him and jerked away.
“Dunni, what are you doing here? You didn’t tell me you were coming?”

“Does that make this OK?” She flung her arm in the direction of the living room. “Do you always fool around with others when I’m not here?” She moved away from him as he reached for her again. Tears she hadn’t expected began to spurt from her eyes and she swiped at them, half turning away from him.

“It’s not that, but you should’ve let me know.”
She stared with disgust at what he called his poker face. “Douglas, I just saw you with another woman and all you can say is I should’ve let you know?”
“That’s only polite,” he insisted. His lower lip was now stuck out, reminding her of a petulant child.
“I can’t believe I’m hearing this. What’s next? Maybe you’ll say your unfaithfulness was entirely my fault?” She glared at him through her smarting eyes.
“Oh, please be real, Dunni. I never pretended to be faithful. I'm not a monogamous type of guy. Wasn't from when we first got together. You knew there were the other ladies in Dallas.”
Dunni felt like someone had smacked her in the face. In the fog, she remembered he had once or twice gone home with ladies after a night out back when he’d initially arrived in Dallas and they’d all gone clubbing with the others, but that was before they had started dating.
Her voice came out hoarse when she spoke, “But that was before… I thought that was because I turned you down back then.”
“There was that as well,” he waved his hands dismissively, “but also after. Don’t tell me you didn’t know?”
She shook her head, her legs turning to ice under her. She couldn’t believe how na├»ve she had been not to have seen this coming. Had the others in the office known? Had they been smirking behind her back? Why had no one told her? Dunni felt like melting into the floor, pain and humiliation buffeting her from all sides.
“To be honest,” Douglas continued, “one woman just isn’t enough for me. Especially you career types that like to break a man’s balls with your intellect and ambition. Sometimes, I just want to dumb down and not have to compete.”
Dunni knew then that he wanted to hurt her, and break her down. He knew her buttons and he was pushing it. She took a deep breath, swallowed the words that crowded her mouth and began the long march to the door. She was done here. If she stayed to listen to more of this, she’d be stripped of her self esteem in no time. She would forgive him, and before she knew it, dependent on the his words to tell her who she was.
“OK, I’m sorry I said that,” he begged, gripping her shoulders, and turning her to him.. “Don’t leave, please. I said I’m sorry. You can go into the bedroom and I’ll talk to Cherry and she can let herself out.”
“Are you insane?” Dunni snarled. All the anger she had been repressing rushed to her head, and she had to restrain herself from slapping him. She couldn’t believe she had shared her life and her body with this man and not noticed this total disregard for women.
“Why would I stay here, and with you?”
“We’re meant for each other, just think about it. We simply need to talk about what has happened and it will be all sorted out. You have to see that my being with other women is not about you. I appreciate you as a beautiful, accomplished person but it’s so boring with just one woman. I thought you might understand, being African and all,” he trailed off and then muttered, “but maybe only a man would understand.”
Dunni was a bit taller than him, and now she drew herself up to her full height on her work heels till she looked down on him. The bright light overhead robbed his brown hair of their usual vibrancy and made him look pale. Dunni wondered what she had ever seen in him. He wasn’t worth the two years she’d spent with him, and he wasn’t worth a minute more.
“You’re a bastard, Douglas. I never want to see you again.”
She scrubbed her face of the tears that had begun again, threw his key in his face and stormed out. It was only after she was checked in at a hotel several blocks away that she fully gave in to her disillusionment. She had always thought she would get married to someone from her country, but the further she’d climbed in her career, the less she had in common with most of the Nigerian men she met. Douglas had seemed to meet her in the middle, he understood what her job entailed and accepted it without the burden of the cultural gender roles that came with being Nigerian. But even he had been a mirage. As she wiped the tears that poured down her cheeks and let out the sobs that heaved over her chest, she promised herself she would never again let a man see her cry. She had made a promise that she would keep her heart safe, even if it meant she would be alone.
Later, she had told those around her in Dallas that the long distance had eroded the trust between her and Douglas, and they’d both amicably agreed to move on. Toyin and a few others had been among those that heard the version of events that said her career had overwhelmed the relationship. No one knew what had really happened and that suited her fine. She’d let everyone believe she was over Douglas and was ready again for another relationship but instead she concentrated on her work, her girlfriends and her hobbies. She felt a touch of sadness because she did want to get married. She envied her cousin and others like her who had obviously been lucky enough to find men who cherished them, and wished she could find that kind of love too. When she remembered what her family were trying to foist on her, Dunni brushed the sad thoughts away.
“Sometimes, men are just not worth the stress,” she said to her cousin, adding, “I don’t want to get into an arranged marriage, and that’s why I’m upset.”
“Alright,” Toyin sighed after looking into her face for what seemed like ages. “I’ll help you on this. Even if I think otherwise, maybe this arangee thing is not for you. But you owe me the full gist about Douglas.”
“There’s really nothing to tell. Douglas is past tense.” And indeed he was.

Some more pictures from Las Vegas

So, I was going through my Blackberry the other day and discovered so many pictures I had almost forgotten. During our road trip in the summer, my camera battery went off a few times and my BB had to do backup. Because I had like a gazillion pictures on the camera, I forgot these ones. They're not the best quality, and it seems I'm yet to figure out how to save the flipped ones, but hey...enjoy!
Arriving at our hotel

A wedding in Vegas - I didn't know they had bridesmaids and all that. Lovely train, I liked the popping red.

View from our window, gorgeous. We got a high room and good views. Our hotel was right at the top of the strip.

Wandering the hotels, this was at the Luxor - they had an Egyptian motif going on.

Just trying out the machines, I couldn't bear to dash them my money, LOL...

Inside the pyramid of the Luxor - looking down at the central exhibits

Another wedding, this looked more like what I had in mind - Bride and groom + two witnesses.

We were tempted to go in and renew our vows, just for the heck of it.

Fully booked :(

Outside the Luxor

Las Vegas at night

New York in Vegas

Someone loves NY

Before the Brooklyn bridge - the fake one. 

I ran a caption contest on FB and someone suggested Dance of Passion. Another nice one is Scent of a Dance

Las Vegas is truly beautiful by night...

Almost magical.

Have a great weekend, and see you with my WIP on Monday. Mwah!

FAQs - Self-Publishing and Book Publicity

Hey Myne,

I know someone who is self-publishing a novel and I was wondering if you have any advice for her? I would classify her book as "teen fluff", and I mean that in the nicest way possible. Its not the same demographic as your work, but I thought it might be helpful to hear from you since you have had such success with your work.

Ideas, tips, concerns? Would you like a copy of the book to read over and offer suggestions? She is all ears.I told her I would reach out to you to see if you would be able to talk with/to her.

Thanks!


_________________

Hi,

I think your friend is already doing well, she has a FB page, has a good follower count on Twitter, and is also on Blogspot and Tumblr. These are most important, having an online presence.

Self publishing can be supported by going with an author services company like CreateSpace, at least the distribution and sales are taken care of. All the author has to do is the publicity and marketing.

What your friend should do is look for book bloggers in the YA category and ask for book reviews. Then she should look for forums (message boards) where she knows her target audience is and become active there.

All these depend on how financially successful she wants to be. If she's just content having her story out there, and her name on a book cover, then she need not overstress.

All the best to her. She can always email at myne@mynewhitman.com. I'll be happy to host her for one of my guest author sections.

Regards,

Myne

Loving what you do - RIP Steve Jobs

"I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did." - Steve Jobs 

I saw that quote soon after I found out that the Apple co-founder and former CEO was dead. Atala was the one that gave me the news, and also showed me the quote on Stack Overflow, one of his favorite websites. We did the rest of the rounds together, Slashdot, Mashable, Huffington Post, they were all reporting on his death. I was also all over the news on TV. Another quote caught my eye on Politico.com sending me on a search for Jobs 2005 commencement speech at Stanford, and I was really touched. He was just 56. May his soul rest in peace.

I'm always inspired by people who follow their dream, and who pursue it, and make a good example of it. Steve Jobs is one of those people. I'm not a big fan of Apple products, and I only used Mac in the school library. I had an ipod once but I gave it away when I got a phone that was an mp3 player. The biggest way that Steve Jobs touched my life was through his animation company Pixar, and the movies they created.


I love cartoons, and last year, Toy Story 3 was among my greatest movies. I have been to two Pixar exhibitions, one in Edinburgh and another in New York, and each time, I marveled at the genuis of Steve Jobs and the artists he worked with. As I read various reports of his life and death, I couldn't help feeling a sense of loss. I'll leave you with some more quotes from the above mentioned speech. Find the full text on the Stanford website and watch the video on Youtube.


On Life;
you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
On Love;
Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.
On Death;
Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
Finally;
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Do men actually resent women who earn more money?

So yesterday on my WIP, we read about Dunni being an intelligent, high earning women. In her experience, men resent such women, and next week, you'll be reading further details.
There have also been recent commentary in the media on this topic. Patti Stanger, the Millionaire Matchmaker was reported on the Huffington Post as saying;
"[Men] like [smart women] after marriage. They don't like them before they are married. You got to dumb it down a little because men are not that bright."
Amara, a Nigerian columnist for PM News wrote in an article titled "Reasons you're not married";
Another reason is that with your good job and salary, they [men] are even afraid to come near you as they wouldn’t want to be turned down.
Personally, I'll like to believe I match those specs. I worked and earned good money before I got married. I did not dumb down or anything, but it did take time to find THE ONE. My dating was very sparse both while working in Nigeria and in the UK before I met Atala. But of course, I know that intelligence and earning power are not the only determinants of attraction or relationships. There are several other factors.

What is your own view? Have you experienced this or someone you know? If you're a guy, does it even matter? Let's discuss.

WIP - I’m intelligent, high earning woman

“Oh, Dunni, I don’t like the idea you’re suggesting. This Tunde guy sounds like a good catch, you know? I wish you would just stop thinking that work is all there is to life and just give yourself a chance. Try to get to know him.”
Another person who thought she had life all figured out. Dunni reached up and adjusted the gele on her head as she reined in her impatience. With the Cathedral packed full as it was, she didn’t need the extra aggravation making her hotter than necessary. Taking a deep breath out of the stale air the overhead fans circulated round the church auditorium, she shifted on the hard pew and looked again at her cousin. Her cousin Toyin had married straight out of university and probably thought all men were as sweet as hers. 

Toyin was Folarin’s oldest sister, and was older than Dunni by about three years. She had been like an older sister while they were growing up, having frequently stayed with them in Ilorin during her university holidays instead of going back to her parent’s house in Lagos. She had virtually introduced Dunni to adulthood, taking her shopping for cosmetics and to Lagos to buy clothes, and talking her through her first boyfriend at seventeen. They weren’t as close as they used to be but Dunni had confided in her hoping for some support in the plans she intended to put in motion later that afternoon after the festivities.
“I won’t be part of it,” Toyin whispered as if reading her mind. “We’ve played our pranks while young, and you should leave all this sneaking around for Folarin’s nephews.”
Her brother, and Dunni’s favorite cousin, was seated on the pew directly in front of them, and on his laps squirmed one of Toyin’s boys, the youngest, at six, of her three sons.
“Look Dunni, you’re not getting any younger. Forget America o, where women get married at forty. I suggest you pack your bags and come back here to Nigeria and I promise you, by this time next year, you’ll be married and bouncing your twins on your knees.”
Dunni hissed. “Accept this man who will think he is better than me just because he’s a man, abi? Who will probably resent the fact that I’m independent, high earning woman.”
She closed her eyes and allowed the drone of the priest’s sermon to wash over her. It was the same one that had visited them yesterday, and he’d smiled kindly at her when the whole family had gone to greet him before the service started. As they walked away, her mom had told her that she might be meeting the potential mother in law in the priest’s office and she understood the priest’s words from Christmas day. But the meeting wasn’t confirmed though, as the woman might also decide to meet with her in the main hall. Dunni shook her head at the drama her life had turned into. When she opened her eyes, she had to bite her tongue to keep from snapping at her cousin. They hadn’t spoken in almost a year, and although Toyin had previously talked to Dunni about settling down, it had given Dunni faith that her cousin wasn’t as rabid as some other unsolicited advisers. Dunni had thought Toyin would at least help her escape the arranged marriage her parents planned, especially seeing as her cousin had chosen her own husband herself. Seems she was mistaken.
“Not all men are like that.”
“Toyin, I came to Nigeria to rest and spend time with my sick father, and not to get married on my mother’s whims. Certainly not to a man I do not know from Adam. And did I forget to mention, a man who will most likely end up sleeping with several other women on the side?” Dunni hissed again. “No, thanks.”
At the end of the tirade, Dunni was struggling to keep her voice at a whisper. She sneaked a glance around her again before she turned back to Toyin. Luckily, it was her cousin’s two older boys on both sides of them so she didn’t have to worry too much about being overheard by the marriage army. Still, one couldn’t be too careful. She had always tried not to dwell on her man woes, but her mother’s plans had spooked her more than she realized at the time.
 “Dunni, I haven’t heard you this angry before.” Toyin sounded concerned. “I know men are not angels but surely they’re not all scumbags.”
“Toyin, we’re not all as lucky as you obviously are.”
“No, tell me the truth. I know you like your career but surely you understand it cannot be everything? There is more to life o.”
Dunni  did not reply and Toyin continued. “Did someone cheat on you? Was that why you broke up with Douglas two years ago? I never did believe what you told me had happened.”
Pretending not to hear her cousin, Dunni shook her head but that did not stop the thoughts that flooded her mind. The wound that her last boyfriend left her with went very deep. The truth was that she hadn’t always been this prickly, and had actually looked forward to getting married at one point. It was also true that the dream had soured, and in a major way.
At twenty-six, Cupid had rescued her from a life filled solely with work. She had just finished her MBA at Wharton and been promoted to project leader when she met Douglas, an American on a temporary transfer from the New York office. After they worked together on a corporate project, he made a play for her, and even after he left Dallas, he’d persisted, not at all deterred by their different races. Some months later, Dunni lowered her defenses and they had dated long distance, commuting between the two cities for almost two years. They had been talking of an engagement and planning for Dunni to resign and move in with him when she realized she’d bought a flawed American dream. She couldn’t have it all.
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Please do leave a comment, I really appreciate your feedback. Thanks.

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