How to Choose the Best Jewelry and Watches?

Are you interested in purchasing a new watch? This is an important decision as you will need to find an accessory that will really add value to yourself. There are some criteria that you will have to respect when purchasing a watch or a jewel. The aim of this article is to provide you some more information on this topic to help you take the best decision.

First of all you should consider your dress. Whenever you are purchasing jewelry or watches you should always make sure that it is suited to your clothes. This is because not all watches or jewels will match your dress and you can end up with an unpleasant surprise. This is why it is advised that you wear something close to the dress that you will be wearing at the party before purchasing your accessories.

It will also be important that you take into account your personality. There are some people that may look great with a particular accessory but another may look weird. Do not make the mistake of buying jewelry or watches just because they are merely fashionable. Instead it is important that you buy jewels that match your personality. Take adequate time to try the watches or the jewelry. It might also be interesting for you to bring a trusted friend along in order to get some feedback.

You should also take your budget into account. We all want to have the most exciting jewelry or watches but we should be realistic. If it is beyond our budget then we should forget it. There is no point in breaking the bank in order to buy an accessory that you will be wearing only once in a while. You will end up being more profitable by investing the money in some other items.

You should exercise caution when purchasing jewelry and watches. It is easy to succumb to impulse buying and purchase something that does not match your personality and only for it to finish at the back of a cupboard. There are even people that buy such accessories in order to feel accepted by their peers. It is important that you avoid such mistake at all cost.

School Security – Reviewing Your Options

University, College and School Security

First, our heart goes out to the family, friends and my niece at Virginia Tech.

Consultant vs. Salesperson
When you have a security related problem, where do you go for answers? Many people turn to a security salesperson. This salesperson may offer a service like security guards or a product like security alarms. To receive total security protection, it is best to speak with a security consultant and not a security salesperson. A consultant can advise you in all areas, where a salesperson can only advise you on products or services their company offers.

Consultant

A security consultant is a person trained in many areas from communications to alarms. They can review, advise and provide solutions to many problems. If you have a security problem, you first need to speak with a security expert. After you receive options, then you can seek out a security salesperson that meets your requirements. Never go to a salesperson first. This is where 99% of the public makes a mistake. If you want to buy a car, would you talk with a tire salesperson?

A consultant will visit your location, conduct a detailed inspection and create a full report on their findings. Such a report might include things like employee habits, ease of access, landscaping problems, communication weakness, visual needs, and much more.

To get the full picture of your security needs and solutions to correct problems, you need an expert in many areas. A security consultant can provide you with options and sources to meet your requirements.

Consultants may also review details like placement of camera’s, types and needs for lighting or security film on glass. They can also review things like emails related to threats, student interaction and area warning systems.

A consultant will promote their background and your needs in all areas, where a salesperson will only promote their product or service as related to one or two areas.

Salespeople are Not Consultants

Security Salesperson

A security salesperson is a person which offers a product or service that their company sells. Many times, this is the extent of their job. Some salespeople are just starting in the business and lack the knowledge. Some salespeople have been in the business and have a limited amount of knowledge. Then you may encounter the expert salesperson. This type of salesperson will make you think that their product or service will be the answer to all your problems.

Now, we do not want to put down security salespeople, as they do play a major part in the security industry. You as the customer need to understand that a security salesperson may only be able to talk about their product or service. Many states have different requirements for consultants and security salespeople. Ask to see your salesperson’s state security id. If the id says consultant and sales, then they can consult. If it just says sales, then they can just sell.

There is no single solution to security at a location. No salesperson should ever advise a customer that their product or service will cure all. Just because you were sold camera’s does not mean a person can not break in a window. Just because you were sold an alarm system does not mean your student’s cars will not be damaged. For good security, you need to look in all directions, not just one or two.

There are more security salespeople than are security consultants. Many salespeople try to act like a consultant, but a consultant will not act like a salesperson. A salesperson will sometimes be given a basic level of training, where a consultant may receive years of training in many subjects. A security consultant is many times former military or a former police officer. A security salesperson could have been a golf pro the day before. I have seen all types.

Before you risk lives and property, you need to check out your security advisor. Ask your local police department to review the advice given by your security expert. Most of all, understand that good security will require several solutions.
Good Luck!

P.S.
Yes, there is a former golf pro out there selling electronic security system to business sites in our area. So just because they sell it, does not mean they know it. Check them out and forget the business BS they feed you at times.

Human Error
Who is watching? You may have camera’s or guards protecting your site. One of the biggest problems with security is human error. People tend to sleep on the job, play on the job, look the other way or even think an event is not important enough to report. This is wrong and should be corrected.

Lives and property are protected by people that make just above a basic wage. Many of these people have limited education and skills. Many of these people do not care about you, your people or your property. Face the facts, these people are there for the paycheck and that’s it.

Do you know what a real security expert makes per year? A real security expert makes on the average over $100,000 a year. A real security expert will use their former training to protect you and your property. A security guard makes on the average about $8 per hour or about $8,000 per year. They will use their one day training to protect you and your property.

Which would you rather have protecting you and your property? Why would you cut cost to protect lives so important to others? Real security will cost. There is an old saying; “You get what you paid for”.

Protection

The best level of security you can have is to hire off duty police officers to work at or patrol your location. An off duty officer still has full arrest powers and knows how to handle many types of problems. Speak with your local police department for more information.

The next option you have is to hire Conservers of the Peace (COP). These are special police officers approved by the court system in your area. The officer has full arrest powers, but is limited to covering a single area. This area can be your site or even a city block.

You could use armed security officers. These officers have limited arrest powers. They may be able to arrest if; (a) on your site only, (b) with owners permission, (c) with security company’s permission, (d) approved by the state. This option puts great risk on the property owner for legal damages if things go wrong.

Last option is to use an unarmed security officer. This is the worst thing you can do if you are looking for security. An unarmed security officer is acting as a regular person. Many state do not allow them to make an arrest. They are good only for id checks, to open a door or to give someone directions. Many companies will use unarmed security guards because they are cheap. Then the company will complain when they have security related problems. You get what you pay for!

Related Problems

Security related problems may include: Lazy people, Sleeping on the job, Looking the other way, Failure to report all events, Tampering with equipment, Stealing from property owners, Giving out secure information, Thinking it’s a joke, Failure to follow SOP, Leaving the site without approval, Unprofessional toward employee’s and guest and much more.

Guards

Security company’s will enter into a contract with a business or site. The contract may require people to sit at the site and monitor events. The contract does not state how much training a person needs. It does not state how long a person has been in the industry. It does not state how much sleep the person got the night before working. Because many security contracts do not reflect these areas, a security company will put just about anyone on the site.

I have seen security guards be interviewed on the spot, be given a reading test, handed a uniform that did not fit and placed on a site to work that night. The security company’s only requirement is to keep the proper number of bodies on a site. They could care less if the person knew anything or not. It’s business and profits to them.

If you contract or hire guards, you need to test them. Once a month, you should have someone unknown to them, try to get past the guards and then follow the trail. Did the guard stop the person? Did the guard report the events? Were the proper people notified? Test like this can help imporve your security and force guards to become ready for a real event.

Another method you need to use is monitoring. You need to link any camera’s to a private location. This can be your office or the internet. Once every few days, look in on the camera images and then call a guard. Tell them they did a good job checking an id or let them know you were watching and just wanted to say they were doing a good job. This does two things for you. One thing it does is let the guards know you are watching them and the other thing it does is lets them know they are doing things right.

Last thing you should do is watch the outside of your building. Many guards think they are out of camera view and will try to do things they should not do. Some will go to their vehicle and sleep, some will meet a friend outside and chat for an hour or so. Other will try to sneak things out or into the building. Watching outside once a week will let you know what is really going on at your location.

One company I know had a problem with missing laptops. They advised the guards to check each person with a laptop to see if they had approval to remove it from the building. After a week, the guards relaxed on their duties. The owner then had someone enter the building, pack up all the laptops on one floor and hide them inside the building. When the guards checked the floor, they noticed all the laptops were gone. The owner then advised he was the one whom hid the laptops to prove a point. After that event, there were no more missing laptops. Sometimes you have to scare the guards into doing their job.

Installers

You may be having an alarm or camera system installed. Do you know if the installer is legal? Many company’s fail to check out their installers. They think the security company has done their job and the person is ok. This is the wrong way to think. This is your building, your security or camera system, your protection against crime, why would you not check out everyone.

The state and federal agencies check out everyone connected to the installation or service of their security equipment. They look at the company, the salesperson all the way down to the person pulling the wire. You should do the same thing.

When it comes to a security equipment installer, many installers must pass a background check conducted by the state. Once a person is approved by the state to install security equipment, the state will issue them a security id. The installer is required to carry the id anytime they are installing.

As the property owner, you can check out to see if the installer is legal or not by asking to see their state security id. They are required by law in many states to show the id when requested by the property owner. If they refuse or give you some lame excuse, then call the police. A police officer can check to see if the person is approved by the state to install security equipment.

Now, you may say “Why do I need to check their id?”. Some companies will use unlicensed or unregistrated people to install systems when the workload is high. Others will use illegal contractors to cut cost. Giving out secure information or information related to a customer’s security system, to an unapproved person is against the law in many states.

This shady person can get your security code, learn placement of devices, learn when you are there and much more. They may return later to clean you out. Always check to see if the installers are legal. Do not trust the security company’s word. I have seen some top security companies use illegal contractors to install security equipment.

The Review

The first thing you should do is walk off your property about 20 feet. Turn around and look. You need to make notes as to what you see. Are there trees blocking the view from a police car driving by the site? Are there items laying around that can be used as weapon? Is all the lighting working? What else do you see wrong?

Doing things like this is called a security check. This should be done once a week. Keep records of any changes made by your staff.

You can start with adjusting shrubs and trees. This is one of the biggest problems. People hide behind them, they have done this for 50 years and will continue to do so in years to come. Do not help them out. Never install a high shrub fence near a doorway. Keep all tree branch’s about 10 feet away from the building.

Pick up any items laying around. Have all ladders stored away and secured after being used.

Wait until dark and check all outside lights. Look for dark areas near the building and any parking areas. If using camera’s, you may want to install IR spotlights.

You want to look at the windows and doors. Are there broken windows? Are doors left open? Are people holding doors open for others? Have locks been improved and are they being used? Is there security film on the windows or glass areas?

Look at the parking area. How far does one have to walk to get to their vehicle? Do security officers walk people to their car? Do you offer a mobile security patrol unit to tour the outside of the building?

Do you need to install barriers to direct vehilce or human traffic in another direction.

Hidden Cameras

Are there strange people sitting around outside watching your building? Are there people using video cameras?

Have you conducted a RF video sweep for hidden cameras. Visitor’s and students can install hidden video cameras inside your school and learn when you enter an area. Some students install or even wear hidden cameras to record illegal images of women undressing. Do the sweep, you may be surprised at what you find.

A simple wireless video receiver is connected to a small handheld monitor. Walk to an area and tune the receiver from one end to the other, very slowly. Watch the monitor to see if you get a picture. If you get a picture, then use the image to id the location. Do not remove the camera. Wait to see who goes to check the camera. That should be the person whom installed it. Once you id the installer, then you can contact the police.

Monitor internet traffic at your school. Many people know about the internet, but there are only a few of us whom remember the newsgroups on the back of the internet. Some students will post threats and other information on these newsgroups. Have your computer expert install a keyword monitoring system. This will alret you when special keywords are used on your computers.

Threats by Cellphone

Students have turned to making threats by cellphones. This can be a threat toward another student or to the school. Place signs up that restrict cellphone use while on school property or during main school hours. Talk with students about getting threats by cellphone, let them know you are there to help.

There are so many areas outside of a building, that relate to security. Speak with a security consultant for advice.

Equipment

The list of equipment that can be used is very long. On the outside you can install IR Beams to alert you of people walking near a building or use hidden microphone’s to hear someone walking across the grass. You can use motion activated camera’s to see movement or install thermo sensors to pick up a person’s body heat.

You can look at the option of driveway sensors, air pressure sensors, contact sensors under door mats, grounding sensors on handrails and even use sensors that detect body odor.

For the inside, you have camera’s, door contacts, card readers, bio sensors, pressure mats, glass breaks, microphone’s, heat sensors, changing air pressure sensors, motion sensors, IR beams, microwave sensors, RF sensors and many more.

Think First

A security consultant can review your site and provide you with options. We have listed just a few things that may improve security at your school. Each location is different and should be reviewed on it’s own merit. Once you have the list of corrections that are needed, you can then contact a security salesperson in that field.

Other areas to consider are computer security, area horns, paging systems, panic button keychains for insturctors, RF taging system for instructors and students location while on the property, cellphone 211 notification system, emergency locking system for inside doors, able to lock classroom doors, security doors or safe rooms, classroom emergency phone system, microphone’s in classroom ceiling, outside emergency video patch for police.

You may also want to use an RF remote command control center. This is a wireless unit worn on the arm or held in your hand. You can open doors, view camera’s, lock out card readers, lock doors and more, all from up to 1/4 mile away from the site. It is a system used in some jails to take back control of a command center if taken over by inmates.

Always look into and report any person or students that you consider a threat to others. Set up your own security team. Update your SOP to meet today’s students and technology. Spend the money for a consultant. They may save you money in the end. No site, not even a jail is 100% secure. You can only do your best and that is all anyone will ever ask of you. Do not go the cheap route, it may cost someone their life.

Read more at http://www.securitytoday.net

About Me

I just wanted to share some of my knowledge with everyone and hope you have learned something. I write a weekly magazine at http://www.securitytoday.net for anyone interested in learning more.

Over 15 years in the sales, design, install and service of electronic systems. Background in secure communications, electronic security systems, cctv, matv, card access, fiber optics, Bio systems, fire, professional audio/ video, gate controls, wireless devices, RF uplink/downlink and more.

Most recent major position was to repair security systems for 40 locations to include a bridge and 2 tunnels damaged by the attacks of 9/11 in NY/NJ. I was picked out of over 10,000 people for the contract due to high skill level in many areas. This contract was funded by an emergency act of Congress. I then worked to design a new electronic security system to withstand future attacks.

I provided supporting design for a $10 million electronic security proposal for British Airways property at JFK airport.

I was requested to sit in on the first phase for the restructure of nationwide airport electronic security, under a new TSA contract with Lockheed Martin in Virginia, USA.

I have been a major installer on high security jails in Virginia.

I have built a broadcast station for the US President at a military post and linked it back to the White House.

I installed a broadcast TV station for the US Coast Guard in NC, USA.

I was former communications coordinator for World Cup Soccer ’94 in Florida and before that I was a Secure Communications Expert with the US Army, teaching and repairing major communication systems.

I have several awards from the US Pentagon and the military for new inventions.

I am willing to work under contract with your site to review your need of electronic system improvements.

I am CEO of Young Media Group, LLC and produce several publications and video’s related to the electronic security industry and music industry.

Visit www.securitytoday.net or www.youngmediagroup.net [http://www.youngmediagroup.net]

Sexual Roleplaying – What it is and the Best Way to Do It

Roleplaying is simply when participants adopt and act out characters that are not themselves. Sexual roleplaying therefore is when couples act out characters with an erotic motivation as part of a sexual fantasy. It can range from being serious with costumes, accents, props, etc. to just being something that is imagined, like being stuck on a deserted island. Practically any role could be involved in sexual roleplaying as long as both people involved are interested. Pretending to be someone you are not can be fun and exciting when done correctly.

Roleplaying can also be good for a marriage as it may be an opportunity for a spouse to ask for something she has always wanted done to her or done for her, but never felt comfortable asking for. For example, in a roleplay where the wife is the dominant person (boss) she might feel more open about telling her husband (employee) that she wants to have her body rubbed in a certain way that she had never asked for before. The reduction of inhibitions can be great for a marriage as inhibitions are a killer of sexual enjoyment.

Some roleplaying scenarios are:

* Animal-related where one is treated as a non-human animal such as a dog or pony
* Hospital fantasies involving doctors, nurses and patients
* Stranger-related one or both spouse pretend to “meet” for the first time
* School related – Headmistress and Student or Teacher and Naughty Schoolgirl
* Photographer and Model
* Stripper and Client
* Business related – Boss and Employee, Boss and Secretary

If this is your first time thinking about roleplaying, start with something simple, like Photographer and Model and then move on to ones where the acting requirement is a little higher.

Roleplaying is a lot of fun and is easy, but there are a few important requirements:

1. It requires open communication
2. It requires a willingness to participate
3. It requires honesty
4. It requires not taking yourself too seriously
5. It requires establishing rules

Let’s examine these requirements in a little more depth.

1. Roleplaying requires open communication – Roleplaying can involve actions that when taken too far, might be uncomfortable for one or both partners. Let’s say a couple pretends to be strangers who meet in a bar. They pretend to have different pasts and even different names. As the night continues, the husband begins to feel uncomfortable being called a different name. As soon as he realizes this, he needs to be able to communicate with his wife that he wants to end the fantasy or just be called his real name and continue, or another option he feels comfortable with. Whichever he chooses, being able to discuss that with his wife, even in the middle of the roleplaying, is vitally important.

2. Roleplaying requires a willingness to participate – Perhaps a husband wants to be the boss and have his wife pretend to be his secretary with a German accent. His wife should not worry about whether that makes sense, if she knows what a secretary does all day, or if she has any idea what a German accent sounds like. She should give it her best try and of course, have fun!

3. Roleplaying requires honesty – The husband finds his new doctor very attractive so he gets his wife to pretend to be a doctor and tries to make the fantasy about his new doctor. This is NOT a situation in which roleplaying should be used, nor is it the purpose of roleplaying. The husband needs to be honest with himself about his motivations for the roleplaying. He may not need to tell his wife he is attracted to his doctor, but he definitely should not start a roleplaying session with the goal of thinking about anyone other than his wife. All sexual fantasy, including roleplaying, is just a tool that helps married couples increase their sexual pleasure with each other.

4. Roleplaying requires not taking yourself too seriously – In a roleplaying session, the husband might pretend to be an airline pilot while the wife pretends to be a stewardess. Since neither of them have real airline clothing, they make do with what they have. His outfit leaves him looking more like a butler than an airline pilot which could lead him to cutting short the session out of embarrassment. Instead if he is able to play around and ignore the idea that he looks silly, he will probably end up having a great time.

5. Roleplaying requires establishing rules – Similar to open communication, rules are important should something need to change or stop during a roleplaying session. This might be as simple as “no” means “no” or could be something that has been pre-arranged as in a certain stopping time for a specific situation. A couple should always stay where they are both comfortable even if a fantasy heads in an unplanned direction. Also, setting and timing need to be right (as with any sexual encounter). Perhaps a roleplaying scenario was planned for today and a wife comes home from a horrible day at work. A postponing may be in order. Again, the ultimate point of roleplaying is to have fun and enjoy each other.

Tips on Writing – Thoughts on Self-Publishing and Print-On-Demand

There are many reasons to self-publish your written work. At one time, self-publishing was considered “vanity press” and elicited little respect. That attitude has changed as many successful writers have self-published and many self-published books have become best-sellers.

There are many types of self-publishing. If you do it completely on your own, you will need an ISBN number and bar code. There are many places on-line where you can download the forms for those. You also must have your book registered in the book indexes. One place to do this is Ingram Books. Once you are listed in the indexes, you will automatically be on Amazon and on Barnes and Noble and the other on-line stores, and brick and mortar stores will be able to order your book.

Many people want to self-publish as a platform for being picked up by a major publisher. This is quite possible, Legally Blonde was such a book. To do this, you must get good sales and good reviews. If you can show good sales, they will at least talk to you.

If you go with one of the Print-On-Demand houses, such as AuthorHouse (there are many others) they will take care of the ISBN, bar code, printing (usually through Lightning Source – a print-on-demand printer) and listing in Ingram so all the indexes know your book is there. Again, if you can generate a lot of sales, and good reviews, you can then approach a major publishing house.

If you don not use a print-in-demand house, you must consider the logistics of warehousing your printed books and delivering them to the end buyer. This can be expensive and cumbersome.

Whether you are self-publishing, doing Print-On-Demand or being picked up by a major publisher, actually, the publicity and promotion of your book is your responsibility, so it is a very good idea to learn how to get copies to reviewers, etc. On-line social media is also a good way to promote a book, but you should not rely on that exclusively, as it has its limits.

Some things to consider when you self-publish:

  1. What kind of paper will the book be published on? It should be acid free or your books will disintegrate fairly quickly. (If you use Lightning Source, they use acid free paper.)
  2. What kind of binding will the book have? Some use inferior glue, etc. and the books will fall apart. (Again, if you use Lightning Source, they have superior quality binding.)
  3. If you use a Print-On-Demand house, do they provide the ISBN number, which is the number used to sell the book? If not, it can be a cumbersome and expensive process to get one and you will need it to sell the book in book stores.
  4. Do they list your title at all the on-line book stores and in brick and mortar indexes? (Many POD houses use Ingram Book Group as part of the service.)

These are just a few of the things to consider when deciding to self-publish your book. It can be a very rewarding process, however.

A Brief History of Female Sexualitys

Sexuality is a “condition” that is characterized and distinguished by sex and passion. It is, again, according to American Heritage Dictionary, “the quality of possessing a sexual character or potency.”

I really like that one. Potency. That means power.

Where “sex” is an act that has a beginning and end, “sexuality” is a quality, a sexual character and power. It has no beginning and end, no more than your personality does or your sense of aesthetics does. Sexuality is essential to your nature. It is you. It is your vitality. It is a wonderful thing.

Of course, the two – sex and sexuality – are related, and very often delightfully intertwined. However, I would argue that while it is possible to be sexual without having sex it is pretty close to impossible to truly enjoy sex without being in touch with your own sexuality. Which, in and of itself, is a pretty good reason to want to embrace your sexuality.

Too many women in the 21st century are divorced from their sexuality even as they participate in sexual acts. They may be having sexual intercourse with their partner or partners multiple times and reaching multiple orgasms but what they are engaged in is about as meaningful and deeply satisfying as riding an exercise bike. As a result, they come away from sex acts with a sense of “what’s the big deal?” or that felt good for the moment. Or, worse, they feel degraded and/or diminished; reduced to an object. For many of them, a good session at the gym would be more fulfilling – and might even provide a more satisfying release.

My dear, let me be very clear – that is not the way it is supposed to be.

Sex without sexuality is too often demeaning, it reduces the sexual act to little more than a heaving, grunting, often-sloppy and sweaty physical endeavor. It is not called the “beast with two backs” for nothing. If all you’re focused on is the “beast” part, the physical act, you cannot possibly be truly engaged in your own sexuality. Your sexuality is not engaged. And, when your sexuality is not engaged, you are removed from the power of the act.

However, with your genuine sexuality engaged, there is nothing you cannot do alone or with a partner that is not uplifting, satisfying and consistent with the person your are – whether that’s a twenty year old college student or a fifty-two year old church volunteer. With your sexuality engaged, that heaving, humping beast with two backs is an explosion of wonderful passion.

In short, it is and can be exotic and mind blowing. And when sex is emotionally deep and erotic, you and your partner are truly bonded together – rather than being the sexual equivalent of opposing and competing wrestlers, with you invariably being the one pinned down for the count, you are in control. You can be more or less dominant and be thrilled by either because no matter how you behave in a sexual encounter, it is true to who you are; it is true to your sense of your sexuality.

Unfortunately, history has rarely embraced this uplifting view of female sexuality. It has long viewed male and female sexuality as opposing forces, in opposition and in competition to one another. Not as it should be.

In ancient China, men who engaged in masturbation risked a complete loss of vital yang essence. As such, it was strictly forbidden. Women did not risk the same loss of their vital essence. The rules about female masturbation were much more specific and focused on a particular concern; women were free to masturbate as much as they liked, as they possessed an unlimited yin, however, they were warned against masturbating with foreign objects which could injure the womb and internal sexual organs.

Because women were understood to have an inexhaustible yin essence, they could keep on having orgasms long after their male partners had been reduced to shrunken, limp lumps of flesh snoring alongside them, while female sexuality was expressed in multiple ways. In addition to masturbation, lesbian relations were encouraged. Male homosexuality was forbidden, however as such behavior was thought to result in a complete loss of yang essence. In this Chinese understanding, sexual relationships between men could only result in the net loss of the yang without any possibility of regaining it, which was possible with heterosexual relationships.

Although a bit at odds with our modern sensibility, at least sexuality in ancient China was deeply rooted to a sense of essential essences. Sex was never just a physical act. Sexuality had everything to do with something basic in the nature of what it meant to be a man or a woman. Therefore, any sexual act was understood in the context of their fundamental essences – yin and yang.

For this reason, prostitution was very much accepted in ancient China. Men seemed to think that engaging with prostitutes gave them the opportunity to gain additional yin from them, more than from “normal” women. Men could “gain” some of that essence from women. In particular, the belief was that a woman who had sex with many men began to acquire some of the yang essence from her customers, yang essence that could then be “shared.” Consequently, it was possible for a man to gain more yang from a sexual encounter with a prostitute than he lost and more than he could gain from relations with his wife who, presumably, only had sexual relations with him.

This somewhat balanced the understanding of what essential male and female sexuality meant and began to change during the Ch’in Dynasty (221 b.c.e to 24 c.e.) when the role and place of women shifted from one of sexual energy to one of more familiar modern gender roles.

When the Ch’in Dynasty shifted from the Taoist culture that had predominated China to a Confusianist culture, women’s roles and the understanding of sexuality and sexual behavior then shifted dramatically. No longer was sexuality and behavior determined by essential nature, by the yin and the yang. Instead, there was a more “traditional” – patriarchal cultural dynamic. The dynamic many of us are currently familiar with. Women were not just possessing of a different essence than men but they were considered inferior to men. Physical relations between men and women were found mostly in marriage and were only to take place in the bedroom. At the conclusion of such “contact,” all physical contact was to end – there was to be no contact even between husband and wife.

In a way that is only too familiar to those of us in Western Civilization, sex itself came to be considered sinful and tolerated solely for the process of procreation.

Even at the conclusion of the Ch’in Dynasty, when the Han Dynasty embraced a return to a Taoist worldview, new perspectives on sexuality and sex had taken hold. Taoism had become a more structured and organized religion, with its own churches and priests. So too, sexuality and sexual behavior had become more rigidly structured. Sexual behavior was formalized, even finding expression in written texts. Two of the most famous of these texts were The Handbook of the Plain Girl and The Art of the Bedchamber.

In both, a “Yellow Emperor” sought to live a long, healthy life and to attain some degree or form of immortality through sex. In order to accomplish his lofty goal he needed to become an expert at techniques that would prolong his orgasm and allow his sexual partner to orgasm several times. By doing so, he would maximize the amount of her yin essence that he would gain from their encounter while minimizing his own loss of yang essence.

While concerns about yin and yang are foreign to our understanding, one valuable insight we can gain from these perspectives is that sexuality was considered essential to who we are and that sexual mores change. This Eastern view is consistent with our understanding that one is a dynamic, constant sexuality fluidity and the other is defined by the times and circumstances of sexual behavior and roles. During times when the two were balanced, there was a sensible and satisfying cultural norm that blends sex and sexuality.

Unfortunately, there have been too many other times when the two were in conflict. This back and forth seems to have defined much of Western culture and history, as well as the role of women and sex in our society. And, as frustrating as it is to find ourselves at the dawn of the 21st century still sorting out the power and need for sexual awareness and the ability to embrace sexuality. Fortunately, we are in a better place than women have been through most of history. We still have a long way to go for women to feel comfortable and confident with their sexuality and know the difference between sex and sexuality.

In Medieval times people’s fears focused on three things: the Devil, Jews, and women. The fear of women was completely tied into the perceived threat of female sexuality. In the “dark, moist heat” of women’s sexuality, men became prostrate with fear and trembling, a fear and trembling that have continued to the beginning of the twentieth century and, in far too many places across the globe, to the dawn of the twenty-first century.

Ironically, texts from the time display an astonishing detail of female anatomy and function. Men seemed to get the physical component right but when it came to understanding and embracing a woman’s essence, they fell far short. And these were not mere “common” men. As seems to be the case over and over again, the hysteria that punished women for being women came from the very minds and men who were capable of understanding physicality. The condemnation of doctors, “physics” and ministers might seem astonishing to us now – the stuff of witch hunts and fiction – but it continues to inform our sensibilities.

The times taught that female sexuality was a serpent that was secretly guided into the heart. Goethe, writing about syphilis, used similar imagery when he demonized the disease as a beast and warning of “a serpent which lurks in the loveliest of gardens and strikes us at our pleasures”.

In this poetic turn, Goethe captured the true “horror” of female sexuality and gets at the heart of men’s fear – it ensnares men in that “loveliest” of gardens, striking them at their “pleasures,” when they are most vulnerable.

In the last half of the nineteenth century, when more “rational” thinking took over, the female disorders of nymphomania, masturbation, moral insanity, hysteria and neurasthenia were almost universally believed to be a serious threat to health and life and civilization. Most “experts” presumed these dire maladies were the inevitable result of reading inappropriate novels or playing romantic music.

Novels and music?!

As irrational as this might seem, there are still large, mainstream religious institutions which separate boys and girls, prohibit music and dancing, and discourage any contact with modern culture.

Are we so very different than those who lived in the Victorian age?

Then, there were instances of mass hysteria much like the Salem witch episodes in which women were taken with something called “menstrual madness” and insanity, diseases which required an immediate response and often a very radical “cure.” Menstrual madness was often “cured” by laparotomy and bilateral “normal ovariotomy.” This is the removal of normal ovaries known as “Battey’s Operation”.

One professor of psychology, Charcot, gave public demonstrations of hysteria in women in the 1870’s that emphasized his belief that most mental disease in women resulted from abnormalities or excitation of the female external genitalia. Or, to put it bluntly, he masturbated these women in public!

Now, these public demonstrations may strike you a bit pornographic because… well, according to our standards today, they were!You could be sure that these “clinical tutorials” were very well attended by scores of men who were only too pleased to witness – in the most graphic detail – the demonic role of the vulva and clitoris in the causation of hysterical attacks in Charcot’s young and, not incidentally, attractive patients.

The Internet does not deliver anything any more graphic or pornographic.

In an historical note, one of Charcot’s pupils was none other than Sigmund Freud, who attended these demonstrations at the La Salpêtrière for five months, repeated this fashionable view in his writings and lectures while also stressing the effect of the mind on gynecological and mental disease.

There is reasonable evidence that Freud modified his case histories – excluding the realities of deviant sexuality and sexual abuse and replacing them with sexual fantasies which would be much more acceptable to the Viennese upper middle class who were his audience.

I trust you are beginning to recognize a pattern here. There is a very clear thematic trend in the history of female sex and sexuality.

During Victorian times, when much of our “modern” understanding of women’s sexuality found its voice, women were taught not to enjoy sexual activity. They were taught to actively repress their passions. They were actually taught – in so many words – that their enjoyment of sex existed in direct proportion to the moral decline of society.

With that kind of burden, it is not surprising that few women felt any sexual desire and satisfaction. How could a woman embrace her lover in full joy when, in the back – or front – of her mind she held the belief, a belief imposed upon her by her teachers, her clergy and her family, that by doing so she was contributing to the destruction of all that was good in the world.

Talk about a surefire way to inhibit pleasure and orgasm!

For the Victorian woman, sex had one purpose and one purpose alone – to procreate. Ugh! Makes it sound like an unpleasant chore, doesn’t it? It followed from this that a girl or woman’s worth prior to marriage (the only social structure in which this procreation could take place) had worth only if she remained chaste and pure.

Once married, she could expect to be engaged by her husband in conjugal acts only when “necessary.”

Let’s pause for a moment just to parse the profoundly disturbing truths in that last observation. The first, of course, is that sex was reduced to an act that was engaged in only when “necessary” – presumably for the relief and release of the husband and to further the goal of procreation. The second, however, is more subtle and even more damaging. “She could expect to be engaged by her husband…” In regards to sex acts, and her sexuality, the woman was to be passive. She was nothing more than the recipient of someone else’s sexual wants, needs and demands – for purposes that she did not demand. She had no control over, no rights to, and indeed, was meant to remain ignorant and disapproving of her own sexuality.

It is impossible to examine the nineteenth-century medical attitude to female sexuality and come away with the feeling that it was anything but cruel and heartless. We would be kind to call it ignorant. But it was too malicious to be merely ignorant. It was damaging and malevolent. With professionals, gynecologists and psychiatrists, leading the charge, the medical professions designed treatments designed to “cure” those serious contemporary disorders, masturbation and nymphomania.

The gynecologist, Isaac Baker Brown (1811-1873), and the distinguished endocrinologist, Charles Brown-Séquard (1817-1894) advocated clitoridectomy to prevent the progression to masturbatory melancholia, paralysis, blindness and even death! A rational person might think that these professionals would have been tarred and feathered for their cruel views.

A rational person would have been wrong.

Society as a whole embraced their horrific view of women.

Before becoming self-righteous in our judgments, however, we must ask ourselves, Have we changed so much? Compare the perspective and behavior of those Victorians to our modern world where this same operation is still being forced upon women and girls in Asia and Africa and certain religious communities throughout the world!

Look at our own communities where young girls and women are made to feel ashamed and “dirty” for having sexual thoughts and desires.

Still, things are much better than our Victorian past, when the medical contempt for normal female sexual development was reflected in public and literary attitudes. Consider that there existed virtually no novel or opera in the last half of the 19th century where the heroine with “a past” managed to survive to the end.

The Victorian woman was reduced to simply a vessel. Oh, she was a highly-valued and a necessary “vessel”. After all, sex was necessary to further the biological imperative. (Imagine someone using a line like that in a bar! “Hello, my dear, would you consider furthering the biological imperative?” My guess is that someone using that line wouldn’t be getting laid that night!)

Any sexual desire that a Victorian woman experienced was, by definition, contradictory to her virtue. According to The Physician and Sexuality in Victorian America (1974) by John S. Haller Jr., and Robin M. Haller, sexual promiscuity was an “ominous indication of national decay,” and not a sign of women’s liberation at that time.

This was the dominant perspective during Victorian times. As bad as it was, Victorian times were not Medieval times. Even against this bleak backdrop, there were other points of view being expressed. Many early “love manuals” actually emphasized sex for pleasure also. These manuals took the position that there could be equality in the marriage bed. An early indication that for sexuality to flourish, there has to be an acknowledgement of the equal needs and value of the partners in the sex act. There has to be respect and value on the needs, wants and desires of each partner.

These manuals took the revolutionary position that a women’s interest in sex depended upon her ability to seek satisfaction along with her partner. Sex could be an enjoyable act separate from its procreative imperative alone.

Joy of joys!

Of course, even these enlightened views were tempered by the presumption that indulging in sex too frequently was likely not a healthy thing and indicative of moral shortcomings.

So, there were other, “quieter voices” that spoke out in favor of greater sexual expression and enjoyment. Unfortunately, the dominant view took the more powerful grip on the culture’s defining morals. During the 1840’s there was a greater emphasis on the health aspects of “conjugal discourse” and less on the enjoyment aspects. There was a tendency to advocate for even less frequency in sex than earlier years. William Acton wrote in his text, Functions and Disorders of the Reproductive Organs (1888), that women experienced “no need for sex.”

No need for sex!? Certainly the idiocy of his position would have been disputed on its face.

Of course it wasn’t. Not only was it not disputed but it was actually applauded by others, including women. Acton’s belief that women were apathetic to the notion of sex in marriage had a great ally in Mary Wood Allen, M.D., Superintendent of the Purity Department of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. She held that “the most genuine love between a husband and a wife existed in the lofty sphere of platonic embrace.”

Thanks for nothing, Mary! I guess her idea of a successful marriage was a husband and wife having a “sleepover” together, perhaps going so far as to hold hands and gaze warmly at one another as the night deepened around them.

As if to prove that when it comes to silly ideas no degree of extremism is impossible, other manuals of the time embraced the idea of marital continence, which referred to the ” voluntary and entire absence from sexual indulgence in any form.”

People who took this position pointed their boney, self-righteous fingers at women who deigned to seek sexual satisfaction and accused them of not leading “God-filled lives.” We have evolved remarkably since then. We tend only to call them names like “slut” or “nymphomaniac.”

Thankfully, there were also sensible voices shouting to be heard. Sometimes, the arguments seemed to build on the foundation that women did not desire sexual satisfaction, as the argument of Elizabeth Blackwell, a physician who believed that female’s lack of sexual lust came from a fear of injury in childbirth. Implicit in her belief was that women lacked sexual desire or lust. So too when she noted that women were passive because men would be rushed to perform quickly, leaving them without gratification.

At least her observations hold true in one fundamental aspect – women have consistently blunted their sexuality and sexual desires in order to maximize the “gratification” of men.

There were enlightened voices crying out. Not everyone was blind to the truth of women’s sexuality. There were physicians who argued that a women’s capacity for sexual gratification was at times more intense and prolonged than the males. These physicians viewed ignorance as the root of the problem women had with sexuality. They argued that women’s lack of sensible sexual education had taught them to believe that any sexual feeling was “indecent and immoral.” As a result, women had become a race of sexless creatures, little more than “married nuns,” who experienced no pleasurable feeling during sex.

But no matter how loudly these voices cried out; no matter how reasonable and rational their arguments, they did not carry the day. Acton’s view remained the dominant articulation of women’s sexuality from the late 1800’s through the middle of the 20th century.

Web Directories – Performance, Purpose, Problems – A General Guide to Web Directories

The path to building a successful web directory is far from a simple task. It requires a certain amount of devotion to take a web directory script and transform it into a heavily used directory. Web directories contain more complexities than meets the eye, and I have learned first hand that the development of a quality web directory is no walk in the park. But a good web directory is worth its weight in gold, for both webmasters & internet surfers alike. Let us enter the world of web directories.

A web directory acts much like a search engine, but on a much smaller scale. Web directories are essentially a categorized index of websites that have been submitted by website owners. Directories normally have search features, allowing users to search through the entire index, just like a search engine. The main differences between a directory and a search engine is that very few directories contain the amount of links that a search engine does. Search engines also collect data from websites, which is used to categorize and rank them. Directories lack the ability to “crawl”, or exam websites as search engines due, therefore the only information a directory contains on a particular website is the information that was submitted by the website owner. Most directories use meta tags and keywords to search for websites, where as search engines use complex algorithms that take into consideration much more than meta tags (the value of meta tags in search engines has actually declined). Web directories are not the most popular internet search tools because huge search engines like Google and Yahoo are much more convenient to use and contain a vast amount of resources available to be searched. The largest and most popular web directory is the Open Directory Project (DMOZ), whose links are indexed by Google, Yahoo, and the majority of other search engines. Google and Yahoo both have their own web directories as well. Though independently owned web directories may not be so popular for internet searchers, they do have their benefits for webmasters & surfers alike.

Web directories can have several purposes, it all depends on what the administration’s intended goals are. Some web directories are purely advertising hot spots, while others focus on driving targeted traffic to the directory. Some directories are free, some paid, others both. Directories can have broad topics, or specific topics. Lets start with the different types of web directories.

First, we have what is commonly referred to as a “niche” directory. Niche directories have a specific topic, or niche, and the links found within the directory reflect that. Examples of a niche would be automotive directories, sports directories, shopping directories, web promotion directories, etc. Niche directories are most beneficial to internet *searchers; they have a specific topic and therefore *surfers and *searchers have a better chance of finding what they want. In a human edited niche directory, you are very unlikely to find spam sites as well.

We will label the next kind of web directory as a “Free for All” directory. Free for all directories have no specific topic. They are very broad in their category selection and links are usually hidden behind several sub-categories. Free for all websites can benefit webmasters so long as the “no follow” tag is not applied (page rank increase), however it is in your best interest to avoid free for all directories for several reasons. Using a free for all directory to search for a website is more likely than not going to require you to sort through heaps of spam. A lot of free for all directories are not human edited due to the massive amount of link requests they receive, and websites are not carefully examined before being approved into the directory. The link quality of some free for all directories is extremely poor. Also, a lot of free for all directories extract data from other directories; how original. No sense in supporting the lack of creativity or devotion in such web directories. Despite a flood of low quality free for all directories, there are some very good ones available. A well organized, human edited (human edited = higher quality links) free for all directory is a great place to search for websites. It also serves webmasters with increased website exposure and if they are lucky, the directory is indexed by Google and other search engines, therefore improving its ranking on search engine result pages.

The final type of web directories that will be examined are the poorest quality ones. Often referred to as “link farms” these directories are not human edited, due to contain high quality links, lack organization and unique features, and more often than not they become blacklisted from the major search engines. Searching these type of web directories is useless, and it’s highly recommended that you do not support such sites. Furthermore, if you are a webmaster, submitting your website to link farms will substantially decrease your popularity amongst search engines. These directories due more harm then good, and consequently give other directories a bad name.

Whether you are submitting a website or searching for one, you will achieve the best results with a high quality niche directory. Webmasters, here are the common submission options for most web directories: Free submission: Submit your website to the directory for free. Simply fill out the form and wait for approval. A “no follow” tag is often placed on free submissions. Regular Submission: A small fee is usually necessary for regular submissions. Regular submissions can sometimes use the “no follow” tag. The main benefit is that submission approval times are significantly faster for regular submissions. Reciprocal Submissions: Free submissions that require a reciprocal link of the web directory to be placed onto the website you are submitting. Reciprocal submissions sometimes use “no follow’ tags, but often do not. Cost is free with reciprocal submissions. Featured Submissions: Paid submissions that grant you premium listing (websites listed in special section of category, generally above regular links), fast submission approval, and paid submissions do not place “no follow” tags on your links, meaning you gain a back link for search engine ranking benefits. Featured and regular submission fees are generally charged per year, and prices vary depending on the directory and the traffic it receives.

Web directories have benefits for both webmasters and internet users. For webmasters, web directories main benefit is website exposure. Webmasters submit their websites to directories to increase their exposure. Not only can they receive traffic from people using the directory, but they can also benefit from a back link; a link to their website indexed by Google. Google ranks pages in several ways, but back links is one of the most important. A quality back link to your website increases your Google page rank. Enough quality directory back links, and your on your way to the top spot in Google search results. Bottom line: Web directories can increase your websites exposure by sending targeted traffic your way. For people using web directories as a search tool, web directories can offer you a big advantage over search engines. Search engine indexing is a big contest between website owners and therefore a lot of high quality content gets left out of the search engine result pages. Top results often go to corporations, big business, or highly devoted marketers. What about the little enthusiast and personal websites that contain valuable knowledge otherwise unavailable on the web?

Well, a lot of these quality content websites can be found in web directories. If you are having trouble finding what your looking for in search engines, try searching for a niche directory and I bet you will find what your looking for. Furthermore, using web directories supports smaller businesses and helps the little guy out. Not everyone has the time or money to spend on internet marketing or website promotion, and web directories are a great way for these small websites to gain some exposure. Big search engines have monopolized the internet search market, and it makes the relationship between big search engines and website owners way to critical. Google doesn’t like you, and your sales drop 75 %. Now that does not seem right, does it? If more people frequented web directories, directory owners would gain a larger slice of the search engine market.

There is a large number of web directories on the internet today that have been blacklisted by Google. It is best to avoid these directories at all costs; having your link listed there will most likely negatively affect your search engine rankings. But how do you know which directories to submit your URL to and which ones to avoid? These guidelines in rating web directories may help:

1. Organization

– Web Directories should be well organized and categorized.

– Categories should be, neither, too broad nor too narrow. Category organization is important, but a directories search feature holds more value for finding links.

– Links should be easily accessible.

– Links should be posted into the correct category. If they are not, this is a sign of automated link approval, which should never be used in a directory. (Even the largest, most powerful of web directories are human edited).

– Poor quality and spam links should not be accepted into any decent web directory.

2. Advertisements

– A quality directory should contain a free submission option, so it is necessary for directories to offer sponsored listings and sale advertisement space. However, the page should not be cluttered with ads. This is a sign that the directory administration is too focused on making a quick buck than enhancing the internet experience.

– If the directory has a specific topic, or niche, than the advertisements should pertain to that topic. Off topic and irrelevant ads do not belong on niche directories.

3. Page Rank (PR)

– Rumor has it that it’s possible to fake some page rank indicators. Make sure your page rank comes from a reliable source when examining the PR of a web directory.

– Page rank is important factor in website popularity. However, directories that boast high page ranks, or have their page rank in the directory name or slogan typically use the page rank factor to compensate for their downfalls. It’s like bragging…and you want a modest web directory. Find a directory that shares and uses their page rank to the benefit of directory users, not a directory that clearly lacks in features but boasts a high PR.

– Directories that display website links within a category in descending order of PR are less desirable than those that display links based on popularity (unique hits). Most desirable first, not highest PR; very beneficial to new websites attempting to build initial PR.

4. No Follow Tag

– A web directory that uses “no follow” tags on all links is useless.

– “no follow” tags are acceptable on free submissions. Reciprocal & featured submissions should not be tagged as “no follow” links. This gives value and meaning to featured (sponsored) & reciprocal links, while controlling the amount of links indexed by search engines to a reasonable number.

– In a quality directory, do not fear a “no follow” on your free submission. A good directory brings in targeted traffic, and though you may be missing out on that back link, there is still a lot of potential for increasing traffic.

5. Reviews, Marketing, & Promotion

– Search around for reviews and recommendations on web directories. There are some really good resources when it comes to choosing quality directories.

– A web directory should be marketed to both webmasters & internet surfers. If a directory only attracts webmasters, what kind of web traffic is it likely to bring? Look into how the web directory is promoted and marketed.
These 5 guidelines can help you distinguish between low quality link farms and high quality, effective web directories. I hope this information helps you in your website’s marketing and promotion campaign, in terms of website directory submission.

Teal Reid, SYC Automotive Directory Administrator

The Hidden Costs of Computerizing Credit and Collection Departments

Most credit departments in America today have become computerized. The credit analysts and collection specialists have been replaced by customer service representatives. The receptionist has been replaced by an obnoxious sounding electronic voice. All these changes have come at a cost to you, the consumer.

When applying for credit, the consumer is now to reduced to a set of numbers that are entered into a computer. Based upon a specific formula, the request for credit is either accepted or denied. Each customer service representative in the credit department is issued a generic set of instructions, and granted an equal amount of authority regarding how to handle every request. In the collection department, the customer service representatives are also issued generic instructions about how to handle disputed claims.

In collection departments many times, extension and deferral requests are now handled by computers . Injecting technology into both of these departments results in financial and emotional costs to consumers. How many of us have designated thirty minutes of our lunch hour to contact one of our creditors to resolve a problem, and after navigating the electronic maze, have been told the estimated wait for this call would be fifteen to twenty minutes? We have various responses to this situation. Our first inclination is to hang up and get on with our lunch hour. This response is understandable, especially if we are sure that the creditor we are calling is the one who is at fault. Unfortunately it comes with the risk of damaging our credit rating and/or costing us significant late fees or finance charges. Another response is to wait on hold for fifteen to twenty minutes.

By the time we talk to a customer service representative, our frustration level is high, and we will likely will have to ask for a quick resolution because our time is running out. In most work places today, personal phone calls are not allowed on company phones. We are required to use our cell phones to make these calls. If it is necessary for us to spend sixty minutes a week contacting our creditors to straighten out their errors, we are using 240 anytime minutes of our cell phone plans. These calls account for over half of a 500 minute cell phone plan!!! In many cases we experience the ultimate in frustration when we spend thirty minutes of our lunch hour trying to deal with a problem, and we discover that the customer service representative we are talking to does not have the authority to handle our dispute. We end the conversation knowing that we will have to spend another lunch hour on the phone with that creditor.

Waiting on hold for long periods of time during a work day can cause people to compromise their jobs. Since people can ill afford late fees and finance charges, they feel as if they have no choice but to continue with the phone calls which cut into their work day. If contact with a collection department becomes too difficult, people who start the process in good faith, may convert to become people who do not care anymore. In many instances, being denied quick access to credit and collection departments results in customers incurring damaging information on their credit reports. One of the results of eliminating qualified people in credit departments in exchange for using generic computer driven credit guidelines to grant credit, is higher risk and more costly credit. Chances are that customer service representatives will not be able to solve problems such as a computer increasing an interest rate from 6% to 19.9% on a customer’s bill because the payment is recorded as a day late, even though the payment arrived on time and was misapplied by the creditor’s accounting department.

At best, it will probably take multiple calls to the institution to correct the problem. The number of credit cards issued to people that can ill afford to have them is another outcome of generic credit policies. Once again, the subsequent payment defaults on these cards are passed onto all cardholders. Due to the considerable sums of money generated by late fees, finance charges and increased interest rates instated after late payments, credit card companies can afford to carry substandard credit card holders.

Some of the results of eliminating collection specialists in collection departments are:

1) Generic instructions do not cover all collection problems.

2) Customer service representatives do not have enough authority to enable efficient solutions for some common problems.

3) Customer accounts become referred further into the collection process due to inadequately trained customer service representatives who cannot “think outside the box”.

4) Due to computerization, it is rare to be able to access the same customer service representative twice. Therefore the customer has to give the complete account history each time he or she makes a call in order to bring the new representative up to speed.

5) When customer service is outsourced, the people working in the phone banks have no background on the accounts, and are unfamiliar with the original representations made by the company.

6) When outsourcing occurs outside this country, many times communication is difficult due to the limited English vocabulary of the customer service representatives.
Before technology was introduced into corporate America, the sales, credit and collection departments worked in concert. In the corporate environment of today, too many times the sales, credit, and collection departments live out the cliche that the “right hand does not know what the left hand is doing”. The consumer is the one who pays for this chaos.

Book Ghost Writing As a Process

It’s an interesting relationship between a book ghost writer and her client, the book author. The client has the original ideas for the work, and the ghost writer is there to bring them to full fruition. In other words, they work on the book together, with the book ghost writer being a professional who does most of the actual writing of the book, while the client only assists with the ideas.

Well, not exactly. There’s more to it than that. In fact, the client or original book author is an integral part of the process, and in fact is writing his own book through the book ghost writer. Book ghost writing is a process, which I’m going to try to break down for you my way, fine-tune experienced after over a decade of book ghost writing. It begins with the client, and is finished through the work of the ghost writer.

The client starts the process, after contacting and hiring the ghost writer, by signing a book ghost writing contract with the writer outlining everything important, such as the legal rights of both parties, who exactly keeps the copyrights, who gets the credit for the book or shares it, etc. Then the client makes a small deposit, such as $5,000 to start, for keeping the professional writer’s time open to work on the book. This can be a completely non-refundable deposit, or half of it can be refundable under certain circumstances, such as the client cancelling the project or the book ghost writer being unable to begin work on it.

Once the project begins, a great first step is for the client to create a book outline and a time line laying out the book’s contents in chronological order. These documents can be sketchy at first, worked on more and filled out later, even being expanded into a table of contents as a further guide for working on the manuscript. Each document only needs to be about one page long. They engrave nothing in concrete, and each can be altered to suit the needs of the overall project.

Next, emails containing attachments in Word or Word Perfect documents, and in my case I prefer to work in Word, are exchanged between the client and the writer. The client starts this by typing out from the beginning of the book until the end, in gradual stages as needed, the book’s contents as envisioned. This can be added to later, and fully edited and rewritten by the ghost writer. Basically, the client at least needs to lay out the ideas of the book as expressed by him, and then flesh them out somewhat for the writer to have material from which to work.

The book ghost writer can do light to heavy research and add related new material by using the resources of the Internet and the local library system. The emails and phone calls between both parties assist the professional writer in shaping, creating, editing, rewriting, proofreading and fully completing the book manuscript. Along the way, the client or book author shares ideas, tells the book ghost writer how he wants his manuscript laid out and written, gives the writer details of the book, and supplies more general ideas and guidelines about the book’s materials.

It is best if the client sends all of the actual information to be worked on with his ghost writer in several email attachments, rather than sending them over the phone or in the bodies of emails as written copy. Some background materials can be on real paper, but generally ghost writers can’t work from handwritten notes, and while some ghost writers use scanners and can scan in typed documents, it’s easier to already have the documents in electronic format. MS Word is the most common software.

Phone calls can be made on a regular basis; you can also arrange Skype conferences and IM or instant message meetings. It’s best for a book ghost writer to always have written records, albeit electronic ones, of everything, so I try to avoid phone calls except for using them for info about the project, not the project itself, or to bring each other up on what’s going on in general. I like to have everything in emails and attachments whenever possible. It’s something solid and reliable in front of me, which I can check on all throughout the project.

The client basically lays out the book’s ideas and overall structure, and the ghost writer fleshes everything out and edits it into a professional, readable, polished book, also properly formatting the manuscript and preparing it to be presented to a literary agent and then a commercial, independent, boutique or self-publisher. The book ghost writer may only ghost write the work in progress, and a separate copy editor and even a separate proof reader may be hired to go over the finished manuscript; or the ghost writer may offer included editing and proof reading services. I do this myself when I ghost write, including the price of editing and proofing the manuscript within the overall book ghost writing price. However, if you can afford this, it’s always wise to hire another outside book editor for a second set of eyes.

The client may ask questions or raise concerns with the book ghost writer at any time during the book ghost writing project. This should be encouraged by any professional writer in order to facilitate the process of creating a solid, well thought out and well written manuscript that reads smoothly, has few typographical or other errors, has been thoroughly fact checked by both parties, and is otherwise ready to present to an agent and then a publisher. The writer’s job is to help the client, the original book author, to craft a book that reads if needed as though it was written by the author client, or at least one that reads professionally well. The ghost writer may work in either the client’s voice, which should come through in the client’s original writing, or in her own voice if the book author doesn’t mind some added creativity in the process.

Also, credit for the work may be shared, with the book ghost writer’s name being featured on the cover under the famous “As told to… ” method underneath the book author client’s name. Or the ghost writer can be not mentioned, with all credit, royalties and success going to the author client. In either case, the advance payment made to the professional writer is her main resource, as the thrust of writing a book for someone else is to make a living at helping you to produce your book project. The writer deserves the relatively high pay, as the book project often lasts from three to six months or longer, and the client is supposed to receive a well written, beautiful, awesome new book, one which hopefully will sell to its selected markets.

At our company, we have many resources at our disposal which involve assisting you in finding an agent and publishing your book, and methods for marketing, promoting and selling your book. We can also guide you to our partners and other networks outside our company which will assist you in arranging book advertising and sales. You may already have business or personal sources you can also use to promote sales.

One last thing: remember that you aren’t writing a book only for yourself, or even just your family and friends. You’re creating a wonderful work of art for both its readers and your long-term posterity, so you should aim for capably reaching out to its audience. Keep your readers forever in mind, trying very hard to write more for them than merely for you, your dreams and your book ghost writer.

Credit Debt Relief – Understanding New Laws and Regulations on Credit Card Companies in 2010

Credit card debt relief has been one of the main areas of focus for the federal government in the past couple of years. Out of the many laws and regulations on credit card companies introduced by the government the ‘Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 is of considerable importance. This act has taken effect from end week of February 2010.

The malpractices adopted by the credit card companies to increase their returns are not unknown to the people in general. These practices tend to increase the total outstanding amount of the debtor. The new law attempts to provide debt relief to the consumers by restricting retroactive rate increases and issuing a ban on double cycle billing.

The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act is supposed to amend the Truth in Lending Act and also attempts to do away with the unfair and deceptive practices of the credit card companies. This brings down the debt burden of the consumers and prevents them from further defaulting.

There are many who are very happy with the new laws and regulations on the credit card companies. But there are many who believe that it will do more harm than good. Because of the restriction of retroactive rate increases the credit card companies will have to give up on a chunk of their profits. Being used to making as much as they do, the company will in turn find other avenues for rate increases to make up their losses. This involves a major bending of the law.

Under the new law the issuers are supposed to give a 45 days notice for rate increases to the consumers and in the first 12 months of issuing the card there should be no increases made. This may come as good news to new card holders but the ones who have been paying their dues regularly for years will find their charges going up (e.g. annual fee increase).

Other increases that the company charges to make up their loss are by increasing various fees (e.g. late payment fees). For example, for simple defaulting where the consumer used to pay (say) $35 will have to shell out $50.

There are other ways by which, the losses incurred because of the new laws and regulations on credit card companies are made up at the cost of the consumer. The annual fees and the transaction fees of the consumers can be increased very easily by providing a 45 days prior notice. Drastic changes have been made by the companies in the calculation of minimum amount payable by the consumers. In certain companies it has been increased by more than 50%.

For example if a consumer has $10000 as balance, he had been paying a minimum amount due of 2% i.e. $200. The companies are now in a position to increase this 2% to 5% which will result in the consumer paying $500. Therefore, the consumer ends up paying $300 more every month that he could otherwise have saved. This sudden increase may cause the consumer to default.

So, it can be seen that while the new law attempts to provide debt relief to a section of consumers, it increases the debt burden on the others. This too can be controlled if the credit card companies for the time being settle for lesser profit for greater good.

The Beauty of Swallow Bird Tattoo Designs

These days many people blend sparrow bird tattoo and swallow bird tattoo well, to come up with something unique. To relate sparrow tattoos with sailor is quite unpleasant for the sailors. Most of the bird tattoos you commonly see are swallow bird tattoo, though some may call them as sparrow bird tattoo. So, be careful before you get a bird tattoo done. Conventionally the sailors’ likes swallow and anchor tattoo. Some men get a tattoo of their mother or a beloved on their upper arm or the forearm.

Swallow bird tattoo these days is not only popular among the sailors or the bikers; it has become a fashion for every one among four people. Many women get a swallow bird tattoo on their neck or their back as a style statement. It is quite trendy to have a tattoo on your lower back; some of the common designs are lotus flower and dragons. There are different types of bird tattoos available, among them swallow bird tattoo are quite common and popular. It is a very beautiful blue color forked tail with pointed wings bird. Sparrows are plump, small and short winged bird. As theses two birds are quite similar they can be confused quite easily for one another. It is quite rare sight to witness a genuine sparrow tattoo. Even if you do happen to witness a sparrow tattoo it is mingled with some religious ideas.

Swallow bird tattoos are quite liked by people and are thereby quite popular. Generally, swallows are related to sailors, as these birds live on lands. So whenever, a swallow is seen sailor is satisfied to know, there is land at close hands. Also, swallow birds return to their mating place every year. The sailors take it to be a symbol, indicating their happy return to home. A swallow tattoo symbolizes the sailors seasoning. A sailor would get their first tattoo done, only once they would have traveled a considerable distance of 5,000 miles and then there next tattoo at next 5,000 miles. As swallow bird is very beautiful, you have an opportunity to give many colors to it. To make a tattoo worthwhile, it is important to personalize it.

With your tattoo there should be some event or a story to narrate it, to show how special it is for you. To express your feelings, make use of your imagination. Online tattoo gallery is a place where you can find great tattoo designs for yourself. If you have a membership of some tattoo gallery, then you can access the gallery unlimited times, and see the unique and exquisite designs. You can even download them, without paying any extra penny for it. So, look out for online galleries and choose for yourself the best swallow bird tattoo.