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I recently did a segment on The Morning Blend entitled: "Always a Bridesmaid Never a Bride? Maybe the Reason is You! Things Your Friends May Not Know How to Tell You!" As a young adult fiction writer for tweens/teens, I'd like to share some tips that will help you in about 10 years or so. It's stuff that your mother should be teaching you, but in case she's not sharing these tidbits, I'll save you years of therapy bills later in life. Imagine this scenario, it's June, 2020, and you're ten years wiser. It's also wedding season again, you want the ring, and your ring finger is still naked. Consider this?

JC’s Bakers’ Dozen: Life Rules Girls Should Learn in Their Teens:

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On May 10, 2010, entertainer and civil rights activist, Lena Horne died at the grand age of 92. Even at 92, she remained one of the most beautiful women in the world. Her chiseled cheekbones and jawline still prominent and her eyes still alive and vibrant after 92 years of living. If you were born in the 90's or post Y2K, you might not have a full appreciation of why the world is mourning the loss of this great talent. Visit wikipedia and read about her. You will read that she was an amazing woman whose talent, beauty and grace made her an international superstar in a time when bigotry, prejudice and segregation were the law of the land in these United States. When Halle Berry became the first African American to win an Oscar, she gave a tearful shout out to Lena Horne for paving the way. I always tease that I'm Halle Berry's age, which is about the only thing we have in common. But I can share that the phenomenal Lena Horne was also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. like me, so I share that in common with this remarkable woman!

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As many of you know, I write using a pen name. My ego wanted me to publish using my full name, including my middle name, but my humbler side coaxed me to publish using a pen name that had special meaning to me. I'm a Christian, and I decided to use JC so that I am reminded to always place Jesus Christ at the center of my life. My actual initials are JC, and many of my closest friends have always called me JC as a nickname, if I heard them use my proper name, I wouldn't know how to respond. I use JC Ellis when I do television appearances, because JC Ellis rolls off the tongue easier than JC Conrad-Ellis. Legally, my last name is hyphenated. I've been married for a looooong time now, and I still use Conrad-Ellis as my last name. The Ellis family that I married into is wonderful, but I am proud of my Conrad ancestry and proud to have been born into a family of accomplished Conrad men and women. I'm glad that I chose to hold on to my "maiden" name when I married. My name. My choice.

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I am now officially the mother of a teenager. To celebrate this milestone, we made a special trip to Sephora for her first make-up application lesson. As a former model, I could have easily shown my daughter how to apply her make-up, but thought it wise to bookmark this rite of passage by having professionals demonstrate proper technique.

I limited the application lesson to blush, mascara and eye liner. At thirteen, her skin is still blemish free and evenly toned. We both pray it stays that way. After the make-up lesson, she smiled in modest delight. While walking through the mall, I caught her admiring her reflection in mirror after mirror. I smiled as I was able to relive the newness and excitement of wearing make-up for the first time through my daughter's eyes. "I feel pretty," she squealed. I was pleased that she was excited about wearing make-up, but sad that it took wearing make-up to make her feel pretty. She was pretty before the make-up application. Didn't she know that? I knew the source of the comment.

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In an earlier blog post, I shared that my children have coined a new word in our house. The word is "framily" and it stands for friends that are more like family than friends. Our "framily" consists of people that are closer than some of our actual family members.

One of the cool things about friends is that you can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family. You control who becomes your "framily" and the folks that make up your "framily" network circle of support. Sometimes, the people in your friendship/framily circle of support will feel more like family than your biological family does. And that's okay and normal. So when you're shopping for friends, you want to make sure that you don't fill your shopping cart with rotten fruit!

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I recently participated in a conference where I was shocked by the boorish behavior of a colleague's tween daughter. Let's call her Jane. A beautiful, well spoken child, Jane decided that instead of joining the children in her age group, she preferred to sit with the adults. I don't recall where Jane's mother was, or if Jane's mother signed off on this act of rebellion.

Jane quietly chatted with a mother whose children attend the same school that she does. Initially, Jane's presence proved slightly helpful as she involved herself in our task; however, Jane's well intentioned efforts soon began to hinder our well structured process. It wasn't Jane's help that was a hindrance, it was her attitude.

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Last summer, my son left his DS game in the back of the rental car after our annual family vacation. We realized it in the airport, but racing to catch our flight, we didn't have time to go back and retrieve it. We called the rental car company, and they said they'd look for it. We never heard from them again. My husband and I, blamed ourselves for not doing a thorough sweep in the rental car. My son was six.

A few weeks ago, my daughter left her DS I (the newer, more expensive version of the DS) at the salon where she'd just gotten her hair done. She realized it as we were pulling into the driveway. We phoned and they found it so my husband picked it up on his way home from the office. She's almost ten, and the item was a Christmas gift from her grandparents.

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When my son was learning to swim, he showed a slight fear of the water initially. While his olders sisters swam in the deep end like great white sharks, my son was afraid to get his face wet at first. "I got you!" my husband would encourage. "I'm not going to let you drown. I've got your back." With his chubby fingers gripping his dad's shoulders, he would allow himself to be dunked into the water. Once Brian, Jr. saw a younger playmate diving for the pool floaties, his fear dissipated and now he's a good swimmer. Nothing like a little peer pressure to make fear go away.

My son trusted that his dad would not let him go. As we mature, we exchange the comfort and security of our parent's strong arms and laps for those of friends and later we include significant others and spouses.

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Most women remember their first crush and their first heart break. Sometimes, images of the first heart break are more vivid than that of your first crush. I recently did a segment on The Morning Blend, a daily talk show that airs live in my city. The segment that I wrote and delivered was entitled: "How to Get Dumped with Dignity, Style & Grace." I asked the question, 'should relationships have an expiration date?'

Not all relationships have a forever shelf life. People are in your life for a reason and a season. All good things must come to an end, etc. But when a relationship ends, how do you handle it?

In Chemistry, Chaos & God's Grace, the 3rd book in my Black Diamond Series, the characters are sixteen and seventeen and most of them have boyfriends. One of the girls gets dumped in a very cruel way. As she tearfully replays the story to her friends, they decide that her reaction to the break up was all wrong, so they decide to come up with a play book or script for how to get dumped with dignity.

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It's been snowing for the last nine hours.   A record snowfall was always a perfect opportunity to "get your hustle on." aka make some money.  For those not in the know, a hustle is a job.  Where I'm from, when it snowed all day, teens armed with snow shovels (not snow blowers, but actual shovels) would canvass the neighborhood ringing doorbells offering to shovel sidewalks and driveways.   As a child, I loved being out in the snow.  Dressed like a bronze eskimo, I would shovel for hours just for fun.  It was fun to see just how clear I could get our sidewalk.  My dad would try to make me stop, saying that my brothers should/could shovel, but I wouldn't.  I enjoyed the tranquility of moving the soft snow.   The neighborhood kids (mostly boys) "got their hustle on" by knocking on doors and asking if they could shovel your sidewalk or help you dig out your car.  They knew which houses had able bodied teens and which houses had people who didn't have anyone to help move the snow.   

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I recently did a segment on The Morning Blend entitled: "Always a Bridesmaid Never a Bride? Maybe the Reason is You! Things Your Friends May Not Know How to Tell You!" As a young adult fiction writer for tweens/teens, I'd like to share some tips that will help you in about 10 years or so. It's stuff that your mother should be teaching you, but in case she's not sharing these tidbits, I'll save you years of therapy bills later in life. Imagine this scenario, it's June, 2020, and you're ten years wiser. It's also wedding season again, you want the ring, and your ring finger is still naked. Consider this?

JC’s Bakers’ Dozen: Life Rules Girls Should Learn in Their Teens:

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On May 10, 2010, entertainer and civil rights activist, Lena Horne died at the grand age of 92. Even at 92, she remained one of the most beautiful women in the world. Her chiseled cheekbones and jawline still prominent and her eyes still alive and vibrant after 92 years of living. If you were born in the 90's or post Y2K, you might not have a full appreciation of why the world is mourning the loss of this great talent. Visit wikipedia and read about her. You will read that she was an amazing woman whose talent, beauty and grace made her an international superstar in a time when bigotry, prejudice and segregation were the law of the land in these United States. When Halle Berry became the first African American to win an Oscar, she gave a tearful shout out to Lena Horne for paving the way. I always tease that I'm Halle Berry's age, which is about the only thing we have in common. But I can share that the phenomenal Lena Horne was also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. like me, so I share that in common with this remarkable woman!

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As many of you know, I write using a pen name. My ego wanted me to publish using my full name, including my middle name, but my humbler side coaxed me to publish using a pen name that had special meaning to me. I'm a Christian, and I decided to use JC so that I am reminded to always place Jesus Christ at the center of my life. My actual initials are JC, and many of my closest friends have always called me JC as a nickname, if I heard them use my proper name, I wouldn't know how to respond. I use JC Ellis when I do television appearances, because JC Ellis rolls off the tongue easier than JC Conrad-Ellis. Legally, my last name is hyphenated. I've been married for a looooong time now, and I still use Conrad-Ellis as my last name. The Ellis family that I married into is wonderful, but I am proud of my Conrad ancestry and proud to have been born into a family of accomplished Conrad men and women. I'm glad that I chose to hold on to my "maiden" name when I married. My name. My choice.

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I am now officially the mother of a teenager. To celebrate this milestone, we made a special trip to Sephora for her first make-up application lesson. As a former model, I could have easily shown my daughter how to apply her make-up, but thought it wise to bookmark this rite of passage by having professionals demonstrate proper technique.

I limited the application lesson to blush, mascara and eye liner. At thirteen, her skin is still blemish free and evenly toned. We both pray it stays that way. After the make-up lesson, she smiled in modest delight. While walking through the mall, I caught her admiring her reflection in mirror after mirror. I smiled as I was able to relive the newness and excitement of wearing make-up for the first time through my daughter's eyes. "I feel pretty," she squealed. I was pleased that she was excited about wearing make-up, but sad that it took wearing make-up to make her feel pretty. She was pretty before the make-up application. Didn't she know that? I knew the source of the comment.

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In an earlier blog post, I shared that my children have coined a new word in our house. The word is "framily" and it stands for friends that are more like family than friends. Our "framily" consists of people that are closer than some of our actual family members.

One of the cool things about friends is that you can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family. You control who becomes your "framily" and the folks that make up your "framily" network circle of support. Sometimes, the people in your friendship/framily circle of support will feel more like family than your biological family does. And that's okay and normal. So when you're shopping for friends, you want to make sure that you don't fill your shopping cart with rotten fruit!

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I recently participated in a conference where I was shocked by the boorish behavior of a colleague's tween daughter. Let's call her Jane. A beautiful, well spoken child, Jane decided that instead of joining the children in her age group, she preferred to sit with the adults. I don't recall where Jane's mother was, or if Jane's mother signed off on this act of rebellion.

Jane quietly chatted with a mother whose children attend the same school that she does. Initially, Jane's presence proved slightly helpful as she involved herself in our task; however, Jane's well intentioned efforts soon began to hinder our well structured process. It wasn't Jane's help that was a hindrance, it was her attitude.

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Last summer, my son left his DS game in the back of the rental car after our annual family vacation. We realized it in the airport, but racing to catch our flight, we didn't have time to go back and retrieve it. We called the rental car company, and they said they'd look for it. We never heard from them again. My husband and I, blamed ourselves for not doing a thorough sweep in the rental car. My son was six.

A few weeks ago, my daughter left her DS I (the newer, more expensive version of the DS) at the salon where she'd just gotten her hair done. She realized it as we were pulling into the driveway. We phoned and they found it so my husband picked it up on his way home from the office. She's almost ten, and the item was a Christmas gift from her grandparents.

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When my son was learning to swim, he showed a slight fear of the water initially. While his olders sisters swam in the deep end like great white sharks, my son was afraid to get his face wet at first. "I got you!" my husband would encourage. "I'm not going to let you drown. I've got your back." With his chubby fingers gripping his dad's shoulders, he would allow himself to be dunked into the water. Once Brian, Jr. saw a younger playmate diving for the pool floaties, his fear dissipated and now he's a good swimmer. Nothing like a little peer pressure to make fear go away.

My son trusted that his dad would not let him go. As we mature, we exchange the comfort and security of our parent's strong arms and laps for those of friends and later we include significant others and spouses.

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Most women remember their first crush and their first heart break. Sometimes, images of the first heart break are more vivid than that of your first crush. I recently did a segment on The Morning Blend, a daily talk show that airs live in my city. The segment that I wrote and delivered was entitled: "How to Get Dumped with Dignity, Style & Grace." I asked the question, 'should relationships have an expiration date?'

Not all relationships have a forever shelf life. People are in your life for a reason and a season. All good things must come to an end, etc. But when a relationship ends, how do you handle it?

In Chemistry, Chaos & God's Grace, the 3rd book in my Black Diamond Series, the characters are sixteen and seventeen and most of them have boyfriends. One of the girls gets dumped in a very cruel way. As she tearfully replays the story to her friends, they decide that her reaction to the break up was all wrong, so they decide to come up with a play book or script for how to get dumped with dignity.

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It's been snowing for the last nine hours.   A record snowfall was always a perfect opportunity to "get your hustle on." aka make some money.  For those not in the know, a hustle is a job.  Where I'm from, when it snowed all day, teens armed with snow shovels (not snow blowers, but actual shovels) would canvass the neighborhood ringing doorbells offering to shovel sidewalks and driveways.   As a child, I loved being out in the snow.  Dressed like a bronze eskimo, I would shovel for hours just for fun.  It was fun to see just how clear I could get our sidewalk.  My dad would try to make me stop, saying that my brothers should/could shovel, but I wouldn't.  I enjoyed the tranquility of moving the soft snow.   The neighborhood kids (mostly boys) "got their hustle on" by knocking on doors and asking if they could shovel your sidewalk or help you dig out your car.  They knew which houses had able bodied teens and which houses had people who didn't have anyone to help move the snow.