5This paper focuses on a particular kind of romance novel, namely the so-called “category romance”. As the name implies, category romances are popular romance novels that are published in a category or series (also called line or imprint), which groups together similar types of romance stories.3 Examples of category romance lines include the Blaze series (featuring sensual romances), the Intrigue line (featuring romances with a suspense subplot) or the Medical Romance imprint (featuring romances set in a medical context). Series membership traditionally determines a large part of the category romance’s identity, which is reflected in the prominent place the series imprint takes up on the category romance’s front cover (see figure 1). The front cover is traditionally also dominated by the eye-catching image of a couple (often partially undressed) locked in a passionate embrace. This image, known within the romance community as the “clinch”, has become an iconic visual marker for popular romance in our culture and renders the novel’s generic identity unmistakable (McKnight-Trontz 17 ; Wendell and Tan 170).

The rationale: Feeling happy comes down to where you direct your thoughts. What are you thinking about most often? To take control of your focus, you have to feed your mind. What you feed your mind is what you become. So to become the best possible you, you need to give your mind the most nutritious content possible. To put it another way, Jim Rohn said, “Every day, you have to stand guard at the door of your mind.” Why? Because the longer you hold things – ideas, thoughts, feelings – in there, the more you start to accept them unconsciously. And then you start to develop meanings that take over your life, likely in ways that won’t serve you.


I loved this. I loved programming when I had a great teacher that explained stuff quite well and made me quite excited to try making my own games! But as I progressed through my course my teachers weren't as good and to this day I still have trouble with C++ or object-oriented programming in general. This rekindled that love for typing code and built a bridge between my love for C and my fear of C++. But enough of my story - I want to talk about the game!

Feeling overwhelmed with life? Take the time to write it down. Having clarity of mind can most definitely lower stress levels, allowing you to enjoy yourself and embrace happiness in your life. Next time you are utterly frustrated take a piece of paper, pen and write everything that comes to mind. You are literally taking a brain dump, but it will leave you feeling rested and with some additional space in your brain for happy thoughts!


Again, it depends on the dedication that's present – some people get engaged but then never set a date or make any wedding plans – before you know it you've been engaged for three years and you're not any closer to saying "I do". I think at this stage that his actions are what's important – the more he's actively participating in the planning of the wedding the more committed he is to the relationship.
Gary Smalley was one of the country's best-known authors and speakers on family relationships. He was the award-winning, best-selling author or coauthor of sixteen books, as well as several popular films and videos. The Blessing and The Two Sides of Love have won Gold Medallions, The Language of Love won the Angel Award as the best contribution to family life, and his other titles have received Si ...more
Gary Smalley was one of the country's best-known authors and speakers on family relationships. He was the award-winning, best-selling author or coauthor of sixteen books, as well as several popular films and videos. The Blessing and The Two Sides of Love have won Gold Medallions, The Language of Love won the Angel Award as the best contribution to family life, and his other titles have received Si ...more
Dr. Berney is a Licensed Psychologist with over 10 years of clinical experience and specializes in pediatric psychology, neuropsychology, and forensic psychology. Dr. Berney provides a wide array of mental health services to his clients, including individual therapy, family therapy and parent training, psychological and neuropsychological assessment, forensic evaluations, and group therapy. In addition to his clinical services, Dr. Berney has conducts workshops and seminars to professional and community groups across the nation. He writes a weekly column in The Ledger entitled The Mental Breakdown and is co-author of several works, including the Handbook for Raising an Emotionally Healthy Child (available on Amazon Kindle), The Elimination Diet Manual (available on Amazon Kindle), and the Pediatric Behavior Rating Scale. Dr. Berney is also the co-host of two weekly podcasts, The Mental Breakdown and The Psychreg Podcast, both of which can be found on iTunes.
Meeting the Hmong women that day in Vietnam reminded me of an old adage: “Plant an expectation; reap a disappointment.” My friend the Hmong grandmother had never been taught to expect that her husband’s job was to make her abundantly happy. She had never been taught to expect that her task on earth was to become abundantly happy in the first place. Never having tasted such expectations to begin with, she had reaped no particular disenchantment from her marriage. Her marriage fulfilled its role, performed its necessary social task, became merely what it was, and that was fine.
Correctly “reading” the signs of commitment in a potential long-term partner is crucial. This is most important earlier on, of course, prior to “settling down” with someone, particularly when one partner wants to know if the relationship has a future. You can press for this information too soon, but you can also wait too long to get the big question clarified: Is this person as into me as I am into them? Can this relationship turn into a commitment? When you don’t get solid information about commitment as things progress, you can miss important signs of unequal commitment. That’s a lousy place to land.
The reason why, however, is still a mystery to scientists. Chances are, it's a combination of factors: One study in 2013 suggested that because older people are more experienced, they're therefore better at dealing with negative emotions like anger and anxiety. Another more recent study suggested the cause could be that older people are more trusting, which comes with a number of healthy psychological benefits that lead to happiness.
5. Look for meaning. Re-frame an event to see the positive along with the negative. Maybe getting fired will give you the push you need to move to the city where you’ve always wanted to live. Maybe your illness has strengthened your relationships with your family. You don’t need to be thankful that something bad has happened, but you can try to find positive consequences even in a catastrophic event.
31In a similar vein, the preview scene also allows the romance reader to get a first sense of what in the romance community is often referred to as the author’s voice. In this context, the term “voice” refers to the conglomerate of elements that characterize an individual’s writing (Goris, “Loving by the Book” 80). Voice is determined by both narrative and linguistic elements and includes such things as the rhythm of the text, the cadence of the dialogue, the pace of the story, the tone of the narrative, the development of the characters, etc. As I have pointed out elsewhere, voice is an important evaluation criterion in the popular romance genre and one that both editors and readers frequently cite as a potentially decisive factor in their evaluation of a particular romance novel.15 Although voice is a fluid and compound notion, the preview scene provides the romance reader with a first impression of the author’s voice, which in many ways functions as the primary parameter of singularity in the category romance novel. Given the importance of the voice in the reader’s enjoyment of the narrative, this impression is likely to factor into the reader’s decision to read (and buy) the novel, and it thus bestows a commercially important function on the preview scene.

9 While the clinch image is the most common image on the front cover of the category romance novel, other types of images include an image of a single person (most frequently a man) or a more domestic image of a couple with children or pets. For a (non-academic) discussion of these other types of romance front cover iconography, see Wendell and Tan 176-177.


Look, I don’t want to risk romanticizing the oh-so-simple life of the picturesque rural peasant here. Let me make it clear that I had no desire to trade lives with any of the women that I met in that Hmong village in Vietnam. For the dental implications alone, I do not want their lives. It would be farcical and insulting, besides, for me to try adopting their worldview. In fact, the inexorable march of industrial progress suggests that the Hmong will be more likely to start adopting my worldview in the years to come.

My wife and I, in many respects, are opposites. I’m much more open with my emotions and feelings. She tends to keep them in. We both show our emotional intelligence in different ways. Socially, it takes me a little longer to get comfortable in a crowd, but then, I’m a total extrovert. My wife, who’s more introverted, is a social butterfly at galas and large social gatherings.

11 It is interesting, however, that in Romance Writers of America’s 2005 market study only 12% of romance readers indicated a preference for “romantic covers” while 35% indicated a preference for “sedate or abstract covers”. The matter does not seem to be a potential deal breaker, however, as the majority of readers (53%) indicated that they “prefer both types of covers”.

I don’t mean to imply that the Hmong don’t believe their children matter; on the contrary, they are famous in anthropological circles for building some of the world’s most exceptionally loving families. But this was clearly not a society that worshiped at the Altar of Individual Choice. As in most traditional societies, Hmong family dogma might effectively be summed up not as “You matter” but as “Your role matters.” For, as everyone in this village seemed to know, there are tasks at hand in life—some tasks that men must do and some tasks that women must do—and everyone must contribute to the best of his or her abilities. If you perform your tasks reasonably well, you can go to sleep at night knowing that you are a good man or a good woman, and you need not expect much more out of life or out of relationships than that.
After reading EAT, PRAY, Love by this author, I had high expectations. In this book Ms. Gilbert takes the reader through her struggle with the idea of marriage even though she has fallen in love and the only way she can really have a life with him is to marry him. She takes us on a world tour as they travel the earth together waiting for him to get a visa to enter the country, but the thing I learned and admired about this author is how much research and thought she gave to her decision to marry and what finally encouraged her to become comfortable with the idea of matrimony.
By committed, I mean someone who is faithful. Reliable. They’re there for you. The have your best interests in mind. Loyal love can, at times, not feel warm and fuzzy, but it is faithful and committed. Or compassionate love, where there’s a warmth, a feeling. There’s no question that they love you because you can feel their love. But it can be a little more come-and-go in expression.
A partnership is not just about the emotions and feelings of love. A partnership is about commitment, and being responsible to that commitment regardless of what the external variables of the time are. It's about the commitment to choosing decisions that will serve the relationship even when it would "feel" better to not. Married or not married, when you decide to enter into a partnership with another, commitment means you act with integrity, respect and care -even when your emotions are telling you otherwise.

The rationale: No matter how much you feed your mind, it’s difficult to make an actual change in your life if your body stays the same. Your mind and body are one unit. What is happening to one influences the other. Whether you feel uncertain or fantastic, your physiology changes. When you are feeling physically strong and powerful, your mind follows suit. Changing how your body works can change your mind and your general worldview.


Noah Cho: I don't like looking at myself in the mirror and I think that when Code Switch asked me to take the pictures to be included with the piece, that was actually really the hardest part of that. The writing was actually fairly easy because that came from a really wounded place in me, but to actually have to see my picture was far more difficult. And yes, of course, that does speak to my self-esteem.
Notice, talk about, and write about what does feel good in your life today. It could be the pancakes for breakfast, the call to or from a dear friend, yoga at the gym, the flowers you saw on your walk, your good vision and hearing, the cleared desk or table, or anything that leads you to more peace and contentment. I sometimes read my list of gratitudes when I’m feeling grumpy or overextended. When I take a few moments to focus on what does feel good, I’m usually much more able to settle down and do what feels important to do.

Not only is it mentally stimulating (not to mention fun), but challenging yourself to learn a new skill can lead to greater happiness, experts say. That’s thanks to the feelings of accomplishment and self-confidence that often come along with gaining new expertise. Consider this your cue to sign up for those French lessons you’ve always wanted to take, or pick up the ukulele—choose something that genuinely interests you, and run with it!
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