Obvious Things

sherlock“By George!” cried the inspector. “How did you ever see that?”
“Because I looked for it.”
~Sherlock Holmes The Adventure of the Dancing Men

“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.”
~Sherlock Holmes The Hound of the Baskervilles

“Education never ends, Watson. It is a series of lessons, with the greatest for the last.”
~Sherlock Holmes His Last Bow

My novels are works of fiction, but they couldn’t be more true in their details. My facts are solid. The only thing I take liberty with as a writer is how I stitch the facts together.

A little known fact of me — I’ve read the entire 1985 World Book Encyclopedia. It took me about six years with all the updates (No, I did not read the updates entirely, just the stuff that interested me).

An obscure fact of me — I was raised in market research. My family had a business that introduced companies to the benefit of both. To do that you needed to know what those companies needed. That required research. I was full-blown researching at a very early age, and that was long before the internet put research capabilities at my fingertips. I love it. It’s like hunting for treasure. Combine an entire encyclopedia with a penchant for treasure hunting and you get a very busy mind that loves information and has one crazy fertile imagination. 🙂 

Sadly, the older I get, the more blank pages turn up in my mental vault. It’s just as well. Knowledge grows exponentially. My brain wouldn’t have room for the new stuff!

So…when I think up topics for my blog posts, I basically get an idea from the vault and run with it. This symbol series started on January 5th because I read the Huffington Post piece on the top baby names popular in 2013. That coincided with my interview on Romance Books ‘4’ Us where I was asked how I chose names for my characters. Well, I’m all about synchronistic events! That started this ball rolling. Do scroll down to previous posts if you haven’t been here before.

My character names often symbolize something. As mentioned at the start of this series, I’ve been fascinated by symbols since I was a child. They set my imagination buzzing — zodiac, Periodic Table, planets, old west cattle brands, signs, you name it. They charm me. I’ve also mentioned that I like coloring with words. Words themselves are symbols for thought. At the end of this post, I have a link to sampler of 1st and 2nd chapters from my novels (18+ adult novels). It’s free. Sample them with uncovering symbols in mind, and you’ll see a rainbow of nuance.


I didn’t foresee this body symbol portion of my series to run on like it has. I hadn’t considered there would be so many! I’m sure if you were to think about it, you’d come up with even more. Today I’m wrapping up those telltale body symbols we do on purpose or display subconsciously. Think about adding some extra body language to your characters’ lives to add depth to the story. Or just for fun! 

Sucking in the belly – look at me
Chest back, belly out – you’re uncomfortably close to me, back off
Rubbing belly – seeking comfort

Rubbing belly – (situational – pondering or having uncomfortable thoughts)
Thrusting hips – provocative, overtly sexual
Hips drawn back – uncomfortable, protecting the vulnerable spot
Hips sideways – (situational – a subtle indication of what you really want)
Swaying hips, sashay – suggestive sexual display
Hands on hips – waiting
Hands on hips, stance wide – growing impatience
Hands on hips, elbows wide – (situational, could mean aggression)
Cupping hand gesture – the topic needs extra care
Gripping hands – possessiveness, ownership
Holding your own hands – seeking comfort
Wringing hands – extreme nervousness, woe
Fist in hand – repressed anger
Hands wrapped around a mug etc – self-comfort
Hands clenched thumbs up – pleasure
Cupped hand weighing gesture – evaluation
Fingers curled, thumbs inside – seeking comfort
Hand out sideways – greeting
Laced fingers propping chin – thinking, listening
Laced fingers behind head – carefree, evaluation
Drumming fingers – impatience
Finger tracing a circle at the temple – he’s nuttier than a squirrel!
Index finger to thumb, other fingers out – it’s ok, all is good
One finger in the air – (Situational – seeking attention or having a point)
Hand with/without one finger in air, arm raised – attention, pick me!
Finger tapping temple – (Situational –
think about it, he’s touched in the head!)
8 fingertips on the mouth – received shocking news
Hiding hands – (Situational –
lying, concealing, I don’t care to talk, I want to listen to you)
Hand on face, middle finger over mouth – evaluating
Steepled fingers –  (Situational – thinking, superiority, confidence)
Rubbing hands together – (Situational –
cold, plotting, excitement, anxious to get going)
Palms flat together – prayer, contemplation
Hand massage – stress, anxiety
Palm(s) up – (Situational –
beseeching, asking for help greeting, nothing to hide)
Fiddling fingers – expelling tensile energy
Handshake, simultaneous arm grip – dominance
Firm handshake – display of strength, alpha move
Handshake, quick withdrawal – submission, discomfort
Finger point – that way!
Fist pound into palm – rage
Snap – like that! That fast! In an instant
Clapping hands – approval
Sharp clap – attention getting
Thumbs up – it’s ok, liked
Thumbs down – it’s not ok, disliked
Thumb jerk over shoulder – that way!
Finger slash over throat – your dead, it’s dead, it’s done
Palm out – Stop I’ve heard enough, interrupt
Side hand chop – It’s done! Enough!
Wave – helloooo
Wave off – dismissive
Wave to – come here!
Hand shaping – hands forming words as you speak them, sincerity
Butt thrust – sarcasm as in kiss my….

Butt thrust with patting – insult as in kiss this
Butt thrust, mooning – disregard
Butt wiggling – overt sexual display
Butt sway – look at me, I’m hot
Butt patting –  you want me
Thighs widen – conscious or unconscious sexual invitation
Thighs tight together – self-protection
Swinging legs – delight, tensile energy – usually sexual
Crossing legs – (situational – at ease, self-control, defensive)
Hands on thighs – I’m ready to go
Hands on inside thighs – unconscious desire
Both hands on thighs elbows out sideways –
    equal to hands on hips – (situational – impatience or aggression)
Thigh slap – motivational gesture
Thigh drumming – (situational – boredom, impatience, excitement)
Bouncing thigh(s) – focusing or impatience
Touching or stroking the knee – sexual tease
Balled fists on knees – anger
Foot point – works like a finger point
Parallel feet pointing at someone – you have my full attention
Curling toes – (Situational –
frustration, fear, excitement, pleasure or anxiety)
Foot tap – impatience
Toes pointing inward – (Situational –
    introspection, awkwardness, defensiveness
Foot stomp – seeking attention, rage, tantrum
Foot swinging – focus, expelling nervous energy
Tilting back on balls of feet – contemplative, made a decision
Bouncing on toes – exuberance

I started this post last night. This morning I thought of more and squeezed them in. I’m sure there are many more conscious and subconscious body symbols than this lot, but my personal well is dry!

Tomorrow ~ Funday Happenings


Another 100 Things Blogging Challenge! For 100 days, I’ll post something from my chosen topic: Words on the Verge of Extinction. There are 75 entries to come.

Here’s one for today:

Vicambulate (verb commonly seen 1873)

to walk about in the streets


bee1I’m all over the web with my satellite blogs this weekend. If two things are listed for one blog, that’s one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Scroll back to see what you’ve missed.  😀

Seductive Studs& Sirens & Weekend Writing Warriors http://theancillarymuse.blogspot.com/

Sneak Peek Sunday

Set the Scene in Six (open author promo – come leave yours!) http://exquisitequills.blogspot.com/

My Sexy Saturday & Sexy Snippets

4 Us iconToday is guest author M.S. Spencer.

All through January the RB4U authors are doing interviews. The thoughtful questions are a great way to get to know us. Commenting that day gives you a chance to win a collectable t-shirt. Come see!

Last days in the COLD SNOW, HOT ROMANCE CONTEST! Three winners will each receive a $25 gift card for Amazon/Barnes & Noble, and split the other prizes randomly picked from prize list. Be sure to check all our pages for news about authors and their books, publishers and their books, and industry representatives. http://www.romancebooks4us.com/



Today’s author interview is Tonya Ramagos
Several promotional opportunities for romance authors can be found on my Exquisite Quills group blogs. Meet the founding authors and our guests.


Exquisite Quills Yahoo Group

First Kiss Wednesday ~ share your best 300 word kiss.
Set the Scene in Six~ share your backdrop or lead-up on Sundays.
The Genesis of a Book ~ share the spark that ignited your novel
Author Interviews ~
We’re booking late spring now.

Coming soon on the EQ ~ Tempt Us Tuesday

EQ-RR.banner Today’s author: Lisa Chalmers
A new place for your old stars to shine 😀


all7books-smallLove Waits in Unexpected Places – Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories

Sample my love stories for free!



About ~RoseAnderson

Rose Anderson is an award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and delights in discovering interesting things to weave into stories. Rose also writes under the pen name Madeline Archer.
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7 Responses to Obvious Things

  1. melissakeir says:

    We had encyclopedias in the hallway by our bedrooms. At night, I would look through them and read about the things that interested me. I loved reading about my family history (I looked up my last name) and finding different facts. 🙂

  2. My dad bought an encyclopedia set from his brother. It was a good set. I loved looking things up. I remember dad reading each book in the set, he read slow, and just before he passed away, he read Z.

    Thank you for the body symbol list. I copied it into a file to look over later.


    • You’re welcome, Janice. I’m glad you’ve found them useful. Encyclopedia sets are wonderful things. Your dad sounds like he was an info hound like me. Reading the entire World Book was goal of mine since I was a young teen. My set got old even with ten years of supplementals so we got rid of it. My husband said the internet could answer any question I had. Bah! No way. I can’t tell you how many time I wished I’d kept it. The newer ones seem awfully dumbed down to me and the online versions are scant in the info department. And the internet is not nearly big enough for this info hound. lol

  3. Love the Sherlock Holmes references. I am loving BBC’s Benedict Cumberbatch version of Sherlock.
    Great body language list- so helpful when your sitting there and your charatcer’s about to rub his chin for the tenth time!

    • Thanks. 🙂 Yes they can only rub their chins so many times.

      Isn’t that the best spin on the stories yet? I’ve watched them over and over. So many references to the original stories you can’t even blink or you’d miss them. Just love it.

  4. Awesome nuances and details in your list, Rose. So helpful to help paint visuals in our stories.

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