Hold On to Your Shorts!


Hi Everyone

I am pleased to announce that today I have the writer and published author Jennifer Owenby as my guest blogger.

Jennifer lives in the northwest of the united states on the pacific ocean with her husband and children. She is a published author of short stories, a freelance writer, and some days will attempt a novel.

“One thing I’ve learned, is that the craft of writing is an ongoing project. If I’d realised that when I started, I wonder if I would have continued. Now, I can’t stop. It’s as much a part of who I am as the air I breathe.”

As Jennifer is a short story expert, I thought it would be fantastic to find out more about the appeal of short story writing and this is what she had to say…..

Hold on To Your Shorts!

I love writing and the more I do it, the more I love it. Like many others, it’s a part of who I am.

Any form of writing is great practice but I feel the value of working on short stories is often overlooked. Here are three great reasons to write and hold on to your shorts.

  1. They are a great tool for working on “problem spots.
  2. They force you to tighten up your words
  3. You can publish them in between novels

I attended a short fiction class and during that time students wrote a new short story. After completion, the instructor worked one on one with us.  Together, we looked at the story in sections, fixed problem areas and discussed why the changes were made. Working on a smaller story and understanding how to fix the issues, then allowed me to apply that knowledge to my novel. I learned faster dealing with a smaller story. It was easier to identify, understand and correct the problems, rather than be overwhelmed by a novel sized story.

Another reason to write short stories is it teaches you to choose your words carefully. It forces the writer to think about each word, especially if there’s a word limit. This helps to eliminate wordy sentences and is a great way to practice throwing out adverbs and replace them with action verbs.

Have you noticed that authors who have published books through traditional publishing companies and self published authors are creating short stories and novellas in-between books?  This allows the author to pull in additional readers between projects and gives fans new material to read. These shorts are either separate stories that involve a character’s back story, or some other link to their published novels. This also allows the author’s name to remain on the book list instead of fading into the back ground.

There are several great books on writing short stories including, “Let’s Write a Short Story” by Joe Bunting and “Schaum’s Quick Guide to Writing Great Short Stories” by Margaret Lucke, but if you have a good outline and understand the mechanics, as long as you are writing, you are only going to get better. So, hold on to your shorts and thanks for stopping by!

A huge thanks to Jennifer for this insightful post. I have to say that I don’t think I will ever look at short story writing in the same way again.

Jennifer can be contacted on jenowenby@live.com

Her most recent magazine publication is:

“The Long Road Home” short story for Chinook 2012 literary magazine in print and online: http://www.ojc.edu/chinook/Chinook_2012.pdf

Jennifer owns ONB Freelance Services, specialising in writing articles and online content for businesses and entertainment. Her experience includes the publication of several short stories in print, as well as contracted freelance work. Jennifer states, she offers low rates for content, articles, set up and maintenance of blogs.

Her online portfolio can be viewed by clicking any of the links below:

Best Moments of quirkybooks – Two Best Moment Awards


Hi Everyone

At the moment I am in the process of typing up the content for my new e-Book – “Breakthrough The Barriers Of Redundancy To Get Back Into Work (A-Z How to guide)” and then editing it again. I am also writing the content for a course I have been asked to teach in September. It is Blogging As An Aid To Recovery. The content has to be written this early because the course content outline has to go in the new prospectus that is out in June. Whilst I am teaching the course I will refer to some of your blogs so you may see an increase in followers at that time. I am also working on editing a first draft of a second e-Book that will be a guide for writers. My quirkybooks.net site is still under construction too.

With all of the above going on and a tight deadline for the blog content I am not able to post quite as often at the moment. If you leave a comment I will answer it as soon as possible as I love to hear from you. I am also not able to let you know individually of your award so please keep an eye out for my posts.

The main reason for this post is to say that I am absolutely thrilled to receive two more Best Moment Awards, taking me up to a total of 3 Best Moment Awards.

One of these awards was given to me by James from detectingblackpool.wordpress.com and the other was from Mick at followmyfreedom.wordpress.com  A huge thanks to both of them for nominating me, it is wonderful of you to think of me. If you haven’t read James’ or Mick’s blog, I would urge you to stop by and take a look at them.

I will post my acceptance speech below and pass on this beautiful award to some others. I will post the rules below and make my nominations.

Best Moment Award, web awards, blogging awards, winners, nominations

Awarding the people who live in the moment,
The noble who write and capture the best in life,
The bold who reminded us what really mattered –
Savoring the experience of quality time.

RULES:

Winners re-post this completely with their acceptance speech. This could be written or video recorded.

Winners have the privilege of awarding the next awardees! The re-post should include a NEW set of people/blogs worthy of the award; and winners notify them the great news.

RESOURCES:

  • What makes a good acceptance speech?
    • Gratitude. Thank the people who helped you along the way
    • Humor. Keep us entertained and smiling
    • Inspiration. Make your story touch our lives
  • Get an idea from the great acceptance speeches, compiled in MomentMatters.com/Speech
  • Display the award’s badge on your blog/website, downloadable in MomentMatters.com/Award

ACCEPTANCE SPEECH

I accept this award with an abundance of happiness and love in my heart.

Thank you to the two incredible bloggers who have nominated me for this award.

For any person who takes the time browse my blog, I am truly grateful.

For every person that likes a blog post, I smile with contentment.

When a person leaves a comment on my blog, I am blessed to have such support and interaction.

For each person who follows me, I am delighted and honoured.

For every blogger who shares their knowledge, wisdom and thoughtfulness, I am happy to learn from you.

Every moment in life is precious, so ensure you do everything you can to make every moment count.

My first 15 winners are the same as my nominees for the first Best Moment Award that I won. I know that may seem like cheating but those blogs are truly awesome and if you haven’t checked them out recently, then you really should.

As I been given this award for a third time, as above, then I will be nominating another lot of bloggers for it. Whether I have nominated you for the first or second time, I think all of you are amazing, to take time out of your everyday life to welcome each other into the blogging community is wonderful. You should all be very proud of yourselves.

THE WINNERS OF THE BEST MOMENT AWARD ARE:

  1. kattermonran.com
  2. lesleycarter.wordpress.com
  3. inspire1life.com
  4. landoffun.wordpress.com
  5. utesmile.wordpress.com – Your 2nd
  6. carolynhughesthehurthealer.com
  7. mikesfilmtalk.com
  8. suewestwood.wordpress.com
  9. galuri85.wordpress.com
  10. darlenecraviotto.com
  11. margekatherine.com
  12. subhanzein.wordpress.com
  13. thetruthwarrior.wordpress.com
  14. jenowenby.wordpress.com
  15. ofmessesandmirrors.wordpress.com
  1. womenmakingstrides.com
  2. ladylovelyblogger.wordpress.com
  3. bbanublog.wordpress.com
  4. connieemeraldeyes.wordpress.com
  5. lanternpost2012.wordpress.com
  6. thegreatamericanlandscape.wordpress.com
  7. coyotero2112.wordpress.com
  8. rarasaur.wordpress.com
  9. beyondthedream.co.uk
  10. sheridegrom.wordpress.com
  11. bookmust.wordpress.com
  12. humaninrecovery.wordpress.com
  13. globalunison.wordpress.com
  14. sevencitys.wordpress.com
  15. marthareynoldswrites.com

As with my first 15 nominations of this award, the second 15 nominees I have linked to the page of the moment I have awarded them for.

Don’t forget to celebrate with your followers! Tweet your success with hashtag #MomentMatters. Congratulations to all of the winners! Please remember everyone is a winner in life because you are alive.

Write soon

Sandra

Officially Part Of – The WordPress Family Award


Hi Everyone

I was recently awarded an award I haven’t seen before:

2013-apr-12-wordpress-family-award-from-motherofnine9

Thanks to Supriya from hopeoflight.wordpress.com for this beautiful award. I felt part of the WordPress community before and now I feel even more a part of it. I am honoured and blessed to be in such great company. Thanks to each and every one of you who follows, comments, likes or stops by my blog. I appreciate your support.

As with any award, there are rules and these are displayed below:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.

2. Link back to the person who nominated you.

3. Nominate 10 others you see as having an impact on your Word Press experience and family

4. Let your 10 Family members know you have awarded them

5. That is it. Just pick 10 people who have taken you as a friend, and spread the love

Here are my nominations:

  1. kattermonran.com
  2. ladylovelyblogger
  3. blessedwithastarontheforehead
  4. mikesfilmtalk.com
  5. jenowenby.wordpress.com
  6. acflory.wordpress.com
  7. bbanublog.wordpress.com
  8. margekatherine.com
  9. carolynhughesthehurthealer.com
  10. diedreblake.wordpress.com

I often feel my followers (blogger family) know me better than a lot of people I see everyday in my day job. Thanks to everyone who follows me for making me feel so special.

I have just been given another one of these awards, what a surprise! How lovely – Watch this space for more nominations in the future.

Write soon

Sandra

quirkybooks – Is Shining Brighter Than Ever Before – Two Shine On Awards


Hi Everyone

I am pleased to announce that I have been awarded the Shine On award twice in recent weeks. One from Oasien at http://oasien.wordpress.com and the other is from Alastair at http://kattermonran.com

As always, with any award, there are rules to follow, so here they are:

1.) Show appreciation of the blogger/s who nominated you and link back to them in your post.  Done.

2.) Add the award logo to your blog. Done.

3.) Share 7 things about yourself.

  1. I love films with robots in them.
  2. If I have the choice to see a movie in 2D or 3D, I always choose 3D, I love it.
  3. I prefer a MAC to a PC and I recently upgraded my Mac operating system to Mountain Lion.
  4. For those of you who missed a blog post, I am going to St James’s Palace on the 15th of July, to celebrate CSV’s 50th Anniversary. (Community Service Volunteers.) In the presence of Her Majesty The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
  5. I am a Health Buddy for CSV. My job is to spread health messages about taboo topics, encouraging people to go for screening and work towards the 5 Ways To Wellbeing.
  6. I am also a member of BID (Be Involved Devon) that is part of CVS (Community Volunteers Services.) We have meetings relating to Mental Health organisations and the NHS.
  7. I have written 2 articles for the BID newsletter that featured on the 5 Ways To Wellbeing page.

4.) Nominate 5 – 10 or so bloggers that you admire. As I won it twice, I will nominate 10 people.

womenmakingstrides.com

subhanzein.wordpress.com

hopeoflight.wordpress.com

galuri85.wordpress.com

mikesfilmtalk.com

ladylovelyblogger.wordpress.com

bbanublog.wordpress.com

lanternpost2012.wordpress.com

followmyfreedom.wordpress.com

thedailygraff.com

5.) Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know

6.) Optional questions – Here are my 7.

  1. Do you prefer whipped cream or clotted cream?
  2. Do you prefer land or sea?
  3. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
  4. If you could be any animal what would you be and why?
  5. What is your favourite children’s book and why?
  6. What is your very favourite blog and why?
  7. What is your favourite book ever and why?

I look forward to reading the answers to my 7 questions from the above nominees. Congratulations to all of you and may your blogs continue to Shine On.

Write soon

Sandra

quirkybooks.net – New website coming soon


Hi Everyone

My apologies if I have not been blogging or commenting as much lately but I have some amazing news to share with you. Not only have I been having some time off from work to celebrate my birthday week but I have also commenced work on changing http://www.quirkybooks.net into a much more impressive author website which will incorporate an e-Book store in the near future. All books on this site will be my own written work. Book cover illustrations will be from a variety of sources including new illustrators.

This is an exciting time for both me and quirkybooks.

If you search for my website at the moment, you will see that it is currently under construction whilst I spend the next weeks adding content to my site. By June or July I hope to have my first e-Book available to buy on this site. I intend to self publish on Amazon too.

As always, I like to do things the quirky way, so rather than having books galore to start with, you will see books gradually appearing over time.

For my Birthday day, I visited the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth and I hope to upload some photos I took there soon.

I have a lot of blog award posts to catch up with and I am very grateful for each and every one. Please bear with me, I will get around to officially thanking you and accepting them, although I may not be able to devote the time to contact all nominees individually due to my website preparation and new future work commitments.

Something magical is starting and I am thrilled to have you along for the journey. Thank you my friends.

Write soon

Sandra

Wearing My Tag With Pride


Hello Everyone

My fellow blogger Alastair from kattermonran.com has tagged me. This means he has taken the time to ask 11 questions to some bloggers and I am am one of his chosen few. I feel so privileged. It is great when other bloggers choose to want to know more about me because I feel special and appreciated. Thanks so much Alastair, I will wear my tag with pride.

I need to answer the 11 questions set by him and then ask 11 more questions to 11 others.

tagged

My answers to the Alastair’s questions are here:

1. Do you prefer ridged crisps (potato chips) or flat ones? I can only eat plain salted crisps because of my various food allergies but I don’t mind either plain or ridged as I enjoy both. The last ones I ate were ridged.

2. What was the last music band you went to see live? I haven’t see one particular band. The last time I saw various bands was at a party in the park, it was years ago. One of the groups were Steps and although a lot of people may find their music a bit too poppy or cheesy, I thought in real life they were great, at both singing and at getting the audience jumping and dancing on the spot.

3. Do you prefer tea, coffee, hot chocolate or something stronger? None of those as I don’t drink alcohol and I only drink herbal tea, peppermint is my favourite.

4. How many siblings do you have? None. I am an only child.

5. What was the last film you saw at the movies? A Thriller called Side Effects on Saturday 30th of March. It was slow to begin with but had a couple of great twists at the end.

6. Is there any sports that you like to participate in? None. I don’t like sports. There is an exception, I like finger pumping. This consists of clenching the fingers of my hand into a fist shape and releasing them with a flicking motion, back and forth quickly. I love it because it symbolises that I have written so much my hand needs to be exercised. (Oh! And if writing is a sport, then I love, love, love it.)

7. What is your favourite flower? A red rose. I am a romantic.

8. Is there anything you like to collect? Besides collecting erasers I like collecting Eeyore things from Winnie The Pooh.

9. Have you visited another country? I have visited Spain, Jersey and France but hated flying.

10. Do you have any pets? Yes, 4 guinea pigs. Snuggles, Peaches, Daisy and Cinnamon. They are all one year old but Cinnamon and Daisy are just under 3 months younger as Snuggles was pregnant with them when she came from the pet shop and I couldn’t give them up.

11. What is your favourite food? I have lots of food allergies. My favourite snack food is sugar free, dairy free, gluten free, yeast free chocolate from the health shop. I have to be very careful what I eat out but I like Thai food, a Chinese meal or Nandos.

Now to announce my 11 questions:

  1. Have you ever been made redundant from your job and how did you feel about it?
  2. If you were interviewing someone for a writing job, what 3 qualities would you look for and why?
  3. What is your favourite board game and why?
  4. When you look at the stars, what do you see?
  5. When you look at the ocean, what does it remind you of?
  6. How do you overcome writer’s block?
  7. If you could say 3 encouraging things to another person, what would they be?
  8. Do you prefer to write your stories/books/poetry/prose/articles on paper first, then type them up and edit them, or do you like to type them straight into your computer to edit?
  9. Do you like writing in one genre or more?
  10. As a writer, do you think actions speak louder than words?
  11. What is your favourite quote and why?

My nominations are:

  1. whistlingpassion.wordpress.com
  2. ladylovelyblogger.wordpress.com
  3. sheridegrom.wordpress.com
  4. bbanublog.wordpress.com
  5. globalunison.wordpress.com
  6. helpwithyourlife.wordpress.com
  7. terry1954.wordpress.com
  8. darlenecraviotto.com
  9. marthareynoldswrites.com
  10. mikesfilmtalk.com
  11. landoffun.wordpress.com

To all of my 11 chosen ones, I look forward to learning more about you.

I am fortunate enough to have been awarded a second Best Moment Award so I will post my nominations for that soon.

Write soon

Sandra

BLOG HOPPING FUN


Hi Everyone

It’s a Blog Hop Egg-travaganza-elleganza!

I was tagged in a blog hop by the awesome Casey Roach. You can read her amazing blog here: http://caseyroach.blogspot.co.uk.  Incidentally, Casey was one of our Write-A-Thon book giveaway winners.

It is now my turn to answer the blog hop questions and pass this on to some hopping good blogs.

What is the working title of your book?

Break Through The Barriers Of Redundancy, To Get Back Into Work (A-Z How to guide)

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I have been made redundant twice and being a bit quirky, I decided to see if I could could up with a way to break through the barriers that redundancy can cause, using each letter of the alphabet to create a solution.

What genre does your book fall under?

How to and self-help.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

As this is a non-fiction book, I would not expect a movie to be made of it. If however, a movie was made from a future biography about my life, including redundancy and how it changed my life, then I would have to research what actors/actresses would play what roles at the time. I like Kylie Minogue, although she is more famous for singing than acting and not sure if she would fit the role. Maybe I would use a lesser known actor/actress so the audience could get into the mind of an ordinary person who went on to do extra-ordinary things.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

This book explains how to break through the barriers of redundancy to get back into work.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

It will be a self-published book as I enjoy the freedom of creative expression and can choose my own cover design but I am open to other offers.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

About 3 months to write it but I am still editing the draft and adding to it.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

None in the sense that it is different because it is an A-Z How to guide. The closest books I can think of would be :

  • Overcoming Redundancy by Gordon Adams
  • Rebuilding your life after Redundancy by Janet Davies

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

I was inspired by my own life story. I have been made redundant twice, the second time was in 2009 when I decided from that moment onwards that I was 100% born to be a writer and to help others who have been made redundant to get back into work.

I have worked in retail for over 15 years, 7 of those years were in management roles. Part of my role as a Manager was to interview, recruit, train and coach staff. I have seen the recruitment process from an interviewer’s point of view and whilst redundant from the point of view of an interviewee. It is from these experiences that I can help others.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Being a bit of quirky book – The Letter Z is for Zebra – Now what does that have to do with redundancy? I wonder!

Now I’m passing this along to…drum roll please…

bbanublog.wordpress.com

whistlingpassion.wordpress.com

rohan7things.wordpress.com

lanternpost2012.wordpress.com

marthareynoldswrites.com

jenowenby.wordpress.com

diedreblake.wordpress.com

Casey passed this blog hop to 5 others, including me but as I am a curious sort of person who enjoys reading about what others like to write, I wanted to give it to the above 7 people.

I look forward to reading more about your writing.

Write soon

Sandra

Creating Fireworks – 2012 In Review


Hi Everyone

I’m pleased and proud to announce that the quirkybooks 2012 annual blog report is now available and I would like to share it with you.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,800 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

I am thrilled that I have been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award for a second time and the Super Sweet Award for the first time – Details and thanks to the people who nominated me will be given soon in a future post.

Write soon

Sandra