The Little Girl in the Radiator (Mum, Alzheimer’s & Me) – Martin Selvin published by Monday Books


Hi everyone

This is a powerful book review read, written by one of my blogging students.

I haven’t read this book, but I can relate to this post, because I was not happy about the way my Grandma was treated in the nursing home, which she died in last year, on Friday 13th of June. There were a few staff who was nice to her, but when she died, the chair in her room was riddled with wee stains. When I went to visit her one day she was upset when I got there because they refused to take her to the toilet in the night. When I confronted a nurse about it, she said the residence go to the toilet before bed and one other time at 3am, she has a pad to pee into. It was disgusting and it makes me angry they treated her that way. There was a lot of stuff I was not happy about in that nursing home and I am so glad that she no longer has to put up with that.

What I don’t like, is society seems to think that memory loss (dementia) is a blanket term for anything that person (with dementia) says, is not true, because they don’t know their own mind. This is not actually always true. It can be an excuse for the nursing home to treat residents like, how can I put it politely, with no respect or dignity (worse than they would treat an animal) and use the un-‘fact’ that their mind isn’t working properly, as an excuse to fool the families who only like to think good about the home. I could ‘see’ what was really happening and some people dear to me, couldn’t or chose not to. I have never spoken to you about this before. I have kept it a secret and moved on with my life. I could not prove what was happening, the owner of this private nursing home, seemed not to care. I had meetings with two Managers and was under threat with being banned from the nursing home for, it would seem, interfering.

I could tell you more. I could tell you about the fact they kept residents in the lounge waiting to go to the toilet, and poor old (S) had to wait twenty minutes before they came back to take him. By that time he had pulled his trousers down to reveal his pants, he was that desperate to go. This was an occurrence I had seen before, including the pulling down of his trousers and a half an hour wait. An insider also confirmed that one nurse did shout at residents. Just as I suspected things were not as they seemed, they weren’t.

So, I have finally come out with what you weren’t expecting. This book review has sparked me off in this direction. It’s amazing what the power of the written word can do.

Keep writing and keep blogging, keep being you and trusting your gut instincts, despite what anyone else says.

My Grandma would want me to move on with my life and fulfil my goals, ambitions and dreams, not waste time trying to prove the nursing home did wrong. I had no solid proof anyhow. That is why more than ever I want to accomplish everything I set out to do in my life, so she will look down from the heavens and say ” that’s my Sandra and I love that kid.” I haven’t cried about my Grandma in ages, but now I am. I miss her and love her so much. It’s my birthday on Friday 24th of April and that was the last time I saw her before the night she died. My Grandma didn’t have that much dementia when she was with me – in terms of memory, she remembered and told me about a birthday card that she had written for me, prior to my birthday, and asked me did I get it. I said no it wasn’t my birthday yet, but thanked her so much. If she wasn’t in her ‘right mind’ she wouldn’t have remembered this. I have unconditional love for my Grandma and did then too – It’s this that eased her mind. I told her she had memory loss, she was 96 – So how much of her condition was dementia or simply loss of memory due her age, I guess we will never know. What I can say, is the doctor was called to the nursing home when I was there one night. The doctor said it was not dementia that was causing her such confusion, but the fact she was dehydrated from lack of fluids that the nursing home was responsible for giving her – Again – An outsider would not think about stuff like this. I have the ability to see things that others can’t. Sometimes I can see things for as they really are.

So next time you have a relative or friend in a care home and the care home staff are blaming the ‘dementia’ for what your friend or relative is telling you is bad about being in the nursing home, think twice…….ask yourself…..

Are they covering up?
Is your friend or relative confused because of a lack of care – not enough fluids, or food, or poor sanitation leading to water infections and not because of ‘dementia’.
Is their dementia really that bad, that they don’t know what they are saying at all?

My Grandma was not in the dementia ward and she didn’t have full blown dementia. Some doctors said her memory loss was partly to do with her age, at other times it was a water infection.

I know some people have full blown dementia, I get that, but what about the ones that ‘are not that bad’ to be in that ward. Is it being used as an excuse to not care enough to give proper care??? Something to think about.

If you have Liked this post, thank you. It would be great if you could show my student some blog loving by Liking her original post that I have reblogged, on her own blog. Thanks in advance for doing that.

Embrace Your Quirky and write soon
Sandra

sewingfeet

Front cover Front cover

Back cover Back cover

Very accessible and readable. This book follows the experience of a son and primary carer from the point at which his mum is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
There is plenty of light in this account and I was banned from reading this in bed when I couldn’t stop myself from snorting with laughter over the mother and son visit to dog obedience classes. The experience of loss is very vividly illustrated and the most distressing part of the book concerns his mum’s experiences in the first care home.
It is of course one person’s perspective and one family’s experience but it has a huge amount to say about memory loss, cognitive difficulties and the response of medical and social services. I felt it had some really helpful ways of thinking about this type of progressive memory loss, in particular the consultant who likens the loss of…

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How to obtain an EIN for self-publishing with CreateSpace


Hello, how are you?

As you are aware from my previous posts, I began the journey of self-publishing in the earlier part of last year. I announced that I would be completing my Break through the barriers of redundancy book in the beginning part of this year, to sell on Amazon and in the future through my own e-Book store, quirkybooks.net, that is still in the early stages of construction. You are probably wondering why on earth I haven’t just got on with it and published it by now. The truth is, I have been getting on with it, most weeks, over a number of days, for many hours. I guess I naively thought when I started out, that I would write a book, get a good cover design, upload it and hey presto, job done. I was wrong. In the most simplistic of terms, yep, that’s what you do and it’s good to think about it in those simplistic terms, otherwise it can be a real mind boggler, particularly when trying to publish through CreateSpace, that is for print, as well as KDP, for Kindle. After hours of writing and time spent on styling the book; page layout, formatting, indexing, pagination, I could go on, I finally created my CreateSpace account. When I next logged into CreateSpace, I had this message alert from them:

Welcome to CreateSpace!

Some things you should know about your account and how we report your earned royalties to the Internal Revenue Service: We are required to report your earned royalties to the Internal Revenue Service. If you currently reside in the United States, you must provide us with a Tax ID number, payee address and business type before your title can go live and be available for purchase. If you are currently living outside of the United States, you must provide us with your payee address and business type before your title can go live and be available for purchase.

Please refer to http://www.CreateSpace.com/International for additional information for non-US members.

To update this information, visit https://eu.createspace.com/pub/accountsettings.royaltypaymentinformation.do to access your “Royalty Payment Information.”

Upon opening this link:

https://eu.createspace.com/pub/accountsettings.royaltypaymentinformation.do

On Monday the 2nd of June 2014, I spent hours trawling the internet to find out what I needed to type into the Tax and Business Information section of my Royalty Payment Profile. I needed to type in a Tax Reporting Name and Business Type, plus a Tax Identification number, that I hadn’t got a clue about. I had previously bought a book on self-publishing and even that confused me.

Tax & Business Information

US Tax Information

Tax Reporting Name
Sandra Bellamy
Tax Identification Number
**-*******
Business Type
Individual
After hours of tearing my hair out (not literally, I am not bald) and painstaking arrrrgh! Moments; to cut a very long story short, I managed to find out what I needed to type in, as you can see from the above screen shot. To do this I discovered; if you sell books on Amazon through CreateSpace or KDP, all UK and EU sales, have no tax withholding on your royalties. However, the USA withholds 30% tax on your book royalties, unless you obtain either an ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number) otherwise known as TIN or EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) from the USA. Then fill in a W-8BEN and post it to CreateSpace at the address given in your CreateSpace account. Because the UK have a treaty agreement with the USA, residents of the UK can pay 0%. From my research, it was clear that getting an EIN is a lot easier than obtaining an ITIN, which can take several months. As soon as I discovered that if you are self-employed, you can apply for an EIN, and it’s as easy and simple as downloading a form and making a phone call to the IRS in the USA, I did it.
The procedure I followed is below:
  • I got the phone number of the IRS in the USA  – From the UK it’s 00 1267 941 1099.
  • I contacted my phone company to find out how much it would cost to phone the number, so I didn’t have any nasty surprises. I had read that the phone call would be between 20 – 30  minutes in duration.
  • I downloaded form SS-4 (Application for Employer Identification Number) from the IRS website to have to hand when I made my phone call.
  • I filled in the form SS-4. I wrote my name and address details. Type of entity I wrote; Other – sole trader. (I was told during the conversation with the IRS  that is was Sole Proprietor because I am a sole trader not Other.) Reason for applying was Compliance with IRS withholding regulations. A date that I started my business, (registered with HMRC). Principal merchandise sold, specific construction work done, products produced or services provided, was book royalties. Has the applicant entity on line 1, ever applied for an EIN – No.
  • I downloaded the form W-8BEN-E to send to CreateSpace. (I was subsequently advised that you actually need form W-8BEN 2006 version, until July 2014, because the new W-8BEN-E that is 43 parts long, has been released too early and there are no instructions for it yet!)
  • I then phoned the IRS in the USA, that I was informed is open 12 hours a day.

The lady at the IRS gave me her badge number at the start of the conversation, I had to say that I was applying for an EIN, that I own my own business and I am a sole trader. After 20 minutes of talking to the lady at the IRS and answering the questions that I had filled out on the SS-4 form, I was given my EIN number on the phone that was a 9 digit number starting with 98-. I asked to be put through to another department to have help filling in my W-8BEN-E, that ended up being the W-8BEN (see previous mention). I needed to post this form to CreateSpace Asap, because it states they only process these forms on the 10th of each month.

Filling in W-8BEN

  • Part 1: Identification of Beneficial Owner. The beneficial owner was my name and the type was Individual, as I am a sole trader.
  • Part 1 – (8): Is the EIN number that I just received, with a tick in the EIN box.
  • Part II Claim of Tax Treaty Benefits was A – Resident of the United Kingdom (no abbreviation) and B.
  • Part II 10 Special rates and conditions Article (12) of the treaty identified on line 9a above to claim a (0%) rate of withholding on specify type income): (Royalties.) Explain the reasons behind the beneficial owner meets the terms of the treaty article: (I was told to write the following)…...I am a resident of the United Kingdom and all of the products are made in the United Kingdom with no fixed base of operation within the United States.
  • Part IV Must be signed, with an original signature, dated and title added (Owner).

I posted my W-8BEN form off by airmail to CreateSpace the next day. It takes 4 days to get there, so it should get there in time for processing on the 10th of June 2014. Something else I need to bear in mind, is that US sales are only paid in $, so I may want to open a USA bank account because of conversion fees. More stuff to boggle the mind. I hope this step-by-step guide will help a ton of people, including yourself, and ensure you don’t go bald in your journey into print.

One article I found particularly helpful about an ITIN and EIN was:
I don’t have the instructions for the ITIN because I decided to not go down that route and if you Google ITIN or TIN, there is a ton of information about what to do.
Until next time, write soon
Sandra

Weekend Edition – Too Old, Stealing Ideas + Great Reads and Writing Tips


Hi everyone

I got back in the early hours of this morning from London, having been to The Business Show at the ExCeL centre, for two days. I heard from some super authors that have had their books published by Wiley, who publishes the Dummies series.

I read this post and felt compelled to share it with you. This is a fantastic post about not being ashamed to read whatever books you like and creating originality out of stories that have been written before, using your own ” mash up“.

Look out for my interview with Author Ian Kane, coming soon to this blog. His new book is called “Rising Storm” and is part of his “Fading Empires” series. You are going to love his book, love his answers and love him.

Write soon
Sandra

Live to Write - Write to Live

You’re too old for that.

pin lengleI was in the children’s room of my beloved library earlier this week and was horrified to hear a mom tell her son to put a particular book back because he was “too old” for it. She said, “That’s too easy for you.” I actually winced.

I’m sure this mom was very well-meaning. I’m sure she just wanted to encourage her son to try something a little more challenging. But, you are never – NEVER – too old for any book. I’ve shared it before, but I’m going to share again the wonderful quote from the fabulous Madeleine L’Engle, “You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”

I am, by chronological reckoning, a full-fledged adult, but I will never, ever stop reading so-called children’s books. Some…

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I won a copy of Brad Burton’s latest book!


Hi everyone

I thoroughly enjoyed The Business Show today. I heard from a lot of successful business people and entrepreneurs. I am feeling excited, invigorated, challenged and inspired.

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My highlight was winning a copy of Brad Burton’s latest book; Life. Business. Just got easier. Also,  having my photo taken with Brad and speaking to the new Commissioning Editor at Wiley about writing opportunities.

I have to give a special mention to Paul Lancaster, who is a Wiley published Author and did a great job at explaining how to implement social media into your business.

Looking forward to another exciting day tomorrow, to learn a ton of new stuff.

Write soon
Sandra

Exclusive Preview – Break Through The Barriers Of Redundancy Book Blurb


Hi everyone

I am still working on the final edit of my book and it is taking longer than I expected, but it will be worth the wait.

After a short break, I am working back in my day job again, and I start teaching Blogging as an aid to recovery on Monday 24th of February. I had planned to publish my book in February, depending on how long it took to edit it to a standard that I am happy with. Although I have people waiting to buy my book, I won’t compromise on quality, and I know they wouldn’t want me to. It looks likely I will publish it in March rather than February.

I now own the copyright of the book cover illustration and design, although credit still goes to my illustrator Victoria Warby for creating it. I think she has done a fantastic job.

Please note that the entire book cover is copyrighted and will be revealed in the future – For now, I can exclusively reveal the Book Blurb.

Break Through The Barriers Of Redundancy Book Blurb
Break Through The Barriers Of Redundancy Book Blurb

Break Through The Barriers of Redundancy Book Blurb: Copyright Sandra Bellamy/quirkybooks – Cover Illustration created by Victoria Warby

Coming soon to Amazon: My new book – Break Through The Barriers Of Redundancy To Get Back Into Work: – An A-Z ‘How to’ guide.

I am pleased to say that a link to my website http://www.beatredundancyblues.com has been added to http://thefilmorecv.co.uk/job-search-sites.php site, that is the sister site to http://www.jobmanji.com.

I would love to have your feedback on the blurb.

Always remember, your writing dreams can come true, if you work hard and believe in your abilities as a writer.

Write soon
Sandra

Do you see the light?


Hi everyone

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It can be very easy to slip into a negative state of mind, when everything seems to be going wrong or not as planned. As one thing builds on top of another, it is extremely important to still see the light.

One of my mottos is – Through the downs comes the ups – So if I am experiencing a lot of downs, it must mean there is a ton of ups coming my way.

I didn’t always used to think so positively, in fact, I used to be very negative and in a depressive state, but when I was made redundant for the second time in my career, in 2009, my life began to change for the better.

It’s been a while since my last blog post. To give you a quick update, after being off sick from my day job for 4 weeks, I went back to work and got an upper respiratory infection and had to be off another week. I went back to work part-time last week and today is my first day working full-time. If I am off sick for a third time this year, before the 5th of December, I am due to be investigated and possibly have a first written warning. I don’t feel that this would be fair, as I have doctor’s notes and was taken to hospital by ambulance whilst in a work meeting, for my first illness. Nevertheless, that’s the situation.

I am still self-employed and so long as I do that, I will always be in work, but I currently do need my day job to pay the bills.

After my illustrator moved the book completion deadline from Monday 20th to Wednesday 22nd, and I started back to work on the Tuesday 21st, I had to work throughout the night on Tuesday, to get my book finished for Wednesday morning.

Although in theory I did finish the book and the cover is now complete, I am still working on the index and book content. Whilst the number of pages has to remain the same, I am adding some text and cutting some out to make improvements to it, before uploading it to Amazon. It needs to be the best it can be.

I start teaching again next week, on one of my days off from my day job, and yesterday I had to attend a tutor meeting.

Yesterday, I also got my four furry babies back from their long vacation at my parents. Daisy has recovered well after major surgery to remove a lump that turned out to be a hair follicle cyst that had got badly infected.

At the moment I teach on a self-employed basis but I have recently been offered a contract with the NHS to go on their staff bank, with a new job title and 69p per hour pay rise. I don’t work many hours for them but I still think it’s fantastic. I have to have an informal interview with them before becoming staff. That I can hopefully do soon because I am feeling better than I was. I have had to stop taking one of my tablets because it was giving me bad side effects and even working part-time last week, was a struggle towards the end of the week.

My Grandma was very poorly with an infection before her birthday but is off anti-biotics and thankfully seems to have improved.

I got upset when I visited her and she said to me, “I want you to hold my hand until my name is called.”

Me and my Grandma have a special bond, I can usually understand her when no one else can and when anything does happen to her, I will be devastated. We just ‘get’ each other. Whilst some others, just don’t.

I have faith that there is light at the end of this down tunnel and that I still have lots to look forward to in 2014. The teaching contract is a great achievement for me, as I got a teacher/trainer PTTLS Level 4 qualification in 2012, but I couldn’t get a teaching job back then because I didn’t have enough experience. Consequently, I went back into retail for a 16th year. Ironically, since working in retail, I now have a teching job.

I want to thank you for your patience, time and understanding whilst I finish my Break through the barriers of redundancy book.

I know I haven’t visited many of your blogs recently or left many comments and I thank you for your loyalty and support whilst I finish my book. I have people waiting for it to be published so they can buy it. Therefore, I do need to take more time out to do just that.

I hope if you are experiencing a lot of downs, that you too, can see the light.

Write as soon as I am able to
Sandra

Spice up your life with a bit of Cinnamon


Hi everyone

Not just on a cold winter’s day but every day, spice up your life with a bit of Cinnamon.

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Apologies for not commenting or stopping by your blog much lately.

I have been off sick from my day job since the 5th of December. Thankfully I seem to be much better but still taking tablets for some existing symptoms. I am hoping to go back to work soon.

When I am not resting, I am working very hard to get my non-fiction book finished for the 20th of January. I am self-publishing and my illustrator needs to know by the 20th, the total number of book pages, so she can create the printed book cover version for me. After the week commencing the 20th of January, she is moving on to do other projects.

Daisy had to have another operation today. This time it was to have a much bigger growth removed than the large one she had removed around the beginning of November last year. I am sending the growth off to be tested for cancer. My mum is currently looking after her with my other pigs because I will probably go back to work in my day job this week.

Tomorrow I am hoping to see my Doctor before I have to have a meeting with my Manager.

Because of my book deadline and everything else happing at the moment, I can’t blog or comment as much as I would normally. I hope you understand.

Thanks for your patience.

Write as soon as I am able to

Sandra

Cinnamon sends his wheeks!

Have a little Christmas humour on me


Hi everyone

Just to let you know that I am off work sick at the moment and it is going on for longer than I anticipated. I had a bad night last night and smacked my foot on a filing cabinet, rushing to get to the sink. I hurt my toes and one turned a purple colour and was pounding for hours. At least it matches a piece of tinsel in my toilet.

Apologies for not replying to your comments. I will answer them when I can. I am resting a lot at the moment.

On a brighter note, I received my first two Christmas cards yesterday and this one from my Uncle Dave. It made me laugh.

Have some Christmas humour and cheer on me.

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If you can’t read the text, it says:
“Oh Charming Thanks! And a Merry Christmas to you too!”

Happy Christmas.

If you read one of my previous posts, you will know that I am also up against a deadline to have my book finished by the 20th of January for my illustrator to create the printed version of the book cover. As it is a project that has been going on for longer than it should have been, the date is not negotiable and so I can’t blog or comment as much as I would like to because of this.

Write as soon as I am able to.

Sandra