Happy Quirky Christmas


Hi everyone

Have a Happy Quirky Christmas and a Happy Quirky New Year.

That is what writing is about, after all. It’s about being quirky by being different, letting your creativity explode and standing out from the crowd.

Write as soon as possible
Sandra

What’s his story? – Let your imagination run riot


Hi everyone

Most weeks when I walk to work to go to my day job, I see this man making dogs out of sand.

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I think they are beautiful and he is very talented.

As a writer, I often think, what’s his story? Why is he making dogs out of sand?

Could it be because…….

He is grieving for pets that have passed away.

He has a love of dogs.

He is obsessed with dogs.

He was not allowed any dogs as a child.

He can’t have any dogs now.

He has been reincarnated but was once a dog with his own family of dogs.

He believes the sand makes the dogs come to life and they talk to him.

He finds it a form of therapy away from the problems at home.

He is preparing for a competition to create the best dog sand statues, in the quickest amount of time and be in the Guinness book of World Records if he wins.

Dogs are the only thing he can make out of sand.

He has an OCD.

Like the beginnings of any good story, once we have a creative think about any random situation in life that may lead to a tale that needs telling, we begin to question the answer to our first question.

For example:

Why did his dog die? Was it giving birth? – Hence the small pup.

Why was he reincarnated in the form of a man?

What events led him to the competiton?

Why does he have an OCD?

A good writer always asks lots of questions and is not afraid to let their inner creative mind, think for itself.

Allow your imagination to run riot and enjoy every minute of taking a random event or situation in life and turning it into a literary masterpiece.

Write soon
Sandra

What are the advantages and disadvantages of writing guest blog articles for businesses?


Hi everyone

You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting quite as many blog posts on this blog lately. That is for two main reasons:

1) I also write regular blog posts for http://www.beatredundancyblues.wordpress.com and http://www.beatredundancyblues.co.uk and a News and Inspiration page for http://www.beatredundancyblues.com

2) I have recently written a guest blog article for Sage One and I am currently writing one for Pay Justice.

So what are the advantages of writing guest blog articles for businesses?

1) It’s a challenge, having to come up with new and fresh content that will fit in with the content of their previous blog articles and be suitable for their customers.

2) Your creative muscles are stretched.

3) Your writing skills are improved.

4) It boosts your profile as a writer.

5) Increased SEO for your sites, if the businesses put links to your sites at the end of your articles.

6) The articles show off your expertise in a given subject or range of topics. This is fantastic if you are a non-fiction writer as it enhances your credibility.

What are the disadvantages?

1) It can be very time consuming and mean spending less time on your own writing projects.

2) Not only do you need to do research for the article content but you also need to do research about the company whom the blog article is for. You need to find out what the company’s mission is, what they are about, what their point of view is and what previous blog article content has been published. Again, this can be very time consuming.

3) Often there will be no payment for guest blog articles.

4) You may receive a very vague brief or no brief at all, as to what to write about. This means you will need to use your research of the company, as previously described and your imagination, to come up with a blog article idea and create some great content from it.

5) When you write the blog article content, you need to ensure that there is no conflict of interest with your own online profile, business, or blog content.

6) You need to target the article to the said company’s target market, not your own. Although you may find there are some overlaps.

I hope you find this information useful for your own writing ventures and to assess whether or not, blog article writing for businesses, is right for you.

Until next time, write soon.

Sandra

Have you got the guts to run your own writing business?


Hi everyone

I would like to say a huge thank you to all of you, that liked and shared my blog article “Have you got the guts to run your own business” on Sage One. It could just as easily have been called “Have you got the guts to run your own writing business.”

For those of you who are currently unemployed and interesting in starting your own writing business, this article explains how the Enterprise Club Start-up Training Course can help you, by finding out if you have got what it takes to start and run a business. At the end of the course you will be able to decide whether or not you have a viable business model with a business plan that predicts a profit. You can use this business plan to apply for the National Enterprise Allowance. With the National Enterprise Allowance (NEA) you get the opportunity to work with a business mentor and the chance of having a loan of up to £1000. I did this course whilst I was unemployed last year and learnt a lot of valuable information, knowledge and skills, that has helped me on my way to turning my writing into a business.

As you can see from the following screen shot, the article has received good feedback and lots of sharing across social media. In particular I want to give a humungous thank you to Louise from Inspire your business, who took the time to comment on the blog post itself on the Sage One website. Louise, you are awesome and your support is greatly appreciated. For anyone interested in running their own business, Louise’s blog offers inspiration and advice. Here is the link to her site: inspireyourbusiness.wordpress.com

Sandra Bellamy Guest Blogger

If you want to know if you have got the guts to run your own writing business, here is the link to my blog article: sageone.com/2013/08/23/guts-to-run-your-own-business/

Please let me know what you thought of the article and what further advice, help and support you would like?

Write soon

Sandra

I Have Been Chosen To Meet HM The Queen


Hi everyone

I am very happy and excited to have been chosen to meet Her Majesty the Queen, at St James’s Palace, on Monday 15th of July.

For those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you may already know this and a few of you I have mentioned it to in my comments. For the rest of my lovely blog followers, the last update I gave you, was that I had been invited to St James’s Palace in the presence of HM the Queen. I have since had a letter to say I have been chosen to meet HM the Queen.

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I have been sent a map of the inside of the Palace and have been told I am group 10, in the Queen Anne Room, to meet the Queen.

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There is a red dotted line to indicate which route HM the Queen will take.

There are instructions of what I should say and do when I meet HM the Queen.

I am going there, to celebrate CSV (Community Service Volunteers) 50th anniversary. I do voluntary work as a Health Buddy for CSV and got nominated by my Manager to go.

If someone had told me a few years ago, that in the future I would be meeting HM the Queen at St James’s Palace, I would have laughed and said they had a vivid imagination, or yes, in my dreams. But I did something very important in my life, I changed my attitude and my belief in myself.

When I was made redundant for the second time in my life, in 2009, this was the starting point of that change. I knew from then on, that I was born 100% to write and to help others who have been made redundant to get back into work. It was the start of my creative journey. However, needing money and taking on a succession of temporary jobs, that I wasn’t happy in, took it’s toll, and although I still had these goals in mind, I didn’t do much about them at that time.

By the end of 2009, I got a job as an Assistant Manager of a shop and a couple of months later I was promoted to Shop Manager. The drawback was, most weeks I would be working 60 hours a week instead of my contracted 40.

In October 2010, I got headhunted to work as a Sales Person for more money doing less hours and so I took it. After almost a year of working there, I decided to take a year out from work, to develop myself, my skills, my knowledge and expertise to grow as a person and to finally fulfil my destiny of writing and helping others to get back into work. During that time, I gained all of those and so much more.

Although I am working again in a retail sales job during the day, I have chosen to be in a job as a Sales Person not as a Manager, so my hours are stable and kept to a minimum. The pay is not great but I can focus on building two businesses around my two goals during the evenings and my time off. I now know what action to take to make progress with those two goals. I still have time to do courses and to develop myself as a person. I am continuing on the path to fulfil my dreams and you can do it too. I am living proof that dreams can come true. Never, ever, give up on your own dreams. Believe they are achievable and that anything is possible.

Be blessed with what you have,
fight for what you want,
believe in yourself,
helps others along the way,
take action,
change when you are able to
and never look back.

Keep looking forward because your future is in your hands.
Treat yourself kindly,
look after those who are important in your life,
allow yourself ups and downs,
you are only human.
Above all, love yourself, live life to the max and do what makes you happy over and over again.

Until next time, keep writing and keep smiling.

Write soon
Sandra

Writing Resolutions


Hi Everyone

Happy New Year.

As the new year has just begun, it’s time to reflect on your writing journey throughout 2012 and think about how you can improve your writing or how you can make more time for your writing, or both. You need to consider:

  • How much you write?
  • When you write?
  • What you write about?
  • How long it takes you to write?
  • What things you could give up or do less of to spend more time writing?
  • How can you find ‘spare’ moments to write?

If you are writing vast amounts but not seeing an outcome, in other words you are not seeing a story forming, it could be that quantity has taken over quality and you need to have a re-think and focus on practicing writing shorter pieces in order to develop the quality of your work.

If on the other hand, you found it hard to get started on your writing and you hadn’t written much in 2012, then it’s time to get creative.

Grab a pen and ten sheets of paper. On each sheet write one of the following category titles:

  1. Animals
  2. Birds
  3. People
  4. Family
  5. Jobs
  6. Hobbies
  7. Locations
  8. Foods
  9. Objects
  10. Magic

You should have a total of ten pages, each with a title from the above list.

Next, you need to write anything that springs to mind under each title. For example, for animals you may write dog, cat, horse, pig or sheep.

For Birds you could write, emu, peacock, sparrow, finch, duck, chicken.

For family you could write, mum, dad, sister, brother, uncle, cousin.

For people you could write anything from a detective to a boy called Peter.

Write whatever comes to your mind for each title. Go crazy if you want to, the more absurd and weird the better. This exercise is not only good for unleashing your creativity and to get you thinking differently but when you get writer’s block or just crave for fresh story ideas, you can get inspiration from these pieces of paper and can make a story out of one or more of the things you have listed for each category or from just a few categories. This means you will have no excuses for not having a new year’s resolution to either write more or to improve the quality of your writing.

My new year’s resolution is to change my quirkybooks.net site into a much more sophisticated and attractive design, incorporating an e-Book store, so watch this space for future details.

Whatever your writing resolution ensure you have one because without setting any goals you won’t take action and nothing will be achieved. If you want to progress with your writing, you need a resolution. Good luck and let me know how you get on.

Write soon

Sandra

 

quirkybooks Awarded Blog of the Year 2012


Hi Everyone

It has been such a busy award time for me lately, both receiving and giving and now it is time to do it all over again. I am so grateful to:

http://utesmile.wordpress.com for nominating me for the first Blog of the Year 2012 Award. This means such a lot.

https://catnipoflife.wordpress.com for my second Blog of the Year 2012 Award, that means I am up to two stars, mega awesome.

It feels such an honour to be given awards and to know that people love reading my writing. Your support is a pillar of strength and I welcome the awards with open arms and accept with gratitude.

So here is what you need to know about:

‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

(This has been copied word for word for accuracy. It is suggested you do the same…makes posting easy!)

Do you know a blog that deserves an award?

Do you have special blogs that you love to read?

Which blogs do you bookmark and follow?

Would you like to give them an award this year?

Then the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award is for you!

The ‘rules’ for this award are simple:

1 Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award.

2 Write a blog post and name/tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.

3 Please include a link back to this page, quirkybooks Awarded Blog of the Year 2012 and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)

4 Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them

5 You can now also join The Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience

6 As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

Yes – that’s right – there are stars to collect!

Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once – this award is different!

When you begin you will receive the ‘1 star’ award – and every time you are given the award by another blog – you can add another star!

There are a total of 6 stars to collect.

Which means that you can check out your favorite blogs – and even if they have already been given the award by someone else – you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum 6 stars!

‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Badges

There are six badges for you to collect – you can either ‘swap’ your badge for the next one each time you are given the award – or even proudly display all six badges if you are lucky enough to be presented with the award six times!

Need to know more? Check out the FAQ page

And Congratulations! on being chosen for the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award!

‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award – thumbnails

Here are the 6 awards in thumbnail size for your sidebar – feel free to Right Click and save any of the images on this page:

        

          

So there you go those are the rules and the name of the game.

For those of you who want to play, the ball is in your court!

 And my nominees for the award are as follows:
Enjoy your award, I look forward to seeing the logo on your blog and reading more inspirational blog posts from you.
Write soon
Sandra
Related articles

Quirky Shine On Award


Hi Everyone

I was recently nominated for the Shine On award by Sharla from http://catnipoflife.wordpress.com

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

1.) Show appreciation of the blogger 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. Besides writing, I love going to the cinema.
  2. My favourite type of movies are dance, action or thriller. I also like Disney/Pixar movies.
  3. I prefer writing to reading.
  4. I have an Apple Imac computer that I use loads and I adore.
  5. I hold a PTTLS Level 4 Teacher/Trainer qualification that I got this year.
  6. I have an IAG Diploma (Information, Advice and Guidance) Level 4 that I achieved this year.
  7. I believe dreams can come true.

4.) Nominate 5 – 10 or so bloggers you admire. Here I go:

http://ohshineon.com

http://liveblissful.wordpress.com

http://kattermonran.com

http://utesmile.wordpress.com

http://inspire1life.com

http://motivatingdaily.com

http://russelrayphotos2.com

http://searchingforthehappiness.wordpress.com

http://hutchagoodlife.wordpress.com

http://hamsterdiaries.wordpress.com

5.) Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know. Will do.

6.) Optional questions – Here are my 7.

  1. Do you prefer art or literature?
  2. What is your favourite film and why?
  3. Would you prefer to read to a child or for them to read to you?
  4. What makes you happy?
  5. What are your wisest words?
  6. What is your favourite insect and why?
  7. If you could choose any words to be your last, what would they be?

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

Shine On Award

 

Have Fun with National Novel Writing Month


Hi Everyone

In order to keep the momentum of NaNoWriMo to a peak, I asked Author and Writing Coach Rochelle Melander, if she could do a guest blog post on how to stay motivated during this event and this is what she wrote.

I rocked NaNoWriMo on November 1. By the end of my first writing session, I had nearly twice the amount of words I needed. When I woke up on November 2—a Friday—I felt a sense of foreboding, “You mean I have to do this again?” By the end of that first busy weekend in November, I was thousands of words behind and worried about catching up. And I wasn’t enjoying creating scenes. Instead, I was worrying about whether the scene was realistic, thinking about how this should be easier, and wondering how long it was going to take me to revise this quickly drafted book. All the time, I had my eye on the counter: how many words had I written. (And I’m a professional writer!)

But recently, I’ve had a brilliant, game-changing aha moment: oh yeah, National Novel Writing Month is supposed to be fun. That tiny thought was all I needed to jump back into NaNoWriMo project with some joy. If you’re struggling with NaNoWriMo and need to add a little fun to your work, here are five ways to rock your story:

1.   Add a pop of color. I hear that advice a lot on clothing shows (as well as in nearly every magazine I read). In order to make an outfit compatible with the season, we can add a pop of color with our nails, shoes, or jewelry. Well, why not add a pop of color to our novels? A few weeks ago, I heard a story on the radio about a guy who had invented a working gun that could be printed on plastic using a 3-dimensional printer. My mind went right to fiction: imagine what would happen if a character could print a gun? Now that would add a pop and maybe even a pop of color. Try it: give your character a printable gun or some other unusual 3-dimensional prop to make and use. See what happens next.

2.  Take a page from fan fiction. Many of the students I am working with during NaNoWriMo this year write fan fiction. They borrow the best elements from their favorite novels and television shows, add new characters and plots, and write forward. When they talk about writing their NaNoWriMo book, they get all giddy because it gives them an opportunity to spend the month with characters they are curious about in a setting they have long admired. Try it: list 5-10 elements you like from your favorite television shows and novels. Don’t limit yourself—write down characters, setting, plot points, props, and anything else you can think of. Once you have your list, add one or more element to your NaNoWriMo project.

3.  Make worry work for you. I’ve been a worrier my whole life. Even happy events leave me worrying about what might go wrong. On the other hand, if you’re a worrier, you can harness your imagination and make it work for your writing. In Josip Novakovich’s Fiction Writer’s Workshop, he invites readers to make use of their worries by listing events that could have happened but didn’t (p. 23). These could be events you feared or hoped might happened. Try it: Make a list of at least five of these events and use one or more in your novel.

4.  Phone a friend. On the popular television quiz show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, participants could get help by reaching for three lifelines: 50-50, ask the audience, or phone a friend. Often both the audience and the friend were not just wrong, they were wildly wrong. In NaNoWriMo, we might get some interesting answers if we ask a friend or acquaintance for help with our novel. And in the world of NaNo, interesting means more fun for us. Try this: ask your friends on Facebook to give you a fun character or situation to add into your novel. Then do it—put in the zombie librarian or the flying pig, even if they have nothing to do with what you are writing about. Trying to add a unique element to your book will puzzle your brain in the best possible way.

5.  Use Found Passages. I’m enamored of artists who can take old materials and shape them into new items. In Paper Made: 101 Exceptional Projects to Make Out of Everyday Paper, author Kayte Terry teaches readers how to make purses out of old book covers and bracelets out of scraps of paper. As a writer, you can take found passages of writing and incorporate them into your book as well. Jonathan Safran Foer created his book Tree of Codes by cutting into his favorite book, The Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz. What emerged is a novel that is part story, part sculpture. Try this: review favorite books, journal entries, magazine articles, and your old drafts of articles and novels for snippets to mix and match and revise into a part of your book.

Your turn: What tools and techniques do you suggest for letting go and having fun? Comment below! We need your advice!

Rochelle Melander is an author, speaker, and certified professional coach. She is the author of ten books, including the National Novel Writing Month guide—Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (and Live to Tell About It) Rochelle teaches professionals how to write good books fast, use writing to transform their lives, navigate the publishing world, and get published! For more tips and a complementary download of the first two chapters of Write-A-Thon, visit her online at www.writenowcoach.com

Rochelle Y. Melander 
Author and Writing Coach 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Author of the book,
Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days 
(And Live to Tell About It)
(Writers Digest Books, October 2011)
A 2011 ForeWord Book of the Year Finalist
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
http://www.writenowcoach.com
http://www.writenowmastermind.com
rochelle@WriteNowCoach.com

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Write-A-Thon Winner – Close Contest


Hi Everyone

quirkybooks’ latest competition to win a signed copy of Rochelle Melander’s Write-A-Thon, was a close contest, with many people trying several ways to win.

I am pleased to announce that Casey Jo Roach is the winner of the signed copy of Write-A-Thon. Congratulations Casey.

Thanks to everyone who entered and made the competition a great success.

For this competition I asked the question: “If you could buy any self-help book, what topic would you choose and why?”

Amongst the answers were books about:

  • How to write well
  • Writing resources
  • Writing an interesting Novel
  • How to write a novel quickly
  • Getting published
  • Overcoming Depression
  • Mindfulness
  • Stress
  • De-stressing
  • Anxiety

I thought it was remarkably interesting that two main categories shone through: Writing and Health and Well-being. Two of my favourite subjects to write about. So watch this future space!

If you could buy any self-help book, what would it be? Please leave a comment below.

Next post will be about my nominations for the Liebster Award, so don’t miss it.

Write soon.

Sandra