Are you a do whatever it takes kind of person?


Hi everyone

I am so excited. I have booked the train/bus replacement to go to Bristol for Valentines Day tomorrow. I am celebrating being single.

I am going to the aquarium, then for a Thai meal. After that I will watch Robocop at the cinema and hopefully have another Thai meal before going home.

Some people would be put off by the fact that it’s a split journey due to using a bus as a rail replacement service, but I am a do whatever it takes kind of girl.

Once I have set my mind on doing something, that is it, I do it.

It is this attitude that is essential to a career in writing. You need to believe that no matter what, you will succeed. That whatever it takes, you will learn the skills neccessary to become a published Author and to live the writing life of your dreams.

When I first started to blog, I struggled with the technical side of things but I never gave up. I was persistent and consistent in learning what I needed to, despite being frustrated. Over three years later, I now teach people how to start a WordPress.com blog.

I spent months trying to build a website using templates, with many hours of wanting to scream or cry because I couldn’t get it to look right. Now I have three websites that I have created and that have had good feedback. They may not be perfect but I am proud to have created every part of them.

I was reluctant to use Facebook, partly due to a fear of safety. For my writing and redundancy help, I needed to have two Facebook business pages, and that meant having to have my own personal Facebook page. I took the plunge and created all three, despite not being comfortable with it. Now I usually use Facebook several times a day.

I believe that to a certain extent, we create our own destiny. I will do whatever it takes to better myself in order be able to write more and to help others, which is what I was born to do.

What were you born to do and will you do whatever it takes to achieve it?

Write soon
Sandra

Do you see the light?


Hi everyone

image

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.

image

image

image

image

image

image

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!

Launch of sandrabellamy.co.uk


Hi everyone

Today is a good day.

Cinnamon was given the all clear for his cheek wound yesterday afternoon. It is no longer infected and almost healed.

It’s my two year anniversary of being free from a not very nice person to me.

It is also the launch of sandrabellamy.co.uk

Here is a copy of my About Sandra Bellamy/Home page:

Welcome to the website of Sandra Bellamy.

Sandra Bellamy, Writer, Owner and Founder of quirkybooks.net and beatredundancyblues.com/.co.uky

A Writer and Redundancy Breakthrough and Employment Success Specialist by night, a part-time Tutor for the Recovery Learning Community, a full-time Fitted Bedroom Specialist in John Lewis by day and a volunteer Health Buddy. Sandra Bellamy has a range of skills, experience, knowledge and expertise that she loves sharing with others to advance their own career and their own learning.

Sandra’s life changing moment came when she was made redundant for the second time in 2009.

“When I was made redundant for the second time in my career, it changed my life. At first I felt my gut was wrenched from me, worried about my future, concerned about finances, bewildered and lost, I just didn’t know what I was going to do.

A couple of weeks later I began to feel relieved that it was over.  I thought about the negative aspects of the job I had just left and focused on what I could change about my life and my future career to make me happy. Rather than just being in a job that I was good at, I began to see and understand what job I was meant to be doing. I assessed –

What I was passionate about?

What made me happy?

What did I ultimately want to do with my life?

I came up with two answers:

  1. To be a writer
  2. To help people

I now do both of these.

I  have had:

I have written the course content for ‘Blogging as an aid to recovery – How to start a WordPress.com blog’ that I am teaching for the Recovery Learning Community.

My blog about writing is at quirkybooks.wordpress.com. I write all of the content for beatredundancyblues.com and beatredundancyblues.co.uk. and beatredundancyublues.wordpress.com. I have my own author website at quirkybooks.net that is currently under construction and I am working on my first two e-Books.

I help people who are redundant to get back into work via my two websites beatredundancyblues.com and beatredundancyblues.co.uk. These are free to use resources, that have access to lots of job sites, recruitment sites and courses sites from within the one site. They have a wealth of other useful information, help and advice. Including about job interviews, time management and health and wellbeing. beatredundancyblues likes to take a holistic approach to redundancy and getting back into work.

Redundancy changed my whole outlook on life and now I am a much happier and more fulfilled person, who believes in myself and what I was born to do.  I do not profess to be the best, just to enjoy what I do and to help others  as best as I can.”

I am still waiting on the test results from Daisy’s operation. She has another check-up tomorrow morning because she had some severe swelling when she was checked by the vet yesterday.

I hope you enjoy your fireworks evening and it explodes with loads of good things for you.

Write as soon as I am able to,

Sandra

 

 

 

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:

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

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