What’s Your Guilty Reading Pleasure?


Hi everyone

I have a confession to make. I still enjoy reading Little Miss and Mr Men books. You could say they are my guilty please.

In fact, whilst I was recently in London to meet and speak with HM the Queen, at the end of my visit, I bought one Mr Men book and two Little Miss books. Okay, confession number two, I still collect them.

I just couldn’t resist buying this Little Miss Princess book, as I thought it was very apt considering I met HM the Queen.

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So what do I do with all these books? Do I buy them, read them and store them, never to be read again? Wrong. Confession number three. I read them time and time again because I thorougly enjoy them for the follow reasons:

I love the short adventures the characters get up to.

The stories make me laugh.

They make me feel relaxed and calm.

They are light reading before going to bed with nothing particularly scary in them. Although Little Miss Scary and Mr Jelly would probably disagree.

I love the twists, irony or juxtapositon of elements of the stories.

They ease my physical pain by taking my mind off it.

They are fun.

The books are genius, as there is at least one character for everyone to relate to at some point in their life.

They have a good moral to each story. Based on bad being overcome by good but expressed in different ways.

The characters are easy to understand. Any reader can empathise with them very early on in the story.

The illustrations are colourful and simple. Great to look at.

They are great inspiration for anyone who wants to write children’s picture books. That includes me.

Reading them makes me feel good.

Although I have a serious business side to my personality and enjoy writing how to/business books. I also love to write rhyming pictures books for 3-5 years, as I also have a fun, kid-like side to my personality. Both are very different genres but that’s what being quirky is all about.

What’s you guilty reading pleasure? Dare you confess to it?

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

My Invitation to St James’s Palace


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Hi Everyone

I thought you may be interested to read my latest post from my other blog http://www.beatredundancyblues.wordpress.com – here it is below:

As you probably know http://www.beatredundancyblues.com is your one stop resource for redundancy. As well as the practical aspects of redundancy it also covers health and wellbeing including stress, anxiety and depression.

You may like to know that I do voluntary work as a Health Buddy for CSV (Community Service Volunteers) in association with BBC Radio Devon. We promote health messages, learn from health specialists and encourage the 5 ways to wellbeing:

  1. Connect
  2. Be Active
  3. Take Notice
  4. Learn
  5. Give

On Wednesday 10th of March, I went to a CSV Health Buddy celebration of music and activities from local refugees who are being looked after by Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support.

I could not help but take notice of the variety of talent amongst the refugees. There were lots of activities including singing, sports, character making out of carrots and foods from their country. I learnt more about them and the foods they eat. People from different backgrounds connected and it was lovely of them to give up their afternoon to entertain and teach us.

At this event I was pleasantly surprised to be presented with a bouquet of flowers and a Certificate of Achievement for helping a distressed and vulnerable person as part of my role as a CSV (Community Service Volunteer) Health Buddy.

I was even more thrilled to be told that I had been chosen to represent the CSV organisation at their 50th anniversary celebration, to be held at St James’s Palace in London on Monday 15th of July 2013. In the presence of Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I feel incredibly honoured to be chosen for.

Redundancy can make you feel deflated and powerless. Take back the control in your life by discovering what you were born to do and make it happen for yourself.

I am living my dreams and I want you to be too.

Stay positive

Sandra Bellamy

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.

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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

Never take your writing for granted


Hi Everyone

My apologies for not blogging for a while. I have been very poorly and although I did make it to London for Valentine’s Day, I had to cut my holiday short due to illness.

I have to say that this has been one of the worst periods of illness in my life to date and I have been so weak that at the worst peak of my infection I couldn’t:

  • Write many texts
  • Write any Facebook messages
  • Write any LinkedIn updates
  • Write any tweets
  • Write any blog posts
  • Write any web content
  • Write any of my book content
  • Write any notes
  • Read my emails
  • Respond to emails
  • Read any books

Sometimes it’s hard to realise just how much of my life is spent writing and doing things related to my writing, such as reading books. I have learnt during this time to always count my writing blessings twice and to never take my writing for granted.

Although I am still off work sick I am able to write again and it is a fantastic feeling.

I would encourage you all to make a list of the writing activities that you do and take time out to appreciate each one of them. Think what your life would be like without writing in it and never take your writing for granted.

Until next time, keep writing and enjoying it.

Write soon

Sandra

 

 

Do you love the one you are with?


Hi Everyone

As you know, I like to be a bit quirky. In view of that fact, I am going to London for valentine’s to celebrate being single. I will be there from Wed 13th of February for two nights and I intend to have a blast. My motto is, if you can’t be with the one you love, or you don’t love anyone, then love the one you are with and if you are single, then that means loving yourself. You don’t need anyone else to make you happy, you can do that for yourself by:

  1. Affirming how wonderful you are – Write down a minimum of 20 positives about yourself. Try to read this out aloud on a regular basis. Reading five a day is good.
  2. Celebrating 5 successes every day. Write down anything from washing up to having an article published.
  3. Buying yourself presents – A writer’s journal. A book. Clothes. Perfume/aftershave. CDs. DVDs. Jewellery or whatever you want.
  4. Taking yourself out – For a meal. To the theatre. To the cinema.
  5. Going on holiday – To wherever you want, whenever you want. You could go to that writer’s retreat you have always wanted to visit.
  6. If you are feeling sad then comfort yourself. Give yourself a hug and say out aloud –  “Things will get better and you are coping very well.” Self-talk is a good thing.
  7. If anyone gives you a strange look because you are sitting on your own, simply by strong and happy that you are single and give them a smile. If you are confident that being single is right for you then why should anyone else question that.
  8. Write a book about the adventures of being a singleton – Watch this space, as there is a possibility that there may be a similar book from me in the future.
  9. Find what you were born to do and let no one stand in your way of achieving it. Being single is great because there is no one to hold you back and no one to think about but yourself.
  10. Educate yourself. Learning gives us knowledge and increases our sense of worth making us feel good. If you want to do a course, then go for it.
  11. Whatever makes you feel fantastic, do it and keep doing it.
  12. Praise yourself at every opportunity and if something goes wrong, then treat it as a learning curve to make you stronger. You will love yourself more for it.

In case you wonder what I am doing in London. I am going to see The Bodyguard Musical on Wed, to The Sea Life Aquarium and Mama Mia Musical on Thursday 14th February and to Paradise Wildlife Park on the Friday. I am doing all of these by myself. You can have just as much fun by yourself – Sometimes more because you can do what you love and what makes you love your life without the need for any compromises.

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