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

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

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

 

Reality Award – Seeing is believing


Hi Everyone

I was recently nominated for the Reality Award by Sharla from catnipoflife.wordpress.com she has an awesome blog, so check it out. I am so honoured to have received this fantastic award. This is an incredibly visual award and makes me feel proud that you see my blog as an inspiration to others, thanks very much.

As always, with any award comes rules. From my research there appears to be slight variations to the rules, so I am going to go by the rules that Sharla stated:

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 (See below )

4) Nominate 5 – 10 or more bloggers you admire. (Listed at the bottom of this post)

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

  1. I have attended a Picture Book workshop in London with Author Julie Sykes.
  2.  I attended a poetry workshop whilst I was in secondary school.
  3. My favourite children’s authors are Roger Hargreaves who originally wrote the Mr Men and Little Miss books and is sadly no longer with us and Julia Donaldson because I adore her rhyming stories.
  4. I used to play with snails when I was very young.
  5. I love eating sugar free, gluten free, dairy free ice-cream, chocolate is my favourite flavour.
  6. I have put my Christmas tree up. I usually like to do this as soon as I can at the beginning of December.
  7. Christmas day and my birthday are my two favourite events of the year (and my guineapigs’ birthdays).

A big congratulations to all of my 6 nominees for this award, they are:

inspire1life.com

inspireyourbusiness.wordpress.com

thewhyaboutthis.com

margekatherine.com

searchingforthehappiness.wordpress.com

suewestwood.wordpress.com

Still to come in the next post, will be my thanks any nominations for another superb award, this time it will be Blog Of The Year 2012, that I am elated with. (Huge smiles.)

Thanks to everyone who stops by, comments and follows me. Your support is a rock to me and I appreciate every single one of you.

Write soon

Sandra

Reality Blog Award