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!

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

 

 

 

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

What’s Holding You Back? – Skills and Experience – Beat Redundancy Blues


Hi Everyone

As you may know, I am currently working on my first e-Book about redundancy and helping people to get back into work and I have another WordPress blog to support this mission at http://www.beatredundancyblues.wordpress.com

I wanted to share with you my latest post from that blog, as the information is relevant to any job you go for.

So here it is:

Now that we have settled into the new year, you will probably have noticed a lot of posts about goal setting and how you need to take action in order to move forward with your life. These posts are an invaluable source of information and inspiration and they are absolutely right, if you want to achieve your desired outcome, you need to take the steps to get there by setting goals and then acting on them but in the next few posts I want us to take a look at what may be holding you back from setting goals in the first place.

Sometimes in order for you to move forward you must reflect on the past and assess the present to see what changes need to be made. If you keep doing the same thing then you will always get the same result. If you are not happy with the result then you need to change what you are doing and there is no time like the present, so what are you waiting for?

Let’s consider some of the things that may be holding you back.

Not having the right skills or experience

There is no easy way to say this, if you haven’t got the right skills and experience for the job role that you desire, in these difficult economic times, you need to either obtain them or learn to convert previous experience and learnt skills into transferable experience and skills and if you can’t do that then you probably won’t get a look in because the competition is so tough.

Do not be fooled by a job advert that states: “Previous experience is not essential as full training will be given for the right candidate.”

If the interviewer can get a person with previous experience who has the correct basic skills, the right attitude for the job and is the right fit for the team, then they will go with them instead of someone with little or no experience. When I was a retail manager I recruited my own staff  and I advertised for the experience and skills that I required and yes I still got applicants applying with little or no relevant experience and as time is money in business, usually I would sift theses applications out on first look as I had a large number of applicants. Of the applicants that were sifted out there may have been some that had the right attitude or were a good fit for the team but because I didn’t put them through to the interview stage I would never know this, so having the right skills and experience is essential.

When I wasn’t working, on the odd occasion I would apply for a job that was out of my sector and one that I had little or no relevant skills or experience in, just as I thought, I would get a reject letter or worse, nothing at all. Upon analysis, the reason I got a rejection letter was because I appeared on paper to have some of the skills and experience that were relative to the job and some transferable skills but obviously not as good a offering as someone who blatantly had the skills and experience in that sector and therefore I wasn’t surprised I was rejected and took it on the chin. When I received no reply whatsoever, it was because on paper there were barely any skills and experience relevant to the role for which I had applied, so why should the employer bother to reply to me when it looked like I had randomly decided to ‘give it a go’. An employer wouldn’t like this attitude and to be honest neither do I and when I became a manager I understood that and if I were to apply for a job now I would always tailor my CV and Cover Letter to the Job specification and that’s why I get responses when a lot of other people don’t, so if you are struggling to get responses, now you know the secret, why not try it for yourself?

If you want to gain the skills and experience to get a job you desire, you need to do voluntary workwork experience and you may need to take a course as well.

To read about what else may be holding you back be sure to read the next post on http://www.beatredundancyblues.wordpress.com   and whatever you do, stay positive.

Sandra Bellamy

Tell me how you have got on with job applications?

Still to come on quirkybooks.wordpress.com, The One Lovely Blog Award nominations.

Launch of quirkybooksnet Facebook Page – Guest Blogger Rochelle Melander here on 18th September


Hi Everyone

I have some exciting news, not only will there be a guest blogger, Rochelle Melander, Author and Writing Coach, blogging here on Tuesday 18th of September, the quirkybooks.net Facebook page was launched yesterday, click on the link below to view and to Like it: facebook.com/pages/Quirkybooksnet/144394649036836

quirkybooks.net is currently a basic site about me and my writing but in the next few months you will see it transform into a more attractive design, incorporating an e-book store. Join me on this extraordinary journey of creating an e-book store especially for you, as it unravels book by book.

My debut children’s picture book should be available to buy as an e-book on quirkybooks.net before Christmas and I will be writing lots of non-fiction, How to books, many of which, will help people who have been made redundant, to get back into work.

I already have ideas for different books I intend to write but in the meantime you can have your say about what non-fiction books you might like to see in the categories of redundancy/employment/business/writing/self-belief. By this I mean would you like books on how to get work in a certain type of industry? How to cope with redundancy? How to gain the art of self-belief?

Let me know what you think by commenting below.

Write soon

Sandra

One Lovely Blog Award


One Lovely Blog Award

Thank you to everyone who has liked my blog posts, left a comment, joined my blog or Liked my Facebook page. Your support is hugely appreciated and I thoroughly enjoy interacting with you and reading your blogs too.

You may have heard that last week I was awarded the One Lovely Blog Award by Dan Balva from hurdlestohappiness, here is the Link to his site http://hurdlestohappiness.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/one-lovely-blog-award

I am extremely pleased to received this award, which is my second award to date. It is a wonderful feeling that people are enjoying my writing and that makes me feel very happy and excited about what the future holds. Dan has a great blog so you should check it out.

Oh, yes! There are a few rules which come with the receipt of this award and they are as follows:

ONE LOVELY BLOG AWARD RULES: 

1. I need to thank the person who nominated me.

2. Share 7 things about myself that you still may not know

3. Nominate 15 bloggers.

4. Notify the nominees that I have done so.

5. Put the logo of the award on my blog site.

Having already completed steps 1 and 5, that leaves me with 2,3, and 4. So 7 things about me that you still may not know:

  1. I appeared as an extra in the thirteenth episode of Torchwood, at the end of series one. My character had to scream and run away from a monster. I was paid for the work I did and it was filmed in the city centre of Cardiff in front of a live street audience. I was also shown in the trailer wearing a short white jacket and yes, I still have the jacket.
  2. I have a bronze award for Freestyle Disco dancing.
  3. I used to do Irish and Appalachian dancing.
  4. I did Ballroom dancing classes when I was younger.
  5. I have been a volunteer Hospital Radio Presenter since 1995. I currently present a show on Hospital Radio Exeter on a Monday night. My show is called Dreamboat and is aired from 10pm – 11pm. Here is a link to my radio show profile page:http://www.hospitalradioexeter.com/Members/SandraBellamy
  6. When I was young I had a golden cocker-spaniel called Purdy, she was the runt of the litter but she was also my best friend.
  7. I am an only child, I have no brothers or sisters.
  8. (Bonus) I have a wonderful grandma who is 94 and still living in her own home in Dawlish in Devon.

I hope you feel you know me a little better now. If you have any questions or comments about the above, please feel free to share them.

Now to nominate the One Lovely Blog Award to some other well deserving bloggers:

  1. hutchagoodlife  This is my personal favourite, having 4 guineapigs myself, I find this blogger extremely funny and insightful. She is able to get into the mind of a guineapig and make the reader believe they are in the guineapigs’ situation, truly incredible.
  2. marthareynoldswrites.com
  3. margekatherine.com
  4. dorothystacy.wordpress.com
  5. feelgoodtribe.com
  6. hurtlingtowards60.wordpress.com
  7. lesleycarter.wordpress.com
  8. jenowenby.wordpress.com
  9. valeriedavies.com
  10. russelrayphotos2.com
  11. ilovegetttingupinthemorning.wordpress.com
  12. suewestwood.wordpress.com
  13. bradstanton.com
  14. 200positivesaboutredunancy.wordpress.com
  15. spiritualchocolate.wordpress.com

Congratulations to all of you and keep up the good work.

Write soon

Sandra

Researching what your reader wants to read


Hi Everyone

Today’s post is in response to a comment from hutchagoodlife. To find out how you can research what your reader is wanting to read.

I recently wrote a non-fiction book proposal about redundancy and this involved a lot of research. This is what I did and what I would advise you to do, in order to increase your chances of giving the reader what they want and of getting published.

  • Google your subject – paying attention to the top 5 websites and browse them thoroughly
  • Use Google Keyword search tools for finding out what words and combinations of words are most searched for
  • Search the web in general for your subject matter and note and explore your results
  • Read as many books as possible, written by other authors on the subject/genre for which you want to write
  • Read books by the publisher/s you are going to submit your work to, to see what’s been done before
  • Look through magazines/newspapers, watch TV programmes on your subject
  • Devise a market research survey or questionnaire and find a suitable place to action it – then ensure you do take action by noting the results
  • Join social networking forums relevant to your subject and find out what everyone is talking about –  A good one for me is LinkedIn
  • Go to your local bookstores and ask them for a print out on books that you can buy relevant to your subject, if there is a lot, choose between 5 -10. – Different bookstores will have some different titles that you can potentially buy but there will always be crossovers, which is when you can start to see patterns emerging of the most popular titles that you need to study
  • Go to visit your local library and look at books similar to or the same as your subject – Pay attention to how many times each book has been taken out – That way you can compare the most popular titles with the most unpopular ones and analyse why you believe they are better

The amount of time you spend doing each of the above, will most likely be different for a fiction book to a non-fiction book and although all are relevant, you may find that some work better for you than others, depending on what it is that you want to write about.

Whatever you are writing about, ensure you put a different slant on it, to what has been done before. Stay positive, stay focused and believe in your-self.

Good luck.

If you want any more help, please let me know.

Write soon

Sandra