Open Your Eyes


Hi Everyone

I felt I had to share this wonderful thought-prevoking poem with you by Diedre Blake because I totally agree that we must create our own reality of what we want our life to be. We can choose our mindset, we can choose our attitude, we can choose our actions and we can choose our path in life. The question is, will we?

Gli Occhi Aperti / The Open Eyes….

Until next time

Write soon

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:

Officially Part Of – The WordPress Family Award


Hi Everyone

I was recently awarded an award I haven’t seen before:

2013-apr-12-wordpress-family-award-from-motherofnine9

Thanks to Supriya from hopeoflight.wordpress.com for this beautiful award. I felt part of the WordPress community before and now I feel even more a part of it. I am honoured and blessed to be in such great company. Thanks to each and every one of you who follows, comments, likes or stops by my blog. I appreciate your support.

As with any award, there are rules and these are displayed below:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.

2. Link back to the person who nominated you.

3. Nominate 10 others you see as having an impact on your Word Press experience and family

4. Let your 10 Family members know you have awarded them

5. That is it. Just pick 10 people who have taken you as a friend, and spread the love

Here are my nominations:

  1. kattermonran.com
  2. ladylovelyblogger
  3. blessedwithastarontheforehead
  4. mikesfilmtalk.com
  5. jenowenby.wordpress.com
  6. acflory.wordpress.com
  7. bbanublog.wordpress.com
  8. margekatherine.com
  9. carolynhughesthehurthealer.com
  10. diedreblake.wordpress.com

I often feel my followers (blogger family) know me better than a lot of people I see everyday in my day job. Thanks to everyone who follows me for making me feel so special.

I have just been given another one of these awards, what a surprise! How lovely – Watch this space for more nominations in the future.

Write soon

Sandra

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.

tagged

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

quirkybooks is an Extra Lovely Blog – One Lovely Blog Award


Hi Everyone

I have some awards catching up to do. Today I will start with the One Lovely Blog Award.

I am happy to announce that quirkybooks is an extra lovely blog because it has been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award for the Second time.

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.

I was awarded the One Lovely Blog Award by the awesome Casey Roach from: http://caseyroach.blogspot.co.uk Who was a winner in our Write-A-Thon competition. She received a signed copy of Write-A-Thon from Author and Writing Coach Rochelle Melander. Check out her blog.

I am extremely pleased to receive this award, which to date, is my second One Lovely Blog Award and means a lot to me. It’s great to know that people are enjoying what I am writing about.

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. When I was younger I use to have a tortoise called Fred.
  2. When I was younger I kept stick insects and they had babies that escaped from their home and covered the kitchen ceiling.
  3. My favourite colour of the rainbow is orange but I don’t like to wear that colour.
  4. I like “Animal” as a brand of clothing.
  5. I have an A level in English Literature and Media Studies.
  6. I obtained a Certificate in Sound Recording.
  7.  I acquired an NVQ Level 4, Higher National Diploma in Administrative Procedures/PA Course.

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. utesmile.wordpress.com
  2. kattermonran.com – Now you will have a pink one to match
  3. rohan7things.wordpress.com
  4. whistlingpassion.wordpress.com
  5. acflory.wordpress.com
  6. thegreatamericanlandscape.wordpress.com
  7. darlenecraviotto.com
  8. jessicaschaubbooks.com
  9. inspire1life.com
  10. thewhyaboutthis.com
  11. bbanublog.wordpress.com
  12. bookmust.wordpress.com
  13. dailylifeimpressions.wordpress.com
  14. mjwrightnz.wordpress.com
  15. simplymejustbe.wordpress.com

Congratulations to all of you and I look forward to reading more about yourselves to strengthen our blogger bond.

Happy Blogging.

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

 

 

Special Opportunity to get more Traffic to your Blog


Hi Everyone

I just had to share this post with you. Wendy from http://searchingforthehappiness.wordpress.com came up with a fantastic idea to put links to our blog sites, on her own site and she encourages us to visit other blogs and support each other. 

Since I did this, I have to say that my followers have increased in numbers and I can only assume it is because of her kindness. Thank you so much Wendy. I will put a link to your site on my Friends page and say I admire how you help and inspire others to be the best they can be and live a wonderful life.

Special Opportunity to get more Traffic to your Blog.

For those of you who have nominated me recently for awards, I haven’t forgotten you and I am so grateful for the awards. I will thank you in a future post and make my nominations.

Write soon

Sandra

Incredible People and Their Blogs


Incredible People and Their Blogs.

Some blogs you may be interested in – Including a mention of mine.

Thanks so much Wendy – Check out her blog for some inspiring and heartfelt blog posts. http://searchingforthehappiness.wordpress.com

Write soon

Sandra