Weekend Edition – Too Old, Stealing Ideas + Great Reads and Writing Tips


Hi everyone

I got back in the early hours of this morning from London, having been to The Business Show at the ExCeL centre, for two days. I heard from some super authors that have had their books published by Wiley, who publishes the Dummies series.

I read this post and felt compelled to share it with you. This is a fantastic post about not being ashamed to read whatever books you like and creating originality out of stories that have been written before, using your own ” mash up“.

Look out for my interview with Author Ian Kane, coming soon to this blog. His new book is called “Rising Storm” and is part of his “Fading Empires” series. You are going to love his book, love his answers and love him.

Write soon
Sandra

Live to Write - Write to Live

You’re too old for that.

pin lengleI was in the children’s room of my beloved library earlier this week and was horrified to hear a mom tell her son to put a particular book back because he was “too old” for it. She said, “That’s too easy for you.” I actually winced.

I’m sure this mom was very well-meaning. I’m sure she just wanted to encourage her son to try something a little more challenging. But, you are never – NEVER – too old for any book. I’ve shared it before, but I’m going to share again the wonderful quote from the fabulous Madeleine L’Engle, “You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”

I am, by chronological reckoning, a full-fledged adult, but I will never, ever stop reading so-called children’s books. Some…

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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

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

 

 

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

 

I Won to Write


And The Winners Are…...

Hi Everyone

A-Z of Writing – D is coming soon.

I just had to share that I have won a prize for entering a blog competition.

Being a writer I am absolutely thrilled to win a Hamster Diaries notepad and postcards.

Now let me see, what can I write in the notepad:

  1. Ideas for How to books
  2. Ideas for Children’s Picture books
  3. Things that are on my mind (This could take up the whole notepad, so maybe just write down my top 3)
  4. Shopping lists  (A bit boring but essential)
  5. My favourite blog posts
  6. My top 10 websites to visit
  7. My friends birthdays and contact details
  8. 5 Positive things for that day
  9. 5 to dos for that day
  10. 3 ways to de-stress
  11. 10 Things that make me feel relaxed (This includes loud music, because of the quirky person I am, it chills me out)
  12. 5 things that make me feel good

Hummm! I am sure there are a few titles in there for future blog posts.

Whatever I write, it doesn’t matter, the fact that I am writing makes me feel good.  I want you to feel good too – so get out your notepad and pen and let your imagination run wild.

What do you like to write about in your notepad?

Write soon

Sandra

What E-Books would you like to read?


Hi Everyone

My quirkybooks.net website is due to change dramatically during this year.  It will become an online E-Book store.  But what type of books would you like to see?  Please let me know using the above poll.

Thank you.  Write soon.  Sandra

Make Your Writing Resolutions Count


Hi Everyone

It is important to approach the new year with confidence.

Knowing you are making progress with your writing will not only enhance your chances of being published but it will also increase your self-belief.

You need to make a minimum of 5 writing resolutions, number them in order of importance and give yourself a time scale to complete each one.  Work your way through the list.  You should aim to complete at least 3 of them, that’s one, every 4 months.  By the end of the year you should have accomplished at least 1 of them.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Write a book – 1 year
  2. Write 1 more new blog post  – Once a week
  3. Write a minimum of 1 letter to a friend – Once a Month
  4. Write at least 1 diary entry – Every day or every other day
  5. Brainstorm writing ideas – Once a week

Now add some of your own and figure out which of them:

  • You have the largest passion for.
  • Mean the most to you.
  • Will give you the highest sense of happiness if you achieve them.

Make sure they are your priorities.

These factors will be your motivation to success.

Good luck.

Write soon.  Sandra

Write from the Heart


Hi Everyone

When people say to me, “I don’t know how you do it?”

“I don’t know how you write a book,  I just wouldn’t have the patience.”

I’ll tell you why.

Because I write from the heart.  And in my opinion I think that is the best way to write.  So where do you start?

 

  • Keep a notepad by the side of your bed.  Whenever you  feel down, happy, sad or mad, get it all out by putting pen to paper.
  • Try writing your own verses in greetings cards.  It helps you to focus on how you feel about the person you are writing for and teaches you the power of the written word.
  • Writing regular entries in a diary helps to organise your thoughts and feelings and will give you some fantastic ideas for future stories.
Good luck.
Write soon.
Sandra