Books, Life, Self-publishing, Uncategorized

Round-up of the week 19th May 2019

World:

Indian sprinter Dutee Chand speaks during a press conference in Hyderabad
Indian sprinter Dutee Chand has revealed she is in a same-sex relationship, the first sportsperson in India to openly acknowledge being gay.
The 23-year-old athlete says she has been seeing her partner, who comes from her village, for five years.
Chand says the Indian Supreme Court’s historic decision to descriminalise gay sex in 2018 encouraged her to speak publicly about her sexuality.
But some members of her family have not accepted her relationship, she says.
“I am having a relationship with a 19-year-old woman from my village [Chaka Gopalpur] for the past five years”, she told reporters from Hyderabad where she is training.
“I have found someone who is my soulmate. I have always believed that everyone should have the freedom to love. There is no greater emotion than love and it should not be denied.”
Duchess of Cambridge
The Duchess of Cambridge has revealed a “sneak peek” at the garden she has designed for the Chelsea Flower Show.
Catherine is pictured in her Back To Nature Garden in a series of images posted on photo-sharing site Instagram.
The duchess’s woodland wilderness plot forms part of her work on early childhood development.
Speaking ahead of the garden’s unveiling, she said spending time outdoors can help children grow up to become “happy, healthy adults”.

London:

Duchess of Cambridge
In a letter to experts, she wrote that it was “heart-breaking” to know there is a “long way to go” to ensure all children grow up “happy, healthy, and equipped to be able to take every opportunity that comes their way”.
The duchess, who is mother to Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, added: “I can understand that people [parents] are nervous about asking for help for fear of judgment, and how that sense of isolation can quickly become overriding and debilitating for any new parent.”
Co-created with landscape architects Andrée Davies and Adam White, along with the Royal Horticultural Society, the garden is intended by the duchess to highlight the benefits the natural world brings to mental and physical well-being.
Duchess of Cambridge
Earlier this year, landscape architect Ms Davies told the Daily Telegraph that the duchess had brought the idea of forest bathing to the discussions.
The Japanese concept is the practice of spending time in woodland to help relaxation.

What is forest bathing?
Forest bathing – or the Japanese art of shinrin-yoku – originates from 1980s Japan, where it was introduced as a national health programme by the government.
Japanese scientists found two hours of mindful exploration in a forest could reduce blood pressure, lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and improve memory and concentration.
They also found phytoncides – chemicals emitted by trees – have an anti-microbial effect on humans, boosting our immune systems.
In practice, forest bathing means simply slowing down and taking time to really immerse yourself in the forest atmosphere.
The Forestry Agency of Japan says: “Just as bathing in a hot spring helps to soak your cares away, going for a walk in the woods is said to have a soothing effect.”
Source: National Trust / Forestry Agency of Japan

The garden features a swing seat hanging below a high-platform treehouse, “encouraging creative play and discovery for all generations”.
The treehouse has been constructed from chestnut, with hazel, stag horn oak and larch nest cladding and was reportedly inspired by a bird or animal nest.
The multi-sensory garden is also said to be filled with “incredible edibles”, plants for craft activities and forest scenes.
It will also feature a swing seat, rustic den and a campfire as well as tree stumps, stepping stones and a hollow log for children to play on.

My World:
This week I decided I needed to get a handle on my battle with food. I’ve always said I’m all or nothing, so I can be all good and eat healthily but once I start to eat unhealthy foods it opens the floodgates to be all bad. This wasn’t working, clearly as a good friend pointed out. I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been and as all you forty-somethings know, it gets harder to shift than when you’re a twenty-something. I needed to change my relationship with food once and for all.
I had a think about what would work for me, I’ve done the diets, not interested in the groups…you get the picture. What do I like? What appeals to my brain? Answer: Spreadsheets, love them. So I devised a point system, i get points for exercise, for eating good foods and not eating bad foods and set a weekly, achievable target ( which will increase over time) and so I can eat a bar of chocolate without adding crisps, fizzy drink and takeaway to the mix. This week I’ve smashed my 50 point target for the week and lost a kilo.
Watch this space!
Still working on decorating the spare room, on the final stretch…all that I need to do now is the wallpapering and get a new carpet. Yay! Can’t wait to get my house back in order.
Sunday was spent with my family to celebrate my niece, Beth’s 20th birthday.
Still reading Dreams of Beautiful Whisper by Tanya Jones and loving every minute, just wish I had more reading time.
I’ve got my probation review next week, where has that time gone?

My Word

Still working on the edits which I hope to have finished tonight to ping back to my editor for book five. Eek so much to do, so little time.

Have a great week peeps.

Books, Life, Self-publishing, Uncategorized

Round up of the week 12 May 2019

World:

Duchess of Sussex and son's feet
The Duchess of Sussex has celebrated her first US Mother’s Day as a parent by posting a picture of her son Archie’s feet.
The SussexRoyal Instagram account shared an image of Meghan, who is American, holding her son’s heel.
In the caption, the account paid tribute to “all mothers today, past, present, mothers-to-be, and those lost but forever remembered”.
While Mother’s Day is in March in the UK, it was marked in the US on Sunday.

London:

Talks are to be held in a bid to avert a strike by London Underground workers over the weekend of the FA Cup Final in a dispute over safety.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union are set to walk out for three days on 17 May, the day before the showpiece game at Wembley Stadium between Manchester City and Watford.

Thousands of fans would be hit by any disruption to Tube services.

The union has accused London Underground of cutting train preparations, inspections and maintenance which it says threatens safety – however London Underground denies the claims.

Talks between the two sides will be held at the conciliation service Acas on Friday.

The union is planning to hold a protest at City Hall next week urging London mayor Sadiq Khan to intervene.

The RMT said around 1,000 of its members, working on maintenance and other areas, are involved in the row.

My World:

It’s been an exhausting week, I started it with a scam email threatening to expose my so called ‘naughty’ behaviour to all my friends on social media and on email if I don’t pay money. Needless to say they didn’t get a penny, but don’t worry I can’t see you being bombarded with horrific pics of me in the altogether.
Went to see Conan Grey on Wednesday night with my nephew Joseph and became inspired to write a whole new series, fantasy. I started there and then at the gig lol.
Friday night saw me down the pub with my colleagues from work celebrating Lara’s 30th birthday. It was nice to spend time with them out of work.
The decorating of the spare room is coming along bit by bit, ceiling painted, cracks filled, carpet up.
Reading Dreams of Beautiful Whisper by Tanya Jones.

My writing:
As mentioned above, a new series has been started and set aside so I can pick it up at a later date.
Still working on the edit for Trial & Retribution.

Sunday 8pm I’m going to be doing an author date over on Facebook for the 4th Indie Lit festival. Come and say hi to me.
https://www.facebook.com/ukindielitfest/photos/gm.2312748492119806/1225810577582264/?type=3&eid=ARBxeHXz-XSV5kEyj8tawchDjZVVLZ7iMKU2z_UdQ8FoGZzbQzve6QJCRSACTpoEE0Y3WcDpWVwizd1l&ifg=1

Have a lovely week everyone.

Books, Life, Self-publishing, Uncategorized

Round up of the week

Round up of the Week

World

Builders in the Canadian city of Quebec have unearthed a live cannonball fired by the British in 1759 when they besieged Quebec while fighting the French at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. The builders posed for photos with the 90kg shot unaware that it was still potentially explosive. Archaeologist Serge Rouleau, who examined the munition before the army noticed that it still contained a charge and said it was more of an incendiary bomb than a cannonball. A Senior munitions technician was quoted as saying, “The ball would break and the powder would ignite, setting fire to the building.

Seems as though the builders had a lucky escape.

London

A 31-year-old man has been stabbed to death by two attackers on a moped during an early-morning altercation in south-east London, police said.

The victim was fatally wounded during a clash in which shots were also fired in King William Walk in the centre of Greenwich

The assailants, both male, then fled the scene on the moped and emergency services arrived to find the man with stab injuries. Paramedics tried to revive the man but he was declared dead at the scene.

We seem to be seeing more crime from people on scooters/mopeds/bikes including an epidemic of bike theft with the perpetrators going out with machetes and other weapons. Every morning the first thing I do is check that my bike is where I parked it.

My world

This week my cousin’s 23-year-old daughter came from Wolverhampton to stay with me in London for a few days. Despite the big age gap, we get on incredibly well but then maybe that’s because I don’t act my age. Unfortunately, I had to work but Kat was able to go off and explore the city without me and we caught up in the evenings for pizza and prosecco.

Last week I mentioned that there was something potentially on the horizon for me which I couldn’t discuss this is still on the down low.

I’m ending the week with a family meal as we all catch up for my mum’s birthday.

My Word

I’ve been anxiously waiting while the editor slashes my book with her red pen but I should be out of my misery by the middle of next week as she returns the first edit. Or will I be in more misery lol.

I’ve been working on the spin off from ‘A Boy from the Streets’

I’ve also been thinking a bit more are a follow on from ‘As Dreams are Made on’ and after seeing a picture I wanted have had JC Clarke from The Graphics Shed design me a cover that has left me speechless. (I know right! Me speechless LOL)

Books, Life, Self-publishing, Uncategorized

Black Friday Book Sale

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Black Friday is a new thing in the UK but sales are not. We have historically always enjoyed the Boxing Day and New Year’s sales and the usual end of season bargains that can be picked up. Where this is different is that this is a ‘before’ sale, a month before Christmas giving everyone a chance to spend their hard-earned money and allowing it to go further. It can also be a chance to buy items that you would normally not have been able to afford, luxury items not part of the monthly budget. Either way we all love a bargain even for those of us who can’t stand the physical side of being in a rugby scrum environment.

As an author I also have a product to sell although it is a sad reflection on where we have come as a society and as an industry that many people believe that I should give it away for free. Let’s put aside for the moment all the long hours I have put into the writing, any research that I’ve undertaken and the agonising over characters that have a mind of their own. I have overheads when I publish whether that be via Amazon Kindle or Createspace print on demand which is available via Amazon.

The three books that I currently have on the market are short stories, novelettes and I have kept the kindle price down to 0.99 whether that be UK or US and any other country that it is feasible to have it at that price and that nets me a tiny profit per sale. The paperback copies are more expensive because print on demand is just that – you want a copy, a copy is printed and sent to you. The big publishing houses can lower prices because they print in bulk and all the retailers want the authors they represent. I haven’t gone down the route of approaching local shops as I don’t think the small books would be of interest to them, however I will look into this once I release my novels but I know this will involve me jumping through more hoops than an acrobat on a training session. The market is small for me and sales are pitiful but I get the most intense satisfaction out of each one. I filed my tax return for my writing and was able to declare a loss – which comes back to my overheads.

I have beautiful covers but they cost money, I am fortunate enough to have the services of a fabulous designer who doesn’t charge much, but £45.00 for one cover is still money I have paid out. I also need an editor (I tried to publish without one to start with I’m ashamed to say, but she has now polished all three for me) she also charges me for her service. Of course she does it’s a business and she needs to earn a living.  Lets call it approximately £40.00 for one novelette. So that is £85.00 that I have spent to package and make it acceptable to you the buying public.

I receive approximately £0.29 for each kindle copy I sell and slightly more for a print copy. In order for me to recoup the cost of my expenditure I have to sell 293 kindle copies or slightly less print. Remember that costing is per book. Between all three of my books I have sold a grand total in nearly two years of 240 copies. So I haven’t even reached the target to break even for one book out of the sales of three.

So when you think that an author should allow you to read their work for free think about the above. I love writing and my dream would be to be able to make a living from it instead of having to work a 40+ hour week to pay the bills and then write when I’m exhausted. I didn’t cover the endless hours of editing and formatting and promotion that goes into this role.

I would love to sell my books at their full price but if the wave of popularity for discounted (but not free) items helps me to sell a few more copies then I will sell the print copies for less for the Black Friday sales.

Why should you buy my work? I’m an unknown quantity and we all like to buy things we know will give us value for money and enjoyment. If we never try new things, read books by unknown authors then how do we know what we’re missing out on. We think nothing of buying a new flavour coffee at well-known coffee chains for £3.50. A short burst of pleasure and its gone, the same price for a book and you get a longer period of enjoyment and you can re-read it. How much do we pay for manicures and pedicures, to get our hair done? We don’t think twice about it because it gives us a feel good factor-so does a good book. You can curl up with it anywhere and it will take you out of your life and place you into the one that an author has created. What we pay for books isn’t a fortune, it isn’t that luxury item it’s affordable. If you want to buy from an unknown author like me, go to Amazon and you can read a sample to get the flavour of the writing.

For Black Friday only my paperback copies will be priced at £3.00/$4.00/€3.30.

Suitable for Christmas or Birthday stocking fillers

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Maria-Gibbs/e/B00SDDJV1U/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

US: https://www.amazon.com/Maria-Gibbs/e/B00SDDJV1U/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0