Books, Life, Self-publishing, Uncategorized

Round-up of the week 14th April 2019

Thought I would keep it light-hearted today with the news, I’ll leave all the sinister stuff to my finished book.

World News:

A North Atlantic right whale off the US east coast
Baby boom for one of the world’s most endangered whale species. Three North Atlantic whale mother and calf pairs have been seen in Cape Cod bay.
Only about 459 of the species are thought to remain.

London News:

Seals returning to the Thames.

The rising seal population in the Thames is considered a sign that water quality is improving.


My news:

Not much new to tell, working all week as usual, nine weeks in to the job and still love it. Fingers crossed that this is the one. Although, the life, work balance is still skewered heavily on the side of work.
Weekend was filled with the excitement of housework, food shopping etc…
Saw my mum, dad, brother, niece and nephew which is always lovely. Very proud of my sister and her youngest daughter who rang a half marathon and 10km respectively today.
I’ve got a banana bread baking in the oven as I type this, using coconut flour – can’t wait to taste. I dropped the banana bread coming out of the oven and it looks a mess, tastes good though.

Writing:

I’ve only gone and finished my edits of book five from the Children of the Streets series. Truth & Retribution is winging its way to my editor. This is such a change of direction for me as the character took control and lead me down the paths of evil.



Books, Life, Self-publishing, Uncategorized

Round-up of the week 10 March 2019

World:

An Ethiopian Airlines jet with 149 passengers and eight crew members onboard a flight from the Ethiopian capital and bound fro Nairobi in Kenya, has crashed shortly after take-off from Addis Ababa, killing all on board.


It is reported that 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, eight Americans and seven Brits were among the passengers. The crash happened six minutes after the Boeing 737 Max-8 took off.

An eyewitness at the scene reported an intense fire as the aircraft hit the ground. “The blast and the fire were so strong that we couldn’t get near it,” he said. “Everything is burnt down.”

The cause of the crash is not yet clear, however, the pilot had advised of difficulties and requested a return.

My thoughts:

What a terrible tragedy, my thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.
We never know when our time is up and should make the most of what we have in the here and now.

London:
A woman jailed for four-and-a-half years for fraud after posing as a Grenfell Tower fire survivor lost a challenge against her conviction.
The 48 year old watched via a video link from prison as three Court of Appeal judges in London threw her case out.
The woman claimed to have escaped from the horrific fire in west London in 2017, where her husband and sister-in-law had died. But she was in fact, single and living miles away in Sutton, south London.
Msokeri claimed about £19,000 in cash donations, goods and hotel costs.

My thoughts:

I still remember the cold that seeped into my body as I watched the horror of Grenfell Tower unfold, the horrendous loss of life, a community scarred for life and to think that an unscrupulous individual would try to take advantage of this tragedy for personal gains is beyond comprehension. Personally, I think her sentence was too light. If she can be so heartless as to wish to benefit from the loss of others what else is she capable of?

My World:

I can’t believe that I’ve now been in my new job for a month, each day is different, interesting and with scope for many challenges. I’m loving it!
This weekend has been another one where I’ve had quality family time, a meal at the local Nepalese restaurant with my sister, nineteen-year-old niece and long-term friend on Saturday night.
Sunday we took Mum and Dad out for a meal to celebrate their 54th wedding anniversary.

My Writing:
This weekend I’ve seriously hit the writing as I’ve realised that I have so much to write and so little time as it’s booked in with the editor for April 15th and I’m still on the first draft. The plot thickens as the story takes another twist that I hadn’t expected. I’m really loving getting into the head of this narcissistic character.

Books, Life, Self-publishing, Uncategorized

Work/Life balance

Work_Life Balance.png

 

Does it exist? It would seem to me that the scales tip firmly on the side of work – so where is the balance?

Work takes up the majority of our working hours but it seems that employers are taking up more of our leisure time as working hours and stress levels increase. Where does that leave downtime? I can tell you that is doesn’t. We’re so caught up on this endless treadmill of trying to earn a living to put a roof over our heads, pay the bills, support a family etc… that we end up spending so much time at work to pay for it all. When you get home, chores, eating and head to bed so that you can face the next day. Weekends are the time you catch up on chores and can maybe indulge a little in whatever passes for leisure for you. Then on a Monday morning, barely refreshed we step back onto that treadmill of life again.

Many years ago my brother said, “You either work to live or live to work. ” this has always resonated with me. I don’t live to work. Don’t get me wrong, I have to work and I want to enjoy what I do. I have a strong work ethic and believe in giving my all to work, but all that results in is burn out. Over the last few years, I’ve experienced and heard more and more about horrendous work conditions. Now bearing in mind that maybe 50% of the population (this is a guess – see the maybe!) work to live then how have we allowed ourselves to end up in places that tear at our sanity, rob us of our sleep and make us dread going to work? Now I’m not suggesting that everyone experiences this, for all those people who love/like/enjoy going to work, I’m very pleased for you – that is how it should be.

Now, this really isn’t just a post about personal experience, this is something I’ve been hearing from people around me. Some very capable people, who work hard are being undermined, bosses, managers are chipping away at people’s self-confidence. I hear you say, well why do you stay? Good point. Except when they leave they find themselves in a similar situation in another company.

Why are things so dire? Have they always been that bad? Or as we get older do we struggle to deal with it? Are we worn out by it all?

I’m 44 years old and I know that I can’t take another 20 years of this but I have a plan for an exit strategy, which is a few years down the line but maybe not quite 20. My intention is to eventually be able to give up full-time work and live off what I earn from my writing. A long way off as I might have already mentioned. But with this in mind I have to spend a lot of my spare time writing, this is no hardship as I love writing, which brings me back to my earlier point of having fewer leisure hours in which to do it. Now let’s add into the mix, lack of sleep, messed up mind and inability to switch off from a demanding job and you can see what a challenge I have set myself.

“Take Care Of Your Employees And They’ll Take Care Of Your Business,” Says Richard Branson, Founder Of The Virgin Group.

Check this out 

ACAS: “Look after your staff and they’ll take care of the rest”

Check this out

ACAS has even published a guide on how to get the right balance to look after staff.

It isn’t just me saying it: when the leading employment law specialists and a man as successful as Richard Branson are recognising the importance of a good workforce and looking after them, why is it so hard for employers to do it?

If you compare yourself to a rechargeable battery for a moment (go with me) and you keep running that battery to empty and then put it on change for the bare minimum of time, you’ll only get the bare minimum back. If, however, you keep that battery topped up you get the best from it. (You see where I went with that?) Workplace empowerment creates a good environment where staff want to strive to be the best. Constant pressure and micromanagement create a stressed workforce who try to do their best under trying circumstances but invariably they burn out. We spend the best parts of our days at work, we should be able to feel safe there.

If you are a manager/boss and you’re reading this, think about this truth: People rarely leave their job, they leave their boss. Empower your staff don’t drain them.

Leaving you with one small thought: If 15,000 people picked up a copy of one of my novels, I could give up working for a year.

If 30,000 people did – I’d have two years grace.

If that were to happen I could leave my stressful work environment behind and write full-time.

Let’s get this trending #helpMariagiveupwork 😉

If you’re tempted in the US:

If you’re tempted in the UK:

 

I’d love to hear back from you on the following.

Do you live to work or work to live?

What are your experiences in the workplace, good or bad? Feel free to share experiences.

 

 

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