Good Deeds week 4th – 10th August

Continuing my challenge to do a Good Deed every day for a year, I began back in April when I started to read “A Year of Doing Good” by Judith O’Reilly. This is a weekly update on my own progress and you can catch up with previous weeks from the link on my Home page. I have already inspired others to take up the baton and run with the challenge too, which is really exciting.

Good deeds4th August – Decided on a BIG re-vamp of my guest author posts today, where by I make them individual and specific to the book that an author has written. Have spent several hours writing out guest author questions and sending them out to authors. Let’s hope they want to get involved and send me back their replies! Some brilliant friends have helped me get some new profile pictures, have you spotted them?

5th August – Took the children to visit their grandparents and we all spent some family time catching up, although we took goodies with us Mum came back with lots of fresh vegetables for us to bring home. Had a mad plan to launch a Trans Atlantic author blog thingy for September, contacted a friend who agreed to join the madness.

6th August – A work morning today. They are planning to overhaul the farm Granary where our office is, they started cleaning out the loft today and lots of muck and dust began falling on the computer, so before I left I covered up the electrics as best I could. Drafting guest author posts for you as the replies come in, look out for the new version of posts. Am very excited Judith O’Reilly agreed to do a guest author post for us in September, Yay!

7th August – Have signed up to follow Project Light of Life , a bucket list blog exploring happiness, growth and the world. If you live in the US enter the fab competition to win some books on the site. Do read Christine’s bucket list of kind acts and volunteering, it is truly inspiring. Have a child visiting today, so am off to the park for some more cricket! (Gotta wear them out!)

8th August – My blog is 1 year old today! Thank you to everyone who has signed up and supports my posts. I’ve had a real blast and I love my blog. Launched our Romancing September blog tour across the world, looking for romance authors who want to promote their work during September. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-2nq. Lent a friend a book.

9th August – Filled in a on-line survey, used the staff members details who served me so they get a pat on the back. Am extremely busy liaising all the authors who are signing up for Romancing September the World Blog Tour.

10th August – Been down to the cricket club for the annual awards morning for the junior members, took a bottle of wine for my son’s team coach who does the job unpaid in his own time. Having my mother-in-law over for tea this afternoon. Sent out a load of thank you e-mails to people who have been doing a grand job for me recently.

Good Deeds Week June23rd – 29th

During this week I will officially pass my 10th week of Good Deeds, I started back on April the 16th, a Tuesday. Now I blog from Sunday to Saturday giving you, my readers, a weekly update on my challenge to follow in the footsteps of Judith O’Reilly author of “A Year of Doing Good”, who inspired this series of posts. If this book is new to you catch up with my review of the book here http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-1hL

My challenge is to complete at least 1 Good Deed a day for a year. I have already inspired others to take up the challenge and to draw on the good effect this can have on their own lives and I am especially thrilled to hear each week of others who are picking up the baton. I hereby invite you to join in too and let me know how you got on and what surprises came to you as a result.

Here’s an example; I have baked cakes and cookies which I take as gifts to friends when I visit, then the good came back to me and I won a years supply of rice and pasta! Which again I turned into a good deed as I have been able to give much of it away after providing free meals for my family.

Friends and family pass on books to me which I read, review and blog about, in turn more people send me books and the cycle continues. I pass on my love of books across the globe and back again.

Good deedsJune 23rd – I now look forward to Sunday posts where I catch up with Harula and we swop our Good Deed posts, they inspire us to continue and it’s so lovely to read what others are doing. Here is a link to Harula’s blog for you to enjoy her posts as much as me. http://wordsthatserve.wordpress.com/good-deed-weeks/ Sent 2 books to my mother-in-law to read and received 3 books back from her for me to read.

June 24th – Drove my daughter and two of her school friends to the Sixth Form College for their taster morning, helped to start some new paperwork checks at work which need implementing. Rang another work colleague and offered some extra help. Found my jam jar of saved coins in the kitchen and realised that I’d not put any money in it for a while. Added some money.

June 25th – Found money on the ground near my car at work, so saved it for my jam jar. I’m the person who goes around looking at the ground, usually to stop myself tripping over invisible objects, but it does mean I have the potential to spot shiny objects on the ground. Over the years I’ve found quite a lot of money; My best was £20 at the Boxing Day races! I certainly came home with more than I won on the horses! I once found £10 on the floor of a charity shop, but I felt I couldn’t pocket that due to the location, I was quite gutted at the time! Anyway back to today, I was going to dodge out of work quickly when my conscious reminded me of a phone call which needed making. I hesitated, should I pretend to forget it and leave it for someone else? No! my “Good Deeds” inner voice shouted! Oh Bother! Took 2 minutes to make the phone call which didn’t make any dent in my time, but meant the job was done. “See, I was right” said my inner Good Deeds voice smugly. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Replied my inner adolescent child.

June 26th – The July issue of Fleet Life has arrived and I’ve scanned my page of book reviews ready to post on Monday when the online version goes live. Due to the imminent summer holidays, deadlines for the August and September issues all have to be completed by the 19th July, so today I’ve sent off my copy for the August issue. I love doing the “Big Reveal” at the beginning of each month and sometimes surprising authors with the news of their free book promotion.

June 27th – It’s school prom night tonight, so I’m firstly a taxi driver today as the girls get ready. Later tonight they are going to the prom in a horsebox! Which they’ve done up like a party bus. Have bought snacks for any of the pre or post prom parties and I have got flowers and beers for the two wonderful parents who are providing the transport and the after party sleepover. Posted a devilish writing prompt on the community storyboard site involving writing using a dialect. http://neverendingstorydepository.wordpress.com/2013/06/27/writing-using-a-dialect/

June 28th – It’s Friday and the evening is warm and sultry, so I’ve decided to go and watch my son play cricket under the false pretences that it will be a lovely way to spend a few hours. However out team’s game has been allocated the pitch in the middle of a field with very little shelter and the black clouds are heading our way. Then it starts to rain! Rain doesn’t stop much play in youth cricket, so I huddled with other mother’s under umbrella’s as we muttered about the umpires and the English weather. My good deed was being their to support the team who played badly in poor conditions, we clapped each lad who bravely faced bowlers who had better luck and sad as it may be us Mum’s were thankful when the game ended early as the opposition walked all over our team. We hurried back to the warmth of our waiting cars and left the menfolk mumbling about the state of play. I gathered are a few pieces of litter and couldn’t wait to get home!

June 29th – Agreed to review 2 more books for authors, finished reading another book and posted my review on the blog and at Goodreads. Will sort out some more books to pass on to my Mother-in-law. Took cakes when we went to tea with the relatives. Did some weeding in the garden and watered some thirsty looking plants for the mother-in-law. Hope this made up for the fact that I had to tell her that the jam was “off”, my son said the pate smelt “funny” and my husband commented on the cracked china – oops!

A Post for Horseshoe Publishing

I’m dedicating this post to  my very good WordPress friend Stephanie Hurt. I have featured several books written by Stephanie here on my blog and now I’m extremely pleased to tell you that she is turning her hand to publishing. Horseshoe publishing is going to start out by helping authors prepare their book covers and final drafts moving on to getting their work out there.

Check out the first steps of Horseshoe publishing and give Stephanie your support;

http://horseshoepublishing.wordpress.com/

 

 

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Week 2 of good deeds…

Please read about the wonderful blog that Harula is wrting each week in her own Good deeds challenge, and Great News! more people are joining us! Will you be next to take up the baton and run with it?

wordsthatserve

Here is my second week of Good Deeds, a challenge I am taking one week at a time, with the intention of allowing it to grow and flourish into a full year, and perhaps beyond!

For the original post see:

http://wordsthatserve.wordpress.com/2013/05/26/a-week-of-good-deeds/

Monday 27th May

Had a long conversation with one of my students over lunch, giving it my full attention even though I was feeling quite stretched as the morning session had run over, and I wasn’t yet fully prepared for the afternoon.

AND good deed(s) received: A fellow blogger left a comment on my previous good deeds post saying she would join the fun! Hooray:-) Thanks so much… http://girlwiththepen1118.wordpress.com/

Tuesday 28th

I agreed for a South Korean teacher, who happened to be staying here in the community too, to join in on and observe one of my lessons. She wanted to see how I combine teaching English with personal…

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My Year of doing good, May 12th-18th

Good deedsContinuing my attempts to follow in the foot steps of Judith O’Reilly after reading her book;

May 12th – Sent e-mails and texts to children of friends who are all starting their GCSE exams tomorrow. Signed up to follow several new blogs and new people on Twitter. Supported another author on Facebook and followed up a few more blog posts with comments. Visited my parents and caught up with their news. Remembered to send a birthday card to another relative. Sent out reminders to authors who will be appearing as guests on my blog this week, just to let them know that I haven’t forgotten them. Added money to my jam jar.

school sign 04 - smallMay 13th – My half morning of volunteering at a local school. Invited to go on a school trip with the baby class to a zoo, it’s causing me a huge dilemma, it’s got “Good Deed” written all over it, but it’s on a day that I usually work, so I would have to change my day, then it doesn’t fit with my own children’s activities, plus I know from experience that it is unlikely to be an easy trip. It boils down to how much do I want to do this good deed? I’ll have another think about it! Dropped off a card and present for a friends son.

May 14th – A busy work day for me, not much time for good deeds. Have made a batch of cookie dough ready to bake in the morning so that I can take cookies as a gift for a friend when I visit her for coffee. It’s raining today which gives me the ideal opportunity to empty my homemade compost on to the garden. I recycle all of my kitchen vegetable scraps and ferment them for my garden. There is a smelly downside, so for the sake of my neighbours and the family I try to spread it on the garden when the rain can wash it in. I know I should have dug around and found some gloves to wear, but I was being lazy. Phew!! I can smell my hands from the keyboard, think they need a fourth wash! (It’s all organic, it just stinks!)

May 15th – Baked my cookies and some cheese sables which I took with me on my visit to my friend. Picked up litter on my way home. Am trying to make a conscious effort to regularly check my spam mail after I found some “Guest Authors” had slipped through the net. Most spam is just that “rubbish” but I felt really bad when I stumbled upon people who had made an effort, only to have their message relegated to spam.

May 16th – Invited a friend out for coffee. Had a phone call from an 84 year old relative who needed help filling out a security form. She needed actual dates and places of birth of her parents, and as I hold the current family tree she came to me for the details. The need for pages of security details just so that she can continue a voluntary job which she has been doing for nearly 20 years has ruffled her feathers! Let me explain; Imagine an Edwardian style Lady in today’s society, we’re talking table manners and best behaviour, they call her “The Hat Lady” mixed with a mobile phone and her own independence. She’s been mistaken for the Queen, which is hilarious considering her voluntary job. She is a garden tour guide for HRH Prince Charles at his Highgrove garden estate. The security form went on to ask if she has ever been involved in espionage? (Well you’re not likely to admit it are you?) She’s not impressed with one or two other questions on the form, so someone in admin will be receiving a phone call from her today. Rather them than me!

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May 17th – Whilst digging through the Family tree file yesterday, I found more details on a 999 year lease which is being argued over at the moment. Spent another 2 hours surfing the net to find a solution. We (My Husband’s Family) need to prove ownership of a piece of land which a family member leased to St Mary Magdalene Church in 1793 in order to extend the churchyard. The lack of documentation is infuriating, we have a signed document but can’t prove where it was registered, I keep spending hours and getting lost in fascinating documents held by the National Archives, inching my way closer. Every time the entitlement gets passed down a generation there is trouble with the proof of ownership, there is a £22 per year rent which was worth loads at the start and will be worth nothing at the end, but it’s the land which is in Bermondsey, London which is today’s issue. There is a painfully slow and expensive investigation being done by the family solicitor, plus the local council transformed the closed church yard into a garden last year and they have stopped paying the rent. All a bit of a nightmare, good job I love history. The chance to do today’s Good Deed will be later as my name is down to help provide the cricket tea at my sons match. (Praying it’s not another freezing cold evening)

May 18th – A tired day today, my Good Deeds have been very minor, just keeping up with my cyber friends, supporting their blogs and tweets and writing book reviews. Sent out e-mails to guest authors who will be appearing on the blog next week. Keeping up the Good Deeds feels like a long up hill trudge today.

My Year of doing good, May 1st

So having managed to complete a couple of weeks of doing good deeds. I head in to May. For those of you who are bamboozled by this post, it all started when I read a book called “A Year of Doing Good” by Judith O’Reilly. It inspired me to start my own attempt to do a good deed a day for the year. Here is a link to my post about her book http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-1hL I’ll be posting my weekly reports on my challenge on Sunday’s, it feels like an appropriate day.

A Year of Doing Good: One Woman, One New Year's Resolution, 365 Good Deeds. by Judith O'Reilly

May 1st – Whilst visiting my Mother I helped her sort out a few snags on her computer. Blogged about the May edition of Fleet Life where I have a monthly page of book reviews, 5 authors got a free promotion for their books today! I know it made at least one of them have an unexpected smile on their face! Made a date to meet up with some of my anti-natal group (No! I don’t have something to tell you!) We’ve been friends now for over 16 years!

May 2nd – After the busy April A to Z Challenge, today I returned with a guest author interview on the blog, Donna Childree, got her moment of fame today. Made lots of new friends during the challenge who I now regularly keep in touch with over the net. Sent a good friend an e-mail to keep in touch.

May 3rd – Instead of procrastinating I actually loaded up my car with filled bags and boxes for the charity shop and delivered them today. Part of me felt relieved that I’d done my good deed, the rest of me squirmed in anguish at my haste to throw things out, what if I need it? Posted another guest author interview, today Melda Beaty got a chance to shine. Signed up for several more blogs in a post AtoZ Challenge day of reflection.

May 4th – With the weekend upon us I didn’t know where I would find the chance to do my good deed today, but I found 2! Firstly I remembered to take a large bag of dead batteries with me when I went out so that I could dispose of them at the supermarket in the special collection unit. (This should mean that they don’t go into landfill waste) Then there was the opportunity to make a donation to the RSPCA who were collecting just outside of the store.

Good deeds

May 5th – Wrote a letter to a friend whom I haven’t caught up with for a while, and visited new friends on the blogging scene.

May 6th – Bank Holiday Monday, and I struggled to find a good deed today. The only things that count are spending an hour with my Mum and popping another coin in to my slowly filling jam jar. Some how it didn’t feel enough.

May 7th – Today I wrote a 5* review of a book called “The Doctor’s Deceit” It’s written by Kathy Steinemann and she’d asked me to review it. It is a sequel to her book “Vanguard of Hope” which started from a set of diaries. The  review was based on what I read and I thought the book was very well written. It deals with rape and sexual abuse victims in America in the 1800’s and also tackles racial abuse. The Sapphire Brigade are a secret society who try to help the victims and deliver justice.  After I’d written the review Kathy told me that she is going to keep writing these books to help support other victims. Her third book is going to involve letters from victims in today’s world which she hopes to incorporate into her book, thus giving them a place to vent their feelings. I’m glad I gave Kathy this review and hope that it will help raise awareness for her books and her cause.

May 8th – Baked cakes to take round to have with coffee at a friend’s house. Still visiting several bloggers everyday and leaving comments.

May 9th – Picked up litter at the park. (realised I often pick up litter without giving it much thought )Posted a book cover release post for an author and a book review for another.

May 10th – Spent the evening getting frozen to the bone, whilst watching my son’s cricket match. Was able to help clear everything away at the end as my good deed today. (Amazing how many people suddenly have something better to do when clearing up need doing!)

May 11th – Made a donation whilst I was out to shrapnelonline.org.uk a charity helping injured troops with prosthetic limbs and high spec wheelchairs.

Self-Publishing

Millions of people want to write books. I was one of those people, as a child I’d wanted to write books, then it all got lost along the way in education, growing up, families and life. Then I reached a turning point and the chance to write that book returned. For a few short weeks I lived and breathed that book. It flowed from my fingers, the chores and housework were left undone, the characters unfolded and I lived in their world.

When I could edit no more, I got a friend to criticise and edit once more. We checked out copyright, wrote a blurb, had fun creating the cover and agreed the Title. I’m sure it’s not perfect, but it was good enough for me.

My dream was to publish my book and I envisaged that time. We did some research and agreed to try out Amazon’s free self-publishing service. I had no funds to print a book, so to go for a Kindle version was our route. It’s not too hard to achieve but it’s good to have a friend with techno knowhow!

So then in less than 48 hours it was up on-screen and available to buy. My book, my baby, my dream. It’s a great achievement. But then you want more, you want people to buy it. It’s a huge world out there with billions of books for sale. It won’t happen overnight and it needs time and dedication. Get a Facebook page, a blog, a twitter account. Join the Goodreads website. Get social, get noticed. Don’t keep plugging your own book everyday, that gets boring. Start looking for other authors, make comments and post recommendations, create links to yourself.

It also depends where you are on the planet. I’ve published on Amazon UK, but my book can be bought across the fast spreading Amazon network. However all the reviews on Amazon UK don’t show up on Amazon.Com. So it’s hard to get potential sales without reviews. Plus on Amazon, tags about your books content are vital, aswell as likes and people saying a review was helpful.

I’ve been able to write some book reviews for a local magazine which will also mention my book. This will hopefully get local people interested. I’ve made a small sample of cards that I can give out with my book and blog/twitter details. All homemade, but that’s down to my zero budget, and I do drive round with a poster in my car, much to the embarrassment of my kids, but I feel if the car is parked in a car park, it may get views. It’s all about lateral thinking to make a sale. Now I’ve got the bug to write some more, but I’ve also got the bug to sell some more. I give myself a target, like, get 2 more people to follow my blog next week. Or push for one more book sale. I’m realistic in that I need a paying day job too! Fame and prosperity happen to a lucky few. Me I’m going to keep enjoying what I do, I’ve created a job I love doing, so that in itself is worth millions of pounds.

Questions Answered

Here are my 11 Leibster Award Questions.

Q1 If you were granted 3 wishes, what would they be? a) To be able to read books all day. b) Not to need a paid job! c) A larger house with room for a library!

Q2 If you have the power to make one person immortal, would you do it and who would it be? No, I wouldn’t do it, life on earth can be a prison sentence.

Q3 What is you favourite time of day and why? Mornings! I’m a morning person.

Q4 If you could take something that is currently legal and make it illegal what would it be? Reality TV.

Q5 What is the most frequently played song in your music collection? I’m not a serious music fan, so Mama Mia soundtrack.

Q6 What was the main reason for starting your blog? I’m not going to lie, it was to spread the word about my book.

Q7 If you could go anywhere in the world on an all expenses paid trip, where would it be? I’d go back to Australia and explore the whole place.

Q8 Name a book that you’ve read at least 3 times. That would be the whole Harry Potter series. Just love them all!

Q9 Have you kept something from your childhood? What is it and why? The tales of Brer Rabbit. I remember school summer afternoons listening to these tales being read.

Q10 What is your favourite subject to blog about? Books, I love reviewing books that I’ve read.

Q11 If you could describe your life right now in two words, these words would be “Health and Happiness”

I need to work on my own set of questions and to find bloggers whom to pass them on to. So watch this space!

Progress, progress

Getting down to writing a book has a great sense of achievement for me. Firstly I am loving what I am doing, I get a great buzz from it.
So how are things are going? Well I’m no techno expert which is all part of the challenge. I can’t upload a picture to this blog yet, but I’m determined to get over that hurdle! Last minute details for my characters need adding and a few other touch ups.
Meanwhile I am still a full-time mother, so domestic life must continue. Having decided to stop moaning about the housework because I am the only one who gets upset by either the moaning or the state of the house, I’m breezing through the backlog. Homework and revision still need to be done by the children. Nearly messed up big time when I only remembered on Friday that it was Fathers Day today, but managed to buy a prezzie and card on behalf of the kids. Got home to scan the calender for the next week to make sure I was up to date with everything and realised we had a friend with a birthday on Saturday! No worries! I had a few spare blank cards and a (very expensive) first class stamp, so that disaster was avoided. Checking the number of events written and crossed out for today and realised that it was also our wedding anniversary! Bother, I knew the 17th rang a bell! Oh well, fingers crossed that I can cheekily say the Fathers Day prezzie covered both, and hope hubbie hadn’t got me much.
Playground parent: This is where I’ll do my piece about school, education etc. So this week there is the issue of government proposals to re-form pre-school education. Reports are out from academics in Regensburg University, Germany and their fellows from Otago University, New Zealand, about childrens performance in school. They have compared hundreds of children who began school at different ages and compared their abilities. Children who started school at age 7 performed just as well as those who started school at 5, and some out-shone their peers!
This is timely when our own government wants to put more emphasis on the 3R’s at an earlier age, and wishes to set targets for children to achieve before their 5th birthday.
What do you think? is there too much pressure on our children?
Lastly; Bringing it all back to reality in the playground: M&S had 20% off all school uniform when I was there on Friday. Look out for more bargains as other stores want your business too.