How Your ‘5 a Day’ Can Help a Blogger (They’re not all millionaires, despite the rumours!)

You know when you ‘Google’ (other search engines are available) to find a fact, or check an ailment, the responses you find are often written by a blogger.

The headlines about bloggers making millions with no effort are usually fake news, or a sales pitch by someone building their own online business.

Good luck to them, some bloggers do make a great living, they work hard so deserve it.

HOWEVER most bloggers don’t make enough to live on, and never will.

Many bloggers don’t do the work to earn a fortune, most genuinely want to serve, support and help you, their audience.

Blogs exist across the globe for every topic you can imagine.

Self-help, educational study and mutual support groups, hobby groups and that isn’t even mentioning the travel, health, beauty and fashion blogs that you may be familiar with.

You know when you ‘Google’ (other search engines are available) to find a fact, or check an ailment, the responses you find are often written by a blogger.

When you read something online that you find informative, helpful or of value why not support the person who delivered it to you.


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Redundant? Your 5 Step Action Plan – How To Turn A Job Loss Into An Opportunity. Survive and Thrive!

Now read your notebook. It should be a visual feast of fears and thoughts, dreams and aspirations, Q & A’s and more importantly your plan for your future. Your life is literally in your own hands.

Redundant? Your 5 Step Action Plan – How To Turn A Job Loss Into An Opportunity. Survive and Thrive!

I’ve been through the stress of losing my job a few times over the years, always in circumstances beyond my control.

If I hadn’t experienced the sheer terror of thinking I could lose my home I may never have had the courage, or cash, to go backpacking to the other side of this awesome planet.

I may not have moved house.

I probably wouldn’t have studied for a degree or learnt numerous new skills.

I could go on and on.

On my journey from worthlessness and fear to confidence and personal acceptance I’ve picked up a few tips on how to cope.

I’d love to share how you can turn a redundancy or job loss into a positive experience and opportunity. I’ll give you some ideas and reassure you. 

You are not on your own.

You really can come out smiling, in fact smiling throughout really helps not just you, but also your colleagues to get through the bad days!

First things first, get yourself a notebook and pen.

It’ll become invaluable. Treat yourself to one that makes you smile, not one you always use in your current job. This book will become important so buy one you like the feel of and that’s easy to carry around. 

I find a good way to organise your notebook is to use it the right way round to record the FACTS then turn it upside down and back to front to write all your thoughts and/or feelings. 

Now Your 5 Step Action Plan – How To Turn A Job Loss Into An Opportunity

1 – GET THE FACTS

Book an appointment with a legal advisor and your bank or financial advisor.

If you are in a union or with a caring company they may provide this free of charge. Most lawyers, in UK at least, will do a free consultation.

Get online, look for local resources, drop in centres.

If you’ve been shut out of your job without notice, don’t panic, still book appointments. You need to know your rights.

Write down the questions you have (these will often come to you at 2am so keep your notepad at the side of your bed) you’ll then be ready to ask the real experts. This’ll help you sleep as you’ll feel more in control.

Get facts, write them down, with dates and names of who told you what.

You won’t remember. Trust me!

Everyone will have an opinion and it will all pile up in your brain. To manage it all and make sense of the chaos your notebook will be invaluable.

Sadly some cases do go to legal action, if you need to go down that route your notebook will be invaluable. It’s handy to speak with people you know, especially those who’ve been through it, however don’t take their advice as fact.

Unless your friend is an employment lawyer they may not be giving you accurate information.

Refresh your CV.

There are plenty of up to date templates on the internet, update yours, this helps you to realise you have some amazing skills.

It’s good to do this exercise with someone who knows you well. We all have skills that we don’t recognise. You could ask a colleague who is going through the same changes to sit down offer a coffee and go through the exercise together. 

If you’re being offered a redundancy package it is probably highly detailed and could take months if not years to be put in writing. Don’t wait, start your research early.

So, the stressful stuff is in hand. The lawyer and bank appointments are in the diary, the CV is up to speed. Now have some fun! 

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Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone – Go Backpacking

Get your pack packed and on your back. Yes it’s called a backpack for a really good reason!

Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone – Go Backpacking

OK, I’ll stand up and admit, I’m a traveller and I’m on a little bit of a mission.

Christie Adams with a backpack

I want to persuade you to go backpacking. Somewhere. Just once. Borrow a pack if you don’t want to invest just yet. You can stay where you like, hostel, campsite, B&B wherever you like.

City break or countryside hike, just be a backpacker for a day, a weekend or hopefully longer.

 

I have now been round Australia, with quite a big pack, which I still find Christie Adams sat under a tree at Uluruawesome and unbelievable.  I have been around the Greek Islands with a very small pack, carry on only. You can choose any style you like.

These pages may just inspire you a little bit…

https://www.christieadamswriter.com/5-reasons-i-became-a-backpacker-yes-me-a-50-year-old-woman/

5 Reasons I Became A Backpacker, Yes Me, A 50 Year Old Woman!

https://www.christieadamswriter.com/5-great-reasons-to-go-back-packing/

Get your pack packed and on your back.

Yes it’s called a backpack for a really good reason! Please travel without a car, use a bus or train or boat, talk to other travellers and locals. You will not regret it.

The Hero’s Journey Formula – How To Write A Successful Novel

Fiction writers, especially new ones, sometimes fight the idea of conforming to a genre or sticking with a formula. They think it may suppress their creativity, but this isn’t the case.

The Hero’s Journey Formula – How To Write A Successful Novel

You will be familiar with The Hero’s Journey, even if you haven’t heard of it by name.

Star Wars, Matrix and Jane Eyre are just a few of the classic stories that follow The Hero’s Journey formula.

One vital component of the correctly applied formula is that at the beginning of the story, the protagonist can not possibly imagine how much their life is to change. They’ll go on a journey, their ‘character arc.’ As the plot moves along, so does their transformation.

In Star Wars Luke Skywalker has his dreams but in the wildest of those dreams he couldn’t contemplate his vital role in the fight against Darth Vader (No spoilers here just in case you happen to be the one person on the planet who isn’t aware of the storyline.)

Jane Eyre travels through her life and against all odds survives and ends up in a life she too couldn’t possibly have dreamt of. (Again, I won’t spoil your enjoyment of my favourite book, please read it, it’s beautiful.)

Fiction writers, especially new ones, sometimes fight the idea of conforming to a genre or sticking with a formula. They think it may suppress their creativity, but this isn’t the case.

If I use this formula won’t my story be predictable?

By being formulaic it doesn’t mean it will be boring or predictable. It will however be written in a way that your fans know what to expect. Fiction book readers like a story they can expect to a certain extent. This is why publishers usually give you clues. In the blurb or reviews on a book cover it will often say things like ‘If you like Harry Potter…’ or ‘This writer is the new Baldacci…’ these pointers help your fans find your book in the mass market that is the modern day bookshelf, whether that be in a physical book store or a digital one.

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Joynell Schultz – FREE FICTION BOOK GIVEAWAY – Win two awesome paperback books!

WIN TWO PAPERBACK BOOKS – Add to your book collection with two books by the wonderful Joynell Schultz

WINNERS NOTIFIED! Not a winner? It’s a great book anyway – follow the links to buy it for the beach now!

Add to your book collection with two books by the wonderful Joynell Schultz

Yes, you can win two fantastic fiction books by my friend Joynell Schultz. Joynell shares my love of travel and of course writing and is working hard to build her growing portfolio.

I’m thrilled to support her in my own small way by offering not one but two of her paperback books in my FREE draw.

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Why You Should Go On A Bike Ride In Hoi An, Vietnam

My untrained eye didn’t deceive me on that one as the seat dug into places it really shouldn’t, or at least not without due invitation!

Why You Should Go On A Bike Ride In Hoi An, Vietnam

What better way to immerse myself in the culture of Vietnam than to cycle. While somewhere in town a tailor was creating my beautiful hand made clothes, I decided to pass the time seeing a bit of the ‘real’ Vietnam.

Now let me admit I can ride a bike in the tradition of ‘you never forget’ however I have still to master the art of jumping up kerbs and no hands trick cycling a la BMX style. This basic skill of mine is enough to enable me to get from A – B but not in any artistic, or too speedy, fashion.

You can therefore imagine my trepidation / terror…

…when the cycle man arrived with a bunch of bikes with varying degrees of rust and dents, in my amateur opinion very aged brake cables and decidedly uncomfortable looking seats. My untrained eye didn’t deceive me on that one as the seat dug into places it really shouldn’t, or at least not without due invitation!

 

Well I had decided to try everything I could

I would embrace all new learning experiences with a smile so I got in position and set off. Wobble wasn’t the word to quite cover the way the cycle heaved quite violently at every bump, and let’s put it this way Vietnam is not known for its smooth pot-hole free highways.

Cycle_ride_in_Vietnam_with_local_cow

We took our life in our hands…

to cross a major junction, remember I can’t do hands free so…mirror ( what mirror), signal (WHAT NO HANDS) manoeuvre (don’t go too fast they will hit you!) took on a threat level as significant to me as a two year old walking across the UK M1 motorway. OK I admit it I was scared. It lasted approximately one minute until I reached the other side and then the absolutely stunning beautiful although rather bumpy raised grass pathways between the rice fields.

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5 Things To Do In Doha, Qatar – The Up And Coming Jewel Of The Middle East

The good thing about Qatar is that whilst it isn’t cheap, it isn’t prohibitively expensive so try it now before the crowds.

5 Things To Do In Doha, Qatar – The Up And Coming Jewel Of The Middle East

I’m sure most of you have heard of Dubai, but Qatar may not be on your radar, unless of course you’re a soccer fan. In which case you’ll be aware the FIFA World Cup will be held there in 2022. I’m not going to dig any deeper on that, just please don’t judge a place or its people until you’ve been there.

Dubai is leading the field in this area in the development of tourism but Qatar is not far behind, and with all the positivity and enthusiasm I’m sure they will soon be not far behind. The good thing about Qatar is that whilst it isn’t cheap, it isn’t prohibitively expensive so try it now before the crowds.

The modern hi-tech airport in Doha is an award winner and their staff are probably the friendliest airport staff I’ve come across. I’m impressed as I’m sure it’s not easy to keep your calm when stressed travellers are shouting in every language you can imagine. The taxi rank is easy to find, the taxis are all aqua blue.



You’ll no doubt be ferried down the city centre roads which are 6 lane motorways. They are packed with the biggest variety of 4x4s doing U turns and lane jumping you’ll see. If you don’t need to drive, don’t, it’s a skill here so let the taxis take the strain. The taxi drivers are mostly Indian, I asked ours if he liked driving in Doha or India. He laughed, much preferring Doha, as in India he advised us the traffic is just as chaotic but there are people, cattle, dogs and tuk-tuks as well. He thought the actions of the Ferraris, Bentleys and 4x4s were much easier to predict!

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If you’re heading across the globe you may be offered a stopover in Qatar, you can do much worse. Try to arrange a long weekend in Doha, it has some real gems.

1. Museum of Islamic Art

Doha_Museum_architecture

I could easily spend a full day here, on a regular basis. It’s a huge well designed modern museum, packed with well protected and well labelled artifacts from across a huge swath of the ancient and modern muslim world.

The various galleries span three floors. The fourth floor was closed on our visit, I think probably to prepare another exhibit. There was a temporary ‘threads’ exhibition on the ground floor, all of which was stunning in it’s beauty and history, it included unique an no doubt highly prized historic pieces. The whole museum is an educational, artistic and informative haven from the heat. If I lived in this city this would be a regular haunt.

Doha_jewelled_falcon

The cafe at the entrance is worth a visit too, although menu quite small, it’s ideal for a drink and snack. The free parking and free entry is great, and unexpected.

They should ask for donations as I’m sure all the tourists and locals alike would give generously. The fund could go towards continued protection of our art and histories, vital work in these troubled times.

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Vietnam – Mekong Delta Day Trip – Coconuts, toffee and snakes

‘Hello love, here’s your jacket spud and beans and by the way how about holding a Python later.’

Vietnam – Mekong Delta Day Trip – Coconuts, toffee and snakes

We had Mekong Delta trip as an item on the Vietnam to do list. You may already be familiar with my 1 – 2 – 3 method of planning a trip.

No? Well quick recap:

1 – MUST DO THIS!

2 – Really want to do this

3 – Will I have time / money to do this?

So back to the Mekong. It was a no 1 but prior to the trip I’d not booked it. We knew we had a few days spare at the end of our Vietnam tour so a trip to a local agent would not be a problem. We’d compare prices and get the best deal.

In hindsight maybe we should have done that, however as we had travelled and enjoyed our whole trip with the tour guide we didn’t. We took his recommendation and slotted into a trip he knew about.

We climbed on board a very rickety boat, very rickety!

If it’d been at the beginning of the journey it would have made me nervous but by now we’d melted into the way of the East. We’d accepted their Health and Safety concerns aren’t managed quite as they are in the West. Those who’ve been there will understand I am using a tad of understatement here! Some others on the trip were ‘newbies’ apparent by less creased clothes and a more nervous demeanour.

Vietnam Beauty

The local guide chatted to us in English and gave us a small printed map of our trip. We’d be out all day and see a lot, lunch included. The first stop off was reached and I took my life in my very shaky hands as I climbed up a rusty ironwork bridge to land. I love land. I don’t like bridges.

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No Spoiler Book Review of the Beautiful Debut Novel – Part Star Part Dust, L M Valiram

It reads like an epic, maybe one day we’ll see it transformed into film, it has that cinematic feel.

No Spoiler Book Review of the Beautiful Debut Novel – Part Star Part Dust, L M Valiram

Title: Part Star Part Dust 

Author: L M Valiram

Copyright: L M Valiram 2017

Ebook

Blurb:

A millionaire, a widow and a monk. A plane crash. In Part Star, Part Dust, the poignant and unforgettable debut novel by L.M. Valiram, three destinies are linked for eternity in a tale narrated by Time.

Meet Radha. She was left in a dumpster on the side streets of Mumbai to die as she was born; premature and undernourished. Meet Mira. At sixteen she is to marry a man she has never met before. On her wedding day, she carries a knife. And Gaurav. People say love is more important than money. But what happens when having one means you can’t have the other?

Scattered across India, these three are intertwined in unlikely ways: the flower shop owned by Mira’s husband employs Radha’s boyfriend, Mira and Gaurav become partners in business and most importantly, an ill-fated trip to Delhi links them all in death and life. Set in the sensuous worlds of Bombay and Delhi, Valiram’s dazzling novel explores the deep meanings of love, family, and time.

Plot:

The blurb just about covers this, it’s a literary novel, following various well drawn characters through their lives. It is a fairly short book (the frustration with ebooks is that you can’t ‘feel’ it’s weight)

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Book Review – Get to know the iconic Smart Passive Income guru – Let Go, Pat Flynn

I’ve also been ‘let go’ and it’s hard to bounce back but Pat gives you the tools, and motivation to do it.

Book Review – Get to know the iconic Smart Passive Income guru – Let Go, Pat Flynn

Title: Let Go

Author: Pat Flynn

Copyright: Pat Flynn

Ebook 

Audio Book 

Blurb:

Let Go is Pat Flynn’s touching memoir about overcoming adversity through a commitment to pursuing your own path. Pat’s story chronicles the extreme highs and lows he faced as an ambitious and hardworking architect. When his luck was down, Pat turned away from the expected path and built his own through perseverance, investment in self, and a devotion to helping others. Along the way, Pat managed to not only achieve financial success but more importantly discovered what matters most: passion and purpose. In Let Go, Pat reveals the inside story of his transformation into one of today’s most beloved thought leaders in the areas of Internet business, online marketing, and lifestyle entrepreneurialism. He shares the challenges and feelings he faced as he pieced together what has become a thriving online enterprise. If you share Pat’s impulse to pursue your own path, then you’ll enjoy Let Go. After all, we all must confront the same risky idea if we are to unlock our true potential: letting go.

Subject:

I listened to this audio book in my car, it made for a really entertaining drive. It could be a self-obsessed depressing subject but it certainly isn’t, nor is it promising riches to anyone who wants them. Pat Flynn describes his naive optimism when starting out in his chosen career. How it didn’t quite turn out as planned and how he moved forward.

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