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6 reasons I keep a Bullet Journal

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Need a new way to organise your year, diary and thoughts? A bullet journal could be just the thing.
A couple of weeks into 2017, I came across a magazine article about an organisational tool that I hadn’t heard of before – a bullet journal. It sounded ideal so I turned to my best friend online, Google to find out more.
Whoa! The internet was teeming with entries on bullet journals – how to start one, how to organise one, where to buy one, and how to make your bullet journal look adorably stylish. How had I not come across this before?
If you’re a bullet journal virgin like I was, then let me explain.
A bullet journal is an organisational tool that captures your to-do-list, diary, thoughts and really anything else you need to capture, in a written format, i.e. a notebook, not a computer file.
How to Bullet Journal from bulletjournal.com
“A notebook?” I hear you say. “Isn’t that, well, old-fashioned and time-consuming? I can keep all that information on my phone and computer.”
Maybe you …

What I'm doing this month - September

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September always a marks a new start to the year for me as my offspring return to school after the long summer break and I get my days back.

Launching my new business

This year is an especially fresh start as I begin to develop my copywriting business.

Back in February, I started down the freelance copywriter path, writing in-house material, sales emails and other goodies for a local business.

Over the summer break, I delved into the world of copywriting a little further by seeking out relevant training and joining a number of online business groups. There is so much brilliant advice out there already from existing copywriters and business owners, that it's been easy, and fun, to put together a support network of helpful mentors. After all, who better to ask then the individuals who have already done it?

Now, with my domain purchased, I'm ready to set up my copywriting business proper, website and all.

'Watch this space' as they say, for future news of the launch of my…

Photo Inspiration for August

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This month's photo inspiration is a little different. It's actually an old slide taken in the 1960s.
What do you think? What can you tell about the inhabitants of this home? Who could live here? What would their story be? Happy or sad? 
Who is behind the camera? Why is this slide being taken? 
The room is empty (apart from the person behind the camera). Where is everyone?
Is this a wealthy house? Up to date (at the time)? Well-loved?
What story would this image inspire you to write?

Something Useful for 2017 - Exercise No. 25

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The first writing exercise of 2017 from me and it's August already. How did that happen?

This month's writing exercise is about summer, or rather what summer means to you.

For me, the summer is largely taken up with the school summer break - 6 or 7 weeks when my teens are away from school and my work has to take a sideways shunt to accommodate day trips and refereeing arguments.

I also have to feed them but since we bought a new sandwich toaster, they're sorting their own lunches out by experimenting with hot sandwich fillings. Ingredients to date have included ham, bacon, cheese, bananas, peanut butter, chocolate and jam. I'll let you guess at what combinations they've concocted so far.

So, back to the writing exercise. Summer. What does it mean to you? Does it even register in your busy life other than a change of wardrobe? Do you like summer skies or do you prefer the winter winds?

Write a piece about summer from someone else's perspective:
A single parent …

What I'm Doing This Month - August

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August is always a mixture of a month. On the one hand, it's summer break and my teenage monsters are off school. They're of an age to keep themselves and each other happy (aside from the bickering) but I try to get them out of the house (and away from their computers) most days. They're good company, and with our dog in tow for some of those outings, I enjoy our summer adventures.
The downside is that my work schedule is massively interrupted. I'm lucky to be self employed, working from home and able to arrange my hours around my family, but it means early work before everyone else is up, and working some evening hours too. 
So, aside from the adventures, I'll be juggling my time this month to include: ongoing copywriting work along with some training I'm taking on the subject too,finding new clients for my scriptwriting business plus adding more value to my existing clients,working on my novel, andinvestigating setting up a new writer/copywriting website. On …

Can I? Can I? Yes, I Canva!

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Creating quality images for my blog posts and website has always been a bit hit and miss for me, so when a friend introduced me to Canva I was delighted.

Canva is a "free graphic design tool website". You can create all kind of  graphics on there, such as social media images, letterhead, certificates, books covers, and marketing flyers.

What's more, it also provides royalty free images and photographs for no charge, along with shapes, frames, layouts, fonts and backgrounds. Having said that, if you can't find exactly what you want then you can pay for additional items.

Of course, you can always upload your own images, which is what I've mostly done.

There are a lot of Canva tutorials available, both on the website and posted online by users too, but I found Canva easy to pick up with a little trial and error.

So far, I've created images for Pinterest, photo galleries, email headers, and blog posts, along with my 2017 vision board.

It's free to join, free …

Book Review: Watling Street by John Higgs

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When the Who Do You Think You Are magazine gave me the opportunity to review Watling Street by John Higgs, I jumped at the chance.

British history, especially history from the point of view of the people, has always been one of my favourite topics to read. Add to that, the chance to get a free book and what's not to like?

I initially received a paperback proof copy of the novel  but a few weeks later, courtesy of Higgs' publisher Orion Books, a beautiful hardback copy arrived too, this time full of maps and photographs that hadn't figured in the proof copy.

The colourful cover perfectly captures the contents of this book with its witty combination of the past, national identity and more recent pop culture (the Tardis is my personal favourite).

According to the accompanying press release,

Watling Street is a road of witches and ghosts, of queens and highwaymen, of history and myth, of Chaucer, Dickens and James Bond. Armies from Rome arrived and straightened this 444 kilome…