Five Minutes With… @AprilMunday from A Writer’s Perspective #Blogging #FiveMinutesWith

Welcome to Five Minutes With… a new feature where I invite bloggers of all genres to tell us a little about themselves and their blogging journey.

April Munday (2)Today’s blogger is April Munday who blogs at A Writer’s Perspective.

Q1: When and why did you start blogging? Which platform do you use?

I started at the end of January 2015 and I use WordPress. I started blogging because I write romance novels set in the fourteenth century and do a lot of reading about what was going on then and how people lived. I thought other people might be interested in what I was finding out.

Q2: What topics/themes do you blog about? Do you ever deviate from that theme?

I write about any aspect of the fourteenth century which interests me or comes up as part of the research I do for my novels set in that period. This can be how people lived; the kind of buildings they lived in; what they ate; what was important to them; and what they did for entertainment.

Originally the blog covered the Regency period, as well, as I was intending to alternate Regency romances with ones set in the fourteenth century, but that meant that I was writing posts about the nineteenth century to coincide with the publication of a novel at the same time as I was writing and reading about the fourteenth century. This became so confusing that I had to stop.

Apart from publicising the releases of novels, I don’t write about anything else.

Q3: Which of your blog posts is your favourite and why do you like this one so much?

The Medieval Floor. It’s not a particularly good post, but it came out of visits to various medieval buildings over the years as well as television programmes I’ve watched about how people lived in the Middle Ages. I’ve visited many cathedrals and seen their medieval tiles and assumed that tiles and stones formed the flooring in all medieval buildings. Then, about ten years ago, I visited the Medieval Merchant’s House in Southampton and the floor in that building was just beaten earth, as it would have been in the fourteenth century. This raised all kinds of questions in my mind about how people really lived then. Wouldn’t the floor just disintegrate when people walked in out of the rain? Wouldn’t it make the house damp or dusty? Why wasn’t the floor covered with tiles or stone? The post is what I’ve found out about floors since then.

I’m still fascinated by medieval floors. When I went to Stokesay Castle in the summer I gasped out loud when I saw that there was a whole room whose floor was covered with medieval tiles. Sadly, the visitor can only see it through glass. As you might expect, floors and their coverings get a mention in most of my novels.

Q4: Do you have a top tip to share for any new bloggers that might be reading?

It’s the best advice that I was given when I started – be patient. It will take people a while to find you and to start commenting.

Q5: What’s your favourite social media platform?

Facebook. It’s the first one I joined and where I feel most comfortable. I’m in a few groups there for bloggers and authors which I enjoy.

Find out more about April by connecting with her via the links below:

Blog Link: A Writer’s Perspective

Facebook: April’s Facebook page

Twitter: April’s Twitter

Instagram: April’s Instagram

Pinterest: April’s Boards

Goodreads: April’s Author Page

Other: April’s Books

About April:

theheirstale-webApril Munday is the author of romances set in the fourteenth century. She lives in Hampshire, where many of her stories are set.  In her head she lives in the fourteenth century, but only in her head; she has learned far too much about life in the Middle Ages to want to live there in reality.  She is inspired by the remnants of the past which are part of her local landscape. Her latest series, The Soldiers of Fortune, is set after the Battle of Poitiers, which changes the lives of four brothers.

*** TICKETS on sale for the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards 2018 HERE ***

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Five Minutes With… Alice @notebksglasses #Blogging #ChronicPain

Welcome to Five Minutes With… a new feature where I invite bloggers of all genres to tell us a little about themselves and their blogging journey.

Today’s blogger is Alice who blogs at Notebooks and Glasses.

Chronic Pain Blog

Q1: When and why did you start blogging? Which platform do you use?

I started blogging in September 2017. I started blogging for two reasons: 1) to share some of my experiences of coping with chronic pain to help other people, and 2) to help myself cope with my chronic pain, using it a bit like a journal. I want to show that you can still live your life despite having chronic pain. I have my own website, but I use a WordPress theme to help make things easier.

Q2: What topics/themes do you blog about? Do you ever deviate from that theme?

The main theme of my blog is linked to my chronic pain. My main topics include ‘my pain and me’, ‘advice and tips’ and occasionally I’ll do a blog post about what I’ve been up to that week and how I’ve coped with my pain. I’m also starting to write some posts about blogging. The aim of these is to help others if they are thinking about staring a blog of their own.

Q3: Which of your blog posts is your favourite and why do you like this one so much?

My favourite blog post so far is 10 ways to cope with chronic pain http://notebooksandglasses.com/10-ways-to-cope-with-chronic-pain/ I’ve had some really positive comments and feedback on this post saying that it has really helped others manage their pain. This make me happy and it’s great knowing that my blog is helping other people, which is one of my aims.

Q4: Do you have a top tip to share for any new bloggers that might be reading?

Focus on progression, not perfection. Don’t put pressure on yourself to make your blog perfect. The important thing is to progress with it and do a little and learn a little every day, or as much as you can. You don’t have to know it all or get everything perfect before you start or before you publish each of your posts.

Q5: What’s your favourite social media platform?

I’m torn between Instagram and Twitter. The power of Twitter and hashtags is incredible. I looked at my blog stats one day and saw that one of my posts had over 200 views in one day, which was huge to say I was fairly new to blogging at the time. One retweet really got my blog noticed.

Find out more about Alice by connecting with them via the links below:

Blog Link: www.notebooksandglasses.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/notebksglasses

Instagram: www.instagram.com/notebooksandglasses

Pinterest: www.pinterest.co.uk/notebooksandglasses

*** TICKETS on sale for the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards 2018 HERE ***

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February Self-Improvement Challenge #PersonalDevelopment #SelfCare

February SI Challenge 2018Making the smallest of changes can have a huge impact on our wellbeing and personal development. When making any kind of life changes we can often be deceived into thinking this involves giving up our favourite activities or having a total overhaul of our mental, physical, and spiritual self, but that’s not the case

One small action taken every day is a single step towards feeling more fulfilled. I’m not asking you to do everything on February’s list, but if something resonates with you then add it to your day.

Be more mindful of the task and think about why you want to do it, how you’re going to do it, and more importantly, how is it going to benefit your self-improvement journey. If the task doesn’t evoke any reaction, be it pleasurable or uncomfortable, then it’s going to be a waste of your time.

I’d love to hear how you get on with this challenge so please do leave me a comment about the tasks you partake in, how you feel adding them to your day, or if you struggled with any of them

Monday: Make a record or start a list of one word that sums up how you feel today and every day.

Tuesday: Call (don’t text or email) an old friend for a catch-up.

Wednesday: Make a list of all your strengths. Ask a friend also to write a list of what they think your strengths are and see how the lists differ. Often our friends see things in us that we fail to notice.

Thursday: Declutter your wardrobe. Get rid of everything that you haven’t worn in twelve months, makes you uncomfortable, and is old and past its best, or doesn’t fit you.

Friday: Update all your passwords.

Saturday: Create a vision board of what you hope to be, do, or have this year.

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Sunday: Turn your phone off for the entire day.

I’ll share another seven tasks next Monday so be sure to check back for more of February’s self-improvement challenge. Good Luck x

*** TICKETS on sale for the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards 2018 HERE ***

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Five Minutes With… @Rachael_Stray #Blogging #FiveMinutesWith

Welcome to Five Minutes With… a new feature where I invite bloggers of all genres to tell us a little about themselves and their blogging journey.

Today’s blogger is Rachael Stray.

Rachael Stray

Q1: When and why did you start blogging? Which platform do you use? 

I had been thinking of starting a blog for about 18 months but hadn’t had the time to really get something set up as I’d been a tad busy. I started two new jobs, got married, we sold our house, relocated back to the North East and we’re now buying our new home!

What finally gave me the kick up the bum was something I spotted on Twitter which got me really riled up. I pointed it out to a few people I know professionally on Twitter and was invited to write a guest blog post for a Public Relations website on the topic. I also wrote a couple of blog posts for my day job too.

After that I decided to stop putting it off and took the plunge to set up my own blog. I often get asked for advice in respect of my day job within the Public Relations world so some of my blog posts are aimed at helping others with knowledge I have gained.

I use WordPress to host my blog.

Q2: What topics/themes do you blog about? Do you ever deviate from that theme?

I don’t have a niche theme or particular topic that I focus on. I try to share my knowledge in the Public Relations field so some of my posts are more to do with my day job.

I try to write about what I hope other people similar to me would find interesting and helpful and sometimes also humorous! For me it’s a bit of a mixed bag so hopefully something for everyone!

Q3: Which of your blog posts is your favourite and why do you like this one so much?

I think the blog post I wrote in honour of my mam’s recent big birthday is my favourite. https://rachaelstray.blog/2017/10/01/some-heroes-wear-capes-others-are-step-parents/

It’s a thank you for how amazing she is but it’s also a message (I hope) for hope and encouragement to all the step-parents out there. I’ve received some lovely comments both on and outside of the blog post itself from other step-parents to say thank you which is lovely.

Q4: Do you have a top tip to share for any new bloggers that might be reading?

I think my top tip would be to take the plunge and just get started. My other tip would be to join Facebook groups and take part in the various blogger chats as the blogging community can be so supportive and there’s so much you can learn from others.

Q5: What’s your favourite social media platform?

This is a tough one. I use social media for my day job so I’m on various platforms for most of the day. I think it very much depends what you’re using it for as to which platform I prefer.

I don’t like the Facebook newsfeed of previous years as I don’t feel like I see the content I’d actually like to see thanks to the Facebook algorithms. So I find myself scrolling less and less through my newsfeed as it’s clogged up with promoted posts and posts from people I’m not actually that close to. However, I really enjoy the Facebook groups I’m a part of both for blogging and for work purposes which I find quite invaluable.

I really like Twitter. I’ve got two accounts and I manage one for work too so I’m on the platform every single day. I just think there’s so much you can do with Twitter and the feed is better than Facebook’s. At first I was sceptical that the increased character limit would have a negative impact on the Twitter feed but I think it’s great especially for tagging others in tweets and for Twitter chats so you can get more of your point across in a single tweet.

I’m getting back into Instagram and Pinterest as of late and I’m trying to get to grips with Tumblr, StumbleUpon and Flipboard too.

Blog Link: https://rachaelstray.blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rachaelstrayblog/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rachael_Stray

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachys2011/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/rachaelstray/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachael-stray-82945675/

I hope you enjoyed this feature. Be sure to check out Rachael’s blog. If you write a blog and would like to be considered for Five Minutes With… then please send me a message via the contact page.

*** TICKETS on sale for the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards 2018 HERE ***

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Daily Tasks to Improve Your Life: Week 4 #PersonalDevelopment

January Challenge: Daily Tasks to Improve Your Life

Daily TasksWelcome to the fourth week of my January Challenge. I hope you managed to achieve all the daily tasks from last week’s post. If you missed it then catch up HERE.

Here are the next seven day’s challenges:

Day 1 – Be the Best.

Whatever you do today be the best at it. Take pride in what you do and feel passionate about doing something worthwhile. If you don’t feel like this about your life/job look at how you can either improve or make changes.

Day 2 – Be Bold.

Review your goals then set bigger ones! Look at what you’ve achieved then aim higher. Push yourself, challenge yourself, and focus on breaking out of your comfort zone today.

Day 3 – Learn Forgiveness.

Let go of any past hurts whether they are in your personal or professional life. Holding on to these emotions is only causing you pain. Let it go and get on with your life.

Day 4 – Forget Material Wealth.

Stop focusing on what you’ve got or what you want. Today I want you to concentrate on making memories. Remember, you can’t take any of this material stuff with you when you die so start building your legacy today.

Day 5 – Be Positive.

Feel empowered rather than hindered. Rethink how you view situations and turn a negative into a positive. Being positive attracts more of the same into your life.

‘Thoughts become things.’

Day 6 – Take a Break.

Rest when you need it. It does no good to keep going until you break. Today is all about getting quality me-time, relaxing, and regenerating.

Day 7 – Enjoy the Little Moments.

Reading a book. A mug of hot chocolate. A walk in the snow. Coffee with a friend. Relish the small moments in your life today.

There you go. Seven-day challenge. I’ll post another seven challenges next Monday so be sure to check back and join in. Leave a comment in the section below and share how you got on, or if there was anything you struggled with.

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Five Minutes With… Global Housesitter @GlobalHousesit2 #Blogging #FiveMinutesWith

Welcome to Five Minutes With… a new feature where I invite bloggers of all genres to tell us a little about themselves and their blogging journey.

Today’s blogger is Suzanne, who blogs at Global Housesitter.

Suzanne

Q1: When and why did you start blogging? Which platform do you use? 

Initially, I started off with a private diary.  Which like many falls by the wayside when life gets in the way, and there are no motivating factors to write.  Then someone mentioned blogging.  With many attempts deleted along the way, with a lack of confidence in my ability to string a few sentences together let along 1000 words.  I did not publish anything for quite a while.  Then one day I did, and the rest is history!

Q2: What topics/themes do you blog about? Do you ever deviate from that theme?

As we are full-time housesitters and travel quite a few distance to do this lifestyle, most of my blog is about travel and of course the various communities, people and animals we encounter along the way.  Do I deviate, yes I do?  Though I feel this is a good thing, both for myself and my readers.  How?  An old saying comes to mind, “Variety is the spice of life”.  A bit of background on New Zealand and a small amount of my background.  I have a love of art and I am now incorporating more of this subject; artists and art we encounter in our travels plus artists that I know.

Q3: Which of your blog posts is your favourite and why do you like this one so much? 

My favourite blog post that is a hard one.  One of my more emotional ones was the one I wrote about my Nana.  https://globehousesitterx2.wordpress.com/2017/03/07/i-called-her-nana/  Why?  I think it is because it was such a personal one, which was in some ways hard to publish and on the other hand easy to write.  Plus it was a celebration of Women’s Day which always brings out me remembering the strong women that have or are in my life.

Q4: Do you have a top tip to share for any new bloggers that might be reading?

Be yourself, write what you are passionate about and the words will flow much more natural.  It is not about your blog; you need to participate in the blogging arena to receive feedback, and learn.  I emphasise the learning which is the one thing I enjoy with blogging, which is ongoing.  Plus the obvious of connecting with like-minded people.  Don’t feel pressured to like every person that connects with you.  Be sincere in your contribution, it will become evident if you are not.  Just enjoy the process of reading and acknowledging other blogs plus writing your own and pushing that publish button.  The rest will follow.

Q5: What’s your favourite social media platform?

I don’t have a favourite; I do use FB, Instagram and Twitter more than others.  This is one area I need to develop to the next level in the blogging arena.

Find out more about Global Housesitter by connecting with them via the links below:

Blog Link:https://globehousesitterx2.wordpress.com/

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/globalhousesitterx2/

Twitter:https://twitter.com/Globalhousesit2

Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/globalhousesitterx2/

Pinterest:https://www.pinterest.nz/housesittersx2/pins/

I hope you enjoyed this feature. Be sure to check out Suzanne’s blog. If you write a blog and would like to be considered for Five Minutes With… then please send me a message via the contact page.

*** TICKETS on sale for the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards 2018 HERE ***

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Daily Tasks to Improve Your Life: Week 3 #PersonalDevelopment

January Challenge: Daily Tasks to Improve Your Life

Daily TasksWelcome to the third week of my January Challenge. I hope you managed to achieve all the daily tasks from last week’s post. If you missed it then catch up HERE.

Here are the next seven day’s challenges:

Day 1 – Live in the Now.

Forget what happened last year, last month, or yesterday. Live for today and make it your best day yet.

Day 2 – Open Your Eyes.

Most of us exist instead of living our lives to the full. Be more conscious of your surroundings today. Watch out for opportunities. Experience life and don’t let it pass you by.

‘Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.’ Walter Hagen.

Day 3 – Discover Your Mantra.

Write yourself a mission statement for the year ahead. Who do you want to be? What do you want to do? How are you going to achieve it?

Day 4 – Learn Something.

Be alert for lessons in the things you see, hear, and do today. Learn from any mistakes, listen to your mentors, and focus on what you can take from every situation.

Day 5 – Choose a Hobby.

If you haven’t got a hobby then I suggest you find one. Learn a new skill, be creative, and have fun. Share what you discover with your friends and family.

Day 6 – Leave the House.

Yes it’s winter, yes it might be cold, wet, windy, and miserable, but go outside anyway and explore. Go for a walk, drive to the seaside, or tidy the garden. Do something outdoorsy today.

Day 7 – Switch Off the TV.

Spend the day reading, cooking, or listening to music. Avoid watching reruns of old shows. Gather family and friends and play a board game or sit around the dinner table and chat for hours.

There you go. Seven-day challenge. I’ll post another seven challenges next Monday so be sure to check back and join in. Leave a comment in the section below and share how you got on, or if there was anything you struggled with.

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