Tales of a Jobseeker – Feeling Lost

THURSDAY 24th APRIL 2014

Jobseeking

Today’s blog post deviates away from my usual writing escapades and prying into the lives of other authors.

It’s more from the heart.

I read an interesting article recently on LinkedIn (my new obsession which has currently replaced Facebook) that was a pep talk for candidates who had attended interviews and been unsuccessful. Given that in the last three years I have attended eleven interviews alone for the organisation I work for, with a couple thrown in for good measure from external organisations, I felt this article had been written for me alone.

It suggests that maybe, just maybe – it’s them and not you.

It got me thinking.

After three years of making a continuous effort to change my job, mainly within the organisation that I work for, that it really is all them. I’m a hard worker who is normally so positive and enthusiastic, so maybe that’s my downfall as the department I work in probably won’t want to loose that.

There’s only so long you can work as a frustrated robot with no mental stimulation; a robot who constantly puts herself forward for development schemes and projects that get acknowledged, but never actioned.

It really does have me questioning myself. Three years ago, I was working in projects and performance in a job that had provided me opportunities to gain a PRINCE2 foundation and work on strategic projects with Senior Manager’s. I was flourishing, I was happy.

Now, I feel like that flower has had all her petals ripped from her and merely exists.

It’s so hard to stay positive all the time – exhausting to be truthful. What employer wouldn’t want a hard worker who comes in, does the job and goes home, with no hassles or issues.

I’m the first to admit my interviews may not be the best as I find it hard to sell myself, but I’ve tried, I’m getting better in fact. The last one I gave it my best shot. However, I was up against stiff competition and I didn’t have the high level evidence to support the role – mainly because I’m not given a chance to develop where I am.

As a result of this tunnel vision, I’ve come to the conclusion that perhaps I have been looking in the wrong places, applying for the wrong jobs.

Freelance cover

I’m a creative person, I love to read and write, paint furniture and design plans for our house and garden. Maybe I’m not the person for managing teams. I asked a friend to look at my LinkedIn profile and her advice struck a chord; she suggested I display more of my creative side. I’ve written a children’s book, I blog, I write novels and now I’m in the process of setting up my own freelance writing business GL Wilford Freelance Writer.

 

 

All this time I have looked at management, HR and performance roles. My skills are all transferable, in fact I have an array of them. But you’re not encouraged to look at what you do in your spare time for the role’s I have gone for. I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to look at what I can do and focus on that.

dresser

My parent’s dresser that I have painted, sanded and replaced the knobs (hand painted cups of tea bought off eBay) and painted in Autentico Almond (bought from French Grey Tales in Bedlington)

As I listen to Sixpence None the Richer – Kiss Me – it takes me back to being sixteen. How I wish I could shake that person and give her some career advice. I wish I had gone to University to continue with English or study media. But hindsight’s a wonderful thing.

It’s awful to think back to the blank canvas you have as a child and the promise that you can do anything and be anyone. Life seems to suck you in and before you know it you’re stuck in a work rut just to pay bills.

Unfortunately what I love doing doesn’t pay bills – yet. My writing has been purely for pleasure. But time’s are changing and I need to believe in what I do and use the gift that I was given.

Turning thirty has really made me think about my life and what I want out of it. And it’s not what I have right now. I work shifts; unsociable hours for a sociable person makes even the happiest of us lonely and depressed. I’m becoming institutionalised, I’ve lost who I am and the feeling that there is no way out is unbearable.

So from here, the only way is up.

I pick myself up, dust myself down and open LinkedIn; a world of opportunity out there at the click of a button.

I won’t give up – and that’s my advice to anyone who can relate to this post. Look at your strengths, whether it’s in the workplace or not.

 

 

An empowering person I follow on LinkedIn is Richard Branson. He really is a remarkable and inspiring man.

Richard Branson

 

If you have experienced this, I’d love for you to get in touch and advise how you dealt with it. Sharing a problem really is halving it and I already feel better for getting all these words out of my head and down on here.

Don’t worry, I will be back to my usual posts next week.

Love Missuswolf xxx

 

 

Cuppa and a Catch-up – An Author Interview with … Andrea Buginsky

WEDNESDAY 23rd APRIL 2014

I would like to welcome back Andrea Buginsky, a lovely lady who I featured on my blog back in September 2012 and June 2013.  Andrea Buginsky is a freelance writer and author. “The Chosen,” a middle-grade fantasy novelette, was her first book, followed by “My Open Heart,” an autobiography about growing up with heart disease. Andrea is currently working on NEW AVALON, a YA fantasy series. Book 1, “Destiny,” is available on Amazon. To learn more about Andrea, visit her on her website.

~Author Bio~

Andrea HeadshotAndrea Buginsky is a freelance writer living with a congenital heart defect.
 
She has enjoyed writing since she was a kid. When she went to college, she decided to turn it into a career, and earned her BA in Journalism. She has been freelance writing for several years now.
 
Andrea has always wanted to write a book, and decided she wanted to write for children. She loves fantasy movies like “The Lord of the Rings” and “Harry Potter,” so she decided to try her hand at writing one of her own.
 
Andrea’s first publication is “The Chosen,” a middle-grade fantasy she worked on for about three years. It was published by Solstice Publishing on December 14, 2010. The second book in THE CHOSEN series, “Nature’s Unbalance,” was published on July 17, 2012. 
 
Andrea is currently writing a new series, NEW AVALON, a YA fantasy. Book 1, DESTINY, is now available. She is currently writing the second, FATE.
 
Andrea has also published , “My Open Heart,” an autobiography about growing up with heart disease. Her hope is that it will give encouragement to young adults growing up with heart disease, or other chronic illnesses, as well as parents of children growing up with heart disease.
 
Andrea lives in the Kansas City, KS area. She grew up in Florida, but.is originally from NJ.
 
To read more about Andrea, please visit her website.
~Synopsis~
Halli thought she was just another dwarf, living a quiet life in Drumple, her village on Phantasma. WhenThe Chosen Cover Final Queen Laurali of the elves shows up, Halli’s entire life changes. She learns the truth about herself, and must quickly adapt to being a Holy Paladin in order to join The Chosen, a group of warriors selected for a mission to save Phantasma.Now, Halli must face her biggest fears and learn to believe in herself, as will her companions. Will The Chosen be able to come together to save their world from the evil that is set on destroying it? Only time will tell.
Grab that cuppa and packet of biscuits as we catch up with Andrea Buginsky.
Hi Andrea and welcome back! It’s great to have you here again.
You’ve been busy since we last caught up where your project at the time was a new YA Fantasy Series. How is that coming along?
Great! The new series is called New Avalon. I released the first book, Destiny, on September 9. I am currently working on the second book and plan to release it later this year.
Which Authors would you say have had an influence on your writing?
J.K. Rowling and Rick Riordan have been the biggest influences on my writing.
What are you currently reading?
Stepping off a Cliff by Doug Dillon.
What’s your next writing project that you’re going to be working on?
I need to start editing book 3 of The Chosen and then start outlining book 3 of New Avalon. I’m also working on developing a new online book group for teens with several other YA authors, Indie YA Books. You can find us on our website: http://indieyabooks.com/ Right now, we’re having a contest for the best My Pet and Me Selfie photo. Details are on the Competition page of our website. We’re also on Facebook and Twitter. Come check us out!
Thank you for being here today Andrea. 
Thank you so much for having me here today, Gemma! I love visiting with you for a Cuppa and a Catch Up 🙂
~Where to find the author~

Cuppa and a Catch-up – An Author Interview with … Sheryn MacMunn Homewood

WEDNESDAY 16th APRIL 2014 Cuppa and a Catch up pic

I would like to wish a warm welcome to the lovely Sheryn MacMunn Homewood, author to ‘Finding Out’ and currently in the process of writing her second book.

~Author Bio~

Author PhotoSheryn always dreamed of writing a book but didn’t know how to start. While dating her husband, she shared her dream to write a novel. He gave her a notebook and a pen and said “Start now.” When she became a working Mom, the book was put on hold but stayed in her mind, along with ideas for more novels.

Like all mothers, Sheryn wants her children to live their dreams, so she led by example. After a few workshops and courses on writing, long days and nights, and many rewrites, she published FINDING OUT which became an instant Amazon Kindle bestseller.

FINDING OUT hit the Bestseller lists on Amazon as #1 in Literary Fiction, #1 in Women’s Fiction Friendship, #1 Single Women Fiction, #2 in Contemporary Fiction, #3 in Romance and Top 10 in Historical Fiction.

When not behind her computer, you will find her reading her favourite authors, playing tennis, or laughing with her husband and children.

You can find out more on www.sherynmacmunn.com, www.facebook.com/sherynmacmunn, www.goodreads.com/macmunn, and follow her on Twitter @sherynmacmunn

Her second novel will be released in Fall 2014.

~Synopsis~

Finding Out

Getting dumped on the sidewalk by her live-in boyfriend of seven years and realizing that he nearly emptied their savings account is the first of Sheila Davenport’s problems. At thirty-six, Sheila had thought her life was on track. But life no longer makes sense. Now she’s saddled with a mortgage that’s about to skyrocket, a psychotic boss, and a new employee who is unqualified and hell-bent on messing with the company’s rules. Her friends advise her to date immediately, preferably someone rich and successful, or risk being old and alone. But Sheila needs to figure out what went wrong and how she got to this place. Since Prince Charming has ruined Sheila’s life, who can save her now? Help comes unexpectedly from her elderly neighbor, Ruth Grey, who has had her own share of ups and downs. As their friendship grows, Ruth reveals her deeply moving story of survival in WWII Germany. Ruth’s mesmerizing past is a powerful tale of love and revenge that provides the perspective Sheila desperately needs to put the pieces of her own life back together. Will Sheila succeed at work or walk away? Can she save her home? And why do her friends think they have it any better? A story of love found and lost, true friendship, and how the human spirit endures.

Grab that cuppa and get all cosy as we catch up with Sheryn.

Big Mug

Hi Sheryn and welcome! It’s great to have you here.

Where did the inspiration behind Finding Out come from?

The inspiration for Finding Out came from missing my grandmothers and a good friend who was like a third grandmother. Their advice and life lessons had carried me through so much and then they passed away within a few years of each other. I missed them terribly. I also realized that there weren’t any books that spoke to a single woman in her thirties who had to deal with life on her own. Most fiction at the time focused on younger women just figuring out the balance between relationships and career with her friends. However, my friends and I wanted to read stories about women at that middle point of a career and relationships when major decisions need to be made that can truly affect the rest of your life. So I created a story that focused on a woman who is trying to navigate today’s world by learning about the past. It sort of brought my grandmother’s back to life.

How would you compare writing this book with anything that you have written previously?

Finding Out was my first novel. I’m writing a second one now which should be ready by fall 2014.Finding Out  

How did you start writing? Was there a particular book or moment in your life that spurned you on?

I always loved to read and dreamt of writing a book one day. When I started dating my husband, I told him this and he urged me to start writing immediately. Since I hadn’t written any other novels, I went to writing conferences and workshops and edited Finding Out many times. I then got married and had children, so it took years to write. Regarding books, Gone with the Wind is my favourite. I read it first when I was fourteen and have re-read it every ten years. Each time I read it, I come away with a different take about life and love. For instance, as a teenager, I thought Scarlett was amazing and Melanie was drippy and I believed that Ashley was in love with Scarlett. As an adult, I can see many of Scarlett’s flaws and that Melanie is truly the intelligent one. And that Ashley just used Scarlett for his ego boost.

How do you organise your writing time?

I have children and work full time, so my writing time has to fit between everything else going on in my life and my family’s schedule. I’ve tried to wake up early but my kids just wake up early with me, so that’s out. Now, I pick times to write every day whenever I can sneak time alone – and that can change every day. Sometimes I write before work, at lunchtime or just after putting my kids to bed. The best time is when everyone is asleep so I can take time to get into the setting of the book and then the writing flows. Unfortunately, I’ll end up writing into the early morning hours, so the next day can be exhausting.

Where is your best ‘writing space’; the place where you feel comfortably locked away from the world and able to let your creative juices flow?

I can write anywhere. When I wrote Finding Out, I often sat outside with a notebook and also went to the Rose Room of the New York Public Library. I also did a lot of writing on Amtrak because I travelled to Philadelphia for business a lot. Back then I had a BlackBerry, so I would also type out scenes on that. I could type so fast on that keyboard! I can pretty much block out the rest of the world and get into my story anytime and anywhere. I’m not sure if that’s a result of being an avid reader or having noisy kids around me.

And finally, tell us an interesting fact about yourself that not many people know.

I’m a massive technology geek. I started programming computers in 1981 and worked in high tech for years. When I’m not reading or outside with my kids, I love figuring out new gadgets and all the new tools on Google. In my house, my husband sits back while I program all our devices. I love it.  

Thank you for being here today Sheryn.

~Where to find Sheryn~

Facebook

Twitter: @SherynMacMunn

Goodreads

Amazon

Finding Out

***********

FINDING OUT, an Indie Book of the Day Award Winner, hit the Bestseller lists on Amazon as #1 in Literary Fiction, #1 in Women’s Fiction Friendship, #1 Single Women Fiction, #2 in Contemporary Fiction, #3 in Romance and Top 10 in Historical Fiction.

Love Missuswolf xxx

Monday Morning: New Week, New Book

MONDAY 14th APRIL 2014

Good Morning folks! Did you have a good weekend?

Martina Cole

 

I finished reading Martina Cole’s ‘Hard Girls’ last Thursday and read Chrissie Parker’s ‘Integrate’ over the weekend, so I’m now looking for what to read next. I have a study stocked with books, a Kindle full of downloads and a locker at work bursting at the seams. So I’m spoilt for choice.

Integrate_SMALL

I hope you’re all as happy as you can be, for a Monday morning I suppose.

You see, as I’m a shift worker in the day job, I never have that Monday morning feeling. Some people may consider that a good thing, however I would rather experience the dread of dragging myself out of bed early on a Monday than the inconsistent life that shift work brings. It can be lonely at times so it’s no wonder I bury my head in books.

My intention wasn’t to start Monday with a negative post. The point I’m getting at is that my unhappiness at my lifestyle at the moment is what spurs me on to change it and no-one can do that but me.

I turned thirty this year and with that it brought all the usual nostalgia of where I am in my life and where I want to be blah blah blah.

And I’ve been stuck in this place for far longer than I intended.

Plus I had a bad experience with back pain a couple of weeks ago, which really frightened me, so I’m looking at what changes I can make in my life to improve it.

So I see every Monday as a positive – it brings a fresh start with brand new opportunities. All across thecoffee and cream North East offices are now springing into life, bustling with staff exchanging weekend escapades with their co-workers by the coffee machine, delaying the inevitable retreat to their desk.

And that is good news for people like myself who are looking to change their career. Monday brings the possibility of new plans, ideas and regeneration in a business which may provide that career move I’ve been searching for. To me, Monday is a day of eager anticipation of a brand new working week.

It’s undoubtedly time for a change and one of these days, I will be back in the rat race; the stressful drive to work in rush hour, the hustle and bustle of an office environment and the Monday Morning feeling eventually merging  into that Fabulous Friday Feeling. I’ve discovered I’m very much a routine person and I’m not sure if that’s a sign of age or I have some form of OCD.

study2You get one life and it’s too short to spend it being miserable. Sure, we all have to earn a living but sometimes it becomes an unhealthy lifestyle.  I’ve learnt to do what you love so in-between searching for my next move,  I will continue to blog, write and lose myself in books; something that is consistent and that I know I will do for the rest of my life. Hell one day it would be amazing if that was my day job.

But until then, I continue with my mission to find a new job. However I just need to decide what book to read next …

Love Missuswolf xxx

Cuppa and a Catch-Up – An Author Interview with … Katie Gallagher

WEDNESDAY 9th APRIL 2014

Cuppa and a Catch up pic

Today I would like to welcome the lovely Katie Gallagher, author of Catching You and the newly published Stealing Cynderella, which was released in February.

 

~Author Bio~

Katie Gallagher mage

Katie Gallagher is the author of the young adult novel, Catching You. She lives in Western PA with her husband and young daughter who graciously tolerate her inability to resist teenage drama on TV and lack of cooking skills. She loves coffee, flip flops and hates cold weather.

~Synopsis~

 

Eighteen year old Cyn Clark is excited to start college at RMU, it’s her chance to get away from her sick mother and run of the mill suburban life. But, as soon as she arrives on campus, she begins to have doubts. Her roommate is a bitch and the campus is so huge that she can’t find any of her classes.

What if she made a big mistake coming here?

Stealing Cynderella Image

She begins to wonder if she should just go home and take classes at the community college, that is, until she meets James Lucas. From their first meeting, she felt like there was an intense connection, but was hesitant to do anything about it because of a past relationship.
James works hard to break down the walls into Cyn’s heart and is almost there, when he gets bad news from home that brings questions into their relationship. Now, Cyn isn’t sure about James and instead of talking to him about it, she makes the mistake of kissing someone else.
When James finds out, he ends the relationship and Cyn is completely devastated. And what makes it even worse, is that right after the break up, she finds out that she’s pregnant and doesn’t know what to do. How can she raise a baby on her own?

Grab your cuppa and dunk those biscuits as we catch-up with Katie Gallagher …

Cuppa and fire

Hi Katie, welcome to my blog – it’s great to have you here today

Where did you get the inspiration behind Stealing Cynderella?Stealing Cynderella Image

I guess that you could call it a fictionalized ‘ what could have been’ story of me and my husband if things had worked out with us in my junior year of college. 

How would you compare writing this book with anything that you have written previously?

My writing has drastically improved and I’ve learned to take my time with editing and not worry about rushing the publication process.

How did you start writing? Was there a particular book or moment in your life that spurned you on?

I often asked for notebooks and books for Christmas, so that I could scribble my stories down, but I didn’t take my writing too seriously until my mother passed away when I was a young girl. Writing became my sanity.

How do you organise your writing time?

I’ve got a five month old at home, so the bulk of my writing takes place in between naps and after she’s asleep. Luckily, I have my mother in law around to help with her when she knows I’m on deadline.

Catching you imageWhere is your best ‘writing space’; the place where you feel comfortably locked away from the world and able to let your creative juices flow?

Before my daughter arrived, I wrote upstairs on my husband’s desktop, but now I use the laptop downstairs, so that I can be closer to her if she needs me.

And finally, tell us an interesting fact about yourself that not many people know.

I’m in my thirties and don’t have a driver’s licence.  

Thank you for being here today Katie.

~Where to find Katie Gallagher~

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Stealing Cynderella Image

Love Missuswolf xxx

The Quest To Find An Agent – Progress Report

MONDAY 7th APRIL 2014

You may recall my blog post from October The Quest To Find An Agent where I was collating lists of Literary Agency details in order to start the submission process of Little Miss Pooshoe. In January this year I put this list to good use and submitted to four Agencies in the UK.

Agents

I’ve since received two replies, rejections none the less.

But that has not dissuaded me.

I’m aware the journey to publication is a battlefield and if I stay down every time I’m struck with a rejection, I’m never going to get back up and achieve my dreams. The plans for this novel are now more long termed than I hoped as other projects are starting to surface however that’s for another blog post 😉 .

In the meantime, Little Miss Pooshoe still requires thirty chapter’s edited and a lot of re-writing before I’m happy with her, therefore she’s going to have to simmer away in the background for a lot longer. I’ll continue to try agencies and, if nothing comes of that route, I’ll self publish eventually so I’m happy either way with this project.

Cuppa and a Catch up pic

For now, I have a few lovely Author’s lined up for my Cuppa and a Catch-up feature over the next couple of month’s so keep toot for those!

Happy Monday everyone.

Love Missuswolf xxx