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Oct
02

Beer and Naked Women

groupDid I grab your attention? Was the title compelling enough to make you want to read on?

As any good copywriter will know, your headline is your shop window to the rest of your writing and the first impression that you will make on any prospective reader. If you want to entice your audience, a compelling headline is critical but then, of course, you have to make sure that your following content is of high enough quality to convert your browser into a reader.

Keep any headline short, clear and direct. If you can do it in 5 words, so much the better! Make any headline relevant to the content that follows and convey your message with confidence.  Add persuasive adjectives or powerful words such as ‘fast’, ‘easy’, ‘new’ or even ‘free’. [Read more…]

Sep
30

Andalucía – Still a Golfer’s Paradise

andalucia newDespite the country’s economic problems, Spain still ranks as one of the top destinations for golfers. The recession has hit the property market hard and there are plenty of golf developments built during the past five years where unsold apartments and villas stand as empty reminders to the financial crisis. However, there are more than 300 golf courses throughout Spain, with over 120 alone in Andalucía, where the sunny fairways and immaculate greens haven’t wavered in popularity for golfing tourists.

Some of the most prestigious courses in Spain are located along the Costa del Sol, otherwise known for good reason as the Costa del Golf. There are also a host of other value for money courses that offer visiting golfers the opportunity to play amongst beautiful surroundings where attractive group discounts can be found.

The exclusive urbanisation of Sotogrande, situated in the area of San Roque at the western end of the Costa del Sol, boasts several courses that would have any seasoned player salivating at the prospect of playing them. [Read more…]

Sep
27

Lizard Brain or Writer’s Block?

lizard 3Lizard Brain:

‘That part of the brain that senses danger, where instincts and gut feelings originate; primal thoughts; subconscious or involuntary processes; the amygdala’ (the amygdala is an almond shaped mass of nuclei located deep within the temporal lobe of the brain).

Do you, like me, find that you start a writing project and then become unmotivated somewhere along the line? This is exactly what happens when I excitedly begin a novel only to find that I develop something akin to boredom. The passion that was there at the beginning has gone and the motivation to progress to the end dwindles. So what do I do? Start another of course and then the same process begins again!

This is my lizard brain kicking in, or in other words – writer’s block. What is it that keeps me from progressing to the end of a plot that was all I could think about for weeks on end? My lizard brain stops me from taking risks, reins me back and urges me to play safe.
[Read more…]

Sep
25

Self-Publishing

self pubSo you’ve written a book! What do you do next?

If you want to go down the self-publishing route there are a few things you should consider.

Do you want your book to be available as an eBook online or do you want to have a hard copy print as well? EBooks are free to produce as opposed to hard copies for which you would pay for a print run or, depending on where you go to get your books printed, as a percentage of each sale.

Before you commit to anything, are you sure that your book is in its final version? Do you need to get it proofread professionally? What about your cover design? Do you need to purchase an ISBN or not? An ISBN is an International Standard Book Number that will identify that edition of your book throughout the world.  It’s not needed for eBooks but it will link your title in to the Book Data database and can make it easier for retailers to find you.

Decide on which company you’re going to use to put your book out there. EBooks tend to be put up via Kindle Direct Publishing (Amazon’s electronic publishing arm) or Smashwords.   [Read more…]

Sep
23

Addictive Apps

Apps 3For my sins, I must admit that I have become addicted to tapping the app! My iPhone has so many pages of apps that it takes me a while to swipe through to find which one I want. There are the useful apps, such as Google Maps, and several that I thought would be utilised more than they are but which seem to sit redundantly on the smartphone. The great thing is that I haven’t spent a penny downloading these apps because there are so many amazing free ones available on the iTunes App.

Social apps help keep you connected with others anywhere in the world:

Twitter – use Twitter to keep up to date with what’s happening with real time search. Find trending topics, tweet, send DMs, share photos, videos and links with friends and followers. [Read more…]

Sep
20

Blog or Website?

blog or websiteWebsites and blogs seem to be something that few businesses can ignore as part of their marketing plan, but creating a successful, high-quality site could take time and money.

One of the first things to do is to understand what you want your website or blog to do. Do you need it to be a lead generation tool for your company, or are you looking to communicate with existing customers?

Whether you are able to create your own site, have an in-house team who can do this for you or whether you need to use a web design firm, the next step is to put together a clear strategy that will help you to achieve your goal. [Read more…]

Sep
18

Culture in Andalucía

DFAS logoDFAS de la Frontera is a vibrant and friendly cultural society in Andalucia offering members and visitors a platform from which to enjoy high quality art lectures presented in English and the opportunity to socialise with like-minded people. Whether interested in fine art or not, the lecturers enthuse and enthrall the audience, ensuring they come away with a new appreciation of the subject.

Soon approaching its eighth season, DFAS de la Frontera is an associate society of NADFAS, The National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Societies which was founded in the UK in 1968. Meetings are held at the San Roque Golf and Country Club, Km. 127 (A7), on the third Wednesday (unless otherwise stipulated) of the month at 11.00 a.m. between October and May. Fascinating and stimulating digital presentations on a wide variety of arts subjects are given by NADFAS accredited lecturers with the finest credentials in their specialist fields who have been flown out from the UK. The Programme from October 2013 to May 2014 starts with L.S. Lowry, 16th October, and finishes with Lee Miller, incorporating an eclectic mix in-between ranging from French Expressionist Painting, Raphael, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, John Ruskin, Hellenistic Art, and the inspiration of Venice on art and music in 18th century London. [Read more…]

Sep
16

Writing Groups – to Join or Not?

SWAre you a budding novelist, or perhaps you have already written a draft of your potential best seller and want to know what to do next?  Maybe you haven’t written anything other than the shopping list before now but you have an idea for a plot and would like to get it down in some form before you forget.

Writing groups are an ideal place for you to meet other writers, learn the craft of writing (because it is something that can be learnt) and gain inspiration from like-minded people. There should definitely be a writing group somewhere near where you live. Have a look at The National Association of Writers’ Groups, an association with an impressive list of patrons: Sir Alan Ayckbourn, CBE, Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, CBE, Rt. Hon. Lord Radice, Gervase Phinn, Lord Bragg of Wigton, Lord Fellowes, Tony Warren, MBE, Jilly Cooper, OBE, Prof. David Lodge CBE, Rt. Hon. Lord Healey, CH, MBE. There is a regional directory listing groups that are situated around the UK as well as news of festivals and competitions held throughout the year. [Read more…]

Sep
13

Content is Still King!

bill gatesBack in 1996 Bill Gates wrote an article with the title ‘Content is King’. The opening sentence was “Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.” So, is this mantra still true or has content been usurped? Interestingly, the buzz phrase within the digital marketing arena during the past year has been ’Content is King’, so it looks like things have come full circle and nothing has changed! In fact content is even more important nowadays because it is the basis for all online marketing and that includes social media, blogging, websites, video or any other digital based campaign. [Read more…]

Sep
11

Inferno – Dan Brown

Inferno groupInferno, the fourth novel by Dan Brown, once again features Harvard University symbologist Dr. Robert Langdon. It follows on from Angels and Demons, the amazingly successful blockbuster The Da Vinci Code and The Lost Symbol, and continues in the thriller genre that Brown has become known for.

This time our protagonist, the Harris Tweed clad Langdon wakes up in hospital with mild amnesia and is saved by the stereotypical blonde and beautiful Dr Sienna Brooks, once a child prodigy, who helps him to escape an assassin. The villain of the piece is geneticist Bertrand Zobrist, who believes that the Earth is nearing Doomsday population overload, when resources will finally run out and people will begin to behave like those in Dante’s Inferno. [Read more…]