Building Your Writer’s Brand

Desise is a great writer and she’s written this post on creating your writers brand. Anyone creating any brand should read this but my fellow writing friends should especially take note.

Simon 😊

E. Denise Billups, Writer

Indie authors are jack-of-all-trades. Not only are they writers, but also promoters and marketers of their finished product. This for most writers is difficult and for some an afterthought. Before you finish your book, you should have a well-defined marketing plan established and the first step is to create a mission statement.

In simple terms, a mission statement is short, concise sentence or paragraph describing your business and purpose (who you are, what you do, and your purpose or goals). This single statement is your marketing message, disseminating your brand, and the writer’s guide to reaching his/her ultimate goals.

Most people believe a mission statement is for major corporations or nonprofit organizations but for anyone building a brand whether you’re a painter, architect or writer, a mission statement is a crucial piece to crafting your image. For indie or traditionally published authors, a mission statement conveys your passion, your expertise, and…

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Planet Simon’s Mainly Manic Monday

Hi ya Bloggies!

There’s nothing like a Monday morning stuck in traffic to give you a good feel is there? I have to say I was irritated but there many more worse off than me.

With the end of the kindness challenge I find myself looking for new ideas and even going back to old ones for blogging. Who knows what will come out of here this week and going on – but it’s going to be a right mix up whatever it is.

I’m hoping that this week I’m going to publish a post that puts all or most of the short stories I’ve written (or partially written) into one place. I’m also carrying on with my series of posts on how employers treat employees. Do you have any views? Are there any stories you would like to share.

Let me know…

How are all your week’s starting out? Let me know and if you like how to find me in the social interweb of stuff:


Simon 😊

Planet Simon Facebook Page






Planet Simon Tumblr Page

#blog #planetsimon #manicmonday

Employers – Understanding Employees

You work too slow

You don’t know what you’re doing

I don’t like the quality of you’re work

I don’t like how you walk

I don’t like how you laugh

This was the short version, spilled out of his obnoxious gob as I sat there reeling from the tirade of abuse. Under normal circumstances this guy would be smacked in the gob by most other people, but I sat there with a professional hat on and took it.

Not only was there not one example of any of this half of the abuse directed at me was personal, plus there was one slight circumstance which might have explained a lack of performance lately – I had only two weeks previously attended my mother’s funeral after  she lost a short fight with cancer.



This kind of sledgehammer discipline towards people may have been acceptable in the past, but it would have been a long time ago. Understanding where an an employee is at and why they might be struggling and helping them get through it is surely better for them and their employer?

Going through that kind of destructive criticism isn’t going to help. It felt really bad in fact. Every day I felt my guts twist inside me when I was in there, every day I struggled to think of a way out and worked like fuck thinking it was me that was the problem.

So when I was re-reviewed I was told I was on further probation. Apparently most of my team had been in on the meetings that had decided I wasn’t doing great but not bad. Every single person involved had either forgotten what I had been through or couldn’t put themselves in my shoes and think what the hell I must bee going through.

Three days later I quit.

Well done you guys, if you wanted to inspire someone to work then you failed. If you wanted me out well done! These six months of my working life were my worst ever and it was so unnecessary. A little understanding would have gone a long way and would it really have put you out.

On a side note, the best think I heard from my boss here was “Where are you pissing off to?”

As if I told him the truth!

Simon 🙂


Learn How to Draw a Vision Map to better sell your ideas

via Want to Get Better at Selling Others on Your Ideas? Learn How to Draw a

I loved this, saw it and I had to share it! Ayse Birsel shows us all how to use her drawing Alphabet to help us sell visually.

He alphabet is here:

My vision-drawing alphabet

Simple geometric shapes: Circles, squares, rectangles, triangles, and cubes are simple shapes that can depict an area or category.

1 circle with a word in it: Depicts something central to your idea or concept.

2 circles overlapping: Intersection of two ideas. The intersection is the “sweet spot.” This is my favorite way of showing dichotomy resolution.

3 circles overlapping: Intersection of three ideas, or a trifecta.

2 lines drawn at 90-degree angles to each other: A graph. I use this to show the relation of one thing to another over time.

2 lines intersecting in the middle: 4 quadrants. I use this to depict 4 quadrants of emotion, physical, intellect and spirit.

2 words and an arrow between them: One thing becoming something else. Arrows can also depict direction, movement or the future.

Infinity sign: I use this to show a continuous feedback loop, like “give and take”.

Equal/unequal symbols: When used between 2 words, they summarize how things are alike or dissimilar. Other math symbols, like +, x, < and >, are also useful.

A stick figure or a smiley: A person. As simple as it sounds, adding a person connects the idea to users and humanizes it.

A stick figure in a circle: Depicts being user-centered.

Circle with a diagonal line over a word/symbol: Something that is banned or unwanted.

Simple icons: Heart for emotion, ying and yang for spirit, dollar sign for money, messy scribble for complication…



The full article is below – read it!

Vision Map |

Author, Design the Life You Love
No ownership claimed on work or article – Credit to and Ayse Birshel

Solar System Exploration – The Kuiper Belt

Beyond the orbit of the outer giants, beyond the orbit of Pluto even is a region of the solar system is the Kuiper belt. A place where the material left over from the creation of the solar system resides. We’re not quite into interstellar space (the space between the stars) yet, in fact we’re not totally sure where that begins yet. The Voyager probes that are the farthest human object from Earth are helping us to find this out.

The Kuiper belt isn’t a single object, it’s many object forming a ring around the sun from the orbit of Neptune’s e (30AU’s) to 50 AU’s from the sun. It’s in this belt that frozen comets, and icy dwarf planets are made. Pluto and Neptune’s moon Triton are thought to be Kuiper belt objects, captured and brought nearer to the sun. But what else do we know is out there?

Dwarf Planets

The Kuiper belt is known to be the region of a number of Dwarf planets:

kbos (1)







Are the main bodies, but other smaller object such as Ixion, Varuna and Orcus are continually being discovered. Pluto is also now classified as a dwarf planet and a Kuiper belt object and Neptune’s moon Triton is suspected to be a large Kuiper belt object that was captured by Neptune’s gravity as it orbits Neptune the wrong way. Triton is made up in a very similar way to Pluto to give further weight to this theory.


Voyager 2’s flyby in 1989 made discoveries of volcanoes or frozen methane and details on terrains which up until then we didn’t know existed. It was our first glimpse of what a Kuiper belt object was.




New Horizon’s flew past Pluto on 15th January 2015. The historic encounter brought back images and data of a world which up until then was almost completely unknown. p until then Pluto and it’s largest moon Charon had merely been a small and detail-less point of light in even the most powerful telescope.


There was always the possibility that New Horizons would be used to explore other Kuiper belt objects. Now it has been granted it’s second mission and New Horizons has been steered to make a close encounter with the rather unromantically named 2014 MU69 on January 1st 2019.

New Horizons Kuiper Belt Object Encounter

This will be the furthest object ever encountered by a human spacecraft to date at over 43 times the distance the Earth is from the Sun. What we will find is a mystery, it might be another ball of frozen gas, rock and ice or something completely different. Either way it will give us more information about what is in the Kuiper belt.


Further Exploration:

The Kuiper belt is a long, long way off and it takes a long time to get there. Any future missions are going to have to overcome this problem and justifying going out there is another problem. This is why New Horizons is the first and only probe to go out there and look at anything. Maybe we can look at more before New Horizons speeds out of the solar system. But in the meantime, advances with space telescopes mean we’re getting much more data that we ever have been before.

Hubble was used to plan the New Horizons flyby of Pluto, looking for other moons that needed to be avoided. Hubble found a small handful, handy to know when you’re shooting long distance like that. Dwarf planets in the Kuiper belt are giving up more of their secrets and revealing moons – There’s a whole solar system out there!

Dyson’s hot air for its hair dryer


I cannot hold back about this any longer! I expect many of you have seen the advert for the Dyson hair dryer and I seethe at this advert for two reasons:

  1. They claim it uses a digital motor.
  2. Selling the microprocessor control.

Why does this have me seething – I’ll tell you! First things first – no motor is digital. It uses magnets which are inherently analogue. Dyson say this about the digital motor:

 “Dyson digital motors use digital pulse technology, spinning at up to 104,000 times a minute”

To many this sound pretty digital, but in engineering speak this sounds very similar to Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) technology which in’t in any way new and is used in almost every power supply or charger in your home. Pulsing a motor to control it’s speed is very, very commonplace and does not make it digital! Ok, so it’s fast, very fast and they might have developed a really fast motor but again there are devices out there that use fast spinning electric motors, this is not a new thing.

Now onto the second thing, the microprocessor, this also isn’t new. These devices have been around since the 1980’s and these days you can get really good ones for a few quid. I’m not sure how good it needs to be as it’s controlling speed and maybe temperature. This is basic stuff and won’t need anything cutting edge.

Then there’s the ultimate thing that makes me angry – the price! At ÂŁ299 this is a damn expensive hair dryer! I have no idea how well it works becasue funnily enough I haven’t bought one. But at the end of the day if it blows hot air out it’s going to dry your hair isn’t it?


This kind of over priced, over sexed technology smacks of Apple’s approach to it’s products, those of you who have been around my blog long enough know how much I love that!

If anyone buys one of these or has bought one – let me know how it works. I would love to know.

Simon 🙂

No ownership claimed on image – Credit Dyson