Raymond Moore is a Registered Nurse, living and working in Saudi Arabia with his wife and three children. He also has a house and farm in Thailand. As well as being a writer, Raymond has been a record label owner, band manager, and singer with a band. Born and brought up in Glasgow, he left his parents and moved to the Isle of Skye as a youngster, and his life changed forever.
Raymond, thank you for talking with us. Kindly let me know when did you start writing?
Although I had wanted to write for years life and laziness had prevented me from doing so. Working in Saudi Arabia I had joined a couple of Isle of Skye Facebook Groups and as I had no photographs to submit I began submitting stories of my life there in post-length bites including poetry. These seemed to be popular and when I was in quarantine last year post COVID19 infection I decided to put pen to paper, actually finger to keyboard!
I know that your second book in the Skye Trilogy is just out. Before we talk more about the second book, give us a little bit more info on how and when did you come up with the idea of the Skye series.
Skye is a very beautiful island and very popular with tourists all over the world. I always thought my story was interesting and if done right it could be entertaining. Having left my family home in Glasgow at age thirteen and going to live on an island with my great Aunt and great Grandmother was quite a change from city life and I thought locals and lovers of the island might like to read about my experiences.
Your near and dear ones are the best critics. Even though the first book, The Linciro years was well received, did you receive suggestions from your closest friends once the book was released?
My friend Les who lives in Berlin was the inspiration for doing a book. He was working on a novel and send me chapters to review. I would let him read my work too and he gave me the encouragement to find a publisher. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic my wife, who is Thai, and kids, who had been with me here in Saudi, have been living in our house in Thailand since last year. I’ve been unable to visit them so I have been on my own, apart from work. I was very lucky to find a great editor, Steve Lane who encouraged me and guided me through the whole book writing process.
Tell us more about the second book in the series i.e. The Road to Uig,
Originally I had envisioned it being one book but the publishers thought it worked better as two. Without giving too much away my life took another unusual turn and shifted location to Uig.
What kind of feedback have you received around this book?
It has only recently been published and the response I’ve had so far has been very positive. I had quite a lot of poems that were written about life in Uig and it was there that I met my first love. So far I’m happy with how it’s doing. You can have the book here.
In your view, do you feel that there will be a point where the fiction writers will be out of ideas, or are you someone who believes that there is no end to a writer’s imagination?
With regards to being out of ideas when I finished Volume 2 I felt that I needed to write a third Volume to let people know ‘what happened next?’ Having finished that I found that I had got so used to writing daily that I couldn’t stop. This led me to writing my first work of fiction called Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll and Nursing. Set in Edinburgh in the 1980s it follows the life and love of a Student Nurse! My final draft has been submitted to the publishers and I await the editing process.
To keep me out of mischief I have begun working on a ghost story set on Skye called Castledawn. I’m hoping I can finish it before the end of the year. With the help of my phone, I write a lot of poems about Glasgow and Edinburgh and share them on a number of Facebook group pages and they’re quite popular.
Given how well the first part was received, can you let us know when the third book in the series is expected to come out?
Skye Stories Volume 1: The Linicro Years and Skye Stories Volume 2: The Road to Uig are available now in bookshops and online. Skye Stories Volume 3: Not the Skye Years is out in October.
Examples of 9 Successful eCommerce Websites Using Shopify Plus
Since its launch in 2014, Shopify Plus has risen to become an indispensable tool for ecommerce shops. The platform has over one million business users that want growth, support, and customizable solutions.
Not every brand on Shopify Plus is niche, however. The platform drew attention from some of the biggest and most famous ecommerce brands on the market as well. Take a look at these 9 great examples of successful ecommerce sites using Shopify Plus.
1. Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers have been around since 1947, but they’re always ahead of the curve with the newest trends. The team is always seeking to outperform competitors both on and off the court, especially when it comes to merchandise.
The team uses Shopify Plus for its Lakers Store and its selection of merchandise for women, men, and kids. The site has a lot going for it, from standout graphics featuring players to a center scroll with top-selling products. The store is also organized well and includes sections to shop by item type, by player, by brand, or by collection. Checkout is quick and easy, too.
FitBit, a huge name in fitness trackers, has gotten on board with Shopify Plus. Catering to a global audience, the Google subsidiary company uses Shopify Plus to support its high volume of products and shoppers.
Because the FitBit itself is so high tech, the company offers tutorials for setup and integration. There’s also a blog with inspiration and motivation to get out and get active. Shopify Plus allows FitBit to cover all these important aspects of delivering the customer experience and creating valuable content for its users.
Allbirds is a popular shoe brand that offers simple and comfortable shoes created using sustainable materials. The brand skyrocketed to success and reached a worth of $1.4 billion in just a few years.
The brand uses Shopify Plus to complement its well-designed products and strategic branding. The site features stunning product pages with enhanced colors and an array of size options that shoppers can find easily. The brand also offers different content, such as product benefit pages and an Instagram feed to see real customers wearing the shoes.
Decathlon is a French sporting goods retailer that’s among the largest of its kind in the world. Known as the IKEA of the sports industry, Decathlon has over 11,000 outlets for in-person shopping and a vibrant and well-designed website.
Using Shopify Plus, the brand created a smooth, intuitive site experience with a search bar, product categories, and professional graphics. The checkout process is also quick and easy, so the site can support large order volumes on promotional days.
5. Red Bull
The famous Austrian energy drink company is one of the biggest brands using the Shopify Plus platform. Shopify Plus gives Red Bull an opportunity to create alternate sites for different countries and organize its products, events, athletes, and television offerings in a seamless online experience.
Red Bull is all about energy and speed, so choosing a well-designed, efficient site platform is an excellent choice for the brand.
PiperWai offers limited product categories in health and beauty, such as aluminum-free deodorant. After a boost from an appearance on Shark Tank, the company experienced over 6,000 percent growth in a short period.
In addition to offering solid, valuable products, PiperWai became a sought brand with determination. The founders started the business in their kitchen and managed all the ebbs and flows of managing a startup, and now they’re reaping the rewards. The Shopify Plus site supports their mission with streamlined technical aspects, rich content, and an array of user-engagement content.
7. Saturdays NYC
Saturdays NYC is a unique fashion brand that promotes the surfer lifestyle and aesthetic with clothing, hair products, and boards, along with a coffee bar at the physical stores. Using a Shopify Plus site, the brand created categorized pages for its men’s and women’s apparel and accessories, as well as lookbooks and behind-the-scenes content.
Shopify Plus also helps the brand support its online “magazine,” or blog with impressive content related to the brand and the lifestyle it promotes. The platform provides numerous alternate sites to help Saturdays NYC reach customers in different countries, with different currencies, and automatically adjusts the international shipping quotes.
8. Ulla Johnson
Ulla Johnson is a Manhattan-born designer who created her own line and brand inspired by the energy of New York. Her brand is known for its artisanal style with natural fibers and easy style, all influenced by her travels to far-flung destinations on vacations.
The brand’s aesthetic is perfectly communicated in the rich graphics and artistic styling of the Shopify Plus site. Like other brands on this list, Ulla Johnson uses the site to create spectacular product pages, collection information, and pages for events and press. Alternate sites are available for many other countries, allowing Ulla Johnson to reach a wide, global audience. You can also live chat and set up an account quickly and easily.
9. Rebel Girls
After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Rebel Girls published the bestseller “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls” and shot to fame. In total, the brand sold over 3.5 million copies of the book and has grown into a full ecommerce brand.
Now, you can buy books, artwork, bags, and stationary with Rebel Girls branding and its unique touches, such as fun illustrations and striking color contrasts. The transition into a full brand with merchandise has been astonishing, and Shopify Plus was a big part of that. The brand is wildly popular all over the world, especially with parents. Rebel Girls also has a podcast for a young audience, which moves the successful book into digital territory.
Ready to Make the Move?
Shopify Plus has been a significant advantage for many brands, especially with features like alternate country sites, customizable checkout, and unlimited staff accounts. With so many tools and functionalities, Shopify Plus is ideal for big and small brands alike, especially brands with the potential for rapid growth. Are you ready to switch to Shopify Plus?
Top 7 Things You Need When Starting an Event Planning Service
Are you an event planner? Maybe you have just begun working at the job. If so, you need to know some of the fundamental things required to make an event a success. The following information will clue you in on how to be of better service to your clients.
First, before you begin, you need to create a checklist – a basic template you can use whenever you are planning any type of event. The checklist will help you narrow down the days and time, the location, the type of affair, any temporary structure you will need, the purpose (fundraising, product launch, etc.), the milestones, and audience. To succeed at planning, you must know the attendees.
Okay, now that you have created a checklist to help you with planning, you are ready to employ the 6 other things that will help you with your work.
Creating a budget may sound daunting. Even if you use an Excel spreadsheet, things may become confusing. However, by keeping things organized, you will find you can plan the budget for the primary categories, such as rentals, decor, and catering. Once you do this you can break down costs under each subject line. Excel can take care of the details for you.
Smaller details might include the costs paid for checking rental expenses, receiving quotes from vendors, negotiating vendor discounts, and paying deposits. Therefore, the budget for does not a line that you can easily mark off. Your budget represents a real document with a format that supports cost-efficiency and savings for the client.
This part of event planning represents its core, The program tells a story about the event to build expectation as it is written to show the event’s timeline and what will happen during each day of the gathering. To make this happen, you need to plan the program agenda, map out the timeline for the program, and hire the entertainers or speakers that will enliven the occasion. If your goal is to begin an events business, this item cannot be left out.
Next, you need to know how you will use the space at the venue where the event will be held. This includes details, such as the seating arrangement. Also, keep this in mind – you need to know where you will be placing electrical cords or things, such as bussing or catering stations. This will entail visually laying out the area so you can share it with vendors or clients. A user-friendly technology tool can be used for diagramming the layout.
Naturally, you cannot hold any event without a theme. The theme serves as a message for creating buzz and expectation. Communicate the event’s theme through social media posts and invitations. A theme will also help you connect the components of your event, such as entertainment, the decor, and catering.
When you have a theme, it makes the event memorable. For example, if you host a 60’s themed event, a client will likely recall a business, product, or brand when they see something that is 60s-related on the TV or in an ad.
A them is especially important for trade shows, as it gives businesses a chance to display their goods and services in a memorable way.
The decor is critical for planning a successful occasion. The decor includes rentals, tablecloths, accent items, and flowers. Anyone who attends an event will notice the visual elements, such as the lighting or take note of the music, presenters, aromas, and textual elements of the affair.
Because sharing food promotes community, what you choose in foods and beverages is important. Presenting the right foods and drinks can make or break an event. To ensure the attendees remain happy, you need to determine the type of service – appetizers, seated dining, and food stations. Planning the menu around dietary restrictions helps as well.
Entertain your guests, as well, with speakers and entertainers. To do this, you may have to book hotel rooms for speakers, sign agreements, establish modes of transportation for VIPs, and include Interim entertainment, such as places to relax or photo booths.
Planning an event takes an organized mind and supportive technology tools. Once you develop a checklist however, you can start the planning process seamlessly. You have to begin somewhere, so make your checklist an integral part of planning an event in relation to a budget, program, theme, the decor and food and entertainment.
Construction Industry Trends to Explore ASAP
Following the latest trends in the construction industry might not be the best way to spend your time, but it’s certainly one of those things you have to do if you wish to make a living in this industry. Luckily, with so many different trends emerging almost daily, you shouldn’t have a problem finding those that will interest you the most. Whether you’re an investor, a general contractor, a homebuyer, or someone who’s about to start building their first home, these are the things that define your strategy and affect your budget. But, if you know how to make the most of these trends, you’ll benefit more than you can imagine right now, so what are some of the most important trends in the construction industry you’re going to need in 2022 the most?
This may be a simple idea that has been around for a while, but it’s still one of the best and most effective ways to take your construction to the next level. Exploring new materials isn’t always easy and this is a process that takes a lot of time, energy, patience, and, most importantly, money, but if you manage to find the right materials, you’ll end up having significantly higher results and even manage to save money in the long run.
Some of the most innovative and important materials right now are self-healing concrete, modular bamboo, spider silk, and wool brick. Some of these have been around for some time, but they’re constantly getting better and better, and that’s why including them in your next project is such a great idea. You can even try combining them in a new and unique way, thus getting even better results and making sure your construction is as durable, visually appealing, and extravagant as it can be!
Exploring new materials isn’t the only thing you can do in the construction industry, though – you can always take a step back, go back to basics, and look into materials that have been around for decades or even centuries! These materials are reliable and will certainly help you make all your dreams come true, but you need to know how to use them and how to make the most of their potential. This is vital to do in this day and age, and this is one of those construction trends you’ll have to work for the most if you wish to have the best outcome.
One of the ways to do that is to look into recycling ideas and find a way to repurpose old materials. Anything you can buy cheaply, get for free, or find on the construction site can be used once again, and it’s all a matter of being creative with your resources and ways to combine them. Old timber, steel, glass, and even bricks can be repurposed and used as brand new materials, and this will give your project a new look, making it look nicer than before and giving it a dose of sustainability, which is something everyone in the construction industry today adores.
This is another amazing idea that can help you accomplish quite a lot without wasting your time, money, resources, and energy. Instead of completing every part of the process on the actual site, which might turn into a long and expensive process, you can simply go in another direction and do it elsewhere. This is what modular building is all about, so don’t wait any longer and start exploring it ASAP.
Probably the best thing about this idea is its versatility. It doesn’t matter what you’re building, what your time frame is, and how your project is, you can introduce the modular aspect to it no matter what. From tiny houses to massive residential buildings to commercial spaces and modular classrooms that serve several purposes at the same time – this idea is practical, useful, and inspiring, which is why this is one of those construction industry trends that are here to stay.
This is one of those less happy sides of the construction industry at the moment, but it’s still an important factor you have to be aware of. With less and less people wanting to be a part of this industry, and with more and more of them being affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic, finding a reliable crew is getting harder and harder.
This is why you have to think outside the box and find ways to encourage people to work for you. Employing new staff is never easy, but if you stick to a few simple rules, you’ll be able to move past this issue. Once you do that, try to keep your staff happy, and you’ll avoid tons of potential problems in the years to come.
Following the latest construction trends is hard, but if you want to become a part of this industry, start focusing on these right now, and you’ll become even more successful in the future!
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