Julie's Quest

Hello, and welcome to my blog. My blog is about the trials and tribulations of writing, where we celebrate successes and commiserate our near misses. We tell it like it is here and will do our very best to help you on the road to being published and pick you up after the rejections (they will come!) Whether you are a professional or amateur writer you will find something useful here.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts and will visit again soon.

Happy Writing

Julie Phillips - freelance writer - member of the Association of Freelance Writers - member of the Society of Authors

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

I Hear Thunder .......

I knew we were going to have a thunderstorm this afternoon as my head's like a barometer and I can definately feel the tight band around my head steadily get tighter as the pressure builds. It's the anticipation, those few moments before the first lightening strike, when the air is charged with so much electricity and ions that it makes my face tingle and the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

There's something magical about a thunderstorm but I can't quite put my finger on what it is that makes me so attracted to them and mesmerised by them. I think it goes back to my childhood when I was terrified of all that crashing and banging and brilliant white flashing. It just seemed so violent and unneccesary, and I was sure the thunder was rumbling to give my position away so that the lightening could aim it's strike right at me! Just silly childish fears and fairy tales egged on by my extremely fertile and vivid imagination I think.

All that changed, one thunderous Summer's evening when I was about ten. I was standing outside talking to a male friend who was just a bit older and wiser than me. He was telling me how fascinating lightening was and was standing out watching it. I was terrified and longed to run inside my house, but my legs wouldn't move; it was as though I had been stuck to the ground by an invisible electrical field and, anyway, my female bravado and pride wasn't going to let me run away screaming like an hysterical girlie in front of a mere boy! (I think the fact that I sort of fancied this boy had something to do with it too!)

All of a sudden, from nowhere this almighty flash of lightening seemed to just lick at the pavement between me and this boy and it was the most fantastic experience I'd had! I was no longer scared; I was in awe of the immense power of this spectacular natural weather event. My hair stood on end and I could feel prickles of electricity dancing in the air, tickling me. It really was a fantastic moment and one that I've never forgotten. I've been hooked ever since: thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricaines, snow storms, anything to do with the weather - the more extreme the better!

I like nothing better than to sit and watch the storm unfold outside my window. I sit there clutching my notebook and pen and just let the whole atmosphere and experience wash over me and I write everything that comes into my head: what I can see, hear, smell, taste, feel, my emotions, and I take photos - it's brilliant! I do this when it's snowing, windy, raining, hailing, whatever, and it certainly helps when I need a scene in my short story or a theme in my poetry to look back through my notes and relive what it was like at the time. It gives my writing an edge of realism. You might already do it but if you don't, try it and see what you think. Even better is lying in bed at night listening to the thunder. I find it calming and restful and my head feels so much clearer after. I love the freshness and the stillness of the moments after the storm has dissipated. It's like nature has turned a page over in her book.

I'm sure I must have been a storm chaser in a previous life, because I'd love to go to America and witness the huge storms they have over there. I know they are destructive and lives are lost - I realise that. And I do appreciate just how scared and threatened the people who have to go through these storms must feel. But to see the beauty of the weather and to appreciate the danger, for me, makes me realise how small and insignificant we are, and how we are totally at the mercy of our planet and it's weather systems. I find that grounding and it gives me a great sense of peace, because I know there are some things in this world that you cannot change and so you should therefore not worry about them.

So next time you see the storm clouds gathering, grab your note book, look and listen to what's going on and then close your eyes and let the weather envelope you. You could find yourself inspired and it might provide you with the spark of a new poem or short story. Julie xx


Olivia Ryan said...

Wow, what an exciting and atmospheric story from your childhood! I can understand why you love thunderstorms. I do enjoy them - if I'm safe inside!! One of my children used to be frightened of storms, and when we had a very bad thunderstorm one night, she woke up crying and I sat on her bed, telling her it couldn't hurt her, as she was safe inside the house. Next minute - CRASH! - the tree outside her window was struck by lightening, pieces of branches broke off and flew everywhere like bullets, several shattering her bedroom window - and at the same time,all our lights went out! Needless to say she went pretty hysterical and has never trusted a word I say, since!!

Hope you found lots of inspiration from the storm. I get those headaches before storms, too, by the way - I never fail to predict one!

Julie P said...

Oh dear, your poor daughter! Typical though isn't it. I bet she'll be telling that to her children when she has them. It will become the family legend!

I don't know why we get the pre-storm headaches, must be to do with the atmospheric pressure. I don't like being outdoors when when there's thunder and lightening about and get a bit skittish near windows and answering the phone, or washing up - I've seen the TV programmes where people have got struck by lightening doing all of thee things! But I can't resist sitting by the window watching it!

My husband has the headaches too! He says I'm funny when a storms coming because I hold my forehead with two fingers pinching the bridge of my nose and rasp 'there's a storm coming!' And because I have a bit of a Shropshire/Devon twang I sound like an old sea dog predicting the weather on a ship!

Julie xx

Suzanne said...

I love thunderstorms, so dramatic.