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

Thursday, 4 June 2009

The Simple Things In Life

It's often said that it's the simple things in life that give us the most pleasure: Slurping an ice cream on Barmouth beach, getting our feet wet in the sea, singing songs in the car, going for a walk - not because you have to, but because you want to; a welcome, small, cool breeze on an otherwise hot and humid day; an acceptence following months of rejection letters. There must be a thousand of these simple pleasures that take people out of the mundaneness and trauma of their lives and makes them happy, if only for a while.

It's the same with writing. Often, it's the simple story lines, derived from ordinary every day events, that are the most successful. In poetry, it's the simple observations and analogies that creates beautiful verse. In article writing, it's trying to tap in to a simple idea that people can relate to. In novel writing, it is often the clear and uncomplicated plots that grip the reader more.

So, my writing thought for today is to think about your everyday lives. What's happened to you, or someone you know recently, or in the past, that you can plunder for a short story. I find listening in to other people's converstaions is a gold mine for ideas. I 've heard so many different and entertaining snippets of conversation, that it's fun to sit down later and take one word or sentence that I've overheard and turn it into a story! Try it, it can take you down some exciting and interesting avenues.

Today, I came downstairs to find one of my cats Cody, had front paws twice the size he should have! They had ballooned up to look like a pair of those comedy big hands you see at football matches! We think he's been stung by a bee, but even though it's quite a simple event I could easily turn it into a short story. A young, single girl takes her beloved and pampered pet pussy to the vets as he's hurt his paw. As she's carrying her cat through the vets (it never goes in a cage) she is greeted by the sight of a huge dog bounding towards her, the owner, a handsome young, single guy is being dragged behind it. What happens next is anyone's guess. Do the pet owners get together, or not? Does she prefer the handsome vet? Does he prefer the handsome vet? Who knows! (My cat is fine, by he way, and the swelling is not as bad.)

Yes, I know the above example is lame, silly and cliched, but I'm sure you get my point. Have a sit down today and write down anything that comes to you about what you've done today. What have you seen, heard, tasted, smelt, felt? Who have you come into contact with? Did anything funny or sad happen? Pick out a few simple observations from today and see if you can make it to a story. Go on, I dare you!

Why not post something funny that has happened to you and let us all have a good laugh with you, heaven knows we all to laugh every now and then.

Happy writing. Julie xx


Carole Anne Carr, member of the Society of Authors said...

You brought back so many memories for me, Julie...hugs...xx

Suzanne said...

Great post, Julie. And what a lovely photo.


Julie P said...

Thanks, Carole and Suzanne. I took that photo after being in the kitchen and coming back in to the front room to find my husband and daughter fast asleep! Bless.

I have fond memories of my childhood and days out at the seaside as we didn't go very often - once a year, if we were luckily, but the memories are fun filled and full of laughter!

Olivia Ryan said...

I've just come to your blog via Strictly Writing, Julie, and enjoyed your post. I was interested to read you are a nurse-turned-writer. I'm a medical secretary-turned-writer and although I love my 'new job', I do still miss the hustle & bustle of hospital life, and the opportunities it gave for story backgrounds! I think you're dead right about using everyday life as story material, and I think we all do this, all the time, sometimes subconciously! Pop over to mine some time!

Julie P said...

Hi, Olivia! Thanks for popping over and welcome! Yes, I too sometimes miss the patient contact and the banter (of which there was much) with my lovely colleagues. But I don't miss the stress and the red tape and managers that used to drive me crazy - the general lack of respect management has for its staff and all that!

I couldn't go back, but I do enjoy writing as you do. I can work from home and fit it around my family which I couldn't do properly with nursing. Something had to give and it was usually the family time, so I stopped!

I shall be over in a tick, put the kettle on!

Julie xx

PS I love Strictly Writing, don't you?!

Fee said...

Dear Julie

What a cute photo.

When I find my humorous side I will post a funny bit on my blog.

Best wishes