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

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Splish Splashing Around

It's been a real family weekend as I've been out and about with my husband and daughter. Yesterday we went to the Wellington Summer Fayre with my sister and her young family and had a great time. It was too hot, though, and the grumpiness fairy was flitting about tapping everyone with her wand! You know what it's like when you have tired and hot kids and husband at the end of a fun day!

There was a dog agility display team with dogs jumping through rings of fire, a clown in a car with a water leak, (he could have easily put the fires out but chose to get the audience wet instead.) A particularly endearing view was of my husband and brother-in-law watching the clown by themselves without the children! The kids were more interested in getting their faces painted. The army were there doing displays and there was a high climbing tower for the more energetic of the crowd.

There were a couple of military bands too which my husband enjoyed as he used to play in a local brass band and he likes all things military. (So did I, like military things, not play in a brass band, but in different sense, when I was a student nurse in Plymouth - but that's a different story! I also had a bit of a thing for men in uniform when I was 16 - 18 too!) There were lots of lovely firemen and a big red fire engine that I enjoyed. At one point I must have been staring at the firemen as my sister asked if I'd like to go and sit on one of the firemen's knee in the fire engine! I declined her offer as I don't think they'd appreciate a mad woman, nearing the age of 40, with writer's bum sitting on them! (I don't think my husband would have liked me sitting on a fireman's knee either, though it probably wouldn't have surprised him!)

Today we went to visit my dad in Muchwenlock where I posted an article submission. Later we went swimming in Wellington. I haven't been swimming for ages. I used to take my daughter all the time when she was a baby (Aqua Babies classes and parent/toddler )up until the age of three but we didn't go after that. It's a shame because my mother, in her youth, was a synchronised swimmer and when I lived in Exeter after first qualifying as a nurse I would regularly swim 40-50 lengths 2 - 3 times a week. So swimming is in the genes I think!

I thought my daughter would hate it because we hadn't been for so long but she loved it! She has no fear of the water which I'm sure is a result of her early swimming sessions. And it did me and my husband good too. We are going to make it a regular thing now. It should help in reducing my writer's bottom!

I think, as writers, we can coccoon ourselves and become a little isolated from what's going on in the real world, so I'm making an effort to try something new each week. I'm hoping that by doing this I will not only have a good time with my family and friends, but It will also give me other things to write about. Just by standing in the queue at the leisure centre and listening to snippets of conversation in the pool I had a few ideas for short stories and poems and maybe an article or two. By getting out in the real world and experiencing things first hand you can write about it more fully by using the five senses (and sometimes the sixth if it's a ghost/mystery story you're writing!)

By going into the environment you wish to write about, or be inspired by, you will have seen, heard, touched, smelled and tasted what is there: seen the swimming pool, heared the echo, touched the rough bottom of the pool with your toes, smelled the chlorine, tasted the chocolate chip muffin and cappuccino in the cafe afterwards. Was that a real person you saw floating past the window of a locked and disused room or ...........

The possibilities are endless. You get to observe real people interacting in real life situations and it's great way to pick up snippets of dialogue that will help you make the dialogue in your stories more realistic and flow better.

So get out and about this week, if you can, and observe what's going on around you. We are coming into the season of fetes, fairs and outdoor entertainment now, so attend some in your locality - they offer such a good opportunity for inspiration. Take your note book and pen (not advised in a swimming pool!) and see what you pick up when you get back home. You should have enough material for at least two pieces of work.

Happy writing
Julie xx


Olivia Ryan said...

You're so right, Julie - I'm always making these promises to myself about getting out and doing something new every week. We all tend to get into our little ruts, don't we? Sounds like you had a lovely weekend. :)

Julie P said...

Thanks, Olivia. Yes it was a good weekend. Back to the grindstone today, though! Got to think up something different I can do this week. Julie xx