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

Monday, 31 August 2009

I Lift Up My Finger And Say "Tweet Tweet"!

I couldn't sleep last night. This is not unusual for me as I regularly toss and turn and huff and puff at night.It's just one of my little quirks and it drives my husband mad! I just lie there, awake, staring at the ceiling - a million thoughts chasing around my head and me trying to catch them, bag them, and put them in a dark cupboard in the deepest recess of my brain to be dealt with in the waking hours so I can get some sleep. I often wonder what a psychiatrist would make of my thoughts if they could access them. Do you remember the film Inner Space with Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan where a space ship containing a person is shrunk down and injected into the wrong person's leg and they chase around the person's body to get out? Well imagine if a psychiatrist could get into your brain that way and cruise down the canals of your psyche. Fascinating or scary?

Anyway. I couldn't sleep last night and what I often do, when it happens, is I read one of my many books on the English Language. No, I don't mean heavy tomes of English language text books that bore me to sleep - I mean the kind of books that provide hilarious and interesting insights into the useage of our magnificent language, in particular the eccentricities and colloquialisms. I have many books on this subject but the one I read last night - and the one which is my personal favourite is 'All Gong And No Dinner' By Nigel Rees ISBN 978-0-00-724935-0 And here are a selection of my favourite sayings explored in this wonderful book.

'If things don't change they'll stop the same.'
You don't say?! I like this as it reminds me that if things are ticking along nicely in life then why rock the boat just for the sake of change? It also gives me a nudge to remind me that sometimes you have to make a change to get out of the rut you're in!

'A loud laugh denotes the vacant mind.' This takes me back to being at school and when I went through a phase of being bullied/teased. I can now look back at this time - and the perpetrators of that bullying/teasing with a different frame of mind with this saying as I recognise that they did what they did because they hadn't got any thing better to do and didn't have the brain power to amuse themselves in a more constructive way. The person being bullied always has the last laugh, though, by getting twice as many qualifications as those doing the bullying! and having a better quality of life as a result. Hah! Who's laughing now, I wonder!

'No answer was the stern reply.' Yes, quite. That's the perfect saying for when you're waiting months for a verdict on your short story!

'Put it in a glass case and throw sugar at it.' Not quite sure what this is on about, but I like it anyway. I think, when relating it to writing, it means put your work on public display and throw some critiques at it and see what sticks? Who knows?!

'It's only a five minute walk if you run.' It's an
intriguing one this one - and if you think about it too hard it will give you a headache! Don't run before you can walk - sometimes the route to your destination is quicker if you walk instead of run(don't rush through your writing or attempt something complex until you are ready.)

'That's gone where they don't play billiards.' This made me giggle for some reason - I don't know why. Probably due to its similarity to 'put it somewhere where the sun don't shine!' It's also a good thing to say when you don't hear anything about a manuscript you sent in six months ago - time to move on as it's never coming back!

'Don't put your parts on with me.' I like this as it's telling us to stop doing what we all do (putting on airs and graces and not presenting our true selves to the world.) Don't you think we waste so much time and energy in pretending to be someone better than we are - does it matter? Aren't we perfectly okay as we are?

'I lift up my finger and say "tweet tweet." This is just fabulous! Apparently it means no you can't do something! It tickles me this one does. I must try it on my family.

'All curtains and kippers.'This refers to keeping up with the Joneses when, on the outside, someone appears well to do but when you dig deeper they are more cheeseburger than fillet steak type of people - there we go, putting on our airs and graces again!

By the way, anyone getting any good ideas for short stories out of any of these?

This saying, I feel, could be an excellent excuse for editors who are harrassing you for your work (Hah! If only, I hear you cry) 'I have a lot on my slop chit.'

'It's not so much a question of starting at the bottom, it's more of a question of starting at the right bottom.' Mr Whaley, would you care to comment?! (For some reason I thought of you when I read that saying!)I learned from the best so he only has himself to blame!

Ooh. Oooh. This is a super one for confusing people when you can't think of anything intelligent to say. 'Here's to it and to it again, and if you get to do it and don't do it, may you never get to it to do it again.' I'm sure there's something clever in there somewhere. Apparently it works best if said at speed!

'Never go anywhere for the first time.' This is pointing out what we'd all like to do - never write those first few stories that are so awful and inevitably get rejected. If only we could skip that stage and write perfect publishable stories from the off eh?

This is my personal favourite and the one I try so hard to live my life by. 'If you can't behave nicely don't behave at all.'

'You could ride to York on that lip.' Something to say to stroppy, moody children/teenagers - Or husbands when they pull a face because you've asked them to go and buy you some more stamps.

Again, this one is for Mr Whaley - ' Cock your leg up and shout butter!' Well he does write about dogs and as they are partial to lamp posts I just thought he might know, that's all. Any other takers in case he doesn't?

This last one had me stuffing the duvet into my mouth. It made me laugh so much I was afraid I would wake the neighbours. 'That one had its carpet slippers on.' It refers to a silent but deadly bottom burp. What is is about bodily noises that some of us human's find so funny?!

On that 'note' I shall leave you in peace. And yes, I shall endeavour to visit my GP for sleeping pills to spare you having to put up with the fall out from my insomnia - I can only apologise!

Julie xx


Simon Whaley said...

Okay Julie, well you've got the whole world thinking now haven't you? A little explanation is called for I think.

Bottoms. All I'm prepared to say is that Julie's shown me hers, and I've shown her mine, and that's all there is to it.

Although it does strike me that the phrase in question could refer to ladders. I have heard someone say, "It's all very well being on the bottom rung of a ladder, but is it the right ladder?"

"Cock your leg up and shout better" - well that's easy. That's the first rule of flashing ... apparently.

On a serious note, these phrases can be great short story idea generators. A friend of mine once said, "It's a good life if you don't weaken" and a few month's later, those words appeared as the title for a short story I'd written in Australia's That's Life Fast Fiction.

I think that answers all of Julie's questions. If you'll just excuse me now I have a need to go and cock my leg at Julie's bottom.

(Hey - don't look at me like that - she started it!)

PS - Verification word 'chsmsive'

Julie P said...

Yes, quite, Simon! I think the word 'chsmsive' sums it all up doesn't it!!


Olivia Ryan said...

Thanks for these, Julie - some great one-liners! 'All curtains and kippers'??? We used to say: 'All net curtains and no knickers!'

My word today is 'losenc' ... I think it's that moment when you're just about to say something but you forget what it was. (Or is that just my age?. Oh dear - just had another losenc ...

Julie P said...

Hi, Olivia! I think I prefer your 'all net curtains and no knickers'!

Yes, I agree with you about the worf 'losenc.' Definately the word to describe the moment you go back upstairs to fetch what you had forgotten to get whilst you were up there, but when you get up there you have forgoten what it was!! That happens all the time to me!

Julie xx