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

Friday, 8 January 2010

Not A Bad Start

Not a bad start to the year considering the weather. I'm not a cold weather person. I like to see the snow fall and as long as I don't have to go out in it I'm fine. It's so bitterly cold too. Just the right weather to curl up on the sofa with a mug of hot chocolate and your notebook. When it's cold outside the creative mind still works! A lot of fellow bloggers have had a day or two off work because of the snow and have put that time to good use by writing and I'm sure that small pocket of extra time they've managed to steal will pay them in the long run.

Finding an extra, unexpected, few minutes or hours of time for your writing is such a treat and not to be wasted. I used the time to look at the snowscape and really feel the winter. I played out in the snow recapturing my childhood and releasing my inner child as I built a snowman with my daughter and had snowball fights - something I hadn't done in years. It sparked a lot of lovely memories of winters gone by and when I blogged about them, it ignited other blogger's memories too. It's been a magical week and all this snow and coldness has made me feel alive and fresh. We won't mention the little misuderstanding when it said on the radio on Weds that my daughter's school was closed when it was, in fact, open! The radio station had made a mistake - whoops! But never mind.

It's been a week of surprises too. I have a new job as of Monday as a lunchtime supervisor at my daughter's school. I wasn't expecting that! I do volunteer reading which I love and I was wandering through the offfice after my reading session on Tuesday afternoon  when I was asked if I fancied being a lunchtime supervisor. I took my ID in and completed application form today and that was it. It's the quickest application to starting work period that I've ever had! I had been thinking about going back to do some sort of work for a while. I didn't want to go back to nursing but this job is ideal as it fits in perfectly with my daughter and with my writing. The money will also come in handy for a new computer I'm after! And the staff are all lovely.

I also appeared in both Writers' Forum and Writing magazine this month - more by fluke than design! I was in an article with Di Perry and Jan Johnston  on finding writing time written by our wonderful Simon Whaley in Writing Magazine and I had my own article on writing courses published in Writers' Forum! After my concerns that it had all been a figment of my imagination - there it was! I'm very pleased with it although the postman hasn't delivered my copy yet, but Simon who had spotted the article, very kindly emailed a copy of it for me before I chewed my own hand off!! Thank you Simon.

Husband is working this weekend so it will be just me and my daughter. I've managed to write about 4000 words of my NaNo novel this week, and get an article off via email, so I'm looking forward to some serious mother-daughter time. We are making a victoria sandwich sponge cake tomorrow and she has requested to do some drawing and read her new book from school. Bliss.

I had my hair cut at my favourite salon in Much Wenlock this afternoon - it was a bit dicey on the journey as the roads are still so icy and why oh why do people still drive like idiots in the snow/ice?! It's madness! My head was a lot colder when I came out. The hairdresser has sheared me well. My hair is impossibly thick and grows like Japanese knotweed! She had a tough job. I was glad I'd taken my woolley hat to put on post hair cut.

Whatever you're doing this weekend, wrap up warm and remember: it's only winter and the spring will be here soon! Oh and don't forget your notebooks and pens!

Julie xx


Suzanne Jones said...

Congratulations on the new job (a fantastic opportunity for a writer - all those things children say are great catalysts for ideas) and the article. My Writers' Forum arrived this afternoon - I'm going to rip the plastic cover off now so I can read your article.


Carole Anne Carr said...

Lovely post, Julie, and great to find your work published and good news about being involved with the school and being able to fit this in with enjoying being with your daughter. Oh, and good to see you are still working on the book.
Do come over to my blog and write a few words about your successes, it will break the ice and maybe encourage other friends to join in.
Hugs and love...xx

Martin H. said...

Pleased to hear that you're drawing inspiration from the snowy weather Julie.

Congratulations on landing the new job too. My wife, Mags, was a lunchtime supervisor at our daughter's school many years ago. She loved it.

Teresa Ashby said...

I got my copy of Writers' Forum (our postie deserves a medal) and flicked through and saw you - and promptly got all excited. Can't wait to curl up on the sofa and read it.

I'm soooo looking forward to spring!

Jayne said...

Lovely post Julie and congrats on the articles too :) Hope the weekend goes well and the victoria sponge is a success. mmmmmm

Julie P said...

Thanks, Suzanne!

My copy still hasn't come - typical. But I too shall be ripping the plastic cover off when it comes!

I'm looking forward to starting work on monday too. And I know the kids will inspire me!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Hi, Carole!

I did the link think yesterday to your blog but wasn't sure what you anted me to put in but I'll do something for you this afternoon. Could talk about my NaNo book a bit and about how I got my articles published? - there's a major cake baking session going on this morning!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Thanks, Martin!

I'm looking forward to the job and I know a couple of the lunchtime supervisors too so I know it will be great.

I'm having a day off from the writing today and enjoying cake making - I haven't mae one for ages.

Julie xx

Carole Anne Carr said...

Yes, that's the sort of thing, Julie, as though you are commenting on your own blog about writing, you'll see the heading I've put on my blog. You may have seen other blogs where many people contribute about writing, they get a great deal of attention and it should do us no harm if we try this. Hugs...love the sound of the baking, just the weather for it! xx

Julie P said...

Hi, Teresa!

I saw a couple of your short stories in two of the mags. Woman's Weekly - Marlie In The Middle - excellent story and I think there was one in Fiction Feast about Finding Bruno? I think that was the one. Wonderful stories. You are so inspiring.

I'm looking forward to my copy of Writers' Forum coming - but there's no sign of it yet! I have seen the article but there's nothing like ripping the plastic cover off a real paper copy of the mag your article's in is there?!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Hi, Jayne

There are some delicious smells coming through my kitchen at the moment - the cake is almost cooked and I so love discussing the recipe and seeing her mix the cake - magic!

I do hope my copy of Writers' Forum comes soon!
Julie xx

Carole Anne Carr said...

Hi Julie,

Thanks again for being so kind to post on my blog. You've received a reply and I wondered if you would try to reply to it and if you have received any notification of it? I'll work this out eventually. If you can't reply, please let me know, I think I know what to do!
Take care, thinking of you, Carole xx

Sue Ross said...

Hi Julie. Brilliant to see a familiar face smiling from the pages of Writers Forum. Smashing article, well done you!
You're a trailblazer Julie. When I see what you have done, it gives me the confidence to have a go.
Julie, if you're going to be working in school, you can be gathering material to send to Learning Support Magazine.It's a brilliant magazine for teaching assistants, covering a range of stuff. Things like Autism spectrum, dyslexia, etc. as well as looking at day to day support given to children.Some TAs do lunchtime supervision as part of their role. All do playtime supervision. As part of your role you'll be managing children's behaviour, giving emotional support. With your nursing background you might be administering first aid. See what I'm saying Julie? Loads of material for articles for LSM. If you go online you'll be able to view front covers of past issues. I did this when I first started contributing. This gave me a feel for the type of articles they might be interested in.
The editor is Frances Rickford. She has been great with me, very supportive and understanding.
If you go online, type in "Learning Support Magazine" it will come up. They have online links showing up to date news of interest to TAs.
What am I doing? You'll be rattling stuff off like a shot now! Aargh, I'd better get in there before you do!
(Best of luck.)

Julie P said...

Hi, Sue! And thanks so much for the info on Learning Support Magazine. I had a sneaky look at a couple of mags for the teachers I found lying around in the staff room one day. I was in there because when I was doing the reading support one day the kids had assembly and so I was ushered in there to have a coffee while I waited for the kids to finish - the mags were great so I'll definitely be giving them and Learning support a go! But don't worry - it won't be for a while yet! As I have no idea what I'm doing! What have I let myself in for?! First day tomorrow after my reading support. Wish me luck!

I can't believe my article and pic are in Writers' Forum or that my pic and comments are in Writing mag this month as part of Simon's brilliant article! People will be getting sick of me - 'Oh no, it's that ruddy woman again'! But it just goes to show what you can do wheb you try. Perseverence is definitely the key. Look out for more articles of mine coming up in Writing mag and writers' Forum later on in the year!

Come on Sue! If I'm going to get an article or two in the TA/Teacher magazines I challenge you to get some in the writing mags - one about the retreat perhaps? ;0)

Julie xx

Julie P said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julie P said...

Hi, Carole

No I wasn't notified that a reply has come to your blog! But I'm coming across now to have a look!

Julie xx

Thomas Taylor said...

Thanks for visiting my blog Julie, and congratulations on those articles! Don't be surprised to see me here again.

Julie P said...

Hi Thomas!
And thanks for coming here too. I found you via Nicola's blog and have nade an effort to look at new blogs as she suggested - there are so many excellent ones out there!

I look forward to seeing you again

Julie xx

Olivia Ryan said...

Really pleased to hear about your new job, Julie! Yes, that's a perfect role to fit in with your life as a writer and a mum - I'm sure you'll love it. Good for you! xxx

Lost Wanderer said...

Hi Julie,

Just found your link from Nicola's blog. I believe I have seen you mentioned before on Simon's blog. Are you doing a WB course or finished? I am doing it, though Simon's not my tutor. But nice to read your posts. I will be back for another browse.

Kate said...

Hello Julie, what a lovely blog. I 'm finding some great new blogs via Nichola's birthday party

Julie P said...

Thanks, Olivia! I'm looking forward to starting work. Hope it warms up a bit, though.

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Hi, Lost Wonderer - yes I am doing a WB course at the moment. It's the journalism one, although I'm behind with it and have only done the first assignment!! Must get back into it this week - you've reminded me!

Simon and I belong to the same writing group and he's not my WB course tutor either, although he has given me oodles of great advice. In fact, it was his fault I got that article in Writers' Forum!! He's just too inspiring and motivating!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Hi, Kate!

Yes there are some brilliant blogs out there and I've been having fun today finding new ones to add to my list!

Julie xx