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, 6 January 2010

Slow Down And Just Be

I see that it's snowed again. I knew before I even saw it this morning as I heard my poor husband scraping the snow away and the whirring of the engine as the back tyres of the car slipped and slid as he tried to gain traction - all this at 6 O'clock this morning - rather him than me. I'd have just given up and gone back to bed!

We were up late, me and my daughter, and we rushed to get ready for school. I wasn't sure if the school would be open - the snow didn't seem that bad on the ground but the clouds above were laden with it. I tried the Radio Shropshire website but only the Shropshire schools, and not those for Telford & Wrekin were displayed on there. Then I remembered one of the other parents talking about Beacon Radio yesterday, so I went on their website but it had crashed. It seems every parent in the West Midlands was trying to find out if their kid's school  was open or closed. It was getting near to the time we would have to set off or risk being late for school, so I tuned into Beacon Radio instead, just at the moment they were announcing the school closures. My daughter's school was read out. Hurrah! I cheered. My daughter was less enthusiastic. She wanted to go to school - but soon perked up when she realised we could make a snow man and have a snow ball fight!

I'm feeling very reflective this morning. I don't know why. I feel like I've been reflecting all night as I woke up with a headache, the residual of which is still with me now. I think it's the snow. It's like a comforting blanket had descended on the landscape and also on me. Everywhere looks so beautiful and fresh, new. And it's had quite an effect on me. I feel renewed, happy. I have a sense of purpose and renewed energy. I can see clearer and further than I could the past few days. Ideas for my writing projects are flicking through my mind at an alarming rate - almost too fast for me to get them down on paper. And this enforced day at home with my daughter has certainly helped. It's been a joy to play with her out in the snow and recapture the emotions and sensations, through her, that I had as a child playing in the snow. Magical!

I had happy memories of my old dog Frisky when we had real heavy snow in the 70s and 80s 9anyone remember those winters?) He was a poodle and when we let him out in the snow all you could see was his pom pom tail as he tunnelled his way through! Also of sliding down hills on trays and crash landing at the bottom, tumbling through snow. Standing with my arms out wide, my eyes shut tight,  and my tongue out as the snow landed on my tongue - that delicious ice cold freshness. Flopping back in freshly fallen virgin snow and becoming a snow angel! Fantastic. Putting bread on a fork and balancing it between the bars of the gas fire to toast it when the power went off. Ice on the inside of windows and the milk outside (no central heating then). Mum forgetting the washing was outside on the line overnight and bringing it in in the morning, Dad's shirts frozen solid!! All these memories, that I had forgotten until now, and the magical snow covered landscape has fired up my imagination which will inform my writing in the future I'm sure.  I hope that you are also suitably motivated and the weather has captured your own imagination too. If you have an unexpeced day at home today then use that wisely. Get your feelings and observations about the weather down on paper. Take this rare opportunity to slow down and just be in the moment. Look, listen, feel, taste, smell and remember. It's amazing what the weather can do for you!

Julie xx


Carole Anne Carr said...

Lovely post as ever, Julie, couldn't agree with you more about what the weather can do for you. I can't do my numerous meals for visitors, they can't get up the hill, so I'm editing!
You may have seen my post 'apologies' I've just come across one of your emails, the books were given to you, so just follow Mr. Swain, read him over and over and all will be well.
Hugs and love xx

Julie P said...

Thanks, Carole.

The weather is a gift sometimes, isn't it. I hope your editing is going well.I'm just about to walk up to the shop with Isobel - she likes going in there. The joys of living in a semi-rural area, at least we can get to a shop fairly easily.

Just emailed you with some good news. Are you sure about the books?

You are very kind

best wishes

Julie xxx

Diane Perry said...

Hi Julie
Well here I am again with another unexpected day off, had more snow last night and this morning so no way risking the journey. I agree with becoming a child again ( not that I ever stopped) Yesterday I took so much pleasure in flicking every snow laden branch that we passed right into Martin's face! Funny, he refuses to come out with me today! I intend to make use of the day once again, hope you have fun too!

Diane Perry said...

Hi Julie, Here again after more snow last night and this morning. I agree with you about becoming a child once more ( not that I ever stopped) Yesterday I took so much pleasure in flicking every snow laden branch into Martin's face! He refuses to come out with me today. Have fun.

Julie P said...

Hi, Di!

I can't think why Martin is too scared to go out in the snow with you! But it's such fun - especially when you have someone there to throw snow at!

Julie xx

Teresa Ashby said...

Lovely post, Julie - you've made me come over all nostalgic xx

Diane Perry said...

Oh that's odd, I don't know what happened there, sorry for leaving so many comments, hopefully this one will only appear once!
Yes I am feeling even more mischievious now, I may bring some snow into the house if he won't come out to play! Just took some lovely photos in the woods, it really is magical treading where no one execept the animals have gone. I don't mind sharing it with them at all.

Jayne said...

We've had a snow day here in North Wales too. Walked for just over an hour to get some milk from the shop which was good fun and we've just built a snowman. Sadly, I will be back in work tomorrow but I'm spending the next two hours working on my writing, all cosy inside...mmmmmmmm :) Lovely post.

Julie P said...

Thanks, Teresa.

I enjoyed all the memories and posting about them! It's amazing how fast time flies but lovely looking back. It made me feel all cosy!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

I did wonder, Di! But I published them both before I realised they said almost the same thing! Oh yes - there can be no escape from the snow. If he won't go out to play then in must come the snow!!

I love the fesh snow too, when no one has trodden in it - there's something very satisfying about plunging your boot right in and looking at the print it leaves!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

That's what I love about this weather, Jayne, you can sit inside in the warm feeling cosy! Not so nice when you have to go out in it though. I don't mind building snowmen and having snow ball fights, but if you have to try and drive to work it's awful.

Julie xx

klahanie said...

Hi Julie,
I shall attempt to comment on this posting again. Just got a 'service unavailable' message:-(
I'm sure you realise that I can relate to this wonderful posting.
I have a renewed sense of appreciation for the beauty that is all around us.
Indeed, to immerse ourselves in this 'winter wonderland' weather, can be most inspiring.
Happy writing, Julie.
Kind wishes, your way, Gary x

Sue Horder-Mason said...

Like others who have commented Julie, I smiled at the memories this post stirred within me. Yes I remember the winters of the 70s and 80s also the 60s but don't tell anyone. The times when seasons did as they were supposed to do and not go mad.
One memory my Mum told me about, which I don't remember is the winter of 62 is when I came to England. I was a little brown berry wrapped up in woolly hat and thick coat, chanting all the way from Gatwick to Newcastle 'shower, shower.'
So thank you for my memories but also the memory of my Mum telling me of one of her special memories xx

Julie P said...

Hi, Gary

Yes, the winter wonderland is so inspiring and I find that the upredictable nature of the weather gives us a sense of place and that we are not in control of everything. It teaches us to let go and take a back seat and enjoy the moment.

I hope your computer service sorts itself out soon.

Best wishes

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Hi, Sue!

It's amazing how the weather can make us remember things form our past. What a lovely memory about your first experiences in this country, Sue! Fantastic.

I agree with you, Sue, lets go back to the weather of the 70s! At least we knew where we stood and the country never seemed to grind to a halt.

Julie xx

Olivia Ryan said...

Lovely pic of your daughter with the snowman, Julie - looks like you both had fun! Yes, I remember the winter of 1962-63 very well - the worst one in (my) living memory: the snow lasted from December till March. Strangely enough, I don't recall being given any days off school! But maybe my memory is playing tricks! x

Julie P said...

Hi, Olivia!

Yes we had great fun even though it turned out that the local radio announcer had made a mistake and Isobel's school were open! (Ooops!)

Julie xx