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

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Wenlock Poetry Festival

Well, I set off with great excitement in my heart this morning to the Wenlock Poetry Festival. It was a beautiful day and the sun was shining (always a bonus in my book). I walked down into the town and into the Methodist Hall for the Creative Writing worshop with Peter Diamond I had booked. Now, I don't know if it was just me but as I listened to the plan for the day, I got hotter and hotter in the small room and I'm sorry to say a bit bored! I don't think it was the speaker in particular -  I just got that sinking feeling that this was going to be a 'literary' poetry workshop (which is not my cup of tea). He saw one lady in the group (there were 8 of us) and he announced she was one of his brightest students and a great poet but he was sure the rest of us were going to be good budding poets.  Then he proceeded to give us an account of a place that was significant to him and wanted to go round the room for us to do the same,  I just had to make my apologies and leave.

I'm sure it was good if that was the sort of thing you were into, but it just wasn't me. I made a full nine minutes into the workshop, but saw no point in braving it out to the end. I usually know if something is going to work for me or not and that workshop definitely was not! It's the first time I've had the nerve to act on my feelings and leave though. It probably gained momentum after I'd gone, but as it was a nice day outside and I knew my husband and daughter had gone to the local park, I decided that life was too short to be involved in something I didn't want to be and I walked up to join my slightly surprised husband and daughter at the park.

I feel a bit guilty walking out like that and I really think that next year the poetry organisers should advertise their speakers better. Had I have known what it was going to be I wouldn't have booked it. I am, however, a firm believer in trying something different - at least I know what I don't like now! But on a brighter note it meant that I could go with my daughter to see Carol Ann Duffy and her musician friend John. This, I'm pleased to report was so much better and we both enjoyed it. Carol and John were entertaining and funny and all the kids there were enthralled and the room was full of laughter. It was an event specifically for children with two of Carol's children's poetry books for sale. We bought one, Moon Zoo, that Carol signed for my daughter. And I shook hands with her and thanked her for an enjoyable afternoon. She rescued what had started out as a  disastrous day, for which I am grateful!

She really is so down to Earth and approachable and my daughter was amazed by her and the fact she'd signed her book and that she had met the lady who wrote the book! Carol told my daughter she liked her pink t-shirt and tights which made her smile! My daughter thought that John was hilarious and she was giggling as he played funny tunes on various wind instruments from the 17th Century and abroad - one was an instrument from China and the name translates to Gourd of silk. He used a hunting horn, a trumpet and various other instruments.

The performance took place at my old primary school and it was such a strange feeling walking through the doors into the hall with my own daughter 30 odd years after I'd gone there as a child! In the corner of the hall I saw the old may pole that I'd danced around as a child, and the hall still had that rubbery, wooden smell I remember from all those years ago. And here we were sitting in the hall listening to the Poet Laureate!

Tomorrow there are two more poetry workshops for children and I'm so looking forward to taking my daughter!

Now if you'll excuse me I have date with Dr Who!

Happy writing!

Julie xx


Jarmara Falconer said...

I agree with you sometimes it good to make a stand and walk away when there is more fun to be had else where. I'm sure your daughter will remember the day her Mum surprised her by being there.

Kath said...

You're quite right, Julie, life's too short especially when the sun's shining outside. Did you say you'd decided it wasn't for you or blame it on the heat and stuffiness?

Diane Perry said...

Oh good for you Julie! Why waste your precious time if something doesn't work for you.
So glad you enjoyed Carol Anne Duffy though, and you and Isobel got a lot out of it.

Suzanne Jones said...

I so admire you for walking out - very true that life's too short to waste a moment.

I'm not too sure about the new Doctor - I really, really, want to like him, but David Tennent is a hard act to follow (although I felt the same way about the lovely Christopher Eccleston when he left - so hopefully I'll grow to like the new one).


Julie P said...

Thanks, Jarmara!

My daughter was so happy to see me and we had a much better time with Carol Ann Duffy!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Luckily, Kath, one of the festival stewards was sitting next to me so I told her I was feeling a little under the weather and didn't think I could stay. This was partly true but I didn't feel that bad that I couldn't have stayed there if I'd wanted to. I didn't say anything to the speaker - and I felt remarkably better when I got out in the fresh air!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

I would have been wasting the speaker's valuable time too, Di, if I'd have saved as I wouldn't have been able to fully engage in the workshop - a shame for all the other poets there who wanted to be there too.

I also had a growing, almost uncontrollable urge to write particularly bad poetry or a limmerick just to see what they would say!!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Thank you, Suzanne. As I said, I've never walked out of something like that before but I must say it was so liberating!

I'm in two mins about the new doctor too. I fancied both Christopher and David but I don't fancy Matt! Maybe I'm just getting too old, (he's so young isn't he - a mere babe!) I enjoyed the episode though. Thought it was very good considering who he's had to follow. Time will tell.

Julie xx