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, 6 June 2010

A day out in the sun and thank you Glynis!

I had a fantastic morning yesterday at the start of the Wenlock Festival. We attended the fete in the town and it was fabulous! We got followed by a giant fly being chased by Belladonna and her Venus Fly Traps. The Fly Trap plants were extremely hungry and very, very, rude, belching loudly when given flies to eat. My daughter wasn't too sure about the fly - she hates even the tiniest of flies so you can imagine the effect a 6 foot fly would have on her! I thought the fly was hilarious though and he even had that annoying incessant buzz down to a fine art.

Belladonna came over all super star when the 'paparazzi' came over and she posed 'Hollywood A lister' style. What a briliant idea though. She was dressed as a flower and was riding round on a motorised chariot thing blaring pop music 'Venus' by Bananarama, of course! She had pretend fly spray and a huge net and she'd take off after the six foot fly! She could certainly move fast when she wanted to. I guess you had to be there to appreciate it!

Then there was this chap dressed as a super hero on the tight rope  - he was funny. The kids loved him because he was very daring and rather cleverly pretended he was scared and couldn't do it by wobbling all over the place and wailing like a girly! I noticed that even the official photographers and journalists couldn't keep a straight face and were struggling to take photos they were laughing so much. Oh yes, I can spot a journalist at ten paces now!

There was a craft marquee which I loved. I love browsing around looking at all the trinkets and I bought myself a pair of handmade glass bead and stone earrings. The woman who makes them was charming and her husband was telling me about where they get their beads and stones from. Definitely an article in there!

The sun shone and a good time was had by all. I love local village fetes as they give a great venue for quality family time but you also get to see so many interesting things - the opportunities for article fodder are huge!
I also bumped (literally) into Carol Ann Duffy (poet laureate) who was wondering around. I seem to be making a habit of bumping into her and saying hello. The poor woman must think I'm stalking her! It's purely accidental I assure you! She's such an approachable woman and she has links to my favourite town. My husband asked who she was! I was speechless! How could he not know?! He said "What THE poet Laureate?" I said "No, the pretend one. What do you think?" Stunning. Mind you we'll let him off as he had been on nights and was sleep deprived! I wonder if she's had a sip of her sherry yet? I was far too scared of her and polite to ask!

Also, a big BIG thank you to the marvellous Glynis Scrivens who saved the day and e-mailed me a copy of my story in That's Life (Australia). It looks fab and I'm so pleased with it. The illustration is great too. Thank again, Glynis!

 This half term has  been a great writing week for me. Well, a part from Thursday when I had a filling at the dentist  - that wasn't my finest hour I have to say. But I met up with Brenda Carter of My Weekly short story fame  on the Friday and we had our usual tea/coffee and scones in a cafe in Wenlock. It was great to catch up with her and I got to see the story in all its glory! Absolutely fantastic! And she spurred me on to get writing some more myself. She is writng two at the moment so look out for them in the mags soon  -  I just know she'll get them published.

I sent one short stort to Writing Mag for one of their comps and another one has gone to That's Life (strike while the iron is hot and all that) Mind you it took me a year between the first they published and this one - so I'm hoping I don't have a repeat performance! I'm still waiting for verdicts on the two I sent to The Weekly News. But at least I'm writing them and sending them out again.

My aim this week, despite a busy week back at school and nursery, is to finish off the two other stories I'm working on and get them sent out. Then I'll write up the other couple of short stories that are ideas in note form at the moment. I also have a couple of articles I'd like to get written and subbed, but that will probably take me a couple of weeks to finish. But I'm glad I have ideas and I'm working towards realising them.

Happy writing

Julie xx


Simon Whaley said...

Oh gosh, now you're tripping over Carol Anne Duffy. First it was Mike and now you. Is any member of Wrekin Writers capable of meeting the woman without using her as a professional stumbling block?

Glad the event went well and the weather held up!

Joanne Fox said...

Carol Ann certainly gets about a bit! I saw her at the Birmingham Book Festival last weekend.

Julie P said...

I know,Simon! She must have this force field that repels would be writers!! She spots wannabe writers coming at her from a mile off and thinks 'Quick! Shields up - ching! There goes another one bouncing off!!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

She's here there and everywhere, Joanne - or maybe she has a clone?!!

Julie xx

David said...

I used to see a certain comedian in my local Tescos. We would run into each other so often that I felt sure he would take out a restraining order eventually and accuse me of hounding him. I wasn't, honest!

I actually did that other thing that British people often do when they see 'famous' people - studiously ignore them like you don't know them from Adam.

I haven't thought about that in years. So glad you had lots of fun at the Wenlock festival. Sounds like great fun.

Bethany Mason said...

Sounds like you're really busy at the moment. I'm currently working on two short stories that I'm planning on sending to TAB and Woman's Weekly. They'll be the first work I send out so I'm not hoping for much but I'm just glad I have the time to write and think of ideas - I'm suddenly noticing them everywhere I look.

Sue Ross said...

Good on you Julie, get them all out there while your name is fresh in the editor's mind.
I've lost the plot lately.
Reading your blog gets me back on track again, well, thinking about it anyway.
Keep it up girl.

Christine said...

I'd have been wanting to ask the sherry question too!

I am inspired by your energetic writing activity. Just the boost I needed to get going in earnest, as I allowed the garden to suck up too much time last week. Thank you.

Julie P said...

Hi, David! Yes - it is a worry when you keep bumping into someone famous. They might just put two and two together and make Five! I was just saying to my husband Oh look there's Carole and before I could get the Ann Duffy in she looked directly at me so I felt duty bound to shake her hand!!

I think she'll be avoiding Wenlock soon!

The festival was great - it's going on for three weeks with a Shakspeare play to boot! I used to go and do my St John Ambulance first aid stint at the Shakespeare plays - their outdoor so if the weather as nice it was a great evening - just got bitten by the mossies!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Hi. Bethany.

Glad you're managing to get some writing done. Good luck and let us know how you get on. Ideas are everywhere as you have found. And isn't it exciting when you get get a great idea? I love it!

The trouble with me is I have so much going on I find it difficult to concentrate and focus on anything for too long - butterfly mind I think they call it! But I've sent some short stories out and I'm writing some others so we'll see what happens. I try and fit too much into the day which isn't helpful! I need to slow down a bit!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Hi, Sue

Glad you're at least thinking about the writing!As I said to Bethany, I sometimes think I take too much on and get frustrated when I don't leave enough time for my writing. There's nothing like that feeling when you've finished a draft of a piece of writing and you know you have something you can work on and polish into something publishable.

I'll let you know how I get on with the short stories I've sent out recently. Who knows!

Oh yes I finished reading Travels with my Aunt - What a great book! My husband read it first. It's just so funny!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Hi, Christine. Glad to be of service! There are so many demands on our time aren't there. And writing seems to be the first casualty of that.

I'm making a real effort now to get my short stories up to scratch and submitting them - I'll let you know how I get on! I'm also keen to encourage other writers to see their writing as a bigger priority than it sometimes is.

Good luck with your writing - let us know how you get on.

I'm getting more and more intrigued about her Sherry now!

Julie xx

Suzanne Jones said...

Hooray for Glynis - so glad she sent you a copy of your story. I'm such a narcissist when it comes to anything I've sold that I really feel for anyone who misses publication of their work.

Keeping everything crossed for the stories you have out there.


Julie P said...

Hi, Suzanne

Yes hurrah for Glynis indeed! I like to see my stories in print as it's not only nice to have a copy for my file but it's great to actually see it in print and see how the editor has changed it.

I'm hopong to send more stories out this weekend. I don't have many out there at the moment so I must get on with that.

Good luck with your stories too!

Julie xx