What would you do if…..?

What would you do with one year left to live? Paul Kalanithi chose to write. The fruition of his choice is his first and only book: When Breath becomes Air. The book is a memoir of his life journey from literature graduate to neurosurgeon, and from doctor to patient after a diagnosis of inoperable lung cancer. It has become an international bestseller since its publication after the author’s death, aged 37, in 20
Posted in Book Review | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

View from Maggie’s: Writing at a Cancer Care Centre

‘Sometimes I can see the hills of Wales…’ Paul reads his piece of free-writing in response to our Writing Group’s opening prompt: ‘Sometimes I can see..’ He describes, in attentive detail, a landscape he loves. Alan’s writing takes us into a different sort of seeing. He envisages a world beyond the troubles of this one, a world of pure peace, harmonious relationships, and an absence of illness and pai
Posted in Writing for Wellbeing | Leave a comment

All The Light We Cannot See

‘I’ve got a bone to pick with you,’ said a smiling participant at last Saturday’s Write for Growth. ‘It’s that book you recommended. I stayed up half the night reading it. I was tired out the next day.’ She was referring to Anthony Doerr’s captivating novel ‘All the Light We Cannot See.’ It’s my favourite of the novels I’ve read this year, and I’ve been recommending it enthusiastically. So
Posted in Book Review | Tagged | Leave a comment

Looking Back on the Journey

I opened the book with mixed feelings as I pulled it at random off the top shelf, hooking my finger on the frayed edge of its spine. Inside were pages of handwritten entries under dated headings. Neatness varied, the colour alternating between black and blue with the odd foray into red or green. At times the continuous writing broke into a list or poem – Becoming an astronaut isn’t rocket science – b
Posted in Journalling | Tagged | 4 Responses

Writing Round the Compass

You can get lost anywhere it seems – in a forest, up a hill, in an airport, a French village or, of course, an actual maze. As we swapped notes at Saturday’s Write for Growth Workshop, each of us had experiences to recount. Busy modern life urges us to look to the clock rather than the compass, but the latter is vital in helping us to set direction and keep us on track. Our workshop took the theme of ‘Wr
Posted in Write for Growth | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Writing about Food

It felt like a meeting of the Slow Food movement: the room’s quiet settledness as the group sat round a large wooden table exploring their chosen fruit – apple, banana, orange, grapes – through each sense in turn, culminating in an attentive tasting and eating. We were at Gladstone’s Library for the latest Write for Growth workshop. ‘Food, Glorious Food’  was our theme. James Be
Posted in Write for Growth | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

What We Collect

‘They are records of ordered transcendence.’ So writes Helen MacDonald in H is for Hawk, the memoir that tracks her grief for her father’s death as she trains a goshawk. She’s describing her father’s plane-spotting diaries, six exercise books meticulously filled with information representing hour upon hour of gazing skyward. The data holds no intrinsic interest for his daughter. She has ‘no idea what th
Posted in Journalling | Tagged | Leave a comment

Savouring the Senses

Behind a shop counter down our way this week-end an animated discussion was going on. ‘What’s the smell of Christmas?’ Customers and check-out staff all had their ideas: Cloves, spices, oranges, mulled wine, turkey and the fresh evergreen of a Christmas tree. Smell was one sense we explored at Saturday’s Write for Growth at Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden: Savouring the Senses. We opened with some free-w
Posted in Write for Growth | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Writing in Colour

Pixie Green, Ruby Starlet and Wild Primrose. What if these Dulux shades came to life as people? What might their personality, behaviour and style be? We explored these questions at Write for Growth’s July workshop at Gladstone’s Library on Writing with Colour. Comparing notes on our imagined character sketches brought out some matching colour connectlons. It’s these common connections that enable colour to b
Posted in Write for Growth | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Playing with Frames in Frodsham

Outside, the sound of children playing; downstairs, a clatter of coffee-cups and the steamy roar of a cappuccino machine, but in the room, no noise beyond the rustle of paper and an occasional sigh: Saturday morning’s Write for Growth workshop was fully engrossed in our first activity, a free-writing exercise. We sat round a large table in Frodsham’s beautiful Castle Park Arts Centre. Sunlight streamed in throu
Posted in Write for Growth | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment
  • About Julia

    Julia

    From writing stories for my younger brother, to penning poems for the School Magazine and filling a growing pile of personal journals, the written word has always been part of my life’s journey.

    I started out as an English Teacher and subsequently retrained as a Counsellor. I have counselled in a GP Surgery and worked with various Employee Assistance Schemes and Charitable Trusts alongside seeing private clients.

    Although I have done some freelance journalism and written four non-fiction books, creative writing has become my main focus in recent years.

    My poems have appeared online on sites including Amaryllis, Silver Birch Press, Clear Poetry, Spilling Cocoa Over Martin Amis, Riggwelter and Ink,Sweat and Tears. I have been published in Curlew and Bucks Mill Magazine, and anthologised in Our Hearts Still Sing. My first poetry collection, Chester City Walls, came out in 2015.

    Read more about Julia
  • Follow me on Twitter