Philippa's Bites

Joys of Journaling

I never travel without my Journal.  My preference is for wire bound. It sits nicely and allows you to write without having to press on the spine every few minutes. Journaling is a must, to keep the writing muscle flexed, stop the cogs from getting rusty.

 I write in it most days, to clear the useless information I’ve accumulated, to sort out difficulties, to remember the good things that have happened.

I needed it badly when I collected my new glasses from Specsavers. It was their second attempt to ‘get my prescription right’ i.e. get me a pair of goggles that I could actually see with.

They didn’t get it right this time either. I mentioned that to them. They were not pleased, told me I would ‘get used to them’, that I would ‘have to make compromises’. What drove me to my journal was their parting ‘goodbye’, said through gritted teeth.

After that, I wandered about in a daze. I needed my journal to ‘sort myself out’ before I could function as ‘normal’ and drive home. I bought a cappuccino, took out my journal and allowed the words to flow - along with the tears. This is probably called ‘writing as therapy’. I highly recommend it.


Whoever is praying for me, please - don’t stop.  Last week, when my ECDL Certificate in Photoshop arrived in the post, I felt a great sense of achievement.  The following day, Books Go Social – who organise the Dublin Writers’ Conference – told me I had won their ‘Unlocking Potential’ prize!  More of that anon.


  For now, Philippa’s Farm is out there and being enjoyed – hopefully, as much as I enjoyed writing it.  Late at night, as I sat and told the story to my PC, I had many LOL moments.  My partner would hear strange, snorting noises, leap out of his bath and rush downstairs to make sure I wasn’t being attacked by the last wolf in Ireland.


  As any author would, I soundly berated him for distracting me and creating puddles of water for me to break my neck on.  Floors mopped, he would read over my shoulder and he too would laugh himself sick.  He particularly enjoyed Philippa’s ‘take’ on life and the hilarious situations she got herself into.  A cup of tea would follow.  What?  No biscuits?  ‘Why don’t you rustle up some of those caramel squares Philippa makes?’ he’d suggest.  ‘She refuses to give me the recipe,’ I’d reply.


  Of course, when you write a first person narrative everyone thinks it’s autobiographical.  I suppose it partly is – Philippa’s interest in cooking, for instance, would mirror my own.  But I can say with conviction, she is not me but that ‘voice’ that, when it arrives, is golden.  I merely allowed her to breathe and live.


  If you enjoy Philippa’s Farm, there are two more books you might like to read – Philippa’s Flight and Philippa’s Folly.

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Louise Couper