Hi everyone! I hope your Saturday and weekend are going well! Today I’m introducing you to U.K. blogger and poet Judy Martin from “Edwina’s Episodes.” Judy released her first book of poetry, “Rhymes of the Times” in March. I want to thank Judy very much for agreeing to an interview on Life of an El Paso Woman on such SHORT notice. Judy is here to discuss her blog, family, new book, etc. You can check out/follow her blog here. Please help me welcome her to Life of an El Paso Woman.
ME: When did your blog, “Edwina’s Episodes” begin? How would you summarize your blog? I started my blog ‘Edwina’s Episodes’ at the end of 2014. I suffer from depression and my sister suggested that blogging would be a great way for me to release some of my feelings. I didn’t even know what a blog was really, but decided to give it a go, and now have become addicted!
ME: What’s your favorite subject to blog about and why? My favourite subject to blog about is my family. I have five brothers and sisters, lots of nieces and nephews and of course, a husband, and daughter. This gives me plenty to write about, and as the simile, ‘there’s nowt so queer as folk’ pretty much sums it up. People are so unpredictable and funny and most of us can relate to how annoying or fun it can be spending time with family.
ME: What can readers expect from your blog in the upcoming weeks and months? It is tricky trying to predict exactly where my blog will go in the next few months as it has evolved so much already. I am quite happy with my blog the way it is at the moment. I am lucky in that I am not restricted as to what to write about on my blog, so almost anything goes! I do have a little secret that I have been keeping though. I have been working on setting up another website. It is nearly ready and is more of an ‘author site’ where I can talk more about my book and future plans and keep Edwina’s Episodes for everything else.
ME: I have to give you a lot of credit for being a nurse. I think it’s a rewarding career if you can handle it, in terms of patients and office politics. Please tell us more about your nursing career. Would you say nursing or writing is your life passion and why? Ooooh, this is a tricky question indeed! Firstly, I started off as a healthcare assistant about eleven years ago working in the Day Hospital. This is where patients (mostly elderly) came for things like physiotherapy, speech therapy, hydrotherapy or occupational therapy. There was a falls group too, plus consultant’s clinics. I loved this job and to start with it fitted in with my daughter going to nursery (I was a single parent at the time). Unfortunately, the hours in the job changed to finishing at 6pm, which coincided with my daughter starting primary school, so I had to give it up. I found a job at a school, which was handy for the hours but did not enjoy it as much. I then met up again with an old flame (Mr Grump), and got a job at the hospital at roughly the same time. I worked on a trauma and orthopaedic ward, again with elderly patients and enjoyed that immensely. There arose an opportunity to go to university for two years to become an Associate Practitioner which I jumped on, but it would mean changing wards. I chose to work on a medical ward with elderly patients, as this group of patients is my favourite to look after. I qualified in 2014 and continued at the hospital until politics and shortages in staff became too much to cope with, and I now work in the community as an Advanced Practitioner which is the same thing. A quick note about job titles here. I call myself an Associate ‘nurse’ only because nobody knows what an associate practitioner is. I know some people get offended as I am not registered an should not call myself a nurse, but that is the reason. Either way, I nurse people, and I love it! I always try to be upbeat and happy when I visit my patients and do my best to give them the kind of care that I would give to a member of my family. I feel that this is definitely the career for me, after a long time not knowing where I fitted in life! As for writing, that has really come into its own in the last few months. I have always written poems but only intermittently, and in fact, just before I started blogging, I had not written any for years! I seem to have got a real yearning for writing at the moment. I have tried my hand at writing a book, but I keep putting off editing it as I have lost a bit of confidence in where to go with that.
ME: A huge congratulations on your new poetry book, “Rhymes of the Times” that was released in March! Please tell us more about your book. How can people get their hands on a copy? As for my book, ‘Rhymes of the Times’ this came about rather quickly! Over the years as I mentioned, I have written many poems, but most were unsuitable for publication as they were personal to members of my family. I started writing them for my blog and several people had mentioned that I should publish them. My family had said this as well, so I decided that yes,I would publish them, and as is my way, I went straight at it and all my time was taken up with making it come to life! The poems that I have written have one thing in common and that is humour! Life is pretty serious and hard going so anything that gives us a laugh is a welcome interlude! I wanted to produce something that could be picked up and put down whenever there is a spare few minutes. I would say that it is best enjoyed with a cup of tea (or coffee) and a biscuit! You can get a copy on Amaon.com here or Amazon UK here.
ME: I can almost bet writing a book takes a lot of work and dedication. What advice would you offer to up and coming authors? The advice that I would give to any upcoming author is just to believe in yourself and go for it! There is no better feeling than holding that book in your hands, and knowing that you did that, and that other people will be able to enjoy what you have produced too. After all that is the reason we want to publish, to share with others. Other than that, I don’t have any profound words of wisdom, as I am a newbie author myself.
ME: If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be and why? The one word I would use to describe myself is expressive! I pondered on which word to use, I love ‘eccentric’, but not sure, I have grown into that enough yet! I suddenly remembered my boss calling me ‘Judy Jazz hands’ a little while ago, as I do have a habit of illustrating everything with my hands as I am talking, so ‘expressive’ seems pretty apt!
ME: If I were visiting your hometown for a day or two, what would you recommend? What’s unique about your hometown? If you were visiting my home town for a while, I would suggest you check out our ‘designer’ outlet.’ It is an unusual building, and there are not too many of these outlets in the U.K. and there are bargains to be had there too!
ME: What makes you happy in life? The things that make me happy in life are family and friends, my job, blogging and bloggers, food and having a good old laugh!
ME: What do you like/dislike most about being a mother and wife? I love being a mum and there was a time when I never thought I would be. The only thing I dislike about it is the worry. My daughter is my world and I just want to make her happy and keep her safe.
ME: I blog about music pretty often. What kind of music do you like? What have you been listening to lately? As far as music goes, I love all sorts! I have to say that 80’s music is my favourite, Human League, Madonna,Prince, Michael Jackson, UB40 (might be going to see them soon), Depeche Mode, Spandau Ballet, so many more. I also like a bit of Meatloaf, Nickleback, Metallica. I love a bit of cheese, the Osmonds, Boney M, Barry Manilow, oh and a bit of country, Dolly Parton. Quite a mixture really, I even like a bit of ‘modern’ stuff Pink, Lady Gaga. That is all I can think of!
ME: What’s one of your favorite quotes in life and why? One of my favourite quotes is by the sharp-witted Oscar Wilde and it is “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.” Very short and to the point but such wise words.