Letters (363)

One of Daughter’s new books, kindly gifted by Sinterklaas Grandma, includes the challenge to spot all the letters on one page that put together form a word. Daughter was up for this challenge. We both searched for the letters and Daughter wrote them down. I then spelled the correct order to form the word. Just drawing letters gets a bit boring after a while. Hence the decoration.

I was a bit surprised how easily she recognised all the letters and wrote them down. It’s not something we practiced before. So here you go. Daughter’s first words put to paper.

On to the next stage of learning language.


Door |2020-12-28T14:30:20+02:0028 december 2020|366, deze dag|0 Reacties

The joy of compliments

I stepped out of my comfort zone this month. Big time. At the end of October I came across an announcement for a writing contest, organised by the local library. It’s theme was ‘Small histories, big stories’. I mulled over the theme for a bit and to my own surprise an idea for a story presented itself. I started writing and within a few days I had it proof read and finished. Then I did something rather unusual for me. I actually sent it in.

Last Wednesday (it’s Friday when I write this) I received an e-mail that my story was selected as one of the nominees. That means that the general public is now able to vote on nine selected stories, including mine. The popular vote is the fourth price next to the jury prices. The jury already decided who they award first, second and third price, but keep that a secret until the public voted as well.

Some years ago I had long conversations with my coach (a well-trained psychologist) about being an introvert entrepreneur. My biggest hurdle to become successful as an entrepreneur was my fear of getting out there. While I wanted to be seen and recognized I didn’t dare to put myself out there. For a solo entrepreneur to be seen, the one thing you have to do is make yourself seen and heard. Ever since those conversations I have been taking baby steps in the world outside my home office. Sending in a short story for a low profile writing contest is one of them.

Since I heard about my nomination the baby steps turned into leaps forward. I recognised this moment as an opportunity to step even further out of my comfort zone and learn from it. Therefore I started contacting friends and family to read my story and vote for me. As I’m no longer a user of social media, the only option for me to reach out to people is via e-mail or direct messages. I sent it to my Random Stories mailing list, of course, but also to my extended family, the new friends I made in Amersfoort, neighbours, Daughter’s teachers, parents of Daughter’s friends. In other words, I tried to reach out to as many people as I could think of to ask them for their attention, their time and their vote. Talking about uncomfortable squared!

Then the reactions came in. One person after another sent me compliments about my story. How they love the perspective I chose for this story, how impressed they were with my writing, that they learned new things about their city, that they felt sad the story ended so quickly (the consequence of the thousand words limit the jury demanded), that they were wondering what my main character would have seen more during that era.

I’m wearing a smile on my face while I’m writing this. I thoroughly enjoyed digging around the history of Amersfoort. I thoroughly enjoyed writing the story, whipping it into shape within the limitation of a thousand words. I thoroughly enjoyed receiving so many positive reactions. Let this be the definitive reminder to my introvert self that reaching out to others results in joy.

Door |2020-11-27T18:22:48+02:0027 november 2020|flow|0 Reacties

New story kit (218)

A few weeks ago, a dear friend of mine reminded me to write more. Write more stories. As my mind was occupied with ‘how the heck do I survive this covid19 thing’ there was too little room for stories in my head. I tried. But there was just too little headspace. Until now.

Yesterday, I decided it’s time to get back into a story mode again. As my story moleskine is nearly full, I bought a new notebook. And to make it even more friction-less to start writing I bought an accompanying fountain pen that I can attach to the notebook.

May the stories flow.

Door |2020-08-05T15:57:55+02:005 augustus 2020|366, flow|1 Reactie

That moment

That moment when you started writing about a topic and after five hundred words realize you wrote something completely different than intended.

Door |2020-06-02T16:18:31+02:002 juni 2020|flow|2 Reacties

The gift of story

It’s my birthday and I love getting gifts, but I love it even more to give gifts. So today I give you, dear reader, the gift of a new story: The Oodlanders.

It’s the story that I wrote during Crafting {:} a Life, so for some of my readers it is not new. It is however more polished and shareable now. It’s available in various formats, I even made an audio recording of the story (and now you know what I was recording).

All you need to do is click through to my other site and download it.

Door |2019-08-30T03:15:27+02:0030 augustus 2019|deze dag, flow|1 Reactie

Crafting {:} a Blog

With so many old school bloggers in the room, discussions about blogging were imminent during Crafting {:} a Life. Some never stopped blogging, but were lonely writers for a long time, such as Peter. Others have moved their writing to the corporate silo of Facebook, and then there are people who refound their joy of blogging, such as Ton and me.

I’m glad the event created a space to not only reminisce, but also project a path forwards. Reconnecting to the lost trade of distributed conversations shared publicly, using indie web technology. The discussions even resulted in Rosie setting up a blog.

One of the things that I heard myself saying during one of the sessions was to lower your expectations for sharing online. I noticed during my own FB detox that I got so used to the social media metrics of scoring views, likes and comments, that letting go of them felt like social abandonment. Now that I’ve cleansed this from my system I’m all the more focused on the few connections that matter. I’ve stopped measuring traffic and will only know if you read this when you leave a comment (or web mention). Apparently most of the bloggers in the room did the same thing, acknowledging how much of a relief that was.

Peter never stopped writing because he wanted to document his thoughts, mainly for his son so when he grew older, he could read back about the first years of his life. So his intended audience was one. The most valuable one. If I look back on Peter’s blog, that audience of one resulted in developing a very unique style. Only Peter can write like Peter about Peter’s life. That is the reason why it’s so much fun to read his blog.

For me blogging has always been about thinking out loud, because only when I try to formulate my ideas, I actually know what I’m thinking. Often, while typing, I see fallacies in my own thoughts. There are numerous thoughts that I erased and never published, because they were not holding up once out of my head. So my audience of one is me, but I do like that my actual audience is slightly bigger. The fact that Peter comments every now and then, reveals him as my most loyal reader. And I do hope that my writing is of the authentic quality as Peter’s is.

Door |2019-06-12T16:06:01+02:0012 juni 2019|flow|4 Reacties
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