Posts Tagged ‘writing’

I’m reading the story I wrote for the NaNoWriMo 2010 for the first time. In my head, this story turned into the most cliche, most boring, exactly the same as the previous story of all times. Luckily, my imagination took over somewhere in that process, because it isn’t all that bad. One sentence in every hundred other ones is actually well put and rather ingenious.

I want to share this part on this blog. Because it made me think. (Part of the fun of reading it again is that I honestly have no idea how it will end and I have no recollection for the most part of what I wrote, so I can actually read it as any other book). The story itself is over 50.000 words (part of the challenge), so this is only a little part of it, but in itself worth putting up here, I think.

She didn’t look up. She wasn’t going to give up this feeling easily. She was going to stay in it for as long as possible. But the old man did not allow her that time. With a rasping voice, he intruded into her realm.
“Now how could a young missy like you be in so much trouble?”
She didn’t reply. He had no right. He was already judging her by the feel of it and this was the last thing she needed right now. 


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Daily commute

Sometimes, words seek each other out at the back of my mind and together they find their way to the surface of my awareness.

Daily commute

In the early hours of the morning
I escape the world with words that sprang from the minds of others
While a technological achievement of human kind
takes me to where I need to be
through the back of the world.

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I love the English language. I think this started when I was very young and we used to watch Fun Factory (thank you!). I love the English language all the way from its crazy spelling and pronunciation (now why is it not pronOunciation?) to its grammar that is just too hard to understand for a non-native speaker, no matter how hard you try. I love the way it has way more words than my own native tongue (Dutch, in case you don’t know) and the way things can be subtle just by adding a word or omitting one (although, admittedly, this may be the same in any other language).

Take this example. When someone says: “I’ve had few distractions.” this means something different from “I’ve had a few distractions.” Discovering something like this can conjure up a broad smile on my face. I just love it. (Think of it. Why does that one word, no, it’s actually just one letter, make such a big difference? Does it make any sense? No of course not! It’s just what language is, totally illogical (and, come to think of that, why is it not unlogical, alogical or inlogical?!?))

I can fall in love with an English word and will use it abundantly (like the word abundant, I love it!). I sometimes have the urge to frame an English sentence, perfect in its composition, structure and choice of words.

But lately, I’ve discovered that my own language, Dutch, which I thought to be too ugly/bland/direct/guttural/whichever other judgment I’ve passed to it in the past, to even mention, is more important to me than I thought.

While in the States for 6 weeks, I kept a blog (http://meinithaca.wordpress.com). There are still a couple of drafts that I haven’t published yet. Most of them are proof of my laziness (mostly having to do with pictures), but there are two that have a different reason. They are called: ‘Words I miss in English’ and ‘Words I miss in Dutch’. I had expected there to be a long list of words I miss in Dutch and not so much in English. The opposite is true. Words like ‘de bedoeling’ (what I meant to do/what was supposed to happen), ‘het klopt’ (one of my favorite expressions, meaning it is right/it feels right/it suits/matches/IS right, and this you know or feel, but can’t always reason with) and ‘geluk’ (with means both luck and happiness) star in this list and I have definitely missed them.

Last week, I tried to translate one of my few stories that was written in Dutch to English. It proved to be much harder than I thought. This is when I decided to be more proud of my native tongue, and that I would not translate it and put it up here anyway. (Go to story written for Buitenkunst to read it) With apologies to my English-speaking readers. I hope this explanation is a good enough substitute.

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Some of you might not realize it, but our parent’s won’t always be around. Nor will our grandfathers and grandmothers, beloved uncles and aunts or all the other people you love. I realize this. Maybe slightly too often. This is why I asked my mother one day to tell me her story.

I wanted to know how she lived her life. I wanted to see what she would tell me. I wanted to understand what she had once believed in and what she is like. I wanted to hear her own story. Her story had value to me. As all stories of the ones we love have value to us alone.

I took her to a beautiful monastery and then sat her down. And she started to talk. While she was talking, I typed everything she said. Then, I edited her story, but only in the slightest way, and gave her back her own story.

To me, doing this was very important. I wanted to record something of her, before it would be too late. I will do this with my father too, some day. And it gave me the idea that others might feel the need of a written story too.

So I encourage you: go write down your parents’ story! Or that of someone else whose story you alone might value. If you need help, I can get that story written for you, since I’m trained in qualitative research and a good listener. I also enjoy writing and hearing about other people’s lives. And sometimes, talking to a stranger is easier. Just send me a message.

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This is how I see my role in the world. Start small and hope to affect others. A smile is all you need!

A drop in a pond
Small disturbance, large effect
It will change the world

A smile on a face
Unexpected, hope it spreads
It will change the world

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NaNoWriMo 2010

This is actually the second time that I’m participating with the NaNoWriMo (check the NaNoWriMo site). The goal is to write a novel of at least 50.000 words within the month November. A pretty good challenge, since last time I participated I went for half of it, so this is actually my first real try.

It benefits me to think that I only need to write at least one word a day. I promised myself that with the result that I start doing it and keep at it until I reach my daily goal. It also helps that I have no real obligations in my life right now, that I’m in a place where I don’t know many people, and that my laptop goes wherever I go. Very convenient if you want to have 50.000+ at the end of the month.

I’ve also been meeting nice people on this big NaNoWriMo adventure. Another plus.

I’m afraid that I won’t be posting my story for this year’s NaNo here. There’s a number of reasons for that:

– It’s too long
– It’s not done yet
– It sucks (since it was created using the motto quantity over quality)

Maybe after the NaNoEdMo (May every year, editing your story) I’ll feel confident enough to post it somewhere. If you’re curious about my writing, please visit my Elfwood or Fictionaut page.

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