Friday, July 22, 2016

Busy with literature. Since I left this blog, I've been writing and stories got published. I also started to write poems and soon was published. Still I am a coach for Schrijven Online. Thinking is now material for dialogues, thoughts of karakters in my stories or poems. I write thoughts down to use later. Also I joined a philosophy group where we read books from Hannah Arends, Peter Sloterdijk, Michel Foucault and Spinoza. Not the most easy books to read, sometimes sentences take up an entire paragraph. It develops my thinking and helps generate new ideas. We discuss about what we read. Did we understand what is written? What does it mean in different contexts? Do we agree with this? What are the consequences of this? What are connections?

Friday, October 31, 2014


Reflecting on dreams, I realize that mercifulness is more difficult than it seems. I wish I could teach it with a short story that would reach the four corners of the world.
I ache to see so many have no food, no safety, no justice. I believe human beings have to change this. There is goodness for who sees it.

It would be hard to live in certain countries and to be a thinker or a dreamer.
Mercifulness, how to teach this?

Monday, September 29, 2014

writing coach

About every two weeks I'm a writing coach. I always hope the participants, who love to write, like me, have inspiration from the writing-assignment I give them. The last assignment involved a white sheet lying on the street.
Since three years of participating at writingcontests in Dutch, I have twelve publications of short stories. I won three contests. The strange thing is that winning can get in the way of creativity. I tend to expect more and more of myself, and this is a sure recipy for writer's block. Before I wrote for fun, after I wrote to win. The solution is to start writing for fun again. Not to expect to win everytime, to have the greatest story-ideas every round. Originality and high expectations don't always go together well. I'm reading the Comic Toolbox by John Vorhaus and he seems to agree with me.
I have to find my way to create plots on demand. Here also the Comic Toolbox is helpfull. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

getting published with writing contests

I've been away from my blogs, writing and reading. I now have seven short stories published thanks to writing contests in Dutch. I've been asked to do some coaching. Friday I invented a new literary form. I don't think I have ever seen it anywhere before. I'm waiting to know if it'll get published.
I'm awaiting the results of city2cities. I participated in the writing contest and hope to get chosen for the publication for the third time in a row. I love city2cities for the interesting interviews with writers from the guest cities. This year the participating cities are Dublin and Boedapesht. The festival is located in Utrecht.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Leaders and limits

Presidents are limited. They have to work within boundaries that are limited. Only their creativity and deep understanding can make it possible for them to break out of their psychological prison. This is why a dictator cannot easily change being a dictator. He would have to be able to find the right words and thoughts to convince those who sustain him. He is bound by the spirit of those who surround him and would have to be able to inspire them to change. What dictators are able to do this? To achieve meaningful change, one needs to read meaningful books. Kindness, honesty, patience, compassion are far better motivations than a blame-culture. Blame returns to the sender.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Content after city2cities

After city2cities my head is full of ideas. I want to write but my house needs my attention, so do the children. In the bus to the hospital I wrote in my booklet. I often write when using public transportation. I sent two short stories that I wrote this week. I hope one will be published (in Dutch). I'm not at the level that I win first prizes. I'm in the peloton. Can I be in the peloton for longer stories? There is only one way to find out, practice. Very short stories can be written in between doing laundry and shopping. While cleaning I feel the pull of wanting to write. Maybe it's better to distance myself from writing a bit and being busy with my hands.
In the background of my thoughts I think about improving my writing skills with lessons or with a coach. I can ask a coach to look at how I write and to give me specific training. But it costs much more than a course.
I have learned from feedback this month that my content is good but that my style could be better. At the writers forum I visit I see how other writers progress and notice their style improves through practice. At some point they start winning prizes, then they try to write articles. After a while they want to publish a book. When they continue, eventually they get published. My content is worth the effort.

Monday, April 30, 2012

paradise with Kafka

The temperature outside is at last comfortable. Yesterday we visited the cultural happening city2cities, where I was nominated with a very short story in the honor of Kafka. I enjoyed the interview of Jáchim Topol by Abdelkader Benali. We had questions for Jáchim Topol, but no room for questions. For this interview alone it was worth the ride to Utrecht (Netherlands).
It's a pitty that writers are one-way friends. The communication with a writer follows a distinct pattern differing from normal communication. A deceased writer doesn't know what future generations want to say to them, a contemporary writer has just a bit more opportunities to hear readers reactions. A writer gives his thoughts to the reader. The reader's response stays muted in his mind.
Unfortunately I live in a poor-artistic environment. On the other hand I have the advantage of peace and quiet to write and develop my thoughts without disturbances.
Maybe paradise is to sit and talk with Kafka on a beautiful afternoon.

*new* item at Chez Odile is the metachat where Creatives and Thinkers meet.


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