Fear

Short stories are my first love. I love the compact feel of a plot spread over a couple of pages, every word getting the story closer to the end, preferably at high speed.

Neil Gaiman and Stephen King are my short story heroes.

I, unfortunately, am not very good at writing them. But that has never stopped me from trying anyway. The funny thing is that when I’m writing a short story I tune in to a very strange part of me.

Let me explain a bit: In my humble opinion there are two kind of persons.

People who jump in the pool right away & People who walk around it, assessing the temperature of the water, dipping a toe, or use the stairs.

I’m a jumper-inner.

Except when writing short stories.

I have trouble getting in and out fast, and linger to0 long on words that are not supposed to be there in the first place. I’m also sort of afraid of the stories that end up on the page.

When writing a long story, I feed on my grown-up fears. Which are of course little fears (the fear of eating alone/ the fear of not having enough time).

When I write short stories, I feed on my childhood fears which are HUGE. (the neighbors are plotting to kill us/ pigeons are demons/ the dunes are alive and eat children in Summer).

My trick is to write a short story first and when I type ‘The End’ immediately move on to novel drafting so that the childhood fears stick a while longer.

 

Those fears are the ones that come knocking in the middle of the night.

 

 

 

The Ultimate of Lists

I’m talking of course about the famous bucket list.

Everyone seems to have one, everyone seems to want one.

Including me (the wanting part, still haven’t made one).

There are about a gazillion places I want to visit, at least six languages I want to speak fluently, three instruments I want to play like a pro and I can think of endless other things ranging from having the perfect bikini body to writing bestseller novels.

But..

If I want to do all those things I need to work more so I can travel more.

I need to delete all useless time devouring things from my schedule.

(Which is hard. I find Breaking Bad very appealing. Same goes for useless internet browsing).

I don’t want that. I guess the trick would be to make the List of Lists achievable and specific.

One of the things that would definitely be on my list is to experience the 24 hours of Midnight Sun in the Artic Circle during the June Solstice. (Because thinking about it alone generated three solid novel ideas and it would be all kinds of awesome).

Ticking this one of the list would mean I need:

-a plane ticket to Honningsvag, (North Cape, Norway). From Amsterdam that costs about 700 euro.

-free days in June

-Accommodation (around 300-400 euro)

-Rental car (200)

So basically I would need 1200 euro and time off.

Another example: I don’t want to make the time to learn six languages fluently, but three or four would be a doable goal. Since I already am fluent in two (Dutch and English), have limited proficiency in two others (Italian and French), this is something that could be accomplished.

Anyway what I’m saying is that if I finally get around to actually making the list I would make two versions.

One with every cool thing I can think of. The other with the things I really want, the things I’m willing to work and sacrifice for.

(And yes: experiencing the 24 hour Midnight Sun in the Artic Circle would definitely be on the latter).

I’m very curious about your top three!

When I think of Summer

Once upon a time, in a practically underwater country, not so very far away, a person named Irene was feeling rather bored.

And wrote a blog post about Summer, because Summer is cool.

*

June’s already halfway gone! How did that happen so fast??

The good thing is that it’s almost July and July means GOOD THINGS.

In case you’re wondering what these good things are, behold a list!

  • Summer (for details of my thoughts on things to do in Summer, see below)
  • Summer vacation part 1: Bretagne
  • (a ten day break at a wonderful piece of coast in France with four happy kids and one very handsome man, starting July 31st ).
  • Campnano is coming again!
  • (in which I intend to work on my writing goals like there is no tomorrow (Ha! As you may know I find “tomorrow “ an elusive concept).

These are some of the things that come to mind when I think of summer:

get a tan/eat a coconut/have weekly BBQ’s/swimming&beach/read books/drink champagne/have picknicks in the park/ go to a festival of sorts/ attend a wedding/buy a bikini/write an entry for a YA contest/edit Draft that Must not be Named until it’s worthy of a name/ dabble in contemporary YA because the idea won’t go away/ finally make that Polaroid branch I was supposed to make in May/make my own icecreams/figure out how to make Mango juice.

Ahh Mango Juice.

And she lived happily ever after.

(Back to work).

 

 

Worlds Apart

Writing has always been important to me.

It’s woven into my life like a silver thread, sometimes front and centre, catching the daylight, shimmering amidst the normal.

Other times in the background, overshadowed by all other things that happen.

I know that I’m just as much a writer as I am an employee or even a mom, but those roles take place in the real world.

Writing, on the other hand, takes place in the realm of thought. It’s a part of me that’s turned inwards, looking for story elements hiding in memories, stored knowledge, strange conversations I overheard.

Normal life and writing are worlds apart, but one cannot survive without the other.

Without the lovely life I live, filled with people I love and value, music, plants, food, books & art I would have very little to write about.

Without writing there’s no silver lining.