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This Week on Writers Abroad 17th April
Category: Site News

Happy Easter Monday to everyone!

Monday Muse: Vanessa has posted some seasonal and travel-inspired prompts for us to get out teeth into this week. She recently visited Paris in the springtime. Hey, I feel a song/poem/story coming on.

Blog: Sue has written about an issue that can plague the best of writers, self-doubt. What do we need to do in order to write that winning story? Change our style, chop up our sentences, throw in an errant Oxford comma? These are some of the questions Sue mulls over. Also, more controversially, the trolling of a cancer sufferer is a storyline in Coronation Street which has got a lot of people up in arms; should writers exploit this kind of suffering or has a line been crossed?

Bragging Stool: WA members have got four stories in Ad Hoc (it's starting to look like a coup). Sue with story, The Gown; Chris, Stag Undone; Crilly, Freedom and yours truly, Revenge Served Hot. There's still time to hop over and cast your vote; http://http://adhocfiction.com/read/#FlashEbook It's Sue's 61st week in Ad Hoc and she has also supplied an evocative illustration for one of the winning stories! Sue is keeping the BS hot with third price in the Morgan Bailey's 100 word competition. Absolutely no reason for self-doubt!

April Challenge: Still plenty of opportunities in our April Challenge and Alyson has posted a picture-inspired story for critiquing. She would love to hear your comments and of course there is still time to post your own challenges. So cast aside the self-doubt (and Easter eggs and hot-cross buns) and let rip!

An exciting week ahead as I prepare to fly to Spain tomorrow for some wonderful days of writing, horse-riding and getting to know fellow WA member, Nicola! Now, let's see if I can jam my riding helmet and type writer into my carry on...

I'm Dutch, it says so in my passport.

I have had dual British and Dutch nationality since 2002. I always thought I would never naturalise, as it felt wrong, and the whole idea that a document could somehow change your identity was ludicrous. But then terrorist planes flew into the Twin Towers and in the wake of 9/11, populist Pim Fortuyn was winning hearts and minds in the Netherlands in a rapid tempo and antipathy towards outsiders grew. So in order to secure my position, I naturalised. There was no ceremony whatsoever, I just had to prove I could speak rudimentary Dutch, show my marriage papers and proof that I had lived in the Netherlands for three years, and perhaps most importantly pay a hefty fee to The Netherlands Ltd.

 

So, if I'm Dutch why do I;

  • quake at the thought of attending a Dutch birthday party where I have to kiss everyone three times on the cheek and congratulate them on the birthday of their neighbour, son, husband, father, brother-in-law, uncle and so on ad infinitum?

  • refuse to hang up a birthday calendar in the lavatory so that I never forget aforementioned momentous occasions?

  • feel nauseous at the thought of eating cold herring?

 

And if I'm British why do I;

  • expect buses and trains to run on time?

  • cycle everywhere without wearing lycra and deluding myself that I am in a velodrome?

  • love chips with mayonnaise?

  • consider it OK to jump the queue as long as no one spots me.

Global Citizen?

We are all learning the hard way what globalisation means for many forgotten communities. My dream of retiring in the UK with my Dutch husband has probably been scuppered by the Brexit vote. And while I bear no ill will to those who voted out, on many levels I understand their reasoning, as so often happens it will be the little people who play by the book who get punished, and behemoth corporations who destroyed local communities by off-shoring jobs and undercutting local businesses will remain unaffected. The term global citizen for me conjures images of an oppurtunist hopping from country to country in a private jet and snuffling up rich pickings without contributing to the local community. Or is that overly harsh?

A Foot in Both Camps

In terms of cultural identity I feel very Dutch when I am in the UK and very English when I am in the Netherlands. Or if I'm having a day in which my glass is half full, having dual nationality means I've got a wonderful pick and mix of traditions to choose from and I only need savour the ones I enjoy, and can wriggle out of others by shrugging my shoulders and saying, 'Hey, I'm only passing through anyway.'

I recently renewed my long-expired GB passport so now I plan to keep both passports up to date so that all bases are covered in a world which seems determined to make its citizens jump through endless bureaucratic hoops in order to 'belong'. What do you think? Would you contemplate dual nationality? Perhaps you have naturalised to your adopted country already. I'd love to hear your experiences.

 

 

This Week on WA 9th January 2017
Category: Site News

Already the second week of 2017! Doesn't time fly. Plenty to inspire and keep us writing on Writers Abroad this week.

The forum, Writing Goals for 2017 is up and ready for us. Sue, Dianne and Jo have already posted their aims for this year. Have you thought about yours yet? I am laid up with a debilitating cold so will see if I can get my fuzzy head around it soon.

Pieces by Alyson, Crilly and Sue are on the January challenges forum awaiting your input, so do have a look if you have time.

Blog: Jill has written an apposite blog about blogging! I like what you have done there, Jill. Useful tips and links for established bloggers and inspiration for new blog ideas. No need to suffer from blogger's block any longer.

Monday Muse: Vanessa has posted some wonderful prompts around the theme of wintery weather. The Muse forum was hot with no less than nine submissions last week; so let's keep it up and see if we can break the record number of muses in one week which currently stands at? Anyone been keeping track?

Bragging Stool: A little quiet right now but perhaps like flower bulbs we need some quiet hibernation time in order to blossom in the spring.

Jo has updated the planner so please have a look and make a note in your diaires of when you are doing what.

Good luck with your writing this week and I'll leave you with this quote by Margaret Atwood. 'If I waited for perfection... I would never write a word.'

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This Week on Writers Abroad 17th April
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