Perspective on a Scene – Everyday or Exotic?

Ebru dragged the shopping trolley over the paving stones and through the entrance into the market. Spring was just around the corner judging by the fruit tree saplings. She walked through the crowds, looking left and right at the piles of fruit and vegetables on low trestles on either side of the passage. Spring had not arrived to the stalls yet judging by the predominance of spinach and cabbage. Winding a path through the market she stopped in front of Click for more

Proud to be an Expat

Many, many years ago I read an article in a Turkish newspaper asking for contributors for an anthology about foreign women in Turkey. I felt like it had been written directly to me. When I first came to Turkey I shunned all foreign company. That sounds very high and mighty but it really wasn’t hard to do in Çanakkale of the early 2000s, there were very few foreigners to avoid. My reasoning was that I had to throw myself into Click for more

Joy in Writing

For many years I have “suffered” from writer’s block. The inverted commas are to indicate that I don’t really believe such a thing exists. But writing was not happening. The impulse is to wonder why and here’s a list that may or may not explain it: Lack of confidence Perfectionism Bad time management Avoidance of hard work with a distant result Perceived lack of good ideas Social anxiety/fear of being seen Time spent reeling between terrorist attacks Awareness of climate Click for more

Pinning the Butterfly

I’ve been putting off writing this blogpost. It feels a little like pinning down a butterfly. Flying around it creates wonderful glimpses of colour but I know if I don’t pin it down, it will flutter on its way and the memory of it will fade. I attended a poetry workshop in the local university a few weeks ago. It’s the first time to my knowledge that an English-language poetry workshop has been held so I jumped at the chance Click for more

Falling Off the Wagon

It’s not been long. I’ve only been on the wagon (that would be the writing and blogging wagon) for the last month. I can already feel I’m flagging. Now I could say it started last week when I failed to get a post up, but that would be denying the scale of the problem. It probably began before that when I spent a day idling and feeling blue. I did not write the two posts I had planned and I Click for more

Outlining the Plan

One of the things that aids a good procrastinator, sorry I mean distracts a good writer, is that there is endless debate about the best way to go about writing. So first you must decide if you are a planner or not. This refers to whether you will plan your manuscript to the last comma before setting pen to paper or whether you just sit down and let it all flow freely. I’m not sure either of these extremes really Click for more

Words on the page…

  Anyone who mentions how many thousand words they throw out before breakfast, anyone at all on the #amwriting hashtag, any completely unhelpful “10 great writers who wrote prolifically” get THE LOOK from a not-writer. The one that says – I’m trying to be cool here but the truth is I’m jealous and will now resort to making personal comments because my argument really is that weak. So why not just write? You’ve got these ideas you say, characters and Click for more

Oh Well!

A few days ago I came across a post by Chuck Wendig that summed up a quandary I’ve been in lately. When I say came across I actually mean read in my Feedly because I follow his blog. But that sounds boringly practical, so instead imagine me wandering aimlessly through the wild grasses of the internet before stumbling over the tree stump of enlightenment. The post just consisted of the flowchart below… And I was forced, as all devious flowcharts force Click for more

Changing My Viewpoint

A while back I realised that I had an attitude problem. It wasn’t immediately noticeable to everyone, in fact for the most part, nobody knew. But I knew and it was eating me up inside. This attitude was one that is probably not uncommon in expats. It’s a negative view of the country you live in, a pessimism that colours your view of everyone and everything. For a short-term expat this leads to a lot of comparisons with how things Click for more

Being Short-sighted

I need to start wearing glasses, metaphorical ones, I’m already wearing ones for distance. I can see the outline of my goal, the bright shiny vision of the future. I can see exactly what it will be like and how good it will make me feel. There is a soft-focus effect at play though, the image is not crystal clear. What is perfectly clear is the wall between me and my goal. It’s a wall that can only be broken Click for more