Every now and again, someone asks me to write an article. Sometimes, I elbow my way into the pages. In any event, these are my non-fiction works. They range from career advice to craft essays to the occasional article on politics.
In my never-ending quest for world domination, I’ve cast my eyes about the blogosphere and particularly in the direction where Asian books rule. There is only one book review site that qualifies for attention: bookish.asia. This is what they say about themselves.
Bookish Asia is a book review site dedicated to showcasing quality fiction and non-fiction works about Asia. It is the creation of the three founders of Camphor Press: Michael Cannings, John Ross and Mark Swofford.
I’ll be writing occasional reviews for these fine folks. Here’s my first review of the Japanese classic: Palm-of-the-Hand Stories by Kawabata Yasunari. 21.06.2018.
And here’s review #2 of The Stolen Bicycle by Wu Ming-Yi, long-listed for the Man Booker International Prize 2018. Update 16.09.2018.
Authors Electric is a platform for independently-published authors. Last summer, I got a guest gig on this site. Starting 10.04.2018, I am now a regular contributor. My plan is to publish craft essays there. Here’s my list so far:
- On the importance of setting in fiction 10.04.2018
- What exactly is creative nonfiction 10.05.2018
- The next big thing: sensitivity readers 10.06.2018
- The not-so-gentle art of editing a novel 10.07.2018
- Fear of rejection 10.08.2018
- On blogging 10.09.2018
This is a serendipitous tale. My friend Tori is looking for sources to use on a story she’s writing about the rise of racism in the Netherlands. I say, hey, I’m writing about the same thing, here’s my draft. Lo and behold: we both end up on the website of Global Voices, a borderless community for citizen media reporting. My blog post The Low Countries was republished on 21.03.2018 as Hitting a Low Point in the Low Countries.
Nunum.ca is a brand-new website that blends flash fiction with visual art from its home in Canada. Editor Geoffrey Miller found me through a short story I wrote for Cha, a Hong Kong literary journal, and asked if I would write something for his blog, something about writing, because he liked my voice. Notes on a Palm-of-the-Hand Story is a riff on flash fiction inspired by the eponymous collection by Kawabata Yasunari. Published 14.02.2018.
the shanghai literary review
It was a long-shot for me. An essay competition on the theme of Concrete for The Shanghai Literary Review. I started writing and ended up with Memory Palace, a work of creative non-fiction about the way memory feeds into my fiction. It had little to do with concrete but lucky for me, the editors liked my essay anyway. Published in Issue No. 2, December 2017.
Inspiration resides in the strangest nooks and crannies of the mind. But every now and again it needs to be fed. And that’s when I go a-travelling.
As guest blogger of the month, my blog post Wanderlust was republished on 31.08.2017 by Authors Electric, a truly electrifying honor.
I have struggled my entire life with labels. I don’t want to count toward any diversity quota. Don’t look at my gender, ethnicity or immigrant status. Don’t treat me differently because I’m one of them.
But in order to succeed as a writer, you need to carve out a niche for yourself. And now I’ve found mine. We Are Not Labels was published on 20.07.2017.
Then I changed my mind. You can check out my thinking these days in Labels and Charlottesville.
This online platform dedicates itself to:
the quality of women living a fearless life after fifty.
Kitten Heels is about how I transformed myself from corporate lawyer to writer. And why it would have been impossible to write my novel, The Dancing Girl and the Turtle, at any age other than the one I am now: 57. Published by Fiftiness on 29.06.2017 and republished with permission on my blog.
Blessed Are the Cheesemakers is a guest blog post (published 26.01.2017) that I wrote at the request of Femflection.com founder Anja Uitdehaag. She asked me to report on the Women’s March in Amsterdam. My first attempt at political essays. Here’s my take on the Women’s March and my own slow transformation from apathetic sideliner to activist.
Ping-Pong: The Editing Process is a joint blog post for my publisher Linen Press. Director Lynn Michell and I talk about the editing process. Read how we transformed The Dancing Girl and the Turtle from a promising manuscript into a polished novel. (She was Ping and I was Pong. Or the other way around, I forget.) Published 23.01.2017.
In the direct aftermath of the Trump election, I wrote my American swan song. That piece, Amerika is mijn land niet meer, ended up on the OpEd page of the Dutch national newspaper NRC Handelsblad (11 November 2016). This is the first of my essays to appear in Dutch and English. You can read the English version under the title These Boots Are Made for Walking.
I loved being backstage at the Stadsschouwburg, the Amsterdam temple to theater. The occasion for this visit was TEDx Amsterdam. You can read about that madness in one of my earliest essays, The View from Backstage – TEDxAms 2015 (November 2015).
Last updated on 22.03.2018.