Last year has been a bit of a self-inflicted overload, work-wise, and after summer I realized that I had no brain space or energy left for what I love doing most: writing.

Spurred on by my best friend Sieneke, I mapped out jobs, tasks, responsibilities, assignments, school visits, teaching gigs, mentoring projects and whatnot. On my page – or my three pages – appeared a staggering number of commitments. No wonder my brain refused to engage in new writing projects. It had already way too much to process.

I knew that if I wanted to go back to writing I had to whip my stubborn self into change. Luckily, it turns out I can be pretty persuasive with the whip. I shelved all my commitments until further notice, and asked my author friend and acupuncturist Sandra to stick her needles in me to restore my energy levels.


It worked. Slowly but surely my brain opened up and the writing juices started flowing again. I finished the revision of Boreas and the Thousand Islands (Boreas en de duizend eilanden), the second book in my Dutch middle grade adventure series about 12-year-old Boreas who circumnavigates the world with his parents, and started planning the third book.


There was also this Young Adult story that kept me awake at night, pressing me to put it on paper. It’s a story that has me go back to the darker times of my life. A story that challenges me and my courage. It’s this story that brought me to San Francisco and I am glad I answered its call. It’s not an easy one to write but being here creates not only a physical but also enough mental distance between the story and my personal memories to pull it off. I still have to go deep. I still have to be courageous. But I know I can do this.


And when it does graze my soul, I think of the first painting I ever bought, a painting I fell in love with the moment I laid eyes on it. It had me written all over it, in its colors, its composition, its intention. When the artist told me the painting’s title all I could do was smile and nod. Of course. I bought the painting and that title has been my motto ever since:




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‘Looking for Tarzan Inside Myself’ by Els Wiegel (not a good pic but it’s all I have here)