I plowed through the tons of letters and invoices that gathered on my desk while I was away, I’ve done the laundry, I reconnected with my workout buddies Toni, Maria, Astarti and Anna. I sniffed up Amsterdam air. I plunged into a swarm of tourists diddling around outside my house. I bought tickets for the new Chagall exhibition. I witnessed a beautiful sunset from my fourth floor window.


The good news is I haven’t forgotten how to ride my bike.


The bad news is that I seem to have forgotten how to write, as if my compass lost its north.


I’ve written one word for my new project since I’m back at my desk: ‘It’. And then it all stopped, as if someone had syphoned off the words, leaving me with nothing but blank space in my brain.

I’m pretty good at beating myself up about stuff like that, words that won’t come, ideas that won’t hatch, scenes that won’t unfold, but this time I’ve decided to hand the whip over to the muse. He can beat me up as much as he wants, I’m going to sit back and relax, read a book and write some random snippets of poetry and flash fiction as to not let my brain think it has succeeded in defeating me.

I will patiently wait for the words to return. They will. I’m confident.


Elvis Costello’s ‘Someone took the words away’ on his album North best illustrates this tongue-tied (finger-tied? brain-tied?) feeling I’m experiencing.