“The primary subject of fiction is and has always been human emotion, values, and beliefs.”
― John Champlin Gardner Jr., The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers

My husband is a very vocal person. I suppose growing up alone can produce different outcomes. Whereas my circumstances made me choose to fade into the background, Husband made sure he was heard. He turned out more of an extrovert while I became an introvert.

Husband thinks aloud. For a “quiet type” like myself, who has never been properly taught to voice herself, this would often be quite challenging during…


Even when conditions are right, being happy can be a tall order. Reckoning with the happiness myth.

Photo by Andrew Pons on Unsplash

“Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”
― Ernest Hemingway, The Garden of Eden

It is a beautiful day. The temperature is mild, a hesitant sun is poking holes in the early morning mist. I am hearing birds all around me, in the garden around our new home.

I just fed the chickens that came with the property, collecting one egg. I know there will be more later — these are very productive chickens. As I walk back towards the house, I see Husband playing with our dog out on our lawn. They look very happy.

I…


three crumpled pieces of paper on top of two blank sheets of paper
three crumpled pieces of paper on top of two blank sheets of paper
Photo by Richard Dykes on Unsplash

It is my goal to be an accomplished writer. I use this word deliberately: accomplished.

To me it says two things:

  • Skilled
  • Recognized

I tend to steer clear of the word “success” because to me it has become tainted. It is a subjective word that means different things to different people. Nowadays, it seems to imply a monetary connotation. I believe however, that there are more ways than money to define and measure “success”.

I am doing a lot to attain my goal. I write daily, I read a lot — especially my Medium examples and motivators. Not a day…


Photo by Bruno Bergher on Unsplash

“Here” , the old man said, “have a taste”.

“What is it?” I asked.

The old man looked very much like Scatman Crothers in his role as 'Halloran' in Stanley Kubrick’s 'The Shining’. He offered me a broad smile as he handed me a candy bar, shaped like a miniature free-way, made out of chocolate — there were gritty curbs and a line across the middle.

“The Road Ahead” , he said.
“Go on” , he insisted, “have a bite”.

The taste was a surprising cascade of flavours. It was sweet, sour, salty, bitter and crunchy…


The Change seems to have its perks, after all

The Change and Gravity aren’t the best of friends. But while the majority of my body seems to be drooping and sagging, my breasts are perkier than ever and even seem to be growing. Ironic.

Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash

Once upon a time, this awkward, introvert teen seemed to wake up with what turned out to be a decent size C-cup. When the time had come to grow breast, I had always pictured them budding much like a flower: gradually, so one could become acquainted with them and get used to them. They would start as a modest A-cup, I told myself, upon which…


Photo by Annika Treial on Unsplash

“I don’t believe in ageing. I believe in forever altering one’s aspect to the sun. Hence my optimism. And to alter now, cleanly and sanely, I want to shuffle off this loose living randomness: people; reviews; fame; all the glittering scales; and be withdrawn, and concentrated.”
― Virginia Woolf, A Writer’s Diary

It is true: when you get older, you become less flexible, both in the literal and the figurative sense.

Though overweight for most of my life (I was already too heavy as a toddler), I once prided myself on being extremely flexible — partly due to my ‘loose…


“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”
― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Christmas time is upon us once again — a time for reflection. Perhaps it’s an old-fashioned notion, but we cannot help believing Christmas is a special time that should not be taken for granted. We are both scarred in our own way, which has made our perception of Christmas rather ambiguous. …


Why would you want to be a writer anyway?

“A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it”
― Roald Dahl

Right after my Medium Milestone — my first 500 followers — I kinda stopped publishing. It’s been weeks now and I have no excuse … or do I?

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Keeping up the habit of writing and publishing regularly and staying focused on your writing career is quite hard to do when you have a life as well. Of course, writing should be your life. And…


What my first 500 Medium followers mean to me

“I am I: and I must follow that furrow, not copy another. That is the only justification for my writing, living.”
― Virginia Woolf, A Writer’s Diary

When I first — tentatively — started writing on Medium, I could not believe my good fortune when I saw the first few followers popping up in my notifications. Today, 500 other Medium members are following me. Me! I could not be more pleased. I am especially pleased, because all these followers are complete strangers to me.

Photo by Jehyun Sung on Unsplash

I have been using social media for a long time — I believe my Twitter account…


And why that is OK

I had made my plans. Found my resolve. My abandoned fantasy novel well and truly on my mind at the start of this month. I was ready to go NaNoWriMo.

And then I didn’t.

Still a week to November 2019 and I haven’t written a word of my novel. There’s a league of excuses I could come up with. But if I am truly honest with myself — and with you, dear reader — I just don’t want to. I think that if I was really committed to the story, to my unlikely heroine and the fantasy folk on her…

Andrea Pronk-De Palm

Writing editor with an inquisitive mind, an outspoken opinion and her Heart in the Write Place. I write about writing, the creative process and change.

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