Friendly Skies

Like Nothing Ever Happened (flight MH17)

I have many friends from all over the world that I connect with on Facebook and Twitter.
For most of them the disaster that happened yesterday with flight MH17 is a far-flung event.
I completely understand that and I can’t blame them.
They simply went on with their lives.
Like nothing ever happened.

They continue to talk about anything and everything.
And a lot about cats.
While here in Amsterdam, about 15 minutes away from the airport,
I hear and see the airplanes flying our friendly skies.
Like nothing ever happened.

My thoughts and prayers are with everybody that boarded that plane yesterday and started their journey, unknowingly.
And with everybody that will be boarding a plane today to start their journey.
Maybe even with the same type of airplane, the same airline, or even the same flight number.
Like nothing ever happened.

In days, weeks, months, years, yesterday’s tragedy will be far-flung for the rest of us too.
We’ll be annoyed over a referee’s bad decision, about the weather, the traffic, and trains that don’t run according to schedule.
Like nothing every happened.

I wish you strength, courage and wisdom.
To deal with this sadness. To deal with your fears. And to deal with the unknown.
And with going on with your life…
Like nothing ever happened.



My Writing Vacation

I always wanted to be a writer. I loved telling and writing stories when I was still in school, and my Dutch, English, Creative Writing and Journalism teachers always stimulated me to keep developing this talent in my future. But my career path went an entirely different direction. However, the dream of becoming a writer never died.
I have been telling people that “I am writing a book” for the last 9 years. But I really wasn’t. Yet. Well, technically, maybe I really was writing a book, but my individual blogs, poems and stories were never combined or printed on paper. (Or does that count?)

I’ve always had visions of taking my laptop to a cozy little Amsterdam coffee shop to write. The staff would recognize me as I walked in and they’d immediately brew a fresh cup of coffee just the way ‘that writer’ liked it. (Between you and me, I’d really prefer a cup of green tea though…) I would have my own spot at the window, so the world in front of me would be my inspiration, and I would sit there for hours on a regular basis.
In reality, I still have yet to try that. But I will tell you when I have.

And now that I don’t have to go to work every day anymore, and it feels like the built up stress is finally leaving my body, I will definitely have enough time to write. So no more procrastinating, little lady! This book is finally going to happen!

So when I saw a retweeted tweet in my Twitter feed regarding a ‘Writing Vacation in Tuscany’, I immediately clicked on the link to view the details and instantly got excited. This is perfect for me! I would love to take another writing course! And this would definitely ‘set the wheels in motion’ for my book. Besides that, I am totally in love with Italy. So combining the two would be like a dream vacation for me! As soon as I knew I could definitely go, I signed up, booked a ticket and got more and more excited to leave… (read more about my departure in my previously written blog I’m Off to Tuscany)

I had been to Tuscany a few times before, and it truly is a breathtakingly beautiful area in Italy. That cozy little Amsterdam coffee shop sounds great, but hey; Tuscany??? I honestly could not think of a more perfect location to write.

Our home for the week Bed&Breakfast Villa Masini-Luccetti, is nothing short of a museum of precious antiques and cozy little nooks. Every day I discovered something new on the floor or on a wall in one of the many tastefully decorated rooms. The entire villa had character; it very much felt like a place where fairy tales could happen; it felt magical.

The land surrounding the villa is just as beautiful with many flowers, bushes, trees and fruit trees. There’s a water well, an old swing, a small labyrinth, and to top it all off: a gorgeous view of the Mediterranean Sea.

Yes, it’s definitely a place where magic happens, where friendships are founded, where stories are created and where bestselling authors are born. (Ha!)

We started each day with a yummy breakfast before an hour of writing training. I learned so much from our writing coach, Marelle Boersma, a Dutch renowned thriller author. Throughout the week she certainly inspired me to write at least 10 more books (…but let me not get ahead of myself here).
After personalized one-on-one coaching sessions, we had the afternoon off to complete our writing assignments, to work on our books, or just to lounge around under the Tuscan sun.
We were served a beautiful Italian home cooked lunch and a delicious three course dinner with a few local bottles of wine (and water for me) every day. Our host Elena made sure that we were more-than-well taken care off.
The high-light of the day for me was the evening Brainstorm session with the group, where each one of us would read a chapter of our book for feedback, or asked for input regarding the characters or story plot. This is where our creative juices started to flow like waterfalls and the most hilarious ideas were born.

After a week of learning, writing, eating, drinking, lounging, walking, talking, sharing, caring, hugging, crying and a whole lot of laughing, we grew so close that I can wholeheartedly say that the amazing women that I only just met a week ago, now all feel like sisters to me.

So from the bottom of my heart:  THANK YOU Marelle, Elena, Lydia, Erdy, Marja, Ditta, Petra, Jolanda and Simone for making this an unforgettable adventure! Each and every one of you has captured a very special place in my heart! And I hope to see you all in Tuscany again next year…

~love & smiles~

For more pictures and stories about the Writing Vacation:
Vicky in Tuscany

I live in my own little world… But that's ok. They know me here.


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