Vlamingen?

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

janischa

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always happy to meet

My wife is from Antwerp, and Gaby's sister lives in Gent! We live about 3 hours away from Antwerp in Germany but we come to visit Gaby's parents in Antwerp every month. They are 82 and almost 80 so we're trying to spend as much time as we can there. Gaby went to medical school in Gent about 25 years ago.

I'm an American and Gaby is a native Dutch speaker, but she also speaks German, French and English! I know a LITTLE French and even less Dutch. The languages I'm fluent in are programming languages (SQL, Javascript, ColdFusion, HTML, CSS, etc.. :) )

We just got home Sunday from our monthly trip to Antwerp/Gent. It would be nice to meet people from this board on our one of our trips!


Tom Nunamaker

I'm always happy to meet new people :) I can show you and your wife to some nice restaurants in Brussels (or antwerp) :) Just pm me next time you'll be here. I also know a GREAT cocktail bar (very cosy and yummy cocktails) in brussels....
 

Aeromir

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I'm always happy to meet new people :) I can show you and your wife to some nice restaurants in Brussels (or antwerp) :) Just pm me next time you'll be here. I also know a GREAT cocktail bar (very cosy and yummy cocktails) in brussels....

Awesome! We're always on the lookout for good places to eat! We discovered a really good Chinese restaurant in Antwerp on our last trip:

Monkey King
http://www.monkeyking.be/

It's not in the best part of town, but the food was great and price was reasonable.

We'll be back to Antwerp (Borgerhout) around the last week of November!
 

janischa

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a new address yeah !

didn't know that one yet :) will certainly give it a try....

my favorite restaurant at the moment is a vietnamese place.... he makes this incredible dish of beef flambé in lemongrass.... when you order it, he comes with this clay pot on some sort of plate filled with fluid... then he lights it up, giving an effect of blue fire for like 10+ minutes, while from time to time he comes stirring in it.... after that, you have the tastiest hotpot i ever tasted !!!! and the price is like 15 euro or so i believe..... it's only not the easiest place to get to :-(

another alltime favorite of mine is this hideous looking pakistani night shop, but their food is yummy ! and for a whole meal it'll only cost you like 9 euro.

I also know a bunch of more high scale restaurants too (yes, i'm a foodie ^-^), but my heart goes out to the smaller places trying to survive and giving fab quality....
 

Friendly Frog

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the scwbi is the association for children book writers, but now suddenly it struck me that you actually don't write children's books :) it's an event this november with authors and illustrators meeting up....
Oh, interesting, I didn't know there was an association like that.

But no, I don't write children's books and I'm an amateur, very much unpublished. :)

Just heard on the news that it's now been 500 days that there's been no Belgian government in place. Doesn't seem to really affect daily life now, does it ? :)
Not really, eh? But then there's still the resigning government. They can still make decisions if necessary on 'running matters'.

I secretely suspect they cheat a bit on what they consider running matters, since they do seem capable of handling certain issues that are new and urgent and then totally ignore others.
 

Melhael

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Not really, eh? But then there's still the resigning government. They can still make decisions if necessary on 'running matters'.

I secretely suspect they cheat a bit on what they consider running matters, since they do seem capable of handling certain issues that are new and urgent and then totally ignore others.

They did pass the budget, which was grossly unconstitutional. But since the constitution is in constant revision anyway, I suppose it's not that big a deal anymore. ;)
 

janischa

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all i know

politics aside, all i know is that today we had a sunny day and i was too ill to go outside :-( but i did enjoy seeing some sun shine through the windows.....

I think that the thing I hate worst about being ill, is having my mind quite blurry and little ideas on writing popping up...
 

Melhael

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Yes, it was quite pleasant. I did some line-editing with the terrace door open... in a t-shirt. Hard to believe it's almost November and I'm in Belgium.

That said, I find it quite worrying that the seasons are now completely off. It's not a good sign at all. And they're announcing a terrible winter: -25°C in certain regions of Europe (Central Europe). Hopefully, the North Sea will keep the temperatures above that level, here in Brussels.
 

Friendly Frog

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Oh so it is true: when Belgians have enough of talking about the misdeeds of politicians, they change the subject to the weather. ;)

I have my doubts about that 'horrorwinter' we're supposed to be getting. They can hardly predict the weather accurately three days beforehand, never mind whole months.

Still, this year has been crazy weather-wise. There are plants in the garden that are flowering. Plants that normally flower in spring. Spring. November. Someone's confused, alright.
 

janischa

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change of topic

good catch, frog :)

So how long have all of you been writing seriously and at what stage are you in your writership ? For those published and/or agented, how long did it take you ?

I've been writing like all my life (everyone's story here I guess ^-^) but only took it up more seriously about 2 months ago. Now I've set up a critique group focused on Picture Book writing, I've used my birthday money for some professional advice and I hope to be submitting to publishers by end of November.
 

Melhael

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Last year, the rosebush on my terrace flowered in winter. One single red rose. Then it snowed like crazy, and strangely, it didn't wither. (I suppose the poor thing was plain frozen.) It was pretty and a bit sad.

So how long have all of you been writing seriously and at what stage are you in your writership ? For those published and/or agented, how long did it take you ?

I started making up stories before I learned the alphabet (I used to draw a lot when I was a child.) But writing seriously? About two to three years now.

I finished my first novel a little less than a year ago. It took a while. I completely rewrote it twice, then spent quite a while polishing it. I'm currently querying agents.

In the meantime, I wrote this quirky space adventure about a Texan waitress who ends up flying to the stars on a quest to save the Earth from blood-thirsty aliens. (Don't judge me! I was in a dark place and I needed to write something fun and crazy. ;)) I don't expect anybody in the traditional publishing industry would be interested in that one, so I've decided to put on my independent writer's shoes and try walking that road with this one. (I wrote about it here, where you can catch a glimpse of the covert art.)

I used to write bad things about them shifty self-publishing types who sell their novels for $0.99, but in the course of this strange year, I've come to realize that my writing belongs to me and it is for me alone to decide what I should do with it. Experimenting is fine. So, I thought, what the hell.

I'm still exploring options to gather enough money to hire a freelance editor, though. I'd feel much more comfortable if I had that safety net. That way, if someone comes attacking my English, I can shield myself thinking, OK, maybe you don't like it, but at least the grammar, the syntax, and the spelling are solid. We'll see how that turns out. ;)
 

janischa

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beta reader

Do you have a beta reader or a critique group ? You know, I used my b-day money to pay for some professional critiques (which is way much cheaper for a picture book) and my crit partners had managed to find quite a number of the same 'points i needed to work on'. So, for my YA novel, if I ever get to finish it, I'd always run it by some beta readers first. Just a matter of making it all financially feasible.....
I'll certainly buy your SP story; very curious about it now :) i could use some goofy story right now....
 

Melhael

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I share a flat with the only person on this planet who is physically incapable of lying, and we like similar books. So, he reads the stuff I write and gives detailed critiques. It's not always pleasant—at all—, but his input is invaluable. I'm lucky to have someone in my life who can read something I wrote and say to my face, "This is utter crap. Rewrite it." It makes the (very) occasional praise feel a whole lot better. :)

That said, my birthday and Christmas are just around the corner, so maybe I will be able to afford professional help. Or I could sell redundant organs, like kidneys or lungs. :p
 

Friendly Frog

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So how long have all of you been writing seriously and at what stage are you in your writership ? For those published and/or agented, how long did it take you ?
I've only actually started writing about 7 years ago, when I was in my twenties. First short story was for a challenge on an internetforum and what I wrote was so well received that I thought: hey, I can actually write! (Kind of funny, since I had been drawing for a decade or so and thought any talent I had lay there, until bang! I write one measly story for the first time and people rave over it. Go figure.)

Since then I've only written about two dozen other short stories, either for a free e-zine or put on Elfwood for critique. I wrote nearly all of them purely for fun and to prove to myself that the first story wasn't a fluke and I could actually write more good stuff.

Two of my friends I met online offered to beta for me and have gone over every story I wrote since but neither are connected to the writing world. They were thorough, although both liked me too much to be really brutal, I think. Lately they haven't had much time any more to read due to work, but that's okay since I haven't finished anything this year either. (2011 has been a difficult year, which doesn't do wonders for the creative juices.)

Only very recently I've been thinking whether I could make a few euros with what I've written and started looking in it. The money isn't important, the selling is. For me it's more like one of those things you ought have done at least once in your life-time, sort of like: dance in a thunderstorm, climb a mountain top, fly in an air balloon, kiss a frog, hold a butterfly in your hand, sell a short story.
 

Aeromir

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Only very recently I've been thinking whether I could make a few euros with what I've written and started looking in it. The money isn't important, the selling is.

I've learned from many internet marketers that building an email list is vital to long term success. You can use aweber, mailchimp, etc, but get an optin form on a website (could be a facebook fan page) and offer something in exchange for getting on your list.. (like a short story once you join the list).

You can then send regular emails to your list. One email per week should be enough to keep them interested and not forget who you are :)

What can you send to them? Here's a few ideas:
- passages of works you're writing.. get their feedback (use survey software like surveymonkey.com)
- Surveys
- contests
- update them on your plans
- product offers (hey.. maybe sell a collection of your stories in an ebook)
- writing advice
- personal challenges and how you overcame them

etc...

These are also good blog topics. You could have a blog and send a weekly update of what you posted in the last week as a newsletter to your email list.

Lots of things you can do to build up a following.. but using email is the most direct and personal way of communicating with people who want to follow what you do.

Just a little advice :)
 

janischa

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content

i think that's a very good idea provided that you're able to provide a sufficiently interesting content....

we (our critique group) has a website on which I blog regularly, but for now, it's only really for us personally (www.picturebookhome.com)

At this moment, i don't have any work (stories) yet which i don't yet want to use in submissions (or at least partially recycle into new stories), but maybe on term, I think I'll indeed be thinking about some ways to use the internet more efficiently.....

Besides writing programme language, do you also write other stuff Aeromir ?
 

janischa

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need you to cross your fingers

i need you guys to send some good vibes my way.... i just subbed a picture book story (half fiction, half non fiction -- first time ever i venture into this side of the picture book industry) and am now very much hoping for some good news.... To my horror, I sent off my query letter in an impatient mood and discovered some grammar mistakes in it :-( Ahhhhhh... I hope she'll read over it and base her judgement on my story (with picture book submissions, they often ask you to send the full story in the mail).

Send some good vibes my way !!!!!
 

Friendly Frog

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I've learned from many internet marketers that building an email list is vital to long term success. You can use aweber, mailchimp, etc, but get an optin form on a website (could be a facebook fan page) and offer something in exchange for getting on your list.. (like a short story once you join the list).
Good advice though this may be, it sounds like it will be more work than actually writing my short stories! These days it seems a web-presense is a necessary aspect for a writer, but is it also for short story writers? I'd have thought that was a wholy different market from novels.

Send some good vibes my way !!!!!
Good, chocolate-favoured (Belgian of course) vibes coming up!
 

janischa

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stupid me

Yesterday, i received an email acknowledging receipt of my submission.... i should put this into perspective, it's only 1 !!! submission for goodness sake.... :)
I told one of my crit partners about it though (incl of my mistakes) and she made the world wise remark why i didn't let my crit group revise it first to polish it up... darn my impatience !!!! i usually take my stories through rounds and rounds of revision, so why couldn't i wait with this story..... grumpy on myself....
 

janischa

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what's up

heya, i thought i'd ask all of you what's up ? how's writing life been and life in general ? have the past weeks been productive, inspiring or plain boring ?
from my side, i've been generating many ideas, little stories and am still awaiting the rejection of the above manuscript :) i did however polish up 2 (picture book) manuscripts of mine (thank you crit group and thank you professional manuscript services) and though i think they're near to being submissable, i'm going to put them away for another 2 weeks and them give them a final look before i send them off in the mail....
your turn to tell me what's on.....
 

Melhael

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I'm doing NaNoWriMo, and I'm still on schedule. Over 28,000 words now, and still having fun with the story. In the meantime, I'm working on my manuscript (just finish another round of edits) and trying to keep my blog alive. ;)

(And yes, that was shameless self-promotion right there. :D)
 

10trackers

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Hi southerly neighbors :D

:hi:

One of my best friends lives in Antwerp so I feel like a bit of an honorary Belgian :D
 

Melhael

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Hi! And welcome to the forum! :)

BTW, I wanted to ask something to the good people in this thread. Has anyone residing in Belgium tried to self-publish via Amazon KDP? Between the IRS and Amazon's medieval payment system (paper cheques, seriously...) I wonder if it's worth the bother. Smashwords pays royalties with PayPal. From Belgium, that seems like a much better solution. Anyone here has any experience with this?
 

Friendly Frog

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Sorry, no experience. But I did notice that with payment from overseas, money transfers and cheques seem the preferred method, despite the costs. I wonder why bank transfers, which also should be possible internationally, are but rarely used.

If you make money with writing, you'll probably need an extended tax form for the Belgian taxes. In paper, that has to be requested beforehand, but I don't know whether it is any faster in tax-on-web.

Hi gyulameszaros!
 
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