Weekend reads: Amazon Reunion, Writer’s Block and more


Amazing Amazon reunion
It’s easy to forget that many things we think are facts, are actually culturally determined. And with that culture, also come preconceptions and prejudices. Especially when other cultures think about topics differently. The notion of right and wrong, good and bad is an integral part of that. So, no surprise that those of us with multiple heritages can struggle in finding their identity. Just like the main characters in this story of a son searching for his Amazonian mother.

Overcome that writer’s block
The summer vacation season is almost over in the Northern Hemisphere, and that means we all need to get back into the work routine. For some that means turning back to a writing routine. That can be difficult, so Ana Canhoto looked for some tips to restart writing, which resulted in a blog post that is a great start in itself.

Who’s that in the shadow?
Startups often have one founder that gets all the attention. But, she’s never alone. VC Jeff Bussgang shares why it’s so important to also focus on the co-founder who is not always in the spotlights.

Self-promotion: new Dad-to-be blog
In a small act of shameless self promotion, I wanted to share about my new blog. Yes, I’m going to be a dad, and that’s exciting. A whole new world opens itself up to me, and I’m sharing that on a new blog called The Neverending Miracle. It will have general thoughts, poetry and of course I’m sharing experiences and tips on all things a Dad-to-be gets confronted with. Like picking a name, and which design principles we followed for that. The post also contains a practical tool to help you pick your baby’s name.

Light reading on a Sunday

A couple of years ago, right before we moved into the second millennium, I wrote my first short story and even got it published. I entered it in a contest in which the 100 winners would see their stories published in a book called ‘Het boek aller tijden’ – which is Dutch for ‘The Book of All Times’. Even though I liked writing the short story, it took me over 10 years to come up with the second story. So, if you’re in for a little light reading on a Sunday, here’s the Legend of Gazibe of Lyndas:

Excersises In Concise Writing

What I like about my attempts on writing poetry, is that it is a training in organizing my thoughts and finding a nice and concise way to get a certain thought or message across. These are also traits you can use in the consulting business. There will be only a few linguists that will have a negative view on the effect of trying to write poetry on language skills. If you compare that to the upheaval we saw when text messaging, and the limited character space that came with it at first, brought folk to condense their messages by shortening words to character combinations, you’ll see that there is an important difference between concise writing and condensed writing. Although I am not fully convinced that condensed writing is necessarily bad for language skills, I prefer the excercise in concise writing. And that is what I also like about micro blogging, of which Twitter of course is now the most popular instance. The limit of 140 characters has not, at least in most of the tweets in my timeline, led to overly condensed writing. Most tweets I see are examples of a concise way to convey a thought. It is mostly urls that are condensed by the url-shorteners. Maybe writing with a 140 character limit should be part of language training anyway. I can see a course in basic education where assignments are to write poetry in regulated forms (haikus, sonnets) and interesting tweets. Of course without resorting to well known aforisms.

Weggespoelde woorden

De grauwe hemel drukt.
Woorden blijven weg, het scherm leeg
Met het stof heeft de regen
de inspiratie uit de lucht gespoeld.
Het stroomt weg door de goten,
ongrijpbaar voor pen en toetsenbord.

Als het opklaart zie ik ze weer:
de letters dansen letterlijk voor mijn ogen.
Maar voordat ik de woorden zie,
betrekt het weer.