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(NOTE: I mainly write in Afrikaans. An English version of this blog entry follows below, just scroll down. I do have translate options available,see top right of the page, but much of Afrikaans is lost in automated translation. ;))

Ses dae voor NaNoWriMo2019 aanbreek. Ses dae voor my huishouding en wêreld verander en ek die 50 000 woord in 31 dae uitdaging aanvaar. Dit is my tweede jaar om in te skrywe as ‘n ‘plantser’  met geen reëls behalwe om my vinger op ‘n lukrake nota te plaas in een van die vele joernale wat my skryfkamer vol staan. Mini torings van Pisa oral in rakke en op my lessenaar. As ek dood eerlik moet wees, is hierdie ook nie ‘n skryfkamer nie, dit is ‘n paniek-kamer vir ‘n meester uitsteller. Tyd vir verandering.

Verlede jaar het ek ‘n persoonlike memoir geskrywe, in Afrikaans. Dit was ‘n katarsis en ek is dankbaar dat ek onthou op papier kon vaspen. ‘n Vrugbare bron van groter begrip vir myself, my verhouding en reaksie op die wêreld. Hartseer dat hierdie self-ontdekking so laat in my lewe kom. Of miskien tog nie, miskien was dit juis op die regte oomblik, al die uitskrywe van gevoelens en gedagtes en ontsnapping aan die nagevolge van trauma. Die kettings is gebreek. Vooruitgang is gemaak. Ek het gegroei.

Vanjaar sal ek fokus op dinge wat my amuseer en fasineer. Ek gaan trag om 31 essays in 31 dae te skrywe, in Afrikaans. Sodoende kan ek die magdom notas en gedagtes ontklotter. Die rusteloosheid in my siel stil maak en my innerlike-uitsteller met die pad van geen omkeer af jaag.

Die potlode is skerp, die notaboek gereed en die geheue om skryfsels te berg skoon. My dae is gevul met taalreëls oplees en blokraai om my woordeskat aan te vul. Moenie komkommer nie, ek sorg darem nog vir my gesin en die honde en onthou om die voëltjies te voer.

Wat het my besiel?  Ek grap net. Ons het almal stories te vertel, en miskien ten minste een grote.

‘n Storie, waarvan ek omtrent so tien hoofstukke geskrywe het, wat wentel om ‘n karakter wat so ses jaar gelede my op ‘n baie winderige dag aan die wasgoed hang, kom besoek het, is my uitdaging wanneer NaNoWriMo2019 se ontklottering ten einde loop.

‘n Skryfkursus mentor van ‘n jonger geslag het my in my spore gestuit. my ‘stem’ het nie in haar idee vir die volgende groot storie gepas nie. Ek was mistroostig en ek moet bely, by gemoedsbekak verby. Summier vir middeljarige Sophia in ‘n kis gebêre om ‘n stadige dood te sterf. Sy is egter baie gedetermineerd en hou aan om by my te spook, in my drome en lukrake wakker oomblikke.

Dit blyk ek is sommer klaar reg vir 2020 se skryfwerk. Geen rus vir hierdie ‘queen-ager’ (61 en immer jonk ;))

My muse is Engemi Ferreira

Die skrywer is onlangs oorlede. Sy het een boek en ‘n versameling kortverhale publiseer en ook soos ek lees ‘n wonderlike ma, vriend en kollega vir vele mense.

Haar 72-bladsy novelle ‘Die jaar toe my ma begin sing het het my pad gekruis in 1993 met die tweede druk. Dit moenie liggies of haastig gelees word nie.

Haar skryfwerk laat Afrikaans sing, en sy mors nie met woorde nie. Haar skryfstyl is kragtig. Nes ‘n pêrel snoerder die perfekte pêrel individueel selekteer om lands die vorige een in te pas, so snoer sy woorde.  In die bedanking staan:“vir Ta’Anna wat my herinner het:elke mens het ten minste een boek om te skryf…”

Engemi, my November is aan jou toegewy. RIV. Mag jou nagedagtenis en skryfkuns my die roete terug na my skryfstem wys.

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Six days before NaNoWriMo 2019 commences.  Six days before my household, and world changes and I accept the challenge to write 50 000 words in 31 days.  My second year to enter this awesome writing challenge as a planster – no rules except putting my finger on a random note in journals filling up my writing room. They are mini-towers of Pisa all over  the book shelves and my desk. If I am honest, it is not a writing room, it is a panic room for a procrastinator! Time to change that.

Last year I wrote a personal memoir in my mother tongue, Afrikaans.  It was a cathartic experience and I am grateful that I put memories to paper. A fertile source for greater understanding of myself and my relation and reaction to the world. Sad that this opportunity of self-discovery came so late in life. Or not, maybe it was just at the right time, all the writing out of feelings and thoughts and escaping the effect of trauma. Breaking the chains. Moving on. Growth took place.

This year I will be focusing on things that amuse and fascinate me. I will be attempting to write 31 Essays in 31 Days, also in Afrikaans.  By doing so, I can clean out the clutter of jotted down thoughts and notes. Still the restlessness in my soul and chase my inner-procrastinator down the road of no return.

So, the pencils are sharpened, notebook is ready and the back-up drive is clean. Currently reading up on my language do’s and don’ts and  filling out crosswords to hone word capacity, fills my days. Oh, and not to worry. I still take care of my family and dogs and feed the birds.

What have I got myself into – again. Just joking. We all have stories to tell, and maybe at least one great one.

A novel, of which I have written about ten chapters,  built around a character who visited me while hanging laundry on a very windy day, about six years ago, is my challenge after my NANoWriMo 2019 de-cluttering.

A writing course mentor from a younger generation all but stopped me in my tracks. My ‘voice’ not fitting into her idea of the next great novel. I was despondent and must confess downright blue. Put poor middle-aged Sophia in a box and left her to die a slow death. So I thought. She is very determined and keeps haunting me in my dreams and random awake moments.

Seems I am sorted for 2020 writing as well. No rest for this queen-ager (61 and young at heart ;))

My muse is Engemi Ferreira. 

This writer passed away recently. She wrote one novel and a collection of short stories, and was by all accounts a wonderful mother, friend and colleague to many.

Her one and only 72-page novel “Die jaar toe my ma begin sing het,” (Translated: The year my mother began singing) crossed my path in 1993 when the second edition published. It is not to be read lightly or in a hurry.

She makes Afrikaans sing, she does not mince words. Her writing styl packs a punch. Like a stringer of pearls will  select just the right  pearl individually to string aside the previous one, so this writer does with words. In her dedication she thanks Ta’ Anna who reminded Engemi ‘each person has at least one book to write.’

Engemi, my November is dedicated to you. RIP. May your memory and writing show me the way back to my own writing voice.

 

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