Posted in Photo challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Extra, Extra

140613extraFor this week’s photo challenge Extra, Extra, I chose two pictures in which the subjects of my choice (the focused children and the woman warrior, resting her sword) are in stark contrast with the expression of the person behind them/her. It adds a little extra to the photos, right? 😉


Have an extra special weekend.

check out the other entries in the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.

Posted in Art, Haiku, Photo

They have become one


connected in dance

movement of elegant grace

they have become one


 click the photo for a larger image

I absolutely adore this photo, which was sent to me by a friend. These dancers are strong, expressive and caring. A lifetime of stories…

Posted in Writing

Milestone: 5000 Figments Hits!

Today we are having a little party over here at Figments of a Dutchess. You see, my English blog has hit the 5000 milestone post-read and I’m speechless about that! And happy! This celebration coincides with completing one quarter of the Post A Day 2011 Challenge. So come on in, sit down and have a cup of tea. Or a glass of red wine. Something else perhaps? We have all, in a digital way 😉

Figments of a Dutchess came to life in April 2009, when I moved my old blog to WordPress. Back then, my attention was focused on my Dutch blog Drieske Dartelt though, where I could write in my native language. Until I decided to join the crazy PostADay2011 challenge… a double challenge, because this meant writing in English. My daily schedule was adjusted to enable this increase in writing and it resulted in 1200 views in January, over 1600 in February and again 1600 last month! I’m really overwhelmed and touched.

My word for this year is Expression. Blogging for me means communicating, which takes me straight to you, my dear readers. Over the months together we’ve built a relationship, a network of blogs where we share world news and personal news. Things to laugh about and things to cry over. Words to ponder, others to fully embrace. I really want to thank you all for visiting Figments of a Dutchess and for giving us the opportunity to visit your blogs.

My 226 posts in total have almost 900 comments! And for that I want to give a special hug to these comment-contributors: Genn, JM, Roxie, my sisters Nancy and Monique, my heart’s friend Julia, Jeanne, Theresa, Christine, Chesshirecat, my friends Karin, Esther, Marcel, Sandra, Edo, Ida, Kel and Dawn, Tilly, Marian, V.V., Terri, Vman, Hugmamma, Trisha, Lisa, Tamela, Rashmi, Charlotte, Michelle, Aaron, Tim, White Lady, Nettie, Athursdayschild, Julie, Sarah, MJ, Michael, Gil, Lee and Erin. Some of you drop in every day, others every now and then, to share thoughts, to encourage and support. And I do love that so much. Thank you.

These last three months have been wonderful, a super boost for my writing. Now let’s cut the cake and open the bottles. It’s time to party!

Cheers! Proost! Gesundheit! Salute! Skål! Santé! Saúde! Salud!

~ Mar

Posted in Stories


Day 3 of the ‘Post A Day 2011′ challenge:

What’s the single most important thing you accomplished in 2010?

The year 2010 was a marvelous one for my personal development.  The urge to do ‘something’ with my writing grew ever stronger. For years I had been participating in The One Ring forum – J.R.R. Tolkien-related – as ‘drieske’. And then in February I finally took things into my own hands and actually did something about my dream, in stead of only dreaming about it.

Soon my website was a fact, where I could gather all the stuff I had written during the last decade. Then later on I discovered WordPress and divided and imported the content into different blogs: Figments of a Dutchess for English posts, Drieske’s blog for writing in Dutch – a thing I had never done before, though I’m Dutch, and Dungeon Dutchess about the Dungeons & Dragons adventures of our group. Plus I started my first writing group called Blog Maar Raak!

I’m also attending a course in writing short stories and novels, so I can learn more about technical stuff and rules. Writing is hard work! Not all comes from inspiration, let me tell you that.

In autumn I mailed the editorial office of our university newspaper and applied for columnist. The newspaper didn’t have a vacancy, but they were working on a website for employees and asked if I was interested. WAS I INTERESTED? Well YES, totally! Since then I’ve been writing columns (in Dutch) fortnightly.

All of this together has grown into a wonderful experience: I’m writing, sharing thoughts and opinions! And through this, I met new friends from all over the world. Everyone has been so supportive and encouraging, it’s heart warming and an enormous boost for my self-confidence. I’ve been receiving messages in which readers tell me they enjoy my work and that I simply HAVE to continue. And this combination of actions – to grab the opportunity and GO for it – for me has been the most important accomplishment in 2010.

Can you guess what my word of the year 2011 is?

Posted in Stories

I’m Posting every day in 2011!

My word of the year is ‘Expression‘ (in Dutch).

I’ve decided I want to blog more. Rather than just thinking about doing it, I’m starting right now.  I will be posting on this blog once a day for all of 2011.

I know it won’t be easy, but it might be fun, inspiring, awesome and wonderful. Therefore I’m promising to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similiar goals, to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way.