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Dini

Welcome at the blog of Dini Commandeur. I've written quite a lot of columns for various magazines. I also write short stories every now and then. These columns and stories are available for everybody at this blog. I'll release new columns and stories periodically.

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« The Last One | Home | Who makes me laugh »

The First Digital

June 22 2009 Monday 22 June 2009 Years ago, long before the era of the Internet, e-mails, and sms text messaging had started, I spotted an interesting advertisement in the publication “Opzij”:

Someone was looking for women friends to correspond with. She wanted to receive something else in her mailbox beside the usual junk mail and bills. That appealed to me, too, and a letter exchange started, but not for long. Although I liked her very much, apparently, she needed someone more suitable to her way of life and thinking, and I couldn’t fulfill that need. Our lifestyles differed substantially and didn’t mesh. Still, I enjoyed the few letters that did go back and forth. She wrote entertaining letters and I discovered once more how much I enjoyed writing. My correspondence friend also liked to read my letters, “You would make a good columnist,” she wrote in one of her last letters. That compliment made me think. I liked to write ever since grammar school, writing essays I really enjoyed, but ever since my schooldays I had not written much more.

I started to focus on style and technique and followed the advice of a Creative Writing teacher: Practice. Practice often and read, which I already did a lot. For practice in writing he columns in local newspapers are ideal. For four years I wrote pieces for the local paper and shortly after that the columns for the publication “Organ and Keyboard” followed. Through those columns I was able to write about my love for music, my other great passion. For Interface (previously known as Bancorama), the magazine of the Friesland Bank, I wrote fifteen years. And then there was “Children Care”, a happy, colorful paper I truly enjoyed writing for. In between, there was the odd short story.

Later on, beside the columns, there were the hundreds of letters that went out to inmates in Thailand and America, as various pen pals “behind bars” replaced my first correspondence friend.  Although here, too, our lifestyles vary greatly, we DO conduct an interesting correspondence.

Then, an American-Dutch friend translated the columns for Interface into English. Another American friend liked to read them and started to mention them in her weblog. I was a bit apprehensive about that, as I was already so busy. Later others mentioned as well that it would be great to have the columns appear on the web, but I decided to wait, in any case as long as I was still writing for Interface. That time is here, now that I have written my last column for Interface after fifteen years. It will be strange not to have to pay attention to deadlines or come up with a topic, but it is okay. They have been a good fifteen years.

Now, I continue to write my own blog. Although writing for Interface is a thing of the past, there is still so much to talk about and, knowing myself, I won’t be done talking anytime soon.

Text: Dini Commandeur, Translation: Maria O’Neill


 

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