Daily Archives: July 7, 2010

FIFA and Germany and the Flag

Most popular song in Germany last week?

Madonna’s “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina…”

I was in Braunschweig last week (Saturday) when Germany creamed Argentina (4-0) in the soccer game in the last few minutes. In fact, the game began in the middle of the wedding ceremony we were attending in a medieval church near the town. As soon as the bride and groom had said their “I do’s,” a large group of the men disappeared, only to be discovered a short time later at the local firehall, where a big screen TV was broadcasting the game.

Germany vs. Argentina

All Fired Up (July 3rd/2010)

We watched the game there for a while before heading off to the reception, where the groom had hastily ensured another big-screen TV had been installed.

The speeches were held off until Germany scored the final goal and then everyone agreed, the bride and groom had picked an auspicious day to be married.

During the reception dinner, I spoke to many people about what that game meant to them and about getting to the finals and possibly winning the cup. I’d been in Berlin the day before and there were German flags everywhere – it was the same throughout the countryside – in windows, on cars, on backpacks and graffiti on walls. Every single sidewalk cafe in Berlin boasted a big TV outside and people crowded around them to get the best view (they already have the best beer 🙂

The thing that struck me the most when I asked Germans about the soccer was their incredible pride and joy in seeing their flag. It is, one woman told me, “the first time in memory that we are able to feel real pride in our country and our flag. For so long now, we have felt only shame…We will never forget and it will never happen again, but we celebrate a little pride.”

I’m with her all the way.

So these FIFA matches have been more than sport for this lovely country. These matches have been a way for Germans to really begin to look forward. I talked to so many people for the short time I was in Germany and I was blown away by so many things. The people I met were well-educated, extremely well-travelled, kind, polite and socially aware. They have so much to be proud of, which is why I hope Germany goes all the way in soccer this year!

Good luck!

Don't Cry for Me Argentina

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Filed under Travelling In the World

Mahalo.com – Call to Writers From Suite

Our Associate Editor at suite101.com posted this the other day, and I am reposting here. I hate it when stuff like this happens to my fellow writers, but one door closes…

Lima writes:

We’ve been close on the heels of news about Mahalo.com CEO’s decision to terminate over 4000 freelance writers. It’s been a shock to many of our own writers who also contributed to Mahalo. This blog post is my small commentary on this news and an open invitation to former Mahalo contributors to apply for a position at Suite101. If you know someone who has been affected by this change then please offer them some support and feel free to invite them to check us out! You can also give them my email address (associate.editor@suite101.com)

in case they have any specific questions they need answered. Let’s support freelance writers and give them a safe place to write.

All the best,
Lima Al-Azzeh, Associate Editor

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Filed under Writing Tips

Finding a Routine – At Home Writer’s Issues

Since May and the White Pine Awards in Ontario, I’ve been travelling – Quebec, Berlin and now home for a few weeks then off again for a lakeside ‘real’ non-working vacation. It’s wonderful and I feel very lucky, however, I am struggling to find a writing routine that works well. Part of the problem with being away is the return. For example, right now I am faced with a house and garden in need of attention, a cat who wants more than just a bowl of food and a pat on the head, and a mother-in-law who takes up more time than a toddler 😦

Add to this, the need for shopping, dinners, yoga (yes – I do count this as a need), and wedding planning (for my sweet Jen), editing, creating an amazing set of classes for Canadian Bookcamp, socializing, (yes, it’s important to see other humans now and again) and there isn’t much time left to write books. Or is there?

Yes! Even if it’s only for 30 minutes a day, it’s imperative that all writers, and that includes the winging me, sit down and write. Show up at the page. How many times have I offered this advice to students, and now I offer it back to myself. One of the most difficult things about working at home in any job is carving out a structure in a disjointed day. For me, this means getting up a little earlier (thank goodness I never get jet-lagged), and it also means having a concrete plan in mind the night before outlining how my day will look. Of course, there are times when plans go sideways, but I really believe that it is having a plan that counts.

I hope to get loads done today, starting with… ah hold on; phone’s ringing. Yikes; cat wants her ears tickled. Damn, plants are dying of thirst. Egad, mother-in-law can’t get her pickle jar open…

Now what was it I was trying to get down in words???

Has Anyone Seen the Time?

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Filed under Give Me a Break