Welcome to As the Bird flies!
Started in October 2011 by me, Frankie Thompson - a Londoner turned wanderer - As the Bird flies is a blog for those who love travel and writing. It's also an Amsterdam travel blog because that's where I live!
Now let me show you a photo of me looking fairly smug whilst on holiday in Thailand...
Now you know what I look like wearing one of my much loved late grandfather's hats, read on to find out more about me and this blog.
About As the Bird flies
As the Bird flies is where I share my many ongoing journeys. I write about the travels I enjoy with my family; I share the ups and downs of my adventures in writing fiction, and I use this blog as very cheap therapy as I figure out how to be a good enough mother. Because I've been living in Amsterdam since 2012, I also write A LOT about Amsterdam to help others plan and enjoy a trip here.
These are the blog's main themes; Amsterdam, travel, writing and motherhood. But of course, you can expect other good stuff too like self-love tips and lots of posts on affirmation, because I am a big believer in it. (Don't roll your eyes or click away, I explain why affirmation is not all hippy dippy stuff here.)
You can therefore expect to find lots of different posts like...
- Amsterdam travel advice, including where to stay, where to take the best photos, and how not to kill yourself (or anyone else) while cycling in the city
- Inspiration, ideas and destination reviews for luxury family travel (yes, it is possible!)
- Short and long stories to read. I'm the author of four published books and lots of short stories. You can find my books on Amazon.
- Writing advice and inspiration for writers of fiction and non-fiction, and also freelance writers.
- A series of posts on how to write a book (as that's exactly what I'm doing).
- Posts about self-publishing, location independence and doing what makes you happy.
- My motherhood diary, where I wrote weekly letter to my son in the first year of his life.
A Bit of History of the Blog
I began writing posts for As the Bird flies whilst enjoying two years of nomadic travel, but now I live in Amsterdam with my family which keeps me busy as I am the mother of two young sons. I work as a freelance copywriter, and in theory I am still location-independent, but I love living in Amsterdam and don't have any plans to move on anytime soon.
For a long time the blog was about our nomadic travel but it has definitely become more focused on family travel and Amsterdam travel specifically. That said, you can find lots of travel content about other destinations on the blog.
In 2012, I published my first collection of short stories and began a side career as an indie author. I have since published many more books and I am working on a novel at the moment and sharing this (long, slow process with you!). When I first started writing fiction - something I'd wanted to do for a very long time but always stopped myself, for some reason - I remember thinking that there wasn't much online content advising or guiding an aspiring author how to do it and so that is why I also share lots of writing tips and advice.
In 2016, after struggling to get back to writing after the birth of my first son and a long stint of post-natal depression and anxiety, I found affirmation really helpful and so I created a collection of affirmations just for writers. This eventually turned into WriteNOW Cards, affirmation cards for writers, which other writers can buy and enjoy to build their own writing practice.
Never miss a post... and get your grubby mits on FREE stories.
You can keep up with the latest posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Bloglovin'. Follow my travels and writing adventures on Instagram and check out what I'm currently reading on Goodreads. I also use Pinterest regularly.
Here's another photo of me looking fairly smug, this time in Ljubljana, Slovenia. It should come as no surprise that these were all taken before my sleep-stealing thieves (ahem, children) came along. I've refused to have my photo taken since... (That's a massive lie, see below.)
I'm originally from London, UK. I worked in the corporate world for seven years before moving to a more creative life as a blogger and freelance writer. Unlike many other people, I really wasn't looking for "a way out" from a corporate career as I loved my job in business intelligence but I am a happier person in myself now I work as a writer. My likes include reading (duh!), vintage-shopping (I am excellent at it), snowboarding (I'm okay at it) running (am the worst at it, and of course, travel.
I'm a freelance writer, creator of WriteNOW Cards, and an indie author of contemporary fiction. I write stories that move you - to faraway places, to new thoughts and to feeling something... You can check out all of my books on Amazon and you'll find lots of free extracts here.
I blog because I like to help other people do what I have done; travel and work without dependency on a fixed location. I also want to help other parents and young families find out that travel with kids can be worth the hassle (oh so much hassle!) and stress (yes, that STRESS!). And I also want to encourage other wannabe writers to take the plunge and JUST WRITE.
Over the years I've given presentations on many of the above topics, including about being a digital nomad, transitioning from a full-timer to a freelancer, and maximising a blog's potential to gain freelance work and clients, and most recently I have given presentations and workshops to help other writers learn how to write more. I have also shared my experience on becoming an indie author on this blog.
About My Books
I'm the author of three published short story collections (Shy Feet, London Eyes, and Nine Women) and a novella called The Wait. I've been writing and publishing fiction since 2012 and have shared much of my journey on this blog.
I'm always happy to give away free copies of my books in exchange for reviews on Amazon or Goodreads, so feel free to drop me an email if you'd like an ebook review copy. I also love to hear from other budding authors and am happy to answer questions about writing and being an indie author, so feel free to get in touch if you want to ask me something.
Shy Feet: Short Stories Inspired by Travel
I wrote Shy Feet, my first short story collection while on the journeys documented in this blog, travelling around South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. I was very much inspired by the weird and wonderful things that happened to me while travelling, but perhaps more importantly I wanted to create a book that all travellers - long or short term, luxury or budget, old or young - would relate to.
London Eyes: Short Stories
In August 2014, I published my second book, London Eyes: Short Stories. A sort of love letter to the city I lived in during much of my twenties, London Eyes gives you the opportunity to explore life in London - the good, the bad, the ugly and the unexpectedly beautiful and serendipitous.
Published in July 2015, The Wait, is my first published work of "long fiction", albeit strictly speaking a novella, not a novel. Telling the story of Conrad Douglas, a 48 year-old Londoner with a deep cut above his right eye and a mountain of secrets he tries to hide from the mysterious man who has accompanied him to hospital and now refuses to leave.... Find out both men's stories in this fast-paced suspense story.
Nine Women: Short Stories
In March 2016 I published my third collection of short stories, called Nine Women. Connected (unintentionally!) by the gender of the main character, Nine Women tells a number of very different stories about very different women. I began writing the stories for Nine Women as part of a blog challenge where I finished a new and orginal short story each month during the year 2015. I didn't finish the challenge - you can read why in the Author's Note in the back of the book - but I am very proud of this book as it kept me company while I was pregnant and also mother to a newborn.
Available now on Amazon.
I'm currently working on my first novel and my first non-fiction book. Sign up to my newsletter to find out about new releases.
About My Motherhood Diary
Before it happened, I expected to find becoming a mother difficult. I expected sleepless nights. I was ready for a constantly crying infant. I was prepared for the kind of poos you still smell hours after they're wiped up.
What I wasn't expecting was to feel sad and scared. The kind of sadness that leaves you weeping in a shower long after you've scrubbed every inch of your body - you're just desperate to keep the water running so you can "enjoy" your sadness alone for just a few more minutes. The kind of fear that has you lying awake even though you haven't slept in days, counting the ways your baby could have perished that day - things falling out of the sky was the nightmare scenario I always dwelled on.
It took me a long time to realise that I was suffering from post-natal anxiety and depression, but that's not why I started writing weekly diary entries to my newborn baby boy. I did that because I wanted to document this journey I was going on, and yes, to try and make sense of it all along the way. More than anything I wanted to find the sweetness in all the sadness and if there's anything that helps me do that it's writing.
You can read the diary entries from the beginning here, and if you've landed on this page because you too are also feeling the effects of post-natal anxiety and/or depression, please don't suffer in silence. Tell someone you love. Ask for help. It will be the single best thing you can do for you and your family.