Hello new and old friends! I'm taking a break from updating the blog while I give birth to my first baby. I honestly don't know when I'll be back but I hope it will be soon and I hope you'll still be here when that time comes.
If you're new to As the Bird flies, I recommend starting on this page which tells you what you can find on the blog and should make it easy for you to find what you're looking for (or you can use the search bar in the menu above).
If you'd like to read some posts while I'm away here's a selection to choose from.
Some tips (and cheats!) to help you write quicker,
The three qualities you should nurture to help you write more words and more regularly.
Why you should sign up to my newsletter to get a free short story every month this year (plus a load of links-worth-reading about travel, writing and totally unrelated hilarious things). Sign up here!
The best apps and resources for distraction-free writing. Tried and tested by me... many, many times.
How to make sure you protect your all-important writing time, even if it's just ten minutes a day (which is what I'm going for as soon as I can get writing again).
Posts from and about Amsterdam
My Amsterdam neighbourhood guide so you can make sure you stay in the right place.
And if you're planning on hiring a bike while you're here, please do have a read of these cycling tips for Amsterdam.
Another essential need-to-know: The best Dutch Apple Pie in Amsterdam.
Look up these places for the best photo opportunities in Amsterdam.
My favourite flea market In Amsterdam (only on Monday morning, sadly).
A fun but educational walking tour of the Red Light DIstrict.
Oh and if you fancy a good giggle... Ten Dutch Words That Sound Rude But Actually Aren't.
Favourite recent(ish) travel stories and advice posts
Some of my favourite photos from the last year - the view at the top of Table Mountain in Cape Town.
If, like me, you're a little lazy when it comes to packing for an upcoming trip then bookmark this post which has ten packing tips for lazy travellers.
This was one of those special travel days that change your perspective about art and people completely: The Power of Street Art (And Talking) in Woodstock, Cape Town.
Don't know what a "babymoon" is? Well this is what ours looked like in Thailand. Sigh.
Another story about the power of the people in a place: The Luchtsingel in Rotterdam.
If you're expecting a baby of your own, I have some tips for making travel as comfortable as possible while you're pregnant.
And finally, my city guide to Lisbon based on a wonderful weekend there with girlfriends last summer.
And some posts about and extracts from my recently published short stories...
Set in 1879, based on a true story and inspired by a city I love (but shouldn't because I live in its rival Amsterdam) read Esther Pincoffs story in Leaving Rotterdam.
In Homes from Homes read about what happens when a businesswoman feels a spark of sexual tension between her and the porter of the hotel she's staying in.
My favourite recent experiment: Together, Apart, a love story written in only two word sentences.
I know you're not supposed to have favourites but I'm going to pick some anyway. From London Eyes: Short Stories, I enjoyed writing Routines, Keep the Change and The Wizard of Elephant & Castle the most. And from Shy Feet: Short Stories Inspired by Travel, my favourites were The Flowers Sleep Tonight, The Lost Children of Gatwick Airport and the title story itself, Shy Feet..
Frances M. Thompson
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