literature

New Year's Evolution: Our Metamorphosis Chooses Us

We resolve to be different. Fitter. Pay off debt. Volunteer. Clean out that god-forsaken garage. Stepping into a fresh calendar year seems like a chance to try on a colorful persona, yet new year's resolutions are so often based on territory (and self-images) we already know. Instead, surprising facets of ourselves are evoked by a novel landscape and our metamorphosis chooses us. moths by A.Ashman This year I took charge of my own web presence. A major undertaking requiring vision and planning -- but it didn't rate an end-of-'08 resolution. When I set down a tiny microblogging footprint with Twitter 18 months ago I didn't foresee 2009's curated-webpath to my interests and intentions.

Suddenly I was virtually attending conferences like the interactive SXSW and participating in live webchats on branding, innovation, and literature. I became a joiner and a beta-tester, signing on for a month-long experimental blogging course and volunteering for a conference-call-based life design course for expat women entrepreneurs.

I’ve become a full-feathered indie blogger, and a player in the digiventures of others: founder of the group blog to build on hybrid Expat Harem themes so many of us are living, a new media guest blogger, a location-independence blog carnival participant, administrator of a LinkedIn group for creative entrepreneurs using social media, and the curator of a year-long 2010 webcarnival to celebrate Istanbul.

Being proactive in the blogosphere is an epiphany, a 2009 reawakening of my inner student....a time to learn exactly what I need to know -- as a writer and publisher, a global citizen and cultural creative in Istanbul -- and contribute to the future of my communities.

What's your surprise metamorphosis of 2009? Who did you become this year?

[Gratitude to everyone who taught me something in 2009!]

Guest Hosting #LitChat On Twitter On Topic Of Expatriate Literature

Anastasia Ashman hosts #LitChat on topic of expatriate literatureOn May 29 at EST 4pm, I will guest host #litchat, an open discussion series founded by a fellow author (@litchat), on the topic of expatriate literature. (#litchat is an hour-long open discussion on a topic, three times a week. You can follow it in Twitter search or on www.Tweetchat.com using the term “litchat”.)

I’ll be guiding the hour-long live discussion, soliciting opinions and offering my own based on this view:

Expatriate literature may be stocked in the travel section, but does it deserve a shelf of its own?

Living for extended periods in foreign locales, expatriates struggle to reestablish themselves and find meaningful access to their new home.

Travelers passing through often have the luxury to avoid the very issues of assimilation and identity that dominate the expat psyche.

We’ll talk about the unique depths this can bring to expat lit’s combination of outsider-view-from-the-inside and journey of self-realization.

See litchat.wordpress.com for more info.

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See the transcripts of my expat #litchat event here.