anna brones

writer + artist

Posts Tagged ‘Matador

Mixtape Writing Contest

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One of my favorite blogs is Matador Senior Editor David Miller’s, which he recently renamed “Operating on Stoke.” One of his new projects is the Mixtape Writing Contest, a weekly contest where people submit writing and a mixtape is made based on the winning entries. And because David’s such a creative guy, he comes up with some pretty cool themes for the contests.

This week he wanted a 3-sentence confession, made by relating a story, conversation or scene and adding a confessional sentence that hints at a deeper story. The 3-sentence confession had to be nonfiction. On a whim I submitted the following:

An old man sits on the park bench, paintbrush poised in hand. Behind him, a dog sprints away from its owner. I have a hard time saying no.

The full disclosure on this is that I don’t necessarily remember having this thought while I watched this scene. It is a thought that I do have often enough however, and it’s usually had at very random times, so I felt like it fit. David picked it as the winner and gave it a wonderful analysis as well as a pretty kick-ass mixtape. Check it out here.

Written by Anna Brones

May 14, 2010 at 08:19

Why It’s Important to Write About the Destinations You Didn’t Love

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A few years ago I taught English in the Caribbean… Guadeloupe to be exact. And although it’s a sunny island in the middle of the Caribbean, to be perfectly honest, my time spent living there wasn’t the most enjoyable. Actually living on an insular island and having a daily routine is much different than spending a lazy vacation sipping cocktails on the beach, and that everyday livelihood didn’t exactly meet my expectations.

So when I told my mother that I was going to write a story on what not to do while traveling in Guadeloupe she responded with, “What are you going to say? Don’t go there?!” I laughed and gave my usual answer:”even though I didn’t have a good time, doesn’t mean other people can’t.”

Which brings me to my main point: sometimes writing about a place that you don’t love is a fantastic exercise. You’re forced to choose a bit more objectivity over subjectivity, and soon you’re remembering a plethora of positive aspects, putting your negative memories aside and crafting a piece that allows others to be intrigued by your destination.

In the end, travel is about experience, and as travel writers, it’s important to inspire those experiences. It doesn’t matter if travel experiences are positive or negative, they are always going to be eye-opening, educational and shape who we are, and every individual has to discover that on his/her own, which is why it’s perfectly fine to write about those destinations you didn’t love.

So on that note, here’s an excerpt from What Not to Do in Guadeloupe, published over on Matador Trips — an article that made me just a tad bit nostalgic for a place that I never really liked living in to begin with.

Don’t… assume people speak English

As an overseas French department, Guadeloupe’s official language is French, but don’t think this makes visiting the island like traveling in Europe.

Although it’s a common stereotype that the French resist speaking English, getting by in Paris without too much of a grasp of French is definitely doable. On Guadeloupe, English is much harder to find.

Do… learn some key French phrases before you go

The locals will give you a genuine smile if you make an effort to speak French. With a simple “bonjour,” “merci,” some survival phrases like “how much does this cost?” and the obligatory traveler’s hand gestures, you’ll do just fine.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Anna Brones

December 16, 2009 at 09:21

France on $100 a day

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Yes, it’s true. France on a low budget is possible. It’s all about getting out of the city and into the country. And although Parisians would love to think that they are the center of the universe, there are a lot of other great places to visit France. I have a new guide over at Matador Trips on how to work your way through rural France, scoring free room and board and the quintessential experience francaise. Check it out here.

Written by Anna Brones

May 12, 2008 at 10:52

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