One of my best friends is a true activist. He stands on the barricades for equality, for better wages for workers, for a basic income, to solve the climate crisis and more. I admire that enormously. Because of my autism, I am scared to death of large crowds of people. The only moments that I dare to face them is when I can perform—be it for hundreds or even thousands of people in a church, concert hall or stadium—because then they are there and I am here, on stage: sheltered, secluded, and safe. Sometimes I blame myself for being too cowardly to stick my neck out. But then I realize that I have a softer, quieter form of resistance: my writing.

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Last week, I got a nice brooche – or fibula, if you like – from the British Library. It is an enamel pin of an old fashioned typewriter, the kind of machine that’s also featured in the sidebar of this weblog. I like typewriters a lot, but not just because of my love for writing, my fascination for retro technologies, the funny scenes in the movie The Secretary and the memory of playing Leroy Anderson’s 1953 piece with our youth orchestra. No – for me, the typewriter is also a symbol of the emancipation of the writing and publishing woman.

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