About the Oriole

Welcome to my blog where I will be chirruping like the eponymous Oriole about my life in the gorgeous city of Amsterdam and surroundings.

I learned to read at the age of four. (Thanks, Big Sis!) My first day at school was spent reciting the alphabet, something of a let down after the knuckle-whitening thrills of the ‘Janet and John’ reading series. In class I fantasised a lot, to keep boredom at bay. Aged about six, I wrote my first piece of flash fiction and it went like this; ‘I had a Tom Cat, he ate my duck.’ Not much suspense building but hey, very few superfluous words!

In my teens, I left the rural idyll in the Wye Valley in Herefordshire, headed to the Big Smoke and got my degree in textile art at Goldsmiths. Since then I’ve worked as a secretary, shop assistant, gallery attendant, puppeteer, dance teacher and most recently a teacher of English as a foreign language.


After moving to Amsterdam, I started writing fiction. I wrote largely memoir-type stories and like many novice writers I stuck too rigidly to the facts. My main advice to aspiring fiction writers is by all means use real people, real conversations and events for inspiration, but don’t keep things in because that’s what Uncle Henry actually said or did. Real conversation may not drive your plot forward or reveal much about character. Alfred Hitchcock’s quote hits the nail on the head:

Drama is real life with the dull bits cut out.

In 2010 I adopted the pseudonym, Susan Carey. I’ve had short stories and non-fiction articles published and some of my work has been performed by Short Story Radio and Liars’ League. I was also shortlisted in Mslexia poetry and Fish Publishing competitions. Please have a look at my writing page for online publications and performances.


7 Responses to About the Oriole

  1. BonMinou says:

    I love your blog and have nominated you for the Super Sweet Bloger Award. Details are here http://minouwrites.wordpress.com/2013/04/24/super-sweet-blogging-award/ should you decide to accept! Minou


  2. sherrimatt says:

    So glad I found your wonderful blog! I visited Amsterdam many years ago and fell in love with it. My husband has also visited many times, but before he knew me, so now we really need to visit it together! I lived in California for 17 years, returned to the UK in 2003 and am very interested in your publishing opportunity being offered for ex-pat writers. I will be back to read more shortly 🙂


  3. susancarey says:

    Thank you, Sherri. I visited your fascinating blog and I’m sure you have a story (or more) to tell about tumultuous episodes in your life. I look forward to reading more!


  4. Darya says:

    Hi Susan! Your blog is fascinating – it feels much different from the expat blogs I run into from fellow expats in Amsterdam (I’m Canadian!). Signed up to receive your posts through email and looking forward to it. Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? Let me know if you are and maybe we can connect on the NaNoWriMo site!
    Cheers to you and happy writing!


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