Sunday, August 29, 2010

To make the acquaintance of writer-friends

Recently, I spoke to one of my friends in America on skype. It's about a year ago, since we met on an online platform for writers. We instantly 'clicked' and became very good friends. Reflecting on the time I spent on this website, I am super thankful to have been there, since I met so many nice people on there, I call my friends now.

I've met the majority of them in person and, surprisingly, there was no awkwardness. Now you think authors only talk about books, don't you? Certainly, it's a topic we talk about, since it's a hobby/profession we have in common. If I meet someone who keeps reptiles I will, of course, talk about reptiles.

I never had a friend who writes, or at least I didn't know they wrote, apart from one and she never really shared anything. So to have those friends, who understand writing, and the pain and fun that comes with it, is absolutely vital for me. To exchange excerpts, critique and support when it's not going well, is something I don't want to miss anymore.

Though I don't name names, you guys, you know who you are and I love you to bits.

Thank you for being my friend.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

The waiting is over: excerpt of my new novel

Hello, you

So, if I don't fight dangerous Green Iguanas, or edit other people's manuscripts, I write. Mainly about life, because it gives me many subjects to write about. People told me that it mirrors in my books as I'm pretty observant. My new book, which I dare to call literary fiction, is different to what I've done so far, but I love a challenge and I took it when this idea forced itself onto me.

I've been asked many times what my new book is about. Well, it's difficult to explain. There are only a handful of people who read all 14,500 words I have so far and the response was overwhelming. Gosh, does this feel good.

I thought it would be okay to share an excerpt. It's not long, but should give you guys an overview what I'm working on at the moment. I do enjoy this style and genre, though it takes a little longer to write. It's worth it.


Not sure where it all came from, but reading those exchanges triggered your desire to go out and have some company. Though it's late, you know a place that is open till late in the morning. You shut down the computer and depart.
Fifteen minutes later, you arrive. When you enter, the owner looks up from the newspaper he's reading. You nod into his direction and take a seat at the bar. He pours you a scotch. Even if you don't come often, he knows your drink.
You never speak to each other. Since the one evening you drank far too many, it's not necessary. He wouldn't start a conversation, neither would you. That particular event showed you have no common ground and you ended up being frustrated about having had to explain every statement.
It's quiet in here, you think. Unusual for today. A glance around counts nine people, including you and the barman. A girl sits by herself in the corner, reading. Her red bob frames her countenance, making her strong features look like a piece of art.
As if she feels your stare, she lifts her head. In the dimmed light you can't make out the title, but the fact that she sits here alone on a Friday night, holding a book, makes her attractive enough.
She smiles at you. Her far too perfect lips reveal a set of white teeth. You know it's rude, but you can't hold her gaze. Ashamed, you look away. Your glass is not telling you any stories. When you take a sip, you sense her eyes scanning each inch of your body.
Another sip. It feels warm, comfortably warm. Slow, but confident footsteps on the wooden floor. You listen carefully, your grip tightens. Five, six, seven, eight. Then, they stop. The scent of flowery, expensive perfume penetrates your nostrils.
'You are waiting for someone?' she asks. Her voice surprises. It is nothing like you thought it would be. Much deeper � not displeasing, though. A faint accent gives away she is not a native. It sounds inviting. You shake your head in response to her question.
'Would you mind me sitting here?' Without waiting for an answer she lays down her book and takes a seat. Its author is no-one foreign to you. A well-known philosopher � your favourite one. You try to hide your excitement. This will be interesting.

Friday, August 20, 2010

This can happen if you don't pay attention

Today I got bitten (again) by my iguana. He jumped straight at my face and got me in the lip. Luckily, it's more superficial, so I will run around like I got some failed silicone injections, and it's a bit complicated to laugh and talk, since it's uncomfortable.

But I said I'll raise awareness of what can happen to even experienced iguana owners.

So that's my lip:

And here the offender :-)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Why an iguana?

You have no idea how many times I get this question asked. To be honest, it came as a surprise to me as well. When I was in first grade, a guy came to visit our school, and he had loads of reptiles with him. I remember the python or maybe it was a constrictor, all I recall was a huge snake and a massive tortoise. I was fascinated by the snake and how it felt to touch her.
Fast forward 18 years later:

I just separated with my boyfriend, moved out of our flat and rented a place on my own. It felt quiet and l thought I'd love to have a budgie since I grew up with tame, absolute extraordinary ones. I love birds, they seriously crack me up.

So I went into a Zoo shop to gather information about prices, cages, etc. I looked at them, smiled and turned round to see what's behind me. BANG! Believe it or not, it's exactly how it happened and I still have this scene in front of me: The second I turned I stared at a little green dragon, it stared back an blinked. That was it - I was in love.
I said, 'You're Oscar, and you are mine!'
Don't ask my why that name, it was the first thought that came to my mind when I saw this mini dino.
Green Iguana was written on the viviarium. I turned on my heels and went to ask the Shop assistent what a Green Iguana is and that I just fell for it, head over  heels. She was brilliant. First thing she said, was that they become huge and require a lot of room and knowledge, she handed me a book to read in while I was there.

Did her efforts to put me off help? No, certainly not. In her defense, I think I was lucky and so was the iguana. A lot of  shops don't care if the animals live or die, as long as they get their money for them. A sad reality. Many other people tried to talk me out of it, suggested I should get a bearded dragon. Though I love them and one day I will get a pair, I only had eyes for Oscar. And when I got her home, yes, her (it's impossible to tell the sex when they're babies just by looking at them), I promised her to look after her well  until she dies. Though I made a few mistakes, she became 15 and was the most special iguana known to mankind. She died two years ago. And I miss her a lot.

I will post my experiences on a regular basis in order to help people understand their animals, learn from my mistakes and to rise awareness for the resposibilities that come with keeping iguanas.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

How my writing changed

Recently, I sent the beginning of my current novel to a trusted friend. When I told her what I had planned, a few months back, she said straight out, she can't see this working. She loves my book No Wings Attached, but this new one, she said, is very different to that.

I agree, it is different. If you wrote comedy successful, and are a funny person in general, everybody expects you to write humour. But since I learned a lot about writing and the dos and don'ts, I have improved, let's say 100%.

My goal is, to write in as many genres as possible. And of course, I also wanted to rise with the challenges. While I jotted down a whole 2500 words in one go without paying attention to repetition, beginning of paragraphs, adverbs and the like, I now choose the words I type carefully. It pays off, I must say I'm very proud of my latest baby.

You might wonder what my friend said after she read it. Her words: I'm transfixed, your staccato style is hypnotising. I didn't expect to like it that much, can't wait to read more. Plus she said the difference between my first book and this one is clearly noticeable.

Trust me, she's not being kind, if she feels the need to rip something apart, she does. She has done so in the past.

I will continue to be square...

Monday, August 9, 2010

My new book

It's different to what I've done beforehand. As I like a challenge I'm trying to push myself a little further and test the waters of the literary fiction-genre. It's partly autobiographic, though and I love it. Though it takes me much longer to write it, it's an experience I wouldn't want to miss. I'm still at the beginning, being about 9.300 words in, and it's a long way to the 70k-mark I set myself.

Another aspect of this book is that I don't share it online on writer's platforms. I have given some excerpts to trusted people who said they were transfixed by the staccato-style and a close friend of mine who is also a published author offered to edit the book once it's finished.

If you'd like to see more of my writing in general: I've added another short story 'Lovers'. Go and have a read. Hope you like it.