Skipping Ahead

Well, now it’s almost Christmas, and now it’s almost time to reminisce in time for New Year’s. NaNoWriMo is over and I’m sorry that I haven’t updated at least one more time, but I’ve kept putting it off and then stuff happened in life and now… I’ve written 32,330 words this NaNo which is about 2,000 more than last year. So while it wasn’t a complete success, I’m not disappointed.

savingdanvers1This year’s NaNo was mostly about fanfiction for me. Fanfiction and Supergirl (or Supergays, as I tend to lovingly call it). I’m neck-deep in the evolution of Alex Danvers’ character, I just love that tiny gay bean. And I’m so close to watching again from the beginning, just to be able to explore her more thoroughly. She’s one of the few aspects of tv that didn’t disappoint (so far) and I hope Supergirl will keep up the good work. I watched a lot of Arrow this year, some The Flash, the pilot of Legends of Tomorrow, but Supergirl is my favorite DC show to date. And I may have jumped the Marvel ship completely, because they don’t invest enough time or money in their female heroes (cancelling Agent Carter, seriously?).

I’m a fan, I tend to get invested. And it affects my writing as well. At the moment, writing fanfiction is a sanctuary, a safe place.

But, of course, I’m always trying to find my own characters and story lines. I’m currently thinking about another YA series I’d like to write. It’s post-apocalyptic stuff and I guess it fits well into current times, with political leaders showing how little they care about people… and I’m prone to seeing all the bad stuff and imagine how it all will end. Also, I love the genre. Aside from horror, it might be my favorite. I’m rereading Legend by Marie Lu and The Hunger Games series might be next.

Apart from that, I also started revisions on Halfway Home. It’s been lying around for a year now and Halfway Home.altcoming back to it is strange and wonderful. I still love the characters so much and I think it’s a great story. It’s all romance and fluff, but it makes me hopeful at the end of a year which saw little of that. I hope I’ll be able to finish it mid-January.

Today’s winter solstice – the shortest day of the year. I’ve been awake since three a.m., so it won’t really be a short day for me, but I like sitting and working when nobody else is awake and by 8 p.m. I’m usually pooped enough to go to bed. The next two weeks will see a lot of family time and food, but I hope I’ll get some work done – probably in the form of fanfiction. I haven’t decided on anything I want to write next year, but hopefully it will be more productive than 2016. Hopefully, it will be more of anything good than 2016.


Check Me Out!

I usually don’t encourage such blatant self-advertisement, but since this is about my work – and not about, say, me posting nudes of myself – I guess it’s okay. Now, if you came here for nudes, I’m not even sorry, to say: go elsewhere! But if you’re a reader and you still got to fill some spots on this year’s reading list, maybe you will indeed check me out.

Let me help you with that:

the-affair-two-edited-no-shadowLet’s start with my stand-alone novella The Affair. It’s the story of two women who (not surprisingly) are having an affair. They work together over an ad campaign, they’re both married and unhappily so. But sleeping together is turning into something more, and Robin and Linda have to face the questions of what is possible and what is not, of whether they can be together or if too many lives will be destroyed. Will they be happy knowing they hurt the people they once loved?

I’m really proud of this work. I feel it touches at life from a not very sympathetic view. My protagonists are cheaters. But maybe you can find it in you to be interested in their journey? They don’t take their affair lightly, and maybe the ending pays tribute to that.

If you like, check out The Affair via Ylva Publishing‘s official page, or if you like on amazon, or if you use a different platform here. Maybe you’d like to read a review first?

Let’s move on then from true drama to truly terrifying supernatural fiction: Wicked Things is a Halloween anthology. And, yes, I’m aware it’s still some months to Halloween, but let’s face it: there’s never a bad time to get scared or have some supernatural sexy-times. Wicked Things can provide both during a summer storm, a camping trip for two, or a night you wanna curl up on your couch with your cat and let the creaking of floorboards get to you.

My story included in this anthology is called A Lesson in Magic. It’s about Erin who meets a wicked things coverfascinating man at a Halloween party. Only problem: Erin is gay and she doesn’t usually find men all that fascinating. But Raymond is different, and he is different in all the right ways.

Other stories included were written by Andi Marquette, Bridget Essex, Catherine Lane, Elaine Burnes, Erzabet Bishop, Eve Francis, Lois Cloarec Hart, May Dawney, Orhea the dreamer, Q. Kelly, R.G. Emanuelle, S.M. Harding, and Steph Gottschalk. Maybe you’ve come across their writing and are interesting in more? Maybe you have come across none of us yet but would like to discover some new authors of lesbian fiction? Here’s your chance.

Ylva Publishing put together this Goldie Award-winning selection. It’s available for kindle, ebook, and paperback.

Now, for my German readers. But let me skip… zu deutsch. Ja, ich schreibe auch in meiner Muttersprache. Weniger häufig, aber mit ebensoviel Enthusiasmus (hoffentlich!). Es gibt bisher zwei Veröffentlichungen von Kurzgeschichten auf deutsch von mir.

cover_A_Suche-Herz-mit-Namen_500x800Die erste ist ebenfalls eine Ylva-Anthologie: Suche Herz mit Namen. Sie beinhaltet sieben Geschichten von sieben Autorinnen und jede einzelne handelt von Liebe, dem Kennenlernen, dem besonderen Menschen, der die Herzen unserer Protagonistinnen höher schalgen lässt.

Meine Geschichte heißt Versch(l)ossen und handelt von Maike, die aus Versehen ihr Fahrrad mit einem andered zusammenschließt. Dies führt sie zu der Bekanntschaft von Katrin und Gefühlen, die bisher für Maike unbekannt waren.

Die anderen Autorinnen dieser Anthologie sind G.G. Barro, Sara Engels, Sandra Herzog, Jae, Katharina Kraemer, und Verena Martin. Interesse geweckt? Jede einzelne Geschichte ist lesenswert und berührend. Liebe in vielfältiger Form, aber mit Happy End-Garantie.

Zu kaufen natürlich bei Amazon, als ebook und auch als Taschenbuch.

Die zweite Anthologie, Heartbeatclub, ist eine queere Anthologie des Größenwahn Verlags. Sie verbindet queere Liebe mit Musik und Tanz, denn schließlich lieben wir alle Musik und lieben alle zu Musik. Der Soundtrack unserer ersten Liebe als Mix-Tape im Auto gehört, der Song in der Disco als du ihn das erste Mal gesehen hast, vielleicht die Tanzstunde, die soviel besser wurde, weil die Tanzlehrerin so heiß war?

Meine Geschichte heißt Unser erster-letzter Tanz und handelt von David, der auf der heartbeatclub (1)Verlobungsfeier seines Cousins der Transphobie seiner lieben Verwandten ausgesetzt ist. Doch die Feier wird zusehends besser als die Kellnerin Mandy sich für ihn zu interessieren beginnt. Doch wie beginnt man eine Liebe, wenn der eigene Körper ein Geheimnis ist, das man gerade erst selbst entdeckt?

Die anderen Autoren haben sich anderen queeren Themen zugewandt und eine lesbare (tanzbare?) Mischung kreiert. Geschichten von Nino Delia, Peter Nathschläger, Andrea Biernek, Levi Frost, Carsten Nagels, Jannis Plastargias (auch Herausgeber der Anthologie), Thomas Pregel, Juliane Seidel, Andrea Bielfeldt, S.A. Urban, Jens Christof Ruppin, Devin Sumarno, Andi Latte, und Ines Schmidt komplettieren ein Leseerlebnis.

Es gibt die Anthologie als Taschenbuch, ebook und kindle zu kaufen. Es lohnt sich!

Now, these are all last year’s news, I know. But there may be something coming next month that combines my writing with others’ writings with stories about bookworms. Interested? Check this out!

Finding Ms. Write500x800

Yes, dear readers, there’s going to be an anthology about book peeps by Ylva Publishing. Writers, readers, librarians, editors, what have you, they’ll all be part of this anthology. I’m superexcited! Are you? I thought you’d be. Only one month to wait. Make sure to get it while it’s still warm – or maybe sizzling hot?!

My story is called Wrote Trip and it’s about a writer going on a road trip in search of her muse. She meets a hitchhiker and things seem to go in a different direction from there.

I hope you found some good reading material here. And if you haven’t, well, I did post those links for you to browse too, you know. So many books, so little time.

Congratulations, it’s a short story


People have preconceptions, fast beliefs that may not be of much importance, but are all the more difficult to change. I know because I have many, had more, am always curiously surprised when one of them falls. I like to think of myself as open-minded, but then I’m a stubborn s-o-b who clings desperately to things I feel rather than know.

Literature is a special place within this paradox, both in reading and writing. As a German, I’m predestined to be a snob about it. We have, after all, the history to prove that we’re literary geniuses. And thus, we read with distinction. Or so, our teachers taught us from first grade on. Or maybe not taught us, but strongly implied it, and forced LITERATURE down our throats.

If I write LITERATURE, it’s implied that it’s high brow. You know, Goethe, Schiller, a little bit of all the Manns, and possibly Büchner. Know your Faust, everything else is Trivialliteratur (trivial literature, low brow). And it’s so very hard to get over these beliefs, these implied distinctions.

But some of them were never even implied to me, some I simply made up. One, that poetry is easy as pie and therefore nothing worth. Two, that the novel is the highest form of writing, but only because plays are for enacting not reading. Three, that short stories are not worth the effort it takes to open a book for them. As I said, I’m a snob.

The Matter of a Secret KissI’m also a writer, or like to think of myself as one. Or maybe I’m simply a scribbler. Be that as it may, I always aimed for the most rewarding medium, the novel. To me, most rewarding. Yes, I wrote poetry, but only to fill time, only if I couldn’t write anything else at the time. I did it in class, I did it on the bus, I did it sometimes while walking through my hometown in the evening (and that’s a beautiful thing to do), making it up in my mind, not even writing it down. Poetry to go.

Short stories, tho… no. Didn’t have time for that. And what for? Can’t publish just one short story (and, no, I hadn’t even heard of anthologies). Short stories were things they might make us write as homework, a punishment in itself. Write about your holidays, if you didn’t go on holiday, make something up. Punishment, indeed. And how do you learn to change such a belief if your education system fails you so thoroughly?

I don’t know. There was this one short story I read and I just loved. The Waltz by Dorothy Parker. I guess I went from there. But I still wouldn’t write short stories, still thought they were a waste of my time.

Well, somehow I did change. Maybe seeing that you can publish one short story in an anthology with other stories by other authors (this concept remains strange in my family, I don’t think even my mother who’s an avid reader understands why such books exist), better authors, better stories than yours. I find the concept compelling, thrilling even. And so, I wrote another short story and maybe it will appear in an anthology, maybe not. The important thing is that I change my view of things, whether these views are German (due to an unimaginitive and old-fashioned education system), or simply working class (because I haven’t been brought up in an academic household), or maybe just stubborn ideas of someone who so wanted to appear educated.

I don’t know. This post is not quite what I imagined it to be. I merely wanted to tell you how great it is to write a short story, to disappear in a small slice of imagination, to know more than the story could contain, to be god to that little piece of the world you just put on paper. Instead I wax (almost) poetic. I guess I’m just astounded by the ways my views change. But really, short stories are awesome!

Let’s take a break


For many a writer writing is not their daytime job. Many writers simply don’t earn enough money with writing to make it their only job. So, writing has to take a back seat and is put into the hours before and/or after work and on the weekends. It kinda makes writing a second job, but is seen by many as more of a hobby – since you don’t really need to do it.

But for people who write, not writing is not really an option. And so, we think of it as a job and by extension think of the time we do not write – the time we wish we would be writing – as procrastination. But, really, aren’t we allowed to take a break from writing sometimes?

Sure, we are. But we will still mourn all the time we lost at not writing. That’s the special paranoia of the writer’s mind. Still, we take breaks, we procrastinate. We do stuffs other than writing. Sometimes it relates to what we write, though, and we sneakily call it ‘research.’

For example, I’m revising a story right now that I’ve written (but not finished) years ago. A superhero story. I’m also playing a lot of Avengers Alliance on facebook and watch a lot of superhero movies – voila, research! Marvel universe has me kind of in its thrall right now. I rewatched most of the X-Men movies, even watched the two Hulk movies (and I actually liked Ang Lee’s Hulk better). I spend a lot of time wondering about the hero narrative, and try to incorporate that into my story.

And then, there is stuff I watch (because most of my non-writing is watching stuff on the internet) just because. The other day, I thought I haven’t watched enough movies with Mary McDonnell. So, I went on and found out about her movies. Since, I rewatched Independence Day (Emmerich sacrificed Mary’s character to the cause, not happy about that!), watched Sneakers and Tiger Warsaw – a movie I had wanted to watch back in the days when I was a Patrick Swayze fan, but never got around to.

I actually enjoy 80s movies a lot. The time before cell phones, the big hair-dos, the clothes and the wonderfully strange visions they had of the future – our presence. Of course, I also go to the movies, and a lot of that is about the experience of it: the smell of popcorn, standing in line for tickets and snacks, sitting in a room full of strangers, feeling the excitement.

Of course, movies are not entirely unrelated to my writing. Neither is reading. The consumation of stories is fodder for my imagination. But then, what in a writer’s life is truly unattached to the imagination, the inquisitive mind, the need to know every circumstance in order to  bring it to the page? Not much, maybe not anything. And maybe, even when we’re procrastinating, we’re in fact working. We’re looking at life.

But that’s enough philosophy today. So, what are you doing to relax? Do you think that everything in your life relates to writing, or am I spreading humbug?

Once Upon a Time…Editing


There comes a time in a writer’s life when they have finished their first draft. And they’re happy. The sun is shining a little brighter, food tastes better and the stress of finishing a project is gone. Congratulations, the writer has fulfilled their destiny.

Or have they?

Because there’s the first draft, lying there in the sunshine of pride for two weeks, maybe 2 months. And from a certain time onward, the sunshine fades, the manuscript takes a big leap and lands on the writer’s shoulders, whispering: “I’m not finished. I’m just a first draft.”

The writer’s eyes water, but they’re fighting tears because…this is, after all, the moment they’ve been waiting for. And yet, there’s a whole lotta work yet to be done. Editing their own work.

This is necessary, of course, because when you’ve finished your first draft you have no idea if it’s even any good. We cannot evaluate our own work, it’s impossible. Even a manuscript we’ve worked on for years, sweat over, almost despaired over, can be shite, not printable, a total bust. It’s sad and it’s true.

But…even though we cannot evaluate, we can still make it better. And that first draft, yeah, that needs to be bettered desperately.

Halfway Home.altThat’s the kind of point where I’m at with Halfway Home. That is, I’ve just read the complete first draft and am devastated. Because there’s simply so much work to do. What I did while reading it, I added commentaries on what I need to consider. It’s stuff like: “Yeah, you have this in another convo, take it out.” or “Dude, what’s with all this exposition? Nobody cares!” or “You might wanna add that scene and not just tell people about it.”

Yeah, a lotta work. But also: fun work. No, seriously, editing can be fun and not just for geeks like me. Think about it: you get to eradicate all your mistakes without anyone ever seeing them. You have a whole thing and now you only have to make it shine a little bit more, make it as close to perfect as you possibly can. And nobody will ever see the trainwreck you just read. That’s good, that’s very good.

Because, let’s be honest, writing is only part of the job. And you knew that. Instantly, when you sat down to write and maybe weren’t one hundred per cent satisfied with what you just wrote, you thought: “I’ll polish that later.” Maybe you even made a note, wrote a comment to that effect. Because you knew there’s a later.

For me, later has arrived. Today, I’m gonna start translating those comments into my text, delete dialogue tags, do whatever I need to do to make Halfway Home the story I wanted to  read to begin with. And I’m happy for that chance, because really, that first draft – it’s between me, myself and I.

The Sweet Smell of That’s-not-so-horrible


You know that couple in your circle of friends that’s almost sickeningly in love with each other? You love them together, you actually kinda ship them, but at times you also enjoy one without the other.

That’s what reading and writing are to me. They go best together, but at times you want to enjoy one without the other. Just, with reading and writing, it’s just not the same.

There are times in my writing life when I have absolutely no motivation to read – and vice versa. The text flows, I’m happily tapping away with no additional stories filling my head and possibly distracting me from my own. It’s all good. Until I start reading again and find out that it makes me a better writer. My vocabulary expands, my sentence structure improves, I’m almost not entirely horrible.

So, a couple of days ago, I picked up Libba Bray’s The Diviners and it’s so good. I love the setting, love the premise, love love love the way she writes. And find my own writing lacking. Why can’t I write like that? Why isn’t my story-telling prowess this juicy, this delicious? Well, because I’m not Libba Bray, of course.

Each writer is different, tells differently, considers different parts of a story to be important. There are differences in quality, of course, but different readers enjoy different writing styles, find different aspects of a story important. A friend of mine got bored with Rowling’s Potter a little, because she repeats certain aspects of the wizarding world, while I find all bits and pieces wonderful and worth repeating if it’s in Rowling’s narrating style.

Difference is what makes literature (and life) so exciting. So, I’m going back to my document after having read a couple of chapters of The Diviners to continue my own story. And, yes, I struggle with phrases, I curse the grammar, I pull my hair and doubt my talent, but I still love the process. A process that will hopefully make me a better writer.