Free short story [3]

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Well, well, just a  week and I’m already back here. You may have missed my latest post because in all the excitement of having written it, I completely forgot to tag and categorize it. This is what happens when I’m absent too long, I start forgetting how to properly do things.

The short of that blog post was that I’m abstaining from facebook, twitter, and tumblr for a bit. I planned a month. I’m a little overwhelmed by the world news lately. Also, I need to get back to what I love: writing. Also: reading. I spend far too much time scrolling through social media and playing games on facebook.

And I’ve already started writing and finished a short story I’ve started… a long time ago. Back then, I wanted it to be part of an anthology, but I didn’t finish it in time, obviously. Now it’s finished and it’s for the reading of anybody who wants to – for free. YAY! I know, awesome. Just like me, you love free stuff.

Im SommerThe story is called Im Sommer. Are you scratching your head yet? No, it’s not in German, though there are some sentences within (dialogue) that are. The story takes place in German wine country where Angela meets Judith. Angela is an American vacationing with her parents in Europe. The title of the story translates into In Summer – if you haven’t guessed it already.

It’s just a short, sweet story about exploring your sexuality a little. No, there’s no sex, there’s just fluff (as we fanfiction writers call it). A harmless, romantic story.

If you wants read: I’ve put it up on inkitt, tablo, and wattpad. Choose your platform and start reading.

This is just one of the projects I wanted to get back to. I need more writing in my life and hopefully we will all benefit from my renewed sense of purpose (well, I’m still working on it, I’m not all that purposeful).

Hope you’re all having a nice summer, some love, and a lot of reading material.

Keep reading, folks.

 

Wrote Trip / Finding Ms. Write Blog Tour

This post is part of the Finding Ms. Write blog tour, promoting this fabulous anthology by Ylva Publishing about ‘book people.’ Since I’m biased, I feel that you should totally buy and read this wonderful piece of work which has been put together by Jae and Jove Belle and includes stories by twelve authors of lesbian fiction, including yours truly.

wrote tripNow, my story, Wrote Trip, is about writer Pat Rogers who lost her muse. She’s trying to get her back by going on a road trip and then picks up a hitchhiker, Jen Chan.

I must confess here and now that I’ve never been on a muse-searching road trip like that since I don’t even have a driver’s license. Still, the loss of a muse seems a topic universal among writers. Even if you believe in the daily routine of a writing excercise, you would know days when the right words elude you, when nothing seems to fit, when your imagination runs dry.

Metaphorical batteries need to be recharged. Some do it by reading, some by meeting people, others sit and binge watch their favorite shows until they’re once again inspired and can return to their work in progress. When I lose my inspiration, I try to load up on fodder. I do all of the above, or go watch a movie, read fanfiction, whatever tickles the next story out of me.

I guess I understand Wrote Trip more like the state of mind when you write, when you’re really in the zone, as they say. It’s a place where time loses meaning, a moment of complete and utter self-abandonment, you are your story. It’s those times we really write for, because we write our best then.

My main character, Pat, loses this crazy writer’s haven and goes on a road trip. She needs time away from her computer, looming over her empty mind like a watchful sentinel. Seriously, who can work under that knd of pressure? Pat can’t and escapes. But her workaholic editor Kasey isn’t happy with her and the road trip takes an unexpected turn notebook1when she picks up Jen. But will the young student be of help or a distraction from what Pat needs to accomplish to get back to work?

You can find out reading the anthology. And if you leave a comment on any of the listed posts below (or this one 🙂 ) you can even win an ebook copy since Ylva gives away five of them. Personally, I think that’s awesome since I’m a sucker for free books. But if you’d rather purchase your copy right now and not wait until the blog tour is over to win, here’s where you can do that.

If you want to find out more about the anthology, you are welcome to look at all the other blog posts on the tour. Here’s a list. Make sure to come back tomorrow for Chris Zett’s post. Her story Romance on a Side Note is an excellent read. It might make you wanna read Little Women again, so be forewarned.

The Blog Tour Schedule

Finding Ms. Write500x800Twelve authors of lesbian fiction bring you a collection of romantic short stories about “book people”—heroines who are somehow involved in the publishing industry.

From a novelist with the world’s biggest crush on her editor to a beta reader connecting with her cabinmate on a cruise, from a woman seeking rare books who finds love instead to a bookstore owner who’s drawn to the shy writer sitting by the shop’s window every day, this anthology is full of stories guaranteed to have a happy ending.

Step into our world of books and enjoy a glimpse into the lives of writers who are chasing deadlines…and finding love.

Includes stories by A.L. Brooks, Anastasia Vitsky, Chris Zett, Cori Kane, Elaine Burnes, Hazel Yeats, Jacelle Scott, Jae, Jove Belle, Kathy Brodland, Lea Daley, and Melissa Grace.

 

 

Congratulations, it’s a short story

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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!

December Blues

Am I really blue, or is this just this day’s feel? I’m not sure. I feel like the new year should begin already, so that I can make New Year’s Resolutions. This is not very productive, I know. But after-Xmas always feels like nowhere-land to me. I’m free-floating.

But that is no place, no state of mind to be in. So, let’s look forward, let’s think about all the great things that are gonna happen NEXT YEAR.

In writing: I’ve got three short stories I wanna write for submissions so far. I’ve already started on two and maybe that would be something good to do these last days of December, writing on them. One is a zombie-story. I actually enjoy writing something that is so very different. I remember before I read Cell by Stephen King, I was sure that there was no way to write a zombie-story. I guess I’ve come a long way. It always surprises me, the restrictions my logic brain puts on my imagination, and how my imagination just goes along with it until it is proven wrong. Gotta work on that.gale-zombiediaries

Resolution No. 1: Broaden Horizons.

The second short story is a love story that relates to writing/has a writer in it/is book related. I always criticize writers when they indulge in writing about writers, but I’ve done it in the past and will probably do it in the future. I’m doing it with this story. Why is it a bad thing? Because I feel it’s self-indulgent. I feel like nobody is quite as fascinated by writing and writers as writers are. But maybe I’m wrong. Gotta work on letting go of prejudices, of things I think I know, but just have a notion of.

Resolution No. 2: Be More Open-Minded, As Well As Open-Hearted

The third story is going to be a fairy tale of sorts. A new take on an old fairy tale. Mine will relate closely to that first short story, will be a sequel in a way. Fairy tales are in high command, a fad, a fashion. I like fairy tales, but I’m not going to use a Grimms’ tale or even Anderson. It will be a favorite, though. I’m gonna tell you all about it when I’m writing/have written it. The thing I’m especially happy about this and the first one, they’re genre works. They’ll both have a love story and a HEA/HFN (Happily Ever After/Happily For Now), but they’re genre fiction.

That’s something I actually wanna do more of. Taking a step back from romance and engage more with genres I haven’t written in yet. I wanna get my feet wet, try things out. That’s why I’m a writer, after all.

Resolution No. 3: Write Differently/Difference

sightlesseyesMy big project for 2016 will be The Sonnet Series. Come January, I’m gonna start with Sightless Eyes, a paranormal story of a girl seer. She discovers that her world is inhabited by supernatural creatures and that there’s a war going on, in secret. One of my inspirations for this were a couple of Shakespeare sonnets, hence the title(s). For this it’s sonnet 43.

Resolution No. 4: Read More Classics

There are probably more resolutions, there are always more resolutions, more things to do. But I guess these will help me with my writing, hopefully. There are also more projects, but I’ll tell you about them by and by. Who knows how much I’ll get done in 2016?

What are your resolutions, writing projects for next year? Tell me in the comments.

For now, I hope you’re enjoying the last days of 2015. Maybe you’re more inspired/motivated than I am. I hope so.

NaNoWriMo Update [2015.3]

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Well, here we are again. I have to confess that I haven’t been writing at all these last few days. I guess, I’m not as stalwart in ignoring distractions as I thought myself to be. There was some intent friends and family time involved, but also some ‘I’m a lazy chicken, not crossing the road’-time. Crossing the road, of course, being a metaphor for not writing (also: I’m not actually a chicken).

What have I done? I’m at 30,000+ words, which is twice as much as I’ve written for WriMo last year. And I’m still  determined to win it. I hope,  you’re getting along with your writing. Leave me a comment, let me know where you’re at.

I think I’ve mentioned to you that I’m writing a Zombie-story. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s pretty insane. Thinking about what kind of things might happen during a Zombie Apocalypse, the kind of character traits people show, the courage, the skill, a fight or fly attitude. People will still be differnt, and some might choose to fight, others might choose to hide.

I’ve really come to love writing the supernatural. If I’ve known it would be this much fun, I’d done it way before now. It’s a lot about choosing which myths and legends you put in, and which you’ll ignore. How does your Zombie look like? When does your werewolf change? Are a cross and holy water your vampire repellents, or is this just mysticism?

And then there are your humans who have to react to the news that these kind of creatures exist. They’re certainly made of tougher material than your run-of-the-mill protagonist. But not too tough, not beyond harm, or fault. Never that.

I enjoy myself a lot writing these days (not the last few, because I’ve done none, but before that and hopefully again later today). It’s not that late today. Maybe I’ll do some NaNoSprints to warm up. One more week of NaNo and just under 20k words to write. Wish me luck.

NaNoWriMo Update [2015.2]

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I guess a title change was in order, just so I don’t get too confused or confusing by using the same title too often (I might be planning to participate in NaNo years to come). That’s not the only change I made if you’ve seen my Home-page. Yes, it’s English only now, but I will add another page for my German Neuigkeiten.

That, however, has nothing to do with NaNo, I’m just a little more productive these days. But NaNo…it’s still going well, though I had two days of procrastination so far. It had a little to do with finishing Halfway Home. I don’t know what you do when you just finished a novel, but I usually take a couple of days to regroup, decide on a new project, let it all sink in.

This being NaNo, that wasn’t really possible. I had a hard time deciding what to do next. And, yes, I know I made that perfectly good list for the projects I wanted to write, but I’m kinda bad at following simple lists. I needed a new project.

So, because I had such a good time writing about werewolves (you can read Courage here and here now), I wanted to go back to the supernatural. And now I’m doing a zombie story. It’s for a submission call, so there are some directions to follow, but I have a good feeling about Gale: The Zombie Diaries. And, of course, I had to make a cover to go with it (you may have noticed the header looking a little different, I put up some covers of stories written, to be written, maybe never to be written who knows).

Yesterday was half-time NaNo and I reached my 25k words through sprints and some actual continual writing. The great thing about the NaNo sprints (you’re not familiar? it’s a twitter feed with great prompts and timed sprints @NaNoWordSprints) is that they go well with the diary style I’m writing. The prompts are so random and I get to write some additional diary entries using totally unrelated themes. It’s great.

So, NaNo is still a go at my house. How are you doing? Leave me a comment to let me know. Also: you’re awesome. Your writing is worth the effort. Go, writer, go!!!

Free short story [2]

Halloween’s over, I know. But it took me a little longer to write this short story for my favorite holiday. Now, it’s finished and I want you all – if willing – to read it. For free!

What’s it about?

Dean Sutter is a hunter on the way to the small town Courage. A school bus full of couragehigh school students is on its way to Courage as well. Therein lies the problem for Dean, because Courage is a werewolf town.

While Dean is set on rescuing the teens from the wild beasts that come out at full moon, things are not quite as they seem. Confused, Dean turns toward the very creatures they’ve been fighting for seven years.

You might be confused by the ‘they’ve’ in that last sentence, at least at first sight. Yes, Dean is transgender and their preferred pronoun is the singular they. I guess it’s a little different from what you might have read so far, or maybe it’s just different from what you’ve read by me so far. It was a first for me, but Dean made their gender and pronoun quite clear to me early on. I couldn’t have written it any other way.

This said, I hope you’ll enjoy my little Halloween story. I put it up on wattpad and tablo.

Happy (belated) Halloween!

Halloween

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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What? You say it’s not Halloween yet? But it is. Halloween is in October and October is all about Halloween, so, basically, it’s Halloween all October ’round.

And I LOVE Halloween. It’s the one holiday where I don’t have to wonder ‘what happened in the bible again?’ or ‘what happened in Germany on this day so many years ago?’ And what’s even better: it’s not even really a holiday here in Germany. 31st October is actually Reformation Day (something to do with Martin Luther, I think).

That’s not to say that we don’t do Carnival stuff and costume thingys. I remember, when I was a kid, we would actually go from door to door getting candy. But we called that ‘Rummelpott,’ we did it on 31st December, and all the neighborhood kids did it together and we sang for the peeps. The costume theme wasn’t scary, either, so it really wasn’t the same thing and kids don’t do that anymore.

Some are celebrating Halloween here, too. I guess, they’re trying to establish a tradition here, but most older folks don’t catch on, so not everyone’s having candy for the kids. It’s a little embarrassing, our need to do as the cool kids do (meaning ‘merica).

For me as writer it’s a great thing, though. Halloween brings the scary to the virtual page. Last year, that meant my story A Lesson in Magic was published in the award winning anothology Wicked Things (you should totally get it and read it on All Hallow’s). This year, well, I couldn’t get out of my head to submit a story to an anthology, but a couple nights ago, I had a strange dream about werewolves and obstinate teenagers. And I thought, yeah, why not write that story for Halloween.

Well, I am writing this story and so my muse will, I’ll have it for you shortly before Halloween so you may indulge. It’ll be all free and hopefully scary. Let’s see if I can do that. I’d like to, you know, put up some more stuff of mine in the near future. Possibly poetry, but also a few short stories…getting back into the flow of things.

Well, I hope you have a scary October, lovelies. And HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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Wicked Things: Lesbian Halloween Short Stories, edited by Astrid Ohletz and Jae (the Writer’s Edition)

wt-postcards Wicked Things is now available for kindle on amazon (com, de, co.uk, what have you). Do you know how excited I am about this? I am sooo excited about it. For those of you who don’t know – there’s a short story by moi in this anthology and it’s my first published work in English.

I have already read it and it’s a great anthology. I absolutely love the different takes on the topic of this holiday and the supernatural. The anthology contains stories about vampires, and ghosts and witches and hunters and what nots. If you want to know a little more about the stories, I wrote a ‘reader’s edition’ of this post here.

Now, as a writer, it has been an immense pleasure to work with the folks at Ylva Publishing, especialy Astrid Ohletz and Day Petersen. I know my story is better now because of these two lovelies. And I’m happy to be among so many talented and able and distinguished writers.

My own story is called A Lesson in Magic and it’s about two people meeting at a Halloween party. Erin is there under protest but when she meets Raymond, she’s suddenly intrigued – and confused. But confusion clears when Erin learns a little more about Raymond and his special charms…

I’m not gonna tell you more about it, you’ll have to read it. I wrote this story for the anthology. I’m fascinated by the supernatural and the themes and tropes of the genre. It was a good opportunity to try my hand at it and I think I’m going to delve into it a little more in the future.

So, if you love the ladies and some scary and some erotic and plenty of supernatural, you should really read this anthology. Also, if you like me, you should totally buy it – for you and all your friends. It’s for your own good, really.

Here’s the links – amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, amazon.de. I’m gonna add the links for the paperback and other ebooks in my short stories-section as soon as they’re available. I hope you’re gonna read Wicked Things. Drop me  a line if you have and whether you liked it. I very much hope that you do. Read on, lovelies.

The Affair [1]

I already mentioned this story a couple of times. I just finished it – after about five months and 19,750 words. That’s a long time for a story that ranges just between a short story and a short novella. But life got in the way, I did some other writing, but now I finally finished my first, first draft – first, first because I literally just wrote the last sentence and have yet a lot of revisions to do.

Here’s what the story is about:

Robin and Linda are having an affair. We meet them as their relationship grows beyond the physical and enters the emotional. They’re falling in love with each other as they’re both struggling through their respective marriages.

The initial idea was to write a story about an affair, the guilt, the joy of a new love, the confrontations with spouses who have no or only a vague idea of what’s going on behind their backs. That is a lot of drama, a lot of inner monologue and emotional questioning.The pairing is kind of a first for me, since Robin and Linda are older than my usual pairing, already in their mid- to late-forties. But I like– no, I love them.

I loved the idea and I think I did well – but I haven’t read the complete story yet. There’s still a lot to do and I’m at a point where finishing it is all wonderful excitement and I’m looking forward to the editing process. There’s going to be a moment when I’m gong to fall into a deep hole, when I’m gonna miss my characters, feeling that the whole story is shite and my writing isn’t worth the virtual paper it’s written on.

But that’s for later. Right now I feel elated. And I can’t wait to start reading, editing and re-writing.

Carpe tempus, lovelies.