I’m Thinking [1]

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Yeah, that’s a first. 😀

Well, I’ve been absent here for awhile and not just to think. We already talked about how life gets in the way… it gets in the way of everything, it’s like it thinks it’s so important. Annoying. Sorry, just having a little bit of fun here.

So, I’ve been absent but not idle. I’ve finally (finally!) done all those revisions on Halfway Home. Well, I’m pretty sure if it’s gonna get published there’ll be an editor suggesting a whole lot more, but for now… yeah, Halfway Home is at a publisher’s right now, getting evaluated. Exciting times.

I worked through that thing in time to have surgery on my hand. I had a trigger finger which is not so much painful as it is annoying. It also gets painful with time and so I had this pretty standard surgery. And now I have to do a lot of things with my left hand. Of course, as I am just now typing this, I’m being an ass about my hand’s recovery. But seriously, do you know how boring not using your good hand is? Do you know how stupid one feels using the not so good hand, the dunce’s hand? Yeah, brushing teeth with that hand? Not a delight.

With all that going on I’ve got a little time thinking. These last few weeks I’ve read a lot about how writers writing blog are procrastinating on the real writing, how we shouldn’t be writing blog because ever so often we do that instead of the ‘real’ writing. And I thought about that and think it’s utter bull.

For one, blog writing IS writing. Just as writing an essay is, or a journal. Is there any type of writing that is not ‘real’ writing? Is there any type of writing that is ‘worthless’ writing? No, there isn’t. I like to think that all of it makes us better at what we do. This here blog may not be high brow entertainment, but it’s still important – if only for me.

For another, how is sharing experiences not important? What would we even know about writing if those before us had not written about the experience of writing? Jacksquatt is what! Yes, they wrote essays and such, but writing blog is the next best thing. yeah? It’s easily accessible and doable. Every person can do it, and every writer (in my very humble opinion) should do it. We can’t always spent time in other people’s (character’s) minds, we sometimes have to get things out of our own. And is there actually a better way to do that than writing it down? An empty page doesn’t talk back! (I like that about pages in general, not just empty ones.)

So, I stand that blog writing is important. I thought about it.

Also, I’m thinking about a new blog (actually, I’m kinda diddling with it already, but it’s not open to the public yet) – not an additional one, more of a substitute for this one. Something that looks a little bit more professional. Like the someone writing it knows what they’re doing… yeah, I know, it’s risky, but maybe I can pull it off. Thinking of translating my novella The Affair into German, too. You know, just busy thinking.

Are you thinking too? What abouts?

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!

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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.

The Affair [Out Now]

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It has come the time when I can finally write this blog post: The Affair is out there, you can buy it at your favoirte ebook online shop – or at least on Amazon, All Romance ebooks, Smashwords and Kobo. I’m excited, of course. It seems a long time since I started writing it.

I first mentioned it here last September, and even then I’d been working on it for some time. It was the kind of story that took a back seat to other stories that I pushed, but I still knew I wanted to finish it, because the premise of an affair has always fascinated me. I’m not sure why but the predicament of falling in love with someone outside the marriage bond and pursuing that attraction or giving into the sheer force of it… the guilt, the question of whether to end a marriage over it or not… Yes, it is fascinating.

And this is what I wanted to accomplish with The Affair, to dive into that kind of drama. I think I made a decent job of it, but then writers are never the most reliable critics of their own works.

And we’re also not the best editors for them either. And this is where the really hard work begins. With the right story, writing can be like playing, you make believe, you do what you love (the degree on play and love can vary significantly from story to story, and at the end of the day it’s still hard work), but editing… it’s a process that can eat at you.

I personally like it as a learning process, where someone who knows more about syntax and grammar and commas teaches me how to do it better. I’d like to think that I grow more during the editing part of the writing than the writing itself. For example, with The Affair I learned that what I consider new and exciting ways to formulate sentences, are not really that exciting for my readers. They rather hinder the reading. This is something that blows my mind, even though from reading novels I should have already known that. How often have I frowned upon a phrase or a sentence that the writer probably thought was brilliant – and here I am doing the same thing.

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It’s a hard lesson to learn and I’m sure I’ll be ignoring it the next time I sit down to write some fiction. It’s also hard to see an editor delete those perfectly wonderful phrases which you think make your writing voice unique and fresh. But most of the time, unfortunately, the editor is right. I can accept that, most of the time, but as I said: hard lesson.

I remember years ago at a fan convention (nothing like comic con, just a small gathering of Xenites at a hostel somewhere in the German hicks), where there were fanfiction readings in the evening. It was the first time I heard someone read anything of mine and it was the most horrific experience in my young writer’s life. I didn’t know until then that every reading is also an interpretation of the text. And, of course, in my opinion, this interpretation was horrible. The reader made all the wrong choices when it came to pauses, the little jokes I build into the story mostly went over the listening crowds’ heads, it was all wrong. But that was mainly my ego. It was apparent that she had read the story many times before to do it justice on that night, she was a little nervous, understandibly, to be reading in public, and she did a decent job of it. Her reading voice just didn’t collaborate with the narrator’s voice in my head.

So, this was a little like an editing experience. And, nowadays, I appreciate the effort behind it more – I hope. Everybody at Ylva Publishing did a fantastic job on making The Affair better than it was to begin with. It’s also longer now and I’m really proud of the end product. I want to thank Astrid Ohletz and Jae, especially, and my editor on this, Alissa McGowan. The cover design by Kaitlyn Connolly is a thing of beauty. There were more people involved and I want to thank everybody.Writing is at times a lonely occupation, but putting out a novel is not.

That said, I hope you’ll all read this novella and tell me how you liked it, the second part being optional, of course. 🙂

Later, lovelies.

The Affair [2]

the-affair-two-edited-no-shadowThis update has been a long time coming, I know. Maybe you need a reminder of what this was about – The Affair [1] at your convenience.

So, what’s going on with this, you might ask. Well, it’s been through some changes. I’ve added some, my editor has deleted some, and now it’s almost at the point where it’s going off to the presses – the virtual ones, because this here story is going to be published as ebook.

That will be next month. You can read the publisher’s advance notice here, before having a look at the official book page here. It’s looking pretty if I say so myself, and not just the cover. Though, I mean, seriously, the cover is great, yes? I love it.

What I also love: what has become of it. It’s gotten a little longer, roughly 22.000 words now. As I said, I added and those were additional scenes, making the story stronger – hopefully. The revisions took me a little longer and that’s why it’s coming out in May instead of April, as originally planned. But I feel good about it.

I hope you’ll feel good about it, too, because, of course, it would be great if you read it. It’s lesbian romance, yes, but you know, my mom reads all my stuff (that’s in German), too, and she’s as straight as they come. A genre shouldn’t exclude anyone. I think the theme of an affair is relatable enough that everyone should be able to read about it, so feel free, even if you’re not gay, or not lesbian, or have never cheated on anyone.

I’ll post about it the minute it comes out, of course, and provide you with links.

I’m so excited about this, and while I love April, May can’t come fast enough for me.

Carpe tempus, lovelies.

Willkommen! Bienvenue! Welcome!

ck2015

A new year. Hopefully, a new chance at doing better, too. ‘Cause honestly I screwed up plenty last year – and the year screwed me up some, too, so hopefully 2015 is making up for that.

A new year begins slowly with me, especially because I think of January as the Monday of the year. And what do we do on Monday? Lament that the weekend is over. I’m not doing that in January but I’m still not one to jump right in. This year, however, I got an early start because I have so many things to do. Some even have to do with writing fiction.

I know I already told you that The Affair is going to get published this year. I’m currently working on some revisions before it’s going to get edited. A lot of work but necessary. I like this point in the publishing process where I’m still creative but don’t have to worry if I’ll ever finish the story.

I’m excited about this story and I hope you will like it. It will be published by Ylva Publishing in April – and I love April, so this is perfect. But there’s still a lot of work to be done. I’ll tell you more about The Affair later this month.

I’m also working on revisions for Halfway Home. I started writing this story last summer for a Christmas anthology but it got too long for that publication. Now I’m working on making it even longer. I’m not sure if it will be a novella or full-blown novel when it’s finished. I’ve got a lot of ideas for it, though.

I’m now looking over what I’ve done so far, adding chapters, deleting conversation tags, like ‘she said’, ‘she said.’ I’m looking forward to writing again but as I said above, I like this part. It’s less stressful than the actual writing process. Halfway Home doesn’t have a publication date yet but I hope it will be ‘out there’ late this year. It mostly depends on me finishing it, of course. I’m working on it and keep you posted.

Last but not least, I’m editing a short story in German. It will be published in an anthology in summer. I’m really looking forward to this one because it’s my first story about a transgender protagonist. It’s also written from a first-person perspective, so that’s a first for me, too. I like it. It’s very intuitional writing, and you have to have a good grip on language and the narrator’s voice.

The story is called ‘Unser erster-letzter Tanz’ (transl.: ‘Our First Last Dance’). I like writing in German on occasion. And I will probably write about this story and others in German on this blog. I want this place to be bilingual, but there won’t be as many German posts as English ones because for the time being I’m planning on writing more in English.

That’s how far I’ve come with my work this month, this year. There’s a lot of life to be lived these days and it usually interferes with my writing but I’ve planned to make as much room for my passion as I possibly can. That’s my resolution, besides all the projects I’ve already told you about.

What are your writing resolutions? Tell me in the comments.

I hope 2015 is shaping up gloriously for y’all.

Carpe tempus, lovelies.

It’s still December

… and it’s a weird one.

I don’t know what kind of weather you’re all having but here in Northern Germany we have around 10 degrees Celsius, which is warm for December. And it’s raining, like, all the time. There’s not going to be snow any time soon – because it’s too warm – and it’s too windy for umbrellas. It’s simply disgusting.

We’re finally done here with the birthdays in my family and can concentrate on Christmas. My mom and I have put up the tree yesterday. It’s really pretty, with new lights and all. Today we’ll be packing presents and on Wednesday we’ll be celebrating Christmas at my sister’s with my niece and nephew.

So, mainly life is just life at the moment. Not much time for writing. I’m working on revisions for The Affair which is scheduled to come out in April – have I told you that already? It already has a beautiful cover. I’m so thrilled and I’ll tell you more about it next year.

That’s pretty much it. The next time we’ll read each other it’ll probably be in January, so I hope you’re all going to have a great time over the Holidays whether you celebrate Christmas or not. Same goes for New Year’s. I’m gonna ring it in with friends – how about you? Tell me in the comments if you like.

Carpe tempus, lovelies.

Done [in November]

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I’m aware that November isn’t quite over yet but I’m trying to put my stories into order, to see what I’ve done, what I’m going to do next month and next year. And since I have pretty much given up on NaNoWriMo (I’m gonna write more about that on Sunday), this is a good moment to make an evaluation of some sort.

While I completely failed NaNo, I’m not in the least disappointed with how November (and October too) went. Even Nano itself was a positive experience and I put Carpe Tempus on my writing projects for 2015-list.

I already wrote in October that I finished The Affair. So, I sent it to a publisher and have now signed a contract. Work on this story is not over yet, I’m going to have to make revisions now and then there will be the editing process. I’m going to keep you updated on this story but that’s where it’s at.

I have written another short story for a German publication. It’s called Unser erster-letzter Tanz [transl. Our First Last Dance] and it’s been accepted for an anthology that comes out in June or July. The story is about a transgender person who falls for a waitress at his cousin’s engagement party. So far, my German stories have all taken place in the U.S., but this one takes place in Germany with a very German setting. I feel that family functions differ a lot between Germany and USA, and it was very interesting to put a little of my own experiences into this story. (There will probably be a German post next year about this anthology.)

November last is another deadline and I’ve written a short story for another German anthology that comes out around Valentine’s Day next year. It’s called Versch(l)ossen and I’ve started wriiting it in 2007 – it’s been a long time coming. It’s now at around 6,500 words and it’s about two women meeting because one of them locks their bikes together by accident. They fall for each other, of course – I mean, it’s for Valentine’s Day so that was kind of a given, yes? I will have to do a quick edit, but that’s a lot easier in German than in English.

That was November (despite the two days left). I’m going to tell you more about NaNo and what I’ve planned for next year in my next posts.

Carpe tempus, 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.

NaNoWriMo – Carpe Tempus

I remember the first time I heard about NaNoWriMo (not that I understood what my opposite was talking about). I was telling some friends that I had written a novel-length story in about five weeks in June and one of them, an American, said that June was my WriMo… I didn’t get that and he had to repeat it. As things like this go, I came across this phenomenon quite a lot the months following but never thought of participating.

So, why now? I haven’t done much writing these last two months. It feels like I’m standing outside myself, especially since the year began rather promising. And now I’m at a standstill and need a boost. Hopefully, NaNoWriMo will be just that.

In case you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is (and I can’t imagine that you wouldn’t because I’m usually the last one to come across anything and everything), it’s short for National Novel Writing Month and here’s the official website where you can learn about it and sign up to participate. But in short: November is NaNoWriMo and people across the globe write a novel in one month – the first draft, that is. The official website will help you with advice and word count and other helpfuls, if you want to participate.

I had this idea the other day. The spark was a woman who came home to sort through her mother’s belongings after the older woman’s death. And it somehow led to the thought that the mother was a time traveller and the daughter, who happens to be a writer, discovers that secret – and a time machine in her mother’s basement.

That’s the idea, and now I have a couple of weeks preparation before November, 1st, when it all begins. Of course, that’s far too little time to do everything I have to do. There are some submissions that I’d like to get out of the way before NaNoWriMo starts. I’d like to finish The Affair and something even more pressing (something so bothersome, I’m not gonna tell you about it). And that’s only the writing I’d like to get done before November. Let’s just pretend I could be that disciplined.

By the way, the working title of the piece is Carpe Tempus (Seize time!) – and, yes, it does refer to the time travelling-aspect of the story as well as my own writing. I think it fits.

If you’re participating as well, I would love to hear from you on the official platform (let’s be buddies – I’m not sure what that includes but I’m willing to explore the possibilities). I’m new to this whole thing and awfully excited (as it is with new projects). Let’s do this, then. It’s time to get back into ‘the writing.’

Carpe tempus, lovelies.

I’m writing [1]

At least, I’m trying. I don’t have to tell you that life can get between you and your passion all too often, we all know how that works. When I’m writing, though, I’m working on either of these two ideas, stories… whatever you want to call them.

 

The Affair – The title is what it’s about; two women are having an affair. I like the psychological predicament of the situation, the guilt, the questions about their marriages. What makes people cheat?

I have been working on this for a little while now – far longer than I wanted to. But I find the drama of it very complicated and that slows down the writing process (besides what life throws at me at the moment). The chapters are the days of close to one week starting with Monday – I’m at Thursday right now. The plan is for Saturday to be the last regular chapter but there’ll also be an epilogue (I like epilogues).

I think it’ll have close to 20,000 words when it’s finished.

 

Halfway Home – It started out as a Christmas short story but got a little out of hand. And I guess, it’ll get even further out of hand and will possibly end up being a novella.

It’s about Dina and Kerry who meet at a hotel in Cincinnati where Dina is stranded due to bad weather over the holidays. Kerry celebrates Christmas with her family there and she is loathe to see Dina spend Christmas alone so she tries to get her to open up to her. There are some things going on with their respective families, as well.

I really like Dina and Kerry, they make for interesting characters. We’ll see how far that interest will take me. The story takes place in Cincinnati, then Denver, and then New York where both of my protagonists live. I’m not sure that it will end there. I’m also not sure how it will end at this point, but I’m confident that the story will take me where it wants to go. Hopefully, it will all make sense in the end.

 

Well, those are the two projects closest to completion at the moment. I have some ideas on back-burners, there are always ideas lurking at the back of a writer’s mind. I’ll tell you about them when I start writing them.

So long then, lovelies – be good.