Saturday, May 25, 2013

All you need is...

“There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done

There’s nothing you can sing that can’t be sung

Nothing you can say, but you can learn to play the game

It’s easy”

Before I started taking writing more seriously, I always thought arts is about transmitting unique ideas, ideas that change mankind and their perceptions, ideas that shape the new world of tomorrow, making people more sensitive to the realities of their fellow men and women.

With arts, you feel deep and you think big.

But the reality, when you sit on your bud for hours, trying to put on paper one tiny, little sparkle of genius idea, is very different.

In the morning I wake up, motivated maybe by a dream or some episode my brain put in order during my sleeping hours, and I feel like fire and flame to get it out and into the world. But once that first writing urge is released, and I have to revise what I just wrote before publishing, doubts start crawling towards me, like ghost-zombies. They approach me like shadows, from the corners of my room, start climbing my legs, immobilize my body, get into my head and are longing for my heart, darkening everything.

Where do the zombie-doubts come from?

It’s the knowledge, that the genius idea I am just working on has already been covered by that famous author I read last year or by a newspaper article that falls into my hands just a few hours after putting the last full stop on my text. It’s my younger brother answering sober, that this is sort of the same idea one of the old Greek philosophers was pounding about for years. Nothing is new; everything has already been there thousands, maybe millions of times. Nearly everyone has had this idea before once or several times in their lifetimes.

I feel like a failure.

But then, … “all you need is love. ♫ Tatatarará. All you need is love. ♪ Tatatarará. All you need is love, love. Love is all you need.♫”

Lennon should have changed some parts of the choruses to “all you need is faith”, meaning faith in yourself and love for your work. Because it is true… you have to learn how to play the game. It's a craft, therefore a lot of work to master it. You have to learn how to express one thought, which has been thought all over millions, trillions of times before in a way that is non-superficial, hiking the depths, pounding the vein of your zeitgeist, reaching out to your readers, who actually have millions and trillions of these thoughts every day, but who generously will accept to stop for a minute in their train of life, to grant that one specific idea a few minutes more, and maybe, that can change their perspectives and their lives a tiny, little, sparkling bit.

Like Walt Whitman said: “The powerful play goes on, and you can contribute a verse”.

Thank you, Bryan Hutchinson, for this inspiration. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

What IS the meaning of life?

What is the meaning of life? What is the meaning of - my - life?
Is it even allowed to put this question anymore?
Shouldn’t there be a law against it?

This question is surely not spoken out loudly, at least not, when you work 9 hours a day, nearly six days a week in an engineering bureau responsible for big infrastructure constructions, not, if you are in charge of multiple projects at the same time, you have at least 37 employees depending on your managements skills, a pregnant wife and two two-year olds rumbling in the house, as well as a very badly educated Labrador named Doga.

When I don’t think too much, everything works out fine. I master my job, we have a perfectly arranged schedule with my wife and I even have time to meet the boys for a basketball game on Sunday mornings. The days pass by and I haven’t even noticed it. 

But today I found my old pen. It lay in one of the drawers, at the very bottom. I called it my magic pen, he was given to me by Uncle Louie, two weeks before his plane crashed, and I carried it with me ever since I had it in my possession since third grade. I carried it during good old school times and I carried it even through university times. The pen is also were I got my nickname from: Doc Samson. The pen is green and shows Doc Samson, Hulk’s friend in the comic series, in the upper part inside a water compartment. With this pen I wrote 62 short stories and 7 unfinished novels. Ahhhh…, those were times…
Where did they go? What am I doing with my life?

On my walk home I pass the Lawrence Krauss Bridge, our last year’s project. It doesn’t look new anymore. The colour is starting to fade and some kids have sprayed graffiti everywhere. One of the sentences I read there makes me ponder.

When I come home, I open the door and nearly stumble over Jane’s old pottery box. It’s standing in the middle of the way; I hear the children shouting and the dog barking. The tiredness which was fading away during my walk home, suddenly is back on my shoulders.
Jane comes into the hallway.
“Hello darling”, she smiles at me and greets me with a short kiss. “Can you be so kind and carry this box down to the cellar?”
“Everything all right with you? You seem like you were gnawing on something…”
“I just past my bridge and it’s full of graffiti…”
“Ah, you saw it, too?”
“I saw what?”
“The clever phrase…” she laughs openly “it’s there since last week. I was wondering when you would come up with a comment.”
“The clever phrase…?”
“Oh, come on Sam, … You have one life and one million dreams. Choose few dreams and fully dig in, or have thousands and only scratch the surface. What’s it gonna be? ... You didn’t read it? I think it suits your bridge perfectly.”
I have to smile at the cleverness of my wife.

When I enter the twins’ dorm, they drop everything and come rushing towards me, each one hugging one of my legs with their short little arms and demanding to be lifted up. Doga joins the party and pushes one of the twins, so he stumbles on his brother… Jane starts laughing and I know I have made the best decision.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Nursemaid

 “Are you ok?” Maelle was putting a hand on her shoulder and looking a bit worried. She was a smart kid, a perceptive soul. People said she was no royal, she was beefy and not really fair. But no matter how clumsy she was with her movements, her spirit was fully awaken. A few years more, and she would learn about disappointment and defeat, and then she would loose the candour and become wise. Noone would be able to fool her anymore.
“Oh, I am fine, darling. Continue reading your lecture.”
“But you seem worried. Is there anything I can do to help?”
“Nothing my sweet rose, I will go and have a look at your sister” answered Mirla while pushing away the remembrance of the white rabbit.

Mirla left the study room and walked slowly along the long hallway, up the stairs and to the eastern wing of the palace. The pounding question always haunting her, never leaving her heart, since that day of the rabbit: “What did I do wrong? Which part did I miss?
She had raised them equal. With equal love and patience. With equal severity. She had been there every step of the road, every fork in their way, to guarantee that the girls had sharp minds, warm hearts, brave souls and tempered manners. She knew these girls better than they knew themselves, she loved every pore of them as their own blood. But something important had escaped her attention. Something big, dark and secret and she couldn't figure it out.
She entered the dormitory. As usual during the past few weeks the curtains were closed, it was the silent reign of darkness that governed here. Clarabell lay in her bed, too weak to stand up but still not abandoned by her untouched grace. She could become a wonderful queen, smart, of daunting beauty, delicate with her words and actions, simply exquisite. But there was the white rabbit standing in the middle of the way between glory and death.

“Is is a punishment, Mimi?” Mirla closed the door behind her, came to the bed and sat down.
“A punishment for what, my sunshine?”
“…I don’t know, the rabbit, I think”
“Do you feel it is a punishment for the rabbit?” She drove her fingers through Clarabell’s silken hair, like she had done since so many years.
“That’s stupid, right? Would god be so petty to make me pay this much for one little rabbit?”
Mirla looked her very serious in the eyes. She could find redemption. She only had to want it. She only had to be her little girl again. Not this cold heart of steel and beauty, which was following the steps of the dark queen.
“Come on Mimi, we eat rabbits every week. Maelle knows that too. She is younger than me, but she’s a smart kid. And besides, it didn’t take one hour after she got a new rabbit.”
“She is not touching that new rabbit. Do you know that?”
Mirla was searching a hint of regret, but Clarabell rolled her eyes. She only seemed bored.

There were no regrets in Clarabell’s heart. Neither were there regrets in Mirla’s heart, she was convinced that her doing was absolutely necessary; she was ready to go to the very bitter end, though it broke her heart. She could feel the little flask in her pocket, pricking against her tigh. It would be Maelle de Borough and not Clarabell de Borough who would become the next queen.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Word count - the right method?

  Whenever you get started reading the writers advices on the web or when you talk to people about writing, the best tip you get is write, write, write. At the end, it sums up to how many words an hour you are able to put down on paper. 

  I am really having my big time with that. I have a good notion about the plot of my novel, I worked on some parts of my main characters I have a quiet clear idea what I want the first chapters to be about. But when it comes down to writing, the days were I am most inspired and write like a fool, I seldom stay in this phase for more than 2 hours, the rest is editing and the result is barely more than 900 words per hour, most often less. And then there are days, where you know were you want to reach with your story, but it’s like climbing the Everest with bad equipment… Somehow it seems still achievable, but you can’t call that a beautiful journey, and I actually never reach to the top like that.

  Ok, maybe everyone is right, and I just don’t have the hang out of it. But in the last weeks I have to admit, that the idea of reaching a certain amount of words, was putting me negatively under pressure. Sure, I have to write. With other words, I have to spend as many hours as possible on this job. But writing, writing, writing… that’s another topic. What about the hours of research, the hours spending time with synonyms, the hours you need to work on your characters, on the settings, the hours you work on more humorous ways to express one thought. You need to be patient and calm with that. When I am on the word count method, I feel like I am speeded up and it’s not helping me. The story has its own life, it’s own pace. I worked on it chronologically and pushed myself through the boring parts which were necessary to explain the cool parts. And once that was done, I inversed the order or the narration and swoop, I could leave most of the boring parts out, or reposition them in a way, that they are not boring anymore, but rather clues to what is to come or explanations to what you didn’t expect. That was very cool! 

  That set me thinking. Do I actually need to write the whole story down? Could I not rather use keywords for the Everest parts and take a lot of time concentrating on the details, without actually writing them all down. Then I structure the story, and then I start writing it down? Wouldn’t that save me a lot of time, a lot of erased words, a lot of sweat?

  As newbie writer, this thought can only stay as a theory so far. Currently, I actually need to write every word down to be able to imagine the world I am going through. I am putting emphasis in building up the proper scenario, in concentrating on the feelings of the different characters, on getting the logic of the actions, on getting a sense of the surroundings, etc. That cannot be achieved by hurrying through the lines. It is rather a work as if you would be building one of this scale models for miniature trains, only in big, in real size.

  I am curious to see how this evolves. Could it be true, that professional writers actually do all this thinking and imagining at vertigo-pace and are still brilliant with it? - ... Wow!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The best companion

Writing is definitively a very solitary adventure. You have the characters, which at some point get to be your very good friends, you have your good friends and family revising the text afterwards. But in the meantime, you have all these hours of work, sitting alone in front of the pc. Hours and hours. Sometimes I want to write, but I get very desperate not to be moving around. But now …haha… I found a good solution. Usually I can’t listen to music while I write, because I know most of the texts of the songs I like and they distract me a lot. Now I found a few pages, which have nice music, mostly instrumental. One of them e.g. gives you the right ambience for a horror scenario; the other just relaxes you a bit and carries you to a land far far away if you wish. Anyways, I didn’t want to skip mentioning them, because they are really, really great and helping me a lot with keeping my bud on the chair and working calmly on the text like a good girl.

Thank you!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The deep, dark roots of fairy land

Next week I graduate from my story-teller seminar. I started these lessons, because I thought it will teach me how to tell stories nicely and therefore how to be a good narrator. I was really hoping it would help me with my writing.
Not even the first class had passed, when I realized how mistaken I had been. The class has only dealt very little on how to narrate a good story. We actually spend 7 whole weeks only getting to know this world of fairy tales and learning how to speak their language. It hasn’t even been about interpreting the stories; it was more like learning how to execute a proper ritual: like giving wisdom on. We should work as channels, certainly deploying our individual ways, but losing the self-centredness of a main character on the stage. In some way I could say, loosing the idea of being performing as a narrator and just living the tale.
Our sensei, who in the following weeks would guide us in our discoveries of the woods and labyrinths of the different fairy tales, insisted that we work quiet strictly with popular stories, the ones which were past on from generation to generation, not the ones written by modern authors. He said, “no matter how clever the authors are; young stories mostly lack the depth”. And in this first class he also explained that some of the stories we will deal with are hundreds, even thousands of years old and we should treat them as good, wise friends and over all with lots of respect.
Like every new thing you try out, the suit of the tale-narrator felt weird and uncomfortable at first. Not because I am shy while talking in front of an audience, but because of the type and rhythm of the stories. See, popular tales are actually really a bit like old people. Their pace can be sometimes awfully slow, like when situations are repeated three times. Or sometimes the tale has parts which actually sound incoherent inside the plot development of the story and you feel kind of stupid having to narrate parts you don’t really grab the meaning of. So the first thing you have to learn while dealing with popular tales therefore is patience.
I actually think, you can only have true patience with the ones you love. So at the beginning, I didn’t really care for the old stories. I was reading, hearing and learning them randomly while searching for one I could actually manage to narrate without my scepticism getting in the way. And so it happened that I read one after another, one after another, one after another. And while I was reading like that, I actually got used a bit to their pace, I got used to their particular way of speaking, and over all I stopped expecting the things I always expected. Because usually, when I hear about a labyrinth, an enchanted forest or a witch I expect the glittery hoogey boogie we know from the movies. But mostly they are not. Like I like stories about dragons, but I like cool, nice dragons like Fuchur (from the Neverending Story) were you can ride on. Or I like to be really scared, like when you see a vampire movie and the protagonist (the human one) has to enter the vampire’s house... But traditional fairy tales don’t speak this same language. They are actually not really there to entertain you like that. Or let’s better say: they don’t give you this kind of light entertainment. If they give you entertainment, it comes at a price: ...your soul, and therefore it actually is a complete other journey than expected. And when I finally understood that and started being open, without expectations, I got to know them a bit and I started loving them for what they are, and now I am patient with them and they are very patient with me.
Old fairy tales are actually little pieces of wisdom told in a way that your conscience stays and listens to the story, but what is actually getting addressed is your subconscious, so it can put the questions and find the answers it needs.
It sounds a bit odd, I know. But think it this way. Why do the most famous psychologists like e.g. Freud and Jung analyse dreams and fairy tales and work with ancient symbols?
It seems to me: There are still things in this world which are to scary to pronounce. There are also still other things, which are too complicated to really grab. Notwithstanding how civic and domesticated we are, there are truly still needs inside us, which we can’t explain and which we fear. And all of this has a remarkable tabu-label in the modern society which produces cars, warm homes and regular income.
But all these un-grabable topics have been with us since the beginning of our conscience I guess. And the collective wisdom of our cultures which has been collecting the tiny little pieces of questions and answers during several lifetimes lies buried in these stories and in some ancient habits.  In modern times we have misinterpreted them and are now about to loose them. I think when someone sais we have lost the old ways, what it means is, that most of us during most part of the day like to forget how wide and alien the world is, how many big mysteries there are still unsolved, how lonely and exposed we are. We still have not even a hint why we are here and how we happen to be. Of course we can do like we always do as adults. We either choose to believe in a religion which answers these questions for us or we say we are more pragmatic people and just shrug our shoulders and forget about the questions whose answer we know for certain we will not find.
But is this true? Are we that satisfied with our solutions that the question is off the table forever and always? Or is it still out there, waiting for us behind the next door, or even inside us, hidden in the deepest, darkest parts of our soul?

Friday, May 10, 2013

The writers practice

I found a really good page for all the writing starters!
Nice people, intelligent idea and really worth taking a look:

Friday, May 3, 2013

The first key to the castle

Today I woke up like the sun: Strong and brilliant!

I don’t have much of these days in the last times, so I knew it was my responsibility to grab it and do the best out of it. I know these days, they are the fuel for the upcoming weeks, they are inspired by the muses and wish to run free like a wild horse. On these days you are strong and you have got to produce as much as you can, stop everything else, even stop eating and just follow the call. And that’s what I did! … And today, after long, long time of wandering and searching, I had a breakthrough! I finally have a story which is worth writing about, a quest to solve, one that I am not only fascinated about, but one which I profoundly hope, won’t fade away after a few days like so many other ideas did… 

How did I reach there? Well, before I would have said it’s all about inspiration… But the muses are more than mere, sporadical appearances of inspiration. They are actually coquette beings, attracted to confidence.

I have been reading some articles about writing. Some part of me was searching for help. But a very big part of me always refused reading them, because they come from people who are actually writing. They usually start with… “After my third book …” or “how to increase my word-count from 2.000 to 10.000 in one hour”. All this was not really helping me at the foetus-writer-status I am now…

As long as I could judge it, my problems were:

(a)    No focus. That means: I hadn’t clear what I wanted to write about and was therefore jumping from one topic to another trying to convince myself to get enthusiastic about this and that and actually missing real enthusiasm from inside.

(b)   Impatience. If you are a writer, you want to write. Not writing, or not knowing what to write about feels like a total failure. I started thinking of dropping writing and preparing myself to start to search a serious job again. This felt even worse, because it felt like I didn’t even give myself the chance to actually really start this adventure. I had been cautiously preparing this moment in my life, where I can actually dedicate to my writing, and now I was giving up without any battle even fought!

(c)    Lost. At the beginning, I wasn’t even putting myself the questions what my actual problems were. I was just trying to get information at random, hoping that inspiration, questions and answers would just pop up somewhere. I think it was not till I actually started understanding that impatience and lack of focus were my main problems, that I started finding the proper course again. And the biggest:

(d)   Fear.

Yes, fear. Finally I can admit it: There is some kind of fear inside me, which blocks out every creativity and every clear thought. I think I want to write and I am on it, but I am hiding my fears from myself, I am not focusing on the demons, but avoiding them, and therefore I cannot write. At least I cannot write anything that really matters to me.

But today I had a breakthrough. On my sunshine day, with the heart filled with confidence, I finally felt encouraged enough to embrace some of the wise advises I had been given.

The first of them was from Gwen Stephens ( she quoted an article explaining that writing is a craft, which (as any craft) takes years to learn. That helped dealing with the impatience. The second came from a Peruvian story-teller and my sensei through the fairy tale world, Wayqui ( He said: “Don’t fight fear, give into it. If you want to tell a story and think you will do it wrong, just accept you will do it wrong, take it as a fact, that you will do it wrong. Then, everything has already happened; you can relax and start building from there.” The third very valuable advice gave me the direction, the focus. I had to find my main quest for the story, or how Alex Martin put it, clarify the track of the conflict ( I had to define a main conflict in the story I wanted to tell.

So today, following these advices I ventured into my private zones, the inner demons, the things I am not confident about and actually don’t want to share with anyone. I started putting them on paper in confidence that every paper can be burned at the end of the day. I had tried out all other directions, except for the journey into the interior. Though I refused to venture this way, and I also didn’t expect anything of it but pitiful and winy expressions of the usually locked up part of myself, I owed myself a try. I owed my dream the try.

The result nevertheless ended up in a DiNA3 page filled with an immense diagram, with arrows and lines, single words and quotations all over the page. It seems I finally had a lot to say about something.

I have known my current main quest in real life for a while now. I just wasn’t willing to admit it, much less write it down for other people to read, because I consider myself a modern pragmatic woman, and this quest is about romance. And saying it out loud sounds still kitschy to me and the proud part of me feels like it has just been punched in the face again.

But we will ignore that, because today, I was able to take a glimpse at this particular demon, the one who locks the entrance to the spooky castle. I could start describing it. I am proud of myself.

And now I feel, all of these things I have been reading in the last weeks suddenly can help me a lot. I keep the advices and experiences of all the other writers like a bunch of keys in my pockets and they help me opening up some of the secret doors in the spooky castle. Reading therefore helps a lot.

But the steps to these doors, the steps which will lead you to and through a story worth telling, they have to be walked by the storyteller on its own. And advancing towards and inside the castle is impossible at the beginning, because you don’t know how to move. When you enter the world of tales and novels, you enter a new dimension with its own rules. Walking, talking and moving around here works different. Stepping forward is like a word-game. I am only allowed to move a step further, if I put a question. If I am too scared to put a proper question, I simply won’t move, no matter how nice the views are. Once you get it, it is sort of a joke. Because the first step, is to put the first question, and how could you possibly know, that in order to learn how to walk in this bizarre story world, you have to question everything?

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The tower on the hill

I love to wake up early in the morning. Today i woke up before 6. The sun falls laterally at this hour and the hills around the house throw long shadows. You can see their relief much better than during midday. They turn into something magical, calling you to visit them, to discover every pleat and they reveil secrets, which are hidden during bright daylight. 
On one of the hills, there is a surveillance tower from a military installation on the other side of the hill. I know it is made to survey the military ground so no one can approach from the back. But I like to think at it as if it would be watching over my small valley. I live in a neat residential area, most of the buildings here are two to three stories, with tiny front-gardens which have only a decorative purpose for the one or two families living inside each house. The people here are the growing middle class of Lima. They send their children to universities they just start being able to afford since one or two generation. They have relatively good cars and are able to support the growing consumption habits of the mega-city: cinemas, shopping malls, restaurants, bars, theatres, concerts and other spectacles. 
This citizen, they suffered the hardship from the years of high inflation and terrorism, but who knows if they actively remember it. Everything seems so calm here. We have parks with trees which are barely visited. People don't go out to the parks here, don't sit by the trees and enjoy the sun. ... The people in my area, they are mostly homey people, polite, cultivated and reserved. But the parks are necessary. Lima is a desert, it’s brown and grey. If you go out of Lima, you will see that the whole coast is like that. It has its own beauty, especially during morning and evening hours. When I visited Huarmey, the landscape was impressive. It made me remember these American movies where you make a road trip over the desert. The dunes are not yellow like the ones you imagine from the Sahara. They are grey, brown, even a bit white. Sometimes they shine and the air plays freely around them, painting beautiful formations on the hills backs. ...But in Lima, you don't have this openness from the desert. It's full of houses, and streets and pavement. The limeños used to paint their houses green, and red, and blue and yellow. When I arrived here 15 years ago, the city looked like a chaos to me. All colourful, nothing had an order. Today, my eye is not that of a European used to proper order anymore. I got warm with the chaos, I learned to love it. But today the Limeños are getting tired of it. The colours of the houses around my area are more decent nowadays. Light yellows, light greens, light greys. Everything starts looking more harmonic now; the parks are the only things bringing colour into the scenery. It's like the citizens are starting to get used to moderate, civilized conditions. No bombs anymore, the current war they are fighting is mostly against corruption, and they have many battles won. Not everything is yet clear in the state of Peru, not at all, but the process is started, and people forget, people seem to forget quiet quickly. 
When i was living here 15 years ago, you bearly couldn't carry a handbag with you. You usually closed it up in the trunk of your car or put it under your seat, and made sure to close the doors and no matter how warm it was, the windows stayed closed too, …at least, in most of the city areas. Last saturday, I was on a local transport driving through Surquillo, when I saw something, which reminded me, how much the city has changed and how little the citizens notice it. I was sitting in the transport when we stopped at a red light. And there I saw it: A car next to me, with a couple around their sixties. They were driving an old car, a model which might be 15 to 20 years old or so, one which has the door security locks on top, not the ones which are placed in the middle of the door and you can't see them from outside. The door locks, ... they were open! Inside me, all the security bells rang. We were driving through Surquillo. One of the former dark parts of Lima. There have always been worse parts in the city, parts you can't even access, if you don't live there, but you could say, it has always been the bad part of the town which is surrounded by most of the residential areas like Surco, Miraflores, San Isidro. That means, in former days, if you wanted to visit someone living in one of the other residential areas, and you had to cross Surquillo, you used to check again on all the doors, all the windows and nearly hold your breath if it started being late. When a car or a bag got stolen in the residential areas, if you were quick, you could have probably found it back in one of the ambulant markets or garages of Surquillo a few minutes later... 
But now, ... things have changed, or people seem to have forgotten. They seem to be relaxed. I wonder how that can be? 
The area looks truly different. Big, global supermarket-chains and handcraft-markets have opened modern shops here, with automatic doors and attending personal in uniform, with price catalogues, and shopping trolleys. You have a very famous clinic which treats for low budget, but nevertheless has a good reputation, from Surquillo I always take one of the very modern trans-city busses, el metropolitano, who has a special trace and therefore practically flies you through the immense city... and all over Surquillo there are placards announcing "Surquillo está cambiando" (Surquillo is changing), repeating it again and again, like when you speak out a wish in a fairy tale. And every three times you say it or read it or think it.... something actually changes in Surquillo... 
But the people, when they speak, they say that Lima is getting more and more dangerous, that the organized crime is taking over the city, that the government is making a dissatisfying job ensuring the area.  People seem to have forgotten what it was, truly living in fear. People in the civilisation often ignore the drums of the wild, the coldness of the winds in the desert, the desperation of the darkness during the nights. Here, in the city who never sleeps, full of lights and of progress, of green calm parks and light painted two story houses… Here, a watchtower on a hill of a residential area -seems to me- is of high necessity. And be it only to remind you that there was a time, where such a watch tower was needed in the middle of the city, in the middle of residential areas.

Friday, February 22, 2013


Hi there, 

One week is past since the experiment started and I am startled and overwhelmed. I started taking part of the three day lasting IndieReCon on Tuesday, a conference set up by and for independent publishers; that means mostly writers who decided not to (or sometimes couldn’t) join the mainstream publisher and sell their books online or by investing their own capital in prints.

I have to admit that I was impressed by the high amount of information. Each hour a new post was charged on the webpage and discussions started nearly 7 minutes afterwards, when the first participants finished reading it. Besides the posts and the discussion boards there were life-chats and video interviews. The days started at 8am and finnished long after 9pm. In only three days I have soaked up so many different aspects of this career, I can barely sum it up and I certainly wasn’t able to digest all of it at a time.

And I think that is actually my major problem right now. Having a wide overview about what is in front of me is certainly positive for a pragmatic and strategic approach, but it did steal the breath out of me: There is so much to learn!

When I read the profiles of the people organizing the conference I feel stuck. How are they able to write and publishing one or two books each year on their own, while still having a regular job and also being a mom/dad? …I wonder if something goes wrong with my interior time perception or my vital energy. How do they do it? Are they exchanging their Duracell’s every 48 hours to continue non-stop? What about the rest of their lives? Don’t they have friends to meet, places they want to visit, other hobbies to experiment? Don’t they ever have a bad day or get sick?

I would be envious, if it wouldn’t appear so surreal to me. I know time is a relative thing, and the more skilled and experienced you get in something, the quicker you are. But even if they are having a high degree of expertise, in order to be able to manage several pages a day, after coming home from work, after having family dinner and after putting their children’s to sleep, it still means a lot, a lot, a huge amount of sacrifice! So yes, what else can I say but merely “respect, ladies and gentlemen!”

But now, in order to not let me down, and not give up after the first week, I need to put myself more concrete goals. I need to concentrate on writing first. How about a short story every week? Is this very daring?

I will try my best.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A new community

Hello there,

I often find it more difficult to explain myself to my life-long friends and my family than to complete strangers. How do I tell them that I am trying myself out on a new project, a project which might change my life or might end up in a big defeat, but -regardless of the outcome- a project which encompasses my whole compromise, takes the best hours of my day and unavoidably carries not only a change in itself already, but -most important- a big risk? This risk being understood as the decision to invest my time and energy in this endeavour, substracting this same amount of time and energy from any other more profitable and "realistic" project which could guarantee my economical survival. Though I am perfectly capable of sustaining myself at this moment and taking this risk calmly with a small cushion to fall on, I am nevertheless exposing myself to the judgement of people I care very much about and who I know, know and judge me quiet well. Without anything to hold against their pragmatic and preoccupied arguments but a mere illusion, I prefer to postpone an extravagant out coming till I am able to fetch a few first results on which to base any further judgements.

The result out of this situation is in some way isolation. Even the few people who know about this experiment can accompany me only halfway. This is a new experience. It is difficult to explain to others what I am learning or experiencing each day, when I myself am not able to grasp every new entry precisely.

But luckily, entering a new lifestyle comes mostly in hand with entering a new community. This enhances many positive things: First, I can engage into conversations without anyone interpreting what I am saying, but just reacting to what I am actually saying. Maybe these people don't get to know me as a historical person, ignoring which experiences make me actually say what I say or think what I think... But they help me to get a new perspective on myself by getting to know the current me, or at least the part of "me" which is right now under construction, opening a new terminal... The second most important thing this new community provides, is a big bunch of like-minded people, with whom you not only share the same interests and experiences, but who can also introduce you to this new world and confirm, that you are not completely out of your mind by trying this out, or at least, that it's a quiet common disease and there’s nothing to really worry about.

Where did I meet this huge community of equally sick persons? - In Google plus. Yes, sounds like advertising. I don't care. Different from face book, Google plus offers the possibility to interconnect with -currently- unknown people on quiet specific topics. In just one day of research I have gotten to know at least two groups I will now regularly start joining at their discussions and training sessions, I learned a lot of new tech tricks (follow link below) on how to use new media to boost my creativity and I inscribed myself to a writer's conference taking place in a few hours. This community provides me with knowledge, comradeship and guidance on my new path. Thank you Google-team for making this possible in such and efficient way. 

More on Google plus: 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

What do we have in this box?

Good morning Latin America and good day rest of the world,

Today, as every good start, I cleaned up my desktop, installed a Google calendar and condemned myself to a regular weekly task on Wednesday morning of catching up with the “minor to-do-list”, how I call it. In concrete words it means: clean up desk, desktop and do all the small activities I have been avoiding the other days… I will so hate this date!
But happily, happily: today is Saturday. So for the moment I am safe.

Next I am doing is starting with a list on all the things I want to write about. It turns out to be a quiet mixed box of non-related topics. Like in a fruit and vegetable salad – just about everything is thrown inside. Let’s see what at the end stays. But what I want to do for sure is document the processes on writing itself, like in a scientist’s diary. I will try to figure out a methodology on how to keep writing every day and start improving the quality and originality of the texts and thoughts. In fact, I am guided by my belief that most of the things in life can be related to jogging. When you never went for a run, or when you stopped with it for a long time, you feel insecure about even being able to stick to the purpose of running regularly. But everything is possible. I had a personal trainer once – not a paid one, but an expert on this field anyways – and he told me, the trick is starting very, very small. If you push yourself by trying to jump on bigger steps, then your brain registers stress and you might feel like a hero after the first session, but your body will remember and try to skip the next sessions whenever possible and sabotage you from inside.

I haven’t been writing regularly in years. So starting with a short idea every 1 to 3 days, even if it is just a thought of two lines, should be an acceptable small step goal.

And now, I stop theorizing about writing. Because as I learned from the Christmas hang out sessions for SME offered by Franck Scipion last December: “How can you theorise about something you have no clue of?”

Good day and high morals for your goals!

Hangout-session for SME (in spanish): hangout: formación SME

Friday, February 15, 2013

Startingpoint, the rest is history

Startingpoint, finally.
Unaware that every big journey doesn't start with your feet crossing the threshold of your front door, but with an infinite number of mental, physical and logistical preparations, i have been looking forward to this day for at least a year and almost getting myself lost in the storm of arrangements and decisions before even having started.
But here I am now. With a (still) quiet-improvised mental backpack, a long to do list and no plan where or how to start, but just starting to figuratively put one foot in front of the other.

What is this about? - Writing. Pure, simple.
Why do I make such a fuss out of it? - Because this is a mental striptease.

So here I am. Undressed, on stage, under the spotlights.

                                                                                    Pic: courtesy of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

How do i feel? - Vertigo, a bit of excitement and infinitely happy to finally, finally be here.