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Random Articles
The meditation room I am sure all of you have gone through some form of inner turmoil at some stage in your life. Some of you may have had it since you don’t know when, however, calling out to the writers, don’t these moments of unrest usually stimulate your creativity and motivate your writing? Don’t they help you dig deep to express yourself? I’ve been going through a rough mental patch for a while now in which I struggle to focus and...
Understanding disaffection... I don’t intend to write a long essay on this matter as I have hardly ever written any good essays as it’s either about justifying one’s opinions or evaluate other people’s opinions by referencing them and beating around the bush. Furthermore, your opinion becomes their opinion because they were the first to publish it. The term disaffection was circling around my head at 5am the other morning and the more I spelled it out to myself the more I...
What if we could? It’s another of my favourite season gone and I still haven’t made it back to my beloved Edinburgh where I fell in love back in 2003. The autumn colours were good to my eyes and the smell of maple a pat on my cerebral surface. It was a sense of melancholy that had produced tears of joy. But instead of spending the money to go anywhere, I decided to join the gym and book my flight back home. Finding...
I hate you hate me I hear tiresome laughter. I feel my body dehydrate and my right kidney pushing. I see an attractive guy throw one single random glance at me when saying “tschüß”. And I taste blood between my teeth. You can never be careful with dental floss, not when you have impatient, nervous and angry hands like I do. They have no sense for precision, care or elegance neither does my personality. I had known from the start that it was going...
50 Fragen 1. What’s your favourite colour? green 2. If you could be any animal what would you be? an eagle 3. If you could only eat one type of food for the rest of your life what would it be? noodles 4. Have you ever felt any form of attraction towards a relation? yes 5. If you woke up one day to find you were the only person on Earth, what would you do? go outside, stripping and practise handstand 6. What is...
McCandless (Supertramp)             There are thousands of empty caves With enough room for your heart waves And your love for Pasternak and Tolstoy Guiding you through a rope of mortal coils   The road covered with determined footsteps The world formed upon your own concept The awareness of a society’s failed ID Your choice to be footloose and fancy-free   Though the family cannot stop but wonder Your absence made their heart grow fonder And your...

Heart Like A Hole – Publishing process

I self-published my book as an eBook version at the beginning of June using Draft2Digital, which has been a very good and user-friendly platform! I’m very pleased I found them after a long time of research. If you are looking to self-publish your eBook, you should give them a try and check the results for yourself.     After another month of formatting and design editing, I finally published the paperback version of my book using Amazon’s KDP and Ingram Spark. Amazon was very straightforward in terms of uploading your book and cover design. They also offer templates that you can use, or you can use your own front cover, but you can choose the spine and back cover design, if you don’t have one. Once you uploaded it you can download a PDF proof as well as order a proof copy before submitting the file. You have to cover the print charges, and they will send you your proof copy within a week. One thing I noticed about Amazon’s print services is that the quality is top, but the actual trim/cut varies. It’s printed in different locations in the States. I’ve had two proof copies printed; the first one was printed in South Carolina and the second one in Kentucky. And although I’m pretty sure that I’d centred the title and name on the page, it seems that the alignment is always different on each print. But I guess that’s just Amazon. I also ordered ten author copies and at least three or four of them were trimmed pretty poorly and that even affected the interior look. So I’d like to apologise in advance if that is the case with your copy. If you’re not happy with it, do let me know. The other publisher, Ingram Spark, was, by far, the most complicated publishing system I’ve ever used. I’m not a designer, but IS needs you to have it all done and ready to go: The interior text as well as the art work. And the guidelines were so basic you might as well have been a superstar in formatting and InDesign. So I what I did for the art work was use my Amazon design, but I had to tweak around a lot to make sure it was 300pi and perfectly sized as per the instructions. I’m almost ashamed to say that it took me a good extra two to three weeks to get it right. My first proof never arrived, either. The second one did, but I wasn’t overly impressed with the quality of the art...

Grey Skies

When I woke up this morning the sky was grey. First it was eerie, as if waking up from a weird dream, which you don’t remember. The sky evoked a past sentiment that I was trying to associate with something. I was glad I woke up early (before 7 a.m.), because I’d set the alarm for the wrong day.   Today I got stressed about finding a free notary in town. Eventually I found out that the consulate did it for cheaper than any law firm, so I went ahead with it, instead of waiting for the bank to call me back and confirm that they do document certifications for free! Whatever.   I almost went crazy (with a panic attack) and was unable to make small decisions (i.e. whether or not I wanted to go to the library, what time to go to the gym, which tea to drink, etc.). Everything worked out fine in the end, though. I mailed out an important request on paper to Toronto this afternoon. Apparently it takes the people of my country up to nine months to determine whether they’re able to grant me a dual citizenship. Of course I’m nervous. My German identity is still something I wanted to examine in greater depth. I discovered the actual me in Great Britain, which was why I ended up living/studying there for so long. But I never denied my home country and my nationality. I am thankful of the many cultures that my identity represents, but if I have to choose between one and the other is a different question.   My sense of focus is low today. I can tell whenever I have to re-read instructions three to four times. My attention span is low, because I haven’t meditated in many months. I wonder if I’m ever going to experience that inexplicable sensation of stillness again. I only vaguely remember what it was like. I met a few people at the meditation camp that would do that ten-day course once a year, but I haven’t been since 2014. You should consider going, because, why shouldn’t you (https://www.dhamma.org)? Having low attention span is no good, as you will become a person that doesn’t complete what you’ve started and your analytical skills will go down, too. The last time I was in a state like this (triggered by social anxiety and stress) I meditated and it helped recover my focus for a while. But obviously if you don’t do it for at least 20-45min (twice) a day you will lose it all again. Right...

Rx

This year’s first Mercury Retrograde has been one of the most challenging ones. Exchanged words result in misinterpretation and misunderstanding. Delayed responses either fall on deaf ears or fail to show on the screen – because – battery almost dead. And cell phones don’t like the cold. Then your dentist’s assistant cancels your appointment by leaving a voice mail, because the doc is having a baby. My first thought was to write a short story about being born during Mercury Rx. Chances are that at least one or two planets will be in retrograde when you’re born, but most of them are likely to have a positive effect on you, but Mercury will complicate your communication skills. Saturn, on the other hand, has its bad and good qualities. It has karmic energies and requires all the patience that you have, which means that you have to work hard, even more if you are a Saturday child. This might be too much to handle for some, and a lot of people don’t believe in the influence of the stars. What if I said that the time and place you were born will determine who you are inside – the alignment of the planets and the type of moon on that very day? A psychology student once told me that you don’t inherit your parents’ characters. If anything that’s what you observe throughout your childhood. Also how you were brought up plays a big role in the person that you become. If your mother has a bad temper, all you’ll do is copy her and make that bad temper your own. I’ve always wondered why I have a fear of taking responsibility for something or someone. Your parents usually buy you pets when you’re young so you learn to be responsible, but I don’t think our pets have ever been my or my sister’s responsibility. Although I do remember my mother saying that we were responsible for them, but she didn’t give us the chance of taking any responsibility, as she would change the hay in our guinea pig’s cage, or she would walk the dogs – every day. All my sister and I did in the end was to take it for granted. We still played with our pets, but we were not looking after them. For that reason they loved my mother the most. But for my mother it was more of a responsibility that she had to take as a mother. This is one reason why motherhood will always be daunting for me. My sister and I didn’t...

When doves cry

When you say, “It’s happening”, it means a lot of things, mostly exciting things. Decisions have to be made for it to happen, though – and make those decisions before retrograde, which is taking place next week! Of course making decisions isn’t easy if too many things are involved, such as financial or occupational sacrifices, etc. But by all means you need to stop doing what makes you unhappy! Sure, things get more difficult as you grow older. You cling on fears. Making decisions was way easier when you were in your early twenties, when you had the whole future ahead of you, such as another university degree to take. For me it was always studies over work. Stepping in a professional job market was one of my biggest fears. I almost had permanent rosacea from the stress and fear that it’d brought along. Anyhow, I would say I’m still very determined about my decisions. It’s more about timing these days. Just remember to take action when something doesn’t feel right. So I decided that I want to leave Calgary and that’s what we’re going to do. The one way to make it official is to quite the job(!). There are two decisions in one here: Quit the job and move away. Calgary has been a good home for me in the last few years, and I thought that it was the place to settle, but if you’re in a place where too much has happened and you’ve not been happy the for the last while I’ll know it’s time to move on. It also took me a long time to decide when to publish my book, but it was partly my fault for not giving people that were involved a deadline, since I’m the only one that really priorities it. I obviously feel bad taking people’s time. I always have, especially if they don’t ask for anything in return. The book is still in progress, though, and I won’t have much time to promote or market it here in town. I don’t want worry about it too much. True, I have spent over ten years on it. I wouldn’t say I am a perfectionist; it’s not that I’ve spent this huge amount of time obsessing over it. If anything, it has been more of a learning process and overcoming my fear in getting it out there. There was a fear or sharing it with it people, but the feedback for redrafting purposes was essential. Generally being criticized and judged is scary, but if you see what kind of...

Coming soon…

It’s coming. I have been talking about this for years to a point where people began to roll their eyes. But it’s for real this time! This novel emerged from a short story that I wrote in 2006. An American female doctor pondering about breaking her patient’s nose just to add some colour to his face. That got me my first A ever. I cried. My tutor found it extremely funny and told me it was worth developing — so I ventured into that journey. Now that short story has found its place in chapter ten in this book. Please check out the blurb below and let me know what you think! I can’t wait to finally share it with you all. I hope you will enjoy it. Stay tuned for publication news!   >>Ellen Parker is a junior heart surgeon living in New York. The city is her hideout, the hospital is her life, and her patients her unwitting guinea pigs. While Ellen hungers to discover the intimate secrets of the human body, both on the operating table and in her sexual odyssey, her knowledge of herself and her own desires remains just out of reach. As the novel explores those secrets in ever more nightmarish ways, it becomes clear that the tension between Ellen’s demanding career and disturbing sex life cannot be maintained, with the two worlds destructively colliding. Will Ellen’s desire for control—both over her career and her difficult past—also be her undoing?<< Blurb by Elizabeth Wells, (c) 2018 Cover design by Egemen (c)...

It took Saturn that long

Do you remember my blog post from January last year called  ‘Three Years’? I was going back in time and only now do I realise that it’s time to move forward and think ahead. I want to work towards something good whatever it will be three years from now. Calgary has served me well for the most part, or at least it has until now. And dear me, I thought this was the place for me to settle! I want to listen to my mum and start thinking of buying a property and stay put. The notion of settling down has always been a daunting one. I was unable to do it in Germany and England, no matter how much fun I had. And usually it’s an unsuccessful relationship, an unfulfilling job or general disillusionment that triggers this hunger for change and longing for escape. But the older you get the more scared and exhausted you become, as you’re overwhelmed by all the events that have happened so far in your life. And I’ve always wondered why anyone would ever get scared of new adventures. I didn’t realise until later that this is how your experiences shape you – both the good and bad ones. And often the bad ones leave a traumatic imprint in your life and although you’ve learnt from it you’re still nervous it will happen again. This is not how things should be. Being scared. Shitless. You’ll always develop some form of fear in order to protect yourself. You expect the past to repeat itself. It only takes one wrong step. And it’s easy to take that wrong step. Happiness is so hard to maintain, while sadness is not. And before you get disappointed again, why not tell yourself that happiness is not meant for you? I was like this for a while, unknowingly. But I’ve always embraced changes, especially big ones, such as moving to a new country on my own. I first moved to England at the age of 18, excited, because I was in love with Britpop and the English language. I had zero expectations, which contributed to the excitement and absence of fear. I never got homesick, either. Homesick only occurs if you’re not enjoying yourself. England was a big contributor of mental scars, however. Relationship problems and work stress had caused my first panic attacks since childhood. As a kid I had trouble breathing as well, but I never knew what a panic attack was until I was in my early twenties. I remember going to the doctor’s saying that I...

Thoughts on Memoir

My former Primary School used to be just one block down the road from where we lived. It would take less than five minutes to walk. But for some reason my mum would drive the two minutes to take me to school. Rarely would she walk me there. Classes were usually from 07:30 until 12:30 or 13:30 with lots of recess in between classes, which was hell for me, especially on cold days. The school wouldn’t let any kid stay inside. The rule was as much fresh air as possible. I wasn’t really into that when I was young, especially with no playmates. I was only outdoorsy in our own backyard when it involved just me and my sister or cousins. I didn’t feel good enough to play with beautiful white kids. My whole life is about delayed awareness. Most of the time you just can’t expect me to react fast enough, unless my instincts are really sharp. If fears and insecurities are evident you can expect this delay to stay for years. Most of the time my instincts are not as sharp and alert as they should be. I’d been trying to work out why. Was it indifference, or the inability to live a human life? I would follow every lead; it didn’t matter from whom: Parents, teachers, doctors, etc. I just don’t remember ever feeling anything except for a mental paralysis. That one afternoon when the last class was cancelled and all kids were sent home early, my mum had no idea about it. No one had notified my parents and I didn’t have a cell phone back in 1991. So I went to the pick up area as usual to wait for my mum, expecting her to know everything and simply be there any minute. I was watching kids walk home by themselves or with their parents. About twenty minutes later I was still convinced that mum would be there any second. It just didn’t occur to me that the five-minute walk home was an option. About half an hour had passed and one of my teachers walked up to me asking why I wasn’t going home. I never spoke a word at Primary School so I didn’t say anything. I don’t remember whether she’d walked me home or called my parents, but what I do remember is she told my mother off. I didn’t feel stupid and guilty until years after. Moreover, I felt angry that my parents were being so overly protective of me that I didn’t know how to do things on my...

Between the 31st and 1st

Before January 1, 2017 hit me I was drunk on Vodka and had puked a couple of times before the NY’s kiss. I was at a place I didn’t want to be. I think I’d spent three NYEs at Cowboys fucking Casino in Calgary. NYEs used to be a big deal for me, but they no longer are. The best time I had went in stages. As a kid I used to love NYEs with family and fireworks. My sister, cousin and I would make a schedule for NYE with things to do and games to play. That way we can make the day go by quicker. The last thing on the list would be a nap from around 8 p.m. until 9 p.m and then my dad would’ve cooked a big, big dinner for the family and relatives in our former restaurant. Good times. All that kind of stopped when I turned fifteen or so – same with Christmas. Everyone had lost his or her enthusiasm. I had too. When I was around eighteen I discovered the fun of clubbing. And yes, it involved booze, because I wanted to fit in and peer pressure was no obstacle. People liked me, what more would you want? The best time was in my early twenties when I realised that clubbing combined with Rock and Metal was possible, most importantly, shared with a bunch of friends that have the same interest in music and love for Desperados. (Note: It’s one of the few beers that I like and would drink at least once or twice a year when dancing hard.) Those were my favourite times back home in Hamburg. I miss those days a lot, but you grow older and things and people change. One of my most memorable NYEs was crying to sleep before midnight with Franz Schubert’s Winterreise on repeat. I needed that cry so bad, though. That was 2011 I think after I’d graduated from my MA degree and moved to an apartment in Southeast London. The previous year I went out clubbing in Islington/London with my friend. The place we went to was supposed to be an indie club, and it’s important to note that people make a fuss out of NYE –so it’s no longer an indie club, but an I-wanna-get-laid club. Wherever you swing your hips there’ll be hands grabbing you at every move. You are surrounded by drunk pricks thinking they had every right to approach you. Anyway, my friend got picked up. I remember taking the train home alone and not being able...