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Random Articles
Between intervals I didn’t realize how significant my music is to me. The more I neglect it the more my relationship with fiction recedes into the distance. And suddenly there is nothing worth doing anymore. This is possibly the only moment where I feel lost. I know it’s a bad thing to say that I don’t really make any effort to register events that are taking place around me, and it’s ok to judge me for it. I have other things...
Back cover I don’t summarise things, because that’s when you lose the whole point of it. When you’ve written a book you shouldn’t be able reduce it to a short story not to mention a short summary. It’s horrible. All the authentic and down-to-earth sentiments would disintegrate into some tasteless and dull adjectives and adverbs that consist of no meaning, because you don’t see the whole picture. But as my friend Ed pointed out, some people check the back cover for...
Choleric or phlegmatic? Or both?... I have a big head, a blocked nose, sore eyes and dry lips. The typical symptoms of a bad day like everyone would say. Nothing new that I am not stress-resistant. I hate dealing with customers, but I don’t think there is a job where you are free from people. If it was at least a small group of people. I nearly lost my temper at the tills today. I don’t take complaints well, especially if it’s not my...
Small hands She was eating the skin around her finger. The TV in the waiting room was reporting a New Year’s rape that took place in Sydney. New Year’s was seven hours ago in Australia. As a kid she used to think that people in Australia were in the future and one had to travel through different dimensions to reach that future. The idea of being behind made growing up a lot harder. The girl that got raped was a 24-year...
My present room Writing exercise – seminar / 19.01.2011 My room in halls of residence is big. I have the biggest and quietest one in this hallway.  I’m also lucky that I don’t face the main road, but I can still hear the sirens outside. Last week I heard a loud crash. The whole floor vibrated. It sounded like a robot fell from the sky. I’ve been having the windows closed, so I can focus on the three most important things: my...
Vertigo It has been a summer of mutant ladybirds – friends who have transformed; a summer of hundreds of snails attempting to cross the pathway – friends needing you to guide. And sometimes instead of guiding, you grab them and just take them from A to B, just to have it done with. Of course it’s wrong, because they still have no clue where they are at. Hardly anyone does.  You draw all possible sorts of maps, leave crumbs before...

#Selfie

I can’t help but think of some friends out there that are lonely. Happy, exciting pictures don’t actually say anything, especially if it’s in the style of a selfie. That used to be a thing in 2003. I remember that well. It started with MySpace and all, but then the ten- to fourteen-year olds began taking it over. And later Justin Timberlake did us a favour by buying MySpace and it was no longer about selfies and fake profiles. Speaking of which, I created a fake profile, too, once, because I was trying to remove my stalking ex from my life. I created an imaginary friend from Iowa – a fellow NIN fan by using a piece of NIN related artwork as default picture. There was so much you could do on MySpace. It might’ve worked a little bit, I was actually expecting hate mail going to that fake account, but luckily that never happened. But back to selfies, people don’t really do that anymore, at least not excessively. What makes my friends’ selfies stand out is that they are by themselves. Their smiles feel like they’re 50% for real. I don’t know where the other 50% is. They look older, too. About thirteen to fifteen years ago we used to take group pictures. There used to be a photographer that was not on the picture, but on other ones. This is how things used to be and should be. Don’t take selfies alone! At least get someone to take a picture of you while you’re admiring a tree or want to capture the background of where you are. The era of selfies started pretty much fifteen plus years ago. Now if you look back don’t you think it’s pretty sad? I feel sad when looking at mine. It’s the same with how smart phones have started to dominate our lives. It’s sad, and you wonder what will come next? I’ve got to admit that I have become a shitty friend in the last few years. I used to value every single friend that I had, because I never had any until my late years of adolescence. As a loner and late-bloomer I had the time to get to know myself better, so that was fine. I’d learnt to live with myself, be productive and creative when alone. I wasn’t shutting anyone out, because there was no one. My family was busy with other stuff, which was fine. That gave me space. So when Internet began to take over communication, I made virtual friends. No one will ever understand...

Sunset at 18:23

Why am I me with this conscience that doesn’t want to be? At least I think it doesn’t want to be, as it needs a constant reminder that it’s there, whether it wants to be there or not. It’s similar to having your head in the clouds (, because reality is draining). You just don’t want to think or do anything, speak no word, react to nothing – just nothing. Creative introverts cannot handle the ordinary life cycle and yet they are caught in it. Everything and everyone have expectations of them. Yesterday your conscience was that of a child’s and today you’re wondering whatever happened to it? It used to be more creative, angrier and more honest. It’s when you didn’t have control over your feelings. Now that you have control, it seems like you’re letting your creativity grow up by paying rent and bills, which constitutes to responsibility. And isn’t responsibility supposed to bring stability and make you a decent human being? Yes, all’s good, except that one morning you will look at yourself in the mirror and wonder whether you’ve ever created anything that mattered to people. So what do you do? You spend ten years writing something that turns out to be Heart Like A Hole, you rack your brains over a short story that you named Silicon Dreams, because that’s the best you can come up with for now while the story isn’t really coming along. The idea is there, the set up is there, but what else? Can’t play God anymore? Well, of course not, because there is no God in fiction writing. The story is already there – you’re just figuring it out. It’s almost like a fucking game of chess or a puzzle. There are endless ways, moves and pieces – more than you can ever take. I’m not saying that what I create should matter to anyone, unless they choose to. You don’t impose. That’d be selfish. Presenting your art is necessary, though. I remember my tutor used to say that writing (or art in general) is all about exposure and that’s what you want. Unlike others I am not scared to expose anything. I’m only scared of not being able to express myself – especially before the sun goes down. It’s like there is never enough time to let everything out that needs expressing. How do people become wise as life is happening? Do you have to grow old for that? What phase of adulthood am I in when I’m trying to find out when my life actually began?...

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...