got going….

Ah at last I got going:

Had my thinking cap on on Sunday and realised that I got writing much better when I did some planning in the beginning of the week. So I wrote down all my blogs and what I want to do on them this week as well as what to work on short story wise.

Think I told you that had not taken part in the short story competition in Bath which is a shame but well sometimes your inner critic is just too strong. The next one I have chosen is the Doris Gooderson 2013 Competition which supports the Severn Hospice. I suspect this will be easier for me as it supports a cause. Thinking about my writing and doing more with it made me realise that “just earning” money with it would not be enough for me. It actually is not the reason why I really want to write.

I love to support the people around me both the causes they support but also to make them aware what they really want to do and to support them to just get on with it and do it. Some years ago a friend and me were talking about things we want to do and it made her realise that she loved photography. After our conversation she bought herself a good camera, took a photography course and had done several big journeys which she captured brilliantly with her pictures. You can not imagine how happy it made me to see her doing what she really loved. That is who I am and therefore my writing has to go into that direction as well.

I have no idea yet what the short story might be about but that will come in good time :-).

Besides that I have chosen the poetry I want to put into my little poetry book as well as the pictures I want to have with those poems. Strangely it was more difficult to chose the pictures than the poems. I guess that has to do with the fact that I knew since a long time which of my poems I want to publish. Have been working on them and I think I improved some of them. The editing so far has just been reading them but I will do another round with reading them out loud because it gives you another idea of how they sound. I think poems should be read out loud anyway as their sound so often gives another dimension to them.

I also have written to some celebrities and newspapers about the Aurela campaign and so far one has written back. Hopefully I can write an article about the campaign and get some more people to support the little girl.

And I am writing about shadowing the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize with my reading group in Norwich. That is really exciting as the books are brilliant and I think I will see if I can read all the long listed books but not until the Readers Day on the 18th of May :-). Originally I wanted to write about it in this blog but as it is a prize which concentrates on translated fiction and it honours the translator as much as the author I realised that it has to be in my bi-lingual blog :-).

Last but not least I have decided what to do with my NaNoWriMo writing from last November. I wanted to write a novel for so long but lately I realise that shorter genres are much more my liking and there is one scene in that story that I really like. So I decided to work on that one and change it into a short story.

And then it is nearly May which means #frapalymo Petra Paul’s writing challenge is right in front of my doorstep. Can’t wait ~ I just can’t wait 🙂

Oh and then of course reading. Shadowing the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize means to read two of the short listed books and then discuss them but also to tweet about them and write about them on your blog. The Twitter hashtag is #iffp but so far not much has been tweeted which disappoints me a bit. There some brilliant blogs out there commenting on it. It is worth for you to look  the hashtag up and follow the links.

I also have set myself a challenge to read Steampunk novels as I just have discovered the genre and quite like it. Unfortunately not the first book I read which was “The Anubis Gates” from Tim Powers. I somehow could not get into the story and I did not really like the characters. The next one on my list is “What lies beneath the clock tower” by  Margret Killjoy and the introduction I read so far sounds good.

And then there are all the books from the International Fiction Reading Group and Fantasy of course. Oh life is so good ;-)!

Exciting projects on my plate I think  and it is nice to be back into some creative life :-).

What about you? What are your creative and reading projects? I love to hear from you!

IMG_20130423_165613

“Traveller of the century” by Andres Neumann & “The Detour” by Gebrand Bakker which we read for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize

 

 

I knew it!

I knew it that I will not be able to stay away from this one for long! 🙂

Sometimes life is fluky:

The day when I posted my last entry on writing more in my main blog and doing more off-line life my husband came home and gave me a message from a colleague who is a writer as well. She said: “Tell Bee not to give up writing and to send me stuff. I am happy to read through and support her!”

It came out of nowhere in a time when I decided that I had not the strength to support the Aurela campaign and do all the writing stuff as well. I was tired of it all and I think another depression was on its way. But I am a very spiritual person and it dawned on me that the Universe had a message for me in store: “Don’t stop writing” therefore I won’t :-).

Well as for my experiment with doing short story competitions: The first I did not win, the second I did not take part in ~ story of my life. There were moments when I started to give up (again) in the last few weeks but NO ~ I won’t.

The story I had already written for the competition in bath will not stay in my drawer. I have decided to post it here and now to get some proper feedback from you guys ~ anyone interested???????? 🙂

(One reason why I do that here is the fact it’s not bi-lingual and I do not have to translate it ~ gosh lazy woman 😉 )

And here it is:

Of Lemon and Men

Fion stared at the picture in the newspaper.

The dark-haired woman was hardly recognisable. Her face was bruised, her nose swollen to the size and form of a potato and you could not see her eyes anymore. “Her lovely green eyes!” Fion thought. “How…..” his thoughts got tangled with his feelings. He started gagging and ran into the bathroom.

Fion did not feel the cold in his little apartment when he came back a little later. There was no money left for the metre until the end of the month. He did not sit down at the tiny plywood table underneath the huge window opposite the bathroom door with the newspaper on it. He let his big but still athletic body fall onto the chestnut sofa with its holes and scratches all over it. The sofa always looked a bit foreign to him in the black and white the apartment was kept in.

“How……” again he could not finish the thought. Instead he wondered why they had a picture like that in the local newspaper. “That is not their style!” he thought.

“… be careful what you wish for….” he heard her deep voice saying to him. “You were right my love!” he whispered his throat still burning from his earlier sickness. He put his tough hands over his face trying to make the images go away but only memories came back.

There she was: Dara’s bright red kaftan draped around her on the floor a lemon in front of her and needles. “What the heck are you doing?” Fion had asked. “Just bringing luck back into our lives!” she had smiled at him. But he knew it was not true. He had seen her smile at the ginger twat down the road.

“How is it supposed to work?” He sat down beside her. That was all he was able to do. He longed to touch her, caress her fine face and her long black hair. But she always seemed to shrink back from him now. So he did not. “You take a lemon…” she used to lecture him a little bit but he did not mind. Or maybe he did. It did not matter now though. “… and stick needles in it. With every needle you think about something you wish for. And then you leave it in a sacred place.” She started sticking needles in the huge lemon. With every needle she closed her eyes and her lips moved slightly but she never said what she was wishing for.

“Can I try one?” he had asked. She had opened her eyes and studied his round unshaven face. She used to like him ragged. “I guess you can but be careful what you wish for. It might not work out the way you hope. Magic has its own laws!”

So he had taken one of the metal needles without the usual colourful balls on top and stuck one in and thought “May she never be another man’s!”

He jumped from the sofa as the intensity of the feeling he had added with that wish struck him again. “Oh my god….. “ she would never be now!

A loud bang shook him out of his thoughts. He froze a little , then turned to the left  to open the deep black door. “You bastard!” Her brother, once his best friend, rushed in and pushed him over. Fion lost balance. He hit his head on the floor.  The pain took his breath and he had trouble to see the smaller but more agile dark-haired man. Fion only felt him sitting on himself  his left hand hard on Fion’s shoulder. After a little while he could focus and saw the other mans right fist up in the air. Fion certainly did not want to feel that one. “I…..” he tried to move but there was no way “I did not do anything!”

“You bastard! YOU should have protected her. I trusted you!” The other man let his fist fall lightly and relaxed a little. Fion started moving to and fro violently. The other looked astonished and fell to the right. The black chair in front of the table rattled as he fell against it. Fion’s face twisted into a nasty mask as he sat up beside the other. He shouted “SHE left ME! REMEMBER!”

Fion saw a hint of fear in the other mans dark brown eyes. It was only there for a second. He then relaxed and started sobbing. “I know……. I know!” Fion lay down as well. He had never seen Sharan show any emotion. Fion just lay there waiting. “I am sorry!” Sharan whispered. “What for?” Fion asked brisk then got up. He stood there, his whole body aching, staring down on Sharan. “Want a coffee?” was all Fion could add. Slowly Sharan sat up. His short black hair stood in all directions. His dark blue shirt was dirty and his trouser torn. “Yes”. He was still whispering.

When Fion came back from the kitchen with two cups in his hand the front door was still open and Sharan still sat on the floor his head in his hands sobbing. “Get up man” Fion said as he put the cups down on the table and stepped over Sharan to give the door a push. “I hope no one saw us!” he thought and walked around Sharan who got up like an old man. Fion sat down on the other side of the table facing the sofa. Sharan had managed to move the pushed chair and sat as well. “I had to go and identify her!” he said.

“I am sorry…..”

“Shut up…” Sharan fell in Fions words”… if you would have been man enough for her nothing would have happened!”

Fion felt like he got stabbed. He could not face the man in front of him who used to spend all his time with him. They had met in school. No one had liked the indian looking children: Sharan and his sister Dara. No one had liked Fion either. It was as good a reason for a friendship as any.

Fion remembered the first time Dara wanted to kiss him. He had felt that tingle in his stomach as much as the fear creeping up his spine. He had pushed her away and said “NO!” She was hurt and ran back home. The next morning Sharan was waiting for him with a grim face. “You like her?” he just asked. Fion had looked at him like Sharan was from mars and not from Islington. He did not expect that. He had prepared himself for a fight. “What?!” Sharan had asked and that was like a signal so Fion simply said “YES!” Sharan had started walking as they were late already. Fion had trotted after him. After a little while Sharan had turned around and jerked his head in his walking direction so Fion caught up with him and Sharan said: “Ok! Rather you than any of the other bastards!” They never spoke about it again. But their relationship had slowly cooled down. And not only because Fion from then on spent most of his time with Sharan’s sister. After graduation Dara moved in with him. They hardly ever saw Sharan.

The day Dara moved out of their apartment she had left the dried lemon with him. Fion had sat at the table staring at the brownish thing that looked like a mummified hedgehog and when he could not bear it anymore he grabbed it and threw it out of the window.

“ You think the ginger twat was “man enough” for her?” Fion asked eventually. Sharan’s face twisted and he hit the table with his right fist. His half-drunken cup toppled over and a small stream of dark liquid ran down on the floor.

Fion did not move. “I begged her to leave the twat” he said “ when I saw her first black eye! I knew he was a twat but I didn’t think he was like that!” Sharan took a handkerchief out of his pocket and dried the coffee stream on the table. “She never came home” he said “ when she had bruises. So we always knew!” He stopped wiping, just left his hand on the wet cloth.

After a while Sharan asked “What did she say?”

“Said it was nothing. She ran into a door! As if she ever would run into a door. Not Dara!” Fion nearly sobbed. Sharan just nodded.

They sat there until the sun went down. Both staring out of the window.

“I wish I would not have stuck that needle” Fion thought when Sharan left.

Lemon - fleur et fruit

Lemon – fleur et fruit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Let’s self-sabotage shall we?

I had ideas!

I had many ideas since last Saturday!

Seems like the new moon at the weekend made me very creative!

I even had set up google drive to be able to reach my file to jot down ideas everywhere I go!

But I did not!

And now they are gone! They are gone and my muse as well!

Besides that I had decided to take part in the Writers & Artists Yearbook Short Story Competition!

I was so confident after “winning” #NaNoWriMo last year I would be capable of defeating my inner critic and just get on with it.

“I thought that #NaNoWriMo last forever ~ I was wrong” to play with one of my favourite poems “Funeral Blues” by W.H.Auden.

Well let’s not be so critical with myself. I have finished the first draft and am sure I can manage the editing today. I did not have an awful lot of time as I only saw the competition last week but at least I managed the first draft. Have decided to set my goal to “Taking part” no matter what will come from it. Something tells me that I should take part in as many competitions as possible this year just to train myself to get over this fear of taking part. That seems to be a good belated new years resolution! 🙂

English: Photo of W. H. Auden, 1970, taken by me.

English: Photo of W. H. Auden, 1970, taken by me. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Are your stories like your children?

A few days ago I wrote about the fact that I have decided to stay with the shorter forms of writing eg poetry and short stories and of course my blogs. I said “good bye” to Zara as a project but she somehow does not leave me. It feels like a child I have nurtured ….

20 years is a long time to think about a story.

I wish I could decide on one route of writing and then stick to it!

 

A possibility to publish your short story

I am not sure if I have been writing about Derek Haines’ Blog “The Vandal” before in this blog:

Derek Haines the author of the hilarious “February the Fifth” writes in his blog about writing, grammar, self-publishing and much more. His humorous (and sometimes sarcastic ~ sorry Derek 🙂 ) way of explaining things is enormously entertaining and a blog you should really visit.

He offers the possibility to publish your short story and I have found a few really interesting ones there. If you are interested just have a look at “Derek Haines – The Vandal – Short Story Submissions” to find out the details.

Reading ~ nurturing the writer to be

I had no energy what so ever to write in the last few days even though the story or more the story line was in my mind all the time. I guessed I needed some time off to recharge. Seems like I can write about half of the week and the rest I need to deal with other things.

Arthur Miller, American playwright

Arthur Miller, American playwright (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The story is called “I don’t need you any more” written in 1959. It is about a 5-year-old Jewish boy on one of the Jewish Holidays trying to get to grips with his mother’s pregnancy, her feelings for an old friend, with religion and how to behave properly. Arthur Miller really gets you into the mind of the boy and his anxieties and hopes. It is at times so intense that I have to stop reading.  I have read “Death of a Salesman” in School and enjoyed it as well but never got to read anything else. Definitely a loss on my side. Not only other things but also concentrate on reading. I guess you can not write if you do not like to read. A few days ago I started the Short Story anthology “Presence” by Arthur Miller. Just half way through the first story but my goodness is this intense reading. Have not figured out properly how Arthur Miller did it but it is a joy to read him.

Well, there is enough time to get some more from him. I definitely recommend this book for writers to be.

Now I try to get myself back to write the novel. Have planned to do housework ect today before I go to work so I will have the whole day for writing tomorrow which is my day off. Well, I keep you updated how successful I will be 🙂