Tuesday, 25 January 2011

in between nanos..

Just thinking that I never managed to write a blog during the last nano in November 2010, mainly because it was a pretty hectic month, a month that I spent mostly with studying, repeating and preparing for the written exams at the end of the month (which I passed, and even if I didn't get great results in accounting, I passed!), there are now only 10 months before the next nano, and I guess I am going to be prepared for this year's a lot better.
And I am going to have more time for writing.
No studying this November. Hopefully. Or at least no studying of things not related to writing this November.
A good plan, as it made it quite difficult to get to the 50K mark, but I managed somehow, just about, at the very last minute.

Not finished with the story, nothing edited yet.
But then again, I have started editing the 2009 nano novel, so that is what I am concentrating on these days.

And then, after having a few weeks off, I am going to start another round of studying next Monday, to be able to work with a computer program that seems to be used by a lot of companies, and it should enable me to find a better job, well at least a job in the first place.
Not sure if I want just any job at the moment, but it seems that I certainly need to find one soon.

In the meantime, I will keep myself busy with what I have kept myself with during the past couple of months - too little reading, too little writing, meeting with new friends, visiting the facebook inn on Friday evenings, the usual... :o)

Hope to have better news soon.

Reading: trying to finish "Eat Pray Love"
Listening to: nothing playing at the moment, would probably be something by dredg, though.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Freaky Fridays...or history repeating itself while life imitates art...

I wrote a draft about the freaky Fridays that I have witnessed during the past couple of weeks, and while I thought about how the written word might have an effect on the people and their behaviour, just having mentioned this proved to be a good thing, since that day, the 24th of September, wasn't so freaky after all.
Or maybe it was just another Friday, and the person's power to manipulate others in order to turn the Friday freaky for the rest of us had started to wane.

Could it be that just starting to write about how that Friday could hopefully turn into a normal Friday again had the effect that I had hoped for?
Well, at least it was good to have experienced a normal Friday again, even an ordinary one, and so I shall use this further in the coming days.
The pen is mightier than the sword, I keep reminding myself, but so far I haven't even started to take notes...
So writing about the mildly strange things that have happened over the past couple of weeks, mainly on Fridays, which seems funny, might have some sort of effect on me and my peers, and if so, it will maybe prove that life imitates art.

Didn't Umberto Eco mention something similar in Foucault's Pendulum?
Guess it's time to read it again...and to watch what I write... :o)

Reading: C. G. Jung followed by Margaret Atwood
Music: very varied these days, have just discovered "As tall as lions", too bad they split up...

Monday, 30 August 2010


Just one word, read somewhere, resulted in a few sentences, and probably a very strange short short story, might turn out kind of Kafkaesque...
So to be sure not to give up on it just yet, I am going to write about it here, and I guess it is a good preparation for the next nano, which I am looking forward to.
Although I need to prepare myself a lot better for this year's sessions, as I won't have that much time for it, I am determined to go ahead again.
As in real life, things get in the way that might seem like obstacles but could prove stepping stones, or so they say...
And sometimes, changing your view can alter the perspective on life, the universe and all the rest, I guess...
Trying to do so at the moment... :o)

Listening to: won't even start to mention all those names
Reading: should have started "The whisperers" by John Connolly a long time ago, but I'm still keeping it for a rainy day, I guess, expectations are high enough as it is the latest Charlie Parker novel...(and who would've thought that "the lovers" were such a bad couple of... what?... ghosts? )

Thursday, 14 January 2010

note to self

blog more often!

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

I meant to....

... write so many blog posts this week...
But now, just to be able to say that I started (again):
Things people tell each other on the subway - I know there are websites with that stuff on them, but do you really get to hear those funny things?
As far as I'm concerned, the things I often hear are rather boring, but every once in a while, there is a more interesting story being told.
Sometimes, you wonder why the people tell their friends this kind of stuff right there - can they not wait until they have gotten off the train?
Oh no, it must be so much more fun to know that most people who overhear the conversation will be slightly shocked!
At least that was what I thought last week - two guys got on and sat down where I was sitting.
They started a normal conversation which I don't even remember that well now, but they soon changed the topic and talked about the drug habits of one of them.
Now, would you believe that someone would be in his mother's place, taking cocaine while the police rings the bell? Could be... but when the police asks for him, would the mother tell them that he is just having some cocaine?
I don't know, well, if she wanted to get rid of him.
But then he claimed that he had also told the police what he had been doing upon their arrival...
Oh yes, the things people say to cheer up a friend!
They got off the train soon afterwards, and I thought that this was the conversational subway highlight of the week.
Funny thing is, they got off at the main train station, which has some blue light as decoration near the rails, just like the blue light they are using in toilets to prevent drug users from going there...

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

visiting a couple of places in Dublin, part one

I was going to post this a lot earlier, but somehow I do not get back to this often enough...
While the week in Dublin seems like ages have gone by since, it was very good to be there again, even if it was for a few days only.
The first day was a Sunday, and since we arrived just after noon, we couldn't go up to our room at once, so we left our stuff at the hotel and walked into town.
We did buy something to eat and drink and walked around the city centre for a while, then, before heading back to the hotel, we stopped by at the Liffey, sat down on a bench and listened to what other people were talking about.
One guy next to us had a phone call, but that wasn't nearly as interesting as what the people a few feet down were discussing.
Apparently, we were at the right spot to buy whatever drugs were available (which we didn't), and yes, we did smell something while sitting down...
Dublin as we know it...

Die Therapie, S. Fitzek
The Lovers, J. Connolly

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

... translations, part six of a short story, the final part.

At long last, I have finished the translation of the final part of the first draft:

When they arrived at Michael's stop, he checked his watch. It would still be some time before the first nightlink bus was due.
"What's wrong with you?" Thomas asked, as Michael had stopped across from the stop. Christian and Marcus had caught up with them again already.
"I just noticed that I still have to wait for quite a while. I'm probably going to walk a bit instead of waiting here."
The others agreed, but they didn't feel sorry for him, since they also had to walk a bit further.
"See you guys next week", Marcus said, when they said goodbye. "Remember I owe you one for having to walk today."
Michael crossed both lanes after he had watched them disappear slowly. They walked in one row and didn't look back.
He got slightly more irritated now, finding it strange that the city seemed so dead when it was just past midnight.
Having checked his watch again, he hurried up a little. The nightlink bus was going to start his service around half past midnight, but he wasn't sure from where. If it was from the main station, he wouldn't have to wait for too long.
He would get to the stop at the hospital without hurrying too much, but he wanted to play it safe. It was better to sit at the bus stop for a few minutes than to risk seeing the bus drive past him when he was in between two bus stops.
While he walked towards the bus stop, he thought he heard the sound of a tram nearing.
He had left the area around the last bus stop, being glad that none of those who normally sat around there were out in the visible. Although he wasn't sure where they stayed at night, he had been running for most of the way until he saw the hospital with the nearby cemetery on the other side of the road.
Although he only had to walk a few hundred meters to the bus stop now, he stopped and held his breath to listen to the sound he thought he had heard.
After a few seconds he was sure. It did sound like a tram that wasn't too far away from him.
He hurried up to the stop, but he also turned his head to look out for the tram he thought he could hear.
Then, not only the sound got louder, but the tram really moved towards him. Michael cursed himself, since he was so unfit. He wouldn't make it to the bus stop.
Slowly he walked on, kicking at a pebble on the pavement.
It was more than a nice surprise then to see that the tram did not pass him by, but stopped so perfectly next to him that he only had to stretch out his hand and press the button.
The door opened, and he showed the driver his ticket, as if to prove that he had one.
But the driver, who had gray hair which was a little too long and seemed to defy all brushes, only pointed a thin forefinger at a sign above him which said that the driver was not to be talked to while he was driving.
Michael nodded his head and walked towards a single seat near the next door, one of those seats that seemed to be taken first all the time, because if you sat there, you didn't have to share the seat with someone sitting next to you who you wish you had never met.
The tram was an older one, and the torn plastic seats were uncomfortably cold, but Michael didn't mind, because he still couldn't believe how lucky he was.
The driver had probably been late, and so he had gotten the last tram.
It was only a few minutes now, only he was at home, and so he looked outside, while he listened to the driver's announcements.
The fact that the driver announced the names of the stops could only mean that the tape wasn't working, and it did sound as if the driver had a lot of fun doing his job, even if the journey wasn't very exciting.
At the last stop before he had to go off, Michael saw a few people, at last, he thought, who waited at the red lights. He waved at them, following a hunch he couldn't explain afterwards.
When none of them even looked at him, he thought it was better if they hadn't even noticed what he had done.
As soon as the tram drove on, Michael got up and pressed the button to let the driver know that he wanted to get off at the next stop. He held on to the rail and noticed that the driver stopped before the following stop, at the perfect place for him to get off, and so he didn't even have to walk back a couple of hundred meters to get to his house.
After he had left the tram with a "thank you", he walked up to his house and didn't even look back at the tram. He didn't hear it anymore, either. Michael didn't think about this that evening. He went straight to bed.
During the following week, he had too much to do to think about his luck and the tram.
The following Friday, though, when he met the others again, he told them about it.
"For once, it was good that the tram was late", he concluded his story.
"You're more than right", Einstein said, one of the locals who always knew better than the rest.
"Why? Just because he caught the last tram?" Marcus didn't think that the story was more exciting than that of the taxi ride after leaving the pub.
"Well, at least he survived…"
"What do you mean?" Now, Thomas and the others listened up as well.
Einstein cleared his throat, finished his beer and looked at them with a strange expression, before he started to talk.
"The way he described the tram and the driver, that driver can only be Ernie. Ernie, you know? Ernie, who died during one of his tours through town, and no-one ever found out why. Back then, it was said that some people had seen him with the tram, doing a tour of the town, at night, when the trams normally have stopped their service, and that he sometimes even allowed passengers on his tram. Except, they weren't able to talk about it anymore…"

And the German version:

Als sie sich der Haltestelle "Am Freistein" näherten, sah Michael auf seine Uhr. Es würde noch einige Zeit dauern, bis der erste Nachtexpress fuhr.
"Was ist los?" fragte Thomas ihn. Michael war gegenüber der Haltestelle stehen geblieben, und Christian und Markus holten sie wieder ein.
"Ach, ich habe nur festgestellt, dass ich noch ziemlich lange warten muss. Wahrscheinlich laufe ich schon mal ein paar Meter, bis der Bus kommt."
Die anderen stimmten ihm zu, bedauerten ihn jedoch nicht, weil auch sie noch mindestens zehn Minuten unterwegs sein würden.
"Wir sehen uns nächste Woche", gab Markus zum Abschied bekannt. "Denkt daran, ich gebe einen aus, auf die Lauferei heute."
Michael überquerte beide Fahrbahnen, nachdem er den anderen noch einen kurzen Blick zugeworfen hatte. Sie gingen in einer Reihe weiter und sahen sich nicht mehr nach ihm um.
Es irritierte ihn zunehmend, dass die Stadt nicht lange nach Mitternacht wie ausgestorben wirkte. Er beeilte sich, nachdem er nochmals auf die Uhr gesehen hatte. Der Nachtexpress würde um halb eins losfahren, aber er wusste nicht mehr genau, von wo aus.
Wenn er davon ausging, dass alle Busse in die verschiedenen Richtungen vom Hauptbahnhof losfuhren, dann würde er nicht mehr lange warten müssen.
Bis zum Krankenhaus würde er es locker schaffen, und auch wenn er dort nicht gerade gern warten würde, war es immer noch besser, sich dort an der Haltestelle hinsetzen zu können, als in Kauf zu nehmen, dass der Bus ihn auf dem Weg zwischen zwei Haltestellen überholte.
Während er seinem Ziel entgegenlief, glaubte er plötzlich, das Geräusch einer sich nähernden Straßenbahn zu hören.
Er hatte gerade so schnell wie möglich die Gegend um den Herbertshof hinter sich gelassen und war froh, dass sich keiner der dort Ansässigen für ihn interessiert hatte. Auch wenn er sich nicht sicher war, wo diese sich nachts aufhielten, war er den Weg entlang gerannt, bis er das Krankenhaus mit dem angrenzenden Friedhof auf der anderen Straßenseite sehen konnte.
Bis zur Haltestelle waren es noch einige hundert Meter, aber Michael blieb kurz stehen und hielt den Atem an, um das Geräusch besser hören zu können.
Tatsächlich, es klang wie eine Bahn, die nicht mehr weit weg war. Er rannte wieder los, sah sich dabei aber nach der Bahn um, die er zu hören glaubte.
Als das Geräusch nicht nur lauter wurde, sondern die Bahn tatsächlich langsam auf ihn zukam, verfluchte er seine Kurzatmigkeit. Er würde es nicht schaffen.
Missmutig ging Michael langsam weiter, doch zu seiner Überraschung fuhr die Bahn nicht an ihm vorbei, sondern kam so perfekt neben ihm zu stehen, dass er nur noch die Hand ausstrecken und auf den Knopf drücken musste. Die Tür öffnete sich und er zeigte dem Fahrer dankbar sein Ticket, wie um ihm zu beweisen, dass er eins hatte.
Der Fahrer jedoch, dessen etwas zu lange, graue Haare ihm in alle Richtungen vom Kopf abstanden, wies mit einem dürren Finger auf ein Schild über ihm, das die Fahrgäste darauf aufmerksam machte, dass man den Fahrer während der Fahrt nicht ansprechen sollte.
Michael nickte nur und ging ein paar Schritte bis zu dem Zweiersitz an der ersten Doppeltür, jenem Platz, der immer als erster besetzt zu sein schien, weil man dort in der Nähe der Tür saß und nur ein Gegenüber in Kauf nehmen musste.
Es war eine alte Bahn, und die verschlissenen Sitze waren unangenehm kühl, aber das störte Michael nicht, weil er sein Glück kaum fassen konnte.
Vermutlich hatte sich der Fahrer verspätet, und so hatte er noch die letzte Bahn erwischt.
Bis nach Hause würde er nun nur noch ein paar Minuten benötigen, und so sah er beruhigt aus dem Fenster, während er der Durchsage des Fahrers lauschte. Dieser sagte die Haltestellen selbst an – wahrscheinlich war das Band defekt –, und es klang, als habe der Fahrer Spaß an seinem Job, auch wenn diese Fahrt wohl kaum die spannendste war.
An der Haltestelle Ernestinenstraße sah Michael endlich ein paar Menschen, die an der Ampel warteten. Er winkte ihnen zu, einem Instinkt folgend, den er sich hinterher nicht erklären konnte, aber als sie ihn nicht einmal ansahen, beschloss er, dass es wahrscheinlich besser war, wenn ihnen sein Verhalten nicht aufgefallen war.
Sobald die Bahn nach der Nikolausstraße wieder anfuhr, stand Michael auf und drückte den Knopf, um dem Fahrer seinen Haltewunsch kund zu tun. Er hielt sich an einer der alten Schlaufen fest und bemerkte dann, dass der Fahrer sogar noch vor der nächsten Haltestelle anhielt, so perfekt, dass er nicht die paar Meter zurücklaufen musste, um nach Hause zu gelangen.
Nachdem er die Bahn mit einem "Danke" verlassen hatte, ging er auf sein Haus zu und sah sich nicht einmal mehr nach der Bahn um. Sie war auch nicht mehr zu hören.
Michael dachte an diesem Abend aber nicht mehr darüber nach.
Zuhause ging er sofort zu Bett, und während der nächsten Woche hatte er zuviel zu tun, um noch an den Glücksfall mit der Bahn zu denken.
Am folgenden Freitag jedoch, als er sich wieder mit den anderen traf, erzählte er ihnen von seinem Erlebnis.
"Ausnahmsweise war es mal Glück, dass die Bahn Verspätung hatte", schloss er seine Erzählung.
"Das kannst du wohl sagen", erwiderte Manfred, den sie manchmal Einstein nannten, weil er fast immer irgend einen schlauen Satz zum Besten gab.
"Wieso? Nur, weil er die letzte Bahn noch gekriegt hat?" Markus fand die Geschichte nicht spannender als die ihrer Taxifahrt nach ihrem letzten Kneipenbesuch.
"Nun ja, immerhin hat er die Fahrt überlebt..."
"Was willst du damit sagen?" Jetzt horchten auch Thomas und die anderen Alten aus der Runde auf.
"So wie er die Bahn und den Fahrer beschrieben hat, kann es sich nur um Frannek gehandelt haben. Frannek, wisst ihr noch? Der während einer Fahrt nach Katernberg gestorben ist, und keiner hat je herausgefunden, woran. Damals erzählte man sich, dass er immer mal wieder gesehen worden sei, wie er mit seiner Bahn durch Stoppenberg fährt, nachts, wenn die Bahnen eigentlich nicht mehr fahren, und ab und zu soll er sogar Fahrgäste mitgenommen haben. Nur, die haben nicht mehr darüber berichten können..."

With a little break and some "normal" blogs in between, I will return to the story and polish it a little (oh and the fact that the German story has a Polish name as its title just is a coincidence)...

As usual, comments will be appreaciated!
Have a glorious day,

Now playing: The Fray - You Found Me (Acoustic Version)
via FoxyTunes