Thursday, January 27, 2011

Oi! Come back here!

This is basically directed at my muse. I've only about 9k left to finish my novel, but writing drags. It's almost like I fear to come to an end. I has been a personal road so far and I really really enjoyed writing it, but the last bit is a chore. Especially on days when I'm tired.

Weird, for I've written the end-scene ages ago and I'm not going to change it. It's beautiful.

When I started with this manuscript, I never thought I'll reach the 40k-mark, today, I'm at 71k and looking back, it wasn't that hard to reach. I wondered if a novel without names, in second person and character driven would work. According to my beta readers, it does. And that very well.

If only my muse would come and sit next to me, an encouraging smile on the face, softly nudging me so I would be able to complete the novel... Oh that would be much appreciated.

Tonight, I'll write a few lines, perhaps, then make a hot chocolate and watch a movie. Maybe my muse will appear out of nowhere tomorrow. Here's hope.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Same iguana in the sock; new title

Yes, I've decided to go for a new title. It came to me literally as a surprise. As all my titles. No Wings Attached was 'Do wishes come true?' first. Boring, I know. I love playing with book titles, as they are very important when it comes to selling your novel. It's something that grabs me first, then the cover, after that, I'll read the blurb on the book jacket and if that interests me, I might even skip the first sample pages and just buy it.

I'm planning to get this book out soon. Far too long did it sit in a drawer, rotting away. Three more stories and some proof-reading, then I'll test the public waters. It's really exciting to see how the reaction of potential buyers will be. Unfortunately, it's so difficult to get collections of short stories signed by a publisher, unless you are a well-known funny celebrity. Well, I've been told that I'm funny and apparently, I'm a celebrity in the area I live in, but will this be enough to convince a publisher? I doubt that.

Do you like a laugh? Then go to the tab above, where it says 'Excuse me, where is the exit?' I've some teaser-stories for you. If this is what you would buy, watch this space... There'll be eighteen comical stories in total.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Forget public transport, get some exercise!

Yes, I'm talking about walking or cycling. Not only saves it a lot of money, it's also good to get rid of some calories and it keeps you fit. It's brilliant when the weather is nice, too. Nobody can tell me that he or she enjoys being squashed into someone's stinking armpit after work or is keen on the smoker's breath just when they jumped onto the bus and exhale into your direction. Of course, not everybody has the chance to walk or cycle to work, but even those who have are too lazy doing it. Usually, you are even faster then public transport.
We are a nation of overweight people and everyone can do a little bit. Eating healthier and do at least some exercise.

Okay, if you really have to use public transport then look out for this book:

It's on sale soon. Stop by the facebook page for more information Words to Music. An anthology.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I've been interviewed! Am I famous now?

Susannah Burke has tickled a few more secrets out of me, about my life, my writing and the iguana.
She also has squeezed another, longer excerpt of my current, almost finished novel.

Take a look and let us know what you think. The incredible interview with celebrity: author Stella Deleuze

Haha. I'm just a little bit exaggerating.

Enjoy and by the way: Sooz is open to interviews: take her on. Further information on her blog.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The iguana's tail has finally healed

It took a long while, I must say. Then, iguanas take longer to heal than a human being or dogs and cats. Stitches for example should only be removed after three weeks. My vet doesn't remove them at all and lets the shedding-skin-process take care of it.
So I spoke about the long-lasting tail problems previously. For those who haven't read it, here a long story cut short:
Zorro's tip of the tail was necrotic. I took him to the vet and it got amputated. A while later, it showed he had traumatised it another time and it started to die off again. Which meant another GA for the big boy. Luckily, he's a healthy chap in general and came round perfectly fine. Which I can't say for me, I fell from one faint into the next, for the costs of a vet in London are exorbitant.
The tail didn't heal and he whipped it around a lot. I bathed it daily in diluted Chlorhexidin and put Iodin onto it, then a bandage to keep it from further injuries. About three weeks later, the wound still wasn't healing, he whipped hard and the bandage came off, with it the crust and what was underneath, was not for the faint hearted:

I bathed it again, put on a bandage which he managed to get rid off the same evening. I left it, since he slept. And oh wonder, next day, it was covered with a soft skin. Wonderful, I thought. From then on, I only put some Iodine on it. It healed. So I thought.

Recently, which means months later, after another shedding, I saw his tip was a little too dark and it looked like there was still some old skin sitting on it. I peeled it off and I was a bit in shock, since I peeled off what looked like a crust when we humans bled, but it was all right. Underneath was soft skin, wax-white, I would describe it and after a few more days it was all completely healed. Iguana happy, I'm happy.

I never had such problems before, but he didn't seem to be affected by it in any way. Eats more than well, looks well and behaves, often not so well. Here are two pictures I took a few days ago.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Getting rid of the flab

No, don't worry, I''m not starting on size zero is a must and all the propaganda which is told in women's magazines. Despite the fact, that I don't read them, I actually think that dieting is the worst thing you can do to your body.
I've always been a girl who supports healthy and controlled eating. Well, it got a bit out of control over the past few month, I will admit this. Writing can not only be time consuming, but also pretty nerve wracking. Did you know that even brain activity uses up calories?
When I'm writing, I tend to go through huge piles of chocolate and sweets, this results in not so gorgeous love handles. Paired with sitting in front of the laptop all day (I work from home, too) instead of exercising, you pretty quickly end up with a few more pounds than you bargained for.
But I'm a smart woman and decided to no longer let sweets rule my life. I changed to fruits instead. Pineapple, apples, melon, plums, bananas and what else I can get my hands on are now sitting next to me. All neatly chopped and with the juice of a clementine drizzled over it. Refreshing, healthy and does a lot for my calorie-intake.
And I cycle again. Using the opportunity to visit my friend who is 'trapped' at home after surgery. Then to the market to stock up my fruit supply and anywhere I need to go. I used to cycle every day and I will go back there.
Fighting the flab, the healthy way.

Let's see how it works, I'll keep you updated.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thai stir fry and an iguana's joy

I had a guest for dinner yesterday. My friend and I usually take turns in cooking and it was mine. I did my version of a Thai stir fry, since it's quick and easy, healthy and rather delicious. Find the recipe below. We had a good chat about my books and his plans to go to Chile. He plans to stay there, teaching on a voluntary basis for six months. It's a win-win situation: the kids get to learn English and he can improve his Spanish. I'm grinning a little, since I know that the accent will differ from the Castilliano he has learned and is used to. In Chile, they pronounce words differently. I know that because I took private lessons by a person who lived in Chile for 25 years. Yes, I do speak Spanish, a bit rusty at the moment, but I adapt quickly.

And it's not the only thing he needs to get used to. The food is another one, hence the slightly hotter stir fry I cooked yesterday. He told me he doesn't like chili, but I sneaked some in and he loved it. A good start, no?

So here the recipe for you:

Meat of your choice, thinly sliced, or prawns
Spring onions chopped, inch long
Yellow and red peppers thinly sliced
baby corn
green beans or mangetouts
Garlic to your taste
chili to your own taste, I use the red medium one

Heat the wok with a little oil, throw in the meat and stir for a minute, then throw in the vegetables and chili, stir for another 15 seconds, then add the garlic, make sure it doesn't burn since it gets bitter.

Add half a glass of white wine, then a few dashes of soy sauce and some drops of fish sauce. Add a little bit of salt. Pepper is not needed since you have the chili. Stir for another minute on low heat and serve with rice or thin egg noddles. If you like it, sprinkle some roasted sesame seeds over it.


Here's another man who enjoyed his food tonight:

Spring greens with grated butternut squash, a few pieces of pineapple...Unfortunately, I started filming when he was almost done...

Monday, January 3, 2011

Did I start the year with a bang!

In actual fact, I began my new year writing. Yes, that's right: writing. Since I have been on antibiotics for over a week, I thought I could use this time to hit my target and I did. At 21.57pm on New Year's Eve, I walked over the 56k line, laughing. The very good news is, that I'm only about 16k away from finishing this wonderful book. I plan to have it done by end of January.

Then, after a short break, I launched into my newest short story, a rant about couples. You want to see a little excerpt? Sure, here it is:

In hectic, you grab your shopping bag, head down the stairs, open the door and collide with something that stands firmly where a hole should be. A little bewildered, you stare at the couple who stare at back with the same expression.
'Sorry,' you mutter under your breath and squeeze yourself past them. Not that they would move, it's one against two bodies, so you pull the short straw. Doesn't matter that it is your entry they block or not. And it is not even sheltered, so god knows why they choose it.
At the supermarket, you fetch a basket and begin your way around the shelves. It's packed today and you have to manoeuvre around children, elderly people and those who act like tanks: stopping to change directions unpredictably.
Not to forget the couples in love. They come to a halt, not to look around or discuss, or point at something, no, they just stop to snog. As if the supermarket was the most romantic place to do that. 'Show offs,' you mumble.
Their trolley is filled with three things: a bottle of wine, a baguette and some cheese. Because, if you are freshly in love, you can live of that feeling only, right? But why would they take a trolley that blocks your way, then?
If the shop wouldn't close, they'd probably still be in here tomorrow, stopping every five meters to engage in another long snog. They loose all sense of time and the read world. You curse inwardly, then take the right direction to the check out. The next disaster ahead.
Ugh! While queuing, you unintentionally went into some kind of trance, only to be woken out of it by this guy slapping the wobbly arse of his missus. Could do with some cycling, you think, then turn your head away to avoid getting sick. 

I wish everyone a great and successful year. Health, happiness and the most important: love.

Something to relax: