Monday, October 31, 2011

I think my dinosaur is an alien.

 If you look closely, you'll see a bit fig under his eye, and green on the jaw.

After my big boy has been fasting for five months, he's now back to 'I eat everything that comes my way'. I'm amazed on what little those animals actually can survive on and that for months. In their country of origin their mating season lasts four weeks only, but the farther north you take them, the longer the season lasts. Nobody knows why, but my big boy is the living proof.
Today, I took him to the nearby vet for a weighing session. I want to monitor his weight since I don't know if the implant I'm going to try next year will work. He needs to have enough substance to be fit and healthy in case it doesn't and he won't be eating.
The result of the weighing was almost 6kg (12pounds), meaning with the tail on the floor. I couldn't believe my eyes. He's grown over the summer and is now 50cm (19.68") snout to vent. He also put on about 1kg (2 pounds) in three months, but didn't shed his skin. My other two iguanas, which were a lot smaller than him, shed their skin constantly. My big boy only shed around his snout and his spikes on the back. That's it! Nothing more, zilch, nada! I'm puzzled. How on earth did he manage to grow without shedding his skin? Who is that alien that lives in my flat?
  You will think I'm crazy, but I actually had to interrupt this post to feed him. His highness went to his feeding place and demanded food by staring at the empty place, then looking at me and back at the place, before finally just dropping himself on his tummy and throwing his feet back. When I gave him a generous amount of rocket, coriander, mint and topped with fresh fig, blueberries and with calcium filled raspberries, he inhaled the the whole lot within minutes. Like a hover. (I took the opportunity to measure him then.)

Called my reptile vet and told them the 'good' news. They say I have to monitor his weight, so he's not getting too fat. When he got out of mating season a month ago, I fed him small amounts, several times a day, so he could make up for the time not eating, but I'll have to go back to twice daily. Iguanas normally only poo once a day, anything more is often a sign of overfeeding. They eat a lot and they will eat more than they need, especially if you serve them delicious stuff.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

How about some romance?

Here's the most recent scene I've written; it's the beginning of a romantic evening of Celia and Tom.
It's the first draft, so I might change a bit here and there, especially the typos :-)
Hope you like it:

When I wake up again, I'm confused. It takes me a while to realise where I am. The sound of someone setting the table reaches my ears and suddenly I feel hungry. Yawning I stretch, then rub my eyes and get up. I've no idea how long I've been sleeping, but I told Tom to not wake me before seven. Groggily, I walk out into the landing and smile: Yurima's playing on low volume in the background and a delicous scent evaporates from the kitchen. When I take the first step down the stairs I gasp in surprise as my bare feet touch something soft: rose petals are scattered around, on the stairs, on the floors, on the tables and the place is lit by candles and oil lamps, flames are gently flickering in the breeze. The folding doors to the terrace are wide open, connecting the inside with the garden. Poking my head outside in hope to find Tom, I'm even more in awe: the scheme of rose petals and candles continues. And there's something new: where once was a huge potted plant now stands an outdoor clay fireplace which looks suspiciously hand made. I admire it for a while, then let my eyes wander to the table. Judging by the cuttlery we'll have at least three courses. My knees weaken. I have the best boyfriend in the world.Just at the thought I hear him closing the front door and hurry over to me.
�Hey, you are awake.� Tom wraps his arms around me from behind, kissing my hair.
Where were you?�
�Forgot something in the car.�
I turn around. �The rings?�
He laughs. �No, oh dear, now that would be quite something, wouldn't it?�
�Yep, but I'm perfectly fine without them. They couldn't make it more perfect than it is.�
�You are beautiful,� he whispers, kissing me softly.
�Slightly inadequat in your dressing gown and wild hairdo.�
�Doesn't matter.� He holds me at arm's length and nods.
�What now?�
�I've got something for you.�
�Oh please, I don't know if I can take more surprises, I'm totally overwhelmed already.�
�You'll love this.� With that he heads back to the entrance, just to come back with a stunning red dress.
�That's for me?�
He nods. �Try it on.�
I grab the hanger and hold it away to see the size and cut. It's a short � just above the knee � neckholder, with a rather low cut back.
�You bought this?�
�Of course I did. Well, I had some help from Yasmin, but before you get upset: she really knew what to look for when I described what I had in mind. I'm a man, you see?�
�Well, I'd like to think you didn't try it on, because that would have people laughing, right?�
He pulls a face, then grins. �Mind you, I've got rather thin legs, don't you think?�
�Yes. And hairy.� I go upstairs, drop the dressing gown and slip into the dress. The material is so soft and light, it literally hugs me, showing my curves. I stare at my reflection in the mirror and can't believe my eyes. I've never worn something like that before and I feel instantly sexy. Now I need to splash some water in my face and put on some light make up. When I'm done I grab my hair and twist it twice, then fix it to my head in a messy knot and pull out a few locks. Another check in the mirror and I nod satisfied. Now my appearance matches his house. Shame I don't have my pumps here. Barefoot has to do the trick.
Tom's jaw drops when he sees me. Quickly, he puts down the bottle of red he was about to decant and hurries to the bottom of the stairs. He has changed, too, wearing a white shirt and a dark-blue waistcoat with fine red stripes to match the colour of my dress, plus a bow tie.
�Wow!� he says.
�Wow, yourself.� I smile and wrap my arms around his neck to eagerly kiss him. Our lips part the same time to search for each other's tongues. He moans softly and I pull away to look at him. His eyes are full of lust. I smirk and lick my lip.
He chuckles. �You are so mean.�
�What? By saving your dinner?�
�True, but I would have been delighted to undress you.�
I lean in and kiss him again with a bit more passion than before, my heart thudding and my grip a bit more tightly. Our breathing becomes faster and after an eternity, we break apart. He strokes over my hot cheeks, gazing deeply in my eyes.
�I love you.�
�I love you, too. Thanks for all this; it's absolutely wonderful.�
�You deserve it.� He kisses me another time and I'm glad I'm not wearing shoes. Suddenly, the kitchen timer rips us out of our moment and Tom heads over to the kitchen.
�Go and take a seat outside, the starter will be served in a minute.�

Friday, October 28, 2011

With couscous stuffed peppers (veg.)

Although I love my meat, every now and again, I try to eat a vegetarian dish. Yesterday, I tried a new one with an ingredient I've never used before: couscous.
I was searching for an alternative to rice or pasta and couscous is easy to make. All you need to do is pour boiling water over it and let it soak for 10 min. Tip: it's better do soak it in vegetable or chicken stock as couscous tends to be rather bland.

What you need:
Peppers (I used three colours)
Feta cheese
Spring onions
Chopped tomatoes
Red Chili

Soak about one cup of couscous in stock. Make sure you don't use too much water, it should be dry after ten minutes.
In the meantime:
Cut the tops off the peppers (I used the bit from the tops for a stir fry today).
Cut the spring onions into small rings, chop the garlic and chili finely. Fry the spring onions until soft, then add the garlic and chili, stir for about a minute, pour the chopped tomatoes into the pan, season with a bit of salt and stock and add the feta cheese by breaking it up with your fingers.

The couscous should now be ready: add it to the pan and mix it all together. Then stuff the peppers with the mix and set them into an oven dish.
Put into a preheated oven about 180 degrees Celsius for 20 to 30 minutes. Check on them after 15 minutes; when the peppers begin to brown, they're ready.

I used the rest of the couscous as a side dish by mixing it with a bit more feta and carrots and spring onions which I've fried beforehand. Then garnished it with bashed-up pistachios nuts and coriander. (I don't recommend coriander as it has a too strong taste. Better use flat parsley or mint.)
This recipe can be variet, I think kidney beans would add a lot to the dish. I hope I've inspired you a little, have fun cooking it yourself and please let me know if you liked it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The end is near-ish

If you are anxiously awaiting the sequel to No Wings Attached, you might be delighted to hear that the sequel is coming along rather well. After a few hiccups, I'm presently at word-count 63k -- Chapter Sixteen -- with an aim at 82k words in the end.
Interestingly, quite contrary to my expectations, it took much longer to get to the point I'm now; I planned a meager 2.5 months to write the whole thing and it started off rather well, but -- somehow -- I got thrown off the rails with the rather unpleasant surprise of my first book's state (I've posted about it here). I take my job as an author seriously and thinking about how many readers I've lost because of that, my good reputation I've worked hard for and still try to build up, ruined, had me almost throw the towel. But I gathered that I can't live without writing anyway, so I put on my fight-back-hat and continued with the sequel. Readers asking me when it will come out, of course, was a big motivator and my longing for perfection -- for independence -- did the rest.
Recently, I've blogged about my improvement, meaning, it's less obvious I'm not native, which was really great news. I've got to admit, I almost cried when I got the excerpt I sent back. I'm working hard on learning grammar and seeing how much it paid off was mind-blowing. The more I'm in control, the better. And it'll benefit my editing-business, too. since I only offer editing on plot- and character-development, with the occasional grammar I'm familiar with. (If you are interested in a quote, please get in touch, using the address to the right.)

Back to the sequel: I can promise you I'll have surprises in store. The second book leans more into the paranormal world, but it's still urban. Guaranteed no vampires or werewolves, only demons, humans from the dark side, as we have humans from the good side. Celia's risking everything, so is Tom. It will still have the 'chatty and funny' tone, which means it's not a dark read. There is love, friendship and hate. An emotional roller coaster, like the first book.

Here's another short excerpt I've recently written:
Celia's training in the cave.

I nod, close my eyes and concentrate. When I open them again, I reach out my right hand, palms up and think of the rope. It moves a tiny bit and falls off his hand.
Shite!� I say.
He picks it up and motions me to try again.
I repeat what I've done before, but this time with my palm towards him, imagining to open the door that's stuck. The feather moves away from me, twirling in the air. I hold my breath.
Is that me who's doing it?�
Yes, keep concentrating.� But it's too late, the feather softly floats to the ground.
With a tut I go and pick it up, then place it on my hand and look at Sam.�You do it!�
He chuckles and before I know it, the feather disappears, just to appear � a fraction of a second later � in his hand.
I stomp my foot on the floor. �That's unfair! You make it look so easy.�
Give yourself some credit, lass. You've only started with training, and let me tell you something, you're doing better than most of my trainees.�
Really?� I ask, hopefull, but feel stupid immediately. Of course he's only saying it! My cheeks become hot and I rearrange my top.
Trust me. You have a lot of fire behind your moves, but release them best when you're angry or hurt. What you need to do is fine-tuning. That's what we're trying. Only controlled powers are real powers.�
It makes sense to me. �In that case, let me try again.�
We repeat the 'pulling' a few more times and apart from a couple of feather-droppings, it gets better with every single try. From the way he smiles I can see he's delighted and so am I.
Okay, let's see if you manage the balloon.�
I get into position and push; the balloon moves slowly, then stops. Confused I look at Sam who smirks at me.
So what are you going to do now?� he asks.
With gritted teeth, I push a little harder, the familiar tingling I had when fighting against Boldie almost distracts me, but I keep up with Sam. When the balloon bursts, I shriek. The noise is almost unbearable in the tiny cave.
Very good. You've reacted without applying too much pressure. Your progress is remarkable.�
I can't help but to smile proudly. �What's next?�
A girl who loves a challenge, eh?� He grabs the pen. �Let's see if you can move this one here.�
Both of my hands are hurting, the right from the strain of moving objects and the other one from digging my nails into the flesh, a result of making a tight fist. When Sam sees me shaking them out, he lowers his arm.
Maybe we should take a small break.� He puts the pen down and walks over the corner where he's, again, neatly folded his jacket, then produces a bottle of water from a tattered looking rucksack. I squint to make out the faded print on it. Iron Maiden?With some effort, I hold it together. Somehow I find it hard to imagine him, head-banging along the rock dinosaurs' music.
Oi, lass. If you have enough energy to laugh at me, you'll not exhausted enough. Time to carry on.�
We get back to our places across each other and he holds out the pen.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Delicious clear carrot soup -- perfect for autumn

Now that it becomes colder in the UK, I long for dishes that warms the cockles. One of my favourites is a hearty clear carrot soup/stew. Easy to do, all in one pot and you can freeze portions to eat later. It's a wonderful comforting dinner to share with others or to snuggle up with on the couch in front of the telly.

Here's what you need:
1kg carrots
1 leek
1/2 a celeriac
2 big or 4 medium sized potatoes
Smoked pork, could be bacon, best is gammon joint, here I've used smoked knuckle from the butcher.

Boil the meat first. While it's simmering, cut the leek and carrot into slices. Then dice the potatoes and the celeriac. Don't be too fussy about the same size, you want it to look robust.
Add the vegetables after about 45 minutes and let it simmer for another 10 minutes. Take the meat out and dice it into bite sizes, then add to the pot. Cook for another 20 minutes or less, depending on how you like the vegetables.
You won't need any further seasoning, the vegetables will do the job and the smoked meat is salty enough. You can serve it with chopped parsley.

And here is a video from a little guy who enjoyed his food, too. (Wild Rocket, bean sprouts and grated carrots.)
Pssst, if you listen carefully, you can hear him crunch on his food.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Where there's a will, there's a way... success. The reason I'm writing this is because today was a very positive day. You should have seen me smiling, it almost hurt. I've sent 1500 words of my current work in progress to the friend, who's helping me with No Wings Attached and its remaining awkward sentences, to see if my syntax, phrasing and other grammar has improved. The results were mind blowing. At least for me. It was an excerpt of the very first unedited draft and although he highlighted silly typos, too, there were actually only four things that needed addressing. In one case, I just couldn't remember the exact word, but that's a minor thing. It means my writing has improved significantly and I'm proud to shout it from the roof tops.

Thinking back to where it started: April 2009, when I decided I wanted to write a compelling novel that people can't put down, when I took on the challenge to write in second language and went through with it. Though it was hard because I had to use my dictionay a lot, it was fun and a massive achievement. Writing a complete book of 120k words is massive already, let alone in second language.
Then I uploaded it on authonomy. Most people were lovely and full of admiration for me. But a few made comments like: Why don't you write it in German and submit to German publishers? I'm sure they'd love a book like that. Translation: your English sucks, so give up! People told me the book read like a badly translated manual and I was fuming. Mainly because I was upfront with writing in second language and I knew it needed proper editing. I wanted comments on the story. Besides: foreigners read the book and could follow the story perfectly fine. So it's not that I wrote something like 'he stood metal on the bread' or something like that. Some sentences didn't make much sense, but the plot was understandable. I had a few English natives who read the whole thing (first uploaded draft) and understood it just fine and liked it a lot.
I was angry and disappointed, because those who said I should write in German and let it translate by a professional, didn't believe in me, in my abilities to learn and improve. How dare you! I thought. But it didn't put me off. Oh no...I was determined to learn.
And so I did. I'm still looking at the 1500 words I got back today and smile. The best thing, though: I'm now able to write to an almost English native standard and am able to translate my books to German, which is a huge plus if you ask me.

I still got a long way to go to get to a point where I'm eventually satisfied with my skills, but thinking how far I've got, I'm sure, I'll get there in the end.

Just to be clear here: my being German is not an excuse for sloppy editing/proofing. I chose to write in English, so I will provide a perfect ms. I wouldn't want to read an error-riddled book, neither in English, nor in German.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I've been and here is the result:

Since it's still wonderful weather in London, I took my laptop on the roof park today and continued with the sequel to No Wings Attached. To update you: I'm about 54k into the novel and plan on roughly 70/72k. Might well be more, I never know since my characters love to take over. 
A little insight:
Sam is Adam's best friend, who's offered to train her. They need to do that in secrecy and it's the first time she's actually alone with him. Totally alone and exposed...

Like last night, I sneak out the bedroom on silent soles. My feet patting on the cool tiles, I walk over into the kitchen area to put on my clothes. Again, doubts creep up on me and I wonder why the hell I've agreed to this, but another quick look at my friend who's fast asleep, reminds me how vulnerable she is, just by being human, brushing them away. I need to make sure she, and everyone around me, is safe. When I pull the door to our apartment quietly close, a sense of wickedness follows me, through the reception area, across the street and right into the bar. Sam jumps into a stand as soon as he sees me and waves, seemingly relieved that I came. Casually, I walk over and nod. The wickedness has been replaced by nervousness, but I'm here now, so I might as well go through with it. He would've had killed you already if he wanted to. How many times do I have to tell myself that? It's not the best sign. Stop being such a baby, Celia!
Hey, lass. Glad you finally decided to show up.�
I snort. �I'm not alone here, remember?�
He holds up his hand and I immediately take a step back, my heart pounding fast. Sam grins, shakes his head and lowers his hand in an instant. �You really need to work on your trust issues, lass.�
Don't make me regret leaving my comfy bed.� I stare at him, challenging.
Calm down, Celia. Seriously, you need to learn how to get your temper under control.�
Thought that's what you're going to teach me.�
He leaves ten-Euro-note on the bar, says something in Spanish to the girl behind it and beckons me outside. I follow, still filled with mixed emotions.
Psst, Celia, over here,� he whispers.
I turn and can just about make him out at the side of the house, half-hidden by a hedge. Okay. Now or never!I draw a shaky breath and step into the shadow.
Ready?� He holds out his hand.
Taking it, I'm only able to nod and seconds later it goes dark. When I feel solid ground under my feet again, I nearly choke at the stench.
Gross! Did you have to bring me here?�
Sorry, roses don't grow in these places.�
I cough again, then realise that � unlike last time � the cave is lit by thick white candles, flickering at our arrival. A few smaller ones are on the ground and six bigger ones are placed in cavities in the wall.
If it wouldn't stink this much, it would be almost romantic,� I say.
Don't get your hopes up.� Sam grins.
You need to learn when someone is ironic.�
He laughs. �Hey, irony is my middle name.�
I just snort. The doubts begin to niggle again. How stupid of me, if something happens, nobody could even track me down here. Angry tears shoot into my eyes. How could I be so thoughtless. At least I told Tom I loved him when we spoke earlier. A part of me wishes I had explained my plans to him, the other part is glad I didn't. But what about Emily? She'd be worried sick, waking up to an empty bed and when she can't find me anywhere.
Without any warning, blue light balls hiss around me, only missing me just about, crashing into the walls with enough force to send some pieces of rock falling. Deja vu. I knew it! I duck and throw my arms around my head in panic. A few seconds pass, the only sound is the rubble raining down around me like hale on a winter's night. I lift my head.
Are you out of your mind?� I shout. My thoughts are racing. I knew I couldn't trust him. Arsehole!But what can I do now? I'm so sorry, Tom. I love you.
He stands across me, casually leaning against a big rock, grinning and before I can say anything else, another streams of blue balls crash into the wall behind me. My heart thuds; I can hear the blood rushing in my ears and I feel sick. Was it all a trick, part of a plan to eliminate me? Would be typical for me. I draw bad luck to me like manure the flies.
Sam! Stop, please!� My begging is muffled by the thunder of the next light balls hitting the ground hard. Smoke makes it impossible to see him; he must have aimed at the small water pond. His laugh echoes around the cave. I press myself against the wet stones, barely able to prevent them from giving in.
Aren't I supposed to see my whole life passing before my eyes?I'm scared and wonder if I will make it out of here alive. I look up and try to make out where he is, but can't. I know he won't be able to see me through the smoke either, so I remain silent. Waiting. Breathing heavily.
Come on, lass. Is that all you've got to give?�
The familiar hissing sound and another blue light balls emerges from the smoke, coming directly at me. It's too late for me to duck and, in reflex, I hold up both of my hands, palm toward him. The tingling sensation I had when Boldie attacked me, reappears and the ball dances in the air. The smoke clears up, leaving a fine mist on my exposed arms and face. Desperately, I think of how to get out of this situation, to defy Sam all he while I'm trying to keep up with the pressure against my hands. He's not changed his position, his relaxed smile, though, has disappeared. I concentrate on the dancing ball again, keeping it away for a bit longer, but I feel my strength is weakening. Suddenly, it explodes and is replaced by the beautiful firework I saw last time. I stare at it, fascinated but wary. I'm still alive, that's got to count for something.
With a smug grin Sam says, �Lesson one. Be prepared at all times.�
You are an arsehole, you know that?� My voice is hoarse. I'm shaking violently, partly from the adrenaline, partly from the relief that rushes through me.
Sorry, lass, I needed to provoke you to tickle your defence mechanisms and it's worked. It always does.� He relaxes, hangs his arms. �Those people who are after you won't miss, they'll hit you with full force. No mercy. And the sooner you learn to react quickly, the better. I guess I've demonstrated how important it is.�
I glare at him. �Are you doing that with all of your trainees?�
He nods. �Afraid so.�
I don't know what else to say, still shaking and furious about his attack, I brush off my clothes which are full of dust, when he lifts his hands, a blue ball hovering over each. I stiffen again. Go on, then. Do it! Anger rises in me. He knows he's much stronger than I am and it annoys me. And he can do whatever he wants, I'd not be able to defend myself, especially not if I'm not prepared. I thought he'll teach me slowly, how to produce those balls myself, how to jump maybe, but no, he's just having fun taking the piss. Not with me!I collect myself and push my palms in his direction as if to try to open a door which is stuck. The blue ball hovering over his left hand smashes into the wall behind him. Leaving Sam with a rather surprised face.
Satisfied with the result, I relax my pose.
Wow. Adam said you've got some great power in you, but I didn't expect that.
Now it's me who presents a smug smile. �Got you, eh?�
He rubs his forehead, still having the other hand stretched out, illuminating the cave into a soft blue. �Do it again.�
I nod, position myself and close my eyes, collecting all my energy and thoughts, then push my hand forward again. Nothing.
Come on, lass. I know you can do better. I didn't feel anything.�
Okay, give me a second.� I breathe in deeply, thinking of last time in the cave. Boldie and the other guy, of Adam and what he did to me when we first bumped into each other. I thrush my hand forward with more force, sending a rather perplexed Sam flying backwards, hitting his head hard, the ball evaporates and everything goes quiet at once.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Writng a novel - Behind the scenes

Many people have a stereotypical picture of an author in mind: busily typing away, surrounded by mess, hair dishevelled, forgetting the time - until they're finished with their manuscript.
In some cases, this might actually be the case, but in many cases - at least in my case - it looks more like this: an author staring at a blank page, looking around, thinking, a painful expression on the face, fingers hovering over the keyboard, wondering why the heck the letters won't spill onto the Word document. I will type one or two sentences, but delete them immediately when I'm not happy. I know many set themselves the tasks to write 1000 words a day. I can't do that. There are days when my characters won't let me into their heads and if I wrote on those days, I'd write utter rubbish, only to have to delete it later, which I hate. Oh I can't tell you how much I hate deleting things. Luckily it rarely happens anymore; it might need editing, but never deleting.
I wonder how others do it, writing one novel after another. I've managed to complete three books since April 2009 and am almost done with the fourth, that's not a massive amount of books, is it? I've started about seven more, but they don't count.
Currently, I'm trying to finish the sequel to No Wings Attached often fighting with myself. Should I push it for another half an hour and see what my mind comes up with? Or should I give up for today? I know it's not writer's block, it's simply my perfectionism standing in the way. Sometimes, I'll try to come up with something and one sentence leads to another, and I'll end up getting into the flow, accumulating words fast, that's the state when writing takes you to another level, when you really forget everything around you. Sadly it doesn't happen often.
To me, creating a novel is hard work. Not that I don't appreciate it - quite the contrary, but it can be the toughest job on earth if you get stuck, especially, when you, like me, plot as you go along. I wish I could be the type of person who does a detailed outline in advance, that would help a lot, but, unfortunately, I'm not. It takes me at least six months or more to finish a first draft, many think it's a piece of cake to write a compelling novel, but it's not, certainly not for me. But I'll get there in the end, so I tell myself, trying to spur me on. I know I couldn't live without writing, it's what keeps me sane, it's my outlet, my challenge. That's probably why I can put up with the pain of staring at a blank page an hour many a day, in hope that, eventually, I'll be able to ride on a wave of words again.

This is for all of you who struggle once in a while.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A home away from home

I'm back! Well, you probably didn't even notice my being away, but I've been to Germany to visit my friend Piddi and her boyfriend. Though I admit, I love my friend to bits, I think she got the impression I only came for the food I can't get in the UK. No, I'm sure she knows. I'm serious, she laughed when I told her what I wanted to do -- almost everything involved food. To be fair, I promised to cook my Teriyake-style fish and I did. The plates were empty and the satisfied grunting was enough confirmation for me that they really enjoyed it.

Now there was another 'urgent' item on my list: an original, traditional 'cult' raincoat which has the name Ostfriesennerz (East Frisian Mink). The East Frisians have been the target for bad jokes for many years, the stupid peasants (which they are not), who can't afford a proper mink, so they wear the rubber jackets. Since I'm sort of half Frisian, I'm very proud to now own one of those rare rain jackets. They have become a rather huge cult, though many wrinkle their nose just thinking about the yellow jackets (you can wear them inside out, by the way). Perfect for rainy days in the garden; all I need are some yellow/blue wellies and I'm prepared. It certainly was most suitable for the weather in Bremen, because it rained every day. 

What strikes me the most is how much I've adapted to 'being' English. Two people told me I've got a slight English accent when speaking German, which I can't imagine. I also dreamt in English, although speaking German all the time. In fact, I mixed both languages, having difficulties to translate back and forth. On the other hand, when we went to an Irish pub my friend had never been in, I immediately felt at home. English sounds much more familiar to my ears than German, even though the latter is my mother tongue. I think my brain was thoroughly confused. When I woke up this morning, I spoke German to my friend John, who stayed the night after doing house- and iguana sitting. I should mention he's really smitten by Zorro, who's behaved well, according to him.
Funnily enough, I met a guy, also called John, on the plane and when we got talking, he was surprised I'm German. He thought I'm from the north, which made me smile. John if you're reading this, thank you again for the lovely chat and for successfully diverting my thoughts from my panic attacks. Every person with fear of flying should have a John sitting next to them. :-)

The days with my friend were wonderful and now that I'm back, it means knuckling down on the writing, catching up with the backlog and, unfortunately, put up with the unbearable neighbours upstairs, who have saved the best for me.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I'm excited!

Many have already asked me for the sequel to No Wings Attached. And rightly so, because I've promised there's going to be one. After I've unfortunately missed my initital deadline due to the mishap with the first book, I was rather thrown and demotivated continuing the sequel, but since I get requests left, right and centre, I'm happy to say it's coming along well. Yesterday, I've reached 50,200 words, which means, I'll probably finish this month. Then it goes to my Beta-readers and into editing/proofing. I expect the novel to be published in December -- hopefully before Christmas.
For those of you who are waiting: you will meet Celia, Tom and Emily again, but in addition you'll be introduced to a rather hot Sam and, of course, Adam will play a bigger part, too. There will still be romance and heaps of fun, but also more paranormal in the form of fight scenes. I think I've managed to make this book work as a stand-alone novel, but it remains to be seen until new Beta-readers, those who don't know book one, get back to me saying, they are curious about the first book, but didn't miss it.

That's where you guys come into the game: if you haven't read book one and would love to read book two, please leave a comment underneath this post with your e-mail address. A book for free, being involved in the early stages and your feedback taken seriously -- what's not to like?

Here's the blurb:

Being madly in love with Tom, a rather good looking wish-consultant and working in her dream job, life seems to be perfect for 32-year-old Celia. If it wasn't for the dark side still being after her or Sam, a charismatic man asking for her help, causing dilemma. When Tom gets another demanding case, and Celia takes her friend on a trip to Lanzarote, everything's about to change. The question is: for the better or for the worse?

The first five entries will receive the book once I'm done with the first draft.