one day at a time

day 187: café

café © Verena Fischer 2012

café © Verena Fischer 2012

I’m officially a month behind on posting my pictures. Well, oops! Now, I don’t want you thinking that I’m just a lazy slob or that I’ve stopped taking pictures altogether. No, my 365 project is still going, but I’ve also been up to something completely different as well that has been taking up most of my time for the last month.

If you guys have been following my blog since December, then you might know that my dad participated in the National Novel Writing Month. He managed to get his 50000 words done during November and that although he works full-time! Impressive! I haven’t read it myself yet, but I remember most of the story, since he has been developing it for years. There is a long history of him telling me his stories on walks through the Swedish woods when I was 14, over a glass of wine when I was 18 (oh yes, that’s legal in Germany, even with 16), on Skype in November and also on several other occasions. So, I’m mighty proud of him for finally getting it all written down, in only a month after 10 years of thinking about it! He’s actually also planning to publish his stories soon, so watch this space, especially if you’re interested in Fantasy.

It’s not surprising really, that my dad writes. We’re all really into books in my family. My dad reads a lot, for years mostly in English, which is also his choice when writing. My mum works in a library and to be honest she lives in one as well, since every corner of the flat is stuffed with books. And my brother is by profession a print worker, although nowadays this job mostly entails printing stupid ads for supermarket. This stupid leaflet printing business is probably the reason why he doesn’t work in his profession anymore, but still, the reason why he wanted to learn the profession is because he loves books as well.

And I myself? Well, once when I was still in school I didn’t have any money for food for a week or two, because I had bought too many books. Since I was too proud to ask my parents for more money, I called my brother instead, to see whether I can borrow a tenner. However, my brother was broke himself, because he bought too many records (We must be related or something …). He didn’t have enough money to wire me any, but enough for postage. So, he sent me Knut Hamsun’s Hunger, which is a book about a guy who is starving and doesn’t have any money. How helpful …! It was all pretty ironic, but the book itself is actually brilliant. And he sent me a really wonderful edition of it as well. It’s really old with a spidery old German font and it has such a great haunting illustration on the cover that I always thought it was worth starving for. Well, as you might have noticed, I’m still alive, not because I started eating paper, but thanks to calling friends with the question “Oh, by the way, what are you having for dinner tonight? Mind me coming over?”

Anyways, point is, I love books and actually I’ve been writing my entire life as well. Even when I was in primary school I wrote pathetic little vampire stories that are probably lost now (and it’s better that way). I even still have some of my poetry from my teenage days on some website somewhere, all in German, and some of it isn’t even half bad. Some of it is truly cringeworthy though, so I won’t tell you where to find it. I’ve also tried several times to write novels, but basically all the ideas came from my own life, which has a slight tendency to be a bit like a soap opera at times (don’t even try asking …). Since autobiographical stories are ridiculously hard to write, if you don’t take yourself all too seriously, these attempts were doomed from the start. Maybe I still have to grow a little to tackle one of these ideas properly.

And then there was also the problem of my study program. I studied Media and Cultural Studies for my bachelor and it was a really interdisciplinary program. Apart from bombarding us with all sorts of theory I suddenly also found myself sitting in literature classes and even in a couple creative writing ones. And this was pretty scary business! I was confronted with so much theory and so many brilliant works of art and literature that I immediately abandoned all my own creative efforts, including photography. In comparison with all that great stuff, everything I did was just lame shit! Well, and ultimately I didn’t look back until I hadn’t only left the country but also changed my field of study to something totally unrelated to literature. Studying literature can really be the worst deterrent for writing, especially if you don’t have much self-esteem anyway.

That’s probably also why my brother never finishes what he’s writing. Yes, also my brother writes, but he’s so self-critical that so far I haven’t had much chance to read his fiction. Recently I read some of his music journalism efforts though in the zine Horrible Eyes, which mostly hunts in the dark war zone of metal ( look here ). Although I don’t even know the music he writes about, I was hugely entertained and laughed a lot about a review of some band called Atomkraft. He sure should sit down and finish his goddamn novel already!

And then, about a month ago, I suddenly had an idea that was funny and interesting enough to start planning and writing again. It was an idea for some absurd fiction, mostly a satire about internet activism. And so I sat down and pretty much started writing right away. After a few days I thought, wow, this is really catching on! I had almost 10000 words written, so I decided to start a blog, to write about my progress. I thought that this time I’m really gonna make it! You can find the blog here: bearableisbarelyenough.wordpress.com. The funny thing is that just after I started the blog, I had a new idea, better even, with real potential. I got so excited that I started writing that one as well. And without even properly noticing, I somehow forgot all about the initial idea within days. Seriously, I sometimes have the attention span of a 5 year old …! In any case, this time I know that I’m going to make it, because the other day I actually passed the 50000 words mark under a month!

I can’t tell you much yet, because I still need to figure out how exactly I’m going to publish it, but let’s just sum it up like this: It’s a novel about music, sex and the apocalypse. And, boy, it has been so much fun to write it that I barely even left the house since I started writing it. So, if you’re interested, don’t forget to visit my blog about the book I’m not writing, since there I’m actually writing about the book that I’m really writing now, if you can follow what I’m saying: bearableisbarelyenough.wordpress.com

And yes, ladies and gentlemen, my 365 project surely has suffered in the process. There is only so much you can do at home, but still, I have taken a picture a day, maybe even some good ones as well, but you’ll see once I’ll find the time to post-process some more of them. I still have 16 days of writing to do, since I’m planning to finish 80000 words before the 01.04. and I hope then I’ll be back on my 365 project with a bit more seriousness. Maybe I’ll even leave the house at some point …

5 responses

  1. That’s wonderful, Ms. F! My wife is also a writer (and almost always participates in NaNoWriMo). I, on the other hand, am happy if I can string together one or two coherent sentences. Which makes your efforts all that more impressive to me! Congratulations to you and your father!
    🙂

    March 15, 2012 at 7:52 pm

  2. Great to hear Verena! How lovely to become so enchanted with something it takes over. I love that creative feeling. Congrats!

    🙂

    March 16, 2012 at 3:53 am

  3. lol, that sounds like me. Have to really try had to keep myself focused on one single thing. I usually give up and settle on focusing on 2-3 things. This way I don’t go crazy “er”

    Like the shot today, nice and dark.

    March 16, 2012 at 4:33 pm

  4. You have an interesting family, Verena…
    robert

    March 16, 2012 at 11:03 pm

  5. Sounds like you’re on a roll with your writing…gotta make hay while the sun shines, as they say…so hurry and write before you run out of words or ideas…good luck in all your projects!

    April 15, 2012 at 4:41 am

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