• Creative writing,  Literary Fiction,  Munich Writers,  The write life,  Writing

    The Dullness of Conflict – inspired by Ursula K. LeGuin

    It is a widely accepted notion that peace, though desirable, leaves mankind unsatisfied and with a desire to fight for a cause. In peaceful times, it is harder to give life purpose and to feel yourself. A wealthy, complacent society, like the German one I am blessed to live in, therefore is believed to inevitably generate a hunger for conflict. This mindset feeds into the entertainment we provide each other with these days. Plots are increasingly focused on crime and murder, the little wars of our times. Every other TV series starts with a dead body or a torture scene. War movies with extensive massacres are blockbusters. Modern literature makes…

  • Arcana 2021,  Creative writing,  Literary Fiction,  Munich Writers,  Poetry,  The write life,  Uncategorized,  Writing

    Throwback Monday – Arcana 2021 is coming up!

    I have always had a thing for tarot cards. Not so much to rely on them as a kind of super-natural prophecy but for their rich imagery. They idea of combining so many symbols in each card that it engages your subconcious is intriguing. The human mind sees in them what it wants to see, and thereby you learn what truly moves you these days, no fooling yourself. I was therefore delighted when I was asked to participate in last year’s Arcana, a Munich art project which draws inspiration from Tarot cards. Each year it features a select group of artists and writers from around the world. Due to Covid,…

  • Writing

    Miyazaki and the Panther

    This is a teaser to my upcoming short story collection “Almost Happy”, hopefully to be published  by the end of 2021, yay! Almost Happy is all about that intensity we call love, the joys and wisdoms it brings and how it makes us who we are – with or without a Happy Ending. It consists of four novellas and five short stories which act as a kind of intermission. The novellas all begin with a poem as a prologue, capturing the heart of the story. This here is one of my favourites: Miyazaki and the Panther is the story of a young single woman who desperately tries to will her…

  • Writing

    Locked Down in Winter – or the Fear of the Pause

    It is snowing outside; I am sitting inside. Warm, healthy, and rested. It is well below zero and I watch the snowflakes dance through the air. Perfect crystals making tiny pirouettes before they land on each other, forming a white, flawless blanket. A friend just sent me a video of his cat sitting by the window, trying to chase them. One by one. Life seems to be paused. As if somebody pushed a button and put the big game of life on hold. Though this winter is a Pause unlike anything we have lived through, it seems to me that the state of being paused is not entirely new. Winter…

  • Writing

    From the House of Prompts: The China-Woman

    At writing workshops, tutors often use every day items or photographs as a writing prompt. It always amazes me what complex stories people can spin from the simplest things. When I come home for Christmas, I often feel as if I am entering the House of Prompts. My parents’ house is full of things that were inherited from my grandparents, that belonged to my father or that were a gift from someone we once knew. There is an emotional connection, a story how they entered this house, but usually no one to ask for a full account. Inevitably, we build their stories according to our own memories – and imagination…

  • Writing

    In My Own Words

    About 5 years ago, when I started creative writing courses, my writing tutor recommended this book to me: In Other Words is written by the US bestselling author Jumpa Lahiri about her taking a vow to learn to write in Italian. She wrote fiction only in Italian for years. The book became a bestseller, so you may know the story. And obviously this could be a book for me as I also chose to write fiction only in a language that is not my mother tongue. For some reason, I never picked it up until now. Like people and lovers, every book has a fixed time to enter your life,…

  • Writing

    Who is Ella Voss?

    Ella Voss is the lovely lady who wrote my novel and all my other stories. It is not exactly a secret who she is. I have my photo on all the book covers and allow her to post all her work on my Facebook account. I neither send an alias to all my readings. So then, you may wonder, why use a different name at all? Basically the idea is to give an expression to the artistic part of my life. As a way to make this part of me visible and help it grow, similar to using a brand. And Ella has been around for a while. Somehow, Esther…