Sunday, August 19, 2012

A-Z, Epilogue.

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In R for Reputation you've got familiar with the car metaphor what happens with our brain during the depression and in the meantime in altogether 26 letters you've got to read a lot about me, my emotions, my struggles, my thoughts, everything that concerns my life in depression.

First and above all I've written those posts for myself. It's like my own documentation of my stay in the clinic and everything that was important for me. Second, I've written for my friends all over the world. The advantage of telling everything just once instead of repeating myself all over again. And third, maybe - really just maybe - there's somebody out there, who can read something out of my lines and speaks about his/her illness or the one's of a partner, family member, friend or colleague.

With breaking the silence and talking openly about depressions we have the easiest, but also most powerful weapon to help.

Go ahead and talk! Don't hesitate to ask!

Friday, August 17, 2012

A-Z, Z for 3-2-1-Zero.

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'Cos I've seen blue skies
through the tears in my eyes
and I realize 
I'm going home. 
From Rocky Horror Picture Show

A-Z, Y for Yin Yang.

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Hmm... in lack of any idea, what to write here with this wonderful catchword, let's better bring it to an end, what do you think?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A-Z, X for X-Files.

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X-File Depression: Closed (for now)!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A-Z, W For Weapon.

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First I thought about symptoms that could and did occur while depressions and other information, but that all was already wonderfully done in Wikipedia (->Depression).

Frankly speaking that idea for this post didn't go well off hand. I couldn't find the right words - again, maybe now coming to an end, I'm simply out of words. That for I decided to just leave it at that. Period.

Oh, maybe just one word to W for Weapon: Our most powerful weapon against prejudices and depression itself are wisdom and talking about it!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A-Z, V For Victory.

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Veni, Vidi, Vici. - I came, I saw, I played some games and I won - well, sometimes.

When you're feeling better - Thank God I do - you do almost everything for time to go by. Among others a spare time activity is playing games. I favor card games like 'Skip-Bo' and board games like 'Mensch Aergere Dich Nicht' (=Ludo/Parcheesi) or Rummy, which is a variation of Romme only with plastic bricks instead of cards.

Anyway, here you're in the lucky position that most of the time another player is around, you just have to knock on a door or two.

Interesting to know or better not know that I don't have the slightest glue, how games I played as a kid are named in English! Thanks to dict.cc!

Monday, August 13, 2012

A-Z, U For Unique.

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First I went for U for Universe in order to write about my dream/phantasy world versus the real world. I sat in front of my concept book and no words came out. Obviously it wasn't the right time to think about this topic. So, I decided to chose another catch word:
In J for Joker I've mentioned Art Therapy. Today I want to tell you a little more about it.

The room was just the way I imagine a place for being creative. Light and open, with lots of space for only a limited group of people. Shelves with art books and colors and pencils and everything you dream to use for your kind of art. Large tables if you wish to sit and work with clay and decorative art on the walls. Just wonderful!

My first lesson was on a Monday morning. Two others were also new. After introduction we were given a huge piece of paper (100x70 cm) clipped on a easel the way we felt better, I decided for landscape format.

Btw: I have to register that my art vocabulary is limited - a good reason to learn some new words!

Then we hat to chose one acrylic color. Does somebody wonder my choice was blue. After feeling the sheet of paper with our hands to get an idea for its dimensions, we had to close our eyes and paint something for 30 seconds. We were asked to step back and have a look if we 'see' something, which we could continue painting, plus adding other colors, too.

First I saw on the top right corner a cloud, but when I continued with the center it didn't fit in there anymore. It became just a monochrome (blue, black & white) mixture of shapes and forms. Have a look:

I also loved the second lesson, after finishing my painting. The art therapist gave me a collection of headlines, where I should chose one and do whatever comes into my mind. The first headline that got into my hands was 'The breathless beauty'. In the end my mind came up with a diary entry, where I reported about an imaginative morning in front of the Taj Mahal.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A-Z, T For Tangram.

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Do you know Tangram? A puzzle with just 7 pieces, which can be arranged in countless combinations, from people to animals over objects and houses to simple geometric forms, which are the most difficult by the way!

It happens to be that I somehow feel like a Tangram. The pieces are there and familiar, I'm just not sure about the outcome ... What will the final form be? Or is it just like Tangram, that the form is variable? That I am variable, because everything is changing at the moment?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A-Z, S For Single.

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Frankly speaking I've never given much thought of that single-or-couple-thing. I was most of my life single. Period.

I've never doubted this status, I lived my life and was happy just the way it was - with 1% exception on special occasions or holidays like Christmas, where you wished to have someone special. I was always satisfied with just myself...

Should I consider it as good or bad sign that I do care now about my status as single?! Or is why does it care at all at the moment the better question? Seems like some of my old me, my old engergy, whatever has returned back and just because there's so much changing, maybe a part in me hopes this would change, too?

Whatever ... it's hard to deny, our station is a big community and with two room mates it's sometimes a little difficult to respect the other's privacy. I didn't eavesdrop, I just registered when my room mate was phoning and flirting with her boy friend. This was so frustrating. In a world where obviously looks is everything I couldn't help avoiding to think 'Why she and not me?'. You know, she's overweight, too! And she isn't the only one overweight with a boy-/girlfriend or even wife/husband. Again this thought came up 'What the hell is wrong with me?'

When did the wish to have a partner become so strong? I yearn for deep, craving eyes (See E for Eyes) and long for warm, strong arms, that hold me thight and secure. The need is so ardently, that the lack of it even makes me cry. I'm sometimes really emotional...

t also happens here to get in touch with the other side of the medal. There are some people having a partner and those are now worried, because the partner is worried about them. I won't deny having depressions is no piece of cake! A part in me is asking, is becoming a couple really the only solution or to use another S-word - even salvation?!?

Let's come back to the 'warm, strong arms' ... there's a fellow patient, a soul of a good man, seems to be always there for me, when I need some consolation or a hug - or both. Get me right, I don't have a crush on him, he's just the best buddy a woman can dream of. And he enlightens the hope that there are others like him out there ... if I dare to wish, then at least 6 years older and with blue eyes - and single, please!

Friday, August 10, 2012

A-Z, R For Reputation.

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Why is it so important what others think of me? How (if so) do I explain where I currently am and what's going on with me? Why can I accept on others that depressions are an illness? Why do I think that my own depression is nothing but my own weakness, my own fault, the result of being unable to live my life?

btw: I should have used them for the letter Q - these are a lot of questions!

And another one: Why do we set different standards on others than on ourselves? - I don't know. I do. And that's wrong!

Not the first time I think that's also a problem made by the public, because depressions have still that stigmata. What if the public could really see and accept depressions as a true illness? What if I could see my own depression as a true illness?

It's so weird even when I'm dealing with this for quite a while now this particular message hasn't sunken in! But it is so important what I think of myself, then I wouldn't mind so much what others think of me, right?

At the moment I try to find the right words for myself. How would I explain myself my illness?

I'm playing with the metaphor of a car. Our body is like a car. There might be some predispositions, because of our genes, e.g. if your mother or grandmother had depressions the procentage is higher that you also could be susceptible for it (See also G for Genes). Pertaining to cars: the whole series could have some kind of problems and you can't change this.

Okay, the brain needs dopamine and serotonin to work correctly, like a car would need gasoline or oil. If the gasoline is now of minor quality or the oil old, it can't work right and - important - it's not the fault of the car!

The driver can prevent those 'accidents' by brining the car regularly to inspection, in case of depressions suitable regular medication helps the ill body to run better.

Well, I think I should continue working on this metaphor until I can 100% accept that depressions are an illness. Then I can better think of me, too, and can always argue right.

I can't help it: What do you think?

Thursday, August 09, 2012

A-Z, Q For Question.

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K/C childish, knight, cat owner, communicative
A artist, author, adventurer, afraid
R realist, reader
I individuum, idealistic, intelligent, India fan, ironic
N narrator, nice
E egoist, empath
I integer, intrepidly, interesting/interested
D dreamer, different, diplomatic, depressive
E energetic, extraordinary, enthusiastic, erratic
R rider, real, riddler, romantic
And think about it:
...a lots more!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A-Z, P For Pain.

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Choosing between numbness and a good emotion is easy. But what if the choice is between the well-known, familiar and above all secure numbness, feeling nothing in the foggy darkness and an unknown emotion, that makes you cry, that gives you nothing but psychical pain?

In the last couple of days I made the strange experience that my heart would prefer the loneliness, prefers feeling nothing instead of the pain, even when my mind says that's ridiculous!

To make the long story short:
I needed a document from home for some authorities in order to get my money, but without money I can't go home - a devil's circle! The woman, for sure competent in her job, said that one sentence: "Either you have friends or not."

OMG, these 6 little words ... alone quite harmless, but in its combination so diastrous. My wasn't in the slightest prepared, my knight as unprepared and my guard down. How could she only say this? How can words only cause this kind of pain? It's been a while I felt this way, it was horrible. It felt like my heart, my soul, my self was cut with the sharp blade of a sword. And I bleeded like being struck this way - only mentally. So much worse than pysical pain. There was a constant echo of those words in my ear and every time it was another cut and one more and again. Not to say that I had a breakdown ... to reasure you, I found some help, some protection (to name another good P-word!) in form of talks.

Sure, I am a loner. True, I do have only a small circle of friends. It's also given fact that most of my dear and closest people live somewhere in the world; I might mention Carol, Bri, Dolly, Stefanie, Sandra, Elke and Vivian (west to east on the globe).

The knowledge you guys are out there soothes my pain. I shall never forget that I do have friends! A thousand times thank you!

---

P.S. Pain = Payne = Black Dagger Brotherhood Series
If somebody had told me one year ago, that I wouldn't have instantly the new BDB book in hands straight after release, I'd have this person declared to be mental! And now, release was in March, it's ... and I still don't have it (not yet, but soon!). What a sensation!

Monday, June 11, 2012

O For Omnipotence.

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My dear friend from Malaysia and I play at the end of every email the 5 Questions Game. You are allowed to ask 5 questions, but have also to answer them. We're playing quite a long time now and reached the status of really interesting questions.

This time I asked among others: "If you had the chance to ask God one question - what would it be and why?"

Frankly speaking I don't care much about this overall discussions "Why are we here?" or "What is the sense of life?". For those I dare to say that I've found a satisfying answer concerning my person. And furthermore I'm much too selfish to squander this unique chance!

I would rather ask something about me and the situation I'm in, maybe something about my background, reasons that brought me here, my family ... maybe I would ask to talk one last time to my mother or grandfather in order to ask her/him specific questions about my family history. I know so little.

Same topic another story:
On the clinic's compound is also a little church and somehow I felt this weekend the need to make a visit there. It's light and open and quite simple. Nothing in comparison with my local cathedral. In this church aren't any colored glass windows, no paintings on the wall/ceiling ... and no visitors/tourists. Just me and a burning candle.

Very recreative ... but still - my first intention was to light a candle for my Mum and my grandfather, I still think very often on them - but still, I have problems to feel something in churches. There's no reaction in my heart, it's just an empty building.

Later on in the evening I had a walk with a fellow patient and at the end I had a little break on a bench. It was silent, too, the wind was whispering in the trees, in the distance some birds were chirping their evening song and the sun flickered through the branches creating mysterious lights and shadows. While laying there and watching in the sky I felt what I hadn't in the church: the omnipresence of some omnipotence!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A-Z, N For Necessities.

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Well, I daresay it's not the first time (nor the last) I let myself influence by some music ... when I thought of suitable N-words, suddenly Baloo's Bare Necessities (form Dschungle Book) popped in my head:

Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities
Old Mother Nature's recipes
That brings the bare necessities of life


Necessities in the normal world:
In J for Joker I reported from my life here in the clinic; it's rather comfortable, but I still miss a few things ... or to use the catchword of the day ... I miss a few bare necessities.

I haven't my car with me here. I miss to have at least the possibility to leave whenever I want, whereever I want. Even if I had my car, I would have to ask the doctors if I'm allowed to go.

Despite the fact that I've never been a big mobile phone user I miss that little gadget. I forgot it when I came here and when a list of things was brought to me they didn't find that little thingy. I assume it's somewhere lost in the depths of my couch.

Besides a few clothes and other things I miss most the free, permanent access to my ArtJournaling tools. Sure, I have some here, but by far not enough!

Anyway, when a fellow patient said to me I probably could have a ride with her home and back (she lives near my place), my brain got superactive again, thinking of all possibilites and impossibilities, trying to find answers I impossibly could answer now. It was awful - kept me half of the night awake. Just for your information, a newbe like me isn't allowed to stay for 2 nights at home (like my fellow patient would do), so I have to search for other options. All that nightly thinking was in vain. And btw, I'm a little afraid to stay at home where I still only have negative memories when my days were so dark and my world so small!

Necessities in the supernatural world:
In happened to be the night from Monday to Tuesday when my head kept me busy and awake. Luckily I had an appointment with my therapist on Tuesday.

While we talked about my inner restiveness my chest was getting warmer and warmer - too much energy from my good source of shining bright light (See D for Daemon). And suddenly I didn't know what to do with that surplus of energy, so my therapist asked: "What do you want to do now?" I wanted to sream, shout, kick something. We went straight in the cellar into the room where usually our relaxation sessions are held - good noise isolation!

It was strange. I felt how two forces were fighting in my chest: The adult brain me, who was thinking that's ridiculous. I should keep controlled. And that energetic part. OMG! I wept, I strolled around like a tiger in it's cage, it was a real battle within me. With the knowledge that only my therapist would ever see me, the energetic part won. I kicked a non-existing enemy ... and suddenly there she was: my inner child. Have you ever heard of her?

She was beautiful with golden blond hair, so young, maybe 5 or 6 years old and so innocent, but also so very sad and so very angry.

The stranger, the enemy became her (my) father. She wanted to kick him for all his pysical and psychic cruelty. And she did kick his ass ... she wept, she screamed ... so long until all that surplus energy was consumed. Then she wanted to be hugged and solaced. It was through time I became her older sister, giving her all the bare necessities she urgently had needed (and until now, she never had received).

It sounds strange, believe me, it was strange, but wonderful and exhausting, too. For the rest of the day I was done with the world, but also somehow peaceful and quiet.

I'd like to end with a quote from Prof. Dumbledore/Harry Potter 7: "Of course it is happening in your head, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real."

Saturday, June 09, 2012

A-Z, M For Masquerade.

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First I thought K, L and M would become a theme-trio, but I'm thinking brain and heart do well enough with K for Knight and L for Lost, even when Masquerade is more or less a consequence of both of them.

We all play different roles in our lifes. I am ... a daughter, a friend (maybe even a foe, at least a competitor), a private person, a business woman, a writer/Art Journaler/blogger ... and currently a patient.

My most contradictive rolesa are at the moment my business me and my patient me.

Let's beginn with the latter. I'm a patient in a clinic letting my depressions treated. I'm currently sitting on a comfortable couch in the empty TV room, wearing warm, woolen socks, Yoga trousers, a Kolkata Knight Riders T-Shirt (the cricket team of my favorite actor Shah Rukh Khan) and a vest. It's sunny, but a little fresh today. I don't wear any make-up and don't give a thing about my hair, a simple ponytail does the job. I sleep, I eat, I drink, I go to my therapies, now and then I have a little breakdown and crying fits. I think a lot about myself and my situation and have enough time to be creative. See my post 'A Rush Of Writing'.

Then there's the business me. We don't need to discuss that outfit, hair and make-up aren't this casual, but more business like. It's especially the behavior that differs. I'm a professional, trained to deal with my clients and groups, and - important - to talk with superiors. Like once said before, I know how to sell myself.

The fatal thing is, when those opposites collide in situations. I can't stop the business behavior, it's such a dominant part in me - so sometimes I look better from the outside than I feel from the inside. Like an actress, who plays her roll all too well, shows the perfect masquerade.

Currently I have a person, who helps me with authorities and forms. When I talk with her, I assume, she has that particular impression of me. Maybe unconscious she gives me the feeling that she expects me to be healthy again in a bit of a time ... and I?

I feel nothing but pressure and expectations I can't fulfill. This doesn't help to concentrate on my real problem. On the contrary it affects me so much that during last weekend I fell deep in my darkest hour for a short while. Felling alone, isolated and unable to do anything.

So, what do we learn from this?
  1. I shouldn't feel guilty that I felt miserable. It was only a short time and it's allowed to have negative emotions. 
  2. I've learnt to ask for help, because I asked my doctors to get in contact with that person and talk to her. 
  3. Show more what you feel so that your opposite knows, what's going on. Lift the masquerade a little - but how???

Friday, June 08, 2012

A-Z, L For Lost.

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'Cause you are not alone
I'm always there with you 
And we'll get lost together 
'Til the light comes pouring through 
'Cause when you feel like you're done 
And the darkness has won Babe, you're not lost 
When your world's crashing down
And you can't bear the thought 
I said, babe, you're not lost 
From 'Lost' by Michael Buble

After 'Something Beautiful' by Robbie Williams and 'Help' by The Beatles for Art Journaling pages this is now the third time when lyrics mean something for me. Sure, this text concerns two lovers, but it also suits so well for my situation, me and my emotions.

In my last post K for Knight I told you about my knight AKA my strong mind and my little heart. Fact is that some emotions are slowly breaking through the heavy armor, but very often it's some kind of too much for me. I'm lost with my own emotions!

Let me give you an example:
Many of my therapies are held in other buildings. After being isolated in my home I have - thank God - no problems anymore leaving my station. Inside the compound I feel safe. But one side effect of my illness is that I'm over sensitive to noises.

On a Tuesday I had my first session of 'BrainGym', a computer based training for concentration and memory. Really no big deal. It's fun. And most of the time I'm better than the average. On that Tuesday the volume of noises in that room was high (at least for me). People were taking, computers beeping, a lawn mower from outside. Simply too much for my sensitive ear.

Okay, then Wednesday morning straight after breakfast I suddenly felt rather shaky and dizzy, got a thumb tongue. Very unpleasant. I had no idea what was wrong. I hoped when I sat a little longer it would go away again. Maybe the coffee was too strong or I stood up too fast. The feeling stayed. Okay, let's go to the nurses. They checked my blood pressure and pulse, but everything was okay. What the hell was wrong?

The simple answer: I was afraid!
I didn't know it, because the last time I really felt this way was long, long ago. Excitement - yes! Stage fright - yes! But afraid - no! My brain controlled everything, did everything to prepare me so well to not get me into frightening situations. And now, when my heart became stronger, it showed me that those feelings are still there. The only problem, poor Karin wasn't able to put a name on it. So my body showed typical symptoms. It's really irritating, I can tell you. To feel something and you don't know exactly what. To have a little panic attac is new and somehow frightening, too. It's like fearing the fear.

The end of the story on Thursday the game repeated, but we talked among others in our group session about it. On Friday then I took my MP3-player with me and breathed quite deeply. I registered actively, what happens and that there's nothing to be afraid of. It was okay, but believe me, afterwards I felt more exhausted than after a sport session. Anyway, the success counts!

And speaking of success - or progress. There were/are other little eruptions of emotions, like frustration, joy or loneliness. I hope in the end my brain, my heart (and my stomach, which is the third component of that trio) will be equal partners.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

A-Z, K For Knight.

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First I voted for 'Knowledge', which would have also suited. But I wasn't really satisfied with it. Above all, I had it already used in our February Journaling Challenge. And then this little word came so perfectly!

Remember in I for Individuum - Community I mentioned that a Rorschach test was made with me. And in one of the last pictures I saw a knight - or better said a Samurai in his armor. I asked the therapist, if I could have a copy of the picture (plus a second one, which also meant a lot to me), but she denied. But lucky me and thanks to Google Image Research and the fact that those two pictures were colored. I'd found them instantly. I intended to make an Art Journaling page with them, but I still haven't a new Paperblank book, so for now you just get the one picture alone: Can you see the knight/Samurai warrior?

You might wonder, why a knight/warrior is so important for me? In D for Daemon I've also mentioned the NLP technique work with inner parts. From another exercise I have that particular picture in mind, which is still so actual:

I imagined my brain as a tough, heavy armored knight standing in front of my little helpless heart protecting it.

After meeting my knight you might also want to know, what reason for he's here and how he'd become so mighty? In H for Help you got to read a little of my early independence, means my mind, my brain, whatever you'd like to call it, grew up very fast, it simply took the lead. On the other side, I didn't really got much emotional attention. Good marks in school had become standard, were almost preconditioned. I only received some emotional reaction when my wild side broke free and/or I did something wrong. Later on as a teenager the violence from my father was replaced by psychic terror. Some other circumstances, which would lead too far now, made me never experiment with the whole range of emotions.

That for my brain developed a very clever strategy. I was thirsty for knowledge (and food!). Knowledge was my safety net. I was interested in each and everything. I made a lot of studies, courses and further educational trainings. I red (and stil read) a lot. When I read/hear/see something interesting new, I usually do a basic backround research. In advance - to avoid danger - my mind thinks of various options, so nothing can't really surprise me, or better said hurt me.

My brain AKA my knight got trained and strong and powerful. I can sell myself very well. I appear interested, happy, always controlled from the outside, but in the inside I'm not really able to feel anything.

And my heart? My emotions? I hide them, protected them, locked them away. But you can't lock away emotions, they are there, with the only stupid effect, you can't feel them anymore. Believe me, they find another way to break free (more about that with the letter L)!

These days my knight is losing a little of his power and my heart is slowly breaking free, begins to show some emotions.

A little P.S.:
While writing those last lines I feel a pleasant warmth in my chest, like my heart fully agrees!!!

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

A-Z, J For Joker.

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Besides a few other good J-words I decided to use the joker today in order to tell you a little of the facility I currently am.

The clinic is located in the south-east of Germany, about a 40 min freeway drive away from my home. To airport Munich you'd need another hour freeway drive. I've added you a Google Map picture of the clinic's location.


As you can see on this map the clinic is rather big. It contains Psychiatry, Psychotheraphy, Forensic Psychiatry, Neurology and Neurological Early Rehabilitation. Statistics (2007) say 1.344 people are working here.

Station C5/O, where I am, is part of the psychiatric clinic and one of 24 statioons with 480 beds altogether. Here in C5/O I have about 24 fellow patients. With two of them I share my bedroom. The whole area is very green - I like that!

Enough dates now, let's better talk about my life here.

Usually I'm an owl - when I was in hospital a couple of years ago for my broken ankle, the morning staff gabe me the nickname Sleeping Beauty, because I'd been so sleepy in the mornings. Still I'm no early morning bird, but getting up here is rather okay. I'm really surprised by this. Breakfast is at 07:00 a.m., lunch about 11:30 a.m. and dinner round 05:00 p.m.

These times collide a little with my natural bio rhythm, because I prefer everything two hours later. Same with bedtimes, here bedtime (not really, but you should be in your room and quiet at 10:00 p.m. Not the easiest thing when you usually don't sleep before 00:30 a.m.!

Okay, these times aren't perfect, but superduper bonus - there's no need for cooking or grocery shopping! Every Thursday there's a list for the next week, where we can choose between three dishes (local, vegetarian, mediterranean), similar with dinner. Here you can add two components having to your bread and/or bread rolls. I love Wednesdays, for dinner a big mixed salad is available. I wished more often to have it! It's so yummy!

Let's now talk off the heavy, the therapies. They're various, no day is the same. Only 'Brainjogging' is for me every morning at 08:00 a.m. First I was a little mispleased by this early time, I was about to ask for another time, but then I thought, my usual business day also starts at 08:00 h, so I left it like it is. It's a good 'Hello-and-good-morning-wake-up-call'!

Then two mornings are reserved for 'Visite'. While on Monday we consult the stations' (in lack of a suitable word) leaders, on Thursday the Medical Director comes to your room. Both are always kind of exciting. Then, of course, I have a weekly appointment with my therapist. Those sessions are always exhausting, but also very filled with new cognitions. Same with our group talk (about 6-10 people) on Thursday afternoon.

Two times a week, Tuesday and Thursday evening, are reserved for relaxation after Jacobsen. There are furthermore a choice of sport- and occupation therapies. Those, who follow my blog for a little while now, as a huge fan of Wreck This Journal my favorite here is Art Therapy. Besides art, you can got to household training, handicraft- and music therapy.

Hmm, have I forgotten something?
Not really. Life is really various here. They keep your body and your mind busy and send you (me!) on an emotional rollercoaster ride. Reade more about it in the upcoming post!

Monday, June 04, 2012

A-Z, I For Individuum - Community.

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Well, where should I start ... what should I say without repeating myself ... what to say without beginning to chatter ... what to say at all? I have an idea in mind, but no line of thought. Maybe I give it some time to develop...

A bit later now:
I define myself as individuum with my very own, very unique, very special combination of strengths and weaknesses, talents and beliefs, interests and ... (good thought of my fellow patient) ... also looks. Frankly speaking, I blend out that last part much too easily! And when I share some of these points with others, let's take this blogging thing here for example, then I'm becoming a part of a community.

But what if at some part in your life - or maybe even as long as you can think - you feel that you do not belong to any kind of group or community??? Well, that's what I do believe!

My career as a loner had already begun when I was a child. I was born as the first and only child of my parents plus we lived a little apart from other houses. So from very young age on I had to use my imagination for keeping me busy.

When school had begun and I learnt quite easily, I've very often been teachers' most favorite pet. Remember in H for Help I've told you the story of my early independence.

All those facts in combination made me - for sure an unique, special individuum - but also gave me that feeling that I didn't really fit in.

The older I grew the more seemed my decisions, interests, knowledge and beliefs differ from the so called normal, at least differ from my family's expectations (also see G for Genes).

An now I'm here in stationary treatment and - maybe unconsciously done - one of the therapists added to my self-fulfilling prophecy. When I arrived here, she (the therapist) let me make quite a few tests, e.g. given statements where I had to agree or disagree to and a Rorschach test. But when I asked some of my fellow patients nobody else had made those tests. Of course, my brain began immediately to work: Why had I to make those tests? What's the need for it? Am I so different that I need extra treatment? Etc.

On the day when a Computer Tomography was made (a standard treatment for everybody) my fears finally broke free. What if my brain is really different? What does it mean if not? It's so hard and difficult to describe how miserable I felt!!! Do I really belong to no one in this world???

In the following weekend I cooled down a little ... and to end with something positive: It seemed like I'm not the only person here, who thinks and feels this way. The talks from patient to patient do really help a lot. I'm not alone, at least I belong to this little group here!

And if I continue this thought in a positive manner: If there's one community I fit in, are there maybe any others out there???

Sunday, June 03, 2012

A-Z, H For Help.

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'I solemly swear that I'm up to no good!'
For little Karin the Weasley twins' motto would have also perfectly suited. The combination of a strong will, stubbornness and wild creativity lead me more than once into embarrassing and/or strange situations.

To tame her little tomboy my mother gave some responsibility in my own little hands. For instance, when I was about 8 or 9 I insisted to stay up longer than usual in order to watch something on TV or to play longer outside. Finally my mother was sick repeating her warning words all over again, she gave me my own alarm clock and said: 'Fine, you want to stay up late ... then from now on it's also on you to wake up on time!' You can imagine how quickly the learn effect was! Or after school warming my meal and making my homework all alone, because both of my parents were working. Well, it's true that I never got well along with my father, so when I was 16 and the chance was given, I moved out of my parents' house. These first few steps of responsibility many more followed.

While learning to manage more and more parts of my life all by myself, the other part of the story was that I'd never learnt to ask for help. Even more asking for help was considered as weakness. And honestly, which independent young woman wants to appear as weak? Simple answer: No one!

Like already described in C for Captivity the process of falling into depression is slowly, almost not to register clearly. There's your logical mind, that actually knows what's going on and actually what should be done. But there are also your feelings and your total lack of energy, which aren't able to execute those actions.

I've been always proud of my self responsibility, but now the 2nd time I had to experience the negative side if you're not able to ask for help. The worse my situation got the more isolated I became ... and vize versa. A devil's circle. And still I feel too much ashamed, much too embarrassed and much too proud to ask for help. Until everything became almost too late - with emphasis on almost!

Now in therapy one of my goals - AKA F for Final Destination - is learning to ask for help - in time!

Saturday, June 02, 2012

A-Z, G For Genes.

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It's all in the genes, is that really so?
Just finished 'Next' by Michael Crichton, an interesting book about gene-technology.

It made me - with view of my current situation - curious to do a little Wikipedia research. Well, I know some cases of cancer and heart diseases in my family, so according to the gene-theory in my family history I could be at least predistinated for those ... but I haven't heard a single word about depressions. This either means there weren't any or they simply didn't talk about it.

If there weren't the pretty obvious similarities in the look between my mother and me, and especially between my father and me, I would totally doubt that I'm really a part of this family!

Beyond the look, there are more differences than similarities. While all my ancestors mainly prefer to settle down, get married, get children, build a house and plant a tree, I focus and live for my career. While they think in small, narrow minded dimensions, I dare to dream big and work on dreams coming true. While I'm interested in various topics, I doubt they've even heard about those, and if they are very prejudices. While ... I could continue here on and on and on...

When really all is in the genes, then I wonder, why am I so different? What the hell is wrong with me? Has been made a mistake in arranging my genes?

The fatal thing is, when your mind is already doubting on its health, those questions suddenly become even more significance. You begin to doubt if your way of living was correct. But what and when did I begin to make 'wrong' turns? Would have changed something if I'd known? ... I don't think so!?

So, what (if?) is wrong with me?

Friday, June 01, 2012

A-Z, F For Final Destination.

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When making this A-Z list I jotted down 'Final Destination' in the original sense of the movie series. It simply suited too well in my Apocalypse theme.

And currently?
No! I hadn't had a vision of upcoming exploding airplanes, car crashes or any other disastrous events. With the consequence that Death isn't waiting for me with his macabre plan to catch me.

I won't deny when you're living on the dark side of your life that death is more of a present topic then before ... but like I assured you in B for Bucket List there's something else more dominant in my head.

So, you might have the right to ask why I chose 'Final Destination' as the catchword of the day?!

Well, the answer is quite easy ... at least for me. You might have registered how miserable my state of mind currently is and there's also a glimmer of hope. In the first session my therapist asked me - for homework - to make a list of my goals. My interpretation of this task was to analyze (my brain busy as usual!) when my days are bright and shiny again, what should have changed or resp. should have gained back again. In other words, my personal 'Final Destination':
In the center: The overall goal 'active living' or 'live actively'.
Major problem to achieve this goal: low energy level! Where to get new energy?
Clockwise:
  • With all 5 senses.
  • With full concentration/focus.
  • The full range of emotions.
  • My personal Maslov pyramid. 
  • From eye to eye (see E for Eyes). 
  • Right balance of independence and asking for help. 
  • Extend levels of safety/comfort/social.
Let's see how my journey continues, the first few baby steps are already made, but there's still a long way to go in order to reach my personal 'Final Destination'!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Genuine Inspiration - A Rush Of Writing.

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It's strange in those weird days, somehow my mind seems kind of overproductive. Currently I work on various projects:
  1. A-Z Apocalypse. 
  2. Dream Diary. 
  3. My novel 'Neighborhood Cats: The Secret of the Moonstone'. 
  4. ArtJournaling incl. WTJ. 
  5. Writing letters to my dearest friends.
Actually you can add a No. 6 with extra blogposts like this one here!

This time I want to report about a phenomenon I experienced with No. 3 of my list. Last weekend I finished the prologue, how everything in the year 1346 had started. Well, I've heard other authors saying about this, but this was my first own experience.

Quite early I knew how the scene should be, but when I actually wrote it, something strange happened: Suddenly I felt no longer as the person, who just is inventing the story, instead I felt like really being there, like a silent observer reporting about the events. There were suddenly details and actions I've never had thought of before! It was sooo strange! Like a rush. My biro couldn't write fast enough like the scene revealed itself. I was drawn back in time, down into that chamber. I felt shivery goosebumps. Simply amazing!

Just have to think on that quote from the movie 'Inception':
'Imagine your designing a building. You consciously create every aspect, but sometimes it feels like it's creating itself (...) Genuine inspiration!'


Does this mean to be an author?
If 'yes', wish me luck to continue this way! The more I can write the earlier I can start translating into English and the earlier you'll get the story as blog serial novel to read.

Biro Doodles For Creativity.

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ArtJournaling Biro Doodles 1
ArtJournaling Biro Doodles 2
This is what I do when I need a little break while writing. A few minutes now and then and a biro ... in the end your first and your last concept book pages look like these:

Friday, May 18, 2012

A-Z, E For Eyes.

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When I was done with that picture (08-2007) I named it 'Indian Ocean'. Don't ask why or what for I painted it the way it is - frankly speaking I don't know! But it's pretty obvious that I love the sea and I'm obsessed with eyes, am I not?

It's said 'Eyes are the Portal to your Soul.' I totally agree with that. I prefer literally to have an 'eye-to-eye' conversation because very often eyes can tell you so much more than just words or gestures.

Or in the other case the eyes don't say anything at all or your opposite isn't able to look in to your eyes. To make the long story short, I give a damn lot of eye contact!

But ... in my current constitution where your own soul is dark and your self confidence is below zero, you're simply not in the slightest able to search and keep eye contact. You feel so miserable and unworthy and just ashamed.

Believe me, I really miss it and you can be sure, I can't wait the day when my confidence is back for this little gesture to get in contact with people this way.

And I even want to go a step further. Some of you might know that I'm a huge admirer of the Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan. Among others he's famous for his passionate way of acting (some even say he's overacting). When he plays the lover fighting for his love he has this look. Sanjay LelaBansali (director of 'Devdas' among others) once said '...that Shah Rukh has deep lonely eyes craving for love.' For me it feels like his eyes can burn through the canvas right into my soul, it makes me shiver, it's simply magical.

What I want or wish - No! Not SRK himself! - is that one particular man, my personal lover, who fights for his love to me. That exactly this one man gives me and me alone this very special look. That his eyes burn into mine and his look can see my soul and loves what he can see there. That's what I'm wishing for!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A-Z, D For Daemon.

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First of all, since reading (watching) the book 'Northern Lights' (AKA the movie 'The Golden Compass') by Philip Pullman I like the word 'daemon' and the way it's written. I like the imagination to see my inner spirit in form of an animal walking right next to my side. A friend and I had already discussed what kind of animal our own daemon would be. In my case - and I'm pretty sure about that - it would be a predatory feline, a black panther or an Indian tiger or a snow leopard maybe.

Anyway, I get a little sidetracked from my original thought to that particular catchword. But only a little, I still want to talk about inner forces, spirits or daemons.

A couple of years ago, during my NLP training (NLP = NeuroLinguistic Programming) we had a section where we tried to get in contact with some inner parts of ourselves and visualize them. To give you an example, I'd met my creativity in form of a flying, white Pegasus.

But I also made the acquaintance of a unique power within me, so very endlessly strong and powerful. This power manifested in the form of a dragon sleeping in its cave. (Do you still believe in coincidences when I say that my Chinese zodiac is a Fire Dragon?!?) Once awaken it wasn't clear if this power was good or simply disastrous. I really feared that it becomes something more like a Balrog (a creature from 'Lord of the Rings'), nothing but fire and ashes and darkness.

Then - somehow, don't ask how - I forgot the existence of that force, but that doesn't mean it had disappeared. Oh no, not at all!

In the meantime I tried several relaxing techniques and my absolute favorite became 'Chakra Chants', where you concentrate on your 7 energy centers within your body. One, the 3rd Chakra is located in the Solar Plexus. And every time I focused on this area it got really warm, almost hot.

First I had no explanation - remember I'd totally forgotten my inner dragon. Then I found another wonderful Chakra meditation and then like a revelation I remembered what I once knew when I heard those lines:

'From fire to water to earth. Here the divine spark of consciousness ignites the fires of our will to burn through resistance and vitalize the entire system. Pulsating flames of energy enlivens to awaken our power to burn with purpose, to strengthen our will. We keep the flames all its trials and tribulations as we burn through blocks into ever greater freedom and power. Let this fire burn itself out, that power must be tamed (...)' 
(from 'The Human Body Energy Centers)

To come to the point, it's still there, that inner daemon, my fire dragon. And I came to the conclusion that it's a positive energy, the counterpart to my dark side that currently accesses my brain and soul. Somehow, that's really good to know...

Monday, May 14, 2012

A-Z, C For Captivity.

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Frankly speaking, I've never experienced true captivity in the meaning of imprisonment. And being grounded as a teenager can't hardly be counted herein, right folks?

Okay, I've seen a few documentaries but I won't neither discuss nor play down how harsh, cruel even violent life behind bars can be. I just dare to make a few simple statements:
  • It's always in the person's own responsibility to be punished, no matter what reason for.
  • The freedom is only a matter of time and/or a good lawyer and/or a clever prison break.
Besides that bodily imprisonment there's also another form, the captivity of your mind! So more dangerous and so more perfidious, because you literally can't see it coming.

There might be a cause, but most of the time you aren't able to be aware of it. Sometimes it even comes without any particular purpose. It comes slowly, it crawls, it creeps, it flatters you. It's patient, it waits for the right moment to enter your mind. Once there it hooks soo deeply like a virus or a parasite. From its well hidden corner it spreads its poison, let the darkness penetrate your mind and begins to darken your soul.

Again it works slowly, but effective, very effective. Almost without noticing the infected person begins slowly to change her habits, begins to avoid beloved activities and begins to hide from the world.

The desastrous effect, first the captivity begins in your mind, but then it's also your body that is captured. In the end you live in a prison, where you can't see the walls, where you can't see the bars, but they are there - in your captured mind!

Friday, May 11, 2012

A-Z, B For Bucket List.

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Bucket

It fills me with guilt to know that some of my friends were and still are worried - totally with justice. Shame on me!

But you know, even in my darkest hours there was always that little light ... no, not light! Light would be the wrong word. Too exaggeratedly! Let's better call it ... hmm, let me think ... I guess I like 'glimmer'. There was that glimmer of the wish to hope that maybe one day - and I don't know, when exactly this day might be - the light will have returned and the sun will shining again.

My personal glimmer is just one single word, but once spoken, it opens a door to a whole new world and reveals a million impressions: India! (Can you hear the echoes?)

When I think of that little word I can see the colors of Holi, I can smell the spices in the air, I can hear the cacophony of the crowds and the silent breathlessness in front of the impressive Taj Mahal. Besides the obvious greatness of India I'm also very interested in a few very small events, besides the usual tourists' paths: like watching DDLJ (or any other actual SRK movie) in a theater, buy my dream Sari in my favorite color blue and of course stand in front of 'Mannat', maybe with some luck seeing or even shaking hands with the King of Bollywood himself: Shah Rukh Khan.

A lot of big dreams, maybe a little too big for a little girl like me. But they are there, not only present, but so dominant to stand against the darkness and leave that little glimmer of hope. A reminder that this is No. 1 on my personal bucket list has the chance to come true. It just waits for me to grab it! That's a wonderful little thought that accompanies me through the darkness!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

A-Z, A For Apocalypse.

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Apocalypse

21 December 2012 - due day for the apocalypse according to the Mayan Calendar. Very visually dynamic shown what could/should/would happen then in Roland Emmerich's movie '2012'.

But what if an apocalypse doesn't concern the whole mankind but only one single person - would the impact be more or less worse? And what if this one single person is yourself?

Some of you might have heard me saying 'Two Souls are beating in my Chest'. That's true, that's what I am. Actually even by birth. I'm born in March, my zodiac is Pisces - TWO fishes.

As long as I can think I've always seen both sides of the medal. Very often you can hear me argue with 'on the one hand ... on the other hand'. Sometimes I'm joking with saying 'I'm a split personality'.

Well, in general I'm a very positive, optimistic person. I see the glass half full - instead of half empty. Even in failures I can see the positive, the learning effect to avoid the same trap the next time. I mainly live on the sunny side of life. But to use another saying 'Where's sun there's also shadow.' Yes, deep inside my soul is also a very dark side. And sometimes this dark side becomes stronger. It's like a thick, untouchable, gray fog comes crawling over my soul and occupies my mind ... the darkness takes my life over.

I literally lose me, myself, my whole personality. You can imagine, when this happens that this is my worst case scenario ... my personal apocalypse!

Sunday, May 06, 2012

A-Z Blogging Challenge 2012.

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First of all: Sorry for my being absent for quite a while without leaving a note. But now I'm back writing and emailing and blogging.

I know, I missed the regular time for the 'A-Z Blogging Challenge 2012', but I really do love this competition very much that I want to do it now. Better late than never, right?

When you do something for the first time, you can see it like an experiment, like trying a new tool or gadget. You can put it in your hands, see if it feels good and what you can use it for. When it works for you, it's fine. When it doesn't work for you, it's okay, too. No big deal. It was just an experiment.

But when you once finished something successfully - like I did with my 'A-Z Blogging Challenge 2011' - then you begin to think: Why not leave it at this one-time success? After all it was a lot of hard work! And when you fail this time it would look like nothing but beginners luck! Then you remember it was also a lot of fun. You learned a lot, too. So why not give it a second go?

Yes! Why not give it a second go! From the moment I saw the new 2012-badge I was thinking about this year's topic. The easiest would have been to continue with the writing theme, there were plenty of good words left on the list I've collected last year. But already back then I had the idea to write a continuing story. After a while my mind came up with the idea to use 26 people with A-Z names and let them tell a story from each single point of view. But the more I developed this particular story the more it developed in a different kind of direction. You don't have to be disappointed, you're going to read this story very soon. I've decided this story to become my upcoming new blog serial novel!

So, what else then? In the mood I was in I ended up with a very strange list, which I call my 'A-Z Apocalypse'. And I'm going to write a very personal column ... starting soon! Hope to see you there!


xoxo Karin

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

All 30 Writing Questions.

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30 Days Of Writing Questions

Start this wonderful journey anytime. Answer daily or weekly or whenever you feel inspired. And experience yourself as writer.


WQ-01:Tell us about your favorite writing project/universe that you've worked with and why?
WQ-02:How many characters do you have? Do you prefer males or females?
WQ-03:How do you come up with names, for characters (and for places if you're writing about fictional places)?
WQ-04:Tell us about one of your first stories/characters!
WQ-05:By age, who is your youngest character? Oldest? How about 'youngest' and 'oldest' in terms of when you created them?
WQ-06:Where are you most comfortable writing? At what time of day? Computer or good ol' pen and paper?
WQ-07:Do you listen to music while you write? What kind? Are there any songs you like to relate/apply to your characters?
WQ-08:What's your favorite genre to write? To read?
WQ-09:How do you get ideas for your characters? Describe the process of creating them.
WQ-10:What are some really weird situations your characters have been in? Everything from serious canon scenes to meme questions counts!
WQ-11:Who is your favorite character to write? Least favorite?
WQ-12:In what story did you feel you did the best job of world building? Any side-notes on it you’d like to share?
WQ-13:What's your favorite culture to write, fictional or not?
WQ-14: How do you map out locations, if needed? Do you have any to show us?
WQ-15:Midway question! Tell us about a writer you admire, whether professional or not!
WQ-16:Do you write romantic relationships? How do you do with those, and how 'far' are you willing to go in your writing?
WQ-17:Favorite protagonist and why!
WQ-18:Favorite antagonist and why!
WQ-19:Favorite minor that decided to shove himself into the spotlight and why!
WQ-20:What are your favorite character interactions to write?
WQ-21:Do any of your characters have children? How well do you write them?
WQ-22:Tell us about one scene between your characters that you've never written or told anyone about before! Serious or not.
WQ-23:How long does it usually take you to complete an entire story - from planning to writing to posting (if you post your work)?
WQ-24:How willing are you to kill your characters if the plot so demands it? What’s the most interesting way you've killed someone?
WQ-25:Do any of your characters have pets? Tell us about them.
WQ-26:Let’s talk art! Do you draw your characters? Do others draw them? Pick one of your OCs and post your favorite picture of him!
WQ-27:Along similar lines, do appearances play a big role in your stories? Tell us about them, or if not, how you go about designing your characters.
WQ-28:Have you ever written a character with physical or mental disabilities? Describe them, and if there's nothing major to speak of, tell us a few smaller ones.
WQ-29:How often do you think about writing? Ever come across something IRL that reminds you of your story/characters?
WQ-30:Final question! Tag someone! And tell us what you like about that person as a writer and/or about one of his/her characters!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wreck This Journal: Draw Lines While In Motion.

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... On The Bus, On Train, While Walking.

Wreck This Journal: Draw Lines While In Motion, On The Bus, On Train, While Walking.

Well, what should I say?
Did what I've been told and added some color and a handful silhouettes! And done! :-)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

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Some drum rolls, please!
I'm so very proud to announce the release of The Old Sofa, third issue of the Rattles Flash Fiction anthology collection!

Me and seven other authors expose the secrets hidden in an old sofa, including ghosts of days gone by, help for those in need, and sometimes even special gifts, though the price may be too much to ask. Go ahead, sit down and get comfy. What will the old sofa say to you?

Collection includes:
Whispers by Carol R. Ward
Locking Up by Lisamarie Lamb
French Creek Cabin by Heather Horton
A New Sofa by Michael Jackson
Loose Change by Jo-Anne Russell
The Old Sofa by Karin Eider
The Love Seat by Ann Partridge
Shelter by Jamie DeBree

The Old Sofa is available now for the introductory price of 99 cents at Brazen Snake Books, Amazon, Smashwords and Barnes & Noble. The print version will be available later this year.

P.S. I was so free to borrow this text from the Brazen Snake Books announcement and slightly changed it for my purpose!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Wreck This Journal: Chew On This.

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Wreck This Journal: Chew On This.

Ladies, who doesn't want to chew an a sexy guy served on a silver plate!?! Yummy!

This page is dedicated to Carol! Her series 'Hump Day Hunk' on her blog Random Thoughts was my inspiration for that page. Thanks also for the yummy picture(s)!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

WQ-30. Final Question.

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30 Days Of Writing Questions

Final question! Tag someone! And tell us what you like about that person as a writer and/or about one of his/her characters!

Actually, I already tag this person or better said link to one of her blogs with that little picture above every time I'm answering one of those Writing Questions. I'm talking about C.R. Ward.

You might argue, it's a little unimaginative, but there's more to name her. Both being writers, I currently feel very close to her. She's my beta reader, I'm her beta reader. It's very intriguing to share thoughts about your writings before everything is finally set and done. And how cool is that to find your name written in a book's dedication!

In addition her two blog serial novels:
- Elemental Water on Random Thoughts
- The Shades of Errol Flynn on Random Writings
are so inspiring, that very soon you'll find my own serial novel published here on my blog!

To use Carol's dedication words: 'The best friend(s) I never met. You (guys) rock!'

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Wreck This Journal: Place For Your Grocery Lists.

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Wreck This Journal: Place For Your Grocery Lists.

Honestly, I would be completely lost without my grocery lists, I wouldn't bring home half of the goods I need!

But WTJ is a whole different area: For myself and my taste I couldn't find a way to make this page at least a little interesting by only using my grocery lists, there's always quite the same written down on them ... so, I used my right for interpretations: Instead of placing a dozen similar looking, boring grocery lists, I made a collage of wrapping papers of goods and groceries I've bought. As for the fact, that most of the wrappings are quite huge, I bet, this page would look so much better on a larger scale ... but I'm quite satisfied with this result, too! What do you think?

Saturday, February 04, 2012

And I Thought I'm Quite Familiar With That Topic!

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For 10 years my two cats Sheela and Amira share my home with me. Sure, my family had cats before, but those two are special. They are my first own pets and it's in my responsibility to take care for them.
I was a student back then when they entered my life. A student with boring computer classes and a free internet access. Only logical that I landed sooner or later in a forum discussing all the cats' maters.

In about two, maybe three years I left almost 1.000 entries in the Fressnapf Forum. I discussed everything ... nutrition, toys, accommodation, behavior and diseases, wrote about funny events and posted pictures ... in short, everything a dediCATed owner is interested in.

In those times I also developed a favor for cats' literature. As student with a small budget I used eBay to satisfy my need for books. Have you ever registered how many novels about cats are out there?

To come to the point: I considered myself as a person with a broad knowledge of cats. As long as I just wrote short stories there was no doubt about it. But now ... how shocking is that! ... I have to face my lack of knowledge!

Even more - I want to publish this particular story as serial novel on my blog. Means, there's the need to write/translate in English. It's advantageous to have a basic cat vocabulary from the musical Cats, but more on first sight easy words become a problem, because my regular dictionary doesn't know them!

Cats seem to be just a minor problem, easy compared to topics like the law or the middle ages or the deep sea. Topics some of my favorite books deal with!

Now it's my own turn to combine fiction with facts, I learn to respect the importance of research and I learn to appreciate the hard research work of other writers - more than ever before!

Let's face it, research belongs to an author's most important tools!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

WQ-29. How Often Do You Think About Writing?

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30 Days Of Writing Questions

29. How often do you think about writing? Ever come across something IRL that reminds you of your story/characters?

I'm an owl, no early morning bird. So, when my alarm goes off I give myself another 20 minutes snooze time. Not only to wake up properly, but also to remember and reflect my nightly pictures.

My dreams are always a wonderful source of inspiration and I want to preserve as much as possible in my dream diary.

Now, thinking about it, one reason for my nightly creativity might be those minutes before falling asleep, they are my most favorite time of the day to muse about books, movies and writing projects.

Then, with a brand new writing project in mind, a part of my online time is occupied with research.

You've also asked about 'something IRL that reminds me of my story/characters' ... well, as chance would have it the location of my new WIP requires a town, not too small, not too big, with a river, a castle and a monastery .... and voila: My hometown is the perfect role model. It's an interesting experience being in town with this new focus. Let's see how many impressions find their way into my 'real time writing'!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Wreck This Journal: Scrub This Page.

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Wreck This Journal: Scrub This Page.

'Scrub here!' Right! Sure, as if a plain eraser would do the job!!!
I guess, like everybody else who's done that that page I had to bring the big guns in, in that case I used sandpaper to scrub all the parts away I wanted ... add some lines and draw the left page and voila: sun and moon!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Does What We Write Limit Our Vocabulary?

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I'm currently editing a friend's novel. My focus lies on the story, because as foreign speaker - the story is written in English - I can hardly argue anything on the grammar and vocabulary front. But then in chapter 2 a single, little word has caught my eye and interest:

"He made the mistake of looking into her eyes. They were large in her elfin face, pale blue with a thick fringe of lashes, full of emotion that he was unable to keep himself distant from."

Elfin - a lovely word in a wonderful sentence in a fantastic story!

Only that this story is located in space. There are different species on various planets, there are space ships and laser weapons ... and I simply wondered: 'Are elfs known in this world?' I had a feeling like Captain Jean Luc Picard (from the U.S.S. Enterprise/Star Trek) would come to Hobbiton and share some smoke with Gandalf and Bilbo! Very weird!

What I'm talking about: Does What We Write Limit Our Vocabulary?

How far can I go with the words I use to describe things, people and places? Similar thought in contemporary writing: Comparisons with movies, music tracks, singers, living or dead VIPs, etc. Do I run danger to lose my readers because they might have no glue what I'm talking about?

Well, I should keep an eye on that question while editing!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WQ-28. Characters With Disabilities.

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30 Days Of Writing Questions

28. Have you ever written a character with physical or mental disabilities? Describe them, and if there’s nothing major to speak of, tell us a few smaller ones.

One of my good habits (or maybe disabilities) is to focus only on the current question. So, last week in WQ-27 I was a little too eager with my answer.

I've already told you about J.J.! A dear, wonderful boy, just 17 years old. A giant in his look, but a little puppy in his mind. He's like that from birth on. I wouldn't call it a mental disability, he's only a little slow in thinking.

Besides J.J. all my other characters in that particular story are normal ... or what we consider normal. But of course, they all aren't perfect. Everyone has flaws and fears and daemons to fight with. If everything was just too perfect the story would become quite boring!

Oh, and this is very new! Just a couple of days old:
I'm working on the basic design of a new story, the places, the characters, the string of thought. And for this story I'd already included a few characters with mental as well as physical disabilities. As for this moment I don't want to tell you more, you'll meet them very soon. They all will show up in my upcoming weekly serial novel! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wreck This Journal: Cover This Page. Using Only Office Supplies.

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Wreck This Journal: Cover This Page. Using Only Office Supplies.

The background is a collage of different office papers, like address sheets and post-its. I guess, I overdid it a bit with the ink, the ink pad was a little too well filled. And then on top a various collection of office supplies ... just like the instruction demanded.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WQ-27. Appearances In Your Story.

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30 Days Of Writing Questions

27. Along similar lines, do appearances play a big role in your stories? Tell us about them, or if not, how you go about designing your characters.

Once again I become aware that I'm just a foreign speaker. I'm not quite sure, if I'd understood that question correct. After checking Carol's answer I think I got it.

First, for my understanding, creating the appearance is a part of designing a character. And second, we'd already talked about Creating Characters in WQ-09. So, let's now talk about the look:

Of course, the look is important. How else should Hollywood know, who to cast! Although, sometimes I wonder, if they really had read the same book?!

Let's be serious!

The good thing when you write short stories about cats, everybody knows, how a cat looks like. Most of the time it's enough to write about the little baby tiger kitten or the black cat with green eyes. Sometimes it helps to describe the shiny, soft golden fur or the long, sharp claws or the long, sensitive whiskers. Just the information you need for a particular scene.

When I think on my human actors in my writings the grade of descriptions depends on his/her importance.

Let's take J.J.: He plays just minor role and has one big scene. I described him as 2m (6,5 feet) tall, 17 years old boy. I didn't write more about his look, nothing about his eyes or hair or anything else. It was better and far enough to describe him as this huge giant with the mind of a kid, to compare him to a young puppy who tries to find his way in this big world. I dare to say, everybody can imagine the type of person he represents.

So differently with Cathryn O'Connell, my main character: I have a very clear image of her in my head and I want my readers to have the same - or at least a similar one. And it's not only her look, it's also her mimic and her gestures. Sometimes these little details give her character more depth and support her nature.

But we all know 'Looks isn't everything'. What do I care about the look, when the story sucks?! I'm right, am I?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wreck This Journal: Tongue Painting.

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Wreck This Journal: Tongue Painting.

With heart and soul, or maybe I should better say, with tongue and stomach, I'm a chocoholic! So, my first try following these instructions was quite a little failure ... what the hell do I know about other sweets?!? Well, I'd thought, lollipops would do the job, but those 'Chupa Chups' simply were colorless!!!

I had a plan C (using fruits like blueberries), instead I returned to plan A then and back to sweets I know, which brought me to 'M&Ms'! And as you can see, they finally made the trick!