People of Character: This Charming Man

DSC_1879Everybody knows This Charming Man.

Unlike Her, who’s mostly a literary version of someone’s alter ego (please don’t tell Her that – she’d kill me), This Charming Man is far more elusive. He is different things to different people, part prince charming, part regular guy. He’s stylish knowledgeable, attentive – but at times impossible to pin down (understandable, seeing as he didn’t have a mobile phone when I first imagined him circa 20 years ago). He comes from a good family (which isn’t always free of complication), and he’s sure of himself – which means he doesn’t have everything figured out all the time, and that’s still ok. Continue reading

Advertisements

… And then we were five.

DSC_1734

I wake up to the whirring of machines and blinking little lights. This, I declare to myself in my internal Alan Rickman voice, is becoming too frequent.

The smell lets it be known to me before I even open my eyes that I am, yet again, on a hospital bed. Unlike last time, I’m waking up knowing where and who I am. I also know I am in pain (this fact hits me hard immediately after I open my eyes). But that is entirely secondary. Continue reading

The horror, the horror – Overcoming first-draft anxiety

Nothing will prepare you for what comes next once you decide to share the first page of something you’ve been working on for months. Nothing.

Some people say it’s all about being happy with what you’ve written. I urge you not to believe such people. Because if you take that step, and you make that first draft public, it’s no longer about “writing for yourself” – it’s about showing it to other people. People you don’t know. People who may think you suck. People who will not believe you want to do this as a full time occupation at some point. And of course, the rarer, kind people who encourage you, give you constructive feedback and look forward to taking a look at that better and improved second draft.

I only mention these people last, by the way, because they’re not nearly as scary as the people previously mentioned. Continue reading

First page, first draft. Here we go.

“The flight AL817 to London City airport will start boarding shortly.”

Anna closed her eyes and took another one of those deep breaths while clutching her book with already clammy hands and mentally cursing the plane, the airport, and indeed most of the city of Zurich. Seriously, why? Why go through this irrational, predictable agony every time?

I’m going to die today. I can feel it.

Her throat feels dry. There is a kiosk selling bottled water about six and a half steps away from her chair, but she feels her expensive high heels glued to the ground. Another deep breath. Continue reading

Out of space…

I’ve been absent for a little while. But I haven’t given up. Mostly, to be frank, I’ve been trapped under a mass of drafts which accumulated over the years. Which begs the question: how does one go through life writing drafts without a decent filing system?

Allow me to explain. As a teenager, I had the tendency to arrive at appointments, lunches, dinners, dates and parties too early (a habit I regretfully let go of over the years). I would normally have one of three things in my handbag to entertain me as I waited: a book (normally a leather-bound one by Tolstoi, with my great-grandfather’s initials engraved on the spine – I was that kind of snob), a pen and some paper. In the absence of paper, I would shamelessly walk to the nearest restaurant and ask for some paper napkins. In the absence of a pen, I would shamefully ask strangers if they had one to spare. Continue reading