SKINNED Cover preview

23 Sep

Skinned Front Cover

I should be writing

22 Sep

I should not be blogging. Deadlines are rushing by, and writing time is scarce. I should be writing.

I am trying to sort through my life. Again.

Last Friday we went to our favorite pub – three ladies out after a long day. As we drank cocktail after cocktail, we were talking and having fun.

What is the worst thing you ever did?

The Muslim doctor, “When I was little, my brothers and I would throw mud at the people coming to the mosque in their white robes on Friday.”

Me, “As a kid I scratched our landlord’s car because he was an asshole.”

My friend and colleague, “I slept with your ex. Before he became your ex.”

I laughed, too surprised to be angry. She seemed contrite. Said it was the thing she regretted most in the world. I told her that I could not promise I would not get angry later.

The next day, when I was supposed to go grocery shopping, I took our car for a highway tour. Driving is one of the most comforting things in the world for me. I was one hour later for everything the rest of the day, but I felt better.

I messaged my ex, with whom I was still friends, and told him he was an asshole. Then I blocked him on all chanels. We are not friends any longer.

Everyone of my friends has three strikes, so to speak. I don’t think I hold my surroundings to high standards (some people claim that is not true), and I know that everyone messes up sometimes. As long as we all do our best, it’s okay.

My friend says it was soon after he and I started dating, and she did not think the thing we had going was serious.

It was serious for me. You don’t get a say in other people’s relationships, even though you are entitled to your opinion.

I don’t believe in “sisters unite” – the idea that random women have to hold together against all men –  and I would not hold it against any of my friends if she started dating an ex. One of Richard’s ex girlfriends works with me, and we get along well. After that guy and I split up, I never minded when said friend told me about their sheenanigans, or when he talked about other women he was dating. Exes are entitled to lives, and friends are entitled to fun.

During her graduation party, her then-boyfriend made a pass at me. Everyone was drunk. I kept him at a distance and told her later.

She said that back then we had not known each other for long, only about a year, and it seemed like a good opportunity. Just a casual encounter. Nothing special.

Last March we celebrated our ten-year friendship anniversary. Had she told me right after it happened, the past nine years would not have taken place.

If said ex dropped in front of me, bleeding, I would step over him carefully as to not get his blood on my shoes. I want to hit someone. I want to yell. I want to wrap everything up and move far away so I won’t have to try and remain polite during office hours. We share a room with two other women, so there are no secrets. I am vindictive by nature and not beyond petty revenge, but I try to be better than that.

When her boyfriend attacked her in their home, she stayed at our place for a weekend. And when, a few weeks later, he kicked in her apartment door, I stepped between them to help avoid the worst. We called the police. Richard came over to talk to the guy and calm him down.

Faced with an unexpected situation, I always need some time to find out how I feel about it. Those who are close to me know that. I always try to find out whether anger etc. are just quick-tempered overreactions or whether they are valid. Occasionally with some time and reason I find out I was wrong at first. It happens to the best of us. I am also not sure whether maybe I am writing this as part of a subconscious revenge plot. So far I have not told anyone but Richard because I don’t want others to look at her. We share too many friends for me to talk about the whole thing comfortably.

A few months back she complained that I would value the opinion of random men higher than hers. We fought. I told her that I trusted men even less because I had been abused as a child. The next day, she tried to manipulate me with that knowledge. That was the closest I ever came to hitting someone in the face. It took me months to sort through everything and come out the other side.

RIchard has never made it a secret that he does not trust this friend. In the past I kept defending her. I trust my friends. When I told him this story, he did not say anything negative about her.

Every one of my friends has three strikes.

And now I’ll grab my stuff and head to the office, to try and wrap everything up before a long weekend.

Has it really been this long?

16 Sep

I am so sorry! Of course I had to push myself into uncountable projects head over heels, with no plan or structure, and everything has been suffering because of it. Not complaining, I love my life, but with only 24 hours in every day and the occasional potty break there are some things I tend to forget. Such as blogging.

One of the things I have been busy with is the translation of “Witch’s Skin”, the third novel in the series “Magic behind the mountains”. I love revisiting my own stories, but with so little time to get everything done of course progress is slow. When the first draft is done I will return to polishing the German version of the fourth novel, then polish the translation of “Witch’s Skin” and try to catch all errors so you can read it in time. I hope you are at least a tiny bit excited!


Early morning walk impressions.


Tiny Yellow Duck got into trouble at a theme park.


Ronja testing homemade cheese popcorn. I know, usually I don’t give her cheese because of the lactose (cats can’t digest it and may go blind if ingesting too much), but I had used old parmesan, which has hardly any lactose at all.


Using oats with blueberries as an excuse to eat even more lemon curd.


Remember these darlings? I got them for myself as a birthday present two years ago. AFter some polishing they still look as good as new.


And this year (prematurely, my birthday is still almost two months away) they got support. Nothing beats a good pair of boots when it comes to ass-kicking!

Now you got some impressions of my adventures. Mostly food, of course. Oooooh, and I am thinking about a new fun project I don’t have time for, but that’s so far off it might just as well not be true at all. ^^

Contains strong language

18 Aug

some days it’s strong

i could hurl myself

in front of the train

i could crash

into oncoming traffic

as if there was nothing



the black

and bleak


– not endless

i know from experience

this shall pass

i will not crash

that fucking car

i will not scar

those who have no fucking clue

i will persevere


after crossing the chasm

it will be

fucking marvellous once more


Still digging

10 Aug

Not just hanging in there, but also slowly digging myself out of the MEH.

Weapons of choice: Plenty of water – for drinking. More exercise – for endorphines and good sleep. As little contact to the outside world as possible – for me-time.

Admitted, avoiding contact with the world is kind of tough, as I spend at least 35 hours per week in a 12m² office I share with three other women. Plus the time spent in bus and subway, plus mandatory groceries. And for some really weird reason some of my friends tend to get upset if I don’t hang out with them regularly. Just saying, “I don’t feel like going out” usually prompts the “wanna fix it” debates, so I don’t bother beyond, “I’m in a bad mood, just let me be”.

(Fun fact: Last week when I did not want to go see “Magic Mike XXL”, the theories ranged from “Her boyfriend won’t let her” to “She’s a prude”. Guess I can live with that, as long as I get to stay at home.)

For exercise, I have stumbled upon a new challenge. Richard had originally planned to participate in a Tough Mudder and/or a Spartan Sprint race this year, and I have been mulling over doing a Strongman Run for a while. These are all, if you are too budy to click on the links, obstacle races where you get pretty dirty and exhausted. Originally I had planned to watch Richard race and eat ice cream, but then he fell ill three days prior to his obstacle race this summer, and everything had to be cancelled.

To cheer him up (and egg him on, maybe), I suggested doing an obstacle race together next year. Now, running is kind of my thing. I am not too fast, but I can do up to 10K without too much trouble. But I seriously lack coordination and strength, which are needed for the obstacles. Who’d have thought? And as a girl with a plan, I have decided to try this:


The book describes the most usual obstacles, including information on which kinds of exercise are especially useful for mastering the obstacle, as well as a giant collection of exercises you can do at home or at the gym with little equipment – and three different training plans, 8 weeks each, based on your starter fitness level. I have chosen to start at “dead bird” and plan to do “paralyzed slug” after that. (Note: Those are not really the names of the levels.)

Mind you, these plans are tough. 3×3 hours of strength training per week plus at least three running sessions – optional walking or running on the strength training days. And after just two training sessions I can barely move my arms OR my legs. Let’s see how long I can keep this up, right?

Now, this is not going to turn into a fitness blog. Let me just repeat that I think we as witches, pagans and generally nature-worshipping weird people should take as good care of our bodies as we do of the environment. Imagine having a pet (if you don’t have one, in which case I am slightly suspicious what kind of person you are) – most likely you would go into neat research to determine the space, exercise and nutrition needed to keep your specific pet happy. No cheeseburger meals for your cat, no matter how much they beg you – all that sodium would most definitely fry their tiny kidneys! And I think that the same care should go into your own body, especially if you profess to love nature. Of course this does not mean never having cheesecake anymore, just keep in mind that you are what you eat.

By the way, when I first started working out, I thought that my ritual energy levels dropped. It took me a while to figure out that my energy levels had indeed increased, but my body and mind were able to handle the energies better, with less post-ritual fatigue. Same goes for proper nutrition – it may be boring, but it really increases your energy not just, but also for magic. Plus all the health benefits people keep spewing at you …

So, I’m still alive, feeling slightly better after a weekend of doing not much at all, and ready to ignore the big circus. Anyone with me?

Stuck in a rut

4 Aug

For months.

I don’t want to see anyone. I don’t want to go out. The demands thrust upon me by work and society feel like too much. Going out? Having fun? Please, don’t make me do it.

This has been going on for several months. But last night, finally, I scared myself. A bit. We were talking about a heavy metal festival Richard has been longing to attend for ages. And suddenly we had the chance to buy tickets – I’m talking about Wacken, which tends to sell out extremely fast, although it is one of the biggest heavy metal festivals in the world, like, one year in advance – and Richard was getting all excited, and I thought, for the briefest of seconds, “Who knows whether I’ll even be here in a year!”

For the records, I really don’t plan to off myself any time soon. Can’t say I haven’t thought about it over the years, but I am pretty positive I won’t go anywhere unless they make me. All in all, I like life. It is just a little bit … much. And not enough at the same time.

Not enough sleep, too much responsibility.

Not enough time to do the things I enjoy, too many people in need of attention and emotional support.

Not enough time spent in the sun, too many obligations.

I try to divide my time between the office, my writing, household chores as well as family and friends. I have to organize most of our outings, since Richard is neck-deep in work, sometimes for sixty hours per week or more. And it all feels like I am trying to run at top speed with a millstone around my neck.

I would like to spend more time greeting the sun at the edge of the woods. I would like to spend more time on the balcony with a book in my lap. I would like to spend less time around people, and less time scheduled away due to outside demands.

Thank the Gods we get two weeks off work in September.

What it’s all about

22 Jul

When we’re out for cocktails at our favorite bar – where the bartender loves us and the waiters are always slightly scared – we always end up discussing the Big Questions. Like, how much citrus does the week’s special cocktail need? Are fantasy books real books, even when you know the author personally? Why do Friend’s friends always drink more than her, yet she is the most happily drunk of the group? And why do guys on Tinder always start a conversation with, “Hi, how are you?”

You see, Friend has been Tindering for a while, and I like to watch people interacting with each other. And I really, really, reallllllllly think that, in order to stand out from a fuck-buddy platform, you need to up your game a bit and, I don’t know … talk to the other person as if they are actual humans? “How are you, where do you live, wanne make sexytime?”

I tried to explain this to Richard later, quite drunk – that’s the state of mind where I am most passionate about stupid ideas like this. At the bar we had collected the guys’ best and worst chat-up lines, and most of them were lacking exactly this realization: No matter whether you want to sleep with the people you are talking to or not, it pays off to treat them like a real person. You know, fake interest in their hobbies, ask them questions about themselves, discuss books or movies. Be a real person yourself instead of trying to impress them into making sloppy love.

(I am rambling. I know. I had less than four hours of sleep. I still think this concept is worth exploring.)

Richard, “If all you have is a picture of another person, how are you supposed to start a conversation?”

Me, “I don’t know – maybe comment on something that is in the picture?” (Referring to Friend’s Tinder profile:) “He could write: I see you like 50s dresses. Or: That green dress looks really pretty on you. It’s not exactly rocket science.”

Richard, “But what is so wrong about writing: How are you?”

Me, “It’s only half a step about going to someone at a party and asking them whether they are at this party, too.”

Yeah, I did not get the point across. I also tried to explain that, when we first met, I was under the impression – or maybe under the illusion – that he considered me a real person. And that this was what made our dates fun: That we could talk about all kinds of topics and be hilarious together and share childhood stories and plan outings without trying to get in the other one’s pants. (This happened to be on the third real date, which is a coincidence, because I totally do not believe in the magical romance of threes. Basically I made him dinner, dragged him out for a walk and then threw myself on top of him until he kissed me. I am subtle like that.)

Of course regarding people as people helps not only when you are flirting. Everyday interactions become much easier and rewarding when you think of the baker not as bread-machine-man but as a guy who may have the occasional bad day, maybe hate getting up early and fearing that his wife does not love him anymore. Even if he never tells you about it. Even if on the outside he is just this guy who never smiles and does not talk much. (It is possible that he is just an asshole, yes. Or he has a deep personality and Thoughts All Day Long.)

I think I am going to stop here and weep into my tea mug because the day is just so damn day.


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