Tag Archives: Ramblings

On the power of words

4 Aug

Words have power. That’s why we have to use them wisely. I’m a translator, an author, and a smart-ass, so I know what I am talking about.

Let me give you an example:

Two years ago, when I was weighing rougly 200 pounds, at some point I decided that “fat” would by MY word. I started using it to describe myself in conversation with friends or store clerks when I went out shopping. Sentences such as, “Why don’t you have anything for fat people?”, became normal. And some people felt hugely uncomfortable – “No, you can’t say that! Why would you be so mean to yourself?” Others were disappointed because “fat” did not work as an insult anymore. And my other fat friends kind of just went along with it. Some thought it was cool. Some started doing it themselves.
Now that I have lost weight (by exercise in combination with caloric restriction, the old-fashioned way) and am in the range of “normal” or healthy weight, I have noticed a difference in reactions. And I have realized that the empowering use of “fat” is not a thing for me anymore. For a few weeks, when I have said “fat” (I still have a tummy and thighs, after all), people tended to be shocked or offended. Obviously they thought I was mocking different people, because to the public eye I am now the traditional white, non-fat woman.
So I have decided to un-train myself from saying “fat” when talking about my body, for words have meaning outside of what we intend to say – communication is a two-way street with loops and dead end roads and super highways and funny loopings where you would not expect them.
I’ll find a new revolutionary self-empowerment word. “Old”, maybe. Or, “hairy”.^^

Anyway, this was not supposed to be a bragging post – that will come around mid-September, when I will hopefully complete my first obstacle race. I’ll have plenty to brag about then!!!

No, instead I was going to say, words do have power, and you must choose them wisely, and you can gain power through your words. Witches know that, or they learn it quickly when wording their first spells (like when, as a young woman, I witched for “someone to love me” and ended up with two stalkers – what can I say? Sometimes I’m dumb. ^^) And this is important in everyday conversations as well. It’s not for nothing that being politically correct has become such a huge issue. Okay, sometimes they are overdoing it, but most of the time people who dismiss “this stupid PC talk” are basically saying, “I don’t want to worry about how the things I say affect others, for my communication is just me spewing words at the world, and no one else matters.”

And in the end, this is why songs and stories and poems hold magic, and why we should listen before we talk, and why being fat or thin or wrinkled or hairy is something you should own – instead of giving your power away.

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Brief reprieve for Standing Rock – now what?

6 Dec

Even German media is reporting about the decision to find a new route for the North Dakota pipeline. Rejoice, people! Everything is going to get better!

Except that it probably isn’t. Not long until Mr. Orange takes office, and he has made clear already that he will decide “like a grown-up”. Yeah, a discolored grown-up with the political understanding of an angry toddler. Not impressed.

I hope that the current, soon-to-be-gone president will find a way to protect the sacred grounds of the Native American people, and cement the decision so Mr. Orange won’t be able to mess with it.

And in case you’re wondering why I care about the Natives on the other side of the glove – Europeans don’t have any “Natives”. We don’t have any “Natives” because back when we were colonized, the majority of people thought it was the right of the victor to do with the other people as he wished. Rites and cultures were lost, or at least buried deep enough that we only find them in fairytales. Everyone did as the Romans, and then as those who came after the Romans. And knowledge was lost.

So … who’s up for a collective protective spell?

Tiny changes

10 Oct

But nothing much.

The mysterious toilet has disappeared as mysteriously as it had appeared. Fall is crashing into the landscape, leaving trails of bleeding trees and frost on the ground. Everyone is breaking out the heavy sweaters. And I really need to buy new pants.

The idea of doing an obstacle race refuses to die. I was ill for so long at the beginning of the year (normal cough, expert cough, ankle trouble) that we decided to postpone till next year. This gives us almost a year to train for a (hypothetical) race in September, and leaves me with enough breathing room to do a Strongman Run by the time I am thirty-five. Right now I run ten kilometers three times per week and try to get used to strength training at the gym. At the beginning of the next year I hope to get a few trainer sessions scheduled and start using free weights, at least part of the time, and maybe take on a pilates class for general torture. Oh, and I need to lose about twenty kilograms of fat to make it easier to hurl myself over the obstacles. Or that’s the plan.

Sounds boring? I don’t know, I am kind of hyped. You may have forgotten that Diana is my patron goddess, no matter how hard we fight, and moving my body, especially running through the woods, has become our kind of prayer/ritual. Sometimes birds of prey accompany me on my runs – either waiting for a nice snack once I collapse, or in order to encourage me. Who knows? My running speed has increased slighty (from originally 7:30/km to 6:15/km over the course of several years *ahem*), but I mostly enjoy that I can run rather long distances without interruption and not get hurt in the progress.

Of course there will be less wood-running as the evenings go darker, and I am not sure that the treadmill at the gym is a suitable substitute, but I will keep you posted. And in the meantime there is plenty of time for candles and horror movies and long graveyard walks. Maybe I’ll bring a few pictures the next time. ^^

A bit all over the place

14 Oct

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That’s me, posing as a responsible adult before I have had my second coffee. I have fallen in love with bright lipstick colors, although I mostly wear (and apply) makeup at the office. Think of it as war paint, if you like.

Have you gotten your copy of “Skinned” already? No? Then hurry, it is really worth a read! Of course I have to say that, I wrote it after all.

Skinned Front Cover

In the meantime I have been busy and have all but completed the next installment in German. It’s called “Whispering woods”. I hope to get that one to you sooner, but there are so many projects on my plate! First of all there is “Lusty Andrea and the hilarious tentacles of death” (working title) which has alien comedians, mysterious rituals and an invasion that can only be stopped by people wearing capes. You know what I mean. It is also the project I am trying to finish for a writing class. Writing classes are quite exotic in Germany. Since we have geniuses such as Goethe, many people believe that writing cannot be taught, but that you have to emerge from your secret (torture) chamber as accomplished author with a masterpiece tucked under your arm. And since I have no free time whatsoever, I found a wonderful online class taught by a lovely German woman living in Portugal who is also a writer and offers week-long writer retreats (which I cannot afford … yet), and she is really forcing me to improve my writing. I love every minute of it, more than I love the sleep I might get otherwise.  Oh, and while I was walking through the woods I stumbled over a lovely new story that is just perfect for the pre-winter holiday time, complete with mysteries and magic and monsters and love. This excitement for additional projects is pathological, I tell you.

I have also been thinking about publishing a collection of thoughts on witching, beauty and health. Which I have not written yet, except in my mind. Because if there is one more thing I need in this life, it is additional work. I think it might be fun!

So now you know. I am still not dead, and picking up speed for the cold months. My father sent me the first picture of snow this morning, and I think I will spend plenty of time at my desk till spring. Ready? Ready!

PS: Maybe I should add … you can find “Skinned” either here or here. And if for some weird reason you are not into Kindle ebooks, drop me a note and we will figure something out. I am sure you will love Helena and Falk. (And if only you knew what they are up to next … only two books till Beltane!)

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.