December? Already?


When did that happen?

It does not only mean that Christmas is approaching fast, but also that NaNoWriMo 2016 lies already behind us.

If you participated: how did it go? Did you reach your goal?

I most certainly did.

Given that I had decided to write a story that has been on my mind for ages, things were going exceptionally well. I managed to write every day – even after working from 8 AM till 5 PM, even when I had to make up for my Book Berlin weekend.

My average was a fairly high 2000 words – between 1552 and 2525 per day. Therefore, I beat NaNoWriMo on day 25, and got to amazing 60 155 words in the end, a result I had never expected, not even in my wildest dreams.


However … I couldn’t help but notice that this NaNo felt completely different from last year’s. Back then, I had to struggle really hard to reach 50 000 words, but felt really proud in the end. This year, I’m sort of missing that feeling.

But yeah, maybe it’s just because there are some scenes left to write. The complete story is most likely going to be around 80 000, so there are a few more words to write, and a lot of revision to be done. An AWFUL lot of revision.


My personal highlight this November was most definitely the Book Berlin – a small, cosy yet very impressive book fair. It was so much fun meeting great people (hi Michael, Sarah, Tinka and everyone else!) and witnessing my dear friend and fellow author  Mika Krüger presenting and selling her books there. Already looking forward to next year!

Still, I would like to thank all those who supported me this NaNo:thanks-1804597_1280

My cats for their endless support and patience and all the hours they spend sitting next to me while I was typing.

All the NaNoWriMo staff who made something great and you keep making it better and better each year.

All my friends who were supportive and kept asking about the story.

daisy-1403041_1280The  Facebook-Community, lead by the wonderful Tinka – it’s always so much fun with you guys!

And of course my beyond-amazing Writing BuddiesMika Krüger, who I met last NaNo and wouldn’t trade for the world, Michael Kracht, a great editor and amazing person, and Sarah Ricchizzi, who I finally got to meet in Person at Book Berlin. And of course everyone else I didn’t mention by name – you are all important to me, and I’m proud of every single one of you.

You all rock! <3

Everyone out there a happy and peaceful Advent!

zimtstern-1864644_1280 poinsettia-1750808_1280






Pictures used:

Welcome December:  LoveThisPic
Winner Badge:  NaNoWriMo
Buch Berlin Logo:  Buch Berlin
everything else: pixabay

NaNo ist coming …

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_participantHey everyone :)

First things first: Who else is getting ready? Are you excited? What project are you planning to work on?

Truth be told, even though I’m excited, I’m currently more like: OMG, it’s only two days away. How did that happen?

14581471_1752439985020872_2818120346941342125_nAfter ‘just jumping in’ last year, I actually wanted to get more preparation done this year. Some decent plotting. Or semi-decent, at least

But then my October and November schedules got really busy (especially work-wise), and for a long time, I just wasn’t sure if I should even try and participate. The fact that I had three possible projects on my mind and couldn’t decide on one for the life of me wasn’t helping. I felt stuck, unable to make up my mind. For weeks.

And then today, the clouds finally started to clear. Suddenly, finally, something started to make sense.

I think I made my decision. No, wrong wording. I decided.

tellthedamnedstoryquoteIt’s very ironic that in the end, I’m settling for the very project I originally discarded right away. But then again, last year I first discarded Blood and Rain because it was ‘just an idea’,  not even plotted properly, and ended up doing it anyway.

This year, I can’t just jump in. I need more structure. This is why I’m turning to my oldest project, aiming not only for a (German) re-write of the very raw (English) scenes I did ages ago, but also for a complete first draft of something I can actually get published at a later point.

It seems only fair, given that it is the oldest project in my ‘collection’, and falling back on something I have thought about for so long is most likely the only way I’ll be able to survive this NaNo.

Besides, it’s a mixture of all the other projects I considered, being a mystery story with a dash of romance and a dystopian background.

So no more (over)thinking. I’ll be working on Solving Puzzles.

Wish me luck.

And see you this NaNo!

If you want to join me, my profile can be found here  :)



Pictures used:

from NaNoWriMo and http://www.coffeepress.con/angrywriter

Hallo Autumn – a little Update

tumblr_nvjohkgppe1txq9ggo1_1280It’s getting really ciold out there … and really colourful :)

Personally, I’m a HUGE fan of the ‘darker time of the year’ – especially when it’s still golden rather than completely dark. But even then I love the shorter days, the colourful nature, candles, tea and cookies (or gingerbread). It’s the ideal season to cuddle my cats, and to curl up with a good book.

That’s why I updated the ‘sneak peek’ section on my German website. Now you can get a first glimpse at three short stories and one short crime fic leaves-1076307_960_720here  (sorry, German only at the moment being). There’s also a link to order the books, if you think you might enjoy reading more.

All those books are anthologies, which means you’ll find a collection of great stories and poems by different authors. In 2017, I will definitely publish a collection of just my stories, as well as my first novel (hopefully/finally).

And NaNoWriMo is coming up, too …

How about you? Are you enjoying the season, looking forward to partcipate in the NaNo fun, or do you have a great book to recommend?

In that case, I’m looking forward to your comment :)


Camping, colours, crazy (good) times


Just a little status update, given that you haven’t heard from me in quite some time ;)

So, what have I been up to in April? (Writing-wise, of course. No one cares about the boring rest ;) )


Well, at the beginning of the month, I decided  – pretty much last minute – to join the fun at Camp NaNoWriMo. Continue reading

Bring on the champaign

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have an announcement to make: It’s done.

Yesterday, I got to validate incredible 50 977 words – which makes me an official NaNoWriMo Winner. Alcohol-free champaign and cookies for everyone!


Looking back, I can honestly say I’ve never seen an entire month go by so fast. Today is already the first of advent, November is almost over and NaNoWriMo is coming to an end. candle-in-the-dark

An end that brings very mixed emotions:


surprise – When I set out on this adventure, I honestly never thought I’d get this far. It’s still a shock, sort of.

pride – I made it! Still can’t believe I did. And even two days early.

happiness – It was a wonderful experience, which I’m truly grateful for, and it was made even better by all the lovely supportive people around me.

sadness – Yes, there is also a bit of sadness that it’s over and now it’s back to ‘normal life’ (and to editing… oh dear).



(picture taken from

Going into NaNoWriMo, I had a very strict goal. Quoting from my first-week-post:

“This first of November, it would be do or die. Either I’d rediscover the magic, or I’d fail miserably.”

It’s good to know that I didn’t fail. It’s even better to realise that I still have that ability of stringing words together and building a story. The magic is still there, so to say, it probably has been there all along.

Even if the story is far from done. Even if the whole thing still lacks proper structure. Even if most of those 50 000 words suck.

The NaNo experience is not about creating a perfect text. It is all about writing and letting your muses run wild (which mine did. A Lot.) and having fun.

The result still needs major editing and several rounds of revision, but for the moment being, I’m quite happy with it.


And finally, I would like to thank those who made it all possible: thanks

My cats for their endless support and patience and all the hours they spend sitting next to me while I was typing.

All the NaNoWriMo staff who made something great and you keep making it better and better each year.

All my friends who were supportive and kept asking about the story.

thanks-for-your-great-supportAll the Swiss WriMos making up the small but amazing Swiss NaNo Community (special shout-out to the Winterthur section. Hope you guys will all make it over the finish line!).

And last but not least, all my amazing Writing Buddies – especially Mika Krüger, who already finished last Tuesday but still waited for me so we could cross the finish line together, and Jery, whose supportive, smart and funny messages were better than muffins, brownies and cookies – combined.

I love you guys, more than I can ever say (or write). You are beyond amazing.


Muses running wild… and lots of coffee

That’s a perfect summary of my third NaNo week. writercaffeine-300x236

After lots of caffeine and many many hours of typing, it’s time to look back at another week before starting a new one.

On the positive side, my characters finally started to turn into real people. I was especially worried about Will, the lead character and focalizer of the novel, who seemed just too 5678b3ea4d0eea403d1c1205bfe9ad84well adjusted to have any kind of real personality. Luckily, my other main character saw it pretty much the same way and made it his personal mission to cause character development. And boy oh boy, was Will developing.

But it was not just him, but also the rest of the cast. They said things I never expected them to say, did things I didn’t plan for them to do, and put their feet down several times to let me know this was how they wanted things to go.

As E.L. Doctorow said, “Writing is a socially accepted form of schizophrenia.” It’s one I fully embrace though, for it means my characters finally started to have voices and talk to me :)

(Yes, you have to be a writer to fully understand this ;) )656b330a99a6e87bc4e54ae4e34dbf24

On the negative side though, my inner editor came back this week, just to remind me that this sucks!!! and to question how on earth that story was ever going to make sense (I can see the HUGE logic gaps from over here!). As predicted by the end of week two, the real battle was week three. And the battle is still ongoing.

Although… I’m currently two days ahead of the schedule, at 40 000 words. I’m so close to the finish line, and every word is another step towards it. I’m not going to give up now.

And to all my fellow writers: We are almost there! I’ll meet you at the finish line. And I’m going to bring cookies!


(c) by Pusheen the Cat

Status: Still writing

il_570xN.448123416_94bbWhat a week this has been… there was a Friday the 13th, which is a day I love (I never had any bad luck on that supposedly unlucky day), and a meeting with fellow WriMos at Starbuck’s in Winterthur (if you are reading this, hi to everyone! It was an absolute pleasure to meet you).

It was also the second week of NaNoWriMo.

And surprise, here I am, still writing and still going strong.

That does of course not mean I didn’t have any of those doubts and setbacks that week two is famous for. In fact, I’m scared I’ll have more of those coming up in week three. But so far, I managed to fight through it, and yesterday, I breached the important halfway-line.

IMAG0200 [53319]

Perfectly summing up my week… (from “No Plot, Not Problem” by Chris Baty)

25 000 words. Wow. Never even thought I’d get that far…

That calls for another massive THANK YOU to the amazing NaNo Community in general, and to my absolutely awesome Writing Buddies in particular.

And now, onto the next half!


Just put one word after the other…

12065488_10205170510682849_8431973521092629330_nThe first week of NaNoWriMo is over. And what a week it was!

I managed to write 12 714 word so far, and even though this is only slightly above the recommended word count (which is 11 666 for day 7), I’m so happy that I’m close to tears. Yes, I’m not even kidding.

Going into this, I expected everything. I expected to not even find the courage to start. I expected to be unable to write every day (I have a job that can be demanding and tiring, after all). I expected to get stuck without the words or the will to carry on. I expected my inner critic to set in and convince me it was no use anyway.

What I didn’t expect though was to be able to meet my goal of 1 6667 words pretty much every single day (sometimes I went over, and only once I went under). I didn’t expect to sit down and be able to type for two hours straight, then look up and wonder where the time went. I didn’t expect to get this sweet feeling of “writer’s high” (better than drugs, I swear) after a particularly successful writing session. And I didn’t expect my story to grow and develop so well.

Pretty low expections, you might say. Well, let me explain. The short version, at least.

The experience of NaNoWriMo has often been compared to slaying a dragon – or trying to, at least. For me, it is exactly that. But the dragon is not the challenge. The dragon is something within me.

Once, I used to be able to write for hours, to create worlds and stories with ease. I used to be able to novel.

But then things of a personal nature happened, and I was unable to separate them from the writing. In the wake of this, I had to abandon an unfinished, ongoing story (something I had never done before), and that just added to it.

Every time I wanted to write, I had to fight those bad memories as well as feelings of guilt and incapability. My inner critic grew stronger and stronger. I had always been a perfectionist, but this was beyond perfectionism.

Yes, I was still writing. Yes, I was still plotting. But I was plotting to infinity, feeling stuck and unable to ever turn those plots into words.  And I was more or less just writing short stories. Good ones, yes, but what I really wanted to do was writing novels.

I managed to develop four projects that were all dear to my heart. I was longing to write them. But my heart was not into writing.

And then, this October, I was reminded of NaNoWriMo. I had wanted to participate for years, but every year in November, something else came up. Last year, I had my exam lessons for my teacher’s degree to get through, and back then I promised myself that next year, I would do it.

However, given my ‘writing trauma’, should I even try?

At this point, I decided that I had nothing to lose. This first of November, it would be do or die. Either I’d rediscover the magic, or I’d fail miserably. It was that easy. Yet I freely admit that I was scared.

Choosing a project turned out to be hard, but doable. Out of my four ‘works in progress’, one was already too developed (I had several chapters already written) and one was not developed enough (the rough plot was there, but there were still too many holes in it). And between the two remaining ones, I finally chose the less refined one. I also didn’t plot much – I had the beginning, the end, several ideas for the middle and a rough version of the main characters. And tons of details to fit in somewhere, of course.

The planner and the perfectionist in me were both terrified, but I felt I had to be this way.

And strangely enough, it seems to have worked so far.

What I’m already taking away from my NaNo experience is that I really need less pefectionism and more time to ‘just write’. Oh, and that statistics are surprinsingly motiviating. Every day, I’m looking forward to the moment when I enter my word count and watch the bars grow.

And I rediscovered not only my personal long-lost magic of writing, but also the fact that it helps so much to surround yourself with supportive people.

To all my writing buddies and all my non-writing-friends – I love you more than I can say, and I’m blessed and grateful to have you.


Image (c) dundanim via

To all NaNoWriMo participants: Keep writing. Word after word after word.

Onto another week of magic!