Tag Archive: Writing

Ok. I am pretty new to the game. In my late twenties I did some half hearted attempts. But now I really mean it. My book is written. Now I need a publisher.
I got three letters of rejections this week.
I am really crushed. I feel done for. I don’t need much more of this.
Some don’t even state a reason.
And they don’t need to. As the decision itself shows that you as a writer did not cut it. That your book is presumably just garbage.
You end up feeling like you’ve fallen into a deep pit.

The silent treatment.
To me it’s the worst.
Bad for me.
Really bad.
Worst blow for a weak self-esteem.

I hope I will pick myself up again.
At some point.
Right now I just feel like … shit …suicide

the author who will never happen.


Let’s talk about SEX.

Sex has been in – excuse the pun – in everyone’s mouth. Ever since this book trilogy came out “The fifty Shades of Gray”… SM, role-playing, whips and chains seem to have become fashionable. I myself cannot say that I have read the book because it would simply not be true.

I did read other books, a long time ago and right now I don’t have the feeling that a lot is going on in the literature scene when it comes to erotic literatura, let alone the simple depiction of sex. Everything is either clean & airbrushed, or it gets really down and dirty. And in the second case, we tend to call it porno. So, when “Fifty shades of Gray” came out and it skyrocketed, it must have hit a nerve because so many women went out to buy this book. I can’t tell you which one, as it did not hit me as being a book I would need to read, but there seems to have been a huge public interested – to be fair and square… One must see that, like it or not.



Women are so tired of the old clichés… And no, we don’t want new ones, new clichés. Neither do we want some book on our bedsit table that some might sneeringly refer to as “mummy porn”. No, but no thanks. I would much rather have some blue movies, sex books, porn magazines, some mental stimulus in an erotic story and please make it good ones which really deserve that name.

Why can’t we women have female porn too? The gay’s lib has been much more openminded about this issue than others care to dream about.


Why can’t we women have dirty magazines with steamy pictures? I don’t really know if PLAYGIRL is still around. But I very much doubt it. And it is a shame.

When I was 22 (that’s twenty years ago), I bought my first ever PLAYGIRL magazine


… yes, it did exist, and it is what you think it is, you can check it!!!. It felt gand it was ground breaking. I loved reading it. It was full with nice looking guys, it even had a fold-out boy, and it was a big step in terms of equality of the sexes… as far as I am concerned. Of course, you don’t need to agree with me here, but I do like to look at half-naked specimen of the opposite sex. I am proud to say that. And I don’t think it is depraved or dirty. PS: Meanwhile PLAYGIRL does not seem to exist anymore. What a bloody shame… Here are some back covers to drool over… 😉


Why can’t women bear sex and the desire for sex with some dignity? We can’t we show it as freely as men tend to do it – without being frowned upon?



Don’t get me wrong… except for ROB LOWE, who is a sweetie, I am not really into the cover guys… but I wanted to give you some variety, something to get to know, and some food for fantasy… 😉

Isn’t it time that we women had the same right to silly, sexy, and really down’n’dirty behaviour as men? Why are we such awful hypocrites? On one hand do we applaud this behavior with a man, calling him Don Juan, patting him on the back, whereas a woman will be regarded a downright slut if she thinks / talks / acts sexually?

Take an example: How about shagging a secretary…? a male one, hand-picked obviously, half-naked on a sheepskin, in front of a fire-place… Having a quickie with a stranger somewhere in the dark, something like that anyway. Why do we believe that the woman will take control whereas the man and his secretary is an image clichéd but accepted… ??? I don’t get it.


So… What has happened between 1993 and now?

One would think that we as a species were a bit open-minded and could grasp the idea that men and women basically tick the same way and they both sometimes want to “get down to brass tacks”.

Excuse me. But that’s a literary quote by the way. That phrase was coined by T.S. Eliot.

Why do we women always have to pretend that we’d be interested in flowers, the newest bikini diet, cooking recipes, and shit… Pretending to be bloodless creatures, immune to carnal desires.

I tried… I really did. I wanted to be more like that anemic ethereal being. It simply did not work out. My will to be me, to be alive, to be vital was stronger.

But if truth be told: I could not care less about who may be judging me.

Happy New Year, folks.

I hope you are more or less back to normal. I certainly have been pushing my limits quite hard lately, I kind of feel exhausted.

Nevertheless, I wanted to say thank you to all those who have been by my side, virtually, or physically the last 12 months, or much longer than that, for that matter. It does seem to me that 2012 was a pretty important year for me.

I have two reasons why I wrote this text today. One is because I have been confronted with some misconceptions about why I wrote something, a novel, in Catalan. And still really think it could be worth publishing one day.

Second, I was kind of fed up of repeating myself over and over again. In that respect I tend to be rather a lazybone.

That’s why I copy & pasted an entry from facebook here for you to see how I feel about the whole writing business.

“Re-editing my novel for the zillionth time around… I wish I was less selective, less fussy with language. The plot is no worries. It is mostly language, expressions, register, the lack of authenticity of used language. Some sentences simply don’t compute. Fuck… I need a language coach. Else the novel will die a horrible death. You know how writers tend to be cruel.”
    Klaus Faulenbach Sorry, dear, I can see and understand the challenge writing seriously in a foreign language but did Goethe write in English, Shakespeare in Italian, Cervantes in German? Why are you making this so tough on you?
    Chryssula Kokossulis I second that thought, dear. Although… It’s the way I started though. Every language has a particular sound, melody, rhythm and such. I kind of started to write subconsciously and the novel is beyond anything that I wrote so far in German or English. If I can work this one out, I will know that I made the right choice.
    It’s a book set in Ibiza. The people in it are Ibicencos. Why wouldn’t they speak Catalan?
    By the way, all of the quoted writers were well capable of reading literature in other languages.
    Anyway, you know me. When I put my mind to an idea, I will follow through. Stubborn, headstrong and incorrigible.
    Actually, by now, I see it as a challenge. I’ve come this far, why should I give in?
    PS.. Thanks for comparing me to the Swan of Avon, Goethe and Cervantes. That’s a bit over-reaching but still thx 😉
    PPS.. Another thing is… I cannot change the language at this point. This would be such a cowardly thing to do.
    No. Now it is catalan, all the way through. Once it has been edited, proofread and so on I will translate it though.
    Klaus Faulenbach Written language only has that particular sound, melody, rhythm and such when one is fluent in it. And reading or writing a foreign language are two different cups of tea. You can and you should practise your Catalan as much as possible, no doubt about it, but giving you constant headache over words and expressions and frequently reaching out for language support for what you consider an important work of yours shouldn´t be the way to improve that language nor writing the thoughts of your soul.
    Chryssula Kokossulis It’s not a lost battle. I may be perfectionist and I may be over-critical but this is just to find the right people. What’s so wrong with going after one’s dream. I already met very nice people on my way. But sometimes there is a thing that you need to resolve by yourself.
    And please… Every writer writes from his soul. Well ok there may be other bodyparts. 😉
    But once you’re ready to leave the ivory tower and share your thoughts with other people… That’s exactly when you show yourself as a vulnerable creature… So?!? What’s the worst that could happen? I could get hurt. Yes. True.
    But believe me, i’d rather run the risk than watch my novel – which yes, is super important to me – fade into obscurity. If I fall, I shall fall.

    Don’t worry about me too much. I’ve had worse situations than just writing and searching for language coaching.
    By the way, the good thing about being poised like that is that you create an amazing energy and kind of see which people can really relate to who you are.
    Becoming a writer is in that respect painful since you need to overcome privacy.

Right now, I don’t really have much time to appreciate what is happening right now, but there is this faint feeling at the back of my head that some day, maybe in a couple of months’ time or so, I will look back to what is happening right now, and know that this time (starting with May 2012, around that time or so) my life shifted, and I found a new perspective. Which in itself is quite exciting, that much I must tell you.

Those of you who also read my other blog in catalan what I’m talking about here. Well. I don’t want to mystify it for the others either. I started a novel around that time. And i wrote the first draft in between May and beginning of September.  Yesterday, I finished an in-between draft which surely is not the final draft but I seem to be making progress. Well that’s my feeling anyway.

Right now, the whole writing business, staying up countless nights, it all seems so crazy, a bit obsessed and a bit like a thing that no-one else but me could probably understand WHY I HAD to do this, and WHY I had to do it LIKE THAT. I sometimes ask myself how did I do this? How did I find the energy, the hope and also the way not to despair?

I don’t know.

I guess, that’s what writing and passion for writing really does to you. I cannot go without it.

There is some extent a love-hate relationship in there as well. It makes you swear. It makes you get to know yourself better. It makes you go and reach out for your personal limit.

So the novel? I sometimes despair, but I guess, it is coming along. I have been reading, re-reading and yet reading it again at least a zillion times now and I can see that the structure itself is not really bad. I don’t want to trash it. I think there are still passages that need working on. But basically, it is a story that I would personally go out and read.

Well, the process about writing, editing, reading and re-reading is kind of painful sometimes, and you notice that style is something that you cannot do without. I guess, the whole language business is kind of workable, but like I told a friend of mine yesterday, “it’s not a lost battle” and no, I still feel not ready yet to be happy with or gratulate myself is the language, and the style. But on the whole, I can say, I finally got my head around the idea that I am a writer. Full stop. That to me was the seventh world wonder. I never knew this for sure. I thought, yeah, writing is my hobby. I am a philologist, so surely, I read and write. It just went without saying.

So, there you go. I’ve come out of the closet. As a writer. I am a writer, I openly admit it. And guess what? I write stuff, I swear, I shout, I sometimes make myself an idiot, and I am proud about it.

Sure, there is probably no way you can live on writing. So in effect, the whole thing boils down to being a translator / salesperson to make money while your vocation is being a writer, but not being a salesperson / translator, who sometimes writes. To put it more clearly: A writer who does sales and translation to survive. Being a writer: That was something I kind of denied all these years. I felt that you could only call yourself writer when you’ve got like three or four books to show for yourself.

I did make an effort and had some small publications in the year 2000 (Stiller, Mein Heimliches Auge, Konkursbuchverlag) and 2003 (Race of Rats, Tränen – Anthologie, Geest Verlag) and 2004 (noch weiter im text, 1980 – 2004, 24 Jahre Autorenwerkstatt Uni Köln), I did do some lectures of poetry 1994 (Heretic Heritage) and 1995 (Night’s Little Fiends) and 1998 (My short trip to your stinky planet), I was part of a writers’ group at uni 1992 – 1996 (AutorenWerkstatt Universität Köln), and I was alwyas the first one to enter a bookshop. But I kind of thought it more a natural thing to be since I was studying letters so of course, I would write in my free time just like I had years before uni. It felt right, but I did not have to place a name tag on it.

Ok, back to 2012. Why was it an important year?

1) I wrote a novel. One I am not ready to trash yet.

2) I had my first exhibition with “Dark Vila” as a joint project with Oliver Janssen a photographer from Germany. It was located in Sant Josep in the Can Jeroni gallery. We got some really nice comments, there were people who really liked the exhibition which is a bonus, I guess. Right. I could say something here and now, but I won’t do it because that would be over-reaching.

3) I continue to learn Catalan. I have made a point to learn more insults and profanity, which to me funnily enough reveals as much as the soul of the language.

4) I got to know some really fun and interesting people who make it very worthwhile to keep at it and not to throw the towel once you hit rough waters.

5) I started playing scrabble in Catalan. It might seem trivial to some, but it does help you build new synaptic connections and that’s why it is used against alzheimer’s as well. I don’t use it for that purpose, I just happen to love that game, and being a learner of catalan, makes me want to play it in Catalan. To anyone who wants to learn a language quicker, I would seriously recommend this game.

6) After many many years, we – the family of four – made the decision to go to Scotland for some time. This is a long lost dream, we had scheduled for 1997 long before the kids were born. That’s what life does. It does overthrow planned things and makes you re-schedule. Somehow, the trip got to be 15 years later since the journey was planned for summer 1998 and now it will happen in winter 2013. But anyway, I am so much looking forward to it. And if freeze in the snow, it does not matter, this will be Scotland, so it will be wonderful.

7) I have learned to be more understanding, more human (I hope) and less perfectionist. I know this may sound a bit tiresome and also perhaps arrogant, but I do believe that being a writer makes you understand your own limitations and to help you accept them and live with them. I sometimes wish that I would just say, shit, just let’s go with the flow. As long as people can understand it, this shit is ok. Sorry, that is not gonna happen. I cannot be like that. I will rather spend a night working on one particular small chapter and kind of re-fitting words, playing with sentences, characters around, and exchange words and single phrases. It sometimes brings me to the verge of a nervous breakdown. But when I read a chapter I feel happy with, that really makes me happy. I know this sounds pretty silly, but people are so different in what they believe who they are and who they really are. This discrepancy goes for each and everyone. This is the reality gap. The black whole of conception and reality. I would like to keep that gap as small as possible. But it also makes me understand that as much as I want to deny it, I do have limits. Limits are good, without them, I might wake up and not know who I was. Admittedly, sometimes I go out of my way and try to break them. Limits that I try to break and overcome each and every time, like the numbers of hours I tend to sleep lately. But hey, I guess, that’s just me. And I learn the hard way. 😉

8) What about the whole Catalan business?
Friends have asked me this and I ask myself sometimes too why did I have to write it in Catalan? Well the answer is: because. It just happened that way. I cannot reverse it and take the reverse gear.
Do I do this to make myself more interesting or what?
No, I absolutely don’t. I would much rather just write, and be left in peace. But maybe, this is a cosmic lesson. In as much as I hate to go out and state that I am a writer, I kind of had to do it, since I could not achieve the class and the quality of what I usually write in Catalan. This kind of triggered other people to respond or not to respond to me. Here again, I was faced with the question of would I sustain my wish against all odds?

9 ) Yes, I did. I am still here. I still write. I still stick to the plan of finishing the novel which is such an important piece of my personal biography. Not because it is in catalan, but rather because I write it and do not feel afraid to ridicule myself since this is an authentic wish and this is an authentic piece of me. There is a lesson to be learnt here.

But I have come this far, I really cannot go back now. I know, this novel needs to be written in catalan. Maybe, it will be my only one I write in Catalan. Maybe, I will finally manage the pronoms febles, and the fucking difficult verb forms, who knows? But the point is: I finally took myself serious in what I do best: describe things, describe mental or emotional states. Describe people in their complexity.

Well, maybe I should not say that cos it might sound a tad arrogant, I do not believe that I am such a great writer yet, I am still at the beginning, but what I do know is that I have found something that kindled my passion.

Why else would I stay up night after night? I may be a passionate person, but I am not trying to kill sleep itself. I do feel wrecked, I do feel tired. And I know that I cannot keep going this way. I need to slow down. I seriously need a break. I do know that.

10) Facing up to who you are. However, those of you who already tried, will know that writing a novel is a bit like hitting puberty again. You go through all the stages again: the fear, the sometimes heightened and sometimes frail ego, the obsession, the theatre, the lust, the crying, the scratches, the love-bites. Um. That’s just me? Ok, then that’s just me. 😉

I do find it hard to relate to the state I was before.

I wrote all my life, but I never told anyone. It was something I used to keep to myself.

11) Writers must be eccentric, at least in one respect: Topic, style, language, or presentation. Sometimes, all of them at the same time. Writers do not belong to the standard lot. Otherwise, in case they would just obey the rules, they would be plain, dead boring and pretty stuffy. I’d much rather be weird, eccentric and juicy.

12) I accept and love myself as a writer, as someone who has come out of the closet. For being such a weird, and strange little girl.


Happy new Year. Make it happen!

What is it that I wish for?

1) That I don’t stop here. That I don’t lose the speed, the va-va-va-voom. That one editorial person, one publishing house can see through the grammar and expression mistakes that are surely there and still give me a chance to publish.

2) That I don’t give up writing in Catalan – no matter what, even though there is still a long way to go I guess. (both in terms of grammar, and in terms of vocabulary, expression, register and so forth)

3) That the people who I virtually as well as physically met throughout 2012 will remain by my side. There is not one of them, I would like to go without. I don’t need to name you, you all know who you are. 😉

4) That there will be new and exciting art projects along the way. I do hope so. There might be another Dark Vila or other thingy coming up. Who knows?



5) That I finish my first translation piece of a non-fiction book translation and there will be more fiction or non-fiction pieces to translate.


6) That Scotland will give me time and peace to recharge my batteries.

7) That I will learn more each and every day.

8) That I might start learn Greek, the language, my father was too lazy to teach and told us we would not speak Greek with him.

9) That I can be a good example for my kids, well, at least in some ways.

10) That my husband will not kill me because I am always writing, checking articles, reading, reading, and editing and studying. He really is a patient character (just the opposite of me) and sometimes I don’t know how he can bear up with me, being the way I am, some strange little girl.Image

PS: yeah, right, I forgot to mention that in 2011, I saw all the X-men movies, but last year, in 2012, I saw many more Hugh Jackman movies and have to say that he is way more than just Wolverine. Check out his performances. He is a great character man, very versatile. This picture above is from Correlli, an Australian mini series where he plays a character that is in prison and falls in love with the prison psychologist.

But he was also particularly brilliant in Paperback Hero and The Prestige (also starring Michael Caine).

Sometimes when you’re working on writing something, it is extremely hard to find the right words. Words that are the right ones. Not politically correct maybe, but the right ones instead.

That is exactly what’s happening with my writings right now. I’m trying to finish my novel, reading and re-reading it, and somehow I’m still a bit at a loss as for some words in Catalan, especially Catalan colloquial speech. It should not be so hard to find them out. Well. That’s what I thought at the beginning, but after having perused nearly each and every book I could get hold of, I kinda feel at a loss. Even the socalled Catalan Colloquial Dictionaries only quote “clean” words. The whole idea of drug abuse seems to be so absurd that no one feels the need to quote it in a dictionary or maybe it is seen as vocabulary not necessary to perpetuate.

If you’re Catalan speaking, Catalan teacher or translator or whatever, or simply know of someone who could help me out, please send me a notice. Words that are connected with heroin, junkie, drug abuse, street jargon, but also justice, juridicial terms, topics things like that.

Maybe you will ask yourself why I need to have these words in the right street jargon. Well, that’s just me, I suppose. Of course, I could just use the easy way out and use the standard language. But in this field, I would like to play the authenticity card. I happen to prefer to call a horse a horse, a junkie a junkie and a mobster a mobster. I don’t like it when language becomes blurred. In our feeble intent to make language smooth and more acceptable for everyone, which we ironically enough call politically correct, we basically mess it up and make it understandable for no-one. That’s why I love being politically incorrect. Fuck them. People who understand me, basically get this. The others I need not to worry about.

The story I am writing is written in first person. That’s why it is such an urgent requirement to get the street jargon right. Otherwise the whole authenticity and thus its strength and immediacy would be lost.

Don’t make me go roam the streets, I am no good in chatting up junkies or social workers or drug lords. Plus I suppose it is not that easy to go underground just like that. And I don’t want to mess up either.

August ending

Another month gone by. Tomorrow, everyone will rip off the August of their calendar like it had never been there.

August to me is a conglomerate of the following expressions or words:

beach – salt on your skin – smells of suntan lotion – switching on the air con – wearing flipflops and no other shoes – drinking a lot – balmy nights – too many tourists cruising around – the 3 trays of icecubes in the freezer and still not being enough – listening to tracks on the radio cos you left the cds upstairs – reading a lot of rubbish – being somewhat distracted – having a cold shower – loving menthol in bodylotion – being lazy like everyone else

When I thought writing was just a hobby, life was a little easier. I must admit that. Now that I started to take things more seriously and try to be tidy, try to be focussed, no that I started and try to do my best, I sometimes catch myself cursing my own wish for perfection.

To be honest, I have no clue whatsoever when I will be ready with all of it. Ready writing it, re-writing stuff, ready revising it and ready to send it to somebody else so they can read it … and maybe crush my innermost hope that they will find it cool. But I hope it will be worth the trouble. I sometimes think that my mind does not work as well when it is hot outside. So, better days should come now.

Hope is the last thing we ever lose.

Ok, so this is official. It always takes me about a month to write another blog entry. And it does not seem to be casual in this way. It just happens to my rhythm. Ok, a lot happened in between.

Sophia’s leg got better and we now can go for a swim. But with all the tourists around and the hot weather, I don’t have a lot of intention of spending the day at the beach.

So, it is middle of August now. Another ten weeks of heat I guess. But we are in the middle of the high season.

Finally, my worst ever summer flu is over. It took me more than 4 weeks to get over it. And a cure at antibiotics at the end of it.

I read a lot, just fiction, some books in Catalan, a lot in English, a little in German. Mostly in Catalan until now, but now I am focussing again on literature in English and German. Too bad that my sleep / wake pattern is somehow messed up since I stay up a lot, and in the mornings I need a lot time to wake up. But hey, thank God, it is the school holidays, and it’s still another month to go.

There are a lot of options, but I have made my choice.  Writing professionally is the target I have. I’ve always written, all my life, I co-founded a school newspaper, I was member of a university group of creative writing, I participated in a lot of writing workshops throughout Germany, I did a couple of readings, I even printed my poems in a once-off edition of 30 selfmade copies and sold them to bookshops and to the audience who came to my reading. That was when I was 22. In my late 20’s / early 30’s I did have some stories published in anthologies, but never closed a book deal on my own. Now I am 40. This is what I want to achieve. It struck me that I in between university and now, which is roughly 20 years back, I never got around to pursue this with more force and with more energy. I remember that I entered my short stories in a lot of competitions and contests but never won. I remember that this was somehow very discouraging for me. It really felt bad. It put a grinding halt to all my literary ambitions. That must have been 2004 or so.

I never thought about getting some help through an agent, or seek an editorial that may be interested. Maybe, I did not think much of it. Maybe, I simply did not take myself serious enough. Which is weird, but it may be true.

The past couple of years I was a busy mother of two, and then I moved to Spain 3 and a half years ago. But now, there is not much to keep me away from writing and pursuing my path. I feel that writing is my thing, I feel a bit more mature plus but I feel way more focussed and organised. Let’s see what will happen next.

I need to sit down and write day by day, at least two hours to practise my writing and see how I get on. I need more everyday routine when writing is concerned. Up until now it was very erratic, like poof! I would have an idea and I would jot it down, there, never change it. Now I feel I want to develop an idea and then sit down and clothe this idea with words. So writing has become a more conscious process. Here is a difference.

Plus I need feedback from others.

Right now, I am putting an exposé together. And I am writing new short stories for a collection of short stories.

Step by step, I am moving along. This time around I will muster the endurance and stamina to hold on to this idea and pursue it.

%d bloggers like this: