Taking stock

29. April 2018 at 23:22 (Blog) (, , , , )

Starting with the 1st of May, I won’t be enrolled as a student at the University of Vienna anymore. I haven’t been actively studying for the past two years, but I still had a valid student ID – at first, I continued to use the library services, but during the last year, I didn’t need them anymore. So in March I decided to stop paying the small fee I had been paying out of nostalgia and to let bygones be bygones.

Today, I downloaded all of my documents before my account is shut down for real. Scrolling through the list of passed seminars and exams, I realised how much I have achieved in those 8 years I was enrolled at the university:

  • I completed two bachelor degree courses with 180 ECTS each and one master degree course with 120 ECTS. 1 ECTS equals 25 hours of work. So that was 12,000 hours of work.
  • On top of that, I worked at a radio station for four years, 12 hours a week times 47 (without the 5 weeks of paid vacation), equalling 2,256 hours of work.
  • Another 1,058 hours of work accumulated during the 2.5 years I worked at a press agency during my studies.
  • And as a freelance journalist, I wrote 42 texts, amounting to about 8 hours of work each, totalling 336 hours.

All in all, that’s 15,650 hours of work over the course of 8 years. 1,956.25 hours of work per year. 37.62 hours of work per week. I always knew that I had accomplished quite a lot during those 8 years, but I never worked full time and I always knew that there were other people who worked more or finished their studies faster than I did.

But taking stock now, I realise that I really almost did work full time during those 8 years – and managed to squeeze in some other writing too; I don’t even know how many hours I spent writing and revising my novel and all of these short stories that are collected on my blog. And of course, I had a social life too, friends and family and sports… 😉

So that’s something to be proud of at the end of my life as a student at the University of Vienna 🙂

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BPFFC #01: Taking back what’s mine

25. Februar 2018 at 16:40 (flash fiction, Posts in English) (, , , , , , )

As this blog (and the lack of new posts on it) demonstrates, writing regularly is hard. Things that make it less hard?

  1. Having a group of wonderful people who write and read and critique the texts with you (famously known as The Baked Potatoes).
  2. Having challenges and deadlines.

So we, The Baked Potatoes, set out to do the latter and created a challenge I like to call the BPFFC (Baked Potatoes Flash Fiction Challenge). Every month we pick a word/topic and write a story about it of a maximum of 300 words, with the last day of the month as our deadline. Our topic for January was jealousyyou can find Jack’s story about jealousy on his blog, here’s Sarah’s flash fiction and here’s mine:

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I lit a match. The small flame licked at the darkness.
„Don’t you think that’s kind of a drastic move?“ he asked.
I shrugged my shoulders. „Don’t you think his move was kind of drastic?“
I held the flame up to my cigarette and inhaled that first glorious waft of nicotine.
„He’s a dick and you knew that up front. I warned you.“ He motioned me to hand him the cigarette and took a deep drag himself.
„Great. So it’s my own fault now.“
I didn’t say that. But well, now that you said it… I just think that you shouldn’t show him how much you care. Just let it go and get your own thing going instead…“
I lit another match and held it up right in front of his eyes while he went on smoking my cigarette. „He shall burn like this. He deserves it.“
„Fiiine. But let’s get you a lawyer first. You can’t just take it from him because he betrayed you.“
I blew out the flame. “I think I can. It was my idea after all.”
“Yeah, but it was his money. And that also shows, kind of.” When he turned to face the shop window, I wrested my cigarette from his mouth. I needed it more than he did.
Then I gazed up at the sign in front of what was soon to be my shop. I should never have let him pick the name.
Pete’s Pet Parlour.
He knew I had a thing for alliterations.
And Pete apparently took pleasure in partying with prostitutes.
What a wanker.

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Stay tuned for February’s flash fiction featuring the word fedora!

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Writing: done. Editing: in progress.

25. Juli 2016 at 23:10 (Blog) (, , , , , , , , )

It is done. I have completed the last chapter of my first novel written in English today. So please let me introduce to you:

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The River of Recollection

Two women – sisters/strangers – invite the reader to join them on their journey between sanity and insanity, truth and lie. In the course of five days, they revisit their real and imagined memories, they lose loved ones and find new friends. They try to flee from reality until their past finally catches up with them.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Now the hardest part starts for me: the editing of my eleven chapters plus epilogue. I’ve received tons of great feedback from The Baked Potatoes which I will include into my work in the next few weeks. Subsequently, I’ll try to find a publisher or if that is too hard an agent or if that is still too hard at least an editor who helps me to refine my writing so the agents and publishers will give my manuscript a fair chance 😉

Wish me luck and if you have any tips or recommendations on how to get published, fire away in the comments. Cheers! 🙂

PS: The short story mentioned in the last blog post will have to wait for a few more days…

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Sign of Life

28. Mai 2016 at 22:04 (Blog) (, , , , , , )

It’s been awfully quiet on my blog and because there are still people dropping by now and again – cheers, you guys! – I want to take a moment to explain why there is so little going on here.

In the past five months,

  • I’ve completed my master’s thesis and have taken my last university exam (for now).
  • I’ve travelled far, far away to celebrate that.
  • And I’ve written at least half of the novel that has been haunting me for years. My special thanks goes out to my writing and feedback group, famously known as The Baked Potatoes. I wouldn’t have written so much without you and am sincerely grateful for your interest in and help with my novel!

I can’t quite say where my blog is headed to right now. I’m sure it’s not blog heaven, but I can’t promise that there will be a lot of new stories appearing here soon. I am rewriting one story at the moment that I’ll publish soonish. However, I am kind of consumed by the two main characters of my novel, who you’ve already met in my last Christmas story – Clara and Marlene. Without wanting to take too much away I can say that in my novel, they won’t be kids anymore. As their story is rather complex, I need to stay with them and concentrate on them for some more time. Maybe I can present some outtakes here that won’t be featured in the novel, but as the story is still developing, I’m not sure how much I can share at this point.

I kindly want to ask you to bear with me – I value you greatly as my readership and can assure you: There will be a lot more to read in the not so remote future!

Cheers, Marie-Thérèse / MT

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