Monthly Archives: März 2017

Snow Moon

And part three of the Neubrandenwolf-Tale.
You can find all stories in proper order and some more information on this page: Neubrandenwolf.
Have fun with:

Snow Moon

He knew it had been a bad idea.
He knew something would go wrong when he would run in an unknown area.
It always did.
Just a few days after the moon, his friend linked him on a social media post of the guy who owned the garden he had changed in. Of course he had found a paw print and was now sharing it with the world.
It wasn’t helping that his friends added: „Just around the corner from where we’ve been! Imagine if we would’ve seen the wolf!“
He did imagine it, he never liked when that happened. It wouldn’t have been the first time someone saw him – and certainly not the last.
Even after ten years of living with it he still felt like a stupid child whenever something like this occurred.
This full moon he wouldn’t be so reckless and he wouldn’t be in town either, as it fortunately was on a weekend.
The memories of his turning always haunted him when he screwed up. It showed him what might happen if he wasn’t careful. But where he was going he didn’t need to be that careful, he was save there and no one would notice a wolf running through the snow or care much about his paw prints afterwards. While he was driving towards his destination, however, his attack was all he could think about.
His girlfriend had just broken up with him and his best friend had dragged him out of country on a trip to „celebrate“ his new-found freedom. All the drinking hadn’t helped his troubled heart and so he had decided to go for a run in the middle of the night to clear at least his head. The air had been warm around him and the full moon had shone brightly in the clear sky. His feet had led him to a small forest at the outskirts of town and he had run along the path leading through it when suddenly he had heard something behind him. At first he had thought it was just another jogger that couldn’t sleep either, but the breathing and patter of feet reminded him more of an animal on the hunt. Sweat had run down his face and he had contemplated for a moment whether he should take a peek before his curiosity got the better of him. Looking back he had seen a large dog – or wolf as he now knew – standing there and starring at him. His heart had jumped and he had come to a halt, locking eyes with the beast. It had barred its teeth and snarled at him. Knowing you shouldn’t flee and actually not fleeing are two entirely different things and before he could have stopped himself his body had turned back around and just ran as fast as he could.
The wolf had been close on his heels, its growls barely audible over his own racing heart. Briefly he had thought about turning off the path, but he hadn’t dared to do it. He just ran and ran.
Still the wolf soon had caught up with him and he had felt something heavy hitting his back. He had lost his balance and had fallen face first onto the ground. There had been a sharp pain as the beast had sunken its teeth into his arm. A scream had left his throat as it had pulled him around. He had tried hitting it with his free arm, but to no effect. Then he had felt something hard below his back and had remembered the flashlight he had brought just in case. As the wolf was still pulling at his arm he had simply grabbed the flashlight and hit the wolf over the head several times. Finally it had let him go. They had stared at each other for a few frantic heartbeats; then the wolf had shaken its head and had just run off. He had shivered and panted and when he had been certain the beast wouldn’t return he had gotten up and stumbled back.

After nearly an hour of driving he finally reached the old house that was right at the edge of a forest. He parked his car and took out the backpack from his trunk before he rang the doorbell. The could hear the sound echoing through the large house, followed by the swishing of slippers on tiles, before a short, roundish woman opened the door, a surprised look on her face.
„Tommy!“ She exclaimed, a grin spreading.
„Hi Mum“, he replied and was pulled into a bear hug.
„Come in, come in“, she urged him and stepped aside.
He stomped away the remaining snow on his shoes and patted his clothes free from what little had landed on him on the way from the car to the house and stepped inside. Opening his jacket his mother soon grabbed it to hang it on a free hook while he got rid of his shoes and put them on the low shoe rack. When he got up his slippers already stood there waiting for him on the floor. A smile crept onto his face as he turned his attention back to his mother.
„Your father is in the living room, I’ll get you a tea; you must be freezing“, she told him and hurried off towards the kitchen.
„Thanks Mum.“ He wasn’t cold, not even remotely, but he still appreciated the gesture.
Bracing himself, he entered the living room; his father wouldn’t be too thrilled about his visit.
„You’ve been careless“, he greeted him solemnly and Thomas lowered his head; he knew he had been.
His father lifted up a newspaper that laid beside him on a table and read the headline: „Wolf in town? Paw prints found in local allotment garden“ before looking straight at him, „Seeing as you came here this full moon, it wasn’t just any wolf, was it?“
Thomas sat down on the couch, his head still lowered, kneading his hands. „No, it wasn’t“, he admitted nearly whispering.
„How many times do we have to tell you to be more careful, Thomas? It’s been ten years and you still act like it only happened last month!“ His father scolded him, slamming the paper back onto the table.
„Don’t you think I know that? Don’t you think I prepared?! I can’t change the weather!“ Thomas now snapped back, the moon already affecting his mood, at this accusation.
His father was right of course, he had raced his mind through all the possible outcomes, but it only came down to the mud that had captured his print.
„Enough! Both of you!“ His mother intervened and sat down beside him. „Tell us what happened, Tommy, we only know the news side of the story“, she encouraged and took his hand.
He squeezed it slightly and nodded. „Katrin had invited me to her birthday party and it was on the day of the moon“, he started.
„And that wasn’t reason enough for you to decline?“ His father interrupted.
„Of course, but she kept asking me about it. I hadn’t seen her and our friends for months, so I prepared. I looked at maps, I walked the area, but then the snow melted and one of the mud puddles caught my print“, Thomas explained, still angry at himself, angry at the weather and angry at his father for simply blaming him.
„Was it a good night at least?“ His mother changed the topic.
„Yeah, it was fun“, he answered with a genuine smile.
„Your tea should be ready“, she then said, smiling herself and patted his thigh before getting up.
They sat in silence until his mother returned, but it wasn’t an awkward one, it was more like they didn’t want her to miss anything of the conversation.
When she did she asked him about the party, his work and what had happened since they last talked and he happily obliged by telling her everything he deemed interesting. He simply loved being home.
The next day he helped his father shovelling the snow in the yard and from the roof and with other tasks while his mother prepared his favourite goulash and a meaty dish for the evening.
When the time had come he hugged his mother and received a pat on the back and a „be careful“ from his father. They stood with him on the back terrace that looked onto a meadow that lead to the part of the forest that belonged to them. He removed his clothes and put them on a bench, his mother would fold them later, she always did, and then shifted with a jump into the snow. For a moment he looked back at his parents, his mother was waving at him, a smile on her face, while his father merely nodded and had his arm around her. Yelping at them he then greeted the moon before he rolled around in the fluffy snow and ran off into the forest.

Behind the Scenes

Pretty much the only thing that was real this time, was the fact that it had snowed again and that it’s not unusual to drive long distances to get home…
And the fact that we occasionally have wolf sightings in Meck-Pomm thanks to the packs we have in the Lübtheener Heide and other regions.
With the upcoming chapters this will be even less based on stuff like that and more on narration.
The question is though:

Should I wait for the next full moons to publish each chapter or just publish them as soon as I have them done?

What do you think?
Well, I hope you enjoyed this story as well.
Stay tuned for part three: Crow Moon! 😉

An Update on Writing

I know there (again) has been a lack of content lately, but this time for a good reason: I’m busy writing stories!
But I’ll get to that a bit later, as today I’d like to talk about writing stuff in general and stuff I did more or less recently.
Two years ago the Bücherstadt Kurier published their March volume including my story „Nebeljagd“ (Mist Hunt). This was the first of my stories that has ever been published in a proper medium and not just on this Blog or on DF.PP Entertainment or in The Forum (back when it still existed 🙁 ).
I remember being so proud of this.
I remember calling my Mum right away after I received the mail with the amazing „You’ve been chosen“-line.
I remember printing out the story and showing it to her and the smile on her face.
I also remember what happened next.
For me those two things will forever be remembered together: My first success and my biggest loss.
Still, that didn’t keep me from continuing, I knew she would have (verbally) kicked my ass if I had dared to do that. Just giving up, wasn’t quite her style. 😉
It took me more than a month to at least be willing to write again, the result being „Ein neuer Tag“ (A New Day), starting there a lot of my writings involved darker tones about loss, flight and/or death.
Part of me used this to talk about my own experiences and thoughts, another part just found it fitting for a characters‘ journey. I believe a prime example of this is Mina’s side-story from my second Advent Calendar.
I’m fairly certain that „Der Weckruf“ (The Wake-up call) was the first story I published on a Blog after it all happened – in retrospective it’s quite a fitting title for the situation – not counting „Der Zufluchtsort“ (The Haven), which was the last story I finished the day before it happened and scheduled for the day after. Still, from there I kind of got back into things.
Your Picture – A Story“ was (kind of still is, even if I didn’t manage to write anything for it these last couple of months…) a good outlet for me to just explore different topics and characters without going into too much details thanks to the word count. This was also where you could see the changes I mentioned earlier the most.
Another new step I made regarding my stories was/is attending a Lesebühne (Reading Stage) where I read them aloud in front of an audience (in a pub). It’s always a thrill to do that and I’m nervous time and again. Though there is rarely any feedback: A few people told me they enjoyed the stories, someone said the stories I read improved over time, another encouraged me to try my luck with a publisher, others had minor complains, but most of them said nothing. It’s still an interesting experience and with the amount of Short Stories I have yet to read (or write) I have quite some stuff still unknown to the listeners.
Speaking of trying my luck: I also managed to win Eve Estelles’s writing contest, twice, without actually expecting to do so:

With „The Raven’s Omen“ and the „Campfire Tale„, I impressed her enough to let me win and those two are also prime examples of my English Short Stories, as I usually tend to write those in German. The only downside to this is my pessimism coming into play here and telling me I only won, because (it feels like) there wasn’t much competition.
I am very pessimistic (in general and especially) when it comes to my stories, I like them, but I rarely think they’re good enough for anyone else to like them, so it came as quite a surprise when fruehstuecksflocke asked me to become a part of #Projekt24. With „Blind Date„, I hope I made an adequate addition to it. This project will soon be not just available on his Blog, but more on that when it’s officially announced. 😉
With my success here I also tried to add an entry to the Literary Advent Calendar of the Bücherstadt Kurier and some people quite laughed at my take on „The Crib„.
When this year began I told you about three stories I edited/translated for another project, namely: Ein neuer Tag, „The Quest for Ore“ and another one called „Verloren“ (Lost). These three are for Projekt Myra as exchange for some advertisement they did and as they still wanted/liked to get more I sat down to write out another of my organ-concert-ideas (see link Ein neuer Tag) concerning the Dwarfworld, I came up with back when writing The Quest for Ore and drafting Verloren. That story, however, did not want to be a Short Story and has by now roughly 30k of written out scenes and notes under the (working?) title: Der Wunsch der Königin (The Queen’s Wish). It’s still a lot of work to do and I’m still not entirely convinced it fits into the corner of Myra that we decided on – and again, that they really like what I’m writing-, but we’ll see once I’m done. Which I hopefully will be one day and don’t let it go to waste (like Michael’s story that I still haven’t managed to properly write down). Unfortunately I’m already kind of bored of writing out the notes and missing scenes, as motivation plays a rather huge part in my process and when the voice in the back of my head tells me something is not worth doing, then I have the tendency to listen to it, which is awful and counterproductive and absolutely annoying.
Another annoying thing is me jumping between ideas. As soon as one pops up I want to pursue it and everything else is then put aside (like writing this post, when I should be doing something else 😉 ). One of the last times this happened I had nearly/finally finished with last years Advent Calendar and then I somehow decided to write two more stories. The first one was the Christmas story „Santa’s Helper“ that I kind of feel like continuing in this year’s Calendar, though I’m not sure if I really should – any thoughts?
The other was „Winter Moon“ that I did get carried away with and which now has the basics for the twelfth chapters I speculate to write under the working title „Neubrandenwolf„. Though I still don’t know whether I should publish a Chapter a month (close to the full moon) or just publish as soon as I’m finished, Twitter wasn’t helpful for that decision…
The idea-jumps doesn’t make it any easier to get anything done though, quite the contrary. They are especially awful when it comes to the Fanfictions I started over the years that are still not finished yet, especially as I kind of took a year long break from them. Though I did manage to update 3/4 stories by now, even if updating one of the stories was recently postponed by writing the first ~7k version of The Queens Wish and then finished after I dreamed about one of the characters pulling me towards him…
Still, they’re a great medium where you technically don’t have to think up that much regarding the worlds you write in and just can explore different story lines with existing characters. Which doesn’t mean I did not think things through, because that would be impossible for me, as I want things to make sense, even if that makes things more complicated and nearly as bad, as if I thought up my own worlds.
Anyway, a few people keep telling me I have a talent for writing and that I should try sending stuff to a publisher, but the voice in the back of my head, still tells me that I’m not good enough, that the stuff I write is too full of clichés, too boring, too simple and that no one would want/like to read it anyway (hence the lack of motivation at times). I really don’t know whom I should listen to, but that doesn’t mean I won’t keep writing – and potentially improving. All this stuff has to get out of my head somehow. There are still too many stories left untold that I don’t even dare to think about to not get distracted by them…
But don’t worry, you will get a few things to read in the future – whether you like them or not. 😉
P.S. Still not any better at naming things. 😉