Category Archives: writers

waiting for my novel



Allthough it’s not my first book, I feel a bit like this, waiting for my detective novel to come out:

… a letter to my starry-eyed, fresh-faced, debut self about the truth of being published.

And the writers amongst you will smile with me about this paragraph in particular:

Your second book will be a challenge to write, so get started now. Somehow, you will have totally forgotten how to write a novel, in spite of the fact that you just edited, copy-edited, released, and promoted one.



An article about the writer Marilyn French:

The Marilyn French I knew Marilyn French was a fierce advocate for feminism. Her books encouraged a generation of women to take charge of their lives.

By Alida Brill

Marilyn French died just over a week ago. She was a writer, a thinker, a scholar, a visionary and a feminist. I put the word feminist last because it was a given in her life on and off the page. She didn’t need to come into a room announcing her identity – it was inside her every thought and phrase. I came to know Marilyn first as a reader, and later was privileged to know the person.


Vienna impressions + daily life


Life is getting slowly more relaxed. I make it more relaxed. I try to calm myself. I learn this well through yoga. Our teacher reminds us which muscles to relax (example: quite typical you’re not easily relaxed in your shoulders, neck, head – but she tells us to loosen when the exercise means us to do that). Yoga has already taught me so much and I’m very glad about it. The first weeks, I ended up totally tired the days after yoga lessons … but that’s gone. I take better care of myself. (Without forgetting about the world around me! :-))

So, I’m progressing. I feel like having had a burn out over the past couple of months or almost a year. I feel worn out & I need to take care of that.

For that reason, as soon as the present work is finished, I will only accept new work a month later and just go relaxing and writing and unwinding and recharging

I would also like to start out on a creative journal or something, something that is different from using ‘only words’, if you know what I mean. Let’s see what ideas I get … any ideas anyone?

Feeling a lot better today, it makes such a different having met some friends and ate out last evening – good! Not to work until late at night, but to chat and not having to think about what to cook! I had a quite spicy pot of vegetables, potatoes in coconut sauce and rice with it. Also lotus tea but it had no taste – well it was tea bag only. 😦

If you’d like to see impressions from Vienna – I have just discovered this blog:
Some nice photos!

Jura Soyfer (1912 – 1939)


Who knows about Jura Soyfer (1912 – 1939) today? Actually one of his theatre pieces, “Broadway Melody 1492”, was the first one I ever acted in! So this means a whole lot to me. His sense of humour fits my taste and he was so accurate about many things.

His life and death is one of the tragedies of the 20th centuries. Born in Charkow (Ukraine), the family migrated to Vienna in 1921, due to the political situation. Imagine a 9 year old boy coming to a boasting and busy city, yet filled with lots of veterans from the first world war, filled with poverty, with political and street fights … The 1920s must have been an interesting time here, with all the hopes of people, yet the political mistakes done that led to what we know as one of the biggest tragedies (fascism and another world war). Austrian politicans who also, just like a majority of people, thought the small Austria could not survive alone and thus favouring the Anschluss to Germany. This was always a wish, long before Hitler got big.

And in this bustling city with all its freedom feelings and poverty, Soyfer grew up. He got political engaged, he started to write pieces, that were well played in theatres. He joined the Socialdemocrats, later the Communists. After the infamous Anschluss, he tried to escape to Switzerland but was caught (by Austrian officers who had not yet taken an oath to Hitler Germany!)

Dachau & the Dachaulied (Dachau song)

Soyfer was sent to the concentration camp Dachau – and still kept on as a thinking individual and a human. He was part of resistence also within the concentration camp (also with scetches). His famous song “Dachaulied” brings you to tears once you hear it, you will never forget. I never could. I heard it sung by a woman and a man once, in a small celebration of his works at a school close by. The song talks about how important it is to stay human in all this inhuman surrounding … Quote:

Sei ein Mann, Kamerad. (= Be a man, comrade.)
Bleib ein Mensch, Kamerad. (= Stay a human, comrade.)

The music is from Herbert Zipper, a man who was also in Dachau, but could escape to Guatemala (Wikipedia). And how did this be distributed?

“Somehow the Dachau Lied made its way out of Dachau to other prison camps – to France and Holland, even to England and Mexico. The song survived the war throught the oral tradition and was published in East Germany in an anthology of antifascist songs of concentration camps. In 1953 Zipper received a letter from the East German Ministry of Culture asking if he was the H. Zipper who wrote the ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ song. In the meantime the collected works of Jura Soyfer were published with the song included. It is clear, as so many other writers have noted, that works of art once created often have a life of their own. ‘Dachau Lied’ was one such creation.” (Paul Cummins, Dachau Song. The Twentieth Century Odyssey of Herbert Zipper, New York, Berlin, Bern, Frankfurt/Main, Paris, Wien 1992)

You can read more about Soyfers works and his biografy here: >> Jura Soyfer Society.

The site mentions a book with many of his works in English, called “It’s up to Us!” at Ariadne Press. I sure recommend reading them! Their description:

Jura Soyfer (1912-1939), that eloquent spokesman for the aspirations of working-class people, devoted his tragically brief life to a vigorous but ultimately futile fight against the deleterious slackness, apathy, disunion, and fatalistic resignation of his compatriots.