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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Mrs. Dubeli goes to America—or does she? German/English/Confusion Galore

I’m having writer’s block, or something similar. After finishing two novels, I have been working on a third one. I figured I’ll make the series “Family Portrait” a trilogy with “An Uncommon Family” and “Love of a Stonemason” as part one and two. I wrote about 70 pages of part three, only to realize I’m running out of steam. The first part of the novel went really well, but now I’m stuck.

So, I figured perhaps it’s time to put it aside for now and write something totally new. Since I’m in Switzerland and have been doing a lot of German reading and writing, I thought about writing something in German for a change. I began a story with the title “Mrs. Dubeli goes to America” or, in German, “Frau Dübeli geht nach Amerika.“ It’s about an older Swiss lady whose husband worked in California off and on. During one of the trips there, he was found dead at the bottom of a cliff overhanging the Pacific Ocean. After getting over the initial shock and grief, Mrs. Dubeli begins to have doubts about the official version of her husband’s accidental death. She knew that he was extremely afraid of heights and would never even think of stepping that close to a cliff where he could fall down. Something was fishy here and the feisty and resolute Swiss woman decides to travel to California to find out for herself what happened to her husband.

Good and well, but now what? There are lots of possible scenarios. I keep switching from one to the other. I keep changing things and then abandon the ideas again.

1) He was pushed, because he was a danger to someone? Whom? Why?
2) He had an affair, fathered a child, and killed himself out of desperation?
3) He had an affair, fathered a child, and someone killed him? The lover? The lover’s husband?
4) He was involved in some shady business and ???
5) ???
6) ???

Oh, what a crack of you know what! I toss the notebook aside and go switch on the espresso machine.

On top of it, I keep switching back and forth between English and German and when I come to a point where I’m more than confused and afraid I’ll never write another decent story again, I flee from writing all together and keep on reading novel after novel. In the middle of reading a novel, I have a panic attack—but I’m supposed to write, damn it. I wake up in the middle of the night, sweating and screaming. HELP.
I try traveling, visiting friends, enjoying the beautiful landscape here but as far as my writing wasteland is concerned, nothing has helped so far.

Hey, does that sound familiar to anyone?
Well, cheers anyway!