2/23/11

Unpublished (?) Interview

Image source http://de.wikipedia.org •
photographer Holger.Ellgaard
A few months ago, I answered the following questions for an interview that was due to be published on a Book Blog. I don't remember its name and do not feel very keen on looking it up in my Emailbox either. Here's why: two weeks after having sent back my answers, and while waiting for a mail telling me when they would appear on the site, I happened to stumble upon the blog's announcement that no more interviews would be posted.

Isn't that just my luck? Thus, as far as I know, my input has never made it online. And the Book Blog can remain anonymous without me having a bad conscience. There, that sounds like some petty revenge. But it feels good.

Anyway. Never one to waste left-overs, I have decided to warm up these ones and to share the precious little insights into my life with you. People commonly call this a Recycling Post. Maybe, you'll find the answers to some of the questions you've asked yourselves but have not dared ask me yet? Just joking (and checking if you follow). ;-)

Anonymous Book Blog (ABB): How long have you been blogging, and what made you decide to start?
Me: I started blogging in December 2009. On a whim and in reaction to a film. You have to know that back in 2003, my father died at the age of 59, buried under an avalanche. I was devastated. The following summer, though, I suddenly had an inspiration for a book. It was a murder mystery story that took place in Greece, in the small village where I had been spending my holidays for the last few years. I finished writing a first draft in German in 2005, I think, and sent it off to different publishing houses in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. After having received huge amounts of rejection letters, I decided to rewrite it, but in French this time. That took me more than a year and a half. Again, when contacted, no publisher was interested in publishing me. Frustrated, I put the manuscript in a drawer, ready to forget about it. And finally, in 2009, I happened to watch the movie ‘Julie & Julia’ starring Meryl Streep. You know, part of the story is this girl in New York who tries to cook all the Julia-Childs-recipes. She blogs about her experience, and in the end is contacted by zillions of publishers who want to make a book out of her blog. Thus, the idea of my first blog in French was born. I thought, what the heck, my novel is finished and ready and waiting to be read, and publishers seem to be chicken-hearted morons anyway. So, every day, I posted part of a chapter and started promoting that first blog on French-speaking websites, on Facebook, and so on. And one day in February, I don’t know why, I don’t know how, I started to have an idea for a new blog-novel. In English. The idea came up while I was riding the Paris métro, in the morning, listening to music. You do spend a lot of time in the métro. Once in the office, I created a blogspot-account and posted my first chapter. As I’m answering your questions, 75 ‘bits & pieces’ have already been posted. I’m very glad I had had that idea because there are many people reading my daily ‘bits and pieces’. And, unlike my French readers who don’t like to leave comments, I’ve received plenty of positive reactions and much encouragement.

ABB: How difficult was it to go through a portion of your life, hiding who you really were?
Me: You must be talking about the time when I realized I was gay but didn’t tell my parents. I’ve written quite in length about the moment I found out I was gay. You know, I think many boys and girls share this experience with me. They grow up feeling that they’re different somehow, without being able to say why or how exactly. Then, one day, they have this special event happening to them, and wow! they realize what the difference had been all these years. At least, that’s what has happened to me. And once I knew, I didn’t hide. My sister was the first to be informed (in more length and detail than she would have wanted to, by the way). I quickly talked to my friends, too. Their reactions were very positive and supportive, in the whole. The only problem were my parents, who ignored I was gay until my sister told them, some years later. But they accepted that fact as well. They loved me as they did before because they had seen that being gay hadn’t changed me at all.

ABB: What made you decide to "come out" so to speak?
Me: Love. It’s as plain, simple and stupid as that. I fell in love with a guy. I told him. And I said to myself: ‘Now, there you are! That’s settled, then!’ But to come out is a life-long process. Either you live your emotional life openly, as I do. Or you choose very carefully whom you want to tell you’re gay. I don’t hide anything. I don’t ‘promote’ my being gay either but if a question is asked like ‘Do you have a fiancée?’, I always answer truthfully: ‘I don’t have a fiancée, I have a boyfriend.’

ABB: You mention wanting to write a love story. Will it be based on your life?
Me: Well, the truth is it won’t be "a" love story but several love stories. And, yes, these will be the love stories of my life. But I want to be precise: my novel is no autobiography. It’s fiction no matter how many personal experiences I put into it. Even those who know me very well won’t be able to say where my real life ends and where invention and fiction begins.

ABB: What is your favourite post you have done? (links please)
Me: My very first post, strangely enough.

ABB: What is your favourite quote or motto?
Me: A quote I’ve read in a book (sorry I don’t remember it’s name): ‘A pessimist is an optimist with all the facts.’

ABB: Last thing, give me 3 words (to be used in the tag line) that describe your blog.
Me: Gay, novel, life, love, bits & pieces (that’s more than 3, I’m afraid).

ABB: Thank you ever so much for your precious time and for those extremely interesting answers.
(The last line is made up, of course. There's nothing like some good self-flattering, is there?)

2/4/11

Survey and self-interview

P. Herdian Cahya Khrisna @ Con Artist Trickster tagged me on his blog to do the following survey, some sort of self-interview with 19 questions. Hey, why not? This can turn out to be a very amusing exercise, I suppose. Moreover, it will give me the longed-for opportunity to finally talk about myself. You are allowed to LOL at that one. What is this blog novel, anyway, beside a longish self-exposure, I ask you?

Whatever. The survey is an excellent pretext to present you four other blogs, albeit briefly, which are amongst the best I have stumbled upon so far. As a matter of fact, upon answering the questions, I am supposed to tag 4 other blogamis in return and ask them to answer the same questions.
So let's start with the list of my 4 survey victims. I invite you to be curious and have a look at their work! Their blogs are rich, each is unique in its style and content, each of them worth a visit. You'll see: once you go there, you'll return, like I do.

Wil @ Gay Arab Guy: He's one of my oldest and dearest blogamis. Under the headline of his blog 'Queer Thinking. Straight talking', he has lately asked the pertinent question 'Love a dick for his dick?'. He has exposed his 'Blog Post Partum Depression' and shared his childhood memories (about teachers sexually abusing children for instance).

TB @ Thought Bubble Ten: Marvellously entertaining and thought-provoking post-modern blogphilosopher with a very personal touch. I had the difficult task to choose one of her numerous blogs, and this one really is my favourite. We've discussed so many profound questions already that I can't make a list of all of them. The latest issue was discipline, I clearly remember.

Chrissy @ I Shoulda Been A Stripper: Hilarious and awesome online muser (and what a pretty one with that!) and official spokesperson of one helluva cute dog. Her posts always make my day, however moody I feel.



Heddi @ Confessions of a Wannabe Writer: Yep, we share the same blog title – a funny conincidence that led to us meeting on the web, in the first place. Two other things we share: she's an expat, like me. An American woman living on the opposite side of the globe, in New Zealand. The second thing we have in common: she wants to be published. You can read her entire novel on her blog or discover the fantastic photo-shoot she's done recently, or try to improve your Italian skills with her latest post.



Now, for the questions. Here they are.

1. If you have pets, do you see them as merely animals, or are they members of your family?
Well, define 'family' first! My only family, stricto sensu, consists of my mom, my sister and my uncles, aunts, cousins. Then, there's my self-created, modern family here in Paris: me, my boyfriend, and my dog. In that second sense of 'family', yes, Nina is an important member. The princess daughter I'll never have otherwise. Precious, always a bit smelly (even after a shower, I don't know how she does that) and demanding but easy to please: a caress or a dog cookie will do it anytime for her.

2. If you can have a dream to come true, what would it be?
I would love to be published, then famous, then rich, and finally owner of a house in Greece, one in Ireland or Scotland, and a flat in Paris, Vienna, London and San Francisco. The ultimate dream: to wake up every morning asking myself, 'Where the hell am I?' Okay, I hear you: I just have to down a bottle of Tequila (caramba!) and smoke a huge joint to achieve THAT goal. Anyway, I'm just joking. To be rich is absolutely not my final dream. To be published, on the other hand; to hold my first printed book in my hands; to have my proud agent call me yelling, 'Hey, dude, know what? Your novel is #1 on the Bestseller List and the New York Times has just elected you IT-Writer of the year!' – that would definitely be one of my dearest dreams.

3. What is the one thing most hated by you?
Intolerance and stupidity. Stop snickering, I can count. It's just that in my eyes, these two are perfect synonyms.

4. What would you do with a billion dollars?
First, you give them to me; then, I'll tell you. Deal?

5. What helps to pull you out of a bad mood?
A good joke. Like: Two whores in an elevator. The first one says, 'Jeez, it smells of sperm in here!' The second one shrugs, 'So what? You never burp?' No, I am not tasteless, lol.

6. Which is more blessed, loving someone or being loved by someone?
Loving someone, no doubt. This answer looks better, anyway.

7. What is your bedtime routine?
Switch off the lights. I've noticed sleep comes faster once you've done that.

8. If you are currently in a relationship, how did you meet your partner?
I can't answer that one here. Otherwise, I'd be spoiling the surprise of my blog novel conclusion. Let me tell you that it will be worth the wait (it was quite a dramatic and exotic way to meet someone). And let me tell you, too: it's been exactly four years ago. Today (Feb. 4th) is our 4-year anniversary!

9. If you could watch a creative person in the act of the creative process, who would it be?
I haven't got the foggiest. Agatha Christie, perhaps; or JK Rowling.

10. What kinds of books do you read?
At the moment, I'm very keen on reading Austrian detective novels, international fantasy novels and historical non-fiction (currently, a Habsburg biography). Then, there's the French version of Tolstoi's 'War and Peace' waiting for me. As soon as Seb has finished reading the first book (he still has got a good 500 pages to go). It's a long-term project, see?

11. How would you see yourself in ten years time?
Hopefully still with my boyfriend, hopefully a successful writer, hopefully not a graphic designer anymore.

12. What’s your fear?
That my hopes never come true.

13. Would you give up all junk food for the rest of your life for the opportunity to visit outer space?
I don't do junk food. On the other hand, what the heck would I do in outer space?

14. Would you rather be single and rich or married, but poor?
I am married (as good as) and poor. I would not give up my boyfriend in order to be rich. But hey, married and rich – I'd love to have a try. Anyone out there to help me and my boyfriend to achieve that?

15. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
I try to destroy my alarm-clock. Is there anything more annoying than to have the sweetest dream, and then the darn thing goes 'rrrrRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIINNGG!'?

16. If you could change one thing about your spouse/partner what would it be?
He's rather perfect the way he is. Thus, I'd only change something really superficial. Make him a rich guy, for instance.

17. If you could pick a new name for yourself, what would it be?
Damien.

18. Would you forgive and forget no matter how horrible a thing that special someone has done?
Forgive, in time, probably; forget, hardly. Try to understand, certainly.

19. If you could only eat one thing for the next 6 months, what would it be?
Greek sea-food served by a cute, black-haired, muscular, tanned Greek waiter wearing nothing but swimming trunks. The sole idea makes my mouth water...

Finally, here's the list of questions for you, my four dear friends, to copy...
1. If you have pets, do you see them as merely animals, or are they members of your family?
2. If you can have a dream to come true, what would it be?
3. What is the one thing most hated by you?
4. What would you do with a billion dollars?
5. What helps to pull you out of a bad mood?
6. Which is more blessed, loving someone or being loved by someone?
7. What is your bedtime routine?
8. If you are currently in a relationship, how did you meet your partner?
9. If you could watch a creative person in the act of the creative process, who would it be?
10. What kinds of books do you read?
11. How would you see yourself in ten years time?
12. What’s your fear?
13. Would you give up all junk food for the rest of your life for the opportunity to visit outer space?
14. Would you rather be single and rich or married, but poor?
15. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
16. If you could change one thing about your spouse/partner what would it be?
17. If you could pick a new name for yourself, what would it be?
18. Would you forgive and forget no matter how horrible a thing that special someone has done?
19. If you could only eat one thing for the next 6 months, what would it be?

2/2/11

Blogversary

Image source http://de.wikipedia.org •
author Twice25
Today, I celebrate my blog's first blogversary. It's true, exactly one year ago, I published the first post of my blog-novel in this spot. And this will be the 306th post since then. My, words fail me to express how touched I fell that you have all shown up for that worthy event! Lookie lookie, even a special guest from the Shadow World has come to blow my birthday candle (no but absolutely NO pun intended!). Why she'd wish me 'Happy Birthday Mr. President' is beyond me, though, to be honest. I don't even have the ambition to become president of the '18th arrondissement Middle-aged Dog-owners Who Write'-Association!

Anyway, as you might have noticed, I have decided to change the blog's layout and architecture, within the limits of the blogspot template, that is. Isn't the white, unadorned background classy? And do you like the logo I created on the top? Hey, I'm a graphic designer, I had to come up with something on my own, hadn't I?

The most important innovation: the new pages right under the logo. You'll be able to backread the first chapters ('the novel', 1 to 4), something that has already been possible before. But I decided to create two brand-new pages as well. There's one where I'll copy my short-stories. I've decided to take them out of the novel as soon as I've got the time to proof-read and edit it. The other page will contain the poems. As a birthday treat, I've even put some of the poems I haven't yet published on here (they have been published on the Literary Network only).

A last word concerning the Stats. Since the opening of the blog, you have been exactly 17.634 'unique visitors' as they call you on Google Stats. You sure are unique to me, for sure! You've paid 32.635 visits to my blog and read 46.308 pages. More than 28% come here directly; 69% have been guided by referring sites, and a minority of 1.7% has found their way through search engines. Apart from typing my name (how on earth do people know there's someone out there called Dieter Moitzi? I wonder), people stumbled upon my blog essentially by searching for – 'whore'! You remember the post where I claimed that 'sometimes, I feel like a whore'? It's the most-read post of this blog. That's where people seem to land when looking for some paid company... Great, is all I can say; now, me and 'whore' tend to be synonyms. Well, I haven't made it yet into the Oxford Dictionary (dieter, n., synonym for whore) so there's still some hope for me!

All in all, I am very satisfied. I lift my cup of coffee for a toast to all of you (it's too early in the morning for champagne) and say Thank you. Without you, this literary adventure wouldn't have been possible. And hey, do come back because I haven't finished with you yet!