I want uplift

Everyday in the news there is awful stuff invariably about some politician or other, be s/he in the US, Australia, China, Austria, UK, France, wherever. I’ve been reacting to much of this on Twitter but in this blogpost, I want a bit of uplift.

In Australia, church groups and even nuns (at last the Catholic church on board) are getting ready to defy the government and offer asylum. In Vienna, a design hotel, MagDas Hotel, is being serviced by refugees, and an Anglo-speak online magazine, Vienna Wurstelstand, is showing another fun side to the city. In Lyon, a new company start-up, MMTC is focussing on collaborative efforts in the areas of management, tourism and consulting. It’s the brainchild of an old school friend, Sophie Elias-Varotsis, and I’m so proud of her efforts.

On the writing front, I’ve been deeply into revising my opus that now weighs in at almost 111K words. It’s now getting some Beta-reading and then I’ll be taking another long look. And I’ve had some lovely Oz connections, with one of my stories, “Just Lunch”, being read by a young actor, Cole Hilder, at a Valentine’s Day dinner reading in Canberra organised by Aussie Writers. And then on LinkyDing of all places, I was approached and asked to submit a couple of my poems to an online Australian magazine.

      Fleurs page 15

And then there was the superb reading by Friederike Mayröcker to launch Fleurs, following Etudes and Cahier. It was an SRO event with her work welcomed by all generations in a wonderfully warm atmosphere with ongoing applause. Fleurs contains the piece written and presented at the 2014 Vienna Short Story Conference, which for me is a lovely link to a critical time of my life.

At the end of the week, I’ll be off to Geneva for the 10th Geneva Writers’ Conference. It’ll be great to connect with some old friends from my early writing days, and I’m looking forward to discovering new impulses, ones I can bring back to Vienna, because…

I’m really happy that in May I’ll be able to offer a weekend of writing tips and sharing as part of a new initiative by Vienna Skill Smiths and that the full weekend of workshops and the class presentation will be held at the delightful Hotel MagDas.

Not all has been rosy, but I thought I would highlight the good things this time before I return to a Time for Outrage! Until then, as always, onwards!