• The room is calm. The old man is snoring beside you. The birds are singing a familiar tune. You sit bolt upright. It is time to start the Christmas ham. Mum and Dad will be here soon.

    Then you remember. Mum and […]

    • Hi Melanie– this hit home for me. I lost my mom to dementia. This is beautiful writing on an achingly painful subject. Well done.

  • Hi Susanne,
    This is valuable feedback. I definitely have to work out how best to incorporate different languages, most of all the book needs more nods to the German language, because quite a lot of the dialogue would be in German, but for obvious reasons I have to write it in English.
    I am a bit behind on coments, but will catch up soon.

  • Hi Becky, Anne is Turkish for Mum. I had a scene right at the beginning of the novel, where Corinna gets confused when Yasmin call her mother Anne. I had initially planned to turn this into a running joke. Not sure about that now.
    I feel in a bit of a slump, now that I written THE END. I need to find the next gear to keep the momentum going. I’ve…[Read more]

  • The phone rings at 5 am. Ezme knows this can only be her mother. She will never get the hang of the time difference between New Zealand and Hamburg.

    Ezme yawns and picks up the phone. “Merhaba A […]

    • Hi Melanie–nice character back story here. I think this would be useful in the story to help the reader understand Esme’s character. I liked her clever excuse to get off the phone. i wondered why she called her mother Anne. Was that already addressed within earlier scenes? I bet you feel in a good spot, already having written The END 🙂

      • Hi Becky, Anne is Turkish for Mum. I had a scene right at the beginning of the novel, where Corinna gets confused when Yasmin call her mother Anne. I had initially planned to turn this into a running joke. Not sure about that now.
        I feel in a bit of a slump, now that I written THE END. I need to find the next gear to keep the momentum going. I’ve also fallen behind on comments, but will try to catch up on them soon.

        • Got it! If you use Anne as a running joke so the reader is aware of it, I think it’s fine. Or change the MC’s name, or italicize as Susanne points out. I do really like your use and introduction of multiple languages, but it sounds a bit tricky for how to best handle it. Good luck!

    • HI Melanie, I agree with Becky, this scene could very well fit into the novel. I had the same confusion about “Anne”. I know this is turkish for mother but the problem is here that it just happens to be the name of your MC. Unless this confision is an issue in the novel (and we already know it’s not 🙂 ) I suggest you use typography to set this apart. You could write all foreign words in italics, for example. Which would kill, I grant that, the effect that bilinguals don’t differntiate between their mother tongues.
      Just checked Google. It suggests “ana” also as “mother”. Could that work for you?
      Did I congratulate you already on “THE END”? Twelve points from Germany! 🙂

      • Hi Susanne,
        This is valuable feedback. I definitely have to work out how best to incorporate different languages, most of all the book needs more nods to the German language, because quite a lot of the dialogue would be in German, but for obvious reasons I have to write it in English.
        I am a bit behind on coments, but will catch up soon.

    • This is a great character building scene. We see Ezme and understand her history more and we get a bit of insight into her marriage. The mother-daughter relationship has a realistic balance of love and tension that I suspect many readers will be able to relate to. I know I can. This would be well-placed within the first section of your novel.

      As with other readers, the Turkish confused me a bit. As suggested, italics would work, or some more contextual clues that she was blending tongues.

      We’re almost there!

  • Bärbel rolls the blue pleat skirt tightly and adds it to the neat symmetry of the inside of her suitcase. She has no idea what the weather will be like in New Zealand. She holds up the possum fur socks to her […]

    • Barbel is such a different character when we see her in her home setting. Almost normal. Although, the sister-in-law reminds me a bit of Anne’s mother-in-law. Ha! I didn’t picture Barbel so young, not sure why, Seeing her with young kids of her own was unexpected. I’d love to see how she interacts with her daughters–or is it revealing that she doesn’t give them much of a goodbye? I’m hoping she just really wanted to get away from Renate! Glad she remembered her comfort food for the suitcase. Well done!

  • I was expecting a spider to pop up at any moment at the bar. He looked around, as if he had misplaced one. A very entertaining story.

  • Looks like the kid got you in the end. I liked how you brought the bazaar to life with all the colours, smells and noises. Almost a sensory overload. There is a clear shift from awe to unease, as the story progresses. Well done.

  • When you posted the birthday balloons for your boy on facebook the other day (Happy Birthday to him!) I remembered when Maisie filled an office cubicle with balloons for her co-worker (whose name I cannot remember for the life of me (Kenji?)). Did you ever follow that up? I don’t remember seeing it.
    The backstory writing is leading me in new…[Read more]

  • Seven weeks to go and the mystery deepens. I am starting to get nervous that Maisie trying to find out the secret will backfire somehow. There is still the metaphor of the lockbox in the form of a gun safe, i.e. ‘smoking gun’. What will Frank do when confronted? Will he remember? Will the sisters be ok with only learning about the lockbox now? So…[Read more]

  • This scene feels really claustrophic. As if the situation was closing in of them, but at the same time they want to keep it confined. This is my favourite sentence: ‘She wanted to open a window but feared doing so would let the conversation enter the void, become record somehow.’
    I haven’ quite got my head around James as a prophet. I can see…[Read more]

  • Hi Susanne,
    Thanks. It would be tricky to write a sequel. Julia is now out of reach of the authorities (no extradition contract between Indonesia and the US). Nobody but Anne knows what she has done. My aim (and I have to work on that in the rewrite) is to draw each character in a way that the reader can confidently guess how the character will…[Read more]

  • Hi Elizabeth,
    Thanks for your comments. It was a tough call, whether to end it here. But examining the aftermath would almost be another novel. I tried to plant the seed as to how different characters would react, e.g. Ezme, straight forward with her legal background and Anne, who likes to bury her problems and avoid confrontation (I have to make…[Read more]

  • Hi Becky,
    Thanks. By mentioning Jarkata, I wanted to place them in a country that has no extradition agreement with the US.
    For the remaining seven weeks, I am planning to write scenes from each of the character’s lives, not necessarily from the plotline. It might help me to get to know them better. I think I’ll start with Bärbel packing her…[Read more]

  • I was hoping for the reappearance of the pantry. I remember the collapsing shelves was what drew me into the story at the beginning.
    I love those old boxes full of treasures. I bet there will be another surprise hidden in one of them.
    Another German idiom has crept in: the blind mirror. I googled it and all that came up were blind spot mirrors…[Read more]

  • There is a light at the end of the tunnel

    With fervour I walk

    Towards its promise

    There is a light at the end of the tunnel 

    It is set to strobe

    Any movement merely a mirage

    There is a light at the end of […]

    • HI Melanie, this is so cool. At first I thought this is about death or at least some horrendous nightmare and the sleeper waits to wake up. But no, it’s about a trainride. Or is it? I like the double meaning and the way you describe the light effects. The light at the end of the tunnel is also an image that fits perfectly in this pandemic…don’t we all hope for a light at the end of this tunnel…

    • Hello Melanie,
      I like the optimism of your poem – that the light at the end of the tunnel is almost upon you, that it will be better than currently. Well done.

    • Hello Melanie,
      What a poem of hope. I love the repetitive line of “there is light at the end of the tunnel” as it moves the reader forward toward that hope and light. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to reading more from you. Well done.

    • The refrain works so wonderfully well in this short poem. It’s full of hope and composed strength. Well done!

  • Alan is waiting by the door, when Anne pulls into the driveway. He kisses her on the lips.

    “The children have been cleaned, fed and are fast asleep. Your evening of relaxation awaits.”

    He leads Anne by the han […]

    • wow, Melanie, big twist! I love the ending, great place to stop the story and let the readers’ imaginations pick it up from here. Poor Antonia. I like how you had Alan question the flight connection, enough to put a question into my head but not suspect an American kidnapping. Seems like the murder was an unfortunate side plot to “Julia’s” original crime. What a great idea to show a kidnapping from this perspective…
      I’m going to miss this German group of friends. Will you be using the final scenes to fill in some additional story or backstory?
      Well done!!!! Congrats on writing THE END

      • Hi Becky,
        Thanks. By mentioning Jarkata, I wanted to place them in a country that has no extradition agreement with the US.
        For the remaining seven weeks, I am planning to write scenes from each of the character’s lives, not necessarily from the plotline. It might help me to get to know them better. I think I’ll start with Bärbel packing her bags for her trip with NZ. There’ll be Christmas at Anne’s house as well, which will see the reappearance of Maureen and possbily Uncle Kyle.

    • Well, that’s not what I was expecting. Ouch. I think she’d be on the phone with authorities immediately. Part of me sees this as the perfect ending. Part of me want to see how this impacts Anne and what she does with the information. She’d be complicit in the murder at this point–she didn’t have all the details, but she let the murderer go and did so willingly. That might impact her reaction. I’m not sure if it should end here or not… Tough call!

      • Hi Elizabeth,
        Thanks for your comments. It was a tough call, whether to end it here. But examining the aftermath would almost be another novel. I tried to plant the seed as to how different characters would react, e.g. Ezme, straight forward with her legal background and Anne, who likes to bury her problems and avoid confrontation (I have to make that a bit cleaerer in the rewrite). Anne has not told anyone about Julia’s confession. At the moment it is just her and her conscience. Julia is now out of reach of the authorities. Indonesia does not have an extradition contract with the US. That is why I sent them there.
        I thought about ending the scene with Ezme on the phone, yelling: “You knew!” But then I would have to go on from there.

    • HI Melanie, Yay! You did it. You finished your novel. And with quite a big bang. Actually, very clever, I can sense a sequel in the future…but first rejoice in the finishing this great project. Well done. I love how you constructed this scene. The dinner set up, relaxing with some wine, the endearing scene with the kids asleep…the world seems peaceful and then you hit us with the big reveal. Very well done. I am dying to find out if Anne will contact the authorities, if justice will be done… or if even more drama will come to this kaffeeklatsch! Oh, I want the sequel.

      • Hi Susanne,
        Thanks. It would be tricky to write a sequel. Julia is now out of reach of the authorities (no extradition contract between Indonesia and the US). Nobody but Anne knows what she has done. My aim (and I have to work on that in the rewrite) is to draw each character in a way that the reader can confidently guess how the character will react, e.g. Ezme, straight forward, legal background, would definitely go to the police. Anne, on the other hand, likes to avoid problems and bury her head in the sand.
        There are several things I have to consider for the rewrite, one of them is to connect the novel closer with the title (more Kaffeeklatsch).
        Over the remaining seven weeks I am going to write a scene for each of the characters that tells us a bit more about who they are. I’ll start with Bärbel this week.
        I’m particularly looking forward to writing Christmas at Anne’s house including mother-in-law and inappropriate uncle.

  • You know what came to my mind this week? I can see this as a TV series. It is so visual, almost reads like a script. It even has the static of the TV as a character.
    I look forward to JD and Dr Gotts meeting up at the facility.

  • Hi Susanne,
    Divorcing Dad. That’s quite extreme. I’m still hoping for a twist that will help us understand Godfrey better. Or is he really all bad?
    It’s good to see the last two letters. I would have imagined them to be a bit longer. We already learned details from the matrons’ lives throughout the novels. But when the Matrons wrote the…[Read more]

  • Poor Mom. Dad told Colleen but not her. What a gut punch. And the conversation was going so well.
    I’m glad Maisie is getting over her phone phobia more and more. Calling librarians left right and centre.
    Looking forward to how this will develop.

  • So true. I miss the quiet libraries where you worry if your footsteps are too loud. Where there was a reverence of silence. Well done.

  • Load More

Melanie

Profile picture of Melanie

@melanie-wittwer

Active 16 hours, 8 minutes ago
Short Story : 12
Poetry : 11
WTC : 0
52 Scenes : 47
Dialogue : 30
Flash Fiction : 30