Category Archives: Newsletters

Mid-month news: November 2015

First month of the new business

Fun, scary, unforgettable experience.

I’ve learned a lot in this time. And of course I am still learning.

I discovered the hidden for me clichés from the cultures I’ve been raised and being exposed too.

I thought that I wouldn’t be able to find work as a business owner and a freelancer, if I haven’t applied for the smallest possible and least payable jobs. This does sound strange. But the phrase, “You have to start at the very beginning and work your way up.” did mean for me exactly this. I thought that I all I’ve learned and experienced before didn’t matter and I had to do everything from the very beginning.

But then, when I shared my experiences on various platforms, I noticed growing interest in what I can offer. They didn’t want me to type their hand-written notes, they wanted to hear about my experience as a writer of fiction based on a true story, they wanted to learn S1000D from me, they wanted to learn and hear more from me on business rules.

And they told me that I drew them into these topics, that they were glad to have met/discovered me, that they wanted to work with me on common projects and that they were ready to pay me for my work.

That was quite a revelation. It was an epiphany that I can earn money by doing what I love. And by discovering more and more things, which I fall in love with doing.

Of course, the in-security is there. Whether I am able to earn enough money for living with what I have to offer. But what helps is to realize that this in-security might have some value, if I notice and don’t judge it. In such a case it can show me that it is time to be active and do something.

I am very grateful to have discovered the brilliance of moment of now and the value of true listening. Listening to what other have to say, without judging what and how the say it, and without judging my inner reactions to these, helped me stop complaining (especially in my thoughts) and come up with some great ideas, and take concrete steps to bring them into life.

Through listening and seeing what people value and want, I discovered that both money and the sense of well-being, being centred, come when I concentrate and put my energy to bring value to others. When I turn the focus off from me and get interested in what is important for people around me, then everything else falls in place.

Listening and reading inspiring articles in this direction helped a lot as well.

“Shift your focus away from what you want (a billion dollars) and get deeply, intensely curious about what the world wants and needs.” Justine Musk  on Quora

Words like this helped me turn my focus to what really matters in the world and matters to me. My worries don’t really matter to me. The well-being of others does. This was an interesting discovery.

Right now as I write this article I realize that this direction is completely in sync with the mission and vision I have defined for my business.

This is what have driven me in the last two weeks and brought most results in my business. And the most satisfaction.

Here is what this means concretely.



I have developed several interactive courses, which would help professionals succeed in there endeavours.

Here they are:



Two training courses this week.

One is introduction to S1000D. Experimenting to perform this course in a short time, and in a highly interactive way,  was extremely fun and resulted in further collaboration with the customer.

The second course this week is course on “Creative Nonfiction and Fiction Based on True Stories”. I do it for the South Gate Society School of Creative Writing in Aalborg. I research and learn on these topics, discovering many exciting things about myself, the cultures I grew up in, and the culture I am fortunate to experience now.



It’s amazing how many exciting projects appear as soon as I stop worrying what to write next and just concentrate on what is needed and wanted by others.

There are quite a few works in progress.

My second book “A Spy’s Daughter” is with my editor and will come later this week. I am very excited to discover the editing results and see how it will shape the book.

The prequel the series “A Life Upside Down” (”A Spy’s Daughter” is the 1st book in the series) is ready written and typed and enjoys its well-earned 2 weeks break until I will self edit. The title is also to 99% decided. Here I reveal it. It will be named “Seven Broken Pieces” and will be a short story or novelette consisting of 7 chapters.

I had an idea that I would never write non-fiction. Now I write two books in non-fiction and just started the third one.

One of them is on Business Rules and making them understandable for everyone who might need to define them. I post on this topic every week and at the beginning of the next year, this material will be compiled into a book, edited and published.

The second is to inspire writers and give them a clue how they can discover pearls in their writing. We are all too critical about what we do, but all of us create brilliant things, which we often chose to avoid looking at. But these wonderful things are cherished by others and by appreciating them, we can create more wonderful and valuable treasures. The working title of this one is “Let me be your cheerleader”. The subtitle is still in work. The idea for this book was inspired by my personal cheerleader and dear friend Marcy, who discovered me through this blog and who became one of my dearest friends. She saw me through the writing of my first book and also reads most of my writing as I create it. This book is to give this gift further and also to help Marcy and me realize a big wish of ours, to meet one day in person.

And the third one, some words of introduction of which I have written just this morning, has a working title “Everywhere at Home” and will be a collection of memoir essays about me being in various parts the world at various times of growing up and being adult, and what experiences I made.

I am very excited to discover what the next month will bring and I will share it with you.

Thank you for reading this. Have a wonderful end of the Fall and a beautiful winter start.

Picture: November bloom in our garden.


Special News, October 2015: The Launch of Optimist Writer


Dear Readers,

welcome to my latest adventure! I am starting my own business. It is based on one of my biggest passions – after my family and friends, ahead of coffee and chocolate, and on a par with reading…

I am talking about writing, in all its facets. Novels, non-fiction, articles, blog posts, freelance writing, technical writing, conversion, translation, posing questions, answering questions, starting discussions, giving advice.. all of it!

I had always expected I would take the leap into full-time author entrepreneurship much later, once I had a solid financial basis and I could be confident that my books would do well in the self-publishing market. Note: I had only a fuzzy notion about what “well” meant here.

But life is always full of surprises, and it turns out that self-employment is the most appropriate course of action for me right now.

I am reminded of the hiking tour of the Alps that my husband, Michael, and I took with my parents-in-law in 2007. I bore a pair of Nordic walking poles that I had bought for the occasion, and enjoyed how springy and light they made each step.

The track we followed was even and smooth, as if to underline the challenging emotions I would be facing just minutes later, when I experienced one of the most revealing and inspirational events of my life. My mother-in-law, Gundel, and I walked quietly side by side, exchanging the occasional smile and agreement about the wonderful weather. Then we saw a sign: “Climbing route to the Chamois (Gemse in German) of Sattelberg”. The sign indicated that this was a climbing rock on a special hiking tour for children.

By this time I had been afraid of heights for several years, having previously attempted a short climbing tour of approx. 2700 to 3000 m in the Alps without properly acclimatising to the altitude. This was in summer 2001, and six years later I still felt the dizziness in my veins after anything above a few meters. But I began to become curious about climbing again.

So I took a step closer to my mother-in-law as we walked past the sign to the chamois and said, “Someday I want to try something like that again. I loved climbing as a child.”

Suddenly, Gundel, who is a dear friend as well as the mother of my husband, stopped abruptly and grabbed my left arm. “No, there is no ‘someday’. There is only today. If you don’t do it now, you probably never will.”

“Oh,” was all I could say. And then after a pause filled with looking at Gundel’s hand on my arm then at her face, and then back at her hand, I said, “I don’t know. I’m not prepared for this.”

“There is nothing to prepare. You either do it or you don’t. Do you want to do it?”

“Yes … in principle … But …”

“No, no. Not in principle and not someday. I think Roland (A note to the reader: Roland is my father-in-law) has a set of safety ropes with him. He can guide you.”

Before I could say anything else she had called to Roland and Michael, who were walking about ten meters in front of us, to stop and come back to join us. At this point Gundel had already led me by the hand to the sign at the start of the climb.

Goosebumps ran over my arms in both directions. My breathing accelerated, and I couldn’t speak. All I could do was nod in response to the amused questions posed by Michael and Roland, and allow Roland to secure me.

I also noticed that I was excited and really wanted to do it. The thought “I should be scared!” tried to pop up several times, but it was quieted by all the action around me.

Then we stood at the bottom of the rock. “This is for children?!” I exclaimed, as my eyebrows almost reached my hairline.

“Well, it is a bit steep,” said Roland. “It is probably for older schoolchildren. Don’t worry, they have secured the way. Look.” He pointed at the steel anchors and a rope visible all the way up.

Actually the top wasn’t visible. I had no idea how far we would have to climb. But somehow in that moment it didn’t matter. I was simply excited.

Roland’s calm guidance and reassurance helped as well. “Don’t worry, you won’t fall,” he said as he secured my carabiner to one of the anchors. “If you feel unsafe at any time we can stop and go back down.”

I nodded.

Roland showed me how to secure the carabiner and how to move it from one anchor to another.

“Ready?” Gundel asked.

“Uuuf,” I let pressed air flow out of my mouth and a big grin spill over my face.

Gundel gestured in front of us. “Michael and I’ll go on ahead. We don’t have another pair of safety ropes with us, so we’ll need to take an easier route, parallel to yours. But don’t worry, we won’t be far away.”

Michael had put his arm around my shoulder. “Are you OK with this?”

I nodded feeling goosebumps making their dance on my shoulders under Michael’s arm.

“I’ll take some pictures of you as you climb. Is that OK?”

I nodded again. Whatever the outcome of this adventure, I felt its significance for me and I wanted it to be recorded. I was grateful to Michael for having the idea, even if I wasn’t able to verbalise it at the time.

And so we climbed.


Goosebumps were my constant companion during the climb, and they have re-appeared even now as I’m recalling the experience.

I made it to the top. I also attempted the steepest of the two routes, before realising that it was too much and too soon, then changing to the lower one. I was immensely excited and felt incredibly in my own skin, looking out from that rock over the amazing nature that surrounded us.

Roland, an experienced climber and hiker, praised my climbing and my enthusiasm. He even christened me “Gemse von Sattelberg” (“Chamois of Sattelberg”), as we sat at the top, the metal chamois with white paint on it in front of us.

And now I find life has taken me by the hand to say, just as Gundel did on that day in July of 2007, “No, there is no ‘someday’. If you want to climb, do it now.”

And so I begin my climb. It is a huge rock, but one that has been scaled by many before me: authors entrepreneurs, freelancers and business owners.

Some of the paths I take might turn out to be too steep, and I may have to change tack as I progress on my way as a business owner. I can’t see to the top of the rocks I need to climb. But all of this is okay. I am excited, and I have goosebumps – the true indication that I’m in the midst of something amazing.

Plus, I have many guides and supporters, among them those who write professionally, and those who give me hugs to cheer me on my way.

This path is daunting and I do have thoughts shouting in my head, “Are you sure about this? Is it not too soon? Shouldn’t you be more scared and more cautious?” But thankfully my life, full of sweet people and events, allows me to silence these thoughts, and to enjoy the ride.

If you would like to follow my progress on one of the biggest adventures of my life, or indeed join me for some of it, then check out the pages on this site offering various ways in which I can help you or someone you know. This website will grow along with my business and my experience as a business owner.

More books will appear here, along with hundreds of blog posts giving insights into what I’m up to, as well as offering advice and support to help you on your own adventures.

So, let’s climb!



Mid-month news: September 2015

My job as a mother

As any mother, with the birth of my first child I have signed up for the twenty-four seven on-call service. Now with two children, this service doubled within the same time-frame.

Although my fulltime day job as a mother, which I do for the second time in my life, is coming slowly to an end. I can hardly believe that my sweet little Emma will go to a nursery school in a bit over two weeks time. And a few weeks after that I will have another title during the daytime.

But as long as I am a full-time mother, I thought I will share the latest news from my sweet employer’s life.

It is simply amazing to watch Emma grow. When she tries to crawl, pulling all her body with the strength of her arms, when among other words she tries to say “schön” (nice, beautiful in German) by pronouncing it in a sweetest possible way as t-s-c-h-I, when she waves enthusiastically while seeing our two reflections in a mirror.

It is amazing how she takes care of me by allowing me to take a power-nap near her on the play rug in her room, while she plays with the toys spread all around us and without attacking my glasses, as she does when I am awake.

She is an amazing girl and I am so happy to have her, her brother and their father in my life. I am truly blessed.

Seeing my stories develop here in my blog

I am so glad there are words and writing to help me share my life and my imagination with you.

Writing is for me a reliable vehicle to tell you about my life as a mother, and my guess would be that the category “A mother’s diary” is one of the most crowded in this blog.

Time to time I share fictional stories with you here, and I have a news about it as well. Ever since I heard of sites, communities and groups, where books are written in real-time and shared bit-by-bit, I was intrigued to do the same here.

My dear friend and writing teacher Menna van Praag has graciously agreed for me to continue the story prompted by the first paragraph from “The House at the End of Hope Street”. You can read this post here.

So on the next week’s post you will be able to read the continuation of this story, both in a blog post and in one piece from the beginning to the last available sentence. And you will find this on the page “Free Online Books”.

Wishing you all wonderful second half of September.

Picture: Just before I took this picture I tried to distract Emma from our storage room and get her let go of the hand-broom. I’ve have put one of her favourite toys about half a meter away from her in order to elicit her out of the doorway to the storage. A few seconds later I found Emma like this: her beloved cow close to her and the hand-broom in her hands. Why not having it all?


Mid-month news: August 2015

What happened since the last Newsletter in July:

I finished the self-edit of the “A Spy’s Daughter” and sent it to my beta-readers.

My dear friend and reader of this blog Marcy (A call-out and a hug to you here, dearest Marcy!) has read the book several chapters at a time and put some eye-opening questions to the end of the story. I was so happy to hear that she liked the protagonist. Marcy’s questions about a secondary character made me go deeper into the Hannah’s world set up in the sequel “A Life Upside Down”, of which “A Spy’s Daughter” is the first book. I discovered at least one more intriguing story during this exercise. You can read about the work on this new story below. I am sure I will discover many more interesting stories there. I’ll keep you updated.

Now, two other beta-readers are reading the book in its whole. And I play a game with myself, in which I am the forth beta-reader. It is challenging not to be too critical and to imagine the book being written by another writer and not by myself. It works when I read it for short periods of time and then change to another activity. If I do then longer than what feels like half an hour, a fight starts in my head, where the critic and the defender try to prove who is right in their opinion of almost each sentence and in some cases even words. The fun part comes when I notice and smile or laugh at this normal brain behaviour and switch to something else.

The work on the cover of the “Spy’s Daughter” has started. I purchased two great images and Alice Jago made a wonderful first draft of the cover for paperback, the front cover of which will also be the cover for the e-book. I showed this draft to my husband and his parents and got their encouraging nods and smiles. We all liked it. So, now the cover will have a break until after Alice’s edit of the book. Then, we will see if any changes to the cover are necessary.

What is happening now:

I’ve got now a working title for the story on language learning in Moldova: “Does Anyone Speak English in This Country?” The story is taking place in Kishinev, Moldova’s capital in the second half of 1990s.

But right now this project is set to rest, because the sequel “The Life Upside Down” occupies most of the attention during my writing time. Thanks to the feedback from Marcy, I realized that I have to find out more about a secondary character, who bears in her the original cause to the chaos in my protagonist’s life. Hannah’s mother. Her life is surely full of secrets.

As I dig deeper into her secrets I rediscovered the following truth: the ideals, which seemingly drive human behavior, are often just a cover to some deep and secret reasons arising from the pieces of our past, which we refuse to let go or which we resent.

The same is with Hannah’s mother. She runs away and resents her past so much, that she needs a hemisphere to stop finally and find her place and somewhat peace, which is of course another illusion.

What are the next steps:

The story about Hannah’s mother is too short to become a whole novel but too long for a prologue. So I am writing a prequel, which will be a short story or a very short novella. I am finishing the fifth chapter right now.

I am not sure how and when exactly I will publish it. But so far the plans are to publish it whether at the same time or shortly after the first book in the sequel.

The two beta readers, I mentioned above, have agreed to send me their comments in the beginning of September. I promised myself to have my own beta-reader comments at the same time. So the next time I write the newsletter I will let you know what surprises came out of this very first collective read.

One more step is planned. To turn marketing of my books and my platform as a writer into a daily habit. Writing turned from a wish into a dear and very pleasant habit, deeply ingrained into the rhythm of my day. And marketing is becoming one as well. I love speaking about my books to my family in friends. Going global with this sharing is somewhat scary but also exciting, as well as fascinating. I’ve read and am reading several sources on the topic right now. If you are interested in these references, then let me know in the comments and I will share the sources I found and find very helpful.

Have a wonderful third part of the summer 2015, dear friends!

Picture: this August’s gifts.


Mid-month news: July 2015

The first newsletter

Many authors write newsletters. And many people read them. I do, too. Many authors write their newsletters once a month. Some of them do it weekly and have different names for these updates. Or they have different types of newsletters. Elizabeth Gilbert, for example, has a weekly “housekeeping”, as she calls them, news introducing into “rules” of her Facebook/blog practices and then there is a “pure” Newsletter distributed to the subscribers per e-mail.

Many authors send newsletters at the end of the month. I did share news in sporadic mails and blog posts. But I fretted to call them newsletters. Was it because it is so human to be afraid of making a commitment? Possible. I happen time to time to be scared of promising something and then not holding a promise.

It helps when the promise or commitment is integrated as something natural, neither big nor small, just a part of the flow of life. This happened with my blog posts. In more than two years I have written weekly posts and now when a Monday comes there is a natural need, just like hunger, to write and share. One could say, I am hungry to write every day and I am hungry to share something new at least once a week.

Thus, to help myself to incorporate these “oh-so-scary” newsletters into the flow of my life, and in order not to spam you, the reader, with too many mails/messages from me, I will be posting the newsletters once a month as a blog-post in a separate category for Newsletters.

Additionally, I love the cosy and warm “middles” or centres, to be inside of a process or a place. The edges do sound scary too. So, at least this first newsletter is coming in the middle of a month.

Any big news?

Yes. At least for my life as a writer.

I finished recently the very first draft of my second book. It is a wonderful feeling to know to be able to write more than one book.

The first four chapters of this second book are already published together with my first book “The Truth about Family”.

This second book, a novella, “A Spy’s Daughter”, the title of which I sometimes confuse in my notes and write “A Daughter’s Spy” — an idea for another book, right? —, will be the first in the series named “A Life Upside Down”. In this series, in which five books, most probably all to be novellas, are planned so far, the life of the protagonist Hannah will be turned upside down and entangled into fast-paced adventures.

This first book in the series will come out this year. Somewhere in November or latest in December. I will keep you posted.

In the meanwhile you can find a short description of it on the “Upcoming” page, as well as the links to various retailers of the first book containing the first four chapters.

What is happening now?

Now is summer vacation. For my son, for my family, and for the “Spy’s Daughter”. This novella is taking a break for a two-three weeks until I will read it and give it a thorough revision.

Right now I enjoy a family visit from Germany together with my husband and our two children.

And I practice translation. You probably noticed my interest in it when I interpret quotes and jokes I learned in languages other than English.

I plan to translate my books into German and maybe also into Romanian and/or Russian. Maybe some day also into Danish. Who knows, more languages might come too. Love to language learning is another passion of mine, and translation is a magical possibility to combine the passion of writing and my love to various languages.

Connected to this exciting side of writing, the translation or rather interpretation, I read currently a book in German with a title “Swetlana Geier — Leben ist Übersetzen: Gespräche mit Lerke von Saalfeld”, which can be intepreted as “Swetlana Geier — Life is Translation: In dialogue with Lerke von Saalfeld”. I recommend to read it to all, who can read German. A very inspiring book about life, literature and human nature, which is revealed in languages and great novels. This book inspired and strengthened me in my wish to translate books I like reading and writing. To think and to savor words and thoughts in different languages, mirroring different mentalities and colors each and every nation brings through its interactive and exciting history. And to realize that just like writing, translation is very personal and that I can express myself in it, because I reveal and open what touched me in the book I read or wrote. Just like with writing, through translation I share a part of me.

Any new writing projects?

Yes. Besides the four consequent novellas in the “A life upside down” series, there are two self-standing books planned. And an idea for the third one is floating somewhere in the air. After finishing my second book this year, I thought to bring out one of these stand-alone ones. It will be a story about learning languages, fear of life, hope, and love. And it will be my first attempt in romance writing. Various genres draw my attention both in reading and writing and somehow the stories draw me into their flow revealing their nature in the process of the story development. This third book of mine to see the light of self-publishing might become the first, where I will write using two voices: from the point of view of the two main characters in the story.

And what is my first one doing?

My first book “The Truth about Family” is coming into the next stage of its life. By writing more books I contribute to its adventure. I am curious about my life as a writer and self-publisher and to see where this adventure will take me. For you, the reader, this new stage for my very first book means a new price for the e-book. I am reducing it to $ 2.99. The paperback price remains for the time being as it was.

If the book touched you in any way, then I would be really glad to read your honest review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. Your feedback will help me grow as a writer. And by following my writing career you might recognize the contribution you make by giving me your feedback. I am sure that first-readers, editors and reviewers find a piece of them in the work of the writers they like and follow.

Thank you, dear readers and friends, for being with me on this journey.

Picture: The four notebooks containing the hand-written text and notes for my second book, the first in the “A Life Upside Down” series, “A Spy’s daughter”. Two of these notebooks I bought myself, the other two were given to me by two of my dear friends, including the one with a motive dedicated to “Emma” by Jane Austen. I started filling in this notebook shortly after my daughter’s Emma birth and it had been a very special experience. Much of the text inside it was written while giving my little Emma her milk bottles.