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Posts tagged ‘turn of century’

WOMEN AND WILD SAVAGES PRINT VERSION NOW AVAILABLE

You asked for it – Women and Wild Savages, the print version, hot off the presses! Hold it in your hands. Feel the sleek, smooth surface of real paper. Revel in the smell of fresh ink. Dog ear it. Marginalia it. Mark it with an R for Reader and Me.

Romance, love, betrayal, poetry, friendship, horse-drawn carriages, coffeehouses, wineries, death, tragedy and hope – all wrapped up in the story of a young, aspiring actress and her marriage to the world-famous architect and designer, Adolf Loos. Because you deserve to spend some quiet hours in Vienna’s coffeehouses.

Women and Wild Savages

Women and Wild Savages is the first book in the Vienna Muses series

Women and Wild Savages at Amazon – print version

E-Book Versions are Available too

Women and Wild Savages at Amazon for Kindle

Women and Wild Savages at Barnes and Noble for Nook

Women and Wild Savages for Kobo

And Don’t Forget to Download the Free Readers Guide

Women and Wild Savages Readers Guide

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BOOK RELEASE – WOMEN AND WILD SAVAGES

Women and Wild Savages

Women and Wild Savages is the first book in the Vienna Muses series and currently available on amazon.com as ebook

No woman knows, or ever has known, or ever will know, what she does when she enters into association with a man.

Women and Wild Savages is out! Very excited to share some big news for me personally – a book I have been working on for several years was released this past week on amazon.com. The print version will follow soon and all versions will be available at other outlets by February. The book is the first in a series entitled “The Vienna Muses” which takes place in Vienna at the beginning of the 1900s.

Writing has always been a part of me and with the publication of this book, a lifelong dream has come true. I am grateful to a great many people – obvious and not so apparent – who have supported this dream and this particular project along the way.

I have spent so many years with the characters in this book that they have – in a strange way – become a part of my life. I have held their postcards in the Vienna City archives, their letters of desperation — perhaps their very last letters – in the Austrian National Archives. I have studied their poetry, their books, the book of those they loved and those that loved them and tried my best, over 100 years after the events, to recreate a story that conveys not only the characters, and the city, but an entire Zeitgeist. I can only humbly hope that those who read Women and Wild Savages will hear the clings of silver spoons on porcelain and smell the tantalizing scent of freshly roasted coffee beans while they delve into the private salons, grand cathedrals, buzzing coffeehouses and cobble-stoned lanes of Vienna of the early 1900s.

Maybe It's Time for A Catnap

Two not-so-obvious supporters of my writing

Research and writing can be frustrating at times, but every now and then fate seems to throw you a bone. While working on the book, through some miracle of miracles after hours of google procrastination, at about 2 am one morning, I came across a 1904 newspaper clipping from a New Zealand online archive with a copy of a tragic last letter from one of the characters to another. What are the chances?

After years of work on the manuscript, I had finished nearly everything, had spent days painstakingly going through all the final edits from my copy editor and just as the finish line appeared upon the horizon, I found myself faced with evil incarnate. I logged into my computer to find all my files locked. A window popped up demanding that I pay an ungodly amount in Bitcoins or I’d never see my files again.  Do hackers from the darkside have any idea what writers earn? Back your character up against a wall and see how they react – a demand of writers to up the tension in their books. Was someone in the book of life playing a bad joke and testing me?

A friend once wrote when his book was published that he had expected the joy that would come on release day but not the sorrow. After spending so many years alone together with these characters, I can definitely relate to this. Publication feels like a time to say good-bye and I nervously stand by the door as I release my version of my characters, my words, my work into the world.

As I watch Lina Loos, Adolf Loos, Peter Altenberg, Karl Kraus, Marie Lang and all the others waltz from my safe-keeping to yours, I can only hope that I have been true to them, to Vienna, the Zeitgeist, and that you, dear readers, will find as much pleasure in your time together with them as I have over the years.

Women and Wild Savages at Amazon for Kindle

Women and Wild Savages at Barnes and Noble for Nook

Women and Wild Savages for Kobo

Women and Wild Savages Readers Guide

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Escaping the Heat by Indulging in some “Summer Freshness”

“I am longing to get out, like never before.”
(Ich sehne mich hinaus wie noch nie.)
– Austrian Painted Gustav Klimt, August 1, 1901 in a postcard from Vienna sent to his lady, Emilie Floge at Attersee (the lake in the countryside)


Austrian writers and artists have a long tradition of escaping the oppressive summer heat of Vienna (or maybe they are slipping away from the tourists?)  to spend some cool and artistically productive weeks in the Austrian countryside and the Alps.  They even had a special word for this – not vacation, not holidays, but rather “Sommerfrische” – Summer Freshness.

Sommerfrische referred not only to annual retreat time but also to the destination. When noticing the absence of their beloved coffeehouse poet, patrons of Cafe Central may have asked, “Where praytell is Peter Altenberg these days?” Whereupon the Oberkellner Franz would have no doubt responded, “My madam, Herr Altenberg is currently on Sommerfrische until the end of August.”

The idea of retreating to the countryside during the summer probably dates back to the time of the aristocrats (evidenced in the stories of Jane Austen or Dostoyevsky) in which the landowners had to tend to their fields in summer and returned to the cities for their dose of society and culture in the winter months (where also, no doubt, heating a city flat was much more manageable than maintaining a whole countryside villa or palace throughout the winter). This is why you will still find summer palaces (Schönbrunn which was at one time quite a bit of travel per horse and carriage from the city) as counterparts to the winter palaces (Hofburg).

Countryside around Weyer, Upper Austria

Countryside around Weyer, Upper Austria

As transportation improved, and with the advent of train travel, a greater part of society began taking off for Sommerfrische revitalization. Evidence of some of the most popular destinations remains today in the form of opulent Jugendstil train stations more befitting royalty than the local countryside folk. Those who could not afford a countryside home stayed in Pensionen and hotels. In some of these popular villages you can still find “Kursalons” where turn of the century Viennese would gather to waltz their summer nights away (because a Viennese cannot not waltz, even on vacation).

In addition to dancing, the Sommerfrischler liked to hike, swim, boat, sing, play music, take walks, play chess and one can only imagine stir up trouble for the locals.

Another beloved past time of the Sommerfrische, was the so-called Liebeleien or Gespüssis. Fresh air? Fresh faces? Or the distance that often separated a husband and wife for several weeks at a time (with wife and children tucked away in the countryside while the man often had “important business matters” to attend to in the city)? The fragrant wild lilac bushes, the potent self-brewed Schnaps and thousand-star night skies? These were a particularly “hot” (no pun intended) topic for the writers and many works written during the turn of the century expound on some of these passionately tragic liaisons.

Of course, some say that perhaps so many went on Sommerfrische, not for salacious entertainment, but rather as an act of succumbing to social pressure — who wants to be accused of being too cheap or poor to send the family away for some Alpine recuperation? Favored Austrian Sommerfrische destinations that are still wonderfully suitable today for a cool summer visit with some beautiful traditional Austrian guesthouses:

Gosausee

Gosausee

Semmering
Rax
Payerbach
Salzkammergut: Wolfgangsee, Mondsee,
Joglland
Wienerwald
Kamptal
Weyer: Austrian poet, Peter Altenberg
And the favored swim destinations — Bad is a false cognate meaning “Bath”, NOT bad as in the opposite of good.
Bad Gastein
Bad Fusch
Altaussee
Bad Aussee
Bad Vöslau: Austrian writer, Arthur Schnitzler
Bad Ischl: the Emperor Franz Josef, Johann von Nestroy, Karl Kraus, who noted how many villas were being built for Viennese summer enjoyment, and commented that the mountains started to look more like decorations that had been put up around the Viennese Ringstrasse. Print This Post

More interesting reading on Sommerfrische:
Presse Article on Sommerfrische

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