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Don’t get me wrong, pretty much everything else was wonderful about Christmas too. And the real cause of our joy is indeed real and important to me. But putting an axe to the tree just makes this Saturday particularly satifsfying. I am sure a certain carpenter from Nazareth would agree. Don’t you?
Chopping up the christmas tree (and some other bits of wood the kids dragged into the garden from Lord knows where) with a nicely sharpened axe is just therapeutic, healthy, outdoorsy fun. Especially when it is not freezing and one of your daughters admiringly watches Dad from the window; also, the rabbits love the fresh branches – and we add some wood to the pile. Lovely and ecologically aware, that.
Obligatory note: Yes, I know that according to our sacred Bavarian tradition that bloody tree should stay inside until Candlemas (2 February). But the cat already knocked over the tree twice and the needles are driving everyone mad. Get over it.
To celebrate the publication of my first piece of fiction – a short story you will finish in 30 minutes or less – it is available for free for a short time – until January 12, 2014, to be precise. After that, it is 0.99 cents, so still quite affordable.
The piece is called “The Scorcher” and is based on (yep) true events. Several in fact which I have mostly experienced myself. However, at heart the story is about how a simple decision can force you to choose between life and death – and what if you don’t know which one will lead to which?
It plays out on a road trip along the Mediterranean coast. We join a young family, a British-American couple and their daughter driving from France to Spain. They take on a mysterious Spanish passenger and drive into an escalating eeriness that leads up to a life-changing moment. For me, it is a parable about how our modern lives are still subject to nature’s ultimate power, but are suffused with supernatural meaning. At least that is what I was aiming for.
Über “Fantasy Francis”, falsche Idole und die beste Prophylaxe geht es diesmal in der Wochenkolumne.
Kennen Sie den Watschenbaum von Washington? Robert Gates? Er war nicht nur Barack Obamas Verteidigungsminister, bekannt für seine ruhige und ausgeglichene Art. Er war eine der wichtigsten Säulen der “Administration”, wie die Regierung in den USA genannt wird. Obama nannte Gates sogar “einen der besten” Verteidigungminister, den die USA je gehabt habe. Nun hat dieser hochgeschätzte Politiker in einem sehr kritischen Buch öffentlich mit Barack Obama und seiner Regierung abgerechnet. Von wegen Säule! Eben ein echter Watschenbaum, der da in Washington umgefallen ist.