This is my 200th post! So it is very suitable that this post has to do with creative writing – I never had problems to fill my blog with stuff, in fact I have about 50 half-finished draft posts flying around that I still plan to launch one day … And there is also no chance that we will ever run out of music.

You may remember that a while ago, I went to the beautiful castle garden with my friend, and we enjoyed a wonderful afternoon of walking and talking. What we were talking about in particular was the novel we want to write together: For 15 years now, I have this vision of a fantasy novel in my mind which I never managed to write because it was too big for me alone and I did not know how to do something like writing a complex story, but parts of the world where it is going to play, some of the main characters, and the basic story line are there already. On the other hand, has an unfinished novel lying around herself, and when we told each other about our ideas, it showed that they miraculously complete each other, so we decided to merge our stories to a common life work. Even better, she is also an accomplished writer who comes with quite a lot of experience, I always have a lot of ideas, and we are both determined to commit ourselves to this project during the next years. We actually plan it as a trilogy already, and we will write it in English.

Our plans to start with it had to be delayed a little because she went for an extended trip to Mongolia in June and had some final exams to attend (which are still to come for me), but now we are both here and have some time, so we have taken up our regular weekend meetings again that will be devoted to this work from now on. There is a chance that we will both stay in Heidelberg to make our PhDs, and thus can work on it together during the next years instead of having to rely on email and Skype.

She brought these lovely things for me from Mongolia: a little paper yurt and a scarf. Yurts are the traditional homes of Mongolian nomads, and these paper yurts are made by prisoners and sold for their children to have a living. The scarf was woven by Buddhist monks who make them in different colors with different meanings. Blue is for spirituality, so she got that one for me. She knows me very well. And she also fixed my Firefox browser that had been behaving weird. What would I do without her?

Well, at least I could make chocolatey almond butter for her. She is one of my two best friends, so she has a natural right of free nut butter delivery whenever she wants.

After some extended talking about a lot of things – we can always talk for hours, and we had not seen each other for two months – we both got hungry, and I made dinner: roasted chicken with green beans, bell pepper, and tomatoes, carrots, and rice.

~ a real friend is somebody who patiently waits until the crazy food blogger has finished taking pictures ~

The rest of the evening was spent on working on the novel. Of course, we are not writing yet – there has a lot to be done before we can start actually writing it: sketching the world map, developing the different story lines, planning and discussing the development of the characters, filling empty spots with additional characters which will lead to side stories, and so on. Everything has to be logically consistent: The world map has to feature a realistic scale with regard to distances and climate zones, for example, that has to be taken into account when people travel around. The different societies that populate the world have to be developed, including social classes, economic and religious systems, style of government, general level of development, language, and names of people and cities. The feelings, thoughts, and actions of the characters have to be consistent with regard to where they come from and how they have been raised, their general personality structure, outer events, and progress of time in the story. The seasons have to match the progress of the story and the time that goes by in the story. And so on. Thus, we have been drawing, taking notes, collecting ideas, and discussing them mostly, and it will go on like this for a while. It is great fun, especially to do this with her. We perfectly match with regard to our ideas, openness, and mutual respect and appreciation of each other’s ideas. I know she is the only person I can do this with. And it makes me so happy that, besides my scientific endeavors, I have this area of creativity back in my life now – it makes me feel so vibrant.

Do you engage yourself in creative activities? If yes, what is it, and which place does it take in your life?

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