New Year, New Book


I’m writing this from a cafe in the beautiful city of Vienna, where I will be spending the next month as a KulturKontakt Artist-in-Residence, in conjunction with the Austrian government.  It’s a stunning jungle in a massive greenhouse called the Palmenhaus, very close to the Austrian National Library, where I have also been spending much of my time.


All day, as I wandered through streets which were every bit as beautiful as I hoped, I felt as if I was having an out of body experience.  When I applied for the residency in August, I didn’t expect to get it.  It feels too good to be true: a month in an exciting city, where everything is provided and nothing is expected except that I ‘get inspired’.  Hopefully, this alchemy of place and research will result in the beginnings of my third novel.

Writing is a strange old profession.  Here I am, sipping a latte, trusting that it will lead to something I want to write about at some point in the (hopefully not-too-distant) future.  It’s all about having faith, letting your mind run free, and adding liberal doses of hard work.  I’ll let you know how my progress goes…

Sometimes, I wish I was the sort of writer who could churn out a book without much research.  To have a regular way of working, resulting in a regular output.  But at the beginning of something new, I’m always grateful to have my mulling time and my freedom to take any potential avenue.  And here in Vienna, as the new year begins, I’m excited to see what results of this trip.


In the meantime, here are a few random observances since I first arrived in a new city:

The only English language book I could find in a German bookshop was ‘The Little Book of Big Breasts’…  The supermarkets sell mayonnaise in metal tubes…  There are a lot of coffee machines for sale here… The city is infused with a snowy wintry feeling, which crystalises when the sun comes out…  The Christmas decorations are the classiest I’ve ever seen: more like the chandeliers that adorn ball rooms than the usual razamatazz…  So far, people have been patient and understanding about my lack of German, something I need to do something about…     

More soon.  I hope your new year is getting off to an excellent start…

1 Comment on “New Year, New Book

  1. Sounds amazing Emma! So jealous! Have a great time, love the blog and photos, keep them coming! Lots of love carolyn, ps, no sweeties when you’re not at work!!

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