Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

Confessing in Berlin


Coffee + keyboard = slightly f*cked writing retreat

It also means a severely damaged computer. Don’t take coffee lightly, writing fans! It is a danger to your livelihood. Luckily, my lovely hosts have left their computer for me to use. It’s also been a great excuse to spend many delicious hours in the hosts of fabulous Berlin cafes, drinking chai teas, and writing in my notebook. Then I come home at night, transcribe my notes and make improvements.

My output has been excellent: so far I have transcribed 3,000 words and I have at least another 1,000 from today to add to that. I have completed the tricky final scene of Chapter Six and am well into the action of Chapter Seven. I also have a firm game plan for Chapter Eight.

I am loving my retreat, from the protestations of love I receive when I call home, to the unfathomable freedom of wondering the streets of Berlin, not having to be home at a promised time. I am enjoying not cooking and walking everywhere (though today I mastered three changes on the U-Bahn in order to go and fetch my very sick MacBook in Charlottenburg). This morning I lay in bed and read from cover to cover the faintly irritatingly titled, but astonishingly good, Voluptuous Delights of Peanut Butter and Jam by Lauren Liebenburg. Then I got up and went to do a wonderful yoga class in the Bergmannstrasse studio of my yoga teacher’s teacher (see here for pictures). Tomorrow I may run. Or go shopping. Or visit a museum. Or sit in cafes, drink chais and people-watch.

One thing is for sure though. I will write.

(RIP, MacBook. You were a good friend.)

Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

11 thoughts on “Confessing in Berlin

  1. Now I’m yearning for a European writing retreat!!

  2. I am so happy for you, Charlotte! This sounds like just the time you needed to really sink your teeth into your work. In honor of you tomorrow I am taking myself to a cafe and drinking a chai and finishing chapter nine of my own novel.
    Keep on having beautiful days, and I’m sorry for your macbook.

  3. Poor MacBook! I miss writing. Roll on the end of this stupid degree!

  4. Hi Charlotte, that’s great news re the writing and I’m glad you’re having a good time in Berlin. Sad about your macbook though. BTW, I’ve just read your Cold Comfort post (don’t know how I missed it before) and it was very moving. I can understand the heartache but also the decision to choose a better life for you and your kids. I’m still hopeful that things in SA will improve – but I think it will take a long time.

  5. Shhh! Everyone, let’s observe a moment of silence for the Mac.

    Sorry it wasn’t easily fixed!

  6. I was watching the game at a coffee bar on Bergmanstrasse tonight, thinking of you!

  7. That is one of my greatest fears, that I will fry my computer. I have daily online backups, but still!

    Sounds like you are having a delicious time…I’m so glad for you!

  8. All right. I must take a writing retreat one day. I wonder if Philadelphia can possibly substitute for Berlin. Meanwhile, your opening sentence was too, too funny.

  9. By the calm tone of your post, I’m sure you had back up of every file on your mac… which I didn’t when I came to experiment with mint tea on my laptop: different drink, same result! Enjoy your retreat, it sounds great!!

  10. “SOB”… poor baby! Poor MAC!
    I am sooooo envious of what sounds like a glorious time! YOU DESERVE EVERY MINUTE! Have fun! x Tanya

  11. I’m glad it’s going well (except for the computer of course) — nice progress you’re making!

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