Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006


In Which I Guest

Today I’m pointing you to other places on the Web where I’ve been writing. First up, tech blogger Vinnie Michandani asked me to contribute to his series “Technology and my Hobby”. I was very honoured to participate, and I wrote a piece on technology and writing. Please check out the whole series, which includes such diverse topics as technology and reading, techonology and soprano singing, technology and horse-riding.

Also, my latest article is up at Buzzine. I reviewed Jamie Woolf’s book “Mom-in-Chief”, and then interviewed the author.

Happy reading!


Liveblogging the ECHO Awards

11.04pm: Wladimir Klitschko here to give a lifetime achievement award to the Scorpions for selling 75 million records, 60 albums, 300 songs, and being the most successful German rock band ever. The Scorpion medley is brilliant! Some real rock at last, and a great way to end the evening.

10.53pm: At last, here’s Depeche Mode, with their new single “Wrong”. Nice twangy keyboards, and clashing chords. Great song, great performance, worth staying up for.

10.48pm: Best Female Artist Rock/Pop National … oh, sorry I must have dropped off. Stephanie Heinzmann.

10.44pm: Razorlight sings and your correspondent is still not moved. (Did I mention that Barbara Schoenemeyer is now wearing her sixth outfit? Go Barbara! Rock those wardrobe changes.)

10.36pm: Best Artist Rock/Pop National … Would the rocker in the house please stand up? And it’s Udo Lindenberg, this time without the astronaut suit, but wearing some fab tracky bots.

10.27pm: 2008 was the year of female pop stars, apparently. Amy, Amy, Duffy, Leona, Katy. Here’s lovely little Katy now with ANOTHER FREAKIN’ BALLAD. Would someone rock for me please?! Is it so much to ask?

10.17pm: German star Helene Fischer sings while wearing a very large mermaid. I am hating the song. Can I go to bed now? Oh no, I can’t she’s getting an award, for … Best Deutsche Schlager and Best German Newcomer. Very sincere and fluent speech.

10.12pm: 2009 Critic’s Prize goes to Peter Fox. Bless, he’s brought his beer with him.

10.03pm: Best International Newcomer is … Amy MacDonald! And she’s wearing wet-look leggings, and trying to speak German which is too cute with her Scottish accent. And now she’s singing “This is the Life”, which is, frankly, the best song of the evening so far. Worth staying awake for.

9.55pm: 2008 was the year of the comeback: Grace Jones, Britney Spears, AC/DC, Metallica and German pop icon Udo Lindenberg. Here’s the lovely Udo now wearing an astronaut suit that my son would give his Weetabix for. Full marks to the costume designer. I especially like the way the helmet keeps tipping forward so that poor old Udo can’t look out. Ooh! Space chicks! Got to have a bit of tin foil. This song is called Woddy Woddy Wodka. I’m not joking. It’s so awful, it’s good, and the audience LOVE it.

9.52pm: Video clip to Kid Rock wearing fun fur and receiving an award for … Best Song of the Year.

9.44pm: Silbermond! Some real rocking, at last. This should keep me awake. Err, no, somewhat underwhelming song.

9.38pm: Some girls in dirndls give awards for the best folk music. Big, big category here in Germany, of little interest to the rest of the world. And the winner is … the Kastelruther Spatzen!!! Nearly fell off my seat there. Did you notice?

9.31pm: Surprisingly cool song from Alex Swings Oscar Sings – Germany’s entrant in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

9.25pm: Mourning my lost copy. It was witty, I tell you. Now the award for Hip Hop Urban. It’s gone to Peter Fox, newcomer from Berlin whose album Stadtaffe has gone platinum in Germany.

9.15pm: Some slick boys in suits up to present an award for the Most Successful Jazz something something something National. And the winner is … Til Brönner, who is apparently Germany’s most well-known jazz export. Hmm. Who’da thunk it? Very smooth acceptance speech. Nice-looking fella.

ACHTUNG! WordPress just swallowed an hour’s worth of insightful commentary. I may have lost the will to live. Or I’ll just crack the tequila I was saving for Depeche Mode.

8.15pm: Barbara Schoeneberger wearing an interestingly ruched purple dress that recalls the Eighties. Oliver Pocher has my heart, and not just because of his name. So cute, and funny too. U2 performing a song from their new album “Line on the Horizon”. Their first performance in Germany for ten years. The usual big visuals and Bono, sorry to say it, gurning.

8.10pm: News very boring. Salami sticks finished.

7.55pm: Lionel Richie wearing a glittery coat on the red carpet. Paul Potts and Mrs Potts looking puzzled. Depeche Mode looking cold. It’s chilly in Berlin tonight.

7pm: Tonight I’m covering the ECHO Awards – Germany’s answer to the Grammys and the Brits – for Buzzine from the comfort of my own sofa. I thought I’d live blog it for my entertainment and for the three of you who might just be with me. If you are in Germany, feel free to watch it on Die Erste and chime in. First off, some background reading. See the big names performing tonight: U2, Depeche Mode, Razorlight, Amy MacDonald, Katy Perry, Die Toten Hosen, Silbermond. Up for awards are the likes of Coldplay, Amy Winehouse, Duffy, REM, Rosenstolz and Jack Johnson (quiver!). Then, to set the scene: Your correspondent eats last night’s leftovers and some salad at a wonderful local establishment called The Dining-Room (original, non?). She then proceeds, paparazzi snapping, to the sofa. Tonight she is wearing pants in a delicate grey melange, paired with a black sweater and accessorized with a giant pink blanket and Falke hiking socks, cleverly marked “R” and “L” just in case she drinks too much mineral water and forgets. Now that she is following a hardcore low-carb regime in order to preserve her figure, your correspondent will be snacking on salami sticks, macadamia nuts and olives. Later on, she may break loose and have a chai. You never know. Hold onto your seats, readers! This could get very exciting.


Writing From Home

I love being a Hollywood correspondent! Here’s one I wrote yesterday, while cooking sausages for my kids’ lunch.

Meanwhile, it dawned on me that I have been working on my novel for a year now. It all started when I took myself on an artist’s date to Heidelberg last January, sat in a cafe and wrote the first three pages. Now I have 80,000 words and am still going strong. I am not sure how much more I am going to write in this first draft, but I sense the end is nigh – a raft of crises are happening to my protagonists and the resolution (or not) is pending.

For those of you writers who have moved onto your second drafts, do you have any tips? Do you take a break from the manuscript and think it over, or do you just dive right in? Do you work through it according to categories, or do you go chapter-by-chapter?

And do you have any means to treat the slight sick high-wire feeling of anticipation as you approach the end, or will lots of whisky do it?


My New Gig

My writing life has taken many turns, and now it’s following a new path. Check out my new gig, corresponding to Hollywood from Germany. I have other articles in the pipeline and will let you know when they appear.

Now, I may be a correspondent, resplendent with fabulosity, but I also have brownies in the oven and a child to take to a playdate, so I have to go.

Have a wonderful weekend.