Sunday, September 25, 2011


So far it has been almost one month we are here in Midwest of the USA. Iowa City says me every day, welcome, Milena, I still feel here welcome and happy to be here, well, one month!
What a change after Berlin... I cannot imagine the change after Bejing - I must ask my Chinese friend Yueran, how is it for her?? This is really a small city BUT with a power of writing´s potential in itsself . IS unique, we are lucky here to be a part of the center of it and to have access to the beautiful outstandings possiblities and to write!
I have just learned - think local, move local, see local, meet friends local, shop local, read local!
I am in the SANATORIUM! I cure my soul.
For me it is an important time to heal here - to say to write and concentrate on the inner creative soul.
Thanks for the regimen.
We are a group of writers, we see each other everyday, we meet / encounter each other passionately everyday, love is in the air or in the stars*** (far away are the stars...) we dinner or at least we drink together in the evening, there isn´t day when we don´t see each other, we must take care of each other, we love, the whole group. And if we don´t see anyone we miss him/her, so far my feeling about some in the group. 


Oh, those oh-so-emotional emotions. Oh, oceans of emotional emotions. If it's emotions that are moving us well, don't panic, you are not alone.
Instead, lie back, look up at the sky, there is a sunny Indian - summer- day, put your arms behind your head, and float, float, float, letting the rise and fall of feelings buoy and sink beneath you. Ah! All we write down what we feel now... we have time for our feelings, beautiful here!
I am likely to be the patient in my sanatorium.
Writing in a place you enjoy can be like soaking up the sun before you dive into the cold waters of a mountain lake. The comfort of the place can make you feel less alone and help tease those first words onto the pages you start in the new place. I am full of the stories and words so I think I will overcome the first writing - difficulties. To write requires faith in yourself. Requires that you say no to others "normal" life. That you believe you are worth standing up for, when deep down you would like nothing more than to walk off into the sunset, to a different life and into the arms of a new and more comfortable self!!
Everyone has his issue to write about, everyone deals with it every day and everyone feels here some pain. We are writers and writers must suffer and create from the suffer. Good to suffer. We nurture our souls every day with a pain and happiness in our daily solitude. We cannot ease the isolation we have chosen for ever!
And here is such a quiet healing atmosphere. Nothing disturbs me like in Berlin, attempts to say yes to the wild nights of Berlin! That´s why it reminds of a sanatorium?
As I described our hotel is a patient´s residency and outside the city is just a holy extension of our sanatorium. Remarkable is the FIRE ALARM which has already been set 4x in this week!! It´s apparently defect and just in one week so much stress, in the early morning FALSE ALARM of the fire. I start to believe in the THEORY OF CONSPIRACY in the USA! Every day early in the morning they want that we run out take laptops, passports, the most important things and wait outside in the cold weather - I am sure there the authorities they don´t like the writers! We just hope there won´t be a fire for the 5th times and everybody in his room... nobody trusts now the alarm. Love the writers - keep them in peace!
Anyway, how noisy is this small city, the trucks make a horrible noise, the train which cross the river near this hotel makes noise - reminds me again the movie Mystery train, the workers start to work at 11 pm very loudly in front of the hotel etc... there is never quiet in that small city!!
There are always some adventures for us in the US!

 We get every morning (as patients) a meal, vitamins, sitting in the breakfast-room makes fun, the low and loud buzz of talk around me, the click and clatter of cups, the toast´s smell, bagels and peanut butter, the American coffee which I must indulge, there is no oven to make a right Italian coffee - I brought the Italian cane, there is just a microwave in our rooms, so our meals are done in the microwave if we really don´t want to go out. We do! Nell, a friend of mine tried to make "smashed eggs" in the microwave, not successful! For the lunch I usually buy a fresh, in front of me made sushi, almost every day. What a nice habit.
We have almost every day a schedule to follow; we also have free hours for a writing and what my inner doctor ordered: work work work and live! In the evening we go out, to play each other which happens differently, as a group or solitary - self -abandonment, out of habit or frustration. Everyone want to streamline his life.

We walk normally in the circles. I meet the same people. But still get to know some new as a miracle. I believe in the miracles! I see the same pictures of the city. My eyes are used to see always the changing scenery from Berlin. The same pictures I bear in my eyes, daily change people/students I walk through the streets but also not such a great change, they all wear the same t-shirts, shorts with the label IOWA, which looks nice and even shows their love & belongings to IOWA... what a honest nation of Iowans. (Just for the creative eye boring to see always the same... it smashes like the eggs in the microwave.)

 OLD CAPITOL... lovely sitting here in the days like now - sunny sunny and still warm weather!

The streets are all the same. For me it was quite hard to orientate here. Even if it seems to be simpel. For me wasn´t. Ok. There was said: The starting point for all of Iowa City is the corner of Iowa Avenue and Clinton Street. Adresses increase in number outward from here. The numbers are on both South and East sides of the steet, while odd numbers are on both the North and West sides of the street, I can orientate now. It took me a while to understand this small but somehow too city in the architecture, so simple that I feel lost. I got to know Berlin quicklier than here. The numbers and the names of the streets mixed up with the history of all the presidents of the USA was always very difficult to learn them by heart. And here are in one cube of the city. Jefferson, Washington, Clinton, Governor etc. ....  some simple shopping malls but 4!

The walking around the city isn´t for a leg-stretch, it´s a small tour but at every corner you can PLAY A PIANO!! Yes, there are pianos in the city outside and musicians play, unfortunately I forgot everything how to play reasonable...  I have already met some interesting musician here like Jaison, Henry, Bina, or Chase Garett who told me, he is going to have a concert in the Carnegie Hall 2013 in NYC. - Those pianos are not supposed to be serious instruments, they are not in tunes - anyway every piece of music the musicians play in the street is fun and technically challenging to play. Talents playing here are worth seeing as Chase Garett. The impressive way his hands fly up and down the keys with precision and force outside in the plain air!! I love it!
So I meet in my sanatorium also another artists.
Around are big books so you can read in them as scupltor, not very artistic but smart and clear image of this UNESCO city of LITERATURE.

The area I am concentrated on calls the MARKET Street: One Cofee Shop - T-Spoons, opposite is a wonderfull book store: Haunted Bookshop, where I am going to have a reading Oct. 14th, further go to eat cheap & ok by the Mexican´s or to shop  in the wonderful second hand craftarts shop for some winter-clothes or just some nice stuff, for a grocery shop I continue to the Jack´s and already is an evening!! Back on the Market street to the Iowa House or  to stay and just cross the street are two bars. 
Voilà most of us continue on meeting at the bar George´s or at the Foxhead. The Foxhead has been till now our favorite bar where we always met to discus our clinical topics we write or think about. There we meet mostly another graduated students or undergraduated in writings workshops, or just people who once wrote or just write passionely or just as a hobby, as a lost hope to be a good writer. They started here once... Well, to be a write is a tough job, you must deal with the solitude and with the concentration on your soul and head to put it raisonable together. 
But now I already know where I am and where I want to go, every day. I am almost familiar with the city, with my daily circle. With my promenade in the crowd of the "similar" iowa- students in gold and black -  the Hawkeyes! Keep their interest up and give them support with the call: Hawk, like the origin-people the Indians, or not? Or just the birds!?

The "landscape" of the city doesn´t change, I must change inside.. I must have full life inside of me.
Slowly I know my sanatorium, I would like to travel, to go out of the city to change the scenery, some pleasant variations of this grand circle of the city I cannot afford. I don´t have a car to move... I cannot get to know the outer circle of IOWA. But soon!
Just sit back, close the eyes and take a few deep breaths, inhalling completely and releasing the tension as you exhale. Create the optimal conditions for you! It cannot be forced. Sure, it depends upon the quality of the air you breath, you cannot be always in control of the chemistry of the atmosphere that "surrounds" us... 

Fill your head with culture today - I say everyday and there is a quite everyday some culture on the program I try to consider that demad also here, in Berlin was it easier even too much! The more people appreciate it here, in Berlin it´s just one of ...
I went to the reading of the Russian poet: ILYA KAMINSKY!! What wonder-ful poet!! Trully a great poetry, I love it so much! (
He spent a week in Iowa city presenting lectures and discussing such topics as translation and international literature. He asked me how are the best Czech & German poets!! Who put such a questions? Only a humble great poet. Ilya has been deaf since the age of 4, has been recongniszed by many organisations for accomplishments in his two volumes of poetry. He lives in San Diego and teaches creative writing, outside of his writing *career, is he cofounder of Poets for Peace, organisations that supports such programs as Doctors without Boarders and Survivors international!

Then all the participants are also a part of the culture here, pannels readings, the readings in the book store Prairie Lights Bookstore or in Shabaugh House.

With the Iowan Henry in the Prairie Lights... with a book from the wonderful U.S. Poet, very ill, Dean Young: SKID.
 I have already met here some interesting people - authors, translators who held the readings here, coming from other states!

And another cultural event is ahead: A TRIP to my beloved SAN FRANCISCO! the cure continues...
The autumn is still warm smart chilly in the night... this is the 23rd Sept. With love...on the way...

Monday, September 12, 2011


Already a few days passed and quite a lot of happened.
Today in my blog I am occupied with the CULT OF the AMERICAN PHYSICALITY.

One thing that is on my list of to do here in Iowa City is to make a sport.
There is outside lovely swimming pool near to our hotel.
There is also a great offer for us - writers - to go for free to the FITNESS STUDIO.
It´s just 5 Min. walk! As I discovered this studio I was completely amazed how huge it is! One big building!
In Berlin I used to go to the McFit - for Berlin´s circumstances it´s the hugest (I suppose) fitness studio in the city/Germany. Some voices of people around me just refuse to go in this big studio, they prefer a small one, where is very limited choice of the maschines. In the comparison to this /American studio is the German McFit (which already seems to be very American as the name is...) tinny, small studio. Normal. As well  known in America is almost everything huge so that I am not so much suprised, when I walk through the three floors and besides are two swimming pools, one is quite as big as an olympic size and the other is just smaller for a refreshment. There is also playground for a basketball and tenis.
 I feel comfortable with one floor - with the 2nd floor - it´s enough good for me, there is everything what I need.
 I like the craft training but I won´t exagerate in the dimension of my workouts and in the choice of the maschine, there are really plenty!!! I could spend there three hours. The mood is nice all around. People are occupied with themselves very concentrated on their exercises. Right.
What I mainly ADMIRE is how people exercise - workout here!! What a lovely view on all of them!!! They have in their faces huble and healthy, happy believe in their physical abilities. I feel beside them OUT OF SHAPE! Men & women catter here to extreme fitness buffs, heading toward strength training AND almost -it seems to me as a militaristic exercise. It seems sometimes its a military´s special workout they do. I look at the Men of Steel. Supermen are training here for hours of pumping iron. And this is very inspirational: If I am surrounded by substandart people, I´m not going to workthat hard myself. Here I do! I learn with them to discover the love of pushing myself beyond my notions of limits!!!
I am not used to do it so first of all I must train my mind then my body.  Before I go to the fitness studio I am  interested in training my mind in physical workout which comes...I am preparing for the completion of my 2 hours SPORT. Mind and body and soul should be connected. Mega-pumped!
It is extreme tough how they exercise, they do it as extreme as America can be. I haven´t ever seen such a joy and an imaginative "creative" workout as here. People seem to be happy with their extreme military way of the workouts! Yes, I like their fit, slim, great bodies! They are not fat at all!! So when they eat hamburgers, Frech fries or chicken wings with a big portion of the ice cream or cakes, it´s OK. They can eat that, they lose weight through their hard exercise already here. So I don´t really see fat people here as it´s common to say about the Americans. That´s Iowa City!!? Yes, maybe.  The generall food is really horrible, fat pizzas, hamburgers etc. But with such a fitness studio and a personal steel will they can allow it to eat it. I think we cannot . I cannot. I had to culminate in this studio in tears and sweat but still I am not as extreme as they are. I might be critical, that´s alright, that´s the new goal: American extreme toughness! With the new motto: "Don´t complain  if the work si too hard, or if you pass out, drop a barbell on your head, kettle bell on your toes."

OUTSIDE OF MY FITNESS the Foxhead bar : not drunk, just fit to dance!

Another SPORT I could admire here was a RODEO.
We went out of the city by the car. It took two hours to arrive to the RODEO ARENA. Sure, Iowa isn´t the capital country of the rodeo races but neverthless for the starter-fans as me it is good enough to enlarge the imagination of this American sport.
I bought immediatly a real cowboy hut - I was drawn into the wild atmosphere of the Western - see below. I wouldn´t say I  become a fan, but I will speak about it with a kind of an adoration for COWBOYS and COWGIRLS athletes. Cowgirls were really amazing strong, riding the horse in a high speed! It was terrifying! Crazy, they risk their life. But again there is a cult of physicality! 
I just argue about the animal cruelty.
Well, everybody knows the iconic silhouette image of a "Bucking Horse and Rider" is a federal and state-registered trademark.
Actually I haven´t seen anything of that before - life. Something on the TV but this was immediatly life and really frighting and terrifying.
 On the programm was: Tie -down roping,  Steer wrestling, Saddle bronc riding, Barebacl Bronc-Riding, Barrel racing (which did also small children 3-8 years old!!) and Bull riding. The event was divided into two basic categories: the rough stock events and the timed events.  
The wild horses trying to shake down the cowboy. Uff, it was very dramatic... I was shouting and trembling about them. As a part of audience I was feeling the adrenalin in me going high by every new wild horse and the strong and crazy cowboy who risks his life. One had felt on the ground and seemed to be breathless.
As a Middleuropean woman I haven´t seen any such kind risk sports as this one or others are. We don´t have such extremes sport - just football /socce, voleyball, basketball etc. Killing or using animals for races isn´t familiar to me. So. I was glad that this isn´t sport about the killing the animals - the cruelty and the stress was enough - enough stress had the baby calfs who were tortured by running and then tied by the lariat of the cowboy - Tie-down-roping- discipline.
Roping competitions are based on the tasks of a working cowboy, who often had to capture calves and adult cattle for branding, medical treatment and other purposes. The cowboy must throw a type of rope with a loop, known as a lariat or lasso, over the head of a calf or onto the horns and around the hind legs of adult cattle, and secure the animal in a fashion dictated by its size and age.
My favorite discipline was: ROUGH STOCK - BRONC  RIDING - Competition.
The risky riding on the wild horse or bull...
Bronc riding is - I read about - , where the rider uses a specialized western saddle without a horn (for safety) and hangs onto a heavy lead rope, called a bronc rein, which is attached to a halter on the horse...and rides!
That was a beautiful show I would say. We all enjoyed it!
Back to IOWA CITY full of our passive adventure!! Still admiring the physicality of the Cowboys/Cowgirls!!
Till yet we have had a very beautiful weather here, good to make sport along the IOWA RIVER just next our hotel.
I am jogging and meditating here at the river and in this small city full of little surprises!!
Today 11/9 - Indian Summer and everywhere in the ground small American flags. I like that patriotic SPORT! Honour to own people who die for the country.
It´s a sweet cult of the love.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

PART II.WHO WE ARE? WHAT DO WE DO IN THE IOWA CITY. Small But Inspirational&International.


So far, we "know each other" - we recognize and we name each other better now in the big group and we know the seize and possibilities of the city.
There are writers from the countries like Colombia, Venezuella, Argentina, Russia, Spain, Finnland, South Afrika, the Phillipines, Burma, Vietnam, South Korea, Nepal, China, Singapore, Haiti, France, Senegal, Israel, Pakistan, Palestina, Jordan, Australia, Ireland, U.K. and who else did I forget?
We are really from the whole world - 37 participants. We introduced each other in the group the second day and then officially at an event for the Iowan´s representives. A nice evening with a smalltalk, some nice food and drinks... good to know people here! What I really like is that people are open to come and talk to you... There is no fear for spontaneious behaviour - they just come and speak with strange people if they like them - people show here " I like you" - that´s why we like Facebook and it comes from the USA! :: I can hardly imagine that I feel or hear "I like" in Germany :-( there is no spontaneity! I wish there were! 
I think we are really a great international group, we fit well together.
What do we do here all the time?
We live/stay in different houses&hostels.
We have a breakfast every morning in the breakfast room, it´s not duty to go there, but there we have a breakfast - tea&coffee, sandwiches to make and we talk together...
Then we go to our rooms... we have had mostly a full program.We follow the schedule of our weekly program... but slowly we have some time to write, to refind our writing routine!! That makes us happy... to feel already well connected with our creative soul. To create again...slowly... well, we are here one week!
And we have already met: the law!
Meanwhile we had a discussion or a "lecture" with a bank service, we have an own bank account!
AND an attorney made for us the American laws clear: with an open mounth we were listening and wondering what we cannot do: never go across the street where ever you want - like in the most part of EUROPE we walk across without any thinking - here you must go to the end of the street and go across just where the crossroad is: in other case it calls JAY"JAIL"WALKING - you can end up in a "jail" - the sentence is 75 dollar.
No smoking in the streets & hotel rooms, nowhere in the public - just at the crossroads - why there?? Well, I dont smoke - I neednt to care, hurrai!  No marrihuana!!! tooo bad for the rest of life!! Don´t take any risk!! No alcohol outside... no drunk people should be seen outside, one drunk must walk properly...  How surprised and scared we left the room... In Germany there is ORDNUNG - rules but this is a different Ordnung - one biting strict Ordnung - no freedom, kids! How free we live in Germany/ Europe!
OKAY there is no way to break to rules... to bad for the life. So we are obedient ::: (Like my Servant (from my novel))
And after all, we go out and relax nicely together every evening ::: we must get to know each other properly, we have a limited time for each other and that we are HERE together it means that is a DESTINY :::
We are every evening out - in our favorite bar - FOXHEAD!! You can find us there! Its called BAR FOR WRITERS: HERE WE ARE! In the beginning we thought how difficult it will be to find each other without cell phones but now we know there is always this bar where we end up.

 We in the FOXHEAD.
The jukebox on Foxhead!



We are all known as writers here, we are welcome and happy to be here. I have realized that EVERYBODY has here to do with writing, everybody holds in the fingers the keybord & pen :-)
AND what else? 2nd September - GREAT DAY! At that day I had really a beautiful, wonderful time with others!! I was so happy. Joel M. Toledo, the poet from the Phillipines and me, had together a READING.
It was taking part in Shambaugh House, its a bulding, where we meet for every event, occasion when necessary, there are also some workshops.
The reading started Joel with his 15 inner profound poems. I was reading from my novel: "Nennen Sie mich Diener" In English: Please call me Servant (Excerpt translated by Steph Morris you can find here - next to my name:
Here you can also see the BOOK TRAILER, well in German - the Servant is about to prove his rules:
From the booktrailer - this is my "Servant"  - the actor Karl Hemeyer and my dog Barnie...
First I was reading a part in German, then in English. All enjoyed the German part too, as they told me then...  
After the reading, with a bit feary feelings - what the others say - the others 35 participants of 30 nations!! But all came to me and expressed how they liked it!! Such a great appreciation I havent got yet - in Germany...--- it seems to me in Germany people/ institutions don´t understand my novel at all. Hmmm. Well, finally I was feeling to be really the writer!! :-)
What is more important for the writer than appreciation from the audience & readers?! Just that AND to sell books, to live from it... to live! Not only to survive...  I hope for the better times!
And I was happy you liked my T-Short!! Please order how many you will, I would be VERY PLEASED - just let me know - how many!!
(T-Short-Size&Colour&Pieces - Prize is like 20-25 dollars-it depends how much is the mailing -lets see!!)
IOWA CITY IS GREAT - small but inspirative!!
CHEERS! Best from the sunny IOWACITY!
Its September 4th. a cold INDIAN SUMMER -- but still ahaed with the sun.

The T-Short order please by me or by PINK GORILLA BERLIN:

My books in German published 2011:::
Novel: "Nennen Sie mich Diener". Verlag Schumachergebler, Dresden, 2011
Prose: "Ferenc. Die Liebeserklärung an die Schuhe." Verlag Verzone, Prague 2011 (in German&Czech language)