Tag Archives: Edith Parzefall

Comfort Reading, Like Comfort Food but Better

It’s cold beyond description in many parts of the country. So cold, a friend from Minnesota said: “a person couldn’t walk a block if they had car problems.”

So, what does one do during such unproductive days? How about reading? And what is your comfort reading?

Yes, I do have a suggestion. How would you like to travel to the German mountains for an alpine adventure with a group of characters each more interesting than the next.

The book is “Snow White’s Slide,” and the writer is a friend who “studied literature and linguistics in Germany and the United States. She strives to combine her two passions: writing and traveling…”  

Here is my review:

If you’re looking for an exciting story filled with alpine adventures in the gorgeous mountains of Germany, a world inhabited by risk takers, this is the book for you.

Karo, a take-charge business woman, receives a gift in the form of a vacation in the German Alps. And Karo is not one to back away from a challenge. Martin, the leader of the hiking group, is a man with no sympathy for the sophisticated city folks. A man who takes control. But with Karo in the group, that becomes a problem.

The book contains all the energy and unexpected turns that have made Edith Parzefall’s books appealing. And I read quite a few of her stories. As usual, the author found a way to lock me in. What can I say? This is one of those speed-read books, as the plot drives forward with a furious intensity.

An absorbing read I’d recommend to suspense and adventure enthusiasts.

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A Short Book Review and Vacation Inspiration

Often we concentrate on deep thoughts or challenging moments to stimulate the mind and come up with stories — to find inspiration — and in the process miss the great in life, such as reading a book or the picturesque scenery outside our window. 

Where do we find inspiration? Let’s start with reading.  

I don’t do many reviews, and, full disclosure, the author is a writing friend, but that doesn’t take away from the merit of her new book, out from MuseItUp Publishing.

PART ONE (A short review)

“Crumple Zone has drama, suspense and mystery all wrapped up in one.

Lara looks to get away from her disappointing life in Seattle and in doing so she walks into one full of conflict — albeit of a different and more potent kind — when she meets Enrique in the Atacama Desert of Chile. Talk about a change of pace and scenery. The author takes us to one of the most barren yet beautiful places in South America. Aside from the greatly woven suspense the book deserves high marks for the descriptions and scenery.

In Lara and Enrique we have two people from two very different backgrounds and cultures who find themselves in an emotional place in their lives, a state of mind filled with false impressions. By following them along the way, I was wrapped in the physical, emotional, and psychological aspects of two colliding lives. And that makes for a great read … from start to finish.

A suspenseful book, interesting characters, and a storyline that might keep you reading late into the night. I highly recommend it.”

PART TWO.  

Inspiration — where do we find it? Does it come to us freely? Do we analyze thoughts or emotions, look back at life, go on vacation?

Well, we recently traveled to San Diego, CA. And San Diego, with its beautiful scenery and quaint neighborhoods, is a ride of brilliance, but while there any thought of inspiration eluded me.

Ideas spun around in my head fighting for attention, but nothing surfaced … not even enough for a flash story. However, as I look through the photos, ideas spark and seem to organize into the beginning of something comprehensible.

Here are a few pictures:

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Sun rays over the bay

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The view from the thirty-sixth floor

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Street performer in the Gaslamp District

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An island in the distance.

Life is full of inspiration — whether provided by a book, a weekend getaway, or reflections upon life.  So, I’m curious: how do you find yours?

The Beauty of Language – translations, post 3 of 3 (Edith Parzefall)

We read translated books all the time, but what goes into translating fiction stories? 

After writing in English for  years, German author Edith Parzefall translated her thriller, “Strays of Rio,” into German. Recently, she took time off from promoting her latest book, “Crumple Zone,” to describe the translation process.

It is my pleasure to host one of my favorite suspense/thriller writers. Please welcome Edith Parzefall.  

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Ever since I attended college in the United States, I felt limited when writing in German, my mother tongue. No matter what I was writing, English phrases popped up in my mind. Working as a technical writer for a German software company, I started writing professionally in English when we were bought by an American company.

Two American friends kept encouraging, nudging and prodding me to write my novels in English so they could read them. And finally I dared to take on the challenge and much enjoyed it. One friend edited the first draft and didn’t find an awful lot of errors, but plenty of room for stylistic improvements. Finally I mustered the courage to look for a wider audience and found The Internet Writing Workshop. Boy, was I nervous when I started submitting my writing, but as I did, my English kept improving and my story-crafting skills as well. Since then I have written four novels in English and co-written four more.

Toward the end of last year, after toying with the idea for quite a while, I finally started translating my thriller Strays of Rio, published by MuseItUp Publishing.

I expected to suffer and give up soon. But I’m stubborn, and about twenty percent into the translation, I started enjoying the work.

As the author of the original, I probably took more liberties than a professional translator might dare. If the German version just didn’t flow in a literal translation or was too echo-laden for a lack of synonyms, I made content changes, but only minor ones that wouldn’t affect the story or character development. For example, if a description of the clothes of a character sounded bland in German, I wrote about facial expression, hair or posture, weaving in the outfit later.

At first I labored over every sentence and word, but then decided to get the first draft down quickly so I could put away the English version and do an editing round on the German text, taking even more liberties. During the translation and editing phase I only read German books and listened to German audio books and even avoided watching movies in English.

I’d say nothing needs to get lost in translation, except possibly a very specific wordplay or joke that can’t be easily replaced. And a translation can be better than the original. Of course, that depends on the quality of the original, the experience and skill of the translator and the time allowed to finish the work. And a good translation needs polishing by a line editor who
doesn’t know the original work and language, so they’ll stumble over errors like literal translations that make no sense in the target language.

Even professionally translated novels by big publishers have those sometimes, which can get very irritating. For example a literal translation of “cover your ass with paper”. An image hard to get out of your head when you’re not familiar with the metaphorical meaning of the phrase. Someone is chopped up by a serial killer but readers don’t take in the bloodshed because they see the victim with paper stuck to his or her bare ass. Yes, I stumbled across this one in a published novel, although there was no serial killer around. Another real-life example: “rib cage” literally translated as “Rippenkäfig”. Well, we call it “Brustkorb”, which literally translates to “chest basket”. Imagine reading a book where the heroine’s chest basket heaves and you’ll know how annoying such errors can be.

Have I started translating the next book yet? Well, I was tempted to get the translation of Crumple Zone done in time for the release of the English edition on February 22, but I shied from another two-month translation spree this soon after finishing Die Streuner von Rio. First I need a new writing fix. But in which language?

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