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Category: Writing Life

Out To Pasture

So here’s the thing folks: I’m from California, and this means I can do not one, but two different Tarot card spreads (anyone reading this from Los or San or Santa-something is probably shaking their heads right now and saying, “OMG, what a novice!”) I know my birth chart inside out and the healing properties of at least a couple of gemstones. That said, I’m still definitely sceptical of anything that seems too woo-woo new age-y, and always have been. In other words, it wasn’t a given that I would have gone to that psychic all those years ago. Actually,…

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The Author Photo Of Rebeccah M Dean

Since I’m likely to become a world famous writer any day now, I thought I’d spend the morning perfecting the image I wish to project to my masses of future readers. So here are a series of potential author photos.* *As I disclaimer, I should tell you these photographs and this post were also done in an attempt to distract myself because I have decided to embark on a journey of intermittent fasting. I’m following the 16/8 plan, which means I can only eat within an 8 hour time frame and have to fast the rest of the time. Since…

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Fucking Wagner

The other day I randomly came across this interview with my former voice teacher, Blanche Thebom. It was so strange to hear the voice of someone who had such an impact on my life all these years later. I would have recognized her voice anywhere. A lot of the stuff she mentions in the interview are things she told me when I was in her studio, ableit the nicer, more diplomatic version. I remember her mentioning the excellent musicians who came to the US after the war, but she also blamed the newcomers for ruining voice technique in the country.…

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Back To The Drawing Board, But At Least I Can Be A Tourist In Berlin

I’ve been a little glum these past few weeks because 2018 is starting out differently that I hoped it would. Last fall I applied for two things I really wanted: a fellowship at A Public Space and the sexily named Working stipend for literature other than German. I’m an optimist by nature and I had a good feeling about both. The APS wanted three fellows (beginning and/or emerging writers) whose work “takes risks,” and what is my work if not risk-takey?  Plus their offices are on Dean Street in Brooklyn and, I mean, come on, the street is named after me.…

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Warning: Pity Party Ahead

Dear Reader, So, I haven’t been around for a while and yes, I suppose there is a reason and that reason is I’ve been in a bit of a funk. Could it be the weather? Partly, it is. In Berlin, summer is an optional season. I’ve lived here for 18 years now (holy fuck, 18 years!!) and for the first 15 little old California me complained anytime I had to so much as wear a cotton sweater in July during the day. I mean, come on Berlin, I put up with your is-this-Mordor-or-is-this-winter? for almost six months ( dark all…

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Nightmare In Bucharest

Most moms of young kids I’ve known can be divided into two groups: baby moms and toddler moms. Toddler moms find the baby days the most stressful, because you can’t talk to a baby and figure out what it wants. Baby moms are the exact opposite. I was definitely a baby mom. I stayed home with both my daughters for the first year (possible because of Elterngeld—thanks German government!). To me, they were both like very intense pets you constantly pamper and carry around with you. Figuring out what they needed and wanted was usually just a question of trial…

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Love Letter To My Phantom Reader

Dear Reader, This weekend, a street festival happened outside of our door called Karneval der Kulturen. If this sounds like fun, believe me it isn’t, especially when you live in the middle of the action. For us, Karneval der Kulturen means drunk tourists yelling under our window at one in the morning, it means hordes of teenagers in leis and beaded necklaces tossing back one five euro capirinha cocktail after another. For four long days, each morning, our street and sidewalk is covered in glittering shards of brown and green glass from broken beer bottles. Can you blame us for…

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Poor Old Me

What am I anyway? A hair on the left hindleg of a microscopic mite, a single speck of plankton in an ocean upwelling fifteen miles long. No one, niemand, nada, nichts. Yes folks, welcome to my own private pity party, a regular nobody-likes-me-I-guess-I’ll-go-eat worms affair. Ach Rebeccah, why so glum? Dunno. Maybe it’s the birthday blues 71 days too early. Maybe it’s the eve of a Berlin winter, when it’s already dusk at 4:30 in the afternoon, when sleet and ice and snow are a daily affair, when the sun disappears behind an unmoving blanket of gray and won’t come back…

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Forever 35

When I was 35, I opened up an online vintage clothing store. Although I sold a lot of dirndls, I also had plenty of other stuff from the 40s to the early 80s. I could have easily found clothes from the later 80s and 90s and charged jacked up prices to hipsters the world over, but I just couldn’t do it. Why? Because a) selling a sweater I might have actually worn in the 7th grade felt very wrong and b) the 90s are vintage? Really?? I started running the shop in our apartment, but my husband soon started to complain about…

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