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REBECCAH DEAN Posts

That Lady’s Got Voice

Much to my chagrin, I don’t seem to have much time for singing these days. I’ve started a new copywriting job–only part-time, but the content is challenging–and am working on a big EFL curriculum on the side (yes, these are both of my “day” jobs). Any time I have left over is split between family and finishing the rough draft of my novel, although I’ve been discouraged on that front recently. Too many rejections these days (lit mags and grants), some of which I had high hopes for, but no dice. If it’s so hard to publish in magazines, what…

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Digital Detritus Rediscovered

How much digital detritus is out there anyway? Blogs long since abandoned, dead websites afloat in whatever the Internet really is, Facebook pages last active in 2014, their only sign of life the Happy birthday!! posts that inevitably drift in year after year. My personal digital detritus? A long abandoned Myspace page I started in 2007, the dawn of social media, at least for me (a good thing or a bad thing? I’m not really sure…), my now-empty vintage clothing shop, my blog Schaufensterbabe, a few failed Etsy jewellery shops, Augenblickphoto, my Etsy shop for photographs and jewellery that I…

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The Occult And Me: A Confession

For some reason I feel like writing a post outing myself as the occultist I’ve been pretty much all of my adult life. I say “outing” because other than my partners and a few close friends, some of whom like to refer to me as “Madame Rebeccah”, most people aren’t aware of this secret part of me. I suppose some of this has to do with my own inner occult critic. Also, I did grow up in California, where half the people are into something flakey, all-is-light new age-y and the other half are blissed out Buddhists (try as I…

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5 Things I Was Reminded Of In Cali

I just got back from a trip to Cali with my daughters. Going back is always a funny experience because I can slip right back into life there like slipping on an old pair of comfortable shoes I found buried in the back on my closet. Whenever I say, drive to Peet’s Coffee and make chit chat with someone in line or say “Oh, excuse me. I’m so sorry!” when I get in somebody’s way, I always get this goofy feeling like I’m a spy who’s convinced the locals that I’m a native by doing all the right moves and…

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“Hungry Boy That Close To Danger” Published in PANK

My short story “Hungry Boy That Close To Danger” was just published in PANK. Yeah! Like all stories, this one took a while to place, and I’m really happy it got accepted by a magazine I like so much. Hungry Boy is one of those stories that came hard and fast. Well, sort of. Actually, the premise behind the story came from the one and only time I ever attempted to write and illustrate a comic. When I was in my early 20s, my somewhat-boyfriend-mostly-best-friend was a very talented, entirely self-taught comic book illustrator. He used to pen these amazing…

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A Few New Tunes Just Because

Dear Phantom Reader, As I’m sure I’ve mentioned (repeatedly), I almost always listen to music when I work and write. What I listen to depends greatly on the kind of work and writing I’m doing. If it’s boring, boring, just-give-me-the-money-baby work, I tend to play upbeat stuff to bring up my energy so I can get the job done quickly, although well (I def. have internalized the protestant work ethic…). If I’m writing stuff I want to write (i.e., my own fiction), I usually listen to the master playlist, For Pheeps, which has all kinds of tunes on it. But…

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The Writer Formerly Known As Rebeccah Dean

Yes, it’s true. I’ve decided to start publishing my fiction under my married name, Rebeccah von Schlieffen although legally I’m still Rebecca(h) Dean. My husband and I got married in San Francisco in 2007, but I didn’t change my name because it would have caused complications in Germany (or at least I assumed that was the case, knowing the country as I do). I thought about changing it when we got back to Berlin but I never did because a) I think the tradition of a woman taking on her husband’s name is an archaic throwback to the days when…

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Not One, But Two

So here’s the thing: Germany has the reputation for being a very organized and efficient country. This is true to a certain extent, but mostly what the country does best is makes things unnecessarily (and sometimes mind-bogglingly) complicated. Granted, American bureaucracy is also a pain in the ass, but for the most part, you can avoid its nastier sides, at least if you’re a citizen. But bureaucracy penetrates every part of German culture, not just governmental offices. You can always tell a fresh off the boat expat because they will always say things like, “Wait, why do I need that…

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The Nightmare That Is FATCA

Spread the word, people! p.s. Not quite sure why I’m looking over to the side at the beginning of the video. I think I thought that’s where the camera hole was. p.p.s. I forget to mention that FATCA (and citizenship based taxation) also affects ‘accidental Americans’, i.e. foreigners born in the United States because their parents were working there, etc. In many cases, these people never lived in the US, most likely have never had an American passport and maybe don’t even know that New York City is not in California (something I heard a lot from EFL students over…

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Bummeln Down Bergmannstrasse

Dear Phantom Reader, Do you live in a big city? If you do, is it a big city full of tourists? If it is, I’m sure you know something about virtual streets in trendy neighborhoods. Virtual streets aren’t seemingly touristy places like, say, Brandenburg Gate, Hackescher Markt or Check Point Charlie, if we’re talking about Berlin. But they’re made for tourists just the same. Hey, they say. Isn’t life great here? Wasn’t your guidebook right on the nose? I live about a ten minute walk from one of these streets: Bergmannstrasse. For most locals in Bergamannkiez, Bergmannstrasse starts and ends…

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