Fiction. Poetry

Award -Nominated Author & Storyteller

Relatable characters. Inspirational reading. Magical realism.

BOOKS

Magazine-featured fiction, English

Magazine-featured fiction, Afrikaans

Award-nominated, plain-speech poetry

Award-nominated, plain-speech poetry

One of my core values as author and human, is the belief, no, the knowledge, that each of our lives is the stuff of a bestseller novel, at the very least. What's more, we are the co-writers and main characters in our life stories. It is our privilege to 'train the dragons within,' to truly become the hero, for ourselves and the world around us. May we embrace this fact, from day to precious day, cherish and nourish the roles we get to play. Lights, camera, action!

It is such a joy to draw from my life and imagination to bring characters and stories to the world. The magic of writing, to me, is in the canvas ‘big bang’ of the first draft, then the rewriting, the crafting. Growing to know the characters, like I’m creating imaginary friends and family(!), as their voices develop with each trip through the manuscript.

The rhythm, the music, the organic composition. And, then, of course, there is joy in the sharing, the embodied storytelling, the reading, the being read. What a blessing: Once upon a time …

The first draft offers me a second living of events, imagined or real, with subsequent drafts representing the growth and sculpting process. The ‘aha’ following plot solutions arising from my writer’s walks – accompanied by family members with and without furry tails (fairy tales?) – then flowing onto the page as I sit down or stand at my keyboard.

Yes, to my fellow keyboard warriors (worriers?): sitting all day long is bad for you, but so is standing! The solution? Sit and work for 45-60 minutes. Take a stretch break, acquire an enabling beverage, pat your pet iguana, and so on. Then, stand and work for 45-60 minutes. Upright posture through both cycles, shoulders back, we are the human exclamation marks! Repeat until done, or tired. Take a power nap. Yada, yada. Find your own way! 

The compost heap in our garden reminds me of ideas in my head or scribblings in my big black book, a first draft or rough outline. Dead leaves, twigs, remnants of fruit and vegetables cast as far away from the house as possible. This represents a putrid process with a promising future.

After turning the compost regularly over a period of time, what was once dead and rotting has been transformed into something rich and nourishing, from which new life bursts forth, from an orchid or lotus flower, to a quadruple-trunk behemoth yew tree.

Paraphrasing Thich Nhat Hanh: ‘No Compost. No Lotus.’

My self-published works are cathartic, from a spiritual, a self-cultural perspective. I’m currently working on a magical realism manuscript for young adults, tackling one of life’s biggest questions: what happens after we die, on ‘the other side?’ Fun topic, right? Remember, my mantra is ‘making wisdom practical fun again.’ My aim is to get this work traditionally published. Please enjoy my books and micro-story videos, if you are one of us: kindly curious about what’s going to happen next, in life, and the hereafter, on the page, on the screen. 

So, go ahead and turn to page 1. Once upon a time …

Books are a uniquely portable magic

Micro-story Videos & Blog Posts

We love stories because we are stories.

DORIAN HAARHOFF

[Books, Micro-story #13] A Story of Stories

[Books, Micro-story #13] A Story of Stories

From my collection: Death by Design Have I told you how every life is the stuff of a best-seller novel series? How every single one of us is the co-writer and main character of our stories? How every life is a story cell within the big story body, you know, the story...

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[Books, Micro-story #12] One day, when I’m dead

[Books, Micro-story #12] One day, when I’m dead

A micro-story, containing something akin to the author’s living will, including soundtrack, coffin shape and other lighthearted topics …
For more micro-stories and credits for this video, please visit https://wernerschmidt.co.za/

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[Books, Micro-Story #11] If This Life

[Books, Micro-Story #11] If This Life

A micro-story: An ordinary suburban fairy tale featuring the shopping mall, museum, prison, time, garden, toys and a volcano …
For more micro-stories and credits for this video, please visit https://wernerschmidt.co.za/

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