A secret hide-out in the Swiss Alps.

A short preview of my new novel REBOUNCE… stay tuned for more!

Meanwhile, our convoy, consisting of hundreds of vehicles, continued to move forward. We drove south for some time, but then we veered east in the direction of Luzern and the Vierwaldstättersee, a large irregularly shaped lake, enclosed by high mountains. From there we moved south again. It started to rain; a heavy precipitation typical for mountainous regions, with low hanging grey clouds that looked as if they would stay forever. It was slow travel, and the convoy came to a stop regularly, which made every single man, woman, and child in the convoy dreadfully nervous. We knew that Urs was behind us and that he had outmaneuvered Antonioni and his clan. What was he up to? With every forced rest, we feared an attack of some kind, either in front of us or at the tail of the party.

When the convoy would start up again, we would soon pass by some car wrecks or other types of blockage that had been pulled from the road. Engineers in front of us used a heavy caterpillar to clear the road.

I continued to wonder where we were heading… northern Italy? Reto had indicated that our goal was a safe place…

Soon our convoy started to crawl up into the mountains. The massif around us grew in height, the rocks turning mean and irregular, and the road started to move up too. I had been on this exact road several times, either on my way to Milano in Northern Italy or to go hiking in the surrounding mountains.

“Where are we?” asked Francois. I explained. We were about to enter the Saint-Gotthard Massif, a mountain range in the south of the Swiss Alps, just north of Italy. This was the road that led to the Gotthard Pass, in ancient and modern times the main route from northern to southern Europe. The highest peak was the Pizzo Rotondo, which, like many other peaks in this mountainous region, exceeded 10,000 feet. The Alps are, from a geological viewpoint, relatively young, and thus the rocks and the peaks are rugged and irregular.

Not much later, our convoy left the highway and turned onto a small road that took us deeper into the mountains. Obviously, we weren’t taking the Gotthard tunnel to Italy and neither were we heading up the pass that would have taken us, in innumerable serpentines, over the mountains. Our goal was closer. The rain intensified and visibility dropped further. Imani was behind the wheel and had to slow down. We could barely see the red lights of the truck in front of us.

After about an hour, the sky brightened a little. The rain diminished to a few irregular drops. We came to an airfield. Many of the cars and trucks that had been in front of us now stood parked in long, orderly rows. People were getting out of the vehicles and had started walking towards a gate in the side of the mountain. We joined them, and soon entered a gaping tunnel, that led into the belly of the Massif.

Soon, the metal doors closed behind us with a loud clang and blocked out the light of the sun. We had entered a stronghold of epic proportions, a complex system of army bunkers dug deep into the Gotthard. Probably the safest place within a radius of a thousand miles.

Mountains VII. Oil and sand, on Canvas.

Find more details about my books here.

Sun-yin-yang-tattoo. To be or not to b…eherm: tattoo! Free advice from your beauty expert.


Beautifying yourself is crucial, it is rewarding to stay in tip top shape and your fellow humans will respect, appreciate and like you more. In that regard it may be very rewarding to be able to say: Finally the Sun Yin Yang tattoo is ready!

Yin and Yang and the sun and a tatoo

sun yin yang tattoo

Admittedly NOT on my body, thank you! After long consideration I decided against ANY skin mutilation. After all, this may be hype now, but in ten years that hype may well be over… but any tattoo would still be there! So instead of investing money in this rather special art form, I decided to invest into THIS. In any case, If you’re thinking about tattooling, start small. Give yourself a chance to learn the process, how your skin takes ink, and how your body heals. Don’t do it cheap: a suspiciously cheap tattoo parlour, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You’re altering your body for life. If that’s not worth a decent investment, I don’t know what is.

No matter how madly in love you are now, putting your hubby’s or one-night stand’s name on your body is risky – if not stupid. Be certain that you stand behind your choice for the rest of your (or your partner’s) life. As a tattooist of mine once said, “You want it removed? Bring an axe bro.” Changing Mary to Harry is simple enough (if you adjust in other dimensions as well), but changing Mary to Zebedee, or Kevin Spacey to George “Nespresso” Clooney is near impossible. If you’ve got a tattoo, people will talk about it. They’ll judge you, they will put you in a mental drawer, and they will slam it shut and lock it and throw away the key. So you have to decide about the location: a hidden spot (chest, your back, buttock, or certain organs) or out in the open (cheeks, nose, forehead, hands, neck, ears, calves if you are a short-/skirt-man or certain organs, if you’re that kind of guy).

In any case. Stay in shape, stay clean, dress well – and leave your body as it is – that’s my motto.

My books on Kindle.

Originally posted 2018-03-25 03:01:51.

A visit to the ossuary of the church San Bernardino alle Ossa in Milan, Italy

It is the attempt that counts. A piece of art, on the verge of the macabre.  San Bernardino alle Ossa (Saint Bernhard of the Bones) is a church in Milan, not to far from the Cathedral of Milano, by itself an inconspicuous building. This church is best known for its ossuary (a skull and bones collection) in  a small side chapel.

In 1200s, the local cemetery ran out of space, I am not sure why, but one guess could be that famine struck northern Italy. A room was built next to the church to hold bones to tackle that problem. After all, you cant simply throw corpses in the river or burn them, can you? The result is a haunting, octagonal room, with hundreds of skulls stacked to the ceiling. As the church suffered from some catastrophes, and needed to be rebuild a couple of times, this work of art is in actuality much younger.

What struck me during my visit was the perfect symmetry with which the bones and skulls are stacked. The creators invested a lot of time to get it right and to make it esthetically halfway acceptable (if you go for that kind of thing). What I also wondered was how they separated the flesh from the bones. Were these people first buried, and the skeletons dug-up later? A human body may take about 1-2 years to be free of flesh, depending on its location, e.g. a body in a field will decompose much faster than a buried human (see my novel Two Journeys for more grisly details).

The skulls were all small, much smaller than the ones I saw in anatomy class. I suspect that most belonged to children, as only few seemed to be adult-size. An alternative explanation would be that these people were very small – perhaps it was indeed a famine? One or two skulls had impressive deformities; elongations at the back.

Below some of the impressions from our travels. Click on any of the pictures below to enlarge.

Skull and Bones San Bernardino alle Ossa – Stacked Skulls in the Ossuary
A scary sight: these stacked skulls and bones. Isn’t that Mario on the left?

 

Stack ’em ! Quite artistically done, yet still macabre. You’ve seen one ossuary, you’ve seen them all.

Originally posted 2018-03-18 06:01:00.

Celeterra also available at Barnes + Noble and many other stores

The novel Celeterra is available as paperback and also in many e-book formats, for instance at Barnes and Noble. If you would like to read this exciting novel, simply go to the bookstore on your device, or visit your favorite bookstore, like for instance at Barnes and Noble.

What is this book about? It has many different aspects. On one side it is a crime story; there are some mystery aspects to it. It has to do with religion, and it is set both on Earth, and in heaven. It is definitely a dystopian story, about people who are power-hungry and want to misuse religion for their purposes. Most of my books deal with that motive, in some form and shape: individuals that want to profit from the misfortune of other individuals.

In the end Celeterra is simply a great adventure story to read and you won’t be able to put it down.

Celeterra excerpt

Altijd bent towards Vance and whispered in his ear. “Adolf Hitler!”

Vance’s mouth fell open. “What? Adolf Hitler, the German dictator, is in Heaven? Are you sure? He was a terrible war criminal, directly responsible for the murder of millions of people!”

“I met him here! Let me tell you what happened. One afternoon, Ballew and I were walking hand in hand along a small brook. The trees were golden, soft music filled the air. Extraordinary birds hopped on the path, which was covered with small diamonds. Two men came in our direction, both casually dressed; trousers, shirts, sneakers. The man on the right was Adolf Hitler, I recognized him immediately. We stopped and talked to them. Ballew seemed to have met both of them before. Hitler was rather quiet, not speaking much at first. He made a serious and subdued impression. When he did speak, it either was in German or heavily accented English. His companion was less reserved and chatted away happily with Ballew. If I remember correctly, his name was Ed Gean or something… I cannot recall exactly. Ballew mentioned later that he had been a notorious killer in his earthly life.

“Anyway, I was challenged to follow the conversation, I just stood there and stared at Hitler. He seemed to be slightly embarrassed by this. During a break in the conversation, he turned to me, stiffly, as if his back was rigid.

“‘Well, Altijd, how do you like it here?’

“At first, I didn’t know how to reply. Then I mumbled that I thought it was a great place. Hitler smiled. “‘You know, young man, I have been here for a long time. I have very much enjoyed every day of it.’

“To me, his statement sounded rather unconvincing. He had said it somewhat mechanically, as if he was reading it, from a piece of paper. Ballew took a hold of my arm. “‘Adolf is one of our most honorable guests. He has been here for quite a while, and if you have any questions about this place, just ask him, there is nothing that he has not seen or heard about. He knows every corner of Heaven and many of its more interesting inhabitants too.’

“Adolf Hitler smiled weakly beneath his moustache and took a hold of Ballew’s hand and kissed it. Ballew giggled with pleasure. “‘You are always so charming. Come, why don’t the two of you join us for our walk?’

“We continued along the path. We talked about this and that, and Adolf and Ed pointed out some of the sights. I still had difficulty taking part in the conversation, I was truly flabbergasted to stumble upon this singular, most brutal dictator in Heaven! However, my three companions chatted away happily. Even Hitler seemed to have thawed to some extent. Still, on several occasions, I saw him shooting quick glances at me.”

Altijd interrupted his narration. They were following a small track leading down into one of the valleys, towards some distant music. It was getting later in the day and the sun was setting. Sheep stood in the heather and munched away at sparse green grass. Vance noticed that he was getting hungry.

“What happened then?”

Altijd walked in front of him. Without turning around, he continued his story. “We picnicked together, underneath a tree. Blankets had been laid out for us. We had some champagne and toast with smoked fish. It was a pastoral scene, Arcadian – like a Tomas Cole painting. Ballew looked absolutely marvelous, she was always so very pretty when she was enjoying herself. She was sitting very upright and in the center. We three men rested leisurely on the grass. Hitler started to tell stories about his childhood in Austria, about small boy’s pranks and escapades. Despite myself, I had to admit that his narration was extremely funny. He was charming and a great storyteller. One story stands out in my mind; how he and his childhood friend had gone out to steal apples from a neighboring orchard. When the farmer discovered them, they had to run off as fast as they could. His friend was a bit overweight, and as they climbed over a fence, his trousers had torn. He got a proper spanking from his mother. At that part of the story, Hitler got up and was gesticulating passionately, like I had seen him do in some of those old documentaries. However, this time he was not rallying for war, but talking about his youth and imitating his friend’s mother! He was so funny!”

More here.

celeterra

CELETERRA paperback cover

 

Originally posted 2018-03-15 03:36:02.

Top Five Tips for Writing and Marketing your Novel.

How to make money with your writing? Don’t try to make money with your writing!

Agreed, there are some authors that sit down to write, deliberately, their “next hit”. What differentiates you from all those other writers out there is… your stories, your thoughts, your style – put them to paper! You will need to allow the flow of words to come out, your ideas. Be your own most critical editor. Read your texts as if you are a stranger: would you buy this book? Would you actually read it, if someone gave it as a present?

When I started writing as a boy, I used to re-read my own texts weeks later, and most I tore up in frustration. I hated my own words. My style sucked. I was too young and impatient to write long sentences, writing a single page took me hours. As a result, I tried to cram too much action onto a single page, and that made for very bad writing. Other sentences were full with beautiful words, that I had read in other books. The words weren’t my own. I lacked experience. As a young boy or teenager, your life may be overflowing with experiences, but in reality, “you ain’t seen nothing yet”. As an adult, you have seen it all, and your mind is filled to the brim with memories. The only thing that you need to do is to knit these memories into a story. That doesn’t mean that good authors do not copy: but not from authors, instead from the life that they have lived and the people that they have met. I am not implying that young people shouldn’t write or that they can’t be good authors – experience helps create a great story – and so does practice.

Writing then and now

Book publishing was always a stressful business. In the past, a typical author sat down with a stack of paper, and wrote an initial manuscript (sometimes by hand). This was passes on to a publisher, who would accept or decline the book. A contract covering the royalties would be signed. A typist would turn a handwritten manuscript into a printable text. The book would be published, and with each edition, typos and errors would be removed, based on feedback from the readers. An author was a literary craftsperson, a rare species, focused on getting compelling stories to paper.

Nowadays, anybody can be an author. If you have a laptop, you can create a story within weeks (even days), and in the space of half an hour, you can switch the book live at an internet publishing house, and your novel is automatically pushed out to half a dozen types of devices. There is virtually no interaction with the publisher, royalties and taxes are dealt with by ticking a couple of checkboxes. Today’s author is a cowboy with a laptop, one amongst many, and focused on getting a story out, fast. This is also reflected by the publishing houses: Smashwords specializes in publication of eBooks. Ironically their homepage dominantly states: “Words Published: 16,867,232,325″ – obviously, it isn’t QUALITY that counts, but QUANTITY.

As an author you have one option in this publishing madness: create the books that you believe in. Don’t enter this market with the illusion to get rich – most authors die poor. That hasn’t changed.

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More about the books by Clemens P. Suter https://clemenssuter.com/books

Originally posted 2018-03-07 02:58:28.

“Naked woman jumps into the pool” Sketch 20x30cm, 2018

Admittedly I’m a bit upset because winter keeps on dragging on and dragging on, and outside the weather is really horrible. Sleet drips out of the sky. It isn’t really freezing but it is also not very warm, the weather is like tepid beer. The sky is gray and heavy with rain, just waiting to poor down. It has been like this for the last six weeks. No weather to go to a pool, and no naked woman jumping into either.

It isn’t really freezing but is also not very warm, and the sky is gray and heavy with rain, just waiting to poor down. It has been like this for the last six weeks.

Spring spring beautiful spring

I am looking forward to summer time. The flowers in the garden are beginning to grow out of the ground and the rosebush has a lot of fresh green little leaves. So nature is actually ready to stop the winter blues and to move into spring.

Well, if summer isn’t here yet, then at least I can make a drawing that reminds me of summer. So take out the old crayons, sit down and made a picture of a gorgeous naked woman jumping into a cool pool in the middle of a hot summer. Is she alone? Is her boy- or girlfriend perhaps on the side of the pool? Or is she in the middle of a crowd? The picture doesn’t tell. It shows a person, confident and, most of all, enjoying the weather and having fun.

You can find more of my sketches and paintings at the following link. Check out my art here: http://www.clemenssuter.com/art

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Crayon drawing of a naked woman jumping into a summertime pool

Originally posted 2018-02-22 04:58:00.

Popcorn at the movies

Years ago, during a visit to a Disney movie, my youngest son (10 at the time) accidentally referred to popcorn as cockporn.

I haven’t been able to order a bucket of popcorn in the cinema since, as I once copied his error. Now I am afraid to mention cockpo… popcorn in any public situation.

Worse yet, I had a marketing colleague who continuously mixed up YouTube with an infamous porn channel of a very similar name. To bypass this embarrassment, he started posting all marketing videos on Vimeo.

Originally posted 2019-12-21 19:49:00.