Almost a week has passed and it’s still hard to believe that our anthology is a real, physical, purchasable, 3D, real life object. It’s been a long road with many pit stops along the way and this post exists to honour the many little steps that added up to this one crazy week of celebrations:
In honour of the delightfully pastel cover by Mona Lloyd we’d chosen as the winner of our art competition, our favourite Graphic Designers at Farbraum created a Uni-Verse logo, a poster and a bookmark to go along with it.
The pastel cover was immediately forwarded to Facultas and they graciously allowed us to sneak a peek at the anthology during production – and what a stroke of luck that was! We discovered that we’d somehow sent in the cover in a lower quality and were able to send in the HQ version before the cover went into print.
Our Print & Design Officer Carrie spend days tirelessly brewing bottles upon bottles of home-made iced tea in her personal cauldron. It came out spectacular & carried us all through the hot Monday on which we started selling our Pocket Universe in front of the English Department.
Because Charlotte’s boyfriend Tayfun is beyond amazing with his 3D-Printer, Carrie & I were able to also bake some particularly special Uni-Verse cookies with his 3D-printed cookie cutter. (Shout-out to Kenny for helping me with the extra special special Uni-Verse cookies that were reserved for those who bought an anthology!)
The anthology arrived and within minutes, we had our very first customer with a matching planet tattoo! We could hardly believe that we’d just sold our work, but we had no time to lie down on the floor and just breathe for a while, because other soon followed…
Everything slowed down towards the evening…
…and at night, thanks to Ali Coulson at Hurricane Films who’d sent us a special version of the DVD for free, we showed “A Quiet Passion”, a biopic about Emily Dickinson, in the Unterrichtsraum. There were many great moments in the movie, but the undisputed highlight of our movie experience was when, during a particularly tense scene, an arm suddenly wrenched open the windows into the darkened Unterrichtsraum, and we saw our very own Head of the Department Prof. Ritt peering into the room, asking what we were doing and if we were okay (he’d forgotten that he himself had given us permission to use the room!).
Tuesday and Wednesday were spent handing out flyers and when Thursday rolled around, we’d prepared another batch of cookies and some fancy water with stuff in it (I’m sure there’s a fancier way of saying that, too, but hey, that’s essentially what it is. Pro-Tip: squash the fruits ever so slightly with a meat hammer before popping them in and leave it in the fridge for 12+ hours – it’ll do wonders!).
One of our sponsors, Boesner, had also given us a box of notebooks to give away for free, so they’d inspire people to write some fiction themselves. They were gone within only a few hours and people seemed very happy with the newest addition to their notebook family.
Here are some of the texts that people wrote in the course of our Anthology Challenge Writing Workshop on Thursday and Friday, where writers told us a random number between 1 and 178 and whether they’d prefer prose or poetry and we opened the anthology on that very page and went back to the nearest prose or poetry beginning. They then took that begining as their prompt and finished the text – often in a very different manner than the original authors had:
La vache qui rit – Anonymous
The streets were empty. And wide. I felt like skipping, so I did. But then I saw a goat in the middle of the street and fell to the floor in shock. I hurt my knees and felt blood running down my skins. Walking home was hell, so I cried. When I arrived, my mum asked me why my mascara was all blurred and that me cry even more. I went inside and we ate omelette and mum braided my hair. I wasn’t crying anymore. I called Angela and told her about my day. When I told her about the goat, she didn’t believe me but I had my scratched knees as proof.
Pupilla – Marie-Therese Sauer
You make me feel stormy
As if, for once, I’m not the leaf
The cabin torn from soil, in pieces
Whirling, gripped by air
Or children gripping mothers’ hands
Or mothers’ hands round pillared things
Like trees that tilt to North
Where the eye is
A thundering, towering thing
Of two palms twisting clouds
Through my finger gaps
Untitled – Stephan Popp
Walking down the streets
In the summer rain
Nothing is familiar
Yet nothing is new
We’re blooming blooming in mid-air
Red lilies raining from below
In the summer rain we
Have done this before when
The clouds were drying on the lightning lines we
Walk out on our heads trying to set up
A lily field as far as
The town hall has floated away as far as
The summer is standing on rain columns
Untitled – Astrid Klötzl
(cont. of Nightmare Hound) Why do I feel so haunted? Could it have been linked to yesterday night’s events? Why does my body itch so much? What is this feeling never felt before? He felt like he was bound to go insane. The night before, he was out drinking but then … what happened then? He couldn’t remember. The only thing that came to his mind was that he woke up in the middle of the night in an extremely dark alley. Alone. Naked. His clothes totally scattered. But … how the hell did he get there? He couldn’t remember. It itches. He scratched. Damn it, at this rate, his skin may come off from all the scratching. He sighed and looked at it. He couldn’t believe his eyes: it had turned darker on the spot he scratched…
Untitled – Stephan Popp
Try to turn the tide by
Turning in the tide you may
Lose your eraser but mind your hands
Spin in the tide blending
Red and blue
It through your cravings and
Drink the stock for strength
When tide recedes use the waste
To fertilize your heart
Untitled – Anonymous
I couldn’t be bothered going to uni that day. The streets of Vienna were calling to me. “Explore me! Do some window-shopping! Take over the government!”
Two of those suggestions sounded manageable. I wandered through the first district, admiring every corner where old bricks met modern glass.
Untitled – Yonu
“In the heat of business”, he said, “In the heat of business.” There had yet to be a time when Richard wanted to be busy. Yet he was certainly the kind of person to cry out “In the haste of business” at even the slightest inconvenience. It was Tuesday and Richard had just gotten in to work at the busy little neighbourhood bookshop on 7th street. There had so far been only one customer, a stout elderly lady with a wonderful thick Southern accent. She hadn’t actually purchased anything, which would have required Richard to get up from his comfy chair he had bought to replace the ghastly desk chair usually found at little neighbourhood bookshops. That would have certainly aggravated Richard, for it was Tuesday, Everybody knew not to stress Richard on a Tuesday. So why did you?
Prose b4 hoes – Anonymous
It was the beginning of my exchange semester abroad. I had never thought that the Andromeda galaxy was that far away, especially not with that Hyperspeed (or what was it? “Purr-fection”, I think, yes, I can heart the jingle again, “Need a catjump – catflight – kitten dive? Purr-fection!”) thing or whatever, but I’d fallen asleep twice, circled around the space ship five times, knew every crew mate by name and heard at least 30% of the life histories of at least 40% of the other passengers, none of whom were of particular interest to me except the case of the Venusian boy who’d once got his toes cut off so they could regrow and you could still see the scars and they’d grown to look like Emilio Rodriguez, the porn star whom I liked.
Untitled – Anonymous
And then there was the Uni-Verse; and it was bright, full of GLITTER & funny characters. First, there was a president & a vice-president & many tiny little members. And they were great. So cool. The best. Hype. They would gather and read and feed & feed back & discuss semi-colons.
Finally, they made an anthology. They gathered texts & read them & edited them & sent them back & read them again & published them & here we are!
With hundreds of books & no sleep, but plenty of wine & cookies. Work done & joy brought.