Tuesday, 31 August 2010

No Tango in Trieste !

but HAVE MANAGED TO WRITE...DID THREE HOURS THIS AFTERNOON...ITS a very odd place Trieste..H and I are sharing reading a book by Jan Morris about it...not many tourists here though...tomorrw we take the night train to Vienna...


Friday, 27 August 2010

From Verona

Hot and humid here...going to se Carmen to night in the amphitheatre. Just checked Circalit and no one else has reviewed my competition entry...thanks Mike and Mike...so much for social net working sites !!


Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Editing in the rain

Have spent most of today editing the 6k plus of new material Ive completed for my next tute with Emma in a few weeks time when I return from holiday. It's been raining virtually non-stop all day and I have been infront of my lap top! Going cross eyed now!! Have to pack for holiday as we leave in 2 1/2 hours for Gatwick and havent even started to think yet about what I'm taking - except of course my notebook and a writing pad and my tango shoes!(and if the forcast for Verona is correct - an umberella and some waterproffs too...)

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Have just entered a short story competition!

read/comment/vote for my entry at http://www.circalit.com/projects/competitions/littleepisodes?search_page=7

Its a short piece of creative non - fiction. I am missing writing short stories and have promised myself NOT to do anymore until I've finished my novel. This piece - entitled "Return to the House of Tango" I suppose explains how I really got to start writing in the first place.


Saturday, 21 August 2010

Back from my research mission

...managed to secrete myself on a bench right at the back of the Penatacostal church. A sea of black faces, all looking beautiful...many with young children. A few distracted looking young people (a penny for their thoughts!) lots of "Praise the Lord"s and indoctrinating preaching....incredible gospel singing and definately a useful visit-- lots of food for thought about gay black Rolands' baggage...I am sleeping on it(I didnt sleep well last night) for a while then will jot down my most memorable impressions, as these will imform what I decide for Roland's baggage from his churchy upbringing in Brixton.


typing service is great!

I sat down at the end of yesterday afternoon and wrote for 3 hours and then dictated it, posted the audio file and it came back early this morning. Just think - whilst I was out tangoing in Holborn last night at Carablanca -someone, somewhere was making a piece of my novel come to life. I wonder if they ever read what they have to type??Ive speed read the 814 words(and that , my dearies - makes 6k of new material since my last mentor tuorial!) and its more or less good I think.In less than an hour I am off to the Afro -carribean pentacostal church - being my Roland character - lets see if it works...


Thursday, 19 August 2010

I am going to church in the name of research

yeah, forty years after I got chucked out of the choir at my local, I have arranged, through my friendly Jamaican cabbie Alfie, to attend a Jamaican Pentacostal Church this saturday. One of the main characters in my novel - Sweeping up the Village - is a black afrocarribean 35 year old who's comming out as gay, so I am immersing myself in his fictionalised baggage...well, its an excuse to put on a nice suit, though I am actually quietly rather crapping my pants.


Wednesday, 18 August 2010

On seeing it typed up...

...I got my latest 5k of new writing back from the online Company I use to do this task for me. I always start new writing by long hand - nothing like holding a pen over a blank sheet of paper! I am hopeless at typing and I found on my notebok if I type for too long I get wrist pain anyway. So I dictate all my new stuff onto an audiofile and upload it to the Company's site and get it back typed within 24hours. I can also hear the new stuff read aloud when I replay the audio file - which is also a very useful way of seeing what works and what doesnt. There is nothing quite like seeing new material you've created typed up on the page in hard copy. Of course there are usually glaring typos , layout issues and thing that dont work or need reworking BUT it gives a little boost to the process of moving the story along.

Plan to do more from tomorrow and over the weekend so I can wrap up this section of the novel which I have been working on and send new material to Emma(my mentor) before I leave for Verona next Wednesday. I will of course take my note book, paper and pens to write whilst I am travelling too. Its become a habit of mine now to select a hotel /pension room because of its suitability to write in - ie desk or table and chair and quiet.

Last night after my regular Tuesday Tango class went with a new friend from the class - Barbara - to a small milonga until 11pm at The Langley Court Hotel(basement bar). It was really nice , very friendly and informal. A great way to relax after the tuesday class...will go again next week!


Sunday, 15 August 2010

Going Luney at Tango Milonga La Lune

I went to this milonga in the Glass room of the Holiday Inn in Camden Town tonight. It was a soul destroying experience. Full on lighting, packed with"couples" - completely straight and an aweful- cheesy amateur show which I was forced to sit through as My seat was literally bordering the floor and I couldnt leave . I asked one poor victimn for a dance and made a cock up of it - kicked her a couple of times, bumped into another couple and she couldnt really follow my lead...we managed to remain civil but after the four obligatory tangos I made my rapid escape. The milonga had all the ambience of a corporate event where everyone has eaten alot of hard boild eggs. It was so unfriendly. What a complete contrast from Hackney Tango the other night which could not have been more genuinely Bohemiane tango - and I loved it, though there were few there. I will NEVER go to La Lune again.Not even if you paid me

Managed another 750 words /2 1/2 hours of new writing today.


Friday, 13 August 2010

Hey world - a new social networking channel !

...I have decided to categorise my blog as "whitter" because it seems to have a very select following - namely myself, Mike Clark from City and soemone called Crafty Creative who I think used to belong to Forest writers and then moved to Milton Keynes - well there you go.

Had a fab tango lesson yesterday afternoon - though was half asleep. The lady who was waiting for the slot after mine remarked"Is that choroeographed?" to which my teacher replied - no, Nick made it up - Nicks spontaeneous creation - so after all this effort and money spent of classes and private lessons ,its paying off and I atleast Look like the real thing when I am dancing tango now. It must be the magic of the Dalston Boys club!

Meet H in Mayfair later and we went to see Coco and Igor - but almost feel asleep it was so tediously slow - if there 's a new category in the Ocars next year for Best Adagio French Language film - this ought to win hands down. After that we went for food nearby- sat down at an outside table at a Lebanse restaurant next to an American couple - the woman was half - no - full cut - really pissed...and wasnt going to leave us alone, so we asked for another table but the restaurant was fully booked - so we left. We ended up at an Iranian restaurant which was very nice.

This weekend I have to make myself clear up my home office and chuck out all the discarded papers and email print outs. Curently it looks like a junk room and it has to change! I wont continue any new writing til its done - its the only way to make myself tidy it all up.


Thursday, 12 August 2010

Night out at The Boys Club

Hackney Tango at the Dalston Boys Club IS FANTASTIC! Though the werent many people there I had quite a few tango's and the venue is friendly and the setting amazingly atmospheric. Intimate, with art hung all around the walls and a small gallery. I hope this remains Londons best kept tango secret - if too many people get to know it'll definately spoil the atmosphere. Sadly like alot of tango milongas and classes this milonga has now closed for the summer break until the end of September. Good job I will be in Europe again - I will have to put myself about again in Vienna and Berlin!

Someone just made my day nicer!

I was out for a walk around the village late this afternoon - all dressed up in my retro tweeds(its been cold!) and some youth approached me as I crossed the road and remarked"I just have to say, how nice you look! - you look really nice man!"...read into it what you like but wouldnt it be great if we all made an efort each day to make a positive comment to a stranger. I have managed to complete 1000 words of new material today..and have my two heros arrived up at their hide away togeher! So - an nearly ther with the entire penultimate scene now.

Off to Hackney Tango tonight in Dalston, to check out the milonga.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

The shadow of the black dog has returned

I think I said on this blog sometime ago that writing fiction is like bi polar disorder - one minute you think youve created a master piece then the next its total crap. I got my revised frist chapters back from City course at the beginning of this week. Lots of encouraging coments (and some helpful editing) but when I re read them it doesnt feel they are right still! I think Ive moved on with the whole story since I wrote them. I wanted to read something out at my local writers group last night and chose to take chapter 2 - Julie visits Almir for the first time. Reading this now it seems far too labored - as one critiquer said to me earlier this year - its as if I am trying too hard. I suppose being so emotionally involved with the project is a good sign but on days when I feel like this its a struggle to keep going - But thats exactly what I must do.

Finished reading Jill Dawsons' The Great Lover about Rupert bROOKE WHICH eMMA MY MENTOR RECOMMENDED FOr its strong narrative voice of Nell - the maid he has a thing with - enjoyed it, though I didnt feel Ruperts' voice was convincing compared to Nells-it sounded "made up", though the structure of the narrative, weaving the POV of these two characters was an interesting device.I also thought some of the period detail was rather laboured.It did made for a good read however.

I wonder how the others on the course are faring? I know a couple have signed contracts with agents already. I am still no where near ready to show my work(will I ever be?)...

G - at last nights writers group read a short story and I do miss writing in that genre as I know I do it well. Writing a novel continues to present much more of a challenge!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010


Had a very good 2 hour tutorial yesterday with my mentor Emma Sweeney in Cambridge...really extremely helpful in moving things along, development and bringing it all together now. Have clarified about adding a couple more new scenes with her - also have now almost completely writen theclimax scenes . But I wont know the ending(though I have a few ideas) until I finish the rest. Before my next turorial in a month I wil return to the beginning of Almir and Rolands affair - as I wil know them much better and start wting that all over again - its all about REWRITING darlings!

Went into town last night and saw two great new films Undertow - which I went to see with H - and then Gainsburg - which I went to on my own as H cycled home whilst it was still light. At the later I counted only 9 inc myself in the audience. I got a free ticket with credit on my Odeon card so sat there smuggly enjoying a great film in the middle of the west end on a Monday night feling quite exclusive!

Having checked my work emails and done this its already almost 9am - so - have missed my chance for early morning yoga!

Its raining like the tropics outside. Have booked a singing "assessement" with a local singing teacher at noon today - so that should be a laugh - best put your earplugs in if you happen to be in the vicinity.

Have booked flights for H and me to Buenos Aires for my 3 month sojoun to tango and write there jan to March...any British Airway - just let me tell you - you are damned expensive and I expect some edible food on the flights this time and an entertainment system that actually works!

The troublesome foxes in our back garden ARE NOT GONE! inspite of a visit which we had to pay for from a Fox "expert2 WHO SAID THEY 'D PROBABLY LEFT NOW. oVER THIS PAST COUPLE OF NIGHTS - they have kindly brought onto our lawn and patio aone dead rat, an asortment of refuse inc fast food chicken , one rubber toy chicken(full sized) ans a n assortment of platic bags containing dog dit and other unmentionables!
Bring in urban foxe hunting I say - I will lead the way - they have got completely out of control. I wish them now harm but all this mess they bring so close to our house is a hygiene concern that no one at the Council really gives a toss about. It a case of "THE LONDON COUNCIL'S burying their collective heads in the sand and sitting on the fence not wanting to offend anyone.


Sunday, 8 August 2010

Been walking in Yorkshire

for the past week. Had a weekend seeing friends in/around Hebden Bridge- then H and I went on to Grassington. Cooked breakfasts , poridge and daily 8 mile walks got my creative jusices flowing and I managed to write most days and got another 3k words down. Have my second tutorial with Emma Sweeney in Cambridge today. Have also almost finished The Great Lover novel Emma suggested I read and read the short story The Parrot Factory. Cant get into Never Let Me Go though - I will perservere if I'm told.Got feedback from my final City course assigments- good - but the end of my novel still seems a long way off.