Monday, 27 September 2010

The things Ive jotted down...

when we arived home to a house shut up for 10 days I noticed - because I nearly tread on it - Peacock butterfly on the red staircarpet...clearly on its last legs and shut in since we left(we had an open house party just before going off Berlin)...I took it into the bathroom and put it on a shelf - goodness knows why...where it revived just enough to unfurl its wings then fall to the floor and expire

thats been noted down to use somewhere in something I write


I noticed I was particulary observing the pavement when I went out today for a walk- how the rain had left irregular patches of damp, the hotch potch of tarmac repairs, the cracking caused by roots of unseen plants, the edging up against walls lined with an asssortment of moss and weeds - cigarette ends and dog dirt...and the shoes of other pedestrians

AM definately using some of this in the novel....


Just catching up again in E17

When we got back home yesterday I spend several hours editing the material I'd written whilst in Berlin before emailing it to my mentor for Friday's tutorial. There are still some bits I am not happy with but others I think arent bad...

off for a haircut and a fix of film at Soho Curzon tonight - to see Winters Bone.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Last Day here in Berlin

Did more writing on the dinner party scene yesterday...plenty of dialogue and quite tricky with there being 4 characters involved...lets see what Emma thinks. Have just emailed this entire section for typing - it will need editing before I send it off pre my next tutorial. Its been a fruitful week. Have to take care that the story remains not too focussed on the gay thing...this is tricky at the moment because I am writing about R and A's relationship...but the story is about more than this...I think I am going to end up with lots more material by the time I am done..must keep writing and see what comes. Think I now need to revise my chapter plan and merge everything soon to see how its looking and check the word count.

Went to the same milonga last night I went to last Fri...but although I had a few dances and chatted and danced with a girl I met at the wED MILONGA i FELT AWKWARD AND UNEASY. tHE FLOoR WAS CROWDed AND IT wAS DIFFICULT TO MANOUVRE AND i WAS JUST FEELing my usual inadequate self.

Its Berlin marathon here this weekend but we will most likely miss most of it as we are leaving early in the morning to the airport for London.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Back to it

Want to finish the dinner party scene today and get this off for typing and start editing the material over the weekend. Had an intersting day out at Wansee yesterday and came back for an indian meal and then H and I went to the old Odeon Kino in Schoneberg to se Fish Tank - which I thought was an acomplished film but nothing really ground breaking.


Thursday, 23 September 2010


I have been so productive with writing new material that Im having a day off with H to visit Wansee today. Have completed three new scenes/chapters here - so am pleased with how its gone(thants working for about 4 hours daily- 2 1/2 in the morning aftr breakfast and again for 1 1/2 hours in the evenning before dinner and tangoing) Ive also discovered how good it is to have a space without tel or internet distractions like that in Berndts place. Also I find it helpful to just write about what I want - not necessarily what comes next in the novel - but it is important to complete a scene and not leave it half done.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010


...the clouds to day. Am in the cafe across the street for wifi and also tEa and scrambled eggs. Have been productive with my writing in the past 48 hours and perhaps have written another 5k...which I have dispatched for typing. Now going back to the flat to write some more. Tonight we are going along to a concert at the Berlin Philharmonie.

H tried to get me to acompany him up the Berlin Fernsehturm yesterday but I chickened out at the last minute...the thought of being herded into a giant golf ball 100's of feet off the ground didnt really appeal. I didnt get mt ticket money back!

Later after doing more writing at the flat I went off to another tango milonga in Wilmersdorf about 4 stops from here on the U bahn. I arrived at an old apartment building and made my way - latterly in the dark as the light went out and I could not locate the switch- up 6 flights and it just seemed like the door to an apartment. Then I decided to just try the door - and - it openned and I walked in on what appeared to be a private diner party BUT infact was the milonga. Only 5 euros about 12 guets and a great floor under the gabled roof . It had a jutting balcony wih amazing views out onto the night time city too. I had dances with four ladies. The standard was v good but I managed to get round ok.

Monday, 20 September 2010

spaced out in the dark

its SO DARK in Berlin...we are permanently in a state of zombieness. Have written another scene with Roland in his new flat and editied an early chapter but got very down about it all last stratergy is just to pick up a pen start at a defined place and keep going and see what comes rather than keep going over material Ive written already.

Went out to tango here on Friday night - it was really friendly and I had lots of dances.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Wir sind jetz in Berlin!

...ensconsed in Berndt's flat - back at the cafe cum antique shop across the road for internet and tea. Have dealt with work stuff and now will check the web for tango milonga's . Then back to the flat to write - There is still much to do so Ive settled on the policy that just starting with something I want to write about - rather than in any particular chronological order - if often the way forward. Ive only had a week off from writing but now it seems as daunting as ever until I get immersed in it again.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010



Sunday, 12 September 2010

Its almost 11.30pm on Sunday night

and we have just said our goodbyes to the last guest at our party which began this afternoon at 3pm...loads of good company, the catering went off well and the weather was kind so we all spilled out into the garden.

My Friday Tutorial went really well - Emma's so helpful - with the monthly check ins and sending in advance new material the project now seems definately achievable withing the next 6months, not sure how near to finihing I'll be by christmas though. The issue cam eup about publishers not being so happy about a white man writing about a black man - I may check in with atleast one of the agents whove expressed interst but I am not kean at this point to rewrite the R character as white and frankly why the hell should I. He is so shaped now in my head that it'd be tantamount to commiting a murder - I dont think I can do that!

No writing done over the weekend becuase of guests satying over from Berlin(and we are heading to their Schoneberg flat on Thursday) and we've been doing some of the E17 Arts Trail - really good this year. Invited one of the artists we visited to our party and he and his party turned up. Chatted with him about things creative - intersting take on what sparks the creative process and we discussed how it works for him as a painter and muyself as a writer. He is a fan of Aimee and Janguar - also of Stephan Schweig - esp Beware of Pity - so full marks in my books!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

A Night at The Opera

going to the Stadts Oper tonight here in Vienna to see The Magic Flute

Monday, 6 September 2010

Social networking or pack animal psychology?

I dont do Facebook and have never responded to the requests I sometimes get out of the blue to join other sites like Linkedin or Badoo. I dont Twitter. BUt I did join Circalit - a site aimed at supporting screenwriters of all levels, but only to enter a short story competition. I put in a piece of creative non fiction - Return to the House of Tango- which is basically about how I started writing. Talk about baptism by fire...I was ganged up upon by a couple of diehard members who accused me of making up my own reviews! For a while I felt quite upset by this. Then out of the woodwork came my supporters and the sand bagging ratings these die hards gave my piece were removed after I and my supporters complained to the site administrator.

I think Circalit does a great job in promoting networking, peer reveiwing and supporting screenwriters and clearly has a strong following but with openning out into other genres they seems to have created a stir within.

The experience has confirmed all my personal gut feelings about belonging to social networking sites - instant friendships, instant on line peer reviews, instant everything! One hears about people being bullied on sites- I think it must be a terrible thing to go through.

Have already meet some nice and interesting new writers aswell though so I suppose its swings and roundabouts- but I wont be joining anything else just yet. I also value my privacy too much.


nursing a cold in my hotel room

but managed to do final minor editing to my first draft of the Epilogue and email this to Emma in prep for our tutorial on Friday.Have almost finished reading Ishiguru's novel - Never Let Me Go - which at first I didn't like because I couldnt get into it. Once I was able to engage with the narrator I began to enjoy the book very much.


Sunday, 5 September 2010

No TANGO in Vienna

...I have a cold. I was planning to go to a milonga this evenning and even recieved an email notification about it but I have a cold so am not going. Managed to finish the intial draft of my epilogue this morning after another 3hours work writing. I have dictated it and await its return from the dictation company. I will email it - afetr editing - to Emma with a meek request that she might look at it with the other material I have sent for our tutorial on Friday in the Cafe at The Welcome library in Euston.


Saturday, 4 September 2010

I like Vienna !

Beacuse its easy and civilised and I can write here. Took a day off yesterday. In the evenning after the Third Man Tour (it was intriguing to hear how Graham Greene came here to research and write the script basing it on an amalgum of real characters/events) went again to the Burg Kino and saw the new docu movie narrated by Jonny Depp about The Doors - great stuff! I might use some of Jim Morrison's words as one line quotes in my novel...will see...if it fits...

This morning after breakfast I resummed writing. Since Ive been thinking about a new ending lately it felt right to get going on that, its not especially set in stone but want to get it down as it is in my head at the moment to see what Emma thinks. Worked solidly for three hours from 11am until 2pm and got about half way with what I need to get down as a first draft. Going well.


Thursday, 2 September 2010

In Vienna

all sachertorted and schnitzeled out already(and lovin iT - sic)...went to the fabulous Leopold gallery and saw some great art by one of my favorite painters Schiele. Later went to the Burg Kino and watched a real reel version of the film The Third Man...tomorrow we are doing a location tour.

This afternoon edited the last bit of new material for Emma/ my tutorial next week, and emailed it to her with a few ideas I have..another ending came to me yesterday, which H thinks is v good. There is still tons more to do but soon I think I'll have finished the climax section and can go back to the point where the characters converge in the village. Then I will re draft the beiginning. God knows when I'll finish but lets just see how it goes. Best I think to carry on writing within the structure I have given myself and review where I am in a month or tos time.

Have had a couple more v good reviews of my circalit competiton enntry and have moved up to number ten in the never know.