Monday, 31 January 2011

New Chapter finished today!

and just back from a brilliant tango lesson. Off to a practica this evenning after a rest up. Have decided about the next piece I need to write...again its continuing with the theme of showing what attracts people/characters to one this case it will be Roland to Almir. I want to write something that shows Al being supportive and which brings out Als maturity beyond his years which makes Roland want to take their relationship to a different level. I know what device I am going to use(but am keeping it a secret on the blog). Its a definate knack being able to craft how relationships - especially sexual/love relationships- evolve and what the initial attractions are and how these change as a relationship grows and develops. When Ive done this I am going to complete a time line with this theme to set these changes into the plot of my novel.

Still in awe of the Net and how fairly instantaneously one can call up information - when I was writing today I needed to match the time Almir left the gym with it getting dark. I knew it was March I just googled and got a whole table of sunrise and sunset times through the year for London. Also gave another of my characters bed bugs and wanted to see what bed bug bites loOk like and how they feel...again, I googled the question and got the response straight away, which allowed me to carry on writing the piece I was working on to completion, without getting too side tracked.


This city can get to you

The humidity and constant din of heavy traffic is sometimes making me want to scream. Went to tango milonga Saturday night - inc the pre class...had a few tandas but didnt feel very inspired by the music, atmosphere and again the "preciousness" that seems all pevading. On sunday started writing a new chapter- I am trying to show a kind side to Almir, that he isnt just a victim - and continued with it last night for 3 hours. 2/3 done...want to finish today if I can. H is calling me to do the washing up. The love travails of our landlord and his boy continue...currently they are menu del dia but tomorrow it could be all off again.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Its a hard slog/Can anyone help?

When I started my blog about writing a novel I thought I'd picked a cheesey title but evolution is the best way I can think of to describe the process. You have a plan, get to point "x" but enroute discover something that takes you on another journey. Its a bit like embarking on a longhaul motorway trip youve never done before. You have an idea of the route and how long it will take but you cant be sure until you actually get on the road. The tutorials are like stopping for refreshment breaks!And when I get going again after each one I tend to see things on another level than the section of the journey that came before.

I have Almir nailed now but not quite Roland - well, his core character yes, I have that but I need more work to understand how his personality plays out in his relationship with this significant others - namely Almir and also his 12 year old daughter Jade...these scenes I am re writing many times..which is both intersting and a chore I sometimes dont want to do it but it does seem to be bringing Roland more to life as a real person. But its hard slog!

ps a long shot this - but do any of you out there who may be reading this know of/have any contacts with the U.N. - I need to check something about Kosovo in 200O/2001...which I have drawn a blank with on the internet. I really need to talk to someone with insider knowledge...IF ANYONE CAN HELP DROP ME AN EMAIL. Thanks.


Thursday, 27 January 2011

I found a way in...

to the milongas. GO TO THE CLASS BEFORE THE MILONGA. Even though its very mixed levels its a way to chat to other people and get your first tanda of the night when the milonga starts. I did this at La Marshall last night and had a great time...dancing with atleast 3 difersnt partners,following and leading. Got home not too late ,,,just before 2am but neither H or I slept much because of the humidity and the noise. Our bedroom is at the front of the flat on a main bus route. The buses are diesel and LOUD. Have a private lesson at 6pm..want to go onto a milonga class after will need to go back to bed this afternoon.

As I said - re my novel - lots to think about and to do. Just when you think youve seen the summit, down come the clouds! But its all positive. I need to carry on with my writing routine and stick with the plan and I will get there. As I read somewhere recently - writing a novel is not a linear process. The title of my blog "Evolution of my Novel" might be cheesey but it is apt!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

There is still MUCH to do

Had my tutorial with mentor today. The scenes with Almir got the thumbs up , but the stuff with Roland and Jade needs reworking... will pick just two scenes over their weekend together and focus on these to try to bring out the nuances and depth in the relationship between father and daughter. Also I need to look at writing a few more scenes and the backdrop thread of the Two Royal deaths of earlY 2002 followed by the Golden Jubilee needs to be weaved in a bit more - but overall GOOD! What I must do is research again the situation in Kosovo in 2000/2001 so that I get Almirs new begining arrived at in a way which is 100% plausible. I need to speak with someone from the UN side who was involved/was there at this time. A challengebut am on the case already.

Humid again here today... had a 50/50 private tango lesson this afternoon with Lore - almost broke down and was preparing myself to give up in the first half...then in the second half I really proved to myself that I can dance and have it in me to improve to another level. Will try the class at La Marshall tonight as a way to try to break into the milonga that follows.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

No water or emails - I feel abandoned!

Just when we want to use the loo and take a shower(think 34degress and humid all night) the water supply has been cut . It could be something to do with the mini niagra flowing down the lift shaft yesterday). Also just spent an expensive 30minutes on my mobile to claranet in London trying to sort out why I can now not send emails. Yesterday I could send but not recieve! Gave up after not getting anywhere! So - in despartion have phoned my pc support in London to see if they can help via remotely accessing my laptop. Going out to the botanical gardens now...its stiffling in the flat and I cant really do mch work without emails. Having a day off from writing - tutorial tomorow(oh, errr)...out to tango class with Javier at Salon Canning this evenning and then Tango queer MILONGA AROUND 11pm. Hope I can shower before I go out!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Gypy guts are back!

After celebrating four days of passing solid fuel both H and I have got the shits again...a very hot and humid day today. I ve been trying to forget about tango as had such a difficult week at milongas which sapped my self confidence. After breakfast I Skyped a friend who is making a documentary film in Afganistan . There its freezing.He seems unconcerned about the safety thing of being in such a place.

I gave up trying to plough on with London Tryptiche - I could guess the end of each story anyway. No surprises there! Back to Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin tonight.

Wrote for a couple of hours from noon until 2pm and again this evening from 7 until 930pm and completed another chapter which Ive just uploaded for typing. I've asked Emma if I can squeeze it into my tutorial on Wednesday with my other new material.

This afternoon H and I took a cab to visit a couple of museums in La Boca.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

An unsatisfying read

Got stuck into a new book yesterday - a day off from everything - after I had a massage. London Tryptich by Jonathan Kemp started off very promising. Entichng pretty pictures on the cover and an intrugues set up - 3 stories told from 1st person pov in three different historical periods 1894, 1954 and 1998. It got into the period feel of 1894 immeadiately and skipped forward reading these episodes in advance of the others - then went back and re read it all chronologically BUT after a good opening the novel falls down on its face in my opinion. It relies almost entirely on exposition - its all told and very little at all is shown and falls into gay cliche and stereotyping. The 1998 section comprises mostly the character from this period recounting in details his arrival and adventures on the London gay scene - very rapidly - in 1986 - which I found confusing. Its down under the device of a letter to lover who the character is "confessing" this past to now - why I am not sure. But I soon lost interest. There is period interest but the actual charcters seem mostly stock and the endless description becomes irritating. I dont know if I can bare to go on reading. And this novel - a first novel - is described by Time Out as "A thoughly absorbing and pacy read...a fresh angle on gay life and the oldest profession"- WELL - I dont see much at all fresh about it. No where up to the literally prowess of Hollinghurst or White (Hotel d' Dream). But I suppose it depends how deep you are aiming- or how surface level. It also got a mention in the Times Literary Supplement.Not that its bad but just a predictable and for me ultimately unsatisfying read. Lesson in that.

It took me two hours to complet the first paragraph(1/2 a page) of a new chapter this morning and 3 hours to reach 500 words and its still no quite right. But I want to complete this new chapter by Tuesday if I can. Out to try practice tango at Nino Bien this afternoon. Dont want to return to the unfriendly class in Abasto. Plan to try a differnt class on monday night instead - alongside the Tuesday class at Salon Canning which I like.
1/2 an hour skype with my sis in Norwich, U.K. this morning after breakfast. Incredible how you can now link up around the world for peanuts. How technology is is moving so fast and becomming so acessible.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Had lots of support(but have had to redo the ironing)

Loads of supportive emails and advice from people Ive now meet here,after a difficult tango week of dissapointig milonga attendances. I have danced but its not been as much or as satisfying as I want it to be. It was affecting my self confidence. Turns out its always like this for us foreigners. I have to just stick at it. Am determined to not let this exclusive attitde beat me. Another challenge.
Will begin writing again this morning. Had an early night(11.30pm!) yesterday for the first time in a week, so am up early for yoga which is good. Off to make myself some green tea now.
The crap cleaner is doing the flat again today. Cleaners here are something else. They seem to spend hours waving a rag around at dust will little effect. They like to dance around with headphones on! We gave her some ironing - paid extra - and I had to do it all again myself when she'd gone!
NoT a patch of our wonderful housekeeper in Walthamstow - Elaine.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Welcome to a new follower

Hi Marc! Great that youve decided to follow my journey to master and enjoy dancing tango - which - as you will by now have gathered is linked into my life alongside my other passion - writing fiction. If you are at all interested - I have a short story(creative non - fiction) posted on its called Return to the House of Tango - you can see how I got started with both Tango and writing.
Picked up new pair of tailor made tango shoes after my lesson this evenning. Having a rest and dinner then off out to La Marshall around 11ish ...last night at Tango Queer had 4 tandas -1st with a nice young guy who'd only had 4 lessons - we just walked to the music, some of my favorite tunes(early 40's), then a woman who said she was also a beginner - tried a bit more - so so - but ALL VERY AMICABLE, THEN ANOTHER YOUNG GUY..SAME LEVEL AS THE WOMAN - BUT NICE CLOSE EMBRACE ...then...was led by a woman who is advanced and teaches here...LOVED following!!! I still would like to have the valium handy before I go into any milonga here though!!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

completed another chapter today...probably 1200words

,so shortish but hopeful to the point. It took six hours to write - split over 2 sesions. The scene shows Almir and Roland in bed after their 3rd time having had sex together. I want to show how each, but especiallty Roland, is becomming a little more curious about the other and a little bolder in his familiarity. This early time in a relationship - when the sex is still "hot" but when you still dont know what really makes the other person tick, is what I wanted to write about. Will see what Emma thinks with what Ive done.
Off to Salon Canning this evenning for a local tango class - the same one I went to last week...then around 11pm off to Tango Queer to practice(I can feel my nerves beginning to shake already!)

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Tango tears and all that...

Tango here is daunting! Going out to huge crowded milongas and not knowing a soul. But yesterday I had a bad experience in one of the classes I had started to attend which really threw me - I felt I was being completely cold shouldered by the local students who all semed to know one another and ignore me. Two of them attended the same milonga I went to in the week - guess what - they blanked me there too. How can I be expected to dance passionately with someone who has no interst what so ever in trying to make any connection with me. I walked out of the class saying how I didnt feel comfortable there - and went on a downer...H - my wonderfully patient, long suffering and suppotive H,took me to the pictures instead to see The Fokers - which was absolutely the right antidote to my mood. It was really funny.

Worked this morning for a couple of hours typing up and refining my revised chapter outline/plot.Want to begin the re write now. Will start in the morning in earnest! Today it poured down with rain, which H and I watched over lunch from the cafe Josphine down the road . then we hopped ino cab to the modern art museum where we also saw old film based on a Stephan Zweig story in the museum cinema.We walked back to the flat in Recoleta.Gustavo, our host , has managed atlast to get us onto the internet at the flat - so have been catching up wth wrk emails this evenning and paying bills. Its humid again now.

Friday, 14 January 2011

A panic followed by feeling of exhilaration

When I sat down this morning at my desk to begin the complete re write I freaked out , noT knowing how to start. I panicked and called my mentor and left a rather anguished message. But then I made myself sit and think about the plot again and after 2 hours produced a re reviewed plot/chapter outline which actually seemed to nail it all rather well. I felt excited and exhilarated. The emotional ups and downs of writing a novel!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011


all the words written here in Buenos Aires so far this afternoon. Pleased with the chapter I 've done with Roland and his 11 year old daughter staying over but wil see what Emma says in my tutorial on26th (via SKYPE!)Tango leson this afternoon and out to La Marshal tonight . Will be brave a ask strangers to dance with me...oh,

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Another chapter completed

after 3 more hours writing this morning. Off to another tango clas this evenning then back for a rest and something to eat at the flat before Queer Tango Milonga at 11pm

Monday, 10 January 2011

On gypy guts,going out to far off milongas and other things

Both H and I have had dodgy guts since our arrival - it comes and goes - it's definately comming right now and I will have to run off to the toilet...oohhh...errr...mission acomplished. Have been to a local tango class and also last night paid for a taxi partner to take me to a milonga as its so daunting to finfd a way in to the scene. This worked well actually and have arranged to meet him at Tango ueer on Tuesday at 11pm.

Writing is going well...did 3 hours this morning, on a 3rd new chapter since our arrival, though only completed just about 600 words. This is about my mark though when beginning a new scene from scratch . Once I'm in the writing comes quicker usually so tomorrow I hope to get half ay in and may be even complete this scene.

Friday, 7 January 2011

In a flat in Recoleta next to the cemetery

...sharing with the owner who does massage and ...colonic irrigation! But the flat nice and I have a workroom to write and for us to do yoga. Have had a few stres ful days without the NET as the system in the falt is down. Have found a local cafe in lieu. Finsihed the new chapter Ive been working on yesterday. Will begin another today . Have had 3 private tango lessons this week with Lorena - all good- les sucesful out at the two milonga but I picked complete beginners as partners. Mike - something else to make you smile if you are reading this - the flat owners user profile for wifi is "Adolfo Hitler"...

Sunday, 2 January 2011

(almost)naked writing

managed yesterday afternoon to write for a little over 2 hours - almost naked in the 34degree heat - new chapter begun - completed approx 6oo words...will continue this afternoon. Thought I had got heat stroke yesterday after we wondered about like mad dogs the mid day sun.Went to first milonga last night with H and 2 other non dancers from our b and was predictably a disaster...I picked the only guy sitting alone and went and asked him for a dance. Turned out he'd was virtually a complete beginner. It was not good. But he was graciuos and polite. I lost my confidence after that as everyone else seemed to be sitting in couples or groups. Still...3 months of pracice left!