in Guadalajara

Well, OK, I’m not saying I’m in Guadalajara.

I’m not even saying My editor is in Guadalajara at what was described in El País as “the biggest event of its kind in the Spanish language.”

But my editor – don’t you love that phrase! – tells me that a colleague from a Madrid bookshop has taken Topka book samples with her to the Book Fair. So Bubbles is in Guadalajara.

Which has to be a step in the right direction.

explosive news?

Is it only me, or does the juxtaposition of these two headlines – from the same page of today’s El País – catch the attention of anyone else out there?

Burning exes, exploding immigrants...
Burning exes, exploding immigrants...

Was it the proximity to the first story that forced the headline writer to use such an ugly adverb as “laboralmente” in the second?

And am I the only person who noticed the flyer which fell out when I turned the page?:
Continue reading “explosive news?”

voices of poetry

I recently acquired a copy of Eliot’s lecture entitled The Three Voices of Poetry. It was a serendipitous acquisition, as it ties in closely to my interest in the dichotomy of writer and narrator.

Although the title refers to three voices, Eliot actually starts off by stating, “There may be four voices. There may be, perhaps, only two.” He then explains that the three voices referred to are:
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reader, beware

In these days of economic recession, credit crunch, financial crisis, or whatever term the media are using today, it’s logical that we should look back to the Wall Street crash of ’29 in an attempt to make comparisons and perhaps find solutions.

However, in these days of electronic media, blogs, wikis, archives and resources written by “the unwashed masses”, it’s all too easy to get confused by what’s real and what isn’t. Continue reading “reader, beware”

from poem to picture book

Any author will tell you that the process which results in a book reaching the bookshop shelves is long and, at times, tortuous.

My own experience makes it five and a half years from the original poem being written to its appearance this month as Bubbles, a bilingual children’s picture book, now available from Topka.

from poem to picture book
from poem to picture book

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personal details to go

I’ve already had a moan about Starbucks and their grammatical inadequacies, but now I’ve found further reason to complain.

At the weekend, I had to meet a fellow writer who lives in the centre of Madrid; she suggested we meet in Starbucks. Not my first choice, perhaps, but no problem. When I got there, there were two customers at one of the tables, and no one else in the whole place. The camarero – I bet he’d have called himself a barista – took my order.

It annoys me that the smallest measure in Starbucks is “tall”. It annoyed me more that the waiter wanted to know my name.
Continue reading “personal details to go”


Castilla y León 17/11/2008
Castilla y León 17/11/2008

ivy snakes
scaling trunks of pines