Tuesday, May 29, 2007

!Adios Amigos!
I'll miss the Spanish Class, especially as it was only two minutes from home. I felt had to go to something as they built the new college but it was stressful to do exams. I'll stick to U3A next year.
I've already written a short story set in Spain and maybe I'll do a whole novel when I've finished the one set in China.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Thank God That's Over!

I took my Advanced Fiction portfolio to Goldsmiths submissions office, in the the old Deptford town hall.

New Cross was dismal and I waited whilst the assistant searched he cupboard for the right folder.

Thank goodness that's over. I don't know why I put myself through these hoops. I'm in the middle of Spanish GCSE exams, too. I've done the oral already. It was OK except that the teacher, Carmen, was waving her arms about and I only realised later she meant I should use the past tense for one of the answers. The listening exam is onThursday afternoon so I'm going to see 'Goya's Ghost' tomorrow night to 'ambiencise' myself.

Last night at bridge someone said, 'Oh, splendid! I do think people of our age should continue to learn!'

It's not the learning I mind so much as exams and deadlines. I'm not going to have any next year; after all the courses I'm going to concentrate on writing to sell.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The tiny balcony by my bed is useless for sitting out. It's really a kind of fire-escape, although we'd have to tie sheets together then jump onto the threadbare patch of grass below.
Plastic nut containers are destroyed by squirrels but metal ones keep bluetits busy for ages. It was a mistake to buy the net of peanuts and fat-balls because the peanuts were released almost immediately by the squirrels. Fat-balls lasted longer and attracted birds big enough to perch on the pots and reach the net- mainly wood pigeons, with the odd jay and magpie.

Despite a spell of flu, generated, I think by a coach trip to the north and another to Brighton in the same week, I have written quite a few website reviews since my last entry. I was really put off by the the pressures of the BFI course last year, then by the London Film Festival. I saw too many films and didn't allow enough time to write between screenings.
Now I'm writing for about four websites and usually attend advance press screenings.
Dimsum is a website about China for the Chinese community in Britain. The arts editor is someone I met on the BFI course, and it's such a well-respected site I can mention it and get into China-related things for free. A couple of weeks back I went to the Tate Liverpool and reviewed an exhibition called The Real Thing: Contemporary Art in China. A few days before I'd been asked to contribute a piece on The Curse of the Golden Flower so that's on the same page:
A film website I write, called Cinemattraction, for is New York based. I reviewed 'Mr Bean's Holiday' and, more recently,
'Dans Paris' and 'The Singer' :
One of my favourite sites is about London events, especially fringe or minority interest is called My Cultural Life and I've written some China-related pieces for them:
Later in the week I'm going to cover a production of 'The Bald Prima Donna' by a company called Etcetera, in Camden.
I think I've managed to get the balance right now - not to try to do so many reviews that I get overwhelmed and to leave room to develop my fiction writing.