Wednesday 23 April 2014

flowers and serpents

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...and here we are. Flowers and Serpents, a collection of stories by 14 English-speaking writers in Barcelona, edited by me and designed by Víctor is in the world. And otherwise it's Sant Jordi, it's sunny, I was brought a long-stemmed rose in bed this morning, and the day as been full of books and deliciousness. I'm off to enjoy the rest of it! Scroll down for a gratuitous picture of my cat...

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Tuesday 22 April 2014

new niu publishers

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Tomorrow in Saint George's Day, birthday of Shakespeare, Cervantes, Nabokov and my father, Day of the Book and the Rose in Catalunya. I generally celebrate it by walking and looking at the books and enjoying any chance to celebrate the written word. Last year I even appeared on a newspaper supplement as one of the poster-children for reading! That was pretty special. But this year is even more special because Víctor and I converted ourselves into a literary editors and publishers for the occasion.

For a few years now, I've been part of an English writing group here in Barcelona. We meet every week to discuss each others writing, suggest improvements, give encouragment and so on. Members are a mixed bag of English teachers, journalists, translators, editors and others (we had a doctor once, and we currently have an ex-priest) and come from pretty much any English-speaking country you can think of, as well as some Scandinavians and exceptionally fluent locals. ANYWAY, in time for Sant Jordi this year, I decided to organize a collection of some of our short stories. I edited it (I work as an editor anyway, but it was great to get to edit fiction for a change) and Víctor did the graphic design (he also has a history designing books).

We snapped these pictures the day before it went to the printers... it's amazing how a DSLR can make anything look glamourous, even head-ache, eye-ache, back-ache, lack of sleep, lack of hair-washing or make-up applying... I think they're just golden because I was so content to be doing what I was doing. (Although seriously, next time writer people, we're going to talk about formatting before you give me your submissions). It looks like I'm fake-working but I really was correcting like a maniac at the time.

The anthologies are back from the printers and I can't wait to share them here tomorrow!

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Saturday 12 April 2014

first signs of summer in spring

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While there was no winter to speak of this year, spring has been vacillating back and forth between blustery-chilly, and almost summer. On one of the summery days, I went to both a brunch and a barbecue (talk about overeating) to catch up with some of the friends i never see enough during the winter months and to meet new ones, such as the darling poodle puppy Marley.

It was a day for a pretty green dress, baking pear and chocolate scones in the morning, cheerful flowers, lounging in hammocks in the afternoon.

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Saturday 5 April 2014

library of babel

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I think I'm not the only one in this space who loves a good book, so I thought I'd share these pictures from one of the most impressive bookshops I've been in. Perhaps its location makes it seem even's the type of second-hand bookshop you might imagine in a creative corner of a big city...but not in a suburb of a small town a good forty minutes by train from the metropolis. Victor, Rosa and I dragged ourselves out there on a Sunday afternoon to see an exhibition, and our jaws more or less dropped as we walked into an unassuming warehouse. On the inside, old books were piled on tables and in tight rows up to the ceiling and a wooden bar decked out with chandaliers and wooden ladders served (extortionate, every silver lining has a cloud) drinks. You can get a glimpse of it behind me in the first picture. I snagged a copy of Dubliners for four euros and went to town taking pictures.

P.S. Rosa and I have a history of being photographed in bookstores...sometimes even more glamorously!

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