Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Writing in Diurno

AOG, Madrid

Today I went from my English class straight home. I picked up my new Mac, and went for a coffee at Diurno.

The place has been remodelled lately. Not all of it good. The counter is too high, which is bad, but the smokers have been banished to their own section, away from the rest of humanity, which is good for me (maybe less so for them).

Before I went to Japan, Diurno was a nice café which had decided to create a sort of plasticky gas chamber in the largest part of its premises to accommodate the smokers, giving them alone the use of the sofas, whilst banishing us to the front of the café, to use the tables and chairs, and, by the way, inhale the incoming smoke from the smoking area which perpetually kept both its windows unto the rest of the place, open. It was a lose-lose situation for us.

But now things have changed. The owner has had the good sense to rid the place of the plastic cage which divided an otherwise great space, and now most of the premises are one great open space- except for the specialty video section. And the much-too-large counters.

The other negative thing is its food. Before I left for Japan, (did I mention I just got back from the future?), Diurno had a very good selection of cakes, sweets and sandwiches made from different types of bread. They always looked appetising.

Enter the one-type-of-baguette-fits-all. The quality has come down. Gone too are its delicious chocolate doughnuts.

But enough bitching.

Last night I started writing a short story in English. A major step since I haven’t written in ages, never mind in English.

So this morning, after class, I thought I’d work on it a little bit. So off I went to Diurno to have a coffee, not a turkey and cheese English granary baguette, and do some writing.

Opposite me there was this guy reading an eBook of sorts. I’m not sure if it was Kindle, a Sony reader, Papyre, or what. It was like a small paperback. Red leather bound. He looked enthralled. And very modern.

More so than the two guys who took his place a while later and brought their two Labradors with them. Or me, who was, at the time, reading a paper newspaper!

How dared I!

Because it was still early, I got a place by the sofa section. Had the coffee, read the paper, and wrote for about 35 minutes. For me, a milestone.

It felt good to write. It made me feel useful, creative.

I have this crazy idea that I’ll send the finished story to The New Yorker.

And owning a copy of The Best American Short Stories, years 2007, 2008 and 2009, allows me to target a few more literary sources.

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