Inma’s Love Nest

Here is a quick paragraph from ONE DAY, ONE DRESS. It is the moment before Inma’s lover, a married politician, arrives at her apartment door:
“She hovered excitedly making certain everything looked and smelled cozy. There was always a faint smell of natural gas from the kitchen. Inma opened the only window a crack. Talking to herself constantly, she went over practical matters, like having plenty of fluffy towels and toilet paper. Her apartment resembled an overgrown dollhouse. No dark hues or thick fabrics were used to decorate because that would be bad Feng Shui. Inma did have Tibetan chimes and patchouli incense in case any nasty spirits managed to penetrate.”

Stay tuned for what happens next in the nest.

via Daily Prompt: Cozy


Exploring Carmen’s Seville: Cigars, Conquest, and Colonialism at the Royal Tobacco Factory of Seville

UN POCO DE ESPANA AQUI ESTA… this reminds me of the usual flamenco but also my Spanish family history. Typical story of an immigrant from Asturias who ended up in Cuba apprenticing as a cigarmaker.

Lives and Times

Sevilla, “so affectionate, so brunette, gypsy and so beautiful”, as the song says. Sevilla, forever the heart of the south and for so long the crossroads of the Old and New worlds. Sevilla I visit to learn about the symbol of this cultural meeting point, the Royal Tobacco Factory, the same tobacco factory from which poured out Sevilla’s most beautiful cigarreras in Bizet’s opera Carmen, pursued by their admirers

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One Dress, One Day: Street Artists

I stumbled across this image on another wordpress site.

As you know, one of the best known streets in Barcelona is “las Ramblas”. Many students of theather and dramatics go there to perform very special motionless disguises (pause fixe). Las Ramblas is always crowded with  people playing instruments, painting or acting. In One Dress, One Day, we discover Barcelona’s boulevard and alleys through a thief’s eyes. Francisco, a skinny con artist, reminds readers that pickpockets work crowds around such performers.


Technical note:  lowphotographer lowered saturation in the background to get a Black & White background, for enhancing the image.

Don’t miss the Ramblas Theme.


Una foto llamativa que me arranca del trabajo.  Gracias, John Tabares.  Claro la veo pero mejor entiendo las notas que se acaban al final de una fiesta.  No puede ser otro que un vestido de flamenco.

El baile ‘sevillana’ nos llega desde Sevilla cuya feria fue al principio una venta de caballos, Sigue como la mayor feria del mundo. Se aprecia su sabor gitano.

La pelicula Flamenco Flamenco (1995) de Carlos Sauras me encanta.  Un sabor en youtube :

Si le gusta el baile debe de ver el documental canadiense Flamenco at 5:15

La feria es como un carnaval, debes esperar 12 meses para baillar, disfrazarse, gozar de la vida… pero Celia Cruz siempre cantaba ‘la vida es un carnaval’.  Ni europea, ni gitana la salsera cubana nos da un mensaje que me parece similar a un canto andaluz con sus temas de llorar y cantar. La Cruz nunca pudo regresar a su querida isla.  Su vida de artista fue marcada por la tristeza y el exilio. El refrano lo dice bien :

Ay, no hay que llorar (No hay que llorar)
Que la vida es un carnaval
Que es más bello vivir cantando
Oh oh oh ay, no hay que llorar (No hay que llorar)
Que la vida es una carnaval
Y las penas se van cantando

Oh oh oh ay, no hay que llorar (No hay que llorar)

via Bye bye feria… —

Quick 6 Pick Wedding Movie List

Last but not least on the list…

6. 27 Dresses (2008) “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.” You may have heard this superstitious adage. Katherine Heigl’s character in this romantic comedy is an unmarried woman with her fair share of poofy bridesmaid gowns from 27 different weddings. Aha. Most women know about the cost and colour of those choice frocks!

  • 5. The Wedding Singer (1998) This flick about a wedding singer, who falls in love with an event waitress, was the original Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore rom-com.   Ironically, I originally wanted to see this because my mother used to sing at weddings. She has a great voice and used to perform mostly at friends’ weddings. The payment was the meal and a gift equivalent to a bridesmaid gift (compact for face powder or picture frame).
  • 4. My Best Friend’s Wedding (1998) Before Runaway Bride, Julia Roberts was making a mad dash for Dermot Mulroney in My Best Friend’s Wedding. Roberts played Julianne Potter, a woman who realizes she’s in love with her longtime pal (Mulroney), just as he’s about to marry another woman (Cameron Diaz).
  • 3. Bridesmaids (2012) R-rated, this female-driven picture starred Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Ellie Kemper and Wendi McLendon-Covey. What a bridal party! The film earned two Oscar nominations, Best Original Screenplay for Wiig and Annie Mumolo and Best Supporting Actress for McCarthy. My mother (the wedding singer) found it far from virginal and quite foulmouthed!
  • 2. Wedding Crashers (2005) When it comes to mastering the art of crashing a wedding, look no further than Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. Before there was Ted, 22 Jump Street and The Hangover, this 2005 comedy held the record for the highest opening for an R-rated film. A huge box-office and critical success, the film also served up hilarious breakthrough performances from Isla Fisher and Bradley Cooper.
  • My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) Based o Nia Vardalos‘ one-woman play about a young Greek woman’s efforts to make her family accept her non-Greek boyfriend, MBFGW was one of the biggest surprise hits in movie history. Not only did Vardalos score an Oscar nomination for her witty screenplay, but the film still stands as the highest grossing wedding movie of all time. Note the sequel a decade later was cute, but nothing as powerful as the original as is often the case with sequels and remakes!

But what about half a dozen others, for example,

Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) or Father or the Bride – either Spencer Tracey (1950) or Steve Martin (1991) – or It’s Complicated (1992) with Alec Baldwin and Meryl Streep (Steve Martin again!)?

Like my manuscript, most of the movies on this list are lighthearted. Wedding movies tend to be comic but there are exceptions like the Indian film, Monsoon Wedding (1991), which revealed a dark family secret.

Destination Wedding? 

Foreign films might include the zany Australian classic Muriel’s Wedding or Mexican writer Laura Esquivel’s magic realism on screen in Like Water for Chocolate (1992), or  the frothy La mariée est trop  belle starring Brigitte Bardot, directed by Pierre Gaspard-Huit. The last movie’s title evokes an expression: complain that the bride is too beautiful, in other words, complain about something that should be praised! Similar to the expression is  Trop belle pour toi, Bertrand Blier’s film  featuring Carole Bouquet and Gérard Depardieu with Josiane Bolasko. This film tells the tale of a beautiful bride whose husband cheats on her with a plain plump woman!  Bolasko, also a director, gave us Gazon maudit, another film marrying nuptials, lesbianism and infidelity. Revenge is a dish best eaten cold! Is there a French trend here?  Blake Edwards’ movie 10 is an American cinematographic example of the pre-wedding obsession and then honeymoon affair with background music from Bolero by Ravel. The expression ‘a ten’, cornrows in white women’s hair plu the theme from Bolero became commonplaces after this box office smash.

My tale of a stolen #weddinggown actually follows the wedding and unfolds during 24 hours of the honeymoon.  How many films show the honeymoon? Think about it until next list!


Daily Prompt: Varnish

One Dress, One Day is divided according to the traditional Spanish day (Manana, mediodia,etc.). The prompt varnish reminded me of this poignant moment from Siesta, a section in the 24-hour story.  Part of the stolen #weddinggown is worn by Inma to impress her married lover, politician Gustavo Rubio.  The results were not what she expected.

a white sheath with a small rose fabric corsage pinned to a virginal bodice was too much for him.  It looked like his daughter’s communion dress. Little Noemi had perished in an accident exactly three years prior during Holy Week while he was driving the family sedan. They buried her in that dress, holding her favorite dolly and a chrome-plated crucifix attached to a rosary, inside a rose-lined white high-varnish coffin. The child’s bedroom remained untouched since that fateful day, piously swept and dusted by the maid who tiptoed in and out, always crossing herself as she pressed the door quietly shut. A tragedy.

via Daily Prompt: Varnish

People’s or Characters’ Patina

via Daily Prompt: Patina

When young, I wanted a patina without realizing that wrinkles came with it. Like old photos in black and white, patina may mean grit, dust, even yellow crinkles. The youthful insouciance of this casual portrait makes one think of what will or may transpire before it is folded next to the heart, placed in an album or scanned for a family tree. It evokes youth and the future perfect tense of any verb.

Crafting my characters means polishing their patina just enough to show on the pages. Beyond basics, their essence and enough patina must shine through to the reader. This is my writer’s goal.  In my manuscript, One Dress, One Day, Pepe remembers his wedding picture well.  In remains central in his mind’s eye.  No need to go look at it.  He knows that portrait with its Kodachrome yellow tint and red eyes from flash. Framed but loved imperfection. This layer of Pepe endears him to us.

Patina, beyond the tarnish on ancient objects, reveals life. Not the designer ripped, prewashed jeans life, but actually studying, exploring, loving, losing, and always living version. Not the Hollywood airbrush feel but something authentic. Now old(er), I smile wryly about my worries over patina. Exfoliation aside, one must feel good in one’s own skin, as the French say.