Ambiance/Decor of Centenar Bar

Much action in One Dress, One Day begins at El Centenar Bar, a favorite with foreign students who like karaoke and cheap alcohol. The decor has not changed much over the years. Old movie posters and belle epoque ads, similar to the one below, adorn the walls.

“The  Centenar bar’s only real mirrors were in the women’s washroom and a saloon-style wall model behind the bar. Most walls were exposed yellow brick plastered with old posters for classic films, e.g. El espíritu de la colmena or Citizen Kane.”

MALETA DE RECORTES: Más carteles, posters, publicidad vintageCigarette butts, old tapas under glass and spilled beer complete the portrait.

MALETA DE RECORTES: Más carteles, posters, publicidad vintage



Daily Prompt: Swallow (here past tense)

One Dress, One Day recounts the tale of a stolen wedding gown. Here the bride thinks her dress has been returned, but…

As she unzipped the white bag, her throat swelled with disappointment. MERDE. She stopped herself short from complaining as it dawned on her then that there was only the sheath without accompanying tulle skirt or flowing stole. That lump could lead to tears so she swallowed hard convincing herself that something was better than nothing and that, after all, her husband was safevia Daily Prompt: Swallow

Daily Prompt: Foreign (er)


In One Dress, One Day, a key character, Nieves, lives in an Asturian farmhouse with a woman she calls Mother.  This is not her biological mother. A bit of background reminds us how not every family history is clear. Secrets, folkore and forgetting may become involved.

Mother had agreed to keep the toddler while la Tía Maruja was going through a risky middle-age pregnancy.  Sadly, Maruja suffered a ruptured appendix and peritonitis not long after giving birth. The father, a wiry foreigner from some central European country, got his sister to come help with the infant and funeral preparations. After a solemn requiem mass and a family mercy meal held in a small restaurant, the new widower informed everyone that he was leaving with the baby. Nobody said a word. Were they afraid or stunned? Was he ignoring Nieves? Nieves was probably not really his.  Nobody knew for sure. Nobody seemed aware of her. All little Nieves knew was the loss of her birth mother. Everyone got used to the situation. via Daily Prompt: Foreign

Daily Prompt: Wrinkle

One Day, One Dress heroine Inma wears the stolen gown while awaiting her lover.

The jangling phone jolted her back to reality.  It was Him, capital H.  He was coming early that afternoon.  Siestas during the Holy Week were starting earlier and growing longer.  Inma remained standing so as not to wrinkle the iridescent creation. The boning in the bodice poked under her boob a bit, but she suffered in silence. Everything in her life would be perfect from now on. A loud red and violet polyester kimono served better than an apron to protect the precious dress as she prepared a lunch of rice and mussels. via Daily Prompt: Wrinkle

Performing! Like one of my characters?

via Photo Challenge: I’d Rather Be…

Those stickers or fill-in-the-blanks answers usually make me groan or wince, but this time I answered dancing, singing, performing… Probably influenced by Inma (Inmaculada), a heroine in the novellario One Dress, One Day. Inma, a luscious barmaid-singer, longs to sing in Eurovision or perform in a video clip, like Madonna’s from the 80s or any old Hollywood number starring Carmen Miranda or Carmen Amaya. See youtube for la Miranda:

And Amaya below…

Beyond Karaoke, beyond Idol/Voice/ or other talent shows, the power of a live performance, both giving and receiving, cannot be duplicated.  Human energy creates more energy (pace Newton and his laws).

My choice of  e-mail/blog and twitter logo evokes that moment of inspiration or exhalation in performance.

What would you rather be doing? The question does give pause.


Daily Prompt: Suddenly

Francisco, the thief, has just stolen the wedding gown. A nearby alarm went off, he has to slink around with his loot…

On one side of the small plaza was a municipal dumpster where Francisco could stand briefly, more or less unseen.  If any cops came, he could shove the bag behind the garbage bin and pretend to be taking a piss against the wall. He knew there were more cops on duty because of Holy Week. Pimply, eager cadets were assigned to the city core to direct traffic during processions, but mostly they gave tourists directions and warned foreign women to wear their shoulder bag with the strap across the chest.


Suddenly, the siren stopped. With a car, the owner had to turn off the system, but with shops, it could be the owner, a night watchman, or police officer. No time to waste.


The distant base of a Michael Jackson remix reminded him to keep moving. Once far enough away and completely alone, Francisco removed one glove, and unzipped the bag just enough to view the contents.  His grimy fingers groped at the white tulle and satiné finish as a quiver of pleasure startled him back to reality.  He cursed loudly.

via Daily Prompt: Suddenly

Lack Translations


One Dress, One Day is not a translation but rather like a subtitled script!

As a translator and teacher of translation, I found this recent article revealing. We know from the work of Venuti and others that the need to translate literature into English is great given the incredible imbalance in statistics. Far more documents are translated from English into Spanish, literary and other genres.  Since the BOOM, less literature has been translated, it seems. Perhaps more non-native speakers of English are writing in English, too. We know that English-speaking people do not read much in foreign languages and reject subtitled or dubbed films.  Hollywood remakes of successful French films (Cage aux folles) prove the last point! Overall, the problem lies in taste and commercial power.  Let’s hope that the situation will change as more Hispanic or Latino creators (Shape of Water, Coco) reach the mainstream in the USA. 

A recent day-long event in New York highlighted the travails Spanish-language publishers have finding traction for translations in the US market.

Source: Spanish Publishers Frustrated By Lack of English Translations

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