It’s that time again.  I’ve received an editorial report on one of my novels and I have more work to do, this time on certain aspects of the plot.

Tweaking plot elements to make them more convincing sometimes brings about the opposite and the changes make the story worse.  I’m working with various brainstorming techniques, trying to get to the heart of the matter.  Asking questions like, what do I really want here? Letting my imagination do the work. Tweaking doesn’t mean getting rid of.  Just adapting ideas slightly.

On and on it goes.

Currently, learning (polishing) Liszt’s Nineteenth Hungarian Rhapsody with a view to including it on a CD project of piano music I have planned. Liszt wrote a set of nineteen Hungarian Rhapsodies, some of which are well-known – for instance, number 2 and number 12.

The Nineteenth rhapsody, written in 1885, starts with a sombre, march-like triplet motif that seems almost ambiguous at first – compare to the more defined openings of Rhapsodies nos 2 and 12. After a brief section of rapid movement, the music settles into a clear Hungarian melodic style, reminiscent of the earlier Rhapsodies. The Lassan ends. Next comes the fast section, the Friska, which eventually results in a semi-cadenza, bringing the work to a bravo!-type finish.

Can’t wait to perform or record it.

I have uploaded another video of my piano playing, this time of Liebestraum 3 by Liszt.  That makes eighteen videos in all.

After much worry about all that could go wrong, I finally put a blank CD in the computer and copied the audio tracks to make a recording that people can listen to on stereo systems and car radios. It took a bit of fiddling with; the master copy ended up with a duplicate track and I had to make a new playlist.

Anyhow, I have several copies of a recording of classical piano music, each work played by myself.  The pieces include Clair De Lune by Debussy, the Grieg piano sonata (complete), the famous Raindrop Prelude by Chopin, Liebestraum by Liszt, Revolutionary Etude by Chopin, plus lots more.  I feel quite pleased with myself, I suppose, although the perfectionist in me wants to scream in frustration when I detect subtle errors that the average person might miss.

The disc last just over an hour, and I have to decide what to do next.  How to present or market it.  Art cover work. A brief bio.  In many ways, the playing of the repertoire is just the beginning and the real work starts here.

I’ve come to that stage after six years of blogging. Days pass, then a week or so, and I still haven’t blogged.  Increasingly, I’m finding it almost impossible to know what to blog about.  Some people say, just blog about how you feel – but that can get boring, right?

This year, I’ve concentrated on music, writing and languages, and have had less time to blog.  I’ve done several classical piano recordings and now have over an hour of so-called air time. I like to think of these as professional recordings, but in actual fact they’re semi-professional. At present, I’m working on the next step: distributing the music.  YouTube?  SoundCloud?  These are fine, but at some point, I need to make an actual physical disc of the music and get it out there.

For now, here is my rendition of Chopin’s Raindrop Prelude.



The title says it all. Summer has ended and autumn has come with greyness and a dip in temperature.

Another cycle. I’ve polished the latest manuscript of my novel, having taken professional advice, and have sent it out again. The waiting begins.

The above might sound contradictory, but exactly two weeks after dislocating my right knee, I managed to power walk for a whole fifteen minutes without any problems.  A mate had organised a night out in a Highgate pub.  I looked up the times of the buses on my London Bus Checker App and saw that no buses were due (sort of forgotten about the roads works on the Great North Road). Since I didn’t want to miss the evening, I decided to walk there through Highgate Woods.

All went to plan.  I’m grateful to a recently retired GP friend of mine who gave the following advice shortly after I dislocated the knee: need to keep using it – gentle exercise- otherwise it will tense up.


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