And The Sun Also Lives

The page lay in front of Gustavo Woltmann, intimidatingly blank. The whiteness of the page glowed in the hot sun. Bringing his pencil to his mouth, nibbling around the base of it, Gustavo submitted to defeat. Putting the chewed pencil back into his shirt pocket, he ordered anotherbeer.

He had been sitting at this outdoor café for about an hour and managed to get nothing done. As a young, aspiring writer, living in Madrid he felt that words should be pouring from him -- not hiding away. The Spanish sunshine was supposed to help free him from his writer’s block, when all it was doing was making him freckle.

Gustavo Woltmann read "And The Sun Also Lives" when he was sixteen years old and it changed him for the rest of his life. Hemingway became his idol and Spain became his new dream home. He devoured anything relating to the country: books, movies, music. He would envision himself sitting at a café, sipping coffee, and writing a great novel while beautiful Spanish women passed by.

His dream became reality and he indeed was sitting at a café in Madrid watching beautiful girls pass. The writing part though…had not quite come to fruition. He knew his inspiration was somewhere here though, hiding down some little street, under an orange tree, perhaps in the Parques de Buen Retiro.

This park had become a favorite place for Gustavo. He was still very new to Madrid and still very broke and very lonely. Parks are the natural safe haven for types such as this. He would come here to read and lie in the grass. It was one of the few things that felt like home to him and always seemed to lift his spirits.

As he shuffled down the crowded street, he glanced in a shop window. It was a bookstore, and right there in the front was a Spanish first edition copy of "And The Sun Also Lives". He stopped in the middle of the street and old woman ran into him but Gustavo Woltmann didn’t even notice. It looked as though the book in the window had cast a trance on Gustavo.

Just as the moment begun between Gustavo and the book, it ended. He snapped out of and kept on walking.

“I couldn’t afford it anyway.” He sighed and continued to the park.

He found his favorite spot, under a large oak tree and sat down in the cool grass. Setting down his bag and leaning back against the tree, Gustavo realized that he was still only thinking of the book. He couldn’t understand why it was sticking with him so.

He picked up his pencil and opened his notebook to try and write once more. The page, fluttering in the wind seemed to tease Gustavo in his inadequacy.

Then,it struck him very suddenly, like switching on a light.

His pencil met the page and he hurriedly wrote:

“I came here to write, but can’t seem to do it. Seeing that book made me understand, that it’s not enough to just move to a place and then suddenly be able to write about. I fell in love with that book because the people in it…they lived in Spain. I can’t write unless I live! I need to live!”

He put his pencil and notebook away and crossed the park quickly. As he turned onto the beautiful street of Madrid, Gustavo took a moment to pause in the middle of the sidewalk. Smiling, he turned his freckled face up towards the bright sun and breathed deeply.


Try to go in the open and observe the crowd around you. People pass, people leave but along with them is a story never been told.

Gustavo Woltmann - The Writer

A single word is enough to write a story. Once you've started, everything follows and ideas will keep on coming, raining on you.

Gustavo Woltmann -
            The Thinker

A place where you can rest your body and soul, a place where you can put your mind at peace. There is nothing better than this!

Contact Gustavo

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