East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

The Ten Virtues of Tea

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japanese-tea-ceremony1So my next short story will be set in India (aha!) and will be a steampunkish mystery caper sort of thing somewhat related to my GreyWorld project.
So far I only have an idea or two, a single character sketch and a deadline – and a very strict deadline it is, because the story will be submitted to a publisher.

Also, I have a theme: my story will deal with tea.
And I like this, because I am a tea drinker, and drinking tea is part of my writing process… because it’s a good way to take a pause, and think about something else.

So, as part of the research work for my story, I found out this, which I think will be quite useful as I write my tale.

The Ten Virtues of Tea
Tea has the blessing of all deities
Tea promotes filial piety
Tea drives away all evil spirits
Tea banishes drowsiness
Tea keeps the five internal organs in harmony
Tea wards off disease
Tea strengthens friendship
Tea disciplines body and mind
Tea destroys the passions
Tea grants a peaceful death
—Attributed to Japanese Buddhist priest Myoe (1173–1232), who had the words inscribed on a tea kettle

In fact, the second virtue connects neatly with the character sketch I have already – and so I thought… why not make this the outline for my story?
After all, you can see a plot there, right? A path from beginning to end.
Or more clearly, I can see the themes of ten scenes… and with ten scenes, about 500 words each, we have a story.
Nice and smooth.

Now, as usual, I only have to write it.


Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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