East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Of Seances and Egyptian Goddesses

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And so we did it.
Oh, what a night! (yes, just like the old Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons hit.)

Part 1 – The Seance

Google Hangouts acted up a bit during my hangout session with my Italian supporters from Patreon. A lot of

“Can you hear me?”
“Are you there?”
“I can Hear you, can you hear me? Give me a sign if you can…”

Next time we’ll use a Ouija Board. And there will be certainly a next time, because it was a lot of fun and, for me, a mighty injection of good cheer and positive attitude.
Writing, we have said it before I think, is a lonely business, and we often wonder at what’s happening out there, with our readers. Well, Patreon and this hangout thing is certainly helping bring writers and readers together in a fun way.
We’ll do it again.


Part 2 – The Boy’s Night Out

In the end that guy was right, and three thousand words were on the page after about two hours.
In the end, I ditched my plan for a 2-characters/3000-words story, and let Nennius Britannicus and the boys take the story where it needed to go.
End result: 6000 words in 5 hours, making lots of pauses. Good going.

This, despite a 2 AM call from a call center somewhere, with a guy trying to sell me a table & chairs set for my garden.

I will post the edited story as soon as possible.
In the meantime, as a teaser, here’s my asides to the audience, from which you can get very little of the story, but probably a lot about my way of working, and my recent discovery of Google Docs.
Here goes.

[And here we go – it’s 11.53 PM on my watch… seven minutes, and I’ll start properly. Welcome everybody, if you are out there]

31CCSDL-DAL._SX355_[and now a moment of pause as I go and brew me a cup of tea. Hope you guys are enjoying the show!]

[a lot of this will need to be edited in the final draft – add more description and sense of place; but right now I have the dialog running in my head, so I want to get it down before I lose it. Poetry it’s not, but I guess it’s workable.]

[1300 words already! The guy that said five hours is a lot of time was right! But I think this might get longer. I can see where this can go, in which direction I could expand it.]

cut-copy-paste-feature-image[I did not know you needed an external extension to copy and paste! weird!]

[looks like this thing will not stay in the three thousand words bracket, and that the “two characters” bit will also be ditched. So much for my One-Two-Three thing. Oh, well, plans are made to be ignored.]

[now, I doubt there were “sewing circles” in the late Roman Empire, but what the heck, I’ll check for a suitable substitute during revision.]

[a moment while I check something on wikipedia]

[it’s almost 2 AM, damn… who calls me this late at night to offer me a discount on garden furniture? This world is going crazy]


[now let me re-read this while I make some more tea]

[I always misspell strix, spelling it stryx – and I always need to check out the correct spelling. A side effect of my poor musical tastes in the 1980s, I guess.]

[incidentally, I do not know what you see on your screens, but I get small icons with animals on them – right now there are “Anonymous Ferret” and “Anonymous Lemur” reading this… hi guys, whoever you are! You know of course that “lemures” was a kind of supernatural creature, a sort of ghost, for the Romans. Just saying… ]

watch[3330 words in 2 hours and 40 minutes. Not bad, not bad at all. Now I’ll have to figure out what’s coming next – the original idea was to have two legionaries face a lamia/vampire/whatever in a back alley. But now things have got more complicated. So a modicum of reasoning is necessary. I’ll take two minutes, and think it over]

[and by the way, much as I like this Google Docs thing, right now I’d rather be in Scrivener – I’d be able to cut the story in chunks, and move them around for the best effect…]

[there is a comment thread tool! Oh, next time I’ll open the comments to you guys!]

[the fun bit of doing research on the fly is that you find stuff that’s absolutely great, and in the end you’d rather read the stuff instead of writing. Like, Sekhmet being probably connected with a “sex and booze” cult in Egypt at the time of queen Hatshepsut (I must mind my Hs). A cult that kept going to the 3rd century AD… oh, what a coincidence, this story is set in 276!]

[I don’t know if you can access the link from this page, but here it is…

[and that’s a nice question – right now I have no idea. But I’ll work out something.]

[and here we are – 5000 words in 4 hours and some… considering I took a lot of pauses, I’d say it’s a good record. So I’d rather stop here, saving the finale for later. There is really just two more scenes to write, let’s say another 1000/1500 words. Anyway – I’ll go quickly through what I’ve written so far, and set straight a few details, and I’ll try to use this last half hour as best as I can.]

[no, what the heck – I’ve got half an hour, I’ll use it and finish the story. I’ll clean it up and edit it tomorrow.]

[yes, I know – in the 3rd century it is unlikely they used “double-entendre” – I’ll look up a suitable Latin substitute later]

And this was the time to call it a night – 5.05 AM.

It was great!
I hope you guys liked it out there!

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.

One thought on “Of Seances and Egyptian Goddesses

  1. Haha, I don’t know if that was delirium or just sheer excitement but it read like you had a great time!


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