East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Funny, exciting and weird


I’ve been told I should do a series of posts about the funny and exciting and weird everyday life of a full-time writer.
Maybe not even posts, because nobody bothers with reading a blog these days, but maybe find a cartoonist and start a daily strip about the funny and exciting and weird everyday life of a full-time writer.


And admittedly it would be fun.I’d really love to be a cartoonist.
Not an ace like Frank Cho or Berkeley Breathed or Quino, I’ll never be like that in a million years anyway, but a guy that can hold his own with a pencil.
I’d do a strip about my life.
Telling of the sharp, breath-taking panic that grips me when the neighbor’s dog starts barking, because it might mean the postman’s coming, and the postman brings overdue bills, late payment notices and complaints from my bank…
… a strip telling of the similar, paralyzing fear of the phone, that brings calls from my insurance company because I’m late with the payment, or from the gas company or the water company because I owe them money, or news of ailing relations, but then it’s telemarketers most of the time (sigh of relief)…
… a strip telling of what needs to be done to live, for two people, with a 3 euro daily allowance for food, transport and entertainment…
… a strip telling of runaway clients and “I’m not interested in talking money”…
… a strip about CVs that disappear forever, of jobs denied because “you are overqualified”…
… a strip about the quiet daily desperation and what you need to do to keep it at bay and keep living “a normal life” and maybe even have fun and maintain a certain humor while the next payment on the mortgage could be your last, and you’d be on your own, without a house, without a “proper job”, without money, all credit lines closed…
It would be a cartload of laughs.

And mind you, what I’m saying is I’m a good enough writer that I could even make it fun, and not depressing.
Because that’s my game – writing, and surviving the darkest moods.

images (2)I am taking an online course in sketching.
I’m not the most dedicated of students, but my hand is improving. I may give it a try one of these nights. I only need to find me a funny and exciting and weird everyday life.
As of now, I sit here, and make up lies to sell,and call them stories.
People seem to like them.

And I still believe my readers are interested in what I write, not in the funny and exciting and weird everyday life I am supposed to lead.
And I’m all for posting glimpses of my day-to-day routine, as I vent my frustration and share my excitement here on this blog, and basically try and have a social life through this blog.
But turning my life into a show? Making it the primary reason why you should follow me? I’m rather dubious.
What do you guys say?

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.

12 thoughts on “Funny, exciting and weird

  1. Well, there’s the whole “dark humor” section of comics to think about, isn’t it? Maybe you can create an astigianistan-based Mana family and have fun about all those critters you have in the neighborhood.


  2. Personal branding, mate. The awkward winning strategy everybody is talking about instead of writing good books. Lately I stumbled on the Autori Riuniti posse, a bunch of writer located in Turin that seems to be succeeding in igniting some interest towards their books (no fantasy, no sf as as matter of fact… don’t ask me why.) Maybe the answer is collective branding?


    • I don’t want to be a brand.
      Coca Cola is a brand. I’, a guy sitting in a room, writing stories.
      As for the no fantasy/no SF thing, I guess they are Real Writers, not guys sitting in a room, writing stories.
      I’m very tired.


  3. Different reasons since -in this case- was caused by overworking, but I recall a short manga written and illustrated by Hideo Azuma using the same premise despite the different format. It’s called “Disappearance Diary”, telling in a humouristic way how twenty years of the funny, exciting and weird manga industry routine life drive the Pollon’s father through: alcoholism, suicide attempt, disappear various times for various months and living as a homeless, working for the gas company and alcohol rehabilitation.
    It’s a nice and quick lecture, but maybe it’s just me having a grip for certain stories.


  4. Sell part of your books. It is a useful strategy to use when you need cash, in particular if you have such a huge personal library. It is painful, and I know it because I did the same in the past – but it’s better than to live every second in a state of fear because of the bills.


    • Yes, I have some stuff up for sale right now (part of my record collection) and I have recently sold two books from my roleplaying books collection – and I am getting to terms with the idea that I will have to sell more of the stuff.
      And IT IS painful, but I am getting old and I have no family, so I would leave the books behind to be pulped – I may as well sell part of them, and try and be a little more comfortable in the years I have left.


      • Selling books it is a right choice. As I told you, I know how painful it can be, but is better than homelessness. After all, if we become so attached to books to the point of considering them as an untouchable treasure, we forget what’s their real purpose: to expadn our horizons. This is not about you, it’s something I had to tell to myself in the past. Palahniuk was right after all: the things you used to own, now they own you (but the real message could be: it may happen, so be careful my dear reader).


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