East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Summer solstice microadventure challenge

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Today I had three revelations of sorts, three proper alarm signals ringing at the same time.
First, I realized that the deadline I had been dreading these last three days is actually still one month away.
Second, I realized the chapter 9 of the book I was to deliver “by Sunday morning, before lunch”, worked a lot better as chapter 5, but this meant doing some extensive rewrite.
Third, I realized it was actually Sunday, and not Saturday as I firmly believed. And yes, I realized it after lunch.

I spent the afternoon rewriting and am now quite satisfied with the end result. I’ll give the manuscript one last check and fine tuning (no more chapter juggling!) after dinner, and then I’ll send it along.
Meanwhile, I also decided that I need to take my mind off writing for a few hours or days, or I’ll have to face a definitive meltdown of what’s left of my mental faculties.

And in a snap, an opportunity presented itself for a brief vacation, and a proper adventure to boot!

Alistair Humphreys is an adventurer, traveler and writer I like and I follow – his website is a source of ideas and wonders, and his books are a lot of fun. I am also subscribing to his mailing list, and today I got the announcement for a thing called


Get out there and spend midsummer’s night under the stars. Go nice places and do good things. Climb a hill or a tree. Swim in a river or a loch. Sleep in a bivvy bag or a hammock. Wake up on a beach, a mountain or an island. Listen to birdsong or the laughter of your friends.
It doesn’t matter what you do; just do something!
The hardest part of incorporating adventure into your busy daily life is making it happen. And that’s the whole point of my solstice microadventure challenges: they encourage you to stop procrastinating and get on with it!
Are you up for it?

Well, what the heck, I am!
The idea is going on an adventure for a single night, on June 21 – and then tell the world about it via our socials. Take photos, stuff like that.
My brother likes the idea, and we have two weeks to invent something.

“We just need to go somewhere they won’t shoot at us mistaking us for hogs or foxes. Or burglars,” my brother said.

But what’s an adventure without a modicum of risk?

Now we’ll plan something. I’d like to take a night to shoot some night-time photos of the countryside, catching the animals of the fields along the Belbo Valley as they go about their business.
Or something.

It will be a nice way to plan and execute something completely different, and take my brain off the business of writing. God knows I need it.

In case you’re interested into doing something similar, here is the link to the Challenge’s Page.
There is also a competition. With neat prizes!

Watch this space for updates.

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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