East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Only for completists

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There is one more work of mine that’s being evaluated for publication, and one I will mention here because it got me thinking about how my life has changed in the last few years.
The work is a collaboration, and I am quite proud of being in the team that put it together.
It’s called

Benthic foraminiferal proxies of environmental changes during the pre-Messinian salinity crisis of the Sinis Basin (W Sardinia, Mediterranean Sea)

And no, it does not feature swords, sorceries or strange creatures – unless you consider banthic foraminifera as such.

How things have changed, I was saying – up to five years ago the above would have been a good sample of my job – data analysis of environmental data and ecological associations, that’s me.
But then things got strange.
My father was ill, my contract with my university was dead, and I spent two years nursing my dad, and writing stories and doing translations in my free time. Because that’s the only work you can do when assisting a bedridden parent.
No more microscopes, no more field samples.
Afterwards, there was debt, and poverty, and no job – hence, my decision to keep writing, just write more, better, and for paying markets.
I’m still here, so it sort of worked out.

But the opportunity to work on the data from the Sinis Basin was a happy one – because that’s me.
It’s the job I studied for, for which I paid my university taxes.
It makes me happy, to be able to flex muscles I have not used in a long time, and prove to myself I can still make it.

Which also gets me thinking: had I started writing stories at 20, instead of becoming a paleontologist and a geologist, where would I be now?

But anyway, now the paper is in the hands of the referees.
And believe me, referees are ten thousand times scarier than editors.

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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