East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

One short story in one afternoon


Today I am writing a short story.
Big news, you say. Sue me.
A stand-alone one shot, that still has ties with stuff I did in the past. I’m improvising most of it, but I still have a general outline of sorts for the first half. It’s going to be in the 5000/6000 words range.
The plan is to hammer out a first draft, have dinner, and then clean it up. Then I’ll mail it off to the editor, and hope he likes it enough to buy it.
Otherwise, I’ll look for another market.

These days are particularly stressful for a number of motives, and focusing completely on a short story, to be started and finished in one afternoon, is a good way to keep my mind frpm getting caught up in useless worries. There’s problems, and big problems, but problems on which I do not have any control. So, all I can do is wait and see, and face the music.
And try to keep sane.

My father, whose depression certainly was made worse by the sort of problems I am also facing now, and that are unavoidable, I think, in this time and place, would react by curling up in bed and shutting out the world, sealed up in his bubble of worries, only him and the problems he could do nothing about it.
It did not do him any good.
It did nobody any good.

Is writing a better response than hiding under the covers like a child afraid of the monsters under the bed?
I don’t know, but I believe it is.
If nothing else, my mind does not get trapped in a self-destructive vicious circle, and at the end of the day, I will have a story to sell.
It’s what passes for normalcy hereabouts.

My story features Samuel Goldwin, Charlton Heston and Ava Gardner.
And an Allosaurus.
Yes, it’s going to be one of those days…

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.

8 thoughts on “One short story in one afternoon

  1. Writing AND editing 5000 in one day? That’s impressive!


  2. Have at it, and Good Luck! 🙂


  3. Sei un vero stoico. Grazie per avermi segnalato la settimana stoica sulle tue pagine. Mi e’ stata utile

    Liked by 1 person

    • È un piacere!
      (anche se forse questo è un commento più epicureo che stoico 😛 )


      • Ciao Davide, grazie di nuovo. Non sono molto, (anzi per niente) edotta sull’epicureismo, la tua saggia considerazione su quanto poco valga arrovellarsi circa le cose su cui non abbiamo controllo alcuno e come sia meglio lavorare su noi stessi mi è apparsa come magnificamente stoica. E mi ha ispirato.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Gli epicurei dovrebbero essere quelli che, nell’opinione popolare, cercano il piacere come ragione di vita.
          Quanto al non arrovellarsi su ciò che non si pùò controllare, è qualcosa che ho impiegato molto ad imparare, ma serve per non impazzire. E sì, è una cosa che dicevano anche gli stoici (e i taoisti, e i praticanti dello zen – segno che probabilmente funziona).


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