East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Plots, Nefarious or Otherwise


Sitting here wrapped in blankets, drinking hot tea and popping aspirins to try and get back on track after two days spent on the road and in the cold, I find that there is little I can do but plot future stories.

I sent a detailed pitch to my Italian publisher, but I’ve yet to hear back from them, and I have here two open calls that would be madness to miss – so I sit, and drink tea, and plot.
This is the phase in which I do not write, but rather I pile ideas upon ideas, and let them simmer.

Basically it means to look at what I like and what interests me at the moment – certain themes, certain clichés – and see how they intersect with the themed calls.
Can I really write a humorous SF story featuring crackpot theories and called The Totally Truthful Truth (Really!) about the Anunnaki?
Will I be able to find some common step between western and horror, once again, and different from last time?

The good thing is, I’ve found again the fun of writing, that had been ebbing somewhat in the last few months, for a number of reasons. One of the things that brought back the spark is, I am sure, my series of cat-related stories.
I am writing for a cause, I am writing for different readers that are not my usual crowd. I am free to try new things.

Ideas and projects are piling up.
I have contracts to fulfill, deadlines to keep.
But all things considered, while I am sitting here, wrapped in blankets, drinking hot lemon-and-ginger black tea and popping aspirins like there was no tomorrow, I have a few good books to read, and a few good stories to write, and things look all right.

For the first time, between the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, I felt old age creeping in – bad health, diminished returns, a general sense of displacement.
But then I talked with a friend, a few days after Christmas – we have been knowing each other for ages, and she had just been fired from her job.
She was in free fall, a sensation I’ve been living with every day these last four years.
“Who cares,” she said to me. “I’m myself again.”
It was like a searing flash in the darkness, an I think I’m still surfing on the sound waves of the crack of thunder that followed.
It’s good to be back to what we really are, and sometimes we need to get back there, and see that everything’s good.

Keep an eye out. I’ll post stuff.

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.

2 thoughts on “Plots, Nefarious or Otherwise

  1. Being sick is no fun. Hope you feel 100 percent soon. The cup-and-saucer image is GORGEOUS!


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