East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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No, not the Fleetwood Mac song.
Ever since I was a kid, during highly stressful times I either get insomnia, or I have the strangest, most distracting dreams. As I think I have mentioned in the past, a lot of these dreams take place in the same locale, a white city that is sometimes completely deserted.
Two nights ago it was not.

And yes, I also hate those people that go and tell you about their dreams, so I think it OK should you decide to stop reading here.

Two nights ago I dreamed I was in a very crowded palace in the White City. There was some kind of literary event going on. I guess this is connected to the fact that I am working on a book that was supposed to be presented at the Turin Book Fair before the Fair was postponed.

I interacted with some of the people there, until I met a woman that turned out to be a client that had commissioned me a book as a ghostwriter. She wanted to discuss some issues with the book I was writing. This is clearly reflecting the problems I have with my current ghostwriting client, but with one significant difference – my dream client was, indeed, a dream: a beautiful woman in her thirties, with curly black hair and a tan skin, wearing a lacy black dress out of some bodice-ripper, she was light years away from her real counterpart.
Sad but, I guess, just to be expected.

A confused phase ensued, in which we chased each other through the halls and salons of the mansion, and I could not tell you whether it was me trying to give her the slip, or the other way around. But after much coming and going, we finally faced each other at a small table on a balcony overlooking a large dancing room below, and I asked her what she wanted me to write.

And here she told me she wanted me to write something that would help her take her revenge on a man who had wronged her.
And I said, Fine! Tell me more about it!

Which led us to a private room, and at that point the neighbor’s dog started howling in response to the church bells, and I woke up and what the heck!, it felt like

  1. the story was about to get … interesting
  2. the dream was starting to feel like a good inspiration for a story

I detest the neighbor’s dog and his habit of barking and howling at the bells.

But, if nothing else, it looks like my imagination is working nights, too, and is still in good health. I’ll have to find a way to use this idea.
A woman that hires a ghostwriter to help her revenge… it does have promise.

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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