Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

The first 25.000

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Today I delivered the first half of a book I was supposed to have finished and published in time for the Turin Book Fair in May. Niche-but-intriguing historical essay by an up-and-coming publisher, with my name smack on the cover, possibly with a live presentation, Q&A, signing session, the works.

But the Fair was cancelled – or postponed to a date yet to be established, and today I delivered the first 25.000 words.
I was supposed to deliver the whole shebang, but I decided to take the weekend off to try and recharge my batteries.

Because here’s the fun thing – if you are the sort that finds such stuff funny: while the world is grinding to a halt because of the pandemic, my life has not changed very much.

  • I still live in isolation in the countryside, in a small village where I have very few social interactions.
  • I still fight to put food on the table and pay the mortgage.
  • I still work from home, trying to make ends meet by writing and translating.
  • I still go shopping once every two weeks, and pay my electric bills late.
  • I still can’t afford a night out at a restaurant, and have to cheer when once a month I can order take-away pizza.
  • I still keep in touch with my friends through the web.

Only, now everybody is doing more or less the same, and they have no compunction in letting us know how much they hate it. Repeatedly.

And it can get pretty irritating.
There’s people out there that’s invoking PTSD because, having spent ten days indoors, they can’t find anything to watch on Netflix anymore. And people that would not reply to your mail unless you called them to tell them to check their mailbox, now are holding online meetups about the joy of remote working.
And what about those guys that you’d meet once in a month for a drink at the pub, and they spent all the time at the table checking their socials on their smartphones? Turns out the lack of human contact is driving them crazy, and so they keep posting on Facebook about it.

Finally, I have a very special sort of hatred for the nerds, that should be quite all right with being alone at home, and yet not only decry their cancelled gaming night, but seem to have gathered online to discuss whether roleplaying through a web-based platform is really roleplaying or if indeed only at the gaming table you could call it roleplaying.

It gets pretty stressful.
So I took two days off trying to push the headache and the insomnia and the symptoms of impeding cabin fever away.
But I still managed to nail 25.000 words.
Now, all I have to do is turning off the damned socials, and have a go at the remaining 25.000.

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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