East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Sleeping patterns and other stuff


You may have notice a sudden increase of video posts on this blog – and a few shorter posts. Fact is, while the lockdown’s been lifted in my country, I am still in my old house, in my old village, doing my old things. I used to say that the lockdown had not changed my daily routines… well, the lifting of the lockdown did not change them either.

The only thing that’s changed is my sleep patterns – after six weeks of solid insomnia, now I have developed the vitality and spark of a dormouse: I’d spend 16 hours a day sleeping.

This new scrambling on my daily rhythms is starting to get annoying.

But, yesterday night we were finally able to order a take-away pizza, thus ending three full pizza-free months. It was a little celebration we had – that went hand-in-hand with the celebrations we had last week, when I was finally able to find some eggs in the supermarket. Reading M.F.K. Fisher’s How to Cook a Wolf, about wartime rationing and rationing-influenced cooking, has acquired a whole new perspective.

Meanwhile, I am working on a number of projects

  • a high paying (if I’ll ever get paid) ghostwriting job that I am positively hating
  • two stories for two forthcoming anthologies (I mentioned one the other day)
  • two stories I hope to pitch to two magazines, because one needs to keep submitting
  • two translations – one a book about witchcraft I am translating in English, and one a story of mine I’m translating in Italian
  • a new roleplaying game I am developing with my brother – so far we have the general outline and a tonne of lists: creatures, spells, weapons, stuff. More about this as we get finally to write stuff down.

As to say, I’m keeping busy.
The bills won’t pay themselves.

I have also started a podcast with my friend Lucy – I think I mentioned it in the past weeks – and we’re having lots of fun. We talk horror and fantastic movies, and it’s all very friendly and relaxed. We have just recorded a special episode that I’ll post to my patrons, to celebrate both my birthday, and Peter Cushing’s, and Christopher Lee’s.

I am liking our current tools, Mixcloud and Zencastr, a lot, and I’d love to do more in the podcast/talk radio field – but as I said, I spend a lot of time sleeping or hating what I have to write to pay the bills.
And I see the crisis coming – clients fizzing out, publishers rescheduling their projects, a general lack of … ah, let’s say a general lack of forward-thinking on the part of our institutions and of large sectors of the population.

A few hours ago I stumbled on a guy explaining – on Facebook, because that’s where the current conversation seems to be – that we’ll need a hard-line dictatorship to save our species.
The only thing that consoles me is that people talking like that are cheap fools – but should a politician intercept their delirium and leverage it, they’d follow. It’s a scary thought.

So, in the end, welcome to the post-lockdown world – that looks a lot like the lockdown world, only with a lot of people walking around.
Let’s try and hold on.

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 “Sleeping patterns and other stuff

  1. Just yesterday evening, we watched an episode of Playhouse 90, written by Rod Serling. It’s from 1959 and deals directly with “hating what I have to write to pay the bills.” The film is “The Velvet Alley” and was produced at the crest of the wave before television programming took the path most chosen. Highly recommended.


Leave a Reply to Bill Ziegler Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.