East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

This is Plan B

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While the world crawls towards a new lockdown, we are still isolating at home (but we’re fine! Tanks for asking), and jobs and payments fizz out and disappear, I am working on a series of contingency plans to try and keep the lights on and food on the table (and an internet connection).

True, I could take the advice of the people that cold-call me twice a day, and start investing my saving in online trading, the sure way (they say) to make money with no fuss.
I have no savings, but I really wonder – is somebody falling for this?
Will people in time of crisis blow their savings for the mirage of easy money?
It’s scary.

But what about my plan B?

I could go back to online teaching, offering writing courses.
In the past this had a modes success, and actually kept me afloat for a few months, back in ’17.
Granted, there was the guy that asked me

why should I pay you 25 bucks for 20 hours of live lessons about writing, when for 99 cents there is (insert big ebook publisher) that sells me handbooks by real writers, not stinking self-publishers like you?

It was 2017.
I never saw him again.
I never saw one of his woks published.
I know he was banned from the con circuit in Italy for physically attacking a comic book artist during a signing session.
So OK, I managed without his 25 bucks.

But really, the “what do you have to teach?” question is a good one.

I can’t teach you how to write.
I never did it.
But I can teach something about story structure and about worldbuilding.
So I am outlining two courses about this.

Also, there is a lecture I was supposed to give at a gaming con that never happened, about game design for roleplaying games, with a focus again on worldbuilding.

Finally, I was explicitly asked to think about a short course on writing and zen – considering in my time I taught a course on Daoism and Zen culture, and how those philosophies influenced artistic creations.
It’s a tough one, but it would be fun putting it together.

This time around, considering everybody is now teaching, learning and having a social life on Zoom (of Hangouts or whatever), finding interested parties should be easier.
And I’ve half a mind of offering my courses both in Italian and English.

Opinions and suggestions welcome.
Back to the drawing board….

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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