East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

First day of the new year

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Last night I celebrated the end of 2020 by cutting my left thumb while I was chopping an onion – nothing major, thank goodness, but it led me to spend the last hours of the year reflecting on two important issues

  • first, it is important to always have a well stocked first aid kit at home, especially if the closest emergency ward is 25 KMs away
  • second, we often underestimate the usefulness of our off-hand’s thumb

Apart from this, one hour before the end (or the beginning), I also got a five-star review for my first Garr the Cunning novella, and a royalty payment notification for The House of the Gods, my dinosaur novel.
It was a good way to end 2020 and start 2021.
Well, apart from the plaster-wrapped thumb, that is.

Now it’s the first day of a new year, a time when people usually take stock of what went before, and survey what’s to come.
I have already listed elsewhere my goals for 2021

  • I want to post 100 submissions to magazines and anthologies
  • and make at least 30 sales
  • I want to finish my current two WIPs
  • I want to start a new series of novellas
  • More generally, I wish to keep paying the bills with my writing, without moments of panic and desperation

And the whole lot might sound like too materialistic and money-obsessed.
So I’ll add that I also wish to see Paura & Delirio, the podcast I co-host, grow and get better, and reach more listeners.

And because it’s good, on January the 1st, to set up a year-long goal or challenge, I will add one last bit.

You see, on the 29th of December, we celebrated Saint David – and while I am a non-believer, it’s always a good opportunity to have a little party and buy myself a little gift.
This year, I bought myself a copy of The Daily Stoic, a book that’s an in-depth introduction to Stoic philosophy, and it’s built on a day-by-day basis. So I’ll be reading it throughout the year, one chapter per day.
My interest in Stoicism is merely a hobby but who knows… it’s always a great opportunity to learn something new.

More stuff will come, of course – reading challenges, and adventures of the armchair kind, but let’s not map too much in advance – the territory’s opening in front of us, brand new and full of surprises.
Let’s see what this new year will bring…

Stay safe, out there.

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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