East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Having consigned to the slow cooker an experiment of bacon, onions and chicken breasts, with occasional reed hot chili pepper, I am now idling and massaging my pained wrist on this windy day.
The wrist was badly damaged about twenty years ago, when I took my brand new bicycle for a ride around the perimeter of the Mirafiori FIAT plants. It was a nice summer evening and there was no traffic. An iseal situation, except for a small three-wheeled ApeCar that decided to take a very tight curve without signalling it, and pushed me on a storm drain grate and against the curb. End result: a bent wheel, and a fall on the sidewalk, that I managed to break with my right hand. And the wrist got messed up.
To this day, I have periodic pains, especially when the weather is windy and I have spent a long time writing. An elastic bandage does help.
The guy in the ApeCar did not stop or anything.

Having done my culinary duty to provide for a – hopefully – solid dinner, I spent some time reading the delightfully baffling Vampires with fairy wings, by Victoria Plumjob, a collection of Plumjob’s verse and meditations recently edited by the always excellent Rhys Hughes.

This is a welcome diversion, as I am somewhat clogged, at the moment, writing-wise, and also reading-wise.

I have a huge – and somewhat boring, in the early phases – ghostwriting job, and I will spend some time this afternoon going on with it. AS it usually happens, this important ( = paid) job is taking up all of my energies, and when I sit down to read, or to watch a movie, I start feeling pangs of guilt because, hey, why are you reading a poetry book instead of doing some more work?
And this also freezes all my other writing – because why am I wasting time with this on spec first draft, when I could spend two hours on that paying job?

But here is something that I found: if you don’t take a break sometimes, your brain will sooner or later ooze out of your ears, and you’ll find yourself posting right wing propaganda on Facebook and run over cyclists with your three-wheeled ApeCar.

I am better than that.
So I am forcing myself to take some time and forget about the all-important, urgent, pretty boring and already half-paid-for ghostwriting job. Getting away from it will allow me to do it better, faster and maybe even with some fun when I get back to it.
My wrist too will not be so much in pain by then, hopefully.
So, have a nice Sunday, and take a break.

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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