East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Roman soldiers in Egypt

And so I said, what the heck, it’s Saturday afternoon, I’ve worked all the morning, I’ll take a break, eat some ice cream and forget about the rest for 36 hours.
But then the usual fear comes – what if I waste my time and miss my deadlines…
I forced myself to take it easy – it won’t be a day that will make that much of a difference, and I can use this downtime to do some minor research.

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That time I became a fascist

This is one of those “fun and surreal” stories it was suggested to me I should share to build my author platform. The ridiculous things that sometimes happen to a writer, oh my, what a cartload of laughs. I should do a brief cartoon of this one. But I can’t draw so here we go, it went like this…

I wrote the first Aculeo & Amunet story as a very first submission to an American anthology. It was, if I remember correctly, 2012. The story bounced back – deservedly, I should add – and I let it sediment for a while and then revised and rewrote it for self-publishing. Without a word-count limit and with the freedom to push the story in directions I wanted to explore.

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Back in Aegypt

“Welcome to Pelusium,” the Tyrean captain said, “gateway to the Delta, last haven of Pompeius, and our final destination. Here I think our routes will part.”
“Yes,” the tall Roman by his side nodded. “I think we’ll stay on terra firma for a while.”
The captain looked over his shoulder, at the Aegyptian woman leaning on the gunwale, her face pale, and somewhat greenish. She glanced at him and grimaced. “A pity the sea doesn’t agree with your woman,” he said. “Or the other way around.”
“She’s not my woman.”
A shrug. “Anyway, I could use a strong man in my crew. Should you ever change your mind—”
“I will come and look for you,” the other said.
They shook their hands the Roman way, grabbing each other’s forearm, and then the big man went to collect his things, and to check how the seasick passenger was faring. The captain frowned at them, and then went back to more pressing things. The crewmen were folding and securing the sails. From the pier, dock-hands shouted greetings and directions, and the helmsman started manoeuvring to moor.
As soon as the gangway was deployed, and before the harbormaster could walk up the pier with his table and his writing tools, the Roman and the Aegyptian nodded a goodbye and disembarked. The captain followed them with his eyes until the Roman’s red headscarf and the woman’s white tunic did not disappear, swallowed in the bustle of the port.

Two Roman roads departed from Pelusium – one followed the coast west to Alexandria, the other struck south to Heliopolis and Memphis.
Aculeo & Amunet are back (and there’s two new stories in the works).

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Ancient Greek Insults – a primer

Greek was the language of phylosophy (and of commerce) to the ancient Romans, and therefore it was sort of a lingua franca in the Mediterranean.
As I have often explained, it is likely that Aculeo and Amunet speak in Greek to each other – and indeed Amunet tends to use Greek swearwords wjhen she goes over the top, reserving Latin profanities only to those she is sure can understand them.

dirtywords-300x217So, after yesterday’s roundup of Latin dirty words, here’s a quick list of Ancient Greek terms that are absolutely not safe for works, especially if you are a citizen of the Empire… Continue reading