Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Raiders of the Lost Franchise: The Land that Time Forgot

My friend Lucy is doing a Halloween-month series of posts about the Amicus anthology horrors from the ’70s, and talking about the Amicus films, I remembered a pillar of my young education – the Amicus productions of the Edgar Rice Burroughs Novels, The Land that Time Forgot and The People that Time Forgot, plus At The Earth’s Core.
All three movies were directed by Kevin Connor and featured Doug McClure.

So I went and re-watched The Time that Land Forgot, the first and certainly the best of the three movies.

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Atlantis, Lemuria and Mu

Lost continents are a lot of fun, and have been used as the venue for sword & sorcery adventures since the the every beginning. Robert E. Howard’s Kull was an Atlantean barbarian, and Conan plied his trade after the sinking of Atlantis, and I really always had a soft spot for Henry Kuttner’s Elak of Atlantis, hero of a short series of stories I first read in the mid ’80s. And of course Lin Carter’s Thongor roamed Lemuria and environs, lands crowded with sorcerers, strange technology and dinosaurs.

In the recent evenings, I’ve had a lot of fun with Heroes of Atlantis & Lemuria, recently published by DMR Books.

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A young Helena Saratova…?

I have often mentioned how graphically inept I am, and how much admire – as a consequence – artists that can draw, paint or give shape to their ideas as images in any form.
My schooling steered me away from images at a very early stage, and I grew up to be language-oriented, written-word-bound. I do not complain… but I do complain.
While I’ve taken courses and done exercise, I am still hopeless with a pencil, don’t even mention brushes and paint.

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The savages are coming

And so, just in time for the International Podcast Day, the 10 Minutes Till the Savages Come podcasts have been recorded, edited and uploaded, and in a few minutes will be available for my Patrons,and hopefully they will like what they get.
As a test run, yesterday’s work was quite instructive.

I still feel much more at ease with a keyboard – the process of writing is faster, and I find the medium of the written word much more flexible.
But I wanted to try a feature of the Patreon pages, and my Patrons looked interested, so, why not.

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Always look at mishaps as if they were opportunities

First day with the new Operating System, and while I am well pleased with Linux Mint, I am still unable to run Scrivener, and this means 90% of my work-in-progress is out of reach. All the files are safe and nicely backed up, but I can’t read them, and I can’t work on them.

But this provides me with an opportunity – there’s two stories I have in Word format, one I was editing and the other I was translating and re-writing. These are the only ones I can work on at the moment, so I’ll stop procrastinating and I’ll finish the work straight away.
Because working on multiple projects at the same time provides us with a fantastic opportunity for procrastination – I’ll work one hour on this one, then OK, maybe I’ll move to something else. Then wait, this idea would work great with that story… let me take a break while I think about it.
It can be a huge waste of time, and we need to exercise a terrible discipline, or we’ll get lost in too many projects, too many ideas, to many wastes of time.
Discipline.
Or a software mishap that leaves you with very limited options.

So today I’ll nail closed the revision of The Queen of Spades, a tarot-based story for a forthcoming Italian anthology.
I think I’m going to add a 250/500-words, high action scene.
Boy, will the editor be pleased with this surprise!


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Goodbye Ubuntu, welcome Mint

And so this morning my PC refused to start. It took about half an hour to get it going with an emergency disk, and it turned out my Ubuntu system was completely crippled.
It was possible to save the data, but everything else was gone – time to re-install the operating system.

Now, this is not a tragedy, actually, it’s more of an opportunity – I have been postponing the necessary updates to my OS for weeks now, and really, had I waited for the right moment – a free afternoon, no urgent work to do, no pending projects, I would have never done it.
But necessity pushes everything out of the way – I need my PC to work.

And this is also a great opportunity to move away from Ubuntu, that I love dearly but has become bloated and slow, and to try a different distro of Linux, to wit, Linux Mint.

And here I am, six hours later, exploring this different-but-familiar environment. Everything seems to work fine, my PC is faster and so far the only problem is getting Scrivener to work properly.
But I’ll work on it.
A minor catastrophe turned into a nice opportunity.