East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Zen and the Art of Making a Living by Writing

My brother, who plays the role of my conscience better than Jiminy Cricket, told me yesterday that I have to grow my Patreon. I was telling him that I started following a Japanese girl who has a Youtube channel where she teaches Japanese, and has over 900 supporters on Patreon, for an average of $ 5 per follower per month.
I have 42, of supporters on Patreon, people who trust me every month and bet on the fact that I will continue to write.

“You have to make sure you get more,” my brother tells me.
“Eh, it’s not easy,” I reply. “This girl holds courses, she teaches, it is clear that those interested in learning Japanese follow her …”
He shrugs his shoulders. “You also hold courses on your Patreon. That writing thing … “

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Revision time

Tonight I spent about three hours revising my story Bottled Up, following the extensive notes I received a few days back from the project’s editors.
It was quite interesting, because revising took me almost twice the time writing the story had taken.
As I mentioned elsewhere, working with an editor is always a great opportunity to learn something new, and this was the case.

I cut mercilessly the excess text from the opening, and then expanded the action scenes, making life for my protagonist a little harder. In full agreement with the editors, I also shortened the sentences and clarified a few points. The only suggestion I did not follow 100% was about the ending. First, because the editors had reached a split decision about the effectiveness of that last half page, and second, because in my opinion it works and gives the story a nice symmetry.

And there’s not much you can do in 2500 words – but I actually cut 400 words and added 450 new words, so I am well pleased with what I did.
The short story is already on its way to the editors, and it will be out – hypothetically – this summer.

And over the weekend my Patrons will have a chance to see the opening paragraphs of the story, before and after the editing, with some of my observations.
Because it’s good to be my Patrons, or so the story goes.

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Odds and Ends #15

The 15th Odds and Ends has just been posted to my Patrons, just in time for Easter. This week: a great post-cyberpunk thriller for 99 cents (in Italian!), a stack of science books for real cheap, a whole world dominated by birds, a collection of Hobbit recipes, an article about the late Gene Wolfe and a short movie about the end of the world.
Because it’s good to be my patrons.

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Odds and Ends #14

The members of the Five Bucks Brigade have just received the 14th issue of Odds and Ends, this week a huge collection of books: a nice fantasy novella and a cartload of thrillers, all for free, a masterful science fantasy novel, and a learned essay on Victorian monsters. Plus Genghis Khan, and a dark conspiracy.
Because it’s good to be my patrons.