East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


Nothing to say

Today I have nothing to write about here on the blog. I usually try and do at least one post per day, both as a good practice to keep the readers engaged, and as a form of self-discipline – because you see, I am a writer, and so I must keep the writing thing going. But today… what could I write about?

In fact there’s a few things on my mind.

There’s this beautiful book I’m reading, for instance. The sort of book that makes you go, ah, I’ll never be able to write something like this!

There’s the fact that I’d like to tackle the issue of working on a story featuring soldiers, and yet not being a “militarist”, and how labeling based on prejudice can be damaging for all parties involved.

There’s the strange matter of the Italian sword & sorcery fans suddenly veering to the right, and now claiming that “fantasy has its roots in our culture, not in the Britons'” (which is stupid, and ignorant – a word they have come to like a lot, the last).

And there’s this general sensation of hopelessness that comes with being snowed in in a village in which nobody talks to you, and for some strange accident of fate, you are supposed to sit here and invent whole worlds. And I still don’t know if it helps or not, this being totally isolated, when it comes to invent whole worlds.

So, with one thing and the other, today I will not write a post about anything.


Mixed blessing

Today I found out, thanks to a shot from a friend, that I am mentioned in a recent book published in Italy, about the national science fiction and fantasy scene. Suddenly, and unbeknownst to me, I have been placed on the map of the genre.

Apparently I’m good.
Well, good enough to be mentioned, and endowed with a fair amount of sense of wonder. I am also recognized an expert of fantasy literature.

A pity the paragraph in which I am mentioned opens with the word “Purtroppo” – “Alas”. The book mentions that I am good – just as many others – but we are stuck with small presses and digital publishing. Alas.

I am proud and grateful for the mention, of course, and there would be a lot to say on small presses and digital publishing, but not today. And I find ironic that this mention arrives just as I have stopped writing fiction in Italian.


Snowed in

The First of February came with a heavy snowfall, that started in the night and added up to the 30 cms we had got a week ago. This caused the day’s plans to go somewhat askew – we were supposed to drive to the supermarket for provisions, and will do it tomorrow instead, and spent the warmest hours of the afternoon shoveling snow off the lane.

This is the sort of thing I should post as an example of the funny surreal things that happen to writers when they should be writing instead. Shoveling snow or, like two days ago, running barefooted in the snow to try and catch the postman before he disappears.
What a cartload of laughs, uh?
You read of things like that and instantly you decide to follow me on Patreon.

But I’m being uselessly snarky.
I did need a bit of exercise, and shoveling snow was a good opportunity.

I keep writing, and tonight it’s going to be one long writing session. Also, I’m going to try a new writing trick. Then on the weekend I’ll be working on another project.

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New year’s clean-up (and hot soup)

The idea of going out for a pizza and some talk with my friends on Twelfth Night was good, because I needed to recharge my batteries – and as a result I wrote two stories in two days afterwards. But I also caught some kind of seasonal bug, so now here I am eating hot veggie soup, wrapped in seven layers of blankets.

And because I am too wrecked to do anything intelligent, I am tweaking a few of my things: I’m cleaning up the Patreon profile, launching a new Pinterest account specifically for this blog, and I might do some smaller changes to Karavansara.
Like, a new header, or something.
No hope of sleeping anyway.
Don’t panic should you see things change and then change again in the next few hours.


On the brink of 2018

A little less than thirty-six hours and we’ll be in 2019. This year passed in a flash, with a load of worries, surprises, adventures and misadventures. I read somewhere that as we get older, time seems to run faster. If it is so, then I am really old.

And yet, I’m getting used to this state of uncertainty. Sometimes I worry the stress and fatigue will have a bad effect on my health, but then everything seems to go smoothly. But I still have a lot of fun writing, and writing is paying the bills, and I’ve learned to let go of the rest – useless to worry about what you control, because you control it, useless to worry about what you do not control, because there’s nothing you can do about it.

I think I will rest for these 36 hours. Enough writing – I have submitted four stories to as many magazines in two days. Now I can rest.
Read a book, listen to some music, plan tomorrow night’s dinner for me and my brother. The countryside is silent and deserted, and there’s little to do – bring a little wood in for the fireplace, sketch some kind of menu for the celebration, and wait for 2019 to come around.

I hope it will bring good things for everybody.
Best wishes, ladies and gentlemen. And have fun.