Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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The fun part of the impostor syndrome

So I am going to be “one of those guys that write Sherlock Holmes pastiches” – my adventure about the Manchester Mummies was accepted, and I am well pleased with this fact. It was a lot of hard work getting the story out, due to my deep antipathy for doctor John Watson.
But the editor liked the final result.

Now there’s one thing I found out I’m doing when my stories are accepted for publication – I never paid it any attention, but this morning I finally noticed: as soon as I got the acceptance mail and replied it, I went and re-read the story.
To see if it’s really any good, if those holes I remember thinking over I finally filled and stopped.
And of course I did, and the story is fine, or it would not have been accepted, and yet…
I need to see for myself.
That’s impostor syndrome at work, I guess – but at least it’s an innocuous expression of it. Might even learn something, re-reading the stories that actually sold…


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Making changes (still writing -related)

After the bout of bad health I suffered through early this year, I decided to make a few changes. After all, my life has changed: I was a researcher working in a lab, a teacher moving between universities, now I am a writer spending most of his time sitting in the dark in a room full of books, typing.
So, different life, different problems, time to make some changes.

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The night of Mars

OK, so the flesh is weak. I’ll be the first one to admit it.
I have this friend, we seldom see each other. We were supposed to go out for an ice cream and some talk, but when I got to her place things took a different course, and I ended up spending the night at her place.
In my defense I can say she’s a great person, she’s got air conditioning and she’s got Hulu.
So we spent the night binge-watching the fourth season of Veronica Mars.

I do not like binge watching. I belong to a generation that used to get its TV entertainment in weekly installment, and that’s fine with me.
But I’m ready to make an exception for Veronica Mars.

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Stuff in the mail and an ice-cold chinotto

Hey, you might say, were you not supposed to take the day off and wonder the sun-baked streets of Nizza Monferrato?
Well, I am – just got home for a few minutes to drop the shopping bags and put some things in the refrigerator.

But it was a good thing that I took a moment to come back home, because I found my contributor copy of DreamForge Magazine #2 (the one that features my short story “Sapiens”) waiting for me in the mailbox…

… plus the galleys for an anthology that should come out in August and carries a story of mine…

… and the final editor’s rev of another story that should get out in a few weeks in another anthology.

Also, a letter by the editor that received my Sherlock Holmes pastiche, and that will give me his opinion in September.

So what can I say, it’s good to be home.
I’ll drink an ice-cold chinotto (a somewhat retro drink, if you will) to that, and then get back to Nizza, where my brother roams alone at the moment.


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Me, Steve Perry, Fritz Leiber and why I won’t write about kids on bikes in the 80s

This is a weird post (maybe the title could have forewarned you) and it is a part of something larger I’ve been trying to put into words these last few months. It has to do with marketing, platforms and brands, and writing for a living – indeed, it is the sort of post I usually write once or twice a month for my Patrons, under the header of Nuts & Bolts.
But I’m doing it open because… well, because.

We were discussing nostalgia and exploitation, yesterday, with some friends that have been binge-watching the third season of Stranger Things. The series has been called exploitative and manipulative by some. It ticks all the right boxes, and it settles in a general trend that builds commercial success on the nostalgia for the ’80s by people that are too young to actually remember them.

And as we were talking, a song started playing in my mind…

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Forty in twenty-eight

I have just posted my 40th submission of 2019 – a 3000-words science fiction story. This being the 28th week of the year, it means I’ve been submitting 1.4285 stories per week. That’s a lot.
And yet I’d like to write more, and submit more.
My current bounce rate is pretty high – of the 40 stories I submitted, I sold 9 and have six still out waiting for an evaluation.
It’s not bad, but there is ample space for improvement.
I have no illusion of ever becoming a 100% sales writer, but it would be nice to sell more.
I’ll work on it.