Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Everybody Knows This is Nowhere

Yes, like in the Neil Young song.
And this is one of those “funny” posts about living as a writer that should make me look human to potential readers and would-be Patrons.
Sure, just look at me…
So the big news this morning is we got a call from our internet service provider – they just updated the radio/sat grid we use for connecting to the web, and so we are now able to do stuff our old PCs can’t really do. But we are now in the 21st century as far as web connection is concerned: we’ve got the same transfer rates you get in, I don’t know, Seoul or Tokyo.
Which is good news, and only costs us an extra 5 bucks per bimester.

And once again I had to feel grateful for my friends, that two years ago gave me the radio/sat connection as a birthday gift – because when you are lost in Astigianistan, without the web you’re dead.

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Uncharted

Uncharted is both the title of a series of digital games I would have loved to play but never did due to hardware shortcomings and the title of a song I like a lot. This post has nothing to do with either of them (but the song is actually playing in the background as I write this).

In three days it will be the 8th of May, and the third anniversary of my father’s death. The date also marks the moment I became a full-time writer, after a few years spent as a geologist that wrote stories in his spare time. The reason for the shift: no money in the bank, no work, writing to pay the bills turned out to be the only way to keep going.

These three years have been for me a journey through an uncharted territory. I did not have a plan, when I started checking publishers while putting out self-published stories using a variety of aliases, following the old pulp standard of being a lot of people, so I’ll be able to sell more.

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Going wild

While with my brother we were on the hunt for the field mice that have taken residence in the darker corners of our house, and while we were trying to ascertain if it is a hedgehog or something larger that has been raiding our trash bin, the local news informed us that the number of sheep and fallow deer attacked by wolves in our area is increasing.

The countryside is going wild.

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Book Day

Today is the international book day, or so I am told – good internet practices require a blog post about the joy of books. The book that changed your life, the first book you read, the book you hate, the book you are reading right now…
And yet, it’s not like we never talk about books hereabouts.

Today, on the other hand, I was discussing with a friend and she asked me Why?
More specifically: Why do you write?
And it turns out that when you write, at least part of the reason has to do with why you read – and why other people read. So it fits perfectly the book day theme. And the answer to the question is not so simple.

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Easter

Today is Easter, the day in which everybody and their sister, in the neighborhood, suddenly remember they own a lawn-mower – and if they don’t they come and ring your door to borrow yours.
But apart from the insufferable racket, it was a quiet day.

I did not do much writing (as it usually happens when I am going through a Phil Rickman novel), but I was able to create a new folder and stuffed some research material and a TXT outline in it. Once again it’s the sort of project I’d love to do straight away, but right now I’m too spent and tired to try. There will be time – let’s leave the ideas time to sediment.

One of the stories I was writing sort of died when I found out the magazine I was aiming for only accepts stories from Canadian citizens and residents.
But I got another call – this time for a weird western.
I hope to be able to work on it this coming week.
I like weird westerns, and it would be a good opportunity.

Apart from this, it’s been a very easy, overcast day.
My neighbors mowed their lawns.
All of them. Repeatedly.


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In the dark

This is probably one of those “funny and surreal” things that happen in the everyday life of a writer and that I was told I should share to further my platform and extend my reach or something. So, here goes.

In the last two months we have been exchanging a lot of very frustrating mails and calls with our power provider – a power bill we were expecting in January never materialized, lost who knows where, and we wanted to know how much was the amount we were supposed to pay.

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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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