Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Team players

January is now halfway through, my health is improving and I am starting work on a number of collaborations.
Which is unusual for me – I’ve always worked best on my own, both in academia and later as a writer. It’s probably because I am not disciplined enough or, as the mantra goes, I am not a good team player.

But let’s talk about it. My record shows I’ve always performed well when working in a team – I could show Hope & Glory as a witness to the fact that I can work on a team all right (the opinion of my long-suffering accomplice, the esteemed Umberto “Beasts & Barbarians” Pignatelli, is not on record). It can be stressful for me, and it forces me out of my habits and comfort zones, but that’s good.

And really, the last time I was accused of not being a good team player it was by a gentleman whose basic proposal was “you write for free, I sell your stories” – on whose team and at what game was I supposed to play?

But anyway, one of the collaborations – the only one I am at liberty of discussing right now – is with my brother Alessandro. After forty-five years, we should have found a way to work together without killing each other.
I hope to have something to show to you by the end of the month–possibly earlier than that to my Patrons.
It will be… interesting.


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Francesco A. Pizzo – the Take Away Interview

As announced, here is the first Take Away Interview. I will use this new series to meet authors and other creatives and interesting people in general, and let them provide contents for my blog. Because I am lazy, but I am also curious. I hope you are, too.
Curious, not lazy.

I have a nice list of prospect interviewees, and for starters, I have asked a few questions to Francesco Antonio Pizzo, the artist whose Patreon I pointed out to you a few days back. Because he’s a fellow Italian, and because I like the idea of Italians making a name for themselves outside of our local market.

So, without further ado, here’s the interview.
Enjoy!

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Dreamforge

I have just signed a contract for my story Sapiens, that just as I had announced a few days back, will be featured in a magazine later this year. The magazine is called Dreamforge, and it’s my sort of thing.
And, also, is now on Kickstarter.

What I like about Dreamforge is their focusing on the positive. While I like dystopias just as the next guy, I really feel the need for something positive and optimistic. Which does not mean a problem-free world, but a world in which problems can be solved.

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The Bradbury-Heinlein Method

So, to recap: Ray Bradbury said you should write a story per week, for one year, because nobody can write 52 stinkers in a row. On the other hand, Bob Heinlein said you should finish what you start writing, and send it off to a publisher, and keep posting it until you sell it, no matter how many times it bounces back.

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Night thougths and story ideas

Last night I was going through a bout of insomnia, so I wrapped myself in a stack of blankets and I watched me something. I chose a Japanese animated series, one I liked a lot when I was a kid. A spin off of the original, 12 20-minutes episodes that came out in the mid-’90s and that I had missed at the time.

I watched and enjoyed it a lot more than I expected. I liked the storytelling, the characters and their dynamics, and OK, there was a certain amount of fluff and adolescent angst but what the heck, it was a Japanese anime, it’s supposed to have those.

And while I was between episodes, a strange sensation hit me…

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48 hours to write

I am turning off the cell phone and shutting down my connection because I got a very attractive call for a science fiction story yesterday, that comes with a slight drawback: the call closes in 48 hours. Can I make it?
Of course I can.
Maybe.

The fun bit is, for one of those strange serendipitous things that happen, the call – that is for a story about the future of sex, of all things – arrived in my mailbox just as i was watching a video on Youtube.
This video, from thew 1969 musical Sweet Charity:

… and it sort of gave me the basic idea on which to start writing.

Say, wouldn’t you like to know what’s goin’ on in my mind?

Well, that got me something going on in my mind, and I’m currently 600 words into the story. I’ll let you know what comes out of it.