East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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I have a lot of things to do – I am writing a campaign for a roleplaying game (sketch maps, draw diagrams, do the actual writing), I am revising a novel, I am about to sign a contract for another novel (fingers crossed), plus the usual number of short stories written on spec. A few articles. An interview. The podcast I am producing and co-hosting.
Lots of stuff.

But, in an unexpected accident (silly, all accidents are unexpected), I went and broke a finger, and as a result I am writing with only one hand. And I’ve been lucky – it could have been a lot worse.

So, what to do?
My writing is severely limited, and I might go for a dictation app for the urgent stuff.
But for the time being, as I am still in convalescence – and I’ll be for another week – I am trying to keep my mind off my current problems, and I’m catching up on my books backlog.

Right now I am reading Zen: the Art of Simple Living, by Sunmyoo Masuno, a slender book of practical zen for everyday life. A lot of the wisdom in the book is not new, and indeed a few things are already part of my day to day routine, but it is always good to have a reminder.

And it is also interesting, in this moment of forced stillness, to be reading a book about stillness as choice and lifestyle. It is a good moment as any to take stock of the situation and make a few adjustments, and any sensible suggestion is welcome – this is the right book at the right time.

Indeed, this accident will make me wiser for the future – and indeed, one of the first suggestions in the book, if applied, would have saved me lots of grief.


Friday Night Fright

the-killerJust got back from the emergency ward of the Nizza Monferrato Hospital.
A superficial varicose vein in my right leg punctured, causing abundant bleeding and no less panic.
I am proud like a little boy scout* for the fact that not only I was able to stop the bleeding by applying a finger to the hole, but was also clear-headed enough to talk my father out of a panic frenzy for him to be able to drive me to the hospital.
From the whole ordeal, I came back with the following useful information:

  • that old pulp cliché about being clear-headed and cool even in presencce of abundant bleeding – your own bleeding – is true, at least for me
  • fresh blood is slippery as hell, even on a relatively rough surface (I’ll have to keep that in mind for future reference)
  • your own blood does not feel warm at all on your own skin, it feels dowright cold (ditto)
  • only Chow Yun Fat can stop abundant hemorrhage with a band-aid
  • flirtatious nurses that think you’re ten years younger despite the bleeding are a verified cliché, too

Oh, and now I own a blood-spattered copy of Richard Cohen’s (excellent) By the Sword, which sort of feels all right.


* I never was a boy scout