Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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A day off

And so yesterday I took the day off. It was, after all, my birthday, and so I spent the day reading a book, listening to some music, and watching a few episodes of a TV series (god bless streaming services and my high-speed satellite connection). I also had a nice serving of tiramisù (a simple dessert that apparently is very popular outside of Italy).

And because this is that kind of blog, here’s the recipe, taken from Wikibooks – and also a controversial, egg-less alternative, courtesy of the BBC. My goodness, to reach the tender age of 52 and find out that tiramisù can be “controversial”…!

As for my other birthday activities…

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A drop in the ocean

This is a good moment for me. I’ve got work to do, lots of it – 12 hours per day until September if I’m lucky, to cover all the contracts I signed.
My stories are selling reasonably well.
I even got an invitation to participate in an SF anthology with a number of other Italian writers, all of them much more popular than I am. I’m thinking about it.
My Patreon is growing, slowly but steadily (thank you guys!)
And there’s money in the bank.
Not a fortune, but enough to give me some breathing space, say two months without panic attacks and bill anxieties.

And in exactly one week I’ll be 52.
Well beyond the halfway point, sailing uncharted waters, but reasonably happy.

For this reason when the Facebook pop-up … well, popped up and suggested I do a fundraiser for my birthday, I thought, why not?
I can’t donate much, but I have a lot of contacts and friends and followers.
I can’t ask for money to any one of them – they already buy my books, support me on Patreon…
I can’t ask.

But there’s nothing wrong with dropping a rock in the pond, and see if the ripples cause some interesting effect.

My charity of choice is The Ocean Cleanup, a non profit organization developing new technologies to clean the oceans from the plastic waste we dropped in.

I chose this one because I am a failed oceanographer, I love sea stories and undersea mysteries, and I wrote a few stories in the past that deal with the sea.
And because the pollution of our oceans is a global concern that touches a global audience – and I have friends and contacts everywhere.

So, in the next two weeks I’ll try and raise 200 euros for The Ocean Cleanup.
A pretty small sum, you may say, and I agree.
A drop in the ocean.
But as that guy said, the ocean is made of drops, isn’t it?

I’ll keep you posted about the results.
Meanwhile, if you feel like, spread the word.


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My brother’s birthday

Today a “cat blog” sort of post.
Today is my brother Alessandro’s 40th birthday.

Alex – aka the thin, better-looking of the Mana Bros – is a musician, musical promoter, and online radio DJ, with a sideline in Orientalism, and he’s an amateur Ripperologist.

He’s been my partner in crime in a number of projects for ages, and usually acts as a sounding board for my ideas ond ventures.
I act as his personal reality check.

Chi_trova_un_amico_trova_un_tesoro_trama
Happy birthday, bro!