East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


Bilingualism is good(-ish)

If you’re here you probably know in a perfect world I should be out there chasing dinosaurs (if, admittedly, very small dinosaurs – I am a micropaleontologist) but due to a number of events, I am currently paying my bills by writing. And it’s working out fine. True, right now they have cut my electricity, but it’s their error, not mine – the bills have been paid.

Has I have said often in the past, if you want to make a living writing, you need to write a lot, and you need to sell on the English-language market: more opportunities, more readers, better payments (or, compared to what often happens in Italy, even just plain payments).

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Artistic freedom at Rick’s Café Americain

The muddy bottom half of the internet has got its knickers in a nasty twist over the announced decision rules for diversity and inclusivity will be implemented in the selection of the Oscar-worthy Best Movies entries, starting 2025.
In a nutshell, the new rules will require productions to include members of a number of categories, including BIPOC and LGBT+ individuals, and to cover certain features in their plots and screenplays.

This is clearly Hollywood trying to make a show of being in tune with the times, but goodness have the bottom feeders on the socials gone wild on this!
Apparently requiring a more inclusive workplace from movies that hope to get the Best Film award is fascism, is thought policing worthy of George Orwell, it’s hypocritical and fake.
And mind you, I may be with them on the hypocritical and fake thing, but I still believe that a good thing can come out of what’s done for the wrong reason. I’m an optimist.
But …

Where are the defenders of artistic freedom?

… someone asked in a loud voice two days ago in the murky depths of the internet.
Well, chum, here I am – try and follow me.

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Hamlet, James Bond and Rick Blaine

A new book in my ever-growing collection of volumes about writing, Hamlet’s Hit Points is somewhat different, because it is a book at least nominally aimed at game masters willing to improve the structure of their roleplaying scenarios, upping their game. But in laying down the foundations of a system to structurally map stories, Robin D. Laws manages to create a tool that works for games, for fiction and for movies/screenplays.

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