East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


A new MOOC and journaling

what_is_moocToday I took the first lesson in a new MOOC I’ve joined – the Futurelearn Start Writing Fiction MOOC presented by the Open University.

I like the idea of learning more about what’s fast becoming my everyday job – and joining an online course is both entertaining and a good way to put some order in the jumble of skills I’ve taught myself through the years. Continue reading


Writing Tools

Ok, this is the usual boring “tools I use for writing” post which they tell me is a must on an author’s blog.
But then who knows, someone out there might find it interesting, or useful.

First thing first – the only piece of hardware you need to be able to write anywhere/anytime is a paper notebook (aka “the platform”) and a pen (aka “the input device”).
And please take notice – this is not some form of silly nostalgia thing, but a simple statement of fact: in the middle of the wilderness, with no energy grid and no hi-tech, good old pen-and-paper works.
meadOne has to spend some time to find the right notebooks and the right pen – because writing is also a phisical activity, and the tool must fit the hand.
But given some times, anyone can find his fave low-tech writing environment.
For me, it’s Mead Composition Notebooks and BIC black-ink pens.
But I’m developing a sort of fetish for the sort of rough, blank-pages hardbound notebooks you find at IKEA or other such places.

Incidentally, a notebook can be used for two good writing practices
. keeping a journal
. keeping a commonplace book, to use H.P. Lovecraft’s definition – a book in which you jot down ideas for future reference.

Moving on to computers and software, now… Continue reading