East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


The art & craft of writing, a handbook in the form of a dialogue

I have finally finished reading Yours to Tell, Dialogues on the Art & Practice of Writing, by Steven Rasnic Tem and Melanie Tem, that I had started back at the end of may, and then had somehow slid down the reading pile, for a number of reasons.
I collect writing handbooks, and this one came back to me at the right time to offer some diversion and a different and fresh outlook on what I do. Because sometimes while we can’t write (for whatever reason), we still can read about writing

As the title says, the book is built in the form of a dialogue between the two authors, and it has a very relaxed, informal tone. It is probably not the best choice as a first handbook for the totally uninitiated, but if you’ve tried your hand at writing, you’ll find a lot of interesting insights in this one.
While all the classic topics one finds in various writing primers are here, the approach is much more personal, and the book feels like you’re sitting somewhere, having a drink with your writer friends, and they start talking shop – as writers will often do.

The wide range of topics is handled with class and the authors manage to have a very sophisticated approach while keeping the text fresh, accessible and fun.

I really feel like recommending this one.


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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