Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Monkey & the Cat

Sometimes all the pieces fall in the right place at the right moment. And it feels good when it happens, because the world’s a complicated place, and it’s good to get some reassurance sometimes, that all shall be well – even if it’s a very small thing.

Yesterday night I was writing a new story (yeah, I know, life can be pretty monotonous hereabouts) – a short fantasy, steampunk-ish number featuring two strays, a girl and her cat.
I’m doing it with two different markets in mind – it all depends on how things will turn out. It’s going to be around 2000 words – I’m allowing myself six 350-words scenes (because YES!, I’ve got Scrivener running again!)
But anyway, I was checking my notes and trying to get the story off the ground, when for a number of circuitous reasons I ended up on YouTube and found this song…

Now I have the names of my two characters, and all of a sudden the story’s got legs, and is running. I plan to have it finished by tonight – I’m working on it only after dinner.
And no, the plot’s got nothing to do with the song, it’s just the name, and the way in which the characters coalesced as soon as I put names on them.
I think Monkey and her Cat will turn out to be fun characters to write.


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Without a Blog: the Earphones Diaries

And so I’ve gone and invented me another thing, a game of sorts to keep my brain going and get away from writing and reading 24/7.
It will be called The Earphone Diaries, and it will live only on my social networks: my Facebook profile, my Instagram page, my Pinterest boards and my Twitter. Much as I love blogging, there will be no blog supporting this guerrilla project.

The Earphones Diaries will be a series of daily post, presenting a record I am currently listening to. I’m going at this without a plan, the course is once again uncharted: no genre tags or other hang-ups, just the music that’s currently playing in my earphones, presented in short, less-than-2000 characters posts.
Just for the fun of it.

The first post will go online in a few hours.


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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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Three skills (and a hobby)

Three things I will never forgive to my old school:
. The fact that they were never able to teach me mathematics properly
. The fact that they not only did not teach me music, but actually scared me away from it for a decade
. The fact that they completely killed my early passion for sketching

This is particularly frustrating because these are communication and self-expression skills (yes, maths too) skills that are also highly marketable.
Later I tried and taught myself what had been left out by inadequate teachers and poor school programs, but self-taught achievements are not the same one could reach had school done its part. Continue reading


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Aculeo & Amunet on the Road to Babylon

So I am currently writing a new Aculeo & Amunet story.
It’s good – I like the guys, and it’s like taking a vacation.
I’d love to have three or four stories for a new collection to publish for Christmas – I’ve one ready, and another I am writing right now… let’s say I’m sort of halfway there..295f12a6feb1e0d8e3cfbfe76f0e75f5

The story I’m working on right now is very loosely based on a 1976 song called The Road to Babylon, from an album called The Roaring Silence, by the Manfred Mann Earth Band.
As I said in the past, I use a lot of music for inspiration, background, soundtrack and assorted distractions when I write, and listening to this one really got me going. Continue reading