East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Pitch perfect

Well, no, not perfect.
Perfection is a trap.
But last night I was informed that two of my recent pitches have been accepted, and I’ll be writing two new stories that I need to mail off by the summer. The acceptance of the pitches is not a guarantee the stories will sell, but hey, it’s a start!
Time to get writing again!

And I am putting together notes and ideas to make another pitch on Monday.
And this one is going to be big, and I’m pretty excited at the opportunity.

It’s been suggested I set up some kind of instructional thing about pitches, and how to do them.
It might be fun, but as usual I am not sure I can really teach it to people.
I’ll think about it.

And talking about teaching: I’m following an online course about dealing with toxic people in our writing career.
Because stuff happens, you know.
It’s turning out to be quite fun.

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Three for December (plus two)

Like every month, I have received a series of open calls from various magazines and publishers that are looking for submission, and so I am ready to start the game of writing on spec.

Right now I have on my list

  • A post-apocalyptic story, in the Mad Max tradition, but somewhat tongue-in-cheek.
  • A vampire story (this would me my second vampire story ever… wow!)
  • A folk horror story that will be hypothetically set here in Astigianistan.

All these are in the 4000-8000 words range, and are therefore quite feasible. I plan on writing one per week this month.

Then there is the opportunity for a new weird western – the first one sold nicely, now why not go back and explore the same setting again?

Finally, there is the matter of the story I’ll need to write for my Patrons and that, due to my commitment to the Seven Lives project, will feature a cat in some way or other. Maybe a story of the Corsair?

Apart from this, I am working on a new RPG setting that is very promising and is at the same time different enough from my themes and close enough to my interests to make this job quite interesting. But that’s for the future.

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Back in Aegypt

“Welcome to Pelusium,” the Tyrean captain said, “gateway to the Delta, last haven of Pompeius, and our final destination. Here I think our routes will part.”
“Yes,” the tall Roman by his side nodded. “I think we’ll stay on terra firma for a while.”
The captain looked over his shoulder, at the Aegyptian woman leaning on the gunwale, her face pale, and somewhat greenish. She glanced at him and grimaced. “A pity the sea doesn’t agree with your woman,” he said. “Or the other way around.”
“She’s not my woman.”
A shrug. “Anyway, I could use a strong man in my crew. Should you ever change your mind—”
“I will come and look for you,” the other said.
They shook their hands the Roman way, grabbing each other’s forearm, and then the big man went to collect his things, and to check how the seasick passenger was faring. The captain frowned at them, and then went back to more pressing things. The crewmen were folding and securing the sails. From the pier, dock-hands shouted greetings and directions, and the helmsman started manoeuvring to moor.
As soon as the gangway was deployed, and before the harbormaster could walk up the pier with his table and his writing tools, the Roman and the Aegyptian nodded a goodbye and disembarked. The captain followed them with his eyes until the Roman’s red headscarf and the woman’s white tunic did not disappear, swallowed in the bustle of the port.

Two Roman roads departed from Pelusium – one followed the coast west to Alexandria, the other struck south to Heliopolis and Memphis.
Aculeo & Amunet are back (and there’s two new stories in the works).

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I’ll remember April

I took a look at the statistics and noticed that not only Karavansara is lagging, but this actually happens every spring.
And I can suggest a reason.
As every spring so far, I’m feeling lethargic and tired, and I’m writing an awful lot.


The lethargic and tired thing is seasonal, and will probably drag for a few weeks more – until, with temperatures hitting +25°C, I will become uncomfortable and tired, and will probably start sleeping by day and working by night.

As for the writing thing, it is true that spring usually sees the start of a number of new projects, and due to a number of causes, looks like this year I spread myself pretty thin… Continue reading