Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Bribes

I have been in the habit of bribing myself to write – I set targets and little awards for reaching them. Finish this story, and you’ll get a serving of ice cream, or a Mars bar.
Which, in a village where a Mars bar goes for two bucks, is no small thing, you will agree.

Right now I am writing a short story for an anthology submission, and while I have a good idea of where the story needs to go, and through which specific way-points it’s got to go to get there, I am having a hard time finding the proper voice and tone for it.
I really like the theme (a cross-over of history, myth and weird fiction) and I really want to make it into the finished book, but I’ve been wasting a lot of time.
So I was looking for a little bribe for finishing the job.

Then, a friend posted something on Facebook.

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Write what you know

Back in the days of yore (meaning, for all practical purposes, the summer of 1993), with my brother we got this strange idea of joining the Friends of the Egyptian Museum in Turin. It made perfect sense: we were both interested in archaeology, and my brother was taking a university course in Egyptology. We spent a lot of time in the museum, that at the time was still in its old, “classic” configuration.

So we went looking for the Friends of the Museum office, and were quite surprised when we discovered

  1. it was only open one morning per week
  2. it was not open even then

But being young and persistent, and this being summer and we on vacation, we basically staked out the place, going there every morning for two weeks, until we finally found the door to the office open, and walked in.

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Fugue a deux

This morning I woke up and I wrote a story, in 35 minutes flat. Not a long story, of course – 1200 words. I spent about an hour straightening it afterwards – moving words around, and doing all the little checks and tweaks one does before submitting. Then I formatted the five pages in the Shunn format took a deep breath, and mailed the story to the editor.
Now the wait begins.

I submitted the story to a very quirky, high-profile anthology – and should it be accepted, it would mean being published together with authors I respect a lot.
The story is called Fugue a deux, and it’s a short piece about make believe, the purpose of fantasy and love – or at least that’s how I described it in the cover letter. It came out more or less spontaneously, and it’s pretty raw, and silly.
It might be “inspired by real events”, but that’s a detail.

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The Baltimore Gun Club

I am writing a story featuring the Baltimore Gun Club.
In case you missed them, these were the gentlemen that had the bright idea of building a cannon in Florida (near Tampa, to be precise) and shoot a bullet to the Moon, in Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon and its sequel, Around the Moon.

While everybody knows Melies silent movie based on Verne’s novels (and a lot fewer people remember the 1950s movie featuring Joseph Cotten), the books themselves are probably less known than, say 20.000 Leagues Under the Sea or Around the World in 80 Days.

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Three letters from the country

I am starting to suffer for the insomnia that in the last two weeks has wrecked my routine. It’s not just the fact of sleeping (badly) by day and staying up at night, but most of all it’s a matter of entangled schedules.
I have things to write, but my schedule is shattered.
And as it usually happens, when I have too much to writer and not enough time and energy to write it, I got an idea for a new story.
An idea that is good, solid, fun, and it has a potential market.
Damn.

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All that Weird Jazz

I am pleased to announce that the anthology All That Weird Jazz, published by the fine guys at Pro Se Productions, is available in both paperback and ebook, and it’s a collection of hits, featuring nine stories by Kimberly Richardson, MA Monnin, Ernest Russell, EW Farnsworth, James Hopwood, McCallum J. Morgan, Mark Barnard, and Sharae Allen. And one by me.

As a long time fan of jazz music, it was a pleasure and a privilege being part of this team, and I hope you guys will enjoy this fine selection of weird fiction.


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Into the heart of Chaos

Just to make sure you don’t think I’m only spending my time reading novels and being idle, I’ve been doing some on-the-fly research for my current story – that I hope to have finished, one way or the other, by the weekend.
And I’ve spent the last two days immersed in absolute Chaos.
And if this did nothing for my headache, it will certainly do a lot of good to my story.

So, what I’ve been researching?
The Russian Civil War.
And to give you an idea of how chaotic the thing is – we know there was a civil war in Russia after the Great War, but depending on the sources it ended in 1920, in 1923 or in 1926. It probably started in 1919. Or maybe in 1917.
Or something.

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