East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


Travels of the mind (and one day, maybe, the body)

It all started with an impromptu sort of thing.
Meeting a friend after a long time.  It’s been quite a while since we spent some time together, we have a lot of catching up to do.
So we decided to meet in the next few days, in Turin, and spend a whole day rambling around the Egyptian Museum. We both love Egyptian antiquities, and the old museum was one of our favorite haunts..
And there’s climate control in the museum – so we could stroll among the mummies and talk, in the cool air. Then maybe a bite somewhere reasonably cheap but quality.
So, why not?

Well, let me tell you why not.
A quick check with the Egyptian Museum website tells me the ugly truth. Continue reading

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Friday Prompts: We’ll always have Paris

My Paris when it sizzles Pinboard, which I set up as I was collecting period photos to document my story A Spider with Barbed-Wire Legs1, has grown to over 1000 black and white photos of Paris.

So here’s the sort of thing I’d love to do, and you might like to try yourself – why not pick 5 of these photos at random, and use them to build a story?

Might be fun.

  1. the story is featured in the collection Delta Green: Extraordinary Renditions, by Arc Dream Publishing. 

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Writing in the heat

It’s roughly three in the afternoon.
With 45 °C and a jungle-like humidity, one would expect the countryside to be silent.
But the guy with the drums is once again practicing broken rhythms.
Very broken.
This feels like something out of an Edgar Rice Burroughs story.
The natives are restless.

I’m sitting at my computer, rewriting the final part of a book I should have delivered this morning – I ditched the final 60 pages, I’ll have to rewrite rewrite rewrite.


I wish I was in some big city.
Paris, London, Berlin.
Even Turin, why not?
Under the rain.
Listening to Bach.

Not that anyone out there is really interested, right?

Oh, heck… missing Bach and the rain, I might just settle for Roger Hodgson

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I Love Paris (when it sizzles)

Georgia Gibbs

Georgia Gibbs

OK, last bit of my Parisian week – I Love Paris (when it sizzles) is a song by Cole Porter, published in 1953. It was part of the musical Can Can.
The song inspired the title of the Hepburn-Holden movie and… ehm, my Parisian pinboard.

Through the years this song has been performed by a number of artists, most famously by Ella Fitzgerald, in 1956.
But there’s also a Les Baxter version out there!

What follows, anyway, is the Georgia Gibbs version from 1953, in a strangely dark and rough arrangement.


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Paris, when it sizzles

Cover of "Paris When It Sizzles"

Cover of Paris When It Sizzles

Paris, when it sizzles is the title of a movie featuring William Holden and Audrey Hepburn.
Weird sort of comedy, very strange development history, confused and yet fascinating.
Sort of meta-fiction way before anything even marginally meta-whatnot ever happened in movies.

Anyway, the title comes from a Cole Porter song (more details tomorrow), and it’s also the title of the pinboard I built to collect photo references, about Paris in the ’50s and ’60s, for my writing projects.

And here it is…
Some of the pictures are absolutely gorgeous.

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