Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


2 Comments

Sleeping patterns and other stuff

You may have notice a sudden increase of video posts on this blog – and a few shorter posts. Fact is, while the lockdown’s been lifted in my country, I am still in my old house, in my old village, doing my old things. I used to say that the lockdown had not changed my daily routines… well, the lifting of the lockdown did not change them either.

The only thing that’s changed is my sleep patterns – after six weeks of solid insomnia, now I have developed the vitality and spark of a dormouse: I’d spend 16 hours a day sleeping.
Bummer.

This new scrambling on my daily rhythms is starting to get annoying.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

A special (or two) for my birthday

My birthday is coming up in ten days, and I’ve decided I’ll do something special for my Patrons – because they are my special fans, and I felt like giving them something different.
Why not use my 53rd birthday as an excuse?

In the last few weeks I have started a podcast, in Italian, together with my friend Lucy – basically we sit in front of a microphone and talk about our favorite horror/fantasy/thriller movies. We started with pandemic, post-apocalypse British flick Doomsday, from 2008, and continued with the classic 1972 BBC production of Nigel Kneale’s The Stone Tape. We’re having a lot of fun, and when I asked her, my partner-in-crime accepted to do a special episode of our ‘cast, exclusively for my Patrons.

And why not let them choose the movie?, I said.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

10 Minutes Till the Savages Come

So today is the day I’m recording my first podcast for my Patrons.
To celebrate, my neighbors are having a bbq party with loud Balkanian music.
But it’s all right: I’ve been wasting time looking for a title and a theme and an idea for the first recording, and suddenly I hit on all three within ten minutes – and I could bore you to death with my ideas and beliefs about inspiration, ideas and how they sort of come to us, but, really, I think I’ll spare you.

The blog will be called 10 Minutes Till the Savages Come, that is the title of a song recorded by Manhattan Transfer in 1991, in the record The Offbeat of Avenues.
My podcasts will be ten minutes long – because, reasons – and the title, now that I’ve decided, feels like a no-brainer.

Continue reading


2 Comments

Gearing up for some new things

The next thirty days (give or take a handful of days) are going to be the hardest for me in the last three years. I say this without any particular emotion – if there’s one thing I’ve learned in these three years as I managed to make a living writing, it’s how not to succumb to fear and anxiety.
The panic attacks are a thing of the past.
It’s gonna be hard, and I’ll get out of it at the other end, one way or another.

And I’ll be working a lot – I’ve stories to finish and deliver, a new book to get going, I’ve started writing the sequel to The Ministry of Thunder (more about that later), I need to take care of my health and I’ve decided to make my Patreon page grow. I’m also starting an experiment about which I’ll be writing here and elsewhere in the next days. I’m keeping busy – because that’s a good way to weather the hard times.
So I’ve spent a while today brushing up on the skills I’ll need to add a podcast to my Patreon page.

Well, two podcasts, actually – one in Italian and one in English, because my Patreon page is bilingual, and it’s good to be my patron, independently of what language you speak.
Double the work, but also double the fun.

The first in this new series of Podcasts (because the Karavancast is currently sleeping) will be online on the 30th of September because it happens to be the International Podcast Day, and it will be accessible to all my supporters.
I’m planning a guerrilla podcast, recorded on the go and in the open, with no scripts, minimal post-production and a length under 15 minutes.
I still need to find a suitable title, and a list of topics.
Suggestions are welcome.


Leave a comment

Songs, with a bang, & Food, in context

I mentioned the course I am following about podcasts.
One of the added values of the course (that is excellent, BTW) is, I am exploring the podcast offer out there, and I have found two that I think my readers might be interested in.

Song_ExploderThe first is called Songs Exploded, and it’s a very simple idea: each program is a 15/20 minutes interview with a musician, about the bits and pieces that make up one of their songs… followed by the song itself.
You get established artists and indie artists, all stripes and colors and genres of music. It’s absolutely great, and if you are curious about how music works, how imagination and storytelling and technique mix into the final product, it’s absolutely perfect.

gastropodThe second is called Gastropod and is, get this, a podcast about history and food – and the history and science of food. Food is a huge component of any culture, and by looking at how a food – or a spice, or a recipe – developed, evolved and was intertwined with culture and historical events makes for fascinating listening.
This is an excellent find for history buffs and for writers – because you never know where a story idea can come from.

Both podcasts can be followed through iTunes or directly with your podcast client/podcatcher of choice.
I am using that old reliable, the VLC media player, and I am growing my personal “radio programme”.
Is there any podcast you are listening regularly and you’d like to suggest?
The comments are open.


Leave a comment

Back to school (once again)

Summer is drawing to a close, and as usual I enrolled in a few courses to increase the number of reasons because of which my CV will be rejected due to overeducation.
But really, screw them.
I like learning new things, I like trying new activities.

So I went and I enrolled in a course by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas. The course is called Listen up! How to launch and grow a hit podcast, and it will hopefully help me get back on track with my podcasting experiments.

38853673_10156390602547534_2621904039004078080_o

The course is fun, the instructors top notch, and I am really happy with what I’ve seen so far. Continue reading