East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Leave a comment

My Greatest Failures of 2015

62d133a7cdbe52686487bc5d6a34f604I did my first Best Failures post on the third of January 2015, and people apparently liked it.
So much so, that six months later, a guy on Facebook threw that post in my face as the “demonstration” that my writing career (if any) was a complete disaster.
Some guys have no sense of humor.

Anyway – a Best Failures post is a great way to put a year in perspective, and to find new opportunities to jump-start the new year.
Because, as ever, failures and disasters are not the end of the run, they are a starting point.
No matter what Facebook users may to think.

So, here goes a short retrospective of My Best Failures in 2015. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Starting up again

And so, having delivered my manuscript to the editor, and having spent a long weekend basically reading, eating and sleeping – not necessarily in that order – I am ready to start working on the next project.

Or am I?


Right now, there’s a full plate of stuff to do for my game writing job – books to author or co-author, stuff to be researched, plans to be made.
This is not much a matter of inspiration – the projects are more or less solid – but of scheduling the work to be done and then stick to the timeline. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Things to come

Things are getting bigger, fast.
A quick recap.

7c65cbd4602cab352cdd9ed537e0af14I’m working on my new novel – working title, Matter/Energy, a hard science fiction adventure set in the Mediterranean area but aimed at an international audience.
I’m going at a nice clip, doing about 2000 words a day on the first draft (thanks, Scrivener), speed is increasing, and the thing looks promising: some good dialogue is developing, characters are fine, some great science and a very fun venue.
I’m also enjoying the fact of writing a novel with a strong woman as the main character.
Expect periodic updates as the project grows. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Writing update and future plans

07845kj_23A short report on the state of my writing, in case someone’s interested.

The final revision of the definitive edition of my Italian-language, non-fiction, “pulp history” book Il Crocevia del Mondo (Crossroads of the World) is done.
Now I’m reading handbooks and websites to learn how to go about putting the thing up on the Kindle Store.
Once it’s done, I’ll be curious to see how it fares.
Hopefully, I’ll arrange for the publishing in July, and for a blog tour promoting it in september.

My Corsair project, about a pulp adventurer at play in the Mediterranean between the wars has just shifted and mutated into something a bit later – say set in the early 60s – but still with the same set-up and the same cast.
A tentative story (working title The Girl from Uncle) is under way – I promised it to my friend Chiara (who’s an UNCLE fan and suggested the story’s opening), so I can’t let it lay for long.
ETA for the Girl is august.

There might be an Italian-language story coming – even tho’ I said I will not write fiction in Italian anymore – should the Alia project take wing again.
The original idea was doing a space opera-themed anthology, but already I heard stuff about stories involving elven warrior-princesses, so maybe the space opera angle is gone.
The deadline is september – I’ll have to dream up something.

I’m also grappling with a naughty story for an adult market, but that’s a hush-hush thing, so no more details.
But it’s really a learning experience – they say write what’s unfamiliar and does not make you feel at ease, well, in this case I nailed it.

And finally something burst trough my neocortex two days ago, and is currently haunting me and my keyboard Рonce again a pulpish thing, an attempt at playing my own take on the mystical adventurer clich̩.
Something borrowing from both Indiana Jones and The Shadow – taking what I consider the best bits from the characters, and trying to find a balance.
H.P. Lovecraft’s spirit is also hovering by as I write.
I blame my recent readings for this unespected but so far highly satisfactory writing bout – the first 300 words screamed out of my fingers and onto the screen, and they kick some butt, if I say so myself. The rest is a little more tricky, but when one starts so good, it’s a crime dropping the story.
I’ll probably post more about this, as writing what’s bugging me helps me solve the bugging bits – and I may as well do it in public.
I’ve no ETA for this one, but I’d love to try and making it available through the web at a popular fee (say 99 eurocents).

And the as yet undisclosed translation project is still going – as you can see from the meter here on the right.
It’s tough going, but it’s a fun project.

And this is it, I guess.
More news as stuff happens.


Deep time and History

OK, so this is my blog, here I talk about my passions.
Now, passions are interesting, because once you start along a certain path, once you develop a deep interest in a certain subject, it starts popping up in the weirdest places.

Like this…

it2004In the august of 2004 I was in Florence for the 32nd International Geological Conference.
I had some research to show, some people to meet, it was my first big night on the town.
Held on the hottest days of the year in the most expensive town in Italy, the conference was an unmissable opportunity for a freelance researcher like me – well worth the expenses, and the less-than-confortable hotel room 50 kms from the seat of the conference.
My mother contributed with money from her pension to my trip and participation.

The 32nd IGC in Florence was seen by many as the first big international outing for Chinese geology – and certainly the Chinese presence was impressive.
Among the many show-pieces of the Chinese area at the conference, was a huge geological map of the Himalayas and Transhimalayas, a big colorful map taking up a whole wall. Continue reading