East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


The Sistine Chapel with crayons

The moment they ask you to write a fantasy short, roughly 6000-words, taking inspiration from Italo Calvino, you sort of feel like you’re looking up at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel while holding a pack of eight crayons.
And you go, oh, shucks!

But let’s make it a little more interesting – not just any story, inspired by Calvino, but a sword & sorcery number, with action, wit and swordplay.
Inside a shared world.
Do you feel lucky, punk?

I did, and then, I needed the money.
So I went and wrote The Queen of Spades.

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An unexpected gift in a tin box

This morning I was waiting for a packet, and I was quite surprised when the delivery man brought me two.
Now I am usually scared as hell of postmen and delivery men in general – they usually bring bills and notices of payments overdue. It’s turning into a sort of Pavlovian obsession: the neighbor’s small nasty dog starts barking like mad, I hear the postman’s Panda car drive to the gate, and start worrying.
But a second package?
Bills and payment injunction don’t come in packets.
And indeed, the unexpected package contained a gift from a friend.
Yes, sometimes I get gifts from my friends.
Which is quite pleasing.

So now I am the proud owner of a Smith-Waite Tarot Deck, Centennial Edition, a beautiful deck of cards that comes in a nifty tin box and is perfect for carrying around. Continue reading