Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


Leave a comment

A failed comic

I’m currently taking an online sketching course. It’s quite good, and while I’m going mighty slow, I can see a certain improvement. Nothing to write home about, but small steps away from stick figures.
My lack of graphical skills was always a problem to me – in part, because as a geologist and paleontologist, you are required to be able to sketch, in part because it crippled some of my very earliest projects.

Continue reading


2 Comments

A Christmas Mystery

What is Christmas without a good mystery? Or even better, a ghost story… because what I have here right now does feel a lot like a ghost story, a haunting, in its own way.

I mentioned a while back how my periodic mail from Amazon with suggestions and offers had suddenly become filled with books (and DVDs!) about Mussolini and the Fascist Regime.
I am happy to report that the problem has no longer presented itself, and in the last weeks Amazon’s suggestions have been happily free of Fascist stuff, and limited to my own books (Amazon is always sure to let me know that I “might be interested” in something I actually friggin’ wrote) and books by Italian authors I detest.
But something new came up, and it is intriguing indeed.

Continue reading


6 Comments

An idea filed away for a better time

3PD7kiawWhy the hell, I wonder, do great story ideas hit me when I’m already overworked and stressed and at the end of my rope?
And yet…

Incidentally, I normally fail to make friends when I point out that if you find yourself short of ideas, you are probably a tourist in the wonderful world of writing. If it is undeniable that a writer is one who writes – as opposed to one that talks about writing1 – then it is also true that a writer is one that

  1. is never short of ideas
  2. knows what ideas are worth pursuing and what are better filed away for later use

And both skills can be learned, and exercised through time. Leave the muse in her boudoir, to paint her nails.

Case in point… Continue reading