East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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The reader’s block

Yesterday I wrote 12.000 words – yes, OK, I cheated, because I recycled 5000 words from an unfinished work I had here sleeping on my hard disc, but anyway, 7000 words in one day, during which I also managed to read a few chapters of a book, cook dinner and prepare a special dessert this being the 15th of August… well, it perfectly shows how a lack of stress can benefit us all.
Because yesterday I wrote 12.000 words (OK, OK, 7000) because the day before yesterday I delivered the final chunk of my Ghostwriting Job from Hell, and I was told to take two days off “before the next rewrite”.

Having other things on our mind is a source of stress, and it can make it difficult, almost impossible sometimes, to do what we actually like a lot.
And we’ve all had a lot of things on our minds, these last few months.

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Turn off the socials? Or read a good book?

According to an article I read during the weekend, the best way to fend off depression and stress is to turn Facebook off for a week.
I more or less agree.
The last few weeks have been pretty heavy:
. lots of work to do to try and pay the bills
. lots of offices to visit and calls to make to settle the succession taxes and relative documents
. not many highlights on the human front

But I’ll leave my bureaucratic odyssey and the general fact that human beings tend to suck for another post (if ever), and concentrate on the overworked/underpaid situation, and the stress and depression thereof. Continue reading

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Wisecracking heroes and real life

Let’s have a good laugh, shall we?
Or, rather, let’s talk about laughing.

Yesterday I read a review of a book.
The reviewer was not very merciful in his analysis and basically he confirmed my starting opinion – that I better save my money.
But there was an observation, in that review, that struck a wrong note.

It is not believable that during a zombie pandemic people still feel like joking.

No, I said, this is wrong.


And I know it’s wrong because I grew up with stories filled with wisecracking heroes, of course.
But also because I read a fair selection of history books and memoirs.
And if there seem to be a constant in real life accounts of battles, natural disasters, assorted catastrophes and personal drama, is the fact that humor is a human traits that helps survival. Continue reading