Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Madama Lucrezia: a very small case of synchronicity

I was writing this morning. I am currently juggling writing and translating, and today is a morning writing/afternoon translating sort of day.
So I was writing this scene for the next 4 Against Darkness novella, and the characters are starting to explore the strange place where I placed them.

I wrote

“It was the sculpture of a young woman, her simple dress flowing, her hair in a tall do. The weather had erased her features, making her face a blank. A few fingers of her outstretched hands were missing.”

Myself – WIP

Not a great description, not a sample of superb writing, but after all, it’s a first draft.

At the same moment, my friend Dal – who is a fine artist and lives in Rome – was taking a walk around the ancient city after breakfast, enjoying the quiet and the sights, and took this photo…

… and he posted it on Facebook.
This is called Madama Lucrezia, and is apparently a minor but well beloved landmark in Rome. I never knew about it, of course.

Now this is quite a coincidence – the passage above and the photo happened within a few minutes one from the other.
And I’ll take it as a sign my story is going in the right way.
(I’ll obviously revise the description to make my statue more similar to miss Lucrezia in the final draft)


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The man who invented the periscope

Photo_of_Morgan_RobertsonMorgan Andrew Robertson said he had invented the periscope. He had written a story, called The Submarine Destroyer, in 1905, which featured a submarine provided with a telescoping periscope, and called it a periscope, so he claimed he had invented the thing.
A former jeweler that had to find another job due to a loss of eyesight, Robertson mostly wrote sea stories, being the son of a Great Lakes captain and having spent ten years in the Merchant Marines (he had ran away from home at the age of 16, in 1877).

He mostly wrote short stories and novellas, that he sold to the story magazines that came before the pulps. He started writing, apparently, after reading some rather bad sea stories and going “What the heck! I can do better than that!”

He never made much money with his writing, but he sort of did better than that. Continue reading