East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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One day in Ancient China

Back when I was in high school, a series of paperbacks was published in Italy, called “Daily life in…” – that would describe the daily life in Kublai Kahn’s court, or Napoleon’s France, or Peter the Great’s Russia. Small, black books with grim yellowed pages, these were the translations of a series of books originally published in France, and if you had an interest in ground-level history, so to speak, they were all that was available on a high-school student’s budget. I have a few here in a box somewhere. One of them is about Tang China.

And really, much as fun can be had from military history books and biographies, I still like the small-scale, day-to-day, man-on-the-street history: what they ate and what entertainment they enjoyed, what their lifestyle was like. It’s fun, and often one finds ideas for stories, and suggest world-building strategies.

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Re-Discovering Authors

And talking about my exciting life as a writer…
I was talking yesterday with my friend Alex, and we were discussing how there are great authors, very prolific and very active, that we love, but tend to forget.
I guess it happens to you, too,sometimes – you spot a new book by a certain writer,and all of a sudden you recall his other books, the ones you devoured, and liked a lot, and even re-read, and…

How the hell I forgot about this guy?!

And you feel guilty, go on a new buying/reading spree, and then the cycle begins again.
Happens to me every time. I have a long list of authors I am treating like this, but as I can’t remember their names right now, I won’t list them here.
But to give you an example – Gordon Dickson used to work like that for me.
Loved his books. Often forgot to check out for new stuff from him, then “discovered” him again. Continue reading

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The Challenge Page

As you can see from the menu in top right corner of this page, there is now a static page for the Karavansara Reading Challeng 2016 – this will serve as an introduction to the project, and a repository for links and other information that might be required.

reading challenge patch 2016 1Also, I’m refurbishing the @karavansarablog channel on Twitter, and will use the #KaravanChallenge hashtag for announcements, blog post diffusion and, why not, scheduled live chats on Twitter.

AND we have a badge, that you see here on the left – feel free to steal it and expose it on your blog, website or social media to spread the word about the Challenge.
You can link it back to http://Karavansara.live, or to the above mentioned page.

Cheers, and thank you!

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Off with their heads!

457Today looks like I’ll be talking about social media.
Second post on the subject…
Fact is, starting… uhm, let’s say one month ago, maybe a little more, I decided to implement a stricter control over my online interactions.
And in particular over the space I am going to allow third parties to take on my blogs, profiles and all that…

What gave me the idea was the gentleman that started harassing me because he wanted me to admit I am a failure, based on his (wrong!) interpretation of what I had written on this blog.
Like I’m not a cheerful, optimist sort of guy!

And then all the rest.
I realize my patience is growing shorter by the day.
Must be the old age encroaching.

So, off with their heads! Continue reading


Getting to grips with Twitter – part one

41LRx+h-EsL._AA160_Yesterday I got me a copy of Twitters fro Writers, by Rayne Hall.
Basically, I have a very conflicting (meaning, messy and discontinuous) relationship with Twitter, and I enjoy very much Rayne Hall’s books – both her fiction and non-fiction.
So, it was not a hard decision.

My main problem with Twitter comes from the fact that I never really studied the thing – I browsed a few tutorials, but I never sat down to learn the ropes. Continue reading


Twentifive hundred words in ten days

_wsb_422x226_Writer+in+JarThis is going to be tricky.
I’m about to write 25.000 words – give or take a few paragraphs – in ten days, or I’ll miss a deadline.
And I can’t miss the deadline.
Two deadlines, actually

The plus is, I’ve about 5000 words already – so yes, I’m cheating, I’ll have to write only 20.000
It’s not much, really.
It means writing two thousand words per day.
Twenty hundred good words, that is. Continue reading


Aculeo & Amunet – the official website

peripheriesToday’s post is to let the world know about the launch of the Official Aculeo & Amunet Website, a small thing that went live last night.

There’s a lot of good stuff going on with the series – which as you may know is also known as Peripheries of the Ancient World – and it was high time for Aculeo & Amunet to break free of Karavansara.

I’ll keep posting about my writing and my characters here, but the main action, for the series, will take place on the official website. Continue reading