East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Four days out of the mines

I just delivered a new chapter in the ghostwriting job from hell, and so I am now free for at least four days. Which is good, because I have stories to work on, and tonight I am planning the traditional Mana Bros Chili Con Carne that’s sort of a mid-summer tradition here in our house.
The stormy weather sort of fits a hearty dinner.

I am also reading – after all I asked my readers for a choice between books, and it looks like I’ll be reading Stefan Buczacki’s Earth to Earth, a Natural History of Churchyards.
Quite the sort of cheerful book I need to recharge my batteries.

And as we are at it, to all those that asked if, after In the House of Vezzanius we would be seeing Bélise Nine-Fingers again… rejoice.
Bélise is on the road again.
Or on the rooftops.
Or in the sewers.
Anyway, she’s coming, in a new, possibly heftier story.
Watch this space.


Read like a writer

Skyfarer_144dpiI said I would be reading a book, and I am.
I am reading Joseph Brassey’s Skyfarer, that I got me in paperback for the price of a pizza, and is proving to be quite fun. Highly recommended, based on the initial premises, and I’ll tell you more once I’ve finished it (won’t be long, it reads like a breeze).
The only problem, I had to turn off the “little voice” in my head.

I guess you all remember Magnum PI, and his little voice…

Magnum: [narrates] When I write my book on how to be a world class private investigator, I’m going to include a chapter on listening to your little voice. Everybody has one, and mine was saying to stop Marcus and find out the real story behind his new car. Of course I didn’t, which is another chapter, things I should have done, but didn’t…

OK, so my little voice starts talking as I start reading, and points out all the neat things the author did with his story: nice turns of phrase, killer characterization, great dialog.

“See,” my little voice tells me, “that’s how it’s done. You should try it too! Take notes, you fool! Learn from the good ones!” Continue reading

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Lost and Found

indexAnd then I found my missing camera handbook.
It was in a wooden chest, pinched between The Scientific American Book of Dinosaurs and Eric Anderson’s The Space Tourist’s Handbook.
Which sort of makes sense, in its silly, twisted way.

And I took a leisurely morning off, walking around in Nizza Monferrato, and shooting photographs with my old Canon.
It’s August, I’m on vacation four hours a day.
I also enjoyed a wonderful slice of focaccia for breakfast.