East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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A work (as yet) without a title

Three weeks ago I started writing just for the fun of it. Writing has always been a relaxing thing for me, a good way to quiet the mind and just let the words go from the brain, through the fingers and the keyboard, to the page. I did it as a kid, when I was learning to type on my mother’s Olivetti Lettera 32, and for a long time it’s been a way to get away from it all for a moment.

So I started writing, and for starters there were just two things – a piece of diary-like writing about an out-of-work actress/dancer looking for a job, any job, and an old dark house. That, and the idea that this would be a ghost story.

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Mutant steampunk rats and a large pizza

I decided to follow my brother’s suggestion.
It’s usually a bad sign when my brother comes up with some suggestion about my mood or my everyday going – because it means that whatever is going bad is showing.
But he had a suggestion, and I followed it.

I’ve been having a hard time writing of late – mostly because after six months of continual writing, revising, re-writing and re-revising for my Client from Hell, and after six months of being spared no disparaging comment about my work, my brain is completely clogged.
I have ideas, I have open calls with deadlines ticking like time-bombs, but I find it extremely hard to write – and so, instead of hammering out 1000 words per hour like I used to do, now I have a hard time putting together 500 words in one afternoon.
This is not good.

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Up all night writing

And so I’ve been up all night, and for once not because of my insomnia.
I have been writing a lot, in the last weeks and months.
The Pro Se Thriller of the Week stories, AMARNA and its spin-offs, the revision of House of the Gods, various translations and a number of articles. Setting up my courses too, preparing the articles and the lesson notes. And as I think I mentioned once in the past, writing is the best job around as long as it does not feel like a job.
And the last weeks in particular, it was a job.
So yesterday afternoon, I opened a fresh Scrivener file, and started writing a story for the sheer fun of writing it.


By the time I stopped to prepare dinner, I had one thousand good words. Continue reading