Writing in a storm

Image by Tom Coates

Image by Tom Coates

Well, it’s been a while since the last post. Let’s be honest, a lot more than a while. This happens when life is running faster and the days flows away like water, leaving my mind awash with the pressure of what’s going on and what will happen in the next few months.

Relax, it’s about working more. No real problem. I’m more than a bit anxious about getting stuff done in a proper way than other people and sometimes a 48 hours looks like a very nice idea. I think that everybody ’round here knows the feeling. Been there, done that, no more on the subject.

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Planning a Silk Road adventure with (and without) Google Maps

You may be cool, but you will never be cool as an adventurer who travels in a FIAT Panda.

Karavansara

I chanced on one of those things that happen on Facebook, a guy asking his followers

If you cold go on a big adventure, what would it be?

Or something to that effect.
Now I don’t have to think a lot about it – granted, it’s a big world and there’s adventures everywhere, but my first, instinctive response is the usual

From Paris to Shanghai by car, following the Silk Road

If you’re here, you know I love the Silk Road, its history, its stories – going along the old road, driving leisurely in my car, would be a dream come true. Stop to look at the landscape, take a few photos, eat a bite…

Fiat_panda_1_v_sstAnd when I say car, I’d mean my old reliable Panda – a tin can on wheels if ever there was one, so basic and stripped down it did not even come with a radio…

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On a country hike with Alfred Watkins

Try a different way to look at the landscape, it will be worth your time.

Karavansara

watkinsToday is Easter monday, and traditionally it is the day dedicated to field trips and picnics.
With my brother, we are planning a short hike across the hills here where we live – a matter of a few miles, following dirt paths through the vineyards.
We’ll take a few photos, taking our time and enjoying the quiet, and make it to a place where we will find ice cream.
Because that’s our goal – ice cream!
Once our ice cream raid is done, we’ll walk back.
And I’ll be carrying in my small rucksack, my copy of Alfred Watkin’s The Ley Hunter’s Manual from 1927.
That is a bogus sort of pamphlet, and scandalised my old colleagues back in the days of fieldwork for the university, but it’s a fun thing anyway, and perfect for such a hike.

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The folk horror of Piedmontese Neogothic

Karavansara

Folk Horror.
Apparently the tag was coined by Mark Gatiss in 2010, and used to describe a certain genre of very British horror movies that focused on the countryside, its people and its folklore, its legends and superstitions.

sands1008The three movies that form the core of the genre are Michael Reeves’ historically accurate nightmare Witchfinder General (1968), Piers Haggard’s delicately-titled The Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971) and Robin Hardy’s classic The Wicker Man (1973). A lot of stuff follows, including some of the things that creeped me out the most when I was a kid, to wit Children of the Stones, a rather scary 1977 occult serial from ITV. It was supposed to be kid’s entertainment, but boy was it the stuff of nightmares.
But hey, even The Persuaders had a folk horror episode!

Now I am usually wary of labels when it comes to fiction – they make…

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The Czar, the Sultan and the Uncle Sam

As predicted, things are getting hairy all over again in Syria, a place where too many conflicts are going on. The casus belli this time is the little town of Manbij, in the northern part of the country. Actually is controlled by Kurds, with logistic support from the US. Russians and Americans found themselves together against the will of the Turkish government to seize the town, a move that greatly enraged the leadership of this regional power. Check here the story, from Stars and Stripes.

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Between Black and White

Melencolia

Melencolia I (B. 74; M., HOLL. 75)
*engraving
*24 x 18.8 cm
*1514

One of the most curious changes in the mainstream approach to everyday news is the growing oversimplification of the narrative; I mean, instead of facts we get factoids, the space needed to explain matters or to introduce an argument has been dissolved. Facts and figures are presented to the public in a pre-arranged set, in order to align with the political (or ideological) side already represented by the magazine (or any other kind of news outlet). So, we basically have a loop of self-assuring news, ready and served on a virtual silver plate to an audience that will use such news on the social media scene in order to reassure its beliefs and/or to bash the “others”.

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Writing science fiction – more free tools for the trade

asf_0034

In my latest post (here) I’ve suggested a couple free MOOC in order to acquire more knowledge about selected matters, the idea is to keep myself in touch with the latest development of science and to suggest the same to my fellow writers.

This concept may apply in many different fields of writing, like thriller or mystery, and it’s not only about what will happen tomorrow but it’s also about what is going on today – in order to get the feeling of what will happen tomorrow.

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