How to judge a book

There’s only one foolproof way to do it, of course. And so, I thought I’d celebrate the end of the week (as well as getting 90% of the way towards the 2/3 mark of the finished manuscript… err, woo hoo!), by sharing…. rolling of drums…. the cover…!x3Moustache1

As you may have seen here before, or on Flickr, this portrait was taken at Renmin Park in central Urumqi, where a great big Uyghur milonga takes place each afternoon. With spirited dancers, a super social atmosphere, and moustaches that I continue to try and cultivate myself, the afternoon I spent hanging round with them was a huge highlight of the journey – and his smile seems to reflect it for me.

This is the cover I’m using for my Authonomy excerpt and will most likely carry with me into the brave world of epublishing when the time comes. So, in advance, thoughts, suggestions, impressions are all welcome!


Scalpels vs chainsaws: how do you edit for travel writing?

Ladies and gents, I’m as excited as a very excited thing. Even if I have used up all my metaphors to get here.

Last night, I pushed A Eurasian Diary past the 40K word mark, causing me to loudly clap my hands and issue forth a “woo,” potentially rousing my wife and a couple of neighbours in the process. But it was a huge milestone for me – the last ten thousand words have progressed slower than I’d wanted, with a long sequence of re-edits along the way, so to feel once again like I’ve got my head above water was a happy moment. 

Which leads me to think a bit about process. Continue reading