Go visit…

…the two Author Sites I’ve added to my sidebar, finally, after meaning to but never getting round to it for ages.

Samit Basu, who is discovering life beyond The Simoquin Prophecy, blogs at Ducks Rule, among other places. He does a pretty good job of simulating writerly angst:

“Still havent started story. Turned down invitation to Salman Rushdie do…pity, but i have to get this story written. Query: Will i manage to get story written, considering all Ive done since morning is flap? Query 2: Is it good that my selfesteem has begun to depend on whether or not i get invited to salman rushdie dos in current unemployed state? Query 3: Should I not read peoples personal blogs, knowing as i do that their lives will be more exciting than mine? Query 4: When the hell am i going to read the book that ive written?

I better go.

What do 10-12 year olds want to read? I was reading anything i could get my hands on at that age.

Gah.”

Rana Dasgupta is doing a Decameron with Tokyo Cancelled (Available in bookstores January 14, as the man’s card says), and has a website that is to humble blogs what a Lamborghini is to cycle-rickshaws. “Do not urinate on this site or in any way foul or disfigure it.” You’ve been warned. But you have to like the man. Here he is in defence of smoking:

“Though the rising prices of cigarettes might still put an end to this, they are in general subject to a completely different set of rules to pretty much any other commodity. We can easily imagine a banker approaching a lorry driver in a railway station for a cigarette, imagine the driver obliging with no expectation of anything in return, imagine them talking together over the microritual, before stubbing out and going their separate ways. But it is difficult to think of anything else that one of those two people could ask the other for without inviting suspicion (“Would you mind terribly if I had a few bites of your sandwich…?”). The community of smokers is one in which cigarettes and lights are freely, even warmly, given (“Take one for the road”), and in which perfect strangers are willing to share a moment of bodily experience and a few words.”

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