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Ghent; inspiration takes hold!

My first book promotion went off and I’m happy to say my Amazon sales ranking is climbing! Things are gaining a wonderful momentum too; I have an editorial review coming, arranged a promotional review to help land book two (Learning all the lessons from sending out book 1) and I have also confirmed a advanced reader copy (ARC) campaign. While in Ghent, I also knocked out a significant amount of fresh writing and editing while resting up to take on the martial arts classes that brought me there.

With all of that said, I chose to have breakfast in the restaurant dining area one morning, instead of making it myself. I have some observations;

Let me preface them with this – Before you can write, you must observe. I love traveling because I get to observe a whole range of different people, and the nuances are fascinating. Obviously, once you have observed you need to write, based upon said observations.

My observations, you ask?

Well, Spanish women. I saw an extended family eating breakfast this morning. The young ladies were absolutely stunning, and were I single, not in love, and 20 years younger, I would have zeroed in like a comet. There were some older French business women too, and generally they looked tall and slender, and were well dressed. They always seemed well put together.

I saw a lot of dad-bods as well. I am a dad, I have a bod, but its less than dad-ish. I get how hard it can be to put in the effort, but come on dudes! There seems to be almost an expectation that as we get older, we need to get more out of shape. I wonder how true that really is – as our metabolism slows, surely there are measures we can take to resolve the middle-age spread?

Two tables down from me there were two Slavic/Rusian guys eating breakfast. If ever I’ve seen an archetype for two KGB-agents on a secret mission, these guys filled it! In the cubicle sat Leadervich, with slick-backed hair, dark stubble, arms that showed he worked out, with a tiny paunch (see section on dad bods above). All of his clothes looked brand new, and I got the impression that he had forgotten his gold chains at home. Across from the mission leader, in the chair, on the dining room side of things, sat Musclyvich. He was the muscle, clearly. At least 6’2” tall, his forehead sloped, and he had no chin, so his head looked like a pale, shaven rounded triangle – he also had hands like saucepans, thick and muscled, ropey forearms, and ate a lot of boiled eggs while speaking wth food in his mouth.

I was waiting for Leadervich to say “Da, we will pay him a visit.” Instead, they got a second helping of breakfast and left.

Breakfast was solidly in line with my Carnivore leanings – bacon (done really crispy), eggs and sausage with some plain yoghurt on the side, and two cups of coffee. It was very satisfying, and I chose to stay away from the pastries, however I will say that their pain au chocolat looked like it was crafted in pastry heaven. (I said no.)

As usual, my trip to Ghent was filled with wonderful pieces of inspiration, and I was reminded again just how cool a scroll the Iai is – I Iove its meditative qualities, and how it talks to practical combat, as well as our mental landscape. I was also thrilled that Mario asked Sensei if I can get the Iai No Maki – it’s another step in my personal journey and a pretty cool one, so a big win!

As always, thanks to Mario, Katrien (Honorary Godan???), Didier, Griet, Oli and Jo (No, not Jo Hard with the Geutelingen Gearbox! – if you know, you know!)

The Rules of Magic series is richer for trips like these.

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