Random Friday


And it’s MOVIE Friday! 🙂 Nothing new, actually, but celebrating a couple of my favorites that turn 20 this year as well as another that turns 30 and has its third instalment coming…

So it was the year 1999, right? What movies come to mind to you? Come on! What movie revolutioned sci-fi film-making with the now famous bullet-time? Yes, it’s the original, one and only, The Matrix! Now that was the first Keanu movie I actually saw in theaters (everything coming before that was either seen on TV or on VHS. What? Don’t know what I’m talking about? Sheesh…) and it definitely made an impression – although it took me another couple of years to become obsessed with him, but that’s another story, LOL!

It was also one of the first I bought on DVD and that’s how I heard his real voice – and that was definitely love at first sound! From that point on, I started hating dubbed movies and watching them in their original version with subtitles. Which is good since many movies that interest me were never dubbed into Italian, mwhahahahaha! (especially Bollywood, and especially Da Muse, I think only Jodhaa Akbar was dubbed in Italian)

Anyhow, the other movie of the year was in a completely different genre and I’m not supposed to talk about it. I mean, the first rule is that you do not talk about it. The second rule is… you do not. Talk. About it. So how am I supposed to talk about it? Although I prefer one of the main stars in Interview with the Vampire, I kinda liked him also in this one – I even slashed it. From Jared Leto’s character’s point of view. Not sure I have the English version, though.

I actually even read the book, but somehow, because I saw the movie first, I thought the movie was better. But I was curious about the original material, so I got the paperback. Still wondering how they came up with that movie from that book but that’s another story (very similar to Johnny Mnemonic – got a paperback with the screenplay and the original William Gibson story, still wondering. BTW, Johnny Mnemonic turns 24. Not bad).

Anyhow, to stay with Da Muse (I don’t know who’s #1 and #2 between them anymore, so they’re just Da Hollywood Muse and Da Bollywood Muse to differentiate them) your favorite Teodore “Ted” Logan came out 30 years ago (on Sunday). That’s another movie that was never dubbed in Italian, but it’s sequel, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey was. Wonders never cease in the international movie distribution system!

Aand Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure‘s  much talked about sequel Bill & Ted Face the Music will start shooting soon! How cool is that? It’s been ONLY 30 years, after all! 😀 So I’m closing this with my new manga avatars, made with Picrew.me – me and Da Muses, of course… Have a great weekend! 🙂

 

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Writer Wednesday


Last week I wrote 14K, almost two stories (the second I finished this week). I’m back on Silvery Earth exploring Water’s people for now. I had to check Books of the Immortals – Water and Chronicles of the Varian Empire – The Spell for some details, since Silvery Earth changed somehow after its first inception.

The first “part” of that world was the Varian Empire, “built” in 1993 with Lost and Oliver (now Chronicles of the Varian Empire – the Enlightened Emperor) but a major revision of the world happened in 2005-2006 when I introduced the Immortals and fine-tuned the Magical Races.

The Books of the Immortals were my first indie-published novels back in 2011 (available also as box set now) and from there the world expanded – its history if not its landmass, since the maps haven’t changed since. I do have a “bible” (some of it is in the appendix to Angelica, Scholar), but re-reading bits and pieces made things easier for me.

Audio update: the first audiobook is now in production! I listened to the extended sample and hope the narrator won’t have trouble with “epiteth” in the final version – it made me chuckle in the sample, but it’s probably not good for listeners of the final product. She’s very good, by the way. She kept me listening for 17 minutes! 🙂 Still waiting for the male auditions, although I listened to a few samples.

I was about to publish something last weekend, but then decided to wait until the next, which is good since yesterday, as I started the translation for the Italian version, I realized I had skipped some corrections (I’m using the proofreader-marked version for the translation)… Phew.

Those were on page 1 and I haven’t found others yet, but hopefully at the end of the week I’ll be done with the translation and be able to upload – possibly both docs, haha. Then I’ll work on inserting the drawings in the Italian version of Beautiful. By the way, here are a few pics of that illustrated paperback

As for still having a day job that pays the bills, I’m not ashamed of it, but I’m definitely sick of it. I’ll be able to quit, eventually, and will even have a minimum pension after 30+ years – possibly. Dunno on your side of the world, but it looks grim in Italy. One wonders why waste decades in a soul-killing steady job to get peanuts when retirement comes. Whatever.

Also, it might be romance week on Goodreads, but I have no recommendations for you. Valentine’s Day never meant anything to this aromantic lady, so… look at that cute drawing up there, ain’t it romantic? That’s all you’ll get from me! 😀

Don’t mind this grumpy old spinster, don’t forget to check her Patreon page and have a great week! 😀

Happiness is…


Random Friday


Since it belongs to the dawn of indie publishing and the early years of this blog, I shall link to this old post about the Sweeties or Mercenaries?! as they were known to my old pen pals. What, you don’t know what I’m talking about? PEN pals used SNAIL mail (and it was really a snail, I remember it took 6 MONTHS to get to Australia by BOAT and you had to pay extra for air mail…) and at some point in the 1990s I had about 30, mostly in the US but also in the rest of the world, Down Under included. *waves at Nikalee*

Why am I bringing them back? Because of those two stories I wrote last week. I actually have a prose version of that comic in Italian but 1) it’s still the old version of the Varian Empire (it had a makeover when I wrote the Books of the Immortals) and 2) it’s really too episodic to be a novel. Either I make it a serial, sort of like Star Minds Lone Wolves Team, or it stays in the drawer.

One day I might scan and publish the comic, but that’s another long story. I even started redrawing it, and then stopped. So unless there’s a high request – I could make it a Kickstarter project or a Patreon reward, LOL! – my comics will probably stay in the stacks of paper folders.

What? You don’t know about PAPER folders either? Sheesh! Yes, I still draw on paper and make little use of Photoshop, so that’s why I’m not rushing to try DAZ Studio! 🙂

Ahem, well, so these two stories are with three of the original Sweeties and I estracted a sweet M/M romance and Princess Sapphire, who will be on the cover of this prose version along with Ludwig (see the above old post that leads to a guest post where he’s talking – I checked, the link is still good! 😉 ).

Stay tuned for mid-February. I still think I want to do more drawings – I got the proof of Beautiful Illustrated – but at the same time I feel there aren’t enough hours in the day. If I want to write, draw, translate AND publish while still having a part-time day job, I’ll have to give up something.

So no new comics for now. And no old ones either, considering that even the one I put on Kindle has 3 more issues that I never scanned and put up! 😉 (Fleur de Lys 1 & Fleur de Lys 2 @Amazon.com) I might consider doing the prose version, but like I said, after the failure with Lovers, I probably won’t!

Have a wonderful weekend! 😀

Writer Wednesday


Last week I beat my previous record! Last year one week I wrote 19K… Last week it was 20K+! Two brand new stories, most of the second written on Saturday when I churned out 6K!

Okay, I might have had it easy, since it was the prose version of a comic book from the late 1990s, so I already had an outline and most of the dialog written, but considering how I failed with Lovers, I’m quite glad with these two! 🙂

Now, since one is under 10K and the other over, I will publish them together, to give you, the reader, more “meat” – two stories for 2.99$, that’s a bargain, right? Right? No? Oh, well…

It has a nice cover unlike some of the Double-Feature from the past… 😉 I gave up trying to find the two guys on DepositPhoto and decided to have only one cover for the two stories.

Kindle Countdown starting on Star Minds Lone Wolves Shorts in the UK and US stores! If you’re Amazon-addicted, you know what it means… 😉 It’s always free if you’re on KU, of course… at least for the next two months. Then I’ll definitely go wide! 😀

Across Continents went live and next month you can have Himalayas or you can wait until May and get all four (or five if you missed Book 1).

I have considered following Dean in his challenge, but I still have a Day Job, and even though I’m fast and prolific, I doubt I can write 5 books in 100 days.

I’ll be writing more Fairy Tales Revisited this month and then I’ll probably go back to the Star Minds Lone Wolves Team… are you following me on Patreon yet? Why not? 😉 Just kidding…

Audio update #2: I chose a narrator for the first audiobook and got the production notes template. Yikes. It’s like when I first signed up with Smashwords at the end of 2010 and started uploading stuff there and on Kindle (a few months later) in 2011… Learning how to format and pass through the meatgrinder and all that stuff. I’m sure it will get easier! 🙂

No writerly links this week either, so I wish you a wonderful week! 🙂

Happiness is…


Okay, preparing PDFs for print… in that case it was comics or artbooks where I needed to insert pictures. Which is what I did for Beautiful illustrated, so… change that from Lulu.com to KDPprint and the fact that my hair is no longer brown and long, and it still works! 😀

Sunday Surprise


My Patreon Page is live again, yay! Feel free to peruse and check it out! 

Audio update: Chose my first narrator at Findaway Voices. It’s going to be tough. Even listening to a less-than-5-minutes audition was “painful” for me. Oh, well… production underway, in a week I’ll see how it goes… Sigh!
Now waiting for male narrators to pick and choose…

Have a wonderful Sunday! 🙂

 

Random Friday


And since not much is going on – again – here are a few writers on writing, words of wisdom and whatnot. Have a wonderful weekend

***

When you’re having a bad writing day, a hard writing day, remember that.

And remember too that when you sit down a week from now, or a month, or a year, the days the writing was hard and the days the writing was easy will be indistinguishable from one another. In fact, sometimes the easy days produce worse work than the difficult days. You never know. So don’t let it stop you. Put the bucket over your head and run at the wall anyway.

And remember that all of this is just a draft, that it can all be fixed and changed, that what doesn’t work can be made to work. It can always be made to work with enough practice, with enough blood.

You’re having a hard day of writing, write anyway.

Do it because it’s hard.

Forgive yourself because it’s hard.

Don’t let one bad day be the gravestone for the rest of the days.

Chuck Wendig

Thanks to Quiet by Susan Cain, many writers are happily claiming their introversion. I’m an introvert, which means I get my energy from being alone. I hate small talk and large groups. I’d rather think than speak, and write rather than talk. I rarely answer the phone. I’m INFJ on the Myers-Briggs scale, and many authors fit a similar model. This also means that conferences and events are tiring, so I can’t do too many of them a year. If you’re like me, then we’re super lucky these days, because online marketing suits introverts. We can attract an audience online and connect with readers, while still spending time alone.
Joanna Penn

There’s nothing like studying the bestseller lists of bygone years for teaching an author humility. You’ve heard of the ones that got filmed, normally. Mostly you realise that today’s bestsellers are tomorrow’s forgotten things.

(…)

I’m convinced if I keep going one day I will write something decent. On very bad days I will observe that I must have written good things in the past, which means that I’ve lost it. But normally I just assume that I don’t have it. The gulf between the thing I set out to make in my head and the sad, lumpy thing that emerges into reality is huge and distant and I just wish that I could get them closer.

Neil Gaiman

The proper response to a rejection is to send the story out to a different publisher—not to rewrite the tale. So don’t fiddle with your language. There are times when it might be wise to make a “substantial” revision, one where you change the very bones of a story. For example, you might decide to write a new opening scene, or extend a climax, or something like that. In that case, it’s like re-setting the bones of the story, not applying new lipstick to the face of it. You’re fixing the underlying structure.

David Farland

That’s the kind of writer you want to be. You want to be the writer whose work they buy because they love your work, rather than the writer who distracts them for one weekend and whom they never read again.

(…)

We all want our latest releases to sell millions of copies this year. Most of us—99.9% of us—won’t achieve that. But we will have published a book or two or three, and we are working in our chosen field.

We’re the day-to-day folk who provide the best entertainment possible in a non-special-event kinda way. And that’s what most readers want.

Remember that the next time you see a lot of hype.

And realize that the hype isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.

Kris Rusch

Writer Wednesday


Last week I wrote again under 10K (but above 9K) because I had to go through not one but two manuscripts, one back from the proofreader and the other for it’s final pass before going to the proofreader. I still managed to write another short story that I plan to submit and then eventually publish later this year.

Now I’m trying to write another story, maybe two, so I can send them to the proofreader next week. I’m also pondering my Patreon options while I wait for Findaway Voices to find me narrators (I requested a male voice but still have to choose the female voice).

I also finished the drawings for the illustrated version of Beautiful, now I only need to put them in the text and upload the PDF to KDPprint… And since the latest story is also based on an old comic of mine, I’m itching to do a new graphic project, but I’m afraid I’ll never have time. It took me months to do about 80 vignettes for Beautiful, imagine a full comic book!

So, nyeah, not really. Sigh. I’m also way behind with translations back into Italian, so I’ll just give up the idea – although I’m going to Cartoomics cause I’ve got artbooks and comics to buy, LOL! And illustrators to meet. I might have to order another custom cover this year, although I’m doing quite well with stock rendering – again, I’d love to learn how to use DAZ Studio so I wouldn’t have to search DepositPhoto, but who has the time?

Maybe when I get a few months off Day Job I can find an online course and learn it. But for now, I better concentrate on writing, translating and publishing!

I had to reset my smartphone, and besides losing the MP3 player and having to find another email app, I “discovered” the Google docs on android. So even though I still have a paper Moleskine for notes, I discovered I can also write on that small screen and it will save on Google Drive and then I can moved it to Dropbox if necessary.

Now, my phone screen is often too small for me, but I kind of felt hyper-technologic for a moment, there! 😀 I’ll probably stick to at least this Moleskine, gifted to me by friends at the beginning of the new Millennium (one year I got two, one is full, the other almost) and then we’ll see. I know I have an alternative!

One Kobo sale is gone, but the other is still on until tonight… so if you have a Kobo eReader and want to try Future Earth Chronicles really cheaply, get it now! 🙂 And if you already have Brainwaves, Wanderlust is already out and Across Continents goes live on Saturday. Himalayas already has a document if you want a sneak peek and as soon as the proofreader sends back Airships, I’ll upload that one too.

And I’ll try to ignore all the KDP emails asking me to make sure that the manuscript is the final one – doh! I don’t upload to KDP until I have the final one, it’s not as if they allow assetless preorders like Smashwords… 😉

I guess that’s all for now… have a great week! 🙂

 

Happiness is…


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