Wednesday Weekly Roundup

Errata corrige: the previous week I actually wrote 11K. Last week only 6K, but I have reached a 440K yearly total and still have plenty of stuff to write in the next two months and a half. The less words are also because I started a new strip, and those have less words but more work on the drawings, LOL!

So this is one of the protagonists of the new strip – Star Minds Kids – and here you have a work-in-progress showing the birth of that particular strip. It’s similar to the ones I’ve done for Silvery Earth Kids. It was an upcoming anthology that spurred my imagination – very close to the deadline, even though I had been told about it months ago.

Nothing like a deadline to spur your muses into action, right? Next I’ll do something with the Cosmic Corsairs I already told you about and then develop that strip in the coming months. Again, it’s probably for next year. I guess that’s my way of procrastinating on the prose at this time, LOL!

I’m still trudging through my contemporary story and have jotted down notes for another short story that might take precedence when I’m done lettering the Silvery Earth Kids. I need to finish a proof of the English version before Friday, so I can order it on Lulu and receive it next week.

I plan on checking the paperback for changes and stuff, and then I want to take it to Lucca Comics and see if some publisher wants the Italian version before I go indie. So I might do little writing this week, but some projects need wrapping up! 🙂

Some links: 6 effective ways to treat depression – still have to sign up for a dance class or some other kind of moving with music, but there’s so much going on right now, that I’m not sure I want to start something yet. Maybe in November, maybe in January. We’ll see.

For the indie writers out there – the (in)famous 7 Kindle Keywords: use all 50 characters or not? I’m probably totally misusing those keyword spaces, but I really have trouble finding sentences for my books. Even when I went through the various books to update the manuscripts, I didn’t really add anything to those fields… I should have, I know. Sigh.

I know that my WHY has nothing to do with publishing and all that stuff. The beating heart that keeps my muse alive definitely doesn’t care about algorithms and ads and all that publishing stuff! 🙂 In fact I think I mentioned I have publishing fatigue, more than writing.

6 ways to stay productive in a creative slump – I think I’ve done some of these things even before reading the article, but it’s a good summary/reminder. I think I mentioned spending too much time doing research and not enough writing. Reading for research and not for entertainment.

Well, after discarding a few samples, I started reading a novel for entertainment. It’s traditionally published, but has plenty of mistakes. So I guess we can really live without traditional publishers. And the eBook was cheap, but is not very well formatted IMHO… but I shall tell more about it in my end of the year recommended list (or on Bookbub, since now my book recommendations are there and not on Goodreads)! 🙂

Have a great week! 😀


Happiness is…

Wednesday Weekly Roundup

Last week, while jotting down a couple of ideas in my moleskine, I saw an idea that suddenly appealed to me, so I interrupted what I was doing to write that contemporary short story of about 7K. With whatever I had added to the other project, last week clocked at over 8K written. Now I’m back to that other project, still contemporary, hoping to nail it by the end of the week.

On Sept.28th I tried uploading the Quests Box Set to D2D, but somehow couldn’t make their meatgrinder (however they call it, I know that term is the Smashwords one, LOL!) “read” the file correctly, so I had written to support for help. On Monday they got back to me when I had completely forgotten about it… anyhow, I managed to upload the file and this time it came out fine, so there you have it, the Quests Box Set with the new covers! 🙂

During the weekend I was supposed to start lettering the strip of Silvery Earth Kids. But on Friday I went to Romics and talked to Bigio (whose comics and webstrips are only in Italian, unfortunately), showing him my Instagram account and he gave me some advice. So there you have it, new backgrounds on some strips (including Torik’s New Clothes, but I won’t show it yet, haha). And while preparing the squares for lettering, I found I had forgotten to color one. And that another had to be modified for the square size.

So in the end, no lettering, but hopefully I’ll manage next weekend! 🙂 Also, since DeviantART has this Cosmic Corsair contest and I’m supposed to do another strip for another anthology, I’m thinking of going back to the Star Minds Kids and do something with them for both projects.

And the NaNo bundle is out! So if you’re looking for great writing books, go grab it now. And I have a name for my burnout – the critical voice again!

That’s what the critical voice does. It makes writing hard, unpleasant, and something to be avoided, rather than embraced.

All of us who write face that. We just have different battles with our critical voices. Some writers battle the voice in the words on the page. Other writers battle the voice in the types of stories it’s okay to tell. And apparently, some, like me, battle the voice on expectation of production.

I got “I hate everything I write” (but kept writing anyway, LOL!). Now I’m going to kill that bastard off. It had never really raised its ugly head before, so I’m sure I’ll get rid of it soon. Now, granted, I might lack the talent to be a successful author, but I’ll keep writing and learning and publishing more slowly until death! 🙂

See how serendipity brings the right posts at the right time? Besides, I was trying to put together a document for my editor in November (after she does The Wanderers next week), and I kept finding short stories I wrote in the last three months (since I finished the novel) that I hadn’t put on my written list… so I did write quite a lot in spite of my critical voice.

And I even submitted some, and one passed the first step, now I’m waiting for the “second level” to decide if they buy it or not. If they don’t, I already know where to submit it next year (won’t open until February 2020). I had actually displaced a couple of anthos guidelines I had written stories for, so I had to go looking for them, and write the title of the story I plan to send them after Mighty Editor’s pass.

So, maybe I’m already climbing back up. It’s probably the start of my third writing phase (the second started around fifteen years ago, when I took the first craft workshops and learned about POV and other neat tricks), although I’ll have to read more fiction to better figure out readers’ expectations. I’m also considering collaborations, so this workshop on shared worlds is very timely! 🙂

And then, summer is over, autumn is here and I feel much better! 🙂 I don’t have big plans for the end of the year, just keep trudging (writing and publishing also in Italian), and then we’ll see. I have the Anthology Workshop in February and then I’ll think about other writing trips. Maybe another writing retreat. I got a couple of flyers at Worldcon in Dublin, so we’ll see.

I hadn’t realized people are boycotting Kickstarter… but then I spared myself a Kickstarter stress. Again, maybe next year! 😉 Have a great week! 🙂

Happiness is…

Wednesday Weekly Roundup

Hello and welcome to the new blog schedule! The Happiness is… vignette will continue until about halfway next year, but then I won’t restart the cycle like I’ve done so far since 2009. The only post will be on Wednesdays and, as the title says, it will be a roundup of everything writing and non-writing related. The Backstage Pass will continue on Sundays on the publisher’s page to keep that page moving while I’m not publishing regularly (besides Italian titles, I mean). Thank you for following me in this new step of my journey!

And to celebrate the 10 years Blogoversary, I’m going to do a Giveaway! 🙂 Any eBook of mine in your preferred format (or audio if you’re in the US, CA or AU, although that’s valid only for Otherside, I still have a few of those codes). Just drop a comment with the title and your preferred format! 🙂

Now Kobo might have added audiobooks to the KWL dashboard, but during the weekend the eBooks had vanished. I was trying to finish updating the Silvery Earth titles still out there, and on KWL I saw for a moment on Saturday morning all 120+ titles (and 60+ unpublished), then no more than 18 on Laptop, 21 on Netbook (but it did show the unpublished titles of the discarded pen name, grrr!).

And Techie Bro took Laptop for an update/upgrade, so I copied everything to Netbook to update DriveThru and KWL, but when Smashwords had “trouble” with a couple of documents, there wasn’t much I could do, since Netbook doesn’t have Adobe Reader to check ePub files. Maybe it has something to read ePubs, but I wasn’t in the mood for experimenting. So it was a hassle that dragged the whole weekend. Sigh.

As for writing, just a short story, a little more than 5K. I started dabbling in a contemporary story, but it might not be the right time to write it, so I’m contemplating other options. I’ve realized I’ve been reading too much non-fiction lately, too much necessary research, but it has taken the fun out of writing somehow. And took me off the reading market as well, since I’m a slow reader.

So I started reading all those bundles that came out on BundleRabbit and might have a look at StoryBundle (lookie look! Vampires! Maybe I should!) and other places. I am considering a new series with a no-longer-young heroine, but I’m not sure which genre it’s going to be. My characters grew up with me, I guess it’s time I talk about salt-and-pepper hair, although I have already done that with Bel. Hey, maybe I’ll write about her breakup with Raj because she became a grumpy old spinster, LOL!

The Infinite Bard story is up once again! There is now quite a collection of free reads there now, check it out! 🙂 And the publisher’s site is all updated, so at least that is done, yay! Have a great week! 🙂

Happiness is…

Sunday Surprise

And it’s a guest! I’ll still have those if someone is willing to be interviewed! This lovely young lady I met in person and when I saw her excited about her upcoming new release, I had to offer her a spot! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Kate Grove!

Where do you live and write from?

Hello and nice to meet you all. I live in Budapest, Hungary.

Why do you write?

I write because I’d like to share stories with the world. I want to invite my readers to journey to a faraway land so they can experience fun adventures there!

When did you start writing?

Well, I was probably around 7 or 8 when I’ve written the first story that I remember. However, if you were to ask me when I decided to be a novelist, then it was at 13 years old.

What genre(s) do you write?

I mainly write romantic fantasy, with humour and adventure.

What does your writing routine consist of?

I like to use sprints. I write for 20-25 minutes, then take a 5 to 10-minute break. In an ideal world, that is. Sometimes I forget the time and just write until something breaks me out of the trance. The same might happen when I’m having a break, so I need to pay attention. I usually schedule 1 day off every week.

What do you feel are your strengths as a writer? How have you developed these qualities?

Probably plotting and world building. How did I develop them? Not sure, but I suspect it has something to do with me being a single child and coming up with ideas to entertain myself whenever my friends were unavailable to play.

Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?

Inspiration is everywhere. It just strikes you at unexpected moments. It could be because of a snippet of a conversation, lyrics, a cool music video, an article, or just taking a walk in a park. Really, anything can be used as inspiration.

You won’t find me as I am in my stories, however, when my characters are formed, I think every one of them takes a little something from me. There’s a connection between me and all my characters. I think that might be the same for most writers 🙂

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

The middle ground. I like to outline – and it looks so detailed! But when we’re talking about a 95K novel, you realise there’s a lot of room to wiggle. I like to see what comes next and how will we get to the end before I start writing. But I always leave room for random events and developments, because sometimes, when you write fast enough, the most exciting scenes appear!

Am I a fast or a slow writer? I type very fast. I can probably write a 95K novel in 2 or 3 months at most. That’s slow for some people. Other people would find it a breakneck speed. It’s all relative!

Tell us about your latest book (

My latest book is the first one in a series, called Sword and Mirror. It’s being published on 30th September (tomorrow), here is the link.

It’s about a woman who is thrown back in time, to 16th century Japan and she strikes a deal with a samurai lord in order to survive this war-torn period. It’s a very exciting time in Japanese history and I had fun researching! Anyway, she agrees to pretend to be the samurai lord’s fake fiancée for a month in exchange for his help, but she realises the dangers of it a little late. After all, a samurai lord has many enemies, and in this case, not all of them are humans.

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

It took me long to decide on indie publishing. When I started writing, the only route to go seemed traditional publishing, but when I felt ready enough for finally publishing, the book market had already changed. Indie publishing underwent a revolution and better and better books came out, nurtured by indies. And when I weighed the pros and cons…

In the end, being indie allows me more freedom in the creative and business processes and better royalty rates. And I basically would have to do the same amount of work as in trad pub, so why not? The only disadvantage would be that it’s probably harder to see my book in bookshops, but if they can get on the bookshelves of my readers, I don’t mind 🙂

With POD services and the e-book platforms, it’s easier to share my stories with more people than ever. And it’s especially important that I can reach out to them, since my readers are English speakers and I wouldn’t have any other way to connect to them.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

I’m working on the next book in the series, which is called Smoke and Jewel (it comes out on Leap Day!), and it’s already on pre-order. Meanwhile, I plan to release side stories related to the series, whenever I have the opportunity.

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

I want to entertain people with my stories. If it helps them even a little bit to get away from the usual day-to-day events, then I’d be very happy.

And I’d love to stay a full-time writer. I have a limited time to try it out, so we’ll see how that goes.

What do I do to achieve these goals? Write more and be active on Patreon! Learn online marketing and see where I can improve my craft and business practices.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

You can’t edit a blank page.

Thank you for having me over today, Barb!

Find Me On:

Random Friday

And we also have the very last random Friday! 🙂 Some innovation links first: image recognition with deep learning for e-commerce explains very well how the whole thing works. I found it fascinating. And some tech is good, like the authonomous drone delivering diabetes medication to a remote Irish island.

And of course learning to read boosts the visual brain, but we have some studies to prove it! 😉 And speaking of brain, we now have wearable cyborgs that use bran waves to power up your muscles and Synchron achieved the first successful human implantation of brain computer interface. The Future Earth Chronicles are coming closer, LOL! Maybe they’re already building the Rainbow Towns! 😀

I was asked this week if I have children and if I missed not having them. No, I don’t miss not having children (hey, I have Dear Nephew! 😉 Although at 14 he’s kind of hard to get through, LOL!), and when I think about all those people who keep breeding in this doomed world, I’m even more vehement about voluntary human extinction and wish everybody did like me. Your children won’t have a world to grow up in, especially if you don’t do anything to stop those people from killing us all.

Last Saturday I watched Replicas. Not as bad as they painted it, but then, I’m no sci-fi expert. Kind of reminded me of Johnny Mnemonic with better computer graphics, since there’s 20 years between the two. And again, we have a father who wants to save his family with his science – but I might wonder what for? 😉

Near Future Sci-fi is the harder to pull off. I’m currently updating the technology in a novel that I wrote back in 2000 – a human society that had starships, but limited tech in its artificial town. I didn’t make The City like Rainbow Town in Future Earth Chronicles, but I had to change a few things here and there! 😀

Stay tuned for the blogoversary… and have a great weekend! 🙂

Writer Wednesday

Welcome to the last Writer Wednesday, since next week it’s October, 10 years of blogging and new schedule! 🙂 Last week I wrote only one short story, and a short one at that (less than 3K), but I stupidly thought I could write another during the weekend. Not.

It was the Silvery Earth revamping weekend and I still have a lot of work to do! 😦 I updated the Chronicles of the Varian Empire and the single Quests books with the new covers (so that’s 7 ebooks and 3 paperbacks) on Saturday. And I updated 25 paperbacks, 22 migrated from CreateSpace and 3 already KDP print. Which took me almost all Sunday.

I still have 35 eBook documents to update and reupload to five sites (KDP, KWL, D2D, SW and DTF), and it will probably take me the rest of the week. While I try to write that last story before the end of the month. Feels neverending, but I’ll finish this tend-the-garden job! 🙂

I also added a couple of boards on Pinterest – or my books, I mean. And there are also boards that serve as inspiration for the books, so it’s not just book covers! 😉 Oh, and I finished coloring Silvery Earth Kids, so now I only have to put the lettering on 70 strips or something… And possibly redraw a panel or three!

Still reading blogs, but mulling over the flood of info by myself. Still overwhelmed with the “updating backlist” task, so not ready for many things. But still building brand with these blog posts! 🙂

I want to check my notes from my online craft workshops before launching the next project. Meanwhile I brainstorm vague ideas that might eventually take shape…

Have a great week! 🙂

Happiness is…

Since 2011, the end of another working day hoping to quit Day Job ASAP seems still quite far away…

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