Wednesday Weekly Roundup


I’m going to start with the wordcount because it was low (the lowest of the year) but in the grander scheme of these past 10 years I’m doing just great, LOL! So, last week I wrote only 6.5K words and took the weekend off to ponder what I should do to celebrate these past ten years.

A quick recap is as follows:

2011-2014 I didn’t keep track of yearly wordcounts, so I can only count the published works: 1263600words (1.2million words)

2015: 402700words

2016: 468700words

2017: 347100words

2018: 535300words

2019: 533100words

2020: 588800words

2021: 74595words so far

Grand total: 2850295words (almost 3 million words, which I’ll hit sometime this year for sure) for 2015-2021, with the most written during the pandemic year (when I couldn’t travel and the only thing I could do was writing, a good way of traveling with my imagination, since the body was stuck, LOL!)

So, instead on concentrating about hitting that goal of wordcount again, I’m going to concentrate on revamping the first titles for this year – while still writing new stuff, of course. I need to find new readers for those 4 million words, LOL!

I’ll probably restart the newsletter soon (you can already subscribe on the publisher’s page) and I’m pondering what to give you, the reader, to entice you to subscribe! 😉

It will still be bi-montly, like it used to be between 2015 and 2019, but no more on MailChimp. I’m trying the WordPress Newsletter plug-in, and I’m currently studying it. Stay tuned for news!

Monday I checked the file that I got back from the editor and then yesterday I went back to the novel I had interrupted to write a few assignments. Hopefully the wordcount will rise again this week! More good news coming this month, but I can’t say much just yet. Again, stay tuned.

Back to writing and creating! Have a great week! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And we have a new title! Another prequel, before Future Earth Chronicles, again the apocalypse years but from the humans (and human symbionts) points of view. On the cover is Kaya, who invites a Terran neuroscientist in Rainbow Town Mount Mitchell (the one that is featured in Brainwaves, in case you have read the series).

The apocalypse years through the eyes of both Terrans and alien humans.
Neuroscientist Jacob Davies is invited to Rainbow Town by mysterious college mate Kaya Satsuko with a job offer he can’t refuse.

Suzzi hears her friends talking about vampires and asks to be assigned outside of Rainbow Town. She goes to work in Beijing where, along with Bao, she’ll have to tackle the venomous Asian vampires living in the area.

Yudi is the son of a Terran and an alien human who has followed his best friend to Mumbai. Ram hopes to break into Bollywood, but then he falls in love…

So, go grab Lockdown Origins at your favorite retailer. The paperback will be available with the omnibus in March. Stay tuned!

After reading David Gaughran’s post on covers, I went to peruse some premades… I’m just wondering why, in 2021, with an ongoing pandemic, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic covers still show a nuclear apocalypse like in the 20th century. Sigh.

Having researched gas masks for Breathe (that you can find in Breathe), I can also tell you that those filters don’t last, so they’re pretty much useless in a nuclear apocalypse. None of those covers would work for my Future Earth Chronicles, where the apocalypse is just a collapse of technology and power stations (see what’s happening in Texas without power)…

But then, I’m dealing mostly with Rainbow Towns, at least for now. Maybe eventually I’ll show the actual collapse outside of those underground settlements! Still, I doubt any of those covers would work for me anyway.

Moving on, an nice article on what the 2021 Facebook changes mean for authors. Now, my author page used to be a Fan Page, like they mention in the article, and I’m sick of having Facebook asking me if I’m hiring, if I’m giving Covid information, and if I have business hours. I’m an author, not a business yet!

The group connected to that page is now private and with no members, since I couldn’t find a way to close it. And I won’t ever use Facebook ads or even Facebook Live, but YMMV. So, thank you for following this blog (if you like my blathering) or follow the publisher’s page if you want to know only when a new book is out.

I still haven’t studied the Newsletter WordPress plugin and I’m not ready to go that way just yet, so you’ll have to bear with me on this very blog or the above page for now! 😉

And before I forget, last week I wrote a little over 8K until Friday, then the weekend was off writing for various reasons. 1) I screwed up the latest story and will need to rewrite it, but it doesn’t have a close deadline, so I had to push it to the side because 2) I got another call with a much closer deadline so I had to concentrate on that instead.

By Monday afternoon another 2.5K were down, though, so I guess the 10K are done! Moving on to the next project (or rewriting that story, it was an experiment and it was a failure, so back to the drawing board! 😉 )!

A year ago at this time I was in Vegas at the Anthology Workshop where I sold a story that will come out this year around Halloween… and that was my last international/intercontinental trip. We’re back to semi-lockdown and I won’t be able to travel through Italy either, so I won’t attend a good friend’s wedding in Piedmond. Sigh.

We shall travel again, though! Have a great week! 🙂

Sunday Surprise


Words of wisdom, writers on writing, more writers’ quotes than ever! Happy Sunday!

I am more and more aware of this dichotomy in the indie community. There is a pervasive focus on vanity metrics like sales ranking or number of books sold over profit and money in the bank.

Many consider it ‘better’ to reach number one on Amazon in a category where they have paid for a ton of advertising than bulk sell thousands of books that no one will ever know about but have thousands of dollars extra in the bank.

As Orna Ross noted in the Blockchain for Books white paper,

“Many authors crave attention more than money and overvalue their work emotionally while undervaluing it commercially.”

Orna is a literary fiction and creative non-fiction author, poet and founder of the Alliance of Independent Authors, and told me that the biggest challenge for authors is “to understand that you are in business and what that means, as well as knowing the value of what you create.”

Orna has challenged herself to understand her ‘comps,’ or comparison titles, and to dig deep into the micro-genres around her books. She also stressed the importance of looking outside the publishing world for ideas – definitely something I felt coming out of the fair. I think we have more in common with the tech community than the publishing world most of the time.

Joanna Penn

 

And here you might be saying, WHOA WHOA WHOA, WHY ARE YOU NOT TELLING ME TO CONSIDER MY CAREER, OR THE MARKET, OR TO CONSULT THE ORACLES OF PUBLISHING.

Listen, you can care about that stuff.

Maybe you even should, I dunno. It’s certainly not the worst idea to try to imagine what things might sell and what things might not. But… the reality is, nobody actually knows anything? I’ve made this point before but it demands a return visit: nobody knows anything inside publishing. They can make guesses. Many can make educated guesses based off insight and experience. But there’s no answer. And by the time you actually write the thing that might serve the market, the market will have changed. As I’ve said before, you’re aiming your spaceship at a star that has already burned out — the light from it just hasn’t caught up yet. The market is an unknowable entity. It is a lightless, doom-filled eye whose only language is chaos. It’s Sauron, it’s the Death Star, it’s Kanye West’s Twitter account. My advice is to stay away from it.

Chuck Wendig

 

After innumerable rounds of revisions, when the stress of ‘will it sell or will it die?’ had disappeared, I finally began to chip away at a new idea. And you know what?

I wrote another book. Sometimes I wrote for eighteen hours on both Saturday and Sunday, every weekend for a month. And sometimes I didn’t even open the document for four weeks. But eventually, it became a book shaped thing, and I realized that I didn’t have to write every single day to be a writer. I have to write when the ideas won’t simmer anymore and come to a boil. I have to write when I’m able to devote my thought processes to the project at hand, and not the one that hasn’t sold, or the one that I need to revise. I have to write when my job or my kids or my yard work or any of the other responsibilities I have aren’t dragging at my thoughts. Sometimes that happens every day, and sometimes it doesn’t happen for a month, but the fact is, just because my life gets in the way sometimes does not mean that I’m not a writer. If book shaped things eventually come out of my brain, then I am, by definition, a writer.

Stacey Filak

 

Leave your creative voice alone, folks.

Change to positive. And how do you do that with so much training in the other way? Actually, simply do three things…

1… Stop caring so much about the final product, just do the best you can.

2… Write one draft, clean with cycling in creative voice, and release with a promise to yourself you won’t touch it again.

3… Have fun. Make writing fun again. Make it play.

Then stand back because you will be writing stories you never expected to write and having a blast doing it.

Dean Wesley Smith

 

It’s none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.

– Ernest Hemingway

 

But as a writer, you most likely will begin to tire of writing the same kind of thing over and over. As we age, our tastes tend to change. The lighthearted stories of wonder that we told when we were young might not become as interesting as other genres, and so many authors will want to explore—much to the dismay of their fans, who will feel disappointed and betrayed.

And so the mounting pressures from fans, publishers, agents, and spouses all combine to a point where the author just says, “Screw all of you!” and has to walk away for a while.

But here is the thing: If you’re an artist, it is not a lifestyle that you can choose. The truth is, those creative fires keep burning within you, and you have to come back. You will be different, will have grown and evolved, but you’re still a creative.

I believe that you will find that your inner joy is still tied to the arts. So the old band gets back together, minus a player or two, with a couple of new faces. Or the painter picks up his brush and begins a new work, or the writers wakes up in the middle of the night and can’t get a dream out of his head until it transforms into a story.

The thing that I want to say is this: In life, we undergo creative highs and lows. At the highest points, we might sit and write for sixteen hours a day and it feels as if the book is merely “writing itself” while all that we do is type. At a low point, we might wonder if we will ever be able to write again.

David Farland

 

If you think of stories as conversation—gone after the words are uttered—you won’t be as tempted to go back and tweak. Just let the words represent that past moment. Move forward. Move on.

Realize that there are lot more important things in the world right now than some perceived literary transgression.

And because we’re all stressed and terrified and grieving, we need fiction. A lot of it. Some people want entertainment that they call mindless. (I don’t think any entertainment is mindless.) Others want an incredible challenge. And still others want to have their buttons pushed in fiction, so their buttons don’t get pushed in real life.

Our job is to provide all of that. Write. Write a lot. Give the stressed and grieving a different world, something else to think about, a different preoccupation, if only for a few hours.

There’s value in that. A lot more value than we writers usually give credence to.

So write the tough topics. Write the easy topics.

Just write.

Because that’s what we do.

Kris Rusch

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Soooo… already back to the old template, LOL! Last week I wrote almost 12K, which brought the yearly total to almost 60K – so 440K to go for my yearly goal! 😀 I wrote two short stories and started on a third that I will finished on Monday. Next week I have Mighty Editor booked, so she’s getting some work! 😉

I have two more shorts I’d like to write before going back to the Novel That Had Been Shelved (that was put in a drawer for the past couple of weeks because… deadlines on short stories).  Hopefully in March I’ll get back to it, which is good, since it’s happening now, LOL!

I took it easy during the weekend (again, between projects procrastination…) and watched a couple of movies. Birds of Prey was mostly funny and not bad. I probably prefer watching villains than super heroes with super problems, haha! I might not have girls’ nights (especially since lockdown, but even before that I was a grumpy old spinster), but I liked the dynamics of the unwilling team.

And then there was Mine, directed by two Italians but shot in English (except the DVD was dubbed, sigh). Considering that I don’t like war or soldier movies, I was kind of intrigued and amused by this one. They guy had anger issues, but listening to the extras and the directors explaining how it’s a metaphor of his life, I guess it’s not bad at all.

So, enjoying a movie about a guy stuck on a mine is really interesting! I had both on my ToWatch list for months, and I’m glad I finally got to see them! Now, if I could get to those Roman movies… but the Roman vampire is temporarily shelved, so I might as well wait another year or three (those two movies have been on the ToWatch pile for years, not months)! 😀

If you follow me on Bookbub, you’ll have seen I recommended Space 1975, now available everywhere – I mean, besides the Kickstarter. Can’t publish each and every Amazon link, so I guess I’ll put the Goodreads link. Sigh.

If you’re looking for pre-made covers, Juan Padròn is having a sale until the end of the month. He does mostly horror or thriller covers, but there are a few fantasy and sci-fi covers. If I didn’t have my plate full, I’d buy a couple just to write the story based on the cover, LOL! Make sure to check the pre-mades on page 1, page 2 and page 3! Only 55$ each, highly recommended! 🙂

I guess that’s all for today! Have a great week! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And, as announced, the first book of the prequels is out! Alien Humans (Before Future Earth Chronicles Book 1) is a short novel or a novella (too short for a Bookbub New Release alert, so you won’t hear about it there) that tells of the arrival of the aliens and their human symbionts on Earth, and that’s Dinniel the cyborg on the cover. Guest stars, some well known (to who ever follows Vampires Through the Centuries) vampires! 🙂 Actually Dinniel meets Alain, and you can read about him for free here.

Sometimes in the early 1980s an alien starship in the form of a silver disk landed on the Tibetan plateau, ready to settle on Earth. The two alien species living in symbiosis discover the local intelligent life is identical to the weak link of their bond, the humans who feed their brainwaves to the actual owners of the starship.

Meet Dinniel, Dachie, Sepideh and Pajtim, who are in their twenties and must learn to communicate and mingle with Terrans. And then the apocalypse generation, born on Earth and integrated in the 21st century culture: Jael, Dariox, Dayana and Donna who falls in love with Daniel the vampire.

Last week I reached 5800 words and had to stop, research and read for a professional anthology project. Then I started on the new assignment with another  2300 words, so the grand total is around 8K. I guess that, since I have stopped working on that project, I will use the rest of the month to write for another couple of anthologies. The current WiP (novel) was changing under me with every new scene, so it will probably need more time to come to life!

I might as well get the other things out of the way first, but this year is probably the sci-fi and urban fantasy year. At least it feels so for now. We’ll see. I’m not berating myself for anything and just keep trudging forward, waiting for the dust to settle and see what the world will be like in the coming years.

Hopefully not like in the Before Future Earth Chronicles, since you know those years will lead to the apocalypse of western civilization! 🙂 And the series page is updated, by the way. Although on Amazon I added them as prequels, so they won’t appear on the main series page just yet. But on the publisher’s page and Smashwords, they’ll be there! 🙂

And there are free books again! This month it’s Epic Fantasy! Go check them! Who knows, maybe at some point there will be one of mine… probably towards the end of the year! 😉

I’m supposed to check on trains and other real life stuff, but the weather is so dreadful that I’m kind of happy to go home and write, LOL! Now I better go back to work and finish and mail the latest short… Have a great week! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And since I got four rejections in one day, I can now announce that Before Future Earth will come out in February and March, so one month earlier than originally programmed! The prequels are short books and the last will be an omnibus that contains all three – a very short trilogy! 😉

And last week I dived into the Shelved Novel That Couldn’t Be Written last year, so I’m on a roll. I wrote 12K and finally have a plan and a form of worldbuilding and a story to sustain it. It’s slightly different from the original idea, but I’m quite happy with how it’s shaping up. It’s intercontinental urban fantasy – if such a thing exists! 🙂 If not, I’m inventing it, LOL!

I’m not sure when it will be ready for public consumption, possibly in the second half of the year. I was stuck because I started working on it right before Covid hit us and wasn’t sure if I should set it before the pandemic or in the near future. I ended up chosing the present for reasons that will be clear when I publish it – I can always add prequels and sequels like I did with Future Earth Chronicles! 😉

The Love and Magic bundle was entered in the following promo for tomorrow, Feb. 4:

Calling all romance readers! It’s more than candy hearts, chocolates and flowers at N. N. Light’s Book Heaven Love and Romance Book Festival. 46 romance books featured plus a chance to win one of the following: Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card Enter to win a $25 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card Enter to win a $15 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card Enter to win a $10 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card I’m thrilled to be a part of this event. You won’t want to miss it. Bookmark this festival and tell your friends: https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/love-and-romance-book-festival

Interesting articles I read on the internets: why middle-aged men have trouble sustaining friendships. I’m not a middle-agen man, so why did I found it interesting? Because unlike the journalist’s wife, I hate the phone. So I’m very bad at sustaining in-person friendships. If I don’t do stuff with my friends, I tend to drift away.

I miss the creative weekends with Cristina. I miss going to workshops and conventions, even the crowded comicons that allowed me to be sociable for maybe one hour a day (I’m still 100% introvert and still hate crowded places). I don’t like the phone, even though video-calls were kind of a life-saver during lockdown (but my parents hate them, and I can’t blame them).

I’m good at keeping in touch with social media or email, but a complete disaster with the phone. I know people are busy, and always feel I’m intruding, especially on the phone. Because they all have families and/or pets, or a busy working life or whatever. I feel I’m the one who isn’t very busy compared to them, and I don’t want to disturb them, especially by phone.

In-person it’s different, they had taken the time to meet me, so we can talk! 🙂 One at a time, or I’d get confused and end up listening in a corner. That’s why I’m not too fond of gatherings. But if it’s coffee with just one friend, I’m very happy. And I hope I’ll be able to do some of this later this year, when we’ll be able to travel again and possibly to hug again. I’m not a hugger, but every now and then I need a hug! 😉

Some daydreaming to conclude the post. When I’ll be able to travel again, I want to visit my friends in Milan and Turin first, hopefully attend a wedding in Lucca and then I want to get out of Italy, again to visit friends and explore Europe. I don’t think I’ll make it across the Atlantic this year, still aiming for 2023 for that.

Like Abhay Deol said, 2021 better be better! So here’s to a quiet 2021, since January seems to have been quite hectic, especially in the US! 😀 May things calm down, the virus be defeated and all of us able to visit each other soon! Have a great week!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


I’m going to change the order of things in these posts and be a little more random from now on, since the yearly wordcount is no longer the Most Important Thing in the world. I know I’m prolific and can meet my goal, so I will update you, but not necessarily as the first thing in the post! 😉

So I’m going to start with this week’s publishing news! Lisa’s Odyssey is free today only, and only on Kindle.

And we have the last book of Future Earth Chronicles out! Rainbow concludes the series for now. I have the prequels ready, and I might publish them next month if I get a reply from a submitted story.

I will have to think about how to handle the prequels on the Amazon series page, but there’s still time. Meanwhile, here’s the blurb for Rainbow.

“Shit happens. Beautiful things happen. Go with the flow as much as you can.”

Fifteen years after the New Treaty, Raj takes the teenage Ahyoka on a pilgrimage to her father’s tomb with his airship, the Rainbow.

Has the Wanderlust Bug bitten him again or can he find love and peace somewhere, as Ahyoka’s foster father or when she becomes independent from him? Or will he fly off into the sunset with airship Rainbow, alone?

I read this article Robots Turn 100 – and Still Entrance Us and considered re-reading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, since it’s set in January 2021, but I’m a slow reader and no, I don’t have time for it. I’m not that fond of Dick! 😉 I might find the time to re-watch the movies set in 2021, but a book is another matter.

And again this week I wrote only a little over 8K, but I still consider myself between projects. I started two vampires stories, and didn’t finish them because they’re like the others I’ve written so far, and I mentioned I want to change and experiment more this year.

While I brainstormed ideas, I had the time to check my evolution as a writer, and I broke it down for you, so you can see I go through cycles and this time the shift is happening more or less in public. Here we go.

Teen years: mostly YA love stories although there was some SFF in the midst

1986-1991: science fantasy

1991-1995: medieval fantasy

1995-1998: m/m romance

1999-2001: no specific genre, a little bit of all of the above (except YA)

2001-2008: mostly screenplays (the Conquest of Hollywood that failed, mwhahahahaha!) and language switch (from Italian to English)

2009-2015: mostly fantasy (Silvery Earth is secondary world, mostly medieval fantasy and Star Minds Universe is science fantasy), all the books and series you’ve enjoyed so far. This blog started in 2009, the Indie Publishing Adventure in 2011. Most of those stories have wandering characters who are outcast, outsiders, outlaws, other for society and who are possibly trying to fit in or not.

What has been an experiment since 2015 is Future Earth Chronicles, the first series with numbered books. Still wandering characters, but on Earth, and their home is destroyed, so they cannot go back and must find another place to settle. And it’s now connected to Vampires Through the Centuries, but at this time I don’t feel like writing more of those. You’ll get Helios’s story as soon as I get it back from the proofreader because it’s done, but the rest is postponed.

Now, I was thinking I could do another series like FEC (numbered books et all), but I haven’t found a good idea yet. The shelved contemporary fantasy is probably a single book, not a trilogy, so we’ll see. I have a couple more ideas for Urban Fantasy worlds, but again, it might just be for short stories or novellas.

Meanwhile the Shared Worlds workshop resumed, so I might have to work on that one as well! And I’m waiting for my submitted stories to be either accepted or rejected, that too might be a way to steer me this way or that. If I sell a story, I might explore that world for more! 😉

That’s all for now… have a great week! 😀

Sunday Surprise


Words of wisdom, writers on writing, whatever you want to call it a monthly feature of this blog! 🙂 Here go the writers’ quotes!

I don’t believe in a zero-sum game for books. I believe EVERYONE should write a book, because every person who writes a book will buy and read far more books than they could ever produce, and in that way, we are a self-sustaining industry.

So there should be no competition among writers. It should be co-opetition, co-operating, co-marketing with people in your genre. We are stronger together.

This is certainly the way I have always run my creative business. It’s why I interview other writers on my podcast, feature them on my blog, tweet them on social media, and promote their books to my email lists.

But paid ads have changed things because we ARE now competing with each other. Pay-per-click ads are all about competing for keywords, upping a bid until you win, and then doing it again and again. Prices go up, your return gets sliced, and in the end, the advertisers come out on top.

Joanna Penn

Because, as a friend of mine once said, becoming a professional writer is easy (relatively speaking). Remaining one is hard.

Your job is to have a writing career, not to publish a single book. So be careful who you partner with over the years. Make sure that person, that company, the conglomerate is trustworthy. And if you can’t make sure of that, then guard yourself as best you can.

Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

Because, in truth, that’s the only way to survive the traditional publishing jungle. Even now. Even as the stories are starting to come out.

Because the change is just beginning. We have a whole lot of reckoning to go through yet. And I’m not sure we, as a culture, are ready for all of it, no matter how much I hope we are.

Just be honest with yourself as you move forward.

And good luck.

Kris Rusch

Bear with me here a sec. I promise this is going to get someplace that’s about the workshop eventually, all right? But let me start this bit by saying that a lot of writers seem to join critique groups because they want people to tell them what’s wrong with their work. That’s an understandable, but—in my probably not particularly humble opinion—deeply flawed approach.

The whole idea is just wrong-minded to begin with.

I mean, you can find beta readers to do that without being required to reciprocate by spending time cutting into someone else’s work, right? So, no, joining a critique group so you can have someone tear into your work is the wrong way to go. There is only one reason to be in a critique group as far as learning is concerned, and that reason is so you can get your hands on and break down as many raw manuscripts as you can. That’s right: The ability to deconstruct stories is the real reason to be in a group. That’s it. Sure, there are social values, and its nice to have people you can lean on when things are down. But when done right the real learning of a critique group is in deconstructing other writer’s stories so you can get better at deconstructing your own.

Ron Collins

When I was 16, I wrote to my favorite author, whose books are still a source of inspiration for me. Stephen R. Donaldson was kind enough to write me back. He gave me the best piece of writing advice I’ve ever gotten, although it took me almost 30 years to apply it. His advice was to apply the seat of my pants to the seat of my chair and write.

I’ve learned that writing consistently not only gets the job done but that the act of writing makes you a better writer, just like practicing dance makes you a better dancer. You can’t expect to be a good writer if you only practice once or twice a year or when you feel like it. Writing every day (or as close as you can manage) hones your writing muscles. It teaches you that the blank page is not an obstacle. It teaches you that you can write when you’re mildly sick, when you’re not in the best mood, and when the muses are giving you nothing but drivel. You sit and write like you go to work every day. It’s a job, and some days are better than others. Thankfully, with writing, you usually get at least one chance to go back and polish or even redo it, but you can’t do that until you get it on the page to begin with.

J. Elizabeth Vincent

If I thought about my brand I’d never write anything.

Second, it bears mentioning that I no longer write my ideas down. I used to. I used to hoard them like jewels until I realize they weren’t gems — they were bits of aquarium gravel. They’re dross, they’re dribble, they’re just a building material like dirt or concrete. Not valueless! But also not precious. Ideas ping my brain daily the way we’re all pelted by solar radiation. I submit ideas to Idea Thunderdome, and only those ideas that emerge victorious — by which I mean, they are persistent, like carpenter bees thumping against the window-glass — get to stay. And even then, I don’t write them down. If the idea is good, it will continue to percolate. It will bother me. It will live with me, lingering in my head like a beautiful or traumatic memory.

I usually have four or five of these ideas swirling around my head at any given time. Fireflies in a fucking jar. So, when it comes time to figure out what I want to write — I look at these effulgent little weirdos to see if there’s anything there, and if there is, I pluck it out, smash its glowy butt, and smear the bioluminescent innards onto my face like phosphorescent war paint.

Chuck Wendig

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote only 8K, but most of the weekend was spent editing after getting the manuscripts back from the editor. I’m kind of in-between projects as well, wrapping up a story and not sure if I want to continue what I had interrupted or start something else.

And I backed another sci-fi Kickstarter! 🙂 Yes, I might end up writing more sci-fi this year, and it won’t be in the Star Minds Universe. Or Future Earth Chronicles, for that matter. I wrote a hard SF story (still doing the rounds at traditional magazines) and I might explore that sort of future during the year.

I also somehow plan to write less and read more, LOL! Unfortunately, when I write a lot, I lose reading time (did I mention I’m a slow reader) to going through my own manuscripts, so… I will have to find a new balance this year. It might have to do with last year’s mess or my ever-changing moods or I’m evolving again as a writer, but I’m going to take it easy.

And here I’m saring Angela’s Tips for a Happier Writing Life, see if anything applies to you! 🙂 Also, you might want to start thinking long term. I definitely won’t be here in 50 years, but, like my friend’s, my writing might still be. So, where do you want to be long-term, say in 50 years?

The ten biggest literary stories of the year – a reminder of what 2020 was like. And a reminder that we’re still in the Technological Era… after sharing articles on GPT3, meet its artist brother, Dall-E, the OpenAI’s image generator. Ain’t it cool? I hope to integrate some of this tech in future sci-fi stories! 🙂

Now, I did mention I gave up on Goodreads long ago. It seems like this year a ton of bots have joined, so I reinstated the challenge questions. Despite that, friend requests keep coming with that “hi 51XXXXX” I don’t know where they got from. Sorry, “friends”, if you want to connect with me, it’s not on Goodreads that you’ll find me.

I should probably clean my friends list over there like I did with my Facebook private profile, quietly deleting people I never hear from and not accepting new friends unless we met in meatspace. Except I can’t be bothered going on Goodreads anymore, so I’ll just leave those people hanging and ignore them. Sorry.

Follow me on Bookbub instead, and I might soon share a reading recommendation (if it’s in their system, since I’m not very good at adding books that are not mine on that platform, LOL!). If you’re still following Audiblegate because you have audio books with them, here’s an update. Wishing you a wonderful week! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


The first writing week of the year ended with 11K written, even though I spent Sunday morning drawing Da Muse for his birthday! 🙂 I also used that time to think about the stories I was writing (because they’re entwined at the moment, so I kept jumping back and forth between them for most of the week), but decided not to change the current plot.

I also rearranged the side-bar of this very blog, adding the “follow me on Bookbub” button and moving things around a little. I also had a small trouble with the publisher’s site, but my Awesome Webmaster solved the problem of the failed plug-in in under a minute, or so he said! 😉

And of course, I hit the publish button on Future Earth Chronicles Book 11! Please welcome back Luke, who first appeared in Book 4 as vampire food in the alien facility under Mount Kailash… and see where this books takes him! 🙂 Being a sapling’s symbiont is not as bad as it sounds.

Luke got his microchips back and bonded with Xex, the alien sapling who came back with the Mothership. Now he must gather the Rainbow Towns security robots with his symbiont to face a new threat: a gathering of Asian vampires.

His life changed when the wanderers freed him from Daniel and the alien facility, and now it’s about to change again.

Book 12 (Mighty Editor’s favorite) will be out in two weeks, so stay tuned! 🙂

If you want free (or cheap) books, subscribe to IASFA – there’s currently a batch of military sci-fi on offer and more to come. “Each month we’re spotlighting works by hundreds of SciFi and Fantasy authors. Every book will be available for free during the promotion. Don’t miss a single one. Get on the list.”

I checked, and not all were free yet, but one was at 99c on Kindle and after trying the sample I bought it anyway (it was free everywhere else, just not on Amazon, and I can’t download mobi from Smashwords anymore). I also downloaded more samples on KK, so my TBR list is growing again, sigh. I’ll never get to the new Kindle, LOL!

And a new bundle is out! Fantasy romance, so if you fancy that, go check it. It includes “Beautiful” from yours truly – a Sleeping Beauty retelling as m/m romance more about the happily ever after than the before. The Love an Magic Bundle is available at the usual suspects!

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In other news I had to comment on Dean’s post My Novel… since that’s what I usually ask about MY books! 😀 Especially before becoming a mysanthrope who doesn’t like to go out, I happened to tell my friends about the stories I were writing at random moments, and whenever they saw me again, they politely asked “How’s your book?” to which I stared blankly at them and asked “Which one?” Perks (?) of being too prolific, I guess.

And Kris’s post on Audio (2020 in Review) worth checking especially for the last part, or how artists have braved the pandemic and reorganized themselves. My audio sales have flatlined and I don’t know when I’ll have the money or the inclination to do more of them, and I’m still considering other venues for the strips.

If you watched Space 1999, raise your hand and I’ll high-five you. I know most of you weren0t even born when the TV series aired (including Tori), but you might have caught up with some reruns in the 20th century. I backed this Kickstarter and received my ebook copy with intro from Barbara Bain (who, for me, is Dr. Helena Russell of Space 1999, I didn’t see many episodes of the Mission Impossible TV show of the 1960s, but I definitely saw all of Space 1999, in Italian AND French). I got the PDF for now, since I can’t upload to KK, but I want to start reading it! 🙂

I might use my vacation time to program just that (the art part, not the audio part, sorry), finding another venue for the strips. I’m considering Tapas that allows also novels, especially episodic ones (like many of mine are). But I need to have a clear mind, which isn’t something I have yet.

Recovering from the Holiday Season is taking longer both because of what’s happening in the world (especially US and UK) and because I’m no longer young and full of dreams, but – since I’m here and now – I guess I’m meant to go through this mess and emerge victorious, or at least alive! 😀

So I’m not making too many programs just yet, taking one step at a time and keeping going. If you’d like to subscribe to my newsletter, there’s a link on the publisher’s page, I still haven’t studied how importing (from my old Mailchimp account, for example) works on WordPress. I won’t start sending it out until I have at least ten people subscribed.

I know there’s no free story just yet, but that’s another thing to do sometime this year. Be patient, and hopefully I’ll manage to do everything! 🙂 Meanwhile, have a great week! 🙂

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