Happiness is…

Wednesday Weekly Roundup

Last week I wrote almost 6K, but again, I was able to write only from Friday afternoon. Now I should be able to be back writing daily, since I finished reading for the workshop, yay! Back to the Star Minds Universe, although I might not wrap everything up before I leave – but you’ll have something coming out in March, don’t worry! 🙂

Since I’m done reading for the workshop, I started a non-fiction book I bought last summer in Edinburgh. I’ll need it for that story I have post-poned writing and I found out it’s actually perfect for Black History Month! Medieval Africa 1250 – 1800 is currently showing me that black slave trade was actually started by the Arabs long before Europeans managed to colonize Africa.

My wandering Norse vampire will probably go to the Mali Empire and sail with that emperor who vanished with his ships long before Columbus reached the New World. And he will definitely find his way back to this side of the world, since he even survived the apocalypse! 🙂

And I got another couple of rejections. It’s the third year in a row that I submit to those anthologies, and this time the reply included this note:

While we enjoyed reading the story, we have decided to pass on including it in the anthology where it was submitted.  Please keep in mind that we had over 1400 submissions and we accepted 22 stories total, so competition was tough.

Wow. Talk about competition! I guess that market will be tougher to crack from now on! One more waiting for results, as well as the coming up Anthology Workshop, then I better start sending out stuff again! 😉 I will try to be optimist and keed trying!

The publisher’s page is now safe! (or at least the home page is, doesn’t seem to work on the other pages) I asked my Awesome Webmaster to add the https to it. Eventually it will have a shop (not this year, not the next, but it’s in the future), so that’s always good. Especially with major retailers and publishers bailing on Amazon, so eventually I’ll do it too.

I should start working on the promised paperbacks, but will probably do when I come back and prepare the publishing schedule for the coming months. Stay tuned for more Lone Wolves and a makeover of the contemporary titles along with a new one. Then I’ll either go back to Silvery Earth or go with the new series. We’ll see.

And I would like to publicly thank Brit Marling for her awesome article about the strong female lead. There was always something that bugged me in the Hero’s Journey, and now I know what or why. That’s also why I don’t really write that kind of story, because I’m not interested in any of it.

So here’s to hope more women write stories for women that don’t have Lara Croft types of heroines! 🙂 Or, which might be fun, someone actually writes the Lady Hero’s Journey! 😉

Last couple of days for the Celebrating Male Lovers bundle… get it now! Leaving you with the usual writerly quote… have a great week!

We make something good, a blintz, a story, by having worked at blintzmaking or storywriting till we’ve learned how to do it.

With a blintz, the process is fairly routine. With stories, the process is never twice the same. Even a story written to the most prescriptive formula, like some westerns or romances, can be made poorly, or made well.

Making anything well involves a commitment to the work. And that requires courage: you have to trust yourself. It helps to remember that the goal is not to write a masterpiece or a best-seller. The goal is to be able to look at your story and say, Yes. That’s as good as I can make it.

Ursula K. Le Guin


Happiness is…

Wednesday Weekly Roundup

Last week I wrote 6K during the weekend only since I’m still reading madly during the week. Saturday morning was spent researching and brainstorming, but I couldn’t find the story, so I decided to write what I know and leave that story for some other time, when I can ponder it longer. Not sure I’ll send it to the anthology it’s meant for, but the deadline is March 31, so plenty of time to think about it.

Here you have an interesting article on science fiction and fantasy magazines. Although I do submit to them, I also look for specific anthologies or other venues, that usually have a Kickstarter or a Patreon to support them. I lost count of the rejections from Clarkesworld and I did try Asimov and Analog! 😉

During the weekend I wrote a couple more stories of my new series. Not sure yet if it’s going to be a novel that can be serialized or a batch of short stories that can become a novel. I’m still worldbuilding and adding stuff, so I have no idea. And if single shorts sell to trad mags, even less hurry in finishing it! 😉 I have submitted one and it was already rejected, still waiting on another two.

Now I’m back to reading, since I have two more anthos or more than 80 stories to read before I leave for the workshop. Hopefully I’ll finish in advance and I’ll have time to write some words and catch up on my wordcount… otherwise, I’ll have to do it in March! 😉

I’m also getting ideas for more collaboration anthologies, so hopefully in March I’ll prepare a couple… meanwhile, the Celebrating Male Lovers is having its final run at a discounted price. Grab it now before it’s gone. It’s the bundle that was out there for longer, since I usually took them down after six to eight months. This has been going for two years! 🙂

I don’t think I’ll do any more bundles, but more collaboration anthologies, definitely. And I might be picked up for more bundles on BundleRabbit, but I have only one pending request at the moment and I don’t know when the curator will work on it. And one day maybe I’ll get on StoryBundle, but we’ll see! 🙂

In case you’re on Facebook and you’re a reader, I’m trying to revive my author’s group. I had started it by adding a couple of friends (including Tori), but nobody actually gave a damn. Then two new people joined, and I thought, Why not? Someone mentioned she’s very active on Facebook with her readers, so I’m going to give it a try. Join the conversation, if interested. Unlike Patreon, it’s free! 😀

I also posted the Sunday strip on Saturday… damn Instagram that doesn’t allow scheduling! 😦 And since I’m kind of stuck with the second strip, I’m already considering the next… although maybe not. We’ll see. Not willing to redraw Me and Da Muses, LOL!

Still changing my mind every five minutes. I might have developed a hummingbird brain, haha! Those ideas are bouncing kitten screaming “Pick me! Pick me! Oh pick me!” like Donkey in Shrek. And it’s hard to make a priority list when nobody cares what I put out next, haha!

Glad I have my editor and proofreader booked and I need something to send her on the requested dates… I don’t mind toying with covers and formatting, it’s the launch and marketing that just flat depresses me. I’ll need to talk with my webmaster as well at some point, since there are way too many spambots on the publisher’s site, leaving unreadable comments.

Travel plans for when I come back from the workshop, though. Publishing plans as well. As well as starting to seriously decluttering the house (something I’ve pretended to do in the past months) and re-educate myself to do another job, because the DayJob is going to give me another nervous breakdown, like in 2012.

So I need to get rid of it, but can’t count on royalties to pay the bills, it would take the fun out of writing. Hence my studying other options as well as other places where I’d like to live. Another summer like the last one and I might not survive in the Roman heat! 😦

Sometimes I’m so sick of adulting that I consider convents and nunneries. Even less responsibilities than co-housing, haha! But my vocation died out years ago, so it’s probably not an option. Oh, well…

And it’s Infinite Bard time again! Hop there for the 24th free story! 😉 Leaving you with the weekly writer’s quote… have a great week!

It’s very bad advice because there exists this occasional movement toward severe austerity cuts inside fiction, as if every bit of prose should be cut down to the bone, and then the bone whittled to a spear that can be thrust cleanly through the reader’s heart. There’s nothing wrong with austerity in prose, if it’s what you seek and if it’s what the story demands. There’s also nothing wrong with adding fat to the prose in the form of descriptive language. One’s voice as an author and in terms of the book you’re writing is useful, even vital, to preserve; I often note that originality in fiction is utter bullshit, except in the area where it really matters, which is to say, YOU. You, the author, are the one original component that can be brought to a story. Your ideas. Your fears. Your preferred arrangement of elements. And, obviously, your voice.

Chuck Wendig

Happiness is…

Wednesday Weekly Roundup

Last week I managed to write only 5400words, most of them during the weekend. I had to start reading for the  anthology workshop, and even though I’m currently able to do it at work, having to read 282 stories by Feb.19 means my writing time is reduced. So I’m writing on weekends only until I’m done reading.

After reading David Farland’s accountability post, I thought I’d ask you guys if you wanted an Accountability Sarge. I can set up a Team Wordcount spreadsheet where you can jot down your yearly goal and add your weekly wordcount along with mine… and if I see you’ve not been writing for a few weeks with no particular reason, I’ll go all Dean on you and kick you out! 😉

My offline writers group lasted quite a lot (and a few of them are probably still meeting), but I had enough of them long before it split. I joined in 2005 and it helped me gaining confidence writing in a second language, but it was very frustrating, since I was the only one constantly writing.

In 2015 I joined a mailing list that kept track of wordcount (previously used only to keep count of titles published), but since 2019, when that list folded, I’ve been keeping track on my own. Tried to add a couple of friends, but guess what? They dropped out pretty quickly. Sigh.

So if anyone is interested, either contact me or leave a comment, and I’ll add you to the Google doc. Weekly wordcount is due Sunday night wherever you are in the world. The Google doc will be held privately among the members so we can cheer each other on.

About that sale I announced last week, at the moment I can only point you at the publisher’s site. My story (set in Ancient Greece at the original Olympic Games) will be in Tales From Beyond Tomorrow: Volume 3.



As soon as I know more about this anthology to celebrate the Tokyo Olympics of 2020, I will let you know! 🙂 But there will be excerpts somewhere, so stay tuned…

In between reading, I’m brainstorming what I will write next – new series, finish Lone Wolves stories, more Silvery Earth. Looking forward to March, write-wise, LOL! I’m also considering what courses I could follow – writing newsletters, truly learning Photoshop, learning DAZ Studio? So many options… I’ll also have to put together some readers’ magnet and sign up for Book Funnel.

Still not sure about restarting a newsletter, though. Unless I come back fully recharged after a week in the company of professional writers who surely have great advice even on that, LOL! We’ll see. Now I better go back to… reading, sigh! Have a great week!

Writing ought to be a growth activity. You ought to be thinking that every story you write is standing on the shoulders of what you learned from writing the earlier ones. You don’t worry a ton about the older stuff because what you’re writing now is better. The newest story comes from a more experienced, more practiced writer.

Work on a new story.

James Van Pelt


Happiness is…

Sunday Surprise

And it’s a guest! Another wonderful indie author! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Audrey Rich!

Where do you live and write from?

I live and write in Sunny South Florida in the USA but I’m originally from New York City.

Why do you write?

My soul calls me to write and my characters definitely beg for their stories to be written.

When did you start writing?

I’ve always loved to write and put together stories in my head but I earnestly began to write in 2011 after one late night I opened up Word and the words spilled from my fingers. There wasn’t even an inkling that I would choose to become a writer.

But it was an answer to a prayer for a career change that led me to embark on my writing adventure until the moment the characters came to life in my head and the words appeared on the screen and the writing bug burrowed itself into my heart.

What genre(s) do you write?

Currently I write YA, NA, and Dystopian Contemporary Romances as well as Fairytale retellings and I’m co-authoring a Sci-Fi story about aliens with a friend.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Definitely an improviser (pantser) but I can follow someone else’s outline. Depends on what is going on in my life. My debut novel was completed in three months so not too slow but there are times that it takes me forever to write a word.

Tell us about your latest book

My latest book, Queen of Mermaids, is the first of four books, which is Season 2 of the Kingdom of Fairytales series will be released on January 29th 2020.

It’s the after the happily-ever-after of The Little Mermaid. My character is Princess Blaise, daughter of The Little Mermaid and she’s a proud member of the Anti-Mermaid League. The irony of it all.

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

Indie publishing because despite having an acquiring editor who liked my writing and the plot of my first book, I decided that I wanted complete control of my publishing career. I wouldn’t mind working with a traditional publisher in the future when I would have more control but for now managing my own books and career works for me.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Definitely many projects that need to be polished and written but I believe I will focus on the stories from my YA series that will lead to my NA/adult Contemporary Romances because these characters’ stories need to be written.

I working on the final edits of Igniting Our Love and finish writing Denying Our Love, which are both part of my A Stonehaven High Series.

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

My goal is to continue improving how I tell my stories by writing every single day.

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

The best piece of advice is to write what your heart and soul call you to write instead of trying to ride the trends that are popular at the moment.


Find Audrey online








Wednesday Weekly Roundup

Last week I wrote my 10K and I hope to be able to do the same this week and the coming ones, but I have a lot of reading to do. I doubt l’ll be writing much, but l’ll catch up in March.

I got my first three rejections, but also one acceptance, so the year has started well! Soon I’ll tell you everything about this upcoming anthology – as soon as I know more myself!

Did you see the Backstage Pass last Sunday? That’s my hobby, sort of! 😉 I often say that I’m a professional writer and a hobbyist artist, don’t I? And even if you are a writer (or anything else, for that matter), consider a new hobby (if you don’t already have one): it might help your career.

12 free graphic design tools for authors by David Gaughran. I was very impressed by the background removers, I didn’t even know they existed! I’ll keep using my old Photoshop 7.0, but I bookmarked Book Brush and 3D Cover Creator for future use. Or I’ll just keep using the Covervault templates, although my old Photoshop won’t read those files but I have also Photoshop Elements 10, so I can work with that. We’ll see.

Joanna Penn and Orna Ross predictions for the next decade! Listen to the podcast or read the transcript (like I do, LOL!). Looking forward to when AI voices will allow us to have multiple narrators (like, in an anthology, each author has his or her voice)! Not for this year, though! 🙂

Or you can check Smashwords 2019 Year in Review and 2020 Preview as well as Mark Coker’s predictions for 2020… lot of stuff going on, isn’t it? 😉 The future is here, let’s embrace it! 🙂

And it’s the Infinite Bard time again! Go check the new story! And here goes the weekly quote… Have a great week!

Our job is to kick all those stinky ghosts from our training all out of the office, then let our two-year-old who hasn’t been trained yet by all the critical nature of our world out to play on that white screen. The two-year-old lives in all of us.

I call it the creative voice.

And over the years that creative voice has learned story, has learned more writing skills than you can ever imagine consciously that you know. Why? Because that creative voice has been absorbing story almost from day one.

But our critical voice has one job and that is to make up stuff that could go wrong and control the creative voice, not let it use stuff that the critical voice doesn’t yet know. Because that might be dangerous.

So there is a constant battle for most writers starting out. And for early writers, the critical voice always wins.

For long-time professionals, the creative voice always wins.

See the battle there? The path you need to travel?

The creative voice is where all our art lives. And it likes to play. It doesn’t like rules. Have you ever been around a two-year-old child? They challenge everything. Parents’ job to be the critical voice, to train that child in the ways of society.

So one of the best paths to becoming a long-term fiction writer is learn to control the critical voice, shut it out of all writing decisions, and let the creative voice out to play.

Dean Wesley Smith


Happiness is…

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