Random Friday


I will try to condense this in a shorter review, but I wanted to talk about 21 lessons for the 21st century. I think everybody should read it, young or old. Especially teens and their teachers (or home-schooling parents) – and writers. Especially SF writers, but also all kinds of storytellers.

It does help to make sense of where were heading – or not heading if we don’t pay attention. I’ll stop screaming “It’s the apocalypse, waaah!” and start repeating “No, it’s not that. Truth is, l just don’t understand what’s going on in the world.” instead.

You will need an open mind, of course. He debunks myths and conspiracy theories alike. He cites The Matrix, Truman Show and even Huxley’s Brave New World.

He has a letter for a teenager of today. He explains myths and stories we tell each other and ourselves. l have been aware of the lies l tell myself that tend to become truths for at least 20 years now, so l can confirm his thesis.

He made me want to read his other books, but now I’ll take a break and read something lighter because it gave me a lot of food for thought.

He also gives good advice to sci-fi writers on how to imagine the future. Yes, I started reading it to help with my Future Earth Chronicles, but if found it fascinating in many other ways, giving me answers to questions I had.

Of course he doesn’t have all the answers, but he will make you think, and then you can come up with what works for YOU. Because, like for writing, what works for me or him, might not work for you or anyone else.

I don’t know if I understand myself and the world better now, but I feel better knowing I’m not the only one confused and scared by these quick changes. Yes, I know life is change, but things are going way too fast for my comfort – but I’m an old lady with half a century of stories on her shoulders, it will take time to take off some infrastructure!

If you’re young, you might find it easier. Or maybe not. Maybe you’re happy to be a slave of the algorithms for the time being. I still don’t know if I love or hate all this tech. I still can’t see a future. I’m probably still too deep in my Future Earth Chronicles after a non-nuclear apocalypse to fully recover hope.

But I still recommend this book to everyone! 🙂 Happy reading!

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Writer Wednesday


Last week I wrote 12K and I’ve reached 3/4 of Book 5 while Mighty Editor is preparing Book 3 for publication. I hope to get done by the end of the week so I can revise all three at the same time before hitting that “publish” button (well, pre-order button, with manuscript).

I swear this future Earth keeps changing under me, LOL! But Book 5 completes a cycle, so I’ll take a break before continuing the exploration with other, younger characters. I’ll let Bel and Raj live happily ever after for a few years after their awesome feat! 🙂

I’m sure the Wanderlust Bug will bit Raj again at some point, but Bel is definitely not going anywhere after this journey. She’s fifty and tired of wandering! But Raj is younger and more active, so… he’ll be off again. That story might be quite into the future, though, so things will probably have changed again. Sigh. But that’s the fun of worldbuilding, even if it’s our planet, right? Here’s to the future! 😀

Now switching genres… and author! 🙂

Do you like dragons that can get human shape (much like the Fajrulo of Silvery Earth, I daresay! 😉 )? Then you must back up this Kickstarter. I have read at least one book of Dragon’s Destiny because it was in my first bundle and I highly recommend the series!

Yes, here she is, and that’s the book I’ve read and it ended up in that year’s recommended reading! She’s a wonderful person and I hope to meet her again somewhere out there in the future… so here’s your pitch again, in case you didn’t bother clicking on the link above:

Do you love dragons? Not the fierce “I want to eat you” kind of dragons, but a distinctive race of ancient, intelligent beings. If so, then I’ve got a story to tell you! The last story in a trilogy of books about a family of dragon shape-shifters.

Seriously, what’s not to love? Dragon-shifters! Romance! Danger! Betrayal! MORE Romance! And…

DRAGONS!!

Who doesn’t want to read about (and fall in love with!) DRAGONS?

Make a pledge (and get some awesome rewards!) and help me publish this tale!

Not able to make a monetary pledge? No worries! You can still help fund “Dragons’ Destiny.” Tweet the link to this Kickstarter out to the world!

I really appreciate your support. And so do Luag and Eibhlinn! They’ve been waiting (none too patiently, I might add) for me to tell their story.

And as we all know … it’s never a good idea to disappoint a DRAGON!

To pledge, go here! And happy reading! 😉

Oh, and if you’re an indie or hybrid writer, you might want to back this other Kickstarter – the Intellectual Property Tracker! I will stick to my spreadsheets (submissions, bibliography and wordcount) for a little longer, since I’m still pretty much in the red… but yes, if you’re as prolific as I am, you probably need this! 😀 Have a great week!

Happiness is…


Random Friday


Haven’t been doing much, so I’m posting the Words of Wisdom, Writers on Writing, whatever you want  to call them, and happy new writing year! 🙂

Keep your ear to the ground. You can’t just hide out in your writing cave. Remember, the market changes. You need to be able to alter course if necessary, so stay informed of what’s happening in the industry, what other authors are doing, what the book trends are, etc. That doesn’t mean you jump on everything that comes your way, but you need to be aware of it. Don’t be the last one to catch the train.

Pay it forward!!! Support your fellow authors. Buy their books. Review their books. Share their releases and successes with your followers. I can’t tell you how many opportunities have come my way because of friendships with other authors. It takes a village to build a successful writing career, and your fellow authors are your village.

Cara Bristol

I love to write. A lot of you love to write, I bet. But, as with any love, there are days you hate it. Some days, writing feels like endless toil. There are days when writing acts distant for no apparent reason, because writing can be a passive-aggressive jerk. Writing is the sort of lover who breaks up with you, then slinks in naked while you’re taking a shower, like nothing happened. You’ll stay up all night with writing and regret it when you have to go to work in the morning. There’ll even be times when you’re trying to focus on something else, but writing won’t stop talking to you no matter how politely you ask.

Simply put, writing is an asshole. Writing steals your money and spends it on stupid things, like another gimmicky book on how to write better, and then it acts like it bought that book for both of you. Writing will take you to heaven and back all day long, but the next morning it’ll be gone without even leaving a note.
Because writing is love, and love is hell.

Robyn Bennis

Writing is something you do alone. It’s a profession for introverts who want to tell you a story but don’t want to make eye contact while doing it.

– John Green

If you are the kind of writer who can write the same thing over and over again and not get bored, then you might be able to develop the kind of brand loyalty that Child is talking about.

I can’t. I don’t want to repeat myself. So even though I know what he did is very smart, it’s not something I can or will replicate. I have to plan my own brand work around that decision.

That said, I am much more interested in building brand loyalty than I am in building customer loyalty. I didn’t have the words for this until I started this series.

I don’t want people to buy my books because they’re discounted or because I keep offering better and better variations of a good deal. I want people to buy my books because they enjoy my books.

Kris Rusch

Impostor Syndrome is real. Flip the script on it. Don’t let it have power over you. Admit you’re an impostor. Then admit that we’re all impostors — none of us belong here because art and story are forbidden, interstitial places. This thing we do is Buccaneer’s Den, it’s Mos Eisley, it’s a secret moon colony. Not a one of us “belongs” here. We all booked illegal passage through blackest night and sharky waters to get here. We’re not one ship, we’re countless life-boats strung together — a glorious flotilla of freaks.

This is who we are. It’s what we do. And what we do is sometimes hard. It’s hard for me. It’s hard for you. It’s hard for Stephen King. It’s hard for J.K. Rowling. King probably thinks that Rowling does it effortlessly, and Rowling probably thinks King sails through every draft, and the truth is, it’s hard for them, for you, for me, for every penmonkey that ever done monkeyed with a pen.

When a story reads effortlessly, it was not written effortlessly. In fact, the more effortlessly it reads, the more effort probably went into making it read effortlessly.

It took work.

Chuck Wendig

Writer Wednesday


Hope your year started better than mine! On the publishing side, covers were giving problems. Kobo had a glitch so covers didn’t appear in the dashboard – but they were present in the Kobo store. Amazon had the opposite problem! Cover showing in the dashboard and Look Inside, but NOT on the ebook page in the shop. How is one supposed to sell a book that doesn’t show its cover?

Sigh. And it was an experiment with KDP Select. When I don’t enroll the books in KU, the covers appear immediately… I ended up re-uploading and changing slightly the title and it went fine. So, Star Minds Lone Wolves Shorts is available on Amazon only at least until March.

I’ll keep going with this experiment for three months, unless it works, in which case it will remain an Amazon Exclusive. But fear not, oh reader-who-hates-Amazon! Those stories are reprints, and available in other collections that are widely distributed, so you won’t miss anything! 😉

And Mumbai Dreams is available for pre-order. It will come out on India’s Republic Day, like the much hyped Bollywood movies it’s inspired from. It’s set in 2049, with some celebrity kids involved…

About Writing, well, 12K down. Halfway through book 5 of Future Earth Chronicles, maybe this week I’ll finish a first draft so I can check them all together that I didn’t contraddict myself, LOL!

Oh, and I finally signed the contract for that sale from 2017… I’m in very good company and I hope to be able to tell you more soon! Stay tuned! 😉

And I agree with Chuck Wendig – in 2019: persist, persist, persist! I’m definitely trying to hit that wordcount again, it’s not the writing that worries me! 😉 But as my newsletter subscribers have learned, that goes on the back burner for now.  I don’t have the energy for weekly emails as suggested by the Newsletter Ninja.

That’s why I suggested subscribers “if you want to hear from me, follow this blog and its rants, if you don’t already” (which some people already do, thank you so much). I don’t have a timeline for my success, but it’s too hard to keep up at this time in my life. I’ll catch up! 😉

In the meantime, I’ll just write… so if I suddenly restart publishing 25 titles a year like I did from 2011 to 2017, you will know I have some energy back! 😉 Have a great week!

Happiness is…


Random Friday


So, I’m going to stay a little longer on last year. After doing the accounting (which is always depressing, by the way, but I need to do it every year to check how it’s going and if it’s worth keeping going), let me tell you that last year’s best seller was Pilot (Star Minds Lone Wolves 2). People loved Shanell. Icy Aya came second because she was also in the Sci-Fi July Redux bundle.

The bestselling book in a bundle is Beautiful, though. I’m still working on the illustration for the paperback, and I hope this year to publish it. It’s fun to draw Kerrien and Rithvik in a Chibi-style and it’s a shame I can’t color them, but the book with interior color illustration would be way too expensive. Maybe one day I’ll do a collector’s edition in color, but first I need to finish the b&w version! 🙂

And I’ve been reading 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, which is really interesting, although it’s kinda adding to my new year’s depression, LOL! But it’s really useful to put some historical backbone to the Future Earth Chronicles and when my TBR pile goes down a little I hope to buy Harari’s other books.

I’m also reading a book on Cyberwar but it’s written in second person and it’s almost irritating, like the author is talking down to me. I understand it’s something “for dummies” (not in the official series, it’s a book in Italian for people who know even less than me, obviously), and every now and then I find things that can be useful to make more credible hackers, but still…

Well, if my hackers improve, you’ll notice. I’ve done my best so far with Hariel, Jes-syd, Alain and Shani (who will soon meet more hackers on Future Earth, stay tuned, we got male, female and even transgender hacker in the future!) but I’m not a computer expert, only a user, so I’ll simply try to avoid the worst mistakes (pointed out also in Putting The Science in Fiction, BTW).

And that’s all for this week! I shall leave you with all the novelties at Draft2Digital last year, although I haven’t tried them all yet – and possibly never will, but I won’t say never! Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


On Sunday I had a panicky moment. Here’s what I posted on my private Facebook profile:

End of the year panic. A revised story vanished from Dropbox. Laptop said document no longer existed.
In my backup I had deleted the file – I had worked on it from Laptop and not on Dropbox. Fishing it in the recycle bin saved the day. Tears ready to flow out are gone.
Resaved on the Dropbox version and even printed it for a final read before a January publication (as soon as Wendigo sends me the cover art, that is!).
Feeling much better now. Will go back to Future Earth Chronicles after lunch, though! Phew!

Yeah, I had to do some Bubble Witch Saga to calm down, switch on laptop again after checking there was no trace of the edits on writing netbook, and retrieve the file – December 2018 version. Dropbox had the August version still. I probably picked the wrong file (from Documents on Laptop instead of Dropbox) when I started working on it and was surprised not to find the document with the new title – doh! It was on Dropbox!

Anyway, HAPPY NEW YEAR! Last week I added 2520 words to the above story as well as Future Earth Chronicles Books 3 and 4 and started on Book 5 for a grand total of 9K – which brings the 2018 final wordcount to +537K. Very happy with this result! Now here’s to duplicating it this year, LOL!

Last couple of days to get 10 novels for 5$, then the Sci-fi July Redux bundle will be gone forever! Don’t miss this opportunity! And if you prefer audiobooks, someone is giving away free coupons. I still can’t wrap my mind on listening to someone talk instead of reading, so I’ll pass – but I promise I’ll try to set up a couple of audios this year, just not in January! 😉

I’ll also probably take Dean’s challenge again, the short stories one this time, but I want to finish this cycle of Future Earth Chronicles (i.e. the first 5 books, there’s probably 5 more with other characters) first! 😀 I really need to write more short stories, so the challenge is an excellent way of forcing myself to do it – and if some of them span novellas or novels… well, even better, right?

New Years’ plans next week, although I already mentioned them before… in the meantime, have a great week and a WONDERFUL 2019! Happy writing, reading or whatever is your preferred pastime! 🙂

 

 

Happiness is…


Random Friday


I managed to watch all the new DVDs, but I still have a couple on my ToWatch shelf. I was keeping them for when I’ll be able to write the story of my centurion vampire, but maybe I should just watch them and then re-watch them whenever I feel like writing about him – although, I killed him off… mm, one more reason to watch those two Ancient Rome movies, then! 🙂

Anyhow, I saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Just a reminder that I’m NOT a Harry Potter fan – haven’t read the books, haven’t seen the movies. I had glimpsed it on a plane, but then Techie Bro said he was looking for it, I saw it at 5euros (well, 3DVD for 15euro, so I got that one, Deadpool and Suicide Squad) and ended up watching it.

Totally oblivious of where it came from, although I had the vague idea it was based on a book (actually, a guide book, but I digress. The screenplay was written by The JK Herself, so it’s as if) and suspected it dealt with the little sorcerer’s world when I heard Hogwarth mentioned in the opening, but well… it was okay. At least it was a grownup young man, not a child going to wizard school! 🙂

I’m still sorta tired of those special effects that tear down buildings and put them back together, but the creatures were fine. Funny even. And I watched the making of cause I was curious about the effects behind them. So it was okay, I might watch the sequel! 😉

Then I got Black Panther since I was curious. And yeah, it was good fun and another one of the last cameos of the late Stan Lee. Loved all the black characters and of course Michael B. Jordan has grown a lot since Hardball, but I couldn’t watch him in Fantastic Four, so glad I got to see him here! 🙂

I guess that’s all for this year… I’ll watch the last two DVDs next year, they’ve been sitting on my shelf for at least two years anyway, along with the TV mini-series V (1985) that I bought way back in 2008 in London… not in a rush, no! 😀 Have a great weekend!

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