Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote another 12K and I hope to wrap this book this week. Already I know I have to change something in the following book, so I’ll have to print them both out and do the adjustments before getting to the last book. A final re-reading of all the books after the Mighty Editor checks for typo faeries and other inconsistencies.

So, my latest drama (while I wait for WordPress to change everything, moan!) is about the Lone Wolves Team. Saturday I went to upload the third and last book, and while checking on the KDP dashboard I realized there was a typo on the cover! Not just on the latest book, but also on the previous 2, because I used the same template and simply changed the mission numbers!

ARGH! You’d think someone at the retailers might have noticed the typo, but nooooooooooooo, not even Apple noticed it via D2D! So last week was the week of redoing covers and adjusting titles, since in a previous Lone Wolves Team book I had mispelled the mission numbers on KDP only, which I noticed when I saw the wrong title on Bookbub. Sigh.

Anyhow, the last Lone Wolves Team book is out! In two weeks the full collection and then a couple more Star Minds Universe titles to get us into July. And since it will be Sci-Fi July again, there might be more things coming your way, even if I’m not going to worldcon (because it’s in New Zealand, not just because of Covid, LOL!).

The latest Happiness is was also on display on my DA profile – before Eclipse. One more reason to give up that site. It’s also one of the last, and like I said sometime last year, this is the last rotation. I’m not taking them offline, but they’ve been cycling for 10 years, so I guess it’s enough. If I make a new vignette, I’ll post it here anyway! 🙂

I might also repost them on Instagram, when the latest strip is over (although it would still be @Barbstrips, since there’s already an Official Happiness Is over there). It’s only 40 strips, and I have some 150 happiness vignettes… so they might become the Sunday Vignette instead of the Sunday Strip! 😀 Meanwhile I’m halfway the Star Minds Kids and Teens over there… and will have to finish coloring and lettering within the next two weeks!

I will definitely try to remind myself there are reasons for happiness in this crazy world of ours. I’m posting a picture of me and some of the awesome non-white people I met in my life, from my school years in international Geneva to my latest travels across the world.

Red, Yellow, Brown and Black. No names, no places, but some of them are still great friends. This batch of pics covers Europe, North America and Asia – haven’t been to Africa or Oceania yet. Love ya all, even the ones I met only online – one day we’ll meet and we’ll laugh at the madness that 2020 was.

I’m sort of glad I didn’t actually start a business yet. And I sure hope that it will be easier to do it after this, even if this overly complicated country. I still plan on retiring/quitting Day Job in a couple of years, so I have time to study what’s going on and what the new normal will be.

I guess I’m meant to live through this “passage” for our planet and civilizations, and I’m almost certain we’ll make it through. Things look rough in the US at the moment, and I hope everything will end well for everyone. Here are 35 Pics Showing The Other Side Of The George Floyd Protests That The Mainstream Media Is Reluctant To Share to bring back hope.

In Italy smart working is killing businesses all over the place, but new ones will grow out of it, if we manage to adapt quickly. Yesterday I was scanning old pics on Agfa films for a cover… who remembers them? What happened to Kodak and Agfa when cameras went digital? We’re highly adaptable people, so I’m sure we’ll get through this.

I enclose a couple of guides for white people to help in this situation. Save the Tears: White Woman’s Guide and White Guyde to the Galaxy (for men). As for the books suggested-reading, I’ll see if I can get some from the provided links (or I might go to the town center and ask the Anglo American Bookshop if they have any)…

Also, if you like sci-fi, here’s a list of 11 Amazing Sci-Fi Books by Black Authors! As for non-fiction and more research, a friend of mine posted this link of articles about Institutionalized Racism: A Syllabus. Fellow author JA Clement said:

For anyone still doubting that this is a huge, longstanding problem and not an issue with a few individuals.

JSTOR is a catalogue of information my university used when I was doing my Masters, so it is a place I trust to be a good, reliable source of history and information that can be used for something to be scrutinised as closely as a dissertation.

If they’re putting educational material together, I’m listening.

Or you can go to Kobo’s Black Lives Matter: A Resource List for more recommended reads. They also have a collection of Kobo originals about life with COVID-19. Here’s their presentation:

Our Kobo Originals team has collaborated with local newspaper West End Phoenix to create a collection of stories by Canadian literary voices, reflecting on COVID-19 life. The first collection is out now, with proceeds going to Community Food Centres Canada and their Good Food Fund specifically set up to assist those in need during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Be sure to check it out!

A couple of posts on trad and indie publishing as well as the sads about the coming new world. And an awesome disabled author speaking out. Because yes, every single life is valid. Let’s preserve it in all it’s colorful, different forms, shall we? 🙂 Have a great week!

Happiness is…


Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote another 12K and started on the next (or previous?) book… proceeding slowly and almost in the dark, but that will make for nice author’s notes or possibly future backstage passes, LOL!

And RE: the latest Happiness is… (my first professional sale), Facebook reminded me a year ago I posted my author copy. It’s still out there, if you’d like to read it, in Pulphouse #5, although I plan on republishing that story soon.

If you have trouble with critical voice, now there’s a workshop to help you killing that critical voice. Personally, I don’t have a critical voice when I write, although every now and then self-doubt bites me when I’m least expecting it, but never while I’m writing. So if you need help in that department, to make writing fun again, go check that online workshop! 🙂

According to some, it’s the right time to read crime novels. Which is perfect for the release of my cover artist and friend’s first novel, Viral Sin.

I’m going to quote an Amazon reviewer, since unfortunately I’m never in the mood of reading thrillers and crime novels:

It was a debut novel by Shafali Anand and let me congratulate her for the work she has done. The hype around corona virus and it’s impact on us is unquestionable that made me read this book. The book starts with multiple characters who lives in different parts of the country having different backgrounds and different kind of lives but fighting against the same enemy. The author has beautiful and in a very simple language explained the effects of this virus on their lives be it temporary or permanent. Some lost their lives while batteling and few won the battle. But life must go on. I would like to recommend this to all those people who are afraid of facing the situation. It will definitely bring positivity to their lives.

So check it out and give her some love! 🙂 And there’s also this other friend of mine who has a suspense novel coming out soon. You can already check the pre-order at this link! Go check them out, right now! (One links to Amazon India, the other to Amazon.com, but I’m sure you can find your own Amazon shop if you’re not in those countries)

Me, I’m more for humor these days, so I’ll recommend this anthology about Nuns With Guns! How crazy is that? And yes, I wrote a story for this! 🙂 This is part of a series, and the previous two volumes had my strips in them. But this time it’s a prose short story, so no drawings! 😉

How’s the lockdown going for you? Are you a “covivert”? I am – I mean, I’m not thriving, but I’m not suffering either. Although I haven’t been in complete lockdown, unfortunately, since the demands of Day Job forced me out of the house! 😀

As announced, DeviantART changed its interface to the new Eclipse, which took away the only think I enjoyed – the llama trade. I was on DeviantART as hobbyist artist and I don’t care for all their new features – show of your portfolio and whatnot. So I’m giving it another couple of weeks, then I’ll close the account.

Some things better vanish from the internet, and the rest might end up in my Instagram. The Sunday Strip is still going, but I haven’t reached the newer strips (still to be colored, lettered and prepared for upload). I hope to catch up on that in the coming two weeks, when I’ll be off Day Job.

Meanwhile I added another mug to my Zazzle store, and hopefully today UPS should deliver my face mask, so next week I’ll post a pic! 😉 Now I shall wait with dread for the new WordPress Editor… sigh. What happened to “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it”? Can any IT person explain to me this need to upgrade stuff when nobody asks for it?!

Panic afternoon on Monday when I saw that D2D had sent to Vivlio the delisted Italian titles that I entered in KU. It ignored the delisted English titles, but probably decided that, since Vivlio is European, the Italian titles were meant to be distributed there. Erm, not.

Also, Vivlio seems to be worse than Apple for links inside the ebook… how dare I link to this very blog? So another title unpublished! 😉 The clean-up continues… Now I better go back to writing, I have another book and a half to finish! 🙂 Have a great week!

Happiness is…


Sunday Surprise


And it’s the day again. Words of wisdom, writers on writing, quotes for writerly life or whatever you want to call them. Have a great Sunday!

But the truth is, I always had confidence in myself as a writer – I had arrogance, even. Yet I had endless times of self-doubt. I think what carried me through was simply commitment to the job. I wanted to do it.

Talent is no good without commitment. I’ve had students who wrote very well, but weren’t willing to commit to write, to go on writing, and to go on writing better. But that’s what it takes.

“Feeling successful” – well, that’s something you have to work out for yourself, what it means to you, how important it is. You’re quite right that very good and highly celebrated writers may not feel “successful.” Maybe they have unhappy natures, and the Nobel Prize would just depress them. Or maybe they aren’t fully satisfied with what they’ve done so far, don’t feel they’ve yet written the best book they could write. But they have the commitment that keeps them trying to do it.

Hang in there. And don’t push it. No hurry! Writing is a lifetime job.

Ursula K. Le Guin

A few years ago, I met a famous novelist at a conference. He’d sold millions of books. It seemed like he published a new book every time the wind changed direction. As we talked about NaNoWriMo, though, he asked me, “How many novels does the world need, anyway? Why should so many people write?”

I sometimes twitch with churlishness when I hear questions like this. Somewhere within the question, I hear a gate crashing down on people’s creativity. I see a sign, “Don’t presume to call yourself a writer.” I feel a judgment: Why write a novel unless it’s going to get published and made into a product to be purchased and consumed? Why write a novel if you’re not going to make money from it?

The question disregards the spirit that has guided every writer since the beginning of time: the need to create just for the sake of creating. The need to shape the world, see through others’ eyes, tame reality, find oneself, lose oneself—to touch what is magical, astonishing, and wondrous; to exult the possible, to make the strange obvious and the obvious strange. And much more. This need is what we need to remember every day in order to show up at our writing gym and write the story that is demanding to be told.

Grant Faulkner

Why is Annoying Person on Amazon? Why is she all over Amazon?

Because writers don’t understand the “editor” field in KDP. That field is for anthology editors, like Fiction River. When we do a Fiction River, and I edit it, we list Kristine Kathryn Rusch as the editor. Because I compiled the damn book. I chose the stories. I put them in order. I line edited them. I worked on the theme with the writers. I wrote the introductions to the stories.

The volume has my fingerprints all over it, and not because I changed someone’s words or added a semi-colon here and there.

Stop, stop, stop acknowledging this new breed of “editor” in the sales material of your novels. You’re hurting your own sales and doing free advertising for those “editors.” (And yes, dammit, I’m using the quotes on purpose.)

If you need to acknowledge the “editor” as a term of your contract with her, then do so inside the book in the acknowledgements. Write: Thanks to Annoying Person, who copy edited my manuscript. She knows more about the Chicago Manual of Style than I do.

That’s it. And if Annoying Person doesn’t like it, if that doesn’t fulfill the terms of your agreement with her, then don’t work with her again.

Ever.

Kris Rusch

You will fail more than you succeed. You will remember the failures more often than the successes.

The people who believe in you now will believe in you always. Get rid of everyone else.

Readers will love your work. They will think this means they love you. They will be wrong, but do not correct them. You will no longer be yourself when you’re among readers, but an amalgamation of their perceptions of you based on your work and the pixels that make up your face. After a while, even your oldest friends will see you this way.

Pick one person you can be yourself with. It will be the person who doesn’t live-tweet your breakdown.

(…)

You will spend your entire career wondering if it’s already over but no one has told you yet.

You will not sell a lot of books. You will not earn out your advance. You will be passed over for awards. You won’t be a Campbell nominee. You will be convinced you’re not a real writer.

(…)

Fans of your work will clap and cheer at your arrival at events and then sob when they meet you and gush about how your work has touched and inspired them. It will be overwhelming. You will never know what to say. You will be celebrated, wined and dined. You won’t be able to meet with everyone who wants to see you.

Outside of those spaces, you will be treated with all the respect this society owes someone of your race, class, gender presentation, and/or orientation. If you’re a middle-aged white woman who doesn’t know how to dress herself, you will simply blend in. You will not be seen. This will be both a great relief and a big comedown.

(…)

You will travel. You will say YES! to opportunities. You will meet dynamic, amazing, talented, influential people. You will be so tired and jetlagged and anxious about money that you won’t remember any of their names. This will lead to many awkward conversations, later.

You will forget to introduce yourself to George R.R. Martin at the Hugo Loser’s Party.

You will regret being a writer. You will quit, often. Sometimes you will quit for long stretches of time.

(…)

You will be a bestseller, somewhere, even if it’s just on Amazon. You will hit a list. You will be an award winner. Hollywood will talk a lot about movies that probably won’t get made, but the free money will be nice.

You will be jealous of writers who don’t have day jobs. You will celebrate the full-time writing status of at least half a dozen colleagues who end up going back to their day jobs within five years of quitting.

You will never quit your day job.

You will dabble with scripts and comics and tie-ins. You will get invited to so many anthologies and special projects that you will have to say no to a lot of them. You will say no to Marvel, and yes to a book packager project whose team ultimately doesn’t want you.

Kameron Hurley

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote almost 14K words. And after deleting 2K I decided to change the books order… so Book 8 will be Book 9! Glad I’m writing them all before sending them off to Mighty Editor and hit that Publish button, LOL! Although I did have to modify the book # on the covers I prepared, but it’s just one minor change.

I hope to finish this book in a couple of days and then I’ll have to decide if I continue to the next or go back to the one I skipped because I wasn’t expecting things to go this way. Perks of writing into the dark. I must say the second batch of books is really surprising me and keeping me entertained! 🙂

And of course there’s another Team Missions book out, in case you were waiting for it. Unfortunately the last 3 books have lost interest for my Kobo Australia reader, unless they’re in lockdown and haven’t realized the series is continuing. Oh, well. The full collection will be out mid-June, so maybe that’s what they’re waiting for! 🙂

And you can now buy face masks in my revived Zazzle Store, either with my strips characters or with yours truly. I also put the art on mugs, in case you broke all your mugs in frustration during lockdown.

Here’s the collection with yours truly…

And the one with the strips characters

I had a lot of fun preparing them, hope you like them! I ordered one for myself, but I haven’t received it yet, I’ll post a pic when I get it! 😉 They’re still working on my order, so we’ll see…

And the Smashwords sale ends soon! Here’s a link to the currently discounted books from yours truly. Next week I hope to post a link to the next project I’m in, an anthology I’m currently reading so I’ll be able to tell you more about the other authors who keep me company… stay tuned! 😉

I can watch only comedies at the moment, and I was in the mood for She-Devil because while writing I feel a little like Meryl Streep in that movie (although it’s from 1989, she has an electric typewriter and writes romance, the publishing world has changed A LOT since, but well… it’s Meryl Streep as Successful Romance Author! 😉 ), stopping and thinking of a better word and correcting and all that.

Although obviously I don’t have a palace overlooking the ocean and I’m not a successful romance author, but you get the idea! 😉 Things are slowly re-opening on this side of the world as we enter Phase 2, but spring has also exploded and the heat has arrived, making me want to move north immediately.

Unfortunately, even though in June we’ll be able to travel to Europe, I doubt I’m anywhere close to leaving the damn DayJob and moving to a cooler country. Sigh. I’m really considering going to IceCon in November, so I’d be able to see the Northern Lights and maybe book a tour or two with the Tour Bunny before or after the convention…

That’s all for now! Have a great week! 🙂

Happiness is…


Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote 12K on book 8 and spent Sunday afternoon drawing for a change. Well, the portrait took only 2 hours, but I also had a new Italian title out and covers to tinker with. Now I’m back to writing and hope to wrap up Book 8 by the end of the week, so I can move on to Book 9.

Some publishing news: Cash Flow for Creators is now live. I beta-read it and can vouch for it. It’s clear, fun, and if you’re not sure how to start your writing business, you should give it a try. If you’re not American (like yours tryly) some things might not apply, but at least you’ll learn how to add a business mind to your writer mind and publisher mind. I know, us indie must wear many hats.

Apple Books for Author launches with PC access, so if you ever wanted to go direct to Apple but don’t own a Mac, now you can do it! 🙂 Personally, I’ll stick with D2D for now, I’ll wait to see how this goes. I already have to open another account, probably with Book Funnel, to put out some reader’s magnets, I don’t want to bother learning another retailer interface.

This year I’ll just keep going like I always did, maybe next year I’ll have the energy to do a complete relaunch – more paperbacks, more audiobooks, whatever. At this time I have barely the energy to resume publishing regularly (and yes, next weekend you’ll get another Lone Wolves Team eBook) to the usual suspects.

A good projection on Schrödinger’s Future by the always awesome Kris Rusch, which is another reason why I don’t want to do much yet. Besides, my 10-year-anniversary is next year, so it makes sense that I keep the good stuff for next year. Of course I’ll have to start working on it at the end of the year, but hopefully by then we’ll be less stressed out.

On a happier note, we are now in Phase 2, and some businesses are open again, albeit as takeaway. I was able to have breakfast at a coffee shop and this week I know that if I catch that bus, I’ll find my pizza place open (it used to have tables so you could eat in there, but now, of course, it’s all takeaway), so I won’t have to cook 2 meals per day, yay! 🙂

Monday I was off day job again because there can’t be more than six of us at the office, so I stayed at home doing those online courses (officially) and finishing the cover rebranding of Future Earth Chronicles, even though the launch is still a couple of months away or more.

And for your reading pleasure, my friend Tameri Etherton has a free book out on Amazon – well, free until the 14th, so go get it now! Link is not geotagged, but I’m sure you’ll find your own Amazon store if you’re not in the US (just change the .com with whatever your Amazon store end with, that’s what I did to see it on Amazon IT)! 🙂

She’s just a girl standing in front of dragon asking him to love her. Or, something like that!
Fall in love for free! Snag your copy today! Free until May 14th!

Or, if you prefer epic fantasy, now’s your chance to get all four books in the Song of the Swords epic fantasy series for FREE!
Epic fantasy at its best! Free until May 14th. Snag your copies today! Love fae? Love assassins? Love fae assassins for FREE? Sweet! FREE for a limited time! Get your faerie assassins here free until May 14th! Yes, my good friend Tameri is giving away a lot of books until tomorrow! 🙂 Go get them now! 😀

If you’d like to try Latinx Dark Fiction there’s a new bundle out at StoryBundle, as well as the WriteBundle2020 if you want to work on your craft/business of writing. I know all the authors of the Write Bundle and I can only highly recommend them – they know their stuff! 🙂

Now I’ll be waiting for a couple paperbacks I’ve been wanting to read and hopefully order the new Kindle. Although I still have quite a lot of stuff to read on KK, but well… it’s getting bothersome not being able to check files and having to use Kindle4PC! 😉 Have a great week!

Happiness is…


Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I added another 2K to Books 6 and 7 (mostly Book 7, since it was and still is shorter) and then started on Book 8, that reached 10K by Sunday night. I also worked on the cover rebranding, but I’ll do a “new covers reveal” event closer to the publication of the next books.

It will probably be a Facebook event, either in my group or on my page, we’ll see. Let me know your preference – and if you’re not on Facebook, just say so, and I’ll do the event on this very blog! 🙂 By June the Happiness Is vignettes will end, therefore I’ll reinstate the Sunday Surprise posts, so you’ll have two posts a week still.

And here’s the year ahead… again for indies like me. You may have noticed I resumed my publishing every other week of books I wrote between the end of last year and the beginning of this one… So, another batch of Lone Wolves Team missions is out! Check it out at the usual places! 🙂 Two more coming this month, then in June the final books of the Star Minds Universe.

And the UK has decided to scrap VAT on e-publications! So you’ll pay the price I set up on the retailer, with no VAT added. My titles are usually between 1.99£ and 3.99£ (with a few 99p exceptions). For everybody else, sorry, I’m not the one who decieds on VAT percentages…

This week marks Phase 2 in Italy, so more people are allowed out and more places are opening, still with social distancing andf masks and gloves and all that jazz. I go to work by bus, and from this week it’s every day again, not just Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays like it was since March 12.

Monday morning I took the bus with new labels forbidding to sit too close to each other, so if a bus has 20 seats, you can use only 4 or 5. Which is fine at 7-30am, but definitely more “crowded” at 1pm. There were also more people around and waiting for the bus. And besides surgical masks, we got facial shields for work – which is much better, because you breathe better.

Still, only six people can be present at one time, so some of us will have to either work from home or take other forms of permits. I already used 15 vacation days this year, so thankfully my manager didn’t ask me to miss a day in May! 🙂 It’s sort of going back to normal, except there will still be long lines at supermarkets and now I have only Saturday mornings to go and buy food. Sigh.

I guess that’s all from this side of the world… stay home if you can, stay safe and don’t panic. We shall overcome! Have a great week! 🙂

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