Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote over 13K and reached the new events, since the start of the book is a recap of the previous ones. And again I got surprised by the turn of events, so I’m speedily going towards the completion of this series (at least for now. Next generations might show up eventually, like in the Star Minds Universe, LOL!).

David Gaughran is back with a few publications for writers – although I still have to go through the first editions of Let’s Get Digital and Amazon Decoded, you might want to check them out! Don’t be lazy like me! 😉

I guess each one of us reacted differently to lockdown – I hid into writing and can’t be bothered studying the marketing part yet. But I’m still publishing, so whenever I’m ready to study and give everything a marketing boost, I’ll have plenty to choose from! 🙂

Another Kickstarter worth checking: Funny and Stupid Stories (That No One Should Read) – ain’t that a great title? Go check it out, the ebook is for everybody, although the paperback is only for the UK… And yes, it’s a Kickstarter in GBP (although I see it in Euro and you probably see it in USD or whatever your currency is!)! 🙂

This is a collection/anthology of funny stories. I write in all genres, but mainly horror and supernatural crime. In between the “serious” stuff, I write a few funny stories to relax. This is a collection of those stories.

And if you prefer a trilogy of paranormal mysteries set in small town Kentucky featuring psychic Ash Jericho, To Die For is still going for a few more days.

The Ash Jericho series is a three book paranormal mystery series. It’s possible there will be more books and stories in the series at a later time, but my goal is to publish these three books quickly, back to back, so that readers can enjoy their visit to Ash’s small town.

Or if you’re fore epic fantasy, this is a first novel campaign to help get a decorative edition of the book.

Firefrost  is epic fantasy at its finest: danger, magic, swords, and crowns. It’s a standalone novel about overcoming the darkness inside each of us and the prejudices that keep us captive. The novel is set in a burning, war-torn world, and is full of a dark and powerful magic that consumes hearts and kingdoms.

One day I might do my own Kickstarter, but it’s not going to happen anytime soon – conflicts with my DayJob, don’t ask me why, but that’s one more reason to quit and move to a country where things are simpler! 🙂

I’m reading the books from a vampire bundle I got some time ago from StoryBundle, but I realized maybe it’s also time I read Homo Deus by Harari, since I’m dealing with our future… so as soon as I finish this 3 Musketeers retelling with vampires, I better go back to that before I finish that bundle! 😉

Last weekend ended up being Rock N Roll weekend. I realized Saturday was a former muse’s 60th birthday, so I watched Sugar Town (his only movie with a decent role – but he’s not an actor! He’s John Taylor of Duran Duran, there, I gave out my age again! *Waves at other Duranies still out there*) after lunch. After dinner Rock On.

Sunday I watched Rock Star after lunch (with world’s sexiest drummer, Blas Elias! 😉 ) and Rock On 2 after dinner. Techie Bro didn’t come over to sleep, so I felt free to watch whatever I wanted. He came on Monday, though, since he had no bed to sleep in either at the old house or the new one.

So, after a very musical weekend… summer came. So I’ll probably sort of kind of vanish now. Oh, wait, I have plenty of titles for Sci-Fi July… I’ll try to postpone my summer letargy, LOL! Stay tuned for the coming publications, announcement on the publisher’s page in a few days! Have a great weekend! 🙂

 

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!

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! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


By Wednesday last week I had finished Draft Zero of Book 7, so I had to stop, re-read, adjust, and so on. So only 8400 new words. Having found some mistakes on the first five books while writing 6 and 7, I decided to go through the paperbacks (something I used to do immediately, but since I moved to KDPprint and had to send the books live to order copies, I had shamelessly skipped the process) and catch typo faeries and adjust mistakes to what I’ve been writing.

It’s really minor changes for my one and only reader so far, and you can download the updated version from Smashwords for whenever you want to read them again. Whoever gets the series now (and on Smashwords it’s still 9$ for 5 books…) will get the corrected version. I hadn’t sold any paperbacks, so I’m not worried about those, LOL!

I won’t blame you if you don’t want to read the Future Earth Chronicles now, though. A side effect of the Covid-19 pandemic? Reading got a lot harder. Especially reading sci-fi:

Lisa Yaszek is also trying to be kind to herself. These days, the last thing the professor of science-fiction studies wants to do is read more science fiction. She already feels as if she’s living through a disaster, Yaszek said. She doesn’t need the excitement of somebody else’s.

Of course, she said, some might find comfort in dystopian stories, like E.M. Forster’s “The Machine Stops,” about a world where society lives underground, reliant on a giant machine to provide its needs, and the machine breaks down. The parallels are obvious.

Lots of science fiction is inherently optimistic, said Yaszek, who teaches at the Georgia Institute of Technology. It’s about the possibility that people might put down their differences and work together. Reading those narratives can feel discomforting right now, she said, because when you’re done, you return to this imperfect world, where people are making imperfect choices.

So don’t worry, the series will still be out there, possibly with five or six more books, when this is over! 🙂 We’re living through history, and it’s obviously keeping our minds busy with all the bombardment of contrasting news about the pandemic. Be kind to yourself and carry on! 🙂

What are your best practices? I can’t “write by committee” because I started on my own. In this time of upset, I moved brainstorming from drawing to playing Bubble Witch Saga 3 (sue me! 😉 ) and by now I’m well adjusted at doing my first draft on my writing laptop instead of longhand. The writing is not suffering, it’s everything else that went on the backburner! 🙂

Althoug I updated both the Future Earth Chronicles and the Star Minds Universe series pages. I’m still pondering if I should change the covers of Future Earth Chronicles – at least the ebooks. I’m working on new ones, experimenting before I buy the images for the next five or six books! 🙂

And our mighty curator A.L. Butcher put out another bundle! Here Be Aliens is now live on BundleRabbit and the usual suspects. In this bundle you can find Adventurer, the first of the Star Minds Lone Wolves books, along with a few more. Or you can check the series discounted on Smashwords (the first 7 books are 30%off as mentioned on this list of discounted titles).

This is science fantasy/space opera, so it should take you away from this planet for a while (although Adventurer starts on a different future Earth, where we have joined the Star Nations and are traveling to space, yay!). It’s also alternate future because the shift happened back in 2012! 🙂

Also, for your reading (dis?)pleasure, the trainwreck… of traditional publishing. I shall stay tuned for the indie version. The IASFA has also a Facebook group. And they’re NOT like the Author Guild mentioned by Kris Rusch in her post, that’s for sure.

Now off to working on the next book of Future Earth Chronicles... Have a great week! 🙂

 

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Stories from the Twilight Zone. Foreword by Anne Serling. In my father's final interview he said that he felt his writing was "momentarily adequate." And, when asked what he wanted people to say about him, as a writer, a hundred years from then, he responded, "I don't care that they're not able to quote any single line that I've written. But just that they can say, 'Oh, he was a writer. Thatìs sufficiently an honored position for me.'"

and that’s enough for me as well!

So I wrote. Slowly but steadily working on the current WIP and planning the next book with Google maps and Wikipedia and all that stuff needed when writing in the real world, in places I’ve never been to (and never will, at least in the current case – Africa is too hot for my tastes). 12K last week, and I’m almost done with Book 7 too. Onward to book 8 this week, I guess.

I was thinking I wouldn’t extend the Smashwords sale, but after reading Kris Rusch’s post, I decided to do it at least for Future Earth Chronicles – with 9$ you get 5 ebooks and a complete arc about life after the apocalypse! And since it was either all or nothing, here’s the list of the discounted books again… only on Smashwords, extended to May 31!

And I also have a new title out – the last of the Lone Wolves, Fabio, who almost speaks like his great uncle Daniele, since even though Earth is now part of the Star Nations in this alternate future, he still grew up in Rome and sometimes uses the same words that probably drove text-to-speech and other software crazy in the Trilogy or wherever Daniele was present! 😉

And of course it was already live when I realized I used the wrong background image (the watermarked version, not the actual JPG) on the cover… so one hour on Sunday late afternoon, just before dinner, was spent changing the cover everywhere, including Facebook. You can tell I’m not really myself from the rookie mistakes on the latest two titles! 😉

Next month more Team’s missions… meanwhile, happy reading! I’m currently on those Stories from the Twilight Zone that I mention above, having finished at least one of the bundles I still have on KK.

Another Kickstarter worth backing if you’re a writer – Writing Bundles (and workshops)! I am not ready to launch anything, maybe next year or later, but I’m keeping an eye on projects and will post the links here if I think they might interest you.

A friend of mine has a new ebook out, And Then…: An Assortment of 12 Delectable Tea-time Cookies (link to Amazon.com), a collection of 12 quick-to-read and delightful-to-savor stories in various genres. Also, there’s this new anthology out – no, I’m not in it, but I thought you might enjoy it:

It’s time to turn the “man and his dog wandering through a dystopian world” trope on its head, and tell the stories about cats and their women – their badass women!

CAT LADIES OF THE APOCALYPSE
Available in print and ebook from your favorite online retailers

RE: Covid-19, if you have enough of all this misinformation gone viral, here you have a few fact-checking by an expert trying to stop this. The guys knows his stuff. Feel free to follow all the links he gives. Also, if you wonder why some people are still not staying at home, here’s a research explaining our psychological response to Covid-19.

And here’s some words of wisdom about it all from The Chuck Wendig himself. I guess we’re all broken right now, and even if I’m still writing, it doesn’t mean that I feel good. I’m seeing a lot of things going in the backburner and my expectations are null – I have lost them and don’t see them anywhere around me. I will need some searching to get back on track.

Ending on a ligher mode, if you want to chuckle, check the 13 wildest conspiracy theories of all times, starting from Covid-19 is caused by 5G (debunked above)… But onward we go! Have a great week! 🙂

 

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I ended up writing 17K+, which brought the yearly total to 150K, which means that on week 15 I caught up with the wordcount. To reach my goal of 500K/year I need to write 10K/week with two weeks off… so at the moment, I’m back on track and can still take two weeks off to go somewhere in the second half of the year, if things have settled down. Yay! 🙂

And like I announced on the publisher’s page, the new title is now complete, so I’m posting the cover. Still a short novel, but at least it has flashbacks! 🙂 You can now know a little more about Alex’s past! 🙂

If you write SFF, you know have two options of professional organizations looking out for you. The SFWA that is more traditionally oriented and has the Writer Beware blog, and the IASFA, that is indie-oriented… set up by Craig Martelle of 20BooksTo50K, it’s starting to build up… and it’s free to join! 🙂 I can say I was among the first 15 members, LOL!

A nice post on how to cope right now. Be kind, to yourself and others. Yes, I miss the coffee shop coffee and having lunch with a colleague or three, but we’ll get over it. Yes, it was a lonely Easter time, but I’m sending out tonz of virtual hugs for whoever needs them right now. And yes, I sometimes hold my hand, especially when I go to sleep, just to remind myself I’m still alive and still human.

Also, here’s the truth about introverts. Yes, it’s hard on us too. And yes, I’m lucky I still get to go to work three days a week to get my dose of people. I don’t look forward to when it will be all peopley out there, but I hear ya – introvert or extrovert, we’re all grieving these days.

And if you feel you need help to re-organize your life during lockdown, follow Kris Rusch’s advice. Also, prepare for the ultimate gaslighting – I think it’s going to be all over the world, not just in America. I had wished the world would stop, and now it has stopped, which is more or less fine with me, if the rest of the world wasn’t reacting so badly! 😉

I hope you might consider this: what happened is inexplicably incredible. It’s the greatest gift ever unwrapped. Not the deaths, not the virus, but the Great Pause. It is, in a word, profound. Please don’t recoil from the bright light beaming through the window. I know it hurts your eyes. It hurts mine, too. But the curtain is wide open. What the crisis has given us is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see ourselves and our country in the plainest of views. At no other time, ever in our lives, have we gotten the opportunity to see what would happen if the world simply stopped. Here it is. We’re in it. Stores are closed. Restaurants are empty. Streets and six-lane highways are barren. Even the planet itself is rattling less (true story). And because it is rarer than rare, it has brought to light all of the beautiful and painful truths of how we live. And that feels weird. Really weird. Because it has…never…happened…before.

And, like he says,

From one citizen to another, I beg of you: take a deep breath, ignore the deafening noise, and think deeply about what you want to put back into your life. This is our chance to define a new version of normal, a rare and truly sacred (yes, sacred) opportunity to get rid of the bullshit and to only bring back what works for us, what makes our lives richer, what makes our kids happier, what makes us truly proud.

I finally started using those codes for RakutenTV and… I wasn’t impressed. I watched Sir – the only Indian movie I hadn’t seen that was available (there’s no Bollywood at all in their selection) – and the only options were Hindi (without subtitles) or Italian. So I had to watch the dubbed version (with the silly subtitle “Cinderella in Mumbai”), which wasn’t too bad since I didn’t know any of the actors and what they actually sound like.

Until we got to the part where the two sisters discuss Choti’s future husband. I have no idea why the people adapting this movie for dubbing put in Brad Pitt’s name, jerking me out of the movie in a heartbeat. 1) how can an Indian man look like Brad Pitt? Keanu Reeves is more likely, right? Oh, but nobody knows how to pronounce that, so forget it. 2) I’m watching an Indian movie about a maid who always wear a sari and they talk about a Hollywood celebrity? They might as well have used an Italian actor for Italian watchers… if they really didn’t want to use an Indian star’s name.

I tried to understand what they were saying in the original (probably Marathi, since it didn’t sound like Hindi – she’s from a small village near Mumbai), but the only name I could catch was Rajveer (I think). I mean, I understand trying to adapt (like the subtitles of ZNMD where they translated Manju into Romeo, but it was less jarring than this Brad Pitt thing and I was able to ask about the actual line to Hindi speakers), but this was really off-putting.

Come on, people, give us non-speakers some credit when we watch your movies. We want to watch and understand your culture, not see it whitewashed just in case we don’t get it. Sheesh. Besides that, I think it was a nice, realistic story that showed me something of India. I’m not surprised the movie received so many awards all over the world. I agree with this user’s review completely.

A beautifully thought provoking film!

12 November 2018 | by taherailseahmadSee all my reviews

It is really a film worth watching, the story and characters stay on with you in a fine, beautifully quiet manner even when the film is over! A wonderfully subtle but very definitely thought provoking film with a realistic story line!

Anyhow, I was reminded why I hate dubbed movies. The other three on my list should be English or Italian movies, so I can watch the original without subtitles. And I guess I’ll stick to DVDs whenever available for the time being. Watching on my laptop wasn’t the best experience, and I don’t have a smart TV – don’t want one, I don’t use it enough anyway.

On Sunday (Easter), I rewatched 12 Monkeys – remember when 5billions were supposed to die from an airborne virus back in 1996/1997? Well, we had another twenty years, and there aren’t that many deaths yet, probably will never be (that’s more what happened in my Future Earth Chronicles sometimes in the 21st century, but I will not tell the whole story of the apocalypse, ever – and by the way, last days to get the series half-price on Smashwords).

And that’s all for today… have a great week, stay safe and keep social distancing for a little longer. You can do it! Hugs! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote less than 9K again, but I had trouble with one story (I gave it up) and went very slowly with the rest. I’m trying to wrap up the Star Minds Universe, but some stories are not meant to be written at this time. I have finished writing the strip “Star Minds Kids and Teens”, though, but I still need to draw some strips. And do the prose version as well.

And we now have new covers on the contemporary titles, aaaand! A brand new title! Yes, some of the stories were already in Relationships, but there’s a new short story and the novella of the title, for which I thank Barbara “Abby” Palmer and Victoria “Tori” Zigler, without whom it would have never left my hard drive! 🙂

I did mention more Kickstarters and things to support, right? Well, check out this Cave Creek Kickstarter. I might be in those anthologies, if things go well, if not, it’s still a cool new world to discover. And it’s funded, so lots of goodies coming our way… I hear there are free stories along with the other free stuff! The first stretch goal is reached, let’s aim for the second! 😀

There’s also this friend of mine who launched a Kickstarter to fund his audiobooks. That”s something I might do too in the future, so I urge you to check it out! 🙂

And hey, psst… there’s an excerpt of my story, Olympia Nights, on Patreon… I know, you must be a patron to see it, but well… I thought I’d mention it anyway! You can see how it begins! 😉 I’ll also be interviewed on there, so stay tuned…

Disruption by Kris Rusch on how to deal with what’s going on this year. And more disruption with the sale of Simon&Schuster. Yeah, I know, shaky ground. But we’ll survive. And since we’re all more or less grounded, we should catch up on some reading or watching stuff.

As you might know by now, Italy is on lock down. I had to print out a declaration on where I work, in case they stop me and ask me wny I’m out and about. Snort.

Buses are empty and I won’t go to the supermarket until Saturday, but apparently people are panicking and stockpiling on toilet paper…

I can’t go to the cinema, because they’re off-limits, but I have a few codes for RakutenTV, so I might watch a couple of things on my computer soon.

I have finished the book on Medieval Africa, but I’ve been busy checking old Star Minds Universe novels to complete the series… and I’ve put a new Kindle in my Amazon shopping cart, although I’ll probably manage to finish reading the bundles I have on KK before it completely dies on me. I mean, it does charge, I just don’t have access to it anymore.

So, since I had to buy a couple of books for research purpose, I thought I might as well get a new Kindle. I could have stolen Mom’s unused Kobo eReader, but I never really understood how it worked, and could never see the books on it even if I attached it to my laptop with a USB cable. That’s what I can no longer do with KK, cause it’s invisible to laptop. Sigh.

So for the new title, I checked it looked all right on my Kindle 4PC app only. Just like I check ePubs on Adobe Digital Editions. Worse for my eyes, but still works.

The stuff will arrive at the end of the month – maybe, since COVID-19 is slowing down evev Amazon.

It almost feels like the Holidays, when everybody is busy with family business, to me. And of course I’m happy there aren’t many people around, since I’m so crowd-averse! 😀

I keep going to work by bus and I’m not particularly worried. This too shall pass.

Meanwhile, happy reading, writing, watching entertainment and have a great week! 🙂

Wednesday Weelky Roundup


Last week I wrote almost 9K, but then, I had only three days for writing – with jetlag and cover rebranding. I more or less wrapped up the Lone Wolves and this week I’ll work on a Silvery Earth novella while I check files from the editor and prepare for next weekend’s publication. I probably won’t write too much either, since I have a few manuscripts to go through.

About the main event of the past two weeks that took me away from Day Job and COVID-19, well, it was a blast, as expected. Unlike 2017, I did make one sale, which means I’m moving forward! And I got to spend one week with awesome people who helped me overcome my latest lows.

Also, get ready for a new awesome magazine, Fantasy Quarterly. All fantasy stories for your reading pleasure, and I’ve read a few of them, they’re awesome. Eventually I might make it in there too, but for now get ready for my workshop buddies’ stories and some famous names to keep them company! 🙂

It was wonderful to see old friends again – virtual hugs to all if you’re reading this – and meeting a few new people. Some of them were luckier than me and sold at their very first Anthology Workshop, so kudos to them! 🙂 And I mean “lucky” in the sense they hit the Awesome Editors’ tastes better than me, but I don’t give my best when I have a theme and a deadline.

Sometimes I let deadlines for anthologies pass to make sure I give the topic a better shot! Anyhow, three of the rejected stories will be incorporated in novels, and one is out there again on submission. Not sure what to do with the other two, yet, probably stick them into the virtual drawer until next year. For now I’m happy just being back to writing every day.

Travelwise, I flew in via New York, where they only asked me if I’d been to China in the past 14 days. I watched Gully Boy and Crazy Rich Asians, but by the second flight I was too tired (and of course couldn’t sleep) so I only caught a glimpse of Ocean’s 8. By the time I got to Vegas, I’d been up 24 hours – I jumped into the first taxi and went straight to bed.

Then, during the workshop, Mom sent me a message about COVID-19 in Northern Italy, and my colleague copy-pasted a work email on FB Messenger (it was also a text message on my cell phone, I found it when I came back). The first masks appeared at LAX on my flight to Rome, half empty (more room to sleep, yay! As if I could, sigh…) and even landed earlier so I was home by the time it was supposed to land.

And nobody wants Italians anywhere anymore. Glad I left last week and came back before it spread or they would have sent me back as soon as I set foot at JFK!

Cartoomics (Milan’s comicon) has been postponed to October, which actually works better for me. As for the other travels, I guess I’ll stay at home in April and work on paperbacks, while waiting out COVID-19…

While at the workshop, I got word from the editor of Excalibur 2020: they have just launched the Excalibur Books Patreon.

The first goal is to assist with the formatting and cover of “Warriors of Olympia”, our Science Fiction & Fantasy Olympics anthology, and to build awareness of the writers involved. After that’s published and being promoted, we aim to provide future releases from a wide range of authors.

So go check it, I gave them permission to post excerpts of my story, give it a go! 🙂 I’ll also share a couple more Kickstarters for writing projects soon – not mine yet, unfortunately, since I still have to deal with a damn Day Job that complicates things, but I’ll give you a couple of projects to back up in the coming months!

And last but not least, it’s Infinite Bard time again! Go check the latest story, and that’s all for today! Have a great week!

I wanted to remind authors that the value of their writing transcends monetary measures. If your book has the potential to bring a smile to a single reader, your book is important. Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, your book has the potential to change lives and maybe even save lives. What can be more important than that?
Just because your sales suck doesn’t mean that you’re not worthy. Most writers’ sales suck, whether they’re traditionally published or self-published. Most writers will have good months and bad months, good years and bad years. If you only measure your success by money, you’ll probably burn out and quit, but if you develop other measures of success, like finding joy in the creative process or making your next book better than the last or finding joy in pressing the publish button when you’re finally ready to share your soul with the world, then you’re more likely to continue writing and publishing. Therefore, you’re more likely to eventually emerge from your obscurity to achieve the greatest commercial success.

Mark Coker

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


This is scheduled well in advance because I’m traveling with a smartphone and my eyes don’t allow me to work properly on such small screen (not to mention that typist me can’t use ten fingers on that tiny keyboard, so there!). No writing news while I’m at the anthology workshop, so I shall entertain you with something else.

Since I no longer do Random Fridays, I’ll do a Random Wednesday for a change! 😉 Been watching some DVDs since Christmas, so here we go. First of all, for Christmas I got the book Dark Crystal: the Ultimate Visual History (that I’m still reading, BTW, because even if it’s heavily illustrated, it takes time to read how that movie was born so many years ago).

So I had to re-watch the DVD and its extras, just to remind myself what it was like. I had in mind to re-watch also Labyrinth, but didn’t have time so far. Maybe when I get home! 😉

Then I watched Il Ragazzo Invisibile Seconda Generazione (it has English subtitles, if you’re interested). The kid is growing up just fine, LOL! Our own superhero is in his teens now, and the cast is international, which is something I love – movies  with many languages like Babel are my favorites! There should probably be a third one, but it doesn’t look like it’s in the making. Oh, well.

And when I was done reading, to get myself back into my very own Star Minds Universe, I watched Solo: A Star Wars Story. Now, I’m a fan of the original trilogy, the Ewoks and all that stuff. I did see the Prequels (meh), but I totally ignored the sequels. I got this one because it was only 9.99euro and it’s Han Solo and Lando and Chewbecca and… well, you get it.

Ron Howard did a good job but then I had to rewatch Empire Strikes Back, just to make sure they were consistent, LOL! I ended up watching all three original movies throughout the weekend, although only the oldest one was in the revised/enhanced version with the extra scene and Jabba the Hutt – the other two were the cinema versions (although at the time I saw all of them dubbed in Italian).

And Vanity Fair Italy gave the cover to my first movie love, Matt Dillon, who is the same age as Da Muse and as immortal as he is, mwhahaha! They might both be Boomers (while I’m Generation X), but they’re awesome! 😀

Oh, yeah, Da Muse was also a presenter at the Oscars night. Did I watch it? No. Never did, don’t care. But to stay on topic with movies and Hollywood, a January news that didn’t show up in my Google alert but was in another newsletter is that Warner Bros. signed AI startup that claims to predict film success.

Will it really work? We’ll see… So, after these wanderings in moviedom, I shall leave you with the usual writerly quote… have a great week!

Nearly every piece of writing advice can be taken, tested, and found wrong. Because inevitably there exists a novel — a popular novel, either bestseller or an award-winner or both — that does exactly the thing you’re Not Supposed To Do. Or it doesn’t do the thing that Everyone Is Supposed To Do. Novels break the rules all the time because ultimately, no rules exist. (The one rule that does exist is that you must finish your shit. A book can never exist until you finish it, and so all books pass that indestructible law.)

Chuck Wendig

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I managed almost 17K, yay! Caught up with wordcount a little, although not completely. I also wrote another 7K between Monday and Tuesday.

And from today until next week I won’t be writing. so the total wordcount for February will be low. But I’m sure I’ll catch up in March. Besides, I’m in no hurry anymore, if I reach my goal, fine, if I don’t, I don’t care – I’ve done it, and I know I can do it again if I put my mind to it.

Same goes for publications. With what I have so far, the Star Minds Universe will cover March, April and May, so plenty of time to write more stuff for the summer months. I plan to redo the contemporary covers along with a new title as well, probably in June. I’m not sure about the paperbacks anymore, but I haven’t scheduled anything for the rest of the year yet.

When I come back from the Anthology Workshop next week, I’ll decide – publishing schedule and travel schedule. I plan on exploring more of Europe this year. I’ve never been to Eastern Europe or the Scandinavian countries (except Helsinki for Worldcon in 2017). I’ll try to fill that travel diary I started with my tour of Rajasthan in 2016 – or at least to add to it, since the previous travel journal is complete (Iceland 2005 and 2007, Scotland 2008, South Western USA 2009, Yellowstone and Glacier parks 2010 and Japan 2015) while the this one languishes, forgotten.

I might need the research for the next series – or even for the Vampires Through the Centuries. I’ll have to look for books in English about their history and folklore, if available… there wasn’t much in Helsinki’s bookshops, unfortunately. Ingolf is from 7th century Norway and since “Viking” is a term popularized in the 19th century along with “Vampire”, I call him Norseman or Norse. I’d love to see the place where his immortality adventure started. Or the Carpathian Mountains where Greek Kallisto spent most of her immortal life with Zalmoxis.

I guess I should also go to Greece at some point, since that’s where Helios and Kallisto (and the original ONE Solveig keeps looking for through the centuries) were born (either ancient Sparta BCE or Christian Greece 5th century CE), but it’s a warm Mediterranean country, so unless I find a winter tour, I’m not going there! 😉

I’m still reading the book on Medieval Africa (probably finish when I come back, though), and even if it’s more boring than the Spartans one, it’s still interesting, both for my vampires and for Silvery Earth, since at least two of the heroines are from Nera, inspired by Africa. But then, there’s still a lot to explore on that world, so more cultures to check out to make it believable! 🙂

While waiting for the new titles, here’s a list of the bundles that are still available, the anthologies I have stories in (either curated by me or by others), and the various books and series in case you feel like trying some of my fiction writing. Travel and publishing plans for March. Now off I go and you can head to the Infinite Bard to read another free story… Have a great week! 🙂

Thanks to Quiet by Susan Cain, many writers are happily claiming their introversion. I’m an introvert, which means I get my energy from being alone. I hate small talk and large groups. I’d rather think than speak, and write rather than talk. I rarely answer the phone. I’m INFJ on the Myers-Briggs scale, and many authors fit a similar model. This also means that conferences and events are tiring, so I can’t do too many of them a year. If you’re like me, then we’re super lucky these days, because online marketing suits introverts. We can attract an audience online and connect with readers, while still spending time alone.
Joanna Penn

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