Random Friday


One more Movie Friday… and there might be a third, since I got the last DVD. Hopefully I’ll watch it sometime this weekend (tonight if I manage to finish Current Novel Part 2). So, in order of watching them…

I’ll have to rewatch the sequel with the first one, but I think the second is okay too. Mostly because they put back in my favorite songs of the first, LOL! Anyhow, I’m talking about Rock On 2, with the dead guy in the dream sequence only and the guitar player with the worst haircut evah! Moustache in the first, bad haircut in the second… my my, Arjun, can’t you do better? Not your fault, I know! 😀

Farhan is always Farhan, and I was glad to see Shraddha Kapoor again (after ABCD2 – she must be subscribed to #2 in series). And now I’m singing Rock On and Sinbad the Sailor in a loop. Heh. I liked the first song of the final mega-show in Rock On 2, so there you go:

Now, Exposed… kinda lacks a closure for both characters, but whatever… Did I mention last time that I hate the Italian title? I wish IMBD stopped showing me the translations. Or I should stick to Bollywood that almost never gets dubbed (at least not the Greek God, mwhahahahahaha). Anyway, it was okay. Not going to rewatch it until I learn it by heart like I did with other movies, but okay.

Now getting ready for the weekend… have a nice one! 🙂

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Writer Wednesday


The bad news is… only 27500 words in January. If I want to reach my goal of 500K, I need to write 10K a week! So I have some catching up to do in that department.

The good news is… I completed 4 stories that are now with the proofreader and that I will submit to traditional markets (one as per guidelines, the others to any available in that genre)!

But the other bad news is… already 3 rejections (2 from December submissions, 1 from January). In this case the good news is… one more story to submit to traditional markets and I have two stories ready for Nightly Bites Volume 2, one published and one unpublished, like it was for volume 1! 🙂

To keep the trend of bad/good news: Bad = still no fixed writing schedule, good = started off on the next heroine novel and going steadily forward, in spite of stopping to rummage through old diaries (in part 1 she’s 15, an age I have long forgotten, glad I was write-aholic even then, LOL!).

I also noticed interesting patterns in old summaries of my stories (the outlines of the stories I didn’t write), but I’d rather not discuss them after the #Metoo campaign. It’s true that we’ve been educated, as women, to just accept certain things that are not okay. And in my ingenuity, I really thought those things could happen.

Oh well, I was a teenager with an overdramatic sense of story, like Samantha says in Ciaran&Harith! 😉 Which you can also read in the upcoming Celebrating Male Lovers bundle, in case you want to try other authors…

The writerly links of the week: D2D and discoverability. Looking forward to that. Also an excellent article on writing fiction. Now go write that story. And the good of indie publishing in 2017! To those things I can add the Facebook group 20BooksTo50K, like I mentioned in the comments of the post.

I can’t speak highly enough of BundleRabbit, since I used it both for bundles and for collaborations. More to come of both, probably the only publications for the first six months.

I do have a couple of titles still in the drawer (one is a collection that still lacks a cover, the other two still need tweaking or redrafting or I don’t know what else), but expect most of the new titles in the second half of the year.

I have missed a few events last weekend – Superstars of Writing along with 20BooksTo50K in London along with a sci-fi festival somewhere else in Europe, but well… I had just come back from London and I still haven’t requested a new passport to head overseas – as for the third event, I learned about it because a friend posted he was there. Meh.

Now I intend to dive back into my diving cave. I have a schedule to establish, even though I don’t have that new writing computer yet! Have a great week! 🙂

Random Friday


Last weekend I took Dear Nephew to London with Techie Bro. It was his wish to see it, especially the Big Ben (invisible behind its restauration coat, but he got to see the Lego version and had a painting of it in his room) and the London Eye. The Big Ben is actually better at night these days, as you can see above! 😉

So we arrived on Friday around lunch time and dropped our bags at the hotel. They had a travelcard, I had my Oyster card so we felt confident we could wander around. I had in mind of showing him a couple of things, so we got off at Piccadilly Circus, but he was too taken by the Lego shop to notice much else. Besides, it started raining and he was tired and Waterstones didn’t have the books we were looking for and and and… we got back after about three hours and dined in their room (it was bigger).

The next day we had all day, so morning we went around the Tower of London, took the DLR and the Emirates cabins to the O2 where we had lunch. We took the Jubilee line back to Waterloo but when we got off it started raining, so… back to the hotel around 2pm (just like in Paris). We relaxed in my room, since theirs wasn’t done, then went out again. Techie Bro took him on the London Eye as per his wish, and when he came down he said it was one of the best days of his life.

Happy nephew, happy adults. We even had a group hug at some point! 😉 Sunday morning, we went at the Natural History Museum, then headed back for Victoria Station where we had lunch at McDonald and then headed back for Gatwick Airport. We were more or less on time, but the customs proved Italy is a third world country: EU and Italians with under 14 had only one policeman checking documents (and I think he was being slow on purpose) until the other one came back.

We ended up at 10pm eating pizza by my house, since of course we didn’t eat on EastyJet! Next time British Airways, I don’t care if it costs more! Or Alitalia. Or whatever. No more low-cost. Have a great weekend! 🙂

Random Friday


Random randomness: I’m finally reading my bundles co-authors and at the same time I’m exploring new subgenres. I’ve used the Wikipedia entry for my steampunk short, but do you have any favorite steampunk novel and what do you like about it? Please leave your suggestions in the comments, thank you! 🙂

Also, it’s the Year of Writing Madly, but at the same time I’m thinking of pulling out of the drawer my 12th century historical novel, edited a long time ago (before the craft online workshops) by Nikalee, and decide if I actually want to put it out there or not.

For the new people, it’s a project that had a screenplay version and that I turned into a novel at the beginning of this blog – an 8-year-old bloke, in case you were wondering. If you check the archives, you can probably read about it around 2012.

I guess that after my sci-fi sting, I’ll get back to it and make up my mind about it. Reading about 12th century Europe/Holy Land might help me getting back to Silvery Earth – although the next heroine lives at a time where magic is almost gone and she’s more a renaissance woman than a medieval lady (Angelica de Winter’s story is set AFTER BoI – Earth).

And then I’ll read a steampunk novel for the next book in one of my series. Don’t forget to leave your recommendations in the comments below! Have a great weekend! 😀

Random Friday


So it was Da Muse’s B-day and I did his portrait while brainstorming the current story (although he’s not in it – looking forward to the programmed novels where he is one of the main characters). Read: one afternoon without writing, but I caught up the next day.

In December I managed to rewatch Kaabil on DVD and still quite love it because in spite of the very short haircut (meh) he’s clean-shaven and not too pumped up (yay).  And he plays the blind guy very well.

Then on New Year’s Eve, I waited for midnight rewatching Mohenjo Daro alone (I had watched it the first time at B-Abby’s but she’s moved back to the US since, so no more Bollyafternoons, sigh!) and then editing Soul Thieves since the movie finished at 11.30.

I still don’t like the last word because, even if my geography and history of the time suck, I do know that Mohenjo Daro and Harappa were in the Indus Valley, so the “new” river cannot be called Ganga – completely different river that flows to the bay of Bengal, not the Arabian Sea. Unless there are two Ganga in India, and I’m not aware of it, of course! 🙂

Speaking of movie controversies, it seems Padmavat will come out (without the “i”) but not in the UK (can’t blame them). So I’ll have to wait for the DVD. Methink I’ll go on Amazon and order all the titles I missed later in the year. It’s kind of a relief, because Padmavat will release in India when I go to London with Dear Nephew and Techie Bro, so I won’t have to dump them to go watch a movie! 🙂

Creative weekend ahead and hopefully the second cover done… Have a great one! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


So this year I wrote even less than last year… I’m under 400K. Hence next year, the year of Writing, I plan to hit that 500K goal and worry less about publishing. Which might mean that in 2019 I’ll publish the double, LOL! I will still put out something – anthologies, bundles and even new books – but not as obsessively as before.

And since I’ll be writing shorter stories as well and sending them out to markets, here’s some wonderful advice for you short-story-writers out there:

Which goes very well with Kris Rusch’s post on Quitting. I won’t quit writing and I certainly won’t take down what’s already out there, but, like I said, I’ll publish less and maybe tend the garden in 2019. I will probably have 200 titles out by the end of 2018 anyway, so… That’s what’s best for me at this time!

I will also postpone any marketing except a minimum to 2019. It will give me time to study the polarities of marketing and figure out what’s best for me. This year I did a lot of workshops on craft, so next year I want to just write and see if I can use what I learned, then I’ll put back the publisher’s hat on the following year.

But for 2018 I really only have a wordcount goal to hit. I’m currently working on the paperback of the anthology that is now live everywhere and will probably do more after the short stories I’ll write will be rejected everywhere (or hopefully accepted, so that I can have my second and third professional sale, LOL!). I have a couple of bundles with existing titles in mind as well but not for the first months of next year.

So this is more or less a summary of the year… For the latest sales, there’s the publisher’s page.

Last writerly link: myths and truths about Mighty Zon… I wish you all a wonderful pre-Christmas week! 🙂

Random Friday


This randomness shall start with thanking Kat Murty for explaining the difference between Cultural Appropriation and Cultural Exchange.

(oh, cool, I managed to embed a Facebook post on the blog!) Ahem! Where was I? Yes, cultural appropriation vs exchange. Now it’s really crystal clear, but this doesn’t mean I’ll wear that sari I bought in Jaipur or the one my mother brought me from Delhi (I think) a couple of years before.

In fact I don’t think I’ll ever wear a sari unless 1) it’s a bridal sari (although I doubt I’ll have a Hindu wedding in this life, maybe the next, LOL!) or 2) I’m invited at a Hindu wedding and they tell me I can wear a sari and whatnot. Both are very unlikely, so there you have it! 😀

Same goes with the bindi below. I got them in the 1990s at some booth in a Roman Summer fair and haven’t touched them since, but I like them, so I just keep them as they are! The one bindi they put on me when I tried the sari, stayed until night, then ended up on the India travel diary…

And since we’re talking of culture exchange, let me share this video of Cossak women doing the saber dance. Don’t you think they kick ass? Do you they’re giving me ideas for stories? Hell yeah! 😀 Maybe I’ll have a Cossack vampiress or maybe I’ll just use the technique for an alien humanoid fighter… 😉

Have a great weekend! 🙂

Random Friday


Besides bundles that I hope to read soon and some “housekeeping” (of the publisher page and other writerly things, not really the physical house, LOL!), I’ve been watching some DVDs. I started with 1453 that I bought in London last year about the birth of the Ottoman empire.

Besides the weird thing of a movie dubbed in English without subtitles, which made it at times hard to understand for a non-native speaker (I love my subtitles!), it was interesting and epic enough, although I felt the transitions were a little choppy. And they all looked the same to me – Turks, Greek Christians and Genoese – but well… it was kind of nice to see the Christians be the bad guys for once! 😉 The fall of the holy roman empire of orient or byzantine empire or whatever you want to call it didn’t look too bad. And I haven’t thoroughly studied that time period yet, so I don’t know if there are inaccuracies. Probably won’t watch it again, though, but it was a nice change of costumes and setting for a historical movie!

Then, since I was depressed, I rewatched some comedies – Bride and Prejudice and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I’d have continued with Galaxy Quest et all, but I decided it was high time I watched the box sets of old TV series that had been on my shelves for years.

So I opened the two box sets of The Persuaders and watched 2 or 3 episodes per day. I absolutely loved Brett Sinclair and Danny Wilde when I saw their adventures on the Italian TV back in the early 80s, so much so that I don’t remember right now who was my favorite. Probably the English lord, though! 😉 Both Tony Curtis and Roger Moore looked great in their forties, pity they’re both gone now.

Anyhow, IMBD says 1971-1972, but the Roman numerals at the end of the episodes say 1970. Whatever the exact year, there’s definitely a 1970s feel. And I got to see London, Paris, Rome and even Geneva in those years (whatever the years, I lived in Paris from 1970 to 1973) and it’s really cool.

Unfortunately it’s the Italian box sets, so I have the Italian subtitles on the original English soundtrack. At the same time it shows how often the adaptation is completely different (like the episode in Italy/Rome, the subtitles mentioned Madrid…). I also like the mix of European languages used (the polygloth is the English lord, of course, can Americans speak anything else beside English? 😉 Although I don’t hear much difference in their accents) and yes, it’s a funny series, although I really don’t know what they’re actually doing. They’re not spies, not assassins, just adventurers getting themselves in trouble?

Two worlds collide when the titled Englishman, Lord Brett Sinclair, and the Bronx-raised, self-made American Danny Wilde, reluctantly join forces to right wrongs, and to protect the innocent.

So what are they? Vigilantes? Private Investigators? They don’t always work for Judge Fulton either…

A pair of Playboys with nothing in common but trouble!
The classic ’70s British cult adventure series!

Anyway, it’s been a fun blast to the past and certainly helped me smile again. Now I’ll be dreaming those two for some time I’m afraid… and the yellow Aston Martin and the red Ferrari with a Modena plate they’re driving! 😀

One last thing… I feel totally overwhelmed by the company of the cover artists below (l.to r. Silvano Beltramo, Shafali Anand, me and Federica Manfredi), but don’t worry, I’m not giving up drawing or digital painting, quite the opposite… 😉

Stay tuned… Have a great weekend!

 

Writer Wednesday


This month’s writing is almost done, except one last story that should pour out within the week. Then I may write something in the same “universe” to submit somewhere – I’m currently reading the previous anthology to get a feel of what they’re looking for and I’m mostly having a blast. Ideas churn in my head with each new story – I know the where and when of mine, but the story is still nebulous.

These last 2-3 stories are shorter works, but in November I’ll get back to longer works. I have deadlines for submissions, so I’m doing those first. Did you read about Dean’s latest challenge – write his age? I could do it this year, I’d have to write/publish one story a week, but two months have already gone by since my 52nd birthday, LOL! I still need to reach my goal of half-pulp-speed (500K a year) and I probably won’t reach it this year either, so I’d rather skip this challenge… which will make it more worthwile whenever I decide to actually do it (when I’m 55? 60? We’ll see…).

Anyhow… next week I’ll be off DayJob, so I’m already putting up some kind of schedule. I’ll have to work on more PODs, even though CreateSpace is closing down its shop. Might be a good time to try KDP print. At the same time, Amazon seems to be less and less author-friendly. Which is a good reason for not having all the eggs in that basket.

This very interesting analysis that tells a tale of two marketing systems also got me pondering. I supposedly should use the Wide Tortoise method, although I’m using neither right now. I’m giving up on the marketing weekends again after reading of Facebook’s new policy in Pages newsfeeds. They keep offering me to boost my posts, but there must be some other way to reach fans! 😦

I don’t know, I also have to sign up for Pronoun and possibly other sites, so… one thing at the time! 😉 I also should add a “clean fantasy” label so my newer books. Gone are the times of those “Adults only” titles on both Star Minds and Silvery Earth. I called them ACE-friendly, but maybe, at least for Silvery Earth, it’s just clean fantasy.

But then I should change the publisher’s byline that it’s “books for adults with a youthful mind”! 😉 I mean, I’m an adult and I don’t really need to read about sex in every book. I also wrote all the violence I could think of out of my system. Mmm. I guess I’ll have to ponder and make a more generic byline “books for everyone”? Not really. “Books and stories” too bland?

Lot to ponder. Of course authors can’t make a living from books anymore, they never could, unless they were bestsellers. It’s even worse in traditional publishing, but even indies… most don’t thrive, including yours truly. But if you’re one of the lucky ones, you might find Trackerbox useful for your earnings. Here’s an interview with the creator, who has a kickstarter going for the Mac version.

I still go with Excel sheets and paper notebooks, but I’m not really thriving yet. Anyhow, if you want advice on self-editing your novel or five stages to revise it, there you go. And some habits of the world’s most successful writers. And a reminder that I have a few bundles out or coming soon… stay tuned for more!

Oh, and if you write mystery or romance, Hallmark is now accepting novels. I write neither, unfortunately, so go for it! 🙂 Have a great week!

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