Random Friday


And since there was a new UK poll released on Friday about the greatest Bollywood dance number of all time, I thought I’d share my thoughts on it! 😉 I would have added a few more, but I agree with the ones included that I know (#1 from Devdas, #4 from KNPH, #6 from Dhoom 3 and #9 from Dil Se – the others I either don’t remember them or have never seen them). And of course Madhuri Dixit rules! 😀

But now I’m going to give you my list of greatest Bollywood dance numbers according to Barb, in no particular order because it was hard enough to find only ten! Sometimes I like the music or the song, sometimes I like the dance steps, in these case I love both and tend to rewatch them on YouTube whenever I’m too lazy to switch on the TV and change DVD for every few songs (it’s usually more than one per movie, but I picked my favorite of favorites).

So here we go – with links to YouTube without cluttering this blog post. Just click on the song title if you want to watch it (I’m not like those guys who didn’t put any link, only the title of songs in their article, grunt!).

Oh la la tu hai meri fantasy from The Dirty Picture (2011) Vidya Balan at her best!

Dastaan-E-Om Shanti Om from Om Shanti Om (2005) – Bollywood’s alternative to the masked ball seen in Labyrinth, with King Khan.

Mohenjo Daro title track, the only salvageable thing of that 2016 movie…

Dil Laga Na from Dhoom 2 (2006), the Greek God at his absolute best. Aryan is still my #1, 12 years later…

Tu Meri from Bang Bang (2014), the Greek God still rockin’…

Senorita from Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011) and here’s to hoping to seeing these three crazy guys together again. They want to, we want to, come on Zoya Akhtar, give us a sequel! 😀

Baawre from Luck By Chance (2009), pure Bollywood 100%!

Desi Girl from Dostana (2008) because hey! It’s Prianka Chopra! Her dance skills are almost as good as Madhuri! 😉

Make some noise for the Desi Boyz from Desi Boyz (2011) because they go well with the above. And it’s John Abraham and Akshay Kumar!

And an older title to close this list: another Karan Johar movie, Koi mil gaya from Kuck Kuch Hota Hai (1998), again with King Khan, Kajol and Rani Mukerjee.

Yes, there are recurrent faces. And no, I didn’t put all my favorites. You can look up Katrina Kaif in Chikni Chameli from Agneepath (2012) and other Greek God movies… Shahid Kapoor when he shaved his face… and even Arjun Rampal can shake his booty in Ek Ajnabee (but I already posted that one)! 🙂

Have a great weekend!

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Random Friday


So the first three weeks of vacation have been so filled with travels that I’m still recovering, haha! I’d post pics of Vegas, but you all know what Vegas looks like, right? I didn’t go in the casinos (although I went through them to reach places like buffets or the street), didn’t touch slot-machines (I prefer the old ones I saw in England back in 1981, where you threw in coins in that big glass case hoping to make the other coins fall and  win them, much funnier than that digital stuff where you push buttons), didn’t walk the Freemont Experience at night much (already saw it in 2009). And I didn’t go flying either.

Lucca was a mess with rain, so the first day it was almost impossible getting anywhere. Probably wasted ticket, since everywhere was so crowded they had to close them off. I saw the Japan Town and the Games area, but not the official publishers booths. And there was a web strip that had finally a printed version that I wanted, but I couldn’t get in. Meh.

I also went to the self-area to grab a few indies. I discovered the Sad Unicorn comic and visited with some of the comic artists who had booths either in the self-area or up on the walls of the town. I also checked the steampunk clothes available, but they’re kind of expensive for the kind of use I had in mind, so I ended up not buying anything.

I have been thinking I could go to Worldcon as Bel from Post-Apocalypse Chronicles, but I don’t know if and when I’ll have panels yet and if and when I can have a table to sell some books. There are plenty of other comicons before Worldcon, though, so I’ll have more time to find a “costume” (possibly recyclable for other things, lest it stays in the wardrobe like my medieval costumes, LOL!).

Cosplayers! Plenty of them. Including a bearded Ariel the Mermaid, some musicians (Michael Jackson, Slash, Freddie Mercury “I want to break free”) and some interesting characters. And steampunkers, of course. And lots of mini-cosplayers – mostly Marvel superheroes for boys and Star Wars ladies for girls. A very colorful crowd in spite of the rain.

But too crowded for my tastes, so I guess I’ll skip the next two or three and go back only when I recovered! What can I say, I hate crowds… they give me panic attacks! 🙂 Have a great weekend!

Writer Wednesday


Jet-lag, it is a bitch. My sleep pattern is still screwed up too, luckily I’m not back to DayJob yet. So last week I had my minimum wordcount of the year, only 1600 words, to which I added another 2300 on Monday to finish fleshing out Wanderlust. I may start on the next book, but tomorrow I’m off to Lucca Comics and Games… so I guess that’s all for October. 430K total. Almost there! 😀

Since Kristine the Youngest goes live soon (in two days, yay!), I’ve lowered the price to the whole Vampires Through the Centuries series. Rajveer the Vampire is at 99c and the others are either 2.99$ (the shorter ones) or 4.99$ (including the last book). And looky look, the first book even has one Amazon review from someone I don’t know, yay! 🙂

There’s also a new anthology out, curated by Russ Crossley and with a story from yours truly: Rocketpack Adventures (ebook universal link and paperback) is out for grabs. I’m waiting for my author copy to read it (although I downloaded the Kindle version, but I have other things to read before that – including Wanderlust before sending it off to Mighty Editor) and soon I’ll post short interviews with other authors.

I’m also working on a few more paperbacks – the ones that I haven’t announced yet because even though they’re live, I haven’t checked the final version and the Star Minds Lone Wolves elders, so expect more announcements on that too. Possibly on the publisher page! 🙂

About the Business Masterclass… it was great meeting old friends and new ones, but I still need to sort my notes and make a priority list of what MUST be done, what SHOULD be done and what I probably won’t do right now. Lots of new ideas and great tips during those five days.

I got to meet Damon Courtney of Book Funnel (which I’ve used as a reader, mostly on BundleRabbit) who gave me some interesting ideas for my Patreon, since it has a Patreon integration, but I still have to figure out how to do it. If you’re selling direct (I’m not, yet), you do want to sign up for Book Funnel. If you want to do giveaways without uploading to Smashwords and setting it to free, do sign up – you’ll keep the emails of your readers (which you don’t see on Smashwords…)! 😉

Pricing! Especially if you’re a first-time author, it’s only 20$ a year. Me being more on the mid-list author tier, I’ll wait until next year to sign up – enough expenses this year! 😀 But hearing about certain features (like serials) made me wish I could jump onboard right now… Besides Damon is a very nice and funny guy to have around! 😀

Oh, and I got lunch with the Passive Guy! And Kevin J. Anderson (who forced me to have American pizza, LOL!)! I found a wonderful roomie and had booked the same return flight as the British resident, so we chilled out at the airport on the way home before our (delayed…) BA flight.

I shall leave you with a short slideshow of the Masterclass… have a great week! 🙂

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Random Friday


This is randomly late, but I’m jet-lagged and didn’t have the strenght to schedule it yesterday when I got home after an awful 9 hours flight and an almost missed connection in Heathrow with me breaking down at security and being sent to the manager because they held up my bag  (an boarding pass and passport and everything). I may understand security issues, but if Americans let me on a plane, why don’t the British trust me I didn’t get anything dangerous in the transfer between T3 and T5? Sigh.

Anyhow, wonderful week, meeting old and new friends, taking tonz of notes that will have to percolate for a few days before I make a priority list or action plan for the rest of the year… and back to my projects and paperbacks and all that stuff. Itching to getting back to writing too.

I didn’t watch any movies on any flight (the Dallas-Las Vegas one I had a broke video), didn’t sleep much either, hence 24hours-without-sleep bouts both going out and coming back – hence the grumpiness and near-panic attack on the way back. I’m too old to keep doing intercontinental flights on economy, LOL!

More next week… I need to go to the supermarked to fill the fridge and do some laundry and finish sorting stuff and do other things… have a great weekend! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


Since I’m still traveling, I’m postponing the actual Writer Wednesday with a summary of this Business Masterclass. But I’m not leaving you high and dry! Here are some writers on writing/words of wisdom/writers’ quotes to keep you company until I come back! Have a great week!

Right now you are best writer you can be at this point in time.

Believe that, keep practicing and sending your work out, keep learning everything you can learn.

Understand that the more you write, the more you learn, the better you will become.

But right now you are the best writer you can be.

And that will be better than the writer you were a year ago, if you are doing things right and writing and learning.

And it won’t be as good as you will be in a year if you keep learning and practicing.

Imagine how much more you will know and how much better a storyteller you will be in forty years…

Dean Wesley Smith

Should A Writer Get An English Degree, Yes Or No?

This is apparently a question, so I will attempt to address it.

I have no idea what you should or should not do. Every writer tends to carve their own writer-shaped door into the industry, and then they seal it shut behind them, Cask-of-Amontillado-style. (I can make that Poe joke because I was an English major. I have a license for such literary shenanigans; if you are caught making such a pun without the proper degree, you will be hunted.) There exists no One True Way to become a writer except, you know, go read stuff, live a life, and write things down.

Keep reading stuff, living your life, and writing things down until you get sorta okay at it, and then later until you maybe get sorta good at it, and hey, ta-da, you’re probably a writer. Maybe even a professional one of some level of success from MEAGER TRILOBYTE to MIDLIST INKSLINGER to GRAND CONQUERING PENMONKEY OF THE REALM.

There, the end, go do it.

Chuck Wendig

Now, all that said, it takes more than writing to market to get a book that makes money and has oodles of readers. It takes more than writing to a niche to get that smaller but fanatically loyal fan-base. You also may write that cannibal comedy so well that it gets attention from readers across the board and starts the next big trend. You can’t predict how your book will do once it’s published.

You have to start by writing a great book of whatever genre you pick. You then have to either put the work in to get an agent or publisher, or publish it yourself and be willing to do your own promotion and marketing. Your writing has to be what sets you apart, the rest are no more than paths your writing takes to get to your goal. It’s a smart writer that spends some time considering which path they want to take.

That doesn’t make you untrue to your art. It makes you an artist who has a goal for their art and makes a plan for how to get there. There is nothing wrong with art for art’s sake, but if you want people to buy your art, then you need to have a plan.

Julianne Johnson

Be yourself.  Write to your standards, your taste.  The road will be lonely, because you’re the only one on it.
Know that when you put a book out, there may be elements beyond your control that bring it down.  You can control the quality, but you can’t control much more.

David Farland

I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.

Douglas Adams

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

Maya Angelou(I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings)

What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.

J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)

Random Friday


And with my fall and everything else, I missed Da Blogoversary! Nine years of blogging and I didn’t even celebrate! How many bloggers are still out there? Not many from my original blogroll… Maybe they moved to social media (where I don’t go, except Facebook). Maybe they stopped writing. Who knows…

Me? Still here, of course. Still blogging until I have something to say. I’m thinking of moving the Newsletter to Patreon (it would be a free  post, the paid one would be of other things), so if you’re really interested, you’d still get an email with the publishing news and possibly a free short every now and then, and I’d dump all those imported subscribers who don’t even open the emails…

Still pondering about that. How to split the tiers, what to give away for that money. I’ll probably do like Joleene, only 2 cheap tiers, but I still need to think about it. I know, why follow me on Patreon when I post for free here? 😉 But I hope to be able to bring interesting tidbits for readers… the ones I don’t know by first name, I mean. *waves at Tori and Joleene*

I keep getting new followers here, but I have no idea why you like my ramblings. Are you readers? Writers? Passers-by? I’d put in the usual poll, but I know you won’t bother answering. So here’s to another 10 years of blogging and have a great weekend! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


And in spite of the bandage, I wrote 724 words on Thursday, 790 on Friday, 1530 on Saturday and 2102 on Sunday for a grand total of over 5K. I could have written more, but the lack of mobility of my wrist meant I tired quicker and had to stop more often.

Anyhow, if you heard a big bang, it’s also because two of my universes collided – well, two series met in this book I’m writing.

And I’m thinking of a cover rebrand, but I still have some work to do on it. It’s such a mashup of subgenres that it’s hard to find a cover template that I like for the whole series!

Will keep working on it, maybe get some good ideas at the business masterclass coming up next week… This book is due for December anyway and I’ll be back on time to order another cover from the same artist if things go wrong the other way round! 🙂

Still not reading blogs because I slept at Mom’s since the fall, so no internet access at night except on my phone, which is too hard to read. I’ll try to catch up next weekend, when I must also set up the pre-order for Kristine the Youngest.

I did manage to set up the pre-order for Elsa’s story, though, so it can go live on October 15th for White Cane Safety Day! 🙂

Oh, and by the way, BundleRabbit has set up a couple of new features, the Shared Worlds (that I still have to try) and the Series that I tried last weekend for both Nightly Bites (there will be more, must be more, LOL! Maybe next year) and Sci-Fi Stories (to which I added the bundle). I think those links are pretty neat! Now I might do a series with the bundles I curated and one with the bundles I participate in, haha! 🙂

Sorry to keep this short, but not much else going on… Have a great week! 🙂

Random Friday


And inbetween struggling with KDPprint and writing I don’t have much time left to do stuff, so… last weekend there was a regency dance on the shores of the artificial lake in Eur. And I had a ballroom scene to write, which was cool.

Can’t upload MP4, so I shall leave you with my favorite masked balls – Hollywood and Bollywood version. Maybe I should start doing video-Friday, but someone might not be happy, LOL!

Anyhow, from all-time favorite Labirynth, with much missed David Bowie and a young Jennifer Connelly (I know, I already posted it, but I still love it) – As the world falls down.

And from Om Shanti Om, with King SRK a.k.a. Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone, guest star Arjun Rampal with bad aging makeup – Dastaan-E-Om Shanti Om (again, a favorite song that summarize forgettable part one of the movie)!

I know I already posted both, but they’re totally worth reposting! 🙂 Have a great weekend!

 

Random Friday


On a bout of total randomness, I shall go down memory lane! 😀 My very first and totally private blog was on Yahoo 360. I probably put some of it here, at the dawn of this blog, when I was still talking about my attempted conquest of Hollywood. It had a nice little Yahoo Avatar that I have saved on some printed version of that blog, but not on my computer.

Since I’m stuck with the last Yahoo Avatar on my Yahoo account that doesn’t represent me anymore (like the older Happiness is… vignettes that show a brunette, haven’t been a brunette since 2013), I went online to check if and how I could change it. Nope… sigh. I should have changed my Yahoo Avatar when I changed my look!

Anyhow, I tried the suggested alternatives to online avatars (of course for the blog I already had chosen WordPress, and this blog is now almost nine year old, see that widget on the sidebar? Yeah, blogoversary coming soon!) and ended up doing a couple of attempts with Avatar Maker – although for the hair… sigh. I guess I’ll stick to Chibi Barb and Da Muses for the time being.

I shall leave you with my two “new” avatars and Da Muses avatars, just for fun! Have a great weekend! 😀

Writer Wednesday


I managed more than 14K last week, wrapping up a collection of shorts and checking a short novel. Then I wrote two more stories that will probably end up with the novel, unless some beta-reader tells me they can stand alone, hehe.

This week I’m traveling, so I’ll do more re-reading/re-drafting than actual writing, but I’m still good on wordcount. I might not hit any publishing goal this year, but I’m definitely hitting my wordcount goal, yay!

Facebook reminded me it’s almost my birthday and to create a fundraiser to support a cause I care about. I’m going to repeat what’s in the image above for the visually impaired: I would like to raise funds to be able to quit the DayJob and move to Iceland. I guess it doesn’t qualify as Nonprofit Fundraising, so if you would like to donate to this writer and make her a wonderful birthday gift, please go to UPB and buy one or more of her books, it would really make her day! Thank you!

I have tried to submit a title to a Kobo promo, but it was declined. Besides, why should I do a sale on my birthday when I’m the one who should get a gift? 😉 So, if you’d like to gift me, on Saturday the 25th buy any one of my books. I know, there aren’t many for 99c, but where else do you get away with a 10$ (max.) gift to someone? 😉

August 15th is national holiday in Italy and India, albeit for different reasons. In Italy it’s a religious holiday, in India it’s Independence Day. I’m in the lower slopes of the Appennines, hopefully cooler than in Rome, in an old house overlooking a green valley, busy with family.

Some writerly links to keep you company – I think I already mentioned this feels like the apocalypse, albeit not as it is described in the sci-fi books. Chuck Wendig has a point in his post (warning, F-word and strong language abounds) at #5. Things have been a lot worse. And of course #8 – there exist a lotta good people out there. It’s just that 27% Crazification Factor people are very loud and very annoying.

And it’s not just in the US, also in Old Europe, with the British wondering about Brexit and I won’t tell you what the state of Italy is, but things went downhill very fast in politics here too. And the Crazification Factor must be up to 50%, but I digress. Fake news and disinformation are everywhere.

Anyway, let’s just write a nice plot twist and take us out of this wrong timeline! I wish we were in the Star Minds timeline, LOL! (for those who don’t know, in 2012 we joined the Star Nations and took down all borders, working on cleaning up the planet and start traveling across the galaxy – some times sci-fi writers get it wrong, LOL!)

Last link is about plot twists and a StoryBundle bundle of sci-fi with plot twists… Have a great week!

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