Random Friday


Bundles, glorious bundles… Vampires of the World is available for pre-order as is Mythic Tales. Both have one of mine (erm… 2 in the first case…) in the lot.

In the vampires bundle you have Rajveer and Kaylyn (what else? πŸ˜‰ ) and in Mythic Tales, there’s Beautiful, the sleeping prince with a puppy disposition awakened by the stray cat adventurer who happened to kiss him awake.

I have received the proofs of Shashank and Honorable Assassins, and one I’m going to redo it – slightly reformatted the bonus stories. As soon as I get the new proof, I’ll probably send the book live so I can order a copy for the cover artist.

On totally unrelated subject, I watched the DVD of John Wick Chapter 2 and the deleted scenes… one of them was shot in EUR, next to the office! How did I miss them? Drat! Anyway, it was nice to watch it again with its mix of Italian and English! πŸ™‚

Now I can wait for Chapter 3… along with Da Other Muse’s movies if he decides to get back to work and stop modeling and endorsing products and making training programs and all that other stuff that has nothing to do with acting… πŸ˜‰

Oh, and the sale has begun… on all retailers! 99c/99p only until Sunday! πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend!

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Random Friday


I don’t know how I missed that I had won (ex equo) one of the categories of the fan fiction fling! Thanks for the badge, Jo! I shall ask you to beta-read again whenever I write something set in the US, since my proofreader is British… πŸ˜‰

On total randomness… I watched another movie, and it made me cry – much like Hardball. This one is French, though, and I had seen the posters, but I don’t go to theaters anymore because in this country everything is dubbed, so I waited for the DVD, haha. Demain tout commence (sorry, don’t know the English title, only the stupid Italian one) it’s about a man dealing with sudden paternity – just one, not three like in the more famous counterpart (the French original, never saw the American version, sorry).

It’s a dramedy, and I still think Omar Sy is gorgeous! πŸ˜‰ It’s also set in London, so you got some English inbetween the French. Again, I don’t think I’d have liked it dubbed (unfortunately all the extras were dubbed, but whatever)… but it was great in its original version. If you want to cry, that is! πŸ˜‰

And speaking of King Arthur again, I’m finally reading a book that was in a bundle that I bought almost two years ago from Storybundle, and it’s another version of the legend. Again characters are changed in unrecognizable ways, and we even have the evil albino trope. I would have happily lived without that one.

I know there’s a whole subgenre of Arthurian fantasy that revises those old legends, but it’s not for me. I enjoyed Jennifer Robertson’s version of Robin Hood, but I usually stay clear from those medieval legends revisited, because I’m quite familiar with the originals and often don’t like what authors have done to them. That’s just Reader me, of course! πŸ˜‰

You albino readers, avoid the Camelot Papers and wait for my own post-apocalyptic book that has an albino woman who is NOT the villain, quite the opposite, yay! And there will probably be more in the series, but I haven’t started thinking about the rest since I still need to touch up this one, LOL!

Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

Random Friday


Help a writer to avoid foreclosure. If you’re a reader, you might know her books better than I do – I’m sure I’ll read one sooner or later, maybe we’ll be together in a bundle or something. Anyhow, if you have $$ to spare, go help Adrian Phoenix! πŸ™‚

I still haven’t (re)watched John Wick Chapter 2, but I got the DVD of Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword… mostly because it features two of the original Queer as Folk, Nathan and Stuart! πŸ˜‰ But then it’s been almost 20 years and of course both have changed (or grown up in the case of the younger one)! πŸ˜€

I also watched the extras and I can tell Charlie Hunnam was an enthusiast for the movie. He said he grew up with Excalibur (which is about his age, but well… he’s British, so makes sense) which I happened to see in theaters because I’m slightly older than him (just a tad. What’s 15 years against eternity? ;)) – albeit dubbed in Italian.

But I saw the trailers in England (my first very first trip to England in the summer of 1981, before the Royal Wedding of last century) and looked forward to seeing it in Italy. Mostly because in the trailer Nigel Terry looked just like Oliver Tobias in my beloved Arthur of the Britons.

So, I’m more or less familiar with the legends even if I’m not British. My mom loved the chansons de gestes and studied them at university, and sort of passed on the love, even though my love for history and the Middle Ages is much much recent than Excalibur.

I saw most of the recent versions of the story, including Clive Owen‘s King Arthur and a Marvel comics graphic novel called Camelot 3000 (in the 1990s). And Guy Ritchie’s is the most fantasy of all. It has some nice British humor, but I’m afraid Mom will hate it even more than Excalibur when I show it to her! πŸ˜‰

But if one watches it as a fantasy with very famous names like Vortigern, Bedivere (an African one? The horror! Although Djimon Honsou is gorgeous, of course! :D) and Percival, it’s fine. Of course there’s Excalibur in the rock and the round table, sort of. A friend of mine even hopes for a sequel… *rolls eyes*

Have a great weekend! πŸ˜€

 

 

Random Friday


First I would like to say I have uploaded all the pre-orders for Shashank the Fledgling… and found a nifty widget available on Smashwords, but it wouldn’t paste properly on the blog. Meh. Go to the publisher’s site, where it worked perfectly! There’s just so much that I can do with HTML… The lower price on the pre-order will go up about a week after release, so get it before November 2! πŸ˜‰

Plus, in case you didn’t see it, Smashwords now allows global pricing control, hence I was able to put prices in Euro for the Italian titles and to add the INR prices to the Indian-themed Vampires Through the Centuries.

And since I can’t add a signature without a plug-in and can’t have a Donate button unless I get a Paypal Business account, if you’d like to support me, buy one of my books. I’ve put the links on the sidebar, under the Gravatar. Heck, I even changed that description a little, but it’s been… almost eight years! What an old blog I have!

But this is Random Friday, the blogoversary is still a couple of weeks away, so I’ll stop talking about writing right now! πŸ™‚

Besides my nickname is now Shanti, so I don’t want to fight with anyone. In case you don’t speak Hindi, it means Peace. The actual nickname chosen for me by Chiara Lubich in the 1970s was the Italian version, Pace. Sorry to see the Wikipedia article has multiple issues, but I was just a kid and I only have the letter of her secretary giving me the new name, so I have no idea if it’s correct or not. I was living in Geneva and I never actually met her! πŸ˜‰

Anyway, I guess I can say “peace” in more languages than the ones I’m fluent in. And since we need lots of that all over the world these days, here’s some peace for you. Pace, Paix, Peace, Shanti, Shalom – and feel free to add any other language you may know.

And while we’re at it, let’s add some Love, Amore, Amour and I know there’s more than one word in Hindi but I’m not going to try that one (Pyar? Mohabbat?). You add your own. Now I better go back to writing that other vampire story and reading 19th century journals.

By the way, did you know that someone in the 1700s wrote Memoirs of the Twentieth Century, supposedly set in 1997? Again, I have to rely on the Wikipedia entry for now, but I hope to get to read the real thing sometime. Just to have a laugh. He still imagined there was a king in France, but then, it was before the French Revolution… And in spite writing after Queen Elizabeth I he couldn’t see that there would be a Queen Victoria and then Elizabeth II…

And I’m also imagining what our lives will be like two centuries from now with twenty-first century technology, so I guess we’re even! πŸ˜‰ Speaking of inspiration and body switches, I watched Moglie e Marito, which gave me some ideas. But I’m beginning to think body switches work better on screen that in a book – and I sure hope the actors have fun doing them! πŸ˜‰

Couldn’t find the video of a song of Music and Lyrics I had in mind, so I guess I’ll end up here… Have a great weekend! πŸ˜€

Random Friday


Been reading samples for the next bundle, and I hope to find enough novels to fill it. Otherwise I’ll probably have to add shorter works and collections. In the meantime brainstorming the next book (and I’m not even done with the next one, LOL!) and getting started on at least one of the shorter works – which could eventually go into the bundle if I make it also of shorter works. Or maybe it will be a newsletter exclusive for a year or so. Or maybe I don’t know yet.

Been thinking about those projects – most are for next year, but you know… when the mind wanders… and the hand follows… I ended up doing a few chibis of myself that I may use in the future projects (at least one of them). So there you have Chibi Writer Barb!

This weekend I’ll make sure the document is ready and upload the pre-order also where I cannot do the assetless pre-order and next weekend will be the infamous marketing weekend cum POD formatting. Gah.

Draft2Digital added some e-book templates but I may try them on the next series. I did write a novel that isn’t part of any series yet this summer, after all! πŸ˜‰ So I guess I will try their sci-fi templates sometime before the end of the year, yay!

Any app-developers willing to work on that “Take Care of an Author (TM)” app (see previous post comments if you missed them)? I can do the chibis of the authors, but I’m hopeless with making apps… πŸ˜‰

Have a great weekend! πŸ˜€

Random Friday


So, I’ve been reading the Hugo Nominees (too late to vote, of course, but I do try to read at least the shorter works. There’s no way I’m reading the novel finalists, but everything else I try to)… Short story, novella and novelette finalists. 3 Did Not Finish and only one in each of the three categories that I absolutely love (and after checking the Hugo Awards, one won the Hugo, deservedly so, yay!).

I loved:

β€œAn Unimaginable Light”, by John C. Wright (God, Robot, Castalia House)

β€œTouring with the Alien”, by Carolyn Ives Gilman (Clarkesworld Magazine, April 2016)

Every Heart a Doorway, by Seanan McGuire (Tor.com publishing) which has an asexual protagonist and is the one that won the Hugo! πŸ™‚

I was beginning to feel bummed because I didn’t like any of the finalists and though I’d never fing my readers among Worldcon goers, but then I found some gems, so… I have a little chance too. In a couple of years. When I sell another story, hopefully. The one I sent out at the beginning of August already collected 2 rejections, but they were nice rejections – the ones that say “not for us, but send us your next” kind of rejections, so there’s still hope to sell it somewhere.

So maybe next year I’ll have 2 professionally published stories and can run for the Hugos in 2019. One can dream, right? πŸ˜‰ I won’t be disappointed if I don’t get nominated, and will go to Dublin anyway! πŸ˜€ By the way, if you want that one to be your first worlcon, it’s definitely cheaper than for returning people! πŸ˜‰

Now I hope to get back to reading the novels in the bundles I’m in… looking forward to read everybody else’s work! πŸ™‚ It’s been a drawing/reading week, but weekend I’m back to writing, or better, check that feedback from the first reader and address a couple of things before sending off to proofreader.

Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


So! Worldcon report! The ups and the downs – day by day! πŸ™‚

Day 1 (Wednesday Aug.9)

We had booked a tour of Suomenlinna fortress on an island off Helsinki’s shore, so we reached Messukeskus around noon. We got our badges , our program participant schedules and all that stuff. Having already eaten on the island, we wandered looking for rooms, the Green Room, the Art Show, the Traders room and all that other necessary exploration when entering a new place.

My friends attended the opening ceremony, but I just sat outside panel rooms, writing and studying the program. Too peopley in there, LOL! I got myself a Worldcon T-shirt Ladies size that had only 3 left – and in fact the next day it was gone (but then, everything was gone on the last day).

First panel was at 9pm, so at 5pm we went back to the hotel with tram #9 to rest for about an hour. Back to the con, we found the food hall closed or closing down except for Hesburger, that fed us for the rest of the convention! πŸ˜‰ We went to the Green Room to meet with Eva, then we met the other panelist, Zack, only in the panel room.

And there went my first panel – Writers and Artists – moderated by Mighty Marvelous Maurizio Manzieri! He had prepared a wonderful presentation, pity I had forgotten what images I had given them and what I was supposed to say about each, but at least I didn’t stammer and it was over pretty quickly.

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A group hug and then we looked for the exit, since by now Messukeskus was closed and we were too tired to go to the party in the Winter Garden of the Holiday Inn attached to the convention center. Someone kindly pointed us the exit and we got back on #9 and to the hotel.

Day 2 (Thursday Aug.10)

Since the food hall looked so expensive and we had found a supermarket near the hotel, this time we went shopping at Lidl before jumping on #9 a couple of stops before our hotel. I went to a panel on Asexuality in SF, then went back to the hotel around 2.30pm to rest.

I went back to Messukeskus around 4pm, and then spent most of the time in the Green Room, waiting for the other panelists. One bowed out and sent a replacement, the others soon joined me in the Green Room.

At 6pm it was European SF panel with Kristina Hard (Sweden), Ju Honisch (Germany), Francesco Verso (Italy) and a young Dutch writer standing in for Thomas Olde Heuvelt. Again, I’m afraid I wasn’t very clear and my have not answered a couple of questions, but I was the only one writing in English, the others didn’t felt confident enough and preferred relying on translators.

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What I mean to say is that I write in English because of the millions of people who know English, either as first or second language, NOT because I want to break into the American market – as was suggested by some douchebag in the audience. And even though I hadn’t planned on putting links here, since this is about international markets, I’ll link to Joanna Penn’s guest post on publishing outside your home country.

We had dinner at… yes, Hesburger again, and then the others went to the Irish party and I headed back to the hotel. Not too fond of beer, but I drank a lot of cider! πŸ˜‰

Day 3 (Friday Aug.11)

So, this was supposed to be my day in the Creators Alley. I had already posted on Facebook and announced everywhere that I’d be at N4, but no, I was moved to K9, at the bottom of the hall, where nobody came. Nobody showed up and I barely recouped the cost of the table.

Thank God Judith joined me after lunch time, so the afternoon wentΒ  faster – and she gave away all the flyers to download Sci-fi July for free. By the way, if you have one of those, there’s still time. I made 50, but so far only 1 person has downloaded the bundle, so there are still 19 people who can get it for free.

I know, it’s valid only for BundleRabbit, but come on. You get 11 novels for free if you sign up for a site that has plenty of great bundles! πŸ˜‰ Don’t be lazy and use your coupon now! πŸ˜€

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Since I didn’t want to bring any dead tree book back, I left them on the Bookcrossing shelves. They were gone the next morning, so I hope someone is enjoying them somewhere. One person said “There are so few books in English, you’ll sell them all” except nobody found me, so I sold 4 and gave away 11…

After dinner at the usual place, everybody went to the Hugo Awards ceremony, but I went back to the hotel, hoping to catch up on some sleep…

Day 4 (Saturday Aug.12)

Again shopping for food before heading for Messukeskus. Maurizio had a table in the Creators Alley – much better placed than I was – but I spent most of the time in the Fan Alley, writing. I’ve got a novel to finish, LOL! Now that I’ve typed everything in, I can tell you I jotted down 1100 words of revisions + 5500 words of new chapters, longhand, since I didn’t bring any laptop.

At 5pm I went to the Strange and Unusual Helsinki walking tour that ended in the Steampunk pub because the storm started before we could get to the Bollywood pub (that I assume was across the square, but well…) since “the worst storm in 10 years” scared everyone inside that pub.

I found my way to the metro and when I came out 2 stops and 30 minutes later, the storm that was supposed to last 2 hours was already over. Damn Finnish. We get that every year in Rome – it rains for 5 to 20 minutes, pouring cats and dogs, and then it stops.

Anyway, there were still clouds in the sky, so no meteor shower that night…

Day 5 (Sunday Aug.13)

Maurizio had another half day of table in the Creators Alley. I spent most of the time in the Fans lounge again, and then Fulvio saw George RR Martin sitting there, chilling out… so the cat caught the martin and I went to Maurizio, knowing he wanted to meet The George, and told him where his hero was.

The Trade hall closed at 3pm, then Maurizio had his last panel. Again I sat and wrote, watching his luggage. We went back to the hotel around five, before people started flooding out of Messukeskus after the closing ceremony.

Dinner was at the Viking restaurant Harald that I had seen the previous afternoon… With Maurizio Manzieri, Fulvio Gatti, Judith Herman, Mary A. Truzillo and her husband Geoffrey A. Landis… one of the few highlights of the Worldcon!

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Along with the fact that I collected 15 ribbons against the 2 of Chicon and only 1 of Loncon! πŸ˜€ Have a great week!

Sunday Surprise


Since it’s easier to post to Facebook than wriring a real post on WordPress from a phone, please head for my Facebook page (link in sidebar) for a preview of Worldcon.

Did l mention it’s easier to use Facebook mobile? πŸ˜‰ Real report coming next week as promised! πŸ™‚

Happy Sunday! 😁

EDIT as you can see it’s so hard, that l can’t even schedule for the right day… So HAPPY SATURDAY! 😁

Writer Wednesday


Worldcon Schedule!

This morning I’ll be visiting Suomenlinna, then I’ll head for Messukeskus to get my Worldcon passes and bus passes and whatnot. The first programme is at noon and we’re supposed to be there by then – after the Suomenlinna Tour, I mean. You can check the full programme here.

I have a panel tonight at 9pm Finnish time, in case you’re around the convention. My next panel is tomorrow at 6pm and on Friday you can find me in the Creators Alley, Table N4, with some paperbacks, flyers and cards. I’m getting rid of old editions (for example glossy cover vs. the new matte cover) – the text hasn’t changed – and proofs at discounted prices. Feel free to come and chat me up! πŸ™‚

I may also go to some Walk with the Stars, but I’ll improvise… I’ll also have to have a closer look at the programme to find panels that interest me!

And Friday night I’ll try to see the meteor shower from this latitude! πŸ™‚ Or maybe it’s Saturday, who knows… I asked the guide of whe walking tour where could be a good place to see it, and she pointed at the Observatory, but also some other sikret place I shall share only with who will come with me, LOL!

And Saturday I’ll be doing the Strange and Unusual Helsinki Tour

Want a tour in Helsinki out of the ordinary? Imagine in one day entering a weird museum where everything is for sale, eating in a viking restaurant, walking past kids park where everything is painted black and having a drink in multicoloured Bollywood bar. And more! A fluent English-speaking guide with a humorous touch, who knows the wacky side of Helsinki, will take you to a tour you will never forget!

I got her email, and there’s more to this than that… looking forward to it! πŸ˜‰ and I’m easily recognizable this time… even if you see me from my backside! πŸ˜€

I shall report next week… That’s all for today! Have a great week!

 

Random Friday


This summer has been worse than ever for buses. And it’s made worse by the buss app that showed me this city has plenty of Ghost Buses? The app says “now” and no bus shows up – must be the Ghost Bus for Old Silvery Earth or another dimension only transdimensional travelers can see except for that glitch on the Moovit App.

It says “4 min” and then “12 min” – again, a bus vanished in a wormhole? – and sometimes the bus shows up when the app says nothing. Huh? Whatever the cause, it’s happening way too often. It takes me 1hour to go home (or get to work) when school is out – only 5km, 20/30 minutes (depending on the traffic) bus ride if the bus shows up.

I’ve had 50 minutes wait for a 20 minutes trip… and sometimes I try alternatives, like changing bus, but it doesn’t always help. Add the heat and you havea very unhappy person here! Looking forward to going north, if only for a week of cooler weather!

But it’s great microfiction and maybe one day it will be a short story (“The Ghost Bus To Nowhere”). By the way, Da Muse seems quite good with microfiction from a picture himself. Maybe he should pair with Da Other Muse who now publishes Artbooks. Since Da Muse uses words and images to tell his little stories – unless he wants to enter the hall of Twitterature, since he is a Twitterati! πŸ˜‰

Ah, well, I do microfiction myself when I write Da Strip… that I still have no idea of how to publish, but I doubt anyone is actually looking forward to reading it, so… have a great weekend! πŸ˜€

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