real world inspiration

All posts in the real world inspiration category

Random Friday

Published 10/11/2017 by Barb

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! πŸ˜‰ 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! πŸ˜‰ 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? πŸ˜‰ 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! πŸ˜€

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… πŸ˜‰

Stay tuned… Have a great weekend!

 

Writer Wednesday

Published 25/10/2017 by Barb

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! πŸ˜‰ 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”! πŸ˜‰ 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! πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

Random Friday

Published 06/10/2017 by Barb

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!

Random Friday

Published 29/09/2017 by Barb

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

Published 22/09/2017 by Barb

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

Published 15/09/2017 by Barb

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˜€

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