Writer Wednesday


So, it’s a reading month and I’m telling you that I look forward to going back to writing! πŸ˜‰ I’m a slow reader and it tends to send me to sleep, so… I hope from next month to read a little less and write a lot more and maybe watch a movie or three, since my pile just went up again!

water-and-air-1563x2500_resizeTor rejected my novella (after almost 2 months) and I’m quite happy about it because I can order a cover to a wonderful artist () and add that second point of view I had in mind to turn it into a short novel… not to mention writing the sequel, so I already know what I’m writing in March! πŸ˜€

And a new title is out, Quests Volume 1 that contains the Path of Water and the Path of Air with cover by the awesome Shafali Anand. The paper version when I have more time to work on it, be patient, thank you! πŸ™‚

61qsf9igudlI would also recommend to keep an eye on Mysterious Kemet – Book 1 by S.R. Anand (I wonder if they’re related? πŸ˜‰ I’m sure we have the same cover artist!) which will go on my TBR pile as soon as I get home in March. I also hope to invite the author on this very blog then (I mean after I read the book)! πŸ™‚

From a friend’s blog, a new series of how to… for indie authors! πŸ™‚ So if you’re just starting up, you might check these – the posts will keep coming, I’m told! πŸ™‚ How to claim your title on Amazon Author Central, how to add social media buttons on Goodreads, and so on…

Also, if you’re a bestseller, watch out, Amazon is making sure you are – not my case, but I’ve seeen plenty of “bestselling author” labels that made me wonder… I’m glad someone is checking that those labels are hard-earned and true! πŸ˜‰

And a good article on how to seek help the right way. You might do like Indie Author 1 and ask the wrong question to the wrong person! πŸ˜‰ I know Indie Author 2 and I heard his plea, which reminded me of my shelved historical – shelved because I don’t like the story anymore, not just because beta-readers didn’t think it fit the “historical novel” mold.

I also stopped looking for beta-readers unless I write something for the first time or something I’m unfamiliar with and want an “expert” to fact-check what I did. Or maybe I’ll ask the cover artist to read the whole thing. But for the Quests books, for example, I sent out to betas only book 2 and 3 (book 4 comes out next month and I sent it directly to the editor).

Why? Because in one case I had a young male’s POV and even if he isn’t really human, I still needed a male’s perspective. And about Book 3, I was afraid I had gone too fast in the second half, and thanks to faithful offline beta (*waves at B-Abby*) I managed to balance it.

A couple more writerly links: why persist as a writer in times of such heinous fuckery (by – you guessed it! – Chuck Wendig) and how to keep writing through times of great political upheaval (by Chuck’s guest Kameron Hurley). I’m not giving up, and look forward to get back to writing, but I’m tangled into reading this month! πŸ˜‰

Have a great week… Happy writing! πŸ™‚

Random Friday


Okay, I had time to watch a movie during the weekend, so I finally finished the box set my sister lent me in December. The last to watch was Elysium, which wasn’t bad, but again it sees a future with no middle class, while I still think we might be headed to a middle-class-only society. I know it doesn’t look like that but if you check that Quantum Run page, there is hope in the future! πŸ˜‰

I’m going to quote a sci-fi author (from the Finnish Worldcon progress report):

I’m also confused by the fact that such a large part of recently written science fiction is very pessimistic. It worries me particularly that in SF aimed at children and young adults, dystopias have become the popular and most frequently published subgenre. I myself am naive enough to believe that we would feel better if we could read about a future that is worth living in. I’m also naive enough to believe that we currently have all the information we need to create such a future. Why, then, do so few science fiction writers nowadays describe this kind of alternative? This remains a mystery to me but it would be nice if more writers were to even give it a try.

– John-Henri Holmberg

I agree with him. Time to write more optimistic futures! Even if the present is so bleak. Last week I was asked which sci-fi worlds I like to escape to, and since I’m old, I gave original Star Wars trilogy, original Star Trek and original Battlestar Galactica… and then this week I learned that Richard Hatch is gone too.

So I’m posting his autographed photo from Torino Comics 2012 when I was very busy being Happy Fangirl Barb with Terry Moore, but also got to meet him.Β  In case you’re a newcomer, you can read all about that here. I hadn’t posted the photo back then, so here it is now.

tocomics2012Anyway, it is well-known that I don’t watch TV anymore. Apparently da Muse went to the Italian TV for his next movie (coming out today in the US, next week in the UK) but I didn’t see him either (but then, I didn’t even see him when he came to Rome to shoot some scenes last year, LOL!).

Hope this weekend to watch another movie, if not, well… March! πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend!

Writer Wednesday


Been reading like crazy and not writing much, but I found an interesting site of futurists and how they see the world. So if for example you want to know about the future of work, you can see that the only way to have a job in the future it to be creative – until AIs become better than us at that too, of course.

I have a still unpublished short story about a bleak future for writers, but we’re not there yet. We’re not even close, actually. So it’s okay to be discouraged if writing is not your primary need, but otherwise please check this post on the importance of writing in difficult times. Because it escapism is not a dirty word.

I certainly will keep writing, especially on other worlds, but probably also on this godforesaken planet, even though things look pretty grim – unless you study that futuristic Quantum Run site, that is! Things are not so bleak if you check that! πŸ™‚ And there’s the real value of hope

A project that looks cool for when I finish the current moleskine (I’m still using the ones that were gifted to me by friends around 2002…) is this INDITE notebook… I like the fact that I can write longhand again! πŸ™‚

Other good indie news – both Smashwords and Draft2Digital have taken out the “minimum treshold” for Paypal payments (was 10$ on both sites), so money will trickle in more regularly from this year. I wonder if things changed at Paypal to allow both to drop the minimum treshold…

Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Random Friday


Weekend in London on the Chinese new year! Southall was disappointing (after 10am most shops were still closed, the “newsagent” that boasted magazines had none and even at the train station there were no magazines worth my time and the trip there, grrr), but I found some DVDs at FOPP (not to mention a wonderful security guy at the door who must have been half my age but still said “Enjoy, Miss” when I left – it’s been too long since someone called me “miss”, LOL!) and some magazines at a WHSmith for future reference.

London shopping

London shopping

I had lunch with a friend, then dropped that bag at the hotel and headed for the O2 to watch Kaabil – the reason why I went to London in the first place. Now if only they dubbed it in English, I’d ask Tori to watch it and tell me what she thinks! πŸ˜‰ But I doubt she’d go with Kelly reading the subtitles to her…

Barb's review

Barb’s review

It was wonderful seeing the O2 at night… so I’ll leave you with a slideshow of London by day (Chinatown) and by night! πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend! πŸ˜€

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Random Friday


Mmmmovie Friday! Watched Dilwale (which wasn’t on my wishlist, but the shopkeeper insisted on giving me) and obviously I didn’t miss the couple SRK-Kajol since I don’t particularly like her, but I had the nice surprice of an item song shot in the country of faeries…

I was like “Hey, that’s columnar basalt! Hey, a black beach! HEY, I KNOW THAT WATERFALL!!!”, yes, you even get a glimpse of the genie of the waterfall. So I’m posting a pic of the genie here and see if you can see it in the video below.

img_1985

seated genie watching the waterfall

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closeup of the profile

now find it in the video! Definitely Iceland! πŸ™‚

I also watched the DVD of a 25-year-old French movie that I can’t for the life of me remember if I saw it in French in some Roman cinema or only saw it dubbed. Anyway, now I have it in French, so that’s what I got. I don’t kiss is quite censored for a French movie! πŸ˜‰ But in the interview with the director, he explains why, so… all good! πŸ™‚

And since we’re in 80s revival/mourning, I also rewatched the whole Back to the Future trilogy. Now I really want my flying car. I feel cheated. Meh.

Have a great end of the year and see you next year! πŸ™‚

 

Writer Wednesday


So, the small&medium publishers fair is over, and I’m sorta kinda bummed. In my blissful ignorance I hadn’t realized there are Italian indie authors who earn a living in SFF. Sigh. Now I feel waaaay behind in my publishing history, but I’m also aware this is the beginning of phase 2, so…

As soon as my least favorite month of the year ends, I hope to be strong and determined enough to make plans for phase 2, because I freely admit that currently I don’t feel like I can tackle the next five years of indie publishing. Must be end of the year blues or this very bad year for the world or whatnot.

Anyhow, still pounding out wordcount, and then I’ll have to check how the year went, so I’ll have another bout of depression, LOL! By February I’ll have recovered and be ready to move on. I still have stories to publish that I wrote this year, but I plan to publish less next year anyway.

Upcoming temporary sale – Kobo only! December 40% Off Sale Dec 15 2016 – Dec 19 2016 on Kaylyn the Sister-in-Darkness! Here’s to finding a few more readers on Kobo and that the person(s) who found me on Apple back in October will go back for the i-bookstore for the Holidays! πŸ˜‰

And if you need books to read for the Holidays or want to gift some ebooks to friends, StoryBundle still has three great bundles also for your writer friends:

NaNoWriMo Bundle (for writers)!
Leading Ladies Fantasy (for fantasy lovers looking for strong female characters – this ends really soon, so grab it today)!
Immerse or die (indie authors that grab the reader)!

And more bundle galore at BundleRabbit as well:Fabulous Familiars and here’s a list of all the other available bundles! Yes, even on your favorite retailer!

Oh, and let’s not forget planners for writers. I have used the Writing World planners for the past 2 years, but I wasn’t totally happy with the 2016 version. So I might try this version instead – or just do without in Phase 2! πŸ˜‰

I’m hopeless with widgets… the sidebar allowed you to subscribe to the newsletter but didn’t go directly to MailChimp, therefore you won’t be able to claim the free story for subscribing… So for you who signed up through the previous form, please do so again here, or click on the image on the sidebar. Sorry about that.

Last but not least – indie authors Golden Book Awards. The first phase is free, and feel free to pay the fee if you get to the finals. Enter your books here and/or vote for the entries. I have added a couple of mine… but vote for whoever you want! πŸ™‚

Now I better go finish the previous bundles and the paper book I’ve started… Reading year coming soon… Have a great week!

Random Friday


Movie Friday! I saw a cheap DVD of the Danish Girl and was intrigued enough by the blurb to buy it. The Italian blurb was slightly different than the IMDB one, but whatever! I enjoyed the story of the first transgender. I even cried a little, and s/he is quite beautiful and with a very sweet smile.

As for nude males – as discussed in the comments of this post – yeah, he showed his dick and also how to hide it to look female, and it was quite an interesting sight! πŸ˜‰ Like I said in the above, I’m not a fan of male full frontals, but in this case I wasn’t disturbed.

Might be adult themes, but I thought overall it was a very sweet love story although there’s no HEA. But I’d rather cry over a sad movie than in anger at DayJob. Crying over a movie or a book is catartic. Crying in anger and frustration is just exhausting. And I’m very close to that lately.

And then I watched Mohenjo Daro with a friend… by the way, it will also be at the Florence Film Festival this weekend. They used to show those movies also in Rome a week later, but this year apparently they prefer Milan… Can’t blame them! πŸ˜‰ (and anyway they invited Kabir Bedi and Ashutosh Gowariker, not Hrithik, so… ;p)

Let’s say that a TV screen was enough anyway. Not sure I’d have enjoyed it more on a big screen. It was okay. Later I thought I missed something, then, remembering the “censorship” of Bang Bang by Air India, I realized that maybe that much talked scene was actually something that I did see and it wasn’t as hot as described in the articles I read through my Google Alerts.

Either that, or the hot love scene was left on the cutting floor, haha! πŸ˜€ Not that I care to watch men romance much younger women on the big screen (do you hear me, SRK? Deepika could be your daughter!!)… πŸ˜‰ And no, it’s not because I’m not that young anymore, haha! πŸ˜€

Now my friend wants to see more Bollywood. I shall endeavor to pass her the Bollywood fever! πŸ˜€ Have a great weekend! πŸ˜‰

Random Friday


It’s not over yet and already I think that 2016 was one of the worst leap years of my life – for the world, more than myself. I have reached a sort of balance in spite of the changes around me, but for everybody else it’s been tough.

The downs started with celebrity deaths led by David Bowie and Alan Rickman back in January. Men and women who will be sorely missed. I could throw in an uncle of mine, while another is very close to departing, but I guess that I’ve reached an age where people I grew up with and always took for granted are leaving for a better place.

No wonder my hands (and waist) are covered by vitiligo like my grandfather when he came back from India! He was a prisoner in WW2 and he came back stressed and undernourished. I’m not undernourished (I actually have a high colesterol at this time, but guess what? That’s another consequence of stress) but I’m definitely under psychological stress.

Then we had the natural disasters – earthquakes in Italy and New Zealand – and the endless political discussions from Brexit to US presidential elections and now the upcoming referendum in Italy. I’m so sick of reading about politics on my Facebook newsfeed that I scroll so quickly that I may miss a good video, like the evolution of dance or this blind dancer and his angel.

The ups were the trip to India and Da Muses working so I have two movies to look forward to next year – Kaabil in January and John Wick 2 in February, so pretty close! And Mr Selfie even went live on Facebook and I caught it, by pure chance, but that’s one up for Facebook too! πŸ˜‰

Speaking of movies, I watched Zinda with Sanjay Dutt and John Abraham. The director is the same of Kaabil, and I can tell he’s experimenting. In Zinda (ten years ago) it wasΒ  the visuals – almost black&white – in Kaabil it will be sounds, apparently, since the progatonist is blind. Both seem to be revenge stories of the average Joe turned action hero (but I haven’t seen Kaabil, so I’m just assuming that the premise is similar).

At the time John Abraham seemed to play mostly the bad guy, glad he managed to graduate to hero status since! πŸ™‚ Sanjay Dutt – I’ve seen him in both roles (good/bad guy), a couple of times with Hrithik (Mission Kashmir and Agneepath), but it was the first action movie where he was the hero – negative, maybe, but still the hero. And no dance items, in case you were wondering.

So onward to the next DVD, the next month, the next year… have a great weekend!

Random Friday


Since between long flights and that neverending pile of DVDs to watch (to which I have just added 4 + a box set loaned by my sister with 2 movies I haven’t seen), I’ll make this movie Friday! πŸ˜‰ During Long Flight #1, since it was a red eye, I blissfully slept for most of it. I only watched a bit of Bang Bang from breakfast to landing or so (up to after the song Uff).

I resumed watching it on the way back during lunch, since I could be interrupted and everything, then I went exploring whatever else Air India offered and went back to it only a number of hours later to finish watching it. It was censored, by the way. I even rewinded to check – the kiss in Prague had been cut out of the movie. Meh.

Anyhow, I watched Kapoor & Sons – still don’t get that artificial aging that looks ugly whatever movie industry tries it, but I guess there aren’t that many 90-year-olds still alive and acting! πŸ˜‰ Yes, Rishi Kapoor was unrecognizable under the prosthetics, but still looked fake – and on a small screen on the plane, can’t imagine on a big screen.

It’s a nice movie, though, I shed some tears, so I’ll add it to the wishlist anyway. The two young men were quite promising, although they looked like younger versions of Arjun Rampal and Shahid Kapoor… Here’s to hoping that Sidhart Malotra shaves a little more often, like Shahid used to do! πŸ˜‰ And keep going, Fawad Khan, you can conquer Bollywood even if you’re Pakistani! πŸ˜‰

Then, since I couldn’t really get any sleep, but was too tired to concentrate on deep storytelling, I checked ABCD2, since it’s a dance movie and I love watching dance numbers (and that’s why Da Muse is where he is, he is the best Bollywood dancer, ha!). The choreography was great and I showed the last number to my nephew who is doing breakdance this year… I had to explain to him the story, but there isn’t much dialog, so maybe one day I’ll watch it with him! πŸ˜‰

Then I went home and before ordering the next batch on Amazon (was supposed to be just 1, but I watched some trailers on the next DVD… and I ordered 3!) I watched Bhagwaan Dada. Besides the very ruined film and the dubious honor of seeing Sridevi in her youth (I’m not ashamed to admit I discovered her with English Vinglish, so?), what can I say… the best actor was the kid! πŸ˜‰

The movie looked from the 50s or 60s, even though it’s from the 80s, and the transitions were quite choppy, so I didn’t love it, but I kinda liked it. Like watching Darr and other 20th century Bollywood. They definitely got better in the new millennium!

And the kid grew up to become the Greek God we all know and love… πŸ˜‰ Although he was definitely an ugly duckling back then, but he already loved to dance. Now looking forward to his next movie, Kaabil. I might do a weekend in London in January – alone, so I’ll make sure to go to a cinema on time, and if I’m early I’ll just stick around until it starts, not like I did last August with Mohenjo Daro! πŸ˜€

About Kaabil, I got myself an Italian movie because as you can see the posters are quite similar… so I’ve watched this one too! πŸ˜‰ It went ahead of the queue because I start from the shortest and of course it’s much shorter than Bajirao Mastani…

italia-indiaSoooo, it’s nice. Another Italian superhero (well, he’s strong and can’t be killed by bullets and eals faster than Wolverine, but whatever). And shot in Rome, although the dialects alternated between Roman and Napoletano (which I don’t understand very well – I understand better English than the dialect of Naples, haha!). So, loner who turns vigilante to avenge the crazy woman who fell for him…

Yes, I know, all the stories have already been written, it’s the execution that counts! πŸ˜‰ I’ll have to wait at least until January to tell you the similarities – if any, besides the posters! πŸ˜€ And that’s all for today… have a great weekend!

 

Random Friday


Sooo, the rest of the trip! What can I say, I loved the palaces and fortresses, but not the heat. I saw many nice sunsets – on lakes, sand dunes or roads – and played “catch Hrithik’s ads” in every city (didn’t always found him, but once I saw him twice, LOL).

47-india-1I wasn’t impressed by the Taj Mahal and thought the Baby Taj is actually much nicer – more elaborate and intimate. My camera broke down after Fatehpur Sikri (and 2500 pics), so for the Red Fort, Taj and Baby Taj I only had the smartphone (450 pics).

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Still sorting through them, so I guess I’ll leave you with the best of I posted on my personal page on Facebook… Will I go back? One day… probably. Hopefully when I can take December or January off, i.e. when I quit DayJob, haha! πŸ˜€

48-india-2

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