Random Friday

On a bout of total randomness, I shall go down memory lane! πŸ˜€ 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! πŸ˜€


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? πŸ˜‰ 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? πŸ˜‰

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!

Random Friday

Movie review! Sort of! πŸ˜‰ I decided to give Padmavaat a chance and ordered the DVD. I still don’t get the controversy, but then, I’m not a Rajput, am I?

I did study that time of history for a book, though, so I do know a couple of things about the first jauhar of Chittor. Even though I found out it’s a legend after I had written my own take on it. So, if you’d like to read my version of Alauddin’s invasion of the Kingdom of Mewar, go read Rajveer the Vampire.

Back to the movie – what actually struck me as plain wrong is… swords. You probably know by now that I’m obsessed with swords. I know a lot about medieval European swords and, after my trip to India, I know a lot about Indian swords too! πŸ˜‰ The Rajputs (who, before the Mughals, didn’t call themselves Rajputs, but Suryavanshi in the case of the Guhila of Mewar) had straight swords called khanda – now the symbol of the Sikh.

And Shahid Kapoor was given a talwar, which has a curved blade and is of obvious Arabic origins. Sigh. And they gave Alauddin/Ranveer Singh a sosan pattah, with is fine, but a talwar/tulwar to the king of Mewar… no. Just no.

Here’s the different kind of Indian swords (from Meherengarh Fort, Jodhpur):

And here’s a picture (again from Jodhpur) – the one in the middle is a khanda, what Rana Ratan would have held in his hand to protect Chittorgarh.

Alauddin did go back to Delhi after taking Rana Ratan prisoner, not before, and then came back to put the final siege. And I didn’t imagine the jauhar that way, especially after our lovely guide Anand showed us where it supposedly happened in Chittor (in a basement). But well, it’s a legend, and it can be retold in any way possible, right?

Now, I understand Chittor is a ruin (after Akbar’s artillery destroyed it, two centuries after Alauddin) and they couldn’t shoot there, but still… whatever. I liked the costumes, although I thought only Hindu women had the nose ring, not the Muslim (Alauddin’s wife is dressed like the queen of Mewar)… I’ll probably watch it again, pretending it tell some other part of history, LOL!

Anyway, it’s only a movie, not a documentary… The CGI was sometimes a little too obvious on TV, I guess in theaters it would be even worse, but well… it wasn’t half bad for a historical movie! πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend!

Random Friday

And in a bout of total randomness, I give you Da Muse Friday πŸ™‚ This week’s Google Alerts were particularly inspiring – although there are still a few inaccessible sites because of the darn GDPR (did l mention it sucks? πŸ˜‰ ).

So, he’s on vacation with his kids, busy climbing mountains and doing road trips… And coming to Rome! πŸ˜€

When in Rome… next time do call Barb! But avoid the summer, I know you don’t care about the heat, but l do!

Although I didn’t even go looking for Da Other Muse when he came to shoot John Wick Chapter 2 – and it was February!

So who am I kidding, not going Muse-hunting anytime soon! πŸ˜‰

Then there’s this American Youtuber dancing Bollywood songs in Manhattan… Sorry, Q Park, you are no match for Mr. A! πŸ™‚

Not even Da Muse himself can do it like he did it in 2006 anymore, sigh! Anyhow, here’s some real Bollywood in all its glory only for you! πŸ™‚

I don’t have any new drawings to show, but you can always check the gallery… Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday

Even though last week I wrote less than 10K (in between projects it’s normal), I have still accumulated enough to be on track to reach my 500K goal. Now working into turning an 8K story into a novella for Tor and having fun exploring a new fantasy world! πŸ™‚

If you’re still wondering how to do it, here Dean explains what it means to cycle and create clean first drafts. My process is slightly different, but having spent one year in rewriting hell with Books of the Immortals – Air (about 10 years ago), I went back to being a one-draft writer since.

My critical voice never managed to grow. I’ve been writing mostly single draftsΒ  for forty years now, and even the few stories I rewrote are redrafts with more experience on my shoulders – or because I switched languages. I still read like a reader, which might slow my learning process, but I’m a slow reader and I want to enjoy the experience, not study how others did it.

So I do a first clean draft and leave it alone before sending it off to the proofreader because I want to go back to it and experience it as a reader. I might tweak things here and there, usually plot stuff or adding forgotten setting descriptions, but it’s definitely NOT a rewrite.

That’s what works for me – even for The Fern and The Cross I only did minor tweaks (it had British spelling and was originally intended for a different pen name) before putting it on Kindle Scout and now on pre-order. If you were a scout, Amazon should have told you about it. It goes live on June 1st on all retailers.

What to write next? Chuck Wendig helps – sort of. Not a problem that I have, considering all the projects currently percolating in my head! But it’s good advice, so go check it.

Are ebooks dying or thriving? You decide. I love my Kindle for novels, but still read non-fiction and comics on paper. As for paying it forward, wait for more authors to be guests on this very blog! πŸ™‚

I might also start newsletter swapping since the majority of my subscribers are okay with it. And I do trust my creative voice (like I said, my critical voice never fully developed – happens when you write in the age of the typewriter with no contacts with the outside world! ;)).

Now I only need to develop the 4 critical mindsets to make a living with writing! And there’s always time to start a writing career… cuz writing actually improves with age and life experience!

Oh, and if you couldn’t follow the live webinar on marketing by D2D and Reedsy, here’s the link! Have a great week! πŸ˜€


Since I don’t have news, I’m going to randomly spam you with Buy My Books. Because this is a writer’s blog, so why aren’t you buying my books? I’ve got books for most tastes, adults only or clean, and I enjoyed writing them, so please become my first 1000 True Fans and help me spread the word.

Did I mention you could, nay, shouldΒ buy my books? Lots of e-books, some paperbacks and even bundles and box sets! And serieses (wow, big word! SERIESES! How serious is that?) Yes! More than one! Secondary world fantasy, science fantasy, historical fantasy and more!

Wait, I know I should mention something else to the Buy My Books Speech… I know! Just go buy my books! And spend the weekend reading them! Go now! Buy Links! Links a go-go! Whoot! Thank you!

Oh, and you can join my mailing list, of course… and follow this blog, which you already are, hello there! I shall conclude this random post with… you guessed it! Buy My Books!

P.S. This is a satirical post, in fact there are no buy links whatsoever. But if you’d like to support this writer, buy her books. There are links aplenty around here.

Thank you and have a nice weekend! πŸ˜€

Random Friday

Okay, first this post because I chuckled throughout it, but it has nothing to do with writing, so… RE: the title question, I type with ten fingers without looking at the keyboard since 1987. I learned in 4 months. It’s not that hard! πŸ˜‰ RE: the radio FM questions: where are you living, dude? Video killed the radio star in 1979! πŸ˜‰ And RE: (the reason why I got this post in my inbox)

Drew: Who wins in a fight between Jason Bourne and John Wick?

Dudes, didn’t you see the fan-made trailer for John Wick 3? He beats them all – the hero of Taken, Jason Bourne, Mission: Impossible, Jack Reacher and even James Bond!

I won’t comment on the rest of the post above, but it’s a funbag indeed. Because sometimes even Americans can be funny. I usually understand British humor more, but in this case I had a chuckle or three throughout the whole long thing! πŸ˜‰

Staying in the movie topic and humor but moving over to good old Europe, I got the DVD of Prete-moi ta main (I do). You bet I get French humor, I grew up with it! πŸ˜‰ And I like Alain Chabat and Charlotte Gainsbourg, a very mismatched couple for this fun comedy about an eternal bachelor. And of course at the end another one bites the dust (to stay in old songs moods)…

Image may contain: 15 people, people smiling, text

Because like the Facebook meme says, it might be 2018, but I’m still listening to 80s music – especially British pop! πŸ˜‰ (can you name all those people? I probably can, but not today…)

Oh, and the movie heroine (Charlotte Gainsbourg) loves a Tamil movie, Muthu – the bonus disk has extracts… Tollywood or Bollywood, the songs are always the best! πŸ˜‰ Have a great weekend! πŸ˜€

Writer Wednesday

Less productive week inbetween projects, I still tend to take a day off to check the previous work and prep for the second. Except I’m adding stuff in while I write the “companion”, so I’m waiting to re-read the whole draft until I’m done with both. Still having fun with those characters and even found models for the covers – one will be NeoStock, the rest will be DepositPhoto. So yeah, I’m also making mock covers, prepping for the summer, LOL!

Although the Silvery Earth covers are still illustrations (by the Awesome Federica Manfredi), but for sci-fi I’ll move to composites. Except the Post-Apocalypse Chronicles, whenever I get to writing book 2 (hopefully as soon as I wrap up these Star Minds novels) I’ll order the cover to the same artist who did Brainwaves. Gotta be consistent in the series, right? πŸ˜‰

And we’ve got sales! Bundles sales! Spring Surprise is on sale until April 28. The Immortals and the Vampires of the World are on sale from 24 to 30 April. It is also the last week for Vampires of the World, it will be archived in May, so get it NOW! Only 3.99$ for 8 awsesome vampire novels!

And we got a batch of writerly links! πŸ™‚ First, Chuck Wendig entered an Amazon Bookstore! Yes, you read it right, a brick-and-mortar Amazon bookstore! Can you believe it? Those shelves look great, by the way.

David Gaughran on giving a voice to Indies AND how to make killer promo graphics in Canva – the one above is still plain old Photoshop 7.0, but we’ll see! πŸ˜‰ And if the demon of self-doubt bites you, Johanna Penn and writing and the fear of judgment. I obviously don’t fear judgment, but I do get self-doubt every now and then – with the umpteenth rejection, reading a much better writer, etc.

But then, scientists link depression and anxiety to high creativity, so… Even though I don’t say it out loud, I do have bouts of depression and anxiety. If it’s the price to pay for creativity, I’m okay with it! πŸ™‚

Now back to writing and prepping the next bundle… Have a great week! πŸ˜€

Writer Wednesday

In case you didn’t notice, it’s Read an Ebook Week on Smashwords again! And for the first time in a few years, I have some books in the sale. So the new people can have a look and spend as little as one dollar to try my mighty prose.

Ahem! Just kidding. I don’t write enchanting (or purple) prose at all, so if that’s your thing, you’re on the wrong blog! πŸ˜€

Last week I wrapped two projects and this week I won’t be writing much. Busy putting together an anthology and traveling, so my wordcound is currently stopped. But if I manage to catch up and keep the 10K/week wordcount, I have 2 weeks to spare, LOL! Definitely not panicking yet – maybe in June or July if I’m still waaay behind…

Some promised writerly links: Nine years a Penmonkey and Five Things I Learned Writing which includes just write even if you don’t know the genre – or something. And if you can stand the F-word, the three truth about writing and how the writing gets done! πŸ™‚ There is real wisdom in that post.

Now as someone who hates the sound of her own voice, I’m afraid that soon I won’t be able to do anything if it all gets voice-operated. What do you think about those voice apps? Should we start telling stories through them? Check this post at Joanna Penn’s blog.

For me, at this time, no thank you. I still feel like an innovator because I went the indie route. And I still don’t have anything in audio (I don’t seem to be able to go direct to Findaway Voices through D2D, but I’m not going to press the issue yet).

Last but not least, here’s an open invitation to interview your characters. I’m currently working for the first interview of a few I can think of, and I’ll keep you posted when my characters will go live! πŸ™‚

That’s all for today! Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Random Friday

Erm… forgot to post the link to the trailer of Celebrating Male Lovers… but it’s been a weird week! We got snow! Again! Like in 2012! That’s a little too often for my tastes – in a city that isn’t equipped to deal with it, I mean. I love snow. I love crunching it under my feet. But Rome just can’t handle it.

Sunday night they decided to close schools… and since buses aren’t equipped to drive in the snow, most of the lines were canceled as well. And Rome is a hilly city – and not just the original seven hills but plenty more. In 2012 they had left the buses that didn’t go up and down hills, this time the stopped almost all of them.

So, Monday morning I wake up to a white day. Fine. I grab my Icelandic trekking shoes and go out. Everything is closed, so I walk 3km/35minutes to get to Laurentina station where I found an open coffee shop. I also had to stop to check the messages from colleagues and friends who couldn’t get out of the house or were wondering if there were buses.

I took the metro and went to work – 7 out of 15 were present. One line was supposed to be there, so I took the metro back to Laurentina and went to wait for it… its terminus is next to the bus that takes to Ciampino airport (one of the canceled lines) so I told the people waiting there with their luggage that they better find another way to get to the airport (if it was even open, I have no idea of what happened at the two international airports with snow!).

I ate half of my “focaccia” and since no bus was in sight I walked to another stop where there was a bench. I sat and ate some more, and still no bus coming, so I kept going on foot. That’s 6km in one day. I thought I’d be wrecked the next day, but actually I felt great. No back pains, no leg muscles pain, nothing. Good way to save on gym expenses, I guess!

Tuesday there was still some snow but buses were back. Same on Wednesday, when school reopened… to close down again this weekend for the elections. I’m sure Dear Nephew is very happy! πŸ˜‰

Anyhow, hope next week temperatures go up a little, although I’m on vacation, so I don’t have to go to work. But it’s March, when the hell did we have snow in MARCH?! 1985/1986 it was January. 2012 (yes, how many years later?) it was February. Now only six year later we’re getting to March.

Who says there’s no climate change? 45Β°C during summer and snow in winter in Rome? That’s not what it used to be, trust me! Anyway, it was good to inspire me the last chapter (that I had skipped in Draft Zero) of Heroines 2! πŸ˜‰ Have a great weekend! πŸ˜€


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