Random Friday


Totally random randomness… saw the announcement on Patreon? Change of schedule and new tier? Good! Now you get a preview of Sunday’s post. One of a kind, never to be duplicate again. If you’ve never met me, you’re going to hear my voice. And I’m someone who hates the sound of her own voice. I hate reading my stories aloud, etc.

So I did this little experiment with Voice Recorder and Video Editor on Netbook, since when I went looking for Windows Movie Maker I saw it was discontinued and to use the alternatives on Windows 10 (which is what’s on 1-year-old writing Netbook). So here’s my first attempt at making a video with those two thingies and no music.

Silvery Earth Kids character presentation.

I know, I suck. My admiration goes to the narrators of audiobooks! 🙂 Yesterday was another non-writing afternoon, since I had to check the second audiobook before approving it… and I have made some character sheets for Silvery Earth Kids too! 🙂

And since my post skills on Patreon are still limited (I seem to be allowed one image in the text-only posts and no image in the others), I shall post the character sheet here as well as on DeviantART… Here are our little guys and their friends and foes! 🙂

On a slightly different topic, one of my cover artists, Federica Manfredi, has designed a couple of T-shirts. If you’re looking for ideas, check Alien Puppies (for kids) and Pee-Rex (for men?! Well, adults) on Moteefe (I’m sure you can change the language set on Italian, you’re smart people, you!).

Busy weekend with Romics happening in town, so Sunday I’ll go to the comicon and Saturday I’ve got to make those paperbacks, argh! Hopefully the second antho is already on pre-order as ebook by now… Have a great weekend! 🙂

 

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Random Friday


I wanted to rant about Facebook’s lock down last week, that happened when I was trying to upload the new title’s cover and not even WordPress could sent stuff to my Facebook page (I had to share manually when it resumed), but I guess you all saw it. I’ve been told of eccessive reactions all over the world, I simply thought about a denial-of-service attack of some kind. But maybe it’s just that we billions took down Facebook servers.

I was ready to move to Pinterest, then got distracted (attention span of a chihuahua) and left it as is… still haven’t opened that account, but still haven’t decided if it’s worth it or not. I haven’t opened accounts with the webcomic places either, and not only because I didn’t have time to work on the strip.

Going on DeviantART to upload the latest portrait of Da Muse, I found a notice and even considered submitting a project, but at this  time I really can’t take more days off DayJob to do something. But if you’re a young artist, you can enter Devious Dreams and see if you can get some money to achieve your dreams! 🙂

This weekend I’m definitely putting together the next anthology. I have chosen the cover art and need to decide the order of the stories. It will probably come out in April, along with the last (for now) book of the Future Earth Chronicles, so stay tuned! 😉

Also, I think a few new bundles are coming out this year, since someone (not me) has been very busy… this reminded me to upload the latest titles to BundleRabbit where I discovered now projects are available also in other languages. So if you wanted, for example, do a collaboration in French or Spanish, you can do it now. The collaboration feature is very useful! 🙂

That’s all for now! Have a great weekend!

 

Random Friday


Rant on both worlds, online and offline. Let’s start with offline. It’s Woman’s Day (not that I care) and public transport has decided to go on strike. Trains, planes, bus and taxi! When I’m supposed to get on a train that I booked 2 months ago with a non-refundable ticket. Stupid country! 😦

Here’s to hoping I find at least one train that takes me to Milan before evening. Gotta visit friends at Cartoomics tomorrow! Offline friends for a change! 🙂 I want to talk to them about my webcomic project and hear what they’re doing and all that stuff!

Online rant, that wretched social network and its irritating notifications for pages! Why do they tell me to invite someone to like the page after he liked a post? The person wouldn’t have seen the goddamn post in the first place if they weren’t already liking or following it, thanks to their everchanging algorithms!

And then I heard about their new service (not available in my country yet, but if you’re American or British, you might be among the beta-testers): Facebook Fans. Facebook is trying to kick out Patreon. You gotta be kidding me. I mean, would you – as a fan/reader – give money to Facebook to see my posts?

I definitely wouldn’t. I’d rather stay on a dedicated platform like Patreon, both as a creator and as a patron of creators I like. greedy Facebook and its irritating little notifications won’t have my money. Not for ads, not to boost posts (useless, I’ve seen it with the co-editor of one of my other pages), not for subscriptions. It’s a social media, not an online store like Amazon. Gee.

Maybe I’ll end up doing like this author who quit Facebook and is now killing it on Pinterest. I know I had doubts about Pinterest in the past, but it’s changed, I think. And the idea of boards of images is quite interesting. Maybe that’s how I’ll spend my two weeks off, setting up a Pinterest account! 😉

Have a great weekend!

Random Friday


A few more anniversaries this Friday! 🙂 As posted on Facebook by The Ultimate 80’s Child (on February 9 at 8:25 PM)40 years ago today, “The Warriors” premiered in cinemas. Of course I didn’t see it in cinemas but it became one of my favorite movies on TV (analogic TV with barely a remote, it was our first color TV, by the way).

It’s also the first I saw in it’s original version with Italian subtitles back in the late 1980s! 🙂 So, like, my first movie in a second language (along with Saturday Night Fever and I think Footloose, which I hated because I loved Kevin Bacon’s Italian voice at the time, LOL!) that I didn’t speak very well (I was fluent in French and had no trouble watching the French channel available in Rome back then).

Getting movies in the original version with subtitles in the 1980s was really hard. In fact this series was at 10.30pm, but by then, luckily, our house had the first VCR (remember those?) so I programmed it and then managed to skip the ads when rewatching, hehe! And probably in 1989 when I went to London I bought the original VHS, since by then I was used to the English audio! 😉

Since we’re in 1979, for me it was also the year of Grease in a summer cinema, my first “young adult” movie after years of Disney cartoons… I know it was released the previous year, but I’m on the other side of the pond and at the time there was no such thing of worldwide release! 😀

And moving to the music scene, on Sunday I heard on the radio Video Killed the Radio Star which is still quite accurate, as long as you substitute the internet to Video and video to Radio Star. We miss Radio Gaga, don’t we? (no, I haven’t seen Bohemian Rapsody yet, sorry.)

Oh, and while we’re in the music department, let”s nit forget Prince’s 1999 – wasn’t among my faves, but… let’s party like it’s 199! 🙂 Today I’m lazy, so no links… just a couple of videos to keep you company. Have a great weekend! 🙂

Random Friday


And it’s MOVIE Friday! 🙂 Nothing new, actually, but celebrating a couple of my favorites that turn 20 this year as well as another that turns 30 and has its third instalment coming…

So it was the year 1999, right? What movies come to mind to you? Come on! What movie revolutioned sci-fi film-making with the now famous bullet-time? Yes, it’s the original, one and only, The Matrix! Now that was the first Keanu movie I actually saw in theaters (everything coming before that was either seen on TV or on VHS. What? Don’t know what I’m talking about? Sheesh…) and it definitely made an impression – although it took me another couple of years to become obsessed with him, but that’s another story, LOL!

It was also one of the first I bought on DVD and that’s how I heard his real voice – and that was definitely love at first sound! From that point on, I started hating dubbed movies and watching them in their original version with subtitles. Which is good since many movies that interest me were never dubbed into Italian, mwhahahahaha! (especially Bollywood, and especially Da Muse, I think only Jodhaa Akbar was dubbed in Italian)

Anyhow, the other movie of the year was in a completely different genre and I’m not supposed to talk about it. I mean, the first rule is that you do not talk about it. The second rule is… you do not. Talk. About it. So how am I supposed to talk about it? Although I prefer one of the main stars in Interview with the Vampire, I kinda liked him also in this one – I even slashed it. From Jared Leto’s character’s point of view. Not sure I have the English version, though.

I actually even read the book, but somehow, because I saw the movie first, I thought the movie was better. But I was curious about the original material, so I got the paperback. Still wondering how they came up with that movie from that book but that’s another story (very similar to Johnny Mnemonic – got a paperback with the screenplay and the original William Gibson story, still wondering. BTW, Johnny Mnemonic turns 24. Not bad).

Anyhow, to stay with Da Muse (I don’t know who’s #1 and #2 between them anymore, so they’re just Da Hollywood Muse and Da Bollywood Muse to differentiate them) your favorite Teodore “Ted” Logan came out 30 years ago (on Sunday). That’s another movie that was never dubbed in Italian, but it’s sequel, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey was. Wonders never cease in the international movie distribution system!

Aand Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure‘s  much talked about sequel Bill & Ted Face the Music will start shooting soon! How cool is that? It’s been ONLY 30 years, after all! 😀 So I’m closing this with my new manga avatars, made with Picrew.me – me and Da Muses, of course… Have a great weekend! 🙂

 

Random Friday


Dear English Speakers,

Stop fussing about pronouns and genders. You have no idea how lucky you are to have only gendered pronouns. In Italian (and French) even adjectives are gendered. So the “pronoun game” mentioned in Chasing Amy doesn’t work in other languages.

Besides, you’re lucky. You already have a neutral pronoun. IT. I’m aware it’s normally used for things (notoriously genderless) but also for animals (and mammals, like humans, do have a gender). Instead of making up unpronounceable pronouns, non-binary people should embrace “it”.

Words change meaning through the centuries, don’t they? I’m sure Jane Austen meant something completely different when she said people were “gay” and that’s not the only word that changed meaning.

Or you can use the plural, They, being careful, like David Farland says. Just don’t make up words, please, they are just too jarring! I did red a book with one character who was a (literally) gender-fluid alien, but whenever I got to the xe/xir/whatever was used, it kicked me out of the story every. Single. Time.

And when you want to grumble about gender pronouns, think of me. I read a non-fiction book in Italian where the author used the second person to address the reader – besides often sounding like he’s talking down to me, he also assumes that only men would read his book on cyberwar.

In Italian they always assume the reader or person they talk about is male (unless it’s fiction) – I have read articles about writing where the writer is a “she” in English, in Italian it doesn’t exist. Pronouns and adjectives, remember?

I’m pissed off that my work computer adresses me like a man (and now even my writing netbook, since Techie Bro reinstalled Windows 10 in Italian, so instead of the lovely, genderless “Welcome”, I have a gendered message meant for a man). Sgrunt.

I know, I know. Grumpy old lady. Apologies. Not meaning to disrespect non-binary people, but really… give me a break! Love you all! Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

Random Friday


So, I managed to watch a couple of DVDs of competing universes! My reader’s loyalty goes mostly to Marvel, since I used to read Fantastic Four and Spiderman in the 1980s, and for that reason I don’t watch the movies based on those comics (okay, I did see the first Spiderman movie but hated it, so now you know why).

My movie-watcher loyalty is probably evenly split. I did see the first Superman (and the 3rd) in theaters back in the 1980s and possibly a couple of Batman (I think the George Clooney one because I had friends who liked him and the first Christian Bale because hey, Iceland!), but the rest was on DVD.

So, after most X-men movies, I got Deadpool out of curiosity… and yeah, it’s not politically correct, he talks to the audience, he’s an asshole, but… meh. I totally hated the fake Colossus (as much as I hated the fake Spiderman moving around) and I’m not sure I even liked the storyline. Yes, it changes us from the usual politically correct straight heroes, but… dunno.

On the other side of the fence, I mean, the other universe, I watched Suicide Squad. Villains turned heroes. That was actually a cool idea! Yeah, they’re batshit crazy, but they did save the world! And Will Smith in a bad-guy-turned-hero version was almost unrecognizable at first. And I did see Hancock.

So I probably won’t get Deadpool 2 (unless it’s in the discount bin), but I might enjoy a Suicide Squad 2, if there’s such a thing. As for the comics… I’m trying to empty my bookshelves and I read comics only on paper, so… I’ll just skip that! 🙂

Have a great weekend!

Random Friday


Since the year is almost over and I probably won’t finish another book before then, I’m going to do my Yearly Recommended Reading post now! 😉 Also because it’s the time of the Small&Medium Publishers Book Fair here in Rome, but for the first time since its inception, I’m not going there every day (just today to say hello to a couple of friends).

This year I read 54 books – although 7 I did not finish – and 6 and a half were non-fiction (as are the last two). Usually the fiction is read on my Kindle (a.k.a. K.K.), while the non-fiction is on paper because it’s better for research. Unless the novel is signed, then it can be a paperback, LOL!

Anyhow, of the fiction books, here are the 5 stars I gave (in order of reading – with links to Goodreads even though I’m not putting them on my Goodreads profile. Long story, not going back there! 😉 ):

Burn Card: A Cold Poker Gang Mystery  by Dean Wesley Smith

The Last Giant  by Mario Milosevic

Dragons’ Choice (Sorcha’s Children #1) by Debbie Mumford

Against Time  by Dean Wesley Smith

Beyond Control, Interlude, Beyond Reach: Book 1 Bundle of the Beyond Saga  by Rebecca M. Senese

Fairchild  by Blaze Ward

Kings of the Wyld (The Band, #1)  by Nicholas Eames

Entanglement (Future Fiction Trends Vol. 4)  by Vandana Singh

Faring Soul (Interspace Origins #1)  by Tracy Cooper-Posey

Hollow Moon (Hollow Moon #1)  by Steph Bennion

Hydrogen Sleets: a Montague Portal novel  by Michael Warren Lucas

Sticks and Stones: A Trek Novel  by Robert T. Jeschonek

Coffee Cup Dreams  by J.A. Marlow

Mrs Funnybones  by Twinkle Khanna (not a novel, more a memoir/journal and it’s hilarious)

(you can grab the following 4 all together in Sci-fi July Redux)

Stealing from Pirates  by Stefon Mears

A Jack By Any Other Name (The Space Operetta Series Book 1)  by Lesley L. Smith

Raven Rising  by Sean Monaghan

Sector Justice  by Dean Wesley Smith

(I’d add Jorick’s origin story, but I’m not sure it’s available for public consumption yet, I got it from Patreon…)

Dancing with Tong Yi (Uncollected Anthology, #1)  by Leah R. Cutter

And the series Zeena Dragon Fae by Victoria Zigler (smashwords link cause it’s faster)!

And these are the books I’m finishing the year with – sorta/kinda research for Future Earth Chronicles.

Putting the science in fiction and 21 lessons for the 21st century (non-fiction)

Giving the list so early means you have time to request them for Christmas… so happy reading! 🙂 And have a great weekend!

Random Friday


Since I like watching movies un-dubbed, I almost stopped going to the cinema. Then somewhere in that country that almost looks like Italy but it’s not (they’re twins, both starting with I and ending with A, but for some things they are different) they are coming up with a new system I’d love to see everywhere – although I probably would never find enough people to have an original version screening, but you never know, there are plenty of foreigners in Rome…

So check this article on India’s movie-theater-on-demand model. It does feel like the future! Instead of streaming on smart-TVs or laptops, we could see movies on big screens like before tablets and the likes! Maybe I’ll be able to book a theater viewing with that app or a similar one eventually…

In the meantime, I’m sticking to DVDs. Because I don’t have a smart-TV and don’t want to watch movies on my laptop. So while looking for some “old” (1980s/1990s) Italian movies at the local Feltrinelli, I got myself 3 DVDs, since it was 3x15euro – nice deal! As soon as I watch them, I’ll let you know.

Since Holidays are approaching, here are a couple of gift ideas, for both writers and readers. First, you can pick your choice of Holidays Gifts from WMG Publishing – either the Gift Box for Writers or the Gift Box for Readers.

Or you can check this company that brings books to life on shirts and tote bags. The collection includes designs ranging from Jane Austen to Edgar Allan Poe and can be viewed here https://literarybookgifts.com. And guess what? I got a promo code for you! CREATIVEBARBWIRE20 is good for 20% off anything in the store, no minimum, and does not expire.

So there you go! You can start your Christmas shopping, for you and your loved ones! 😀 Have a great weekend! 😉

Writer Wednesday


Let’s proceed with some order! Writer Wednesday roundup! 🙂

1) Wordcount! Last week almost 17K, getting me close to my 500K/year goal, yay! In spite of life rolls, I’m almost done with book 3…

2) Da Series! It’s changing name. Used to be Post-Apocalypse Chronicles, will be Future Earth Chronicles. Or maybe Gaia Reborn. Because the post-apocalypse thingy makes readers think it’s a Mad Max-like world. It’s not. The planet is doing fine with less virus… ehm, humans tampering with her! 🙂 So, this weekend I’ll make up my mind and update the series page, make the new cover for Book 1, etc.

3) Plans! Finish Book 3 first draft by Friday so I can go through it during the weekend and then start on Book 4. Both will come out next year, but I’d rather get done with them before I take a break from this future! Did I mention I’m having a blast? Well, I am now! 🙂

4) New Release! The spy story is finally here. Only the final version for now. Maybe eventually I’ll publish the first version (short story) in a collection. So check Joint Operations if you’re not so much into SFF! 🙂

Joint operations work best in the War on Terror.

Ajay Roy, officer of the Research & Analysis Wing – Indian secret services – is about to apprehend a known terrorist.

Sarah Aiken, MI6 operative, has just discovered a biological father she didn’t know existed.

Ajay & Sarah have worked together in the past and should probably work together again.

Being a spy is not as glamorous as in movies, but it’s definitely an international job.

5) Sales! The bundle Thieves will be on sale from Thanksgiving to the following Monday, then it’s gone forever. So if you want to read some theft stories, grab it now before it’s gone!

Meet a bunch of past, present and future thieves, some not even human! Either protagonists or antagonists, thieves populate this box set in a great variety of stories.

Steampunk, urban fantasy, science fiction and contemporary stories where something is stolen and all hell breaks lose – will our hero recover the stolen goods? And if he or she is the thief, will they get off scot-free?

6) Writerly links! The Rewriting Metaphor courtesy of Dean Wesley Smith! I’ve been in Rewriting Hell back in 2008 and swore never again! 😀 Which was prompted by a question he got and his public answer. You might prefer David Farland’s advice on balancing productivity and art… the beauty of being all different, isn’t it? The most important thing is to be positive, pleasing and optimistic!

7) That’s it! But I like #7, so I thought I’d finish with it! Should I always do that? Nah, too neat! Have a great week! 😀

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