Writer Wednesday


So! Worldcon report! The ups and the downs – day by day! 🙂

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! 😉 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! 😉

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 went  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! 😉 Don’t be lazy and use your coupon now! 😀

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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! 😀 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? 😉 Real report coming next week as promised! 🙂

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! 🙂

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! 🙂 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! 😉 and I’m easily recognizable this time… even if you see me from my backside! 😀

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! 😉

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! 😀

Random Friday


Total random stuff. I watched the French DVD I got in Paris and it was as funny but sad as expected – a family dramedy with a happy ending. And I rewatched Any Body Can Dance 2, just for the dancing, since there’s no real story in that series, LOL! Which, considering has me mixing a European and an Asian movie and enjoying both for different reasons, takes me to the next random topic, cultural appropriation.

I read this wonderful article on whose culture is it anyway, and what about hybridity and thought the author made great points. I’m Italian, but I grew up in France and Switzerland, in an international town (Geneva) with people from all over the world, then came back to the Eternal City and hated it.

Still today, almost 40 years later, I get irritated when I’m pinned down as Italian and asked if I do this or that – I don’t. I feel international, I love a lot of stuff from a lot of countries and I don’t think it’s cultural appropriation. When I write, I try to be respectful of whatever culture I try to cover and to find people in that culture/religion who can help me fact-check. *waves at beloved cover artist*

But sometimes I’ve stumbled on such harsh cultural appropriation articles that condemt it completely, that I almost felt guilty to try to write a story of humanity as a whole and not as a single ethnicity/religion/race. I was even irked by the clearly European and tattooed young woman who visited the Taj Mahal with a sari (maybe I was envious, LOL!).

Thing is – I’m not trying to appropriate anything. I’m enjoying the diversity of this crazy world. And soon I’ll start on a projection of our future, it will be utopia (with a dark side) but I intend to put a society where skin color doesn’t matter and the borders are no more. You might call it globalization, but it’s still a post-apocalipse story, hehe! 😉

So I plan to have black people, Asians and white people all living together and not being bothered by race or religion. They’ll have other problems to face! 😉 And I’ll try to come up with a culture that is a fusion of all we have today (it’s set in the 22nd century, so plenty of time to develop that) plus possibly something original.

Mission impossible? Probably. We’ll know at the end of August. Have a great weekend! 😀

 

Writer Wednesday


And here you have Kol-ian in all his might in another great bundle! 🙂 Love Magik Glow is now live with 7 great QUILTBAG stories, including the trilogy about the technological angel and his gorgeous brother-in-law! 😀 Get it now!

So, in spite of the heat and a weekend away from home, I still managed to get some writing done. I’m adding the last of the meat and hope to do a final pass next weekend, after which another novel will be off – not just to the beta-reader of the challenge, but to the cover artist, who is also a necessary beta-reader, and maybe another beta if she has time, but she’s probably busy with her fan-fiction contest…

We’ll see. I might just leave it at 2 – the cover artist because she’s from that culture and she can point out cultural mistakes, the “paid” beta because it’s his challenge! 😉 BTW I got a sketch of the cover, it’s going to be a great addition to the Vampires Through the Centuries covers! 🙂 And I might send an excerpt to Unusual Historicals again, hoping they don’t forget the second half of the bargain – the giveaway – like they did with Kaylyn last year…

I have written stories based on illustrations or covers in the past, in fact I might do it again in August, since I’m already thinking about the cover of that novel… and it is indeed fun – writing a novel from a cover or a story from an illustration. My two latest examples are Star Minds Third Generation – Iso-bel Aya Shermac and Starship Pilot (link to the inspiration art by Techie Bro)… Even though the second has only been used to illustrate the story for Patreon patrons, it still started from there! 😉

The writerly links of the week! The Newbie Author Marketing Manifesto – not sure what platform I have since some of those I have high and some I have very low for having been 7 years at it, but well…  As for the 3 tools, I have a website with a byline and this very blog. My email list is still lagging behind, but I’m waving madly to all of you blog followers and Facebook fans! 😀

If you’re having a bad writing day, read this post. Happens to everybody. I often flirt with Mr Procrastination, in spite of being married to Mr Writing. But it’s a muscle, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. So practise, practise, practise and you’ll forget what Writer’s Block is! 😉

Oh, and if you’re wondering why I never joined KDP Select and KU… it’s because it’s broken. And Amazon doesn’t seem to realize they’re pissing off customers too. Mighty Zon might fall soon if they don’t the address the scammers breaking the Kindle Store! 😦 If you’re an author, don’t use clickfarms. Or even better, don’t be Amazon exclusive – I do have sales on Kobo, D2D and Smashwords, and you’re missing on readers by ignoring everybody else.

And if you’re a KU subscriber, please please please tell Amazon to do something about these people. Or soon all the indie authors will leave KU and your subscription won’t let you read anything… Have a great weekend! 🙂

Random Friday


Been reading non-fiction for the next novel, hence I finally made it to the book that was given to me by the travel agent before my trip to India last year – the autobiography of Gayatri Devi. It helps me to get in the mood of closer times (early 20th century) and it’s also quite interesting, although I probably won’t use any of it in my novel (although they will be in Jaipur when she’s there)! 😉

The postfaction in the book dates from the same year my brother got a magazine about India (1991) and inside I found a picture of the Maharana Arvind Singh Mewar that you can compare below with the more recent picture that’s included in the official guide to Udaipur’s city palace… Heck, not even on Wikipedia they have that younger pic of him, LOL!

Anyhow, I’m having fun with Sir George and Shashank hanging out in Patna and Kathmandu in the 19th century… then I’ll have to cover the 20th, but it will be complete long before the anniversary of India’s Independence Day! 😉 By then I’ll be coming back from Worldcon and diving into a sci-fi novel – probably dystopian, definitely not science fantasy since it will be set on future Earth.

Didn’t have time to watch the French DVD, so I guess that’s all for now… I hope to have a first draft done for next weekend when I’ll have some train time to check the manuscript and add more meat. I might also write a short story about Sir George when I finish the novel, because even though he’s one of Menka’s wretched children, he might be interesting to write about… any suggestions for sites about British gentlemen of the early 1800s?

Have a great weekend! 🙂

Random Friday


The heat is already frying my brain, so I don’t have much to say. I go out in the morning, come back for lunch time and just write.

So I’m just going to post this short comic about me and Da Muse and his stupid hats.

To see the original that prompted this, go to his Facebook page (or Twitter, or Instagram, or whatever… I’m only on Facebook, so…). Still have no idea if and when you’ll be able to read Da Strip! 🙂

Oh, and I watched ABCD, and recognized teacher Vishnu from ABCD2. Great choreographies, story okay. I haven’t seen the Hollywood equivalents such as Step Up, so I can’t compare…

Prepping for the weekend, lots of publishing stuff to do! Have a great weekend! 🙂

Random Friday


With special thanks to a Goodreads friend *waves at Jessica* I was introduced to the Diabolic Shrimp. It’s an authors network, but it’s also for readers.

The very kind Josh said that if I happened to know readers or writers, I should invite them to join the fun too. His words:

I’m adding a FREE opportunity to advertise your book that will only take a moment of your time.  If you are willing to share Diabolic Shrimp in FIVE social media posts or TEN individual messages to other people (readers or authors), then I will post your book in the footer of Diabolic Shrimp for a whole month.  This will include the cover picture, a two sentence description, and a link to the book landing page (see my example on Diabolic Shrimp).  This appears on every page of the site including the homepage.  I only have three spots available so please contact me at this email or on the site if you’re interested.  (This option is currently booked up until January 2018! L  I’m researching ways to free up more advertising space.  Just wanted you to be aware of it for the future.)

For the second feature, I’m creating a new drawing called the Shrimp Tank.  I will draw a ticket from the Shrimp Tank every month and buy a book from whoever is drawn (this is in addition to my monthly buy and the book I buy to give away to readers).  When you get a ticket entered into the Shrimp Tank, it stays forever, so everything you do builds your chances to be drawn over time.  There are several ways to get tickets (one of them is FREE).  You may have noticed I highlight an author’s novel each month.  If you buy that author’s novel, I put FIVE tickets into the Shrimp Tank for you.  I will place THREE tickets in if you buy another author’s book that I’ve also bought (it has a picture of me with their book on Diabolic Shrimp).  If you buy one of my (Josh Grant’s) novels, I put THREE tickets into the Shrimp Tank.  And if you’re all for the free option, either sharing Diabolic Shrimp in one social media post or individually messaging three people will get you ONE ticket (you can do this multiple times if you like).  You don’t need to provide proof of any of these things (Diabolic Shrimp is all about integrity), just email me and tell me what you did and provide your name so I can add you to the Tank.

Now, since he’s also a writer, I hope to have him soon on this very blog for an interview. If you wish to know more, hop here. And if you want to join, here.

In the meantime, I wish you a great weekend! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


Some writerly wisdom about books needing time to cook. Even mine are not always as immediate as they used to be. Yes, I’m still mostly a pantser, but since Technological Angel sometimes it takes me months before I start the actual writing. That’s why I decided beforehand which novels to write for the summer challenge – because they were already on my ToWrite list and ready to be jotted down.

I discarded one idea because I had a novella that was already almost a novel itself, so I postponed that one to after the summer. I knew I had to write the vampire novel during the summer anyway, I simply had to write it all in a month instead of two. Which is perfectly fine.

If I keep going like this, I might even be able to start it this month. Knowing I’d miss a week of writing in June, I chose a novella to expand as first novel, so it’s going quite well. I’m almost halfway through and if I can read it all in one sitting over the weekend to make the necessary adjustments (I’m aiming at the 17th, not this Saturday), then I can send it off with a few days to spare for the next one…

Busy writing summer, but since the heat is starting to show up, I’m very happy to just go home and write. And make covers. I like hiring other artists, but sometimes I like doing my own covers as well, so… Experimenting with transparent PNGs and art nouveau frames and stuff like that. It’s a Silvery Earth novel, of course! 😉

Patreon update! I decided to start uploading the rewards even if there are no patrons. So on the 5th of every month I’ll post the “5 things I learned” posts (one is already live) and on the 10th I’ll post the monthly free short story. At least people reaching the page now can see there’s stuff behind the  paid wall! 🙂 I know “curiosity killed the cat” but since you’re not cats (are you?), you’ll be fine… just poke around and see if you find anything you like! 😉

And if you like sci-fi, here’s another bundle of books… while you wait for the next one with yours truly, of course! 😉 Should be out July 4th, the mighty Bundle Rabbit is working on it (and changing stuff around so when I get to the dashboard I go “AUGH!” like Lucy Van Pelt. I’ll get used to it! ;)), just stay tuned. If you like giving to charities, go to Story Bundle (or other curators on BR, I honestly don’t pick a charity since I’m in Italy and I wouldn’t know which one to pick).

And where are we going with e-books? Check Amazon’s latest… I don’t mind a moving cover – I had considered it myself and thought it would be cool on e-books – but everything else… nyeh. They say I can switch that off… well, I have an old Kindle Keyboard, so I doubt it would work anyway. And I certainly won’t use the laptop version (or the smartphone… that small screen makes me want to scream most of the time!)…

But well, maybe younger readers will enjoy that. Although… can this still be considered a book? The EU had decided for lower VAT on e-books, but if they’re like that, can they still be considered books? Mini-movies? What? Who knows. On DeviantART they were already doing motion comics, but this is something else.

And Mighty Zon is still in trouble – it might be customer-friendly but it’s really pissing off authors and publishers. And soon even customers will feel cheated by the fake books that climb the Amazon charts. Don’t put all your eggs in their baskets is still sound advice. I’m still toying with their AMS (Amazon Marketing Services) but it’s probably my last attempt in that department too.

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