Random Friday


Last Sunday Techie Bro called and asked if I wanted to go to a fantasy fair somewhere outside of Rome. We left at 2pm and went to Oriolo Romano, where there was this Pellicano Fantasy event. It was in the park of a villa, up in the hills, so it was much cooler than Rome!

If you stood in the sunshine it was hot, but under the trees it was almost perfect, with a cool breeze, and before the battery died (I still need to get used to a camera that needs recharging at home, not simply sliding in another AA battery or whatever) I managed to take nice shots of the woods that I may use for the background of The Path of Wood instead of a stock photo.

Yeah, I guess us creatives are always writing, LOL! By the way, check this post by a photographer, some things he says apply to writers as well (namely, stop trying to sell your books to other writers, you need to find your READERS!).

Anyhow, I also met a friend I hadn’t seen in ages, she used to do comics in the late 90s (when we had those photocopied zines), but not she does body painting.

She spent the whole afternoon painting images from the movie Legend on the body of a very young woman who wants to be a model while I wandered among the booths and stands. There were Vikings and medieval knights, cosplayers and steampunkers. There was a small horror section with a small house of terror (no, I didn’t go in, not a fan!).

There were the Pirates of the Caribbean, the Star Wars Italian fans, the Lord of the Rings gathering and even mermaids (and a merman) in the fountain. Oh, and Far West because of Bud Spencer and Terence Hill movies. We left at 7.30pm, definitely refreshed, and when I got home around 9pm I found it hotter than ever! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

So, here’s a short slideshow, a mix of pics taken with the camera (before it died) and the smartphone…

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Now don’t forget to grab a copy of An Interpretation of Moles, there’s even a paperback if you prefer dead-tree books! ๐Ÿ˜‰ It’s a lovely collection that includes some strips of Silvery Earth kids… and other awesome authors! Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Writer Wednesday


So, diving into Torik’s story, and it turns out he can’t be really a dragon rider, LOL! Anyhow, the Path of Dreams is taking shape, 11 or 12K in I’m just starting to tell Torik’s journey.

I still don’t know how I could pull it off, though. Possibly putting Childhood (i.e. Silvery Earth Kids prose version) as prequel at the end of the book. Since I’m in no hurry to publish this (or the strip Silvery Earth Kids), I’m just going to take my time with it.

I did publish another Star Minds Lone Wolves Team mission booklet, though. I would like to thank the Australian Kobo user who is buying them all, if only for you I’ll try to publish them on time! ๐Ÿ™‚

And even if I stayed at home this weekend, my brain was too mushy to actually do some programming. I didn’t even correct the Rogue manuscript! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But it’s for August, so plenty of time for that. Will work on it this week or the coming weekend.

I started putting the lettering on the Silvery Earth Kids strip, though. I plan on doing a paperback proof at the end of the summer, with Lulu because I don’t want to send it live. It will help catch typos and uncolored parts and other weird mistakes.

Also, a preview of a few strips in B&W is coming soon, but I’m not at liberty to discuss that project yet. It will be available also as e-book, but I’d get the paperback if I were you! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I don’t think print books are going away anyway… especially children’s books, as you can see from the following.

And speaking of an everchanging world and my decision to step back a little, please read this long but worthy post on the sale of Barnes&Noble and what it means for writers. And I know it’s a long post, but try to read the comments too.

I still hope to be able to quit the damn day job soon, set up a micropublisher and sell from my own website. Hopefully by then they’ll have invented something that allows writers and readers to meet without the retail giants. Some app or other tricky tech device.

You youngsters, please invent something for us old geezers! ๐Ÿ™‚ Technology is changing so quickly we don’t know what will be available next month or next year. I’ve been reading a report on AI and the future of work, and how technology moves so fast that in 5 years we’ll need to relearn everything.

I miss the world that no longer exists, but I should stop living in the past and try to adjust to the future – it’s already here. Except I’m no longer young and catching up is hard. But slowly and steadily I can adapt to change. I was already thinking of re-educating myself! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I live in an overly complicated country full of burocracy, hence I’m dreaming of moving to a simpler way of life. Like moving to a country with co-housing or that Irish island with high internet speed.

Change is good but scary. And it happens whether we want it or not. So we might as well brace up and ride the storm. We can get through this.ย  Have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Random Friday


Reading suggestions and my take on this: I read The Paper Menagerie and didn’t particularly liked it when it was nominated for a Hugo. I checked the sample of Crazy Rich Asians, but either I get the paperback or the DVD of the movie, since the Chinese parts as footnotes on Kindle are not really nice. And I know it’s a trilogy, but I read mixed reviews on Goodreads.

Currently reading: The Kiss Quotient, even though it’s a 5.99euro ebook! And ops, just discovered it’s also a trilogy when looking it up on Goodreads. Oh, well. Maybe I should have looked for the box set… (although the Kindle box set for Crazy Rich Asians was crazy expensive…)

I guess I’ll try to catch up on some reading while I’m writing more slowly, LOL! Although none of the above were on my TBR pile, but well… still have a dozen bundles to go through both fiction and non-fiction – hence I’ll let Write Publish Profit 2.0 offer pass, but grab it if you feel like it.

And since I discovered Joe Konrath has resumed blogging, I’ll add this post on your book marketing plan and why it won’t work. I totally agree with him. I’m so bad at marketing precisely because so many things don’t work for me, so I’m not doing them even if everybody is screaming I should do them.

Because I’d rather be writing and it’s all a question of luck anyway. So while I wait for my lucky star, let me go back to Silvery Earth Kids and its sequel. I thought it would be only Torik and Copperscales, but Prince Lambert and Goldenberry seem to want in on the ride too… we shall see! ๐Ÿ˜€

And if you’re still new to this, here’s a post worth studying.

How To Shorten Your Amazon Links

Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

Random Friday


Someone shared on Facebook this article about 3 Defining Features of ADHD That Everyone Overlooks, especially beyond childhood. I know I’m not bi-polar and I am prone to depression, but I had never considered it could be something else. Now, I’m not trying to self-diagnose ADHD to myself, especially since I’m so good at telling lies to myself and believing them, but I do have some of those symptoms.

I definitely have an Interest-Based Nervous System, for example. When I write, I do “get in the zone” and forget time is passing. And yeah, I’d say what they say:

โ€œI have always been able to do anything I wanted so long as I could get engaged through interest, challenge, novelty, urgency, or passion.โ€

โ€œI have never been able to make use of the three things that organize and motivate everyone else: importance, rewards, and consequences.โ€

But I’m not going to take any medication for this. In 2012 I had a nervous breakdown and the psychiatrist gave me Xanax and a couple of other drugs. I bought them and never opened the boxes. I still have them, though! ๐Ÿ™‚

I don’t have Emotional Hyperarousal, although I do have mood swings, but I shall attribute those to menopause (like I used to attribute them to my periods, LOL!) and an overworked thyroid.

From that online test, I might have Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria, although some of those answers weren’t really black or white for me! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I scored 19% for the Women and Girls Self-test and 42% for the generic ADD symptoms test, so I guess I don’t have any ADHD, which is a relief.

Again on Facebook, a friend “came out” as bisexual, and since it’s Pride month, well, here’s my take on the whole thing. I’ve had gay friends since the 1980s. The new millennium brought transgender and non-binary friends too. I don’t care who you love, as long as you respect my boundaries.

Might be introversion, but I do tend to keep people at arm’s length. And I figured out that my lack of interest in sex might be my being asexual, although, according to a (straight) friend, asexuality doesn’t exist and is simply a failure of men to please women. To which I could object that AVEN was started by a young man, but I just don’t want to discuss the matter with someone with such strong opinions but still could be my son.

And since my hormones have gone to sleep, I feel also aromantic, although lately I’m sick of adulting and would like to spend the rest of my life with someone. A BFF would be fine, though! I imagine a village somewhere of creative old people taking care of each other…

Meanwhile, here’s to making it through the long hot summer! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great weekend!

Random Friday


The anthologies (Fantasy Portals and More Portals) will soon go live and you will be able to hear about other authors. As for myself, I’ll quote the intro of Fantasy Portals, and since this is my blog, I can add links to the mentioned stories! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I wrote my first portal story for the now closed Crossed Genres magazine. The second for the Anthology Workshop, and the third and fourth as an exercise for an online workshop on writing fantasy.

Two of those stories have become novellas with life of their own, but the other two wanted company. Besides my own stories, I mean. And I know plenty of talented writers, hence I did some direct requests and a closed call.

So half the stories of these anthologies are from fellow workshop buddies (Alexandra Brandt, Debbie Mumford, Laura Ware, Annie Reed, C.A. Rowland, Joe Cron and Ron Collins). Some were unavailable, but I had alternative stories of portals (thank you, Stefon Mears!). And then there was a closed call to fill the two anthologies…

But now, more on mine. The two novellas are Yash and Ryo, Lost in the Milky Way and of course much talked about Otherside! ๐Ÿ˜‰ The story I wrote for the workshop is The Portal, included in Fantasy Portals, and I wrote The Avalon Pub for the online workshop Writing Fantasy (as I did with the opening of Otherside).

And since the Eclectica bundle is also coming out this weekend (well, TOMORROW, yay!), I was interviewed by a fellow bundler! Check my ramblings at Sherry D. Ramsey’s place and stay tuned to hear more about her on this very blog… at the beginning of June! ๐Ÿ™‚

I might do another audiobook with either Yash&Ryo or maybe Mumbai Dreams… Not ready for novel-length yet, sorry. And no earlier than six months, since the first three drained me of energy and stole too much of my writing time! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Have a great weekend!

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 thisย  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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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

 

Random Friday


A few more anniversaries this Friday! ๐Ÿ™‚ As posted on Facebook by The Ultimate 80’s Child (onย 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! ๐Ÿ™‚ 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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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! ๐Ÿ˜€

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! ๐Ÿ™‚ Today I’m lazy, so no links… just a couple of videos to keep you company. Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

Random Friday


And it’s MOVIE Friday! ๐Ÿ™‚ 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‘sย  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! ๐Ÿ˜€ So I’m closing this with my new manga avatars, made with Picrew.me – me and Da Muses, of course… Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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 assumeย 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

Random Friday


I managed to watch all the new DVDs, but I still have a couple on my ToWatch shelf. I was keeping them for when I’ll be able to write the story of my centurion vampire, but maybe I should just watch them and then re-watch them whenever I feel like writing about him – although, I killed him off… mm, one more reason to watch those two Ancient Rome movies, then! ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyhow, I saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Just a reminder that I’m NOT a Harry Potter fan – haven’t read the books, haven’t seen the movies. I had glimpsed it on a plane, but then Techie Bro said he was looking for it, I saw it at 5euros (well, 3DVD for 15euro, so I got that one, Deadpool and Suicide Squad) and ended up watching it.

Totally oblivious of where it came from, although I had the vague idea it was based on a book (actually, a guide book, but I digress. The screenplay was written by The JK Herself, so it’s as if) and suspected it dealt with the little sorcerer’s world when I heard Hogwarth mentioned in the opening, but well… it was okay. At least it was a grownup young man, not a child going to wizard school! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m still sorta tired of those special effects that tear down buildings and put them back together, but the creatures were fine. Funny even. And I watched the making of cause I was curious about the effects behind them. So it was okay, I might watch the sequel! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Then I got Black Panther since I was curious. And yeah, it was good fun and another one of the last cameos of the late Stan Lee. Loved all the black characters and of course Michael B. Jordan has grown a lot since Hardball, but I couldn’t watch him in Fantastic Four, so glad I got to see him here! ๐Ÿ™‚

I guess that’s all for this year… I’ll watch the last two DVDs next year, they’ve been sitting on my shelf for at least two years anyway, along with the TV mini-series V (1985) that I bought way back in 2008 in London… not in a rush, no! ๐Ÿ˜€ Have a great weekend!

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