Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote almost 16k (with an extra day off day job) and since it was so busy in the mornings (sarcasm), I even got to start on the new strip. Now I have to color the waves before putting them on Instagram, but meanwhile here’s a “scoop” – the cover and credits! 🙂

I started the coloring and lettering of the panels I have already done, but there’s still quite a lot of work to do. This week I hope to tackle a couple of shorter works for upcoming anthologies or to add words to some books. Like, a couple of additions to FEC11, which I completed last week. Then next week I’ll have very little writing and lots of editing, LOL!

Many writers say they can actually hear the voices of our characters – including yours truly. Now you have the scientific explanation. I’m definitely more of a “internal dialog” person, definitely not a “monologue”, hence why I thought writing screenplays would be a piece of cake. Or radio plays. They’re all dialog, right? Wrong. Lesson learned, back to prose.

A Kickstarter I backed because there are plenty of writers I know (including the one Planet Bob guy, whom I met at the Anthology Workshop in 2017) and I was curious. I’ll get only the ebook, but if you’re in the US there’s plenty more rewards! 🙂 And don’t you like the title? SPACE:1975 – A Blast of 1970s Style Space Opera Fiction. I loved Space 1999 and could probably write something for them as well. Maybe. One day.

How should artists deal with the pandemic? Like Dolly Parton! 🙂 Check how she steers her empire through the pandemic!

She has always known what the pandemic has forced many in the industry to realize: that diversifying your income streams is one of the smartest things an artist can do.

And for us indies it means don’t put all your eggs in one basket – and then licensing, of course. I still have to get to that, possibly next year. Like I mentioned in other posts, now is not a good time to take risks. But if I manage an early retirement, I’ll definitely look into it!

I happen to be a Generation X person – although in Italy it’s slightly different. My peers are still steady-job oriented and wouldn’t consider entrepreneurship, unlike Millennials. So if I get rid of the steady job, I might start exploring entrepreneurship, although laws in Italy are the most complicated in the world – which is one more reason why I want to move to another country to start a business.

Whenever I get to start working on my writing business, I’ll definitely consider Kickstarters and licensing. Meanwhile I’m just writing, so I’ll have a decent catalog by the time I’m ready to relaunch. Although I don’t see myself stopping writing to do something else.

Some writers drop everything writing to make licensing deals work. They lose writing time to business time. I could actually spend the rest of my adult life writing nothing, and making a boatload of money from licensing what I’ve already written.

I like writing too much to do that.

Like Kris, I’ll probably never be one of those writers. But I do hope eventually I’ll find the energy to concentrate on the business part of my writing, even though, like I said, it’s not easy in this country, and it adds to the stress I already feel. Like the biological clock saying “it’s been ten years, and you’re still at this stage? Gee, get moving!” – except I can’t, not really. Because I am mentally and emotionally exhausted.

So, we now know why we’re feeling like this! 😉 I’m currently low on #3 (although it was a bigger problem in the past), but the rest is more or less spot on.

'9 Warning Signs You're Mentally Emotionally Exhausted 1. You're easily irritated. 2. You feel unmotivated- even to do things normally enjoy. 3. You'r experiencing anxiety or panic attacks. having trouble sleeping. Either takes you hours fall asleep or broken all through the night. 5. You almost no patience and you find yourself being short with colleagues family. 6. experiencing indigestion. You have stomach ache all the time or feel like there's butterflies in stomach. 7. You crying unexpectedly. 8. You feel from reality- go through days without really emotionally responding connecting to anything. feel TheMindsJournal THEMINDSJOURNAL'

I shall try not to take big decisions while in this state, just in case. This too shall pass. And when I’ll be Dolly’s age (approximately two decades from now), I hope to be able to be like her (extract from the article linked above again):

This is perhaps one secret to Parton’s widespread appeal: Just because she wants to be for everyone doesn’t mean she doesn’t stand for anything. Offending as few potential customers as possible is just good business. But when Parton explains the philosophies that drive her life and career, her answers are hardly corporate. “First of all, I’m not a judgmental person. I do believe we all have a right to be exactly who we are, and it is not my place to judge,” she says. “All these good Christian people that are supposed to be such good Christian people, the last thing we’re supposed to do is to judge one another. God is the judge, not us. I just try to be myself. I try to let everybody else be themselves.”

And here’s to hoping musicians can stop politicians from (ab)using their songs. Can Neil Young Block Trump From Using His Songs? It’s Complicated.

“Their best recourse is probably one that they have been using for many years,” he said, “which is to complain publicly and engage in shaming sessions, which very often have won.”

Wishing you all a wonderful week! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote 13K, finished a draft 0 (to be revised when I travel on the 23rd) and started a Part 2 to make a sequel longer, albeit still a short novel (can’t let go of that character, no!) Even though I’m quite in the future by now, I don’t seem to be able to let go of the Future Earth Chronicles, although I’ll have to write the prequel next!

And the new book is out! Follow Megan’s journey more or less parallel to the first five books and get ready for the continuation of the plot! Raj and Bel have gone home, but the younger members of their party are still out and about!

Megan is Rainbow Town’s ultimate punk-rock star, but an attention-grabbing newcomer is irking her to the point she decides to leave her golden prison.

Led by Richie, Megan, her best friend, Lucy, and Carlos dig their way out of Rainbow Town. After an unfortunate experience with a white settlement, Megan and Richie decide to try living with the First Nations who got their ancestral lands back.

Three years after leaving Rainbow Town Montana, Megan’s path crosses the Wanderers seeking the truth behind Rainbow Town. The post-apocalyptic warrior woman must learn to trust the newcomers and follow the adventure song.

An oldish article that still fits today – your entertainment choices are not your identity.

“Producing things for others is the difference between being a grown-up and being a child, and once making something rather than defending the purity of medium or the problematic aspects of a spending habit becomes routine, you find that you spend a lot less time unhappily screaming about raped childhoods and the SJW menace. There’s a reason that, whenever a criticism is raised against something like a game or a TV show, the first response is always someone shouting, “If you don’t like something, make your own.” It’s because that person feels like he can’t and he assumes you can’t either.

But you can, you know? You can make the thing. People do every day, and the more you do it openly, honestly and with the sincere attempt to do your best, the happier you will be.”

That’s why I write. I tell the stories I want to read. It might not be the latest fad, but it’s what speaks to me.

Which, of course, needs a tiny bit of courage.

“Writers who are worthy of the title “writer,” because they write and they have a career.

Oh-and a tiny bit of courage. Never forget that tiny bit of courage.

It makes all things possible…when viewed after the fact.”

Now, I just finished a book in a bundle I’m in. I won’t name it because I don’t recommend it – the premise was interesting, but it was poorly executed, and I might try to write something similar, eventually – but the most irritating thing was that it looked as if the writer had hit the publish button as soon as he wrote “The End”.

Indie authors, please, I beg you. Hire a proofreader before hitting that button! Not an editor and not necessarily a paid person (it can be a grammar nazi friend, a voracious reader friend or your significant other) and have them scour your manuscripts for homophones, wrong words in the wrong place or missing/extra words!

Word’s spellchecker won’t catch them (maybe if you turn on also the grammar checker?) and it makes for a painful read. Unless readers are by now used to a garbled mess, you better clean your manuscript.

And if you ask someone who does it for a living, don’t forget to pay them. I might offer proofreading in the future, but I won’t do it for free. Like you shell the money for your cover artist, shell some for a proofreader – and pay them! Below a handy guide of the different editors.

Image may contain: text that says 'Understanding BOOK EDITORS: Who you need & when you need them A DEVELOPMENTAL EDITOR on character development, theme, When: finished draft and wantt your story, when ifit "works' Focuses writing pointing awkward telling vs. showing, passive dialogue, flagging any inconsistencies. When: You know your draft sound "works.' COPY grammar, address commonly confused with works, and your ensure numerals. polished. has the possible. They well copy' typographical number problems. When: The book formatted for for you plan ACQUISITION EDITOR Works They acquire manuscripts evaluate the book's gets published. developmental edit, line edit copy editi traditionally publish. www.savannahgilbo.com'

Yes, I finished that book, but it didn’t make me want to read more from that author. And he wasn’t the first. Traditional books might have typos, but they’re less messy.

A few typos are okay (I keep updating my own documents – this weekend it was FEC Shorts (that you can still grab for free with the Smashwords coupon) because while re-reading one story I found 2 typos), but when the sentences become a garbled mess, it’s not.

My main publishing expenses are still paying Mighty Editor for proofreading (actually she does more copyediting, now that I see a clear guide of the different kinds – although I usually ignore her punctuation suggestions! 😉 ) – and I’m an ESL writer, in case you’re new to this blog.

Now I wish you a great week, and happy writing, reading or whatever keeps you entertained! 😀

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote over 13K and reached the new events, since the start of the book is a recap of the previous ones. And again I got surprised by the turn of events, so I’m speedily going towards the completion of this series (at least for now. Next generations might show up eventually, like in the Star Minds Universe, LOL!).

David Gaughran is back with a few publications for writers – although I still have to go through the first editions of Let’s Get Digital and Amazon Decoded, you might want to check them out! Don’t be lazy like me! 😉

I guess each one of us reacted differently to lockdown – I hid into writing and can’t be bothered studying the marketing part yet. But I’m still publishing, so whenever I’m ready to study and give everything a marketing boost, I’ll have plenty to choose from! 🙂

Another Kickstarter worth checking: Funny and Stupid Stories (That No One Should Read) – ain’t that a great title? Go check it out, the ebook is for everybody, although the paperback is only for the UK… And yes, it’s a Kickstarter in GBP (although I see it in Euro and you probably see it in USD or whatever your currency is!)! 🙂

This is a collection/anthology of funny stories. I write in all genres, but mainly horror and supernatural crime. In between the “serious” stuff, I write a few funny stories to relax. This is a collection of those stories.

And if you prefer a trilogy of paranormal mysteries set in small town Kentucky featuring psychic Ash Jericho, To Die For is still going for a few more days.

The Ash Jericho series is a three book paranormal mystery series. It’s possible there will be more books and stories in the series at a later time, but my goal is to publish these three books quickly, back to back, so that readers can enjoy their visit to Ash’s small town.

Or if you’re fore epic fantasy, this is a first novel campaign to help get a decorative edition of the book.

Firefrost  is epic fantasy at its finest: danger, magic, swords, and crowns. It’s a standalone novel about overcoming the darkness inside each of us and the prejudices that keep us captive. The novel is set in a burning, war-torn world, and is full of a dark and powerful magic that consumes hearts and kingdoms.

One day I might do my own Kickstarter, but it’s not going to happen anytime soon – conflicts with my DayJob, don’t ask me why, but that’s one more reason to quit and move to a country where things are simpler! 🙂

I’m reading the books from a vampire bundle I got some time ago from StoryBundle, but I realized maybe it’s also time I read Homo Deus by Harari, since I’m dealing with our future… so as soon as I finish this 3 Musketeers retelling with vampires, I better go back to that before I finish that bundle! 😉

Last weekend ended up being Rock N Roll weekend. I realized Saturday was a former muse’s 60th birthday, so I watched Sugar Town (his only movie with a decent role – but he’s not an actor! He’s John Taylor of Duran Duran, there, I gave out my age again! *Waves at other Duranies still out there*) after lunch. After dinner Rock On.

Sunday I watched Rock Star after lunch (with world’s sexiest drummer, Blas Elias! 😉 ) and Rock On 2 after dinner. Techie Bro didn’t come over to sleep, so I felt free to watch whatever I wanted. He came on Monday, though, since he had no bed to sleep in either at the old house or the new one.

So, after a very musical weekend… summer came. So I’ll probably sort of kind of vanish now. Oh, wait, I have plenty of titles for Sci-Fi July… I’ll try to postpone my summer letargy, LOL! Stay tuned for the coming publications, announcement on the publisher’s page in a few days! Have a great weekend! 🙂

 

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week by Saturday I had almost 17K (and another short story to throw in the last batch of Star Minds stories), so I took a break during the weekend, also to get on with the strip. By Week 23 I already reached 250K (of 500K for those who arrived later), so whenever I’ll be able to travel again and I’ll skip a week, I won’t have to worry about reaching my goal! 😉

I also cleaned up this very blog, in case you didn’t notice. I had already changed the blog description to My Name – Writer, now I cleaned out all those very unprofessional pages at the top. Doesn’t it look better like this? No? Oh, well. The free anthos are still there, if you want to read them. And there’s a neat clean page of links to the other books (and if you’re a reader, you might want to follow the publisher’s page, it gets updated only with new releases or sales announcements).

And welcome new followers, for whatever reason you subscribed to this blog feed! 🙂 Just be warned I will ramble a lot – but at least it’s only once a week, LOL! Almost like a weekly newsletter! 😀

I cleaned up also my DeviantART page before closing the account… I don’t know when yet. But I took down more than half of the art I had uploaded there. I cursed them a whole afternoon while doing it. Glad that WordPress’s updates are much more discreet and I’m not forced to use them (yet!)…

And I finished coloring the current strip! Below is a wordless strip, the rest is coming on Instagram, every Sunday as usual! Star Minds Kids and Teens will also have a prose version for the visually impaired, like Silvery Earth Kids.

Kol-ian and Toybot finish the homework and go to play in the park, climbing a tree

I got the new Kindle along with a couple of paperbacks, and I already hate it. It does have airplane mode, but otherwise it’s constantly on wi-fi. It’s a hassle to turn pages on lists and I turned off the front light (since I have a Kindle for the e-ink, not for the built-in front light. I’m not reading in the dark). I might have gotten used to touch screens since 2011, but I still prefer KK.

In fact, I downloaded a couple samples on KK, and eventually I’ll synch the New Kindle (that shall not have a name, sgrunt!). My own mobi files go on the New Kindle, along with the bundles and other books I got from elsewhere, since KK can still connect to the Amazon store, but the cable doesn’t connect it to the laptop anymore, so I can only download stuff from Amazon and not add other books like I used to. Sigh.

I still have quite a few books to read on KK anyway, so the New Kindle will stay offline until I’m done with that. Then I’ll synch it and start using it, possibly next year, giving how fast (read: slow!) I am at reading ebooks! 😀

As for the paperbacks, one is Snow Glass Apples by Neil Gaiman and Colleen Doran, a highly recommended graphic novel, a Snow White retelling with luscious artwork. I love all of Colleen’s works, and the pairing with Neil Gaiman is awesome. The other paperback is non-fiction and I haven’t started it yet…

I reworked the blurb and cover for The Fern and The Cross, go check it out! I hope I made it better, not worse, LOL! A special thanks to Anna Lowenstein for the consultations on the blurb (and correcting my mistakes) and Joleene Naylor for the consultations on the cover and introducing me to That Group.

I left the old cover on the book page (like I did for Brainwaves) because I think the old cover was more faithful to the history and the character, but if the new one sells… readers should get what they want! 😀

See how the right one has the heraldry of Fougères and the flat-topped helmet and that crusader look? But comments said it wasn’t clear what it was about, so I changed pictures (there was the color version of the first one) and decided to forego historical accuracy…

Now I’ll have to update the banners, both here and on the publisher’s page… but I’m waiting for the Future Earth Chronicles cover reveal and possibly other new covers! 🙂

Now I better get back to writing and wrap Book 8 and 9… I still have Book 10 to start and finish in two weeks, yikes!

Some Kickstarters worth checking:

Ask Jericho: To Die For by Bonnie Elizabeth Koenig.

Despot: Science Fiction and Fantasy Anthology by Van Alrik. This is an anthology that is trying something new with the editing side of things. It is matching by computer stories to classic author’s styles and forms. Read it to understand what he is doing.

The Cold Poker Gang by Dean Wesley Smith. This is trying to get the series into hardback and to give readers and fans an early look at the new novel. It also has workshops and some good stretch goals. It has now funded and gone past two stretch goals and gaining on a third with about eight days left

One laat link this week, something that was shared in the Italian version by one of my FB friends. The Human Library. Now I’m pondering if I could be a book in this library or should try to read some titles before applying… Have a great week!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote another 12K and I hope to wrap this book this week. Already I know I have to change something in the following book, so I’ll have to print them both out and do the adjustments before getting to the last book. A final re-reading of all the books after the Mighty Editor checks for typo faeries and other inconsistencies.

So, my latest drama (while I wait for WordPress to change everything, moan!) is about the Lone Wolves Team. Saturday I went to upload the third and last book, and while checking on the KDP dashboard I realized there was a typo on the cover! Not just on the latest book, but also on the previous 2, because I used the same template and simply changed the mission numbers!

ARGH! You’d think someone at the retailers might have noticed the typo, but nooooooooooooo, not even Apple noticed it via D2D! So last week was the week of redoing covers and adjusting titles, since in a previous Lone Wolves Team book I had mispelled the mission numbers on KDP only, which I noticed when I saw the wrong title on Bookbub. Sigh.

Anyhow, the last Lone Wolves Team book is out! In two weeks the full collection and then a couple more Star Minds Universe titles to get us into July. And since it will be Sci-Fi July again, there might be more things coming your way, even if I’m not going to worldcon (because it’s in New Zealand, not just because of Covid, LOL!).

The latest Happiness is was also on display on my DA profile – before Eclipse. One more reason to give up that site. It’s also one of the last, and like I said sometime last year, this is the last rotation. I’m not taking them offline, but they’ve been cycling for 10 years, so I guess it’s enough. If I make a new vignette, I’ll post it here anyway! 🙂

I might also repost them on Instagram, when the latest strip is over (although it would still be @Barbstrips, since there’s already an Official Happiness Is over there). It’s only 40 strips, and I have some 150 happiness vignettes… so they might become the Sunday Vignette instead of the Sunday Strip! 😀 Meanwhile I’m halfway the Star Minds Kids and Teens over there… and will have to finish coloring and lettering within the next two weeks!

I will definitely try to remind myself there are reasons for happiness in this crazy world of ours. I’m posting a picture of me and some of the awesome non-white people I met in my life, from my school years in international Geneva to my latest travels across the world.

Red, Yellow, Brown and Black. No names, no places, but some of them are still great friends. This batch of pics covers Europe, North America and Asia – haven’t been to Africa or Oceania yet. Love ya all, even the ones I met only online – one day we’ll meet and we’ll laugh at the madness that 2020 was.

I’m sort of glad I didn’t actually start a business yet. And I sure hope that it will be easier to do it after this, even if this overly complicated country. I still plan on retiring/quitting Day Job in a couple of years, so I have time to study what’s going on and what the new normal will be.

I guess I’m meant to live through this “passage” for our planet and civilizations, and I’m almost certain we’ll make it through. Things look rough in the US at the moment, and I hope everything will end well for everyone. Here are 35 Pics Showing The Other Side Of The George Floyd Protests That The Mainstream Media Is Reluctant To Share to bring back hope.

In Italy smart working is killing businesses all over the place, but new ones will grow out of it, if we manage to adapt quickly. Yesterday I was scanning old pics on Agfa films for a cover… who remembers them? What happened to Kodak and Agfa when cameras went digital? We’re highly adaptable people, so I’m sure we’ll get through this.

I enclose a couple of guides for white people to help in this situation. Save the Tears: White Woman’s Guide and White Guyde to the Galaxy (for men). As for the books suggested-reading, I’ll see if I can get some from the provided links (or I might go to the town center and ask the Anglo American Bookshop if they have any)…

Also, if you like sci-fi, here’s a list of 11 Amazing Sci-Fi Books by Black Authors! As for non-fiction and more research, a friend of mine posted this link of articles about Institutionalized Racism: A Syllabus. Fellow author JA Clement said:

For anyone still doubting that this is a huge, longstanding problem and not an issue with a few individuals.

JSTOR is a catalogue of information my university used when I was doing my Masters, so it is a place I trust to be a good, reliable source of history and information that can be used for something to be scrutinised as closely as a dissertation.

If they’re putting educational material together, I’m listening.

Or you can go to Kobo’s Black Lives Matter: A Resource List for more recommended reads. They also have a collection of Kobo originals about life with COVID-19. Here’s their presentation:

Our Kobo Originals team has collaborated with local newspaper West End Phoenix to create a collection of stories by Canadian literary voices, reflecting on COVID-19 life. The first collection is out now, with proceeds going to Community Food Centres Canada and their Good Food Fund specifically set up to assist those in need during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Be sure to check it out!

A couple of posts on trad and indie publishing as well as the sads about the coming new world. And an awesome disabled author speaking out. Because yes, every single life is valid. Let’s preserve it in all it’s colorful, different forms, shall we? 🙂 Have a great week!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I added another 2K to Books 6 and 7 (mostly Book 7, since it was and still is shorter) and then started on Book 8, that reached 10K by Sunday night. I also worked on the cover rebranding, but I’ll do a “new covers reveal” event closer to the publication of the next books.

It will probably be a Facebook event, either in my group or on my page, we’ll see. Let me know your preference – and if you’re not on Facebook, just say so, and I’ll do the event on this very blog! 🙂 By June the Happiness Is vignettes will end, therefore I’ll reinstate the Sunday Surprise posts, so you’ll have two posts a week still.

And here’s the year ahead… again for indies like me. You may have noticed I resumed my publishing every other week of books I wrote between the end of last year and the beginning of this one… So, another batch of Lone Wolves Team missions is out! Check it out at the usual places! 🙂 Two more coming this month, then in June the final books of the Star Minds Universe.

And the UK has decided to scrap VAT on e-publications! So you’ll pay the price I set up on the retailer, with no VAT added. My titles are usually between 1.99£ and 3.99£ (with a few 99p exceptions). For everybody else, sorry, I’m not the one who decieds on VAT percentages…

This week marks Phase 2 in Italy, so more people are allowed out and more places are opening, still with social distancing andf masks and gloves and all that jazz. I go to work by bus, and from this week it’s every day again, not just Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays like it was since March 12.

Monday morning I took the bus with new labels forbidding to sit too close to each other, so if a bus has 20 seats, you can use only 4 or 5. Which is fine at 7-30am, but definitely more “crowded” at 1pm. There were also more people around and waiting for the bus. And besides surgical masks, we got facial shields for work – which is much better, because you breathe better.

Still, only six people can be present at one time, so some of us will have to either work from home or take other forms of permits. I already used 15 vacation days this year, so thankfully my manager didn’t ask me to miss a day in May! 🙂 It’s sort of going back to normal, except there will still be long lines at supermarkets and now I have only Saturday mornings to go and buy food. Sigh.

I guess that’s all from this side of the world… stay home if you can, stay safe and don’t panic. We shall overcome! Have a great week! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I ended up writing 17K+, which brought the yearly total to 150K, which means that on week 15 I caught up with the wordcount. To reach my goal of 500K/year I need to write 10K/week with two weeks off… so at the moment, I’m back on track and can still take two weeks off to go somewhere in the second half of the year, if things have settled down. Yay! 🙂

And like I announced on the publisher’s page, the new title is now complete, so I’m posting the cover. Still a short novel, but at least it has flashbacks! 🙂 You can now know a little more about Alex’s past! 🙂

If you write SFF, you know have two options of professional organizations looking out for you. The SFWA that is more traditionally oriented and has the Writer Beware blog, and the IASFA, that is indie-oriented… set up by Craig Martelle of 20BooksTo50K, it’s starting to build up… and it’s free to join! 🙂 I can say I was among the first 15 members, LOL!

A nice post on how to cope right now. Be kind, to yourself and others. Yes, I miss the coffee shop coffee and having lunch with a colleague or three, but we’ll get over it. Yes, it was a lonely Easter time, but I’m sending out tonz of virtual hugs for whoever needs them right now. And yes, I sometimes hold my hand, especially when I go to sleep, just to remind myself I’m still alive and still human.

Also, here’s the truth about introverts. Yes, it’s hard on us too. And yes, I’m lucky I still get to go to work three days a week to get my dose of people. I don’t look forward to when it will be all peopley out there, but I hear ya – introvert or extrovert, we’re all grieving these days.

And if you feel you need help to re-organize your life during lockdown, follow Kris Rusch’s advice. Also, prepare for the ultimate gaslighting – I think it’s going to be all over the world, not just in America. I had wished the world would stop, and now it has stopped, which is more or less fine with me, if the rest of the world wasn’t reacting so badly! 😉

I hope you might consider this: what happened is inexplicably incredible. It’s the greatest gift ever unwrapped. Not the deaths, not the virus, but the Great Pause. It is, in a word, profound. Please don’t recoil from the bright light beaming through the window. I know it hurts your eyes. It hurts mine, too. But the curtain is wide open. What the crisis has given us is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see ourselves and our country in the plainest of views. At no other time, ever in our lives, have we gotten the opportunity to see what would happen if the world simply stopped. Here it is. We’re in it. Stores are closed. Restaurants are empty. Streets and six-lane highways are barren. Even the planet itself is rattling less (true story). And because it is rarer than rare, it has brought to light all of the beautiful and painful truths of how we live. And that feels weird. Really weird. Because it has…never…happened…before.

And, like he says,

From one citizen to another, I beg of you: take a deep breath, ignore the deafening noise, and think deeply about what you want to put back into your life. This is our chance to define a new version of normal, a rare and truly sacred (yes, sacred) opportunity to get rid of the bullshit and to only bring back what works for us, what makes our lives richer, what makes our kids happier, what makes us truly proud.

I finally started using those codes for RakutenTV and… I wasn’t impressed. I watched Sir – the only Indian movie I hadn’t seen that was available (there’s no Bollywood at all in their selection) – and the only options were Hindi (without subtitles) or Italian. So I had to watch the dubbed version (with the silly subtitle “Cinderella in Mumbai”), which wasn’t too bad since I didn’t know any of the actors and what they actually sound like.

Until we got to the part where the two sisters discuss Choti’s future husband. I have no idea why the people adapting this movie for dubbing put in Brad Pitt’s name, jerking me out of the movie in a heartbeat. 1) how can an Indian man look like Brad Pitt? Keanu Reeves is more likely, right? Oh, but nobody knows how to pronounce that, so forget it. 2) I’m watching an Indian movie about a maid who always wear a sari and they talk about a Hollywood celebrity? They might as well have used an Italian actor for Italian watchers… if they really didn’t want to use an Indian star’s name.

I tried to understand what they were saying in the original (probably Marathi, since it didn’t sound like Hindi – she’s from a small village near Mumbai), but the only name I could catch was Rajveer (I think). I mean, I understand trying to adapt (like the subtitles of ZNMD where they translated Manju into Romeo, but it was less jarring than this Brad Pitt thing and I was able to ask about the actual line to Hindi speakers), but this was really off-putting.

Come on, people, give us non-speakers some credit when we watch your movies. We want to watch and understand your culture, not see it whitewashed just in case we don’t get it. Sheesh. Besides that, I think it was a nice, realistic story that showed me something of India. I’m not surprised the movie received so many awards all over the world. I agree with this user’s review completely.

A beautifully thought provoking film!

12 November 2018 | by taherailseahmadSee all my reviews

It is really a film worth watching, the story and characters stay on with you in a fine, beautifully quiet manner even when the film is over! A wonderfully subtle but very definitely thought provoking film with a realistic story line!

Anyhow, I was reminded why I hate dubbed movies. The other three on my list should be English or Italian movies, so I can watch the original without subtitles. And I guess I’ll stick to DVDs whenever available for the time being. Watching on my laptop wasn’t the best experience, and I don’t have a smart TV – don’t want one, I don’t use it enough anyway.

On Sunday (Easter), I rewatched 12 Monkeys – remember when 5billions were supposed to die from an airborne virus back in 1996/1997? Well, we had another twenty years, and there aren’t that many deaths yet, probably will never be (that’s more what happened in my Future Earth Chronicles sometimes in the 21st century, but I will not tell the whole story of the apocalypse, ever – and by the way, last days to get the series half-price on Smashwords).

And that’s all for today… have a great week, stay safe and keep social distancing for a little longer. You can do it! Hugs! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote a little over 12K, and not because I had 2 extra mornings, since those extra mornings were not for writing, unfortunately. So I’ve dived into Future Earth Chronicles Book 6 and wrote whatever happened before the protagonist met the main characters of the first story arc. I did have some fun revisiting Rainbow Towns and a future North America mostly back in the hands of the First Nations – mostly.

ebook cover "Cop" (Star Minds Lone Wolves)I published another title even though nobody will buy it right now, probably. But then, it’s not as if I had dozens of rabid readers who look forward to my next book, LOL! So I’ll continue with my scheduled publishing every two weeks for the rest of the year, no matter how this goes.

I am now going to dive back into the Star Minds Universe and wrap up both the Lone Wolves and the rest of it. So now you have Star Minds Lone Wolves – Cop, in two weeks Assassin, two more weeks Spacer, then the rest of the Team‘s missions for another three ebooks, which will take us to the end of May. In June and July I’ll publish Star Minds Interregnum Volume 2 and some box sets, so stay tuned! 🙂

Also, I enrolled in the Authors Give Back sale on Smashwords. Almost thirty titles discounted 30% or 60%. Including Future Earth Chronicles, in case you wanted to try it – Book 1 is always at 99c, but now you can grab the other 4 at 1.20$each. Full list of my discounted titles on the publisher’s site. The sale goes on until April 20.

Considering the world-wide troubles, I won’t be doing any paperbacks just yet. I canceled the order for my new Kindle since they hadn’t sent it out yet, and I managed to get my parcels from the post office Monday morning before going to work. So, you better read e-books if you want. Or listen to audio. I still have 14 giveaway codes for Otherside from Findaway Voices, again only valid in US, CA and AU.

Research material

Please have a look at the Cave Creek Kickstarter if you haven’t already! I got my research books (see above), and will be writing for this… Help us reach the next streetch goal – and there are already 2 short stories for backers! 😀 Ebooks, so downloadable at any time (still saving mine to a special folder for when I’ll get a new Kindle) – this campaign closes really soon, probably hours from the time this goes live, so hurry! 😀

And if you’re on Facebook and want only readers’ news, you can now join my Street Team group, finally renamed after the poll I ran what? One month ago? Eh. Got busy, or better, distracted. I should probably add that link at the end of my books, for whoever is still on Facebook. Or you can subscribe to the publisher’s page, it’s not updated as regularly as this blog! 😉 Only for new releases or sales or other special events. So, suggested follow for readers is that one – if you’re not on Facebook or don’t follow me on Author Central, Goodreads or Bookbub, that is.

And while we wait for this to pass and for the new normal, let’s all play the Waiting Game. Here’s to hoping that this mess will bring earlier the Universal Basic Income… Have a great week! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Image may contain: possible text that says '"And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and and exercised, and made art, and played and of listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met shadows. And the people began to think differently. "And the people healed. And, in the absence of people in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, heartless to when danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed images, and created new ways to live and heal earth fully, as they had been healed." O'Meara'

Sooo, it’s a pandemic. It won’t kill 2/3 of the world population like in my Future Earth Chronicles, but then, the unnamed pandemic of that series was only one aspect of the apocalypse. And if you’d like to read how life goes on after the apocalypse, check it out, book 1 is at 99c! 😉

What scares me is not so much the coronavirus flu but people’s behavior. As an introvert, I don’t mind staying at home, and this is probably the closest I’ll ever be to live the hermit’s life. But I miss being able to walk around. You need a permit to be out and about at this time in Italy, and until the lockdown is over.

I have a permit to go to work Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays (because Dayjob can’t shut down – yet), and another for when I need to go to the supermarket or the pharmacy or other urgent matters. I doubt going to the post office to get my parcels counts. I hope they’ll keep my Amazon purchases until this emergency is over.

Does this affect me as a writer? Kind of. The world finally stopped and everybody else’s feelings overwhelm me. I still wish I could move to a co-housing in a cold place, away from the current life and responsibility, except of course now it’s even harder than before. Writing helps, but…

Griffyndiggory wrote on Tumblr (it’s a photo, so he might have taken it from somewhere else): “My problem isn’t that my favorite characters aren’t real; it’s that I’m not fictional. I don’t want them to be real. What I desperately wish is that I could be fictional with them. It’s not that I want them here with me in this mundane and ordinary world; it’s that I want to join them in their extraordinary one.”

Yeah, coming out of those stories into the current world really sucks. But last week I managed to wrap up all the projects, and now seems a good time to go back to those Future Earth Chronicles. I still have five books to write, although they deal with secondary characters from the first five. That first arc is concluded. I wrote 11K+, bringing my yearly total so far to 95K. Might still be a little behind, but I will catch up, eventually.

me, ready to start writing FEC Book 6!

So, since you might end up locked at home like I am, no matter where you live, try to grab some books. And my British friends stay safe, since your leader believes in “natural selection” – we shall overcome! 🙂 You can get some advice from Chuck Wendig on working from home, or you can just chill with your family and watch Netflix.

Here’s how you can use your time in isolation to learn everything you wanted to. Museums and other public places now closed give virtual tours. Social distancing is not a bad thing, and yeah, it sucks to stay in in spring (northern emisphere), but again, it’s only for a few months, not the rest of your life.

I’m currently reading another bundle, the Might Have Been and trudging through Kristine Grayson’s trilogy. I managed to charge KK while I wait for the substitute, so hopefully it won’t die on me before I manage to get to the post office and grab the new one.

Oh, and the Cave Creek Kickstarter? There’s already a short story for backers, but I had to put it in a temporary folder, since I can’t put it on KK. I could read it with Kindle4PC, but I really prefer the e-ink of the normal Kindle (although the All-new Kindle – Now with a Built-in Front Light that I hope to never use, unless it’s different from what I’m thinking. I’ll know when I get mine).

Aaand there’s a new course on teachable, it’s free, so go check it. Kickstarter Best Practices for Writers is up and ongoing. I’m probably going to watch it while I pretend to study from home for DayJob… Not sure when I’ll be able to actually do it, but meanwhile I’ll start checking it!

Some writerly links: how Lawrence Block went indie because of traditional publishing stupidity. And a BBCArts article on book covers clichés – pity I don’t write in any of those genrse, but yeah, I should write my author name bigger! 😀

Author/journalist Damien Walter is running a brand new free daily open writing class. And if you want tips for writing marathons, check this article by my friend Leah Cutter!

Let’s not forget it’s Infinite Bard time again… go read the latest story and have a great week! 🙂

 

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


This is scheduled well in advance because I’m traveling with a smartphone and my eyes don’t allow me to work properly on such small screen (not to mention that typist me can’t use ten fingers on that tiny keyboard, so there!). No writing news while I’m at the anthology workshop, so I shall entertain you with something else.

Since I no longer do Random Fridays, I’ll do a Random Wednesday for a change! 😉 Been watching some DVDs since Christmas, so here we go. First of all, for Christmas I got the book Dark Crystal: the Ultimate Visual History (that I’m still reading, BTW, because even if it’s heavily illustrated, it takes time to read how that movie was born so many years ago).

So I had to re-watch the DVD and its extras, just to remind myself what it was like. I had in mind to re-watch also Labyrinth, but didn’t have time so far. Maybe when I get home! 😉

Then I watched Il Ragazzo Invisibile Seconda Generazione (it has English subtitles, if you’re interested). The kid is growing up just fine, LOL! Our own superhero is in his teens now, and the cast is international, which is something I love – movies  with many languages like Babel are my favorites! There should probably be a third one, but it doesn’t look like it’s in the making. Oh, well.

And when I was done reading, to get myself back into my very own Star Minds Universe, I watched Solo: A Star Wars Story. Now, I’m a fan of the original trilogy, the Ewoks and all that stuff. I did see the Prequels (meh), but I totally ignored the sequels. I got this one because it was only 9.99euro and it’s Han Solo and Lando and Chewbecca and… well, you get it.

Ron Howard did a good job but then I had to rewatch Empire Strikes Back, just to make sure they were consistent, LOL! I ended up watching all three original movies throughout the weekend, although only the oldest one was in the revised/enhanced version with the extra scene and Jabba the Hutt – the other two were the cinema versions (although at the time I saw all of them dubbed in Italian).

And Vanity Fair Italy gave the cover to my first movie love, Matt Dillon, who is the same age as Da Muse and as immortal as he is, mwhahaha! They might both be Boomers (while I’m Generation X), but they’re awesome! 😀

Oh, yeah, Da Muse was also a presenter at the Oscars night. Did I watch it? No. Never did, don’t care. But to stay on topic with movies and Hollywood, a January news that didn’t show up in my Google alert but was in another newsletter is that Warner Bros. signed AI startup that claims to predict film success.

Will it really work? We’ll see… So, after these wanderings in moviedom, I shall leave you with the usual writerly quote… have a great week!

Nearly every piece of writing advice can be taken, tested, and found wrong. Because inevitably there exists a novel — a popular novel, either bestseller or an award-winner or both — that does exactly the thing you’re Not Supposed To Do. Or it doesn’t do the thing that Everyone Is Supposed To Do. Novels break the rules all the time because ultimately, no rules exist. (The one rule that does exist is that you must finish your shit. A book can never exist until you finish it, and so all books pass that indestructible law.)

Chuck Wendig

%d bloggers like this: