Random Friday


Help a writer to avoid foreclosure. If you’re a reader, you might know her books better than I do – I’m sure I’ll read one sooner or later, maybe we’ll be together in a bundle or something. Anyhow, if you have $$ to spare, go help Adrian Phoenix! 🙂

I still haven’t (re)watched John Wick Chapter 2, but I got the DVD of Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword… mostly because it features two of the original Queer as Folk, Nathan and Stuart! 😉 But then it’s been almost 20 years and of course both have changed (or grown up in the case of the younger one)! 😀

I also watched the extras and I can tell Charlie Hunnam was an enthusiast for the movie. He said he grew up with Excalibur (which is about his age, but well… he’s British, so makes sense) which I happened to see in theaters because I’m slightly older than him (just a tad. What’s 15 years against eternity? ;)) – albeit dubbed in Italian.

But I saw the trailers in England (my first very first trip to England in the summer of 1981, before the Royal Wedding of last century) and looked forward to seeing it in Italy. Mostly because in the trailer Nigel Terry looked just like Oliver Tobias in my beloved Arthur of the Britons.

So, I’m more or less familiar with the legends even if I’m not British. My mom loved the chansons de gestes and studied them at university, and sort of passed on the love, even though my love for history and the Middle Ages is much much recent than Excalibur.

I saw most of the recent versions of the story, including Clive Owen‘s King Arthur and a Marvel comics graphic novel called Camelot 3000 (in the 1990s). And Guy Ritchie’s is the most fantasy of all. It has some nice British humor, but I’m afraid Mom will hate it even more than Excalibur when I show it to her! 😉

But if one watches it as a fantasy with very famous names like Vortigern, Bedivere (an African one? The horror! Although Djimon Honsou is gorgeous, of course! :D) and Percival, it’s fine. Of course there’s Excalibur in the rock and the round table, sort of. A friend of mine even hopes for a sequel… *rolls eyes*

Have a great weekend! 😀

 

 

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Random Friday


Been reading samples for the next bundle, and I hope to find enough novels to fill it. Otherwise I’ll probably have to add shorter works and collections. In the meantime brainstorming the next book (and I’m not even done with the next one, LOL!) and getting started on at least one of the shorter works – which could eventually go into the bundle if I make it also of shorter works. Or maybe it will be a newsletter exclusive for a year or so. Or maybe I don’t know yet.

Been thinking about those projects – most are for next year, but you know… when the mind wanders… and the hand follows… I ended up doing a few chibis of myself that I may use in the future projects (at least one of them). So there you have Chibi Writer Barb!

This weekend I’ll make sure the document is ready and upload the pre-order also where I cannot do the assetless pre-order and next weekend will be the infamous marketing weekend cum POD formatting. Gah.

Draft2Digital added some e-book templates but I may try them on the next series. I did write a novel that isn’t part of any series yet this summer, after all! 😉 So I guess I will try their sci-fi templates sometime before the end of the year, yay!

Any app-developers willing to work on that “Take Care of an Author (TM)” app (see previous post comments if you missed them)? I can do the chibis of the authors, but I’m hopeless with making apps… 😉

Have a great weekend! 😀

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! 😀

 

Random Friday


Dunno on your side of the world, but this year, besides the usual (and worsening) heat, we even have fires. I mean, we always have fires in the summer when it doesn’t rain much, but this year it has been particularly harsh on me. Here’s a summary in English – my story is from Sunday, but as you can see, it’s not over yet.

My 3h30 train ride back home became an 8h30 odissey where only Techie Bro’s intervention allowed for a happy ending at that time – otherwise it would have probably lasted much longer.

Ice-cream in Massa

I spent the weekend in Massa (my father’s hometown) with a friend. Both writers, we mostly stayed in and did our stuff. Sunday my dad took us to the train station. She stopped in Pisa, so she took the regional train (cheaper) that was 10 minutes late. My Intercity was also 10 minutes late for much affluence at previous stations.

But I saw the train coming from the south (i.e. where I was headed) was 174mintes late. I was afraid something had happened on the line and I was soon proved right. First stop in Grosseto where we gained another 20 minutes of lateness. They told us it was because of a fire near Capalbio and that firemen were at work.

At that point my mother called me from Massa, since the fire was on the TV news. A ViP camping had been evacuated but it was mostly over. So on we went… and stopped shortly afterward, at Montalto di Castro. Again they told us it was because of a fire between Ladispoli and Fregene (north of Rome). We were still in Tuscany.

One hour went by. One and a half and the AC of the train was giving me a headache. I saw a train going north, and hoped things were clear, but we still didn’t move.

Then they told us that if we were headed for Roma Termini, we could take the train on platform 1 that would take us to Ladispoli where a bus service would take us to Roma Termini. Whoever was headed further south (the train was bound for Salerno) should stay onboard.

So I moved train, found a seat, and the train didn’t leave for another 10-20 minutes. The following stations it filled itself. At Civitavecchia there was still smoke and smell of fire and the refugees of another fast train (the one I could have taken that passed through Massa one hour earlier) came onboard.

Talking to a Filippino lady who had had the bad idea of visiting Pisa, leaving her husband and son in Rome, that train had met both fires and was by now 4 hours late. And it was canceled and wouldn’t go anywhere else. We found out that we were on a regional train that supposedly did Roma-Genova, but did only Ladispoli-Grosseto (it was probably the same that I had seen go north and that had come back one hour later).

The packed train ended in Ladispoli, where they told us there would be a bus service. The outside of the station was already packed with people from other trains, and the platform was so busy with people stopping and not moving that for the first time in my life I crossed the tracks to get out of the crowd.

Then I used the underground passage to go to the front of the station, since I had come out in the back, with the Filippino lady on my heels. No bus in sight, and hundreds of people milling around. The police said the bus were coming, and it was 9pm by now. I called my brother and told him the bus would only take me to Maccarese where we could take another train to Termini, so he said he’d come to Maccarese to spare me the last leg of the trip.

By 9.30 still no bus and the station restrooms were locked. The Filippino lady had struck a conversation with two students who had decided to go for a beach day in Ladispoli and had been stuck there for hours – bus had come at 6pm but there weren’t enough of them. One was Hungarian, the other Danish, but both studied in Denmark and were in Rome for some summer course.

My brother reached Maccarese and since no bus in sight he decided to come over to Ladispoli. With the help of the Danish girl I managed to use Google Maps and send him our location (we walked away from the overcrowded train station). Around 10pm, five minutes after 3 bus showed up, headed for the station, he arrived and picked us up.

stranded in Ladispoli – bus and Techie Bro arrived from this street

We live south of Rome and the highway is the one that takes to Fiumicino airport. The 3 foreigners needed Gianicolo and Nomentana, so we left them at a taxi parking near Eur (with 2 lone taxis – and I saw them trying to call a Uber before heading there) and I was home by 11pm.

Could have been worse. Midnight or 1am if I had waited for the bus+train+taxi from the train station in the center since I don’t trust the metro at night… Gotta love one’s Techie Bro who is not afraid of driving in the dark, right? Now my parents and sister will take that same train on Sunday… here’s to wishing them a prompt and safe journey!

On a last note: I’ve had a maximum of 3hours late, but being stranded 50km from home – 40minutes by car – was a first… Have a great weekend! 😉

Random Friday


Roger Murtaugh: I’m too old for this shit!

Yes, I’m feeling like Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon (actually, he says this line in all 4 movies, joined by Mel Gibson at least in the last one). When you’re single or don’t have kids and find yourself for six days between a 12-year-old and a 70something… it makes everything more complicated!

One tends to run forward (because he’s telling stories to himself and isn’t paying attentiong), the  other lags  behind. One makes a melodrama out of nothing and the other has clearly enough of his tantrums (I don’t see him as often as my mother, LOL!). I was always the mediator! 🙂

Add the heat and some rain… not always fun. We did the tourist stuff (i.e. lots of lines), and he wanted to be back at the hotel by 3pm, so on the last day I decided to go out and try to find some DVDs, since the FNAC nearby had a poor selection but I remembered the Champs Elysées shop was  much bigger…

I asked him if he wanted to come (I admit it, I hoped he’d say no and kept playing with his videogames, LOL!). So I ended up grabbing one DVD because it was near the games section and gave up looking for more! 😀 But I did manage to buy the BDs I can’t buy in Rome anymore because the only French bookshop closed, so I have completed my Thorgal collection.

And I got the Lapins Crétins (Rabbids for gamers) BDs for Dear Nephew who wanted them because he’d seen them in some videogame (and there isn’t much text anyway… he laughed out loud reading all 3 volumes out of 9 that I bought him). By the way, if anyone can be bothered to correct the Wikipedia entry above… there are 9 volumes of the comic + a couple of specials

Leaving you with some pics… have a great weekend! 🙂

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Random Friday


A little bit of random randomness. I’m not on Twitter but on Facebook some friends commented on the little bird’s trend #italiansareblack. Besides showing the usual American ignorance of history (the normans conquered Sicily in the 11th century, taking it from the Moors, and in Sicily there are blond and blue-eyed people) I’m still not sure what the fuss is about.

They usually have to ask me where I come from and then gape at me because I’m tall and blue-eyed (I wouldn’t count the blond hair, since it’s colored, LOL!). And where I speak the language (ex. France) they don’t even notice I’m not local.

I actually love different skin tones and racial features, since we’re all beautiful in our own unique ways. In the 80s there was a magazine who pasted together women’s best facial features (I don’t remember who were the beauties of the time except for probably Brooke Shields and definitely Farrah Fawcett’s hair – Charlie’s Angels original TV series rules, LOL!) and the result was… meh. Yuk. You get the point.

I was lucky enough to grow up in an international environment (Geneva) where there were children from all over the world and of all colors. But I already did a post about it six years ago.

Oh, and Mattel is now making different Barbie dolls and even different Ken dolls… glad I got a boyfriend for my Barbie Miss 1974 before this and that the princesses don’t need boyfriends with modern clothes or man-buns! 😀

the whole bunch

Anyway, back to the present. A friend of mine has become a citizen of Asgardia after reading a CNN article. And even though the concept is interesting, I’m kind of bummed… a Kingdom… in space? I don’t care if it’s a constitutional monarchy, it’s still a kingdom! In the 21st century!

So I’m still debating if I could write a story about it or join that off-world nation, albeit in a virtual way. I’m also gathering my research for the next novel even though it’s set more or less in one country (and its neighbors), where people have brown skin or so they say. I honestly don’t notice.

I’ll end with a link to Paul Mc Cartney’s idea for a song and  list of my non-caucasian favorite actors whom I find particularly handsome. In no particular order… Aissa Maiga, Djimon Hounsou, Ziyi Zhang, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Arjun Rampal, Omar Sy, Zoe Saldana, Barbara Mori, Indira Varma, “older” stars Victoria Abril, Denzel Washington, Hiroyuki Sanada, Rekha – and Da Muses, of course! 😉 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


To complete May wordcount, I wrote another 5100 words in the last three days, so I’m pretty confident I can finish those three novels in three months. Here’s my prepping calendar with the (very few) trips on it – but then I’m the one who vanishes in the summer because it’s too hot to do anything besides writing at home, haha!

I watched Bamako and it’s an interesting take on Africa, with the trial within the story. They don’t often talk about themselves, so it was a window on that side of the world where  I’ll never go because it’s a warm country so it’s not on my map of travels (I really made a huge exception for India! 😉 But I’d move to a northern country anytime)…

It was a pleasure to see Aissa Maiga again (saw her in Bianco e Nero that I may have mentioned somewhere on this blog years ago – when one has such an old blog, it becomes a hassle to search things in it, LOL!), since she’s not only very talented, but also very beautiful IMHO.

I’ll have to make her a black princess on Silvery Earth sometime – maybe in the coming novel? Oh, wait, I do have a black warrior woman there… mmmm… Have a great weekend! 😀

Writer Wednesday


I have added a couple of rewards (at the lower tiers) for writers. So if you’d like to hear some tips or experiences or other writerly stuff by yours truly, you can do so by supporting me on Patreon. If you’re just a reader who enjoy my fiction (bless you), you have even more choices. Either way I’d greatly appreciate it, even if you pledge only 1$ a month! 🙂

Last week of may and I’m prepping for the Novel Challenge while writing a fan fiction – clearly a crossover between vampires mythologies! 😉 I won’t say anything about it, but anyone familiar with my vampires will recognize my submission when it goes live. The voting is anonymous, so feel free to vote for somebody else, LOL!

This week writerly links. A hot steaming sack of business advice for writers by Chuck Wendig. Although I should take him off my blogroll, since he enjoys hunting unicorns. The Lady of the Unicorn, here, can’t really allow that, can she? 😉 And you probably all know that I don’t agree on anything about agents, but if that’s your thing…

I’m still studying the series about branding. That homework is tricky, though. It will need some percolating in my slow mind. I think I said 2011 was the year of the Sloth, but this year things got even worse, haha! 🙂 I have worked on a cover this weekend, and I’m keeping the fonts consistent for the series and sub-series (like you can see in the Silvery Earth trailer, each sub-series had a different font and frame).

If you still need some motivation, and while you wait for my own post on the topic (I hope I can write my own in 3 to 5 years, but I’m not there yet, haha!), here’s 20 things learned from writing full-time for three years. Wait, I actually do write full time (except for those wasted hours at the part-time office chair), but I don’t earn a living from it… mm, complicated stuff.

Anyway, if you need a boost on productivity but don’t want to pay an online workshop, that post is excellent advice. And don’t get depressed when you read “You’re going to get hacked!” or someone’s frustration and disappointment. Re: Amazon (I guess that author went through this Amazon Alert and decided to back out of it) I also had problems with them in the past.

When I was publishing SKYBAND with Lulu, I had someone selling it on Amazon without buying it from me at 100$ (a 10$ single issue) and the representatives weren’t really helpful. One of my ebooks is still in Draft form because they didn’t receive my copyright ownership and had blocked my KDP account.

Life is too short to worry about pirates and Amazon and whatnot. Like I said more than once, I might one day give up publishing and start another kind of business, keeping my writing private and/or for my few readers. One day. I’m still trying to think long term. It can’t be considered a career until 10 years have gone by, and they have not. Not yet. They’re flying by, but I still have a few years of experiments and attempts at finding my readership.

Ending on a non-writerly note because Da Muses’ alerts were kinda funny lately for opposite reasons. One is reknown for his immortality (yeah, right) hence the only 50+ worth watching and the other was given for dead at 43… I’m sorry I missed that Facebook hoax! 😀

Hoping I made at least the ladies smile with the last paragraph, I wish you a wonderful week! 🙂

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