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! 🙂

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! 🙂

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! 😉

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! 🙂

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! 😀 Have a great weekend!

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Random Friday


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

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

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

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

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

Have a great weekend!

Random Friday


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

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

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

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

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

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

Random Friday


And since there was a new UK poll released on Friday about the greatest Bollywood dance number of all time, I thought I’d share my thoughts on it! 😉 I would have added a few more, but I agree with the ones included that I know (#1 from Devdas, #4 from KNPH, #6 from Dhoom 3 and #9 from Dil Se – the others I either don’t remember them or have never seen them). And of course Madhuri Dixit rules! 😀

But now I’m going to give you my list of greatest Bollywood dance numbers according to Barb, in no particular order because it was hard enough to find only ten! Sometimes I like the music or the song, sometimes I like the dance steps, in these case I love both and tend to rewatch them on YouTube whenever I’m too lazy to switch on the TV and change DVD for every few songs (it’s usually more than one per movie, but I picked my favorite of favorites).

So here we go – with links to YouTube without cluttering this blog post. Just click on the song title if you want to watch it (I’m not like those guys who didn’t put any link, only the title of songs in their article, grunt!).

Oh la la tu hai meri fantasy from The Dirty Picture (2011) Vidya Balan at her best!

Dastaan-E-Om Shanti Om from Om Shanti Om (2005) – Bollywood’s alternative to the masked ball seen in Labyrinth, with King Khan.

Mohenjo Daro title track, the only salvageable thing of that 2016 movie…

Dil Laga Na from Dhoom 2 (2006), the Greek God at his absolute best. Aryan is still my #1, 12 years later…

Tu Meri from Bang Bang (2014), the Greek God still rockin’…

Senorita from Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011) and here’s to hoping to seeing these three crazy guys together again. They want to, we want to, come on Zoya Akhtar, give us a sequel! 😀

Baawre from Luck By Chance (2009), pure Bollywood 100%!

Desi Girl from Dostana (2008) because hey! It’s Prianka Chopra! Her dance skills are almost as good as Madhuri! 😉

Make some noise for the Desi Boyz from Desi Boyz (2011) because they go well with the above. And it’s John Abraham and Akshay Kumar!

And an older title to close this list: another Karan Johar movie, Koi mil gaya from Kuck Kuch Hota Hai (1998), again with King Khan, Kajol and Rani Mukerjee.

Yes, there are recurrent faces. And no, I didn’t put all my favorites. You can look up Katrina Kaif in Chikni Chameli from Agneepath (2012) and other Greek God movies… Shahid Kapoor when he shaved his face… and even Arjun Rampal can shake his booty in Ek Ajnabee (but I already posted that one)! 🙂

Have a great weekend!

Random Friday


So the first three weeks of vacation have been so filled with travels that I’m still recovering, haha! I’d post pics of Vegas, but you all know what Vegas looks like, right? I didn’t go in the casinos (although I went through them to reach places like buffets or the street), didn’t touch slot-machines (I prefer the old ones I saw in England back in 1981, where you threw in coins in that big glass case hoping to make the other coins fall and  win them, much funnier than that digital stuff where you push buttons), didn’t walk the Freemont Experience at night much (already saw it in 2009). And I didn’t go flying either.

Lucca was a mess with rain, so the first day it was almost impossible getting anywhere. Probably wasted ticket, since everywhere was so crowded they had to close them off. I saw the Japan Town and the Games area, but not the official publishers booths. And there was a web strip that had finally a printed version that I wanted, but I couldn’t get in. Meh.

I also went to the self-area to grab a few indies. I discovered the Sad Unicorn comic and visited with some of the comic artists who had booths either in the self-area or up on the walls of the town. I also checked the steampunk clothes available, but they’re kind of expensive for the kind of use I had in mind, so I ended up not buying anything.

I have been thinking I could go to Worldcon as Bel from Post-Apocalypse Chronicles, but I don’t know if and when I’ll have panels yet and if and when I can have a table to sell some books. There are plenty of other comicons before Worldcon, though, so I’ll have more time to find a “costume” (possibly recyclable for other things, lest it stays in the wardrobe like my medieval costumes, LOL!).

Cosplayers! Plenty of them. Including a bearded Ariel the Mermaid, some musicians (Michael Jackson, Slash, Freddie Mercury “I want to break free”) and some interesting characters. And steampunkers, of course. And lots of mini-cosplayers – mostly Marvel superheroes for boys and Star Wars ladies for girls. A very colorful crowd in spite of the rain.

But too crowded for my tastes, so I guess I’ll skip the next two or three and go back only when I recovered! What can I say, I hate crowds… they give me panic attacks! 🙂 Have a great weekend!

Random Friday


This is randomly late, but I’m jet-lagged and didn’t have the strenght to schedule it yesterday when I got home after an awful 9 hours flight and an almost missed connection in Heathrow with me breaking down at security and being sent to the manager because they held up my bag  (an boarding pass and passport and everything). I may understand security issues, but if Americans let me on a plane, why don’t the British trust me I didn’t get anything dangerous in the transfer between T3 and T5? Sigh.

Anyhow, wonderful week, meeting old and new friends, taking tonz of notes that will have to percolate for a few days before I make a priority list or action plan for the rest of the year… and back to my projects and paperbacks and all that stuff. Itching to getting back to writing too.

I didn’t watch any movies on any flight (the Dallas-Las Vegas one I had a broke video), didn’t sleep much either, hence 24hours-without-sleep bouts both going out and coming back – hence the grumpiness and near-panic attack on the way back. I’m too old to keep doing intercontinental flights on economy, LOL!

More next week… I need to go to the supermarked to fill the fridge and do some laundry and finish sorting stuff and do other things… have a great weekend! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


Since I’m still traveling, I’m postponing the actual Writer Wednesday with a summary of this Business Masterclass. But I’m not leaving you high and dry! Here are some writers on writing/words of wisdom/writers’ quotes to keep you company until I come back! Have a great week!

Right now you are best writer you can be at this point in time.

Believe that, keep practicing and sending your work out, keep learning everything you can learn.

Understand that the more you write, the more you learn, the better you will become.

But right now you are the best writer you can be.

And that will be better than the writer you were a year ago, if you are doing things right and writing and learning.

And it won’t be as good as you will be in a year if you keep learning and practicing.

Imagine how much more you will know and how much better a storyteller you will be in forty years…

Dean Wesley Smith

Should A Writer Get An English Degree, Yes Or No?

This is apparently a question, so I will attempt to address it.

I have no idea what you should or should not do. Every writer tends to carve their own writer-shaped door into the industry, and then they seal it shut behind them, Cask-of-Amontillado-style. (I can make that Poe joke because I was an English major. I have a license for such literary shenanigans; if you are caught making such a pun without the proper degree, you will be hunted.) There exists no One True Way to become a writer except, you know, go read stuff, live a life, and write things down.

Keep reading stuff, living your life, and writing things down until you get sorta okay at it, and then later until you maybe get sorta good at it, and hey, ta-da, you’re probably a writer. Maybe even a professional one of some level of success from MEAGER TRILOBYTE to MIDLIST INKSLINGER to GRAND CONQUERING PENMONKEY OF THE REALM.

There, the end, go do it.

Chuck Wendig

Now, all that said, it takes more than writing to market to get a book that makes money and has oodles of readers. It takes more than writing to a niche to get that smaller but fanatically loyal fan-base. You also may write that cannibal comedy so well that it gets attention from readers across the board and starts the next big trend. You can’t predict how your book will do once it’s published.

You have to start by writing a great book of whatever genre you pick. You then have to either put the work in to get an agent or publisher, or publish it yourself and be willing to do your own promotion and marketing. Your writing has to be what sets you apart, the rest are no more than paths your writing takes to get to your goal. It’s a smart writer that spends some time considering which path they want to take.

That doesn’t make you untrue to your art. It makes you an artist who has a goal for their art and makes a plan for how to get there. There is nothing wrong with art for art’s sake, but if you want people to buy your art, then you need to have a plan.

Julianne Johnson

Be yourself.  Write to your standards, your taste.  The road will be lonely, because you’re the only one on it.
Know that when you put a book out, there may be elements beyond your control that bring it down.  You can control the quality, but you can’t control much more.

David Farland

I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.

Douglas Adams

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

Maya Angelou(I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings)

What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.

J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)

Random Friday


Since I’m celebrating 40 years of writing and writing a post-apocalyptic series, I present you my very first post-apocalyptic story, written when I had no clue of world politics  and was barely aware of the cold war (but the nuclear scare was still very present)…

Earth, Year 2980

(written in February 1981)

The disk landed on Earth.

“Let’s see,” said an extraterrestrial looking outside. “Let’s see what they did during this thousand years.”

“They were well on their way,” a second added, coming out after the first. “Let’s see what civilization level they reached.

“I’m curious to find out!” said a very tall and very slim woman, excited, following the first two.

“We’re here t last!” the tallest man said, stretching his limbs.

“Enough, guys. We must accomplish our mission,” the fifth interrupted them, closing the march.

“Yes captain.”

The five extraterrestrials looked around. The Tall One looked over the trees, the Short One and the Slim one put their ear to the ground to listen, the Captain and the Humanoid stared at each other, puzzled.

“I don’t see anything!” the Tall One said, surprised.

“I don’t hear anything,” the Slim One added, unsure.

“Taziano, see what’s on the sensors,” the Captain ordered. The Tall One obeyed.

“No life forms,” he answered after a while.

“Let’s go to the closest town. Go ahead, Claudiano,” the Captain decided.

The Humanoid obeyed.

“The closest town is one erron away that way, boss,” the Slim One said.

“Thank you, Zita,” the Captain answered.

They started walking. Claudiano, the Humanoid, moved cautiously with his laser ready. Zita the Slim One, Fabiano the Captain and Taziano the Tall One followed him looking around, surprised. And Flaviano, the Short One, panted after them.

“Slow down, guys!” he pleaded.

The others didn’t hear him.

“Puff! How exhausting!” he sighed, taking courage and continuing to walk.

After a few hours they reached the town.

The Short One sat on the edge of a road, sighing in relief.

“Nobody is here!” Zita said.

“Not one life form on the whole planet,” Taziano the Tall One announced.

“What? But it’s impossible!” Fabiano the Captain exclaimed.

“It seems that, reached the tenth level of civilization, they self-destructed,” Claudiano said, consulting his sensors.

“Are you sure?” the Short One asked.

The Humanoid turned around and smiled.

“Sure! Wanna bet?”

The Captain pondered a moment then ordered, “Zita and Claudiano, go to town and look for anything that could tell us what happened.

The two extraterrestrials ran away.

“Still breathless?” the Captain asked the Short One.

“Yes!” Flaviano sighed. His round and stocky built got up from the sidewalk with some effort. “But I’m feeling better now,” he declared.

Some time passed, then the Tall One announced, “Here they are! They’re back.”

The Captain jumped to his feet and the Short One did the same, much slower.

Claudiano dumped a stack of newspapers at the feet of the Captain, then sat sighing in relief.

“That’s all we could find,” he said.

The Captain bent down, took a few papers, looked through them, reading the headlines aloud.

“America declares war to Russia, Europe is on its side, Cina and India with Russia. Third world war has arrived! All countries involved in the war! First American offensive on Moscow! New York bombardment. Tokyo destroyed. Italy in pieces. Africa burning… but… are they crazy?”

“See, boss? They self-destructed again with their bombs,” Claudiano said.

“That’s why we registered so much radiation!” the Tall One said.

“These Terrans.” The Short One sighed. “They’re totally incorrigible!”

“Boss, I got this,” Zita said, giving a notebook to the Captain.

Fabiano took it and read it here and there.

15 May, my birthday

Today I’m sixteen, but no birthday party. The boys are almost all away at war, there’s not enough food and life is impossible. Yesterday even Roberto, my boyfriend, left. He’s only seventeen, but was already called to war. It seems to be during World War I since there are many fronts. They sent him to the Russian front. It’s very dangerous! Last week they let us know of my brother’s death. He was on the Russian front too. Oh, Robby, I fear for you! Will you come back? I don’t know. I’m scared…

25 May

They destroyed the hospital! And yesterday they bombed the stations and some mountain villages. When will this ugly war end?

1 April

I got a letter from Robby. He’s still alive and things of me. Lidia has learned that her boyfriend is dead. And Carla that her cousin went missing.

15 April

They launched the first bomb SA! Radiations destroyed life in Japan! Those wicked Russians! Why is there a war, why?

20 April

Robby is dead! An atomic bomb destroyed the Russian front. Good-bye Robby! You will never come back to me!

30 April

There are very few survivors now! Most civilians were slaughtered. Soldiers even worse. It’s disgusting! Soon nobody will be alive anymore. The horrible SA bombs are destroying all human life from Ea…

“It’s the last page!” the Captain said.

“A girl had it in a semi-destroyed house,” Zita said.

“Well, they self-destroyed again. Let’s go back to the dist, guys, and start again for the fifth time,” the Captain said.

The disc flew over Earth shaken by big cataclysms similar to the ones of the birth of the planet.

After a few days, Earth started living again. Prehistory, Antiquity, Roman Empire, Middle Ages, Renaissance, modern times, first World War, Hitler, second World War, 1981…

The End

Random Friday


So, in the few days without writing (slowly going back to it coz I’m addicted, LOL!), I had nothing better to do and try to catch up on my TBR pile. Didn’t make that much progress, since I’m such a slow reader, but better than no reading! 🙂

First I read Jorick’s origin story (which is a Patreon exclusive, but you can get it for the lower tier), which was what I’d been waiting for since I started reading Amaranthine. Thanks again to Joleene Naylor for finally writing it! 🙂

I finished The World Without Us – a re-read – for Wanderlust research. I read the introduction to 21 Lessons for the 21st Century but didn’t go much further yet, although I’ll need to read that too to determine what exactly was the apocalypse, LOL!

I’ll probably write this batch back to back like I did for Star Minds Lone Wolves, since it’s 6 years after Brainwaves and for 3 or 4 books we follow the same two people. Then I’ll take a break, write another Silvery Earth Heroine, and then write the other books with other characters’ POVs.

See, I’m already planning for 2019, haha! Nothing’s gonna stop me, now that I have this very ingrained habit since the age of the typewriter (yeah, I’m old, and suddenly I feel lucky! Actually, I’m experienced, LOL!)

Anyway, back to reading. I’m almost done with Sci-fi July Redux and found some really nice gems, if I may say so. I know, I’m the curator, but I usually don’t read the whole books before bundling them. In fact I haven’t read the other books of last year’s vampire bundle (except Joleene’s) yet. And I gave priority to Sci-fi July even though I still have to read Thieves and Celebrating Male Lovers because I was writing sci-fi. Well, science fantasy, since that’s what Star Minds is…

Anyway, if you haven’t already, check it out since it won’t be out forever. It will be gone on January 4, six months after release. I know January looks far away, but it will come quickly, trust me! 🙂 Here you have the list of the bundles that are still available that I either curated or am part of.

And if you’re a writer, you might want to re-check BundleRabbit. It has a new feature for writing in series or shared worlds! 🙂 Have a great Sunday!

 

Random Friday


And inbetween struggling with KDPprint and writing I don’t have much time left to do stuff, so… last weekend there was a regency dance on the shores of the artificial lake in Eur. And I had a ballroom scene to write, which was cool.

Can’t upload MP4, so I shall leave you with my favorite masked balls – Hollywood and Bollywood version. Maybe I should start doing video-Friday, but someone might not be happy, LOL!

Anyhow, from all-time favorite Labirynth, with much missed David Bowie and a young Jennifer Connelly (I know, I already posted it, but I still love it) – As the world falls down.

And from Om Shanti Om, with King SRK a.k.a. Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone, guest star Arjun Rampal with bad aging makeup – Dastaan-E-Om Shanti Om (again, a favorite song that summarize forgettable part one of the movie)!

I know I already posted both, but they’re totally worth reposting! 🙂 Have a great weekend!

 

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