Random Friday


One more Movie Friday… and there might be a third, since I got the last DVD. Hopefully I’ll watch it sometime this weekend (tonight if I manage to finish Current Novel Part 2). So, in order of watching them…

I’ll have to rewatch the sequel with the first one, but I think the second is okay too. Mostly because they put back in my favorite songs of the first, LOL! Anyhow, I’m talking about Rock On 2, with the dead guy in the dream sequence only and the guitar player with the worst haircut evah! Moustache in the first, bad haircut in the second… my my, Arjun, can’t you do better? Not your fault, I know! 😀

Farhan is always Farhan, and I was glad to see Shraddha Kapoor again (after ABCD2 – she must be subscribed to #2 in series). And now I’m singing Rock On and Sinbad the Sailor in a loop. Heh. I liked the first song of the final mega-show in Rock On 2, so there you go:

Now, Exposed… kinda lacks a closure for both characters, but whatever… Did I mention last time that I hate the Italian title? I wish IMBD stopped showing me the translations. Or I should stick to Bollywood that almost never gets dubbed (at least not the Greek God, mwhahahahahaha). Anyway, it was okay. Not going to rewatch it until I learn it by heart like I did with other movies, but okay.

Now getting ready for the weekend… have a nice one! 🙂

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Random Friday


attempt, not the final one… It wouldn’t save the JPG, so I took a screenshot of this one!

And the publisher page has a new header! Took some working since I have an old version of Photoshop and Elements “doesn’t support layer groups and displays them in their collapsed state. You must simplify them to create an editable image” except the editable image had no layers, so I had to ask Mighty Silvano to please pull them out of the folder.

Now I should renew this blog’s header, but… maybe during the weekend, LOL!

About reading! I started a historical novel that has been on my table for almost ten years, but I’m afraid I won’t finish it. Printed books tend to have small fonts (i.e. hard to read, I stopped buying magazines for that reason) and I’d rather keep all the novels on my Kindle (which I didn’t have ten years ago or whenever I bought that book, LOL!).

Besides, it was written in the 1950s and head-hopping is really jarring (they don’t “ejaculate” anymore, but they “cried” a lot… maybe “he said, she said” isn’t so bad after all!). And I’d rather go back to the bundles I’ve been in and the ones still to come. My TBR pile will never go down… unless I do not finish the books that don’t catch me with the first chapters! 😀

On a different topic, last weekend I brainstormed while drawing – Da Muse, who else – and watched one of the DVDs I got from Amazon, with Da Other Muse (whom Americans might have admired during the Super Bowl, hopefully seeing the most dignified, manly tear, LOL!).

Anyhow, I enjoyed the Whole Truth and it’s final twist (ouch, just read the Italian titles of the latest movies. I wish IMDB didn’t read my server location). I’m not a big fan of courtroom drama, so I didn’t see hundreds of them. I could only compare it to Devil’s Advocate which was shot 20 years before that. So it was okay.

This weekend I hope to see the mess that changed title because the director refused to be part of it and is now called Exposed – we’ll see if it’s really a mess! 😉 And I got the short stories back from Mighty Editor, so I have some editing to do before starting the submission process. And if there’s time, I’ll work on the publisher’s page that still needs some tweaking (do a new header for this blog?)… Have a great weekend! 😀

Random Friday


Last weekend I took Dear Nephew to London with Techie Bro. It was his wish to see it, especially the Big Ben (invisible behind its restauration coat, but he got to see the Lego version and had a painting of it in his room) and the London Eye. The Big Ben is actually better at night these days, as you can see above! 😉

So we arrived on Friday around lunch time and dropped our bags at the hotel. They had a travelcard, I had my Oyster card so we felt confident we could wander around. I had in mind of showing him a couple of things, so we got off at Piccadilly Circus, but he was too taken by the Lego shop to notice much else. Besides, it started raining and he was tired and Waterstones didn’t have the books we were looking for and and and… we got back after about three hours and dined in their room (it was bigger).

The next day we had all day, so morning we went around the Tower of London, took the DLR and the Emirates cabins to the O2 where we had lunch. We took the Jubilee line back to Waterloo but when we got off it started raining, so… back to the hotel around 2pm (just like in Paris). We relaxed in my room, since theirs wasn’t done, then went out again. Techie Bro took him on the London Eye as per his wish, and when he came down he said it was one of the best days of his life.

Happy nephew, happy adults. We even had a group hug at some point! 😉 Sunday morning, we went at the Natural History Museum, then headed back for Victoria Station where we had lunch at McDonald and then headed back for Gatwick Airport. We were more or less on time, but the customs proved Italy is a third world country: EU and Italians with under 14 had only one policeman checking documents (and I think he was being slow on purpose) until the other one came back.

We ended up at 10pm eating pizza by my house, since of course we didn’t eat on EastyJet! Next time British Airways, I don’t care if it costs more! Or Alitalia. Or whatever. No more low-cost. Have a great weekend! 🙂

Random Friday


And you can tell I’ve been shopping online AND ordering proofs! So, yeah, some new paperbacks, and the anthology is finally in my greedy hands along with a couple more things – research reading and a comic. Next week I should get some DVDs. And then I’ll do another order after I come back from London – whatever I can’t find at Waterstones or Southall will be ordered online next month! 😉

Because some things are better read on paper (I’m all for reading fiction on my Kindle Keyboard, but non-fiction and artbooks are better on paper) but I don’t have many English bookstores in Rome (a couple who might hear from me sometime later in the year, LOL!), so… Amazon. Yeah, I know.

It’s not Mighty Zon that is killing bookstores. Check Kris Rusch’s excellent post on bookstores – I’ve been to North by Northwest during my 3 coast workshops and I look forward to going back with the new management. Especially if they indeed open to people like me on the other side of the world! 😉 Just kidding, it’s just required visit when one goes to Lincoln City, that’s all! 😀

Two more bundles are coming soon, show some love also to the bundles page (and the above anthology page). I’m not sure how many I will curate this year and if I’ll be invited to some, so follow those pages to stay updated. Unless you really really really like this very blog here, LOL!

Thank you again for following me on this journey. Little poll to get to meet you all. And if you’re a writer, feel free to contact me to request my writerly questions and be featured on here! 🙂

Have a wonderful weekend! 😀

Random Friday


So it was Da Muse’s B-day and I did his portrait while brainstorming the current story (although he’s not in it – looking forward to the programmed novels where he is one of the main characters). Read: one afternoon without writing, but I caught up the next day.

In December I managed to rewatch Kaabil on DVD and still quite love it because in spite of the very short haircut (meh) he’s clean-shaven and not too pumped up (yay).  And he plays the blind guy very well.

Then on New Year’s Eve, I waited for midnight rewatching Mohenjo Daro alone (I had watched it the first time at B-Abby’s but she’s moved back to the US since, so no more Bollyafternoons, sigh!) and then editing Soul Thieves since the movie finished at 11.30.

I still don’t like the last word because, even if my geography and history of the time suck, I do know that Mohenjo Daro and Harappa were in the Indus Valley, so the “new” river cannot be called Ganga – completely different river that flows to the bay of Bengal, not the Arabian Sea. Unless there are two Ganga in India, and I’m not aware of it, of course! 🙂

Speaking of movie controversies, it seems Padmavat will come out (without the “i”) but not in the UK (can’t blame them). So I’ll have to wait for the DVD. Methink I’ll go on Amazon and order all the titles I missed later in the year. It’s kind of a relief, because Padmavat will release in India when I go to London with Dear Nephew and Techie Bro, so I won’t have to dump them to go watch a movie! 🙂

Creative weekend ahead and hopefully the second cover done… Have a great one! 🙂

Random Friday


This randomness shall start with thanking Kat Murty for explaining the difference between Cultural Appropriation and Cultural Exchange.

(oh, cool, I managed to embed a Facebook post on the blog!) Ahem! Where was I? Yes, cultural appropriation vs exchange. Now it’s really crystal clear, but this doesn’t mean I’ll wear that sari I bought in Jaipur or the one my mother brought me from Delhi (I think) a couple of years before.

In fact I don’t think I’ll ever wear a sari unless 1) it’s a bridal sari (although I doubt I’ll have a Hindu wedding in this life, maybe the next, LOL!) or 2) I’m invited at a Hindu wedding and they tell me I can wear a sari and whatnot. Both are very unlikely, so there you have it! 😀

Same goes with the bindi below. I got them in the 1990s at some booth in a Roman Summer fair and haven’t touched them since, but I like them, so I just keep them as they are! The one bindi they put on me when I tried the sari, stayed until night, then ended up on the India travel diary…

And since we’re talking of culture exchange, let me share this video of Cossak women doing the saber dance. Don’t you think they kick ass? Do you they’re giving me ideas for stories? Hell yeah! 😀 Maybe I’ll have a Cossack vampiress or maybe I’ll just use the technique for an alien humanoid fighter… 😉

Have a great weekend! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


Aaand… UPB has a new tagline, with special thanks to webmaster and illustrator Silvano Beltramo! Stay tuned for more changes on the publisher’s page

I might have to renew some of my own things soon, since the other day Open Office crashed without saving the few paragraphs of the new story… so I’m eyeing Netbooks, since they seem to be around again. When Techie Bro’s Netbook (a.k.a. the Writing Computer) broke, I was left without and after the other day I had gone back to write longhand for Draft Zero! I was so mad at the darn Laptop!

Still have to think if I want to move on to Windows 10 or get a Netbook with Ubuntu like Techie Bro’s. We’ll see. Might be an investment for next year. Just another thing to do on the To Do list, haha! But it’s not a “should” it’s a “want to” do thing, since it’s for the Writer.

Because yes, we need to have two hats. And I’m putting the publisher’s hat a little aside next year, because I want to write and find other income sources that don’t depend on me selling or not selling my writing. So, more submissions to traditional mags of short stories, and less of that darn publishing stuff.

Of course I’ll keep putting the works out, since it’s the only way to be discovered, but maybe at a less daunting pace (twice a month is a lot, even for a prolific writer like me). I’m going to try pre-orders in a different way from what I’ve done now, I’m going to try that branding thing with future titles and I’m going to keep experimenting and see what works for me.

And I must talk about bundles again because, guess what? SALES SALES SALES! 🙂

Da vampires bundle is discounted from tomorrow to Cyber Monday, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving. And First Glimpse of Secondary Worlds is discounted until the end of the month, when it will be gone forever. So last chances to have a taste of 12 different fantasy worlds from 11 awesome authors and yours truly.

And in case you missed it, on the KWL blog I explain how to be a curator at BundleRabbit. Now I’m going to spend the weekend with online workshops so I can move on with my learning and write the next story! 🙂 Have a great week!

Random Friday


I’ve been reading Book 1 of Stella Rimington’s series because it’s the only one of the samples I downloaded that actually grabbed me. And it’s set in England, with MI5, which is what I need to finish that spy story. And she’s a former MI5, so she knows what she’s talking about! 🙂

And I think for the first time I was  a reader/writer. I mean, as a reader I reacted and then the writer said “Hey, that’s exactly what you’ve been taught in those online workshops!” And the thing is: you don’t hide things from the reader. You can hide them from the character, but the reader must know!

That’s why I like multiple point-of-views books and I hate first person. You get only one side of the story (and most of those other samples were “I stories”). I downloaded the sample of Dame Stella Rimington’s autobiography too, but I’m not sure when I’ll get to it. As much as I’d love to read the whole Liz Carlyle in one sitting, I know I can’t, I’m too slow  reader to binge read like that.

Besides, I still have plenty of bundles to read! Here’s a quick rundown of the bundles I’m currently in (and I’m still going through the first, so I’m afraid the others will be in next year’s end-of-the-year recommended reading post, sigh!).

First glimpse of secondary worlds (curated by me, will be gone next month)

Sci-fi July Fever Fun (curated by me, there will be more sales coming soon)

Love Magik’s Glow

More Than Human

Cyborg City

Dragon Tales

Sword Wielders

Vampires of the World (curated by me, sale coming soon)

Mythic Tales

Cats Cats Cats

Funny by Design

So, there you have it! Plenty to choose from… mostly SFF, but not all! 🙂 If you love cats or if you feel blue, the last two would be perfect! Happy reading and have a great weekend!

Random Friday


Besides bundles that I hope to read soon and some “housekeeping” (of the publisher page and other writerly things, not really the physical house, LOL!), I’ve been watching some DVDs. I started with 1453 that I bought in London last year about the birth of the Ottoman empire.

Besides the weird thing of a movie dubbed in English without subtitles, which made it at times hard to understand for a non-native speaker (I love my subtitles!), it was interesting and epic enough, although I felt the transitions were a little choppy. And they all looked the same to me – Turks, Greek Christians and Genoese – but well… it was kind of nice to see the Christians be the bad guys for once! 😉 The fall of the holy roman empire of orient or byzantine empire or whatever you want to call it didn’t look too bad. And I haven’t thoroughly studied that time period yet, so I don’t know if there are inaccuracies. Probably won’t watch it again, though, but it was a nice change of costumes and setting for a historical movie!

Then, since I was depressed, I rewatched some comedies – Bride and Prejudice and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I’d have continued with Galaxy Quest et all, but I decided it was high time I watched the box sets of old TV series that had been on my shelves for years.

So I opened the two box sets of The Persuaders and watched 2 or 3 episodes per day. I absolutely loved Brett Sinclair and Danny Wilde when I saw their adventures on the Italian TV back in the early 80s, so much so that I don’t remember right now who was my favorite. Probably the English lord, though! 😉 Both Tony Curtis and Roger Moore looked great in their forties, pity they’re both gone now.

Anyhow, IMBD says 1971-1972, but the Roman numerals at the end of the episodes say 1970. Whatever the exact year, there’s definitely a 1970s feel. And I got to see London, Paris, Rome and even Geneva in those years (whatever the years, I lived in Paris from 1970 to 1973) and it’s really cool.

Unfortunately it’s the Italian box sets, so I have the Italian subtitles on the original English soundtrack. At the same time it shows how often the adaptation is completely different (like the episode in Italy/Rome, the subtitles mentioned Madrid…). I also like the mix of European languages used (the polygloth is the English lord, of course, can Americans speak anything else beside English? 😉 Although I don’t hear much difference in their accents) and yes, it’s a funny series, although I really don’t know what they’re actually doing. They’re not spies, not assassins, just adventurers getting themselves in trouble?

Two worlds collide when the titled Englishman, Lord Brett Sinclair, and the Bronx-raised, self-made American Danny Wilde, reluctantly join forces to right wrongs, and to protect the innocent.

So what are they? Vigilantes? Private Investigators? They don’t always work for Judge Fulton either…

A pair of Playboys with nothing in common but trouble!
The classic ’70s British cult adventure series!

Anyway, it’s been a fun blast to the past and certainly helped me smile again. Now I’ll be dreaming those two for some time I’m afraid… and the yellow Aston Martin and the red Ferrari with a Modena plate they’re driving! 😀

One last thing… I feel totally overwhelmed by the company of the cover artists below (l.to r. Silvano Beltramo, Shafali Anand, me and Federica Manfredi), but don’t worry, I’m not giving up drawing or digital painting, quite the opposite… 😉

Stay tuned… Have a great weekend!

 

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