Random Friday


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Random Friday


I wanted to rant about Facebook’s lock down last week, that happened when I was trying to upload the new title’s cover and not even WordPress could sent stuff to my Facebook page (I had to share manually when it resumed), but I guess you all saw it. I’ve been told of eccessive reactions all over the world, I simply thought about a denial-of-service attack of some kind. But maybe it’s just that we billions took down Facebook servers.

I was ready to move to Pinterest, then got distracted (attention span of a chihuahua) and left it as is… still haven’t opened that account, but still haven’t decided if it’s worth it or not. I haven’t opened accounts with the webcomic places either, and not only because I didn’t have time to work on the strip.

Going on DeviantART to upload the latest portrait of Da Muse, I found a notice and even considered submitting a project, but at thisย  time I really can’t take more days off DayJob to do something. But if you’re a young artist, you can enter Devious Dreams and see if you can get some money to achieve your dreams! ๐Ÿ™‚

This weekend I’m definitely putting together the next anthology. I have chosen the cover art and need to decide the order of the stories. It will probably come out in April, along with the last (for now) book of the Future Earth Chronicles, so stay tuned! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Also, I think a few new bundles are coming out this year, since someone (not me) has been very busy… this reminded me to upload the latest titles to BundleRabbit where I discovered now projects are available also in other languages. So if you wanted, for example, do a collaboration in French or Spanish, you can do it now. The collaboration feature is very useful! ๐Ÿ™‚

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

 

Random Friday


A few more anniversaries this Friday! ๐Ÿ™‚ As posted on Facebook by The Ultimate 80’s Child (onย February 9 at 8:25 PM)40 years ago today, “The Warriors” premiered in cinemas. Of course I didn’t see it in cinemas but it became one of my favorite movies on TV (analogic TV with barely a remote, it was our first color TV, by the way).

It’s also the first I saw in it’s original version with Italian subtitles back in the late 1980s! ๐Ÿ™‚ So, like, my first movie in a second language (along with Saturday Night Fever and I think Footloose, which I hated because I loved Kevin Bacon’s Italian voice at the time, LOL!) that I didn’t speak very well (I was fluent in French and had no trouble watching the French channel available in Rome back then).

Getting movies in the original version with subtitles in the 1980s was really hard. In fact this series was at 10.30pm, but by then, luckily, our house had the first VCR (remember those?) so I programmed it and then managed to skip the ads when rewatching, hehe! And probably in 1989 when I went to London I bought the original VHS, since by then I was used to the English audio! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Since we’re in 1979, for me it was also the year of Grease in a summer cinema, my first “young adult” movie after years of Disney cartoons… I know it was released the previous year, but I’m on the other side of the pond and at the time there was no such thing of worldwide release! ๐Ÿ˜€

And moving to the music scene, on Sunday I heard on the radio Video Killed the Radio Star which is still quite accurate, as long as you substitute the internet to Video and video to Radio Star. We miss Radio Gaga, don’t we? (no, I haven’t seen Bohemian Rapsody yet, sorry.)

Oh, and while we’re in the music department, let”s nit forget Prince’s 1999 – wasn’t among my faves, but… let’s party like it’s 199! ๐Ÿ™‚ Today I’m lazy, so no links… just a couple of videos to keep you company. Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

Random Friday


And it’s MOVIE Friday! ๐Ÿ™‚ Nothing new, actually, but celebrating a couple of my favorites that turn 20 this year as well as another that turns 30 and has its third instalment coming…

So it was the year 1999, right? What movies come to mind to you? Come on! What movie revolutioned sci-fi film-making with the now famous bullet-time? Yes, it’s the original, one and only, The Matrix! Now that was the first Keanu movie I actually saw in theaters (everything coming before that was either seen on TV or on VHS. What? Don’t know what I’m talking about? Sheesh…) and it definitely made an impression – although it took me another couple of years to become obsessed with him, but that’s another story, LOL!

It was also one of the first I bought on DVD and that’s how I heard his real voice – and that was definitely love at first sound! From that point on, I started hating dubbed movies and watching them in their original version with subtitles. Which is good since many movies that interest me were never dubbed into Italian, mwhahahahaha! (especially Bollywood, and especially Da Muse, I think only Jodhaa Akbar was dubbed in Italian)

Anyhow, the other movie of the year was in a completely different genre and I’m not supposed to talk about it. I mean, the first rule is that you do not talk about it. The second rule is… you do not. Talk. About it. So how am I supposed to talk about it? Although I prefer one of the main stars in Interview with the Vampire, I kinda liked him also in this one – I even slashed it. From Jared Leto’s character’s point of view. Not sure I have the English version, though.

I actually even read the book, but somehow, because I saw the movie first, I thought the movie was better. But I was curious about the original material, so I got the paperback. Still wondering how they came up with that movie from that book but that’s another story (very similar to Johnny Mnemonic – got a paperback with the screenplay and the original William Gibson story, still wondering. BTW, Johnny Mnemonic turns 24. Not bad).

Anyhow, to stay with Da Muse (I don’t know who’s #1 and #2 between them anymore, so they’re just Da Hollywood Muse and Da Bollywood Muse to differentiate them) your favorite Teodore “Ted” Logan came out 30 years ago (on Sunday). That’s another movie that was never dubbed in Italian, but it’s sequel, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey was. Wonders never cease in the international movie distribution system!

Aand Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure‘sย  much talked about sequel Bill & Ted Face the Music will start shooting soon! How cool is that? It’s been ONLY 30 years, after all! ๐Ÿ˜€ So I’m closing this with my new manga avatars, made with Picrew.me – me and Da Muses, of course… Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Random Friday


Dear English Speakers,

Stop fussing about pronouns and genders. You have no idea how lucky you are to have only gendered pronouns. In Italian (and French) even adjectives are gendered. So the “pronoun game” mentioned in Chasing Amy doesn’t work in other languages.

Besides, you’re lucky. You already have a neutral pronoun. IT. I’m aware it’s normally used for things (notoriously genderless) but also for animals (and mammals, like humans, do have a gender). Instead of making up unpronounceable pronouns, non-binary people should embrace “it”.

Words change meaning through the centuries, don’t they? I’m sure Jane Austen meant something completely different when she said people were “gay” and that’s not the only word that changed meaning.

Or you can use the plural, They, being careful, like David Farland says. Just don’t make up words, please, they are just too jarring! I did red a book with one character who was a (literally) gender-fluid alien, but whenever I got to the xe/xir/whatever was used, it kicked me out of the story every. Single. Time.

And when you want to grumble about gender pronouns, think of me. I read a non-fiction book in Italian where the author used the second person to address the reader – besides often sounding like he’s talking down to me, he also assumes that only men would read his book on cyberwar.

In Italian they always assumeย the reader or person they talk about is male (unless it’s fiction) – I have read articles about writing where the writer is a “she” in English, in Italian it doesn’t exist. Pronouns and adjectives, remember?

I’m pissed off that my work computer adresses me like a man (and now even my writing netbook, since Techie Bro reinstalled Windows 10 in Italian, so instead of the lovely, genderless “Welcome”, I have a gendered message meant for a man). Sgrunt.

I know, I know. Grumpy old lady. Apologies. Not meaning to disrespect non-binary people, but really… give me a break! Love you all! Have a wonderful weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

Random Friday


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

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

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

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

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

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

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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.ย 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! ๐Ÿ˜€ Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Random Friday


And since there was a new UK poll released on Friday aboutย the greatest Bollywood dance number of all time, I thought I’d share my thoughts on it! ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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! ๐Ÿ˜€

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 Omย 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! ๐Ÿ˜€

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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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)! ๐Ÿ™‚

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 andย  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! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great weekend!

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