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! ๐Ÿ™‚

Last week of may and I’m prepping for the Novel Challenge while writing a fan fiction – clearly a crossover between vampires mythologies! ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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? ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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! ๐Ÿ™‚ 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! ๐Ÿ˜€

Hoping I made at least the ladies smile with the last paragraph, I wish you a wonderful week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Random Friday


From Dave Farland’s newsletter – Science fiction fans, please take this survey! I did, even though I admit I had trouble finding books in those categories… but I’m not a strong sci-fi reader. Not yet! Now I even downloaded the Hugo nominees, but I don’t know when I’ll be able to read them. And I’m supposed to vote. Sigh.

I had my fangirl moment when I received Colleen Doran’s envelope… I donated that money 2 years ago, I think! I knew she was sending out stuff now, but still it was a wonderful surprise! ๐Ÿ˜‰

And to finish on total randomness… I watched another DVD inbetween stories. La graine et le mulet (a.k.a Couscous) was an interesting take on immigrants – north-Africans in France to be clear. A very realistic movie, kinda slow (actually, very slow, 2h30 of close-ups…) with a not so clear ending that left me a little disappointed.

It made me realize how too many close-ups are jarring, and I’ll try to remember it when I write, since I also tend to focus on the character(s) and forget the setting. Might have been because none of the characters had an interesting (for me) face I could just watch even if it were a still picture or maybe it’s totally true that it’s better to back off some time to give the reader a better view.

And the belly dance at the end… a twenty-year-old with such a belly bump made me wonder if she was pregnant, and if that was part of the movie! Too many unanswered questions in this “slice of life” story for my tastes… And I was falling asleep on the extras, so I just gave up on the whole thing, haha!

Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ˜€

Writer Wednesday


Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens are running an online auction to raise money for 4 organisations working to evacuate LGBT men from Chechnya. Items include signed paperbacks, original characters, original stories, author services and more. The auction began on Friday, May 5 and ends at noon CDT Saturday, May 13th. I didn’t sign up on time (I know, shame on me…) but the auction is now live until Saturday. Go check it.

On the writing front, on Saturday I threw away half of what I had written because the story needed to go in a different direction. I was at 9100 words and 4600 were mercilessly cut and pasted in a new document called “deleted scenes” – I might add it as extra to the ebook when it’s published or give it as reward on Patreon, again when the story is published, probably after the summer.

Murder your darlings, they say. I cut those words because I had found a better way to rise the stakes for the main character and so half of the story had to go. It’s part of my new way of writing, cycling to add stuff back since I’m typing directly on Laptop and don’t need to get to the end before adding stuff in the middle like I did when I was writing longhand.

Anyhow, I did manage to write 3700 new words on Saturday, 6700 on Sunday and wrap the story on Monday at 17600 words, so I’m not complaining! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Now on to the next story! ๐Ÿ˜€

My Facebook page has 299 “likes” (the screenshot is from 1 like ago)… who is going to be #300? I might reward you if you’re that lucky person… Since the friends I have invited can’t be bothered to accept the invite, it’s up to you, Stranger, to be the One… Or you could be the first patron on Patreon… I should reward you as well… One ebook of your choice, the preferred format, anywhere in the world! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have a great week!

 

Random Friday


On the long weekend of May 1st, I finally found the time to unwrap and watch Peter Brook’s The Mahabharata that I bought, like, 10 years ago in Turin but hadn’t dared watching for its length. Being a TV mini-series, it’s structured in three parts, so I managed to watch the three chunks during the weekend.

Besides the fact that the only Indian actress is Mallika Sarabhai playing Draupadi (and having watched the extras where she explained what the Mahabharata means to Indians and how she made sure no Indian would be ashamed of this work), and that the writer and director stuck to a very teatrical version (it’s based on a stage-play, and in spite of what the director says in the extras, they didn’t really take advantage of the slightly different media – even though it was 1989, the could have had better VFX… ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), I have my own “version” in mind, the abridged, illustrated version of my childhood that was pretty much lost in that version, except for a scene or two.

“Indian Tales”

And even those scenes that reminded me of that old version – take the fight of Bhima with Hidimba… in the movie the exile is with Draupadi, in my book, as you can see from the illustration to the left, the exile is with his brothers (only 2 of them, without the twins present in the movie) and his mother…

Not to mention the international cast feels like watching Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing where Denzel is Keanu’s brother… half-brother… whatever, I doubt Shakespeare had a black man in mind when he wrote it (nothing at all against Denzel, since he’s a wonderful, great, actor, I just thought he was miscast in that movie, but that’s just me! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

I also found it quite colorless… definitely not like a Bollywood movie, haha! ๐Ÿ˜€ And again, it felt like a filmed stage-play, more than a TV-movie or 6-hours-long film.

Now, I understand it’s no easy feat to adapt the epic, since it has so many versions and it’s so convoluted. I’ll probably watch the Indian version that will come out in a couple of years too, regardless of who will be in it, just out of curiosity, but still… I’m not Indian, but I have my own idea of what that story is, so I might be disappointed again! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

Random Friday


So, in between short stories (submitted and rejected very quickly, but I keep sending them out) and readings, I managed to watch another DVD, Midnight’s Children. What can I say… I like the movie (narrated by the writer himself), but I probably wouldn’t like the book, even though the screenplay was written by the writer of the book. Not my kind of book, I’m afraid.

With the Italian holidays, I also finally opened an account on Vimeo, so I could post my video on Patreon. Soon all my book trailers will be uploaded again, yay! ๐Ÿ™‚ Not that they help selling books, but well… I have fun doing those things with Windows Movie Maker, so I might as well share them! ๐Ÿ˜‰

And I got the proofs of Quests Volume 1 and 2, so hopefully the paperbacks will soon be available. I had to redo the covers, but this means I have two books to sell at Worldcon – and if I don’t find anyone there, I’ll do a Goodreads giveaway. The spines weren’t correct as you can see.

I still use Createspace, although I might eventually experiment with KDP print. Maybe for thinner, cheaper books. But there’s still this little problem:

Amazon states more features will be added over time but currently, authors cannot order proofs of their books. Ouch. So the book goes on sale before an author can view the final product to ensure everythingโ€”fonts, cover graphics and colours, page numbers, headers and much moreโ€”are the way theyโ€™re supposed to be.

And everything else stated in this article about the two services. I don’t have that many Canadian readers, but I have a lot of Canadian author friends (including co-bundlers Karen Abrahamson and Marcelle Dubรฉ), so I feel their pain! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Next week I’ll let you know my wordcount for April… If I forget, remind me! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

Random Friday


So, the Easter weekend I needed a break from the publishing and some inspiration for the writing… hence I started on the DVDs ToWatch pile. First I watched Monsoon Wedding. Mira Nair was Indian cinema for me before Gurinder Chadha and the discovery of Bollywood. I loved her movies, but stopped following her more or less when MW came out in 2001.

I found it at 3ยฃ in London last year, and I’m glad I saw if now… After visiting Delhi and so many more movies with Indian weddings and KNPH (which I would have totally missed back then – a movie called “kaho naa…” what?). I definitely liked it, and enjoyed the extra with the director talking about the Punjabi community of Delhi…

Then I watched Bhaji on the Beach, another 3ยฃ DVD from last summer, another Gurinder Chadha dramedy. Definitely the end of 20th century, with no cell phones and no internet to distract us! And I liked all the intertwined stories of the various women of various ages and their interactions with men – both British and Indian.

I also re-watched Target for inspiration, and then managed to finish the story! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Although Target is definitely an 80s movie. Some nostalgia hit – no cell phones, no internet, how did we survive that? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Well, we’re Generation X, I guess! Or, like my friend Fulvio says, we’re unique (he’s not totally a Millennial and I’m not totally a Baby Boomer, and we’re not Gen.X either… but then, we’re Jedi twins – 18 years apart! ๐Ÿ˜‰ LOL)…

Anyhow, have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ˜€

Random Friday


Just wanted to let you know that Starship Pilot with Techie Bro’s illustration Ready for Take-off is now available for the first ten (10) patrons, no matter how much you pledge. So, if youโ€™d like to read it before it comes out in the volume Star Minds Third Generation Snippets, you can become a patron of yours truly and have this neat illustrated preview.

Since I’ve decided to try and write a couple of short stories for submission, following some writing prompts I found on Reddit, and the magazine currently only wants fantasy and no sci-fi, I watched Warcraft that I found at the newsagent’s. I didn’t know it was directed by David Bowie’s son (I love his Moon movie) and I’ve never really played the game (although I know that my WoW (words of wisdom) Sundays used to confuse WoW (Worlds of Warcraft) fans, but I knew nothing of the franchise at the time), so…

It’s a nice fantasy movie… got choked up a couple of times and of course it’s only the beginning (in fact the Italian titles says “Warcraft – the beginning”), so there’s an open ending for sequels. And I was impressed by the CGI, they can really make anything look real!

So if you want to see orcs and gryphons and warriors in shining armor and even “boomsticks” (yes, those pesky guns are everywhere nowadays, haha!) with elves and dwarves, go check this movie – it’s not as long as LOTR (which I haven’t seen yet anyway, nor read the book).

Now I’m back to my publishing stuff… expect a new title soon… Have a great weekend and Happy Easter! ๐Ÿ™‚

Random Friday


Let’s make it Art Friday! Sunday I spent some time brainstorming with myself, so I made another pencil portrait of Da Muse. And then, since I was thinking about Patreon a lot, I made a strip only for my page.

This will be free anyway, so I can post it here too. I asked my Facebook friends for feedback on that Patreon page, but got no comments. Meh. I’ll become anti-social media soon! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ They “like” the things I don’t care about and don’t bother when I ask for feedback or advice. Tsk.

I will freely admit that working on that Patreon page was fairly distracting throughout the week, but well… it’s done. We’ll see how it goes. Comes the weekend I’ll still be busy with that Patreon page (scheduling April’s posts and rewards) and with uploads (another ebook) and with writing the next story.

Hopefully by then I will go faster – the beginning is trickier because I didn’t cover it in other stories, so I have to make it up as I go along (meaning I need to check which towns were actually available at the end of the 10th century, and what the situation was like, and so on and so forth – so the beginning was slower for this reason). Perks of writing historical fantasy! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

Writer Wednesday


Sooo, since I was traveling sans-PC, back to the old times, yay! ๐Ÿ™‚

I was interviewed here… ย and it’s “Read an ebook week” on Smashwords – here are some authors’ bargains!

And grab this bundle before it’s gone! Great books by great authors! ๐Ÿ™‚

And last but not least, one of my titles is in a Kobo promo, go check it (no direct links, just go to Kobo.com)

The workshop is over, I didn’t make any sale, but here’s a very summarized journal for you…

p_20170303_222519Will write more when I go home, I promise! Have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Random Friday


Movies time. Caramel was on my to-watch list in 2007 when it came out, but eventually I decided to pass. Then I saw it at 3/5ยฃ in London and saw it was from Nadine Labaki, so I bought it. Now, I personally don’t go to beauty salons or even wax myself (and certainly not with caramel, LOL!), but it was interesting to see the stories of those Lebanese women. I probably wouldn’t have liked it this much 10 years ago, but now it’s part of my World’s Movies collection.

I seem to favor female directors, although Nadine Labaki is the only one who also acts in her movies (at least in the two I’ve seen). I started in the 1990s with Mira Nair, then early 2000s with Nancy Meyers (whom I even saw at some screenwriting event and wanted to shake her hand for What Women Want, The Holiday and Something Gotta Give) and Gurinder Chadha (Bend it like Beckam, Bride and Prejudice), then 1970s daughters Zoya Akhtar (Luck by Chance, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Dil Dhadakne Do) and Nadine Labaki.

In March I have another Gurinder Chadha and another Mira Nair in the to-watch pile, along with other world’s movies (but I haven’t checked the directors of those). In the meantime I rewatched Where do we go now and I shall leave you with the neat song from this Lebanese-but-Bollywood-inspired movie. Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

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