Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Errata corrige: the previous week I actually wrote 11K. Last week only 6K, but I have reached a 440K yearly total and still have plenty of stuff to write in the next two months and a half. The less words are also because I started a new strip, and those have less words but more work on the drawings, LOL!

So this is one of the protagonists of the new strip – Star Minds Kids – and here you have a work-in-progress showing the birth of that particular strip. It’s similar to the ones I’ve done for Silvery Earth Kids. It was an upcoming anthology that spurred my imagination – very close to the deadline, even though I had been told about it months ago.

Nothing like a deadline to spur your muses into action, right? Next I’ll do something with the Cosmic Corsairs I already told you about and then develop that strip in the coming months. Again, it’s probably for next year. I guess that’s my way of procrastinating on the prose at this time, LOL!

I’m still trudging through my contemporary story and have jotted down notes for another short story that might take precedence when I’m done lettering the Silvery Earth Kids. I need to finish a proof of the English version before Friday, so I can order it on Lulu and receive it next week.

I plan on checking the paperback for changes and stuff, and then I want to take it to Lucca Comics and see if some publisher wants the Italian version before I go indie. So I might do little writing this week, but some projects need wrapping up! πŸ™‚

Some links: 6 effective ways to treat depression – still have to sign up for a dance class or some other kind of moving with music, but there’s so much going on right now, that I’m not sure I want to start something yet. Maybe in November, maybe in January. We’ll see.

For the indie writers out there – the (in)famous 7 Kindle Keywords: use all 50 characters or not? I’m probably totally misusing those keyword spaces, but I really have trouble finding sentences for my books. Even when I went through the various books to update the manuscripts, I didn’t really add anything to those fields… I should have, I know. Sigh.

I know that my WHY has nothing to do with publishing and all that stuff. The beating heart that keeps my muse alive definitely doesn’t care about algorithms and ads and all that publishing stuff! πŸ™‚ In fact I think I mentioned I have publishing fatigue, more than writing.

6 ways to stay productive in a creative slump – I think I’ve done some of these things even before reading the article, but it’s a good summary/reminder. I think I mentioned spending too much time doing research and not enough writing. Reading for research and not for entertainment.

Well, after discarding a few samples, I started reading a novel for entertainment. It’s traditionally published, but has plenty of mistakes. So I guess we can really live without traditional publishers. And the eBook was cheap, but is not very well formatted IMHO… but I shall tell more about it in my end of the year recommended list (or on Bookbub, since now my book recommendations are there and not on Goodreads)! πŸ™‚

Have a great week! πŸ˜€

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Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Hello and welcome to the new blog schedule! The Happiness is… vignette will continue until about halfway next year, but then I won’t restart the cycle like I’ve done so far since 2009. The only post will be on Wednesdays and, as the title says, it will be a roundup of everything writing and non-writing related. The Backstage Pass will continue on Sundays on the publisher’s page to keep that page moving while I’m not publishing regularly (besides Italian titles, I mean). Thank you for following me in this new step of my journey!

And to celebrate the 10 years Blogoversary, I’m going to do a Giveaway! πŸ™‚ Any eBook of mine in your preferred format (or audio if you’re in the US, CA or AU, although that’s valid only for Otherside, I still have a few of those codes). Just drop a comment with the title and your preferred format! πŸ™‚

Now Kobo might have added audiobooks to the KWL dashboard, but during the weekend the eBooks had vanished. I was trying to finish updating the Silvery Earth titles still out there, and on KWL I saw for a moment on Saturday morning all 120+ titles (and 60+ unpublished), then no more than 18 on Laptop, 21 on Netbook (but it did show the unpublished titles of the discarded pen name, grrr!).

And Techie Bro took Laptop for an update/upgrade, so I copied everything to Netbook to update DriveThru and KWL, but when Smashwords had “trouble” with a couple of documents, there wasn’t much I could do, since Netbook doesn’t have Adobe Reader to check ePub files. Maybe it has something to read ePubs, but I wasn’t in the mood for experimenting. So it was a hassle that dragged the whole weekend. Sigh.

As for writing, just a short story, a little more than 5K. I started dabbling in a contemporary story, but it might not be the right time to write it, so I’m contemplating other options. I’ve realized I’ve been reading too much non-fiction lately, too much necessary research, but it has taken the fun out of writing somehow. And took me off the reading market as well, since I’m a slow reader.

So I started reading all those bundles that came out on BundleRabbit and might have a look at StoryBundle (lookie look! Vampires! Maybe I should!) and other places. I am considering a new series with a no-longer-young heroine, but I’m not sure which genre it’s going to be. My characters grew up with me, I guess it’s time I talk about salt-and-pepper hair, although I have already done that with Bel. Hey, maybe I’ll write about her breakup with Raj because she became a grumpy old spinster, LOL!

The Infinite Bard story is up once again! There is now quite a collection of free reads there now, check it out! πŸ™‚ And the publisher’s site is all updated, so at least that is done, yay! Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


Welcome to the last Writer Wednesday, since next week it’s October, 10 years of blogging and new schedule! πŸ™‚ Last week I wrote only one short story, and a short one at that (less than 3K), but I stupidly thought I could write another during the weekend. Not.

It was the Silvery Earth revamping weekend and I still have a lot of work to do! 😦 I updated the Chronicles of the Varian Empire and the single Quests books with the new covers (so that’s 7 ebooks and 3 paperbacks) on Saturday. And I updated 25 paperbacks, 22 migrated from CreateSpace and 3 already KDP print. Which took me almost all Sunday.

I still have 35 eBook documents to update and reupload to five sites (KDP, KWL, D2D, SW and DTF), and it will probably take me the rest of the week. While I try to write that last story before the end of the month. Feels neverending, but I’ll finish this tend-the-garden job! πŸ™‚

I also added a couple of boards on Pinterest – or my books, I mean. And there are also boards that serve as inspiration for the books, so it’s not just book covers! πŸ˜‰ Oh, and I finished coloring Silvery Earth Kids, so now I only have to put the lettering on 70 strips or something… And possibly redraw a panel or three!

Still reading blogs, but mulling over the flood of info by myself. Still overwhelmed with the “updating backlist” task, so not ready for many things. But still building brand with these blog posts! πŸ™‚

I want to check my notes from my online craft workshops before launching the next project. Meanwhile I brainstorm vague ideas that might eventually take shape…

Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Random Friday


Here we go with some innovation/tech ramblings! πŸ™‚ I heard about Google Nest Hub Max and, boy!, was I creeped out! 😦 I don’t know about you, but this facial recognition thingy still makes me uneasy. Although I might go to Milan to check an exibition called Training Humans, I still don’t want to see it in my home – or that of my friends.

I read an Italian article about the simulation inside the C-TOC, the IBM fully-operational Security Operations Center being driven around on a semi truck to provide education and support to professionals and consumers. It has apparently reached Italy and they did a demonstration of how it works. It also gave me some ideas for the next story, although I wasn’t thinking about a cyberattack, but the simulated disruptions might happen even in my story, so it was good inspiration! πŸ™‚

Someone shared how driverless cars might increase sex – and just the title made me think of Shan-leo, who lost his arm because he was busy with his girlfriend! πŸ˜‰ This story is in Star Minds Next Generation Diaries and not even a mighty Sire like him will ever be whole again! πŸ™‚ Not to mention the consequences for Izzy-lee… better or worse depends on your thought on life, death and immortality through technology!

I’m not totally against new tech, mind you, especially if it helps disabled people. And I already explored brain implants and telepathy in Brainwaves. And my many terraformed exoplanets might have some base in what is actually out there, since water was found for the first time on a “potentially habitable” planet. Maybe eventually I’ll be able to write hard SF, haha!

Since we’re talking future and futuristic, you heard about Matrix 4, right? I’ll have to rewatch The Matrix to complete the translation of Brainwaves, since I now know the English original almost by heart, but I don’t remember what the dubbed version said. So I might watch most of the movie in English and switch to Italian for that one scene.

Which one? “Ignorance is bliss” – as mentioned in the English version. Can’t for the life of me remember what it sounded like in Italian. And I had the VHS. It was the first Keanu movie I saw in theaters. Then I bought the DVD, discovered the original versions and now I can’t stand dubbed movies anymore. Meh.

Anyhow, another busy weekend re-uploading stuff coming up… Hope you have a better and more relaxed weekend! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


Slowing down the writing and tending the garden means I wrote a little more than 9K last week. One new story and the expansion of an older one (still unpublished, so no harm done). I’ll probably tinker with the other one a little longer as well, since I’m still reading a non-fiction book for research purposes.

While doint the translation of Brainwaves, I found several instances of a forgotten “h” in a name, luckily I still had to update those documents, so next weekend the “typo” or “inconsistency” will vanish. Next weekend is Future Earth Chronicles and Vampires Through the Centuries update, yay (not).

Silvery Earth, in spite of pruning, still has quite a lot of titles. Four new covers for the Quests book to make and still a lot of documents to update with new backmatter. How many? The answer is 42. Douglas Adams knew it even before I actually wrote the books!

Just kidding, but it’s more than 40 titles on Smashwords, plus the box sets that are only on Draft2Digital, so quite a lot of work in that department. Not to mention the other retailers – Amazon, Kobo and DriveThru… I’ll definitely be busy all of September with the revamping!

I shall keep these monologues (or dialogues with Tori) going for a little longer. I’ll do a giveaway for the ten years of blogging, then will slow down further to one post a week. Unless there are guests. Or special announcements. I will stop the Happiness is… rotation as well.

So I will have Backstage Pass on Sundays on the publisher’s page and Writer Wednesday on this blog, probably longer and more rambling.

And speaking of announcements, here’s the table of contents of an upcoming anthology, in which I have a story.

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From the publisher:

The charity anthology, Yearning to Breathe Free is deep into production, and will be available by mid-September. All profits from the anthology will be donated to RAICES, a non-profit charity who has led the fight in making sure that immigrants in detention centers have access to legal protection, enabling families to call each other on the phone, helping parents to find their children, and ensuring that those detained can gain access to basic goods and services.

My story is Following Torik, and if the name sounds familiar, yes, he’s the Silvery Earth Kid that outgrew his clothes. Except thisΒ  is the story of his little brother Baldric, and they’re both adults by now (it’s been 12 years since Silvery Earth Kids). So, while you wait for the strip and the related novel, you can have a taste in this charity anthology! πŸ˜‰

Or you can follow Silvery Earth Kids on Instagram, Monday vignette of a sobbing Torik earned a lot of love (while I kept singing “I don’t like Mondays“!)! πŸ˜€ That’s all for now and I wish you all a wonderful week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


Last week I wrote about 13K and wrapped The Wanderers at 93K. Now I’m going to leave it alone until Mighty Editor checks it, because I’m bored with it and think it sucks, haha. Besides, I’m reading a non-fiction book about medieval Persia, so it might give some ideas for the past of the southern kingdoms (since this story is set before the Quests).

The good thing about NOT having readers clamoring for more is that I don’t feel the pressure of writing the next book. The bad think is not knowing how I am doing, which makes me doubt myself and my skills. Yeah, my self-esteem is currently low, but I will bounce back, don’t worry! πŸ˜‰

Anyway, I wrote 400K already this year, and even if I’m not sure I’ll write another 100k in the last four months of the year, I don’t care. I proved I can reach half pulp speed (500K) and stick to my own deadlines, now I can get back to having fun. Productivity was never my problem, was it?

If and when some series of mine takes off, I have more books to write. Meanwhile, I have some experiments to do to get out of this burn out. Currently writing shorts for anthos and trad mags, while coloring the Silvery Earth Kids strip (about 10 to color, then about 80 to letter) that I hope to complete by the end of September.

Then I’ll need to do a print attempt with Lulu so I can check it (my eyes don’t like staring at the screen, and printed out mistakes are glaringly obvious) and redraw whatever needs redrawn or adjusted. Not sure yet what my next long project will be. Possibly a contemporary story or maybe another historical fantasy. I did buy some books in Edinburgh! πŸ˜‰

Still slowly tending the garden, and last week I resumed the Backstage Pass. And since I need to be gentle with myself, I won’t be posting weekly, but every other Sunday.

I’m working on the next instalment, but the topic seems hard to tackle. I do have some articles ready (meant for my never-started magazine or my aborted-Patreon), but I want to write something new that has been on my mind for months. So I will ponder it a little longer.

Meanwhile, there’s another free story up on the Infinite Bard, check it out! Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


Slowly easing back into the writing routine. That handwritten stuff from during worldcon was about 1800words, but I added a lot more, finishing the week with my usual 10K. And then on Monday it occurred to me that the Paths Trilogy could simply be a single longer novel with multiple points of view (4 intertwined), so I’m going to try that now.

I have around 85K already and need to finish, so it might end up like Books of the Immortals – Air, around 90K (my longest novel, with multiple points of view – 6 or 7, if I remember correctly), possibly longer (but I’ll have to trim the duplicated scenes, so some version might end up on the cutting floor).

The weekend was spent cleaning up the Star Minds Universe (the series page and the documents + an update to the cover of the Star Minds Starter) updating backmatter for both eBooks and paperbacks, which means I got flooded by Amazon emails for updating both the versions of each title. And I even had to redo a cover I hadn’t touched. Sheesh.

This also allowed me to discover a few glitches in the move from CreateSpace to KDPprint, so if you haven’t already, go check the third “page” – territorial rights and pricing. But you have to start from the first page to confirm ownership of the paperback, and don’t forget to check blurb and tags, since once they were completely missing from the paperback version.

Findaway Voices announced shared royalties, so I might do another audio book sooner rather than later. Most sales through them are to libraries, and I’m very far to breaking even with the expenses for producing the first three audiobooks. But I’ve been told longer books get listened to much more, so I’ll have to try with a full-length novel eventually.

A couple of long but awesome posts from Kristen Lamb – In It to WIN It: How Committed Are You to Being a Successful Author? and Pitch Perfect: Can You Sell Your Story in ONE Sentence? Still trying to find those loglines for my books, but eventually, I’ll make it, LOL!

And that’s all for now! Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


Last week I didn’t do much writing, but I consider myself inbetween projects. This week will probably have no writing at all, and it will resume next week when I come back from Worldcon. Not worried at all, since I’m already at 375K anyway (for those coming in late, my target is 500K a year). The next Paths novel should take me to 400K and then I have a few more to write before the end of the year.

The Mission #30 was written, sent and rejected in less than a week, but since it comes after the epilogue of the Team‘s missions, it shall be the first of volume 2, coming out next year whenever I write another 20something missions. This team is still growing on me, and they’re keeping the name anyway, even though they’re no longer lone wolves! πŸ™‚

And Rogue is out too, so the Star Minds Lone Wolves books are complete for this year. I updated the series page, redid the lettering on the single books covers and adjusted the backend matter. Now I’ll have to do it for the other Star Minds books, but I will do it in September. I did do a new trailer for the series, though! πŸ™‚

I also added the Lone Wolves to Drive Thru, as you can see from the “sidebar”, since I sold a SKYBAND Omnibus in their Comics shop, but every now and then I get a sale even in the Fiction shop. We’ll see if a banner or two will make the Star Minds Universe soar over there too! πŸ™‚

I also started unpublishing things. I made a list and will take down 25 Silvery Earth titles, 12 Star Minds Universe and 5 others. It will clean up my retailers dashboard and allow me to update the rest with less junk.

I’m mostly taking down shorter titles or single stories that are included in collections. I’ve been told that short titles sink faster in Amazon charts, so I might as well get rid of them since they don’t sell anyway.

So here’s the cleaned up Star Minds Universe and Silvery Earth on Smashwords. I have unpublished also from Kobo, Amazon and D2D. It’s been a long hot weekend, sigh. Let me know what you think of the new presentation of Silvery Earth on the series page, though!

An interesting post on how science fiction is dying again – the Hopepunk Edition. Considering the bleak present, I should probably write something about my apocalypse… and my vampires live through it, so they might be the right ones to tell that story! πŸ˜‰

Currently flying to Dublin for Worldcon, so will update next week when I get back… If you’re there too, and see me wandering around, come and say hello. I have no panels, so I’ll be in and out of the buildings. And the curated anthologies will be available at Hodges Figgis booth in the dealer’s room (it’s a local bookstore for non-Dubliners). Have a great week! πŸ™‚

 

Writer Wednesday


The grand total for the writing retreat (even though I didn’t write every day, and definitely not when traveling) was 14600words, although I finished The Path of Metal on Sunday. I printed it out on Monday at the office and did a final pass, reading it all in one sitting before moving on.

Now writing those short stories to submit to traditional markets with very tight deadlines. Including Mission #30 of the Lone Wolves Team, that therefore is not included in the last volume of our adventurers’ jobs, out now. I will add it to the collection of all the missions if it gets rejected (or will wait until I can publish it in the whole collection, depending how long I have to postpone it, LOL).

Next weekend I’ll upload Rogue, then pause the publishing for a few months. I considered enrolling it in KU so I could participate in the Kindle StorytellerAward 2019 on Amazon UK, but unless my one true fan (yes, Tori, I’m talking to you) tells me she doesn’t mind waiting 3 months, I won’t. If I happen to win (which I won’t), means it would be stuck on Amazon only for much longer. If you’re in KU and have published between May and August, do try your luck, though! πŸ˜‰

I learned a few things and got a few ideas at the conference, so it’s time I start working on that rebranding – or tending my garden, as they say. Since “just write more books” doesn’t really work, I’m studying the Reader Magnets. Although the PDF is outdated RE: MailChimp, but I have no intention of opening another newsletter yet.

But someone pointed me to StoryOrigin, and they handle Reader Magnets and review copies even if you don’t have a mailing list. So I might try that too in the coming months (as well as signing up for Pinterest when I have the rebranded covers ready – not all of them, but still quite a few, I’m afraid).

I haven’t done a priority list yet, although I have booked out a few weekends to start the revamping of the publisher’s site. Might also give me ideas for the Backstage Pass posts! πŸ˜‰ Oh, and another link of something I discovered in Edinburgh (thanks, Josie, glad I didn’t spend all my time talking to the only face I knew beforehand and saw your link on the group discussion) – Hopepunk. Might be something to consider when I re-tag my books! πŸ˜‰

Now, you might have noticed my re-blog on Sunday. Yes, the awesome A.L. Butcher put together another awesome bundle, Here Be Magic, that includes yours truly. Soon you’ll hear from some of those authors on this very blog.

Aaaand, you guessed it, it’s Infinite Bard time again! Hop off to the site and read another free short story for your reading pleasure! πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


Last week I started on The Path of Metal and wrote 13K. I’m also adding strips to the strip, but I hope to wrap everything in Edinburgh. I have a few short stories to write bythe end of August, lest the submission windows closes! Hopefully those places have some kind of submission form, since one of my latest attempts was flagged as spam and didn’t go through. Sigh.

And we have another batch of missions of the Lone Wolves Team! Again at all retailers, then one more and it’s over… at least for now! I’ll do a collection of the collection at the end of August. Cherry is on the cover, as always by awesome Ravven

Don’t forget this is the last week of the Smashwords Sale… it lasts only until the end of the month. You have a few more days to grab some of my books 50%off! πŸ™‚ And check out the other authors too! πŸ˜€

Here’s an amazing learning opportunity for you IF YOU’RE IN THE US. I can vouch for Kevin J. Anderson and Dean Wesley Smith as teachers, but I always come back frustrated from the business masterclasses, because none of that applies in Italy. But if you’re American, you should definitely check them! πŸ˜‰

And here’s some advice from Joe Konrath, 6 things writers need to stop worrying about. Very apt since I’m heading for a conference tomorrow! πŸ˜‰

Also, if you plan on writing sci-fi, check this article. I did read that book of putting science into fiction, and it’s good! Also, the article is right down my alley too! πŸ˜‰

Now I better go back to my fantasy world… but know that there are a few sci-fi stories to write when I’m done with Torik and friends! πŸ˜‰

And last but not least, it’s Infinite Bard time again! Hop off to the main page and discover another new author, another free story… Have a great week! πŸ˜€

 

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