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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Writer Wednesday


Last week I wrote close to 15K and by Christmas I managed to more or less wrap up Book 3 and 4 of Future Earth Chronicles. I had to move some words from book 3 to book 4 and rewrite on epilogue and add a new incipit, but at least now both are around 41K (otherwise it would have been 47K and under 40K). Taking a break to revise a story I will publish in January, then onward to book 5! 🙂

And we’re at the year’s roundup post! The Publishing achievements are 16 new titles, of which one is in Italian and 12 also have paperbacks (including a paperback for a book that came out last year). And since I have 6 Star Minds Lone Wolves novels and novellas, expect more box sets next year, along with more stories (the Lone Wolves Team and a collection of the shorter stories).

The writing achievements! As you know, I reached my goal of 500K two weeks ago, producing the above mentioned 6 Star Minds Lone Wolves + 15 Lone Wolves Team stories (still mostly unpublished, stay tuned), 1 Silvery Earth Heroine, 1 Vampires Through the Centuries short novel and revamped what became the Future Earth Chronicles – new blurb and cover on Book 1, Brainwaves, and publishing Book 2, Wanderlust, while writing the rest.

Now and until the end of January I hope to write Book 5, then I’ll take a break from this series and write 15 more Lone Wolves Team stories. In 2019 I hope to write at least 1 if not 2 Silvery Earth Heroines because I have the covers and they’re wonderful and I look forward to showing them off. And I also have the cover for what I have decided will be Fairy Tales Revisited Volume 2.

Then I’ll write a few more Future Earth Chronicles books and Vampires Through the Centuries books, since the series have crashed together. Again in the hope of reaching those 500K, but if I don’t, I won’t beat myself! 😉

And sorry if I didn’t enroll anything, but the Smashwords End of the Year sale is now on. If you want, though, Sci-fi July Redux is now on sale, and will be gone by the end of the year. 10 space opera novels for 5 buck… get it now before it’s gone! 🙂

Have a great week! 🙂

Happiness is…


Random Friday


Words of Wisdom, Writers on Writing, whatever you want to call it, here’s the last quotes of the year! 🙂

Write if you’re gonna write.

You’re never too old to write.

And you’re also never too young to start.

But don’t wait. That’s the caution. That’s the danger.

Don’t sit on it. Even if you’re likelier to be more successful later, that later-in-life success is often built on the heaps and mounds of a lot of unsung, unpublished work in your youth. Use that time to build a mountain of glorious failures and fuck-ups. You only get to know what you’re doing by not knowing what you’re doing. You only get to the rarified air of success by climbing that mountain of shit work and fuck-uppery. It’s not a waste of time to write badly. It’s no waste to write in the wrong direction. The path may be circuitous, but the path is still the path. And writing is how you walk it.

The work won’t come to you.

You gotta go do the work.

That’s true whether you’re 16 or you’re 60.

So go do the work and stop worrying about age.

Better yet, don’t compare yourself to others. There’s always somebody out there doing it differently, and doing it better. Always someone younger, older, with more books, more awards, better sales, nicer hair, whatever. What they do isn’t what you do. Who they are isn’t who you are. Their path ain’t your path. Scrap all that worry and write.

Chuck Wendig

As writers, we don’t get a lot of moments like these. Moments where things line up and we get to look back and appreciate what we’ve done, and turn around and look at the future with some optimism. A lot of the day-to-day is loaded with stress, rejection, please-love-me posturing and loneliness. It is not a profession I would suggest to someone who doesn’t take criticism well, that’s for sure. But that’s what makes the good times so meaningful. The times when you realize why you do this, why you sit alone for hours pecking away at your keyboard in the dark, telling a story first for yourself, then for everyone else. We do this stuff because we have to, and I’d probably write books for myself alone if that was the extent of my audience. But it’s nice, hell, it’s essential, to sometimes feel like you’re pushing that boulder up the hill for a reason.

Alex Segura

Now, if we can only get rid of it from the writer side. If we can accept that our assumptions were formed in another century, a century that is stunningly different from ours.

We can write and publish what we want. We aren’t even doing it in the dark.

So, let’s embrace the present and publish our works. Let the future take care of itself, and drop as much of those past assumptions as we possibly can.

And remember—if you find a book that’s spectacular, share the news with someone else. That’s what’ll keep books alive for the next 100 years.

Just like it did 100 years ago.

Kris Rusch

The threat of writers block always looms. It can take a variety of forms from not having an idea to explore, to not feeling like writing, to feeling like you have nothing worthwhile to say. Writer’s block tells us something. Maybe that the story is not ready yet or that the idea is not viable. When I come to a blank page, I spend a lot of time beforehand arming myself. I have research. I have brainstorming notes. I have snippets of dialogue, a rough outline, and description all so that I can avoid any sort of block. My actual writing routine involves preparation the night before: thinking through what I’m going to write, making a plan, mapping out the scenes or chapter. When I’m writing, I might stop mid-paragraph or mid-scene rather than write them to completion so that when I can sit down again, I can slip right back into what I was writing. I may have multiple projects going so that I can switch to another should I get stuck on one. I prepare, prepare, prepare … whatever it takes (whatever works for me) — both in rhythm and habit—to keep putting words on a page. It may not just be writerly angst, but it can be worked around. Your mileage may vary, but give yourself space and time to work your story out.

And be kind to yourself while doing it.

Maurice Broaddus

Now realize I have believed all my work sucks for forty years, yet over 23 million people now have bought my books and more every day around the world. If I took that number in, I would be too “important” to ever write again. But if I believed there was no point because anything I tried would just suck, I would never write again.

So the balance is just creating a space in our own heads. Nothing is important really, but everything should be done the best we can do.

Be a window cleaner. Make the window so clean no one can see the glass and take pride in that and then move on to the next window.

Writing is no different.

We should all take pride in the work, do the best we can, keep learning, and then release and move on.

Dean Wesley Smith

Writer Wednesdey


Last week I ended up writing 12K and even started a related short story I plan to submit to a traditional market (and if they reject it, I know where to publish it next, haha!). I’m still discovering where this is going and it’s a lot of fun – glad I’m writing them all at the same time! But then, it’s the first series with books that need to be read in a certain order…

Soon it will be time to set up next year’s challenges… although it’s probably going to be a yearly goal for the wordcount, since I know that if I want to reach that 500K I need to write 10K a week, which I did this year and can do again the next. I might try the 30 short stories in 30 days challenge – when I’m done with these series books, that is! 🙂

And a post for you wannabes who think they can write to market: The Hero’s Dead-end Journey. I actually went to a couple of panels by Steven Barnes when I was still trying to conquer Hollywood, during the Screenwriting Expos of 2006-2008. He’s a nice, funny dude and his post is spot-on. Go read it!

You should know by now that I’m not a Big Fish all hype, quite the opposite, but I’m not a newby either. I don’t have a formula for you, although I’ve been indie publishing since 2011 and have almost 200 titles out (90% in English, 10% in Italian). I am grateful for every single reader who manages to discover me even though I don’t do ads and don’t tweet and don’t try to sell my books to every person that finds out I’m a writer.

Of course I still need my day job, probably will need it for a few more years to pay the editors and cover art, workshops and travels, but eventually, hopefully, I’ll find my True Fans… although the first two will always be in my heart, since they’d become friends by now! *waves at Tori and Joleene*

I had friends that were all hype and no substance. They no longer write. So there. Keep doing your thing and ignore the hype (I’m like Kris for that, I tune out every time a one-book-wonder tries to hit me with hype). Keep in mind that 20 books might not be enough to 50K – I have almost 200 and are nowhere near those 50K. But I keep forging ahead anyway!

Because I’m addicted to writing, LOL! Or married to Mr. Writing, like I sometimes say. Now that I’m wrapping up those 500K written, I look forward to what I’ll write next year. And I may rest for a day or three between projects, but not always, and not necessarily, because I miss it. Yeah, I’m a junkie like that! 🙂

Have a great week!

Happiness is…


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!

Writer Wednesday


So yesterday I reached my 500K/year goal – and there are still three full weeks before the end of the year, yay! I may not repeat the feat, although I’m kind of addicted to it now, LOL! Of course the publishing “suffered”, but I had a lot more fun… and since I always said I’ll never stop writing but I might stop publishing…

Well, you do the maths. Although next year I have Worldcon and 20BooksEdinburgh, so I probably should have new titles out. And I will, since half the Future Earth Chronicles will be definitely done for Worldcon (at least a first cycle, if not the whole series) and I’ll have more Lone Wolves stories out in the Star Minds Universe and two or three more Silvery Earth titles. And possibly vampires, since they’re living beyond the present, haha!

But since last publication was November 25 (Wanderlust) and the next scheduled is January 25 (India’s Republic Day for a reason), I thought I wouldn’t leave you high and dry for two months and published a short story collection. Newsletter subscribers might have read a couple of those, but the rest is new.

And after the Holidays I’ll publish a collection of Vampires Through the Centuries shorter works (no new story, probably, unless I squeeze one in before the end of the year, but it might be unedited, so no, not in this collection). I’ll do a final publishing post after Christmas.

I could send you to the usual suspects for writerly links, but I’ll spare you. You should know what I think about everything by now! 😉 And even if they say BookBub Ads are The Next Big Thing, better than Facebook Ads and Amazon Ads, I’m not wasting any more time or money with those – not this year. In the future, we’ll see…

Still have to study a Patreon reward system and BookFunnel and start programming next year’s travels and… sheesh, where do I get off this mad train? It’s going too fast! Speed is dangerous! Ending on a song by Extreme (so 1990s – and looky-look, a steam locomotive!), I wish you a wonderful week! 🙂

 

Happiness is…


Random Friday


Since the year is almost over and I probably won’t finish another book before then, I’m going to do my Yearly Recommended Reading post now! 😉 Also because it’s the time of the Small&Medium Publishers Book Fair here in Rome, but for the first time since its inception, I’m not going there every day (just today to say hello to a couple of friends).

This year I read 54 books – although 7 I did not finish – and 6 and a half were non-fiction (as are the last two). Usually the fiction is read on my Kindle (a.k.a. K.K.), while the non-fiction is on paper because it’s better for research. Unless the novel is signed, then it can be a paperback, LOL!

Anyhow, of the fiction books, here are the 5 stars I gave (in order of reading – with links to Goodreads even though I’m not putting them on my Goodreads profile. Long story, not going back there! 😉 ):

Burn Card: A Cold Poker Gang Mystery  by Dean Wesley Smith

The Last Giant  by Mario Milosevic

Dragons’ Choice (Sorcha’s Children #1) by Debbie Mumford

Against Time  by Dean Wesley Smith

Beyond Control, Interlude, Beyond Reach: Book 1 Bundle of the Beyond Saga  by Rebecca M. Senese

Fairchild  by Blaze Ward

Kings of the Wyld (The Band, #1)  by Nicholas Eames

Entanglement (Future Fiction Trends Vol. 4)  by Vandana Singh

Faring Soul (Interspace Origins #1)  by Tracy Cooper-Posey

Hollow Moon (Hollow Moon #1)  by Steph Bennion

Hydrogen Sleets: a Montague Portal novel  by Michael Warren Lucas

Sticks and Stones: A Trek Novel  by Robert T. Jeschonek

Coffee Cup Dreams  by J.A. Marlow

Mrs Funnybones  by Twinkle Khanna (not a novel, more a memoir/journal and it’s hilarious)

(you can grab the following 4 all together in Sci-fi July Redux)

Stealing from Pirates  by Stefon Mears

A Jack By Any Other Name (The Space Operetta Series Book 1)  by Lesley L. Smith

Raven Rising  by Sean Monaghan

Sector Justice  by Dean Wesley Smith

(I’d add Jorick’s origin story, but I’m not sure it’s available for public consumption yet, I got it from Patreon…)

Dancing with Tong Yi (Uncollected Anthology, #1)  by Leah R. Cutter

And the series Zeena Dragon Fae by Victoria Zigler (smashwords link cause it’s faster)!

And these are the books I’m finishing the year with – sorta/kinda research for Future Earth Chronicles.

Putting the science in fiction and 21 lessons for the 21st century (non-fiction)

Giving the list so early means you have time to request them for Christmas… so happy reading! 🙂 And have a great weekend!

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