Sunday Surprise

Published 15/11/2015 by Barb

Words of wisdom, writers on writing, I won’t skip another Sunday this month – hopefully. Enjoy the writerly quotes!

If you don’t read short stories, don’t love them with a passion, don’t bother.

No matter how logical it would seem or how good the business might be of doing them in your series.

Writing anything for money or to game some publishing system is always a fool’s game at best and flat stupid at worst.

Always write for love.

Now understand, I wrote Star Trek, Men in Black, Spider-Man, X-Men, and a bunch of novelizations for movies I loved. I loved all of those. Still do.

But at times along the way, I said yes to projects I didn’t love. I didn’t follow my own advice. I always had my reasons and my reasons were always stupid in hindsight. And usually concerned money.

And those were always the worst projects, the ones that went nowhere. The projects that took far, far too much emotional baggage to deal with.

So this writing a short story a day might look easy from the other side of the screen. But unless you are a fan of short fiction, read it regularly in magazines, have always worked at short stories in one form or another, don’t try this. You will be doomed to failure and more harm to your writing and confidence than you can imagine.

Write what you love and read.

I was told that advice a long time ago and it stuck with me.

And now, over forty years later, that advice has always been the best advice I ever got. I made mistakes and didn’t always follow it. But when I returned to writing what I loved, I was always happier and what I wrote was always better.

Dean Wesley Smith

So the final step in working out what tasks to focus upon lies in identifying those tasks that truly matter. We will never run out of POTENTIAL tasks. We will never run out of people telling us that we “must do” this or that or the other to “be successful in today’s marketplace.” We will never run out of distractions.

But unless we focus on the core elements of our writing goals — the novel, the short story, the poem, the memoir, the song, the life-changing how-to book — we will run out of the things that matter most: our hopes and dreams.

And, of course, our readers…

Moira Allen

The faster I write the better my output. If I’m going slow, I’m in trouble. It means I’m pushing the words instead of being pulled by them.

Raymond Chandler

I believe that you either love the work or the rewards. Life is a lot easier if you love the work.

Jane Smiley

The only thing more tormenting than writing is not writing.

Cynthia Ozick

Trees are trees, mountains are generally mountains, no matter what country you find them and one description may be made to answer for all this reinforcing the old adage among novelists: Never let the facts stand in the way of a good story.

– Bram Stoker

Random Friday

Published 13/11/2015 by Barb

2015-11-10 15.24.15Hello, Priyanka! It was a nice surprise to see your face plastered all over Rome, Italy! ;) Of course I knew what it was all about since Muse H is so proud of you! :D Except I don’t watch TV, and I doubt I can get that channel for free, so I won’t be watching Quantico. If anyone is seeing it, please comment with your thoughts on the show, thank you! :)

On the long distance flights to Japan I watched a few movies and of course I chose from the Bollywood selection! ;) On Swiss (Zurich-Tokyo) I watched only one movie, PK. More out of curiosity for the poster with naked Aamir covering himself with a tape-recorder than because I really really really wanted to see it. I mean, Aamir Kahn is not one of my favorites! ;)

And now I can tell he has only two faces, the serious one a la Lagaan, and the silly one a la PK – and he shows both in Dhoom 3, so I guess he covered it all, LOL! Anyhow, this is a comedy, it’s funny and I didn’t mind it. I might watch it again with my friend who likes him, but I don’t think I’ll buy the DVD…

On the return flight, Lufthansa Osaka-Frankfurt, I had time to watch two, since it was daytime for me and I didn’t sleep much (which made me crash when I got to Frankfurt and I had that six hours layover and I wanted to kill the travel agent who had booked that flight – end rant/digression).

So I watched first Dil Dhadakne Do, since I liked all Zoya Akthar’s previous movies and wanted to see this one too (and Aamir Khan is only a voice, so… very happy not to see his… ears! ;) I’m mean, I know).

It was already on the to-buy list and still is. It’s another family comedy, well, probably dramedy, and I loved it. I see now that I’ve seen two movies in a row with Anushka Sharma! :) I like her, so I don’t mind…

And then I watched Tanu Weds Manu Returns, with double bill of Kangana Ranaut (although I admit at first I hadn’t recognized her… small screen’s fault! ;) Or maybe I was already tired and not paying attention…).

It was another fun movie – well, another dramedy – and I think Madhavan is plump but cute! ;) I will probably add this movie to the to-buy list as well. Whenever I get back to London/Southall, I shall try to email the guy beforehand, so when I get there he has all the DVDs I need! ;)

That’s all for Bollywood randomness! Have a great weekend!

Writer Wednesday

Published 11/11/2015 by Barb

Mighty Editor sent back the latest story proofread, so stay tuned for the next title – a retelling of Sleeping Beauty on Silvery Earth as m/m romance. Not much sex, but lots of cats for a very sweet love story! ;) It’s a fairy tale, so no hard stuff, LOL! Here’s a preview of the cover art (without frame and without lettering)…

I’m writing the short contemporary stories based on the openings I wrote for my online workshop. Two I just keep writing from the assignment, since it was nailed. One I had to rewrite it completely (I wasn’t quite there, so I used a restaurant in Kyoto and rewrote the scene). And the fourth… I’m skipping it for now, since I really don’t know what story could spring from that sentence, LOL!

Anyhow, those are contemporary short stories and they will be published sometimes before Christmas, hopefully. Either with the reprint of other ex-B.G. Hope titles or alone and then in the collection that follows Six Months and Other Love Stories.

I will do a POD version of the contemporary titles when they’re all written. I don’t like thin books, so I’ll probably put them all together. Or maybe not, I don’t know. Today I should receive the proofs for Rajveer and Star Minds Interregnum, so stay tuned for those.

By the way, Createspace now allows direct bank transfer also to Italy, so I’ll finally see those few dollars of the 5 books I’ve sold either on CS itself or its expanded distribution. Very happy I don’t have to wait to reach the 100$ treshold! :)

Writerly links! Can you make a living in comics? – applies to writing too, IMHO. Or any other art form, as Colleen herself points out. I don’t make a living yet, but one day… persistance is the only way, I guess! ;)

Kris Rusch on translations… excellent points. I try to avoid translations when I can, but I liked Gaby Hauptmann novels, and since I don’t speak German, I had to read the Italian version. I have no idea if I missed something or not! ;) And I remember reading the Hitchhiker’s Guide in the late 1990s and wondering how on Earth one could translate Douglas Adams’ crazy prose into Italian… yes, I was reading the original, and I’ve never tried the actual translations!

When I started writing in English, I tried to preserve my “Italian voice”… but then I evolved, as a writer and as a person, so now I think I have a new voice both in English and in Italian! ;) Except I write in English first now and then, when I can, translate it back into Italian… I wish I could quit DayJob so I could split the days into translation-time and writing-time… :)

Have a great week!


Random Friday

Published 06/11/2015 by Barb

So, Japan. If you travel to Japan, you don’t need to bring travel slippers or PJs, since the hotels will give you that – at least in Takayama and Kyoto they had PJs for guests. I sleep with a nightgown, so I didn’t try them.

Takayama hotel PJ on Muse H

Takayama hotel PJ on Muse H

If you’re a smoker, you better stay at home, since it’s forbidden to smoke except in selected areas (meaning no, you’re not allowed to smoke in the streets either).

Food – since I don’t like sushi, I was kind of wary and thought I’d eat only ramen for 9 days. Nope. I actually had ramen only once. I didn’t mind tempura, loved the crabs and I like shrimps. I even had meat and it was good. So the food is fine – I didn’t starve! :)

People – they’re all very nice, but their English is mostly non-existent, therefore it’s very frustrating sometimes. Oh, and I dared crossing a street with a red signal (it was green when I started, but I hadn’t noticed it was soon going to turn red) and I got honked and chided (in Japanese) – to which I could only apologize with a bow.

Places – the natural places are at their best with autumn-colored leaves. Those reds, oranges and yellows mixing with various shades of green are beautiful even outside of the Japanese gardens with their maxi-bonsai and carefully crafted fountains, lakes and whatnot.

Buildings – sometimes those pagodas were a little too colorful for my tastes! ;) I was happy to visit different styles of houses at Shirakawago (rightfully listed as World Heritage site). Unfortunately it was raining and most pictures came out blurred. But it was a nice change of landscape from the castles and temples of Tokyo, Takayama, Kanazawa, Kyoto and Nara! :)

Public transport – I’ve managed to take the JP (subway) in Tokyo on my own, and it wasn’t too bad. Except the English writings last very shortly, even on trains, so you have to look for them! :) Then I tried the Shinkansen (high-speed trains of Japan) and normal trains. And bus/coach and car with driver since for two nights there was only 3 of us – our lovely guide Aya, Andrea and me.

It was a good taste, but it was enough for me. I’m still sorting through the 1800+ pictures, so maybe I’ll leave that for another post – probably divided into slideshows (food, nature, temples, castles, etc). I guess my love story with Japan is over. I should have visited 10 or 20 years ago…

nextTrip_resize(for whomever is new to this blog, that’s Muse H and me. Follow link to see what he actually looks like – but then I don’t look like that either, LOL!)

Book of the Day: Rajveer the Vampire

Published 05/11/2015 by Barb


with another excerpt!

Originally posted on Authors to Watch:

Today’s Book of the Day is

Rajveer the Vampire

by Barbara G. Tarn

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A “sun clan” warrior can never become a true child of darkness.

Turned into a bloodsucker by an ancient Celtic vampire, Rajveer, a proud Rajput warrior of a Suryavanshi clan in 14th century India, becomes almost invulnerable.

Immortal, he loses his family to war and time and travels through northern India, seeing history unfold. Threatened by both human wars and evil vampires, can he remain true to his sworn vow not to take human lives?

A vampire’s journey through centuries.

In this new novel, Barbara G.Tarn combines her love for history (especially medieval) and fantasy. It’s the story of a vampire through the centuries that will appeal to both historical fiction readers and vampire lovers all over the world.


Excerpt from Rajveer the Vampire:



Rajveer slowly adjusted to his new sleeping schedule. The…

View original 897 more words


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