Wednesday Weekly Roundup

Last week I wrote 10K+, mostly because I had a false start on the Anthology Workshop assignment. I wrote a full story before finding out it was too long and not “right”. So I rewrote it shorter and snappier, and sent it out with not much room to improvise more. This week is the last assignment, so afterward I can go back to other projects, on hold since the Holidays.

After closing the year with Silvery Earth Kids, I started the new year with a Sunday Strip on Instagram. This is set in the Star Minds Universe, during Kol-ian childhood (and Ker-ris’s teens), and comes out every Sunday. I will soon do a Backstage Pass special entry for this particular strip. And you can already read the first 10 in I like my science mad, an awesome collection of stories that I already recommended reading.

Star Minds Kids and Teens strip by creativebarbwire

And if you see an “intruder” on Instagram, it’s because Da Muse is on Instagram but not on DeviantART. Besides, I accidentally switched on Eclipse on DA and totally hated it. I was so happy to find the way back to the old site, but by then I had already posted my “good-bye, DA”.

The strips go on Instagram, and I don’t do many pencil drawings anymore (there are, of course, exceptions like the above), so I go to DA only for the llamas by now, LOL! But hey, I got 500+, I’m a Ninja Llama! ๐Ÿ˜€ So Barb the Artist is more on Instagram than DeviantART these days, just so you know…

And now, to more news:

We should all get back to blogging.

– Chuck Wendig

I totally agree with Mr. Wendig, even though this poor blog here is only ten years old, but then, this side of the world is behind the US! ๐Ÿ˜‰ As you probably know by now, I’m not on Twitter, and I use this blog as a newsletter after Mail Chimp changed its ToS. It still finds new followers (hello, there!) even though I don’t advertize it and only share it on Facebook and the Goodreads and Amazon feeds.

So yeah, even those of you who have never done it, try it. It’s fun. You don’t need to post daily, but be consistent. I’m still on WordPress, but eventually I’ll move to the publisher’s site. Maybe. If it’s not to complicated, that is. I’ll have to consult with my webmaster, LOL!

Another interesting article about no sales or lackluster sales. Yes, it might be the book. You might either need to write more, or maybe you only need to let your book baby grow, like in last week’s post.

And of course you should let go of your fear of publishing. I haven’t taken up that challenge, because for me too it would be slowing down. When I’m ready, I can publish a book every two weeks, like I’ve done in the past years.

New followers of this blog might not know, but I never did NaNoWriMo. I write all year long. It’s good to get in the habit of writing regularly, but it’s not something I ever needed. I was already a prolific writer, long before the internet.

I grew up in the age of the typewriter. I still have notebooks full of handwritten stories (that suck and will probably stay were there are for the time being, but you get the point! ๐Ÿ™‚ ) and I did my first draft longhand until 2014 because otherwise it didn’t feel “mine”…

And when I took that step out of the way, I wrote even more, of course. Clean first drafts that get sent in batches to my faithful editor who tries to catch those pesky typo faeries, but sometimes they escape both our pairs of eyes. Tricky buggers, aren’t they? ๐Ÿ˜‰

That’s an expense I’ll never get rid of, though. I know I need a proofreader and possibly first reader who catches plot holes and inconsistencies. Heck, I should probably use one in Italian as well! ๐Ÿ˜€ And I’m talking about my fiction, here, not this very blog who comes to you unsupervised by any editor or proofreader… ๐Ÿ˜‰

During the past years I started posting those writers’ quotes, five at the time. This is how it started:

Both “writers on writing” and “words of wisdom” can be shortened with the same word. Thus, welcome to WoW Saturdays, June to September 2010. Enjoy this collection of writers quotes throughout the summer.

Then it became kind of monthly whenever I didn’t have anything better (or as a Sunday Surprise). Now, ten years later, having reduced the number of posts again, I thought I’d make it a steady feature and add one single random writer’s quote at the end of these weekly posts, starting today.

One last link… Australian Comic Creators Unite to Raise Funds to Support Fire Victims! Sign up to get news about this!

Back to writing now. And publishing when I’m done with these submissions. Stay tuned and have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

The key really isnโ€™t avoiding burnout. The key to surviving as a writer is learning how to sustain a career.

And thatโ€™s true not just for indie writers, but traditionally published writers as well. Some of the demands traditional publishers put on their bestselling writers make the actual writing impossible.

Writers in traditional settings have to learn how to say no.

Writers in an indie setting have to figure out their priorities.

Kris Rusch


Happiness is…

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.

Image may contain: text

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 thisย  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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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“!)! ๐Ÿ˜€ That’s all for now and I wish you all a wonderful week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Happiness is…

Random Friday

And with my fall and everything else, I missed Da Blogoversary! Nine years of blogging and I didn’t even celebrate! How many bloggers are still out there? Not many from my original blogroll… Maybe they moved to social media (where I don’t go, except Facebook). Maybe they stopped writing. Who knows…

Me? Still here, of course. Still blogging until I have something to say. I’m thinking of moving the Newsletter to Patreon (it would be a freeย  post, the paid one would be of other things), so if you’re really interested, you’d still get an email with the publishing news and possibly a free short every now and then, and I’d dump all those imported subscribers who don’t even open the emails…

Still pondering about that. How to split the tiers, what to give away for that money. I’ll probably do like Joleene, only 2 cheap tiers, but I still need to think about it. I know, why follow me on Patreon when I post for free here? ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I hope to be able to bring interesting tidbits for readers… the ones I don’t know by first name, I mean. *waves at Tori and Joleene*

I keep getting new followers here, but I have no idea why you like my ramblings. Are you readers? Writers? Passers-by? I’d put in the usual poll, but I know you won’t bother answering. So here’s to another 10 years of blogging and have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

Happiness is…

Happiness is… the online blogging community – except all those names are gone from my blogroll. I wonder if they’re still blogging, LOL! ๐Ÿ˜€ Aren’t they saying blogging isย  dead? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Sunday Surprise

Happy Blogoversary!

Here’s to another eight years! I have definitely changed since those first posts back in 2009… and the world has changed with me, LOL!

Followers came and went and I salute you all who stuck with me. Thank you! Even if you just lurk and/or like the posts without commenting – at least I know I’m not writing to an audience of one (me)! Well, two, me and Tori, LOL!

A very special thanks to Shafali, Joleene and Tori who are the most active commenters to this day, especially Tori. Thank you for being there, especially Shafali and Joleene who seem to have been there forever (or at least from the beginning)! ๐Ÿ™‚

And for those of you who are new and may have never tried any of my books, here’s the chance to win one. In the comments of this post and this post only leave your preferred ebook format, and if you have a title or a genre that you prefer, add that one too. The full list is here.

One lucky winner will get the ebook of their choice! ๐Ÿ™‚ Feel free to share the post, but remember, only comments on this post (not on Facebook, not on Goodreads) will be entered…

Thank you and have a great Sunday! ๐Ÿ™‚


Sunday Surprise


A tag started by a blogger/writer called Sarah Brentyn, asking us to revisit our first ever blog posts! โค

My First Post Revisited!

Here we come to the rules:

Obvious rules:

  • No cheating. (It must be your first post. Not your second post, not one you loveโ€ฆfirst post only.)
  • Link back to the person who tagged you (thank them if you feel like it or, if not, curse them with a plague of ladybugs).

Other rules:

  • Cut and paste your old post into a new post or reblog your own bad self. (Either way is fine but NO editing.)
  • Put the hashtag #MyFirstPostRevisited in your title.
  • Tagโ€ฆumโ€ฆtentwotwelve five (5) other bloggers to take up this challenge.
  • Notify your tags in the comment section of their blog (donโ€™t just hope they notice a pingback somewhere in their spam).
  • Feel free to cut and paste the badge to use in your post.
  • Include โ€œthe rulesโ€ in your post.

I was tagged by Joleene Naylor and I won’t tag you unless you want to continue the game – just copy/paste the above on your blog and keep going.

Hello world!

With the years Iโ€™ve become quite fond of my first name (in my childhood I wanted to be called Isabella or Elisabetta, princessesโ€™ names), so Iโ€™ll stick to it because it meansโ€ฆ

Iโ€™ll leave you with this short poem I wrote in a recent writers workshop (Women On Tour Andalusia 31 August 2009):


it means barbarian woman

it is the number 5

it is a mountain lake

it is daydreaming and drawing

it is the memory of Sara

the first true friend

my name is Barbara

it means stranger

in a strange land.


And that’s why I consider my blog started on October 1st and that’s the blogoversary date! ๐Ÿ˜‰ But then, you wanted it, you got it…

Have a great Sunday! ๐Ÿ™‚

Writer Wednesday

Catching up on blog posts, here’s Define Yourself. I define myself writer-publisher. And I feel just like Kris:

I think the first step toward figuring out how to run your writing business in 2016 is the first step most non-writing businesses take in the so-called real world.

Define your business.

Label your job in that business.

My business is publishing. My job is writer. Everything else pales in comparison to my job.

But I have had to learn, over the years, to balance that publishing impulse with the writing impulse.

Sometimes the publishing takes over, and that stresses me.

I did nearly no writing in October, because I finished a story almost a week before my vacation and then I traveled, so spent three full weeks without writing. I missed it. I still have problems starting a story (I had a “false beginning” on the latest, threw away all 1000 words and started from scratch), but once I’ve started, I get quickly to the end.

And I have a list of stories to write before December, when I’ll have to write for next year’s Anthology Workshop, so I better get my shit together and write, right? I fully understand the importance of fiction to entertain and distract from this ugly real world…

Now today is the day that Kaylyn the Sister-in-Darkness goes live! And you already have the paperback available, if you’d rather read on dead tree… Go grab it before I raise the price to 6.99$… after the discount weekend that will see Rajveer the Vampire at 99cents… in the English-speaking markets! I might lower the price on the Indian stores as well… Amazon and Kobo! Apple apparently still can’t sell in India, so no bother there…

Here’s the promo image for the upcoming sale (that includes Rajveer the Vampire):


Still catching up on what happened in the blogosphere in the past month – here’s a writer who thinks very much like me! I could have written this post, if not the book! ๐Ÿ˜‰ And another on historical fiction, which might prompt me to write such a post on historical fantasy when I feel so inclined… alhtough any choice can be controversial when history is involved, but whatever!

Like I said on Dan Alatorre’s blog, I blog because I enjoy it. I don’t know how to post images into comments, so I’ll add here my stats. As you can see the best year for this blog was 2013, for some mysterious reason. For sales, it was actually 2014 when I translated my SFF back into Italian and made a few sales on

stats2016I no longer worry about stats (although I had the happy surprise of seeing that someone “discovered” me on Apple this month and my Kobo sales are increasing after the promos) and just keep writing… and doing online workshops! The latest has just started and hopefully my writing will improve some more – which means I don’t really feel like pushing the older titles anymore! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I guess it’s all about the creative drive: art/comics/whatever – in this case writing. And if you want to improve your graphic design skills, you might want to try Canva, like David Gaughran suggests. I might stick to my old Photoshop for now! ๐Ÿ˜‰

If you’d like to participate in the next Ink Slinger’s anthology, it’s about this Old Man I’ve never heard of (I only know the Old Man of the Mountain who was head of the Assassins in the 12th century, haha)… I shall pass this year, since I don’t have time to explore the 20th century legends… and if he looks like in the photo, he doesn’t make a good-looking vampire, so I’ll spare him to be turned by one of mine! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oh, and if you want a bunch of books on writing and save you the expense of more expensive online or offline workshops, there’s another NaNoBundle at storybundle… go get it before it’s gone… I still have to go through some of the old ones… ๐Ÿ˜‰ There’s also Chuck Wendig’s bundle if you want.

Onward and keep learning! Have a great week and happy reading! ๐Ÿ˜€

Happiness is…


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