Sunday Surprise


#MYFIRSTPOSTREVISITED

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

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 love…first 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.
  • Tag…um…tentwotwelve five (5) other bloggers to take up this challenge.
  • Notify your tags in the comment section of their blog (don’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 “the rules” 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 I’ve become quite fond of my first name (in my childhood I wanted to be called Isabella or Elisabetta, princesses’ names), so I’ll stick to it because it means…

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

Barbara

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! 😉 But then, you wanted it, you got it…

Have a great Sunday! 🙂

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):

unnamed

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! 😉 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 Amazon.it.

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! 😉

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! 😉

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! 😉

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… 😉 There’s also Chuck Wendig’s bundle if you want.

Onward and keep learning! Have a great week and happy reading! 😀

Happiness is…


53

2015 in review


Happy New Year!

This is today’s Random Friday post (I couldn’t be more random than this, LOL!)

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,800 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

There were 231 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 119 MB. That’s about 4 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was June 7th with 79 views. The most popular post that day was Sunday Surprise.

I shall not share the rest, since it shows also things I don’t want to make public.

Excerpt of last year’s review:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,200 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

There were 165 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 103 MB. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was September 28th with 56 views. The most popular post that day was Sunday Surprise.

So, a lot less visitors this year, which I had already gathered from my stats! 😉 Still wondering what you’re looking for here, but I won’t make another poll. You can always drop me a line if you want more of/less of something!

Whishing you all a Wonderful 2016!

Happiness is…


35All the names changed… 5 years later! (except Madison *waves at Madison* and Viv *waves at Viv*) I wouldn’t know who to name this year… but I know you’re out there! 🙂

Random Friday – Giveaway


Since in a few day it will be Da Blogoversary (4 YEARS! That’s eons in blog time! :D), I thought I’d do a giveaway. Simply add a comment with the title of your choice to this post and this post only to win one of my e-books – anyone, from any pen name. You haven’t tried B.G. Hope yet? Try one of her funny body switches, or her contemporary stories. You haven’t tried Silvery Earth or Star Minds? Get one in the world you haven’t yet explored. You’re bilingual? Check the Italian stories! 🙂 Winners will be announced on Wednesday, Oct.2 – after the blogoversary.

I also decided to try the Goodreads Giveaway feature. It is scheduled to open for entries at midnight on Sunday, September 29 and end at midnight on Wednesday, October 2.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Books of the Immortals - Air by Barbara G.Tarn

Books of the Immortals – Air

by Barbara G.Tarn

Giveaway ends October 02, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

I have selected the English-speaking countries (US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) and added India and Italy just because. Well, you readers of this blog should know why. Goodreads users might wonder – although I did tag it as “India/Persia inspired”! 😉

So, we’ll see how this goes… This GR feature is for the POD versions of books, so that’s why I’m giving away only one copy – international shipping might kill me if I give away more! 🙂 I still have a few copies of BoI – Air European Edition that I couldn’t bestow on English-speaking friends in past two years, so let’s hope this will bring in one new fan. One reader at the time, I will reach my 5000 true fans! 🙂

Anyhow, 4 years, yikes! Lots of bloggers went MIA in the meantime. But some are still there, like Shafali, Viv and Joleene… it’s been wonderful sharing the WordPress platform with you ladies! 🙂 Here’s to another 4… hundred years of blogging! 🙂 Have a great weekend! And don’t forget to enter the giveaways! 😉

Happiness is…


61Oh, boy! Serial Central has been dead for so long now… sigh! Anyone wants to start if off again?

Sunday Surprise


Okay, I’m giving up. I’m tired to ask around if anyone wants to be my guest. Or send my interview questions out and never hearing from that person again. So, for the summer, Surprise Sunday is suspended. In September I’ll resume posting writers’ wisdom as monthly feature and maybe post a short story or two (again, as monthly feature), in case anyone is interested. Any aspiring guest can apply for a September (or later) date, though.

Now I’m going back to my writing cave (at least it’s cool) and “delight” you with only a couple of posts per week. I don’t feel I can contribute much else at this time but short weekly updates on writing (Wednesdays) and random facts (if any) on Fridays. And of course will keep wishing you a happy week with the weekly vignette! 🙂

Since I mentioned my hairdresser in my previous post, and I made her so happy when I told her she could do what she wanted, here’s the latest happiness – letting your hairdresser do what she please! 😉 (mm, maybe I should recolor the hair in my Avatar… what do you think?)

138Have a great summer (or winter if you’re down under) break and enjoy your vacations/holidays if you have them! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


Can you tell I’m not at my best? I procrastinated on writing the whole weekend (although I posted only one of the 2 drawings I did – wasn’t happy with the second…) and forgot it’s June and I needed to schedule the Happiness is… posts. And Monday I even worked on the future e-book version, but forgot to check the blog – although I was surprised I didn’t get any WordPress e-mails. I even thought “I should start writing Writer Wednesday”, but then decided to wait for Tuesday. And then at 10pm it hit me – no Monday happiness! ARGH! So I sent it live immediately and started writing this post… *shame* I want my memory back, please! 😦

Anyway, I’m back on Silvery Earth, writing about kick-ass Amazons (Selene is a Huntress – Huntresses hunt rebel men, not animals! ;)) from that old story of mine. Dear beta-readers will soon have more to read, hopefully. It’s kinda long, so I’ll probably use all of June to write it. Next week I’m off DayJob, so I’ll also work on formatting for a couple of titles, so stay tuned.

I even had time to re-read a couple of my novellas and found 4 wandering commas in Death of Amazonia, so Mr Rodent, please download the new version from Smashwords or I’ll never get that Gold Rat for my books (and thank you for not mentioning those typos in your review!). Yep, I removed those 4 commas from inside the word and put them behind it as they were expected to be. Those are usually commas I add later, at the editor’s suggestions, and since I’m in a rush, I tend to position them inside the word they’re supposed to accompany. Ahem, sorry… funny how blog serendipity had someone else talking about commas! 🙂 And what happened to my most abused “comma splice”? 😉

After the summer there will be an anthology of Smashwords authors of SF/F that will be published for free. I plan on sending them two Star Minds Snippets (thank you, Roomie, for helping me choosing which) and hopefully drive readers to the series. I already had in mind to do a loss leader for the series, I guess I’ll join these other indies instead! 🙂 Shortly after the anthology comes out, I should release all the Snippets (one might come out in August, these 2 in September, the rest in October)… By the way, World of Diversity has reviewed Technological Angel – thank you, Sean! 🙂

I’ve also managed to commission an artist on DeviantART: a portrait of Ker-ris – I won’t be able to use it as book cover, but I’ll be very happy to drool over it on my own. And if I eventually set up the Star Minds page  (Facebook or whatever), I’ll have more than just Kol-ian to show off – yes, the technological angel is the protagonist, but only of the first half of the story, since the mind link makes him one with Ker-ris! 🙂

More interesting links: the changing playing field by Kris Rusch. Davig Gaughran on 15 ways Amazon can improve KDP – they have added EFT for all markets and I was able to select Euro on all Kindle Stores (see, I should have framed that check! ;)), but there still are problems here and there. Kindle Singles: I did submit to them.

Hello Barbara,
Thank you for submitting your work for consideration in Kindle Singles.
Your proposal will be reviewed within the next 4 weeks, and you will be notified by e-mail about our decision.
Thanks for your interest in Kindle Singles.

Never heard back. Not even with a rejection. David is probably right, they don’t want fiction in their Kindle Singles (it was B.G. Hope’s Six Months, in case you were wondering). Ah, well, I’ll write a narrative non-fiction about being an indie author in this brand new world of publishing, LOL! And you can laugh at how slow and luddite traditional publishing (and I’m a technophobe…) is with this piece by Kevin J. Anderson – raise your hand if you know what a carbon copy or a floppy diskette are!

Now for more on traditional publishing Stockolm syndrome, hear Judith Tarr – took me some time to find the whole 3 parts together, LOL! And closing with Joe Konrath‘s words of wisdom:

Remember: Selling isn’t making someone buy something they don’t want to buy. It’s about making people aware of something they like and are looking for.

Have a wonderful week and happy writing! 🙂

Random Friday


Mighty Jo awarded me again. I’m copy-pasting what this is all about:

willowdot21 AKA Shaun has started a new award, and  here is what Shaun had to say.

“This is an award for everyone who is part of the “Word Press Family” I start this award on the basis that the WordPress family has taken me in, and showed me love and a caring side only WordPress can. The way people take a second to be nice, to answer a question and not make things a competition amazes me here. I know I have been given many awards, but I wanted to leave my own legacy on here by creating my own award, as many have done before. This represents “Family” we never meet, but are there for us as family. It is my honour to start this award”

wordpress-family-awardRules:

  1. Display the award logo on your blog.
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
  3. Nominate 10 others you see as having an impact on your WordPress experience and family.
  4. Let your 10 Family members know you have awarded them.
  5. That is it. Just please pick 10 people that have taken you as  a friend, and spread the love.

I really like this award, as I love WordPress! Yes, it really feels like a family, so let’s see if I can find 10 other WordPressers to pass this on…

Bollywood Addict

Shafali the caricaturist

Vivienne Tuffnell

Rohan Healy

Laxmi Hariharan

Tricia Kristufek

Miss Kitty Roads

Nora Weston

Madison Woods

Bluetrix Books.

I don’t know about your side of the world, but here the weather is crazy and my health is going up and down like a yo-yo (raise hands whoever knows what a yo-yo is – I guess my younger readers will have no idea, LOL!). I want to sleep but I sleep badly. Mood swings follow the weather – hot and then cold and then hot and then cold. And it’s probably not even an approaching menopause, but a crazy tyroid, which apparently affects 30% of women. Especially women who were alive in 1986, IMHO. Why? Chernobil. Did you really think the radiations would stop at Russia’s borders? No way. The whole of Europe got it. And it’s starting to show.

That’s the sci-fi writer speaking – well, that’s what Kol-ian tells Daniele and Chantal when they come back to Earth in 2002. Those lucky two left in 1982, so they’d probably die if they breathed the air we have now! 😉 Anyhow, I think there’s some truth to the above statement – even if I used it in my fiction. And then we had another nuclear disaster in 2011. So we’re all fucked up – and don’t seem to be able to stop. Like Agent Smith said during the last year of the 20th century, “Human beings are a disease.” And we haven’t learned anything since. I might have skipped Earth’s Day, but it’s because I don’t believe in those silly “days” – we should respect each other and our planet every single day, not only on specific dates. Sigh.

Spent yesterday (Italian holiday) trying that Kindle Comic Creator – interesting. It makes better mobi files, but with SKYBAND I should probably try the panel-by-panel reading, except it seems to put the page and then the single panels. And the parts in prose it can’t detect, so unless I put some kind of frame around them, they’d still be unreadable.

Anyway, I now have a decent mobi file of Fleur de Lys 1, so I might upload that to KDP during the weekend. When I’m not writing Shooting Star (brand new beginning, by the way, and it’s going ways I never expected. I even get to explore S’lyss’s private life as Governor of Gaia! ;)) or revising the body switch that will go out to editors on Monday, that is! 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend and more guests coming in May! 🙂

UPDATE: found this wonderful drawing on DA and thought it was perfect for today’s rambling!

humans_again__by_naolito-d5rnxhw

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