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”


  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!


Random Friday

So, it’s official, even WordPress says so: 200followersI won’t repost the poll for the late-comers, if you want, just scroll down and vote. Sunday I will reveal what you’ll get. And because it’s a Surprise, I’m not saying more at this time – I already spoiled half of it! 😉 But maybe you were wondering when I’d post something about that poll, so now you know, tune back on Sunday.

By the way, thanks to the old and new visitors, March had as many visits as January (February had slightly less, due to the shorter month). Thank you for stopping by. Or subscribing to this blog. For whatever reason brings you.

If you’re on Goodreads, you might be panicking right now, because of the Amazon/Goodreads deal. I know at least 3 of my GR groups are fretting about the changes this would bring to GR and whatnot. I think it’s early to panic. Like David Gaughran said, Amazon bought Shelfari and IMDB and didn’t really change them. Even Hugh Howey thinks it’s a good thing for both readers and writers.

Personally, I use Goodreads more as a reader (even if I’m a GR Author and Librarian), and sometimes I do reviews on GR and not anywhere else, because GR allows you to edit your review, while Smashwords (for example) doesn’t. So especially if it’s an indie author (again, if I can give him/her at least 3 stars, otherwise I won’t add it to my books) I might review it only on GR, so I can revise my review if the author uploads a new version of his e-book.

As for Amazon, it has 9 different sites that don’t seem to talk to each other, so unless I’m sure the author is American and would love a review on Amazon.com, I won’t bother. I try to review everything I buy on Smashwords because there’s that friendly reminder to leave a review – but again, if I feel I want to be able to change my review, I won’t do it and ignore the prompt.

And for whoever wonders what’s Apple doing while Amazon buys Goodreads… well, it’s teaming with DeviantART. First the musicians, now the artists… Apple is gobbling another kind of creative people. The Zon wants books, Apple gets everything else! We’ll see if that feature really works. At the moment I have uploaded Fleur de Lys 1, but only on DriveThruComics as usual, as I didn’t like the preview on KDP, so I gave up trying to put it on other sites. But I do want to expand my comics distribution, so I’ll keep an eye on DA/Madfire Motion Books (whatever that means).

Some fun with vintage social networking, which incidentally goes very well with Joe Konrath’s post about Obsolete Anonymous! 🙂 I must admit I still have lots of those vintage social networking and obsolete anonymous (namely, LPs, 45s, CDs and even VHS I can’t watch because the VCR is broken, LOL!)… but then, I’m a known technophobe and luddite for many things! 😀 Handwriting anyone? Why do schools still bother to teach children handwriting when they’ll move to keyboards and touch screens as soon as they can? 😉

Oh, and if you’re a lonely artist looking for your soul mate (I’m not, I like being lonely – but then, I’m mostly a writer and a lone wolf, haha), you can now join DeviantHeart… I wish they did a matching site for writers/artists, not soulmates. Although I’m tired to fight with artists who first say they want to work with me and then change their minds. I’m only a half-artist, so how can I understand them? Sigh…

Surprise Sunday

… and it’s a blog award! With special thanks to Rohan7things who passed me the Best Moment Award! Thank you, Rohan (and BTW, if you’d like to do a guest post… you’re very welcome! It would be an interesting change of perspective! ;))!

No rules except passing it on, so here’s a list of bloggers… no, wait, I’ve already done that. Okay, you, yes, you who are reading this and would like to have this shiny award on your blog: just grab it, paste it and pass it on! I could nominate, but some people don’t accept awards, or they already have it, others never pass them on, so… no names. If you want it, grab it and have fun! And thanks for stopping by! 😉

I didn’t go to Deepcon (as you might have guessed), so not much else to say. Gotta go back to those writing projects – the Italian stories that always take me back down memory lane because they’ve been written in the late 1980s early 1990s so sometimes I wonder if and how I changed. And I don’t mean physically (I didn’t, except now I color my hair – my former classmates think I hybernated for 20 years to stay as I am. Which I probably did, but don’t tell them!).

Those were stories written in my early twenties, and yeah, I guess I changed a lot since. Not my writing style, though! 😉 Pity Italians don’t read, I’m sure they’d enjoy those stories. And no, I’m not translating them because they’re too set in Italy in the last years of the 20th century – “period piece” they’d call it in Hollywood. I doubt anyone is interested anyway. And too many things would get lost in translation (that’s my main objection)! 😉

Okay, as this blog has almost 200 followers – would you like me to do a giveaway? Post a free piece of fiction? Celebrate? Just forget about it? Vote in the poll and let me know, thank you! 🙂

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Writer Wednesday

Ever heard the 10.000-hours-practice theory and the “write 1million words of crap before getting better“? Just out of curiosity I decided to try to calculate how many words I’ve written in English (since 2001) – it’s impossible to calculate how many in Italian because most of them are still handwritten on notebooks, but you can easily guess that what I did in 25 years is surely more than what I could do in 12. So I added the wordcount of the books I’ve published on Smashwords (easy because they’re all on one page and the wordcount is there – I didn’t count short stories that are included in anthologies and the “double bill” are included once. And I rounded the numbers and excluded the Italian titles.), the screenplays (not all, I’m afraid the first are lost to some hard disk misfunction and I didn’t bother check my back-up disks) and the blog posts (because that’s still writing, folks!).

Being math challenged I had to use a calculator, anyway, here’s what I came up with: Smashwords grand total 983000 words (so that’s already close to the million – and I started publishing in 2011, 10 years after I started writing in English); screenplays: 133300 words (yep, they’re shorter. I stopped writing them because I’m a control freak! ;)); blog posts – I considered 500 words a day posted daily for 27 months (Oct.2009-Dec.2011) + 1000 words Wed-Fri-Sun for 15 months (Jan.2012-Feb.2013): 640000 words. Grand total is 1.756.300 (I repeat, I’m math challenged to the point that I might have copied the results wrong…).

184016_374972345950379_1729160513_nWriting is a muscle, if you don’t excercise it – and do it starting small, again habit vs motivation – you won’t get better. You’ll always have writer’s block or won’t know what to write next. I don’t know what writer’s block is. For me it’s such an ingrained habit, I’ve just started to actually counting how many words I produce. Like for the body switch I know I wrote 21000 words in 8 days. I might not earn my living yet, but I’m definitely a writer, not an author.

And the writer finally managed to publish another title (that’s because the previous ones were in Italian, that’s why I didn’t announce them here, but I usually publish something every other week)! 🙂 Ladies and gentlemen, The Death of Queen Amazonia is finally live on Smashwords, Kindle and Kobo! And here’s the final cover for your eyes only.

QueenAmazonia_resizeThe Kindle version unfortunately doesn’t have the internal illustration of Smeraldo and Kyrio I already uploaded on this blog, but the Smashwords and Kobo files have it. I’m so happy My Books on Kindle are all Smashwords files! 😉 On XinXii and DriveThruFiction, the mobi file has no inside picture, but the PDF and e-pub do.

I’ll leave you with the usual writerly links. Krish Rusch on the death of publishing – or not. About Ang Lee and the uncertainty of success – something we can all relate to! 🙂

Aaand – last but not least – it’s Smashwords Ebook Week again, so check the great deals from Unicorn Productions! Some titles have gone free, the rest is 50% off (including the new release) – only until Sunday! 🙂

And I’m not the only one doing the sale – check Mighty Joleene Naylor’s sale and if you’re an adult looking for a vampire story, don’t miss her Amaranthine series that starts with Shades of Gray which has nothing to do with 50… and it’s free for the week! 😉

Or, if you’d like to try some gay erotic fantasy (paranormal with demons from what I could gather from his blog), try Ciaran Dwinvyl. He’s already on my wishlist, but I might just grab the opportunity and get his books with 50%off…

Look for more e-book deals on Smashwords… Have a wonderful week!

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