Random Friday


And in a bout of total randomness, I give you Da Muse Friday πŸ™‚ This week’s Google Alerts were particularly inspiring – although there are still a few inaccessible sites because of the darn GDPR (did l mention it sucks? πŸ˜‰ ).

So, he’s on vacation with his kids, busy climbing mountains and doing road trips… And coming to Rome! πŸ˜€

When in Rome… next time do call Barb! But avoid the summer, I know you don’t care about the heat, but l do!

Although I didn’t even go looking for Da Other Muse when he came to shoot John Wick Chapter 2 – and it was February!

So who am I kidding, not going Muse-hunting anytime soon! πŸ˜‰

Then there’s this American Youtuber dancing Bollywood songs in Manhattan… Sorry, Q Park, you are no match for Mr. A! πŸ™‚

Not even Da Muse himself can do it like he did it in 2006 anymore, sigh! Anyhow, here’s some real Bollywood in all its glory only for you! πŸ™‚

I don’t have any new drawings to show, but you can always check the gallery… Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

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Random Friday


Since I don’t really recommend non-fiction books, especially if they’re not books on writing or publishing, I thought I’d talk about it here. It was part of my research for the vampire novel, since I’ve never been to Mumbai. Bollywood Boy by Justine Hardy was an entertaining experience on her year-long attempts to interview Da Muse the year of his debut. So we’re talking about 2000 and 2001 Bollywood “gossip” that read 18 years later is sometimes funny.

What amused me was that they wanted to pair him with Aishwarya Rai from the beginning – it took them until 2006 to actually get in a movie together and there was even a very famous liplock that, when interviewed at the beginning of 2001, he didn’t seem ready to deliver…

Dhoom 2 – best kiss award 2006 (according to Barb)

He was definitely a shy guy carried away by his own sudden success, with impostor syndrome regarding his dancing skills! He had a long way to go before becoming the Greek God, LOL! Anyhow, it was BEFORE – for me there’s “before Dhoom 2” and “after Dhoom 2” that came after a year hiatus and he’s the best villain that ever was – but I needed to read that book to get a feel of what it was like in the early 2000s in Mumbai.

It was a pleasant read, like reading Mrs Funnybones, but from a European point of view – and since my protag is European and living in India, I did need the different view, right? I might have chuckled slightly less, Twinkle Khanna is probably funnier, but it was entertaining and interesting anyway.

And then on Saturday I did a drawing – call it Da Muse or call it Rajveer the vampire in 2005… After 2 failed attempts I was very happy to finish a drawing! πŸ˜‰ So this is Rajveer who will soon discover he has a very famous lookalike… in the coming book! πŸ˜€

That’s all for today… have a great weekend! (for me it’s a long one, since June 29th is a holiday only in Rome!) πŸ™‚

Random Friday


I’m sure I already mentioned in this blog that I started writing because of Brunella Gasperini. I read her books in my teens and they are still my favorites. Whether it’s fiction or pseudo-memoir, I could reread them forever – although they’re now very dusty paperbacks that make me sneeze.

But they still make me laugh and cry and wish I could have met her before she passed away. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. I am happy to announce that I’ve found a substitute – sort of. Unfortunately she’s not as prolific, but then, she’s younger and she’s not a writer/journalist by trade! πŸ˜‰

I read Twinkle Khanna’s Mrs. Funnybones to get back to India with my mind, and she has the same kind of humor than Brunella. I haven’t cried on her stories yet, but then, she only wrote two books. And I got both in paperbacks since they were cheaper than the e-books (besides her fiction title didn’t come out in e-book, but I had read the Kindle sample of Mrs. Funnybones).

I read The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad last year, but kept her column for when I needed to get a feel of Mumbai that I haven’t visited yet. And the paperback of Mrs. Funnybones, with its illustrations by Kruttika Susarla, reminds me a lot of Brunella’s pocket editions with sketches! πŸ™‚

I had a good laugh (which was very nice after half an hour spent fighting with Laptop, LOL!) and enjoyed every word – including the mention to her unnamed neighbor fitness freak (a.k.a. Da Muse) who takes only a couple of pages out of 240. And I could exactly picture the Man of the House and hear his voice when he spoke, LOL!

By the way, Mrs Khanna, if you’d like to read a couple of sci-fi stories now that the baby has grown up a little and you may have a little more free time (the book is from 2015), drop me a line and I’ll send you a sneak preview of the Lone Wolves Team… πŸ˜‰

Now I only have to read the two books on the aforementioned Bollywood Hero a.k.a. Da Muse, but they’re definitely not as entertaining as Mrs. Funnybones… Have a great weekend, everyone! πŸ˜€

 

Happiness is…


Random Friday


One more Movie Friday… and there might be a third, since I got the last DVD. Hopefully I’ll watch it sometime this weekend (tonight if I manage to finish Current Novel Part 2). So, in order of watching them…

I’ll have to rewatch the sequel with the first one, but I think the second is okay too. Mostly because they put back in my favorite songs of the first, LOL! Anyhow, I’m talking about Rock On 2, with the dead guy in the dream sequence only and the guitar player with the worst haircut evah! Moustache in the first, bad haircut in the second… my my, Arjun, can’t you do better? Not your fault, I know! πŸ˜€

Farhan is always Farhan, and I was glad to see Shraddha Kapoor again (after ABCD2 – she must be subscribed to #2 in series). And now I’m singing Rock On and Sinbad the Sailor in a loop. Heh. I liked the first song of the final mega-show in Rock On 2, so there you go:

Now, Exposed… kinda lacks a closure for both characters, but whatever… Did I mention last time that I hate the Italian title? I wish IMBD stopped showing me the translations. Or I should stick to Bollywood that almost never gets dubbed (at least not the Greek God, mwhahahahahaha). Anyway, it was okay. Not going to rewatch it until I learn it by heart like I did with other movies, but okay.

Now getting ready for the weekend… have a nice one! πŸ™‚

Random Friday


So it was Da Muse’s B-day and I did his portrait while brainstorming the current story (although he’s not in it – looking forward to the programmed novels where he is one of the main characters). Read: one afternoon without writing, but I caught up the next day.

In December I managed to rewatch Kaabil on DVD and still quite love it because in spite of the very short haircut (meh) he’s clean-shaven and not too pumped up (yay).Β  And he plays the blind guy very well.

Then on New Year’s Eve, I waited for midnight rewatching Mohenjo Daro alone (I had watched it the first time at B-Abby’s but she’s moved back to the US since, so no more Bollyafternoons, sigh!) and then editing Soul Thieves since the movie finished at 11.30.

I still don’t like the last word because, even if my geography and history of the time suck, I do know that Mohenjo Daro and Harappa were in the Indus Valley, so the “new” river cannot be called Ganga – completely different river that flows to the bay of Bengal, not the Arabian Sea. Unless there are two Ganga in India, and I’m not aware of it, of course! πŸ™‚

Speaking of movie controversies, it seems Padmavat will come out (without the “i”) but not in the UK (can’t blame them). So I’ll have to wait for the DVD. Methink I’ll go on Amazon and order all the titles I missed later in the year. It’s kind of a relief, because Padmavat will release in India when I go to London with Dear Nephew and Techie Bro, so I won’t have to dump them to go watch a movie! πŸ™‚

Creative weekend ahead and hopefully the second cover done… Have a great one! πŸ™‚

Random Friday


Last Friday I had a guest – and a cough, which made it hard to talk. Besides, she likes Bollywood movies (although she’d watch forever Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and wouldn’t try any other), so I suggested we watch a movie after dinner to spare my throat. And it was Joker time! I saw the trailer in theaters back in 2012 and was glad to finally see this demented comedy about aliens and crazies.

I like Akki when he does comedies. Of course my suspension of disbelief was slightly challenged when I saw the FBI sending troops in India (I thought that was an internal bureau… ;p), but I attributed it to the crazy screenplay and absurd story, so it was okay… lots of fun and lots of nice songs.

Staying in that country but moving to books, The Missus of the above, Twinkle Khanna (a.k.a. Da Muse’s neighbors) wrote a book of stories. Fiction, a collection. I bought the paperback because it was cheaper than the Kindle version (ahem, traditional publishers…) and got to reading it during the week.

I must say that the dialogs felt a lot like a Bollywood movie, which makes me wonder if some other Westerner who isn’t as obsessed as I am would appreciate it. Anyhow, it’s a cute little book, and since I read it immediately after another Indian author, I could see a pattern in their storytelling.

The other book was a Kindle version (hello, indie authors!), and it was set in Ancient Egypt, not India, but still the storytelling felt similar. Of course it’s two completely different collections with completely different topics (and you can now pre-order volume 2) and what I loved about this one was the little historical notes at the end of each story – a very nice touch for an ignorant of Ancient History like myself. It gave depth and meaning to the story I had just read.

Now I hope to have one of the two ladies over at this very blog soon, I shall let you guess which one will grace us…

Last night, since I was done with Saif’s story and was bored with checking the proofreader’s job on the Star Minds stories, I decided I’d rather watch a movie… it had been sitting on my ToWatch shelve for a couple of months, so it was high time! It was Star Trek: Beyond – last movie with Anton Yelchin and tribute to Leonard Nimoy.

A nice addition to the reboot, I particularly liked the warrior Jaylah and hope she’ll be back in the next movies. For the rest, it was the five-year mission stretched to movie length with 21st century special effects and Dubai instead of cardboard sets! πŸ˜‰ I don’t mind the reboot, even though some things of the original will never be repeated…

Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

Random Friday


Rest of the trip! When the workshop was over, I got back to reading the novel I had to drop in January. Fortunately I had reached the end of Book 1 by then, so starting Book 2 was okay. Except one night I was thankfully kicked out of the book by a mistake that wasn’t caught by the author(s) or the editor(s)…

This is Ocean: The Ocean Cycle Omnibus and since it’s a bestselling author, I don’t think I’ll ruin his reputation if I comment on this (besides Goodreaders seemt to be quite divided about it all, haha!). So at one point there is a discussion about ancient sea divinities by a so-called expert (the character) who totally mixes up Greek and Roman names.

Here’s the complete list thanks to Encyclopedia Mythica. In the book, Poseidon and Aphrodite are the Roman names and Neptune and Venus the Greek ones… Gee… I’m glad I overdosed with both Greek and Roman myths in childhood (one more reason to hate what they did in Troy, I know enough of the Iliad and Odissey to know they completely f…ed up – beside using a gorgeous 40-year-old instead of a 20-year-old. Achilles died young, as was often the case back then! Me and my friend were the only one laughing in the movie theater, though. Sigh.)!

So, unless it was meant to be a joke, here’s a good way of throwing your reader out of your story… I got back into it, but the second book is getting weirder and weirder. I will finish it, but it’s not on my recommended list! πŸ˜‰ I might even quit at some point, since I bought books during the trip and the TBR pile is now enhanced with more dead trees…

Then there were the movies. Not during the trips, not until I got to Long Island, when I saw John Wick: Chapter 2 with my friend. Glad it was still in theaters. And glad to see it NOT dubbed (and wondering what a mess they might have done for this country’s distribution – probably missed all the bilingual dialogs!). I guess for a chapter 2 it’s almost as good as chapter 1. Maybe even better. Still have to think about that. And of course, it opens the way to chapter 3…

Anyhow, both me and my friend were happy because we recognized most of the places where it was shot (New York and Rome). I’m glad Riccardo Scamarcio dared to be the bad guy, although my Italian friend who likes him might not think so. But then, my favorite Hrithik’s role is still Aryan, the villain of Dhoom 2, so…

On the way back I watched Gayal Once Again on the Alitalia flight, but I must admit it took me some time to figure out the story. They all looked the same to me! Nobody was good-looking enough for my tastes and there was only one song – had it been cut? since I could not sleep I also re-watched Something’s Gotta Give – only certain scenes since I had broken my headphones during the flight and didn’t want to ask for a third one (the first I was given was faulty). You can guess which ones (Julian Mercer is Keanu at his best looking, LOL! Pity he’s only a secondary character)…

I enjoyed visiting Boston, although it was a rainy and gloomy day, so I’ll have to go back eventually. My friends were all were kind and I hope to do it again in the future. Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

Random Friday


Movies time. Caramel was on my to-watch list in 2007 when it came out, but eventually I decided to pass. Then I saw it at 3/5Β£ in London and saw it was from Nadine Labaki, so I bought it. Now, I personally don’t go to beauty salons or even wax myself (and certainly not with caramel, LOL!), but it was interesting to see the stories of those Lebanese women. I probably wouldn’t have liked it this much 10 years ago, but now it’s part of my World’s Movies collection.

I seem to favor female directors, although Nadine Labaki is the only one who also acts in her movies (at least in the two I’ve seen). I started in the 1990s with Mira Nair, then early 2000s with Nancy Meyers (whom I even saw at some screenwriting event and wanted to shake her hand for What Women Want, The Holiday and Something Gotta Give) and Gurinder Chadha (Bend it like Beckam, Bride and Prejudice), then 1970s daughters Zoya Akhtar (Luck by Chance, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Dil Dhadakne Do) and Nadine Labaki.

In March I have another Gurinder Chadha and another Mira Nair in the to-watch pile, along with other world’s movies (but I haven’t checked the directors of those). In the meantime I rewatched Where do we go now and I shall leave you with the neat song from this Lebanese-but-Bollywood-inspired movie. Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

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