Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote a little over 9K and wrapped the Future Earth Series. Now, during this week and the next, I probably won’t be writing much, since I need to go through all the 5-and-a-half books to make sure they flow… and 10 and 11 won’t get to the proofreader until next week.

The cover reveal event will be on this very blog on Sunday, July 27! There will be giveaways and I’ll introduce you to the new covers for the old titles, as well as the new titles, so mark your calendars (or follow this blog, LOL!)

It’s been fun, and interesting – a new way of writing a series for me, but then, this series is different from the others. It has numbered books for a reason! 😉

I don’t know yet what I’ll write next, but probably I’ll stick to vampires, in the past, possibly, since the two I want to mention don’t survive the apocalypse – well Bran’s first fledgling doesn’t survive the Roman Empire, LOL!

And meanwhile, there’s another anthology out! One again Mighty Zon proved difficult, but we made it! The paperback is not ready yet, but the ebook is live everywhere… Check out More Future Earth and this batch of new stories.

More stories for our future – with less tech, probably, but still life on our planet. Post-apocalypse, dystopia, last men and women usually struggling to survive. Bookstores as treasure troves or abandoned places, factories and cities in various states of disrepair, locations from North America to Europe to Japan, all over our beautiful planet.
The Book Store by Jason A. Adams
The Last Books of Nara by M.L. Buchman
Access All Areas by Fulvio Gatti
Lisa’s Odyssey by Barbara G.Tarn
A Cupboard Full of Seeds by Meyari Mc Farland
The Crossing of the Moons by C.A. Rowland
Imposible by Lesley L. Smith
The Last Maple by Rebecca M. Senese
Alone at the End by Vonnie Winslow Crist
A New Script by Tao Wong

Also, theres a Kobo promo coming up, but it will be on the Publisher’s Page. So if you’re interested only in new titles, you can follow that! 😉

You may have heard of the changes in publishing and the awesome Kickstarter Brandon Sanderson ran. Now there’s even going to be a (paying) Kickstarter Full Workshop to help you start your own campaign. I still can’t do any of it until I’m an employee (don’t ask!), but hopefully at some point I’ll be able to quit and will have a project worthy of a Kickstarter (because at the moment, I really don’t have any).

Another interesting post is Kris Rusch’s Holes in the Economy, and mostly her writerly advice (which I’m following, in case you didn’t notice, LOL!):

We can’t keep track of it all, so we keep track of what we can. All I can do right now is urge you to do a few things:

  1. Have compassion for the people around you—all of them. We’re very stressed out as a world right now.
  2. Write a lot and publish a lot.
  3. Wear a damn mask and stay six feet away from others.

Eventually, this DDoS attack of news and change will ease. It always does. When, none of us knows. We can only trust that we will get through this.

And we will get through it together.

Unfortunately I can’t, at this time, write about fictional heroes dealing with pandemics or economic collapses (in fact the Future Earth Chronicles are well after the actual apocalypse), and I’m looking for humorous stuff both to read and to write. I’ll find something, eventually… but I’m wondering how Urban Fantasy writers are doing in the pandemic – are they adding it to the magic and vampires and werewolves and angels and demons or are they just ignoring it?

Today I want to end with a couple of R.E.M. songs, since I think both apply to me at this time…

and

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote almost 15K, but had to wrap up the last book on Monday (holiday in Rome only). I’m starting to send them to the proofreader so by August they’ll be all shiny and ready to hit the retailers. Cover reveal will be at the end of the month for the whole series.

And welcome to Sci-Fi July! The first title is a collaboration anthology I’m quite proud of. Future Earth Tech features quite diverse stories set in the future of our planet. It’s part of my Curated Anthologies series and it’s available both in ebook and paperback.

The future of our planet and our technology – mind uploads, augmented humans, time travel, solar punk and all the good and bad future technology will bring. Be it post-apocalyptic or futuristic, our future is coming faster than we think.

The stories:
Legacy by David Bruns
Grow Beyond Your Limits by Katharina Gerlach
One Line of Bad Code by Barbara G.Tarn
The Last Woman on Earth by David H. Hendrickson
Scrap me by Stefon Mears
Remembrance by Debbie Mumford
The Quest of Souls by B.A. Paul
Sagan in the Past by Mary Jo Rabe
The Right Resources by Rei Rosenquist
Dancer by Blaze Ward

I enrolled all my books in the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale. Everything 50%off, but no free titles – the 99c titles stay at 99c. I have tried free, and it didn’t bring in any sales, so the cheapest stay cheap, the rest gets the discount. And the couple of new titles won’t be discounted either, feel free to wait for the next sale! 🙂

Mark Coker has brushed off his imaginary crystal ball to predict post-pandemic publishing for indie authors. And if you still feel in shock or survival mode about all this, read Kris Rusch’s post on Shock, Survival, and Forgiveness.

I have dived in Homo Deus for research purposes (and because I’m curious like that, LOL!), but since it was written in 2016, I wanted to know Harari’s stand on the current pandemic. So I found this article – dates back to March, but on the spot. It mentions when the US banned all travel from Europe, and now Europe has banned travel from the still infected US… biting back their fearless (useless) leader a few months later! 🙂

On Monday I forgot my mask when I went out for a walk and ended up NOT having breakfast outside as I normally do. They might have made an exception if I went quickly in and out, since I normally do wear a mask and they know me by now, but I decided not to risk it.

I just walked around the suburb (a green one, in the outskirts of Rome) and had breakfast at home instead. The coffee of the moka machine is less strong than the one I can get out there, but it’s enough to have me going, especially if I don’t have to go to work.

This week I’m working at another branch and must take 2 buses to get there, which isn’t that bad at 7.30am, but when I come out at lunch time it’s baaaaad. Did I mention I hate summer? (for newcomers – every single year of blogging! Hate the summer and can’t stand AC, hence I want to move to a northern country)

Yesterday I broke my glasses at 7.30, glad I don’t really need them for work! And the branch had a blackout, so we started working at 11 instead of 8.30, but whatever… still I took the afternoon off and didn’t go through the latest book. I prepared manuscripts for the upcoming titles, toyed with covers and went to the optician to have my glasses repaired in a couple of hours.

Today I’m going through the last book of Future Earth Chronicles, and tomorrow I’ll probably move to the next project… still not sure if I want to go back to Silvery Earth with more quests or do that project that I shelved back in March. We’ll see. I’ll try not to take the rest of the week off from writing, though! Have a great week! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote another 12K and I hope to wrap this book this week. Already I know I have to change something in the following book, so I’ll have to print them both out and do the adjustments before getting to the last book. A final re-reading of all the books after the Mighty Editor checks for typo faeries and other inconsistencies.

So, my latest drama (while I wait for WordPress to change everything, moan!) is about the Lone Wolves Team. Saturday I went to upload the third and last book, and while checking on the KDP dashboard I realized there was a typo on the cover! Not just on the latest book, but also on the previous 2, because I used the same template and simply changed the mission numbers!

ARGH! You’d think someone at the retailers might have noticed the typo, but nooooooooooooo, not even Apple noticed it via D2D! So last week was the week of redoing covers and adjusting titles, since in a previous Lone Wolves Team book I had mispelled the mission numbers on KDP only, which I noticed when I saw the wrong title on Bookbub. Sigh.

Anyhow, the last Lone Wolves Team book is out! In two weeks the full collection and then a couple more Star Minds Universe titles to get us into July. And since it will be Sci-Fi July again, there might be more things coming your way, even if I’m not going to worldcon (because it’s in New Zealand, not just because of Covid, LOL!).

The latest Happiness is was also on display on my DA profile – before Eclipse. One more reason to give up that site. It’s also one of the last, and like I said sometime last year, this is the last rotation. I’m not taking them offline, but they’ve been cycling for 10 years, so I guess it’s enough. If I make a new vignette, I’ll post it here anyway! 🙂

I might also repost them on Instagram, when the latest strip is over (although it would still be @Barbstrips, since there’s already an Official Happiness Is over there). It’s only 40 strips, and I have some 150 happiness vignettes… so they might become the Sunday Vignette instead of the Sunday Strip! 😀 Meanwhile I’m halfway the Star Minds Kids and Teens over there… and will have to finish coloring and lettering within the next two weeks!

I will definitely try to remind myself there are reasons for happiness in this crazy world of ours. I’m posting a picture of me and some of the awesome non-white people I met in my life, from my school years in international Geneva to my latest travels across the world.

Red, Yellow, Brown and Black. No names, no places, but some of them are still great friends. This batch of pics covers Europe, North America and Asia – haven’t been to Africa or Oceania yet. Love ya all, even the ones I met only online – one day we’ll meet and we’ll laugh at the madness that 2020 was.

I’m sort of glad I didn’t actually start a business yet. And I sure hope that it will be easier to do it after this, even if this overly complicated country. I still plan on retiring/quitting Day Job in a couple of years, so I have time to study what’s going on and what the new normal will be.

I guess I’m meant to live through this “passage” for our planet and civilizations, and I’m almost certain we’ll make it through. Things look rough in the US at the moment, and I hope everything will end well for everyone. Here are 35 Pics Showing The Other Side Of The George Floyd Protests That The Mainstream Media Is Reluctant To Share to bring back hope.

In Italy smart working is killing businesses all over the place, but new ones will grow out of it, if we manage to adapt quickly. Yesterday I was scanning old pics on Agfa films for a cover… who remembers them? What happened to Kodak and Agfa when cameras went digital? We’re highly adaptable people, so I’m sure we’ll get through this.

I enclose a couple of guides for white people to help in this situation. Save the Tears: White Woman’s Guide and White Guyde to the Galaxy (for men). As for the books suggested-reading, I’ll see if I can get some from the provided links (or I might go to the town center and ask the Anglo American Bookshop if they have any)…

Also, if you like sci-fi, here’s a list of 11 Amazing Sci-Fi Books by Black Authors! As for non-fiction and more research, a friend of mine posted this link of articles about Institutionalized Racism: A Syllabus. Fellow author JA Clement said:

For anyone still doubting that this is a huge, longstanding problem and not an issue with a few individuals.

JSTOR is a catalogue of information my university used when I was doing my Masters, so it is a place I trust to be a good, reliable source of history and information that can be used for something to be scrutinised as closely as a dissertation.

If they’re putting educational material together, I’m listening.

Or you can go to Kobo’s Black Lives Matter: A Resource List for more recommended reads. They also have a collection of Kobo originals about life with COVID-19. Here’s their presentation:

Our Kobo Originals team has collaborated with local newspaper West End Phoenix to create a collection of stories by Canadian literary voices, reflecting on COVID-19 life. The first collection is out now, with proceeds going to Community Food Centres Canada and their Good Food Fund specifically set up to assist those in need during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Be sure to check it out!

A couple of posts on trad and indie publishing as well as the sads about the coming new world. And an awesome disabled author speaking out. Because yes, every single life is valid. Let’s preserve it in all it’s colorful, different forms, shall we? 🙂 Have a great week!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote 12K on book 8 and spent Sunday afternoon drawing for a change. Well, the portrait took only 2 hours, but I also had a new Italian title out and covers to tinker with. Now I’m back to writing and hope to wrap up Book 8 by the end of the week, so I can move on to Book 9.

Some publishing news: Cash Flow for Creators is now live. I beta-read it and can vouch for it. It’s clear, fun, and if you’re not sure how to start your writing business, you should give it a try. If you’re not American (like yours tryly) some things might not apply, but at least you’ll learn how to add a business mind to your writer mind and publisher mind. I know, us indie must wear many hats.

Apple Books for Author launches with PC access, so if you ever wanted to go direct to Apple but don’t own a Mac, now you can do it! 🙂 Personally, I’ll stick with D2D for now, I’ll wait to see how this goes. I already have to open another account, probably with Book Funnel, to put out some reader’s magnets, I don’t want to bother learning another retailer interface.

This year I’ll just keep going like I always did, maybe next year I’ll have the energy to do a complete relaunch – more paperbacks, more audiobooks, whatever. At this time I have barely the energy to resume publishing regularly (and yes, next weekend you’ll get another Lone Wolves Team eBook) to the usual suspects.

A good projection on Schrödinger’s Future by the always awesome Kris Rusch, which is another reason why I don’t want to do much yet. Besides, my 10-year-anniversary is next year, so it makes sense that I keep the good stuff for next year. Of course I’ll have to start working on it at the end of the year, but hopefully by then we’ll be less stressed out.

On a happier note, we are now in Phase 2, and some businesses are open again, albeit as takeaway. I was able to have breakfast at a coffee shop and this week I know that if I catch that bus, I’ll find my pizza place open (it used to have tables so you could eat in there, but now, of course, it’s all takeaway), so I won’t have to cook 2 meals per day, yay! 🙂

Monday I was off day job again because there can’t be more than six of us at the office, so I stayed at home doing those online courses (officially) and finishing the cover rebranding of Future Earth Chronicles, even though the launch is still a couple of months away or more.

And for your reading pleasure, my friend Tameri Etherton has a free book out on Amazon – well, free until the 14th, so go get it now! Link is not geotagged, but I’m sure you’ll find your own Amazon store if you’re not in the US (just change the .com with whatever your Amazon store end with, that’s what I did to see it on Amazon IT)! 🙂

She’s just a girl standing in front of dragon asking him to love her. Or, something like that!
Fall in love for free! Snag your copy today! Free until May 14th!

Or, if you prefer epic fantasy, now’s your chance to get all four books in the Song of the Swords epic fantasy series for FREE!
Epic fantasy at its best! Free until May 14th. Snag your copies today! Love fae? Love assassins? Love fae assassins for FREE? Sweet! FREE for a limited time! Get your faerie assassins here free until May 14th! Yes, my good friend Tameri is giving away a lot of books until tomorrow! 🙂 Go get them now! 😀

If you’d like to try Latinx Dark Fiction there’s a new bundle out at StoryBundle, as well as the WriteBundle2020 if you want to work on your craft/business of writing. I know all the authors of the Write Bundle and I can only highly recommend them – they know their stuff! 🙂

Now I’ll be waiting for a couple paperbacks I’ve been wanting to read and hopefully order the new Kindle. Although I still have quite a lot of stuff to read on KK, but well… it’s getting bothersome not being able to check files and having to use Kindle4PC! 😉 Have a great week!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I added another 2K to Books 6 and 7 (mostly Book 7, since it was and still is shorter) and then started on Book 8, that reached 10K by Sunday night. I also worked on the cover rebranding, but I’ll do a “new covers reveal” event closer to the publication of the next books.

It will probably be a Facebook event, either in my group or on my page, we’ll see. Let me know your preference – and if you’re not on Facebook, just say so, and I’ll do the event on this very blog! 🙂 By June the Happiness Is vignettes will end, therefore I’ll reinstate the Sunday Surprise posts, so you’ll have two posts a week still.

And here’s the year ahead… again for indies like me. You may have noticed I resumed my publishing every other week of books I wrote between the end of last year and the beginning of this one… So, another batch of Lone Wolves Team missions is out! Check it out at the usual places! 🙂 Two more coming this month, then in June the final books of the Star Minds Universe.

And the UK has decided to scrap VAT on e-publications! So you’ll pay the price I set up on the retailer, with no VAT added. My titles are usually between 1.99£ and 3.99£ (with a few 99p exceptions). For everybody else, sorry, I’m not the one who decieds on VAT percentages…

This week marks Phase 2 in Italy, so more people are allowed out and more places are opening, still with social distancing andf masks and gloves and all that jazz. I go to work by bus, and from this week it’s every day again, not just Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays like it was since March 12.

Monday morning I took the bus with new labels forbidding to sit too close to each other, so if a bus has 20 seats, you can use only 4 or 5. Which is fine at 7-30am, but definitely more “crowded” at 1pm. There were also more people around and waiting for the bus. And besides surgical masks, we got facial shields for work – which is much better, because you breathe better.

Still, only six people can be present at one time, so some of us will have to either work from home or take other forms of permits. I already used 15 vacation days this year, so thankfully my manager didn’t ask me to miss a day in May! 🙂 It’s sort of going back to normal, except there will still be long lines at supermarkets and now I have only Saturday mornings to go and buy food. Sigh.

I guess that’s all from this side of the world… stay home if you can, stay safe and don’t panic. We shall overcome! Have a great week! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Stories from the Twilight Zone. Foreword by Anne Serling. In my father's final interview he said that he felt his writing was "momentarily adequate." And, when asked what he wanted people to say about him, as a writer, a hundred years from then, he responded, "I don't care that they're not able to quote any single line that I've written. But just that they can say, 'Oh, he was a writer. Thatìs sufficiently an honored position for me.'"

and that’s enough for me as well!

So I wrote. Slowly but steadily working on the current WIP and planning the next book with Google maps and Wikipedia and all that stuff needed when writing in the real world, in places I’ve never been to (and never will, at least in the current case – Africa is too hot for my tastes). 12K last week, and I’m almost done with Book 7 too. Onward to book 8 this week, I guess.

I was thinking I wouldn’t extend the Smashwords sale, but after reading Kris Rusch’s post, I decided to do it at least for Future Earth Chronicles – with 9$ you get 5 ebooks and a complete arc about life after the apocalypse! And since it was either all or nothing, here’s the list of the discounted books again… only on Smashwords, extended to May 31!

And I also have a new title out – the last of the Lone Wolves, Fabio, who almost speaks like his great uncle Daniele, since even though Earth is now part of the Star Nations in this alternate future, he still grew up in Rome and sometimes uses the same words that probably drove text-to-speech and other software crazy in the Trilogy or wherever Daniele was present! 😉

And of course it was already live when I realized I used the wrong background image (the watermarked version, not the actual JPG) on the cover… so one hour on Sunday late afternoon, just before dinner, was spent changing the cover everywhere, including Facebook. You can tell I’m not really myself from the rookie mistakes on the latest two titles! 😉

Next month more Team’s missions… meanwhile, happy reading! I’m currently on those Stories from the Twilight Zone that I mention above, having finished at least one of the bundles I still have on KK.

Another Kickstarter worth backing if you’re a writer – Writing Bundles (and workshops)! I am not ready to launch anything, maybe next year or later, but I’m keeping an eye on projects and will post the links here if I think they might interest you.

A friend of mine has a new ebook out, And Then…: An Assortment of 12 Delectable Tea-time Cookies (link to Amazon.com), a collection of 12 quick-to-read and delightful-to-savor stories in various genres. Also, there’s this new anthology out – no, I’m not in it, but I thought you might enjoy it:

It’s time to turn the “man and his dog wandering through a dystopian world” trope on its head, and tell the stories about cats and their women – their badass women!

CAT LADIES OF THE APOCALYPSE
Available in print and ebook from your favorite online retailers

RE: Covid-19, if you have enough of all this misinformation gone viral, here you have a few fact-checking by an expert trying to stop this. The guys knows his stuff. Feel free to follow all the links he gives. Also, if you wonder why some people are still not staying at home, here’s a research explaining our psychological response to Covid-19.

And here’s some words of wisdom about it all from The Chuck Wendig himself. I guess we’re all broken right now, and even if I’m still writing, it doesn’t mean that I feel good. I’m seeing a lot of things going in the backburner and my expectations are null – I have lost them and don’t see them anywhere around me. I will need some searching to get back on track.

Ending on a ligher mode, if you want to chuckle, check the 13 wildest conspiracy theories of all times, starting from Covid-19 is caused by 5G (debunked above)… But onward we go! Have a great week! 🙂

 

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I ended up writing 17K+, which brought the yearly total to 150K, which means that on week 15 I caught up with the wordcount. To reach my goal of 500K/year I need to write 10K/week with two weeks off… so at the moment, I’m back on track and can still take two weeks off to go somewhere in the second half of the year, if things have settled down. Yay! 🙂

And like I announced on the publisher’s page, the new title is now complete, so I’m posting the cover. Still a short novel, but at least it has flashbacks! 🙂 You can now know a little more about Alex’s past! 🙂

If you write SFF, you know have two options of professional organizations looking out for you. The SFWA that is more traditionally oriented and has the Writer Beware blog, and the IASFA, that is indie-oriented… set up by Craig Martelle of 20BooksTo50K, it’s starting to build up… and it’s free to join! 🙂 I can say I was among the first 15 members, LOL!

A nice post on how to cope right now. Be kind, to yourself and others. Yes, I miss the coffee shop coffee and having lunch with a colleague or three, but we’ll get over it. Yes, it was a lonely Easter time, but I’m sending out tonz of virtual hugs for whoever needs them right now. And yes, I sometimes hold my hand, especially when I go to sleep, just to remind myself I’m still alive and still human.

Also, here’s the truth about introverts. Yes, it’s hard on us too. And yes, I’m lucky I still get to go to work three days a week to get my dose of people. I don’t look forward to when it will be all peopley out there, but I hear ya – introvert or extrovert, we’re all grieving these days.

And if you feel you need help to re-organize your life during lockdown, follow Kris Rusch’s advice. Also, prepare for the ultimate gaslighting – I think it’s going to be all over the world, not just in America. I had wished the world would stop, and now it has stopped, which is more or less fine with me, if the rest of the world wasn’t reacting so badly! 😉

I hope you might consider this: what happened is inexplicably incredible. It’s the greatest gift ever unwrapped. Not the deaths, not the virus, but the Great Pause. It is, in a word, profound. Please don’t recoil from the bright light beaming through the window. I know it hurts your eyes. It hurts mine, too. But the curtain is wide open. What the crisis has given us is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see ourselves and our country in the plainest of views. At no other time, ever in our lives, have we gotten the opportunity to see what would happen if the world simply stopped. Here it is. We’re in it. Stores are closed. Restaurants are empty. Streets and six-lane highways are barren. Even the planet itself is rattling less (true story). And because it is rarer than rare, it has brought to light all of the beautiful and painful truths of how we live. And that feels weird. Really weird. Because it has…never…happened…before.

And, like he says,

From one citizen to another, I beg of you: take a deep breath, ignore the deafening noise, and think deeply about what you want to put back into your life. This is our chance to define a new version of normal, a rare and truly sacred (yes, sacred) opportunity to get rid of the bullshit and to only bring back what works for us, what makes our lives richer, what makes our kids happier, what makes us truly proud.

I finally started using those codes for RakutenTV and… I wasn’t impressed. I watched Sir – the only Indian movie I hadn’t seen that was available (there’s no Bollywood at all in their selection) – and the only options were Hindi (without subtitles) or Italian. So I had to watch the dubbed version (with the silly subtitle “Cinderella in Mumbai”), which wasn’t too bad since I didn’t know any of the actors and what they actually sound like.

Until we got to the part where the two sisters discuss Choti’s future husband. I have no idea why the people adapting this movie for dubbing put in Brad Pitt’s name, jerking me out of the movie in a heartbeat. 1) how can an Indian man look like Brad Pitt? Keanu Reeves is more likely, right? Oh, but nobody knows how to pronounce that, so forget it. 2) I’m watching an Indian movie about a maid who always wear a sari and they talk about a Hollywood celebrity? They might as well have used an Italian actor for Italian watchers… if they really didn’t want to use an Indian star’s name.

I tried to understand what they were saying in the original (probably Marathi, since it didn’t sound like Hindi – she’s from a small village near Mumbai), but the only name I could catch was Rajveer (I think). I mean, I understand trying to adapt (like the subtitles of ZNMD where they translated Manju into Romeo, but it was less jarring than this Brad Pitt thing and I was able to ask about the actual line to Hindi speakers), but this was really off-putting.

Come on, people, give us non-speakers some credit when we watch your movies. We want to watch and understand your culture, not see it whitewashed just in case we don’t get it. Sheesh. Besides that, I think it was a nice, realistic story that showed me something of India. I’m not surprised the movie received so many awards all over the world. I agree with this user’s review completely.

A beautifully thought provoking film!

12 November 2018 | by taherailseahmadSee all my reviews

It is really a film worth watching, the story and characters stay on with you in a fine, beautifully quiet manner even when the film is over! A wonderfully subtle but very definitely thought provoking film with a realistic story line!

Anyhow, I was reminded why I hate dubbed movies. The other three on my list should be English or Italian movies, so I can watch the original without subtitles. And I guess I’ll stick to DVDs whenever available for the time being. Watching on my laptop wasn’t the best experience, and I don’t have a smart TV – don’t want one, I don’t use it enough anyway.

On Sunday (Easter), I rewatched 12 Monkeys – remember when 5billions were supposed to die from an airborne virus back in 1996/1997? Well, we had another twenty years, and there aren’t that many deaths yet, probably will never be (that’s more what happened in my Future Earth Chronicles sometimes in the 21st century, but I will not tell the whole story of the apocalypse, ever – and by the way, last days to get the series half-price on Smashwords).

And that’s all for today… have a great week, stay safe and keep social distancing for a little longer. You can do it! Hugs! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I thought I was going slower because I had to check maps and stuff for my characters’ journey, but ended up with almost 14k and being almost done with this book. My way of coping with all this is obviously hiding in my worlds or our speculative future, trying to forget the current situation! 🙂 The only thing I really can’t do right now is draw. I barely managed to finish inking the Star Minds Kids and Teens strip, but I still need to do a couple of “covers” and then color and letter it all… not to mention I haven’t done another pencil portrait since January! 😦

I have a post on why you should ignore all that Coronavirus-inspired productivity if you don’t feel like it. I’ve been in this state for longer than you were, so don’t get discouraged by the fact that I resumed writing. Italy has been in lockdown for the whole month of March, so I had time to adjust. But I had to put my new trilogy on the back burner because I don’t have the mind to write it now (although during the weekend I went back to my notes because a friend posted something related to it).

It doesn’t mean I’m already on the other side of this shift, mind you, but the depression of the first weeks is gone. I’m still waiting for the new normal to settle in, and we’re not there yet. Maybe after Easter things will slowly re-open on this side of the world, but I guess everybody’s plans are screwed for the rest of the year. I’m not one who goes on vacation during the summer, but my colleagues are all upset about being unable to go to their usual places.

I might be an indoor person myself, but on Saturday I gave up on going to the supermarket because of the long lines. Waiting standing is not good for my back, so I thought I’d try something else. I never go shopping on Sundays because I think supermarket employees deserve a day off too, but I was so desperate that this Sunday I did go and check if it was open.

It was, I had only five people ahead of me (on Saturday I saw the line in the parking lot before even turning the corner of the building…), so I got my stuff (I was running out of coffee for the moka machine I haven’t used in months, but being stuck at home for breakfast I had to resume using it) and went home happy.

So yeah, it’s a really big deal, emotionally tiring, and the spring weather on this side of the world probably doesn’t help. An Italian saying goes “April, sweet sleeping” (which rhymes in the original “Aprile, dolce dormire”) and I can already feel that spring drowsiness.

Last week my brother managed to get to Mom’s and show her how she can do WhatsApp video calls with her tablet – it might be our only way to spend Easter together. My sister finally has got a smartphone, so as soon as she downloads WhatsApp, we’ll add her to the family chat. I’m still quite dumb with the whole videocall thingy, but I’ll learn! 😉

I put a new title out, and when formatting I realized I ended up not putting in flashbacks. And last night I remembered that yes, I did write them, but I totally forgot about them and didn’t send them to the proofreader. So don’t rush to get this title… I will update it as soon as possible. This shows I’m not at my normal efficient self, hope it makes you feel better! 🙂 The last Star Minds Lone Wolves book will come out in two weeks, then we’re off to the Team’s adventures for another three titles.

And I got word from the curator that the Immortals bundle is on sale! Check it out! My “immortal” is Kaylyn, Rajveer’s sister-in-darkness, a 12th century Anglo-Norman lady… through the centuries!

In spite of many authors offering books with discounts or free (like the Smashwords sale – check out this friend of mine, everything 60% off of free – or this other friend of mine who has put her short stories at 99c), there’s still someone who wants to profit from this. Writer Beware on Copyright Violation Redux – The Internet Archives National Emergency Library.

I didn’t check if they have my books, but I suspect that my lack of sales is because of pirate sites – sometimes they pop up in my Google Alert. Sigh. When people will be willing to pay for their entertainment, it will be a nice new world where I’ll love to live in. Maybe when this is over.

Oh, and our fearless curator (of the above bundle) has put out a new title as well. Check out Here Be Brave New Worlds, that includes Brainwaves (Future Earth Chronicles Book 1) – to which I remind that the rest of the series is half-price in the Smashwords sale

To end on a brighter note, a friend on Facebook posted the usual stupid meme “Whatever song was #1 on your 12th birthday is the official theme for your quarantine” and I want to share my official theme with you. I was living in Geneva at the time, so it’s going to be a French song.

“L’oiseau et l’enfant” (“The Bird and the Child”) was the winning song in the Eurovision Song Contest 1977 performed in French by Marie Myriam, who represented France. I still own the 45 – yep, still plenty of vinyl records and audio tapes in this house! 😀

Here you have the video (karaoke version), I think it’s quite good for these times, and I wish you a wonderful week! 🙂

 

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Image may contain: possible text that says '"And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and and exercised, and made art, and played and of listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met shadows. And the people began to think differently. "And the people healed. And, in the absence of people in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, heartless to when danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed images, and created new ways to live and heal earth fully, as they had been healed." O'Meara'

Sooo, it’s a pandemic. It won’t kill 2/3 of the world population like in my Future Earth Chronicles, but then, the unnamed pandemic of that series was only one aspect of the apocalypse. And if you’d like to read how life goes on after the apocalypse, check it out, book 1 is at 99c! 😉

What scares me is not so much the coronavirus flu but people’s behavior. As an introvert, I don’t mind staying at home, and this is probably the closest I’ll ever be to live the hermit’s life. But I miss being able to walk around. You need a permit to be out and about at this time in Italy, and until the lockdown is over.

I have a permit to go to work Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays (because Dayjob can’t shut down – yet), and another for when I need to go to the supermarket or the pharmacy or other urgent matters. I doubt going to the post office to get my parcels counts. I hope they’ll keep my Amazon purchases until this emergency is over.

Does this affect me as a writer? Kind of. The world finally stopped and everybody else’s feelings overwhelm me. I still wish I could move to a co-housing in a cold place, away from the current life and responsibility, except of course now it’s even harder than before. Writing helps, but…

Griffyndiggory wrote on Tumblr (it’s a photo, so he might have taken it from somewhere else): “My problem isn’t that my favorite characters aren’t real; it’s that I’m not fictional. I don’t want them to be real. What I desperately wish is that I could be fictional with them. It’s not that I want them here with me in this mundane and ordinary world; it’s that I want to join them in their extraordinary one.”

Yeah, coming out of those stories into the current world really sucks. But last week I managed to wrap up all the projects, and now seems a good time to go back to those Future Earth Chronicles. I still have five books to write, although they deal with secondary characters from the first five. That first arc is concluded. I wrote 11K+, bringing my yearly total so far to 95K. Might still be a little behind, but I will catch up, eventually.

me, ready to start writing FEC Book 6!

So, since you might end up locked at home like I am, no matter where you live, try to grab some books. And my British friends stay safe, since your leader believes in “natural selection” – we shall overcome! 🙂 You can get some advice from Chuck Wendig on working from home, or you can just chill with your family and watch Netflix.

Here’s how you can use your time in isolation to learn everything you wanted to. Museums and other public places now closed give virtual tours. Social distancing is not a bad thing, and yeah, it sucks to stay in in spring (northern emisphere), but again, it’s only for a few months, not the rest of your life.

I’m currently reading another bundle, the Might Have Been and trudging through Kristine Grayson’s trilogy. I managed to charge KK while I wait for the substitute, so hopefully it won’t die on me before I manage to get to the post office and grab the new one.

Oh, and the Cave Creek Kickstarter? There’s already a short story for backers, but I had to put it in a temporary folder, since I can’t put it on KK. I could read it with Kindle4PC, but I really prefer the e-ink of the normal Kindle (although the All-new Kindle – Now with a Built-in Front Light that I hope to never use, unless it’s different from what I’m thinking. I’ll know when I get mine).

Aaand there’s a new course on teachable, it’s free, so go check it. Kickstarter Best Practices for Writers is up and ongoing. I’m probably going to watch it while I pretend to study from home for DayJob… Not sure when I’ll be able to actually do it, but meanwhile I’ll start checking it!

Some writerly links: how Lawrence Block went indie because of traditional publishing stupidity. And a BBCArts article on book covers clichés – pity I don’t write in any of those genrse, but yeah, I should write my author name bigger! 😀

Author/journalist Damien Walter is running a brand new free daily open writing class. And if you want tips for writing marathons, check this article by my friend Leah Cutter!

Let’s not forget it’s Infinite Bard time again… go read the latest story and have a great week! 🙂

 

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote less than 9K again, but I had trouble with one story (I gave it up) and went very slowly with the rest. I’m trying to wrap up the Star Minds Universe, but some stories are not meant to be written at this time. I have finished writing the strip “Star Minds Kids and Teens”, though, but I still need to draw some strips. And do the prose version as well.

And we now have new covers on the contemporary titles, aaaand! A brand new title! Yes, some of the stories were already in Relationships, but there’s a new short story and the novella of the title, for which I thank Barbara “Abby” Palmer and Victoria “Tori” Zigler, without whom it would have never left my hard drive! 🙂

I did mention more Kickstarters and things to support, right? Well, check out this Cave Creek Kickstarter. I might be in those anthologies, if things go well, if not, it’s still a cool new world to discover. And it’s funded, so lots of goodies coming our way… I hear there are free stories along with the other free stuff! The first stretch goal is reached, let’s aim for the second! 😀

There’s also this friend of mine who launched a Kickstarter to fund his audiobooks. That”s something I might do too in the future, so I urge you to check it out! 🙂

And hey, psst… there’s an excerpt of my story, Olympia Nights, on Patreon… I know, you must be a patron to see it, but well… I thought I’d mention it anyway! You can see how it begins! 😉 I’ll also be interviewed on there, so stay tuned…

Disruption by Kris Rusch on how to deal with what’s going on this year. And more disruption with the sale of Simon&Schuster. Yeah, I know, shaky ground. But we’ll survive. And since we’re all more or less grounded, we should catch up on some reading or watching stuff.

As you might know by now, Italy is on lock down. I had to print out a declaration on where I work, in case they stop me and ask me wny I’m out and about. Snort.

Buses are empty and I won’t go to the supermarket until Saturday, but apparently people are panicking and stockpiling on toilet paper…

I can’t go to the cinema, because they’re off-limits, but I have a few codes for RakutenTV, so I might watch a couple of things on my computer soon.

I have finished the book on Medieval Africa, but I’ve been busy checking old Star Minds Universe novels to complete the series… and I’ve put a new Kindle in my Amazon shopping cart, although I’ll probably manage to finish reading the bundles I have on KK before it completely dies on me. I mean, it does charge, I just don’t have access to it anymore.

So, since I had to buy a couple of books for research purpose, I thought I might as well get a new Kindle. I could have stolen Mom’s unused Kobo eReader, but I never really understood how it worked, and could never see the books on it even if I attached it to my laptop with a USB cable. That’s what I can no longer do with KK, cause it’s invisible to laptop. Sigh.

So for the new title, I checked it looked all right on my Kindle 4PC app only. Just like I check ePubs on Adobe Digital Editions. Worse for my eyes, but still works.

The stuff will arrive at the end of the month – maybe, since COVID-19 is slowing down evev Amazon.

It almost feels like the Holidays, when everybody is busy with family business, to me. And of course I’m happy there aren’t many people around, since I’m so crowd-averse! 😀

I keep going to work by bus and I’m not particularly worried. This too shall pass.

Meanwhile, happy reading, writing, watching entertainment and have a great week! 🙂

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