Writer Wednesday

And as usual when I’m in between projects, I wrote less than what I was supposed to write last week, but now I’m well into the novel and hopefully I should churn out those 40-50K quickly enough to write another short story before the end of the month. I still have one on submission, and before I start sending out the new ones, I want to see if that one sells.

Also, I’m done reading my friend’s stories (he did it! 30 stories in 30 days! Yay!), so I hope to have more time to read other stuff – besides the research reading, that is. I may try to catch up on those bundles, some of which are no longer available… by the way, during the creative weekend I had time to make a bundle trailer for Thieves, go check it! πŸ™‚

Translated from an Italian article: “Today we shouldn’t look at Amazon as just the biggest e-commerce in the world, but like a real search engine. Once upon a time it mattered to rank high on Google, today the aim for authors, entrepreneurs and businesses is to rank high on Amazon because with more that six hundred millions of registered users with a credit card, it’s theΒ  most powerful search engine of theΒ  world.”

And still, for authors, Amazon has a lot of problems. Book stuffing, clickfarms and all that stuff David Gaughran keeps warning us about. And speaking of warnings, only you can kill your writing.

And thank you for NOT liking my Friday post, either you’re NOT writers, you’re indies like me (good people) or you’re as deaf as the young author I tried to warn through private message on Facebook. Doesn’t matter to me, I’m not going the agent way, but if you get bitten, I’ll shake my head and say “Told you so.”

Anyhow, you have Dean’s opinion on the agents scandal and the many deaths of a fiction writer. I haven’t experienced any of those yet, but never say never! πŸ˜‰ That’s why I haven’t quit the darn day job yet and I don’t want Mr Writing to be the sole source of income in this household.

So while I celebrate our 40 years together, I’m still looking for alternatives. After I get rid of some stuff, either through eBay or Etsy, I need to find something else, be it translations or maybe book covers or book trailers. Although even for the latter I use Windows Movie Maker, and all the pros would say it sucks. Sorry, not moving to Mac either, I have enough trouble with the various Windows versions and some Linux.

The latest creative weekend brought back a friend who started commenting on my Trust tablet (the cheapest on the market, miles away from a Cintiq or any other kind of tablets for digital painting) and which Photoshop I use and if I can use masks (yes, he taught me, LOL!) – I do not need to upgrade those, since my digital painting abilities will always be limited and I’m sure I can do photomanipulation even with an old Photoshop 7.0 – opening the layered PSDs with Photoshop Elements 11 that is newer.

So yeah, lots of pondering to do besides writing. And I really don’t want to go through another burn out for rewriting hell, so I’ll just keep going. Now I better go back to writing! Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Random Friday

Let’s make it Art Friday!


Like I say on DeviantART, this should have been a cover. I did it and brainstormed the story, but then ended up not using it (I have a better painting by someone else) and will probably describe the characters differently anyway. Or maybe I’ll write their story too. Or maybe it was just practice.

It did help brainstorming the next story while coloring it! πŸ˜‰ But now I’ll have to improvise and the guys in the story probably will not look like this. And it’s another light Star Minds Interregnum story, then I’ll probably write another dark one – again, to alternate, haha!

All these stories are short enough to submit them to traditional markets, so don’t expect any of them before 2017. I might not submit them all, but some definitely! πŸ˜‰ I still have 3 Quests books and 2 Vampires Through the Centuries stories to publish along with a couple (make it 4) more collections, so I’m covered until December.

Rambling too much, so here’s to the end of Art Friday – refers to that story that made me cry when I wrote it.

crying4blogAnd to end on a colorful note: DeviantART’s birthday celebrated.


Last but not least – The horrible hidden truth about self-publishing to keep you thinking until I come back… and get back to writing! πŸ˜€ Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

Random Friday

Let’s make it Art Friday. There you go, the evolution of the Quests covers. I guess I forgot the K.I.S.S. rule with them. So, here’s the first two attempts:


Then I experimented with the water and fire brushes I found at Obsidian Dawn – this is my credit to them for these illustrations, the background was done with their brushes. I still use Photoshop 7, and they’re probably the only ones who provide these! πŸ˜‰ The second attempt in this case is a little less illustrated, but I felt it didn’t go well with the other Silvery Earth covers.

PathsAttempts4feedback2smallAnd here’s the last attempts with the brushes, then I went back to a simpler version with no brushes, with special thanks to the suggestions of Shafali and Silvano. I would like to thank also Joleene, Cristina, Fulvio and Enrica for their input.

PathsFinalsNow I’ve added some stuff in Book 2, so it might come out later than expected, since I’ll need the editor to do a quick second pass… so expect it in 3 weeks instead of 2! Have a great weekend!

Random Friday

This is no April’s Fool. I have decided to take up the challenge and write a novel in 8 days, since I need 52K to get to the length of Rajveer the Vampire. So today I’m starting Kaylyn and will finish by the 8th, if I can keep up with the workshop starting next week and the DayJob still taking half of my day! πŸ™‚

So today I’m writing the first 3000 words, tomorrow 4000 and so on, adding 1000 words every day. Which means that on the last day I’ll need to write 10000 words. I’ve written 10000 in two days, I guess I can just sit down and write them in one! πŸ˜‰

Random randomness, here’s the artist’s news. A few attempts at digital painting along with the original drawing (pencils only or pencils+acrylics). So, from left to right: colored pencils (2hours), colored pencils + acrylics (+30mins. I’m bad with brushes, sigh), digital attempt 1 (+30mins), digital attempt 2 (+30mins), digital attempt 3 (+almost one hour and 3 levels)…

2016Dabboo_resizeI guess I still have some work to do before I can do the water effect properly (the original photo is included in this post)…

And last random topic of the day – if you’re a Trekkie, you might want to check this offer. Again, it’s not an April’s Fool, so enjoy some 700 (yes, seven hundred) Star Trek e-books discounted or free to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the TV Series! πŸ™‚

And there’s also this Award-winning Canadian SF&F bundle for a limited time only! If I werent’s such a slow reader myself… If only my TBR pile went down a little…

BTW, I had a Kindle scare the other day, it seemed dead and I was afraid I must buy the new models, but luckily the troubleshoot page helped me to give it back its life. Phew! Long live Kindle Keyboard! πŸ™‚


Random Friday

Playing with water effects @ http://www.watereffect.net/index.php

That’s the cover of S.K.Y.B.A.N.D. 11… I might try to make a new digital painting and apply the effect to see what happens! πŸ™‚

Not much today – it’s my NameDay, so… I’m doing exactly nothing (well, going to the hairdresser, so I can become a real blonde! πŸ˜‰ While I wait to become a real white, I mean!). Okay, I might meet some people at the book fair starting today or maybe not…

Have a great weekend! πŸ˜‰ Back to drawing Samantha…

Random Friday

I had time to read a couple of the non-fiction books from the two bundles I got probably last year (or one last year around NaNoWriMo and the other this year? Can’t remember).

30 days in the word mines by Chuck Wendig: if you’re just starting and need to set up a routine, this book isΒ  for you, whether you’re doing NaNoWriMo or just want to see if you can actually write. It’s very slangy and funny, and full of F-bombs, so if that’s not your thing, skip this. It’s also short and sweet, so plenty of time to read some more when you’re done!

The pursuit of perfection and hot it harms writers by Kristine Kathryn Rusch: some of her blog posts put together in another short ebook with lots of info on the publishing world, creative writing courses and how it’s impossible to write the perfect book – special guest Workshop Bill (a.k.a. Shakespeare) in a sorta parody like Workshop Jane (Austen) had here.

This book on editing also sounds good, but I haven’t read it, so I trust David Farland’s comments. I might add it to my TBR pile one day…

I’ve also uploaded on DeviantART some discarded covers:

Firebird – a Silvery Earth novella that should come out this fall.

SMI – Galaxy Police (the final cover will be by Shafali Anand), that will come out at the end of the month.

And a detail of the sleeping beau of the story I’m still currently writing… that’s the first attempt, the final one will be much better! πŸ™‚

I might go back to pencil portraits this weekend… or keep experimenting with digital painting! πŸ˜‰ That’s just a… Sunday Surprise!

Have a great weekend! πŸ˜€

Random Friday

Um… some attempt at digital painting… I still suck… And those covers probably won’t sell, but well… I’ll change them when I have some money! πŸ˜‰ Yes, DayJob pays the bills, but still… I still don’t want to spend too much on single short stories or novellas. I’d rather pay artists for collections or novels.

Now I’m off for a week. You’ll have some silliness to keep you company, don’t worry. Or maybe some wisdom, depends on the point of view! πŸ˜‰

I’ll be translating Kilig the Sword and trying to read some more – I have two novels to beta-read and I’d like to read something for pleasure for a change. And I’m with Dear Nephew, so I guess some Auntie Duty is due! πŸ˜€ If I still find myself iddle or the Muses strike, I might write some more… a story I’ve sent to a magazine that can have a sequel…

I’ll let you know when I’m back online! Have a great weekend and enjoy your summer!

Sunday Surprise

Covers rebranding! So, uploading the first novella by former pen name with new cover. Here is the comparison between the two.

It was the first title with another pen name I uploaded way back in 2011 – the original short story, that is. The following year I put up the expanded version with the new cover (cover picture by Mary R. Vogt @ Morguefile).

BoF2015_resizeThis year I reformatted it and changed the pen name and the cover… And lowered the price. Only 2,99$ now.

I will do the same for most of that pen-name titles (the body switches have the same cover, but then they had better cover and were “best sellers”, while these other titles sold nothing or only a couple of copies).

I’ll be working on more covers this weekend, to save on some expenses. I have a couple of Star Minds Interregnum covers to work on, plus the cover of a novella I sent to Writers of the Future. Experiments with digital painting, still trying to learn that damn Photoshop! πŸ˜‰

Have a great Sunday! πŸ˜€

Random Friday

Let’s make it Art Friday! πŸ™‚ In spite of the sore eye, I did a lot of drawings the past two weeks! πŸ˜‰ First, you can check the portraits gallery for those pencil drawings of Da Muses… Unfortunately the latest didn’t make it to the calendar, but never mind. Maybe next year! πŸ˜‰

Then I did some covers – that I might or might not use. I’m thinking of uploading Guisarme (currently in Wyrd Worlds 2) for free here and there, so I needed a cover. Here are the two attempts – the final is slightly different and you’ll see it shortly, probably some time next week. Composite of my dragon drawing attempt and the woman (two women, slightly different).

And then I toyed with the next generation and did more drawings of Shan-leo and Dadina while I tried to imagine Kay-low grown up. I do have a very loose outline for book 2 now, so eventually I might draw Kay-low as well, except his “evolution” might not be as good as Shan-leo and Dadina’s (I might pick two different people to show him as a child and as a 20-year-old instead of using the same models through the years…). But that’s on the December drawing list.

Now I hope to manage to color SKYBAND 14, so that it can come out by Christmas. Then next year I’ll do the final chapter (and then write the novel). Uploading a new title this weekend – stay tuned for the wonderful cover by Marurenai! And I might have another short story up with a brand new cover (it wasn’t published on its own before, always in a collection) – you can see the WiP here… Have a great weekend!

Random Friday

And it’s another Art Friday, but this time I’ll delight you with my so-called art! πŸ˜‰ It was a drawing longΒ weekend, so here are the results.

First Muse #2 with former Muse – see DeviantART for the materials used…


Then I did Muse #1 in color, although the beard… ARGH! 😦 Next image will be from the 20th century, so I don’t have to “shave” him in the drawing! πŸ˜‰

2014fourth_resizeAnd then I did the cover/illustration for another tale of the Southern Kingdoms. I did it before starting the actual story – while I brainstormed the paragraph of idea that I was supposed to write. At least I knew who the two people were – a southern prince and a northern warrior woman – but I wasn’t sure of how they interacted.

NorthernWarriorAttemptsAnyhow, please help me choose which of the two… models me and Muse #2 – with some difficulty, since men don’t wear traditional clothes very often (women wear designer sari and traditional dresses for ceremonies, but men… not so much) and I had already used one image for Ker-ris. But I found another and made the most northern kingdom clothes slightly different from the others.

I have also drawn the background and made an attempt cover, but even if the e-book will have 2 stories, I’m not sure I want to put both titles on the cover. Maybe I’ll put just the title of the story illustrated and add “bonus story” in the description. Final cover is still a few months away anyway, so I might end up doing another attempt.

That’s all for today! Bank holiday in Italy, so I’m home, writing and recovering from the back ache I got at DajJob (we’re moving offices, it’s been an awful 3-days week, although I got out 15 minutes earlier yesterday, having the computer pulled away from me! πŸ˜‰ Monday new place, brrr), and hopefully will be drawing more this weekend – if I finish the next story first! Have a great weekend!


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