Happiness is…


Since we’re talking 100th… both happiness and Da Strip (still unpublished, but I can’t come up with a decent format, either online or on paper… Maybe could be a New Year resolution?)

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

Muse Randomness. Last weekend’s brainstorming:2016sevenRADOwipSmallThis week’s vignette – almost a Happiness is, right?35 hug_resize

And it’s because…

I booked the flights and the hotel, so London, I’m coming! πŸ™‚ And I might have time for a trip to Hastings – the battlefield, not the city as well… in less than two months, whoot! πŸ˜€

Have a great weekend!

Random Friday

And, as promised, Art Friday! Because I toyed with covers that I may never use, I thought I’d share some. I have also done Kingmakers, but since I have no idea of how long that story will be, I’ll keep it under wraps a little longer…

First here’s Cinder Boy, cut to add the water effect available at watereffect.net.

final_285822356The final cover is framed like the other Tales of the Northern Kingdoms and it will come out next month.

Then we have the painter, a composite of three drawings – my Amazons frame, a quick digital portrait of Da Muse and the painter herself…


I will probably give this short story away with the newsletter #3… or if I manage to set up the welcome email, it might be a gift for newsletter subscribers! πŸ˜‰ But it will need to go through the editor first… And then through some submissions to traditional markets since it’s a little more than 7000words – which means I’m not in a hurry to publish this one! πŸ™‚

Stay tuned and have a great weekend! πŸ™‚ See you in May! πŸ˜€

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™‚


Sunday Surprise

oh, looky, it’s a holiday – one of those I so love to totally ignore! πŸ˜‰ So for me it’s just another Sunday. And for those like me, here’s my strip (it’s from last year, when it fell on a Saturday) about this day!

valentineAnother advocate of a year-round thing is the talented IssaArts, as you can see. I hired her to make me a personalized travel diary. Stay tuned to see the results. In the meantime, enjoy her valentine.

drawing by Issa Arts

drawing by Issa Arts

Have a great Sunday! πŸ˜€

Random Friday

Considering that I keep talking about Muse H, you might think I have forgotten Muse K… not! Especially since he is now in Rome, shooting John Wick 2! πŸ˜€ No, you won’t see me stalking him around town (I don’t normally go to movie sets – once I went to Piazza di Spagna with a friend when they were shooting Ocean’s 12 because she’s a fan of Vincent Cassel and she hoped to get a glimpse of him) since

a) I still have a morning day job

b) I don’t live in the center and I don’t like going to the center

c) it’s January, it might not snow, but it’s cold to stay out waiting for someone to show up! πŸ˜€

So I’m just thinking about him every now and then, rewatching DVDs (47 Ronin, thanks Jen!) and basically preparing to give up this fifteen-year-old obsession… with special thanks to the ever-present Mr Selfie! πŸ˜‰

11 selfie

See, I even updated the chibis! πŸ˜‰ Actually there was another balloon on my head, but I’ll spare him that. I’m using that vignette on DeviantART too, so it’s not really secret. What’s “secret” is the original balloon for that drawing! πŸ˜‰

So now you can also see how my chibis are improving! πŸ˜‰ Now I better go back to coloring Samantha the Witch and the Desi Vampire or you’ll never see that one either… although that was done before I bought the book on manga proportions! πŸ˜‰

Thought I’d gift you with a sneak preview of the arrival of Rajveer on Silvery Earth… chibi-style (of course you can also see the novel’s cover with the amazing art by Shafali – but that’s because I need to put a summary of the novel next to that!)!


Have a great weekend – I’ll be with my cover artist, drawing for 24 hours at least… so hopefully I’ll catch up! πŸ˜€ (and no, we won’t be chasing Muse K and his Italian co-star who is Cristina’s favorite, don’t worry – we’ve got work to do!!!)

Random Friday

Movie and Art Friday! I’ve watched Tale of Tales (which is shot in English with an international cast, but it’s an Italian movie, believe it or not!) and I enjoyed it, even though I’m not familiar with the original fairy tales (but I do know at least one similar to the flea story – except it wasn’t a flea but a louse, and I know it in French).Β  And I loved watching the extras on how they created the sea-dragon and other special effects. Yes, there’s green screen, but not everything is CG! πŸ˜‰ So, some fantasy-fairy-tale-ish story in tune with my latest writing, LOL!

I’m also reading Fairy Tales Slashed (unbelievably it’s a group read this month, and I’m reading at the same time as the group – I had downloaded the sample before going to Japan, but since it was selected and I’m in fairy tale mood, I thought I might as well read it now) and I’m enjoying it so far, in spite of the typos and bad formatting and lack of sex! πŸ˜‰ Just kisses, but that’s fine – more or less what you get in Beautiful, LOL!

And I’m trying to start on Samantha the Witch and the Desi Vampire… I can tell I won’t be drawing for much longer if I go on like this! Here’s another cover attempt (I will mix the drawings to compose the cover and color them):

newcover_resizeThose remi-realistic portraits? I had a real hard time at drawing the details of the eyes – maybe because I wasn’t at my usual low table on the bed but at work and I couldn’t move the sheet like I wanted… I’m still good with chibi-style, though, since it’s less detailed! πŸ˜‰

I’ve considered drawing on the computer directly, but staring at the screen hurts my eyes even more. So yesterday I barely colored two new Happiness Is… and a Muse vignette and had to give up and do something else… Leaving you with the Muse vignette and the latest Happiness Is… Have a great weekend!

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Writer Wednesday

Yash&Ryo_resizeSo, the non-writing-but-publishing month is almost finished! As hinted last Sunday, there’s a new story out – not the official release on the publisher’s page, since unfortunately it has a pre-order button for Apple and B&N and won’t go live there until tomorrow…

It’s already available on Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords and DriveThruFiction, though! πŸ™‚ Yash and Ryo Lost in the Galaxy starts in the Star Minds universe, but can’t be considered part of the series. As mentioned, the cover is by the awesome Renrou.

Toying with new title, but don’t want to dive in, since I have to redraft the ending of a story and probably the whole of another that I will get back with feedback this afternoon. Then I can concentrate on that new title – and my workshop assignments won’t be the only writing I do anymore, yay! πŸ˜€

I have finished inking SKYBAND 15 as well, so I can alternate the small computer (for writing) and the laptop (with Photoshop for coloring).

Oh, and there are two POD live as well, in case you want paper books: Star Minds Chasing Stardom and Star Minds Next Generation Diaries (Createspace links, since the second is probably not on Amazon yet). Cover art still by Mighty Marvellous Maurizio Manzieri.

Now, to some writerly links. 28 (Better) Things No One Tells You About Publishing – I don’t agree with all of them, but with most, definitely! πŸ˜‰ Are You An Author Or An Ebook Marketer? I don’t know about you, but I’m a writer. I write. Don’t be the One-book-wonder – unless you like to play the lottery, that is.

See this Gentle Reminder by Joe Konrath, by the way. And if you want to publish a book, here’s How Should You Publish Your Book? Indie or trad, up to you. Research, experiment and don’t give up. Don’t be the One-book-wonder – unless you like to play the lottery, that is. Oh, wait, did I already say that?

Sorry… πŸ™‚ Wishing you all a great week!

Sunday Surprise

Apparently the author of the month has forgotten she’s on, so no author interview… unless you’d like to be featured on this blog – you or your characters, I have also a batch of questions for fictional characters if you prefer – I guess I won’t have any guests this month.

2015-09-12 09.44.52Which is kinda fine, since it’s not really a writing month for me! πŸ™‚ So here’s what I’m doing this weekend:

Drawing S.K.Y.B.A.N.D (pencils done, theΒ  inking is the hard part – and then the colors… and the lettering… sigh!).

Working on PODs (two done, two more to go…).

Formatting and uploading new titles (or final drafts for pre-order).

Friday morning I was at the office inking the latest strip (I don’t know when I’ll publish those and if I ever will, so don’t ask – they’re becoming too personal to be published! πŸ˜‰ Maybe I’ll choose the most interesting eventually – when I’m done coloring them) and a woman came in saying “Oh, I wish I could draw like that!”

I mean, the strip. Chibi-style. I told her “I flunked illustration school because I didn’t come from an art school, but I kept drawing because I like it.”

It’s called… practice. You know, that thing musicians or other creative people do – except writers and, apparently, artists. Lots of wannabes there. “I want to write a book” but they never find the time. “I wish I could draw” but they never put pencil to paper.

I have no artistic talent. My portraits are traced from pictures. My comics are free hand and you can absolutely tell I know nothing of human anathomy – and I never draw animals (unless I can trace, so no mythical beasts, since I don’t want to steal another artist’s work) because I don’t have the will to practise.

I like drawing people, so I keep drawing people, trying different styles and never stopping. I’ll never be a professional comic artist, but I don’t care. I do it as a hobbyist because it helps me take a break from writing. But I did learn some tricks through the years.

Maybe you can’t tell, but I know when I resume drawing after a few years without doing it. I need to go back to the basis. I downloaded chibi and non-chibi human forms in different poses as reference for my comics and the strip and the vignettes…

And then I draw. And I write, but keep learning. Of course some of my older stories make me cringe, but they were the best I could produce at the time, and it’s fine. I won’t burn them just because they were crap… Nor will I throw away my old comics, although I won’t scan them and publish them either…

2015-09-12 09.45.27And with these philosophical Sunday thoughts, I shall go back to publishing and drawing… Createspace has approved the books, so I ordered the final proofs that should arrive shortly! πŸ™‚ (BTW that cover art on those two is by Mighty Marvelous Maurizio Manzieri, not me!) Have a great Sunday! πŸ˜€

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