Random Friday


So, London! It keeps changing under me. When I got to Greenwich, I got lost – and I used to know it fairly well, having attended the Eurocentre in Lee Green (now closed, I’m afraid) four times! 😦 Anyhow, had a look at the O2 (unfortunately I was 3 hours early for the movie, so I didn’t see it at all – will have to get the DVD) and enjoyed the rides and met with friends and bought meself stuff! 🙂

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Now, the books! They were all pocket books for 3.99£, how could I leave them there? One I’ll need for Ingolf the traveling vampire, one for Bran and his millenarian siblings and one for next book, Shashank, since he’s the only one who actually gets to see the great Moghuls beyong Akbar. Add another non-fiction that I’ll use for whenever I wrap up the story, starting in Mumbai 2005… I’ve got some reading to do! 🙂

And still speaking about vampires, here’s yours truly posing as the protagonist of Norman Blood at the tower of London. Of course you need to use your imagination and see a man with a helmet instead of the backpack and a sword instead of the hand in pocket. And the wall around the White Tower was built in the 13th century, so only William the Conqueror’s keep in the background…

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At the National History Museum they have this simulator that makes you live the 1995 Kobe earthquake… and then I came back and we had another big quake on the boot-shaped country! 😦 Here you have a sequence of the shaky-shakes – I felt only the 3.40am one. At noon of the 24th, 160 hits: 59 between 3.0 e 4.0,  5 between 4.0 e 5.0 and 1 more than 5.0, in Norcia (PG) 5.4 at 04:33. I was asleep again by then.

Villages such as Amatrice (home of the world-famous pasta sauce Amatriciana) is almost completely destroyed – and it was full of tourists… Norcia is the home of my fave salami… Already almost 40 dead at lunch time and it was as strong as the one in 2009 that destroyed L’Aquila at 3.30am.

There’s another report, with even higher dead toll. Definitely not a nice year – but then, I never liked leap years! Have a great weekend!

Random Friday


So, the earth is still shaky in northern Italy and the dead toll has risen to 16. My friend near Modena sent me a picture of her half-crumbled office place, luckily nobody was inside, so it’s only building damage. INGV also has an English section if you want news of any earthquake (it doesn’t concentrate only on Italian earthquakes and volcanoes, although they’re the main focus). There’s also a neat little page where you can say what you felt (OK, there’s the link, but then it’s all in Italian) – I filled it when I felt the L’Aquila shake.

On to other topics – does anyone know how to block pop-ups on Yahoo mail? Easyjet’s ads have become really annoying, I’m sick of closing those pop-ups everytime I open a new e-mail (and I have a mailing list there, so lots of e-mails). One thing’s for sure: I’ll NEVER EVER fly Easyjet only because their stupid pop-ups annoyed me while checking my Yahoo mail. I don’t like low cost companies, but this one really got on my nerves. So kudos, Easyjet, you’ve just lost a customer.

I’ve always hated ads, so I thank the inventor of remote control for TVs – although I don’t watch TV anymore, in fact I’m stuck to 1980s TV ads, because in the 1990s I had a VCR (remember those? ;-)) so I recorded what I wanted to see and FF the ads. On the internet, the most annoying are the pop-ups. It’s easy to ignore the side-ads, but those stupid pop-ups… OK, most browsers block them, but Yahoo obviously doesn’t care. Grr. I like my Yahoo e-addy because it’s a .com. Hotmail gave me a .it addy. Sigh.

I will spare you a Friday rant about one of the most unprofessional writers I’ve ever met, he’s on Goodreads, and I’m not naming him, because even saying negative things is still talking and sending people his way – which I don’t want, LOL. But I know why indie publishing has a bad name, thanks to people like that guy. Grunt. Thank God for all the other great people (writers and readers) that populate the internet! 🙂

I am closing this post with a writer-related article on business decisions for publishing careers. I have made mine, but as you can see there are many other options. As long as you’re honest with yourself and set realistic goals. I am a control freak, probably, but  eventually I might try a small press – whenever I get back to that historical novel, for example. Because it’s one book, my first in that genre and I’m not in a hurry to publish it, so I could deal with trad publishing slothness! 🙂

So, have a great weekend! No Sunday post unless you want an excerpt of something…

Random Friday


So, you might have heard of Italy’s latest earthquake. No, I didn’t feel anything this time, but I have a friend in Bologna who keeps posting on Facebook he’s scared. Another in Modena sent me an SMS on Sunday, saying her house shook really hard on the 6th floor (that’s when the first, stronger hit happened).

That particular region was less struck by the recession – before the earthquake. And as we’re not Japan, we had 4  people dead in the earthquake when a factory collapsed. Now the local industry has been hit hard, and I don’t know how they will recover.  Our politicians are still to busy to gather the last scraps of money to care. Sigh.

The weather has been crazy – cold in the morning, warm at lunch time (when it didn’t rain). Or at least that’s what it was like in Roma. Hope it didn’t rain on the earthquake region too. All this while planning my trip to Chicon7 at the end of August – still have to buy plane tickets, but I feel I’m already there.

But first June in Certaldo, not really participating to the medieval dinner, but watching again – and no, I don’t plan to dress up this time! 😉 I’m going by train, and the costume is too heavy and bothersome to drag on a train! 😀

Besides, I might attend the New York Ren Faire again 10 years later – in 2002 I was blown away by the live tournament and look forward to seeing it again. Hey, I have a video camera now, yay! Pity for the cardboard castle in the background, but one day I’ll be in England at the right time to see Warwick Castle’s tournament! 😀

Anyway, I’m not sure I want to drag my costume on the plane either, so I might rent one like I did 10 years ago, LOL. And in June I also hope to make it to Arezzo on a day-trip to see the Flag Weavers (it’s the only Italian tradition I’m so very fond of, LOL!) – but again, I’ll be in plain clothes as I don’t want to get on that intercity train with my costume.

I very much enjoyed Michelle’s post on blogging and where it’s headed. Like her, I consider it a weblog, not a marketing tool. Since I went “public” with WordPress (I had a few posts on my private Yahoo blog, that I copy/pasted here at the beginning of this adventure at the end of 2009), I enjoyed the interaction with other bloggers. I like discovering new blogs on the most different topics (my blogroll has changed a lot since the beginning) and feel sad when I see bloggers stop blogging because they feel they failed.

It’s like those writers who give up because nobody buys their book after 6 months to one year. And they have ONE book out. And they spam everybody with their release and then bemoan the lack of sales. It’s not a “get rich quick by jumping on the self-pub wagon”, babe! Same with blogging.  Whoever started blogging thinking he/she could make money from it, fell flat on his/her face.

So I’ll keep blogging, with a less grueling schedule because in spite of loving it, I need time to write more books. So less-but-longer posts on the blog and more titles out there. And it’s OK to be scared shitless by this brand new world of publishing. It’s OK not to have a Twitter account, not to be on Google+, not to have an agent or a publisher or to try to do things on your own.

It’s not OK to get stuck in the 20th century. Trust me, I loved that century, especially the 1980s (my long lost teens, LOL), but they’re gone, and there’s no going back. It’s a scary new  future changing too fast for most, but then – that’s life.  Don’t be afraid of success. If it’s meant to happen, it will happen! 🙂 I will write a non-fiction title about my experience later this year, in case you’re interested.

In the meantime have a great weekend!

News from Japan


I interrupt my usual Friday Love-story with… for a good cause. Yesterday I finally received an e-mail from Masayo. She’s OK, but…

– their life completely changed after the earthquake of March 11. More quakes keep hitting the islands even if on smaller scale. Scary.

– she wasn’t hit by the tsunami, of course, but the nuclear plant disaster is the biggest and long term problem for all of them. As if Hiroshima and Nagasaki hadn’t been enough.

– they have power failure and the governments forbids to use electric power for 3 hours a day – that’s 3 hours with no computers, no lights, no fridge, no trains, and they worry about spending their hot summer without AC.

– after the earthquake they couldn’t buy food because most food factories were in the tsunami area.

Things are slowly getting better, but they still need help. Kristan here has a good list of things to do to help Japan. Or you can buy Barb&Masayo’s Stories, all earnings will go to her. I’ll also contribute a story to the anthology Stories for Sendai.

As for nuclear power, wake up world, and give up dangerous toys NOW! Will this lesson be enough? Only the future will tell… don’t read The world without us if you want to feel safe on this very unsafe planet.

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