Wednesday Weekly Roundup

So, last week I wrote 10k+, so I’m off on a good start. And it’s two short stories, not one, but don’t tell my challenge mate (although he might read it on this very blog, LOL! I sent him just one!). I still don’t have a publishing schedule, but at least I’m writing – and I booked Mighty Editor for this week, so who knows, maybe you’ll get something to read next month! 🙂

I started the new “strip” on Instagram and even made a video for TikTok with the same images. I also got a new graphic tablet for Christmas, but I haven’t started using it yet… I gew up in the age of the typewriter and prefer to draw on paper and then scan and do the digital coloring, although I’m determined to learn to draw directly on those tablets at some point.

I guess I have another thing to learn this year! 🙂 Also, after hearing this conversation about what do you need to quit I’m glad I decided to quit a regular publishing schedule. This year I need to try new stuff and don’t want to be encumbered with deadlines. Like they say, “sometimes it’s just about letting things go so that something new can come in.”

A wonderful quote from that link:

I think it’s easy enough to know you should quit if money is falling, but actually, if money is still fine and you’re selling reasonably well, but you know that creatively you’re in a rut and you know you’re bored or worse; you can really have quite negative feelings where you turn your writing into the worst sort of day job and you have to whip yourself in and all of that. That too is time to quit.
If you’re not balancing both the commercial and the creative, then that is a sign that something needs to change, for sure.
Maybe not all out quitting the full thing, the full series or the full genre, but something needs to go. So, it’s not just about commercial reasons, which can make it easier to make that judgment. (Orna Ross)

I’ve been saying for some time now, that I needed to slow down the publishing to have fun with the writing again, so now I’m doing it. I have enough books out for readers to discover me (and it seems the rebranding I did last year is starting to work), and I still do the mock covers to inspire me, even if I won’t actually use them in the end.

This year I don’t have a publishing schedule because I want to surprise both the readers and myself with what I accomplish. I still aim to write 500K, but when I’ll publish them is still a mystery. And I won’t give up this blog, since I’ve gone to weekly posts and it’s still my main way to talk with you guys (although it looks like a conversation between me and Tori, but I know you’re listening). I’m not leaving Facebook either, although it’s mostly to send these posts to my page, LOL!

Anyhow, hope you’re all set for the new years now that the Holiday Season is finally over. Have a great week!


Wednesday Weekly Roundup

As you may know if you’ve been following this blog for a long time, December is my least favorite month of the year. And this year was even worse than the previous ones, which means that I didn’t write at all during the working week because I was completely drained.

I caught up during the (Christmas) weekend when I wrote almost 6K on a new story. I have reached my yearly goal of 500K some time ago, so I don’t worry if I don’t write much in the last weeks of the year. In the end I wrote more than last year, despite the two months dedicated to rebranding old titles and less titles out.

But I don’t have a publishing plan for 2023 yet, and to make sure I keep writing, I challenged a friend. We will write one story a week for three months and swap them. Accountability, LOL! Also, if we find a story of the other person that tickles our fantasy, we might work on a collaboration (either a novel or a shared world) and expand it.

I also hope to explore other subgenres and find the spark for the next series. Then in spring I hope to be able to do a short trip to find inspiration for a novel that I want to write, and after that I’ll improvise, either expanding short stories into novels, or writing sequels or added books to pre-existing series.

At the worst, after this challenge I’ll have enough stories to do a Make 100 Kickstarter in January 2024, when I hope to celebrate an early retirement from the day job! 😉

I also hope to do more “marketing” work, meaning I’m planning short strips of presentation of my works for Instagram and TikTok. We’ll see how those go, but, like I said, Happiness is ends next Sunday, so I want to keep the IG page going, and with those pics I can make TikTok videos.

We’ll see. I’m mostly in survival mode at the moment, and my energy levels are very low. Here’s to hoping they get back up next year! Have a wonderful week and talk to you in 2023! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup

Last week I wrote less than 3K, namely a short story for a closed call and a few words of editing on a couple of projects. DayJob was testing, and in the afternoon I didn’t have much energy left to write. Plus, I was worldbuilding, so now I have a clearer idea of what I want this next story to be.

KDP now allows to archive titles…

So I also spent Sunday archiving many books (although they still show up in the reports, but at least they’re no longer in the bookshelf. Here’s to hoping this archive thing is more effective than Smashwords. I still get sales reports from Scribd of titles that I unpublished years ago. I no longer send books to Scribd now, not even with D2D.

And in case you missed it, the Smaswords End of the Year Sale is now ongoing! As I mentioned last week, all my titles are 50% off – although it’s not all of them, since some were taken down for the rebranding. But a good half of them is half-price for the duration of the sale, so check it out! 🙂

Yes, even the newest series is discounted, in case you were waiting for it! 😉 The only one missing is Otherside, since I didn’t upload the new books on Smashwords… they’ll get there when the merging with D2D is complete.

I don’t have plans for the new year yet, so I’ll leave this for next week. I wish you all a wonderful week and a happy Holiday Season to you and yours!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup

Last Week I wrote over 13K and managed to wrap Draft Zero of the Italian social sci-fi novel. It’s now with betas, and I hope it’s worthy to see the light of publication somehow. This week I’ll be writing a couple of shorts to submit to anthologies, probably one last in Italian (because it’s related to the novel) and then I’ll get back to English.

Meanwhile I’ve done some reading and decided military sci-fi is not for me. And since I did not finish it, I won’t mention the title. What can I say, I don’t have a military mind and hate war stories, be them galactic or historical wars! 😉 Besides, with the current state of events, I don’t even want to watch action movies with lots of guns, hence I skipped Vikram Vedha for now.

Although, since I finished the novel on Saturday, I did spent the other half of the creative weekend drawing Hrithik (a 2006 pic, though! :D). I had almost stopped drawing because instead of brainstoring I kept mulling over life, the universe, etc, but the presence of Cristina meant we both chatted and drew and time flew! 😉

That’s what creative weekends are supposed to be, by the way. And after a creativek in Turin, it was still most welcome. Now I’m back to dDayJob for the rest of the month, sigh! And that’s all for today! Have a great week!

Sunday Surprise

Meet some authors of Witches: Cutter’s Final Cut – Issue 4 from Knotted Road Press on Facebook – the bundle Witches Wands and Wanderers is in its final week, grab it now or lose it forever!


And now, here’s an interview from one of the authors of the Cutter’s Final Cut: Witches anthology!

You’ll find the Witches anthology as part of the story bundle, Witches, Wands, and Wanderers.

How long have you been writing?

About forty years, off and on. During some of that time I went back to school, held day jobs not compatible with writing and just basically lived.

What is your favorite work? Tell me a little about it.

The Urban Fantasy series I’m currently working on. It’s about five witches, the McMahon Sisters who live in a magical Queen Anne style house in the nearby city of Everett. The story is told through five novellas, one by each sister, about their war with a distantly-related cousin and the demons he controls. Some of whom are controlling him. Over the five novellas the sisters form a network of witches, shamans and demonologists who help them. Along with magic, love and a pooling of resources, the story is about building community.

What was one of the most surprising things you’ve learned while writing?

The most important thing is to trust my gut instincts. They’re always right.

What was the inspiration for this book or story?

This story is set in the same world as my McMahon Sisters novellas but the inspiration came from my volunteer work. Every week I work at a local animal shelter, The Noah Center, with cats. I clean their spaces and feed them. But mostly, I talk to them, socialize them and give them lots of attention. It’s absolutely rewarding to see them go out the door with their new person. And also heartbreaking sometimes. I want to take too many of them home with me but our house is full.

What was the hardest, as well as the easiest, parts of writing this book or story?

The hardest part was getting started. So many distractions and my life is always complicated. The easiest piece was describing the cats. Or perhaps I should say – the most fun.

Tell us one thing about your character that we don’t learn from the story, maybe a secret from their past or a hidden aspiration.

Maggie got burned badly by several bad friendships in high school. Ever since, she’s been a loner. She’s just now taking the first tentative steps towards making friends.

What sorts of superstitions or odd writing habits do you have?

I’ve come to believe that the less I talk or think about a story beforehand (besides building the world and figuring out a character), the more likely I’ll finish it. If I talk to people about it, I no longer feel the urgency to write it. I write to find out what happens during the character’s journey and at the end.

Do you believe in magic?

Absolutely. Magic surrounds us all the time. Most of us are simply too busy to notice or don’t believe in it.

What’s the question you always secretly wish someone would ask, but they never do? And how would you answer?

Can I give you a million dollars? Why yes, you can. No really, I can’t think of anything. I generally volunteer info on my own.

What are you currently working on, and what’s coming out next?

I’m working on the fourth McMahon Sister novella, which will be coming out in January. And then it’s on to the fifth one.

Where can people find you and your work?


Today’s interview is with the lovely Burdock! I’m never sure what story I’ll get from them, but it’s always powerful. They’re a contributor to the Cutter’s Final Cut: Witches anthology, which is part of the current Witches story bundle!

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing since about 5th grade. I can remember showing bits if story to my parents, quite proud of my work. I have, shall we say, matured in style since then. I was lucky enough to be a Borders manager for about a decade (during undergraduate and some graduate years), and in the process of working with and becoming fast friends with an incredible collection of authors, I started to take my writing much more seriously. Having a bunch of local authors on hand for an informal writers group was perfect. I first published under my maiden name, and it has been a marriage, going public with my gender, and a name change since. It honestly, cliché aside, feels like forever.

What is your favorite work? Tell me a little about it.

A little over a decade ago I lost my sister. I wrote a story about it. Then I revised it for a few years, shifting it from personal narrative to mythic retelling of tragedy and forgiveness. You can find a version in Pole to Pole Publishing’s Re-Enchant collection. It is a story that still has sharp edges for me, and I don’t reread it often. But of my work, it is the favorite.

What was one of the most surprising things you’ve learned while writing?

It took me ages, but I have finally learned that I do not need to tie my writing up into neat boxes. I can leave things unexplained. I don’t have to have a reason for how and why everything is. Some things just are. And they are allowed to be that way. I sometimes think that is a more important aspect of the ‘show don’t tell’ directive. Show how things are. Show what they are. I don’t have to tell why. That happy little rebellion against the sort of formal forms I studied while earning my MA of English has been great for letting me get nice and cozy with writing the weird and surreal that I love.

What was the inspiration for this book or story?

Once upon a time I found a tiny, starving, recently pregnant, little cat while on a walk in a local swamp. We immediately decided she was a witch, but we took her in anyway. I tried to write a bit of whimsy about it and it was terrible so I stuffed it in the ‘maybe later’ folder. About a year later a very good friend uttered the words ‘grieve and release’ while suffering a deep loss. Those words and the intent behind them hit me perfectly. That story came back to me, and I poked at it and ‘Grieve and Release’ was written. I am still trying to take the advice of my friend, when it comes to the content of that title. I think the characters in the story manage it a bit better.

What was the hardest, as well as the easiest, parts of writing this book or story?

My notes, having been from a previous bit of writing, were a mess. My tenses were all over the place. I think I changed POV at least once. The messy backend of trying to work on something over a long period of time. But once I stuttered my way through re-creating the beginning, the rest was much easier. I knew what I wanted to do. I am always worried that it makes sense in my head, but not for anyone else, so there was also some extensive reading and commenting from an author friend that helped me smooth out the wrinkles.

Tell us one thing about your character that we don’t learn from the story, maybe a secret from their past or a hidden aspiration.

She never gave me her name. She never really let me know what she looks like. She is very present in the story. She has a colorful past that twists through and drives everything. And hopefully she will now have a colorful future. I didn’t even realize until I looked at this question that she was never named. I should name her.

Her name is Izzy.

What sorts of superstitions or odd writing habits do you have?

I have always had to fit my writing in around everything I have to do (job, school, farm), so I have had to learn to be able to write at the drop of a hat and take advantage of the bits of time I have. That said, I apparently like to find weird little nooks to write in. A hammock chair next to the pond. Up in the tree house. Middle of the woods. I like to be out away from all the things I get so easily distracted by. If I am really settled in for some writing it can be a bit of a pain to find me. If I have to write indoors (hello, NY winters), I must write to music. And I need coffee or tea on hand.

Do you believe in magic?

Of course. I am an inclusive heathen, and have been active in pagan communities for a couple decades at this point. Mine is an earthy magic. Land wights, the spirit of place, shifts of the seasons, toes in water, hands in the dirt. I keep a statue of Bragi near my main computer.

What’s the question you always secretly wish someone would ask, but they never do? And how would you answer?

People always ask why I would want to live out here in the middle of nowhere. I wish, for once, someone would ask why I would want to live anywhere else. My husband and I are particularly suited to living in the middle of nowhere with our land and our animals and our gardens. I like noticing the shape of the seasons. The way bird song changes between May and August. I love the sound of the wind and shape of the snow when we have nowhere to be but here by the fire. We joke that we have gone a bit feral. But really we are just content and happy with being out on the land here as opposed to doing the sorts of things people assume we want to be doing (movies, drinks, parties, dinners, shopping). It isn’t perfect. We miss a good dinner we didn’t have to cook that does not involve an hour of driving, and we definitely crave the ease of delivery. But not nearly enough to give up all of this for convenience.

What are you currently working on, and what’s coming out next?

I am always tinkering with short stories, and looking for anthologies to participate in. So chances are I will keep popping up in anthologies that way. I am hoping to get myself organized enough to get a collection of my work out within the next year or so.

The story that is currently demanding my attention is full of crows.

Where can people find you and your work?

I have a web presence at

I can be found on FB, and I have an author page on Amazon.

Should anyone be interested in natural soaps and such, I have a storefront and Facebook and Instagram page for Twigloo Farms.


Today’s interview is from Dayle A. Dermatis, who has both a collection of stories in the Story bundle, as well as a short story in the Cutter’s Final Cut: Witches anthology!

How long have you been writing?

Well…when I was in 3rd grade I wrote a story in which I invented GPS…although it included the element of being able to beam anywhere as well, because I was already a Star Trek geek. I started my first novel at age 12, received my first professional rejection slip at 16, and at 17 I submitted my first completed novel to NY publishers.

What is your favorite work? Tell me a little about it.

Of my own? Isn’t that like asking me which of my cats I love the most?

Probably the one that I’m currently working on…or the one that’s currently sitting in my lap.

What was one of the most surprising things you’ve learned while writing?

How much my subconscious already knows about the story. I’ll just be typing along and suddenly something happens that even I didn’t expect.

That said, one of the best pieces of advice I’ve received about writing is that if I knew everything that was going to happen, it wouldn’t be a surprise to readers either.

What was the inspiration for this book or story?

The bundle coordinator asked me for a collection of witch stories, and I had three stories in each of two serieses about witches.

What was the hardest, as well as the easiest, parts of writing this book or story?

I got a lot of positive feedback when I wrote the first “Desperate Housewitches” story, and for a while that made writing the second one difficult—was it as funny? Would it be as “good” as the first one? So I had to shut those voices down and just trust my subconscious again.

Tell us one thing about your character that we don’t learn from the story, maybe a secret from their past or a hidden aspiration.

Holly, in my Portland Hedgewitches series, has a prickly personality, but inside she has a soft spot for her beloved sister, Willow. And possibly other people.

What sorts of superstitions or odd writing habits do you have?

None that I can think of. I tend to write in an easy chair in a cozy, slope-roofed little room attached to my office, but in truth, I can write just about anywhere. I often get a lot done on planes.

Do you believe in magic?


What’s the question you always secretly wish someone would ask, but they never do? And how would you answer?

Hm… I’ve answered this from the perspective of my erotica-writing nom de plume, Andrea Dale, but I’ve never really considered it for other fiction. I suppose it would be, Would you like an historic cottage in Snowdonia, Wales, to which I would reply, Yes, please and thank you.

What are you currently working on, and what’s coming out next?

I’m currently finishing up Shaded, book 2 of my Nikki Ashburne series about a former Hollywood party girl who briefly dies and when she’s brought back, can see ghosts. (Also, she’s very snarky.) My plan after that is to dive right into book 3, Spectered. I’ve got a story forthcoming in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, I believe in the November/December 2022 issue. I also publish a story a month, available at all the major retailers.

Where can people find you and your work?

My work: (where you can sign up for my newsletter and receive free fiction). (where you can get my monthly story for a modest donation).


• Rambling around the Pacific Northwest or the Adirondacks in New York.

• At a Styx concert.


There are a few more coming out on the Knotted Road Press Facebook page, so mace sure to follow them! Have a great Sunday!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup

Book 2 is out as promised! Giving the final touches to Book 5 so it will be ready for the November release… The series page is growing everywhere there is a series page (publisher, Amazon, Smashwords)… but unfortunately the Kobo promo in certain regions for Book 1 is over.

Last week I wrote 415 words in English then started thinking about the next project that will for now be in Italian. But I’ve discovered I don’t really want to translate my own works anymore, so from now on I’ll probably have different titles availabe in the two languages.

Although I might write another book on the same topic in English, eventually. I’m back to sci-fi for a couple of months, also to honor the Heroines of Space Opera bundle of which I’m part. I haven’t had time to read any of these books, but I hope to catch up on some fiction reading in the coming months. If you like SF, don’t let this bundle slip away, though!

The newsletter with a free story is going out soon, and you still have time to subscribe on the publisher’s site. Just enter your email, it’s a two-step process, so if you don’t confirm, you won’t receive anything. It’s bi-monthly, so it won’t encumber your inbox very often! 🙂

More changes coming to FB Pages (and we came a long way since Fan Pages already), so maybe I should write about a world without disruptive tech, LOL! But I decided to be optimistic despite the apocalypse going on around us and to write about a technological future (since the untechnological post-pandemic Earth is already featured in the Future Earth Chronicles).

After 21 Lessons for the 21st Century and Homo Deus, I’m going through Enough – Staying Human in an Engineered Age which was published in 2003, and some things are already happening… so Human Beware! 🙂

That’s all for today! September is over already… Have a great week and read through the apocalypse! 😉

Wednesday Weekly Roundup

And the vampires got revamped too! Just like Joleene Naylor changed all the covers, so did I – at least for the ebooks at this time. The old covers are currently still available on the paperback. Like her, I’ll let you know if they go away forever! 😉

A great example of writing levels from my guru Dean Wesley Smith… very clear, and of course I’m still Level 3, but my English vocabulary expands continually, and I’m experimenting craft things with the latest project, so hopefully one day I’ll find myself on level 4! 🙂

Mighty Editor added a week to the job, so she might be able to do the four novels now, but again, I don’t think I’ll publish anything until after the summer. My Smashwords page is slowly emptying, but I enrolled something for the July sale and I will upload at least one new title on there to complement the sale.

The other I’m considering of putting it on Amazon for 3 months to join the Kindle Storyteller. Then it will be out everythwere, as usual. Probably. Considering how slow KDP was on Saturday while I was updating the vampires books… I still have a few weeks to think about it! 😉

The Books2Read links might not be updated and still show stores that are currently unavailable, but next week I’m off DayJob and I’ll see if I can update them manually. I also have to prepare those two titles for July publishing!

So, busy bee, trying to overcome the heat… now back to writing on that project, because it’s not over yet! Have a great week! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup

Last week I wrote only 7.6 words but again, there was a break between two books – and the Kickstarter work of completing the campaign, so two days went with that and brainstorming the next book. My yearly total is over 150K, though, so I’m not complaining! 😀

This week I’m off DayJob, so I should be able to a) finish the Kickstarter work and send out the digital rewards; b) write the next book of the new project; c) edit the short stories I sent to Mighty Editor (by the way, if you want to laugh, last week’s strip was an actual conversation between me and her) and decide if I want to submit them or keep them for other purposes later on.

Some will need to be published this summer anyway. And during the weekend I’ll upload the first book of Otherside to retailers. Meanwhile I tinker with mock covers of titles that might never be published for various reasons, but since it helps me visualize the story better, I’m going to continue, LOL!

In case you don’t have a huge TBR pile, check these out: a kids friendly series with dragons is now on Kickstarter. If you prefer sci-fi, Celestial Sagas is now on Storybundle, with lots of great authors! 🙂 I’m still finishing the door-stopper Time Traveler’s Almanac (I got the paperback and it’s 900+pages long), and then I’ll probably check my copy of Crunchy With Chocolate, since I’m currently writing about dragons! 😉

Then I might go back to ebooks and switch on the new Kindle (although I still have unread stuff on KK, but it’s mostly non-fiction or classics), sigh. So not looking forward to seeing what they have changed! 😦 Like the KDP dashboard and the WordPress notifications and… ok, I’ll stop complaining.

Sorry, grumpy old spinster here! 🙂 Now I better go back to writing… have a great week! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup

And the Kickstarter is over, with one stretch goal reached, yay! I will send out surveys soon, and digital rewards will go out next week. Thank you again for believing in me! I might do another for the next trilogy… just kidding! We’ll see how long it will take me to recover from this one, LOL!

Last week I wrote over 14K on the new project, and yes, it’s probably a trilogy, but we’ll see. Like I said, I’m in no hurry to publish anything new until the next semester, and I do have a couple of short story collections that came back from Mighty Editor that should come out first.

One is an extra title for the Star Minds Universe, which should do for Sci-fi July, and the other is prequel stories for Ghost Bus Riders, that I may publish in August. I’m considering going back to Worldcon (Chicago, 10 years after my first, and I love the town), but I don’t think I’ll bring anything to sell, just enjoy the Windy City and seeing old friends.

My cover artist for some Star Minds Universe titles, Maurizio Manzieri, is again nominated from the Hugo, amd may he win this year! 🙂 Below his covers on my books (two custom):

Easter Monday morning I wrote another 2300words on the new project, and spent the afternoon drawing and brainstorming the sequel. I will have to adjust everything when all the books are written, like I’m doing with Otherside right now.

Besides obvious typos (still wondering how “mavkerel”, “republix” and “disctionary” ended up in my manuscript), I also found a small continuity error in one of the short stories, since I hadn’t corrected it after writing Book 2. So, good thing I’m going through all the books one last time before sending them out to Kickstarter backers and uploading them to retailers! 🙂

Next week I’m off DayJob, so hopefully I’ll be able to fulfill all of the above – set up the digital rewards on BookFunnel and start uploading the new books to retailers, although they won’t go live until May.

That’s all for today! Have a great week! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup

And we entered the last week of the Kickstarter! I finished the last proofreading on Book 1 with a PDF of the paperback – unbelievable how typos jump at you from a printed page! Also, this book was written and edited last year, and I made minor changes when I wrote books 2 and 3, so there were little tweaks to do.

The next proofreadings should go faster! I have already done most of Otherside Stories and I’m on Book 2, speedily going forward. Let’s see if in the final days we reach a stretch goal – more ebooks for everyone! 😉

I also found time to write, since I put down almost 12K last week! But then, I’m into a longer project, so words come easier, even though I keep cycling back because I come up with things when I have already moved forward. Did I mention I changed how I write through the years? Yes I did! 😉

My friend Fulvio Gatti has a novelette, “The Poderosa Trap”, included in the collection “Cosmic Convocation”, out now by Starry Eyed Press. You can find it here, both as paperback and ebook.

The space pirates of the “Poderosa” believe in democracy. This is why every few years they elect a new captain. Elmo Van Der Brook is ending his duty at the helm of the ship, so he suggests the smart but shy accountant Marcus Kandor to run as his successor. As expected, things will turn out much more dangerous than expected.

It looks like I’m forgetting to post the Happiness Is... on Instagram, but since I can’t schedule them… and I’ll probably stop here as well soon, maybe at the end of May when the strip ends on Instagram and I’ll substitute it with the Happiness Is... vignettes.

And that’s all for today… Wishing you a wonderful week, and Happy Easter if you celebrate it!

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