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! 🙂

Random Friday an another award

Oh, golly, it must be award season again in the blogosphere (might be the approaching Oscars? ;-)). I got another blog award from wonderful Ben at story multiverse (thank you, thank you, thank you!) and it’s called Kreativ Blogger Award (which sounds perfect for this creative barbwire here, LOL!)!

As it’s been some time since I wrote things about myself and there are plenty of new subscribers to this humble blog *waves*, I’ll try to go through the whole thing again. Rulz sez: pass on to 6 Kreativ Bloggers and tell 10 things people don’t know about yourself.

So, as I know some people don’t like blog awards and don’t have time to ask around for permission, well, you – yeah, you who are staring at the award button and would like to wear it on your blog, grab it, post it and leave me a comment so I can read the ten things I don’t know about you. And of course, pass it on! 😉

Now, for the 10 things… *mumble mumble*…

1) I created Silvery Earth in my tweens, but even my sister couldn’t recognize it when she read a novel set in the actual Silvery Earth. I guess it evolved – much like its creator and this very planet, LOL!

2) As my nephew admitted he’s afraid of dragons, I’ll have to introduce him to Dragonheart AND my own dragons (a.k.a. Fajrulo). Poor babe confuses dragons and dinosaurs – NOT the same thing! 😉 I forgive him only because he’s 7, and still has a lot to discover! 🙂

3) For SKYBAND (see FB album) I bought a lot of tattoo mags (and googled “tattoo” a lot as well), as all the characters have at least two. I’d love to have one myself, but I don’t seem to be able to take a pick. Sigh.

4) For a couple of years I did beads jewelry, but as I didn’t sell much (tried to, but failed – I’m bad at marketing on all fronts! ;-)),  it’s still all there in a boots box next to the abandoned “lab” of materials. One day I’ll have to go back to it, hopefully.

5) I have a brand new (5 years old – and I’m 46) passion for world movies, subtitles. I’ve always loved movies, but for the duration of my life in the 20th century I was stuck with the dubbed versions available in Italy. Thank God my English is now good enough to watch foreign movies subtitled (thanks, Amazon!).

Oh, boy, I’ve run out of things you don’t know… sorry! Rulz sez 10, but I really have nothing else to say (and 5 is my favorite number anyway), so I guess I’ll end up here. NOT cheating! Here’s a list of the other blog awards and the posts that went with them!

Sunshine Award (May 25, 2010)

Versatile Blog Award (June 27, 2010)

One Lovely Blog Award & You’re Going Places, Babe (July 7, 2010)

Spotlight Award (Aug.18, 2010)

Stylish Blogger Award (Jan.26, 2011)

Memestatic Award (April 4, 2011)

Liebster Blog Award (Jan 25, 2012)

Speaking of world movies, along with The Promise I bought Moolaadé because I was intrigued by the poster, and mostly by the pitch – when do I get the chance to see another African movie? In spite of winning Cannes Un certain regard, this movie was not dubbed at all, so the DVD was in original version (Bambara+some very bad French) with Italian subtitles. Like The Promise, sometimes people spoke but no subtitles came up. Sigh.

I loved the setting (Burkina Faso), so unusual from what I’m used to, and loved the story (yeah, I cried at the end, but it’s very powerful). I’ll have to watch it again to copy some clothes for SKYBAND, as my heroes have reached the former Black Empire which is based on Africa (and it’s 300 years after Fire, so my original cover for Fire won’t do. I’ll have to show a change in clothes, LOL).

So it was a great surprise and a great discovery (especially for 3euros) that probably never came out in theaters, but is certainly worth watching. IMDB summary: When a woman shelters a group of girls from suffering female circumcision, she starts a conflict that tears her village apart. Worth every second of it, if your curious about the world and other cultures.

A long time ago (last year?) the Mighty Caricaturist (who, by the way, deserves the Kreativ Blogger Award, so, please Shafali, grab it and paste it on your blog, so we can all smile with you!) suggested an Indian movie that was NOT Bollywood. So, as I’m discussing world cinema, I’ll be adding this specific title that is about India and it’s culture, but doesn’t have all the Bollywood songs that turn off most  westerners. It’s a thriller, so I won’t say anything.It’s also shorter that the usual Bollywood 3-hours-movies (less than 2 hours), so if you like non-action thrillers, go check “a Wednesday!“. And there’s nothing funny about it, which is funny considering the source! Thank you, Shafali, for the great suggestion! 🙂

As (you guessed it) I got my latest Amazon purchases, the next reviews of DVDs will be… Bollywood again! 😉 Have a great weekend everyone! 😀


OK, this is not strictly about writing, but it is, as I find inspiration also in movies. And I’ve been obsesses with Bollywood lately. So also to thank Shafali for doing the caricature of my favorite Bollywood star, I’ll tell you my love-story with Indian movies.

First taste was in the 1990s with Mira Nair’s Salaam Bombay, Mississipi Masala (yummy young Denzel! ;-)) and Khamasutra (my absolute favorite). I know, that’s not Bollywood. I know it NOW. Back then I thought that was Indian cinema. Then came Gurinder Chadha with Bend it like Beckam (always yummy Johnathan Rhys Meyers! ;-)) and Bride and Prejudice – the latter being closer, but still not Bollywood, in spite of Aishwarya Rai.

In comes British Airways, your friendly airline, and a long flight to LA back in 2007… India might be independent now, but British Airways seems to think it needs to pay homage to the thousands of Indians traveling with them, and always has a few Indian movies on it long flights. Thus I discovered KANK (I”m using the acronym so I’ll make sure I won’t misplace the aches, but I can say it well because it’s also a song! ;-)) . In spite of the 3 hours (split in two, with a nap in between), I was blown away by this movie, its colors, its songs, the melodrama, old-fashioned slow-mo and, yeah, Shahrukh, even if his part is that of an asshole in this case and he can’t even dance because he’s limping from some accident (so I’m guessing I didn’t see him at his “best” dancing/singing routine!).

Since then, every time I take a long distance BA flight, I check the Indian movies. Thus I discovered Dostana, my favorite comedy. I bought Shahrukh “biography” on Amazon, and started jotting down titles, along with suggestions from bloggers (thanks Shafali and Hema) and an article on a French mag about Bollywood, where they spoke about his performance in Devdas (indeed very good, it’s now my third favorite) and others I still have to see (I saw one this summer dubbed in Italian with all the songs cut out, I’ll have to buy it on Amazon, I’m afraid…).

I bought Baazigar because it was the “remake” of A kiss before dying with Matt Dillon who was my first movie love. Some scenes are indeed lifted from the American original, but the story is different – and Shahrukh has green contacts! 😉 So soon I’ll head to Amazon for another bunch of Bollywood movies.

I will close this post with the mention of a Bollywood-Italy crossover that came out this side of the pond: Oggi sposi (just married). It’s an episodic movie of four couples who want to get married for different reasons, and one of the couples has an Italian cop (Luca Argentero) engaged to the daughter of the Indian ambassador – and he’s the son of a southern peasant: feel free to imagine the crash of cultures between a highly placed Indian family and a stubborn Italian peasant! 🙂 BUT it ends with the Hindi wedding in the Italian village and the Hindi wedding dances and I just loved it for it. I wanted to hop off to the Indian Embassy in Rome to find an Indian husband and have my Hindi wedding straight away! 😉

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