Wednesday Weekly Roundup

Last week I theoretically participated in a writing marathon. I didn’t do the Zoom meetings (they were at 9pm in my time zone, not a time when I want to see and talk to people), but I did check in every day. I wrote four short stories for submissions, and two are already out there. Almost 10k in total, and I’m getting closer to my yearly wordcount.

The second two are with beta-readers, but they have a December 31 deadline, while the other 2 have a Halloween deadline. Speaking of Halloween, remember me mentioning selling a story at the Anthology Workshop last February, right before the Covid mess? It’s included in this Kickstarter! I’ll be part of the Halloween Harvest!

Go check the project and give it some more love! It’s funded, and you’ll get lots of stories right in your inbox! 🙂 Or you can give them as gifts to friends and family, if you feel so inclined… just sayin’! 🙂

Oh, and my book Magical Friends was reviewed by the Critiquing Chemist… please note that I didn’t read the review, so I have no idea of what it says. I saw the Google Alert and I think I’m out of the SPFBO I entered back in June. Oh, well. Maybe I’ll try again next year! 😉

A huge thank you to the Indian Kindle owner who got themselves the Vampires Through the Centuries ebooks! Next weekend you’ll be able to read more about all of them with Mortals Apocalypse! 🙂 Check out Helios’s story in The Phantom Games and stay tuned for the other vampire that will appear in the above anthology…

And in case you missed it on the publisher’s page, this is the last week to grab Future Earth Chronicles Shorts for free on Smashwords! Also, I have added a page on this very blog with all the other publications! In chronological order, more or less… hopefully more to come! 🙂

I am touched and awed to have an illustration next to my story in Breathe… I’m currently reading it, and I reread also my own story, that I wrote back in 2015. It was rejected 3 or 4 times before landing in the antho, and this reading felt new, as if someone else wrote it. Quite a weird feeling, to be honest.

And while researching last century for a story, I stumbled on a couple of things:

For the first time in history, chain bookstores outsell independent stores, signaling what many fear to be the death of smaller booksellers at the hands of superstores.

Sounds familiar? This is from 1994… an interesting year, as you can see:

White House launches Web page. Initial commerce sites are established and mass marketing campaigns are launched via email, introducing the term “spamming” to the Internet vocabulary.

Check also this other article on the dawn of commercial internet! I guess that’s all for today… have a great week! 😊


Wednesday Weekly Roundup

Last week I wrote only 5K, but I consider it mid-projects. Besides, I spent most of the weekend trying to decide what to write next for an anthology, so I’ll be working on short stories this week. Next week, if I write all the stories for the anthos I have eyed, I’ll get back to FEC 11, otherwise, November! 🙂

And as NaNoWriMo approaches, here’s some good advice. You know I don’t participate, because I write all year round, so I never did it.

And if you want a real challenge, write the 50,000 word novel in the month and publish it in the same month, meaning you have to have it done ahead of time enough to get the typos fixed and to do a cover. Now that’s a real challenge. Write and publish a book in the same month.

And that won’t happen either, since my editor (who fixes typos because I don’t have a native speaker first reader who can do it, unlike him) is already booked. So even if I actually write FEC11 in November (which I probably will, even if I start late, I’ll finish it, but since those are around 40K, I’ll have to add stuff to reach 50K), it’s booked for proofreading in January.

But I usually write 10K/week, and I’ve almost reached my yearly wordcount goal, so I’m not going to bother with that challenge, not this year (probably never. I know I can write a novel in a month, a clean first draft). I’ve done it in the past and can do it again whenever I need to.

Now for some more paperback beauties, here’s the two anthologies I mentioned last week. As soon as I finish the current beta-reading, I’ll dive into them.

By the way, this is the second book from this author, in another series, so I’m going to name him. Check out Michael Warren Lucas’s novels! They suck you in and won’t let go! The previous one is a new series, so I can’t say much about it yet, but this one is in the Montague Portal series, so check it out! 🙂

Kris Rusch on the future of entertainment in the 21st century. The sad news is the closure of Cineworlds all over the UK and US. I’m not sure about the US, but I definitely went to Cineworld O2 Greenwich and Cineworld Wembley (for Kaabil and War), so I’ll miss them. I wonder where I’ll be able to watch another movie in a theater – I stopped going in Rome because they closed all the theaters that showed original versions except a couple, now I’ll have to stop going to London too? Sigh.

Anyhow, this pairs quite well with this other article on how 5G and big data are ushering in a wider technological revolution. So more changes a-coming.

The 20th century is dead. The way we communicate, the way we learn and work, the way we are governed. We’re on a sharp trajectory into the new age of technology and communications. Current and past methods of working are quickly becoming obsolete, and it’s evident that this rapid change is in part due to the huge strides we’re making in mobile technologies and data.

I won’t miss the 20th century, mind you, but I kind of dread the inevitable change to a new technological dawn. Anyhow, we’ll see. After years of DayJob nightmares, I had my first CreativeJob nightmare about rights and copyright and contracts other messes. Might be because I had read the latest Writer Beware post, or because my family is as unsupportive as ever… Have a great week!

Random Friday

Even though I try to stay positive, there are days where I do feel down for various reasons. Including how the internet is changing too fast and I’m sick of trying to keep up. Maybe blogging and individual websites are going the way of the dodo, but I keep finding new followers for this blog, while my Facebook pages don’t attract anyone.

So I guess some people still look outside of Social Media for stuff – much like I do when I research something or someone. I’m also sick of fake news and trolls and all the hatred going around, but there isn’t much I can do about it, so I keep going… except it sort of reflect itself in my writing.

I mean, the reality is so sickly that when I write, I want to go somewhere else – not a perfect world, mind you – and tell stories that help me feel better. It’s not easy to write comedy, but I’m not into drama either at this time in my life. And definitely not into horror, so I’m afraid my last vampire novel won’t have much gore in it. But then, none of my vampires through the centuries are very bloody.

I also can’t write romance while watching many relationships end up in shit and #metoo and all that stuff. Can we please get along? Maybe the apocalypse is already happening, we’re just not aware of it. If we make it through the darkness, we’re headed for the age of abundance.

Anyhow, if you feel you need some input on how to be a writer in this fucked-ass age of rot and resistance there’s some good advice there. I’m feeling I’m starting again a second career, still indie, still writing what I want to read, and even if I haven’t found my 1000 True Fans yet, I’m grateful for the handful I have.

I’ve got word from Writers of the Future. Of course I still qualify for their contest, but I don’t know what to send them at this time. Maybe a novella that was rejected elsewhere. Maybe nothing. They’re offering a book of writing advice for free… with their Volume 34.

I still have too many books to read, both fiction and non-fiction. I shall pass. Wrapping up the vampires this weekend so I can check the novella I want to send Tor when they re-open in July. And write another short story before diving in the next story that already has a cover.

Have a great weekend! 🙂

back on track?

Barb&Techie Bro trying to awaken the stupid PC

Finally my computer seems to be back online (maybe the threat to be thrown out and substituted with Borrowed Laptop scared it enough to start working again! ;-)), so I hope to catch up with what happened in the past week, when none of the web pages opened for me (in fact I made a comment on a blog, and it never appeared, probably timed out, sigh. When I recover, I’ll try to do it again).

I have to catch up what’s going on everywhere online, so I won’t comment on that. I’ll try to finish uploading and making public the printed books I received last week (see pic), hopefully tomorrow (need to be able to cut and paste the blurbs from the e-book, don’t want to retype everything! :-().

Barb's little library

I used the forced offline time to actually draw some SKYBAND, before I start the next book (Chronicles of the Varian Empire book 2) – and running up and down Roma, I did 130km in 5 days for work. That’s 15euros of gas/fuel I’ll never see again, sigh. Hopefully this week I’ll be able to go by bus again, next week we’ll see. It’s not only having to drive 13,2km first thing in the morning, it’s also lots of rain flooding the streets and traffic jams everywhere – thank you, December! 😦 Yesterday I couldn’t even find a paying parking spot and spent 20 minutes trying to find a hole to place my poor baby (JJ is 16-year-old, and I’m not selling her, haha! Don’t want any of those stupid brand new models!).

OK, hopefully tomorrow I’ll make a more intelligent post… sorry, but I’m still very upset by the mess DayJob has become! 😦 I’m leaving you with pics of my printed babies – just out of the Lulu box and in the little library (that’s everything I had printed since 2009, and some are still private)! 🙂

latest Lulu batch

NaNoWriMo and other links

So, it’s November and it looks like a bunch of you out there is doing the NaNo. Here’s a list of people I know (and who might know each other, LOL) who participate this year: Joleene, Kenra, Leigh, Loralee, Lydia, Melissa, the Storytelling Nomad and even a guy, Terry! 😉 Support each other and churn out those 50K… Rooting for ya all! 😀 Happy writing!

On to other writerly topics! C.S.Splitter on  writing and trad vs.indie published books. I so love my ellipses and hate those dashes too… 😉

Cat’s call on personal safety. But then all her Soap Box series is worth checking. Although I have no idea of where to start to do something about it. New Year resolution?

Loralie on online presence – whether agent or author, what are you like?

Lydia shares some tips she has learned at a Writers Conference, so make sure to check her blog often.

Michelle on book trailers. I don’t think they boost sales either, but sometimes they’re fun to make! 🙂 And yes, writing more books sells books more than anything else.

Another charity anthology already out: Indie Chicks. Check this extraordinary adventure!

Shaina on not being lazy when you start indie publishing. I’m still waiting for my latest excerpt to go live on one of her blogs, but I’m not complaining.  I’m grateful for the opportunity she gives me to post an excerpt on an all-excerpts blog.

Blood Red Pencil on fearing fear – and possibly overcoming it. And a great post by Kris Rush to boost that belief in yourself. I think we all need to be reminded this from time to time.

Guest post on Bookends about what to answer when asked “How do you get your ideas?”.

Books&Such about why the Battle of the Titans matters to us and why it’s an exciting time for authors (and it’s an agents blog! :-)).

First guest post on Dean Wesley Smith’s post: hear K.W.Jeter’s opinion on this brand new world of publishing! Check also Dean’s observation on the same… but don’t miss Michael Stackpole’s post on house slaves either, or his take on Amazon as the Sauron of publishing (you LOTR fans will know what he means much better than I ever will! ;-)).

Passive Guy’s comments on David Gaughran’s article on the Future is Indie are worth checking too along with Steve Jobs’ 7 rules of success applied to writing by Ruth Ann Nordin.

A fun rant on e-book prices (I like most comments as well, and agree with many). And last but not least Self-publishing for beginners by Ruth Ann Nordin again.

Have a great weekend!

The discoveries

Because I have no internet access this week, I’m “recycling” old posts of the first month of this blog – I’m guessing it will be something new for all of us. The first comments were on November 28, 2009 (thanks to the Australian ladies Cassandra & Prue + Sevvy – where are you?) and these are all from October… if you already read them, forgive me. I’ll be back to full posting in September!

I bought my first PC in the late 90s because, typing with ten fingers, I tended to go out of the sheet with the typewriter. So I bought this PC, Word2.0 and b&w screen. It was great for editing, cutting and pasting without having to retype everything! I still handwrite the very first draft, but afterwards I throw it into the computer (doing a first editing in the process).

Then the internet came along. I bought a color screen, a graphic tablet, and started using Photoshop. And the internet. That was a brand new world. First e-mails. Now social networks. Wow. It’s a world of possibilities I could have never imagined – that’s why I stopped writing sci-fi, I’m awful with technology. I believe in faeries and magic, not science! :-D

I didn’t start playing D&D because I was afraid I’d get addicted, have too many ideas for new stories and not enough time to write them all. Now I’m addicted to the internet. Sigh. I’m glad I don’t have a laptop – when I travel, no internet! Except in every hotel I check if there’s free internet access, and sometimes even pay for it when I miss it too much! :-D

I know, I know, I’m hopeless…

originally posted on Oct.8, 2009

blogging – part 2

OK, I don’t know how I stumbled on this post. Probably tag-surfing again. Anyway, I went to download the e-book Blogging Blueprint and read it all (yes, Glen, thank you so very much for putting it out).

Now, that was a lesson. I’ll have to mull it over, though. Unfortunately, I’m not young and techno-savvy like Glen, thus it will take me longer to get it all. At 40+, being technophobe, the first impulse was to just close this down. Yes, it’s still the same week, and I’m still tired.

Luckily I’m not that rash anymore (thanks to the aging, I guess), so I will keep writing. I will slowly steering towards whatever it is that I want to accomplish with this blog – which I haven’t figured out yet. But when I do, I’ll follow Glen’s precious instructions – I might be “older”, but I still learn quickly if I put my mind to it.

So I’ll start by modifying what I have and think about what I can offer. I’m a writer, but I’m very bad at “teaching”. I can only write down my own personal experiences (which is what I’ve done so far), not trying to teach something to anybody, as I believe each learning curve is personal. I’m self-taught, how’s that for a CV…

Better go back making up my mind while I draw chapter 2 of SKYBAND (the good thing about drawing is it lets your mind free to wander and consider other options/ideas while creating something! ;-)). I highly recommend Glen’s e-book to anyone who needs to improving his/her blog.  And I thank him again for putting it out there for us!

an unfortunate accident on WeRead

I was kind of happy to see my comic-book Lady Ice listed on Amazon… except when I went on WeRead, I saw someone else had claimed authorship of that one and four more comic-books, written and drawn by your humble author.

So I retired all of them, except the artbook and a novel in Italian. If you go to my Lulu shop link, you won’t find much left. As soon as WeRead cleans its authors’ pages, I’ll re-issue everything, possibly along with SKYBAND 2 and a novel in English.

I had hoped to use two pen-names, but obviously I can’t. Therefore, from now on I’ll be only Barbara G.Tarn, although I’ll keep signing my drawings as Barb. New year coming, I’ll re-issue the comic-books under the full name, hoping there isn’t somebody else with this name. From a Google search it seems I’m the only one.

So if you wanted to give comic-books as present for Christmas, too late! 😉 Just kidding… I should have Googled “Barb” before chosing my artist’s name. I didn’t claim the other Barb’s book as mine, though!

Never mind… all this is experimentation, you learn through trial and error, I guess… I’ll have some uploading to do on Lulu in January, along with some orders I’m waiting for the new year to place (mostly because the Italian postal service doesn’t work in December)! 🙂 That’s another thing I learned to do through trial and error… making the PDFs… uploading them… choosing the covers… fun, though, I look forward to doing it again!


I’m new to social networks. I’ve never been on My Space, but thought Facebook was worth a try, because it gives me the impression I can control who can see me or not. So I signed up last October, found long lost pals or childhood friends, created an unbelievable network of approx. 130 people – which looks a lot to me, as I’m not very sociable in real life.

Then I kept receiving those “become a fan” invitations. As I already said, I am not a fan. So I posted this:

I. Am not. A fan. Quit suggesting I become fan of something or someone, I’ll ignore you for ever. Thank you.

and received a few comments (names deleted for privacy):

I love your idea. Can I become your fan?

(me) I’ve been thinking of starting my Author’s Page on FB and spam everybody with becoming MY FAN, MWAAAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! 😀

go for it!! haha-but I so agree…it’s like getting unsolicited phones calls. If I need your services, I will call you. Nuff said.

I so agree with you!! I have to be your 3rd fan for sure!!!

So I did it. I opened my author page as public figure and waited. Five people became my fans (that’s true friends, IMHO!! :-)). I sent a few invitations to selected contacts and reached 10 fans. A friend of mine invited some of her friends, so now I even have people I don’t know.

I don’t really care about numbers, I do it for the fun of it. At the moment I’m advertising a book fair in Roma – Italy on that page, so it’s mostly for the Italian fans, but maybe, when I publish the novels, I’ll arrange a world tour through Facebook! 😀


My new guru says:

Once your self-published book is a best-seller, traditional publishers may come acallin’. Maybe you’ll be interested. Maybe not. It’s your choice.

(David Mathison – Be The Media)

I’m not new to self-publishing, I’ve been a ziner in comic-bookdom for ten years – before the internet, when you had to actually go to comicons if you wanted to sell. I found 10 readers back then, going up and down Italy’s conventions. We’ll see how many I can find now in comic-bookdom online, before I launch myself in noveldom.

I know that my guru wrote a non-fiction book, and fiction might be different. BUT I do write genre fiction, so I might be able to find my niche with the help of technology. I’ll have to learn a “new” thing called marketing, which I don’t think I’m very good at, but I’m very good at keeping up with people, writing regularly to my pen-pals all over the world.

One day borders will fall. One day people will stop adoring the money God. One day artists will live thanks to their creations (or creatures), and I’ll be one of them. It’s been great seeing the birth of my first printed, full color comic book, I look forward to see the novels come alive as well.

I started with the graphic novels because most of my favorite graphic novel authors self-published before being picked up by publishing houses or starting their own. Drew Hayes (R.I.P.), Terry Moore, Wendy Pini, all started on their own. So wish me luck with my Unicorn Productions…

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