Random Friday

… is still a movie Friday. But it’s probably the last, LOL! I rewatched bits and pieces of Zeffirelli’s Romeo&Juliet to get inspiration for the novel (the costumes, mostly). And while I was at it, since it’s an almost 50 (FIFTY! OMG, where did time go!) year old movie, I decided also to check what happened to the gorgeous actors in that movie (namely Leonard Whiting and Michael York)… And I found this post, yay! Although it’s from 2005, so… where are they NOW? I know Michael York is still out there even though the last thing I saw him in was almost 30 years ago… 😉

Mmm, one should play with those numbers… 1968 – 1988 – 2018! 😀

Let’s now jump to 2003. It’s the year of Untold Scandal, another version of Dangerous Liaisons by Choderlos de Laclos with a South Korean Valmont (and I can tell you that the only things I could read were Dangerous Liaisons and Chordelos de Laclos, since I don’t read Korean, Chinese or Thai – and the English subtitles, of course). You can get the plot here, it’s another variation after Dangerous Liasons and Valmont (and I saw also the highly forgettable Cruel Intentions – I hate when they put in the present stories of the past).

So, I noticed the same kind of Korean costumes as in The King and The Clown and I’m so crazy that I had to switch audio because it didn’t lip-synch. There was the Thai and the Korean version. I set up the English subtitles and left the audio as it was, but still the lips movement didn’t match until I switched to Korean. Note that I don’t speak either, but I enjoy reading the actors’ lips (AND reading the subtitles AND watching the movie! Yes, I can multi-task like that!)…

Now no more movies until I get the DVDs of The Invisible Boy 2, a sequel to the young adult superhero drama directed by Gabriele Salvatores, and the two Bahubali , The Beginning and The Conclusion, but currently I have spent enough on Amazon, so I’ll wait a month or three.

Besides the Invisible Boy 2 is still in theaters at the moment, if only I dragged my ass there instead of going home and write, LOL! Have a great weekend!

Random Friday

First I would like to say I have uploaded all the pre-orders for Shashank the Fledgling… and found a nifty widget available on Smashwords, but it wouldn’t paste properly on the blog. Meh. Go to the publisher’s site, where it worked perfectly! There’s just so much that I can do with HTML… The lower price on the pre-order will go up about a week after release, so get it before November 2! 😉

Plus, in case you didn’t see it, Smashwords now allows global pricing control, hence I was able to put prices in Euro for the Italian titles and to add the INR prices to the Indian-themed Vampires Through the Centuries.

And since I can’t add a signature without a plug-in and can’t have a Donate button unless I get a Paypal Business account, if you’d like to support me, buy one of my books. I’ve put the links on the sidebar, under the Gravatar. Heck, I even changed that description a little, but it’s been… almost eight years! What an old blog I have!

But this is Random Friday, the blogoversary is still a couple of weeks away, so I’ll stop talking about writing right now! 🙂

Besides my nickname is now Shanti, so I don’t want to fight with anyone. In case you don’t speak Hindi, it means Peace. The actual nickname chosen for me by Chiara Lubich in the 1970s was the Italian version, Pace. Sorry to see the Wikipedia article has multiple issues, but I was just a kid and I only have the letter of her secretary giving me the new name, so I have no idea if it’s correct or not. I was living in Geneva and I never actually met her! 😉

Anyway, I guess I can say “peace” in more languages than the ones I’m fluent in. And since we need lots of that all over the world these days, here’s some peace for you. Pace, Paix, Peace, Shanti, Shalom – and feel free to add any other language you may know.

And while we’re at it, let’s add some Love, Amore, Amour and I know there’s more than one word in Hindi but I’m not going to try that one (Pyar? Mohabbat?). You add your own. Now I better go back to writing that other vampire story and reading 19th century journals.

By the way, did you know that someone in the 1700s wrote Memoirs of the Twentieth Century, supposedly set in 1997? Again, I have to rely on the Wikipedia entry for now, but I hope to get to read the real thing sometime. Just to have a laugh. He still imagined there was a king in France, but then, it was before the French Revolution… And in spite writing after Queen Elizabeth I he couldn’t see that there would be a Queen Victoria and then Elizabeth II…

And I’m also imagining what our lives will be like two centuries from now with twenty-first century technology, so I guess we’re even! 😉 Speaking of inspiration and body switches, I watched Moglie e Marito, which gave me some ideas. But I’m beginning to think body switches work better on screen that in a book – and I sure hope the actors have fun doing them! 😉

Couldn’t find the video of a song of Music and Lyrics I had in mind, so I guess I’ll end up here… Have a great weekend! 😀


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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