Random Friday


Bundles, glorious bundles… Vampires of the World is available for pre-order as is Mythic Tales. Both have one of mine (erm… 2 in the first case…) in the lot.

In the vampires bundle you have Rajveer and Kaylyn (what else? πŸ˜‰ ) and in Mythic Tales, there’s Beautiful, the sleeping prince with a puppy disposition awakened by the stray cat adventurer who happened to kiss him awake.

I have received the proofs of Shashank and Honorable Assassins, and one I’m going to redo it – slightly reformatted the bonus stories. As soon as I get the new proof, I’ll probably send the book live so I can order a copy for the cover artist.

On totally unrelated subject, I watched the DVD of John Wick Chapter 2 and the deleted scenes… one of them was shot in EUR, next to the office! How did I miss them? Drat! Anyway, it was nice to watch it again with its mix of Italian and English! πŸ™‚

Now I can wait for Chapter 3… along with Da Other Muse’s movies if he decides to get back to work and stop modeling and endorsing products and making training programs and all that other stuff that has nothing to do with acting… πŸ˜‰

Oh, and the sale has begun… on all retailers! 99c/99p only until Sunday! πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend!

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Random Friday


I don’t know how I missed that I had won (ex equo) one of the categories of the fan fiction fling! Thanks for the badge, Jo! I shall ask you to beta-read again whenever I write something set in the US, since my proofreader is British… πŸ˜‰

On total randomness… I watched another movie, and it made me cry – much like Hardball. This one is French, though, and I had seen the posters, but I don’t go to theaters anymore because in this country everything is dubbed, so I waited for the DVD, haha. Demain tout commence (sorry, don’t know the English title, only the stupid Italian one) it’s about a man dealing with sudden paternity – just one, not three like in the more famous counterpart (the French original, never saw the American version, sorry).

It’s a dramedy, and I still think Omar Sy is gorgeous! πŸ˜‰ It’s also set in London, so you got some English inbetween the French. Again, I don’t think I’d have liked it dubbed (unfortunately all the extras were dubbed, but whatever)… but it was great in its original version. If you want to cry, that is! πŸ˜‰

And speaking of King Arthur again, I’m finally reading a book that was in a bundle that I bought almost two years ago from Storybundle, and it’s another version of the legend. Again characters are changed in unrecognizable ways, and we even have the evil albino trope. I would have happily lived without that one.

I know there’s a whole subgenre of Arthurian fantasy that revises those old legends, but it’s not for me. I enjoyed Jennifer Robertson’s version of Robin Hood, but I usually stay clear from those medieval legends revisited, because I’m quite familiar with the originals and often don’t like what authors have done to them. That’s just Reader me, of course! πŸ˜‰

You albino readers, avoid the Camelot Papers and wait for my own post-apocalyptic book that has an albino woman who is NOT the villain, quite the opposite, yay! And there will probably be more in the series, but I haven’t started thinking about the rest since I still need to touch up this one, LOL!

Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

Random Friday


Help a writer to avoid foreclosure. If you’re a reader, you might know her books better than I do – I’m sure I’ll read one sooner or later, maybe we’ll be together in a bundle or something. Anyhow, if you have $$ to spare, go help Adrian Phoenix! πŸ™‚

I still haven’t (re)watched John Wick Chapter 2, but I got the DVD of Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword… mostly because it features two of the original Queer as Folk, Nathan and Stuart! πŸ˜‰ But then it’s been almost 20 years and of course both have changed (or grown up in the case of the younger one)! πŸ˜€

I also watched the extras and I can tell Charlie Hunnam was an enthusiast for the movie. He said he grew up with Excalibur (which is about his age, but well… he’s British, so makes sense) which I happened to see in theaters because I’m slightly older than him (just a tad. What’s 15 years against eternity? ;)) – albeit dubbed in Italian.

But I saw the trailers in England (my first very first trip to England in the summer of 1981, before the Royal Wedding of last century) and looked forward to seeing it in Italy. Mostly because in the trailer Nigel Terry looked just like Oliver Tobias in my beloved Arthur of the Britons.

So, I’m more or less familiar with the legends even if I’m not British. My mom loved the chansons de gestes and studied them at university, and sort of passed on the love, even though my love for history and the Middle Ages is much much recent than Excalibur.

I saw most of the recent versions of the story, including Clive Owen‘s King Arthur and a Marvel comics graphic novel called Camelot 3000 (in the 1990s). And Guy Ritchie’s is the most fantasy of all. It has some nice British humor, but I’m afraid Mom will hate it even more than Excalibur when I show it to her! πŸ˜‰

But if one watches it as a fantasy with very famous names like Vortigern, Bedivere (an African one? The horror! Although Djimon Honsou is gorgeous, of course! :D) and Percival, it’s fine. Of course there’s Excalibur in the rock and the round table, sort of. A friend of mine even hopes for a sequel… *rolls eyes*

Have a great weekend! πŸ˜€

 

 

Random Friday


Total random stuff. I watched the French DVD I got in Paris and it was as funny but sad as expected – a family dramedy with a happy ending. And I rewatched Any Body Can Dance 2, just for the dancing, since there’s no real story in that series, LOL! Which, considering has me mixing a European and an Asian movie and enjoying both for different reasons, takes me to the next random topic, cultural appropriation.

I read this wonderful article on whose culture is it anyway, and what about hybridity and thought the author made great points. I’m Italian, but I grew up in France and Switzerland, in an international town (Geneva) with people from all over the world, then came back to the Eternal City and hated it.

Still today, almost 40 years later, I get irritated when I’m pinned down as Italian and asked if I do this or that – I don’t. I feel international, I love a lot of stuff from a lot of countries and I don’t think it’s cultural appropriation. When I write, I try to be respectful of whatever culture I try to cover and to find people in that culture/religion who can help me fact-check. *waves at beloved cover artist*

But sometimes I’ve stumbled on such harsh cultural appropriation articles that condemt it completely, that I almost felt guilty to try to write a story of humanity as a whole and not as a single ethnicity/religion/race. I was even irked by the clearly European and tattooed young woman who visited the Taj Mahal with a sari (maybe I was envious, LOL!).

Thing is – I’m not trying to appropriate anything. I’m enjoying the diversity of this crazy world. And soon I’ll start on a projection of our future, it will be utopia (with a dark side) but I intend to put a society where skin color doesn’t matter and the borders are no more. You might call it globalization, but it’s still a post-apocalipse story, hehe! πŸ˜‰

So I plan to have black people, Asians and white people all living together and not being bothered by race or religion. They’ll have other problems to face! πŸ˜‰ And I’ll try to come up with a culture that is a fusion of all we have today (it’s set in the 22nd century, so plenty of time to develop that) plus possibly something original.

Mission impossible? Probably. We’ll know at the end of August. Have a great weekend! πŸ˜€

 

Random Friday


Rest of the trip! When the workshop was over, I got back to reading the novel I had to drop in January. Fortunately I had reached the end of Book 1 by then, so starting Book 2 was okay. Except one night I was thankfully kicked out of the book by a mistake that wasn’t caught by the author(s) or the editor(s)…

This is Ocean: The Ocean Cycle Omnibus and since it’s a bestselling author, I don’t think I’ll ruin his reputation if I comment on this (besides Goodreaders seemt to be quite divided about it all, haha!). So at one point there is a discussion about ancient sea divinities by a so-called expert (the character) who totally mixes up Greek and Roman names.

Here’s the complete list thanks to Encyclopedia Mythica. In the book, Poseidon and Aphrodite are the Roman names and Neptune and Venus the Greek ones… Gee… I’m glad I overdosed with both Greek and Roman myths in childhood (one more reason to hate what they did in Troy, I know enough of the Iliad and Odissey to know they completely f…ed up – beside using a gorgeous 40-year-old instead of a 20-year-old. Achilles died young, as was often the case back then! Me and my friend were the only one laughing in the movie theater, though. Sigh.)!

So, unless it was meant to be a joke, here’s a good way of throwing your reader out of your story… I got back into it, but the second book is getting weirder and weirder. I will finish it, but it’s not on my recommended list! πŸ˜‰ I might even quit at some point, since I bought books during the trip and the TBR pile is now enhanced with more dead trees…

Then there were the movies. Not during the trips, not until I got to Long Island, when I saw John Wick: Chapter 2 with my friend. Glad it was still in theaters. And glad to see it NOT dubbed (and wondering what a mess they might have done for this country’s distribution – probably missed all the bilingual dialogs!). I guess for a chapter 2 it’s almost as good as chapter 1. Maybe even better. Still have to think about that. And of course, it opens the way to chapter 3…

Anyhow, both me and my friend were happy because we recognized most of the places where it was shot (New York and Rome). I’m glad Riccardo Scamarcio dared to be the bad guy, although my Italian friend who likes him might not think so. But then, my favorite Hrithik’s role is still Aryan, the villain of Dhoom 2, so…

On the way back I watched Gayal Once Again on the Alitalia flight, but I must admit it took me some time to figure out the story. They all looked the same to me! Nobody was good-looking enough for my tastes and there was only one song – had it been cut? since I could not sleep I also re-watched Something’s Gotta Give – only certain scenes since I had broken my headphones during the flight and didn’t want to ask for a third one (the first I was given was faulty). You can guess which ones (Julian Mercer is Keanu at his best looking, LOL! Pity he’s only a secondary character)…

I enjoyed visiting Boston, although it was a rainy and gloomy day, so I’ll have to go back eventually. My friends were all were kind and I hope to do it again in the future. Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

Random Friday


Okay, I had time to watch a movie during the weekend, so I finally finished the box set my sister lent me in December. The last to watch was Elysium, which wasn’t bad, but again it sees a future with no middle class, while I still think we might be headed to a middle-class-only society. I know it doesn’t look like that but if you check that Quantum Run page, there is hope in the future! πŸ˜‰

I’m going to quote a sci-fi author (from the Finnish Worldcon progress report):

I’m also confused by the fact that such a large part of recently written science fiction is very pessimistic. It worries me particularly that in SF aimed at children and young adults, dystopias have become the popular and most frequently published subgenre. I myself am naive enough to believe that we would feel better if we could read about a future that is worth living in. I’m also naive enough to believe that we currently have all the information we need to create such a future. Why, then, do so few science fiction writers nowadays describe this kind of alternative? This remains a mystery to me but it would be nice if more writers were to even give it a try.

– John-Henri Holmberg

I agree with him. Time to write more optimistic futures! Even if the present is so bleak. Last week I was asked which sci-fi worlds I like to escape to, and since I’m old, I gave original Star Wars trilogy, original Star Trek and original Battlestar Galactica… and then this week I learned that Richard Hatch is gone too.

So I’m posting his autographed photo from Torino Comics 2012 when I was very busy being Happy Fangirl Barb with Terry Moore, but also got to meet him.Β  In case you’re a newcomer, you can read all about that here. I hadn’t posted the photo back then, so here it is now.

tocomics2012Anyway, it is well-known that I don’t watch TV anymore. Apparently da Muse went to the Italian TV for his next movie (coming out today in the US, next week in the UK) but I didn’t see him either (but then, I didn’t even see him when he came to Rome to shoot some scenes last year, LOL!).

Hope this weekend to watch another movie, if not, well… March! πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend!

Random Friday


kobo-promoOnly on Kobo UK and only from Jan 26 to Feb 2 – Norman Blood at 2Β£!

Sort of filler post because I’m traveling (to the UK, haha!) and didn’t have time to finish the portrait I started last weekend or to watch any more movies (well, I rewatched Spy Game, but that’s all). And I’m going to the cinema tomorrow in London, so I won’t have much to say until I come back.

Okay, I can tell you a conversation I had at work.

Me: “Tomorrow I leave early because I need to travel.”

Guy: “London?”

Me: “Yeah.”

Guy: “To watch a movie?”

Me: “Yeah.”

Guy: “It’s a joke, right?”

Me: “No, it’s serious. I go to London to see a movie that won’t come out in Italy.”

Guy: “And you go to London?”

Me: “If I want to see it on a cinema screen, I have only three options: London, America and India. Which is the closest?”

Guy: “You should go to India!”

Yeah, as if I could go to India for a weekend like I’m doing with London, LOL! Anyhow, he didn’t really understand why I’m doing this, but I don’t care. I’m crazy like that! πŸ˜‰

Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

Random Friday


Movie Friday! I saw a cheap DVD of the Danish Girl and was intrigued enough by the blurb to buy it. The Italian blurb was slightly different than the IMDB one, but whatever! I enjoyed the story of the first transgender. I even cried a little, and s/he is quite beautiful and with a very sweet smile.

As for nude males – as discussed in the comments of this post – yeah, he showed his dick and also how to hide it to look female, and it was quite an interesting sight! πŸ˜‰ Like I said in the above, I’m not a fan of male full frontals, but in this case I wasn’t disturbed.

Might be adult themes, but I thought overall it was a very sweet love story although there’s no HEA. But I’d rather cry over a sad movie than in anger at DayJob. Crying over a movie or a book is catartic. Crying in anger and frustration is just exhausting. And I’m very close to that lately.

And then I watched Mohenjo Daro with a friend… by the way, it will also be at the Florence Film Festival this weekend. They used to show those movies also in Rome a week later, but this year apparently they prefer Milan… Can’t blame them! πŸ˜‰ (and anyway they invited Kabir Bedi and Ashutosh Gowariker, not Hrithik, so… ;p)

Let’s say that a TV screen was enough anyway. Not sure I’d have enjoyed it more on a big screen. It was okay. Later I thought I missed something, then, remembering the “censorship” of Bang Bang by Air India, I realized that maybe that much talked scene was actually something that I did see and it wasn’t as hot as described in the articles I read through my Google Alerts.

Either that, or the hot love scene was left on the cutting floor, haha! πŸ˜€ Not that I care to watch men romance much younger women on the big screen (do you hear me, SRK? Deepika could be your daughter!!)… πŸ˜‰ And no, it’s not because I’m not that young anymore, haha! πŸ˜€

Now my friend wants to see more Bollywood. I shall endeavor to pass her the Bollywood fever! πŸ˜€ Have a great weekend! πŸ˜‰

Random Friday


Since between long flights and that neverending pile of DVDs to watch (to which I have just added 4 + a box set loaned by my sister with 2 movies I haven’t seen), I’ll make this movie Friday! πŸ˜‰ During Long Flight #1, since it was a red eye, I blissfully slept for most of it. I only watched a bit of Bang Bang from breakfast to landing or so (up to after the song Uff).

I resumed watching it on the way back during lunch, since I could be interrupted and everything, then I went exploring whatever else Air India offered and went back to it only a number of hours later to finish watching it. It was censored, by the way. I even rewinded to check – the kiss in Prague had been cut out of the movie. Meh.

Anyhow, I watched Kapoor & Sons – still don’t get that artificial aging that looks ugly whatever movie industry tries it, but I guess there aren’t that many 90-year-olds still alive and acting! πŸ˜‰ Yes, Rishi Kapoor was unrecognizable under the prosthetics, but still looked fake – and on a small screen on the plane, can’t imagine on a big screen.

It’s a nice movie, though, I shed some tears, so I’ll add it to the wishlist anyway. The two young men were quite promising, although they looked like younger versions of Arjun Rampal and Shahid Kapoor… Here’s to hoping that Sidhart Malotra shaves a little more often, like Shahid used to do! πŸ˜‰ And keep going, Fawad Khan, you can conquer Bollywood even if you’re Pakistani! πŸ˜‰

Then, since I couldn’t really get any sleep, but was too tired to concentrate on deep storytelling, I checked ABCD2, since it’s a dance movie and I love watching dance numbers (and that’s why Da Muse is where he is, he is the best Bollywood dancer, ha!). The choreography was great and I showed the last number to my nephew who is doing breakdance this year… I had to explain to him the story, but there isn’t much dialog, so maybe one day I’ll watch it with him! πŸ˜‰

Then I went home and before ordering the next batch on Amazon (was supposed to be just 1, but I watched some trailers on the next DVD… and I ordered 3!) I watched Bhagwaan Dada. Besides the very ruined film and the dubious honor of seeing Sridevi in her youth (I’m not ashamed to admit I discovered her with English Vinglish, so?), what can I say… the best actor was the kid! πŸ˜‰

The movie looked from the 50s or 60s, even though it’s from the 80s, and the transitions were quite choppy, so I didn’t love it, but I kinda liked it. Like watching Darr and other 20th century Bollywood. They definitely got better in the new millennium!

And the kid grew up to become the Greek God we all know and love… πŸ˜‰ Although he was definitely an ugly duckling back then, but he already loved to dance. Now looking forward to his next movie, Kaabil. I might do a weekend in London in January – alone, so I’ll make sure to go to a cinema on time, and if I’m early I’ll just stick around until it starts, not like I did last August with Mohenjo Daro! πŸ˜€

About Kaabil, I got myself an Italian movie because as you can see the posters are quite similar… so I’ve watched this one too! πŸ˜‰ It went ahead of the queue because I start from the shortest and of course it’s much shorter than Bajirao Mastani…

italia-indiaSoooo, it’s nice. Another Italian superhero (well, he’s strong and can’t be killed by bullets and eals faster than Wolverine, but whatever). And shot in Rome, although the dialects alternated between Roman and Napoletano (which I don’t understand very well – I understand better English than the dialect of Naples, haha!). So, loner who turns vigilante to avenge the crazy woman who fell for him…

Yes, I know, all the stories have already been written, it’s the execution that counts! πŸ˜‰ I’ll have to wait at least until January to tell you the similarities – if any, besides the posters! πŸ˜€ And that’s all for today… have a great weekend!

 

Happiness is…


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or any other Bollywood movie, really! πŸ˜‰ (says the gal who just skipped the latest release she went to England specifically for, LOL! But she came back with a couple of SRK movies on DVD instead…)

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