Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote almost 14K words. And after deleting 2K I decided to change the books order… so Book 8 will be Book 9! Glad I’m writing them all before sending them off to Mighty Editor and hit that Publish button, LOL! Although I did have to modify the book # on the covers I prepared, but it’s just one minor change.

I hope to finish this book in a couple of days and then I’ll have to decide if I continue to the next or go back to the one I skipped because I wasn’t expecting things to go this way. Perks of writing into the dark. I must say the second batch of books is really surprising me and keeping me entertained! ๐Ÿ™‚

And of course there’s another Team Missions book out, in case you were waiting for it. Unfortunately the last 3 books have lost interest for my Kobo Australia reader, unless they’re in lockdown and haven’t realized the series is continuing. Oh, well. The full collection will be out mid-June, so maybe that’s what they’re waiting for! ๐Ÿ™‚

And you can now buy face masks in my revived Zazzle Store, either with my strips characters or with yours truly. I also put the art on mugs, in case you broke all your mugs in frustration during lockdown.

Here’s the collection with yours truly…

And the one with the strips characters

I had a lot of fun preparing them, hope you like them! I ordered one for myself, but I haven’t received it yet, I’ll post a pic when I get it! ๐Ÿ˜‰ They’re still working on my order, so we’ll see…

And the Smashwords sale ends soon! Here’s a link to the currently discounted books from yours truly. Next week I hope to post a link to the next project I’m in, an anthology I’m currently reading so I’ll be able to tell you more about the other authors who keep me company… stay tuned! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I can watch only comedies at the moment, and I was in the mood for She-Devil because while writing I feel a little like Meryl Streep in that movie (although it’s from 1989, she has an electric typewriter and writes romance, the publishing world has changed A LOT since, but well… it’s Meryl Streep as Successful Romance Author! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), stopping and thinking of a better word and correcting and all that.

Although obviously I don’t have a palace overlooking the ocean and I’m not a successful romance author, but you get the idea! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Things are slowly re-opening on this side of the world as we enter Phase 2, but spring has also exploded and the heat has arrived, making me want to move north immediately.

Unfortunately, even though in June we’ll be able to travel to Europe, I doubt I’m anywhere close to leaving the damn DayJob and moving to a cooler country. Sigh. I’m really considering going to IceCon in November, so I’d be able to see the Northern Lights and maybe book a tour or two with the Tour Bunny before or after the convention…

That’s all for now! Have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


This is scheduled well in advance because I’m traveling with a smartphone and my eyes don’t allow me to work properly on such small screen (not to mention that typist me can’t use ten fingers on that tiny keyboard, so there!). No writing news while I’m at the anthology workshop, so I shall entertain you with something else.

Since I no longer do Random Fridays, I’ll do a Random Wednesday for a change! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Been watching some DVDs since Christmas, so here we go. First of all, for Christmas I got the book Dark Crystal: the Ultimate Visual History (that I’m still reading, BTW, because even if it’s heavily illustrated, it takes time to read how that movie was born so many years ago).

So I had to re-watch the DVD and its extras, just to remind myself what it was like. I had in mind to re-watch also Labyrinth, but didn’t have time so far. Maybe when I get home! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Then I watched Il Ragazzo Invisibile Seconda Generazione (it has English subtitles, if you’re interested). The kid is growing up just fine, LOL! Our own superhero is in his teens now, and the cast is international, which is something I love – moviesย  with many languages like Babel are my favorites! There should probably be a third one, but it doesn’t look like it’s in the making. Oh, well.

And when I was done reading, to get myself back into my very own Star Minds Universe, I watched Solo: A Star Wars Story. Now, I’m a fan of the original trilogy, the Ewoks and all that stuff. I did see the Prequels (meh), but I totally ignored the sequels. I got this one because it was only 9.99euro and it’s Han Solo and Lando and Chewbecca and… well, you get it.

Ron Howard did a good job but then I had to rewatch Empire Strikes Back, just to make sure they were consistent, LOL! I ended up watching all three original movies throughout the weekend, although only the oldest one was in the revised/enhanced version with the extra scene and Jabba the Hutt – the other two were the cinema versions (although at the time I saw all of them dubbed in Italian).

And Vanity Fair Italy gave the cover to my first movie love, Matt Dillon, who is the same age as Da Muse and as immortal as he is, mwhahaha! They might both be Boomers (while I’m Generation X), but they’re awesome! ๐Ÿ˜€

Oh, yeah, Da Muse was also a presenter at the Oscars night. Did I watch it? No. Never did, don’t care. But to stay on topic with movies and Hollywood, a January news that didn’t show up in my Google alert but was in another newsletter is that Warner Bros. signed AI startup that claims to predict film success.

Will it really work? We’ll see… So, after these wanderings in moviedom, I shall leave you with the usual writerly quote… have a great week!

Nearly every piece of writing advice can be taken, tested, and found wrong. Because inevitably there exists a novel โ€” a popular novel, either bestseller or an award-winner or both โ€” that does exactly the thing youโ€™re Not Supposed To Do. Or it doesnโ€™t do the thing that Everyone Is Supposed To Do. Novels break the rules all the time because ultimately, no rules exist. (The one rule that does exist is that you mustย finish your shit. A book can never exist until you finish it, and so all books pass that indestructible law.)

Chuck Wendig

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And last week I got back to my 10K or so, both writing that last story for submission (that will head for the editor’s desk with the rest next week) and starting a new project that should be quickly done so I can start writing for the Anthology Workshop at the end of the month.

After brainstorming with myself I decided to go back to the Star Minds Lone Wolves and next year will see three more longer stories and at least another ten Lone Wolves Team missions with new members. I’ve started with Kaori, who has shown up quite a lot in all the published books, and wrote her story. No spoilers for whoever hasn’t checked them out yet, though.

She’s on the cover of Star Minds Third Generation Snippets, though, as Galaxy Police rookie. The Lone Wolves are set ten years later, so her book is abviously titled “Cop”. Then I’ll have “Assassin” and “Smuggler” and more Team missions.

But going back to Silvery Earth, did you know November is Fairy Tales Retold Month? Yeah, I made that up, but look at the coincidence: I published More Fairy Tales Revisited and Fairy Tales Revisited came out in a brand new bundle curated by A.L. Butcher! ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Backstage Pass is also about those fairy tales and how they came into being. I wrote them all months ago, but hoped to make it a book as long as the first one – except I didn’t actually found another Rithvik and Kerrien to play with! ๐Ÿ˜‰ So there you have it, a shorter book waiting for more to become Volume 2! ๐Ÿ˜‰

All in all I’m quite happy that last week I managed to finish the lettering on the Silvery Earth Kids strip (both English and Italian) as well as writing new stuff. Now I’m back to DayJob, so I’ll have to go around it – although I might actually be able to start working on the Star Minds Kids strip in the mornings.

On Sunday I watched How to Train Your Dragon 3 with Dear Nephew, and we had a lot of fun. I think it’s a nice ending for the trilogy, and I liked the extras (although some I watched alone, since he had to go back to Mom’s to do some homework).

By Christmas he’ll probably be taller than be, but he’s still pretty much into those 3D stories. He even sort of summarized for me a story he has in mind, but I don’t know if I’ll ever manage to make him write it, LOL! He says he has all the character names down, though – all in English, can you believe it! ๐Ÿ˜€

Oh, and Sunday night I updated the trailer for Silvery Earth! ๐Ÿ™‚ Not a masterpiece, but at least I took out all the ugly covers and the books that are no longer available!

And it’s Infinite Bard time again! Go check the latest story! Happy reading and have a great week!

Random Friday


Here we go with some innovation/tech ramblings! ๐Ÿ™‚ I heard about Google Nest Hub Max and, boy!, was I creeped out! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I don’t know about you, but this facial recognition thingy still makes me uneasy. Although I might go to Milan to check an exibition called Training Humans, I still don’t want to see it in my home – or that of my friends.

I read an Italian article about the simulation inside the C-TOC, the IBM fully-operational Security Operations Center being driven around on a semi truck to provide education and support to professionals and consumers. It has apparently reached Italy and they did a demonstration of how it works. It also gave me some ideas for the next story, although I wasn’t thinking about a cyberattack, but the simulated disruptions might happen even in my story, so it was good inspiration! ๐Ÿ™‚

Someone shared how driverless cars might increase sex – and just the title made me think of Shan-leo, who lost his arm because he was busy with his girlfriend! ๐Ÿ˜‰ This story is in Star Minds Next Generation Diaries and not even a mighty Sire like him will ever be whole again! ๐Ÿ™‚ Not to mention the consequences for Izzy-lee… better or worse depends on your thought on life, death and immortality through technology!

I’m not totally against new tech, mind you, especially if it helps disabled people. And I already explored brain implants and telepathy in Brainwaves. And my many terraformed exoplanets might have some base in what is actually out there, since water was found for the first time on a “potentially habitable” planet. Maybe eventually I’ll be able to write hard SF, haha!

Since we’re talking future and futuristic, you heard about Matrix 4, right? I’ll have to rewatch The Matrix to complete the translation of Brainwaves, since I now know the English original almost by heart, but I don’t remember what the dubbed version said. So I might watch most of the movie in English and switch to Italian for that one scene.

Which one? “Ignorance is bliss” – as mentioned in the English version. Can’t for the life of me remember what it sounded like in Italian. And I had the VHS. It was the first Keanu movie I saw in theaters. Then I bought the DVD, discovered the original versions and now I can’t stand dubbed movies anymore. Meh.

Anyhow, another busy weekend re-uploading stuff coming up… Hope you have a better and more relaxed weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

Random Friday


Total randomness again. In case you missed it, I was on the KWL blog yesterday, talking about character-oriented stories with a batch of other authors. I shared it on Facebook, but I know not all of you are on Facebook! ๐Ÿ˜€

A study says brain training shown to restore sharpness in older adults.ย  Now, if only I could decide which adult education course or physical activity I want to start, LOL! I’ve been checking dance schools and university programmes, but haven’t decided yet.

The re-share of this Robin Williams tribute by a Facebook friend came at a serendipitous time to remind me that

Depression, anxiety and panic attacks are not signs of weakness.
They are signs of trying to remain strong for far too long.

Considering how sick of adulting I was this past summer, I guess this is totally right! ๐Ÿ™‚

Last weekend I watched one of the DVDs I bought in Dublin and read a lot from one of the non-fiction books I bought in Edinburgh. Movie first! Keanu was a fun action romp, and since it was a comedy, it had a happy ending! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Not a cat person, but the kitten was cute and it was very entertaining.

The Spartans by Paul Cartledge is good research for two short stories. One is already written, the other on the list to write.ย The book mentions a novel by Valerio Massimo Manfredi about Spartans, so I downloaded the Kindle sample.

I read it and oh, my!ย Haven’t read novels in Italian in years, and boy did his “epic literary” voice got on my nerves! The omniscient narrator of the 1980s, the tone… not for me.ย But l did pick a few tips for adding the five senses in my 2 stories set in ancient Sparta/Greece.

I will submit both to anthologies and if they get rejected, I’ll have the first two chapters of Helios’s story. Probably just a novella, since he doesn’t last long, but Bran’s first fledgling has now been mentioned in relation to Rajveer, at least in Kristine.

And speaking of the guy who inspired both, the Greek God of Bollywood, here’s his latest dance number of the upcoming action movie War. Apparently they closed Positano beach to shoot this video! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Don’t forget to check the Backstage Pass post on Sunday… I actually changed topic and postponed the difficult one to next month! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Random Friday


A few more anniversaries this Friday! ๐Ÿ™‚ As posted on Facebook by The Ultimate 80’s Child (onย February 9 at 8:25 PM)40 years ago today, “The Warriors” premiered in cinemas. Of course I didn’t see it in cinemas but it became one of my favorite movies on TV (analogic TV with barely a remote, it was our first color TV, by the way).

It’s also the first I saw in it’s original version with Italian subtitles back in the late 1980s! ๐Ÿ™‚ So, like, my first movie in a second language (along with Saturday Night Fever and I think Footloose, which I hated because I loved Kevin Bacon’s Italian voice at the time, LOL!) that I didn’t speak very well (I was fluent in French and had no trouble watching the French channel available in Rome back then).

Getting movies in the original version with subtitles in the 1980s was really hard. In fact this series was at 10.30pm, but by then, luckily, our house had the first VCR (remember those?) so I programmed it and then managed to skip the ads when rewatching, hehe! And probably in 1989 when I went to London I bought the original VHS, since by then I was used to the English audio! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Since we’re in 1979, for me it was also the year of Grease in a summer cinema, my first “young adult” movie after years of Disney cartoons… I know it was released the previous year, but I’m on the other side of the pond and at the time there was no such thing of worldwide release! ๐Ÿ˜€

And moving to the music scene, on Sunday I heard on the radio Video Killed the Radio Star which is still quite accurate, as long as you substitute the internet to Video and video to Radio Star. We miss Radio Gaga, don’t we? (no, I haven’t seen Bohemian Rapsody yet, sorry.)

Oh, and while we’re in the music department, let”s nit forget Prince’s 1999 – wasn’t among my faves, but… let’s party like it’s 199! ๐Ÿ™‚ Today I’m lazy, so no links… just a couple of videos to keep you company. Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

Random Friday


And it’s MOVIE Friday! ๐Ÿ™‚ Nothing new, actually, but celebrating a couple of my favorites that turn 20 this year as well as another that turns 30 and has its third instalment coming…

So it was the year 1999, right? What movies come to mind to you? Come on! What movie revolutioned sci-fi film-making with the now famous bullet-time? Yes, it’s the original, one and only, The Matrix! Now that was the first Keanu movie I actually saw in theaters (everything coming before that was either seen on TV or on VHS. What? Don’t know what I’m talking about? Sheesh…) and it definitely made an impression – although it took me another couple of years to become obsessed with him, but that’s another story, LOL!

It was also one of the first I bought on DVD and that’s how I heard his real voice – and that was definitely love at first sound! From that point on, I started hating dubbed movies and watching them in their original version with subtitles. Which is good since many movies that interest me were never dubbed into Italian, mwhahahahaha! (especially Bollywood, and especially Da Muse, I think only Jodhaa Akbar was dubbed in Italian)

Anyhow, the other movie of the year was in a completely different genre and I’m not supposed to talk about it. I mean, the first rule is that you do not talk about it. The second rule is… you do not. Talk. About it. So how am I supposed to talk about it? Although I prefer one of the main stars in Interview with the Vampire, I kinda liked him also in this one – I even slashed it. From Jared Leto’s character’s point of view. Not sure I have the English version, though.

I actually even read the book, but somehow, because I saw the movie first, I thought the movie was better. But I was curious about the original material, so I got the paperback. Still wondering how they came up with that movie from that book but that’s another story (very similar to Johnny Mnemonic – got a paperback with the screenplay and the original William Gibson story, still wondering. BTW, Johnny Mnemonic turns 24. Not bad).

Anyhow, to stay with Da Muse (I don’t know who’s #1 and #2 between them anymore, so they’re just Da Hollywood Muse and Da Bollywood Muse to differentiate them) your favorite Teodore “Ted” Logan came out 30 years ago (on Sunday). That’s another movie that was never dubbed in Italian, but it’s sequel, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey was. Wonders never cease in the international movie distribution system!

Aand Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure‘sย  much talked about sequel Bill & Ted Face the Music will start shooting soon! How cool is that? It’s been ONLY 30 years, after all! ๐Ÿ˜€ So I’m closing this with my new manga avatars, made with Picrew.me – me and Da Muses, of course… Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Random Friday


I managed to watch all the new DVDs, but I still have a couple on my ToWatch shelf. I was keeping them for when I’ll be able to write the story of my centurion vampire, but maybe I should just watch them and then re-watch them whenever I feel like writing about him – although, I killed him off… mm, one more reason to watch those two Ancient Rome movies, then! ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyhow, I saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Just a reminder that I’m NOT a Harry Potter fan – haven’t read the books, haven’t seen the movies. I had glimpsed it on a plane, but then Techie Bro said he was looking for it, I saw it at 5euros (well, 3DVD for 15euro, so I got that one, Deadpool and Suicide Squad) and ended up watching it.

Totally oblivious of where it came from, although I had the vague idea it was based on a book (actually, a guide book, but I digress. The screenplay was written by The JK Herself, so it’s as if) and suspected it dealt with the little sorcerer’s world when I heard Hogwarth mentioned in the opening, but well… it was okay. At least it was a grownup young man, not a child going to wizard school! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m still sorta tired of those special effects that tear down buildings and put them back together, but the creatures were fine. Funny even. And I watched the making of cause I was curious about the effects behind them. So it was okay, I might watch the sequel! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Then I got Black Panther since I was curious. And yeah, it was good fun and another one of the last cameos of the late Stan Lee. Loved all the black characters and of course Michael B. Jordan has grown a lot since Hardball, but I couldn’t watch him in Fantastic Four, so glad I got to see him here! ๐Ÿ™‚

I guess that’s all for this year… I’ll watch the last two DVDs next year, they’ve been sitting on my shelf for at least two years anyway, along with the TV mini-series V (1985) that I bought way back in 2008 in London… not in a rush, no! ๐Ÿ˜€ Have a great weekend!

Random Friday


So, I managed to watch a couple of DVDs of competing universes! My reader’s loyalty goes mostly to Marvel, since I used to read Fantastic Four and Spiderman in the 1980s, and for that reason I don’t watch the movies based on those comics (okay, I did see the first Spiderman movie but hated it, so now you know why).

My movie-watcher loyalty is probably evenly split. I did see the first Superman (and the 3rd) in theaters back in the 1980s and possibly a couple of Batman (I think the George Clooney one because I had friends who liked him and the first Christian Bale because hey, Iceland!), but the rest was on DVD.

So, after most X-men movies, I got Deadpool out of curiosity… and yeah, it’s not politically correct, he talks to the audience, he’s an asshole, but… meh. I totally hated the fake Colossus (as much as I hated the fake Spiderman moving around) and I’m not sure I even liked the storyline. Yes, it changes us from the usual politically correct straight heroes, but… dunno.

On the other side of the fence, I mean, the other universe, I watched Suicide Squad. Villains turned heroes. That was actually a cool idea! Yeah, they’re batshit crazy, but they did save the world! And Will Smith in a bad-guy-turned-hero version was almost unrecognizable at first. And I did see Hancock.

So I probably won’t get Deadpool 2 (unless it’s in the discount bin), but I might enjoy a Suicide Squad 2, if there’s such a thing. As for the comics… I’m trying to empty my bookshelves and I read comics only on paper, so… I’ll just skip that! ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a great weekend!

Random Friday


Since I like watching movies un-dubbed, I almost stopped going to the cinema. Then somewhere in that country that almost looks like Italy but it’s not (they’re twins, both starting with I and ending with A, but for some things they are different) they are coming up with a new system I’d love to see everywhere – although I probably would never find enough people to have an original version screening, but you never know, there are plenty of foreigners in Rome…

So check this article on India’s movie-theater-on-demand model. It does feel like the future! Instead of streaming on smart-TVs or laptops, we could see movies on big screens like before tablets and the likes! Maybe I’ll be able to book a theater viewing with that app or a similar one eventually…

In the meantime, I’m sticking to DVDs. Because I don’t have a smart-TV and don’t want to watch movies on my laptop. So while looking for some “old” (1980s/1990s) Italian movies at the local Feltrinelli, I got myself 3 DVDs, since it was 3x15euro – nice deal! As soon as I watch them, I’ll let you know.

Since Holidays are approaching, here are a couple of gift ideas, for both writers and readers. First, you can pick your choice of Holidays Gifts from WMG Publishing – either the Gift Box for Writers or the Gift Box for Readers.

Or you can check this company that brings books to life on shirts and tote bags. The collection includes designs ranging from Jane Austen to Edgar Allan Poe and can be viewed here https://literarybookgifts.com.ย And guess what? I got a promo code for you! CREATIVEBARBWIRE20 is good for 20% off anything in the store, no minimum, and does not expire.

So there you go! You can start your Christmas shopping, for you and your loved ones! ๐Ÿ˜€ Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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