Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week the first half was definitely NOT for writing! I met with Anna at the British Library (that I hadn’t seen since 2008) on Monday morning and then with Tori in St.Leonard in the afternoon. Pity the weather was grey and drizzly, especially on the coast… but I shall be back, Tori, I promise! πŸ™‚

Tuesday I met with Les in Grove Park and had lunch in Bromley, then I wanted to head for a 5pm showing of War in Harrow, so I told Josie I’d have to leave by 4pm. A pet accident canceled our meeting, so I headed for Wembley – for the 4pm show I missed on Sunday. It was the first time I headed for the arena, and thought of all the concerts happening there in the past – that I missed! πŸ˜€

About the movie: I could tell some themes are very close to the director’s heart, but I still prefer Bang Bang‘s Rajveer to War‘s Kabir, even though they’re the same kind of guy! πŸ˜‰ And there were only 2 songs in this one, I guess they were too busy shooting those action scenes (eyeroll). Anyhow, it was entertaining enough and I will probably get the DVD if and when it comes out.

Seems DVDs are vanishing from everywhere because of streaming services and even newsagents are present only in stations and airports. So Wednesday morning I took the train to Southall and didn’t even leave the station, since the newsagent didn’t have any Indian mags (unlike in 2013). I guess I can avoid going back there in the future.

I was home late on Wednesday, so all the writing and other stuff had to be done from Thursday on. I changed the Instagram account to a more generic Barb’s Strips, since when Silvery Earth Kids will be out there, I will start putting up Star Minds Kids and then who know what other series of kids (can’t have “vampire kids” because none of them is a child, LOL! Although I did draw Rajveer with that style in the alternate ending…). But I could have Rainbow Town Kids some time in the future. We’ll see.

Thursday I had some errands to run, but managed to throw in some words in my contemporary story. I also got 2 rejections while I was in London, one personalized, so I sent them another story, the other way overdue, generic and with a plead to support the mag on Patreon. I don’t think I’ll ever submit anything to them ever again.

Friday I went to Cristina’s to have that PDF of Silvery Earth Kids done, wrote some more and went through the printing I did at the local shop of the strip. Found a few typos and some panels had to be redone, because on screen they looked fine, printed they became muddled. So Friday night and Saturday morning were spent on the strip – and publishing another Italian title.

Saturday afternoon more writing and more publishing stuff as well as Sunday. Adult Torik’s story had come back from the editor, so I went through it on Monday this week and chose the final title as well as doing the cover. I will publish Silvery Earth Kids by Thanksgiving, so you’ll have plenty of time to order it for Christmas (the strip will be paperback only) and I set up the pre-order for the prose sequel.

Silvery Earth Kids print on A4 and font attempts for the other cover

Starting on the Shared Worlds workshop as well as wrapping that contemporary novella before I head for Lucca Comics and Games. Also, besides these 3 kinds of writers there’s people like me, who published regularly for eight years, but hasn’t found their readers yet, so slowed down the publishing while tending the garden.

Productivity is never a problem for me, but just throwing things out there hoping they stick doesn’t work either for my bruised ego! πŸ˜‰ Which doesn’t mean I stopped writing or hate my computer, but I’m definitely burned out from trying to keep up with the publishing changes and everything around it! πŸ˜€

The rest of my week is probably non-writerly again, since I’ll be at Lucca Comics & Games, but I might bring something to edit while I’m not at the comicon. Don’t forget to check the Infinite Bard for the newest story! Wishing you a wonderful week and see you in November! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


Hope your year started better than mine! On the publishing side, covers were giving problems. Kobo had a glitch so covers didn’t appear in the dashboard – but they were present in the Kobo store. Amazon had the opposite problem! Cover showing in the dashboard and Look Inside, but NOT on the ebook page in the shop. How is one supposed to sell a book that doesn’t show its cover?

Sigh. And it was an experiment with KDP Select. When I don’t enroll the books in KU, the covers appear immediately… I ended up re-uploading and changing slightly the title and it went fine. So, Star Minds Lone Wolves Shorts is available on Amazon only at least until March.

I’ll keep going with this experiment for three months, unless it works, in which case it will remain an Amazon Exclusive. But fear not, oh reader-who-hates-Amazon! Those stories are reprints, and available in other collections that are widely distributed, so you won’t miss anything! πŸ˜‰

And Mumbai Dreams is available for pre-order. It will come out on India’s Republic Day, like the much hyped Bollywood movies it’s inspired from. It’s set in 2049, with some celebrity kids involved…

About Writing, well, 12K down. Halfway through book 5 of Future Earth Chronicles, maybe this week I’ll finish a first draft so I can check them all together that I didn’t contraddict myself, LOL!

Oh, and I finally signed the contract for that sale from 2017… I’m in very good company and I hope to be able to tell you more soon! Stay tuned! πŸ˜‰

And I agree with Chuck Wendig – in 2019: persist, persist, persist! I’m definitely trying to hit that wordcount again, it’s not the writing that worries me! πŸ˜‰ But as my newsletter subscribers have learned, that goes on the back burner for now.Β  I don’t have the energy for weekly emails as suggested by the Newsletter Ninja.

That’s why I suggested subscribers “if you want to hear from me, follow this blog and its rants, if you don’t already” (which some people already do, thank you so much). I don’t have a timeline for my success, but it’s too hard to keep up at this time in my life. I’ll catch up! πŸ˜‰

In the meantime, I’ll just write… so if I suddenly restart publishing 25 titles a year like I did from 2011 to 2017, you will know I have some energy back! πŸ˜‰ Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


And in spite of the bandage, I wrote 724 words on Thursday, 790 on Friday, 1530 on Saturday and 2102 on Sunday for a grand total of over 5K. I could have written more, but the lack of mobility of my wrist meant I tired quicker and had to stop more often.

Anyhow, if you heard a big bang, it’s also because two of my universes collided – well, two series met in this book I’m writing.

And I’m thinking of a cover rebrand, but I still have some work to do on it. It’s such a mashup of subgenres that it’s hard to find a cover template that I like for the whole series!

Will keep working on it, maybe get some good ideas at the business masterclass coming up next week… This book is due for December anyway and I’ll be back on time to order another cover from the same artist if things go wrong the other way round! πŸ™‚

Still not reading blogs because I slept at Mom’s since the fall, so no internet access at night except on my phone, which is too hard to read. I’ll try to catch up next weekend, when I must also set up the pre-order for Kristine the Youngest.

I did manage to set up the pre-order for Elsa’s story, though, so it can go live on October 15th for White Cane Safety Day! πŸ™‚

Oh, and by the way, BundleRabbit has set up a couple of new features, the Shared Worlds (that I still have to try) and the Series that I tried last weekend for both Nightly Bites (there will be more, must be more, LOL! Maybe next year) and Sci-Fi Stories (to which I added the bundle). I think those links are pretty neat! Now I might do a series with the bundles I curated and one with the bundles I participate in, haha! πŸ™‚

Sorry to keep this short, but not much else going on… Have a great week! πŸ™‚

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! πŸ˜‰

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! πŸ™‚

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! πŸ˜‰

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! πŸ˜‰ 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! πŸ˜‰

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! πŸ˜€

Writer Wednesday


The second book of Vampires Through the Centuries is now available for pre-order via Smashwords. And as promised, here’s the cover of Kaylyn the Sister-in-Darkness by awesome Shafali Anand.

kaylyn-ref-webAnd here’s the blurb:

Ten years after the return of the crusader, his people know he’s evil and try to get rid of him and his wife. Kaylyn escapes the fire of Baldwin’s manor with Bran’s help and leaves Lincolnshire for good.

A long journey through 12th century Europe allows her to meet other fledglings of her mysterious maker, Bran the Raven. Then it’s Muslim Spain and up to Damascus, where everything started for Baldwin.

A travel journal through the centuries across Europe, North Africa, Asia on the Silk Road, to the court of Kublai Khan and then India for the making of her brother-in-darkness, Rajveer… And it’s only half of Kaylyn’s story.

History and fantasy mix in this standalone book of Vampires Through the Centuries that will appeal to both historical fiction readers and vampire lovers all over the world.

Bonus story: The Return of the Crusader, or the making of Kaylyn.

The book will come out November 2, one year after Rajveer the Vampire. Pre-order price is 4.99$ – it will go up to 6.99$ withing the first week of release, so get it now!Β  I even set up a Smashwords Series page! πŸ˜‰

Now, for the other news. Currently writing more tales of the Southern Kingdoms to fill volume 2 so that after the summer I can re-issue both books as one volume (Tales of the Southern Kingdoms and More Tales of the Southern Kingdoms) with new covers and POD versions.

Last week I had 4 days when I didn’t write – in between projects – but then I wrote Amrendra part 4 in 3 days, 6600 words. As soon as I get it proofread, I’ll update the document and will announce it, so that whoever bought it on Smashwords can download the new version (I think Amazon automatically sends the new version if there’s significant changes – like 6600 more words?).

I have “trouble” only to start the next story. I usually procrastinate between projects until I finally set my mind on the new story. Once I start, I usually don’t stop until I reach the end – the beauty of writing into the dark, I guess! πŸ˜‰ Anyhow, I have reached midpoint of my yearly wordcount, so I don’t feel pressure if I don’t write for a few days. I know that in October, having three weeks off, my wordcount will drop again, so I better stash up before then! πŸ˜€

Now I’m going to keep walking on the Yellow Brick Road and stick the following on my wall for the time being…

So my advice to you is ignore what society tells you that you must do, ignore what friends tell you that you should do. Do what you want. So when you get to my age, you might be having as much fun as I am.

Ain’t easy, but it is worth it.

Dean Wesley Smith

Have a great week!

Random Friday


charioteer-of-buddha_resizeAwesome Editor sent back the manuscript on Wednesday, so I had time to go through it and set up the pre-order buttons. Find it at Amazon, Kobo and Smashwords for now. Price is 2.99 but it will go up to 4.99 during the week of release. Newsletter subscribers will get a 50% discount coupon.

Kaylyn is on its final pass before heading out for betas and awesome cover artist, who will be provided with reference for this one! πŸ˜‰ Gearing up for the busy weekend of formatting and uploading…

The Archers is also live on Kobo, DriveThruFiction and Smashwords, wait until it filters through to the other retailers.

And Choices, Changes and Other Stories has finally updated on B&N, with special thanks to the helpful guys at D2D! πŸ™‚

Last but not least, I have been interviewed at The Seventh Question! Go check it! Have a great weekend! πŸ˜€

Writer Wednesday


Welcome to September! No, it didn’t sneak up on me, since this summer was waaaaay too long and hot for my tastes. And it’s not completely over yet. Sigh.

Anyhow, if it’s hot outside, I stay in and write, so it’s good for productivity! πŸ˜‰ (as if I go out much anyway… I’m an indoor person and I don’t care, LOL!) So I finished another short novel and I’m working on some origin story that I might never publish if I’m not happy with it, but I thought I’d jot it down, since I need to know the background of that particular character.

It has to do with the past of Silvery Earth – before the Books of the Immortals, and in the northern part of Varia. Mentions of a Moren Empire have already been made. That was my original fantasy empire, too much based on roleplaying games with elves and dwarves and goblins (I assume could be called a LOTR rip off, except I haven’t read the LOTR, so…).

I want to save some of those stories and rewrite them in the current Silvery Earth. Some might just be for me, since, like I said earlier this year, sometimes there isn’t much to save in those old stories, but they give me some kind of background for newer stories.

Like that short novel has “guest stars” from those old stories, so I’ll probably rewrite those next. They were in graphic novel form, so writing them in prose should be like writing something new! πŸ˜‰ Or using an old summary/outline and rewriting almost from scratch… I’ve started with those origins and will go from there.

Got my umpteenth rejection on shorter works, so I better write something else short than I can submit! Thing is, now that I don’t feel any constraint in length, I just write the stories at their natural length… which is mostly in the 20-50K for me. So too long for short story markets, and fairly short for novels in my preferred genre. Sigh.

Finally uploaded Rajveer to Amazon, so you can pre-order it from there too. There’s a placeholder manuscript, since I want to have another pass at it with my proofreader, but you can read the excerpt already… For links and e-ARC, go to the publisher’s site

On Writing by Stephen King is one of my favorite non-fiction books. And now I discovered we have in common also a favorite Keats poem “When I have fears…”! πŸ™‚ That’s why I’ve always been so productive, for fear of not writing everything that came to mind (and I didn’t, but moved on and ideas kept coming, so… I really don’t know what writer’s block is!)! Read the whole article on productivity by Stephen King.

Ten stupid writer business practises by Dean Wesley Smith and the second Zombie Publishing Meme by Joe Konrath about low prices of ebook… I still use wordcount to decide price, but the new books are mostly more expensive than the old ones. I should take down the price, but then… maybe next year! πŸ™‚

Next week I start two online workshops, a b-day present to myself to further my education and comprehension of business practises (althought then I have to adapt it to my home country, sigh). For which, by the way, if you need help, you can read Business for Breakfast vol.1. If you’re not American, you’ll probably enjoy more the second part, on how to get into a routine and motivate yourself! πŸ™‚

As long as you remember to have fun! Ending on a non-writerly note, I wish Muse K a wonderful birthday. I might easily spend the afternoon drawing him instead of writing. My procrastination techniques are wonderful (but when I draw I can brainstorm new stories, so maybe it’s not really procrastination. Denial much? πŸ˜‰ Nah!).

Have a great week! πŸ˜€

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