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Random Friday

Published 17/11/2017 by Barb

I’ve been reading Book 1 of Stella Rimington’s series because it’s the only one of the samples I downloaded that actually grabbed me. And it’s set in England, with MI5, which is what I need to finish that spy story. And she’s a former MI5, so she knows what she’s talking about! πŸ™‚

And I think for the first time I wasΒ  a reader/writer. I mean, as a reader I reacted and then the writer said “Hey, that’s exactly what you’ve been taught in those online workshops!” And the thing is: you don’t hide things from the reader. You can hide them from the character, but the reader must know!

That’s why I like multiple point-of-views books and I hate first person. You get only one side of the story (and most of those other samples were “I stories”). I downloaded the sample of Dame Stella Rimington’s autobiography too, but I’m not sure when I’ll get to it. As much as I’d love to read the whole Liz Carlyle in one sitting, I know I can’t, I’m too slowΒ  reader to binge read like that.

Besides, I still have plenty of bundles to read! Here’s a quick rundown of the bundles I’m currently in (and I’m still going through the first, so I’m afraid the others will be in next year’s end-of-the-year recommended reading post, sigh!).

First glimpse of secondary worlds (curated by me, will be gone next month)

Sci-fi July Fever Fun (curated by me, there will be more sales coming soon)

Love Magik’s Glow

More Than Human

Cyborg City

Dragon Tales

Sword Wielders

Vampires of the World (curated by me, sale coming soon)

Mythic Tales

Cats Cats Cats

Funny by Design

So, there you have it! Plenty to choose from… mostly SFF, but not all! πŸ™‚ If you love cats or if you feel blue, the last two would be perfect! Happy reading and have a great weekend!

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Random Friday

Published 15/09/2017 by Barb

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

Published 05/07/2017 by Barb

Ta-daan!

So yes, you can go and grab it now! On BundleRabbit or on the retailer you pre-ordered it! πŸ™‚ Book trailer here, in case you missed it… I look forward to reading all those amazing books, but I’m still on the previous bundle and had to stop to read non-fiction for the current project. And have you seen how many bundles are available for your summer reads?

I’m also prepping flyers for Worldcon, even though the final calendar hasn’t reached my inbox yet. There you go, busy gal folding paper stuff… I printed 50, but I’ll display only 10 at my first panel, since only 20 can get the free bundle… look me up at Worldcon! πŸ™‚

Wordcount for June was 63K. Currently working on the July novel and since it’s historical fantasy, I have a batch of books to read and some quick Wikipedia checks every now and then. But my paper books pile is going down (I prefer non-fiction on paper)…

of these 3 – 2 are read and the third can wait, yay! πŸ™‚

Some writerly links! 12 truths about publishing – if you want a writing career, that is. Customize your produtcivity to fit your life – for those of you who still have trouble finding time to write. I have a part-time day job and Monday I didn’t write a word of fiction, but I didn’t panic. I usually catch up on weekends (Sunday night I had already 20K in the new novel)… πŸ˜‰

Some thoughts on writing a scene because terrible minds sometimes say absolute truth, like #0 says

As always, writing advice is bullshit, but bullshit can be fertilizer. Maybe this page of scene-writing advice helps something grow in your narrative garden, or maybe it’s just something to shovel out of the way. Use or discard at your leisure.

And ways to stay motivated in this shit-shellacked era of epic stupid because you never have enough motivation do you? I know I can beat Mr Procrastination if I put my mind to it, but can you? πŸ˜‰

Now I better go back to writing. 18th century stuff… but ideas keep bouncing in my head like popcorn kittens! Have a great week! πŸ™‚

 

Random Friday

Published 07/04/2017 by Barb

So, I’ve been reading a manuscript (I’m done, but I read on paper and need to put on the doc all my comments), a non-fiction book on bundles (yes, I’ve started working on my first bundle… I like to overwork myself from time to time, so I can complain I feel overwhelmed, LOL!) and checking my vampires stories while I try to finish the novella for May.

I also read a short ebook of m/m romance with an asexual character – we had a lot in common for many things, LOL! I will mention it in my end-of-the-year reading recommendations post, but for now that’s all. I hope to find time and relax with a drawing tomorrow, but Sunday I’m busy with non-writing stuff (will I survive? πŸ˜‰ of course I will!).

I have added free PDFs on the publisher’s site – if you don’t receive my newsletter, you might want to check them out. Or you can check them out and then subscribe to the newsletter anyway. Also, the first 10 patrons on Patreon get to read an extra story! So hurry, since I will take it down as soon as I reach that quota!

Having bought a Stephan Pastis album in Boston (what, you don’t read Pearls Before Swine?! πŸ˜€ ), I have some ideas on how to print Da Strip as well, but not until the second half of the year. I have other experiments to do before that. Not to mention that I need to do some PODs this month… and it’s almost Easter already… yikes!

Anyhow, that’s all for today! Have a great weekend!

Writer Wednesday

Published 15/02/2017 by Barb

So, it’s a reading month and I’m telling you that I look forward to going back to writing! πŸ˜‰ I’m a slow reader and it tends to send me to sleep, so… I hope from next month to read a little less and write a lot more and maybe watch a movie or three, since my pile just went up again!

water-and-air-1563x2500_resizeTor rejected my novella (after almost 2 months) and I’m quite happy about it because I can order a cover to a wonderful artist () and add that second point of view I had in mind to turn it into a short novel… not to mention writing the sequel, so I already know what I’m writing in March! πŸ˜€

And a new title is out, Quests Volume 1 that contains the Path of Water and the Path of Air with cover by the awesome Shafali Anand. The paper version when I have more time to work on it, be patient, thank you! πŸ™‚

61qsf9igudlI would also recommend to keep an eye on Mysterious Kemet – Book 1 by S.R. Anand (I wonder if they’re related? πŸ˜‰ I’m sure we have the same cover artist!) which will go on my TBR pile as soon as I get home in March. I also hope to invite the author on this very blog then (I mean after I read the book)! πŸ™‚

From a friend’s blog, a new series of how to… for indie authors! πŸ™‚ So if you’re just starting up, you might check these – the posts will keep coming, I’m told! πŸ™‚ How to claim your title on Amazon Author Central, how to add social media buttons on Goodreads, and so on…

Also, if you’re a bestseller, watch out, Amazon is making sure you are – not my case, but I’ve seeen plenty of “bestselling author” labels that made me wonder… I’m glad someone is checking that those labels are hard-earned and true! πŸ˜‰

And a good article on how to seek help the right way. You might do like Indie Author 1 and ask the wrong question to the wrong person! πŸ˜‰ I know Indie Author 2 and I heard his plea, which reminded me of my shelved historical – shelved because I don’t like the story anymore, not just because beta-readers didn’t think it fit the “historical novel” mold.

I also stopped looking for beta-readers unless I write something for the first time or something I’m unfamiliar with and want an “expert” to fact-check what I did. Or maybe I’ll ask the cover artist to read the whole thing. But for the Quests books, for example, I sent out to betas only book 2 and 3 (book 4 comes out next month and I sent it directly to the editor).

Why? Because in one case I had a young male’s POV and even if he isn’t really human, I still needed a male’s perspective. And about Book 3, I was afraid I had gone too fast in the second half, and thanks to faithful offline beta (*waves at B-Abby*) I managed to balance it.

A couple more writerly links: why persist as a writer in times of such heinous fuckery (by – you guessed it! – Chuck Wendig) and how to keep writing through times of great political upheaval (by Chuck’s guest Kameron Hurley). I’m not giving up, and look forward to get back to writing, but I’m tangled into reading this month! πŸ˜‰

Have a great week… Happy writing! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday

Published 08/02/2017 by Barb

Been reading like crazy and not writing much, but I found an interesting site of futurists and how they see the world. So if for example you want to know about the future of work, you can see that the only way to have a job in the future it to be creative – until AIs become better than us at that too, of course.

I have a still unpublished short story about a bleak future for writers, but we’re not there yet. We’re not even close, actually. So it’s okay to be discouraged if writing is not your primary need, but otherwise please check this post on the importance of writing in difficult times. Because it escapism is not a dirty word.

I certainly will keep writing, especially on other worlds, but probably also on this godforesaken planet, even though things look pretty grim – unless you study that futuristic Quantum Run site, that is! Things are not so bleak if you check that! πŸ™‚ And there’s the real value of hope

A project that looks cool for when I finish the current moleskine (I’m still using the ones that were gifted to me by friends around 2002…) is this INDITE notebook… I like the fact that I can write longhand again! πŸ™‚

Other good indie news – both Smashwords and Draft2Digital have taken out the “minimum treshold” for Paypal payments (was 10$ on both sites), so money will trickle in more regularly from this year. I wonder if things changed at Paypal to allow both to drop the minimum treshold…

Have a great week! πŸ™‚

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