Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And for the third week in a row I was under 5K, but the yearly total is almost 450K. This week I hope to plunge back into writing, although I have a couple of books to edit/format/upload, but since I’m off DayJob, I should be able to up my wordcount and go back to my usual standards.

Last week I went to Lucca Comics and Games, so I was out of town from Wednesday to Sunday lunchtime. I started the new short story Sunday afternoon and should be almost done by now. I also thought what else to write in the next two weeks – things that will be published next year anyway.

For the rest of the year, unless writing for the Anthology Workshop, I’ll either go back to the Star Minds Lone Wolves (a couple more titles and the new team started with Mission #30 that is still unpublished) or Silvery Earth (I had ideas for a 5th Quests book, now I have another 3, so I could start working on another Quests book – or a Silvery Earth Heroine).

By the end of the week I’ll send off to Mighty Editor everything I wrote besides The Beast, or Torik’s story, like we call it between me and Mighty Editor, since at 95K it’s the longest Silvery Earth novel to date (beaten only by Star Minds the Trilogy). And “the rest” is over 50K, a batch of short stories and novellas to either submit to magazines or that will be published next year.

At the comicon, besides showing Silvery Earth Kids proof around (with no success, so I’ll be busy lettering the Italian version this week), I also went to a couple of workshops with a tax expert (yes, I found one, yay!). Unfortunately it seems laws in this country are even worse than I thought and they keep changing (our man mentioned the law changed 4 times in the past 7 years), so now I’m looking for someone living in a country with fixed laws to do business who is willing to adopt this grumpy old spinster! πŸ˜‰

Just kidding, but I see my independence (or the top of my mountain, like Michael Anderle calls it) going back a little more. I shall start working on some kind of plan soon, I doubt luck will come into play before the end of the year. Next year is next year and we’ll see!

I’ll do more experiments, probably sign up with Book Funnel and try group giveaways, or maybe trying to get a Bookbub or something. I don’t know, there’s still two months and some accounting to do before I make up my mind. It might not have been a bad year all in all, but still not a runaway success. Oh, well.

Besides taking pictures of cosplayers and steampunkers, I bought some indie comics and made some new connections. The weather was dreadful, it rained 2 days out of the 3 I spent in Lucca (Wednesday and Sunday were for travels), but it was a nice trip with my siblings (with Mom worried she’d lose us all on the way back, LOL! Moms…).

Among my booty, there was this English comic, Boylord: Genesis. I might have missed the Kickstarter, but I found it at the comicon and even have a drawing of awesome artist Manuela Soriani in my copy! πŸ˜‰ Like that reviewer says on Amazon, it’s a nice blend of fantasy and sci-fi.

Now back home, busy working on the non-existend business and creating more things while trying to clean up my house and throw away or resell stuff because I accumulated too many things and I want to move to a smaller place. I feel doing this physical cleaning of stuff kind of helps also cleaning my mind/spirit/soul and prepare me for what’s to come. I might be wrong – I’ve been wrong before and will be again – but at the moment it feels like the right thing to do.

Back to writing or formatting and wishing you a wonderful week! πŸ™‚ And if you’re NaNoWriMoing, happy writing! πŸ™‚

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™‚

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Errata corrige: the previous week I actually wrote 11K. Last week only 6K, but I have reached a 440K yearly total and still have plenty of stuff to write in the next two months and a half. The less words are also because I started a new strip, and those have less words but more work on the drawings, LOL!

So this is one of the protagonists of the new strip – Star Minds Kids – and here you have a work-in-progress showing the birth of that particular strip. It’s similar to the ones I’ve done for Silvery Earth Kids. It was an upcoming anthology that spurred my imagination – very close to the deadline, even though I had been told about it months ago.

Nothing like a deadline to spur your muses into action, right? Next I’ll do something with the Cosmic Corsairs I already told you about and then develop that strip in the coming months. Again, it’s probably for next year. I guess that’s my way of procrastinating on the prose at this time, LOL!

I’m still trudging through my contemporary story and have jotted down notes for another short story that might take precedence when I’m done lettering the Silvery Earth Kids. I need to finish a proof of the English version before Friday, so I can order it on Lulu and receive it next week.

I plan on checking the paperback for changes and stuff, and then I want to take it to Lucca Comics and see if some publisher wants the Italian version before I go indie. So I might do little writing this week, but some projects need wrapping up! πŸ™‚

Some links: 6 effective ways to treat depression – still have to sign up for a dance class or some other kind of moving with music, but there’s so much going on right now, that I’m not sure I want to start something yet. Maybe in November, maybe in January. We’ll see.

For the indie writers out there – the (in)famous 7 Kindle Keywords: use all 50 characters or not? I’m probably totally misusing those keyword spaces, but I really have trouble finding sentences for my books. Even when I went through the various books to update the manuscripts, I didn’t really add anything to those fields… I should have, I know. Sigh.

I know that my WHY has nothing to do with publishing and all that stuff. The beating heart that keeps my muse alive definitely doesn’t care about algorithms and ads and all that publishing stuff! πŸ™‚ In fact I think I mentioned I have publishing fatigue, more than writing.

6 ways to stay productive in a creative slump – I think I’ve done some of these things even before reading the article, but it’s a good summary/reminder. I think I mentioned spending too much time doing research and not enough writing. Reading for research and not for entertainment.

Well, after discarding a few samples, I started reading a novel for entertainment. It’s traditionally published, but has plenty of mistakes. So I guess we can really live without traditional publishers. And the eBook was cheap, but is not very well formatted IMHO… but I shall tell more about it in my end of the year recommended list (or on Bookbub, since now my book recommendations are there and not on Goodreads)! πŸ™‚

And a new story is up on Infinite Bard! πŸ˜‰ Have a great week! πŸ˜€

Writer Wednesday


Welcome to the last Writer Wednesday, since next week it’s October, 10 years of blogging and new schedule! πŸ™‚ Last week I wrote only one short story, and a short one at that (less than 3K), but I stupidly thought I could write another during the weekend. Not.

It was the Silvery Earth revamping weekend and I still have a lot of work to do! 😦 I updated the Chronicles of the Varian Empire and the single Quests books with the new covers (so that’s 7 ebooks and 3 paperbacks) on Saturday. And I updated 25 paperbacks, 22 migrated from CreateSpace and 3 already KDP print. Which took me almost all Sunday.

I still have 35 eBook documents to update and reupload to five sites (KDP, KWL, D2D, SW and DTF), and it will probably take me the rest of the week. While I try to write that last story before the end of the month. Feels neverending, but I’ll finish this tend-the-garden job! πŸ™‚

I also added a couple of boards on Pinterest – or my books, I mean. And there are also boards that serve as inspiration for the books, so it’s not just book covers! πŸ˜‰ Oh, and I finished coloring Silvery Earth Kids, so now I only have to put the lettering on 70 strips or something… And possibly redraw a panel or three!

Still reading blogs, but mulling over the flood of info by myself. Still overwhelmed with the “updating backlist” task, so not ready for many things. But still building brand with these blog posts! πŸ™‚

I want to check my notes from my online craft workshops before launching the next project. Meanwhile I brainstorm vague ideas that might eventually take shape…

Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


Slowing down the writing and tending the garden means I wrote a little more than 9K last week. One new story and the expansion of an older one (still unpublished, so no harm done). I’ll probably tinker with the other one a little longer as well, since I’m still reading a non-fiction book for research purposes.

While doint the translation of Brainwaves, I found several instances of a forgotten “h” in a name, luckily I still had to update those documents, so next weekend the “typo” or “inconsistency” will vanish. Next weekend is Future Earth Chronicles and Vampires Through the Centuries update, yay (not).

Silvery Earth, in spite of pruning, still has quite a lot of titles. Four new covers for the Quests book to make and still a lot of documents to update with new backmatter. How many? The answer is 42. Douglas Adams knew it even before I actually wrote the books!

Just kidding, but it’s more than 40 titles on Smashwords, plus the box sets that are only on Draft2Digital, so quite a lot of work in that department. Not to mention the other retailers – Amazon, Kobo and DriveThru… I’ll definitely be busy all of September with the revamping!

I shall keep these monologues (or dialogues with Tori) going for a little longer. I’ll do a giveaway for the ten years of blogging, then will slow down further to one post a week. Unless there are guests. Or special announcements. I will stop the Happiness is… rotation as well.

So I will have Backstage Pass on Sundays on the publisher’s page and Writer Wednesday on this blog, probably longer and more rambling.

And speaking of announcements, here’s the table of contents of an upcoming anthology, in which I have a story.

Image may contain: text

From the publisher:

The charity anthology, Yearning to Breathe Free is deep into production, and will be available by mid-September. All profits from the anthology will be donated to RAICES, a non-profit charity who has led the fight in making sure that immigrants in detention centers have access to legal protection, enabling families to call each other on the phone, helping parents to find their children, and ensuring that those detained can gain access to basic goods and services.

My story is Following Torik, and if the name sounds familiar, yes, he’s the Silvery Earth Kid that outgrew his clothes. Except thisΒ  is the story of his little brother Baldric, and they’re both adults by now (it’s been 12 years since Silvery Earth Kids). So, while you wait for the strip and the related novel, you can have a taste in this charity anthology! πŸ˜‰

Or you can follow Silvery Earth Kids on Instagram, Monday vignette of a sobbing Torik earned a lot of love (while I kept singing “I don’t like Mondays“!)! πŸ˜€ That’s all for now and I wish you all a wonderful week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


Last week I wrote about 13K and wrapped The Wanderers at 93K. Now I’m going to leave it alone until Mighty Editor checks it, because I’m bored with it and think it sucks, haha. Besides, I’m reading a non-fiction book about medieval Persia, so it might give some ideas for the past of the southern kingdoms (since this story is set before the Quests).

The good thing about NOT having readers clamoring for more is that I don’t feel the pressure of writing the next book. The bad think is not knowing how I am doing, which makes me doubt myself and my skills. Yeah, my self-esteem is currently low, but I will bounce back, don’t worry! πŸ˜‰

Anyway, I wrote 400K already this year, and even if I’m not sure I’ll write another 100k in the last four months of the year, I don’t care. I proved I can reach half pulp speed (500K) and stick to my own deadlines, now I can get back to having fun. Productivity was never my problem, was it?

If and when some series of mine takes off, I have more books to write. Meanwhile, I have some experiments to do to get out of this burn out. Currently writing shorts for anthos and trad mags, while coloring the Silvery Earth Kids strip (about 10 to color, then about 80 to letter) that I hope to complete by the end of September.

Then I’ll need to do a print attempt with Lulu so I can check it (my eyes don’t like staring at the screen, and printed out mistakes are glaringly obvious) and redraw whatever needs redrawn or adjusted. Not sure yet what my next long project will be. Possibly a contemporary story or maybe another historical fantasy. I did buy some books in Edinburgh! πŸ˜‰

Still slowly tending the garden, and last week I resumed the Backstage Pass. And since I need to be gentle with myself, I won’t be posting weekly, but every other Sunday.

I’m working on the next instalment, but the topic seems hard to tackle. I do have some articles ready (meant for my never-started magazine or my aborted-Patreon), but I want to write something new that has been on my mind for months. So I will ponder it a little longer.

Meanwhile, there’s another free story up on the Infinite Bard, check it out! Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


Slowly easing back into the writing routine. That handwritten stuff from during worldcon was about 1800words, but I added a lot more, finishing the week with my usual 10K. And then on Monday it occurred to me that the Paths Trilogy could simply be a single longer novel with multiple points of view (4 intertwined), so I’m going to try that now.

I have around 85K already and need to finish, so it might end up like Books of the Immortals – Air, around 90K (my longest novel, with multiple points of view – 6 or 7, if I remember correctly), possibly longer (but I’ll have to trim the duplicated scenes, so some version might end up on the cutting floor).

The weekend was spent cleaning up the Star Minds Universe (the series page and the documents + an update to the cover of the Star Minds Starter) updating backmatter for both eBooks and paperbacks, which means I got flooded by Amazon emails for updating both the versions of each title. And I even had to redo a cover I hadn’t touched. Sheesh.

This also allowed me to discover a few glitches in the move from CreateSpace to KDPprint, so if you haven’t already, go check the third “page” – territorial rights and pricing. But you have to start from the first page to confirm ownership of the paperback, and don’t forget to check blurb and tags, since once they were completely missing from the paperback version.

Findaway Voices announced shared royalties, so I might do another audio book sooner rather than later. Most sales through them are to libraries, and I’m very far to breaking even with the expenses for producing the first three audiobooks. But I’ve been told longer books get listened to much more, so I’ll have to try with a full-length novel eventually.

A couple of long but awesome posts from Kristen Lamb – In It to WIN It: How Committed Are You to Being a Successful Author? and Pitch Perfect: Can You Sell Your Story in ONE Sentence? Still trying to find those loglines for my books, but eventually, I’ll make it, LOL!

And that’s all for now! Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


The grand total for the writing retreat (even though I didn’t write every day, and definitely not when traveling) was 14600words, although I finished The Path of Metal on Sunday. I printed it out on Monday at the office and did a final pass, reading it all in one sitting before moving on.

Now writing those short stories to submit to traditional markets with very tight deadlines. Including Mission #30 of the Lone Wolves Team, that therefore is not included in the last volume of our adventurers’ jobs, out now. I will add it to the collection of all the missions if it gets rejected (or will wait until I can publish it in the whole collection, depending how long I have to postpone it, LOL).

Next weekend I’ll upload Rogue, then pause the publishing for a few months. I considered enrolling it in KU so I could participate in the Kindle StorytellerAward 2019 on Amazon UK, but unless my one true fan (yes, Tori, I’m talking to you) tells me she doesn’t mind waiting 3 months, I won’t. If I happen to win (which I won’t), means it would be stuck on Amazon only for much longer. If you’re in KU and have published between May and August, do try your luck, though! πŸ˜‰

I learned a few things and got a few ideas at the conference, so it’s time I start working on that rebranding – or tending my garden, as they say. Since “just write more books” doesn’t really work, I’m studying the Reader Magnets. Although the PDF is outdated RE: MailChimp, but I have no intention of opening another newsletter yet.

But someone pointed me to StoryOrigin, and they handle Reader Magnets and review copies even if you don’t have a mailing list. So I might try that too in the coming months (as well as signing up for Pinterest when I have the rebranded covers ready – not all of them, but still quite a few, I’m afraid).

I haven’t done a priority list yet, although I have booked out a few weekends to start the revamping of the publisher’s site. Might also give me ideas for the Backstage Pass posts! πŸ˜‰ Oh, and another link of something I discovered in Edinburgh (thanks, Josie, glad I didn’t spend all my time talking to the only face I knew beforehand and saw your link on the group discussion) – Hopepunk. Might be something to consider when I re-tag my books! πŸ˜‰

Now, you might have noticed my re-blog on Sunday. Yes, the awesome A.L. Butcher put together another awesome bundle, Here Be Magic, that includes yours truly. Soon you’ll hear from some of those authors on this very blog.

Aaaand, you guessed it, it’s Infinite Bard time again! Hop off to the site and read another free short story for your reading pleasure! πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


Last week I started on The Path of Metal and wrote 13K. I’m also adding strips to the strip, but I hope to wrap everything in Edinburgh. I have a few short stories to write bythe end of August, lest the submission windows closes! Hopefully those places have some kind of submission form, since one of my latest attempts was flagged as spam and didn’t go through. Sigh.

And we have another batch of missions of the Lone Wolves Team! Again at all retailers, then one more and it’s over… at least for now! I’ll do a collection of the collection at the end of August. Cherry is on the cover, as always by awesome Ravven

Don’t forget this is the last week of the Smashwords Sale… it lasts only until the end of the month. You have a few more days to grab some of my books 50%off! πŸ™‚ And check out the other authors too! πŸ˜€

Here’s an amazing learning opportunity for you IF YOU’RE IN THE US. I can vouch for Kevin J. Anderson and Dean Wesley Smith as teachers, but I always come back frustrated from the business masterclasses, because none of that applies in Italy. But if you’re American, you should definitely check them! πŸ˜‰

And here’s some advice from Joe Konrath, 6 things writers need to stop worrying about. Very apt since I’m heading for a conference tomorrow! πŸ˜‰

Also, if you plan on writing sci-fi, check this article. I did read that book of putting science into fiction, and it’s good! Also, the article is right down my alley too! πŸ˜‰

Now I better go back to my fantasy world… but know that there are a few sci-fi stories to write when I’m done with Torik and friends! πŸ˜‰

And last but not least, it’s Infinite Bard time again! Hop off to the main page and discover another new author, another free story… Have a great week! πŸ˜€

 

Random Friday


It should probably have been a different kind of post, one that I’ll elaborate more when I resume the Backstage Pass on the publisher’s page in September, but I’d like to ramble on my virtual casts. I mean, I already mentioned Da Muses who seem to be everywhere – although neither is in The Path of Wood, but that’s because it’s about Torik grown up, and he must look more or less like the child I’m drawing in Silvery Earth Kids! πŸ˜‰

Although I sort of cheated even in that strip. The previous strip, Me and Da Muses, had them both. When I did the character design for Silvery Earth Kids, I did keep a couple of things from Da Muses. Well, one, mostly: the hair. I changed the color, but Torik and Erwan have Da Muses’ hair.

When it came to “cast” for the grown-up version, I did find someone who could be Torik, but then everybody else was 3D rendering (usually by Ravven because she’s the best). Even the Path of Metal will have a cover by Ravven and I cast two of her 3D rendering characters as protagonists.

Not going to show my cover attempts yet, but the ramble is about casting and I wanted to mention how I found the twin protagonists’s younger brother on Yahoo, as I went to check my email. See this article about a teen who wasn’t hired because of his extreme hairstyle and became a model?

He’s the younger brother. He’s just perfect. I mentioned (in The Path of Wood) that the eldest and one of the twin girls have brown eyes like their father, and the other twin and the youngest have blue/grey eyes like their mother. He’s even the right age for my secondary world fantasy! πŸ˜‰

For Future Earth Chronicles I took random pictures from the internet (that of course I cannot share because copyright)… So even my casting process has changed through the years, LOL!

One last comment on my (usually famous) virtual cast: here’s what crushes on celebrities say about us (meaning middle-aged women, although I’m not really a Mom, but I guess I had some kind of Mom Crush…)! And, when I’ll be Diane Keaton’s age, if a Keanu Reeves walks to me, I’d definitely dump the Jack Nicholson in my life, unless it’s Keanu himself, of course! πŸ˜€

Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

EDITED TO ADD: I just saw in the dashboard that this is post #2300… and in a couple of months I celebrate 10 years of blogging… just sayin’! πŸ˜‰

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