Random Friday

And we also have the very last random Friday! 🙂 Some innovation links first: image recognition with deep learning for e-commerce explains very well how the whole thing works. I found it fascinating. And some tech is good, like the authonomous drone delivering diabetes medication to a remote Irish island.

And of course learning to read boosts the visual brain, but we have some studies to prove it! 😉 And speaking of brain, we now have wearable cyborgs that use bran waves to power up your muscles and Synchron achieved the first successful human implantation of brain computer interface. The Future Earth Chronicles are coming closer, LOL! Maybe they’re already building the Rainbow Towns! 😀

I was asked this week if I have children and if I missed not having them. No, I don’t miss not having children (hey, I have Dear Nephew! 😉 Although at 14 he’s kind of hard to get through, LOL!), and when I think about all those people who keep breeding in this doomed world, I’m even more vehement about voluntary human extinction and wish everybody did like me. Your children won’t have a world to grow up in, especially if you don’t do anything to stop those people from killing us all.

Last Saturday I watched Replicas. Not as bad as they painted it, but then, I’m no sci-fi expert. Kind of reminded me of Johnny Mnemonic with better computer graphics, since there’s 20 years between the two. And again, we have a father who wants to save his family with his science – but I might wonder what for? 😉

Near Future Sci-fi is the harder to pull off. I’m currently updating the technology in a novel that I wrote back in 2000 – a human society that had starships, but limited tech in its artificial town. I didn’t make The City like Rainbow Town in Future Earth Chronicles, but I had to change a few things here and there! 😀

Stay tuned for the blogoversary… and have a great weekend! 🙂

Random Friday

Here we go with some innovation/tech ramblings! 🙂 I heard about Google Nest Hub Max and, boy!, was I creeped out! 😦 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! 🙂

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! 😉 This story is in Star Minds Next Generation Diaries and not even a mighty Sire like him will ever be whole again! 🙂 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! 🙂

Writer Wednesday

I forgot to mention that while in Massa I saw the first fireflies of my life – I was bummed because I didn’t see them in Certaldo and then my cousin’s wife said “Look, a firefly!” and suddenly in a garden in the middle of a town I saw one. Three the following night. I didn’t know they were seasonal, and apparently this year was good for them. But then the heat fried my brain and I forgot to mention it, LOL!

Anyhow, I’ve sent out the new version of CVE3.  So I’m done cutting chapters and characters, adding the beginning of the next book that actually belongs to this one, etc. I even put back in two scenes that I had cut out at first translation when the actual end was supposed to be the middle of the next book. So I’m very curious to hear what editors and beta have to say about the changes. And wordcount went from 58K to 76K, so this makes it the longest novel for this year, LOL! Anyway, it’s a little like Loralie‘s revisions of her book, which means we’re all the same after all – fast or slow, sometimes we really turn our stories upside down! 🙂

I must thank Prue  for discovering the Cosmopolitan cover generator – please check her “historical” issue and then the Silvery Earth special here.

I’ve tried to summarize what happens in CVE3, with the southern campaign, an Amazon marrying the Varian Emperor and on the cover your neighborhood warrior woman, Astrid, the female protagonist. And no, I didn’t submit for a real Cosmo issue – why, would you like to read it? 😉 Well, you can’t because it’s a medieval world – they haven’t invented newspapers yet (they have in BoI – Earth, but this is before) and certainly not magazines… so this is really a virtual issue! 😉

The story I worked on last week is this year’s sci-fi title, Technological Angel. Which starts on 1982 Earth, so it took some research to add to my own memories of what and wasn’t available at the time! 🙂 Again, I’m pointing to a post about Technology by Loralie as I’m a technophobe (but I’m still here indie publishing, LOL. Ever heard of a technological luddite? ;-)). I wonder what younger people would think of 1982 Earth in my novel – yes, there’s also 2002 and now, for obvious reasons, it ends in 2012. You can tell I first wrote it ten years ago, but it evolved a lot through Italian betas and my own writer-evolution. I sure hope to have at least one of them that reads English to check the latest version when I’m done. I still have to write the final part about 2012, but as I started this back in April, I need to type what I have so far to continue organically. Hopefully soon it will be done – I might discuss it with one beta at the Chicon7! 🙂

Now, Katy gave me the Liebster Blog award, which I already had from Georgina back in January, so I’m not really passing it on. I believe it changed from what it used to be (see original post), but I did receive some blog awards that requested to say something about myself and answer questions… so I will answer Katy’s questions to follow the new rules because she tagged me and she deserves an answer even if I don’t pass it on! 😉 Here goes.

11 Questions for Those Bloggers:
1. What is the weirdest thing you have ever done in public? Gee, I don’t know, I hate being at the center of the attention… but if you poke me enough, you can watch my nice hysterics! 🙂

2. Why did you get into blogging? Because I’m a compulsive writer – can’t stop writing (although I decreased the number of posts, used to be short and daily, now longer and every other day)

3. Whose idea was all this, anyway? Dunno, Katy, but someone twisted the rules during the past 6 months, it wasn’t like this! 😉

4. What is your favorite genre to read? Fantasy – although some subgenres such as urban or paranormal don’t really appeal to me. It must be another world, not our planet with vampires or werewolves! 😉

5. What is your favorite genre to write, just for you? steamy m/m romance – I end up censoring it whenever I want someone else to read it, LOL!

6. What is your favorite book you wrote? usually the last one – but I haven’t written anything totally new since I started translating/rewriting and publishing my Italian stories.

7. Do you have a favorite book? If so, what is it? anything by Brunella Gasperini, my inspirator.

8. What kind of music do you like to listen to? 1980s pop, 1990s rock, celtic, Bollywood – anything, really, from any era and any country, as long as there’s some form of melody! 😀

9. Favorite food? I eat to live, don’t live to eat…

10. (this is bloody exhausting) Will you still be friends with me after all this? Of course, Dear Editor! 🙂

11. There is no question 11! You’re welcome (hopefully this will relate to Question 10). Phew! 😀

I’ll stick to the old rule for this award – no questions and no nothing. And, like I said, I will not pass it on. If you want it, grab it, and answer Katy’s questions! 😉

Now, closing with a few links: Dean Wesley Smith on e-book pricing again. Michael Stackpole on traditional publishing obsolete thinking about e-books. 6 steps to publishing on a Shoestring. Actually, check all of SPAL if you wanto to learn to DIY! 😉 And don’t forget the new Smashwords requirement for cover images (I always uploaded the same image I used for POD, I only did the “e-book version” when I started uploading to Xinxii or Drivethru…). That’s all for today! 🙂

Old Fashioned

This is actually the weekly photo challenge, but when I read it I started to scream in my head like Donkey in Shrek: “Pick me! Pick me! Me! Me!” so there you have it. Old fashioned – that’s me. I could put a picture here, but I guess words are more suitable to explain why I consider myself old fashioned.

1) I’m the opposite of a fashionista. I have no idea of what’s trendy, and I don’t care. I dress how I like, which usually means an old fashioned look. A part of me is stuck in the 1980s, you see… “we were young, we were free“… ahem, whatever, enough changing somebody else’s lyrics! 🙂

2) I’m technophobe. Before I accept any new technology, it probably reaches version 5 or 6. My cell phone is still only a cell phone, my desktop computer has no web-cam and I still have to buy an e-reader. The only technological things I’m fan of are DVDs and email.

3) I like using my hands. I like handwriting, drawing with pencil and paper (even if I learned some “digital painting”), I like handcrafted things, used to make jewelry with beads (not anymore, being in indie author is full time work, no time for the hobby that doesn’t pay! ;-)) and castles with the sand (if and when you manage to see me on a beach, that is). Oh, and PEN palz, although unfortunately they’re now all on Facebook, so snail mail letters don’t go around much anymore. Sigh.

While rewriting old stories I discovered I was never a big fan of Prince Charming, or better, usually the prince was a spoiled bastard and the heroine (either rich or poor) always fell for someone noble of heart instead of birth. So I guess I’m NOT old fashioned towards men, although up to my 20s I wanted an old fashioned wedding and all that stuff. Not anymore, so that’s ruled out, phew.

I was old fashioned while I was still in the dating game (sort of) as only once in my life I asked a man out (old fashion dictates the man should ask first, ladies, let’s not forget it. Although there are no old fashioned gents left, I’m afraid, so you’ll soon find yourself an old spinster like me).This has changed because I got out of the dating game and don’t care anymore. But I’m sure that if and when I met a guy I’m really interested into (my Muse? ;-)), I’ll probably ask him out. Or maybe not. Some old habits are hard to die.

Anyway, this is old fashioned me. I’m sure I missed something, but well… the post is done. And I even have a picture fitting the challenge – my cell phone and snail mail! 😀

Spam and DailyPost Prompts

We all get Spam. Akismet (on WordPress, dunno about other blogging platforms) does a very good job at stopping them, but sometimes you have to adjust manually –  a spam-pingback requesting approval or a real comment with two links that goes in the spam folder. Nobody (and nothing) is perfect, right? But when I saw this one:

Hey fellow author! I wanted to leave you a note letting you know that I came back to your blog. I noticed you have not put up anything new in a while. Perhaps I can provide you the motivation of a committed reader. :)
Anyways, I hope you signed up as a writer by using the link in my earlier message and are making some extra cash. I want to share yet another secret with you. I utilize a script that is actually getting me near to $1000 every week. That is on top of my writing pastime. Here is the website, if you happen to be curious.

I knew immediately it was spam and should stay in the spam folder! 😀 I post every day and this guy says I haven’t put up anything new in a while? You’ve got the wrong blog, man! 😉 And besides, I don’t blog to make money, I write hoping to make money with my fiction soon, but not by blogging. Blogging is… a journal of how I get there, at least for me.

Now, to the writing prompts from those good guys at WordPress. From the Weekly Digest I decided to pick up the question:

If you could go back in time and have a 5 minute conversation with yourself ten years ago, what would you say?

As a recap: 2001 was the last year of life of the Italian Lire, as the next year we got the Euro. Some stupid law also wanted to outlaw fanzines in Italy – and I was still issuing my comics in photocopied booklets to my 10 readers I usually met at comicons. I wrote my very first screenplays in English. And I did my very first writing workshop/retreat. So what I could tell myself is this:

You received a detailed and personalized rejection letter from an Italian publisher who is pointing you in a brand new, unexpected direction. After all, you have a visual imagination, you always say you write down the movies playing in your head (hence the omniscient narrator, but I’ll get back to that in a minute). So go for it, write a screenplay. Or two. Or ten, try to get into Hollywood. Follow a couple of writers workshops. Learn some theory behind the practice – you can’t break rules if you don’t know them. Learn the different POV (deep penetration or not). Keep writing. Eventually you’ll be confident enough to go back to prose in a language that is not your mother tongue and will be able to self-publish with a technology you can only dream of at this time. Like they say on Galaxy Quest: “Never give up, never surrender.”

Barb 2001

And so, here I am ten year later, blogging (I didn’t even know what a blog was back then), uploading stuff on POD and e-publishing platforms, making career plans, choosing more pseudonyms to write in different genres (not all, but definitely 3) and ready to conquer my readers, now that I can reach them all over the world without relaying on snail mail…

I don’t like ending posts with questions (I don’t care if the Perfect Blogger should do so, I’m a rebel writer! ;-)), but feel free to comment with your own answers to that question…

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