Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote less than 5K, but managed to put out another Italian title. Also, my cousin’s friend helped me with the covers of the new project, since I’m very limited with what I can do on the writing computer! Still, the yearly total is over 300K, so I’m not complaining.

This week is starting slowly, but I managed to book a week of vacation when I’ll hopefully decompress. And see some new places. I’m currently not happy with the flights, but maybe we’ll be able to change them later… sigh!

Anyhow, hope you enjoyed the free story in the newsletter! It goes out every two months, so I won’t really spam you! Feel free to subscribe, if you haven’t already! Eventually I’ll publish those stories, but at the moment I have no plans for them.

Now I shall go back to writing, and typing Italian stories (written in the 1990s) in the computer, and dealing with life in general, LOL! I wish you a wonderful week!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week was rather productive despite expectations. I was supposed to edit the project, but got “distracted” by a story with a deadline, so I had to interrupt the editing to write a damn Holiday Story (I hate the Holidays). With time travel (I love time travel! :D). And since I was left with only a day and I was afraid it wasn’t enough to go through a whole short novel, I also started another short (that I finished on Monday). So, 12K written, yay!

Now I’ll have to finish this editing before writing the next short stories. Meanwhile I finally got my paperback copies, and had to redo a couple of covers (one was missing the title on the spine, the other had the wrong back cover copy). Meh. But it’s done, so…

Today is the last day to pre-order this awesome anthology! It goes live tomorrow, don’t miss over 400 pages of worlds of wonder and the ships our heroes fly with Stories Rule Pressโ€™ 2022 edition of Space Opera Digest. Paperback links are also there for those book lovers!

I was checking travel rules for the rest of the year, and it looks like I better find a travel agent to help me. So many forms to fill when moving to another country, even a European one, sigh! Hopefully I’ll manage to get away, though… Well, NOT traveling allows me to save for when I want to quit the day job, LOL!

But I’d rather see some new country or go back to a place I love at least once this year. Out of Italy, I mean. I know I’ll have to go to Tuscany for my father’s 90th birthday, but I really hope to get away from the whole country at some point. Maybe not the Worldcon, but closer… why not?

We’ll see. I guess that’s all for now! Have a great week!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And with the last Bookversary – Books of the Immortals – Ether is 10 today – ends this year anniversary… I doubt I’ll celebrate more bookversaries, but you never know, LOL! I mean, not until another ten years. When I get home I’ll send a final good-bye on the Kickstarter, but again, I have no idea of when the next will be. So just thanking those backers and moving on.

Last week I wrote a little over 6K, but I’m mostly revising at this point. I also started “Build Better Worlds” to help me with this one. I had no trouble improvising in the past, but some anthropology background is really nice to have things make more sense! ๐Ÿ™‚ And it makes for excellent train reading while commuting between towns! ๐Ÿ˜€

As you might know, I go direct to Kobo, and they just announced that their subscription service is expanding. Kobo Plus is now available in Australia and New Zealand! For those who need a refresher, Kobo Plus is an all-you-can-read subscription service that we launched in the Netherlands and Belgium in 2017, Canada in 2020, and Portugal earlier this year. Subscribers pay a flat monthly fee to read unlimited books for as long as they are enrolled in the program. It’s available in Italian as well, and I’ve seen a French author mentioning it’s available in that language as well. So if you hate Mighty Zon, get a Kobo reader and find me there, oh voracious reader! ๐Ÿ˜€

Being on sketchy hotel Wi-Fi, I shall keep this short. I hope to go home with another finished novel to send Mighty Editor as soon as she gives me her January availability. It’s been great meeting friends and updating each other in meatspace, but traveling is still quite a hassle, so we’ll see if next year things get better or not.

Maybe I just have to stay put until I can retire early (2023) – and save some money in the process, LOL! Have a great week!

Wednesday Weelky Roundup


Last week I wrote almost 9K, but then, I had only three days for writing – with jetlag and cover rebranding. I more or less wrapped up the Lone Wolves and this week I’ll work on a Silvery Earth novella while I check files from the editor and prepare for next weekend’s publication. I probably won’t write too much either, since I have a few manuscripts to go through.

About the main event of the past two weeks that took me away from Day Job and COVID-19, well, it was a blast, as expected. Unlike 2017, I did make one sale, which means I’m moving forward! And I got to spend one week with awesome people who helped me overcome my latest lows.

Also, get ready for a new awesome magazine, Fantasy Quarterly. All fantasy stories for your reading pleasure, and I’ve read a few of them, they’re awesome. Eventually I might make it in there too, but for now get ready for my workshop buddies’ stories and some famous names to keep them company! ๐Ÿ™‚

It was wonderful to see old friends again – virtual hugs to all if you’re reading this – and meeting a few new people. Some of them were luckier than me and sold at their very first Anthology Workshop, so kudos to them! ๐Ÿ™‚ And I mean “lucky” in the sense they hit the Awesome Editors’ tastes better than me, but I don’t give my best when I have a theme and a deadline.

Sometimes I let deadlines for anthologies pass to make sure I give the topic a better shot! Anyhow, three of the rejected stories will be incorporated in novels, and one is out there again on submission. Not sure what to do with the other two, yet, probably stick them into the virtual drawer until next year. For now I’m happy just being back to writing every day.

Travelwise, I flew in via New York, where they only asked me if I’d been to China in the past 14 days. I watched Gully Boy and Crazy Rich Asians, but by the second flight I was too tired (and of course couldn’t sleep) so I only caught a glimpse of Ocean’s 8. By the time I got to Vegas, I’d been up 24 hours – I jumped into the first taxi and went straight to bed.

Then, during the workshop, Mom sent me a message about COVID-19 in Northern Italy, and my colleague copy-pasted a work email on FB Messenger (it was also a text message on my cell phone, I found it when I came back). The first masks appeared at LAX on my flight to Rome, half empty (more room to sleep, yay! As if I could, sigh…) and even landed earlier so I was home by the time it was supposed to land.

And nobody wants Italians anywhere anymore.ย Glad I left last week and came back before it spread or they would have sent me back as soon as I set foot at JFK!

Cartoomics (Milan’s comicon) has been postponed to October, which actually works better for me. As for the other travels, I guess I’ll stay at home in April and work on paperbacks, while waiting out COVID-19…

While at the workshop, I got word from the editor of Excalibur 2020: they have just launched the Excalibur Books Patreon.

The first goal is to assist with the formatting and cover of โ€œWarriors of Olympiaโ€, our Science Fiction & Fantasy Olympics anthology, and to build awareness of the writers involved. After thatโ€™s published and being promoted, we aim to provide future releases from a wide range of authors.

So go check it, I gave them permission to post excerpts of my story, give it a go! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll also share a couple more Kickstarters for writing projects soon – not mine yet, unfortunately, since I still have to deal with a damn Day Job that complicates things, but I’ll give you a couple of projects to back up in the coming months!

And last but not least, it’s Infinite Bard time again! Go check the latest story, and that’s all for today! Have a great week!

I wanted to remind authors that the value of their writing transcends monetary measures. If your book has the potential to bring a smile to a single reader, your book is important. Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, your book has the potential to change lives and maybe even save lives. What can be more important than that?
Just because your sales suck doesn’t mean that you’re not worthy. Most writers’ sales suck, whether they’re traditionally published or self-published. Most writers will have good months and bad months, good years and bad years. If you only measure your success by money, you’ll probably burn out and quit, but if you develop other measures of success, like finding joy in the creative process or making your next book better than the last or finding joy in pressing the publish button when you’re finally ready to share your soul with the world, then you’re more likely to continue writing and publishing. Therefore, you’re more likely to eventually emerge from your obscurity to achieve the greatest commercial success.

Mark Coker

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I managed almost 17K, yay! Caught up with wordcount a little, although not completely. I also wrote another 7K between Monday and Tuesday.

And from today until next week I won’t be writing. so the total wordcount for February will be low. But I’m sure I’ll catch up in March. Besides, I’m in no hurry anymore, if I reach my goal, fine, if I don’t, I don’t care – I’ve done it, and I know I can do it again if I put my mind to it.

Same goes for publications. With what I have so far, the Star Minds Universe will cover March, April and May, so plenty of time to write more stuff for the summer months. I plan to redo the contemporary covers along with a new title as well, probably in June. I’m not sure about the paperbacks anymore, but I haven’t scheduled anything for the rest of the year yet.

When I come back from the Anthology Workshop next week, I’ll decide – publishing schedule and travel schedule. I plan on exploring more of Europe this year. I’ve never been to Eastern Europe or the Scandinavian countries (except Helsinki for Worldcon in 2017). I’ll try to fill that travel diary I started with my tour of Rajasthan in 2016 – or at least to add to it, since the previous travel journal is complete (Iceland 2005 and 2007, Scotland 2008, South Western USA 2009, Yellowstone and Glacier parks 2010 and Japan 2015) while the this one languishes, forgotten.

I might need the research for the next series – or even for the Vampires Through the Centuries. I’ll have to look for books in English about their history and folklore, if availableโ€ฆ there wasn’t much in Helsinki’s bookshops, unfortunately. Ingolf is from 7th century Norway and since “Viking” is a term popularized in the 19th century along with “Vampire”, I call him Norseman or Norse. I’d love to see the place where his immortality adventure started. Or the Carpathian Mountains where Greek Kallisto spent most of her immortal life with Zalmoxis.

I guess I should also go to Greece at some point, since that’s where Helios and Kallisto (and the original ONE Solveig keeps looking for through the centuries) were born (either ancient Sparta BCE or Christian Greece 5th century CE), but it’s a warm Mediterranean country, so unless I find a winter tour, I’m not going there! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m still reading the book on Medieval Africa (probably finish when I come back, though), and even if it’s more boring than the Spartans one, it’s still interesting, both for my vampires and for Silvery Earth, since at least two of the heroines are from Nera, inspired by Africa. But then, there’s still a lot to explore on that world, so more cultures to check out to make it believable! ๐Ÿ™‚

While waiting for the new titles, here’s a list of the bundles that are still available, the anthologies I have stories in (either curated by me or by others), and the various books and series in case you feel like trying some of my fiction writing. Travel and publishing plans for March. Now off I go and you can head to the Infinite Bard to read another free storyโ€ฆ Have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks to Quiet by Susan Cain, many writers are happily claiming their introversion. I’m an introvert, which means I get my energy from being alone. I hate small talk and large groups. I’d rather think than speak, and write rather than talk. I rarely answer the phone. I’m INFJ on the Myers-Briggs scale, and many authors fit a similar model. This also means that conferences and events are tiring, so I can’t do too many of them a year. If you’re like me, then we’re super lucky these days, because online marketing suits introverts. We can attract an audience online and connect with readers, while still spending time alone.
Joanna Penn

Random Friday


Travel musings… I’m an experienced traveler and was baffled or amused by some of the questions my fellow writers asked on the group page before heading for Scotland. I mean, I know I can’t take my house with me and I’m used to some kind of discomfort when traveling. I’m still prone to anxiety and panic attacks after all these years, but I never try to find a home-away-from-home abroad.

I know of Italians who hate traveling because they can’t live without pasta. I’m not a foodie, but I do miss Italian coffee abroad. Since it’s not permanent (yet), I just deal with it and make do with what’s available. When I visit a new country, I don’t research beyond the travel agent’s catalogue and a quick weather forecast.

I like to be surprised, like it happened with Iceland. If it’s a workshop or a conference, as long as I have a room to retire to after socializing (because, uh, introvert…), a converter to charge my phone and the right clothes for the local weather, I’m good. I know it won’t be my bed or my bathroom for a short time.

And if I forget something, I know I can buy it somewhere. Unless it’s life-saving meds, you can probably find everything wherever you go, with globalization. I mean, I found sanitary pads in India, where they probably keep them only for Western women! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I hate the traveling itself because I rarely sleep on planes, even long flights, but when I reach the place, I usually settle and try to mingle. I guess I’m not your normal tourist… like the ones in this funny strip!

But I understand a young person or a non-traveler going abroad for the first time might have the strangest doubts and requests.

I had my share of anxiety on this trip, because when boarding l was told l’d be rerouted for a strike at Amsterdam airport. Never spent 6hours at the airport of my hometown, but considering the taxi cost me 50euro, l just stayed there.

Not ideal after a 4.30am wakeup call, but whatever… l eventually made it to Edinburgh, with a batch of awesome people, all with their problems, their joys, their hopes.

All writers willing to travel half across the world (for some) only to spend a week together. Some had adventurous travels to reach here, others made it smoothly, but all made it in spite of being introverts!

Here’s to us writing lots of new words before the actual conference starts tomorrow (since this edition is conference+writing retreat, that’s why I chose it)! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great weekend!

Random Friday


So the first three weeks of vacation have been so filled with travels that I’m still recovering, haha! I’d post pics of Vegas, but you all know what Vegas looks like, right? I didn’t go in the casinos (although I went through them to reach places like buffets or the street), didn’t touch slot-machines (I prefer the old ones I saw in England back in 1981, where you threw in coins in that big glass case hoping to make the other coins fall andย  win them, much funnier than that digital stuff where you push buttons), didn’t walk the Freemont Experience at night much (already saw it in 2009). And I didn’t go flying either.

Lucca was a mess with rain, so the first day it was almost impossible getting anywhere. Probably wasted ticket, since everywhere was so crowded they had to close them off. I saw the Japan Town and the Games area, but not the official publishers booths. And there was a web strip that had finally a printed version that I wanted, but I couldn’t get in. Meh.

I also went to the self-area to grab a few indies. I discovered the Sad Unicorn comic and visited with some of the comic artists who had booths either in the self-area or up on the walls of the town. I also checked the steampunk clothes available, but they’re kind of expensive for the kind of use I had in mind, so I ended up not buying anything.

I have been thinking I could go to Worldcon as Bel from Post-Apocalypse Chronicles, but I don’t know if and when I’ll have panels yet and if and when I can have a table to sell some books. There are plenty of other comicons before Worldcon, though, so I’ll have more time to find a “costume” (possibly recyclable for other things, lest it stays in the wardrobe like my medieval costumes, LOL!).

Cosplayers! Plenty of them. Including a bearded Ariel the Mermaid, some musicians (Michael Jackson, Slash, Freddie Mercury “I want to break free”) and some interesting characters. And steampunkers, of course. And lots of mini-cosplayers – mostly Marvel superheroes for boys and Star Wars ladies for girls. A very colorful crowd in spite of the rain.

But too crowded for my tastes, so I guess I’ll skip the next two or three and go back only when I recovered! What can I say, I hate crowds… they give me panic attacks! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great weekend!

Random Friday


This is randomly late, but I’m jet-lagged and didn’t have the strenght to schedule it yesterday when I got home after an awful 9 hours flight and an almost missed connection in Heathrow with me breaking down at security and being sent to the manager because they held up my bagย  (an boarding pass and passport and everything). I may understand security issues, but if Americans let me on a plane, why don’t the British trust me I didn’t get anything dangerous in the transfer between T3 and T5? Sigh.

Anyhow, wonderful week, meeting old and new friends, taking tonz of notes that will have to percolate for a few days before I make a priority list or action plan for the rest of the year… and back to my projects and paperbacks and all that stuff. Itching to getting back to writing too.

I didn’t watch any movies on any flight (the Dallas-Las Vegas one I had a broke video), didn’t sleep much either, hence 24hours-without-sleep bouts both going out and coming back – hence the grumpiness and near-panic attack on the way back. I’m too old to keep doing intercontinental flights on economy, LOL!

More next week… I need to go to the supermarked to fill the fridge and do some laundry and finish sorting stuff and do other things… have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

Random Friday


Last weekend I took Dear Nephew to London with Techie Bro. It was his wish to see it, especially the Big Ben (invisible behind its restauration coat, but he got to see the Lego version and had a painting of it in his room) and the London Eye. The Big Ben is actually better at night these days, as you can see above! ๐Ÿ˜‰

So we arrived on Friday around lunch time and dropped our bags at the hotel. They had a travelcard, I had my Oyster card so we felt confident we could wander around. I had in mind of showing him a couple of things, so we got off at Piccadilly Circus, but he was too taken by the Lego shop to notice much else. Besides, it started raining and he was tired and Waterstones didn’t have the books we were looking for and and and… we got back after about three hours and dined in their room (it was bigger).

The next day we had all day, so morning we went around the Tower of London, took the DLR and the Emirates cabins to the O2 where we had lunch. We took the Jubilee line back to Waterloo but when we got off it started raining, so… back to the hotel around 2pm (just like in Paris). We relaxed in my room, since theirs wasn’t done, then went out again. Techie Bro took him on the London Eye as per his wish, and when he came down he said it was one of the best days of his life.

Happy nephew, happy adults. We even had a group hug at some point! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Sunday morning, we went at the Natural History Museum, then headed back for Victoria Station where we had lunch at McDonald and then headed back for Gatwick Airport. We were more or less on time, but the customs proved Italy is a third world country: EU and Italians with under 14 had only one policeman checking documents (and I think he was being slow on purpose) until the other one came back.

We ended up at 10pm eating pizza by my house, since of course we didn’t eat on EastyJet! Next time British Airways, I don’t care if it costs more! Or Alitalia. Or whatever. No more low-cost. Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

Happiness is…


although I’m tired of traveling and will put it on hold for a year or three. And wow, it’s been 8 years since I saw that natural marvel that is Bryce Canyon! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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