Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote 16K+, and after adding and subtracting and editing what I already had, I started on what I thought would be a short story and turned out to be a novella of vampires into the future, so it will probably have its own e-book. I was at 11K by Sunday night and wasn’t done yet.

I finished on Monday and will probably have to write another couple of books (again, both sides of the story, the humans’ and the vampires’), so I screwed up the schedule again. The good news is, this might take me to the end of the year. The bad news is, there will be a break anyway because I will send a first batch to Mighty Editor on October 19th, so I won’t have anything ready until the following weekend.

But FEC 10 comes out this weekend. Then I’ll have to skip to the 24th, when I’ll probably publish that novella (still working on a title I like), and the following weekend I’ll release Mortals Apocalypse, or the vampires’ view of the apocalypse, on Nov.1, like the four novels of Vampires Through the Centuries. Two weeks later, FEC0 or the origins of Rainbow Towns lockdowns.

December will probably box set time, but I haven’t decided yet. Might be those two sequels… As for the new curated anthology, it’s probably for the new year, unless I manage to put it together after the American elections, which might mean for the Holidays. Maybe. Don’t count on it! 😉

Re: those typo faeries, here’s why it’s so hard to catch your own typos. Because my eyes don’t like staring at a screen for too long, I usually print out stuff, both for beta-reading and editing. That’s how I caught many typo faeries, when going through the paperbacks of the first five Future Earth Chronicles books! Now I hope to have the time to check also the second five, but first I’ll have to receive my author copies, LOL! They’re scheduled for delivery next week, so we’ll see…

And I was a guest, rambling on J. Scott Coatsworth’s blog about Future Earth Chronicles (a.k.a. FEC), Azur and other stuff… go check it out! 🙂 Another guest post I did was never posted (the author is very busy), so I’m going to put it here before it’s too late. Have a great week! 🙂

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I have kept an article from February 1997 of Focus that predicted how we’d live in 2020, because I knew we’d get there! Remember 1997? The dawn of internet, the first cell phones, and two years before The Matrix? Yeah, that world. The journalists played sci-fi writers for that issue.

What did they predict? A little less than 8 billion people on the planet. A global market, with factories in space (where are they, though?). Health-wise, we should worry only about non-transmittable sicknesses like cancer, but they also mentioning the possibility of mutated viruses that could start epidemics like it happened with AIDS (hello, Covid-19! Full blown pandemic was not in their predictions, though).

According to their predictions, someone born in 1997 had the following possibilities of careers: technology economist, online creator, bioengineer, virtual director and problem solver. Except for online creators (influencers, artists, writers, musicians and YouTubers), I don’t see any of those yet.

What would vanish: land lines (almost gone), moka pot (even here in Italy, most people have other coffee machines, I’m the only one still using the moka pot), cash and old light bulbs (almost gone as well). They predicted a “travel screen” (although it looks quite different from smartphones and tablets, but it’s close enough), a watch that can become a videophone (again, smartphones), micro-cameras, a graphic tablet to draw upon (most artists no longer use pencil and paper these days, they’ve all gone digital), and some “scanner-reader” that is basically a text-to-speech thing (or other software for the visually impaired).

The smart homes would have cameras and monitors and speakers everywhere (hello, Alexa and its peers), computers will be invisible (not yet, I don’t see many virtual keyboards or screens anywhere) and e-ink (hello, ebooks!).

Welcome to 2020! Some of those predictions came true, other are still sci-fi, but well, here we are. How do you deal with living in the future? Well, you stay in the present as much as you can, I guess. It’s not always easy, especially in such trying times.

How do you stay sane in a world gone crazy? Personally, I’m glad it’s breaking down, because I was sick of our poisonous way of life. I hope we’ll come out of this better, after re-prioritizing and re-focusing ourselves. I certainly don’t want to go back to 1997, or even 2007 for that matter.

I might have lost quite a few dreams in the meantime, and can’t see myself anywhere in three or five years, but eventually I’ll find my focus. It’s been a long hot summer and the only relief was writing my Future Earth Chronicles, because it reminded me there’s life after the apocalypse. Especially in the 25th century, LOL!

Now I’m trying to write the prequel about the apocalypse itself (a few decades in the second half of this century), and I manage it because, again, I know these people will be all right – or at least the vampires who live through the centuries will get to see the future narrated in the series.

It might be a good topic for me at this time, because I’m also changing. Age does that to a person, and even though I love the double five on my birthday cake, I’m also aware of how my body and mind are changing. But then, that’s what life is all about, change.

Going through the change is painful, but things can only get better. Soon I’ll be able to resume traveling and looking for a place I want to move to. I’ll be able to focus on what I want to do for a living if I manage to get an early retirement from a Day Job that is killing my soul.

I don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel yet, but I know it’s there and I keep going. I’m still blogging after ten years and next year I’ll celebrate ten years of indie publishing. I might take a break from publishing next year, or slow down the writing – I haven’t decided yet.

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote a little over 10K and wrapped the Future Earth Chronicles Prequel. Then I added a short story to complete it, although I finished it on Monday. I didn’t write much during the weekend because it was a creative weekend with my friend Cristina, so I concentrated on other things – namely the next strip, since Star Minds Kids and Teens ends in September.

And it was also time for another title up, my first with an F2M protagonist. When Azur revealed in Himalayas he’d been born Anna, it shocked even me, and I had to tell his story! So go check it out! 🙂

I also started preparing the new paperbacks – new covers and corrected interiors for the first five books, then this week I’m formatting the new ones, including the one that will come out in October, so it will be ready and come out at the same time as the ebook, haha!

While prepping the new paperback covers, I noticed Book 4 had a missing graphic and a white dot where there shouldn’t have been one, so I also had to update the ebook cover and all the banners on Facebook and the publisher’s page. Sigh. It used to go so smoothly, but this year I keep messing up! 😦

So I’ll probably postpone the Curated Antho I had in mind to next year, since most of the authors are Americans and they have enough trouble at the moment. After the elections maybe they’ll listen to me, and I can even send out a reprint – again I don’t think now is the right time.

But there will be my vampire story in that anthology coming out October 10, so you won’t be completely abandoned after FEC 10 comes out! And November 1st, as is tradition, another vampire novel, about the apocalypse and beyond. The story starts five years after the end of Kristine the Youngest, which means… 2020!

Unlike the previous novels, this is a multiple points-of-view story, seen through the eyes of Rajveer, Kris, Ingolf, Miyako and Claire, whom you’ll meet in FEC 10… but she gets the cover on this one! 😉

This week I’m off Day Job, so I’m working on those paperbacks and beta-reading for an author I love (as soon as he publishes this series, I’ll let you all know, it’s wonderful). Which is good after abandoning a couple of novels found in bundles – one because it didn’t grab me, the other because oh boy! It badly needed an editor/copyeditor/proofreader whatever it’s called.

Even in the reviews they mention it badly needs editing (or possibly just someone going through it before the author hit that publish button!), so I won’t name it, but I’m considering more and more to offer beta-reading/proofreading services to fellow authors. Spellcheck won’t see the right words in the wrong place, the missing words, the extraneous words and all that stuff that makes the prose unreadable.

I mean, we all deal with those darn typo faeries, but in some cases it really looks as if the author hit “publish” a little too fast. If you have a spouse or significant other or best friend who loves to read, please give them your manuscript. Or pay someone like I do because I’m ESL writer and I don’t have friends who read English in a timely manner, therefore I pay Mighty Editor Zoe to go through my manuscripts.

Does that make them perfect? Hell no! When I go through them, especially printed out, I still find mistakes. And even if it’s a hassle to re-upload the manuscript to all retailers, I try to do it as often as possible (I think I re-uploaded the first 5 FEC books 6 or 7 times already…).

It might definitely take me longer to update the paperbacks, but since they don’t sell that much… 😉 Now I better go back to working on those new paperbacks and writing a few more stories before the end of the month. Gotta submit something while I wait for the replies on the current submissions… Have a great week!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote another 12K and I hope to wrap this book this week. Already I know I have to change something in the following book, so I’ll have to print them both out and do the adjustments before getting to the last book. A final re-reading of all the books after the Mighty Editor checks for typo faeries and other inconsistencies.

So, my latest drama (while I wait for WordPress to change everything, moan!) is about the Lone Wolves Team. Saturday I went to upload the third and last book, and while checking on the KDP dashboard I realized there was a typo on the cover! Not just on the latest book, but also on the previous 2, because I used the same template and simply changed the mission numbers!

ARGH! You’d think someone at the retailers might have noticed the typo, but nooooooooooooo, not even Apple noticed it via D2D! So last week was the week of redoing covers and adjusting titles, since in a previous Lone Wolves Team book I had mispelled the mission numbers on KDP only, which I noticed when I saw the wrong title on Bookbub. Sigh.

Anyhow, the last Lone Wolves Team book is out! In two weeks the full collection and then a couple more Star Minds Universe titles to get us into July. And since it will be Sci-Fi July again, there might be more things coming your way, even if I’m not going to worldcon (because it’s in New Zealand, not just because of Covid, LOL!).

The latest Happiness is was also on display on my DA profile – before Eclipse. One more reason to give up that site. It’s also one of the last, and like I said sometime last year, this is the last rotation. I’m not taking them offline, but they’ve been cycling for 10 years, so I guess it’s enough. If I make a new vignette, I’ll post it here anyway! 🙂

I might also repost them on Instagram, when the latest strip is over (although it would still be @Barbstrips, since there’s already an Official Happiness Is over there). It’s only 40 strips, and I have some 150 happiness vignettes… so they might become the Sunday Vignette instead of the Sunday Strip! 😀 Meanwhile I’m halfway the Star Minds Kids and Teens over there… and will have to finish coloring and lettering within the next two weeks!

I will definitely try to remind myself there are reasons for happiness in this crazy world of ours. I’m posting a picture of me and some of the awesome non-white people I met in my life, from my school years in international Geneva to my latest travels across the world.

Red, Yellow, Brown and Black. No names, no places, but some of them are still great friends. This batch of pics covers Europe, North America and Asia – haven’t been to Africa or Oceania yet. Love ya all, even the ones I met only online – one day we’ll meet and we’ll laugh at the madness that 2020 was.

I’m sort of glad I didn’t actually start a business yet. And I sure hope that it will be easier to do it after this, even if this overly complicated country. I still plan on retiring/quitting Day Job in a couple of years, so I have time to study what’s going on and what the new normal will be.

I guess I’m meant to live through this “passage” for our planet and civilizations, and I’m almost certain we’ll make it through. Things look rough in the US at the moment, and I hope everything will end well for everyone. Here are 35 Pics Showing The Other Side Of The George Floyd Protests That The Mainstream Media Is Reluctant To Share to bring back hope.

In Italy smart working is killing businesses all over the place, but new ones will grow out of it, if we manage to adapt quickly. Yesterday I was scanning old pics on Agfa films for a cover… who remembers them? What happened to Kodak and Agfa when cameras went digital? We’re highly adaptable people, so I’m sure we’ll get through this.

I enclose a couple of guides for white people to help in this situation. Save the Tears: White Woman’s Guide and White Guyde to the Galaxy (for men). As for the books suggested-reading, I’ll see if I can get some from the provided links (or I might go to the town center and ask the Anglo American Bookshop if they have any)…

Also, if you like sci-fi, here’s a list of 11 Amazing Sci-Fi Books by Black Authors! As for non-fiction and more research, a friend of mine posted this link of articles about Institutionalized Racism: A Syllabus. Fellow author JA Clement said:

For anyone still doubting that this is a huge, longstanding problem and not an issue with a few individuals.

JSTOR is a catalogue of information my university used when I was doing my Masters, so it is a place I trust to be a good, reliable source of history and information that can be used for something to be scrutinised as closely as a dissertation.

If they’re putting educational material together, I’m listening.

Or you can go to Kobo’s Black Lives Matter: A Resource List for more recommended reads. They also have a collection of Kobo originals about life with COVID-19. Here’s their presentation:

Our Kobo Originals team has collaborated with local newspaper West End Phoenix to create a collection of stories by Canadian literary voices, reflecting on COVID-19 life. The first collection is out now, with proceeds going to Community Food Centres Canada and their Good Food Fund specifically set up to assist those in need during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Be sure to check it out!

A couple of posts on trad and indie publishing as well as the sads about the coming new world. And an awesome disabled author speaking out. Because yes, every single life is valid. Let’s preserve it in all it’s colorful, different forms, shall we? 🙂 Have a great week!

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