Wednesday Weekly Roundup


So, I’ve been kindly reminded (meaning it was a general reminder, not to me personally) that professionals never talk about what they are writing or wrote until it is published. Therefore I’ll keep updating you on my yearly wordcount, but not what I’m working on.

Last week I wrote a little less than 9K, but Friday before lunchtime I got back the manuscript from the proofreader, so I spent from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning catching typo faeries on those short stories I wrote in the past month. And mailed four of them on Sunday morning (the rest are not open yet, so I jotted down the date on the calendar, lest I forget to submit them).

And I published the prose version of Silvery Earth Kids with a couple of related short stories. You might want to check that while you wait for the release of Magical Friends, it’s a very nice introduction with not too many spoilers for the novel, but filling in the background! πŸ˜‰

Or you can get the paperback of the strip… December is definitely going to be Torik and Copperscales’s month, as you can see from my Facebook page! Stay tuned on more on these two! Should I interview them like I did in the past? Would you like a character interview?

And you can tell me which version you prefer, I won’t be offended it you think Ravven’s depiction (slightly modified in its colors) is better than my doodles! πŸ˜‰ I haven’t even downloaded DAZ Studio yet, can’t imagine doing art with it anytime soon! So I’ll keep my ancient way of doing things – pencil and marker on paper, then scan and digital colors.

What can I say, this Gen X gal who grew up in the age of the typewriter and used to handwrite her first drafts up to 2015 in spite of being a typist likes her old “tech” too much. New things and continuous upgrades actually get on my nerves (can you hear me, Facebook?).

But! There’s only ONWARD, therefore I shall stop looking back. Keep writing and doodling and publishing and all that stuff. Even if some of those stories will never get off my hard-drive (or my old notebooks… got still plenty of those from the 80s and 90s)… well, it’s called practice, isn’t it? πŸ˜‰

And excellent article by Kristen Lamb for writers old and new. In a glutted market, how can authors stand apart? Go read it. Now. Don’t be like me! πŸ˜‰ I’m sure eventually I’ll find my readers, it’s just taking longer than expected. At least I’m learning patience, LOL!

Also, if you want a preview of what Star Minds Kids and Teens strip will be like, go check I Like My Science…MAD (Blaze Ward Presents Book 2)!

How mad, you ask? Come with us on a twisted journey of science gone wrong and gods rising to threaten us all. Of private detectives on the moon and dieselpunk ladies saving the day. Academics making dark pacts and taking vengeance into their own hands.
Mad.

The second Blaze Ward Presents anthology asks writers and readers to envision mad science and entertain us all.

They succeeded. Come see.

I would like to thank Blaze Ward for kicking me into gear with that strip. I had been postponing it for too long! Go check the adventures of Child Kol-ian and read the other mad science stories in this awesome collection! πŸ™‚

Here’s an open call for you cat-lovers out there! It should be well-known by now that yours truly has no pets and no affection for furry friends… but if you do, check this out:

It’s time to turn the β€œman and his dog wandering through a dystopian world” trope on its head, and tell the stories about cats and their women – their badass women – in appropriately dystopian settings. It’s time for CAT LADIES OF THE APOCALYPSE!
We’re looking for short stories feature a strong woman with at least one cat, in tales that bring hope in the darkest of times.
Length: 4000 – 8000 words
Deadline: January 15, 2020
Pay: Royalty-Share, via PayPal
More information: www.camdenparkpress.com/cats 🐈

And. last but not least, it’s Infinite Bard day again! Hop off to the site for a new free short story! πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

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Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote almost 10K (9965 to be exact) so I’m definitely back on track. Kaori’s story is a 15K novella, and then I wrote another 5K story to help me start on the Assassin story that I hope to wrap up this week, since on Sunday I’ll have to start writing for the Anthology Workshop, yay!

I will probably manage to write all those Star Minds Lone Wolves stories before the end of the year since there’s the Holiday break, but you won’t see them until probably the end of February. I still have to book the editor for the new year. I also made a list of what’s left to write (4 more Quests on Silvery Earth, a Vampire Through the Centuries or three, a couple more books of the Future Earth Chronicles) so that I’ll know what to do in the first half of 2020.

And last week I also sent live Silvery Earth Kids! So, if you’d like to gift this paperback for Christmas, you have plenty of time to order it. The Italian version (in case you wanted to learn Italian through a strip) is unfortunately stuck in review with Amazon, but hopefully eventually they’ll approve it. I also anticipated the release of Magical Friends, it will now go live December 1st.

I started drawing the Star Minds Kids and Teens strip, but that’s another project that will come out next year. And this weekend I’ll be busy catching typo faeries, formatting and sending out the stories I wrote for the anthologies in the past couple of months. Most deadlines are Dec.31, a couple open in January, but I’m ready.

Oh, and I sold a short story, I shall publish the link when it goes live. It’s in the Star Minds Universe, like the story in Pulphouse #5, and it’s even kinda sorta the same thing – a battery-operated boyfriend in one, a sex robot in the other. The Star Minds Universe is becoming famous for the wrong reasons! πŸ˜€ Also, kind of clashes with the Star Minds Kids and Teens strip, LOL!

About innovation/tech news, I ran into this article on how blockchain tech can be used for the good of the music industry. If this blockchain thingy actually works, let’s hope they apply it to books as well.

From the time Naspter begun offering free music content in the 1990s, music piracy has been a chronic problem with most people taking it as the normal way of getting their music.

Unfortunately this applies to eBooks too, for different reasons. A lot of people are not willing to pay for the hard work of many writers or other creative people. So until the mindset changes, I don’t think anything will change.

And speaking of mindsets, I shall close with Dean’s video on the attitudes of fiction writers, a speech he gave for 20BooksVegas but I heard him say it often enough in person to confirm everything! πŸ˜‰ Have a great week! πŸ˜€

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


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˜€

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week, while jotting down a couple of ideas in my moleskine, I saw an idea that suddenly appealed to me, so I interrupted what I was doing to write that contemporary short story of about 7K. With whatever I had added to the other project, last week clocked at over 8K written. Now I’m back to that other project, still contemporary, hoping to nail it by the end of the week.

On Sept.28th I tried uploading the Quests Box Set to D2D, but somehow couldn’t make their meatgrinder (however they call it, I know that term is the Smashwords one, LOL!) “read” the file correctly, so I had written to support for help. On Monday they got back to me when I had completely forgotten about it… anyhow, I managed to upload the file and this time it came out fine, so there you have it, the Quests Box Set with the new covers! πŸ™‚

During the weekend I was supposed to start lettering the strip of Silvery Earth Kids. But on Friday I went to Romics and talked to Bigio (whose comics and webstrips are only in Italian, unfortunately), showing him my Instagram account and he gave me some advice. So there you have it, new backgrounds on some strips (including Torik’s New Clothes, but I won’t show it yet, haha). And while preparing the squares for lettering, I found I had forgotten to color one. And that another had to be modified for the square size.

So in the end, no lettering, but hopefully I’ll manage next weekend! πŸ™‚ Also, since DeviantART has this Cosmic Corsair contest and I’m supposed to do another strip for another anthology, I’m thinking of going back to the Star Minds Kids and do something with them for both projects.

And the NaNo bundle is out! So if you’re looking for great writing books, go grab it now. And I have a name for my burnout – the critical voice again!

That’s what the critical voice does. It makes writing hard, unpleasant, and something to be avoided, rather than embraced.

All of us who write face that. We just have different battles with our critical voices. Some writers battle the voice in the words on the page. Other writers battle the voice in the types of stories it’s okay to tell. And apparently, some, like me, battle the voice on expectation of production.

I got “I hate everything I write” (but kept writing anyway, LOL!). Now I’m going to kill that bastard off. It had never really raised its ugly head before, so I’m sure I’ll get rid of it soon. Now, granted, I might lack the talent to be a successful author, but I’ll keep writing and learning and publishing more slowly until death! πŸ™‚

See how serendipity brings the right posts at the right time? Besides, I was trying to put together a document for my editor in November (after she does The Wanderers next week), and I kept finding short stories I wrote in the last three months (since I finished the novel) that I hadn’t put on my written list… so I did write quite a lot in spite of my critical voice.

And I even submitted some, and one passed the first step, now I’m waiting for the “second level” to decide if they buy it or not. If they don’t, I already know where to submit it next year (won’t open until February 2020). I had actually displaced a couple of anthos guidelines I had written stories for, so I had to go looking for them, and write the title of the story I plan to send them after Mighty Editor’s pass.

So, maybe I’m already climbing back up. It’s probably the start of my third writing phase (the second started around fifteen years ago, when I took the first craft workshops and learned about POV and other neat tricks), although I’ll have to read more fiction to better figure out readers’ expectations. I’m also considering collaborations, so this workshop on shared worlds is very timely! πŸ™‚

And then, summer is over, autumn is here and I feel much better! πŸ™‚ I don’t have big plans for the end of the year, just keep trudging (writing and publishing also in Italian), and then we’ll see. I have the Anthology Workshop in February and then I’ll think about other writing trips. Maybe another writing retreat. I got a couple of flyers at Worldcon in Dublin, so we’ll see.

I hadn’t realized people are boycotting Kickstarter… but then I spared myself a Kickstarter stress. Again, maybe next year! πŸ˜‰ Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Random Friday


I would like to publicly thank Ilaria for “slapping” me and reminding me of the Happiness is vignettes. I hadn’t done one in too long, too busy complaining and whining and feeling blue. So here are theΒ  latest three, with the new Chibi style.

For the visually impaired:

Happiness is… bouncing back! (after the umpteenth life-roll)

Happiness is… the first professional publication (got 100 likes and 30 comments when I posted the picture on my private profile on Facebook – a record, LOL!)

Happiness is… the excitement of a new project (in this case Silvery Earth Kids, I’m shown drawing with the laptop glaring at me)

After I showed Silvery Earth Kids to another friend who encouraged me, I also bought some strips at the comicon I was attending and became depressed because all those strips were semi-autobiographical, while mine are complete fantasy.

I considered writing Grumpy Old Barb, but really, who would want to read that? There’s still Me and Da Muses, but do I really want to redraw those strips that were still halfway from my latest style (and more like the first Happiness is…)?

Then Ilaria reminded me of the weekly vignette, so here we go. I shall endehavior to find more Happinesses to draw, chibi style. I’m sure Chibi Barb is nicer than Grumpy Barb! πŸ™‚

And of course Silvery Earth Kids will start showing up somewhere at some point… I still have to decide where! πŸ˜€ Have a wonderful weekend!

Random Friday


While I try to figure out what to do with the web strip and before I finish cleaning, coloring and lettering the 70+ I already have, here’s a few more sneak peeks on the Silvery Earth Kids.

Since the Patreon page is closed, I uploaded the presentation strips to DeviantART along with the character sheets and the new characters I came up with last week – Adwin and Kareena, although I haven’t really written them into the strip yet.

But during the past two weeks I finished the first notebook and was busy with other things, so I didn’t continue it. I hope to do it in June when I’ll also work on the prose version.

There’s also a short, two-strip preview about the kids’ winter (strip # 50 and 51, I did a couple more since – still about 20 to go). The visually impaired version follows (please note that it’s unedited and unproofread at this stage).

Silvery Earth Kids in Winter Wonderland

Torik awoke with a shiver. His little brother had stolen all the blanket again. Seeing light coming in from the small window of the attic and hearing muffled sounds coming from outside, Torik sat on the bed, wide awake and kind of excited. It had snowed!

He quickly dressed – tunic, breeches, boots, hooded short cloak – grabbed his gloves and a scarf and ran out of the house. Yes! Snow covered everything! Adults were already cleaning the streets, so he ran out of the walls and towards the forest.

The fresh snow made a strange sound under his boots and he giggled. He reached the clearing where he usually met his magical friends and found them all there, already building a snowman. Copperscales sat on the side of the clearing, her scales gleaming in the timid winter sun, watching the other three work.

Goldenberry had a pale-blue hooded coat and suede boots. Her hood was up, hiding her golden mane and pointed ears, and she had pink gloves with white rabbit fur at the wrist.

Erwan, who usually wore a simple tunic of Waiora fabric and sandals, now had pants and boots and a long blue coat with a pale-blue scarf wrapped around his neck and fur-rimmed gloves of the same color.

Winged Ylenia had her usual tight-fitting body with elbow-length sleeves and her pink flat shoes, although her red feathered wings kept her away from the snowy ground. Her legs were naked as usual, but she wore gloves to touch the snow.

The snowman was almost done when Torik arrived, so he didn’t have much to do except help decorating it – giving him a face and arms made of sticks. He wondered where his friends had found a carot to use as nose, but didn’t dare ask.

Copperscales rose to join them as they gathered next to the snowman.

“Aren’t you cold, Winged Ylenia?” Torik asked, pulling down his scarf to free his mouth.

“I manipulate air, as long as I cover my hands to touch snow, I’m fine…” Winged Ylenia answered with a smile.

“I manipulate water, fancy a warm bath?” Erwan asked.

“Yes!” Goldenberry clapped her gloved hands.

A little incredulous, Torik followed them to a nearby pond that looked covered in ice. Erwan knelt to touch it and the ice melted, not only that, but the water started fuming, clearly much warmer than the air above!

Amazed and impressed, Torik quickly undressed and followed again his friends in the water. It was indeed warm, perfect to have a relaxing bath!

“Wow, this is so cool!” he said, excited.

“Snow all around us, and we’re warm!” Goldenberry added, emerging from a dive. Only she and Erwan seemed willing to put their heads underwater, though. Winged Ylenia also made sure her wings didn’t get too wet, while Copperscales lay on her back, playing dead on the surface of the pond.

When they all had enough of the warm bath, they went back to shore and dressed. A warm wind even dried Erwan and Goldenberry’s hair. Torik knew it was Winged Ylenia’s doing.

“Thank you for keeping the air warm around us while we dressed,” he told her before pulling up his hood and scarf as the air slowly cooled around them.

“You’re welcome…” Winged Ylenia bowed her head with a smile while Goldenberry rushed to hug Erwan.

“We have awesome friends!” she said as Copperscales watched them, crouched next to the snowman.

Torik agreed with her. He had wondrous, awesome, magical friends, no doubt about that! Winter would be very interesting with them around!

 

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