Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote almost 14K, catching up on wordcount. Yearly has reached 485K, so very close to my goal. I should reach it in a couple of weeks if everything goes according to plans. These two weeks I’m off day job, but that doesn’t mean I have more time to write, since I have other stuff (including life) to do.

Again, I haven’t organized myself beforehand. This year has really screwed up with my schedules! 😉 But I’m sure I’ll be able to do everything. Yesterday I went to the town center to pay my car insurance before they lock us down again. Compared to previous years, it was empty – no tourists, and lots of closed shops. Even the bus was mostly empty.

The only gathering I saw was in front of the Vittoriano – it looked like the police band was ready to play something. I didn’t get off to ask, as I didn’t ask what the 3 RVs were doing in Piazza Cavour since there was already half a dozen policemen checking them (and I was waiting for the bus to go home – didn’t want to miss it, since the app is not always useful).

Meanwhile, I put out Mortals Apocalypse! 😀 Please meet Claire, fledgling of Aoric, a new point of view in the vampires series. Also a new face, since she wasn’t mentioned before, unlike Miyako, who appeared in Kristine the Youngest. Both of them also appear in Future Earth Chronicles.

But she’s not the only point of view of this short novel. The main one is obviously Rajveer, since it all started with him back in 2015! 🙂

Rajveer the vampire survived being buried for four hundred years in a cave in the Kashmir mountains, then learned to live in the 21st century with Kaylyn, Kris and Shashank. After the Battle of Chittor, back in 2015, he moved to Europe, where he hopes to see Kaylyn’s home country soon.

Rajveer, Kris, Ingolf, Miyako and Claire watch the mortals’ civilization collapse throughout the 21st century. They have the stamina to overcome all the threats the silly mortals are calling down upon themselves.

They face pandemics, cyberwars and a horde of Romanian bloodsuckers trying to take control of the world, with the younger ones (Kris, Miyako and Claire) hiding in the mysterious Rainbow Towns with strange mortals they cannot read and who have their own secrets.

From 2020 Rome to the start of the 22nd century, vampires through the centuries and across continents survive the mortals apocalypse and loss of technology.

My good and multi-talented creative friend Shafali Anand has started a podcast, “The Spinning Top”, and published a four-minute trailer. Do check it out. If you like it, do follow – she’ll be podcasting Tuesday and Friday evenings (episodes of 8 to 10 minutes.)

Here’s the link on Anchor: https://anchor.fm/shafali-anand
If you use spotify, you can find it at: https://open.spotify.com/show/4MiZIIdOWkdDibVUERgYmr
My good friend Dirk Walwoord has put out a sci-fi novel, written in 2012, that reminds of the current situation in the US. It came out on election day, and you can now check it on Amazon. In his own words:
ARC is a story of a generational spaceship whose captain is an incompetent boob. It would be about Trump except the copyright is 2012. Who knew I could be so prescient?
And my award-winning friend David H. Hendrickson has his own Kickstarter! Check it out, especially if you’re in the US!

This campaign is to launch my next two short story collections, THE BOY IN THE BOXERS AND OTHER STORIES OF SWEET ROMANCE and HELL OF A BAND: TWELVE FANTASY STORIES. You can get both for just six dollars. There are also rewards with great discounts for my novels and other collections. There are even rewards for me speaking (in a post-COVID world) at your favorite school or other group. 😃

Check it out for the discounted books or just the information or perhaps for no other reason than to ooh-and-ahh over the drop-dead-gorgeous covers. Then make fun of me talking on the video. 😜😜😜 I won’t admit to how many takes it took.

He’s a wonderful guy, so show him some love! 😀 You can read one of his stories in Future Earth Tech and I’m working on Nightly Bites Volume 3, and he graciously allowed me to publish another one of his stories there, so stay tuned for more!

Yes, I decided it was time to put some horror in our lives… er, some fantasy. Apparently vampires are fantasy, even in a futuristic setting. So I labeled Mortals Apocalypse both fantasy and sci-fi, just in case, LOL! Nightly Bites Volume 3 will hopefully be out at the beginning of December.

Meanwhile Old Facebook vanished from Laptop, but I read on Colleen Doran’s page that there’s an addon for Firefox that brings back the old look. Except you can’t edit anything on your page, as I discovered when I tried to update the vampires album. I have also Chrome on Laptop, so I used the new layout on Chrome to make the changes – although they’re still quite clunky, like pressing “enter” three times before it actually updated the post. Sigh.

Netbook with Windows 10 and Edge is still on Old Facebook. Go figure. When that changes too, I’ll take out the Firefox addon. I’d happily leave Facebook, if I didn’t have so many friends all over the world on there! I doubt I can ask them to migrate to some other forum… meh!

WMG is doing the last sale of the year for their workshops. I might grab the “How to deal with Covid in your writing” if they end up doing it as single, although I have already dealt with in in both Mortals Apocalypse and Future Earth Chronicles prequels.

I can proudly boast two alternate futures for our planet already! The space opera version of the Star Minds Universe, where we joined the Star Nations in 2012, and the post-apocalyptic version of Future Earth Chronicles, LOL! In one there’s no Covid, in the other there is… although it’s not the main cause of the apocalypse! 😉

I guess yes, this will date our stories, but it might work for alternate histories to ignore it… I don’t know, I’m still writing about Earth, finishing the parts in the past (late 20th century, so not that far, I was alive, LOL!) and going back to the parts in the future (second half of the 21st century) for the Future Earth Chronicles prequels, so… still not sure what I’ll tackle next!

Now I better go back to writing and finishing the damn strip that is falling behind again! This coming Sunday is the last time I can tag the #FIBDChallenge, so wish me luck. I’d love to go back to Angoulème, although I’m afraid 2021 probably won’t be possible. I’ll have to aim for 2022… fingers crossed! Have a great week! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote almost 16k (with an extra day off day job) and since it was so busy in the mornings (sarcasm), I even got to start on the new strip. Now I have to color the waves before putting them on Instagram, but meanwhile here’s a “scoop” – the cover and credits! 🙂

I started the coloring and lettering of the panels I have already done, but there’s still quite a lot of work to do. This week I hope to tackle a couple of shorter works for upcoming anthologies or to add words to some books. Like, a couple of additions to FEC11, which I completed last week. Then next week I’ll have very little writing and lots of editing, LOL!

Many writers say they can actually hear the voices of our characters – including yours truly. Now you have the scientific explanation. I’m definitely more of a “internal dialog” person, definitely not a “monologue”, hence why I thought writing screenplays would be a piece of cake. Or radio plays. They’re all dialog, right? Wrong. Lesson learned, back to prose.

A Kickstarter I backed because there are plenty of writers I know (including the one Planet Bob guy, whom I met at the Anthology Workshop in 2017) and I was curious. I’ll get only the ebook, but if you’re in the US there’s plenty more rewards! 🙂 And don’t you like the title? SPACE:1975 – A Blast of 1970s Style Space Opera Fiction. I loved Space 1999 and could probably write something for them as well. Maybe. One day.

How should artists deal with the pandemic? Like Dolly Parton! 🙂 Check how she steers her empire through the pandemic!

She has always known what the pandemic has forced many in the industry to realize: that diversifying your income streams is one of the smartest things an artist can do.

And for us indies it means don’t put all your eggs in one basket – and then licensing, of course. I still have to get to that, possibly next year. Like I mentioned in other posts, now is not a good time to take risks. But if I manage an early retirement, I’ll definitely look into it!

I happen to be a Generation X person – although in Italy it’s slightly different. My peers are still steady-job oriented and wouldn’t consider entrepreneurship, unlike Millennials. So if I get rid of the steady job, I might start exploring entrepreneurship, although laws in Italy are the most complicated in the world – which is one more reason why I want to move to another country to start a business.

Whenever I get to start working on my writing business, I’ll definitely consider Kickstarters and licensing. Meanwhile I’m just writing, so I’ll have a decent catalog by the time I’m ready to relaunch. Although I don’t see myself stopping writing to do something else.

Some writers drop everything writing to make licensing deals work. They lose writing time to business time. I could actually spend the rest of my adult life writing nothing, and making a boatload of money from licensing what I’ve already written.

I like writing too much to do that.

Like Kris, I’ll probably never be one of those writers. But I do hope eventually I’ll find the energy to concentrate on the business part of my writing, even though, like I said, it’s not easy in this country, and it adds to the stress I already feel. Like the biological clock saying “it’s been ten years, and you’re still at this stage? Gee, get moving!” – except I can’t, not really. Because I am mentally and emotionally exhausted.

So, we now know why we’re feeling like this! 😉 I’m currently low on #3 (although it was a bigger problem in the past), but the rest is more or less spot on.

'9 Warning Signs You're Mentally Emotionally Exhausted 1. You're easily irritated. 2. You feel unmotivated- even to do things normally enjoy. 3. You'r experiencing anxiety or panic attacks. having trouble sleeping. Either takes you hours fall asleep or broken all through the night. 5. You almost no patience and you find yourself being short with colleagues family. 6. experiencing indigestion. You have stomach ache all the time or feel like there's butterflies in stomach. 7. You crying unexpectedly. 8. You feel from reality- go through days without really emotionally responding connecting to anything. feel TheMindsJournal THEMINDSJOURNAL'

I shall try not to take big decisions while in this state, just in case. This too shall pass. And when I’ll be Dolly’s age (approximately two decades from now), I hope to be able to be like her (extract from the article linked above again):

This is perhaps one secret to Parton’s widespread appeal: Just because she wants to be for everyone doesn’t mean she doesn’t stand for anything. Offending as few potential customers as possible is just good business. But when Parton explains the philosophies that drive her life and career, her answers are hardly corporate. “First of all, I’m not a judgmental person. I do believe we all have a right to be exactly who we are, and it is not my place to judge,” she says. “All these good Christian people that are supposed to be such good Christian people, the last thing we’re supposed to do is to judge one another. God is the judge, not us. I just try to be myself. I try to let everybody else be themselves.”

And here’s to hoping musicians can stop politicians from (ab)using their songs. Can Neil Young Block Trump From Using His Songs? It’s Complicated.

“Their best recourse is probably one that they have been using for many years,” he said, “which is to complain publicly and engage in shaming sessions, which very often have won.”

Wishing you all a wonderful week! 🙂

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! 🙂

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! 😀

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! 😉 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! 😉 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! 😀

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! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


This is done well in advance since today I’m traveling and can’t really do much on a damn smartphone, but I didn’t want to miss the weekly post! 😉 I’m almost done with the updates, I even cleaned up my Bookbub profile, asking to remove the books that are no longer available – if only I could do that with Amazon Author Central and Goodreads as well, sigh.

Last week I wrote very little, busy drawing that new strip (here you have the character sheet), finishing Silvery Earth Kids so I can do a proof and take it to Lucca Comics and Games (end of the month) and do the necessary corrections before publication. I had to redo a couple of panels and then couldn’t make the paperback PDF because with 300dpi JPGs, it ended up crashing Open Office (and with only 40 pages it was already a 127M file).

So I’m going to take all the neatly prepared single pages JPGs (all 120 of them) to Cristina’s and let her make the PDF for the paperback. Then I’ll order the proof on Amazon, since on Lulu it wouldn’t arrive on time. A couple of afternoons were lost trying to set that paperback up (and don’t tell me I need InDesign or Vellum or whatnot, I don’t do enough “complicated”-all-JPGs paperbacks to be worth it).

I also had to go through an Italian novel that needed tech updates. With these very adult sci-fi novels, I’m experimenting with KU, since the fantasy one I published in September sold only on Amazon and for some reason Mondadori is very slow in getting Kobo’s files (they get to Feltrinelli first). So I put this Italian title in KU last week – 152KENP on the first 3 days and then it stopped. Nyeah. I’ll just leave it there.

I might share links next week since for now I didn’t really have time to go blog surfing. Except for this article on clothes and accessories that trick facial recognition software that I saw on Facebook – glad someone is already thinking how to confuse those algorithms! 🙂 Also good inspiration for the next futuristic story.

This week started being busy catching up with English friends and tomorrow I’ll have to check The Wanderers back from Mighty Editor, make the cover and set up the pre-order. Then I can go back to my contemporary story and wrap it up so that in November I can write a few more short stories for traditional markets before I start writing for the Anthology Workshop. I did write a few of it on Saturday, but will finish it this week.

I forgot to mention I finished watching the DVDs I got in Dublin – and then bought a couple more in Porta Portese, but that’s for another time. The last one was Destination Wedding, that I felt could help with the contemporary story. Not really, but whatever! 😉 Although I did consider putting a destination wedding in the story, but it wouldn’t work, so I gave up the thought.

And thanks for the hope offered to grumpy old women like me, although I’m not really looking for a romantic love. More a team to dream with. A place where creatives live and gather and do what they do best. I’m sure this utopia has a dark side, but in my current situation I don’t see it, haha! 😀

And I made the weekend Da Muse’s weekend. I got the DVD of John Wick 3 Parabellum and on Sunday I wanted to see War in theaters but courtesy of Easy Jet, Gatwick Airport and disruptions in the District Line, I didn’t make it to the 4pm show. As for John Wick 3, yeah, whatever. Sometimes action movies get  really boring without an item song to break them! 😀

Leaving you with an 80s goodie… Have a great week! 🙂

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