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™‚

Have a great week! πŸ˜€

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Happiness is…


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™‚

Happiness is…


Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Hello and welcome to the new blog schedule! The Happiness is… vignette will continue until about halfway next year, but then I won’t restart the cycle like I’ve done so far since 2009. The only post will be on Wednesdays and, as the title says, it will be a roundup of everything writing and non-writing related. The Backstage Pass will continue on Sundays on the publisher’s page to keep that page moving while I’m not publishing regularly (besides Italian titles, I mean). Thank you for following me in this new step of my journey!

And to celebrate the 10 years Blogoversary, I’m going to do a Giveaway! πŸ™‚ Any eBook of mine in your preferred format (or audio if you’re in the US, CA or AU, although that’s valid only for Otherside, I still have a few of those codes). Just drop a comment with the title and your preferred format! πŸ™‚

Now Kobo might have added audiobooks to the KWL dashboard, but during the weekend the eBooks had vanished. I was trying to finish updating the Silvery Earth titles still out there, and on KWL I saw for a moment on Saturday morning all 120+ titles (and 60+ unpublished), then no more than 18 on Laptop, 21 on Netbook (but it did show the unpublished titles of the discarded pen name, grrr!).

And Techie Bro took Laptop for an update/upgrade, so I copied everything to Netbook to update DriveThru and KWL, but when Smashwords had “trouble” with a couple of documents, there wasn’t much I could do, since Netbook doesn’t have Adobe Reader to check ePub files. Maybe it has something to read ePubs, but I wasn’t in the mood for experimenting. So it was a hassle that dragged the whole weekend. Sigh.

As for writing, just a short story, a little more than 5K. I started dabbling in a contemporary story, but it might not be the right time to write it, so I’m contemplating other options. I’ve realized I’ve been reading too much non-fiction lately, too much necessary research, but it has taken the fun out of writing somehow. And took me off the reading market as well, since I’m a slow reader.

So I started reading all those bundles that came out on BundleRabbit and might have a look at StoryBundle (lookie look! Vampires! Maybe I should!) and other places. I am considering a new series with a no-longer-young heroine, but I’m not sure which genre it’s going to be. My characters grew up with me, I guess it’s time I talk about salt-and-pepper hair, although I have already done that with Bel. Hey, maybe I’ll write about her breakup with Raj because she became a grumpy old spinster, LOL!

The Infinite Bard story is up once again! There is now quite a collection of free reads there now, check it out! πŸ™‚ And the publisher’s site is all updated, so at least that is done, yay! Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


Welcome to the last Writer Wednesday, since next week it’s October, 10 years of blogging and new schedule! πŸ™‚ Last week I wrote only one short story, and a short one at that (less than 3K), but I stupidly thought I could write another during the weekend. Not.

It was the Silvery Earth revamping weekend and I still have a lot of work to do! 😦 I updated the Chronicles of the Varian Empire and the single Quests books with the new covers (so that’s 7 ebooks and 3 paperbacks) on Saturday. And I updated 25 paperbacks, 22 migrated from CreateSpace and 3 already KDP print. Which took me almost all Sunday.

I still have 35 eBook documents to update and reupload to five sites (KDP, KWL, D2D, SW and DTF), and it will probably take me the rest of the week. While I try to write that last story before the end of the month. Feels neverending, but I’ll finish this tend-the-garden job! πŸ™‚

I also added a couple of boards on Pinterest – or my books, I mean. And there are also boards that serve as inspiration for the books, so it’s not just book covers! πŸ˜‰ Oh, and I finished coloring Silvery Earth Kids, so now I only have to put the lettering on 70 strips or something… And possibly redraw a panel or three!

Still reading blogs, but mulling over the flood of info by myself. Still overwhelmed with the “updating backlist” task, so not ready for many things. But still building brand with these blog posts! πŸ™‚

I want to check my notes from my online craft workshops before launching the next project. Meanwhile I brainstorm vague ideas that might eventually take shape…

Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


Last week I wrote one new short story (under 5K) and tinkered with another, so the grand total was still under 5K. Since I no longer worry about meeting a wordcount, I’m not panicking. Currently writing another and then one more (with approx.23 centuries inbetween, since one is set in ancient Greece, the other in the 21st century), then l’ll have to decide my next project!

I published a title in Italian last week and sold 6 copies… so maybe I should concentrate on that while I clean up the English production. I finished the translation of Brainwaves and might try to put out other stuff – my backlist in Italian is still quite long.

During the weekend I prepared new covers for the Quests books, updated Vampires Through the Centuries and Future Earth Chronicles, and opened a Pinterest account. So if you’re there, let me know, and I’ll follow you.

I have already set up a few boards, both of my books and of stuff that I like. The steampunk board is for inspiration for Future Earth Chronicles, and in fact I pinned a couple of pictures that I had already found and “used” in my virtual cast. I’d do boards of my virtual casts, but I’m not sure it’s fine, LOL!

Next weekend is Silvery Earth clean-up. I wil reformat especially the Chronicles of the Varian Empire to match them with the paperbacks that are currently unlinked because the e-books have a different content. And I’ll put up the four new covers for the Quests books.

One of the reasons why I’ll keep posting on Wednesday even with the new schedule is the Infinite Bard. Every other week a new free story is up. And this is the week, so go check the latest offering! πŸ™‚ There are now thirteen stories of awesome authors (I haven’t met them all, but I can vouch for a few of them), give them some love! πŸ™‚

I also have a Bookbub author page and there’s the Silvery Earth Kids on Instagram… And my Amazon Author page, of course. I have given up on Goodreads, so my blog goes there, but I don’t interact much anymore. I even re-activated my Bookcrossing profile – I used to access it with Goodreads, but it’s no longer possible, so I had to ask them to let me on the site again! πŸ™‚

So, even if I’ll post here less often soon, you’ll know where to find me. Although I’m mostly either here or on Facebook, unless I get addicted to finding pictures on Pinterest! πŸ˜‰ Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


Slowing down the writing and tending the garden means I wrote a little more than 9K last week. One new story and the expansion of an older one (still unpublished, so no harm done). I’ll probably tinker with the other one a little longer as well, since I’m still reading a non-fiction book for research purposes.

While doint the translation of Brainwaves, I found several instances of a forgotten “h” in a name, luckily I still had to update those documents, so next weekend the “typo” or “inconsistency” will vanish. Next weekend is Future Earth Chronicles and Vampires Through the Centuries update, yay (not).

Silvery Earth, in spite of pruning, still has quite a lot of titles. Four new covers for the Quests book to make and still a lot of documents to update with new backmatter. How many? The answer is 42. Douglas Adams knew it even before I actually wrote the books!

Just kidding, but it’s more than 40 titles on Smashwords, plus the box sets that are only on Draft2Digital, so quite a lot of work in that department. Not to mention the other retailers – Amazon, Kobo and DriveThru… I’ll definitely be busy all of September with the revamping!

I shall keep these monologues (or dialogues with Tori) going for a little longer. I’ll do a giveaway for the ten years of blogging, then will slow down further to one post a week. Unless there are guests. Or special announcements. I will stop the Happiness is… rotation as well.

So I will have Backstage Pass on Sundays on the publisher’s page and Writer Wednesday on this blog, probably longer and more rambling.

And speaking of announcements, here’s the table of contents of an upcoming anthology, in which I have a story.

Image may contain: text

From the publisher:

The charity anthology, Yearning to Breathe Free is deep into production, and will be available by mid-September. All profits from the anthology will be donated to RAICES, a non-profit charity who has led the fight in making sure that immigrants in detention centers have access to legal protection, enabling families to call each other on the phone, helping parents to find their children, and ensuring that those detained can gain access to basic goods and services.

My story is Following Torik, and if the name sounds familiar, yes, he’s the Silvery Earth Kid that outgrew his clothes. Except thisΒ  is the story of his little brother Baldric, and they’re both adults by now (it’s been 12 years since Silvery Earth Kids). So, while you wait for the strip and the related novel, you can have a taste in this charity anthology! πŸ˜‰

Or you can follow Silvery Earth Kids on Instagram, Monday vignette of a sobbing Torik earned a lot of love (while I kept singing “I don’t like Mondays“!)! πŸ˜€ That’s all for now and I wish you all a wonderful week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


Last week I wrote about 13K and wrapped The Wanderers at 93K. Now I’m going to leave it alone until Mighty Editor checks it, because I’m bored with it and think it sucks, haha. Besides, I’m reading a non-fiction book about medieval Persia, so it might give some ideas for the past of the southern kingdoms (since this story is set before the Quests).

The good thing about NOT having readers clamoring for more is that I don’t feel the pressure of writing the next book. The bad think is not knowing how I am doing, which makes me doubt myself and my skills. Yeah, my self-esteem is currently low, but I will bounce back, don’t worry! πŸ˜‰

Anyway, I wrote 400K already this year, and even if I’m not sure I’ll write another 100k in the last four months of the year, I don’t care. I proved I can reach half pulp speed (500K) and stick to my own deadlines, now I can get back to having fun. Productivity was never my problem, was it?

If and when some series of mine takes off, I have more books to write. Meanwhile, I have some experiments to do to get out of this burn out. Currently writing shorts for anthos and trad mags, while coloring the Silvery Earth Kids strip (about 10 to color, then about 80 to letter) that I hope to complete by the end of September.

Then I’ll need to do a print attempt with Lulu so I can check it (my eyes don’t like staring at the screen, and printed out mistakes are glaringly obvious) and redraw whatever needs redrawn or adjusted. Not sure yet what my next long project will be. Possibly a contemporary story or maybe another historical fantasy. I did buy some books in Edinburgh! πŸ˜‰

Still slowly tending the garden, and last week I resumed the Backstage Pass. And since I need to be gentle with myself, I won’t be posting weekly, but every other Sunday.

I’m working on the next instalment, but the topic seems hard to tackle. I do have some articles ready (meant for my never-started magazine or my aborted-Patreon), but I want to write something new that has been on my mind for months. So I will ponder it a little longer.

Meanwhile, there’s another free story up on the Infinite Bard, check it out! Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Random Friday


So busy writing that I didn’t have time to watch DVDs yet, and the weekend is busy with the last travels of the season. Sigh. I’m also busy musing and pondering because I feel the need to change – with my body aging not so gracefully – and find something else to do for the coming years (if my eyes and right hand don’t give up on me, that is!).

No, I’m not divorcing Mr. Writing, but lately I’m unhappy with everything I write, probably from the lack of response (the usual suspect needs not commenting on this, my #1 fan will always be in my heart and read my books even if I stop publishing them).

I started writing 40+ years ago because I was a lonely introvert uprooted at the wrong time. I kept writing the stories I wanted to read and couldn’t find in the legacy publishing. Granted, those stories don’t stand the test of time, but I kept my imagination active! πŸ˜‰

Then comes the new millennium, and indie publishing, and switching language to a wider readership. Happy dance, gonna find my readers now!

Not. I didn’t find them when I was a pioneer, I will definitely not find them now that everybody jumped on the bandwagon and spends money on ads. So, tending and pruning the garden should give me a break, and the time to come up with reader magnets, newsletter, Patreon or whatnot.

Thing is, before I make writing a business, I need to change other things. I’m sick of Day Job and want to find an alternative, but I’m not sure where to look. I’m sick of Italy and want to move elsewhere, but I’m not sure where. I’d love to take a sabbatical, but I’m not sure how to spend it. I’m considering temporary alternatives to all this, but haven’t talked to the interested parties yet.

picture by NASA

The premise of the following is that if one wishes for something it gets in the cosmic memory and one gets it when it’s the right time – if one really needs it. We might wish for something we don’t actually need, therefore it doesn’t happen.

So, is it better to wait for things to happen and then act accordingly, or to try and make things happen? What if they don’t happen because it’s not the right time, and it leaves you frustrated and/or depressed?

This is where I’m at today. Either I’m burned out or I have a big mid-life crysis. Some big decisions in the months to come, but can’t make them while I’m tired, so for now I’ll just wait for the weather to cool down and allow me to think. Have a wonderful weekend! πŸ™‚

 

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