Lists before Christmas

As I promised to a friend of mine, this post will be full of lists and bullet points. I should put a new tag like “Lists” or something like that, as lately I’m prone to do that anyway!

I’m happy when I meet new people, and to be honest, since I’ve started to write and, in particular, I’ve started to write in English, the quantity and the quality of people I’ve met improved and I’m so happy for this! I’ve never thought I could be happy and satisfied so much by something else other than meeting my partner!

Among my new friends there is Estrella Azul, a very nice and sweet blogger who writes a very interesting and (very often) useful blog. The following lists are ideas coming from her. I think this could be a light and nice way to leave you for a couple of week’s holiday!

The first one is the more recent, it’s about something you believe in. Ten bullet point. I’m not sure it will make any sense at all, as I always have doubts about everything.

Ten things I believe:

1.     Friendship is the most important thing you have. Friends are your personal treasure so it is right to give all yourself in the relationships.

2.     Love exists. There are many forms of love; it could be friendship, it could be passion, it could be staying together with another person, it could be family.

3.     Talking with people is useful (although lately the facts are proving me wrong!). All the relationships, anyway, suffer if it’s only one of the people involved to do his or her best. If you are in any kind of relationship you should give yourself 100%.

4.     At least four people in the world love me very much no matter what. I’m sure my boyfriend and my two little sisters and my brother panda love me like I love them.

5.     Everybody has a good side (I know that the experience is going against me on this too but I still think that!). It’s almost impossible that a person is completely evil. Although I’ve met so far lots of people that behaved towards me like serial killers, they maybe had feed a puppy in the street at least once in their life.

6.     You don’t need to be perfect or be exactly like the others to be appreciated and accepted by people. You have to be yourself no matter what (although this could be easier said than done!). One day someone will love you for what you are.

7.     You don’t need to follow the flock! You can be the black sheep and be lovely anyway!

8.     Animals are more human than human beings themselves. Penguins are lovely and have a sense of group and community. Wolves and eagles are faithful and loyal and dogs are just full of love. I’ve just mentioned my favourites but I’m sure there are more examples. And to all the people who treat badly their animals, train them to fight or abandon them when the “puppy magic” is gone, I’d like to say “You’re the real animals!”

9.     There are good and bad people everywhere in the world. It doesn’t matter the race, the sex, the religion, the education. We all should stop with the stupid racism.

10.     Money and religions are the ruin of the world. We should love each other even if a religion doesn’t tell us so. We should help each other even if we’re not gaining anything. Only in this way we could hope to begin a nice revolution, which will change the world in better.

 

The following list comes from Estrella’s blog again. It was a game following the “Creative writer blogger award” she gave to me. Thanks so much, Estrella, even if it’s so in late! Now, I’m going to list my six outrageous lies and one outrageous truth like the game requests, even if I’m not passing on (just a matter of time, really!).

Her creepy version would be my Christmas version, considering I’m doing it now:

 

1.     Santa called me yesterday telling me that he needs some help during the 24th night due to his age.

2.     I’ve decorated a 20 feet high tree in my back garden.

3.     I have a new pet now, a penguin puppy I’ve called Peppy

4.     I’m preparing a Christmas dinner for 30 people.

5.     The snowman I did the other day is alive now and he’s tiding up the house for me as a Christmas present.

6.     I’ve sent a seal as present to my little nephew.

7.     I’m going to use fairy powder in the Christmas cake, so it would be a happy day!

 

You find the one outrageous truth among these 7 sentences!

And with this I’m just wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Let’s hope that the 2011 will be a year full of (good) news and also ideas and writing!

I’ll see you on these pages at the beginning of January with many posts and much more!

Talk to you soon!



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January Issue

I’ve just bought the January issue of the two writing magazines I follow and I’ve decided to write my January issue too! I’m going to tell you what is coming next or at least what I’ll try to write or do in the year to come.

What did convince me that this was the right thing to do? And why does the following plan seem to be right?

1.     After the concentrate month of November, all the ideas and projects piled up in a corner of my brain, fell down on the floor and now they’re all confused on the ground. I hope that doing that would help to tidy up at least a bit.

2.     I’ve found on the web a very nice blog, Gamberi Fantasy. It’s a really good and useful blog, but just if you’re Italian speaker! This blogger, tells you in a simple, direct (sometimes rather offensive way, but it’s effective!) what she thinks about fantasy in general. Gamberetta, the webmaster, has a really bad opinion about Italian fantasy. She tells us also some tips about writing, quoting manuals and underlining the most frequent errors in the books she reviews. They’re really accurate and you can learn a lot. The most important thing that got my attention is: do your research. Usually I do, but I have to admit not so accurately! Also I don’t want that someone could think such things about my stuff which is really important to me, so I’ll try to do my best!

3.     I want to be the kind of reader I saw once on the plane. He was next to me and started immediately to read after he took his place. He finished the book during the landing, he put it away and started a new one. When the crew opened the doors he was still reading. Queuing to exit he was still reading. He put away the volume when he reached the stairs. That’s the kind of reader I want to be. Let’s admit that, I suck as reader at the moment!

The three points I’ve just told you were the triggers that helped me to plan what I’m writing next, what I’m doing from January.

First of all, for the few of you who were following “Arilla”, I’m going to upload the last chapters.

I’ll try to translate then “Captain’s log” and put on the blog the journal entries one by one. “Captain’s log” is my Italian book about pirates, but as Arilla isn’t ready yet to pitch an editor, although the story is a bit more complex and better structured than “Arilla”.

What I want to concentrate on next year will be:

1.     Sonrisa. So I’ll write everything concerning the main books. I realized that the project is too wide to try to write single books. Everything should be studied from the beginning till the end, and that’s what I have to do.

2.     Research. Before I try to pitch an editor I need to complete some parts of my fantasy world, but in order to do so I need to study the geography and the history and the folklore at an acceptable level. Once I’ll finish that it would be maybe possible that some parts of the story will change. You’ll follow the researches though.

3.     Read. Everything from writing manual to fantasy book and young adults’ books. Basically books that I need to write better. You’ll be updated on those too.

So what you’ll see here on the blog will be mainly the update of the researching job I’m doing. Maybe I’ll post some short stories here and there, chiefly written for blog games and competitions; or else I’ll try to fill the “Sonrisa” page with a surprise for you!

Also you’ll have a few “nonsense” posts, to have a glimpse of my strange life.

For the moment that’s it.

Talk to you soon.

Post-Nano and Post-TGIO

What the NaNoWriMo experience left me other than personal satisfaction, useful contacts, a second unfinished manuscript and a kilo more?

A very nice and pleasant memory.

Last Sunday (yes, I know this post is late…a lot…but that’s that at the moment, I’m afraid!) I had my first TGIO lunch.

Some of the NaNos from Dublin area met in Yamamori, one of the Japanese restaurants, to celebrate the end of the past tiring month.

After a brief taste of the atmosphere I had last time (the only one actually) I went to a meet-up, I had a pleasant full immersion in what is a place I was looking for.

Being at the table with other ten people or so who love the very same thing I love, who follow me fully in my questions, ideas and considerations, is without prize.

I felt that I was in the right place and that it’s in this kind of environment that I want to be in the years to come, that’s why I have to improve, concentrate and work hard. The enthusiasm showed by those people is exciting and you just want to stay with them.

Special mention to our little NaNo! Seven years old, pure fantasy and great ability. This little one was able to beat the limit of 4,000 words, which is amazing at that age! Plus, a mention to her mother and her family. I maybe sound repetitive and also a bit weird. But is suffered so much when I was the same age and I felt alone looking around me and trying to understand why nobody noticed anything special and ending up to believe that I was wrong.

But now, I’m again on this way! I think it’s the right one and I’m not going back or stop anymore!

Now it’s my turn!

Thanks to all of you NaNo fellows! I’m happy and pleased that you’re out there!

Books and lists!

You know? I was wondering what to write next and here is the idea! Thanks Dap Dap!

Now this is a note I was tagged on Facebook! The note says that BBC confirms that the majority of people have read only 6 out of the hundred books there are in the following list. Then the note says to put in bold the ones you’ve fully read and in cursive the ones you’ve started to read…at a first sight I had problems because I thought I sucked in this field. There are some of this book that I’ve read at least twice if not four or five times, like “Promessi sposi” or  “Il nome della rosa”!

As a writer I’m aware I don’t read a lot and that I have to work on it….ah, ah, ah work on it!!!! That’s nice….if only I had time…

Now, considering that I’m paranoid enough to feel the more stupid on the world’s surface and to ignore my inner voice that is telling me “Hey do you know that you’ve read loads of books that aren’t even listed in this list?!!”, I’ve decided to divide this list in Books I’ve read once, more than once, started and then the rest….Oh boy I really suck!!!!

I could ask myself which are the criteria used to form this list too…but I still suck!!! There are a lot of classics I’ve never read…even if I wish I could…damn spare time!

Listen, I’ll leave you with the list, free to paste copy and giving me a lesson how it should be a normal reader, and then I go to bury somewhere, maybe with a couple of volumes…..

Original List:

  1. Pride and predjudice  – Jane Austen
  2. The Lord of The rings – JRR Tolkien
  3. The Prophet- Kahlil Gibran
  4. Harry Potter – JK Rowling
  5. Se questo è un uomo – Primo Levi
  6. The Bible
  7. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
  8. 1984 – George Orwell
  9. I Promessi Sposi – Alessandro Manzoni
  10. La Divina Commedia – Dante Alighieri
  11. Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
  12. Lessico Familiare – Natalia Ginzburg
  13. Comma 22 – Joseph Heller
  14. Shakespeare’s complete works
  15. Il Giardino dei Finzi Contini – Giorgio Bassani
  16. The  Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
  17. Il Nome della Rosa – Umberto Eco
  18. Il Gattopardo – Tommasi di Lampedusa
  19. The Trial –  Franz Kafka
  20. Elective Affinities – Goethe
  21. Gone with the wind – Margaret Mitchell
  22. Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
  23. Bleak House – Charles Dickens
  24. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
  25. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
  26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
  27. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  28. Odyssey – Omero
  29. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
  30. The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera
  31. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
  32. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
  33. The Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
  34. Emma – Jane Austen
  35. Cuore – Edmondo de Amicis
  36. La Coscienza di Zeno – Italo Svevo
  37. The kite runner – Khaled Hosseini
  38. Il Mandolino del Capitano Corelli – Louis De Berniere
  39. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
  40. Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
  41. Animal Farm – George Orwell
  42. Da Vinci Code– Dan Brown
  43. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  44. Il Barone Rampante – Italo Calvino
  45. Gli Indifferenti – Alberto Moravia
  46. Memoirs of Hadrian – Marguerite Yourcenar
  47. I Malavoglia – Giovanni Verga
  48. Il Fu Mattia Pascal – Luigi Pirandello
  49. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
  50. Cristo si è fermato ad Eboli – Carlo Levi
  51. Life of Pi – Yann Martel
  52. The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway
  53. Don Quixote de la Mancha – Cervantes
  54. The Sorrows of Young Werther – J. W. Goethe
  55. Pinocchio –  Collodi
  56. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  57. Siddharta – Hermann Hesse
  58. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
  59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon
  60. Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  61. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
  62. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
  63. Jules Maigret – George Simenon
  64. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
  65. The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
  66. On the Road – Jack Kerouac
  67. La luna e i Falò – Cesare Pavese
  68. Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
  69. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
  70. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
  71. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
  72. Dracula – Bram Stoker
  73. Three Men in a Boat – Jerome K. Jerome
  74. Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
  75. Ulysses – James Joyce
  76. The Buddenbroock – Thomas Mann
  77. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  78. Germinal – Emile Zola
  79. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
  80. Possession – AS Byatt
  81. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
  82. The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
  83. The Colour Purple – Alice Walker
  84. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
  85. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
  86. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
  87. Charlotte’s Web – EB White
  88. The red and the black – Stendhal
  89. Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  90. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
  91. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
  92. The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
  93. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
  94. All Quiet on the Western Front – Remarque
  95. Un Uomo – Oriana Fallaci
  96. The Catcher in the Rye – Salinger
  97. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
  98. Hamlet – William Shakespeare
  99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
  100. Les Misérables – Victor Hugo

Book I’ve read once

  1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  2. Odyssey – Omero
  3. Emma – Jane Austen
  4. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
  5. I Malavoglia – Giovanni Verga
  6. Il Fu Mattia Pascal – Luigi Pirandello
  7. Il Conte di Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
  8. The picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
  9. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
  10. Hamlet – William Shakespeare
  11. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

Book I’ve read more than once

  1. Harry Potter – JK Rowling
  2. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
  3. I Promessi Sposi – Alessandro Manzoni
  4. Il Nome della Rosa – Umberto Eco
  5. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  6. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
  7. La Coscienza di Zeno – Italo Svevo
  8. Il Barone Rampante – Italo Calvino
  9. Dracula – Bram Stoker
  10. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
  11. The Little Prince– Antoine De Saint-Exupery

Book I’ve started

  1. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
  2. Se questo è un uomo – Primo Levi
  3. La Divina Commedia – Dante Alighieri
  4. Shakespeare’ complete work
  5. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
  6. Da Vinci Code– Dan Brown
  7. Ulysses – James Joyce
  8. Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  9. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton

The rest

  1. The Prophet – Kahlil Gibran
  2. The Bible
  3. 1984 – George Orwell
  4. Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
  5. Lessico Familiare – Natalia Ginzburg
  6. Comma 22 – Joseph Heller
  7. Il Giardino dei Finzi Contini – Giorgio Bassani
  8. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
  9. Il Gattopardo – Tommasi di Lampedusa
  10. The trial –  Franz Kafka
  11. Elective Affinities – Goethe
  12. Gone with the wind – Margaret Mitchell
  13. Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
  14. Bleak House – Charles Dickens
  15. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
  16. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
  17. The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera
  18. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
  19. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
  20. The Chronicle of  Narnia – CS Lewis
  21. Cuore – Edmondo de Amicis
  22. The kite runner – Khaled Hosseini
  23. Il Mandolino del Capitano Corelli – Louis De Berniere
  24. Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
  25. Animal farm  – George Orwell
  26. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  27. Gli Indifferenti – Alberto Moravia
  28. Memoirs of Hadrian – Marguerite Yourcenar
  29. The lord of flies  – William Golding
  30. Cristo si è fermato ad Eboli – Carlo Levi
  31. Life of Pi – Yann Martel
  32. The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway
  33. Don Quixote de la Mancha – Cervantes
  34. The Sorrows of Young Werther – J. W. Goethe
  35. Pinocchio –  Collodi
  36. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  37. Siddharta – Hermann Hesse
  38. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
  39. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time– Mark Haddon
  40. Love in the time of Colera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  41. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
  42. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
  43. Jules Maigret – George Simenon
  44. The lovely bones – Alice Sebold
  45. On the road – Jack Kerouac
  46. La luna e i Falò – Cesare Pavese
  47. Bridget Jones’ diary – Helen Fielding
  48. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
  49. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
  50. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
  51. Three Men in a boat – Jerome K. Jerome
  52. Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
  53. The Buddenbroock – Thomas Mann
  54. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  55. Germinal – Emile Zola
  56. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
  57. Possession – AS Byatt
  58. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
  59. The purple colour– Alice Walker
  60. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
  61. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
  62. Charlotte’s Web – EB White
  63. The red and the black – Stendhal
  64. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
  65. All quiet on the western front – Remarque
  66. Un Uomo – Oriana Fallaci
  67. The Catcher in the Rye – Salinger
  68. The three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
  69. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

And the winner is…

Franny

And I’m writing here on the 2nd of December to say that yes, I’m one of Winners of NaNoWriMo 2010. With a final count of 54,006 words I completed successfully my task this time. It was my first time, all right, but…was it the typical beginners’ luck?   I don’t know but I’m happy with the result!

The book hasn’t been finished yet, the finale is still in progress but what I’ll do now it’ll be just relax for at least a month. Something that, who knows me even a bit, doesn’t believe at all! I’d say that maybe for a week I’ll try to follow the advice, for the rest I don’t know. I’ve already a list of things to do and things to write and ideas swirling in my head….but mainly I’ll try to read as more as I can, because this year wasn’t really good on that point of view.

What I also want to write in this post is a list of the people whom I want to thank for the marvellous support. To be honest I’ve always thought that saying “Wow, the support of my fan was precious” kind of sentence was stupid, but I had to change my mind. The support of friends and family was not only welcome, but more than useful.

So, here we come. Thank you very much to:

  • My partner. Because he was really sweet all the month long, helping me with the moving house stuff and understanding until the last day how was important to me this challenge. I suppose that live with a writer or an artist in general is not an easy task, but he’s doing great!
  • Nani, Mili and Silvi. My wonderful siblings (for choice and not biology but who cares) for their constant support and advices. They’ve always believed in me and I felt them close to me even if they live in another nation.
  • Dee. I’ve never had a cheerleader before, but despite being only a jumping support, she’s been also a human dictionary at hand and a great helpful reader.
  • Madame_Morphine and Elly. Two bloggers, friends of mine, met on the Libero platform, who encouraged me every step. Now actually I have a fun club as well, thanks Madame!!!!!
  • Helena and Beth who helped me with words and Google search at work.
  • Trish, Shay, Andy, Keith, Nick (with his “Franny do you know that all the sentence must have a sense? You know? You cannot put random words into them”), Rob, Una, Rosemarie, Anne (with her nice exclamation at the 4th week “You look better today, but it was funnier last week to see you in that way!”) and Angelika for their support and comprehension even if I was a bit more weird than usual.
  • Laura. For her constant attempt to convince me to write the same sentence in billion of different ways up to 50,000 words. It made me laugh and relax.
  • Damon. He thought me how to use Twitter so I could stay in touch with other writers.
  • All the Nanos, who supported me and encouraged me without criticise although I was trying to do my NaNo in another language!
  • Virginia. She’s giving life to my mad thoughts, drawing beautifully my characters. I can meet them personally now and I’m so excited for it!
  • Random customers. I spoke to a few of them interested enough in other than “the standard”. They gave me all, full support, and if you find this page and you recognize yourself, a grateful smile to you!

 

I’m probably leaving out someone, and I’m sorry for this, I’ll edit this as soon as I remember who I left behind.

NaNoWriMo was a wonderful experience who made me understand that I’m worth something anyway and there are out there lots of people who care about what I’m doing even if I think the opposite.

The only bitter note comes from my family as they didn’t give me support or understanding at all, but I have to live with it, the show must go on!

I’ll talk to you soon!