International day!

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I had another plan for today’s post. I was going to write a rant about the recent happenings.

However, I’ve had such a nice and positive morning on Thursday, that I decided to focus about a constructive thought, just for a change!

Thursday I got a day off in work and I could participate to the International day, organized by Maya’s school.

It was the first time for me and I hadn’t seen anything like it done in any Italian school I’ve been into. I absolutely loved it!

Representing, of course, Italy, I cooked lasagne and pizza, and I’m happy to say that I’ve taken home two empty trays. Many people made compliments while gobbling them up.

I’m happy, mostly because, despite having to rush through the last few days, preparing a bit every evening after work and dinner, it was definitely worth it.

It was a meeting of cultures, through food, dresses, pictures and music.

The tables displayed were Turkey, Iran, Italy, Philippines, Poland, Brazil, India, Germany, Nigeria, Ireland and Croatia.

I have to tell you that my taste buds have already booked a trip to Nigeria! The food is so amazing that if I’ll ever go there, I’ll have to stop eating at least a week before taking the flight, otherwise I’ll need two seats on the way back!

Apart from my favorite table, I tried as much as I could without exploding and everything was super delicious.

This confirms my theory, according to which it’s always better to try a dish cooked by a native person rather than going into a restaurant.

In a restaurant, it would never be the same or as good as something homemade!

Probably the best part of the whole thing is that children learn about diversity and other cultures. For me, in love with different countries, cultures, literatures, histories and languages, is the perfect reality in which to bring up Maya.

It’s a real pity in Italy we don’t do something alike. Facing and acknowledging different cultures encourage kids to be open minded.

Not surprising that in Italy the majority of people is still closed and adverse to diversity in any shape and shade it comes towards them.

Once again, I have a reason more to say I’m pretty happy to live here.

And speaking of diversity, let me ask some questions!

Where are you reading this blog from?

And what’s your favorite food? What’s your favorite county in the whole world?

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Past Lifetimes.   

 

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I’m in work today, and it’s been a very nasty day for some reason.

This time, instead of bothering you with one of my rants, I’ll publish one old draft.

It’s nice to get lost in speculations, sometimes, in particular when you think the bad luck decided to give your hard time.

Without going into religious matter or in philosophical details, mostly because I’m not knowledgeable enough in those fields, there is a concept I find intriguing and that I think about from time to time: previous lifetimes.

I know that for some people this is a serious matter and maybe it could be even considered a kind of science on some point of view. I promise you my intent is to play with my imagination and I intend no offence to anyone.

The truth is that from time to time I linger on the idea and wonder who I might have been before, what life could I have lived.

I think these thoughts are extremely funny to play with and interesting at the same time. For example, my love of ships and pirates, the excitement and almost nostalgic pang I feel when I set my feet on a ship, ferry or whatever goes on water makes me think I might have been a sailor or a pirate in one of my previous lifetimes.

Also, my curiosity, my love and the push I feel towards Japan might be signs of a previous lifetime in Japan or so I want to believe.

As far as I know there are a few people out there who are able to read your previous lifetime.

Sometimes I think I’d love to let one of them do it with me in order to check whether I was right or not.

However, the thing I love most is to work with my imagination, so I’ll take this post and the following ones – because you know there will be others, don’t you –  as writing exercise and imagination stretching.

First of all, how did I come up with the idea? Or better, this posts idea?

A few months ago, I created a chat where I gathered different people, important for me in different ways. We’re all a bit weird, all of us, but good hearted people. We are, however, so different, that I’d never thought possible to have all  of them chatting together, but we have so much fun daily, that I couldn’t do without them now.

I think I’m lucky to have them all. They’re brilliant, funny, weird and trustworthy.

The chat, other than myself, includes my favorite cousin, La, my best friend I met during university years, Mi, my two friends, Chi, I know since the crèche period and Lu, I met in middle high school.

There should be also Ra, but I think she’s just a silent reader! She’s great too, but I think we scared her!

Since it seems that destiny lately is enjoying way too much teasing each and every one of us, in a way or the other, we thought that in our previous lifetimes we must have been very, very mean.

To this element, I might add a notion I received once, according to which the people you meet in this lifetime are souls you’ve met for sure in previous lifetimes. Maybe the relationship was different but still the souls had met before!

It’s this combination that triggered my imagination.

So, now you know where the whole thinking of my following posts comes from.

Stay tuned to learn where I’ve imagined my soul go across the eras and centuries and years.

What do you think about it? Where do you think you come from? What’s your soul travel?

Tell me in the comments below!

Francesco Gabbani is my number one anyway!

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This is a google search.

I’m afraid I didn’t manage to put the videos in the post, please click on the hyperlinks to listen to his songs! 

I’m Italian but I’ve been living in Ireland for the past 10 years.

I’m from Carrara, to be exact, the same home town Francesco Gabbani comes from.

I feel disappointed and angry at the moment, because I really wanted him to win the Eurovision. In my opinion, he deserved it.

Francesco worked hard to be where he is now and improved for sure on the way.

He gives me the idea of a humble person always looking for getting better and better in what he does.

He learned from the basics, learned how to write music, how to play instruments and then wrote the lyrics. He’s spreading in them fantastic play of wording, showing the massive culture he has. To be completely honest with you, I also believe that big part is also due to his talent!

Yesterday, still brooding about the competition’s outcome, I came across a video he shared on his page in which he asked his fans to stay positive as he’s OK and enjoyed the fun of the whole Eurovision event.

Although I still feel annoyed by the whole situation, I’ll try to be positive and explain why I like his music and him as artist.

Mine can be just a voice, I’m not an expert whatsoever in this field, but I believe that voices together make a choir!

And here we go:

I usually don’t listen to Italian music, I simply don’t like it much…well, reading this blog you know I’m a kind of weird Italian anyway, so nothing we can do about it.

However, I cannot listen to anything else lately but his songs.

Why?

Well, I narrowed down to three my main reasons:

His songs are made with nice tunes and stick in my head easily.

His lyrics are deep and hook my feelings.

Aaaand, probably the most important, his songs help me a lot and give me strength to keep going on in my personal dream.

You all know, my dear readers, I’d love to become a writer. I digged out my dream from a dusty drawer 10ish years ago, when I met my best friend, musician as well.

It’s not easy, and the most of the times I feel down, not only  because I have next to zero spare time, but also because my self-confidence is difficult to come by.

But Francesco’s songs speak to me. In particular these two:

“Foglie al gelo”

“Un sole”

Listening Francesco’s songs I come to the conclusion that, if your lyrics have a deep meaning, it’s easier to sing them with passion and hence hooking your listeners’ feelings is a piece of cake!

Another feedback I received from everybody, because of my situation, is that I’m too hard on myself.

I almost cried when I listened to “Per una volta”. It seemed be written for me.

He gives me hope, the hope I’ll be able to make it one day, with a lot of work and attempts and, for sure, a lot of falls and rejections.

I think that another song that helps me in every aspect of my life, be it writing, working or simply living and going ahead, is the newest “Magellano”

The fact he’s from my hometown, maybe helps and makes me see him closer to the path I’m trying to take in the artistic field. I might make it too, if I work my ass off! That’s what I think!

However, the fact he’s from my hometown also generates a regret.

Swallowed by all the bullying I went through when I was in high school, I didn’t realize he was in the same building, only three classes behind. I wonder what would have happened if I had the chances to talk with him. Maybe I would have been inspired, like it happened when I met my best friend, and I’d have started writing earlier.

Anyway is too late, I just have to concentrate on the future!

What I would like to tell him would be:

“Thank you, Francesco, thank you so much for playing your musing and writing your songs. They give me hope and they tell me that I might make it one day. They help to keep dreaming and facing the daily crappy reality. I owe you one!”

And this is my opinion, although I might haven’t managed to give him some justice!

Listen to his songs and let me know what you think!

“…sudore, fiato, cuore…voga, voga…”

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Angry comments on Social Networks  

Today, let’s remember evil people from BD, the baddies’ country in my fantasy world!

       

Either we like it or not we’re obsessed with social media. That’s a fact! Well, at least for the most of us!

I’m not even sure to know all social network, so I can say I still have some autonomy.

Personally, I’m often on Facebook, I’ve always had Twitter but I use it only from time to time. Lately I signed up on Instagram as I think I like the concept.

As far as I know the main reasons why they’re used are: to easily keep in touch with people, to get some gossip, to share ideas and information on the preferred topics and to get the latest news in one click.

Pros and cons are in every single thing but with the social media everything it’s kind of amplified.

If you do something silly, everybody will know; if someone needs help, in that way the problem will be addressed faster.

However, just because of that, mean comments or action will spread as fast as the good deeds. No, maybe faster than the rest.

It’s incredible to see such a behavior. It’s like people love to see other people suffering, love to insult them. I know for sure that there are a few of them loving to trigger arguments.

Maybe it’s not even loving to do something, maybe they’re just annoyed with life, maybe they’re going through a crappy period, maybe they’re sad and desperate and to them it’s unbearable to see another person happy or receiving love and compliments. Even worse, sometimes they love to see someone going through a tougher period in order to feel better.

Do you know what? You suck and you’re horrible people!

I understand, we’re all human and, as such, we make mistakes, but this is what they are, mistakes, that’s it!

Have you done a silly thing? Fine, understand it, apologize and don’t do it again.

If you do it twice, fine, three times, less fine but still OK. After that, it becomes a habit, a bad habit loads of people seem to enjoy.

This consideration was triggered by the comments I’ve seen on Facebook on some profiles.

Of course, it’s some kind of behavior that would happen in real life too.

However, people should understand that even if someone decided to make his or her life public, this doesn’t give them the right to destroy them with their opinion. Public profile isn’t an invite to be rude or impolite.

Immediately connected to what I’ve just stated, I have to add I respect a lot public people like Supernatural cast members, or even Stephen Amell –  these are the one I follow – who decided to go public but they managed to create such nice and healthy environment behind them, that I want just to prize them.

The detail that maybe annoys me the most is that Italians seem to be the most enraged comment writers. Of course, this data is related to my own field of experience.

Anyhow it’s a pity.

What triggered this train of thoughts is linked to some comment I’ve seen on MasterChef and X factor’ s Facebook pages, but it could be extended to everything.

It’s OK to have your personal opinion, your beliefs, your fear, your bias, even your prejudice, I mean it.

However, for no reason whatsoever you’re entitle to force your opinion on other people, criticize who’s in front of you, offend someone you might not even know. Basically, for no reason at all it’s OK behave like a real asshole!

And this is the end of my rant!

Ok, it wanted to be less of a rant, I really wanted to express my opinion, but I feel very passionate about it.

Well, my dear readers, leave it or take it!

Have a well-deserved Sunday!

Most of all, please let me know what you think in the comment below!

Writing and Reading log – April 2017

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From my recent not existing posts, it seems that I’ve taken an expected month of holiday.

April flew by and, without realizing it, I was swallowed whole by the routine and the fatigue.

I want to assure you that I’m doing another attempt to organize my whole life and writing habit and space. If I’m lucky, I’m at least on the right path to get there.

I thought then, that my first and last post of the month would be an update regarding my reading and writing, mostly because there are some changes.

As for my WIP, the good news is that I keep going on writing every day. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but at least it stays as a habit.

The biggest change I was talking about happened exactly about writing. Thinking about on what could optimize my time and my writing, I asked myself what was the one thing I always have with me. The reply was pretty obvious: my phone. As usual, you never notice the little things next to you and you bang your head senseless trying to find the solution that had been there from the very beginning.

Following there is the phase in which you feel the biggest idiot on Earth and then you move on!

All these words to say that I’ve started to use google drive on my phone.

I shared with my work pc the files containing my WIP, my blog posts, and the project in Italian that now took a final direction: fairytales (they’re set in my fantasy world but they’re just, well, fairytales!). I shared as well a couple of other files that will help me with the writing; wherever I’ll go, my babies will be with me.

I just got two big problems:

One – I don’t know yet where to place my plotting and my researching. This means that the Hunter Journal’s project is on hold, although I’m taking notes of everything I notice in the streets.

Also, the plotting for both the WIP (final touches) and the urban fantasy are on hold.

Two – I’ll have to copy all the words that had been already written on the notebooks. Form a very free calculation there must be around 32K words in there.

Hopefully, I’ll manage to sort the both of them.

From now on then, I’ll try to simplify the writeometer, let’s call it this way, values along with the book pages.

This way will let me have a tidier post and a reference for me, in case I want to track my progresses.

Word written for the WIP: 18,522 words

Fairy tales written: 3

Blog post written this month: 0 on 4 …oh what a shame!

Researching: N/A

Plotting: N/A

As for the reading, I’m still concentrating to narrow down the number of the books I’ve started a while ago.

I’m still reading some of them together, of course. Also, I’ve started and finished a new one and started a further new one.

So just to summarize:

There is no news for Irish ghost stories,

Wizards first rule, Memorie del sottosuolo, The wisdom of the dead man, A Song of Ice and Fire, Enciclopedia. Tutta la seconda Guerra Mondiale-volume 1, Irish Ghost Stories and Madame Bovary.

However, there is bit of improvement for the other titles:

Delitto e castigo – I’m at page 222 on 677.

City of bones – It’s finally finished.

The book thief – I’m at page 354 on 554.

Outlander – I’m at page 408 on 684.

Hunger – I’m at page 246 on 684.

I’ve read and finished The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne and I’ve started the Diary of Anne Frank.

And that’s it for the moment.

As usual, I’ll be very grateful for any advice you might want to share with me.

I wish you a nice bank holiday on the 1st of May and I hope I’ll be back posting once a week as intended.

At least I can promise you I’ll do my best to manage.

Oisín the great! – Review of Mad Grandad series  

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As you know from my previous posts, one of my favorite writers ever is Oisín McGann.

I followed two of his writing workshops and I appreciate him not only as writer but also as teacher.

I loved his young adult books I’ve read and I’m looking forward to read the rest, although I’m a very slow kind of reader.

A part from those books, what I was aiming to find were the ones for kids.

Now that Maya is in Junior Infant I had the excuse to buy them. She still cannot read, but she’s old enough to follow stories more complex than a fairy tale.

My only problem was that it’s not very easy to find them in book stores.

The first two I found were Mad Grandad and the flying saucer and Mad Grandad and the robot garden.

Maya absolutely loved them. And to be brutally honest with you, I loved them too, I was bent in two for the laughter.

Oisín is an honest writer. In his books, there is everything he teaches about writing: while you turn the pages, it seems you’re hearing his advices.

We should write simple things, something easy to be identified with, of course adding a twist that makes them even more interesting.

Simple elements are easily recognized. Readers would emphasize better with the characters and the story.

Take for example these first books, what’s more normal than going to spend the day with your grandpa? Everybody can relate to that!

But then, if you make the cool grandad bring his grandson to buy a flying saucer or to assemble a gardener robot that has been in the cellar for ages folded into a box, you add a simple twist that is hilarious!

However, after I spent almost two months reading in loop these two volumes as Maya forgot completely the other hundreds she has at her disposal, I thought it was the time to buy the rest.  

I ordered then online Mad Grandad’s wicked pictures, Mad Grandad’s doppelganger, Mad Grandad and the mutant river, Mad Grandad and the Kleptoes.

Let me tell you, my dear readers, if I laughed my ass off with the first two books, I did even more with the rest.

These books aren’t just funny, they’re clever, creative, brilliant and enormously real story-wise. You have the sensation, and you really wish, that these adventures might happen to you one day.

Oisín is genius and these books don’t disappoint even the adult readers, who are used to Oisín’s other novels.

In these last books I bought, grandad and Lenny have to deal with some paint from the 70s that come to life, with a couple of doppelgangers who wants to find friends, with a mer-model fished in a river and with some weird beings living in grandad’s couch.

I have to be honest with you, I was so sorry when I finished them, I wanted more.

But I wasn’t the only one! This is the dialogue with Maya following the last page of the last book:

“Mummy are we buying more?”

“Maya, I’m sorry, but this was the last Mad Grandad adventure in the series… Oisín wrote a couple of other books for kids and…”

“It’s Ok mummy, we can ask Oisín to write more!”

“Yes…”

I don’t know if we can ask, but we hope he will!

Meanwhile I’ll order the other three books I spotted, I’m sure that Maya and me will love them too.

Well done Oisín, keep up the good work!

Happy Paddy’s day! 

Despite being here for 10 years, I’ve never been at the parade! However, Maya wanted really to go this year, so it was set!

We arrived a bit late and there was no space left to watch it properly, but I enjoyed and loved what I managed to see!

My thoughts and love to the few friends I left in the monster factory. They’re working their asses off these days for sure!

I miss them and my funny blog posts following the madness! But I don’t miss that job!

Mostly, respect to those geniuses who found the following hack to watch the parade properly!

I’ll do that for sure next year! 

What I mean to say with this post is Happy Patrick’s Day, everybdy!