Blog on the go – I wish I could draw!

YaremeYou all have seen my doodles at this stage and I’m wondering what you think about that.

The reason I ask is that I don’t like my style at all. I’m going to upload them here again so you can have a look at them and decide!

First of all I cannot answer a question: why on earth I come out with an awful picture while in my head they’re so beautiful?

Actually it’s very frustrating!

As you might know I love manga and “Oriental style” of comics in general and that’s what I’m trying to achieve when I put pencil on paper. The problem is that the result is not even remotely close to what I’m thinking.

The even more frustrating part is that I have ideas, but not having skills, I can’t put them in practice.

When I was in high school I attended to a brief comic class. It was nice and I enjoyed a lot.

However, I was in my dark moment, so although I felt itching with creativity, I wasn’t allowed to spend too much time doing anything else but homework.

It was a pity, I know, but the idea I tried to put on picture during those days become the starting point of my fantasy world.

Not bad on this point of view, I know, but still I didn’t follow my creativity.

As I don’t have much time right now, then I cannot attend a class, so I’m looking for alternative way of learning, like YouTube videos or websites.

The sad truth might be that I’m not talented enough to draw comic or even sketches, like the little ninjas I was thinking about. I’ll show them to you sooner or later!

I know practice makes you perfect but still, I’d need time to practice and even then I don’t know if I could.

Drinking coffee and watching TV!

Drinking coffee and watching TV!

Now that I think about that, I believe this is valid for my writing as well….

Sometimes I got so stuck in this train of thoughts that I feel overwhelmed and anxious…

I love being creative anyway so I’m not going to stop in any case, but I’d love to know if I have talent, or potential!

Most of all I don’t understand why I cannot have any natural ability, why do I need to make an effort to achieve everything? Am I stupid?

What do you think?

Are my doodles a total disaster?

Are you struggling as well to achieve everything?

Is that normal?

Does the practice make you perfect or at least better?

Let me know in the comments!


A doodle I've done a few days ago.

A doodle I’ve done a few days ago.



Potion and choices!

 Since I have problems with my computer –of course! Did you really think all the problems were gone with me feeling better? – And I don’t know how long it will last before it crashes; I decided to use a prompt.

I don’t remember where I found it, whether on Facebook or on WordPress, and usually I don’t really like them but there are just a few interesting and this is one of them.

You encounter a mysterious man offering you a magic potion that, once sipped, will make one of your senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch) super sharp — but dull the others. Will you sip it, and if so, what sense do you choose?

Maya chose the pic!

This is a nice and tricky question and it’s just the beginning of a chain of questions. What will be the gain for me? What if I don’t like it? How long will it last? Who’s this guy giving the potion to me? Why is he offering it to me? What is he gaining out of it?

I guess that if you modify one of these answers then the response is totally different! Or the other option is that I’m going into the depth of Orson Scott Card book and I’m totally fascinated from it.

But assuming that this guy is just a warlock who has to try on someone his potion because in training; and assuming he has just to prove to his master he can make it; and assuming that the effect of the potion will fade away soon, I suppose I can do a choice.

I’m curious enough to try it, of course, so I will do it almost for sure, but which sense should I choose?

Honestly I’ll have a problem to choose between sight and smell. I stopped smelling properly a few months ago and I have no clue why and I miss some of the gentlest smells.

But assuming that I should use the “super sense” to prove that the potion works I might chose sight as I wear glasses and it’s almost a daily super task to see properly. I cannot see 100% properly even with the glasses, just imagine what it means when I take them out.

I’d say sight then.

And then if you let me continue on this potion line, I’d ask the good warlock to give me another potion that can make me wake up on a pirate ship and I’d take in charge the crow’s nest and cry in sight of land.

Ok, you know me, I’m weird but this is the best answer I can offer this morning!

And what about you? Would you drink?

And which sense would you choose?


Peppa Pig

Since I’ve been sick lately and the good little piggy gave me a great help I decided to dedicate the first post back to Peppa Pig.

Sooner or later I had to tell you my point of view anyway! Don’t tell me you weren’t expecting it.

I’m sick and tired of many things I see around the web, posted by friends and friends of friends and everybody who can use a computer. I just see people getting tired of this cartoon and mocking it all the time with different kind of meme.

Guess what? I’m nobody as many of them but I have my opinion too.

Ok, maybe you can find her face or, most of all, her voice annoying – and if you say so just try the Italian version and you’ll love the UK voice then – mostly because Peppa is everywhere. I also admit that the marketing behind this simple and not even well designed cartoon is gigantic. There are pyjamas, umbrellas, colouring books, t-shirts, paper tissue, toy house and this is just a few items I happen to see in my own house turning around. I might not even have mentioned all the stuff Maya has got featuring the little piggy.

Maybe just because its simplicity Peppa is so appealing for children; after all, you have the most common animals every child recognize as main characters, along with their sounds and less of their habit, but this is another story!

However, the most important thing to consider is that the always present bossy piggy is the most helpful in some occasion. Take me for example, during last week and in particular during the weekend I was completely out and feeling very weak. My partner wasn’t at the top either. So the only option we had was the TV and Peppa because she’s the only one who can distract Maya completely.

Maybe it’s not fair, and don’t think I don’t feel guilty in doing something I promised myself I will never do (using the TV as a baby sitter) but I couldn’t help.

And, a part from that, sometimes during every other day you just need to breathe. Sometimes Maya is so active I cannot hear myself thinking so Peppa is a nice ten minutes break.

So, excuse me, but I think that Peppa was a very clever thing to invent.

Now parents out there, what do you think about that?


It seems that 2014 doesn’t like us at all…

We’re sick again with an annoying bug, maybe worse than the previous one…

This time I’m not sleeping at all because I cannot breathe properly and Maya as well is in this condition…

Last night was the fifth in row with just a couple of hours slept…

So sorry I’m not updating the blog but between bug and work -not sure which one is giving me more hard time- I had no time to spare to anything else than relax and rest.

I have over 2 thousand email to read, I have many posts as draft, I have a house that looks like a nasty and dirty den at the moment, but I’m in surviving mode right now.

Bear with me, please!


Maya picked the pic!


Researching and writing.

I was thinking about the post I wrote yesterday and I couldn’t get out of my mind what I said about Jule Verne’s book. I still think all what I said, but I decided to write another post to explain my point of view on the researching part. I felt that mine was just a critique and not a very constructive one.

What I want to point out revolves around research, and as I love researching myself I think it’s better I make this clear.

Research is important in order to write believable things, in particular if we’re writing about existing objects and places. I do research myself even to get inspiration for a high fantasy books, but I guess that the most important bit is the use we do with all the material we gather.

I mean maybe not everybody enjoy getting more and more knowledge without showing it off but there are different ways of doing that, given that is really important showing it off.

I’m an ignorant compared to many people, very ignorant to be honest, more than I want to admit, but still I’m not going around suffocating other human beings with all the things I might know more than them.

And yet I’ve found in my life many individuals who just play the part of the know_ all people, not necessarily knowing really everything they claimed to know but able to sell the few notions they had. On the other, hand I met persons who, although possessing huge culture, just give to you some bits to make yourself comfortable. Of course the latter kind is the one I aspire to be and I love most.

Said that, let’s pass on to the writing part. Many workshops teachers or suggestions about writing you find in books or in the web tell you that it’s a good thing researching but during the writing process not everything goes into the tale. In this way the expert who’ll pick up your book won’t feel fooled, you’ll be true to your reader and your reader won’t feel you’re treating him or her like a stupid. At the same time you’re not vomiting details on details, just killing the narration.

For example one of my teachers said he studied one night solid to find information about rocking chairs in Victorian period and this helped him to produce a paragraph of few lines. Jule Verne probably would have written a whole chapter about the history of rocking chair.

That’s exactly what I’m talking about.

Jule Verne doesn’t know when to stop. I know his main characters are travelling into the centre of the earth but maybe you could focus on what they find around or the feeling they’re going through (something he does actually in a heavy and boring way anyway), he could have worked with imagination. Instead he concentrates whole chapters on the minerals and chemical component of the rock strata and so on.

In conclusion I think that it’s good to research but most of it will end up enhancing your own knowledge, but it will certainly help to write a good piece.

What do you think about that?

Do you research?

How do you do that?

Do you write much of what you learn in your book?

On Audiobooks!

A year ago I discovered a great source of entertainment: audiobooks! As you can see from my list in reading list! page I started to use them to add more books and enhance my personal knowledge.

Everybody could admit they’re just useful pieces of work. You can listen to them in the car, while walking in the street, while ironing and while the baby keeps you awake during the night!

The latter is exactly the situation I found myself in two nights ago. You were supposed to have another kind of post today, but as Maya decided it was better playing during the night I had no other option than staying in her room on the rocking chair and listening to the audiobook. Then the following night she was awake as well and because yesterday I worked I think I’m going to stick to this blog post!

I was awake from 2.30 till 5.00 but I managed to finish Journey to the centre of the Earth by Jule Verne. As you can see from my list I gave it a very low mark, and I’m very happy I’ve finished it.

I know that there are out there books we don’t like and not everybody can appreciate the same things. But because of that I can tell that only a geologist or an anthropologist can easily appreciate it.

It is a boring book in itself and I’m not referring to the way it is written, I’m perfectly aware that being a classic the style and the choice of words are different from ours. Still the story is simple and almost stupid. But not the Treasure Island simple, or Dracula simple, this one would bore even Maya. Everything that is told into the narration doesn’t bring to anything. It’s a story that goes in circle and doesn’t provoke any other feeling but boredom, in particular in those chapters where he speaks only of geology and anthropology facts.

I didn’t enjoy it. I think that the Doctor Who episode Travel to the centre of the TARDIS was much more exciting!

Anyway, let’s pass on, because I had to start anew with Ozma of Oz as I didn’t remember it from the beginning. Despite the voice of the reader is a bit annoying (I guess that cannot be helped anyway and I don’t want to be hypercritical, I’m just saying that I’ve been a bit unlucky on this point of view lately!) the story is very nice. You see, this is another example of an old book but pleasant to read or to listen to.

Last news about audiobooks is that I found out a marvellous thing: on you tube I can get David Tennant reading books and Shakespeare sonnets!

I’m so so so happy, I could listen forever to his deep and warm voice and of course his sexy Scottish accent!

Here is the first video for you! 

So what do you think? Anyone else has read Jule Verne? And, if so, what do you think about him and his books?

Do you use audiobooks? How and what do you think about them?

Let me know in the comments because I’m very curious!

Blog On The Go! – Relaxing!

Finally I feel a bit better and I’m ready to start again with all the things I have to do.

While I’m waiting for an important call I’m going to start writing and by the end of the day I hope I’ll manage to put some work aside for busier periods.

While I was waiting to recover I completed a list of all the posts that I jotted it down and of all the ideas I put on pieces of paper, so I decided to start from there.

Of course if I have new ideas or a sudden inspiration I’ll go that way but for the moment I need to tidy up things.

I remember that one of my most severe teachers once said: “How would you have a tidy writing piece if you live in a mess?” It was harsh but it got straight to the point. Thinking about this sentence many years later, I stated seriously to try to organize my life, my files and so on. Of course, as you know, my life is very busy and time for me is limited but I’m doing my best!

What I want to start with is a problem that I’ve been having since I can remember. I have mentioned it already and I might do it again, because from time to time is giving me hard time.

Why am I unable to relax?

As I said I spent the last few days trying to recover from the stomach bug but the more my strengths were coming back the more I felt I was wasting time.

More than once my partner said to me “Fran, just relax now and try to recover as much as you can and then you’ll do whatever you want from tomorrow or so”

To be honest with you, I did what he asked me to do – mostly because he was at home sick too and he could keep an eye on me- but I found it extremely difficult. I’d love relaxing and I have a good way to start doing so, but then after a few minutes I start feeling restless and looking around to find something else to do!

So during the relaxing regime, as I said, I listed all the blog posts I want to write down, then I read some of the books I still have to finish from last year and also I started the second volume of Game of Thrones as you all know.

Still the idea of not doing more – what this “more” is supposed to be isn’t clear yet though – made me feel uneasy and willing to do more. I guess this was good because little by little all my body and spirit filled with “I want to be creative” energy, one of the best sensations ever.

However, I believe that part of the problem is I don’t realize how much I do. This is something I’ve always been told but I start to think there might be a part of the truth into the legend.

Say, for example, it’s 2pm now and I woke up at 8. So far I had my shower, I prepared breakfast for the family, I called that important person I need at the moment and took an appointment, I prepared lunch, I had my lunch and fed Maya, I cleaned the kitchen floor and the fire, I did 10 minutes on the mechanic bike and I drafted this post, of course everything with the little miss playing and messing around! Then I put her to sleep and read a few pages of the book!

Well, yes maybe writing them down helps to visualize a tiny bit better. Probably I shouldn’t be so harsh with myself but still this state of grace disappears when I start thinking about the millions of other things I want to do or need to be done.

For example, keeping up the previous example, I begin to feel the need of ironing and preparing other blog drafts, cooking dinner and reading Orson Scott Card book, both to finish it and to help me in the world building! Maybe if I had time I could read something about Asia as well!

By the time I’ve finished with the second list, I think I haven’t done anything at all during the day.

What do you think I should do?

 Is anybody else in the same situation?

Any advice?