Z as Zircon

 

 Zircon026

And today is the last post.

I’m always sad when I finish the A to Z challenge. It has been a great experience both of the times and I’ve met great bloggers as well. It is maybe the only occasion when I hope that the alphabet was made of more than 26 letters!

But let’s get started.

Zircon is, like Xylum, a city I had to name for the sake of the challenge, because I didn’t have any place beginning with Z. However, in this case too I was lucky as I had a village in Snout I hadn’t named yet.

Snout is a place I haven’t talked about yet. It is a small island on the south of the main one and it is shaped as a giant pig. As you can imagine the beings living there are giant humanish pigs and they’re divided in different tribes according to the colour of their skin.

Zircon is the Mine Village located at the foot of the mountains, which more or less can be described as the great pig’s ears.

In between the mountains there is a small valley and is it here that the only port is located.

Zircon is where the purple, bronze and silver skinned pigs live and they’re all miners. There are nine kind of gold in Sonrisa and the majority of them are extracted here.

Needless to say these three tribes are the most powerful, and if I can tell you the truth, also the meanest of the whole range of tribes.

As you can imagine in a world divided by the war, the other coloured tribes are living in a very poor way being forced into their villages and houses.

And with this I finish my challenge, happy that I managed for the second year in row to accomplish the task.

It was a great pleasure to meet you all and I want to tell you thanks, thank you so much for your wonderful comments and presence, it’s been an honour!

Happy Blogging and let’s keep in touch!

Y as Yellow

 

 Yellow025

Hello everybody, I hope I didn’t scare anyone of you with my second post yesterday!

And let’s go back to the second last stop in my fantasy world: Yellow. Today I’ll also bring you down to the under the sea kingdom for the last time.

And as I promised in Violet post I’ll present a brighter space. The yellow slice, Yellow, is where the sea-fairies live.

At the very north of the country there is the Abyss ridge which is a small ridge of mountains that shields the Yellow slice from the Lost Abyss behind.

The rest of the land is all plain a part from the small coral hills, that are a continuation of the mountains in the centre of Orange.

Scattered through the land there are five big cities and four hamlets. Sea-fairies don’t live here only, but you can find small hamlets also in the Green Slice, something immediately next to Yellow. These hamlets host the fairies who volunteer to take care of the plants and small animals under the sea, and collect all the curative herbs that fairies and mer-folks need for healing. In other words, as you have animals in Violet, you have plants in Green.

Sea-fairies’ is a pacific community and they resemble very much their counterpart on the land above. However, being aware to be the most magical and hence powerful community under the sea, they’re very proud and they tend to be a bit close. This closure though, was relaxed after the big war, because they’re very intelligent indeed and they know better what closure can cause!

As testimonial of this fairness in thinking just have a look to how their society is structured: they have a Queen and then, immediately under her, a fist princess who is in charge of the council of the children and a first prince who’s in charge of the council of adults. They’re so fair that they believe in children so much to take their saying into consideration.

And that’s it for today as well, I’ll see you tomorrow for the last stop!

How do I write? Writing Process Blog Tour

 

As I promised earlier on I have a second post for you.

I know I’m still taken by the A to Z challenge posts, but an occasion arose and I couldn’t resist.

It’s the blog tour I found on my virtual friend Joanna’s blog. She was looking for volunteers and I did it. I’ve never done it before, but I thought it could be a nice idea to connect a few blogs together and at the same time a way for me to know new bloggers!

So what I have to do is to answer the four given questions and then to mention other three writers who’ll bring on this marvellous idea!

I’ve found two so far and I’m going to leave the third spot for a brave volunteer. Let me know in the comments if you want to be part of the process!

Here we go with the questions:

What am I working on at the moment?

At the moment I’m working as usual on too many things together. And this is a problem I’ve always had.

But leaving aside all the drafts twitching unfinished in my computer I can tell you that mainly my brain is trying to cope with two big projects!

The first one is an urban fantasy/supernatural kind of story. The very original idea was born as fan fiction, but considering that my brain never stops and it is continuously brewing the two or three ideas I have until I’m satisfied (kind of never, to be honest) this project has currently become my plan to find an editor (hopefully) not abandoning my favourite genre. The idea is to write the story and introduce myself bringing a huge banner on which I write “Ok my English isn’t perfect, but my character doesn’t speak it properly! She’s Italian and she’s forced to write in another language!”

Use your weakness as your strength, so a dear friend of mine suggested! And let’s hope that it works!

The second big project involves Sonrisa again and my alter ego Rainbow D. Fran. As you could understand from the A to Z challenge posts I have a fantasy world ready to use, but I haven’t had time yet to concentrate on the main series of books I want to set here. So, what I decided to do is to open a second blog, hopefully by the end of this year or beginning of the next and try to tell better the adventures of Fran. Something I was trying to do before on Twitter, but I didn’t manage for health reason.

My idea is to write the blog pretending to be her, but letting know people at the same time that there is a writer behind the whole thing.

However, I’m too fussy and too attentive to the details to start straight ahead, so I’m planning the adventures in advance.

Because of these two projects, in the spare time I don’t really have I’m trying to research information about folklore, geography, history and so on.

I’m sure nobody wants to know what’s in my brain, but I found once a meme that could describe it better than I would!

 

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

You see, this question makes me a bit anxious! Because the answer is: I have no clue!

I mean I know this is the key point on which every expert author will stress on. This is something you’re told in workshop as well.

At the same time they all say that we have to make sure that our work enters into the categories and genre boundaries.

These two notions confuse me a bit as I perceive them as opposite and if I concentrate too much on that I’ll end up in not doing anything at all.

But I can tell you one thing!

The best compliment I received from a dear friend of mine once was: “Franny, reading your stories is like listening to you talking”…at the beginning I thought it was a weak point, but then I realized that it was a really good compliment.

I had the same impression when I got in my hands the first book by Oisín McGann. I followed his workshop and I liked him so much that I decided to read his books. And actually reading him was like listening to him talking.

My point is that as we’re all different in the world, we also are able to create different things. So maybe putting my personality into the story or in the way the story is told makes it different from everyone else’s!

Does it make sense?

 

Why do I write what I do?

 

Because I love it and because I need it.

That would be enough. But there is more.

Life is hard and the most of the time isn’t all that sugar coated pill everybody wants. Actually I think that nothing has ever been easy for me.

So I suppose that having a certain level of creativity I decided to find refuge in my head. At some stage this refuge became so stuffed with ideas and elements that I felt the need to share what I was thinking with other people.

Sometimes, instead, you need something to distract you from the boredom and you go back digging in your brain for a thrilling adventure.

Also, other times I really need to empty my brain, to vent, to seek help and writing just help.

I’ve always loved to read and immerse myself in different kind of places or just to change and customize the reality, so I think that this is the natural reason that brought me to choose the genre I write!

Of course lately I felt the need to experiment different realities and genres but I guess that it’s just a normal developing process of a creative writer.

 

 

How does my writing process work?

I don’t have a set writing process. I try to experiment and also I try to write whenever I can.

It looks more like a survival plan, but that’s exactly what it is.

I have a demanding and energy sucking job, I have a toddler, a demanding partner and a house I’m trying to cure at my best. All this with no help whatsoever because I’m an expat!

You imagine that this doesn’t leave much space for free time or time for writing.

The very first book I wrote was in Italian and about pirates. I knew the subject and I knew it had to be a first person narration. But after reading On Writing by Stephen King I thought I could try to leave the character to lead me. I was wrong. Well I guess it’s a decent first book and a few people enjoyed it but I don’t feel proud.

After that I decided to plan. It depends on the book or on how long I’ve had the idea for, but I try to plan as much as I can.

Usually I also use some formulas I received during the workshops.

Said that, my characters have voice on their own, because one of the things I plan most or, better, I spend a lot time on is the character birth. So sometimes they make me change the whole thing on the way, but at least I’m not taken by surprise like at the very beginning.

I cannot forget the painful sensation when I was crying on the keyboard killing my favourite character! But the story needed…so at least now I know in advance it must happen!

It is more or less like the bad habit I have of reading the last pages of a book when I begin a new one. At least I can enjoy better the story in between because I know already how’s going to end!

 

And here we go! I did it!

I didn’t think I would be able to!

Now, time to pass the baton my two fellow writers!

Ladies and gentlemen,

I introduce you:

Kevin from Creative Mysteries. He’s a very talented writer and a very nice person. Always willing to help and very hard worker. I recommend his blog, and in particular read his writing samples, you’ll be pleased!

Estrella from Life’s a Stage. She’s one of my oldest virtual friends. She’s smart, she’s creative and her art touches not only writing but also crafting and cooking. Whatever she touches, it becomes a masterpiece!

And, as I said, there is a third spot I couldn’t fill. Feel free to volunteer! Let me know in the comments!

 

*whispers* Jo, how did I go?

X as Xylum

Xylum024

When I jotted down the list of the names that should show up in the A to Z challenge I didn’t have anything for the X letter. But I have so many places in my world with no name yet that it wasn’t difficult to find a perfect candidate.

So I realized that there was a place, the core of Spice Wood in Harmony Valley that had no name at all. Spice Wood is where Spice Fairies live in, and it is located in the south- western border of Harmony Valley.

The name I got for this village or group of houses around a castle is a part of the scientific name of one of the varieties of anise: Xanthoxylum piperitium. So if you take the last part of the first word you have Xylum.

I know sometimes you need a guide to follow my brain.  Just think of me…I have to live with it 24/7!

Xylum is where the majority of the Spice fairies live and where the two queen’s castles are.

Spice fairies are a female community, more or less like the Amazons, but less violent (and not because of that are less strong!). They’re born in Spices flowers and leaves and they potentially live forever.

They have two queens that belong to the families associated to the strongest spices. They might decide to rule together, but most of the times the strongest does. In case the subjects decide she’s not ruling in a nice or fair way or in case of war she dies, then the second queen takes her place until either another queen is elected or the former ‘s heir becomes of the right age, which is more or less 100/150 years old!

I have one character I created coming from the Spice Wood, her name is Cinnamon. I used her for a while until I had to stop twitting Fran’s story, but as I said I have a project in my head, and I think I’m going to mention it later on.

Sorry for the length of this post, but stay tuned, because I have a second post coming later on!

Happy writing everybody!

W as White City

 

This should be the fountain in the center of Market Square, but it's one of the worst pictures, I know! Apologies!

This should be the fountain in the center of Market Square, but it’s one of the worst pictures, I know! Apologies!

Happy Saturday to everybody!

Today I’m going to bring you back to the Desert of Rebirth land. You’ve seen just a tiny glimpse of it, or maybe better I’ve just mentioned when I talked about the quick sands. Now I’m going to introduce you to a whole city, White City.

White City is located on the north-western part of the country, on the coast. It is the city that shares the boundary with the Candy Region of Dough Land and it is inhabited by fisherman.

There is a major port in the middle of the northern coast, but also a lot of small docks on the coast right outside of White City, where the fishermen boats stands all the times.

As you can imagine then the major resources for them is fishing, but White City is also known for tourism. You have to understand that White City is divided in three Block that have a kind of circular shape each and they’re put on the map to form a triangle. At the very top you have the white block one where the fishermen live and it’s the one next to the docks and the shore.

White blocks number two and three are the touristy area. There are hotels and restaurants and also they serve as market good storages.

In the very centre of this triangle you have the market square, where every day a small market is held. From time to time also people from Mories go to sell their stuff there. Mostly because they think they’re going on holiday but in truth they cannot stop being merchants!

Also many tourists who want to visit Sweet Moment in Dough Land decide to stay there because it’s brighter and near to the sea.

In White City mainly you have humans, but you can have also sand folks who are usually living in the desert with a nomadic style of life. Sometimes they stay in White City for a few days in order to gather food and supplement for their travels. Also there is a council based there that represent the two races and sometimes they show up for the meetings.

I used White City for my tweets two years ago, and I’m going to use it again. It’s a nice place and relaxing as well to figure in your head, when you want to send your brain away from the everyday confusion!

And that’s it for today!

I’ll see you next week for the last three stops!

Happy writing!

V as Violet

 Violet022

As I said yesterday, today we’ll dive again in the deepest part of the ocean for our second last stop in the Under the Sea!

If you’re wondering which kind of creatures I put in Violet you might be disappointed because there are none. Well not exactly.

In Violet you don’t have any real civilization, but there are just wild beasts. The most of them are very big and mean and very ferocious.

The one portrayed in my picture is the most terrible creature in the Sea, it is the beast everybody fears and the other creatures run away from, when he’s nearby. The problem is that if you don’t know about Spooky Dog you can be tricked by his fluffy and cuddling face and you can die for it. You might not see this properly from my bad drawing but it has a dog’s face then a giant bunny’s body and a seal’s fin instead of the tail. He also has no scales but short fur.

If you watch closely, however, you might notice the huge amount of blood under his front paws. Who knows whom or which creature he feasted with? I really don’t want to know.

But even Spooky Dogs are afraid of the Abandoned Darkness, the forest starting somewhere in the Abyss and developing all next to the western border to end up who knows where.

And this is the real question: what could there be inside that forest so fierce and terrible that even Spooky Dogs avoid it and that loads of smaller creatures avoid even knowing that they could be eaten if staying in the Violet section?

I’m working on the answer, no worries, it should be such a nice trigger for a horror story, if only I could write horror, but this is a different problem!

In general you have to figure Violet as a bare stretch of ground, where maybe two or three trees grow and sporadic seaweed grows beside the numerous rocks.

The only chain of mountain is in the southern border and it’s called Vampire Mountains, because they’re shaped like a mouth with very pointed canines at the two extremities.

As I said, the Abandoned Darkness is next to the western border and on the eastern one there are only mountains of the Indigo slice of land. Luckily or thanks to the magic the mountains continue to the north side as well, so that the animals are kind of trapped in a giant cage.

The only brave folks who are willing to go there and try to cure the sick animals are the mer-folks coming from Blue and the sea-fairies coming from Yellow!

So did I scare you? I promise you that the last stop will be in a nicer place of the ocean and much, much brighter!

I’ll see you tomorrow with White City!

Happy Blogging and Happy Writing!

U as Utopia

 Utopia021

Utopia is the city located in the south-western part of Sunbeam.

It isn’t a very big town but it is so full of good vibes and aspects to be found interesting by everybody.

First of all Utopia is the first part of Sunbeam you meet when you arrive and the last one you leave when you depart as the port of the country is close by.

Because of that and because people of Sunbeam are very proud of their artistic skills, Utopia is perfect on the architectonic and aesthetic point of view.

Houses façades are painted and decorated often, front and back gardens are well cured and the streets are clean and tidy.

It may seem that Utopians are very vain and worried by the appearance like the fairies in the ice islands, but this is far from the truth! Or better it is more complicated.

We could say that this appearance is their way to support the county they live in and they love!

The real madness starts when you enter in the houses because you never know what to expect.

Some of the Utopians are scholars and artists but the majority of them are scientists and inventors.

The houses in Utopia are usually on more floors and the top one is used as library or laboratory. Some of them anyway prefer to use their basement, like the man in the picture, in order to make things more secret and full of mystery.

Now you have to consider that Sonrisa is at a medieval level of technology, and some parts of it, like Fire Bloom villages or Funny Jungle tribes or Red and Orange parts of the sea are even behind, so even a bicycle could be consider something new and modern and genius.

There is a lot of magic as well, so sometimes what could be though technology is instead something obtained by magic.  And sometimes other things are substitutions of what we consider normal, say for example the wood of the Cold Forest in Ice Flower can be used as air conditioning!

However, in Utopia everything is invented and created by the hand and genius and knowledge of some individuals and that gives them a very high status in the whole world, although a more friendly approach to the magic in general could be highly appreciated. If you are a witch or a magical being unfortunately you’re not well seen in the village, but Utopians are usually polite and their curiosity beats their pride so they’ll never refuse you a cup of tea!

So I hope you enjoyed this stop and I’ll see you again tomorrow for our second last stop into the depth of the ocean!

Happy blogging to all of you!