I’ll save Artax this time!


This is exactly how I’ve been feeling lately.

If you want you can compare Artax to my plot. The mud and dirty water of the swamp to my thoughts, and details, and my descriptions and my reasoning about things. Of course then you can put Atreyu in place of my will to drag the plot out of the mud! Plot that is alive in front of me, out of all the swamp mess my mind turned into!

Concentrating too much on other things would kill my inner Artax!

I have to make it! Have to!!!


*silently running away from strange people dressed in white with a funny jacket clutched in their hands*


*suddenly noticing a syringe too*


*running away much faster*

 P.S. For explanation read the next post. Today this is the best I can create, but I’m sure there is someone out there understanding…


My reading pile – November 2014


As only a little over one month divides me from the new year I thought it was nice to update you on my reading situation.

Six weeks seem enough to finish the whole thing but in my case they’re not!

I can’t possibly know what will happen in a day time!

So I finished La Tregua. It was heart-breaking and I watched the film, The truce, as well which just spoiled the whole thing of course. This flared up my interest for books of this genre. We have to remember what happened in the past.

I finished also Ireland’s Hunted women. It wasn’t written in a good style but it is supposed to be mainly a non-fiction and it was packed with information and a bibliography I will use for my other project.

Harry Potter was a re-read. Not only I finished that but also I finished re-reading the third book and I started the fourth, as it seems Maya loves listening to Harry’s adventure while falling asleep! Nothing to object here!

As for Gone and Il cervello anarchico I’m half way through them. And as for The two towers (which starts to be interesting only now!) and Allegiant I’m in the last hundred pages frame.

I realized I forgot to include in the list How to write Fantasy and Sci-Fi by Orson Scott Card. I think I’m in the mid of that too.

I know it doesn’t seem a desperate situation but I as I said everything could happen!

I’ll keep you posted!

Have a nice weekend! I’ll be in work, so relax for me too!

Gabriele D’Aleo

Today’s is a special post, as I never thought I’d ever done something like this again. Well, a part for my little brother Panda’s group.

However, lately I came across this website, work of the youngest brother of an old friend of mine.

His name is Gabriele, and despite his age I think he’s a great talent.

I asked him a few question so you can get to know him better. I guess he’s worth attention! In my opinion there is a lot of potential in his work!



Franny: You said beginning your work when you were four. How do you explain your love for drawing? And do you remember your very first draw?

Gabriele: My love for drawing was triggered by cartoons and video games. When I was little I was fascinated by them, especially by the very first PlayStation games like Tekken and Ridge Racer.

The first draw that I remember was a view of an arcade game room, made in 1994 when I was four. My brothers used to go there very often, and sometimes they brought me along. Also I remember some draws of the spaceships inspired by Starfox, a Super Nintendo game.

Franny: Has been easy for you to be an artist? Can you tell us who your stronger supporter is?

Gabriele: It’s been really easy for me. I just think about the concept of the draw, and then I put it on paper!

I guess my greatest supporter was, and still is, my family. They have always encouraged me to go on with my passion.

Franny: Where do you take your daily inspiration?

Gabriele: I take it within myself. As I really like fantasy and sci-fi style, it’s not difficult for me to create a new character or a landscape. However, sometimes I take inspiration from movies.

Franny: What’s your aim for the future? Do you want to be an illustrator full time?

Gabriele: I really love drawing and creating something good. I believe that’s the only thing I can do well!

Yes, it would be great doing it full time!

Franny: What gives you strength and motivation?

Gabriele:  My passion for drawing, that helped me a lot through the past years,  and the idea of improving more and more every day.

Franny: Who’s your favourite artist?

Gabriele: I’ve got several! For example I like Paolo Barbieri, Xia Taptara, Jeffrey Smith and H.R. Giger.

Franny: Fantasy or sci-fi?

Gabriele: I like both, but if I have to choose I’d say fantasy all the way!

Franny: Sweet or sour?

Gabriele: Sweet of course.

Franny: Favourite film?

Gabriele: 1984 with John Hurt

Franny: Describe yourself in three words.

Gabriele: Weird, shy, mad XD

Franny: If someone wants to contact you, where they can do that?

Gabriele: They can send me an e-mail at this address: gabrieledaleo89@gmail.com

Franny: Would you be willing to take some work on for covers or websites?

Gabriele: Definitely for covers. I’ve been doing that already!


In order to show you his ability I asked him an example of his art. And because he was so kind to let me chose the subject, I asked him to bring to life one of my characters: Shaaz!

I’ll introduce him to you in one of my next posts!

For the moment enjoy Gabriele’s art!

Shaaz! All rights reserved to the artist, Gabriele D'Aleo.

Shaaz! All rights reserved to the artist, Gabriele D’Aleo.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Light post today to celebrate the 164th birthday of a great writer, Robert Louis Stevenson.

I usually don’t do things like that but, as my blog title is inspired from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and as my pen name’s surname is Stevenson, I guess it’s my right to remember him.

I’m not going to write his biography or anything heavy.

I just want to remind to myself why he’s of great inspiration: he accompanied me in my first big written task, my graduation thesis (something I couldn’t have done without my professor help anyway! Thanks prof G. A.!); he keeps motivating me to do better and to explore different genres and styles as writer; he keeps reminding me that trying to be a perfectionist on what you do it’s not a crime! 

When I grow up, I want to be like him!

And as because I graduated in comparative studies I have the right to say 

Happy birthday Stevenson sensei! 

Departures – Okuribito

I know, it’s from to 2008 but better now than never, right?

A few days ago I was suggested by one of my team leaders to watch Departures (Okuribito is the original title).

We were talking about films and he noticed I love Japan and some Japanese films and he suggested me to have a look at it, describing briefly the story.

I was intrigued and I had a look at the trailer when I got home. When I discovered that the soundtrack was cured by Joe Hisaishi I decided that it was a must see. You know already my love for this man’s music!

Let me describe the film with two words: pure lyricism.

The story is very simple, a young man and his wife return to his hometown after his dream of being a cellist is shattered. Once there he finds a job as nōkanshi—a traditional Japanese ritual mortician.

Despite the simplicity of the plot, the film should be seen and followed attentively.

What attract the attention are the message intended for the watchers, the fantastic small details only a culture like the Japanese one can display and the perfect soundtrack.

It is a film that forces you to think, but only afterwards. First thing the story hits your emotions.

I cried like an idiot for the second full hour.

Okuribito is a film starting in a light and, sometimes, funny tone, but the more you go on, the more it deepens and dig into your feeling dragging out even the smallest hint of empathy you could have buried inside you.

You’re following the inner travel of a simple human being, full of passion and expectations. His predicaments are constantly accompanied by the classic and strong music of the cello.

After all, Joe Hisaishi put together a soundtrack that in my opinion is sweet, epic and respectful of the theme at the same time.

It is a masterpiece.

Without wanting to spoil the film, I want to share with you my favourite parts, who knows? I could intrigue you!

The most emotional were when Daigo, the main character, after the owner of the public bath dies and he finishes preparing her for the cremation, ties the yellow ribbon around her neck as sign of respect; when Daigo finds the little stone in his father’s hand while he’s preparing him for his last voyage.

Also I detected some philosophical parts, because as a matter of fact, there is some philosophy in it as well! They were the chat Daigo has about the salmons’ struggle going back home, up the river, even if they’re not sure to get there and mostly die in the attempt; when Daigo’s boss invite him for lunch and they talk about food, work and life.

Finally, what I find a mixture of the two is the speech the person in charge of the crematory ovens gives to the other characters during the cremation of the public bath owner.

My only advice is: watch it, it’s worth it!

Following I’ll put the trailer.

Sonrisa under construction!


From top left: element witch and wizard, elemental of fire, three flowers fairy, black magic witch and spice fairy.

Strictly connected to the two previous posts about research and my project, I’ll write this one.

When I scanned through the notes looking for prompts for the general plot I realized that there are many questions about Sonrisa, that’s my fantasy world’s name, I haven’t found an answer for yet!

At the beginning I was very disappointed and a bit tired as well because I’ve been working on it for 8 years now.

But after calming down I thought that answering to simple questions, like those I’ll share with you in a minute, will let me put the word “end” on the world building. Or I hope so…I love Sonrisa, but it still is a huge and slow and long task!

By doing so I should be able to write more consistent stories, free from that I_think_this_is_very_convenient deus ex machina so annoying in certain books, like the writer just had to invent a way out from a tricky situation.

The other solution is trying to convince myself perfection doesn’t exist so I’ll never have something without flows…but I won’t be fair to myself, so I refuse it!

Hence, as far as I discovered brushing my notes, what I hope the last bits left to check are:

Magic– how does it work in details? And a guide line spell list (actually one for each element, one for fantasy and three for black magic to be precise) would complete the picture.

Drugs– I need at least one drug to mirror our world. Fran is going to destroy or attempt to destroy the factory.

How to use currency– I decided the coins already, I gave them name, value and shape, but I need practice.

Elementals– I have elementals of fire. But I guess that I’d need elementals reflecting the other 4 elements I’ve been using for Sonrisa. I need to think about which tribe or country I should place them in order to suit my need best.

Hierarchy of magical creatures as I have fairies, elements and elementals other than witch and wizards and, other than magical creature, I have to decide the power they have in comparison to each other. Once finalized I won’t change it and then the story will have to bend to the rules!

Religion– I’m atheist and to me it would be a better world without religions. However, if I want to be fair and replicate our society I need at least one. I need to work a lot on this because I didn’t have anything planned at all!

Distances– I need a bit of help here from a friend of mine as my relationship with numbers is one of mutual hate. But as Fran in particular has to travel and as I have to jot down a journal I have to be realistic! Loads of work needs to be done here!!!


Then you never know, maybe I’ll notice some other weak point or the research will remind me something I didn’t think about and I’ll comply, as always!

What about you?

Are you perfectionist or rather, obsessed like I am?

Any advice?

Let me know in the comments below.

Fran’s travels- working title!

Photo Collage Maker_Vdnzqd

And finally, here I am talking about my project. Not in details, otherwise I’d spoil the fun, but still I hope you could give me some nice feedback. 

The main character of this project will be Rainbow D. Fran, my fictional alter ego. You’ve met her before, during my first A to Z challenge, right here

Fran isn’t only my alter ego, she’s my aspiration. I know this is another issue altogether, but have you ever looked at you and, being disappointed, wish you could change everything you didn’t like? So, this is exactly what I’ve done with Fran! At least in my fictional world I can be whoever I would like to be! 

As for the story, I tried to structure it like my favourite manga/anime, One Piece. The letter D. in my fictional name is also a tribute to that! 

Basically Fran has a main goal and is trying to achieve it. On the top of that she’s going through several adventures in order to go from A to B.

As the plot stands now I have 14 different situations I’m trying to work on before I could write the word “end”.

It’s a very slow process but after a couple of failed attempt in the past, where I opened and closed blogs and twitter profiles, I hope I can do things properly. I’m putting all my efforts into it anyway!

This also means that I’ll have to do loads of plotting, planning and, as I said in my previous post, loads of research.

Despite the several workshops I attended during the past, the advice I’m still following is the ones given by Oisín McGann.

 After I jotted down a general idea of the whole adventure, that took six or seven pages of notebook, at the moment each part of the story follows the 3P’s rule, very easy but effective, because it tells you immediately whether your story can have a future at all or not. You can find it among the writing tips in this section of his website.

 Next step is checking whether each section could fit into his 10 points scheme. As this isn’t on his website I’m not going to write it here.

 Currently I’m working on this bit and I’m half way through it.

 So far I got only one feedback (that’s because I’m very anxious and I couldn’t wait to finish the whole plotting) and I was surprised but pleased to hear that, according to the plot, the pace sounds very “One Piece Style”.

 However, this is not the end.

 Once all these 10 bullet points part will end, I have to revise each story again and do a summary covering day by day.

 The plan is opening a blog once I’ve finished, that resembles a journal and Fran will have to update it every day.

 After I have the daily summary then I’ll start writing.

 It’s a very long road the one I started, considering that, at the end of the day, I have only 4 hours a week I can dedicate to my project.

 I’ll keep you posted and I hope sooner or later I’ll get there.

 Once I’ll be in the writing /editing part of it I’ll be able to keep going on with my second project. I think I mentioned to you something about that as well, but it doesn’t make any sense in talking about something at the very beginning stage.

 The truth is I had to surrender to the fact that I cannot do too many things together.

 So, what do you think about that?

 Do you have any advice/feedback?

 Let me know in the comments below!