Z as Zoo

  Google search! I’m not that good in taking pictures of animals, but that’s how cute he is! Thanks whoever is the photographer.


It’s funny but almost every time the letter Z is associated with Zoo.

I know that this is a cliché but it perfectly fits with the purpose of this post, and for two good reasons.

The first is that it reminds me of the alphabet songs Maya keeps listening every day, and are now, I fear permanently, stuck in my head. Whatever the song is or whatever color the letters are or whatever unusual association they might find the x will always be xylophone and z will always be zoo, or zebra if we’re lucky.

The second reason is connected with the Dublin Zoo, which has lately become my favorite place ever here.

I haven’t been there many times or as many times as I wish, but I love it.

It took me five years before going to visit it, probably because traumatized by the zoo I was brought to visit when I was a child. The one I remember from those years displayed tired, dirty and sick animals crammed in cages always too small for them.

The Dublin Zoo is amazing in comparison.

The animals look well cared of and well fed. Each one of them has their spacious cage where the original habitat is reproduced at its best.

Also some of the animals aren’t in cages at all. Take the monkeys for example.

Even my mum couldn’t believe it, the monkeys were free to go and play on a small island set in the very center of the lake that sits in the middle of the zoo and goes through almost the whole length of it.

One of my favorite animals there is the Red Panda that actually appears so well treated that it looks like his fur has just been brushed!

I’m aware that the animals are still in a cage and that it’s way different than being in your natural habitat but still there is a nice energy coming from that place that makes me feel better.

Y as Yay or nay

                                                                                                         Google search!

As you figured out already, reading my previous posts, I’m a person full of questions.

Actually writing this series of posts and thinking about that, let me understand I can be a very difficult individual to deal with.

I ask questions about everything, because I’m curious, in order to think and to get inspiration.

But the most frequent bunch is my self-doubts.

I haven’t been sure about anything since I can remember.

You might say that everybody experiment his or her daily amount of doubt…or maybe weekly more likely.

As a matter of fact, for how weird it may sound, I ask myself constantly “yay or nay?” in my head.

It’s something very annoying I’m desperately trying to change, but I cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel.

It surely is side effect of my lack of self-confidence. More than one person connected it with the bullying in high school.

I don’t know for sure what’s the reason for it and I hope to find a way to overcome this problem.

Average day example: excluding all the actions that fall into the routine, and with routine I mean that bunch of acts and decision that went through loads of “yay or nay?” sessions, I doubt about what to wear, what to cook for lunch, whether Maya will be happy if I do a certain thing, whether I should call a person, do some errands, or send an email.

While I was looking for a new job the simple task of hitting “send” button would cause tachycardia, I let you only imagine the shade of psychosomatic symptoms I could go through during interviews.

I know you think I’m exaggerating and I’m pretty sure also that some of you will think I’m weird, because they believe that if I wanted to, I could change things.

As I said I’m trying my best, but it’s difficult. When you believe that everything you do is wrong or below the average line and when you think that it’s always your fault if something happens, then it’s harder than it seems.

Anyone out there in my same boat?


X as X= unknown number of years.

                                                                                                                                                                    Google search!

I’m warning you this post will be very, very, extremely short!

Unfortunately for you, my dear readers, but mostly unfortunately for me, I have no clue about the answers to the questions I’m going to ask in a while.

The X is an unknown number the most of the times and it fits extremely well in what I’m going to ask myself. I’ve actually asked myself a lot in the last few years. Some examples:

How long will it take for me to finish my world building? X years.

How long will it take for me to write the first draft of whatever WIP you want to consider? X years.

How long will it take for me to publish? This is the biggest X years ever.

I know that the future is full of uncertainties and the route I picked in this world doesn’t really help. I have great passion and I’m stubborn enough to keep going despite the hard work and the negative feedbacks, still from time to time I ask myself how long I’ll have to wait more!

But it’s not only that, many other questions can fit the template.

How long will it take for me to learn to be a better mum? X years.

How long will it take for me to lose weight? X years.

How long will it take for me to learn that not everybody is a real friend? X years.

Well the last three could be answered even in X lives or X centuries as I’m very stubborn on some subjects.

And these aren’t the only questions I ask myself without finding the answer. There are many more I question myself about on daily basis, but I’m not going to bother you more than I’ve done already, no worries!

Maybe there is no answer at all, maybe it’s just a mixture of luck, ability, consistency or something else altogether.

I know that we create our own destiny, and I’m aware that on some of these topics I could make the difference behaving in different way. However, sometimes it’s easier fall in the old damn habits!

What do you think? Am I the only one asking continuously these questions? How do you answer them?

W as Writing

                                   Google search. I didn’t know what to put as picture, and I love memes, so this is perfect!!!!

The first time I went to Listowel writer’s week I was alone, my partner waiting at home. I went to a cafe to eat something with another writer and the lady organizing the accommodation came to meet us and say hello.

After a brief talk about our passion and us she turned to the other writer and asked “Are you so serious about writing as well?” She just smiled awkwardly in reply.

After this episode, I’ve always thought what I manage to communicate to people around me and wondered whether they understand how important writing is for me. Unfortunately I believe that the majority of them just think I’m weird.

For me writing isn’t a game and isn’t a hobby, that’s maybe why I become so frustrated when I don’t manage to write for some reason.

I’m trying to do my best considering the small amount of time I have for me, but I don’t do even a third of what I’d love to.

As I mentioned before on these pages I started my writing quite early but I also stopped as early.

I wrote exactly 15 pages of notebook when I was still in elementary school, but the negative and disheartening comment of my dad prevented me to continue.

I also said that my ideas were still there in a remote side of my brain and kept brewing. My creativity was recognized only when a Christmas or birthday card needed to be written but nothing more than that.

When I wrote my graduation thesis I discovered not only my passion for researching and writing a whole book but also for bending my work a bit from the general rules and be more creative. Once again I have to thank prof. A. who let me do so.

However, it was only when I came here in Ireland and I met the one who was supposed to become my third best friend, that I started full steam ahead with my dream.

He shared with me his passion for the music and art in general.

I really wanted to emulate him but, most importantly, I wanted to feel too that passion that it’s only half shared when you listen to someone speaking.

So I put pen on paper again and I couldn’t stop at all now. Actually if I stopped again it would be entirely my own fault.

So, despite having restricted time, whenever I can, I write. Writing make me feel good, complete and happy. If I’m sad it’s a way to vent and recover.

Actually at the moment I couldn’t stop even if I wanted to…but I don’t want to, so there is no problem!

I want to become a published writer and write more than one book. I’d take as personal defeat writing only one book or a series and not being able to create more. 

How about you, fellow writers?

Let me know in the comments below!


V as Versatile

                                                                                                                 Google search! Let’s keep moving! Sooner or later something will happen!

I think that, thanks mainly to my curiosity, I’ve always been very versatile. I’m not saying I’m the most open minded person, but I’ve always tried to do my best. However I can say I like and I’m interested in many different kind of things. It doesn’t really matter if we talk about music, films, books or anything else, I can be attracted by totally different things altogether.

To give you an example I can be fascinated and enjoy Nightwish’s music and Joe Hisaishi’s. Or I can appreciate ‘Supernatural’ and ‘Dharma and Greg’ as TV shows.

I guess that this kind of skill will help me sooner or later in my writing, or at least I hope so.

One of my favourite writers is R. L. Stevenson, you know that by now, and maybe what I admire most in his writing is his ability of being versatile. He wrote travels’ accounts and then Treasure Island, and also Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Catriona and so on.

If you think about the classification of the genres of modern books these titles include non-fiction, sci-fi, adventure, historic novels and so on.

I’ve always said that I want to try and write different kind of genres, but the main shift I managed to do was from high fantasy to urban fantasy. At the moment I’m trying to write a kind of supernatural which is mixed with urban fantasy as well but I only hope I’ll find something decent to write.

The very first book I wrote was about pirates and set immediately after the golden age of piracy. I’m not sure I could define it historic novel because I don’t think I’ve done enough research about the time I set my story in. Well, I can tell you I was at the very beginning so I’m kind of excused?!

Also I tried a couple of fairy tales, and with the one in Italian I won the second place in a competition and won loads of jam!

My dream would be to write, along with the projects I’m following now, at least a dystopic novel and a sci-fi one. I know it’s all speculative fiction but I’m not sure I’d be able to bend my luck more than that. Of course, you never know, everything is possible if you want it strongly enough.

It’s not easy, at least for me, to jump from one genre to the other. Or at least isn’t that easy as to jump from one book to the other or from one film to the next. I can only hope that sooner or later I’ll manage and that my skill as passive reader or watcher would help my inner active writer!

How about you?

U as University

 My two best friends and me!

As I mentioned in the N post, I went to Naples to complete my university studies. After I had to repeat the last high school year twice I decided to follow the other passion of mine besides the kitchen and went to study Japanese and English there. 

After an awful spell of 6 years in my high school, I started breathing again. 

People in university seemed opener and way nicer than the snobs I was used to so far. I met people with creasy behaviors and ideas but the most important thing I felt free to show my queer sides without being pointed to as the freak show weirdo! 

Studying in another city meant also that I had to learn how to survive alone, doing all my calculation to get till the end of the month. I have to admit, that till then I had no clue how hard it was to support a young lady as myself! But I soon understood and most of all I realized that I took advantage of the situation for too long, so the last two years of university I also started to work part time. I really wanted to show my family and myself I could make it and that I appreciated what they’d done so far and I understood the sacrifices they made. 

Also as mentioned before I met my two best friends during those years and it’s probably one of the best thing happened to me in my whole life, second only to having Maya! S. and E. are the best of the best at least for me. They know me very well and they accept me totally even with my weak sides and my weird ones. We developed a deep and special bond I won’t find anymore I guess. We can tell everything to each other, there is always mutual interest and understanding. They’re like sister to me, and I assure you it’s not just a figure of speech. It’s something very real, someone who doesn’t know us won’t notice the difference between us and a normal bunch of siblings. But most of all even people who know us sometimes find difficult to understand how deep our relationship is. You can then imagine how much I miss them being here alone!

In attending that course of studies I refined my abilities, I learned new things, I acknowledged my limits and I discovered how to overcome them. Pushing me forward was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but I’m glad I did.

Overall I can say that University years were much better than the school years, not that it was very difficult but still I was very happy and making my parents proud was some big aim accomplished!


T as Travel

Google search! Delphi!

Travelling is something very important in my life, whichever you want to take into account. Both in my fictional life, or better to say lives and the real life, travelling is key. 

Now, the consistency and the meaning are different but it’s still one of the most present things.

Let’s start with real life first. I haven’t travelled a lot in my life, I have to admit that, but I’d love sooner or later to have the chance to improve the amount of holidays and such! 

Despite the low number of travels in my life, I admit that the few I’ve made left the sign. 

If I could pick the most important, I’d put in the first place the very first travel I’ve made abroad. I went to Greece with the school and it was amazing. Well, to be honest the Athens part was something not so exciting because I found it extremely similar to Naples (and it actually was funny how two cities in two different countries look so alike). Different story altogether when I went to Delphi! Delphi is one of the most interesting and magical places I’ve ever visited. We went to see a temple and the theatre and I could touch by hand what I had studied in Greek literature in school. I felt such a wave of energy difficult to put into words. 

I hope I’ll be able to go to Greece again and visit more of that great place. 

Then I think the next important travel was the one that brought me here in Ireland. Finished the university, with my partner, I decided to move in another country and see what could happen. We didn’t have a friend here, no job and a very tight budget but we made it. I’m not sure I’d have done it alone but I’ve been here almost eight years now and I love the country.

Along with Ireland another dream was to visit Scotland and Japan. I visited Edinburgh for just a weekend but I was so happy and full of goose bumps, you cannot imagine! Without knowing it I found myself there during the clan reunion. I love men in Kilt and I found myself staring at a huge parade. But aside from that, the castle!!! Oh the castle. My partner had to drag me out of there. Scotland as well is one of those countries I want to go back to.

And Japan…sadly is still one of my biggest dreams, but I wish I could go there sooner or later.

Beside these kinds of travels, I have my fictional ones.

The very first book I wrote was in Italian, and it was about a doctor who became a pirate. He slowly became part of the pirate life so to create my main character inner travel along with an actual travel in the East Asia.

And of course you have one of my two WIP, Franny’s travel. That one too is part physical travel around Sonrisa and also a persona travel of my main character.

I’ve always loved those books where it was evident the change of the character’s behavior by the end of them. I hope to be good enough to capture the shift from the former character to the result of his or her own inner journey.

Traveling I think it’s an art. I’m not entirely sure I’m doing it correctly but I’ve decided I want to improve. Our world is beautiful and I have seen just a tiny part of it. I want more!

Same goes with writing, I want to imagine more and more and more…

S as Sonrisa

This is the entrance of Sweet Moment. And it's the first adventure for Fran!
This is the entrance of Sweet Moment. And it’s the first adventure for Fran!


Sonrisa is the name of my fantasy world. It’s an archipelago and, if you know a bit of Spanish you can imagine the shape the islands assume when put on a map. It’s a big smile, or at least it used to be.

I’ve been working on Sonrisa for the past eight years now, but the idea was born in its core years before that. I think I was still in high school when I though about a story, that back then I wanted to turn into a comic, about three flowers and its inhabitants.

I realized that drawing wasn’t my thing. The result was that I put on a side the whole comic project and the story with it.

Despite that I kept thinking about my three flowers and the story behind them! I still have the drawings somewhere.

When I decided to turn seriously back to writing again, the core idea was still there but then new ideas joined the basic one and little by little the small garden size setting turned into a huge world. 

I kept feeding my ideas, working on details and races and every single detail you can think about. 

I have to be honest with you. Although I’ve been working on this world for so long I can’t write the word “end” yet. There are many details I have to adjust.

I know you might think that I could be one of those people never happy and you might be right. But still my main aim is to avoid lack of consistency and deus ex machina I really hate in books.

I hope sooner or later to be happy enough with it. 

For the moment, as I mentioned in my previous post, I’m letting travel my alter ego with the aim, among the others, of fixing the last details that need to be fixed. 

What do you think?

Do you think there is a limit in world building?


R as Role play

This is something else Jl and I have in common.

Even before meeting him I was playing with a group of friends…well someone who turned out to be not really a friend but I didn’t know back then. Anyway, I had this role play group I met more or less once a week for a session. It was, despite all, nice time spent!

When I met Jl for the first time and I immediately fell in love with his eyes I tried to look for an excuse to meet him more often. And actually it came very handy the fact he also played the role play games.

I tried and actually succeeded in merging the two groups and finally I obtained to see him once or twice a week.

At the beginning it was only playing and later it was going out for dinner so I increased the occasions I could meet him.

Then we had the “Franny and Jl dating war”! We had problems with families and also, unfortunately with friends, who, as I mentioned before, weren’t so friends! But we resisted.

And our passion with us!

So we found other groups to play with and also we tried something new together.

We learned there were some role play games live sessions. So you go there and dress according to your race and class and you interact with the other players like you become the character itself. It’s more or less like people would improvise a theatre show just interpreting their characters’ behaviours.

When we played we went to a castle not far from out city and it was very funny. I really enjoyed the open air and the madness people share in those “out of the reality” spells.

Fantasy is something we have in common and it’s very easy for us to win the slight differences that belong to our characters.

Said that, I really enjoy any kind of role-play. When I did last work interview, I had to use my skill in role playing in order to enter the role, and I absolutely loved it.

Now that I think about that, even writing is a bit role playing. I believe that if you enter into your character’s head and understand him or her, eventually you’ll end up interpreting them on the page!

Does this make sense?

  Google search! This is so cool! I have to find a group here in Dublin…who knows!


P.S. For all those who read this post and the previous ones, thanks so much! I know I haven’t catch up with yours yet but it’s something I had to force myself to postpone. I’m going to read the posts next month as I’m seriously struggling to complete the task itself! Sorry again about that, my sincere apologies.

Q as Questions

Google search! I think this animation is genius. I’m the second puppet though, I eat questions! Even the smaller are important!

If I should represent my life with an element of punctuation, I’d pick the question mark.

Leaving aside my self-doubts, I’ll have a letter just for those, I realize I ask questions at all the times.

I actually could divide them in two different kinds of questions: the one I ask because I’m curious and the one I ask to push my brain to think.

I believe that as an aspiring writer they’re both good to ask and their presence means that my neurons are in a continuous motion. This let me hope I’m going the right route. Or maybe I just think so and I’m trying to convince myself I’m a normal person. You decide!!!

I think I’ve always asked myself the first type of question. I remember I’ve been curious since I was very small. Everything I could see around me was interesting.

I was the child following with interest the plumber repairing the pipes. I was the one sitting next to the boiler repair guy to follow the cleaning of the boiler and so on.

This curiosity about everything always pushed me to ask many question. For example at the dentist: how does this procedure work? What is this tool used for? How can you read this x-ray? I was lucky to find a dentist patient enough to answer all my questions, but doing this meant I learned something over the average.

I love reading, of course, and this associated to my curiosity and the questions popping in my brain, allowed me to feel comfortable in keep studying. I still feel very ignorant, but I’ve also learned loads of stuff, just because I’ve always tried to find an answer to my interrogations.

And strictly associated with this is the second type of question.

I got curious about facts, details, and people, whatever attracts my attention. But still the typical question that moves the whole thing forward is “what if?”

If I see a woman crying in the street and her attitude attracts my attention, a part from the questions like “what happened?” “Who made her cry?” “Has she lost someone?” that can simply and automatically help you to create nice character I’ll add something else. What if she just left her partner because someone threatened her to kill him if she didn’t join their organization?

Ok, maybe it was a silly example but actually that’s how my brain works.

For whomever asked me “Where did you get the idea from?”, that’s more or less it!

Of course the more the ideas remain in my brain and mix and brew, the more questions are asked and more answers issued and this is how I create my stories.

How about you?