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…”

-magellano-

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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!

If I had a Death note and I met a Shinigami, what would I do?

It’s the end of the peak season and the fatigue of the summer is taking its toll. It’s also true that it’s Halloween, which is becoming very fast my favorite part of the year. Hence the combination of these two elements resulted in this post!

When you’re in your living room, tired, at the end of the day and you’re trying uselessly to drain your brain while it’s leaking through your nose, I guess it’s pretty normal thinking about these kind of stuff.

Also when you’re almost on the edge of your holiday and the work has become a bit heavier due to the increasing number of crazy people, you really start wondering whether there is a way out of the stress and the mess.

For those who don’t know what Death Note is I’ll tell you in a few words. It’s a manga and an anime with a very simple story. A high school student finds a death note on the ground and start using it slowly becoming obsessed what the idea to play god. The reason why he finds a death note on the ground is a Shinigami, a death god, who decided to make his immortal existence funnier and dropped the divine instrument to have a fun with the consequences of his gesture.

The basic of this notebook is that if you write a name on its pages, knowing the face of the person, this person dies. If you add details about the death, the death happens in that exact way.

Light Yagami, the main character of this manga and anime, uses the notebook at first to kill all the criminals and then he got a bit taken into the loop of feeling god and things start to get out of hands!

I’m not giving you any further spoilers here, but I didn’t like the end.

One of the worse finale I’ve ever seen in my life.

Anyway, what I thought watching this anime and being an aspiring writer, is: how these guys came out with the idea in the first place? They must have been pretty pissed off at someone, I’d say.

And then, during the peak season and, most of all, during the calm spell after that, where only the craziest and less reasonable people are calling and writing in, I had my enlightenment.

The writer and/or the illustrator behind Death Note used to work in the customer support field.

There is absolutely no other explanation to this creation.

I mean, I know that wanting to kill people because they’re damn idiots, or impolite, or because yell at you for no reason whatsoever sounds extreme …oh wait, no it’s not.

No… yes, it is.

But what if we could have a Punishment Note? Oh that would be so cool!

Write his name and his brain disappears, write her name and the vocal chords are gone. Are you insulting me? Fine, I’ll write down your name and you’ll spend a day on the toilet.

Are you mistreating me after I really went above and beyond for you? Fine, next time you’ll be at the beach your sun cream will become by magic pure frying oil.

Are you asking me a silly question after a very detailed explanation? Fine, you’ll never ever find a free toilet again in your life! Someone will be always in there!

It sounds like a very creative job!  

It seems all very legit as well!

I know that I might sound extreme and good thing I was working alone from home last day before my holidays, because I looked like I pictured myself in this doodle:

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How about you?

Any other aspiring writers out there, doing tough jobs?

And anyway, Happy Halloween folks, have a spooky one!

Happy Supernatural Day!

Sorry I just love them! I don't own the image tho!

Sorry I just love them! I don’t own the image tho!

On September 13th we, poor obsessed fellows, celebrate Supernatural Day.

I’m one of this lot.

You know I love the show. To me it has been a mile stone for different reason: it helped to feel a bit braver to watch horror, it gave me inspiration to start planning my book and it helped in meeting a dear friend.

On the top of that, I think that the messages sent through the lines are nice and healthy. Also the cast give us the sensation to be there for their fan, they’re involved in the society and charity as, and sometimes even more than normal people in order to set a good example.

They brought thousands of people to feel like they were part of the big family. And personally, I love them all a lot just for this.

Jensen and Jared are saying in the following video that they want us to see celebrating the day sharing what we think are the funniest moments of the show.

Off the top of my head the following are the funniest! Rather the plain laugh, often I prefer the sarcastic tone of Dean and Bobby. Which is why they’re my favorite characters ever.

On books and adaption…

Latest obsession! This is a Google search!

 

It’s pretty obvious that I’m a big fan of books, I love to read them, collect them, smell them, reread the ones I loved most.

But you know also, if you’ve followed this blog for a while, that I love films and TV shows. Watching the screen sometimes it’s just relaxing, in particular at the end of the day, when the brain goes on strike…let’s tell the truth.

But how about adaptations?  

Sooner or later, if you’re book and film lover, you’ll cross your path with a book that has been turned into a film or a TV show.

I have to be honest, I’m not a big fan of adaptations but sometimes there are exceptions to the rules.

I could gather here my best moments and experiences.

I think that the very first film adapted from a book I’ve ever seen was “The name of the rose” by Umberto Eco.

In that case, I read the book before and I absolutely loved it. It was a thriller but set in a medieval monastery of friars.

Then I realized that there was a film adaptation made. Actually the actors in this film, Christian Slater and Sean Connery, were giving me a guarantee of a good film. However, form the great expectation the fantastic book gave to me, I was left with just a disappointing feeling of emptiness and disappointment. Useless to say, I read the book a second time.

I think that following that experience, I tried to avoid adaptations for a while. Some of them really not worth to be mentioned.

Then here it is “Harry Potter” series of books. 7 books to read. I lost the count really of how many times I read the lot of them. I love the ideas, I love the feelings they give you, I love the way Queen Rowling unfolded the story and the details.

Then the films were released.

I don’t mind them. I admit that I love the books more, but I don’t mind the adaptations either. My curiosity and wonder are actually stimulated by the special effects, and the way I’m able to see on the screen something I’ve always only imagined.

Also I like the actors, I’m not an expert on the matter, but I think that the quality of acting in these films is pretty high. And of course I love Gary Oldman and Alan Rickman, they are two of my favorites.

Let’s mention too the cameo of David Tennant, whose interpretation was something powerful and fantastic.

This means that I don’t mind to watch them all over again. In this way I’m double satisfied, I can watch the films many times and reread with pleasure the volumes.

True, the film cut a lot from the books, and they decided for an unnecessary 8th film, but still no major disaster was made.

Afterwards I came across “Game of Thrones”. I started with the TV shows. Then, when I had the awful feedback from the editor about my writing, I bought all the books. The reason of this abrupt purchase was that the only advice- no advice that she gave to me was to read in English.

Actually how it went was more or less like: “Can you give me an advice on how to improve my English?” “Well, I’d say you should read in English, but I assume you’re doing it already”

Yes, I was doing it, but I thought that was a nice excuse to buy a book or better many.

Anyway, the point is that for a while I read the books and watched the series at the same time and then I realized that the choice of the actors wasn’t that bad, also the story was pretty much faithfully narrated.

But I cannot be 100% sure, as for some reason I decided to not to spoil myself and not to watch it constantly. I started to follow the series when they decided to change the story and detach from the books.

So I feel I cannot really judge this adaptation, but I assume my feeling is more positive than negative.

After GOT I found “Hunger Games”. To be honest with you, I didn’t really like the first film, as I thought it was like a bad mash of “Contenders” and “Battle Royale”.

However, in one of my visit at Eason’s I found the trilogy sitting on the shelf, the covers very charming. I got closer out of curiosity. I opened the cover and went to the first page. First person, present tense.

My eyes locked to the page and I exited the shop with the three books.

I loved them ever since and I reread them at least three times.

Now, for the sake of this post, in this case I have to record something weird that happened related to this example.

A few days ago I was talking with a friend who claimed that reading the books after having watched the films means spoiling your imagination in favor of the way characters are represented on the screen.

This is true but only in part, at least for me. A good example is “Hunger Games”.

Having read the books only after having seen the first film, at the very beginning the faces of the actors were kind of forcing their way into my imagination.

However, going on with the reading, my own imagination took over and characters were represented in a totally different way.

The biggest example is Peeta, who you all know I love very much. I felt almost offended by the choice they made for the cast. Peeta in my head, from the book description, was totally different.

Also all the cuts they made in the story and the ploys they found to direct the story, including a not- necessary- at -all 4th film, made me a bit cross. At the end of the day though, I don’t mind watching them.

Last example I want to make is with “Outlanders”.

I started to watch the TV show and I liked it.

Looking for spoilers, as usual, I realized that there were books at the base of the TV show and I went to look for information.

I found out that there are actually 8 books and the 9th should be on the way. They’re written by Diana Gabaldon.

I immediately bought the first three to have a look at how they were.

I have to admit they’re simply written, nothing much complicated, but the first person narration and the kind of writing, simple without killing the story with description, makes it pleasant.

It won’t be the best book written in the world, but I like it.

Besides, reading the book and having the first episodes of the series fresh in my head I could understand how similar they are.

The narration and the dialogues are exactly the same, sometimes using the same words.

So far, so good.

But I reserve the right of changing idea when I’ll go on with the story. You never know!

Concluding, leaving aside the massacre they made with “Vampire Assistant” (I don’t even want to talk about it or maybe I will in another post, but I might result kind of unpleasant, so much they ruined “Cirque du freak” series of books), I know at least a couple of TV show, cartoons and films more that I found out are based on books.

Sooner or later, very slowly, I think I’ll be able to buy and read.

What do you think about it?

Do you prefer books or films?

If you prefer books, what do you do in case you come across the representation before?

Let me know in the comments below!

P as Planning

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I’ll recycle this picture of my faithful notebook!

P was supposed to be associated with Persefone, my other MC, but for the same reason I decided to change the letter M, here you have another topic.

P now stands for planning as it’s becoming fast a bit of obsession for me.

When I go and attend a workshop, I know already that the writer running it will tell us that every writer finds his or her own way of writing. Sooner or later they all say it!

I think they are absolutely right, but I also think that every writer should experiment different kind of organization before writing their book.

I tried both, not to plan at all and plan almost everything before deciding what was working for me!

The very first book I wrote – and I’m talking about drafts in this post as I haven’t published anything yet unfortunately- was written out of excitement after finishing Stephen King’s On Writing.

I didn’t plan, I got an idea and I started writing. This first book was about pirates and, a part for a few details and technical terms I researched on the go, I wrote without thinking much.

The pro was I wrote completely free of plans or rules, but, on the other hand, I had to reread a few pieces here and there and start taking notes of characters features or deeds as I didn’t remember what I wrote.

After attending my famous first workshop with Oisín McGann a few months later, I learned that I could try another method.

I could plan!

And the more I plan the more I want to, as I feel very comfortable in doing it. As Oisín told us, he plans because in doing so he has more control on the story itself and there is a bit less rewriting afterwards.

I totally agree with his style. Alright, you know that I basically agree with whatever he says, but it’s true, either I have a similar style –I wish actually I could be only half as good as he is- or it’s a nice coincidence!

Having tried both methods I can say that planning is my thing. The more I write and the more I want and I need to plan.

That’s maybe why it’s so difficult to start this new WIP. Because of the huge amount of research needed I haven’t had the time to plan properly.

But I’ll keep going as I love doing it, it relaxes me and hopefully sooner or later I’ll manage to reach my goal and my dream.

How about you?

Do you plan? Don’t you plan at all? Are you a bit in between?

Let me know in the comments below.

Being a hero!

Google search!

My dear readers, I’ve started a new TV show: Marvel’s Agent Carter.

To be completely honest I didn’t really like it when I watched the first time. I wanted to give up after twenty minutes into the first episode.

However, since I’m very tired lately, I let it go not really minding what I was watching.

It was when following the third episode (and I leave my mind open to change my opinion in the future because of this) that I got the point of the show, no better, of the character.

I love Marvel’s superheroes, just because they are people with special powers and big problems. But even more because the majority of them are thorn by feelings and issues.

Peggy Carter, however, is one of the few Marvel’s characters to be powerless. Of course if we consider the typical and universally accepted definition of superpowers.  

Maybe we forget that the important and decisive detail sometimes is the point of view of those whom are saved and helped by the hero.

Maybe the whole concept of superpower and superhero is relative and associated to different points of view and opinions.

Agent Carter is set in the 50s, when women were seen as useful as wallpaper and maybe good only for cooking and reproducing the human specie.

Peggy is a special agent, the only woman in a men lead department. She’s smart, intuitive and fights like a man.

So, why is she special then?

She has no superpowers, true, but at the same time she can use and take advantage of her situation.

Walking in a men’s world, not only she’s content in being unseen and underestimated but she pushes her disadvantage to the limit in order to accomplish her mission.

Once reached this conclusion I kept watching the show with great satisfaction and a new eye.

It’s a great and powerful message in my opinion.

I felt amused in watching how a great bunch of self confident and narrow-minded people were easily tricked by an innocent, silly, fragile woman!!!

But then again, this is something that happens every day if you think about that.

The only difference is the reaction of each individual to the adversities.

Anybody can be a hero, at least for one particular person.

A mother could be a hero, a sister, a son, a daughter, a brother, a father, a bartender, a milkman can be the hero and save someone else’s day.

The whole point of my post here is that I understand now that there are two meanings to the word superhero: one is the traditional, Spiderman like meaning; the other one, and maybe the more important, is the title that each and everyone of us give to people who fight till death to live on despite the adversities and possibly helping a bunch of other human beings along the way.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

Who’s your personal superhero?