Writing and Reading log – May 2017

20160412_130827

 

I cannot say loud I’ve done a darn good job, but at least I can admit that I’ve done better than last month.

As I did in my previous months, I’ll update you on my situation, writing and reading wise!

Hopefully you won’t get too bored by the account. For sure, it’s useful for my own records and to give me a pat on the back for the small progresses.

Considering the amount of time I have at my disposal, I guess every step forward is a win!

Writing is still hard. I have written and published this post in between my coffee breaks and the commuting time.

I haven’t written daily my 300 words in the past few weeks, simply because I had to admit that the breaks and spare niches of time aren’t enough for blogging, writing the WIP and my fairy tales!

It took me a huge deal of convincing myself that writing is writing anyway, but I’ll still try to organize better!

There is always room for improvement, right?

And here we go with the numbers:

Word written for the WIP: 25567 words but there is a big chunk copied from the notebook. In order to see progresses I’ll have to finish that task!

Fairy tales written: 4 + I started number 5.

Blog post written this month: 4 on 4, well 5 if we count this too!

Researching: N/A

Plotting: N/A

As for the reading, I’m still concentrating to narrow down the number of the books I’ve started a while ago.

Mea culpa, I’ve started again a new one but I couldn’t resist. To the short list of books, well the one that was supposed to be the short list of books, I’m bringing on right now, I added American Gods by Neil Gaiman

So just to summarize:

There is no news for Irish ghost stories,

Wizards first rule, Memorie del sottosuolo, The wisdom of the dead man, A Song of Ice and Fire, Enciclopedia. Tutta la seconda Guerra Mondiale-volume 1, Irish Ghost Stories and Madame Bovary.

However, there is bit of improvement for the other titles:

Delitto e castigo – I’m at page 234 on 677.

The book thief – I’m at page 448 on 554.

Outlander – I’m at page 408 on 684.

Hunger – I’m at page 246 on 684.

Diary of Anne Frank – I’m at page 65 on 351

American Gods – I’m at page 123 on 640 (plus extras)

So, this is it for this month.

I always try to improve and increase the numbers. I suspect that I’ll have an easier life when I’ll give up to the fact that I have my limits.

Everybody can go over his own limits, of course, but it’s not an easy task.

As usual, my dear readers, I ask you to help me, in case you have some wise tips to give me!

Have a lovely weekend and bank holiday and I’ll see you soon on these pages!!!

International day!

Photo Collage Maker_K8hXgG

I had another plan for today’s post. I was going to write a rant about the recent happenings.

However, I’ve had such a nice and positive morning on Thursday, that I decided to focus about a constructive thought, just for a change!

Thursday I got a day off in work and I could participate to the International day, organized by Maya’s school.

It was the first time for me and I hadn’t seen anything like it done in any Italian school I’ve been into. I absolutely loved it!

Representing, of course, Italy, I cooked lasagne and pizza, and I’m happy to say that I’ve taken home two empty trays. Many people made compliments while gobbling them up.

I’m happy, mostly because, despite having to rush through the last few days, preparing a bit every evening after work and dinner, it was definitely worth it.

It was a meeting of cultures, through food, dresses, pictures and music.

The tables displayed were Turkey, Iran, Italy, Philippines, Poland, Brazil, India, Germany, Nigeria, Ireland and Croatia.

I have to tell you that my taste buds have already booked a trip to Nigeria! The food is so amazing that if I’ll ever go there, I’ll have to stop eating at least a week before taking the flight, otherwise I’ll need two seats on the way back!

Apart from my favorite table, I tried as much as I could without exploding and everything was super delicious.

This confirms my theory, according to which it’s always better to try a dish cooked by a native person rather than going into a restaurant.

In a restaurant, it would never be the same or as good as something homemade!

Probably the best part of the whole thing is that children learn about diversity and other cultures. For me, in love with different countries, cultures, literatures, histories and languages, is the perfect reality in which to bring up Maya.

It’s a real pity in Italy we don’t do something alike. Facing and acknowledging different cultures encourage kids to be open minded.

Not surprising that in Italy the majority of people is still closed and adverse to diversity in any shape and shade it comes towards them.

Once again, I have a reason more to say I’m pretty happy to live here.

And speaking of diversity, let me ask some questions!

Where are you reading this blog from?

And what’s your favorite food? What’s your favorite county in the whole world?

Photo Collage Maker_dzRlwa

Francesco Gabbani is my number one anyway!

eurovision-francesco-gabbani-mostra-il-premio-della-stampa_1326803

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-

Writing and Reading log – April 2017

notebooks-blog

From my recent not existing posts, it seems that I’ve taken an expected month of holiday.

April flew by and, without realizing it, I was swallowed whole by the routine and the fatigue.

I want to assure you that I’m doing another attempt to organize my whole life and writing habit and space. If I’m lucky, I’m at least on the right path to get there.

I thought then, that my first and last post of the month would be an update regarding my reading and writing, mostly because there are some changes.

As for my WIP, the good news is that I keep going on writing every day. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but at least it stays as a habit.

The biggest change I was talking about happened exactly about writing. Thinking about on what could optimize my time and my writing, I asked myself what was the one thing I always have with me. The reply was pretty obvious: my phone. As usual, you never notice the little things next to you and you bang your head senseless trying to find the solution that had been there from the very beginning.

Following there is the phase in which you feel the biggest idiot on Earth and then you move on!

All these words to say that I’ve started to use google drive on my phone.

I shared with my work pc the files containing my WIP, my blog posts, and the project in Italian that now took a final direction: fairytales (they’re set in my fantasy world but they’re just, well, fairytales!). I shared as well a couple of other files that will help me with the writing; wherever I’ll go, my babies will be with me.

I just got two big problems:

One – I don’t know yet where to place my plotting and my researching. This means that the Hunter Journal’s project is on hold, although I’m taking notes of everything I notice in the streets.

Also, the plotting for both the WIP (final touches) and the urban fantasy are on hold.

Two – I’ll have to copy all the words that had been already written on the notebooks. Form a very free calculation there must be around 32K words in there.

Hopefully, I’ll manage to sort the both of them.

From now on then, I’ll try to simplify the writeometer, let’s call it this way, values along with the book pages.

This way will let me have a tidier post and a reference for me, in case I want to track my progresses.

Word written for the WIP: 18,522 words

Fairy tales written: 3

Blog post written this month: 0 on 4 …oh what a shame!

Researching: N/A

Plotting: N/A

As for the reading, I’m still concentrating to narrow down the number of the books I’ve started a while ago.

I’m still reading some of them together, of course. Also, I’ve started and finished a new one and started a further new one.

So just to summarize:

There is no news for Irish ghost stories,

Wizards first rule, Memorie del sottosuolo, The wisdom of the dead man, A Song of Ice and Fire, Enciclopedia. Tutta la seconda Guerra Mondiale-volume 1, Irish Ghost Stories and Madame Bovary.

However, there is bit of improvement for the other titles:

Delitto e castigo – I’m at page 222 on 677.

City of bones – It’s finally finished.

The book thief – I’m at page 354 on 554.

Outlander – I’m at page 408 on 684.

Hunger – I’m at page 246 on 684.

I’ve read and finished The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne and I’ve started the Diary of Anne Frank.

And that’s it for the moment.

As usual, I’ll be very grateful for any advice you might want to share with me.

I wish you a nice bank holiday on the 1st of May and I hope I’ll be back posting once a week as intended.

At least I can promise you I’ll do my best to manage.

I’m satisfied when I watch action scenes.

 

569_654089564612037_1677479535_n

Samurai squirrel!

        

In a way connected with my second last post, I’ll publish this.

I’m sorry to bother you, my dear readers, but I’m living a period at the moment where the main feeling is the one of being powerless. Everything seems happening continuously leaving me with no choice.

I need at least to feel I’m in control and powerful and strong in my head! And writing on my blog helps a lot!

I think I am an eclectic type of person. It is very difficult to find something I dislike; actually, you can count the things I don’t like on the fingertips of the two hands.

Besides, with the time passing by, I realized that things I didn’t like before have become very interesting, like the second world war.

In these pages, little by little you’re discovering what I really love and I’m very passionate about.

With this post, you’ll discover something more!

I love martial arts and, as you gathered from my previous blog, I’d love to be stronger and cooler! I used to go to karate lessons during middle high school and, as far as I remember, I’ve never felt better and more self-confident in my life.

Although I haven’t done something like it for ages, I never stopped to be interested in the field and also, I’ve never said no to an action/ martial art film or TV shows.

To be brutally honest, the reason why I’m writing this post is trying to understand, through writing, why I feel so good and satisfied when I watch action scenes.

I think I’ve always been like it. I remember I used to watch Steven Segal’s films in loop when I was younger.

I guess everything was connected to the fact I did karate for three years when I was ten.

It was probably the most peaceful time ever, I felt good, I felt relaxed, understood, in my place, self-confident.

I was an entirely, totally different person or so I remember my old self as this. I wish I can recreate the same effect.

At the moment, as you know, I’m very stressed, and also, I have no spare time. Because of that I wouldn’t be able to look for a gym and start lessons of any martial art at all. Mostly, adding up to all that, you should consider that my back is very weak.

I guess that watching action scenes is a kind of palliative. They recall the sensation and makes me feel relaxed.

So sometimes when I feel a bit sad or restless or even angry I watch a film where the main themes are fights and action.

On this respect, I found out a couple of years ago that Chinese films are perfect for stress release.

They’re so packed with action and so poor of dialogue and, sometimes, of plot, that they’re like a full immersion for an emergency treatment.

How do you vent?

Watching what, exactly, makes you feel better?

Write to me in the comments below!

Writing and Reading log – February 2017

blog-first-march

I meant to write this post two days ago, my dear readers, but I didn’t really manage!

I have to say that, a part from a recent setback, I’m proceeding both with my reading and my writing, slowly but constantly.

As for my WIP, I keep going on with my writing 3 pages a day. I finished the first notebook and the second one is starting to get that shape of lived paper I love. I’m confident enough that I’ll be soon tackling the notebook number three.

On the back of my head I still have that angry voice telling me that I’ll regret this hand-writing thing when I’ll have to type my book into a Word file.

However, I manage to keep this voice at bay telling her that, at least, now my novel is going on steadily.

I’m optimistic today! If I keep going like this, I’ll manage to finish, not only this novel, but all the ones I’ve planned…sooner or later!

True that I’m behind of a few pages lately, but this might always happen.

I’m just happy that, otherwise, this has become a habit, this was my goal.

Next goal is to become able to post a blog every week.

I didn’t manage last week, for example, but I’ll try my best.

Maybe introducing one small goal per time I’ll manage. True is that my spare time is still the same, but It’s a good challenge and I’m on it!

 

As for the reading, I’m still trying to narrow down the number of the books I’ve started a while ago.

However, since old habits are hard to die, I’ve brought on three of them together and I’ve started again the audiobook Shadow magic, as I didn’t remember the beginning.

So just to summarize.

There is no news for Outlander, Hunger, Irish ghost stories,

Wizards first rule, Memorie del sottosuolo, The wisdom of the dead man, A Song of Ice and Fire, Enciclopedia. Tutta la seconda Guerra Mondiale-volume 1 and Madame Bovary.

However, there is big improvement for the said three titles:

Delitto e castigo – I’m at page 202 on 684.

City of bones – I’m at page 348 on 506.

 The book thief – I’m at page 120 on 554.

 And that’s it for the month of February.

I’m sorry because this month you’ll see two post on the same topic!

As mentioned, I’m trying to get more persistent on this and I’m confident that I’ll reach the point where I’ll blog constantly with no problem.

As usual the problem is I’m not very organized, but still open to advice.

So, in case you have any good one, please write to me in the comment.

Have a lovely day!

Thoughts about gratitude.

Scarpine.jpg

Me and Maya! 

 

One of the things I hear more often lately and I come across on social media, is how important gratitude is. Even on health perspective, it seems that being grateful would make you feel physically better.

I have to admit, instead, that since the beginning of last year, I’ve become increasingly pessimist. I wasn’t like it when I was younger, but getting repeatedly hit by the reality and hate of surrounding people, left next to zero room for much more.

However,  in the past couple of months I also realized that being pessimist and keeping to regret everything and to moan and wine about what the hell have I done to deserve such a horrible future, put me in deeper and deeper crap!

Suddenly my brain underwent for an unexpected change in the way of thinking!

I don’t know exactly what made me change the way of seeing things or at least is pushing me in the right direction, but I can see this is the right way of doing it and hopefully managing it.

The truth is that our world is full of sadness and injustice. There are far too many violent people to my taste. Women are still treated like dirt in an unbelievable number of countries in this century.

Religion brainwash people and is excuse enough to kill, being violent, use strength when the basic commandment is to love each other. 

Greed has become the new god; people cheat, betray and kill for more money, more fame, for boredom. Are we seriously freaking kidding?

Where is the love, respect, trust, humanity? Are they still alive? It’s because of these thoughts and because of this disgust I feel that that I started to modify the way I’m thinking.

True, there are many people who have more, for whom things are easier. On the other hand, however, there are an infinity more sick, poor, in awful condition, victim of injustice or abuse. Who think to those?

My boiler is gone Ok, no drama, I have an emergency electric system. And luckily I have the money at least to afford heaters and the high bill that will follow.

We feel sick? It’s nothing, I always touch wood for the health but, as far as this time around was concerned I was lucky to afford the doctor and the medicines. 

And that’s it, that is how simple it becomes to concentrate on what you have and not what you’re missing compared to the others.

I’m so grateful I have a job, a roof on my head, a loving partner, a gorgeous daughter, a caring mum, a trustworthy brother, a sweet sister in law and a big dream.

I believe that until I’ll have the strength to dream everything will be sweeter and, to some extent, easier to face.

This is to begin with and, compared to several hundreds of people who struggle to find something to put on the table every day, this is more than enough.

I was given an advice: fill a jar with piece of paper, on each piece of paper write what made you happy that day or week or month. At the end of the year, I’m to open the jar and read what I’ve been happy for and this should change my point of view and perception on my life. It’s unbelievable the number of things we forgot we should be grateful for. I started my jar and I realized that even my attitude is different, because now not only I notice nice things happening to me, but I’ll try to see the nice perspective in order to fill the jar.

My advice is to try.

On some extent, it’s understandable being negative, it’s easier to complain about what we don’t have rather than analyze and be content with what we have already.

It’s not a nice way of behaving but it’s the common way of reacting. We’re used to have what we want and the most of the time we have it. Or at least a big chunk of population has.

We don’t realize that everything we have is a gift and it might be as just easy as losing everything suddenly and find ourselves in the street in a blink.

What do you think about it?

How do you stay positive?

Write to me in the comments below!