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!

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!

Kudos to a fellow writer!

Click to link the Facebook page of the artist.

You all know, my dear readers, that my biggest dream would be being a published writer.

However, I’m not talking about me in this post!

I want to tell you about a fellow aspiring writer who is trying her best to do something I’m not very good at.

Yes, because, I read, I plot and I try to start writing…but these are just side dishes of the main course: complete what I’ve started. Something I am apparently unable to do.

This other writer instead is very good at it, so she’s just inspiring in her way of living!

Her name is Michela and she’s Italian too. I don’t know her personally as I’ve met her only once for five minutes but we keep in touch online.

A mutual friend introduced each other as, a part from writing, we have something else in common: our passion for Jack Black!

Actually even in that she’s more involved than me! She’s a winner, folks!

The reason why I’m writing this post is to prize her. Despite being very good and talented, I’m not sure she realizes how good and talented she is, so I hope I’ll manage to carve here a reminder for the tougher moments.

Let’s face the truth, we all have those nasty spells.

I’ve just finished to read the second volume of her series called “I racconti di Kel”, a high fantasy with a rather original story.

I won’t talk here of the story itself, although I think you would like it. However, it’s still a private thing and I think she prefers this way for now. Besides, this isn’t the point of the whole speech here!

The point is that I admire her, because she’s very strong and determined and very much the person I’d like to become.

I always complain I don’t have much time or I’m tired, but the truth is that I like of determination… I guess.

Michela works in an ice cream store and every morning starts her job at 5. Afterwards she goes back home and usually takes care of her niece and nephew and then she helps in the house. When she’s done with all these, or when has some spare times she writes.

She managed to finish and edit two big volumes doing as such and just for this I think she deserves admiration.

But not only.

Another reason I respect her for is something I had at the very beginning, something I partly lost after all the workshops I’ve made for years: the art of improvising and following the instinct.

Lastly I admire her for the unconditioned love for her characters. Mind, I love mine too and I get attached to my characters as well, but she’s far ahead on this point also.

She wanted to bring them alive and able to see them and touch them, so she asked to other two girls, as talented as she is, to reproduce them in drawing and in 3D.

I’ll insert in this post two pictures, one for each one of them.

I’ll also link their personal space, so feel free to have a look at their work, you just click on the pictures. I think it’s worth your time.

In conclusion, I want to thank Michela for teaching me a great lesson…well, actually more than one!

Also I want to wish her best, because although she thinks she just wrote this story for herself, I firmly believe she could go much further than that!!!

And most of all, please keep writing the third volume as I want to know how the story goes!

Good luck!

The link soon to come! Look further down!

 

EDIT:

Since the artists whose works are in the last picture are more than one, following I’m going to list the names, clicking on the hyperlinks you’ll reach their Facebook Pages:

Elisabetta Piras

Il magico mondo di Ploppi

Il regno di Lot

GretArtist Déco

 

My reading pile status – February 2016

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I haven’t published any news about it for a while now, so I think this post is overdue.

As you can see immediately from the picture, the number of the books from last time remains the same. Well actually no, it’s increased!

I know, I know I promised I would finish some of them before adding new titles.  

Actually I finished one, Murakami’s, but it’s also true that I’ve added two Dostoevsky’s books!

On the top of that you want to add other three books.

The first one is Madame Bovary I’m reading on my phone during my travel to and from work.

The second and the third are two audiobooks: The ghost pirates and Carmilla.

I realized that if you watch this picture and take notes of what I’m listening and reading, you might think I’m not going anywhere.

To tell the complete truth I am indeed very slow, I’d say better …painfully slow. However, there are some of them that are a good point and three that are rereads.

So from this time, and I’ll try to remember for the next posts, I’ll give you also the status of the books either one by one or two by two, let’s see!

Here you go:

Hunger– It’s the one that I haven’t even attempted to touch since the last time. I like the story but also, being mum, makes me anxious and phobic in a way. So despite my curiosity the situation in the book will bring me constantly to think: “If something like this would happen, would my toddler survive? Will she be found by someone? Will they treat her well?”

This is pity as I’d love to know how the story goes.

Irish ghost stories– It’s stuck within the first 20 pages, for two reasons. Firstly, because the book is very heavy to bring around with you and it’s a bother to hold in your hands. Secondly, I decided to take notes while reading because I can include it as one of the sources for my research for my WIP.

Wizards first rule– It’s nice and I’m going smoothly, although slowly, on with it. The biggest pause was because I fell sick and I forgot it in the office.

Memorie del sottosuolo– (In English would be Notes from Underground) Received as Christmas present and it’s one of the Dostoevsky’s books. I read all the introduction. When book have critique intro, although I hate it, I feel forced to read it. I don’t know why. However, after the intro, I couldn’t go much further as it’s very heavy. It’s stream of consciousness kind of literature that doesn’t match very much with my taste.

Delitto e castigo– (In English would be Crime and Punishment) Received as Christmas present too and it’s one of the Dostoevsky’s books.

As for this one I started the introduction, but then I forced myself to skip to the novel part or probably I’d never started again.

This was in fact one of the rereads. I remember it was the only book I managed to read despite being on the backseat of the car, so I was stuck into the story.

Ancient appetites –  This is my second reread. I love Oisín McGannbooks, you know that, and I decided I wanted to read the whole Wildenstern Saga now that I have the second and the third book. So, in order to appreciate it better, I decided to read again the first volume.

A Song of Ice and Fire –  volume three- This one is going on slowly. Because the chapters are divided by characters, the speed along with the interest depends whether I’m reading or I’m due to read someone I like, as for example Arya or Davos or someone I cannot stand like Sansa.

Madame Bovary– Is my third reread. Actually the first time I read it, it was from the Italian translation. As I mentioned before, if I know the language I’ll read the book in the original language, but if I don’t I’ll read them either in English or Italian. I won’t say anything more as I will bother you with a post dedicated to it.

The ghost pirates– It’s the first audiobook in the list. I love it! I’m almost in the middle of the narration. I’m learning loads of nautical terms and I’m sucked into the story.

Carmilla– This is the second audiobook but at the moment is working as memo. I started it but then I was completely absorbed by the pirate one.

However, I’ve been willing to read it for ages, so I’ll definitely going to finish it soon.

So this is it.

Does it all this make sense for you?

Give me your opinion 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?

From Béloland to Clonegal!

Still in the attempt to catch up with my life and share with you another great experience, I’ll write here about our one day trip we mad

Photo Collage Maker_KmO2Gnwriting only one month later, I’m practically on time!!!
e in October. Oh, com’on, I’m

I wanted to try the Airbnb experience with my whole family, so this time Maya would be joining us.

Because I’m an anxious person and also because I’m an even more anxious mother I was worried to visit someone else’s house with my toddler.

During the search of the listing I tried to get as much information as I could on how suitable would it be children wise. At the same time I had to find a place that was a minimum attractive in my toddler eyes, a.k.a. there was something to be done and looked relaxing in mine…although you can think that both requirements cannot fit into the same sentence!

After some research, though, I found it.

It was a private room, the host was living in, so it was a real Bélo-style expe
rience.

Also there was a huge field around the house, horses, an orchard and two dogs.

It looked perfect, the host was a super-host so I just needed to have a look at the reviews. With my fingers crossed I started reading and I wasn’t disappointed. The one that convinced me was left by a couple with small kids saying that the 6 years old thought to have found a new set of grandparents.

That was it! I booked!

And the stay was beyond the fantastic! I couldn’t have been luckier or happier.

We could only reach the destination in the late afternoon as we had to wait my partner to finish at work first. The host was OK with a later check in so we were set for this detail.

Almost at our destination Maya fell asleep in the car. The idea was to get there, leave the bags and go somewhere to eat.

However, cause a sudden wake up Maya was very cranky and we couldn’t move.

Our host was fantastic because she empathized with the situation immediately. She prepared us a quick dinner so we didn’t have to think about it anymore.

Also Maya, little by little and with the huge help of the two dogs, got more confidence  and by the end of the evening she was playing around the room like she’d always been there.

Sandra took her to the huge fantastic library they had at the entrance and dug out of it a few books for children.

Before bed she also read Maya a bed time story and I started really to relax.

When we woke up in the morning a nice full Irish breakfast was waiting for us, fresh pressed orange juice was ready beside tea and coffee.

Sandra took care of Maya once again, letting us have a proper breakfast.

Immediately after we finished, as she was promised, Maya was brought to see the horses.

There was a huge stretch of grass at the back of the house and at the end of it there was a small enclosure for the horses.

Maya was so happy and she started running back and forth in the tall wet grass.

Sandra then brought her to pick apples in the orchard and then feed them to the two horses. It was so funny to see her enjoying so much.

After we finished there the two dogs decided it was time for a stroll  the nearby river. Maya, of course, ran headlong after them. Sandra offered to mind her until I could fetch my partner and in order to show him the river.

It was such an amazing site. My daughter was running around freely and I felt relaxed and able to breathe better.

I learned a bit more about Sandra who’s a fantastic person as well as great host.

At the end of the trip at the river Maya couldn’t walk anymore so Sandra called her husband and my princess was brought back with the car!

Photo Collage Maker_sfq1ppWhen I finally got back to the house I found her eating an ice lolly sitting on the patio with Sandra. Yes, it was really like being in my mum’s house.

Since Maya was wet to bone I had to wash her. We had a private bathroom with tbesidhe shower but Sandra insisted to prepare her a bath, which actually was ideal. Sandra added also some plastic lightened frogs to let her play. Needless to say Maya didn’t want to get out!

But it was time to go for us and return to Dublin.

Of course nobody wanted to leave the place.

I felt so relaxed for the time I’d been there that I want to go back.

I have to go back! That’s just heaven!!!