Writing and Reading log – June 2017

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One of my doodles!

Welcome once again, my dear readers on these pages!

And welcome to my personal reading and writing account I share once a month with you!

I have to admit that lately I haven’t been very consistent. I haven’t written new words for my WIP. Loads of useless thinking and no practice to be honest.

I think I’m tired, as simple as that.

Hence this will be the last post for now. I’ll take a break in order to give myself as less things to do as possible so I can come back stronger.

From time to time I might publish my doodles, like the one you see in this post, but that’s the best I can promise at the moment.

I really have to stop the blog writing at times like this, hopefully it’s just a matter of organization. If it is, I’ll figure out a way to improve!

And here we go with the numbers:

Word written for the WIP: 27191 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: 5 + ideas already for the last two. For number 6 the head sentence with the character’s name is already on paper.

Blog post written this month: 4on4, out the skin of my teeth really, but who complains.

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.

Being sick at home I manager to give a good push to the Diary of Anne Frank and to finish the book thief.

Still the list is too long and I’ll have to reduce it. Although I have so many titles active at the same time, I end up in reading one by one anyway. So why should I have to complicate my life so much!

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 236 on 677.

The book thief – Finished!!! So sad, sad finale…almost cried!

Outlander – I’m at page 408 on 684.

Hunger – I’m at page 246 on 684.

Diary of Anne Frank – I’m at page 155 on 351

American Gods – I’m at page 189on 640 (plus extras)

So, this is it for this month.

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 I’ll see you as soon as possible on these pages!!!

As I said, it’s time once again for my break!

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Sport day!  

Friday I attended to the sport day in Maya’s school. I’ve never seen such an event before. I hope you’ll excuse me if I treat it as an amazing thing, as I’m still in awe!  It will be brief, though, I promise!  

When I was in elementary school we did once some games, they were very simple. The PE teacher organized some obstacles around the gym and that was it.  All the parents were around to cheer us up. I was too little, so I don’t really remember if it was all day or only in the afternoon, after the lessons.  The fact I vividly remember was the majestic fall of one of my class mates, R., who tripped and fell on his face. But doing so, since he was with his mouth open, cut his tongue and loads of blood came out. He didn’t chop it off, if you’re wondering, but it was pretty traumatic to see that much blood anyway.  

You can guess I was pretty surprised when I read the note in Maya’s bag that all day would be dedicated to the sport activities.  All the teachers and even the principal – I love her, she’s so involved in the school life, she knows the name of each and every pupil and who are the parents too – were dressed in leggings and trainers.  All the activities were well organized and the timing followed by the second.  

 

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Maya had the race, the race with a potato on the spoon, the sack race, the dance session where she learned a small set of movements, the parachute and skipping rope time and then the fitness session with a coach especially hired by the school for the occasion.  For the parents they ordered sandwiches, tea and coffee so we had our lunch too. I’m amazed and I’m grateful Maya ended up in this school.

There are a lot of initiatives and a lot of different fun events organized.  I wish I could be more involved. Unfortunately, being off only one day during the week, my chances to be more involved and to participate to more events are very limited. Sometimes I can take the day off, but not always is possible. I’m trying to make the most of it though.  I’m really getting curious now, as I’m wondering whether I was just lucky with Maya’s school or all the school are as such.  Personally, I’m living in a constant amazement.

Where are you reading me from?

How’s your kids’ schools?  

Please let me know in the comments below.  

Writing and Reading log – May 2017

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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!

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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?

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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-

Angry comments on Social Networks  

Today, let’s remember evil people from BD, the baddies’ country in my fantasy world!

       

Either we like it or not we’re obsessed with social media. That’s a fact! Well, at least for the most of us!

I’m not even sure to know all social network, so I can say I still have some autonomy.

Personally, I’m often on Facebook, I’ve always had Twitter but I use it only from time to time. Lately I signed up on Instagram as I think I like the concept.

As far as I know the main reasons why they’re used are: to easily keep in touch with people, to get some gossip, to share ideas and information on the preferred topics and to get the latest news in one click.

Pros and cons are in every single thing but with the social media everything it’s kind of amplified.

If you do something silly, everybody will know; if someone needs help, in that way the problem will be addressed faster.

However, just because of that, mean comments or action will spread as fast as the good deeds. No, maybe faster than the rest.

It’s incredible to see such a behavior. It’s like people love to see other people suffering, love to insult them. I know for sure that there are a few of them loving to trigger arguments.

Maybe it’s not even loving to do something, maybe they’re just annoyed with life, maybe they’re going through a crappy period, maybe they’re sad and desperate and to them it’s unbearable to see another person happy or receiving love and compliments. Even worse, sometimes they love to see someone going through a tougher period in order to feel better.

Do you know what? You suck and you’re horrible people!

I understand, we’re all human and, as such, we make mistakes, but this is what they are, mistakes, that’s it!

Have you done a silly thing? Fine, understand it, apologize and don’t do it again.

If you do it twice, fine, three times, less fine but still OK. After that, it becomes a habit, a bad habit loads of people seem to enjoy.

This consideration was triggered by the comments I’ve seen on Facebook on some profiles.

Of course, it’s some kind of behavior that would happen in real life too.

However, people should understand that even if someone decided to make his or her life public, this doesn’t give them the right to destroy them with their opinion. Public profile isn’t an invite to be rude or impolite.

Immediately connected to what I’ve just stated, I have to add I respect a lot public people like Supernatural cast members, or even Stephen Amell –  these are the one I follow – who decided to go public but they managed to create such nice and healthy environment behind them, that I want just to prize them.

The detail that maybe annoys me the most is that Italians seem to be the most enraged comment writers. Of course, this data is related to my own field of experience.

Anyhow it’s a pity.

What triggered this train of thoughts is linked to some comment I’ve seen on MasterChef and X factor’ s Facebook pages, but it could be extended to everything.

It’s OK to have your personal opinion, your beliefs, your fear, your bias, even your prejudice, I mean it.

However, for no reason whatsoever you’re entitle to force your opinion on other people, criticize who’s in front of you, offend someone you might not even know. Basically, for no reason at all it’s OK behave like a real asshole!

And this is the end of my rant!

Ok, it wanted to be less of a rant, I really wanted to express my opinion, but I feel very passionate about it.

Well, my dear readers, leave it or take it!

Have a well-deserved Sunday!

Most of all, please let me know what you think in the comment below!

Writing and Reading log – April 2017

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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.