A mai trecut un Camp NaNoWriMo

Nanod

…Și l-am câștigat! Numai că povestea nu este terminată. Mai am de lucru. Iar romanul Echipajul, la care am lucrat în timpul Camp NaNo din aprilie, a ajuns pe masa editorului deja!

Recunosc că luna aceasta am folosit toate instrumentele oferite de Camp NaNo… cele pe care NaNoWriMo din noiembrie nu le oferă. Am înțeles, de asemenea, că în noiembrie nu mai am nici o șansă să câștig… ceea ce nu înseamnă că nu voi mai participa. Voi folosi toate instrumentele pe care le am la dispoziție, fără să mă aștept la altceva decât la bucuria de a termina luna cu câteva zeci de mii de cuvinte în plus. Câte vor fi, fiindcă sigur, la ritmul actual de viață, nu pot scrie 1800 pe zi toată luna.

Romanul se numește Farmecul mării. Se petrece la granița dintre secolele XVIII și XIX, în Imperiul Otoman (care includea, pe vremea aceea, Grecia) și apoi în Africa, într-o expediție pornită pe aceleași baze ca a lui Mungo Park, dar în alt colț de continent. Pentru moment, vă ofer o cerere în căsătorie… cu totul originală, din roman. Nu că ar fi singurul care nu știe cum să înceapă, și cum să spună ce are pe suflet… Mai am, în alte romane, cereri ciudate!

Deodată, ca din cer, lângă mine a apărut Marco. Nu-i auzisem paşii, aş fi putut crede că înflorise acolo, la izvorul din munte, ca un bujor sălbatic. Mă privea lung, parcă voia să îmi spună ceva şi nu ştia de unde să înceapă.
– Marina, eu ştiu încă din Poli că tu lucrezi foarte frumos, dantelele şi broderiile tale parcă prind viaţă. Într-o bună zi o să mă însor, şi te-aş ruga să lucrezi trusoul necesar, când ai timp…
Mi se părea că n-aud bine. Asta departe de a fi tot glumă! Vocea lui părea serioasă, şi cu toate că spusele lui nu se potriveau tradiţiei de aici şi celei de care auzisem eu în Thirra, ca veneţian, putea să nu ştie anumite lucruri. M-am sprijinit de un copac, căci mi se făcuse negru în faţa ochilor, şi abia am găsit puterea să răspund exact ceea ce ar fi vrut el să audă:
– Da, o să lucrez, dar e nevoie să-ţi cunosc logodnica întâi, să vorbim, să ştiu ce are şi ce-i mai lipseşte. Din ce sat este?
– Atunci, să vorbim: ce ai şi ce-ţi mai lipseşte?
Abia acum am înţeles cu adevărat ce voia să spună, şi parcă tot nu-mi venea să cred ce auzeam. Fără îndoială că şi în ţara lui erau tradiţii oarecare, şi că nici pe acelea nu le respectase, că nu îndrăznea să mă întrebe de teamă să nu fie respins, dar nici nu mai putuse să tacă.
Mi s-a răsturnat cerul dinaintea ochilor, de bucurie. Parcă păşeam pe stele şi mă uitam în sus la florile multicolore, parcă şi timpul se oprise în loc… Şi ce se cuvenea oare să-i spun?

 

July2018

Free Story: You Can’t Fight a Prophecy

Another of Nicholas Rossis’s lovely stories

Nicholas C. Rossis

In April, I posted my thousandth post on this blog. To celebrate, I will share here all my short stories. Every couple of weeks, I’ll be posting one story from my celebrated Exciting Destinies series for you to enjoy. With over 30 stories so far, I hope you’ll have lots of fun in the coming months!

This week, it’s You Can’t Fight a Prophecy from You’re In For A Ride.

Click here to read some more free stories.

You Can’t Fight a Prophecy

Prophecy book | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book Image: Pixabay

“You can’t fight a prophecy,” the wrinkly shaman says and gives me a toothless grin. The shrug accompanying his words shakes the feathers around his neck, making him look like a frail old bird trying to give flight.

Fight it? I don’t even understand it.

“What’s he say, Doc?” the large boulder of a man standing behind me asks. His camouflaged face and broad…

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What Does It Mean to Be an “Accomplished” Writer?

Novelty Revisions

If I asked the one thing, as a writer, you want to accomplish before you die, chances are you wouldn’t have a hard time giving a straight answer.

Most people want to write and/or publish a book. Some want to write for a specific company or in a specific genre. It varies from person to person.

But what most don’t realize is that even if they publish that book or become a writer for a specific employer, they still might not consider themselves “accomplished” writers.

Because a published author will always want to publish more books.

A staff writer will always want to generate more article hits.

Even end goals have stretch goals. Which makes it even harder for every writer to figure out how to achieve the most they can and consider themselves satisfied.

Is there some kind of chart that states when you’ll officially have “made it”? We…

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Runaway Smile Found in Rafina

An unusually interesting way to promote a book… It seems a successful one as well!

Nicholas C. Rossis

How to set up an Amazon Giveaway | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books View on Amazon

So, the Runaway Smile reading I mentioned the other day took place on Saturday in Rafina, at the Municipal Library. Some forty children showed up, along with several parents.

With Dimitri, we had decided this wouldn’t be a usual book reading. In fact, there was no reading from the book whatsoever. We deliberately played down the “book promoting” aspect and focused instead on giving the children a great time. So, I started off the event by welcoming the kids and by introducing them briefly to the story about the little boy who woke up one day and had lost his smile.

Runaway Smile Found in Rafina | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

Dimitris then took over and asked them to draw a picture of a little boy (or girl), and showed them how he would draw the characters himself. Confessing he’s a rather poor illustrator, though, he asked for help from the audience, which the kids were more…

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Fencing Salles & Fencing Commandments

For all those who love swashbuckling fellows…

Swordplay & Swashbucklers

German Fencing Salle LR German fencing school mid-eighteenth century. Not only is the smallsword being practiced (or competed in, given that there are a few marshals or directeurs de combat) with foils, but also sword and dagger, two-handed sword, dusack (a short cutting sword similar to a cutlass or falchion), halberd, and quarterstaff. The galleries and stands are full of spectators, fencers and fighters are taking refreshment, and women are (probably) feigning interest in the martial spectacle. The Rijksmuseum, the source of this image, has three high resolution versions, each with slightly different coloration.

The fencing salle, or school or club, if you will, is a hall of mirrors to the soul, and if not to the soul, then at least to fundamental character. It is a magical place whose special sights and insights are enriched by a special language accented with the unmistakable sounds of blade on blade.

Perhaps Rafael Sabatini put…

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The world is upside down

It is nothing new that the world is functioning upside down in various aspects of life. Why not in the writing realm too?

As you know already, and as you can see from the blog header, I have published three novels up to now. Two others and a short stories anthology will follow soon, almost certainly all three to appear this year. I published with small indie presses, because this is what I have the possibility in the current book market conditions. Many writers more seasoned than me published with the same two indie presses, so I am in good company. (And they aren’t vanity presses, printing and dumping the books in your arms. No, they assure launching events, participation at fairs, the collaboration of literary critics, etc.)

I am glad that I have started to become a little known among the contemporary writers in Bucharest. If one googles my pen name (despite being quite common internationally) one can find something about one of my novels too. If googling the titles, there are few information about them, but they are, reviews and photos. I had good reviews from the literary critics at the book presentation events, I had my novels displayed at the bi-annual Bucharest International Book Fairs… all these are successes for a junior writer, with only 3 novels published up to now.

I think I have a few more good things to list, including being on some senior writers’ good list. It sounds lovely, but… let’s vent my frustrations too. And this comes with the warning that the Romanian book market, unfortunately, doesn’t resemble the English speaking books market, so most of the book marketing ideas I find online, in English speaking blogs, unfortunately do not apply. For example, the English-speaking literary world promotes very much e-books. Here they are negligible sold. Printed word is the base… where it is.

While the English speaking market is catering to nearly one billion people (there were, in Internet statistics, 400 million native speakers of English, to which to add 400 million speakers of English as a second language, in 2006, and I assume the population has increased in 12 years), the overall population of Romania was of 19.5 million people, out of which about 4 million are abroad, about 3 million too young to read my novels (below 14)… and from the remaining 12.5 million, about 40% or more are poor, too busy to survive and not reading anything else than an occasional newspaper or religious book. Sad, but true.  Of course, from the remaining people who would read in principle (some regularly, some occasionally) not all are fans of historical adventures fiction/ YA, what I am writing. This is a realistic analysis.

As far as I heard the publishers say (not only personally to me, but also in interviews on the internet) – and we have our “big fives” here too, plus a whole constellation of small indie presses (the equivalent of self publishing would be here dealing directly with the printing house without a publisher, which is recommended only for professional books which have already the distribution ensured or for people who print one memoir book in their lives to give to 50-100 people, not needing ISBN or anything), in my country a book (written by a contemporary national writer, not translations of international bestsellers and not books required for school reading like our classics) printed in 1,000 copies is already considered a best seller.  My novels were, 2 of them published in 200 copies, the first one in 300. It is the level generally the writers around me use.

Now, my sincere frustrations?

– I haven’t recovered the costs on any of them. Yes, I have sold some, but the greatest amount was given freely. Now, to be honest, I knew from the start that I wouldn’t get rich from writing. I did it from my heart, and I loved when I received compliments about the books (not only from the critics, I appreciate more the readers’ compliments and questions, even if I know the critics’ are of importance for the accession to the Writers’ Union). This is when I felt they got their mission, to brighten someone’s day and to transport them to another time and place, offering them an insight on that way of living. But I would have appreciated if I succeeded to recover my costs. Some writers know business owners and get sponsors. (I had sponsors too, back in 1999, for my professional handbook in project management). I don’t know influent people who would be able to sponsor me, every cost is supported from my meager savings (given that I am retired now).  Yes, I sold books at various events… but the money received covered the expenses of the event, with very little margin (if any).

– I can’t reach exactly my target group, the high-school and Uni youngsters. Until now, my novels were bought mostly by grown-up or older people who were nostalgic about the style of novels they use to read, because these were the ones coming to the literary events.

…And everything needs more money. Half, I understand this as in the fact that if I try to expand my marketing network, this doesn’t come for free because this is what those people gain their living from – organising things, writing things. I am lucky that I haven’t had to pay for some things, though. There are friends who help me for free, and I thank them wholeheartedly. At my turn, I have always helped people for free, with whatever I could. It had never occurred to me to ask money, and I am always shocked when I am asked money for various things which, in my thoughts, shouldn’t.

In a world which wouldn’t function as upside down as it does, the writer should be allowed to write – like it was before the ascension of social media – and the others should do the marketing part. I am sure that Hemingway, Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas weren’t the ones to do much more than writing. Yes, they received their money after the books were sold, but nobody asked them money for publishing, for book launching events organisation and other things. Or, if now shedding money is a must because there are too many books published and no publisher assumes the economic risks anymore in this crisis economy, at least they should want the money from the sales! Not before recovering the costs…

One would say fame has a price I am paying. Even little fame. Others say it’s something wrong with me and my writing, otherwise merit triumphs. What I have seen and heard around me, says that it’s not only me, and not only merit triumphs. Besides merit, it takes good luck, knowing the right persons and maybe also having some financial reserves… But I still have the feeling that things aren’t how they should be. The system doesn’t function how it should. (Where does it?)

 

Free Story: Royal Duties

Because I love Nicholas Rossis’ stories…

Nicholas C. Rossis

In April, I posted my thousandth post on this blog. To celebrate, I will share here all my short stories. Every couple of weeks, I’ll be posting one story from my celebrated Exciting Destinies series for you to enjoy. With over 30 stories so far, I hope you’ll have lots of fun in the coming months!

This week, it’s Royal Duties from You’re In For A Ride.

Click here to read some more free stories.

Royal Duties

Closed door | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book Photo: Pixabay

I know the place is trouble as soon as we pass the twin marble columns and enter the austere palace. Pained cries assault my ears, coming from behind a closed door at the end of an endless corridor. Our footsteps echo on the shiny marble floor until we reach it.

A fresh scream comes from behind the polished mahogany. All my hairs stand on end. I glance at my trusted…

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Top 10 cele mai îndrăgite romane din literatura clasică

O clasificare literara interesanta.

Citesc.blog

literatura

Ne-am gândit să întrebăm comunitatea noastră de cititori de pe Instagram care sunt romanele preferate din literatura clasică și am reușit astfel să facem un clasament pe care-l găsiți în articolul de mai jos. Lecturi frumoase!



10. „Povestea despre două orașe” de Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens - Poveste despre doua orase -


Haosul Revoluţiei franceze pusese stăpânire pe oraş. Era vremea marilor schimbări, și totul se afla sub semnul unui necruţător pericol, în care fărădelegea şi nedreptatea deveniseră armele răzbunării, arareori făcându-se deosebirea între vinovat şi nevinovat. Tocmai de aceea, povestea lui Dickens cucereşte prin dovezile de curaj ale eroilor săi, martori ai acelor timpuri.

Închis pe nedrept timp de optsprezece ani în fortăreaţa Bastiliei, doctorul Alexandre Manette este în sfârşit eliberat şi adus la Londra, alături de fiica sa, Lucie. După lungii ani de despărţire, s-ar fi zis că viaţa le oferă cadoul mult visat, când soarta l-il scoate în cale pe tânărul francez Charley Darnay, închis…

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