Saturday, March 30, 2019

Spring is here and it's time to grab back the camera!

Photography has always been a big passion for me, and I cannot really pinpoint a real moment from where it started. Maybe it was because my father brought me out to take pictures and then together we were developing them in our darkroom.
Yes, those were the times when digital cameras were not even invented, and if you wanted to have your pictures, you needed to take good shots, of which quality you could know only once you’ve spent money on developing them. The worst part was when you were on a journey, and you took something like 200 pictures, and then when you came back home and developed them… only 10 were of decent quality (LOL).
Despite the fact that we lived in Italy and the weather is fairer than Finland (where I do live now), my father hated winter, and barely wanted to go out on those gloomy days, not even for taking pictures.
Spring and Summer were the times when we were always out together, at least until I started to hang around with my friends and have other interests too.
Life has brought many changes in my life, but there is one thing that remained the same, and that is the passion for photography.
My favorite subjects are either flowers, insects or other animals, and the moon.
Here are some of the pictures taken at this beginning of Spring:

However there one fellow which I love to photograph, and it is a wild hare that took his home in my yard. Now there are several hares and wild rabbits that come spending some time in my yard, but this one is among the others my favorite. I also gave him a name Pörrö (hairy/fluffy. Some dictionaries wrongly translate this word as ‘pussy,’ which is not!).
Here is he:

Spring offers indeed limitless possibilities for those who love being in the outdoors and also to those who need a reason for exercising. Most of the best subjects are found inside the forest, where you cannot access with a car, so you need absolutely to go walking, and in many cases also climbing.
A challenging subject is the moon, I am looking after the perfect shot of a full moon, but it seems like I have to get a better objective for that purpose . In the meanwhile, I have taken great shots of the half moon when in very dark conditions, so be prepared and go far from the city and source of light not to get the pictures flawed.

Something I am still learning is how to take good shots of stars. I guess that for that I need to try when I am in places with low or no human settlements. The incoming trip to Africa might give me that possibility, and honestly, I cannot see the time.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Wintertime...Summertime... and the stolen time.

Like every year, those who live in the northern hemisphere, feel the joy of seeing the snow, finally melting. It’s perhaps one of the best times of the year. Our senses are waking up, the birds are singing, the flowers start blooming, and the days are getting longer.
It is a countdown to the run to the beach, to the ice-cream booths and to the holiday period.
It’s Springtime!

Yet, there is a price to be paid, and that it the day when the clocks will be switched to the summertime. Some countries have already switched to it. Meanwhile, others have to wait for the end of March to meet their fate and lose an hour of sleep.

It might be easy to say that it is only one hour, and we should also be used to it, for the times we are traveling abroad. But just like the worst jetlag, this is never coming as easy as it is on the paper.
Many people do not have any trouble in adapting themselves to the new time, but there are those sensitive people, and I talk about those who are particularly suffering from insomnia, for which this slight disruption means one week worth of recovery.
Concerning me, I do not have any problem, but considering the number of light hours usable in my country, the DST seems to be a waste of time if not totally worthless.
In summertime, here the sun barely sets, so what’s the need for a change of time? On the other hand on wintertime the sun barely rises, and again I am wondering what the need for two different times is.
The main difference to be noticed is on Spring and Fall, and from the mere practical point of view, we would benefit from just one single time, the one we use in winter.
Whether back in the days when the daylight saving time started to be in use, there was a  meaning (although it is just an illusion and the days are still 24 hours long), nowadays that purpose got lost or dimmed. Instead, there have been many studies about the adverse effects on the human brain and body caused by the time switch.
There has been in the recent years a log debate about whether we should give up the DST change and it seemed that although everybody seems to agree and get rid of it, nobody dares to start and say “Ok, this has been the last time we move our clock.”
Fact is that I suppose it is not even that easy to take the decision and until that glorious day, I hope you will survive the next DST switch and will enjoy the new season at its fullest.
Have an awesome weekend, everybody!

Saturday, March 16, 2019

change of hat let's talk about next releases

Image by prettysleepy1 from Pixabay 
And here it is the moment when an author starts to think about the marketing and the best way to bring the novel to the shelves of the public.
Yes, it is the planning for the release day. My book is under editing already for one month, and I am wondering whether it will come back this month next month or next year.
Bets are open. One thing I love about my editor is the care she puts on the job, and I am really satisfied with the results. What I like less is that she tends to disappear until the first round of corrections is done.
The fact that she has disappeared since more than one month can be a good sign or a bad sign, or no sign at all.
For me, it is always a nail-chewing time.
Image by photosforyou from Pixabay 
That is me waiting for news LOL!
Nevertheless, this is perhaps the best time for me to tell you something about the next release. This is the final book of the series Deadly Deception, and it will close the mystery around the research of Dr. Wright and his team.
In this book, we will meet old friends from the previous books so we will know what happened after all to Ethan Jackson and how his relationship with his girlfriend has developed, we will also meet the intriguing Sabina LaMotte and the deceiving Gabriel Garcia-Mendez together with the shy librarian Laura Jefferson.
Together with them, we are going to meet someone new, we will find new friends and of course new victims.

We will follow the investigations of the strange couple Lieutenant Jonas Avaliani and Detective Justin Sheen, and they have some news to share with us, besides the investigations for the missing people.
I will bring you back to Tbilisi, a city I really liked for its vibrant culture and strong character.
The end… Oh-boy it holds some extra chills and Deception will turn indeed Deadly!
So, did I get your attention?
Stay tuned because I plan very soon to start revealing my cover… piece by piece MUAHAHAH.

I wish you a great weekend, don’t forget to have fun!

Saturday, March 9, 2019

About the women's day

The earliest Women's Day observance, called "National Woman's Day," was held on February 28, 1909, in New York, organized by the Socialist Party of America. All over the world, the celebration started and has been celebrated at different times, and only in 1975, the United Nations began celebrating International Women's Day. In 1977, the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for women's rights and world peace.
The origin is still uncertain but what it is clear is that we are still far from obtaining a universal concept of gender equality.
Meanwhile, in western countries, we can say that we achieved a lot from the days when women were considered nothing but commodities, we are still far from achieving the final goal on the whole planet.

When men ask me why there should be a women's day, when I have the chance to vote, to dress the way I want, to express my opinion to divorce, have a job, have holidays for parental leave and many other equal rights in front of the law and in front of the society, I always reply "What about the rest of the world?"
Yes, what about those women that are still kept in slavery, those who cannot have a voice, those who do not know freedom, so they cannot even fight for something they cannot even conceive?
Those are the women for which the International Women's day is created.
I have heard many men saying that women are physically different so they cannot do the same jobs as men.
How simplistic!
If it were only a matter of doing the same jobs, the reason why women are fighting for their place in society.
The issue is not doing the same jobs, but being judged the same way of men. Being equal doesn't mean to deny the physical differences, not the mental differences, we are different, but this doesn't imply being inferior.
Women are still judged following the ill concept of "how a woman should behave" based on centuries ago unwritten rules.
I would like to see the time that if a woman is enjoying her freedom with many men, should be considered at the same level as a man who is frequenting many women. If he is cool, she is cool.
But you understand that this is a centuries ingrained concept, and to change the mindset of people, it will take perhaps millennia.

To be honest, I have been grown up and living in countries which reached quite a high level in gender equality. In my whole life, I have been walking out alone in the middle of the night and never even thought for a second about the possibility of being assaulted. I dressed the way I wanted without having been labeled as a prostitute or a bad person. I had the chance to pursue the career I wanted without anyone who was there telling me that since I was a woman, I could not access education.
All these goals, have been achieved by some women, are not valid for all the women.
I have traveled long enough out from my comfort zone to understand how far this world is from the achievement of global gender equality and how much we need still to fight for reaching it.
This, my friends, is the reason why we need the International Women's day; to give the voice to those who do not have them.
I wish, one day, humankind will reach the point that they will declare the International Woman's day as obsolete, as any woman in the world is seen under the same light as a man, with all the differences, which are not seen as a restriction to their freedom.

Until then Happy Women's day to those who cannot even access a computer to read my greetings.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

About plagiarism

This is going to be a short blog today, but it's going to be a very important one.
Recently there has been a lot of talking on the social media about books of indie authors which have been plagiarized.
It came to my mind when at the school, there was a "surprise test" in maths. The nightmare of all the students, except those who loved maths to bits and were spending all their free time studying.

No, that was not me.

I would have been one of the many dudes who had a life outside the walls of the school and didn't study in not for the planned tests. At that time, we would have begged and bribed the good students to pass the answers.
Nevertheless, even if we were copying the work of somebody else, we had at least their blessing to do so, and they got their reward, which would have been helping in other subjects where we were stronger. It was cooperation, rather than plagiarism.
Plagiarize the hard work of someone else is not just unethical, it's brutal. You are stealing the hard work of someone else, who might even struggle with the sales of their books, who has to count every single cent in the daily budget to fit in also the marketing costs and production costs of their books.
It is just like shooting at the red cross.
Although my work belongs to a niche and it hasn't been plagiarized, I feel the anger and frustration of those people who found their hard work inserted in another book and attributed to someone else.

Honestly, I would be furious.
It doesn't matter whether an author enjoys writing and finds it entertaining, it is still someone else's work, and nobody has the right to steal it, or copy it, not at least without the consent of the writer, who will share the profits and will be mentioned as a contributor.
I have no idea whether readers were aware of this literary patchwork, and I am still wondering how this can be made.
Honestly, it takes more time to fit things together that to write something that comes from your heart, and what is the joy that brings to an author knowing that nothing of what is there is the product of their creativity.

You know you stole something, you know you are a cheat, and yet it baffles me how you can look at the image in the mirror and avoid spitting on your image

With all the bitterness in my heart, I renew my full support to those who have been victims of those cheaters.
I wish you all a great weekend!

P.S. Finally here the sun is shining!

The long road of writing a book.

Publishing a book is a journey on a rocky path that involves several stages, from writing and pre-editing to editing, formatting, selecting ...