Archivi tag: Studying

The perks of being alone

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Long time no talk! These last days have been full of things to do, books to read, places to go to, people to meet. I’ve finished writing a prequel taken from the paranormal trilogy I’ve written and I’ve published it for free. In these days, my life can be pretty well summoned by two words: writing and music. I’m spending my mornings at the conservatory, studying piano for my graduation exam next July. Everyday my alarm rings at 6.30 and I get up, I have a shower, I take the bus and, after the arrival, I stop by a bar on the road in order to write or translate or edit something or doing anything else which concerns Microsoft Word. Then, I go to the conservatory. Everyday. I’ve found out that this kind of daily routine is really productive and that I’m writing very much and that the piano pieces are getting well as if after a long illness. This routine obliges me to be alone most of the time. D’u know what? Who cares! Solitude can be a useful ally if you’re carrying on creative works. Sometimes, creativity needs silence. No one speaking, no one interrupting. Just yourself and your music and your art and whatever you’re doing. What else?

Do things before you’re ready

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I’m not disappeared into a puffed, light-blue cloud. It’s just that my IELTS test is approaching and I’m just… panicking. I can write, yes, I think I can do it. And I can read and listen to the records (although the latter makes me incredibly anxious). But the speaking? That’s my real problem. Speaking is something you usually practice with English-speaking people, but I live in Italy and it’s not so easy to find someone who can talk to you in a foreign language and, most of all, who WANTS to spend his time with you like that. So, I’m panicking. I don’t know if I can pass this exam and I don’t know if I’ve the necessary skills. Apart from that, life goes on as usual. I spend my mornings playing the piano in conservatory (I should graduate next year) and I’m perfectionning my PhD research proposal. I’m reading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (we’ll have time to talk about that) and I’m trying to reduce the pile of magazines standing on the floor like a paper tower. Most of all, I’m writing. I’ve subscribed to the #NaNoWriMo and I’m writing my novel-in-a-month. This year I’m writing into Italian language, but I’ve sweared that next year I’ll try to do it in English. Can I do that? I don’t know but, as wise people say, “do things before you’re ready”.

Goodmorning, miss!

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These mornings I’m experiencing something completely new, for me: I’m reading books in classes from 6th to 8th grades, at school. It’s incredibly funny! Can you believe that? The best moment is when you enter the room and they don’t know you yet. They look at you, they smile ironically and try to understand if they can laugh at you or listen to you and trust you. And then, the miracle: they suddenly feel at their ease ‘cause you’re acting as if you were a student just like them. You’re sitting among them, you’re reading Fred Uhlman, you’re answering their questions and they’re answering yours. You speak all together about friendship, love, hate, future. You’re having fun and they’re having fun. THIS is the secret. And it’s something I’ve never thought it would suit me, and instead… here we are. Yesterday a young, redhead boy from 6th class, sitting just in front of me, has asked me: “Have you a boyfriend? I’m asking you that because my cousin’s boyfriend has dumped her because of her writing”. And I’ve answered “I’ll pick a writer: problem solved”, which could actually be true.

The youngest students are smart, funny and incredibly curious about life, love and… books, too. They want to know how much money you’re earning, in what does your editor’s job consist, why have you suddenly started writing down everything which passed through your mind. A girl has asked me where do I find inspiration, and I’ve said: “Everything that surrounds you IS part of the inspirational process. YOU yourself, while you’re sitting there asking me questions, are part of my inspirational process”, and it’s extremely true.

My parents have been working as primary school teachers for years and years. The main part of my life has been characterized by “schoolish” conversations. And I can remember the infinite times I’ve said “I’ll never become a teacher”. I’m not so sure about it anymore.

New Release: The strategist by Giovanna Barbieri

Hi! Today I’m showing you another great book by an Italian author that’s a friend of mine and an editor too: Giovanna Barbieri. If you love historical fiction, you can’t definitely miss that!

GIOVANNA BARBIERI was born in Verona in 1974 and she actually lives in Volpicella. In 2001 she graduated in Political Sciences, school of International economics.
She’s a member of EWWA (European Writing Women Association) and she’s a freelance editor at http://righerosse.wordpress.com/

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PLOT:
History and fantasy wrapped into one novel.

After a strong storm Alice, a young woman from the 21st century, finds herself in 1163, in a forest in the beautiful Valpolicella area. What happened? Who sent her back to the period of the struggle between Emperor Federico Barbarossa and those against him? And why? Was it a coincidence or a divine plan?

Hurt and confused, Alice is rescued by a family of peasants that take her to the Abbey of the Sacred Heart in Arbizzano, where she is treated by the kind nuns and learns the use of medicinal herbs. Once healed and brought to the castle of Fumane, she will have to decide what to do: fight to return to her time or, to escape the unjust accusations of witchcraft, take part in the 1165 siege of Rivoli beside Sir Lorenzo Aligari, with whom she will fall madly in love.

LINKS:
https://www.amazon.it/Strategist-D-1164-English-ebook/dp/B01KFXSHKQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1477045292&sr=8-1&keywords=the+strategist+ad+1164

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-strategist-ad-1164-giovanna-barbieri/1124334064?ean=2940153392899

And for those of you who enjoy reading in German language, here’s the German version of the same book!

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DIE STRATEGIN, AD 1164
Genre: FICTION / HISTORISCH
Es handelt sich um eine surreale Zeitreise ins zwölfte Jahrhundert, während der anti-imperialen Kämpfe von 1164-1165
Nach einem starken Unwetter findet sich Alice, eine junge Frau aus dem XXI. Jahrhundert, ins Jahr 1163 versetzt, in einen Wald des wunderschönen Tals Valpolicella. Was ist passiert? Wer hat sie ins Jahr 1163, in die Zeit der anti-imperialen Kämpfe gegen Kaiser Federico il Barbarossa geschickt und vor allen Dingen, warum? War es ein Zufall oder ein Plan Gottes? Verletzt und verwirrt wird sie von einer Familie halbfreier Bauern gerettet, die sie in die Abtei des Sacro Cuore nach Arbizzano bringen, wo sie von freundlichen Nonnen gepflegt wird und wo sie die Anwendung von Heilkräutern lernt. Nachdem sie geheilt und in die Burg von Fumane gebracht worden war, muss sie sich entscheiden, wie sie handeln soll: Kämpfen, um in ihre Zeit zurückzukehren, oder, um den ungerechten Vorwürfen der Hexerei zu entkommen, an der Belagerung von Rivoli im Jahr 1165 an der Seite des Ritters Lorenzo Aligari teilzunehmen, in den sie sich dann unsterblich verliebt.

LINKS
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/die-strategin-giovanna-barbieri/1124115800?ean=2940153395838
https://www.amazon.it/Die-Strategin-German-Giovanna-Barbieri-ebook/dp/B01K7K0TGC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1477045622&sr=8-1&keywords=die+strategin

Pictures from Italy by Charles Dickens

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Being an Italian reader, this book has been a real adventure for me. It’s funny to see your country through the eyes of an English author of the XIX century. From Genoa to Florence, from Rome to Naples, my beloved Italy has been told and described by one of the authors I love the most. Descriptions are accurate as usual, and there’re also a lot of funny sketches about daily life in Italy. Some pages have made me laugh, some other have made me angry, of course. There’s something I’d wish to say to Charles, old chap, about our country and our uses but it’s too late to do that, I suppose. What has surprised me the most was the enthusiastic view of Milan, but we should consider that Dickens has visited this town BEFORE the great industrialisation. This is why he tells us about its architectural and artistic beauty, passing through natural spots that perhaps don’t even exist anymore. The most interesting feature of these notes (because these ARE notes and nothing more) is how ironically they’ve been written, but it doesn’t surprise me very much. Dickens has always written like that, and it’s really interesting to read something of his that is not a novel and that contains the main features of a real, autobiographical logbook.

Blank page

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As a writer, I’ve always had to deal with the problem of the blank page. How many times have we opened a Word file just in order to spend our time watching powerless at the empty page? So much to Say, so much to give, but with The nightmare of The “beginning” standing still. If there’s something I’ve learned by experience, it’s that the kind of confusion we feel when we start writing something new is fundamental. We need that moment of despair to find out what we really want to communicate to others and why we’re doing what we’re doing.

There’s nothing to be scared of: blank Pages are a part of The creative process. Just make a coffee, listen to your favourite songs, browse The most inspiring Pinterest walls. Force yourself to Write The first, fearful word. The others will come next. Don’t be anxious, don’t be afraid. Writing is fun and it’s always catharsis, so enjoy it and don’t mind being so confused. Just make yourself through. You can definitely do that.

Teach your children

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Pic by Dennis Matesic

I’m a teacher, among the other things. I’m not The kind of teacher you can find at school but I simply help children and teenagers to do their homeworks, but still I love considering myself a teacher. Perhaps, I should say that I’m a Student because most of The Times children teach me how to face life. Young people are AMAZING, in capital letters. They’re full of life and enthusiasm, always ready to put themselves into a mess, and I really love The confusing realities. That’s what makes them ready to be ready, to learn how to deal with fear and courage, with mistakes and right choices. This is The reason why I really can’t stand grown-up people Who try to make them extremely “rational”. Life is something We learn by mistakes. There’s not “good” or “bad” and all colours are Never so neat and well defined as We adults think: there’s so much shades, in life. Teach your children to be what their are: children. Make a shelter for their most absurd dreams. Believe them when they Say they want to become astronauts. Leave them alone. Don’t be afraid of The moment when life’ll wake them up. That’s still Time for that. The time will come when they’ll be grown-up people but, if you leave them The childhood they deserve, they’ll guard their little selves inside. And God knows how The inner child could help facing life as rational, fearful adults.