Cartography Software for Fantasy Writers

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This is not a sponsored post.

Happy Saturday, my lovely bookaholics! As you know, earlier this month I started writing a novel for NaNoWriMo, which means I have to write a novel at least 50.000 words long before the month ends. And, as I mentioned in my latest post, I don’t want to do a half-hearted job: a tremendous artist, Hellyon White, is designing the cover and the character’s portraits, and I have started drawing a map for the story.

And this is what I want to tell you about right now: the map.How is a writer with no drawing skills whatsoever undertaking so big a project?

Well, let me tell you how I’m doing it.

Let me tell you about Ortelius.

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My Visit to El Museo del Prado

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I’m not dead, I promise! I have just been too busy in Madrid, using all my free time to visit all the wonderful things this visit has to offer: including, of course, El Museo del Prado. Most of you will probably know it as the place where the works of Goya, Velázquez, Tizziano, Rubens, El Bosco, and so many other geniuses, are kept.

Some years ago, while I was still in high school, I was invited every year to the baccalaureate’s school trip to Madrid’s museums, even if I was too young to come. For three years, and around the same dates, I went on a trip through el Museo del Prado, the Reina Sofía, the Thyssen, and Madrid’s Archaeological Museum. I am very grateful to my teachers for taking me along, since these visits make me learn a lot and helped me become a better artist myself.

The funny thing is, even though it has been almost 10 years since my last visit, I could still remember everything: where to find El Bosco, where the circular room with Las Meninas was, the particular galleries where Tizziano’s paintings were exhibited. It was a heartwarming experience.

Let me tell you about my favourite paintings!

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Imperium Review

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Imperium ★★★★☆

Do you like ancient Rome? Do you like tales of political intrigue? Do you like long-winded speeches made by lawyers on very complex Roman laws?

Okay, that last bit doesn’t sound exceptionally promising, but in the hand of Robert Harris, it can be far more interesting than you would imagine! Today I will be reviewing Imperium, the first of Harris’s trilogy on Cicero, and an excellent book that kept me hooked for days.

Let me tell you about it.

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Reflections on the Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year

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I have just read a very interesting article on The Bookseller announcing that the good people behind the Oxford Dictionaries have chosen ‘post-truth’ as the word of the year for 2016. If you are wondering, as I was, what it means, here it is:

Post-truth: “Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”

The article went on to specify that it had been chosen because of “this year’s EU referendum in the UK and presidential election in the US, which has seen the word used to describe the irrelevance of truth in today’s politics, as in ‘post-truth politics’.” You can read more about it at the Oxford Dictionaries website.

I feel we need to discuss this.

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Marketing for Writers: Google Analytics

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It is often said that, nowadays, it’s not enough being just an author: you also have to be a marketeer. Traditional publishing houses take into account how many followers you have on your Facebook page and Twitter account before giving you an offer, and self-publishing relies entirely on how much work you’re willing to put in in order to promote your novel. One thing is certain: the ideal of the bohemian writer who spends their whole lives devoted to their craft, leaving the less savoury aspects of the business to their agents, is long gone.

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Book Review – Dictator

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Dictator ★★★★★

I feel like I have a lost a close friend. I have just finished Dictator, by Robert Harris.

This is the last instalment in his Cicero trilogy, which marks the end of the old senator’s life as told by Tiro, his freedman. This final book shows us the last fifteen years of Cicero’s life, which were marked by constant turmoil and two civil wars.

Let me tell you more about it.

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The Outrageously Charming Art of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

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Source: Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's Instagram

I have a confession to make.

I am into Japanese culture—I have always been. I grew up like the standard Spanish nerdy kid, playing Japanese video games and watching the anime that was becoming so popular in the 90s; think Dragon Ball, Saint Seiya or Sailor Moon. Because of this, I developed an appreciation of the outlandish and outrageous Japanese art; I think nothing illustrates this point better than their TV commercials.

Needless to say, I am a big fan of J-Pop, too—that is, Japanese pop music. Some of the artists I listened to growing up were Megumi Hayashibara, Ayumi Hamazaki, L’arc-en-ciel, and a big, big list of such names. One of my all-time favourite music videos is Stereopony’s “Hanbunko”.

As I said, I grew up watching these baroque-esquely epic, ridiculously exaggerated, delightfully lighthearted shows and videos.

None of that could have prepared me for Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.

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