Flapper Jane Goes Shopping for Make-Up (The New Woman’s New Look Series)

First, a personal note. I know I’ve neglected this series of late, though I hope you’ve been consoling yourself with my Jazz Age Jazz April. Originally, I had planned to post the entire series as building up for the release of Give in to the Feeling, and yes, yes, I know that happened at the beginning of March, and yes I know I’ve drafted the entire series back in November, so what have I been thinking?
Well, life happened, I suppose. But here I am with the third instalment of the series and I do have two more instalments drafted, so there is hope that you’ll see the end of it at some point this year (grins)

For the newcomers, this is a series where I try to argue that the change in looks of the New Woman of the 1920s wasn’t just a matter of fashion, but it spoke of a new social status and a new way of looking at women broth from their own eyes and from the eyes of men and society in general. You may want to check out the first instalment Shameless, Selfish and Honest and the second The New Woman Appropriates the New Make-Up.

So, guys, here we go!

New Woman New Look 3 - Flapper Jane goes shopping for makeup

 

The Twenties were an incredible time. It was a time of exploration and experimentation. A time of new things, new ideas, new attitude. If you were a young girl of the middle class in a big American city, there was probably no better time to live. You would be exploring your new-found freedom of expression, a new way of thinking ideas in your mind, and a new way of using your body and face. You even had a sparkling lead woman to guide your way: actress Clara Bow.

Clara Bow - Rough House Rosie (1927)
Clara Bow

Although there were many film superstars in the Twenties, both men and women, Clara Bow was one of the most popular. She was not the first flapper to appear on the screen, but through her film It, she sure became one of the main influence on what flappers would become in the eyes of society. Clara Bow built the way flappers looked, the way they wore their hair, the way they wore their makeup. The way they spoke, the way they acted, the way they treated men. She incarnated what every girl wanted to be and the girl every young man dreamed of.
Clara Bow was the one who launched the make-up feature most iconic of the 1920s flapper: the Cupid’s Bow.

The 1920s were the best of time for a girl to experiment with cosmetics, the best in a long time. In previous decades, cosmetics – and especially paint – had been dangerous and uncomfortable to wear. But starting in the 1910s and more so in the 1920s, cosmetics (they weren’t called make-up yet) evolved dramatically, both in terms of comfort and safety.
Substances like lead, arsenic, mercury and zinc oxide were quite common in pre-1910s cosmetics and they truly damaged the health of women who dared wearing them. But in the 1920s, doctors started to work with cosmetics companies to ensure a safer composition and standard. “Safe” became a popular selling point in advertisement.

Prior to the 1910s, cosmetics had been a pain to put on as well. Blush and lipstick came in tubes and sticks wrapped in paper and were messy to apply, questionable in results and certainly went against the ‘natural’ look most popular at the time.
But in the 1920s, a lot of tools that we take for granted today first appeared. Make-up became hot topic for all modern women (not just girls). Women magazine often wrote about how to best use the make-up products they were advertising. Advice articles and books abounded. Make-up tools swiftly became essential inside a woman’s beauty-case.
It was in the 1920s that Max Factors officially began referring to his products as make-up, from the verb phrase, “To make up one’s face.”

 

FACE – make it pale and smooth

In previous decades, and especially from the Victorian Era, complexion was considered one of the most beautiful feature in a woman. That was still true for the 1920s New Woman, therefore cold creams that made the skin smooth and rich were still very popular. They started coming in colours too, though in a very limited range, the most common being white, pink (often called flesh or natural)  and sandy tone (called brunette).

After the invention of the compact, powder became much more popular and took away from the use of cold cream.
The modern young women wanted to achieve a fine porcelain finish to her face and neck, so she used powder liberally. In fact, much more liberally than we do today. Powder was applied with a puff, often not only on the face and neck, but also on shoulders and décolleté. It appears that the urban legend that flappers powdered their knees is just that, a legend.
Powder came in the same colours as the cold cream, but in the earlier years of the decade a green-tinted face powder which stressed the paleness of the face could also be purchased, and anyway, women would sometimes mix different colours of powder to make their own.
Make-up wasn’t cheap. As with all beauty tools, many poorer women used home remedies, which may have been less effective than the company’s make-up, but still did the job. In place of face powder, some women would use ivory face powder.

Once they had achieved a nice, smooth and uniform base was to their faces, gilrs would light their face up with colours.
Rouge (what we now call blush) was one of the conquest of 1920s women, because previously only unrespectable women would wear it. It was applied in circles on the apple of the cheek with two fingers, so to make the face as round and full as possible.
It originally came in paste, cream and powder, but with the introduction of the compact case, rouge – just like powder – became transportable, socially acceptable and easy to apply.
In those early times, the market didn’t offer a great variety of colours, especially for women of colour. Orange-red and raspberry-red were the most popular throughout the decade, while rose-red became more common in the late 1920s.

 

MOUTH – Let your lisp speak of your sensuality

Clara Bow - Cupid's BowMax Factor is acknowledged as the creator of the most iconic make-up practice of the 1920s: the Cupid’s Bow, which they created especially for actress Clara Bow.
The lips were to become a dramatic feature over a woman’s face, Their colour and shape would become prominent, a suggestion of sex-appeal and free life, the perfect herald of  the New Woman’s message.
To achieve the Cupid’s Bow, lipstick was applied on the upper lip so to rise above the actual lip line and make the natural shape of the lip more pronounced. The bottom lip was slightly overstated instead, the width was minimized by stopping short of the natural crease in the lip. The goal was to created a small and naughty pout.
Metal lip tracer, which helped achieved the perfect shape, became very popular.

Lipstick was another conquest of the 1920s, another piece of make-up that became portable and much easier to use. It originally came in pots or in palette and were quite messy to use. But in 1915, Maurice Levy invented the lipstick tube (made of metal or bakelite) which had a level on the side to push up the lipstick. That was challenge by a patent by James Mason Jr in 1923.
Matte red was the overwhelming colour of choice, though other shades of red, pink and orange became available and fashionable as the decade wore on. It was smudge-proof and it often came in cherry-flavour.

 

EYES – The dark mirror of a flapper’s soul

Marion Davies - 1920s
Marion Davies

Eyes had always been the true weapon of seduction of a women, but in the Twenties, women put extra efforts in spotlighting their eyes.
After using powder that would accentuate the paleness of the skin and a dark lipstick that would lit up the face, women used very dark colours for their eyes, which make their gaze truly stand out.
Clara Bow, with her big, dark eyes, was once again the model for so many young flappers. So much attention was given to the eyes that most of the new make-up was actually eye make-up.
Eyes make-up was worn very dark, soft and smoky. Popular colours were greys, green and black, sometimes turquoise, but fashion magazines of 1926 also mention purple and blue pencils used as eye shadow.

Eye shadow was applied with the fingers, lightly against the lash-line and then smudged upward for smoky effect. Often it was applied underneath the eye too, to make them bigger. Kohl was sometimes used as eye shadow, for a more dramatic effect especially at night, while for those less brave or for a more subtle daytime look, a trace of darker face powder was used on the eyelids.

Eyeliner, an arcane mixture of soot, lead and goose grease called kohl, that was already available in pencil form for most of the decade, was applied all the way around the eyes and then smudged out. A dot was sometimes used in the outer corner to give a tilted-up look.
Eyeliner came just in black and brown colours for most of the decade, though blue and violet came out in later years.

Eye brows were shaped thin and curved with a slight downward point at the inner end. It was fashionable to draw the end of the brows beyond the natural brow arch and slopping down. There were two ways to get the look: pluck them thin and pencil in, or pluck/shave the brows off and draw the brow in pencil, though this became much more fashionable and common in the 1930s.

Flapper Jane goes shopping for makeup. 1920s girls discover a new world #fashion Click To Tweet

Mascara was still in development stage. Before the 1920s, women would often make mascara at home with ash and India ink or lampblack, but in the 1920s it became more and more common purchasing it. It came in liquid, wax or cake form, and even in blocks that were then melted and applied to the lashes with a stick. Maybeline included a brush, which had to be moist with water before dipping it in cake powder. The brush wasn’t the circular type we used today, but a flat one, so women used eyelash curlers widely. The Kurlash eyelash curler was invented in 1923 by William Beldue.

Fake lashes were also quite popular. They were applied to the eye and then accentuated with mascara.
Fuller and longer eyelashes were obtained by the mixture of petroleum jelly with sooth or smudged kohl. The most daring could bead the tip of their eyelashes, a technique that involved heating beading make-up in a pan and then apply it to the tip of the lashes with a small stick. Actors who wanted to play up their eyes used this in place of mascara.

The 1920s were a time of exploration for women’s make-up. Girls in the 1920s used for the first time tools and techniques that we take for granted today, as we take for granted the message they were sending out: I’m a beautiful person. Just watch.

The New Woman's New Look Logo

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RESOURCES

Fass, Paula S., The Damned and the Beautiful. American Youth in the 1920s. Oxford University Press, New York, 1977

Glamourdaze – History of makeup: 1920s
Glamourdaze – An original flapper’s guide to the 1920s makeup
Vintage Dancer – 1920s Makeup starts the cosmetic industry – History
Love to know – 1920s Makeup
Hair and Makeup Artists Handbook – Women’s 1920s makeup: an overview
Millihelen – Eyeliner and Liner Notes: A History of Makeup (1900-1920)

Thursday Quotables – The Family Spirit

The Family Spirit (Lillian Csernica)“Easy, lad,” Cathal whispered. “The first time’s the hardest. You’ll get used to it.” Cathal’s clammy hand closed around his own and lifted it up between them. Janice did the same with this right hand. All around the table everyone held hands and bowed their heads. Ben relaxed a little. At least they said grace.

“Hear me, O Death!” Marian shrieked. Ben started backward so hard he almost fell out of his chair. Janice and Cathal pulled him back in place.

“Hearken, O Angel! We call back to us the spirit of our beloved Simeon, taken too early to thy dank and wormy bosom.”

“Oh my God,” Ben murmured. Janice shushed him.

“Gentle Simeon, we bag you to grace our table with you wit. Come unto us, O brother, that we may delight in the warmth of your spirit.”

A sudden gust of wind stirred the drapes and one end of the dining room. They blew inward until they hung out at an angle from the wall. Behind them the French doors rattled and bulged inward.

“Agnes,” Marian hissed. “You didn’t forget to unlock the door again, did you?”

I would call this a sweet story with an Addam Family flavour. Everybody in this story is a bit strange, which is a good thing, actually. And they all care for each other. In the end, this is what counts the most for all people involved. It’s a ghost story at heart, but I’d say, a different kind of ghost story, where the ghost, as everyone else, care for his family first of all.

Ben accepts the invitation at his girlfriend’s for Christmas and he immediately discovers it was  a bad idea. Everybody’s strange, in a very weird way. And what when they start talking to a ghost… and the ghost answers!
There’s humour, and good feelings, and a warming sense of union. It’s a good story that makes you feel good.

And Never Leave the Path

“The wolf said, “You know, my dear, it isn’t safe for a little girl to walk through these woods alone.”

Red Riding Hood said, “I find your sexist remark offensive in the extreme, but I will ignore it because of your traditional status as an outcast from society, the stress of which has caused you to develop your own, entirely valid, worldview. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must be on my way.”

James Finn Garner, Politically Correct Bedtime Stories

and-never-leave-the-path

Thursday Quotables – The Black Orchid

The Black Orchid (Celine JeanJean)“See,” said Mizria, stepping up behind her. “You look lovely.”

If Rory had looked lovely, she certainly didn’t anymore, not when standing next to Mizria and there was a familiar safety in that. Rory knew how to be scrawny and filthy, she knew how to be invisible and pathetic, she even knew how to be brave. But she had no idea how to be lovely.

Rory tried grinning at the mirror, and was relieved to find the smile her reflection returned was definitely her own. That helped. She also found herself pleased that the girl in the mirror looked older than the sixteen years she had been pretending to for the last couple of years. She even looked a bit older than the eighteen years Rory suspected she was. Maybe she should try on an older age for a while. Eighteen or even nineteen might suit her. She’s have to work out what age would be more to her advantage.

“We’ll get you changed back into your normal clothes for the return,” said Mizria. “And we’ll wipe the makeup off. That way Rafe will get a real surprise when he sees you tonight.”

This time the mention of Rafe didn’t set of another deluge of nerves. Rory gave a final glance to the girl in the mirror. Maybe this was who she was supposed to be. She was still herself, but maybe this was the Rory of the future – a more confident and worldly Rory. A Rory who might not belong in the mension, but one who could navigate that wolrd.

Thursday Quotables MemeTHE BLACK ORCHID by Celine JeanJean is the second book in The Viper and the Urchin saga. It take place in a southern steampunk world, subtly different from the one we may be accustomed to, but still one full of mystery and plotting. The Black Orchid is structured like a mystery: there are murders going on and probably a plot to overthrow Damsport’s government. The pace is fast, enough to always have me willing to read a bit further and see where the story was going, but never so much as to get me confused at what’s happening.

And still, the characters are the true propellers of the story. As much as the mystery is engaging, what I really wanted to know was how Rory would fair with Rafe, how Longinus would cope with Rory’s changes and ambitions, what the hell was going on between the Old Girl and Mizria. I really enjoyed the fact that the story happened both in the streets of Damsport and inside Rory as she tried to sort out what happened to a few friends who disappeared (one turned up dead) and what was happening inside her heart and her mind.

I enjoyed this second installment in the series even more than I did the first The Bloddless Assassin (new title). And that’s saying something.

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In post is part of the Thursday Quotables mem. If you want to discover more about this meme and maybe take part in it, head over to Bookshelf Fantasies

How to complete the AtoZ Challenge even when life doesn’t collaborate (Reflection Post)

My second AtoZ Challange is over and let me tell you it didn’t go as I was expecting at all!

My plan was to get the best out of the challenge this year. When I entered last year, I thought I knew what I was getting into (insert polite giggle of commiseration here). The truth is, if only know what the challenge is but you’ve never tried it, you have no idea.
But I was a veteran, this year. This year I was in the know. I was going to blast the challenge.

As soon as my challenge last year was done, I knew what my theme was going to be this year. It was going to be a sort of continuation form last year Roaring Twenties theme. And I was equipped with what I had learned last year (a lot!). So really I was geared up for success.

A-to-Z Reflection [2016]

Plan the hack out of it

I know many says that you can write your posts on the day you post them, and hey, that’s exactly what I did on many occasions last year. Would I advice it? Hell, no! At least not when you’re going with a theme, and certainly not if you go with a theme that requires any kind of research.

And then there’s networking. I learned most of what I know about networking during last year challenge, so I thought I was a lot better-prepared than last year.

In short, I had a plan and this is what it sounded:

1. Brainstorm letters. Right now!

I started brainstorming last summer and only very yearly this year I had all the letters in place. Yes, it does take that long.
I know that many bloggers prefer not to have a theme, because they think it stiffens your creativity. I actually think a theme helps coming up with ideas and it makes the challenge cohesive, which is good for the reader and makes for a better experience for the reader – in my opinion.
Still, some letters will kill you and you have to be very creative with them.


2. It’s never too early to start researching

Of course, this goes with theme that require research. But if they do, by all means start as soon as you can.
I was lucky because I based my challenge on Ogren’s The Jazz Revolution, where I found almost all the ideas I needed a most of the information. But I had to reread the book and take notes, then I had to research more on the internet both for what I already had and for what I didn’t have. Yes, it is as time-consuming as it sounds. In fact, I started researching as soon as NaNoWriMo ended last year.


3. Write as your life depends on it

Jazz Age Jazz - Theme RevealLast year I thought starting to research and write a couple of month ahead would be more than enough time to be ready (insert polite giggle of commiseration here). This year I took taking notes and writing as two different activities and it was much better.
I set apart the entire month of March to write and edit my posts and I think it shows. Last year I wrote and edited posts as I went, just a couple days in advance when I was lucky. Having my time to write and edit as I need made my challenge of better quality – if I say so myself.


4. Take part in #AZChat

Last year I didn’t even know these chats where happening. I discovered them early in March and I decided to take part. Couldn’t have taken a better decision. I met new people on these chats, I learned about themes in advanced, I decided to follow a few blogs based on the chats. It was such a great fun.


5. Take part in the Theme Reveal

The Theme Reveal is a great head start to the challenge. You learn of a lot of blogs you want to follow and it allows for a lot of people to find you in advance.
For me, the Theme Reveal Day is one of the highlight of the challenge.


6. Beautify your posts

Here’s the thing: what your post looks like is as much important as what you write in it, and because this is a multimedia word, you should offer multimedia sources.
Simple as that.
So I ditched the simple structure of last year and went for a more varied, hopefully more alluring structure. I wanted a title image (Canva, I love you!), a tweetable sentence, link to all major sources I used, at least one pic from the era, one video with a song. And if you think this is going to be a piece-o-cake, think twice. Sure, you may got lucky and fine exactly the right pic and video with your first search. More realistically, you’ll search for tens of minutes before you find what you need. All think considered, my posts (which were already written and edited) took me an average of 40 minutes to put together, with Sensuality breking the record to nearly two hours (I couldn’t find a good title pic to go with it. I created and discarded two before settling with the one with Josephine Baker).
But it’s worth it. I think these little things that are such a pain in the back for us, are actually very much appreciated by reader. Right? Right?


7. You learn from it and that’s a pay-off in itself

This is a bonus. I assure you that, if you have a theme, by the time you’ve done researching and writing, you’ll be very knowledgeable about it. Maybe not an expert, but I assure you that 26 posts about a subject will have you know a lot about it whether you want it or not.

 

So, as April started, I felt I was in the best position to get the most out of this challenge as I had planned. I was ready!
How to complete the #AtoZChallenge even when life doesn’t collaborate (Reflection Post) Click To Tweet

 

Life will always happen

The first week was exactly how I expected it. My posts were all scheduled in advance, I replied to all the comments on my blog, I visited and left comments to all commenters, I read and commented on all the blogs I had on my blogroll. By Sunday, I was all caught up with comments and I even had the time to go exploring a few more blogs.
It was beautiful!

Then, on the second week of April, life happened. And hard.
My father had a mild heart attack. I spent two entire days with him at the hospital. He was getting on well, we hoped he would get home soon, instead the doctor told us the episode was mild and didn’t make any damage, but it was a spy of something more serious that had to be sorted out.
They went from thinking to place a stent to having my father have a full fledge open heart surgery to place two bypasses, all in the matter of a week. My brother, sister and me ran around the entire province as my father was moved to four different hospitals specialised in different things, and we worked our time with him around our day jobs and oThe AtoZChallenge Survivor badgeur possibility to move. By the end of the third week, as my father started leaving the bed, the three of us were pretty much cooked up.

My father is well now and getting better by the day. He’s still in rehab at a hospital on Lake Garda (not a bad place at all), and we’re waiting for him to come home in a week or two. This is what matters the most and everything else goes beneath this.

But with regard to my AtoZ Challenge… you’ll imagine what this April did to it. It wasn’t at all the challenge I planned. I could barely keep up with scheduling my posts. I could barely keep up with commenting. Some days I didn’t even open my feedly account to check on the new posts. I didn’t explore the blog list at all.
But what I did plan helped me enjoy the challenge nonetheless. If I hadn’t planned in advance, there would have probably been no challenge for me.

THEMES SHOUT OUT

In spite of everything, the challenge was wonderful. It was wonderful reading and interacting with you all and your enthusiasm and support was so important for me… on so many levels.
So I’d like to share with you some of the blogs I enjoyed the most. I want to thank everyone who commented on my blog and especially those who stuck with me the entire month. You are absolutely awesome, every one of your!

Your Roots Are Showing, Dearie – Nostalgia’s Mystery
This is a full fledged mystery story, even a bit too complicated in places for me – hey, there are code breaking and riddle solving involved, I’ll say no more. But it was so much fun. As it’s often the case for me, character are what make or break a story, and the characters here were just too fun and endearing. The tone was always amusing. It was a great fun to read.

Sophie’s Thoughts and Fumbles – Murder Most Foul!
Another mystery, though written in a very different manner. Sophie outlined the mystery more that actually writing it, and I found it so charming. Not only I enjoyed the story, but I also liked seeing how she organised and plotted it. There are dialogue outlines here, characters’ notes, as well as the skeleton of the plot.
I’m sure there will go a lot more in the actual book, but here you see the heart of the story.

Megan Morgan – Pandora Tacklebox
Or the worse romance ever written in 26 days. Absolutely fantastic read!
Yes, this is a terribly written story, Megan did such a good job. She packed in here all the worse things a write could do, and wrote her story in the worse possible way, then accompanied every chapter with advice on how to actually write a story.
It was interesting and fun.

Athertone Magic Vapour – Who Murdered Lord Cadblister?
Ok ok, I had a thing for stories this year. The point of this challenge was to showcase fictional books (as in, books existing only in a fictional world) but most of these books told a story.
This was a very peculiar challenge, gothic books, beautifully designed, that actually told stories. What can one ask for more?

The Multicoloured Diary – Representation and Diversity in Storytelling
We tend to think that stories in the past didn’t concern themselves with diversity all that much. Zalka, who’s a professional storyteller, showed us that’s not always the case. She showcased a variety of stories where the most diverse people make the coolest things.
A different way to look at folktales.

Write on Sister – Masterplot Theatre
There are many plots in storytelling and most show up time and again. They have a similar structure and similar goal. Robin and Heather explored these masterplots revealing their characteristics and offering examples.

The Art of Not Getting Published – Discover the XVI Century
I can hardly resist a good history blog when I stumble upon one, so I was very happy to discover this. It tells about the XVI century worlds as if it were today, sometimes expanding on different eras too. I don’t think I’m far from truth if I say that the most popular post was about bathrooms thorough the ages.

Knotholes and Textures – Classic Hollywood
Another good history challenge, this one about Hollywood of the Golden Age, from the 1920s to the 1950s. I enjoyed reading this blog because it often crossed subjects with mine. And learning about Hollywood events, gossips, actors, films and the like was just too interesting.

 

Honestly, I could go on for quite a bit longer.
But you know what? I’ll leave it to you. Which is the blog/blogs that you enjoyed the more last month? Leave the link in the comment. Hey, I might just catch up on what I missed during the month!

The Liebster Award – Sharing the love

Nasim from nasim.com nominated me for the Liebster Award. This is the second time that a fellow blogger nominates me for this award and I can’t tell you how excited and grateful I am. Receiving an award is always thrilling, but it’s even more so when a fellow blogger awards you for you efforts on your blog. It’s like receiving praise for your story from a fellow writer: of course praise from readers is fantastic, but from a fellow writer is more meaningful because they know firsthand what work and what dedication goes into writing. I suppose it’s the same thing for all craftsmen.

So thank you Nasim for thinking about me and my blog, particularly considering that you were so picky about your nominations. I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate this.

The Liebster Award

 

Rules of the Liebster Award

 

If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award and you chose to accept it, write a blog post about the Liebster Award in which you:

  • Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog in your post.
  • Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”.
  • Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.
  • Provide 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers.
  • Create a new list of questions for the nominees to answer
  • List these rules in your post (copy and paste from here). Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
  • Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster Award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)

 

11 questions Nasim asked me

  1. Do you have goals for your blog? What are they? 

    I could say the goal for my blog is to share what I like, particularly about history and my stories.
    I started out my blog as a tool, because everybody says an author should have a blog, but then the blog became the goal. Now I don’t write my blog because I’m an author and I should do it, but because I love it. My blog has allowed me to meet people I would have never met in any other way, and unlike so many other socials, the blog allows me to really interact with them in a meaningful way.
    I just love it.

  2. Do you share your blog with people you know in person? 

    I try to, but unfortunately not many of the people I know in person speak English well enough to read and comment on a blog.
    And I have to say that here in Italy people online seem to be mostly engaged with FaceBook, they don’t seem to use other socials quite as much. I’m not on FaceBook, so…

  3. What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? 

    Nothing comes to mind straight away, so I suppose I’ve never eaten anything that I consider weird. Besides, I’m very open-minded with food. I like to try new things and explore. I’m also not very picky, so that helps.

  4. What kind of blogs do you like to read the most? 

    I like history blogs, because I love history. I read a lot of “writing help” blogs. I like reading writers’ blogs when they don’t just speak about their own stories, but address the publishing industry in a larger way… especially if these are people with experience. And surprisingly, I like reading about marketing. Would have never imagined that a few years ago.

  5. Do you have a blogging schedule? 

    Yes, I use a calendar to schedule my posts. I have one embedded into my WordPress but I also use a paper one. I’m old-fashioned like that, I’ll always prefer paper over screen.

  6. If you could have any kind of pet, what would it be? 

    A horse. I’ve always loved horses, but I’ve never had the possibility to ride. That’s such a shame for me.
    I have a cat, Apache. He’s my sweetheart.
    Besides, I love all kinds of animal… except bugs. I don’t like bugs, but I just leave them alone.

  7. What is your own personal favorite of your own blog posts, and why? 

    My favourite posts so far is Decalration of love to my favourite author, Sharman Alexis. That’s probably one of my most personal posts on the blog, but it also speaks about my aspirations as a writer. And of course it speaks about a person whose work I really admire.

  8. What about you now would shock the you from 10 years ago? 

    Shock? That’s quite a strong world.
    I don’t think my self of ten years ago would be shocked of anything I’m doing now, but she would definitely be very surprised about a few things.
    First: that I’m on social medias. For a long time, I had no interest in social medias, I just thought it wasn’t something for me. But then I got involved for the same reason I got a blog: as an author, I was supposed to. And just like the blog, I discovered I actually like social medias. I don’t think I need to be on all of them, some (like FaceBook) just don’t allure me. But there are others that I find useful and fun.
    Second: I like marketing. I’ve always thought I’m not a marketing person, but then I discovered modern marketing is a lot more about sharing and less about hard sells, and I can definitely go with this. It’s like a challenge, you know? Selling your stories by sharing what you like. And I can hardly resist a challenge.
    Third: I’m a self-published author. I’ve always thought I wasn’t interested in self-publishing, because I’d like a traditional path to publication. I still want that, but I’ve discovered that self-publishing has its good aspects to it, and I’m trying to learn the most from it. Besides, I believe in the future all authors will be hybrid.

  9. What is your favorite way to interact with other bloggers? 

    Comments. I love receiving comments and writing comments on other blogs. I like social media, too. I like sharing blog posts I liked. But as I mentioned, blogs are my favourite part in social networking, because… I don’t know. It feels more human.

  10. What was the first blog you remember reading 

    I don’t remember what was called, but it was about writing. At that time (it must have been seven or eight years ago) I was member of an online writing workshop and one day I discovered one of the girls I followed had a blog. I didn’t even know what that was, back then, but as I visited it I was fascinated. It was a way to share knowledge.
    Through her blogroll, I found many other similar blogs, a completely new world.
    So, I suppose blogs called to me from the beginning, but for a long time I thought I really had nothing worth to share on a blog of my own.

  11. What is something you’re looking forward to this month? 

    My father coming back from hospital.

 

11 random things about myself

  1. I was actually born in Isola della Scala, a village close to Verona, but I always say I’m from Verona, because I love the city. I think it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world.
  2. As much as I love Verona, I think everyone has a ‘place of the heart’, where we were not born, but it feels like home nonetheless. For me, that place is Dublin.
  3. I lived and worked in Dublin on an off, sometimes for months long periods, from 1998 to 2004. I still visit as often as I can.
  4. When I wrote my fist story, at nine, my father asked me why I wanted to tell stories. I didn’t know back then. I still don’t know now.
  5. I’ve been a Michael Jackson fan ever since I first saw Billie Jean on tv when I was ten.
  6. The first fantasy novel I read was The Elfstones of Shannara
  7. My favourite fantasy author is David Gemmell.
  8. I first heard about Prohibition in a history lesson at school when I was nine. I thought it was such a crazy idea it deserved a story.
  9. History was my favourite subject at school.
  10. I decided I should write in English rather than Italian in 1998. I started writing directly in English (not translating from Italian) in 2007
  11. I’ve been a bookseller for twelve years. With some luck, I’ll continue being a bookseller in future years

 

April was the AtoZ Challenge month, and we can say the challenge is not over yet, since the Reflection post is due next week. So I’d like to nominate a few fellow AtoZ-ers for this award.

Molly @ My Cozy Book Nook
Megan @ Megan Morgan Author
Roland @ Writing Wings
Susan @ The Art of not Getting Published
Barb @ Knotholes and Textures
Lenni @ What They Are
Melanie @ Atherton’s Magic Vapour
Zalka @ The Multicolored Diary
The Girls @ Write on sisters
Sir LeprecaunrabbitYour Roots Are Showing, Dearie
Erin@ Part Time Monster

 

And these are the questions for them, of course are about blogging:

  1. When your started your blog, did you know what you were doing?
  2. Many writers I know tell me they don’t blog because they prefer to write their own stories. Why do you?
  3. Do you plan your posts?
  4. Do you stick to a posting schedule?
  5. When you sighed up for the AtoZ Challenge the first time, did you know what you were doing?
  6. What were you thinking when you sighed up the second time?
  7. I can hardly resist a blogging challenge. Do you participate in many?
  8. What is the blogging challenge which was the most fun for you?
  9. Did you ever produce a vlog? If not, would you consider doing it?
  10. Have you ever read articles about marketing to learn promoting your blog?
  11. Do you think writing a blog is the same as writing a book?

Again, thanks so much to Nasim for giving me the possibility to share the love.