Hello, my dear friends!!

This evening I was comfortably sitting in my sofa, watching TV, checking my Twitter, and talking to friends on FB. Suddenly, my Stupidphone (because a BlackBerry can hardly be called a Smartphone, seeing how faulty it is) beeped. I got an email. And from my illustrator, no less. When I opened it, I saw that it contained the final illustration, fully-coloured, for my story called "Little Nani Meets Thunder". I couldn't believe my eyes. If the sketch was good, the final result is amazing!!

So, taking into account that I am very happy, I bring you here a preview of this illustration to be included in my book. I hope you like it as much as I do. Please, leave comments. All you know that I love getting feedback!! Come on, show me some love in comment form :D

 
 
I am delighted to tell everybody that my book is going in the right track to be published and out for sale very very soon. The illustrations are getting ready and they are A-MA-ZING!! I am very happy for having found this incredibly talented illustrator, since she has been able to reflect in her drawings the spirit of Little Nani just as I had imagined her in my imagination.

Just today I got the sketch of what it will be the main illustration of the book. The illustration that I will try to convince my publisher to use as the cover of the book. And as a special treat, I will let you all preview the sketch. I think that when it is finished at full colour, it will look fantastic. Enjoy this exclusive preview and let me know what you think. Feedback from my possible readers is very important for me.

 
 
Well, today it has been a productive day after all. I have written a whole story (2136 words), I have written my weekly post about Spanish Tapas (223 words), and I am writing this post (391 words). I haven't managed to write any Little Nani story today, but I have planned a new Little Nani adventure to be written tomorrow. I think it is going to be a funny one, and also a good one. I guess that I will get to write around 2500 words on this one, and this story will be the last one in the book :D

It has been also a very busy day in the kitchen. Tomorrow and the day after tomorrow I have to go to hospital with my dad (routine checkups), so I have had to cook lunch for today, tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow. Fortunately, I am very organized in the kitchen, so I am able to do several things at the same time, and I planned dishes that I could cook simultaneously in the stove and the oven, so the cooking process of one dish or the other wouldn't interfere in the rest of the meals.

I have also found the time to do some exercise, though I had to stop after 15 minutes due to my painful back. But at least I managed to do some stretching using my big Pilates ball. Tomorrow I have a new session with my physiotherapist, so I hope the pain in my back eases a bit. And once she has fixed my back, I will tell her to set a series of exercises to strengthen my back. I also want to start exercising again in my elliptical bike... summer will be soon here!! :D

Finally, I have news about Little Nani. I finally found an illustrator I can work with. She is Spanish and a very good artist. She sent me a sketch of Little Nani only two hours after me telling her what I wanted. I was amazed, both for how fast she works and for the pictures. They really were what I had in mind for my book!! I want to share with you here one of the sketches she made for me, and the colour sketch she made of Little Nani. I am very happy, but I also want to hear your opinion, dear friends.

 
 
Just a quick post because I feel guilty when I don't write anything in any of my blogs. Since I am very tired and I didn't know what to talk about in a post, I will let you know what I am dealing with these days. I am busy on busy!! Not only my students are approaching their final exams before Easter, but I have to take care of my house and dad, and also keep on writing my Little Nani stories. Sometimes I feel like giving up and just screaming, but don't worry, I am not a quitter. I am an Arian, almost a Taurus, so I am very stubborn LOL :D

Anyway, what am I doing these days? Well, I have been writing more Little Nani stories, and I am happy about the time it is taking me to write them. I think I can have all the stories for the book ready before the summer. I am also writing another different set of short stories, for a next new collection. I am doing several experiments with my writing, and some of them are being posted here and will be posted here for everybody to give me feedback.

Right now I am working on a writing project with D.e.e.L., the writer, who goes by the handle @Deeliopunk in Twitter (follow him and read his blogs, you won't regret that). We are working on a guest post to swap blogs very soon, and we want it to be new, original, unexpected, and a surprise for everybody. I am sure it will be fun for everybody.

Also, I don't let myself forget that I am a bookworm, so I am reading on a daily basis. Nowadays I am reading Poker Face, by Jess Sturman, in order to write a review. So far I am enjoying the book and I think it is an interesting read. You all will know when I am finished, since I will post my review in my second blog.

And that's all for now. Busy on busy. Always the busy bee. Luckily, I am a multitasker!! :D

 
 
I haven't been writing here for a while now, and I was feeling bad. The truth is that these last days have been really hectic, with lots of writing to do and lots of reading to catch up with. As many of you know now because I have been telling it both in my Twitter and my Facebook accounts, a publisher got really interested in my Little Nani stories, so I signed a Publishing Agreement with them. That makes me really happy. Regardless of the number of copies that I will manage to sell, I will be happy anyways. My dream was to publish at least one book along my life. Now that dream will come true. That's all that matters to me right now.

So I am very busy working on my Little Nani stories. I have planned to write a set of 20 stories, since I think it is a good number of stories for a children book. Every story will have an illustration, so it will be more appealing to children. The illustrations will be very colourful, since the publishing people told me that they never publish black and white children books; always with very colourful illustrations. That makes sense. Children need colours to feel attracted to a book :D

I am also busy reading books. Nowadays I am reading "A Home With No Roof", by Wayne W. Whicher, a really interesting and surprising thriller. I have many others books waiting for me to read them, especially the ones that are waiting for a review. When I finish reading Wayne's reading, I will be reading "Poker Face", by Jess Sturmann; I am quite looking forward, since after reading the synopsis I really think it is the kind of book that can hook me up from the beginning. I hope I won't be disappointed.

I also beta-read sometimes. I just finished reading a manuscript, and tomorrow I will write the review with my opinions and corrections for the author. I hope they are useful because the story is a good one; it just needs some polishing :D

So this is all I am doing right now (apart from my actual job at my school, my looking after my dad, and my taking care of my house). A busy bee through and through :D

 
 
"This horse is a real bookworm indeed", thought Little Nani in her way to the little town. Little Nani was walking towards the bookshop, since the horse had made it very clear that he wanted to read some of Georgette Heyer's books. "But, what about Jane Austen?" asked Little Nani to the horse. "Oh, I read all of them already" said the horse quite matter-of-factly. "How! In two days?" exclaimed Little Nani, utterly astonished. "Why, they were very nice and I had nothing else to do" said the horse, boldly.

"OK, I will go to the bookshop to get the book for you" agreed Little Nani. "Can't you make them appear here by using your magic wand?" asked the horse. "Oh no, I just took the elementary course. And, anyway, any time I take my magic wand out of my pocket, my two ostriches cringe and run away. I wonder why..." said Little Nani.

A screeching sound startled Little Nani, who jumped in the air, did a flip, and fell on her feet again. "Oh, dear, did I scare you?" said the horse. "I was trying to play this accordion, but I guess I am not gifted to do that" explained the horse, while one of the ostriches was angrily pecking at the horse's side. "Oh, don't worry" said Little Nani, "but you'd better stop trying to play that accordion. It belongs to Skinny Nikki and he is very possessive about it" added Little Nani with a nod towards the angry ostrich.

"WATCH OUT!!" The loud shout made Little Nani wake up from her daydreaming, she jumped in the air for the second time on that fine morning, did a double flip and landed on top of a tree. "Hey, little girl! Are you OK?" said a voice. Little Nani looked down from her vantage point on top of the tree and saw a turtle. "Oh, yes, kind turtle, I am fine, but you scared me. Why did you shout at me like that?" said Little Nani. "Well, I didn't want to knock you out with my super-high speed" explained the turtle. "Super-high speed?" asked Little Nani in awe. "I thought that turtles were slow animals."

"Nonsense! We are very fast, but we like keeping secrets, so we pretend we are slow", said the turtle. "But you are telling me the secret now, so you are not keeping the secret any longer" claimed Little Nani. The turtle went from his natural green colour to a very  deep shade of red. "Oh, no, now They will punish me!" blurted the turtle. "Who?" asked Little Nani. "They!" said the turtle. "But who are them?" insisted Little Nani, a bit exasperated. "I am telling you! They!" said the turtle. "Our chief turtle's name is They." "Ah, that makes sense then" said Little Nani. "And what is your name, dear turtle?"

"My name is Thunder, and I am the fastest turtle in this region", said proudly the little turtle. "My name is Little Nani, and I am not very fast, but I have other skills. I wonder..." Little Nani smiled cunningly, as a fantastic and absurd idea started forming in her head. "What's wrong, Little Nani?" asked Thunder, the turtle, with a worried look. "Oh, nothing to worry about" said Little Nani while rummaging inside her little pocket. "What are you looking for?" wanted to know Thunder, the turtle. "I need my magic wand" said Little Nani. "Oh, here it is!" and with a fancy, silly movement, she took it out of her pocket.

"Ooooh, you are a witch!!" said Thunder, the turtle, scared and attempting to run away. "STOP!" said Little Nani. "If you let me cast a spell on you, I won't tell They that you told me your secret about your amazing speed." Thunder, the turtle, considered the options for a moment and then said, "What kind of spell?" "Oh, a very simple one. A spell to make you big enough so I can ride you to the town and back home" explained Little Nani. "But if you enlarge me, everybody will see me and my secret won't be safe again" complained Thunder, the turtle. "True, but you haven't heard the second part of my plan. Once you have taken me back to my house, I will make you small again, and then I will cast a spell on the town so everybody will forget about having seen a big, fast turtle" said the smiley Little Nani.

"Are you sure it will work?" asked Thunder, the turtle, full of doubts. "Yeah, because I found the lost magic lessons. They had gone to my Spam folder, but now I recovered them" said Little Nani, happily. "Have you learnt those lessons?" asked Thunder, the turtle. "No, but I am telling you that I found them. Oh, you don't understand me! You are just as Big Billy and Skinny Nikki. They didn't trust me either" said Little Nani, folding arms and pouting.

"Oh, yes, Little Nani. I trust you" said Thunder, the turtle. "Let's do it." He was worried about Little Nani spilling the beans about the secret. "OK then, so don't move." Little Nani made some silly movements with her arms and said some bombastic words while pointing at the little turtle with her magic wand.

There was a blinding flash of light and lots of sparks ran wildly across the air. When everything went calm again and Little Nani opened her eyes, she saw that Thunder, the turtle, was as big as her ostriches... Oh wait... "Uh-oh, if I had taken one of my ostriches to go to the town, this wouldn't be happening now. Silly me!" thought Little Nani.

Once Little Nani was sitting astride on top of Thunder, the turtle, the trip to the town and back home just took them a few minutes. Little Nani's cheeks were flushed because of the exhilarating super-high speed of her ride on top of the turtle. "There you go" said Little Nani to the horse, handing him a bag full of books. "But these are not the books I asked for" complained the horse. "I know, they didn't have Georgette Heyer's books, so I bought Victoria Holt's books instead. You will like them. After all, both authors' surnames start with the same letter" giggled Little Nani. Fuming and muttering imprecations under his breath, the horse went inside to settle to read. "You'd better solve that problem with the turtle, before someone comes to ask about it" said the horse before disappearing.

Little Nani thanked Thunder, the turtle, for giving her the lift to the town and back home. First, Little Nani cast the spell to make Thunder be small again, and it worked again. Now it was time to cast the spell to make the people in the town forget their shock of watching a huge turtle running at top speed all over the town.

Little Nani closed her eyes to fully concentrate on the spell, stretched her arms before her, and started muttering words in a solemn voice. After a couple of minutes, a web of colourful strings started flowing from her magic wand and started surrounding Thunder, the turtle, and it extended across the fields. The strings disappeared little by little, and Little Nani said, "All done. Now your secret is safe." "Thank you, Little Nani, you are a good girl" said Thunder, the turtle. "And now I must go. See you soon."

Thunder, the turtle, turned around and made a movement to start running as fast as he could, but he fell on the ground, face first. "What is this? What happens? I cannot run!" Little Nani was tiptoeing to the house, but Thunder, the turtle, stopped her with an angry shout. "Oi! You cast the wrong spell and made me be slow." "I am so sorry. I told you I haven't finished the magic course yet. I guess now all you turtles are slow. So no problem. People will think they dreamt about a very fast turtle and will forget about it soon" said Little Nani, sheepishly. Thunder, the turtle, looked at Little Nani with scorn and left.

And that is why turtles are so very slow.

 
 
Clop, clop, clop. The noise was getting nearer. Clop, clop, clop. Nearer and nearer. The little girl was not scared, she was just curious about the noise she could hear. Clop, clop, clop. She wondered what kind of transport could make that funny noise. Suddenly she saw a black figure coming towards her. Really fast. Faster and faster. CLOP, CLOP, CLOP. She thought that maybe it would be sensible to move out of the way of the black figure approaching her, but something told her that everything would be fine if she stood exactly where she was.

"STOP!! Good boy," said the boy riding the horse, since it was a horse what it was making that noise against the dry road. "Hello, Little Nani. Would you like a ride on my horse?" Little Nani looked at her friend, Big Billy, surprised that he was riding a horse. "Where did you find that horse?" "It was a present. My neighbour asked me to help him to do some cleaning in the stables, and when we were finished, he said he didn't want a horse any more. So he gave it to me." Little Nani nodded to show she had understood.

"Do you want to ride the horse with me?" asked Big Billy. "No, thanks, I am allergic to horses" said Little Nani while stroking the horse's head. "If you are allergic, why are you touching it?" asked Big Billy. "Because I like touching horses" said Little Nani, as if it were an absolute truth. "Then why don't you ride it with me?" insisted Big Billy. Little Nani threw at him an exasperated look and said, "Because if I ride it, I will touch it and I am allergic to horses". "But you are already touching it!" said Big Billy. "But I don't want to ride your horse", said Little Nani with a determined look.

At that moment they heard a loud noise, "CRACK!!" After their initial surprise, they realised it was the noise produced by their friend Skinny Nikki when appearing. He didn't like walking like a normal person, so he learnt to appear out of thin air wherever he thought he could be, or at any place where he knew his friends would be. As usual, he was holding his accordion. "Hey!! You got a horse, Big Billy!! Can I ride it?" asked Skinny Nikki. "No, I am asking Little Nani to ride it with me." Big Billy didn't like Skinny Nikki because all girls in the town liked him so much. Skinny Nikki could be always where the girls where, and they liked his sudden apparitions because they found them funny and they could dance while he played his accordion. They were always scared at first, but then they all started giggling and joking with him. What nobody knew was that Skinny Nikki was gay and he didn't like girls at all, but he found it funny to startle them and at the same time to annoy Big Billy.

"But Little Nani won't ride it with you. She is allergic to horses." "Thanks a lot, Skinny Nikki, at least someone listens to me when I talk" said Little Nani while rolling her eyes. "Men!" she thought. "You two, guys, go for a ride with the horse. I want to ride an ostrich" said Little Nani. "Have you got an ostrich?" asked Skinny Nikki with wide eyes. "Of course not! How was I going to have an ostrich? What an absurd thought!!" "But you said you want to ride an ostrich..." "Oh, guys, you don't understand anything. I said I WANT to ride an ostrich, not that I HAVE an ostrich" Little Nani was becoming a master in rolling her eyes. These guys were a bit slow to get things.

Little Nani thought that maybe if they could become adults in a faster way, they would understand her better. However, that was a funny thought since she was only 8 years old and the two boys were 14; but everybody knows that girls are more mature than boys. All of a sudden, Little Nani remembered that she had a magic wand in the pocket of her dress. So she took the magic wand out of her pocket (and we won't explain here how a 15-cm magic wand could fit in a 5x4-cm pocket, but it really fit in).

"Hey, guys, can you look at me for a moment?" she asked to Big Billy and Skinny Nikki. Both boys turned to her, interrupting their interesting conversation about whether it was a sensible thing for polar bears to be white, taking into account that they lived in a white place. "What is that that you got in your hand?" asked Big Billy. "It is a magic wand. Can you two please stand still and in silence for a minute?" said Little Nani. "Are you sure that you know how to use that?" asked Skinny Nikki. "Yes, pretty sure. I took an e-mail course about the use of magic wands and I got this one as a present at the end of the course" answered Little Nani. "Did you pass the course?" asked Big Billy with a raised eyebrow. "No, but it doesn't matter. It cannot be very difficult" said Little Nani with confidence. Both Big Bill and Skinny Nikki looked at each other in horror and turned around to run away as fast as they could. Big Billy tried to ride his horse, but the horse was sitting under a tree reading a Jane Austen book and said "Please, don't bother me when I am deep in my reading".

Big Billy and Skinny Nikki started to run, but Little Nani muttered some words under her breath and pointed at both boys with her magic wand. Everybody could hear a ZOOM!!! and even the horse raised its head for a second from the book to see what had happened. "Ooops!! I guess I cast the wrong spell" said Little Nani with flushed cheeks. "Anyway, every cloud has a silver lining and now I can try something that I had always wanted to do" concluded Little Nani with a wide smile.

She had tried to cast a spell on the boys to make them grow up faster, but she got it wrong and turned them into ostriches. "I always wanted to ride an ostrich.... and now I have two ostriches!!" Little Nani was happy beyond words, and she thought that maybe one day she would get another e-mail from the 'Little Witch Course' and she would be able to know how to turn them back into their original form. She chose one of the ostriches to go for a ride across the corn fields, and the other ostrich sat under a tree with the horse, and started reading a thriller novel. Little Nani thought that maybe the ostrich would get to know some method to kill her or take revenge of her, but right now she could only think of having fun while riding her brand new ostrich.