When In Italy…

Leave the gun, eat that cannoli!

I spent about a month in Italy last summer and I’d like to share some tips with you.

– If you’re planning to go during the summer and doing some sightseeing in the open I would highly suggest you bring sunglasses and a hat and perhaps even sunscreen. You can buy hats with local vendors but they all sell the same type which means if you wear it you’re pretty much identified as a tourist. I haven’t seen any locals wearing any kind of hat other than kids with baseball caps.

– Walking tours do a lot of… walking! So wear proper footwear if youre planning on doing that.

– Venice has two train stations; if you like to go to the station that leads directly into the city itself take the Venize Sta. Lucia station.

– Florence also has two major stations- if you want one that is in the heart of the city then take the Firenze SM Novella station.

– To get to places like Pompeii, Herculaneum and Sorrento by train you need to go to the central station in Naples then go down one level to the Circumvesuviana ticket office and buy a ticket to their train there.

– When buying bottled water in Italy they have two types: sparkling and standard. If you dont like fizzy water then always ask for “naturale”.

– There are water fountains all over Rome which have good clean water in which you can freely refill your water bottles.

– Bologna central station has multiple levels with some platform tracks numbered the same. A point of reference is that the slow moving trains occupy the top part of the station and the high speed train platforms are underground.

– If you buy a ticket at the station dont forget to validate them before you board. There are little green oval machines close to the platform for you to validate them. E-tickets with seat numbers do not need to be validated.

– Recently Italy enacted a tourist tax for people staying in hotels. They will be charged on a per day basis so be prepared to pay up.

– A number of museums offer English audio guides. You need to deposit an ID/credit card if you get them but I notice that many of them accept photocopies of passports so its a cheap way to get it.

That’s all I could think of right now so if you’re going there, have fun!


Oscar Wilde, On Writing

Oscar was a hippy before the word even came about!

I believe this excerpt is from a book that I had read many many years ago but I can’t remember the name:

“Oscar Wilde said, when asked the difference between a professional writer and an amateur, the difference is that an amateur writes when he feels like it; a professional writes regardless.”

Yeah, I think it just about summarizes what it means to be a writer.

A Professional Cover

Right. So I just decided to bite the bullet and let a professional do my book covers for me. Over at the Writer’s Café at Kboards (link here) I noticed in one post that a fellow writer suggested a site that she used for her e-book covers so I went ahead and looked at the pre-made book covers they had available.

After perusing for a bit I chose what I felt was the best one that could represent my upcoming novel and so here it is:

A professionally done e-book cover.
A professionally done e-book cover.

I like it. It captures the mood and the general plot of the book since it takes place in Asia and there’s many scenes in the red-light districts of the region. It is after all a gritty crime novel and I wanted it to reflect that. While I have nothing against models being placed on covers I would prefer not to have anyone’s face on the covers of my books simply because I would prefer the reader to come up with how the characters in my novels would look like using their own imaginations so I prefer to go for cityscapes or abstract art.

I guess it will be up to the market to decide if I chose the right cover.

The website where I got it from is: GoOnWrite (How very witty.)

James is an excellent graphic artist and author in his own right. If you’re looking for well made, professional e-book (and print) covers at an affordable price then I would suggest you check his site out.


Just do what it says!

A few days ago I finally completed my first ever manuscript!

Around 77,000+ words and I have just begun my personal review and revisions before it goes to the editors for their take on it. I have a feeling they will probably pare down the prose and tighten it up so in the end it will be less than my word count estimate. As an amateur I’m pretty sure there will be plenty of mistakes but I am ready for the criticism that comes- if you’re not willing to hear the truth you can’t be a real writer as they say.

There was both a feeling of relief and a creeping sense that I needed to do more of these in order to truly become a well-known author. Already I have new ideas as to whether I should write within the same genre or try my luck at other types of fiction. Since I read all kinds of books I am tempted to do the latter even though many experienced authors warn against it.

But then again it’s always the first that’s the hardest to do, as they say as well.

Let’s hope they’re right!


Hi there, I’m John Triptych and welcome to my blog.

I used to be a fanfiction author (My profile on fanfiction.net is still active) about ten years ago until I met a published author who told me I was better off writing for money. My work and personal life interfered with those initial plans but now that I’m semi-retired I decided to start writing again.

I’m kinda new at this so bear with me and if you have any questions about my work please feel free to chime in. Since I’m a newbie I hope to respond to anybody who wishes to ask questions or make comments.

Thanks for reading!