Monthly Archives: January 2009

And now for something really geeky…

If I were a D&D character I would be a: True Neutral Human Sorcerer (10th Level)
Ability Scores:
Strength- 14
Dexterity- 16
Constitution- 16
Intelligence- 14
Wisdom- 14
Charisma- 15
True Neutral- A true neutral character does what seems to be a good idea. He doesn’t feel strongly one way or the other when it comes to good vs. evil or law vs. chaos. Most true neutral characters exhibit a lack of conviction or bias rather than a commitment to neutrality. Such a character thinks of good as better than evil after all, he would rather have good neighbors and rulers than evil ones. Still, he’s not personally committed to upholding good in any abstract or universal way. Some true neutral characters, on the other hand, commit themselves philosophically to neutrality. They see good, evil, law, and chaos as prejudices and dangerous extremes. They advocate the middle way of neutrality as the best, most balanced road in the long run. True neutral is the best alignment you can be because it means you act naturally, without prejudice or compulsion. However, true neutral can be a dangerous alignment because it represents apathy, indifference, and a lack of conviction.

Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Sorcerers- Sorcerers are arcane spellcasters who manipulate magic energy with imagination and talent rather than studious discipline. They have no books, no mentors, no theories just raw power that they direct at will. Sorcerers know fewer spells than wizards do and acquire them more slowly, but they can cast individual spells more often and have no need to prepare their incantations ahead of time. Also unlike wizards, sorcerers cannot specialize in a school of magic. Since sorcerers gain their powers without undergoing the years of rigorous study that wizards go through, they have more time to learn fighting skills and are proficient with simple weapons. Charisma is very important for sorcerers; the higher their value in this ability, the higher the spell level they can cast.


I’ll Play

I got this from Bob Freeman’s blog:


Grab the book nearest you. Right now. Turn to page 56. Find the fifth sentence. Post that sentence along with these instructions on your blog. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.


“There is neither this world nor the world beyond nor happiness for the one who doubts.”


–Think and Grow Rich! The Original Version, Restored and Revised by Napoleon Hill, edited by Ross Cornell.  This sentence is quoted in TGR! From the Bhagavad-Gita.




While doing some weekly planning tonight I had the Golden Globes on in the background. Stephen Spielberg gave a speech that, although might be considered terribly self-indulgent, centered on his inspiration to become a director. And this got me thinking about those who inspired me to want to write short fiction and novels. So here’s my terribly self-indulgent post.


Originally, I wanted to be a comic book artist. Back in the 1980’s those guys were like rock stars and the art seemed to leap off the page straight into my imagination. I spent countless hours trying to learn to draw so I could tell stories graphically. Then I read an interview by Jim Starlin, a comic book artist, writer, and creator, in either Epic Illustrated or Comic Scene. In the interview Starlin stated that he might start writing exclusively because of how long it was taking him to complete the artwork. At that time I hadn’t thought of writing my stories without pictures. That’s when I started writing.


In 1985 I walked into a convenience store and pursued a small carousel of paperback originals. One novel stood out but since $4.25 was a lot in those days, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted it, I decided not to buy the novel. It was a good thing that another horror lover didn’t go into that store in the interim because, for some reason, I couldn’t stop thinking about that novel. In the morning I ran down to the store and bought Darklings by Ray Garton. After reading the book I knew I wanted to be a horror writer.


Then in 2000 I found out my friend and dojo senior Jon Merz had just received a four book deal with Pinnacle.  At that time I had never met anyone who had a book deal and this realization made me believe that getting published wasn’t just a dream but that it was possible. And from that time on I’ve been writing and submitting.  


2008 Goals Achieved…Now onto 2009…

Every year I keep a record of all my accomplishments as a way of measuring my progress in the key areas of my life. I also post a select number of these accomplishments and or progress in my blog as a way of providing leverage to continue achieving. Here they are in no particular order:

Writing Goals

Submitted short stories to 15 fiction markets
Made key decisions about my writing career and the fiction genre and form I’ll be pursuing in the coming year.
In combination with my creative writing class, I wrote two literary fiction stories.
Won a contest to have 100 pages of my novel reviewed by a former Tor Books editor. I received the evaluation and found it helpful.
Edited 200 pages of my first novel.
Joined Author’s Den but I haven’t done anything with it yet.
Provided information for students who were interested in writing and publishing

I have to admit I’m a little disappointed. A year has gone by and I didn’t get any short fiction sales. To be fair, I spent a good deal of time working on novel length fiction and didn’t write much new short fiction. Still, it’s kind of a punch in the gut not to make any headway on short fiction sales. My creative writing class gave me the opportunity to work on some “literary” fiction and I’m hoping it will be good enough to sell. I might also be able to take some of our exercises and urn them into flash pieces. I’ve already ramped up my efforts to start gaining momentum for the new year.

I was able to edit a good amount of my first novel (this is really my second novel but the first one is such a mess I’ve abandoned it for now). I also picked up on a theme that I need to bring out more fully to make the book as unique as I’d like it to be. But I’ve found that I don’t have a lot of patience in the editing department. This means I’ll be writing more slowly and methodically so I don’t have as much editing to complete at the end of a 400 page manuscript. And the editing has kept me away from at least three projects I’d like to start and/or continue.

Martial Arts Goals

I attended the grand opening of the Winchendon Martial Arts Center
Regrettably I was unable to attend New England Warrior Camp this year.
I bought a boken with a scabbard to practice sword draws
I bought a flex action sword and bo for full speed training.
Bought two Tiger Claw TC 2000 Gloves for randori etc.
Earned 4th Kyu
Attended SKH Boston Seminar
Attended 2008 SKH Fall Festival
Began training Patty in some basics (kihon)

This was a tough year for me physically. I damaged my shoulder during training and I’m still working on getting back to 100%. Then I suffered through a stubborn bout of bronchitis. My coursework also took up more time than I expected. Still, I was able to go to all the seminars with the exception of New England Warrior Camp. This would have been my eighth year at this event and I hated not being able to go. My college classes were more a barrier to NEWC than my health. Some weight also snuck up on me but I already started my plan to get rid of it. I’m hoping for a much more vibrant 2009

Business Goals

Continued selling books and DVDs on Amazon
Made major progress and major decisions on a business I’m not at liberty to discuss at this time.


Had my shoulder and knee fixed at Muscular Solutions
Bought digestive enzymes to use with Protonix
Had teeth cleaned twice and an old filling replaced
Began using a prescription toothpaste with extra fluoride
Started taking Zyteck for allergies
Got over a really bad case of bronchitis
Had a check up with my doctor.


Had a scratch fixed on the rear quarter of my car
Had front end on Patty’s car replaced after it was hit in the parking lot at work
Completed all regular maintenance on vehicles.


Became an affiliate of a program that didn’t pan out but was a good experience
Patty got a new job that she really likes and a pay increase
We increased 401K contributions
Started a drip plan for Walgreen’s stock
Utilized comps and rewards programs for extra income

Education Goals

Entered my senior year at UMASS
Inducted into Gamma Delta the UMASS Lowell chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda: the National Honor Society for students in continuing Studies, Corporate & Distance Education.
Currently listed as Magna Cum Laude.
Biology B+
Biology Lab A-
Creative Writing Fiction A (If I didn’t get an A in this class I’d have to wonder and so would you).
Intro to Philosophy B+

Charity/Community Service

Served as a juror in a drunk driving case
Voted in presidential election
Contributed to the presidential campaigns of my choice
Met my giving goals for charity

Thing Goals

I’m not much of a gamer but I got a PS3 primarily for Blu-Ray. I know I said I hated Sony especially with what they did to Toshiba and HD. But I have to admit that Blu-Ray is better than HD and having the PS3 connect to my wireless network is very convenient. I just might never step into a movie theater again!

Patty and I are using the Amazon Kindle. I wasn’t sure if I’d like an e-reader, even a next generation one like the Kindle. But I’m enjoying the hell out of it.
To maintain our geek status we upgraded to Crackberry—er-I mean Blackberry phones. I haven’t done much with mine yet except use it as a phone but when I get some time I’m going to have to learn how to use this thing.


I switched to Franken Covey Plan Plus for Outlook. I still think Anthony Robbins RPM system is better but now that I have a blackberry I want to be able to take my planning on the go. Also, I find that I spend more time on the computer planning. So I’m using the RPM thinking method and weekly planning and then I’m using the Franken Covey ABC 123 for my daily planning. So far it’s been working pretty well for me. I would love to see an RPM expansion pack for FC Plan Plus for Outlook.


I went to Ohio for the SKH event. That was the only traveling I did all year. If you count the airport I was also in northern Kentucky.


Made contact with some old friends we haven’t seen in about ten years
Sent out holiday cards (okay, that was leveraged to Patty but at least they were sent out)
Made time to visit friends and family
Had niece and nephews stay over because of the power outage caused by the storm in Central Mass.
Visited my family for Thanksgiving and my in-laws for Christmas.


Had the AC flushed an the furnace checked

That’s all I can remember. Onward to 2010!