Year in Review 2020

Each year I create a list of goals for every area of my life. Throughout the year I work on my goals, track my progress, and then commit to posting my top accomplishments. I hope to inspire you to do the same. 

This was a difficult year for all of us. When talk of the lockdowns began, I decided to ask myself a question: how do I use the lockdown to make every area of my life better? I wanted to put my efforts and resources into positive action and still have an outstanding year despite obstacles that were outside my control. 

Writing

I’ll start with short stories since I decided to put a lot of time into the creation, editing, and submitting of short tales. My efforts paid off with one acceptance and two honorable mentions. More info below.

Short Stories

My story Shattered was accepted and published in the Horror Zine’s 11th Anniversary issue. You might still find it free to read here.

Atonement received an Honorable Mention in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest 1st quarter 2020. 

Received an honorable mention for my story Leviathan in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest for 3rd quarter 2020.  (Including last year, this was the 3rd story that received this honor in a row).

Completed and sent a new story (5,000 words) to Writers of the Future contest 4th quarter. 

Wrote a 1,700 word short story for Weird Tales but the contest was canceled. The story is cooling while awaiting an edit and a new market.  

Sent stories to 24 markets including WOTF, The Horror Zine & the Baen Fantasy Award. More than normal and due to Covid restrictions. 

Each story submitted received a new polish edit bringing writing up to current standard. 

Wrote 2 new stories, one for Weird Tales and the other for WOTF. 

Magic Moments

Editor told me I was writing at a profesional level. 

Received invites to resubmit from pro and semi-pro publications.  

Had a top editor include me in a post where he touted the quality of fiction in the Horror Zine.

Reading

I love to read but have been a little distracted. I’ll make it a goal to read more next year.

Marketing

I fell off from blogging and only posted 1 video related to writing. 

An opportunity arose that I can’t talk about yet. Stay tuned, I’ll let you know more by the middle of January.  

Completed the free Writers of the Future writing workshop. It’s great! What are you waiting for? Take the workshop here.  

Novels

Completed up to Chapter 17 in Black Magic Bullets that began as an NaNoWriMo project. As the Covid lockdown took over, I found myself spending more time finishing up a completed novel and writing short fiction for the WOTF contest. I received good feedback on this first draft, including an excited reader who compared my story to the Dresden Files. 

Completed the ProWritingAid edit of The Tower. I deleted over 30k words bringing the story from 90k to 60k. I cut this thing to the bone! 

Reassessed Year of the Demon and am considering transforming it into urban fantasy. If nothing else, I’ve decided to put it through another round of edits before sending it out again. 

Darkness Absolute (working title)

Began a redux in late February bringing the events back to the late 1990s. Hopefully it will be complete by the time 90s nostalgia hits. 

Wolves of Vengeance 

On account of the lockdowns, I decided to do a free kindle promotion of WoV. 

Free kindle promotion received 31 downloads. 

ProWritingAid purchased WoV as part of a Facebook promotion

Martial Arts and Physical fitness 

With many martial arts seminars on hold, I wanted to make sure I kept up with solo training. My main goals were to burn calories, stay sharp, and improve my flexibility.  Most of my kicking had been centered around practical low line techniques. I decided to return to high kicks to increase my stretch. 

Warmed up and stretched before each session (ballistic, static, active, etc.).

I purchased Marco Lala’s stretching video and put his recommendations into practice. Check out his products here.

Performed shadow kickboxing session 3 times per week with Patty. 

Utilized Bas Rutten’s Thai Boxing workout routine 3-4 two minute rounds with one-minute rest. This is high Intensity Interval training (HIIT). You can still get his MMA Workout CDs & DVD here.

Practiced combination kicking with an emphasis on high kicks for stretching. Spinning and turning kicks to reclaim agility. 

Hojo Undo (supplementary exercises): Performed the 1st five dumbell exercises in the original P90X program, low weight high reps 3x per week. Performed calisthenics on many opposite days. Also, practiced various squats for leg day.  

Diesel helps us with our training.

Ken Suburi (basic sword cuts) Inspired by the last korean sword seminar I attended, I performed 100 sword cuts per session with bokken from various stances. 

Kata/hyung worked various forms and studied bunkai and oyo for practical effectiveness. Focused on improving Gankaku/Jindo. In the early days we learned advanced forms for testing but tended not to go back to them. 

Sinawalli: practiced double stick solo paterns shadow and on targets. 

Knife: practiced basic knife cuts and patterns along with live hand positioning. 

Improved my high kicks to where I can once again kick above my own head height. 

Created the Warrior Temple Garage Dojang. I utilized the dumpster provided by our condo association to clean out the garage. I swept the area, put down puzzle mats, hung up an American and Korean Flag and equipped the area with training items including a target bag. 

Warrior Temple Lockdown Garage Dojang.

Began wearing a fitness tracker. Discovered that even with exercise I’m struggling to maintain moderate activity during the lockdown.

I posted some martial arts videos on YouTube. As the summer heated up, I fell out of making videos. I might go back to it eventually. 

I attended some virtual seminars on FaceBook Live.

I was accepted as a Moo Duk Kwan Herritage Member. 

I attended the 75th anniversary of the Moo Duk Kwan Zoom seminar. It was amazing to reconnect to my Moo Duk Kwan roots, roots that go back to my Dad and my 2nd cousin. 

I utilized a free GracyU program preview but I fell out of using it. 

Family 

Called my parents 2x per week.

Celebrated 25 years of marriage & 28 years together.

Post Christmas get together at in-laws in January 2020.

Visited parents at Foxwoods

Diesel’s yearly physical along with distemper and rabies shots. 

Helped my parents with their car radio—went up for a visit and had lunch. 

Health

February Eye Appointment.

March Dentist Cleaning.

August eye appointment.

September Dental Cleaning with full x-rays. 

November Annual physical. Everything normal but I could use to lose a little Covid weight. I was up 5 pounds.

I began weighing in again and counting calories. Then I found that just limiting my calorie intake worked better than keeping track in a food planner.

By restricting calories and continued exercise, I was able to lose the 5 pounds by the middle of December. This goal continues and is on going. My last weigh-in near the end of December showed I had lost close to 7 pounds since my physical.

Cars

Patty was sideswiped in a parking garage and we had Liberty Auto fix the damage. We only paid deductible. 

Had airbags replaced through a Subaru recall for my car. 

Mass State Inspection for both cars. 

Air Conditioner Warranty Repair at Mazda for Patty’s car. 

House

Lockdown Office.

Purchased a desk and set up an office for Patty to work from home during lockdown. 

Purchased draw organizers for kitchen. 

Removed hutch on entertainment center to streamline and make more modern. 

Utilized dumpster provide by association to clean out garage. Turned garage into lockdown dojang.

Purchased Robot Vac to keep house tidy. 

Attached a strap to our living room TV to make it Diesel proof. Patty let me use power tools? 

Travel

Hahaha! Our plans were sidelined by Covid. 

AV/Tech/Cord-cutting

Canceled Philo. It’s a great service and cheap, but we weren’t watching it enough.

Began donating $5 per month to Locast to get reliable local stations through streaming.  

Got a 3 month trial of Peacock. We didn’t watch it enough and canceled.

STARZ – we got a couple free 3 month previews. Not enough movies or shows we were interested in to keep. 

HBO $10 a month for 3 months through Amazon. We ended up going with the HBO Max promotion for $11 a month.

We tried two weeks of YouTube TV but we rarely watch anything except local/network programing. It’s a great service but canceled after the trial. 

Sling Happy Hour free after 5pm or something like that. We signed up and it’s a good service but we didn’t use it enough to justify the cost after the free Happy Hour ended. 

We watched The Phantom of the Opera musical free on YouTube. 

Epix was free for a time on Apple+ and we watched a couple movies. 

Love Never Dies free on YouTube. 

Watched Halloween 2018 on Blu-Ray as part of a Twitter watch party with the cast. 

Watched Sly Stallone discuss Rocky while watching movie live streaming. 

I began posting Youtube videos regarding dollar tree finds and movie collecting.

Xfinity provided us with a free subscription to Peacock Premium along with a free Flex streaming box. 

Other interest/passions

Don’t mind the homophone confusion in the title. Should read: Dollar Tree Blu-Ray Haul!

Made many trips to Dollar Tree stores in my surrounding area to pick up DVDs and Blu-Ray discs. 

Purchased some movies on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

Sampled Redbreast 12 Irish Potstill Whisky. So good! This was my first time sipping an authentic Irish whisky that’s not a blend. 

That’s about it for this year. See you in 2021!!! 

4 thoughts on “Year in Review 2020

  1. Reb MacRath

    Congratulations, David. The year that, for so many, was the Year that Wasn’t was the Year that Was for you.

    Reply

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