Category Archives: Goals

The Scribe’s Arcanum: Anatomy of a First Sale—Part 1

The Scribe’s Arcanum

Anatomy of a First Sale—Part 1

How do you get published traditionally? A lot of newer writers have this question. I can tell you how I did it, giving you some insight into the process. This will be a longer post, probably the longest of the Anatomy of a Sale series since I have to start from the beginning. I’ll try to work though the background information quickly. 

I wrote my real first short stories back in junior high. I had the opportunity to read a story to the class, and once I did, I become known as: The Writer. There was another classmate who was known as: The Artist. I was envious of him as I had wanted to be an artist myself, a comic book illustrator to be exact, but found what I really wanted to do was tell a story. I discovered in short order it was easier to tell a story with words than with pictures——at least it was for me. 

Then in high school I wrote a short story for an English class. At the time, I was trying to sail under the radar. I couldn’t help but take up the challenge, and once my teacher saw I had talent, I lost the ability to remain invisible in that class. There’s a lot more to this story, but I’ll save it for another day. 

Fast forward to late 1996, early 1997. After a couple years of marriage, I felt settled down and focused enough to try my hand at writing again. This time I wanted to see if I could make a fiction sale. I told my wife as much, asking her to buy me a Writer’s Digest Short Story Market  for Christmas/Hanukkah. 

I made her a promise that with that tome by my side, I would write a story and send it out.  If nothing else, I’d get my first rejection letter. 

I had researched enough to know that even top writers like Stephen King had spent a great deal of time collecting rejection slips. I felt that getting a “thanks, but no thanks” letter was an achievable goal, and it kept me from worrying about the results. The worst that could happen was that I would be sent an acceptance letter and not get my goal of a rejection. That would have been a “failure” I could live with. 

I wrote my first story, with an eye towards making a sale, on a Brother word processor, sending out a hard copy in the mail and waiting breathlessly for the post office to send me a response. Instead of a rejection, I was surprised to read a short note informing me that that the magazine had just gone out of business. 

Immediately, I sent the story to a small press magazine. A few months later I received a very nice note written on a form rejection letter stating: “Good story! Just too traditional for this publication.” Not a bad first rejection. In-fact, it’s extremely good. Much better than I realized at the time. 

Most of my rejections were like this. I had immediately received encouraging letters and notes, but no sales. It was a better sign than I could have known. I was close, but life was getting in the way. By the end of 1997 I had transitioned into a  management position in the security industry. Producing reports and policies and procedures manuals kept me writing, and a  24 hour pager and 16 hour shifts kept me exhausted and with little time for anything else. 

In the year 2000 I completed a transition to a human resources position, regaining some of the time I had lost. With extra time came an emptiness I couldn’t seem to fill. I had returned to martial arts over a year earlier (having left my old school in 1997) and even though I loved my training, it wasn’t enough to fill me up. It was only when I returned to writing that I felt whole again. 

That year, I found a message board frequented by horror writers who had been popular in the 1980s. These authors had been my writing heroes, and they inspired me to return to my horror roots. Before that, I had spent most of my time writing science fiction. I figured I understood the horror genre more than SF, and that I would have a publication credit in no time. How wrong I was! 

In 2004 I placed a short story, “Graven Image,” with a webzine called The Swamp. I didn’t get paid for that “sale” but I did get an acceptance, something I sorely needed at the time. 

It wouldn’t be until 2006 when I made my first sale. Yes, It would take me six years to make my first paid sale. Persistance pays off. Persistance and practice. I’ll tell you how that happened next time. Stay tuned. 

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The Scribe’s Arcanum – Intro

I’m reinstating The Scribe’s Arcanum. 

Wait!

What is The Scribe’s Arcanum, you ask?

Great question! 

The Scribe’s Arcanum is just a tongue and cheek way of saying: the writer’s secrets.  

Back in the early 90s, as a young man transitioning into my early 20s, I felt I needed a way to regain my focus and steer my life in a successful and prosperous direction. Having lived life for the most part scattershot, I began keeping a journal on the family Commodore 64/128,  utilizing a rudimentary word processor in an effort to motivate myself to take action in every area of my life. 

Interestingly, I wrote this journal just like a  modern blog in a time before the internet as we know it (I think there were some newsgroups and such available using very low baud modems, but I didn’t have access to this nascent technology at the time). That’s right, I wrote it as if people could somehow read the journal I was creating on a giant floppy disk. I’m a futurist! Haha! 

Writing the journal/blog helped me to set goals and take action toward my dreams. In short order, I returned to school, earning an associate’s degree (I would later go on to earn a bachelor’s degree and graduate magna cum laude), earned a black belt in old school Korean Karate (Tae Kwon Do/Tang Soo Do), back in a time when a black belt meant something, and met the woman of my dreams, who would later become my wife. 

Today, I have decided to return to The Scribe’s Arcanum  as a way to share my goals and accomplishments as I continue to work on my writing career, while sharing any tips, tricks, or secrets I may have picked up along the way. This time The Scribe’s Arcanum is not so much for me as it is for you. I hope I can give you information along with some encouragement to help you with your writing goals. I  also hope you’ll stick with me through this  journey. Be assured that I’ve already written a group of blog posts yet to be published, so if you follow my blog, I’ll be able to update the content on a consistent basis. 

I hope you’ll get a lot of value from this blog and wish you all the best with your hobby or career.

Welcome to The Scribe’s Arcanum! 

Until we meet next time… 

Year in Review 2018

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. This is my 10th year!

 

Writing

Novels

The Tower (working title- 97,000 words)

  • Completed the first draft of The Tower (working title). The manuscript clocked in at 97,000 words. 
  • Began 2nd draft. 

Year of the Assassin (94,000 word crime thriller)

  • Completed 1st draft of both a 10 page and a 2 page Synopsis
  • An editor for a large independent publisher asked to see the full manuscript based on the query letter. I submitted the full manuscript.
  • Queried with samples to 3 agents. I researched and wrote targeted letters. 
  • Sent query letters to 2 independent presses.

Fantasy Novella, (20,000 words)

  • Researched and wrote targeted letters.
  • Edited 2nd draft. – Put The Tower aside to work on edits.
  • Completed 20k word manuscript and cover letter.
  • Submitted to open call at major publisher.
  • Submitted a revised version 16,000 words to major science fiction and fantasy. magazine. “There’s some good writing here. Hope you’ll consider us in the future.”
  • Submitted revised version to a major contest.

 

  • Short stories

This year I spent  extra time on short fiction.

  • Wrote or reimagined 7 short stories approximately 25,000 words in total.
  • Submitted stories  to 11 markets.

 

Reading – Notable Fiction read in 2018

  • The Big Bopper by Reb MacRath
  • The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons 
  • The War of Art  by Stephen Pressfield
  • The Terror by Dan Simmons 
  • American Assassin by Vince Flynn
  • The Moore House by Tony Trembley 
  • Headhunter by Michael Slade 
  • Legion by William Peter Blatty

 Reviews 

  • Reviewed The Big Bopper
  • Reviewed The Moore House

Martial arts

Unlike last year, I spent less time attending martial arts seminars and more time writing.

  • Attended Drowning in Kali III at the Derderian Academy of Martial Arts.

Home training included:

  • Stick, double stick, stick & knife, Filipino Boxing.
  • Western Boxing, JKD combinations, kick boxing, shadowboxing, heavy bag work. HIIT training.
  • Karate/TKD/TSD Kata/Hyung.
  • Kendo sword cuts.
  • Weight Lifting.
  • Body weight exercises.

Health

  • Ophthalmology – No change = good!
  • Optometry- Slight change but no need to change glasses. 
  • 1st Dental cleaning – gold star.
  • 2nd Dental cleaning and X-rays – gold star.
  • Signed up for temporary insurance and than insurance at Patty’s new job. 
  • Had to get new referrals for specialists.
  • I was able to reduce Pepcid AC usage. 
  • Blood work and fasting glucose. All testing normal. 
  • Annual physical – Gold star. My weight was up 3 lbs since my last physical, but the doctor didn’t seem concerned with it. It’s all muscle, I tell ya! 
  • Got a flu shot.

Family

  • Celebrated Patty’s milestone birthday at Toyo Japanese Steak House.
  • Called parents twice a week to keep in touch.
  • Visited Grand Niece and Nephew in CT for birthday.
  • Went to see a movie with my parents.
  • Went to see a movie with my dad.
  • Wished and/or celebrated family birthdays. 
  • Celebrated my birthday with a Grandma’s of New England coffee cake (my favorite!). Patty ordered and had it shipped to me.
  • Had my first Facetime chat with my Grand Niece and Nephew.
  • Kept in touch with my former college English professor through email.
  • Attended my Brother-in-Law’s mother’s funeral and attended the fellowship at Kamahlot in Templeton. 
  • Called to wish my Aunt a happy birthday.
  • Called my brother.
  • Took my mom, dad, and aunt to Texas Roadhouse for Mother’s Day.
  • Went out with my mom and dad for Pizza for father’s day.
  • Congratulated my 2nd cousin on his 7th dan in Judo (5th dan from Kodakan). 
  • Babysat for my Grand Niece and nephew.
  • Had breakfast with my parents at Foxwoods.
  • My Auntie Anna passed away this year. She will be missed.
  • Assisted Patty with her transition to a new job.
  • Celebrated Christmas at Junior’s Deli at Foxwoods with my parents. Brought my brother and sis-in-law in on the celebration through FaceTime.
  • After Christmas get together and house warming with Patty’s family at sister-in-law’s new house in CT.

Spiritual

  • Continued nightly prayers.
  • Lit candle in remembrance of my sister.
  • Had Good Friday and Easter dinner with Patty.
  • Kept Passover to the best of my ability.
  • Brought Patty to the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy.

Cars

  • Patty bought a 2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring fully loaded for work. -Top goal!
  • Performed general maintenance on Patty’s car.
  • Performed general maintenance on my car.
  • Upgraded to AAA Plus.

House

  • Had a chimney sweep company clean our chimney.
  • Leak test completed on our AC system.
  • New condenser coil installed.
  • Bees exterminated.
  • Cleaned and organized walk in closet.

Fun & Travel

  • Stayed at Marriot Renaissance in Providence, RI.
  • Met one of Patty’s old co-workers for lunch at Mohegan Sun at The Hash House.
  • Spent a weekend in Freeport Maine.
  • Visited the Capron Park Zoo in Attleboro.
  • Attended Steely Dan & Doobie brother’s Concert at Xfinity Center.
  • Went to see James Taylor at Tanglewood with one of Patty’s Co-workers. Watched. Fireworks on July 4th in Albany NY. Stayed at Fairfield Inn & Suites for 3 nights. Got a deal by buying points.
  • Attended the Mohegan Sun Whiskey Union.

Whiskeys sampled:

  • Laphroaig 10
  • Ardbeg An Oa
  • Glendalough 7 – Irish Whiskey
  • Highland Park 12
  • Macallan Sherry Oak 12
  • Nikka Coffee Grain Whiskey
  • Ragtime Rye
  • Singleton 12
  • Suntori Toki
  • Glenfiddich 15
  • Monkey Shoulder

 

  • Sampled Bulleit Burbon – at Foxwoods.

 

  • Traveled with Patty for work to NY and utilized the time for a writing retreat.

AV/Tech

  • Upgraded Drop Box for Scrivener files.
  • Upgraded to High Sierra and Mojave.
  • Canceled PS Vue and switched to Directv Now.
  • Canceled Sprint and returned to Verizon.

Movies Watched at a Cinema

  • 15:17 to Paris – Cinemaworld in Fitchburg with parents.
  • Death Wish (2018) – Cinemaworld in Fitchburg with my dad.
  • Mission Impossible: Fallout  – Providence IMAX
  • The Nun – Providence IMAX with Patty.
  • Peppermint – North Attleboro Showcase 4k projection and recliners.
  • Halloween (2018) – Regal Cinemas Fishkill, NY. 
  • Creed II – Regal Cinemas Fishkill, NY.

That’s it for 2018. See you in 2019… Happy New Year!!!

 

 

Year in Review 2017

Each year I create a list of goals for every area in my life. Throughout the year I work on those goals, track my progress, and then commit to posting my top accomplishments and some smaller ones as well.

Writing Career

Novels

-Year of the Demon (working title) 94,000 word crime thriller

  • Wrote a competitive analysis for YOTD.
  • Researched similar authors and novels for marketing purposes.
  • Reordered the beginning chapters of YOTD to make it more engaging and marketable.
  • Changed the name of YOTD to a name I won’t disclose yet.
  • Wrote query letters for YOTD.
  • Began sending out YOTD query letters to agents and editors. This was one of my major goals for the year.

-The Tower (working title) supernatural thriller

  • Retitled The Tower (novel), but will keep new name under wraps for now.
  • Currently at 81,000 words of a projected 90k words.

-Untitled Thriller Novel

I heard the opening lines of the book in my mind, and 8,000 words later I had the beginning of a new manuscript. I’ve put it away for now while I finish The Tower.

  • Began 1st draft of thriller novel (8k so far).

-Untitled Creature Horror Novel

I put The Tower on hold while I blasted through 20k words of this novel idea. I began writing with the idea of submitting to an open call, but the publisher went out of business, and I returned to my WIP (work in progress). I will probably return to this manuscript in the near future depending upon what opportunities materialize.

  • Wrote 20,000 words of 1st draft.

Wolves of Vengeance

  • Re-enrolled Wolves of Vengeance in KDP and changed categories to see if it would affect sales.

WOV-Cover-Refresh-web

Novellas

-Fantasy novella

  • Finished 1st draft of fantasy novella (20,000 words)
  • I wrote this novella for an open submission period for a major publisher. I knew I didn’t have enough time to finish, as I found out about the opportunity too late. I was so captivated by the idea, I had to complete the story. I’m letting it cool now until the market reopens or I identify another market that might be interested in the narrative.

-Untitled Dystopian SF Novella

  • Another novella submission deadline I had no hope of meeting, but the opening pages flowed out of me and so I captured them anyway.
  • Wrote 4,250 words of the first draft of a dystopian SF novel.

Short Fiction/Flash Fiction

  • Completed fantasy flash fiction short story.
  • Waiting on reply from a pro horror short fiction anthology market for over a year. I take that as a good sign.
  • Wrote a horror short story (5K).
  • Sent horror short story to anthology market.
  • Rewrote the ending of another horror short story.
  • Fixed formatting on horror short story.
  • Wrote an alternative ending for The Witch (2015) and posted it on my blog for fun.
  • Magic Moment. An actress from LA contacted me on Twitter to tell me that she liked my alternate ending to The Witch (2016) better than the orginal. Read it here.

Martial Arts

Nate TMI

Demonstrating Chi Sao (Wing Chun/JKD) with Sifu Nate.

 

  •  5-hour intermediate and advanced FMA seminar, Drowning in Kali II, held at the Derderian Academy of Martial Arts.

Kali IV

  • Attended the Jeet Kune Do/Panantukan/Silat Trapping Seminar with Sifu Nathan Marione at Britt’s TKD.

Nate - Britt's TKD

  • Jung ki Hapkido Master and acupuncturist Chris LaCava first stop on his Massachusetts Beat ’em & Treat ’em Tour 2017 was the Anatomy of the Takedown Seminar at Britt’s TKD. I love the shirt! I also grabbed some of his authentic Dit Da Jow to heal injuries, and some amazing apple butter made by his wife and children.

Beat & Treat

  • My home training included working on various kata/hyung, working on improving my stretch, kicking and boxing on bag, shadowboxing/kicking, JKD chain punching, kali sinawali, single knife and stick, espada y dagger/stick & knife, bokken/mok gum/wooden sword and, nak bop/ukemi/ rolls and break-falls.

Health

  • Utilized P90X, dumbbells, and resistance bands to build muscle.
  • Utilized incumbent bike for cardiovascular health.
  • Utilized HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) for general endurance – Bas Rutten MMA CD program.
  • Dental Cleaning 2x – gold star!
  • Switched primary care physician  as our doctor left for a practice in the Veteran’s Administration.
  • Began using hair booster. I shall not age gracefully! Haha!
  • Annual Physical – gold star! I am the picture of health.
  • My weight, by my physician’s scale, is trending downward and I am down at least another 3 pounds.
  • Had  flu shot. Okay, I got the flu anyway, but the shot ended up only rated at 10%.

Family

  • Called my parents on average 2x per week.
  • Celebrated Patty’s birthday.
  • Celebrated my birthday.
  • Got Patty roses for valentine’s Day.
  • Visited my Mom & Dad at Foxwoods for breakfast during Chinese New Year.
  • Kept in touch with my old Gothic & Arthurian literature professor through email.
  • Kept up with friends on social media.
  • Visited friends at various martial arts schools.
  • Met up with friends at Twin River Casino for the whiskey fest.
  • Bought Super Bowl Champions hats for our Dads. Early Father’s Day presents.
  • Met our new grand nephew.
  • Easter at Wicked Good Bar and Grill at Twin River with my parents.
  • Easter dinner w/Patty at home.
  • Passover seder dinner with Patty. We got our food pre-made from whole Foods.
  • Attended my grand nephew’s birthday Party.
  • Celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary.
  • Visited Patty’s Sister in CT.
  • Called my Mom for her birthday and Mother’s Day.
  • Met parents for lunch in July.
  • Met In-laws for lunch.
  • Visited my parents for breakfast in August.
  • Received a generous gift from my Uncle.
  • BBQ at in-laws.
  • Visited father-in-law for lunch.
  • Visited my parents for breakfast at Foxwoods for their 47th anniversary.
  • Vacationed in Chicago Land
  • Celebrated the 25th anniversary of our first date.
  • Went to the Big E with Sister-in-Law and grand niece and nephew.
  • Went to lunch with my mother and took her shopping while my dad was camping.
  • Called my Dad for father’s day.
  • Celebrated Veteran’s Day with my parents and with my aunt and uncle. We had a nice meal at Texas Roadhouse, and my Dad and my uncle ate for free, as they are both veterans.
  • Thanksgiving at the Outlaws. This would be our last Thanksgiving with my father-in-law. Almost everyone was able to make it, and we are left with great memories.

Kalel

  • My father-in law passed away surrounded by his family. He was one month shy of his 83rd birthday.
    Gordon North Obituary 
  • Attended memorial service for my father-in-law
  • Met up with friends we haven’t seen in many years and spent time reconnecting.
  • Had to skip both Hanukkah/Christmas breakfast with my parents (I will reschedule) and my new grand nephew’s 1st birthday because of flu.
  • Had a late Christmas gathering with outlaws.

Cars

  • Bought a AAA membership after having a problem with the Subaru Club (Cross Country Motor Club) last year.
  • Had my exhaust system fixed.
  • My car passed MA state inspection.
  • Patty’s car passed MA state inspection.
  • My car had a crack in the windshield. Fixed by Safelite and paid by insurance.
  • Replaced blower motor again, and the cabin filter in Patty’s car.
  • Decided on recommendation of our mechanic not to replace head gasket in Patty’s car.
  • Rear break job for my car.
  • Had rattling heat shield removed on my car.

House

  • Had HVAC company refill freon in AC unit.
  • Cleaned patio and treated for gypsy moths.
  • Utilized association provided dumpster for Spring cleaning.
  • Had new washer and dryer installed.
  • Replaced oven hood filter

Fun & Travel

  • Saw John Wick: Chapter 2 at  the Showcase Cinema Deluxe
  • Went to Southwick’s Zoo -the largest zoo in New England.

 

  • Magic Moment: I had a nice conversation with a parrot type bird, I think a Macaw. An annoying woman tried to muscle in on our conversation, but the bird wasn’t having any of it. The bird turned his back on her as soon as we left. Good bird!
  • Magic Moment: Played with a baby monkey through the fencing of the cage. Interacted with the animal like it was a baby in a play pen. The adult female held the baby at times cautious of my shenanigans.
  • Magic Moment: I mimicked the sound of two apes communicating with each other. Patty said that I startled a zoo worker who then looked at me like I was crazy. I am crazy.
  • Magic Moment: Patty was startled when a pheasant screeched at her while she was taking a picture.
  • Magic Moment: I blinked my eyes at a dove and the bird blinked back. I was able to get rapport with the bird doing this. It’s funny, house cats do the same thing. I’m like Doctor Doolittle! Well, not really…
  • Patty was given an all expense paid trip to Chicagoland (Schaumburg Illinois) to attend a training conference. I tagged along. Then we spent a few extra days relaxing and exploring. We stayed at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel. Highlights included Sam & Harry’s Steak House, Gather Bar, and the Woodfield Mall.

IMG_0024

  • Attended the Twin River Whiskey Fest for amazing food and drink.
  • We went to Mohegan Sun for the complementary Rock of the 80s concert featuring Autograph, Vixen, and Slaughter.

Patty & Dave 80s night

Audio Video 

IMG_0037

  • Canceled cable saving $80.00 after streaming subscription. Cordcutters are we!
  • Ordered a Playstation Vue subscription.
  • Canceled Verizon and switched to a year of free unlimited calling and data with Sprint.
  • Got an Amazon Music Unlimited subscription for .99 cents for 4 months with our Amazon Prime subscription.
  • Purchased Echo Dots and wireless lighting to begin converting home to a smart home.
  • Cleaned out and organized entertainment center.
  • AT&T replaced our land line phone under warranty.
  • Began loading out Fii0 X1ii with ALAC files to enjoy portable CD quality music.

Noteworthy Books  Read in 2017

  • Hyperion by Dan Simmons
  • Soda Pop Soldier by Nick Cole
  • Seattle Red by Reb MacRath
  • The League of Night and Fog by David Morrell
  • A Killing Art: The Untold History of Tae Kwon Do by Alex Gillis

That’s it for 2017. See you in 2018… Happy New Year!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year in Review 2016

Each year I create a list of goals for every area in my life. Throughout the year I work on those goals, track my progress and my challenges. Then, to keep myself honest, I commit to posting a list of some of my top accomplishments and challenges, and some of my smaller ones as well.

I challenge you to create a list of goals, keep track of them during the year, and then celebrate and post your accomplishments at year end. If you do, please let me know. I’d love to look at your list.

Writing Career

writing1

Novels

  • Major goal accomplished: I completed the final draft edits and formatting of my 90,000+ word crime novel, Year of the Demon.
  • Sent Year of the Demon to the Minotaur Books/MWA First Crime Novel competition.
  • One of my favorite authors read and gave me feedback on the YOTD manuscript.
  • Commissioned a new cover for Wolves of Vengeance from Lynne Hansen Design.

WOV-Cover-Refresh-web

  • Currently at 65,000 words of a projected 90k on my paranormal thriller, The Tower (working title). I set this book aside to complete YOTD and to take advantage of some other writing opportunities.
  • Having seen a publisher’s open call for military horror/creature novels, and having an idea for a novel length story that meets the guidelines,  I decided to bring back Captain Amanda Rann from WOV and begin a draft. The open call doesn’t have an end date, and it’s very likely that they’ll close submissions before the novel is complete. If that happens, I’ll be ready when they open again.  I’m currently 20,000 words into the manuscript. No matter what, this is a story that has to be written. Another opportunity came up, one with a very defined set of perimeters and end date, and I felt I needed to put this novel on hold for a short time while I worked on the new project. See below:
  • Another publisher has an open call for novella length fantasy stories of varying sub-genre, fantasy worlds that are inspired by cultures other than the usual stories based on ancient Western civilization. I finally came up with the perfect idea and began writing. I’m over 10k into the story, and hoping I can finish by the 12th of January when they close. This one requires so much research that the deadline may very well be impossible. Tor may extend the date depending on how many viable manuscripts they receive. Either way, I have my fingers crossed.

writing2

Short Stories

  • Wrote a horror noir short story (5K).
  • Wrote another horror noir story based on an old story, reinventing it with everything I’ve learned over the years (5K).
  • Wrote the first draft of a dark fantasy flash fiction story (1K).
  • Began an edit of a previously written story for an open call anthology but abandoned in favor of a new story.
  • Began an edit of an old story, but decided to abandon it for now. I might return to it if the right market opens up.
  • Performed a virtual reading of Sat Down Inside Her from a room at Mohegan Sun. Sat Down Inside Her
  • Sent out short fiction to 4 markets. I spent most of my time working on long fiction this year.
  • Wrote two short stories. Again, I decided to spend my time on novels this year.

Networking

  • Wrote  reviews of books I enjoyed.
  • Included in a writing round table with some fantastic authors.

Down and Dirty: The Ultimate Writer’s Round Table Joust: Part 1

Down and Dirty: The Ultimate Writer’s Round Table Joust: Part 2

Martial Arts

me

kali-jujutsu

  • Made some fun martial arts videos:

Early Morning Kali Stick Work

Shadowboxing Workout

Ukemi on Hard Ground 

kali-gardner

kali-gardner-2

taky-benefit-1

taky-benefit-2

taky-benefit-3

  • I brought my old Wave Master Training Bag into the corner of the living room and put down a puzzle mat to create a small dojo/dojang/kwoon in the living room! Don’t tell my wife! 😉
  • Attended Master Larry Tatum’s Kenpo Karate Seminar at the Derderian Academy.

tatum-kenpo

  • Worked on Kali stick work, Panantukan – Filipino Boxing, and JKD mitt drills with Patty in our home training group.
  • Practiced Kali Sinawali and single stick drills
  • Worked JKD boxing drills and all my kicks, on training bag.
  • Utilizing JKD and FMA as a conduit, I was able to integrate all previous martial arts training. This has taken me years to accomplish.
  • Focused on Naihanchi (Tekki) Sam Dan & Jindo (Gankaku Kai) forms.

Health

  • Had two ophthalmologist appointments. Glaucoma medication increased.
  • Had two dental cleanings. Began using fluoride rinse.
  • Got an eye infection. Antibiotic eye drops cleared it up.
  • Had annual physical and taken off of low oxalate diet.
  • My weight has fluctuated, but overall it is down.
  • Increased weight training.

Family

  • Called my Mom & Dad 2x each week.
  • Had lunch with my parents and took them to see 13 Hours at the cinema.
  • Had lunch at Olive Garden with the in-laws/outlaws.
  • Celebrated our grandniece’s birthday.
  • Visited my Mom & Dad at Foxwoods.
  • Visited Mom after attending a martial arts seminar in the area.
  • Celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary.
  • Breakfast with outlaws at Meadowbrook Orchard.
  • Helped my uncle with a computer issue.
  • Attended an educational PowWow at the Foxwood’s Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center with my parents and danced with my Mom
  • Visited the outlaws new townhouse.
  • Brought my parents to see a movie in Worcester.
  • Contacted my brother and let him know about money the state owed him.
  • Celebrated our 24th anniversary of our 1st date.
  • Had breakfast with my Mom & Dad in Webster.
  • Kept in contact with my aunt.
  • Visited my father-in-law for lunch and fixed his wifi and set up his laptop.
  • Had Thanksgiving breakfast with my Mom & Dad
  • Donated in my sister’s name.
  • Sent my grand niece to see Doctor Strange.
  • Visited my parents for a pre-Christmas/Hanukkah breakfast and then went to the Townsend Rod & Gun Club where my Dad taught me how to load and shoot a black powder rifle.

black-powder

  • Attended my niece’s baby shower.
  • Attended Christmas gathering at the outlaws.
  • Became a Great Uncle for the 3rd time.

baby

  • Went to see Adam Carolla at Foxwoods. Ate at Junior’s Deli.

 

Car

  • Patty’s car –  Inspection, oil change, wheels rotated and balanced, brake job, airbag recall, replaced broken sun visor, replaced ignition coil (under warranty) and wires.
  • My car – B service, wipers, airbag recall, replaced battery, brake job.
  • Had an accident in my car and had car repaired.
  • Had a part fail and had to go back and have them replace the part.

 

House

  • General maintenance and cleaning.
  • Fixed TV by taking it apart and cleaning the fan.
  • Replaced bathroom rugs.
  • Changed the high/low return air registers for Summer & Winter.
  • Maintained air cleaners.
  • Cleaned out house and brought junk to dumpster provided by the association.
  • Replaced a burnt out AC capacitor in our central AC unit.
  • Created a small dojo by installing puzzle mats.
  • Took down old shades and installed curtains in the living room and dining area.
  • Removed and installed new blinds in bedroom.
  • Patty utilized a shredding day to get rid of our confidential documents at work.
  • Cleaned behind the fridge and stopped it from overheating.

Travel

  • Portland Maine – Stayed at the Portland Regency Hotel & Spa. Went to Holy Donut, dinner at the Armory Lounge where they played blues music and we relaxed and had drinks. I tried Woodford Reserve Bourbon on the rocks and enjoyed it. Irish pub, Elevation Burger, hotel restaurant. We poked around the shops. Jewish Museum. Alex & Ani.
  • Mohegan Sun – I turned Patty’s three day work seminar into a writing retreat. While Patty was at the seminar I stayed in the deluxe king room and worked on a novel. We ate at Summer Shack, Michael Jordan’s 22 Sports Cafe. I tried a Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Bourbon and l really enjoyed it.
  • Bronx Zoo – We visited the Congo area, saw the Gorilla exhibit, rode the monorail, and went to jungle world. We also saw sea lions yelling at each other.
  • Boston – Stayed at the Onyx Hotel  on the Penthouse level. Ate at Boston Beer Works. Had a good time.

 

That’s it for 2016. See you in 2017… HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year in Review 2015

Each year I create a list of goals for every area in my life. Throughout the year I work on those goals, track my progress and my challenges. Then, to keep myself honest, I commit to posting a list of some of my top accomplishments and challenges, and some of my smaller ones as well.

I challenge you to create a list of goals, keep track of them during the year, and then celebrate and post your accomplishments at year end. If you do, please let me know. I’d love to look at your list.

Writing Career 

Short Stories

Wicked Tales Cover

Sat Down Inside Her accepted and published in Wicked Tales: The Journal of the New England Horror Writer’s Vol. 3.

Received author copies and extras copies of Wicked Tales.

Received payment for Sat Down Inside Her.

Wicked Tales premiered at AnthoCon.

Finished Halloween’s Child Redux, approximately 5,000 words. Still needs a proofread.

Received an invite to submit again from a top market.

splatter punk

Novels

51ViaVJdL+L._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_

Wolves of Vengeance

Four-star review on Amazon and Goodreads

David T. Wilbanks reviewed Wolves on his blog. You can read his review here.

Updated Categories on Amazon to test if it affects sales.

“Hand sold” a copy to a new FB friend.

Year of the Demon (Dark Crime Thriller)

Finished 94,500 word 3rd draft.

Completed 4th draft edit.

Proxy Mate (Science Fiction Novella)

Came up with an idea to continue Proxy Mate. I will continue working on it next year.

The Tower (Supernatural Thriller)

Completed Approximately 40,000 words of the first draft.

Networking

IMG_1598

Attended  Larry Correia’s signing at Annie’s Book Stop in Worcester, MA.

Attended Writer’s Coffeehouse New England at the Andover Book Store in Andover, MA. Reconnected with many writer friends.

Wrote reviews for novels I enjoyed.

Kept up with writer friends through social media.

I had to reclaim my account after a spammer took over my LinkedIn account.

Marketing

Finally set up amazon UK Author Page.

Created Scribe’s Arcanum Web episode #1 on Youtube.

Included in La Dance Diabolique: A Red Hot Boogie Woogie. I’m all dressed up in hot pink! You can’t miss me. Hahaha!

Non-Fiction

Began a super secret non-fiction book, but haven’t gotten back to it yet.

Martial Arts

NEMAC 2015 Group shot 1

Attended the New England Martial Arts Conference in Johnston, RI.

Continued practicing Pyung Ahn and Naihanchi forms, kicks, and boxing drills.

Practiced Kali Sinawali.

Worked Filipino boxing drills and Kali double stick drills with Patty  3x per week on average.

Sticks

Health

Lost 13 pounds since my last physical.

Utilized P90 & P90X to supplement martial arts training.

Returned to Myfitnesspal to count calories.

Had dental Cleanings. No cavities! The dentist told me I do a very good job cleaning my teeth. Gold star!

Had field of Vision Test. No damage to my field of vision. Moved from a generic eye drop to a brand name. Evidently the generic sometimes causes an allergy that will knock out a whole class of glaucoma drugs that can be prescribed.

Weighed-in weekly.

Had to deal with a medical billing issue. It ended up being straightened out after much time and stress, but unfortunately did not end up in my favor.

Weaned off Protonix and replaced with Pepcid AC.

Began Probiotic.

Had my annual physical.

I was put on a low oxalate diet to counteract kidney stone symptoms.

Had a flu shot.

Family

Called my parents  2x per week on average.

Celebrated Patty’s birthday.

Kept up with one of my Lit professors over email.

Lit a candle for my sister.

Called my aunt and keep up with her through email. Also, called her before her surgery.

Visited Mom & Dad for Breakfast.

Celebrated my birthday (Like jack Benny, I celebrated another 39th birthday).

Gave Patty roses for Valentine’s Day.

Donated in my sister’s name 2x this year.

Hid a St. Patrick’s Day card in Patty’s lunch.

Breakfast in Webster for Mother’s Day

Celebrated our 20th wedding Anniversary.

Called my Dad for Father’s Day.

Visited my parents at Foxwoods.

Attended BBQ at the in-laws.

Met with my parents to celebrate their Anniversary and my Dad’s birthday.

Called my Mother to wish her Happy Birthday.

Thanksgiving at In-laws.

Christmas/Hanukah celebration with my parents at Texas Roadhouse.

Christmas at the in-laws.

Cars

Inspected my car and replaced a parking light.

Had to replace a tire and headlight on Patty’s car. Tightened heat shield two times.

Washed undercarriages of our cars after winter snowstorms.

Patty’s car failed inspection because of an exhaust problem.

Found a good deal on an exhaust pipe with labor and had Patty’s car fixed. Had car reinspected and it passed.

House

Sailing

Cleaned out and organized entertainment center.

Unplugged anything we’re not using to save money.

Fixed scuff on kitchen table with wood makers.

Rearranged living room and reappropriated organizing furniture from other rooms.

Changed HVAC Filter quarterly.

Worked with the Board of Trustees to resolve a neighbor issue. Unable to resolve issue so had to come up with a creative solution. The problem is better but still unresolved.

Adjusted HVAC vents seasonally.

The gas company changed out the meter.

The association had painters work on our townhouse.

Put up paintings in living room and dinning room.

Changed out bedroom curtains

Lubricated upstairs door hinges to stop squeaking.

Opened seized PO box lock with WD40 and tools.

Ordered and received new lock & keys for mailbox from post office.

Purchased and installed a new fill valve for upstairs toilet.

Planning

Purchased, installed, and began using Opus One (Upgrade of Opus Domini) virtual day planner.

Computers and Tech

Patty installed 8 Gigs of RAM into my Macbook Pro. Patty also upgraded the memory in her Mac.

Researched digital audio files and lossless formats. Decided to continue buying CDs for superior music quality and convert to AAC format.

Rediscovered and enabled SRS Wow on my car stereo. Wow!!!

Fun/Travel 

Food

Great seats for The Tenderloins/Tru TV Impractical Jokers at the Foxwoods Grand Theater.

Attended the Scituate Art Festival. We made the paper!

Attended the Federal Hill Columbus Day/italian Day Celebration.

Stayed at Mohegan Sun while Patty was in a training. Stayed in a Deluxe King Room. Ate at the Summer Shack, had a Buffett Breakfast. Drank Starbucks Cold Brew. Won a small amount of money.

Traveled to Kittery ME. Stayed at the Coachman Inn. Parused the shops. Had lunch at Weathervane.

Whiskey/whisky tastings: see previous months.

Jump

 

 

That’s it for 2015. See you in 2016… HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My 5-Bullet Friday

5-Bullet Friday

I’m stealing this idea from Tim Ferriss. Here are 5 short recommendations or findings that may be of interest.

  • Scrivener—Simply the best word processing program/outliner available. I write everything on Scrivener.
  • Best Worst Movie—A fun and informative documentary that explores the cult movie Troll 2. Check documentary channels on Roku if you have one.
  • Toddy Cold Brew—Naturally smooth acid reduced coffee. Easy on the taste buds and the stomach.
  • The Martian by Andy Weir— Read the book before Matt Damon and Ridley Scott screw up the movie. Hahaha! Just kidding…. Well, maybe. The book is fantastic.

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