Tag Archives: Goals

The Scribe’s Arcanum: Anatomy of a  Sale—The Language of Ice: Part 2

I need to make a retraction. I didn’t wait until 2011 to market my story The Language of Ice as previously stated. Looking back at my Fiction Submission Log, I discovered that I actually began sending the story out in 2009, not long after writing it, and racked up five rejections before finally selling it and receiving my acceptance letter on February 11, 2011. 

Anyway, I don’t have notes on how I found the publication. Maybe I stumbled upon it on Duotrope or Ralan.com. Either way, I noticed an open call from a new anthologist who had been a member of the Science Fiction Writer’s of America (SFWA). She’d had stories accepted professionally by Marion Zimmer Bradley (this was long before some allegations came out about Bradley and her husband. I’ll leave you to research it if you’re interested), before transitioning into a copywriting job. At the time she had just retired from her corporate career and was looking into what opportunities were available to continue her creative writing career from where she had left off. 

Extinct Cover2

Now going by the pseudonym Phoenix Sullivan, she decided to enlist a cadre of international authors to create a Science Fiction e-anthology titled Extinct Doesn’t Mean Forever to support her SF novel SECTOR C that she was looking at publishing through her own imprint, Dare to Dream Press. 

Sector C

Extinct Doesn’t Mean Forever, with its theme of returning from extinction, seemed like a good fit for The Language of Ice, but I figured it would just end up being another rejection on the long road to publication. 

I sent it out, like I always do, by first reading through the manuscript, fixing anything I may have missed, sometimes giving it back to Patty for a second read through, and then formatting the story per the guidelines (GLs). 

Once that was complete, I wrote out a cover letter. At the time, I was sending all stories through email. I’d included a targeted cover letter in the body of the email, and attach the manuscript as a Word document.

With everything in order, I sent it out and hoped for the best. There was nothing to do but continue to keep writing and submitting, and of course, wait. 

I received an acceptance letter in approximately 24 days! A few days later I electronically signed the contract for publication and was asked to write what amounts to a back cover blurb describing the story without giving anything away. 

Here’s the blurb:

When a Neanderthal skeleton arrives at her museum, Cassie learns a woman dead for thousands of years still has something to teach the living – THE LANGUAGE OF ICE by David North-Martino

Then I was asked to send a bio. A few days later I received something that would change the way I wrote forever—a line edit. A line edit by a pro author turned editor no less.  

In the interest of time, Phoenix had already made the revisions. That required me to take a copy of my original and read through with highlighter in hand. Before I worked on that task, I read the corrected proof she had sent me. I thought it read even better than I had remembered. 

Of course, it did! Phoenix had given me some masterful revisions. Now with that said, I think my voice may have been bled out a little, but I have to say I learned a lot from that line edit. It helped me to understand what I was doing right, and where I was falling short. How I could create more clarity for the reader, and how I could sand off the rough edges of my writing style. 

This is what writers need. They need mentorship. As the old saying goes, you don’t know what you don’t know. You need to have eyes before you can see. I am forever grateful for that line edit. It helped make me the writer I am today. 

The Language of Ice ended up being published in the Dare to Dream Press first edition of Extinct Doesn’t Mean Forever, the second edition from Steel Magnolia Press, and was also released as a short story in ebook format. 

Language of Ice

The anthology supported the Save a charity which gave me the impetus to send out press releases. I met some wonderful writers from around the world and learned a lot about the publishing business. 

For the first time ever, I began to receive royalty checks. They were small, but it was very cool to get money when the anthology sold. 

The anthology is now out of print and the rights to the story have reverted back to me. Should I post it here for all to read? Let me know in the comments. 

I’ll see you next time. 

***

For posterity I’ll include the Table of Contents with all the blurbs below: 

1. Jase was her ghost in the machine, a shaded memory captured in synthesized pixels. Near enough to see, too distant to touch. Could they still connect? – LAST SEEN by Amanda le Bas de Plumetot

2. She didn’t realize how deep her loss ran, until a saber-tooth cat helped heal the past and point her toward a future she didn’t know she needed – PAST SURVIVORS by Sarah Adams

3. Vesna discovers from an unexpected source just how old the dance of love truly is – FOOTPRINTS ON THE BEACH by Aleksandar Ziljak

4. John doted on the French touring car he’d lovingly restored. Can his dead wife teach him other things are worthy of his love too? – THE RESTORATION MAN by Simon John Cox

5. When a single mum returns home to Tasmania with her young son, her efforts to settle back in take a strange twist – A DARK FOREST by Jen White

6. Keeping a baby dinosaur secret from prying TV people and scientists is no easy task, except when your family have been keeping sacred traditions secret for generations – MY OWN SECRET DINOSAUR by Jo Antareau

7. When a Neanderthal skeleton arrives at her museum, Cassie learns a woman dead for thousands of years still has something to teach the living – THE LANGUAGE OF ICE by David North-Martino

8. With human hunters closing in, Kerg concocts a desperate plan for survival. Just one problem: he isn’t the only one looking out for family – TWILIGHT OF THE CLAW by Adam Dunsby

9. Lucia doesn’t believe in angels — but she might believe in a little boy cloned from a forgotten race – THE ANGEL GENOME by Chrystalla Thoma

10. Geri’s father finds the remains of an alien culture, proof we’re not alone. But he leaves Geri feeling more alone than ever – IN RING by Scott Thomas Smith

11. Had it been left to protocols rather than human ingenuity, Commander West’s expedition might have overlooked one of Mars’ greatest treasures – BONES OF MARS by D Jason Cooper

12. Endless Power, Inc prepared Angel for the physical dangers of harnessing a new energy source. But no one prepared him for how to cope afterward – HUNTING THE MANTIS by Adam Knight

13. Bridges of meaning built through symbols alienate as much as connect. But the Virtual Bridge Sri plans could reconnect the lost hopes of a dying civilization – CONNECT by Kenneth Burstall

14. Fleeing with the last remnants of the Oshen race, Indigo has only one chance to ensure his people are never forgotten – INDIGO’S GAMBIT by Adam Israel

15. When his pampered world loses the technology it depends on, extinction looms faster than lonely survivor Levo could ever expect – BLOOD FRUIT by Shona Snowden

16. When a new bio-weapon in the wars on drugs and terror gets out of control, can the supplier really be held responsible? – A THORNY DILEMMA by Rory Steves

17. Capturing mammoths was all in a day’s work for Deke. The saber-tooth cat, though, was going to require something bigger than an elephant gun – INVOICE H10901: 3 WOOLY MAMMOTHS by Robert J. Sullivan

18. After George makes a momentous discovery, the distractions start piling up. His wife cooks up a surprise to remind him love is always worth sacrificing for – DISTRACTIONS by Peter Dudley

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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!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April and May in Review

April was a challenging month to say the least. Had to use much time and energy to deal with some issues. May was a much better month, but very busy on the positive side.

Challenges

  • My insurance company billed incorrectly for an ER visit last year. This led to the hospital trying to bill me for the difference, and before I could get it resolved they sent it to a collections agency. Many phone calls, letters, and much stress later, it now seems to be resolved. It only took a month and a half.
  • A family member had a work challenge that continues. I can’t divulge much, but suffice it to say that it has taken time and stress to get it resolved.
  • We had a neighborhood issue that required phone calls and letters to resolve, and we’re still monitoring the situation.
  • Patty contracted and got over a bronchial infection.
  • We had to resolve a wireless network issue in May.
  • The sun was in my eyes!

Writing

Short Fiction

  • Halloween’s Child Redux continues slowly, now clocking in at 3,500 words or 14 pages.
  • Wrote a 30 word bio for AnthoCon.
  • Here’s the official cover reveal for Wicked Tales, an anthology that includes my short SF/Horror story, “Sat Down Inside Her.”

Wicked Tales Cover

Novels

  • The Tower (Paranormal Haunting/Woman in Jeopardy Crime Thriller) Now at 106 pages or 26,250 words. I’ve had to hunker back to move forward, requiring some fun research into Wing Chun Kung Fu as well as significant research into the nursing profession.
  • Year of the Demon (Conspiracy/Crime Thriller) I polish edited approximately twenty scenes, and I like how it’s all coming together. The actual editing is a tedious slog, however. This is the part I like the least. The only thing more tedious is the final proofread where I work thorough the book fixing typos and commas.

Non-Fiction

  • I began work on a non-fiction project that I may write under a pseudonym. I wrote 2,389 words or 9 pages.

Reading

  • Completed the Indy Author’s Pack.
  • Became a backer of Editor Rick Schober’s The Whole Shot: Interviews with Beat Poet Gregory Corso.
  • Purchased the Signed & Numbered Limited Edition novella (#18) of Baby’s Breath by Sydney Leigh.

Family

  • Called my Mom & Dad approx 1x per week.
  • Brought Patty to her dentist appointment and yearly physical.
  • Got haircuts.
  • Took care of Patty while she had a bronchial infection.
  • Visited my Mom & Dad in Webster for a Mother’s Day breakfast.
  • Spent a couple days at Mohegan Sun while my wife was in a seminar.
  • Made a 20th Wedding Anniversary trip to Kittery, ME. I figured some retail therapy was in order after dealing with me all these years.

Martial Arts

  • After Patty felt better we resumed the Filipino punching and kicking drills. We also worked in some basic boxing drills on focus mitts.
  • Purchased a new set of Hayabusa Ikusa focus mitts.
  • hayabusa_ikusa_focus_mitts
  • I practiced footwork drills.
  • Practiced sinawali stick drills.

Health

  • Lost 2 pounds of fat. I continue to move in the right direction, and now I’m at the lowest weight that I have been in years.
  • Resumed physical therapy leg exercises.
  • Worked with Tufts to resolve a billing issue.
  • Weened off of Protonix.

 

Financial

  • Leveraged taxes to a tax preparer.
  • Made tax payments.

Charity & Community Service

  • Relay for life.
  • Nepal Relief Efforts .

Cars

  • Went to the dealer for C service and to replace the driver’s side headlight on Patty’s car.
  • Washed my car including undercarriage.
  • Washed Patty’s car including undercarriage.

House

  • Spent a significant amount of time Spring cleaning our townhouse.
  • Cleaned and polished kitchen cabinets.
  • Fixed scuff on kitchen table with wood markers.
  • Fixed scuff on floor with wood markers.
  • Rearranged living room and reappropriated organizing furniture from other rooms to cut down on clutter.
  • Changed HVAC filter.
  • Cleaned foyer.
  • Pulled everything out of the spare room and cleaned.
  • Prepped HVAC Vents for summer.
  • Resolved neighborhood issues.

Fun

  • Julio’s liquors.
  • New York Deli in Westboro.
  • Researched trips for May.

May

  • We ate at Juniors NY Deli at Foxwoods and then went to see The Tenderloins/Tru TV Impractical Jokers at the Foxwoods Grand Theater. We had center balcony seats. Great seats and a great show.

Jokers

 

  • Visited the new Cabelas in Berlin, MA.
  • Went to Mohegan Sun with Patty. We stayed in a Deluxe King Room, ate at Summer Shack. Then while Patty was in her seminar I had the breakfast Buffet, then a Starbucks iced Cold Brew with soy milk. Then I played some video poker and quit while I was ahead. The rest of the day I used the room as my writing retreat. After Patty got out of the seminar we had dinner at the buffet then played video poker and slots. The next day found me at the buffet. After Patty finished her seminar we played some more video poker. I won $10.00 in slot play, turned it into $36.00 and then cashed out. Haha! A win is a win! Then we poked around Brookstone, avoiding the sales girl. Another round of Starbucks and we were homeward bound.

Mohegan Writing Retreat 1

 

Mohegan Writing Retreat 2

  • Stayed overnight at the Coachman Inn in Kittery, ME. Shopped at the outlets and then had a nice dinner at Weathervane. The Inn provided breakfast the next morning. Then we shopped more and went to Kittery Trading Post. Back to Weathervane for lunch, and then some Starbucks Cold Brew to fortify us as we fought the Memorial Day traffic home.

Movies

Ender’s Game ** 1/2 I found this movie fun but it lacked an indefinable something.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes ** After all the hype surrounding this film, I was left disappointed. I found it vapid and cliche.

Personal Development

  • To get myself back on track I began listening to the Anthony Robbins audio program Get the Edge again.
  • Completed the goal setting workshop to fine tune my life’s direction.

February in Review

In an attempt to keep up the momentum with this blog, I’ve decided to give you another update. This one will list out what I worked on during the month of February. It hasn’t been bad for a short month.

Writing

Short Fiction

  • I received and approved the galley proof edits of my SF/Horror story “Sat Down Inside Her” that will appear in the 3rd annual New England Horror Writer’s anthology. Also, provided an updated bio for the book.
  • I began work on a reimagining of an unsold 3k short story formerly known as Halloween’s Child. Having learned a lot about crafting a salable story since I wrote the original version in 2011, I was hit with a bit of inspiration on how I might make it viable. I’ve already tacked on a new opening scene and smoothed out the writing. Much like my novel WOLVES OF VENGEANCE, this story combines horror with the thriller genre. And I’m definitely expanding the thriller component. The horror thriller is kinda becoming my thing.

Novels

  • Year of the Demon (Conspiracy/Crime Thriller): I continued working on the 3rd draft of this 90,000 word novel. As I really dig in and polish the work I realize how much I’ve learned since I began writing this draft. The polishing stage is always the most frustrating and the most rewarding. So much needs to be fixed and rearranged, but it’s always fulfilling when the work is near to its final form.
  • The Tower (Paranormal Haunting/Woman in Jeopardy Crime Thriller):  I’m now approximately 20,250 or 81 pages into the first draft of this novel. So far, it feels like the best thing I’ve ever written. And yes, this novel would be considered a horror or supernatural thriller.
  • Proxy Mate (Dystopian SF): I haven’t made a lot of progress on this novella. My process is to work on multiple stories at a time. If I get stuck on one I just let it sit while I work on something else. I also tend to move back and forth between stories during my writing time. I’ve found I’m more productive this way, but some stories fall by the wayside. I’m sure I’ll get back to it in the month of March. As it stands, I’m 11,250 words or 45 pages into this novella.
  • Wolves of Vengeance (Multi-Genre Supernatural Thriller): Wolves received a very nice review this month. Take a look if you have a chance: http://davoortwilbo.blogspot.com/2015/02/david-north-martinos-wolves-of-vengeance.html

Reading

  • I finished A Different Kind of Slumber by Doug Rinaldi. You can find my review here.
  • I’m still working on the Indie Writer’s Pack. I’m 50% in and reading Let’s get Digital.
  • I started The Vanishing Magic of Snow by Reb MacRath and am 30% of the way in and loving it.

Networking

  • Continued editing a novella for a writer friend.
  • Helped a writer friend with research.
  • Kept up with writer friends on social media.

Family

  • Called my Mom & Dad twice a week on average this month.
  • Called my Aunt and Uncle to thank them for a gift.
  • Burned CDs for my Mom & Aunt.
  • Visited my Mom & Dad for breakfast.
  • Celebrated my birthday (Just like Jack Benny, I’ve had another 39th birthday).
  • Gave Patty roses for Valentine’s Day.
  • Sent my nephew a copy of the Signed Limited Edition Hardcover of The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks for his birthday.

Martial arts 

Another month where I unfortunately didn’t make any seminars.

  • Five rounds of shadow boxing 2-3 times a week with Patty.
  • Practiced Kali sinawali solo and with Patty.
  • Practiced Ukemi skills.

Fitness & Health

  • Lost two pounds of fat this month. Slow and steady–I’ll take it.
  • I’ve been in a biphasic sleeping pattern. Next month I need to change my schedule to allow for more sleep time during the night.
  • Had a Field of Vision Test. The test came out perfectly.  I have no glaucoma damage.
  • Had an appointment with my glaucoma specialist. He changed my eye drops to a lower dosage of medication, and moved me over from a generic to a brand name. He gave me a discount card to reduce the cost of the medication.

Sales

  • We sold our Wii that had been sitting in the entertainment center gathering dust.

House

  • I cleaned out and organized the entertainment center.
  • I unplugged any electronics we haven’t been using to save on the electric bill.
  • General cleaning and maintenance.

Whisky Tasting

I tried Glenfiddich 12 this month. I find it has a smoother taste, less complex, more candied, more like a bourbon, and less mouth burn/heat. I like it best of all the whisky I’ve tried.

Movies Watched

Not a big month for movies. Busy, busy, busy!

  • After Earth: ** mediocre, muddled, miscast.

That’s it for February. March is already coming on full force and swinging for the rafters. More soon…

January in Review

In an attempt to keep some sort of momentum going with this blog, I’ve decided to give you an update on what I’ve been working on during the month of January. It’s been a pretty good month. I’m hoping to make a couple videos soon that will show how I go about goal setting and planning my year. Until then, I give you this…

Writing

Short Fiction

  • My SF/Horror story “Sat Down Inside Her” was accepted into the untitled 3rd annual New England Horror Writer’s anthology slated for an early summer release. More information to come.
  • I received a rejection from a top market with a “hope to see more stories from you in the future” from the editor. As one writer commented on FB, “I hope you know that’s a fabulous response.” Some of my non-writer friends don’t understand how a rejection can be a good thing. Suffice it to say that when an editor from a top pro market says he’d like to see more of your work, you know your writing is near or at the level of that market. All that it will take is writing a story that catches the editor’s fancy to get an acceptance letter. Maybe that and a little luck.  As you can well imagine, cracking this market has been put on  the top of my goal list.

Novels

  • Year of the Demon (Conspiracy/Crime Thriller): I began working on the 3rd draft of this 90,000 word novel.
  • The Tower (Paranormal Haunting/Woman in Jeopardy Crime Thriller) : I’m approximately 15,200 words or 61 pages into the first draft of this novel. Currently, I’m projecting that it will run about 90,000 words when completed.
  • Proxy Mate (Dystopian SF) : I’m approximately 11,250 words or 45 pages into what most likely will be a novella. At present, I have no idea how long this story will run.
  • Wolves of Vengeance (Multi-Genre Supernatural Thriller): has had an uptick is sales and borrows this month. Updating the book description, changing the genre descriptors, and gaining a couple more glowing reviews has seemed to help.

Reading

Family & Friends

  • Called my parents at least once per week.
  • Kept in contact with my aunt through email.
  • Celebrated Patty’s birthday.
  • Kept up with friends on social media.
  • Contacted my friend and former Gothic & Arthurian lit professor through email to stay in touch.
  • Lit a candle for my sister on the anniversary of her death.

Martial Arts

  • So many good seminars this month, and I wasn’t able to attend any of them. At least I got plety of training in at home.
  • Five or six rounds of shadowboxing at least 2x per week with Patty using the Bas Rutten MMA Workout audio CDs.
  • Practiced Kali sinawali
  • Continued practicing Naihanchi forms

Fitness & Health

  • Lost a half inch from my waist and about a pound of fat since I began tracking again.
  • Began using myfitnesspal again to track my weightloss and fitness goals.
  • Utilized the original P90X DVDs a few times this month, doing about 30 minutes each (focused on Core Synergistics and Back & Chest).
  • Had my semi-annual dental cleaning.

Cars

  • Had D service on my car, along with an oil change.
  • Had my car inspected and a parking light replaced.

Thing Goals

  • Bought a set of precision screwdrivers at Ace Hardware. I’m going to upgrade the memory in my Mac. That’s the plan, at least.

House

  • General cleaning and maintenance.

Whisky Tasting

  • I’ve enjoyed drinking Glenmorangie The Original and Glenlevit 12. I’m very new to the world of whisky snobbery, but I find that it suits me. Haha! I enjoyed a sample of Glenlevit 15, but didn’t notice much difference from the 12. Tried Talisker at the recomendation of some writer friends and have found it a very acquired taste. I’m not used to the smokey/peaty taste, and not sure I’ll ever like it. All is not lost, though. I’ll be bringing whatever is left to AnthoCon where I will be very happy to share!

General

  • I survived the Blizzard of 2015.
  • I got a haircut. I look almost human again. Almost…

Movies Watched:

  • World War Z ***
  • Escape Plan **
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier ****

I’ll create an addendum if I think of anything else.

Until next time…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

YEAR IN REVIEW 2013

Each year I create a list of goals for every area in my life. Throughout the year I work on these 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

We lost way too many writers this year, so many that it’s staggering to think about. May they all rest in peace.

Novels

WOLVES OF VENGEANCE 

This year I competed a major life goal. I decided to independently publish a short novel/novella as an e-book on Amazon. I’ve been working on this book for a long time, and it was a great learning experience to do this on my own. For my next (full-length) novel, I’m going to reach out to an agent and/or traditional publishers. Here’s a list that gives a good idea of how I completed this goal.

  • Completed my final edits of Wolves of Vengeance.
  • Patty completed line edit.
  • I completed implementing Patty’s edits
  • Sent Wolves of Vengeance to beta readers
  • Commissioned a cover from Carl Graves.
  • Worked on secondary material.
  • Beta readers sent back positive comments.
  • Cover delivered.
  • Posted cover on Facebook and received positive feedback.
  • Updated my bibliography on Amazon Author Central.
  • Uploaded edited manuscript to Scrivener.
  • Researched Independent publishing.
  • Contacted Tracy DeVore and hired her to edit the novel.
  • Tracy completed initial edits.
  • I implemented Tracy’s initial edits.
  • Returned edits to Tracy for final review.
  • Implemented Tracy’s final edits after editorial approval.
  • Wrote dedication, copyright, and acknowledgment pages.
  • Uploaded final from Word into Scrivener and formatted for Kindle.
  • Began research for Createspace formatting.
  • Reviewed formatting on Kindle previewer. Everything seemed fine.
  • Began Kindle marketing research.
  • Wrote email letters to those I acknowledged in the book and sent out copies.
  • Had Patty edit back copy.
  • Uploaded book to Amazon on September 9th 2013.
  • After discover discrepancies in formation on different devices, I stopped promotion and fixed mobi file (approximately 2 weeks).
  • Chose initial reviewers and sent e-copies to them.
  • Became a top 100 Amazon author in the Psychic Suspense category #15 and on the same page as Stephen King and Peter Straub.
  • Received first royalties from Amazon in November.
  • Possible package deal with best selling authors in the works.
  • Reached out to top 500 reviews.
  • Received a couple of nice reviews on Amazon and one on Goodreads.

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WOLVES OF VENGEANCE 

YEAR OF THE DEMON (A Dark Crime Thriller)

I completed a first draft and worked on a second draft of this novel. I hope to have it completed and polished in a couple of months.

  • Finished 1st draft.
  • I let the 1st draft  cool.
  • Began first read through and light edit and took notes.
  • Created an outline based on the material I had already written.
  • Completed a main character character arc.
  • Worked on scenes for a main character to increase his presence in the book and completed them.
  • Began 2nd draft. At the time of this posting I’m at approximately 80,000 words or 308 pages.
  • Patty read first 100 pages and gave positive feedback
  • Sent first 100 pages to beta reader who is also an author and received positive feedback

Non fiction

  • Began writing and sketching out an outline for an anti-bullying book.

Short Fiction

I had a fantastic year for short fiction sales. To accomplish this I wrote new stories, fixed up old ones, submitted to markets, and networked

  • Sent short stories to 12 markets.
  • Wrote 3 new short stories.
  • Sold 6 stories. That’s a personal best!
  • Sold “Phantom Chasers to From Beyond the Grave, published by Grinning Skull Press and edited by Michael Evans.
  • Signed contract.
  • Received Kindle and print contributor copies.
  • Received payment.
  • Received positive feedback from anonymous author who is a friend of the editor: “Phantom Chasers:  Another good one.  A very unusual idea which was extremely well executed.  Even as short as it is, the character development is pretty damned good. We know who these people are in just a few lines.  The foreshadowing… is a mite obvious, but it doesn’t matter.  We KNOW that someone’s going to…die from very early on, but the author makes it work anyway…”

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FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE

  • My story “The Mesomorphic Woman” was the lead story in the Daughter’s of Icarus anthology, published by Pink Narcissus Press, and edited by Josie Brown. (This is the first time one of my stories has been featured as a lead).
  • Received Kindle and print contributor copies.

“Strong pieces offer memorable takes on the notion of feminism in speculative fiction.” – Library Journal

“…A classic anthology on par with Pamala Sargent’s Woman of Wonder series…” – Publishers Weekly

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DAUGHTERS OF ICARUS

  • Invited by Editor of Dark Dreams podcast to submit short story for podcast.
  • Revised “Graven Image” for audio.
  • I submitted “Graven Image” and it was accepted for audio. (This is the first time one of my stories has been produced for audio).
  • Story compared to the works of Charles Beaumont and Robert Block.
  • “Graven Image” featured in Dark Dreams podcast and read by E.S. Wynn. (1:30)
    Graven Image
  • Interviewed by Mark Slade on Dark Dreams podcast (first audio interview) (11:56)
    Interview
  • Revised “Schrödinger’s Parachute” and retitled to “The Interloper.”
  • Submitted “The Interloper” to Anthology: Year Two: Inner Demons Out.
  • Received acceptance in the mail.
  • Sold story to Anthology: Year Two: Inner Demons Out.
  • Signed contract.
  • Received contributor copy at AnthoCon.
  • Read a portion of “The Interloper” at AnthoCon.
  • Sent out invoice for payment.

ANTHOLOGY: YEAR TWO: INNER DEMONS OUT 

http://www.amazon.com/Anthology-Year-Two-Inner-Demons/dp/098589251X/ref=la_B004TIM8WC_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1384734038&sr=1-1

  • Submitted “Stone Butterfly” to Cellar Door anthology.
  • Editor requested an additional scene to improve flow of story.
  • Fixed inconstancy in villain’s name.
  • Stone Butterfly accepted into Cellar Door anthology.
  • Signed contract and sent back..
  • I received contributor copy.
  • Cellar Door won a Gothic Readers Choice Award.

Cellar Door Full Cover

CELLAR DOOR 

  • Editor Invited me into UK publisher Horrified Press’s Nightmare Illustrated Issue #2.
  • Sent “Staring at Me.”
  • The story was accepted.
  • Signed contract and returned.
  • Received first royalty payment.

NI2

NIGHTMARE ILLUSTRATED

  • Editor sent last royalty payment for Extinct Doesn’t Mean Forever and “The Language of Ice” single because they were going out of digital print.
  • Editor sent me the corrected Word file for “Language of Ice.”

Networking

  • Acted as a beta reader for a writer friend.
  • Attended the New England Horror Writers (NEHW) spring mixer at Ritual in Worcester.
  • Attended ANTHOLOGY (AnthoCon).
  • Assisted other writers with promotion.
  • Wrote reviews for some of the books I enjoyed.
  • Assisted an editor in creation of a MOBI file.

Family

  • Lit a candle for my sister on the anniversary of her passing.
  • Celebrated Patty’s birthday at the Weathervane Restaurant in Kittery Maine.
  • Flowers for Patty on Valentines Day.
  • Celebrated my birthday at the New China Buffet.
  • Celebrated 18 years of marriage and 21 years together.
  • Had Passover dinner with Patty.
  • Had Easter dinner at the In-laws.
  • Called my Aunt/Godmother for her Birthday.
  • Brought Patty for her checkup.
  • Called Mom & Dad once per week.
  • Had Mom & Dad over the house. Presented Dad with his Black Belt. Went to the range with my Dad. Then we ate at the Outback for a late lunch.
  • Called my Bro.
  • Visited my Dad, Mom, Brother, Sis-in-law, and their in-laws for Father’s Day at Foxwoods.
  • Sent a series of martial arts master portraits to my Dad .
  • Spent 4th of July at In-laws.
  • Visited Mom & Dad at Foxwoods for Mom’s birthday.
  • Met Mom & Aunt/Godmother at Johnny Rockets at Twin River.
  • Visited In-laws and Grandniece and Grandnephew.
  • Visited Mom & Dad for their Anniversary at Foxwoods.
  • Attended Patty’s work event at the Franklin Park Zoo.
  • Reconnected with an old high school friend.
  • Wrote a letter of reference for a long time friend.
  • Pre-Thanksgiving meal with my parents.
  • Thanksgiving at my in-laws.
  • Scheduled to meet my family in January.
  • Christmas with in-laws.

Martial Arts

  • Presented my Dad with Black Belt Certificate.

Dad Black Belt

  • Bought a one-year membership to MFS.
  • Attended Marlboro G&K show.
  • Celebrated 26 years in the martial arts.
  • Continued MMA conditioning workouts.
  • Continued my own martial arts training along with modern and archaic weaponry and forms.
  • Completed modified P90X challenge.
  • Began teaching Patty martial arts again with an emphasis on kickboxing.
  • Continued Bunkai research.
  • Added additional stretching to martial arts training.

Health

I met every health goal I had this year except for losing weight. My weight fluctuated throughout the year, but I did gain some muscle and flexibility. I will create a refined plan to accomplish my goal of losing twenty pounds for next year.

  • Dental cleaning x2.
  • Added muscle through P90X.
  • Edit: I lost 6 pounds of fat, gained 4.5 pounds of water, and gained 8.25 pounds of lean body mass (muscle).
  • Eye pressure dropped from 22 to 14 on the new medication. My left eye improved.
  • Had blood work completed for physical.
  • Had a great physical.
  • Joined an online medical portal.
  • Got a flu shot.
  • Joined Planet Fitness for 2014. Insurance covered most of the cost.

Challenges:

  • Started off the year recovering from bronchitis.
  • Broke tooth, had a temporary crown Installed.
  • Had permanent crown installed.
  • Had two cavities filled.

Cars

  • Both cars passed inspection.
  • All normal maintenance on cars completed.
  • Had airbag sensor replaced in my car, 2 warranty repairs and B service, new tires.
  • Patty’s car warranty repair, B service, blower motor repair, 3 tires sealed, 60K maintenance, wiper blades, flush, bulb replacements, break line checked.

Challenges:

  • Patty’s car was sideswiped by a hit and run driver while at work
  • Scheduled appointment and had fixed at Liberty Auto. They did a great job making the repair.

Charity & Community Service

  • Made donations in memory of my sister.
  • United Way Lantern Society.
  • Wrote letters to my representatives.
  • Voted in MA Special Election.

House

  • General maintenance.
  • Spring cleaning completed.
  • Cleaned study.
  • Cleaned garage. Utilized association scheduled dumpster to get rid of a lot of junk.
  • Had AC coils replaced. Victory honored warrantee even though it had expired a month earlier.
  • Put in upstairs window screens.
  • Put up hooks in garage hall for brooms and mops.
  • Replaced cover for the patio table.
  • Replaced HVAC filter at regular intervals.

Planning

  • Continued using Opus Domini for daily and weekly planning in conjunction with Anthony Robbins RPM.

Fun & Travel

  • Margaritas in CT.
  • Cabalas in CT.
  • Chili’s in Burlington.
  • Kittery Trading Post in ME.
  • Weathervane in Kittery ME.
  • Rein’s Delli in Vernon CT.
  • Iron Man 3 at IMAX Providence.
  • Watched Mayweather fight on HBO.
  • Penn & Teller at the Foxwoods Theater.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness IMAX 3D .
  • Man of Steel at IMAX .
  • Pinkberry  in RI.
  • Sonic in CT.
  • Trained in basic strategy for Jacks or Better video poker.
  • The Big E in Springfield.
  • Watched the Red Sox go from worst to first and win the World Series.
  • Capriotti’s in Foxboro.
  • Roger Williams Zoo, RI.
  • Portsmouth New Hampshire.
  • Watched Ronda Rousey retain her belt on PPV.

Spiritual

  • Continued praying at night and saying affirmations in the morning.

That’s about it for 2013. Watch out 2014… here I come!

 

Anthology: Year Two: Inner Demons Out

Last week I spent a fun filled weekend hanging out with creative people, attending readings and panels, and networking at AnthoCon in Portsmouth New Hampshire.

Here I am reading a portion of my story “The Interloper,” which appears in the annual AnthoCon anthology-Anthology: Year Two: Inner Demons Out.

“From the minds of guests of ANTHOLOGY (AnthoCon), Northern New England’s only Multi Genre Literature and Arts Convention, comes a compendium of imaginative prose, poetry, and arts.”

Featuring Works From…

Meghan Arcuri, T.G. Arsenault, Michael Bailey, David Bernstein, Tracy L. Carbone, Scott Christian Carr, Victorya Chase, Robert Davies, Mandy DeGeit, Timothy P. Flynn, John Goodrich, Scott T. Goudsward, Marianne Halbert, Stacey Longo, Kevin Lucia, Bracken MacLeod, Michaelle Mixell, G. Elmer Munson, Holly Newstein, David North-Martino, Errick A. Nunnally, Craig D.B. Patton, Susan Scofield, B.E Scully, Julie Stipes, Andrew Wolter, K. Allen Wood, Richard Wright, Candace Yost, T.T. Zuma

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http://www.amazon.com/Anthology-Year-Two-Inner-Demons/dp/098589251X/ref=la_B004TIM8WC_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1384734038&sr=1-1