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 in doing so it will inspire you to do the same.
Finished the third-draft of The Tower of Abandon, a horror-thriller novel that is hovering around 75,000 words.
Entered the St. Martin’s Minotaur/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition.
Participated in the National November Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).
Began writing Black Magic Bullets (Urban Fantasy) during NaNoWriMo and published 16 (first-draft) chapters on my blog.
I FREAKING LOVE THIS. It fills a void that Harry Dresden has left. –Review from a Twitter follower.
Began utilizing ProWritingAid to tighten my prose.
Awarded an Honorable Mention in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest putting my story in the top 2% of all entries.
My story Shattered (3,200 words) was shortlisted for inclusion in an anthology.
Submitted to 11 fiction markets including 2 submissions to WOTF.
Wrote and posted a review of glass slipper dreams, shattered by Doungjai Gam.
Wrote and posted a review of Ararat by Christopher Golden.
Read through a manuscript and gave input to a pro/Indy writer.
Notable Books Read
The Chinaman (The Foreigner) by Stephen Leather
Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton
Ararat by Christopher Golden
The Big Bopper Rises by Reb MacRath
Dr. Sleep by Stephen King
Without Remorse by Tom Clancy
Storm Front by Jim Butcher
Writers of the Future Vol. 35
Wrote 21 plus Scribes of Arcanum Anatomy of a Sale blog posts.
Reposted 2 of my out of print stories on my blog.
Posted 16 (1st draft) chapters of Black Magic Bullets on blog.
Family & Friends
Introducing our adoptive cat, Diesel!
We adopted a five-year-old tuxedo cat from the Woonsocket Cat Sanctuary. He had gone semi-feral and they thought he might never be adoptable. Surprisingly, to all the staff, Diesel took to us very quickly. Although, once we got him home, he hid for almost a month. Now he can’t get enough of us and has made it his mission to become a lap cat. The main challenge we had with him is that at some point, as far as the vet can tell, he bit the inside of his cheek and he had to take meds to heal his wound. We brought him to the vet 4 times this year for checkups and it seems he has finally healed. Diesel has made himself at home and has become a part of our family.
I drove my dad (and my mom) to an eye doctor appointment the day after his cataract surgery and then we went to lunch.
I met my parents for breakfast at Foxwoods.
Met briefly with friends at the New England Whiskey Fest.
Saw Rambo: Last Blood with my dad.
Went to New Orleans for our Anniversary.
Had Thanksgiving dinner with the In-Laws.
Kept in touch with my friend and former English professor through email.
Martial Arts and Other Training.
I was Patty’s plus one at Planet Fitness. Most of my time there was for leg days. I spent 30 minutes on either the treadmill or incumbent bike and then performed weighted leg lifts and squats among other exercises.
Celebrated 32 years of formal martial arts training.
Had the opportunity to take a couple Hapkido and open classes this year.
Attended the Chung Suk Kuhapdo (Korean sword) seminar taught by Master May of the Blue Stone Dojang.
After the seminar, I was invited to have lunch at Arisu Korean Restaurant in Leominster, MA. Had Sujeonggwa Cinnamon with Ginger Punch, Bulgogi beef with white rice and some appetizers, miso soup, and either Seafood Paijeon or Kimchi-jeon.
Home training included shadow boxing using JKD attack by combination (ABC) and Bas Rutten Boxing and Tai boxing HITT training, Kali double and single stick, stick and dagger, Bunkai and forms training, and Kunhapdo sword draws and 100 cuts.
Had my annual physical and am the picture of health. Although, I could use to drop a couple pounds. Haha!
My doctor wanted a spot on my forehead checked by a dermatologist. I went to the appointment but it was a false alarm. No issues. Whew!
Began calcium and magnesium supplements.
Saw my ophthalmologist twice and my pressure has been down.
Had two dental cleanings. Dental exam showed a cracked tooth and I had to have a root canal that took three appointments to complete.
Had to replace tires on my car. They were nearing the end of their tread cycle and had dry rot.
I went through the process of replacing my driver’s license with a Real ID.
Patty’s struts failed and were replaced under warranty.
A small piece of composite worked it’s way inside one of Patty’s tires and was fixed for free.
Patty’s vehicle needed brakes and rotors.
Updated Patty’s out of date Mazda infotainment system firmware.
To save money we hooked up a Clearstream antenna to receive free Over The Air TV.
At the same time we switched to Philo for live TV streaming.
During the year we utilized free and discounted premium streaming services including Showtime and Starz. Starz is still ongoing.
Utilized free 30 day free trial for Netflix that is still ongoing.
Utilized various discount stores and got loyalty cards for Ollie’s Bargain Outlet and Ocean State Job Lots.
Utilized a discounted BJ’s membership that is still ongoing.
Refinanced our mortgage
Leveraged taxes again to a tax preparer.
I put everything aside for about a month to do some much-needed house repairs.
We brought in an electrician to replace wired smoke and CO2 alarms along with adding a heat detector in the garage.
The electrician also updated lighting in the dining area, kitchen, and upstairs hall. We also had them replace the broken exhaust fan in the bathroom.
As part of the bathroom refresh to prep for the electrician and plumber, we painted the ceiling and installed a stick-on backsplash.
We had Victory Plumbing come in and rebuild shower fixtures in both the upstairs and downstairs bathrooms. The downstairs had seized and needed replacement and the upstairs was going. Also, I had to refresh the downstairs bathroom faucet and the kitchen faucet which was leaking.
I replaced the downstairs toilet innards to stop it from running. (I was tired of chasing after it! Haha).
I replaced the doorbell with a wireless doorbell.
I also changed out the garbage disposal.
We replaced our old stove since two of the burners no longer worked, and our old fridge since it was dying.
We had the electricians add an outlet in the garage ceiling to be up to code and then replaced our broken garage door and automatic door opener.
Travel & Fun
We hadn’t been to New Orleans since the year 2000 and it was nice to return to the Crescent City. It was very hot and muggy and we decided not to venture too far from our hotel, but still had a great time.
Stayed at the Wyndham French Quater – it was fine but would not recommend. The Concierge tried to pressure us into a timeshare presentation. We had trouble getting the maid service to clean our room but they were right there on the day we left looking for a tip. I have a tip for them—do your job!
Deuce Mcallister’s Ole Saint Kitchen & Tap was right next door, and very convenient when the weather became too oppressive for walking.
Started many a morning (or afternoon) with Chicory coffee and beignets at Cafe Beignet.
A bartender at B.B. King’s turned us onto Hochstadter’s Low & Slow Rock & Rye and Old Fashioned cocktail in a bottle.
We marched in a popup parade.
We ate at Oceana Red Fish, had Muffulettas at Central Grocery & Deli, and a farewell meal at Acme Oyster House.
Hung out at Jackson Square, toured St. Louis Cathedral and the Old Ursuline Convent, and walked around Frenchmen Street.
Watched Steamboat Willie at the Cafe Beignet at Musical Legends Park.
I performed Karaoke at The Cat’s Meow. Hey, someone has to entertain the people visiting the Big Easy! Watch my performance here!
Whitesnake Concert – Twin River Casino in Lincoln, RI
Patty took me to see Whitesnake at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, RI for my birthday.
We had a blast. Birthday dinner at Texas Roadhouse and washed it down with Slow & Easy whiskey sours at the concert.
New England Whiskey Fest – Twin River Casino in Lincoln, RI
Here’s a list of what we tried at the New England Whiskey Fest, along with initial impressions. If it wasn’t so busy, I’d have taken more pictures.
Glenfiddich Bourbon Barrel Reserve 14 – We both prefer the 12 or 15 Solara cask. Sweet arrival with a dry spicy finish.
Eagle Rare – Very sweet. Would make a good mixing whiskey.
Sazerac Rye – one of Patty’s favorites. Very spicy. Probably better in a Sazerac, but no problem drinking neat.
Whistle Pig Straight Rye 15 – Okay, would try again.
Highland Park 12 – Lightly peated. Nicely balanced. One of Patty’s favorites. I liked this a lot.
Auchentoshan 12 – I tried this. Very nice. Floral and sweet. Enjoyable.
Laphroaig 10 – Patty didn’t’ try. Either my tastes are changing or this whiskey has mellowed. Still has a strong taste of cough sweets, but I swear I was hunting for peat. Maybe tasting so many spirts changed the nature of this whiskey on my pallet.
Jameson Black Barrel – Patty tried. She wasn’t impressed.
A mixed drink with Bully Boy white whiskey. Patty tried and enjoyed it.
West Cork Port Cask finish – Patty tried and did not like.
Bourbon infused cupcakes. Awesome!
Fred and Steve’s Steak House Steak Sandwich (I ate two!).
Shipyard Pub Truffle Fries.
Wicked Good Chicken Cheese Waffle or something. I had this but didn’t like it.
Wrapped Scallop w/ Bacon. Patty had one. She thought it was awesome.
Fiji supplied the water.
Popa Chubby provided the music.
A good time was had by all!
2019 Movies Watched in 2019 at Home
The Foreigner **** Starz – This is from 2017 but watched after reading Stephen Leather’s novel.
Captain Marvel ** Movies Anywhere.
The Curse of Llorona *** Amazon $.99 rental
Avengers: Endgame **** Movies Anywhere
Avengement **** DVD
Triple Threat ** /Blu-Ray
Annabelle Comes Home ** Prime rental
Kill Chain *** Prime
John Wick 3: Parabellum **** Blu-Ray
6 Underground *** Netflix
Men in Black: International * Starz
Spiderman: Far From Home **** Blu Ray
Brightburn ** Starz
2019 Movies watched in the Theater
Rambo: Last Blood **** Cinema World Fitchburg.
Ad Astra **** Providence Place IMAX
That’s it for 2019. I’ll see you in 2020!
Happy New Year!!!