Archive for Writing

Year in Review 2017

Posted in Goals with tags , on December 31, 2017 by David North-Martino

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!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Witch (2015): Alternate Ending

Posted in Horror with tags , , , , on January 23, 2017 by David North-Martino

Last night we streamed The Witch (2015) on Amazon Prime. This was the first time I had watched this film. I had heard good things, and I wasn’t disappointed. I usually spend time discussing the movie with my wife, and, if the movie has subtext, we spend time analyzing it. This analysis led me to think about an alternative way to end the film.  I like the original ending, I think it works, but I wanted to present a “quieter” version that I think works with the themes and still completes the character arc. Having some author friends who write novelizations, I was inspired to novelize a reimagined ending as fan fiction. Since the film takes place during the 17th century, I had a little trouble with the piece of dialog I needed to write. I still don’t like it, but I think it’s close enough to get the idea. And just so we’re clear, if you haven’t seen the movie yet–here be Spoilers!

bf

The Witch (2015): An Ending Reimagined

Thomasin looked down at her mother, the woman who had given birth to her, the woman she had just killed. Panic receded and was replaced with a wave of numbness. A sense of calm overcame her. She would not, could not, think of her family, or the preceding moments that had left her alone in this world. Instead, Thomasin picked up the bloodied billhook and strode off to her brother’s grave. Once there, she scooped up earth with her hands until there was enough of a depression that she could deposit the agriculture implement and bury it with loose dirt.

Retracing her steps, she began her preparation. She removed two eggs from the chicken coop and placed them in a satchel. Then she removed one chicken, the beast squawking as she did. She brought the bird over to her father’s tree stump where he had spent so much time splitting wood. Something that she had derided him for, but she wouldn’t think of that now. Couldn’t think of it. She had splitting to do of her own.

Using her father’s hatchet, she cleanly removed the head from the chicken. The force of the blade connected with the wood, making a hard thunk. Once the bird had stopped it’s spasms she placed the still warm carcass in her satchel, returned to the coop to snatch a second chicken, and then repeated the process.

Returning to her home for the last time, Thomasin thought about removing her bloodied garments but despite the disgust she felt wearing them, thought better of it. Instead, she grabbed more items she would need and placed a burlap shawl over her shoulders. All she wanted to do was sleep, but she could not. She had to be on the move before nightfall.

As her last act, she leashed Black Phillip with a rough braided rope. The goat gave no resistance. With her satchel strapped across her body, and Black Phillip in tow, she made her way back to the road she and her family had used to find their place in the world over a year ago.

Thomasin walked, thinking little, still numb, a numbness she wasn’t sure would ever recede. The forest around her had lost its color, and what there was of the sun had lost its warmth.

As night fell all around her, she had no choice but to stop and make camp. She tied Black Philip securely to a tree, far enough away from her camp that the rope would not allow him to reach her. She poured out some oats that would have been used to feed the horse, careful to give only enough to sustain him over night so that the food would last until she reached her destination.

Stoking a fire, (how many times had she watched her father or her mother do it? She couldn’t remember) the warmth of the blaze elusive to her skin, she plucked and then roasted the chicken over a spit, using branches whittled with her father’s hunting knife.

Her stomach filled, but her soul empty, she propped up against a tree and waited for daylight.

The next morning she broke camp. Black Philip had not escaped his confinement. Together they made their way down what felt like an endless road. How long this went on she could not remember, and her condition never changed. She could not shake the numbness or the emptiness within, and the world around her only reflected her depression.

Finally, the high walls that protected the plantation could be seen in the distance. The sight did not give her joy. She was sure nothing ever would. Once at the gates, she made a fist and pounded. Waited. Then pounded again. Finally the wooden doors groaned opened. The men who answered, who dressed in the same way as her father had, whose children she had grown up with, looked at her with pity. She did not want to be pitied.

They sent for the Governor and his two magistrates, and in short order, the three men who had sentenced her family to exile stormed through a growing crowd to look quizzically at the young woman, her clothing covered in dried blood, and the black goat that stood behind her on a leash.

“Mine family. Suffered I did to watch them die. Killed they be, by a hostile tribe,” Thomasin said, staring at the ground. Then she looked up. “Survived, I did. Alone.”

The governor nodded his head, a look of supreme sorrow darkening his expression. He waved her in, and the crowd parted to let her and Black Phillip through.

Crossing the threshold, they entered the throng, and the gates shut behind them.

End.

Year in Review 2016

Posted in Goals, Martial Arts, Writing with tags , , , on December 31, 2016 by David North-Martino

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!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review of Hank Schwaeble’s Angel of the Abyss

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on October 31, 2016 by David North-Martino

angel-of-the-abyss

Hank Schwaeble’s Jake Hatcher is back in his third novel, The Angel of the Abyss. As always, and just like his short fiction, Schwaeble crafts a rollicking good tale that will keep you turning the pages.

The beginning of this tale has Hatcher facing a demon, although it’s more complicated than that, giving Hatcher time to exercise his sarcastic wit. Fans of Supernatural and Ash vs. the Evil Dead will definitely appreciate the humor.

The mood becomes more serious and dire in the second act. The middle of the book, unlike many writers who get bogged down at this point, is where Schwaeble really shines. He does a great job writing from the perspective of Amy, Jake’s true love, who is also a former cop. I actually enjoyed Amy’s scenes even more than Hatcher’s. The two of them fight like the proverbial married couple, of which, I’m sure, many readers will be able to relate.

Schweable also does a fine job of taking on the perspective of a young boy. We meet the boy while he’s in a precarious situation, and we know from the beginning that the boy will converge with Hatcher and Amy at some point in the story. I won’t spoil it for you, but I think you’ll be racing to the end to find out what happens.

Hatcher’s past is constantly catching up with him, complicating things, and fans of the series will get some closure on events that were set up in the previous volumes. New readers can start here; Hank does a great job of bringing you into Hatcher’s world. You won’t feel left out or confused.

The last third of the book builds up to a hellish crescendo leaving this reader wanting more. There are questions left unanswered, promising a fourth book in this popular series. The Angel of the Abyss has it all: likable characters, demons, black magic, possession, secret military installations, cults, and lots of action. If you want a story to get you in the mood for Halloween and beyond, pick up The Angel of the Abyss. You won’t be disappointed. Highly recommended.

February in Review

Posted in Goals, Martial Arts, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 4, 2015 by David North-Martino

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…

YEAR IN REVIEW 2013

Posted in Goals with tags , , , , on December 31, 2013 by David North-Martino

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.

Image

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!

 

Blog Post Mention for Cellar Door Authors

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on October 31, 2013 by David North-Martino

Greg Norris mentioned me in his blog post, along with some other amazing writers.  

“Rounding out the Table of Contents are such luminous authors as Tracy L Carbone, J Daniel Stone, K Trap Jones, and David North-Martino.”

http://gregorylnorris.blogspot.com/2013/10/new-release-flash-flood.html

http://www.amazon.com/David-North-Martino/e/B004TIM8WC/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_6