La Riposte

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Day Late, A Few Goals Short

The title of this post is probably not a good sign of things to come, but I’m going to take it as an admission of failure to hold myself to task, and an encouragement to do better next time.

It’s been a busy week, as you can read about in more detail here, if you like, but for a quick recap of what did (and didn’t) happen on the ROW front, here goes:

- Drafted one chapter of the The Perfidious Mister Wickham 
- I didn’t post a ROW80 update on Wednesday as planned, and am obviously a bit late in posting at all this week!
- I did work on my boat this week, but didn’t post on the GypsyDangerously blog on Tuesday as I’d planned… Must do better next time!

- Took another two hours of classes towards my Black Belt in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, and got enough exercise in to break even, but not really build toward my other goals.

- Completed one DuoLingo class in French and two in Indonesian…

- I took 8 Marines down to Hilton Head to participate in an Ethics Symposium and met a lot of interesting people, did some great workshops, and heard some amazing speakers, but nothing that was “ROW80 Goal-related”.

- Got 42 new Twitter followers (now at 922, just 78 more to go!)

- So, this is where I could use some help from my friends in ROW80 – please check out my Patreon project - of course it would be great if you decided to become a patron, but if not, some Tweets or Facebook shares would help me get the word out and achieve my goal to get 48 more patrons before the end of the Round! 

That said, please feel free to ask ME to do anything quick, useful, and relatively inexpensive that would help promote your current project or cause!

OK, so, that’s it for this update – see you on Twitter, Facebook, and in the comments block!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Return to the #ROW80

Greetings and salutations! And thanks for stopping by… 

I am getting a late start to this Round of Words, though in fairness, at least I am starting it – I’ve been absent from this forum for the better part of a year. 

In that time, I have actually accomplished a good bit – started my publishing imprint, Umbrella Books, published my first paperback book, traveled to Paris and Burning Man, been featured in a videocast, a podcast, and written an article for that’s gotten over 8000 hits.

But that's the past, and this is a goals post about the future, so here are my modest’ish goals between now and Christmas.

- Write 8 chapters of The Perfidious Mister Wickham 
- ROW80 updates posted once a week (usually Wednesdays)
- Post weekly on my GypsyDangerously blog (Tuesdays)
- Finish The Artillerists (short story) 
- Finish Merry Christmas, Mister Washington (short story) 

- Run two 5K races
- Obtain my Black Belt in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program
- Get a first-class score on the Combat Fitness Test
- Bench 185 pounds

- Complete 8 DuoLingo classes in French
- Obtain a 2+/2+ or better on my Indonesian language test

- Go on at least four fabulous and fun dates with old friends and new
- Buy presents for all my family for Christmas

- Get 1000+ Twitter followers
- Join Lowcountry RWA

- Reduce my personal carbon footprint by using alternative means to get to work at least twice a week.

OK, so, that’s it for this Round – wish me luck, and I can promise you that I’ll do the same for you, and make myself heard cheering you onward on Twitter and Facebook.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

ROW80 Round-Up!

Won a Bronze Medal in a Jinglebell 5K...
Dear Readers... It's been much too long since my last ROW80 update, and this one finds us practically at the end of the Round... Since my last post, I've had a Marine die under tragically idiotic circumstances and led my remaining 116 Marines through a visit by an assortment of Generals and Admirals that resulted in kudos all around.

The ROW in Review - overall I scored about a 36 percent success rate, which is pretty terrible... (You can see my nerdy scoresheet below!)

So, on the writing front, which is sort of a big thing for a writer, I didn't really do too well - was touch and go with my blogging, my novel-in-progress, and my short stories. On the plus side, I wrote and finished another totally new and unexpected short story In a Yellow Wood (which came about as a result of the social/dating goals) and also finished The Warrior Ethos: One Marine Officer's Critique and Counterpoint. I also started blogging for the professional journal of the U.S. Marine Corps, The Marine Corps Gazette, and published a serious non-fiction article there.

Published a Short Story...
I got one short story published, and am getting close to releasing my first book (The Warrior Ethos) but have so far failed to get the Parasol Publishing imprint off the ground. I got about half as much yoga done as I had planned, but again, I feel I made up for that by completing an 8-week "mind-body medicine" class, where I learned meditation skills and worked through a number of self-awareness exercises. I also got a medal for 3rd place in my age group in a Jinglebell 5K!

I didn't get any language teaching done, but I attained Level 6 in the Duolingo French curriculum, passed my Indonesian language test with good enough grades to get paid at the second-highest tier, and got a third of the way through a Russian language course in the Air War College curriculum. I also registered to volunteer developing the Indonesian-English syllabus on Duolingo, so we'll see what happens there!

Dabbling with dating has been, well, interesting - and got to race NASCARs around a short track, so that can be knocked off the bucket list.... Networking and "New Economy" goals fell a bit short, but perhaps in the next Round...

Here's the breakdown, as promised...

- Chapters of The Perfidious Mister Wickham written and posted - 4 of 11
- ROW80 updates posted - 6 of 11
- Posts on my GypsyDangerously blog - 6 of 11
- Finish The Artillerists (short story) - Fail!
- Finish Ho B-52 (short story) - Win!
- Finish Merry Christmas, Mister Washington (short story) - Fail!

- Publish Ho B-52 (short story) - Win!
- Start the Parasol Books imprint - Fail!

- Run two 5K races - 1 of 2
- One yoga class per week (flexibility) - 4 of 11

- Teach French for 2 hours per week - Fail!
- Teach Indonesian for 2 hours per week - Fail!

- Begin dating - a bit of a beautiful disaster / work in progress...
- Go on 5 “bucket list” adventures - 1 of 5

- Spend 5 hours per week on Social Media (Twitter, FB, blogs, etc...) - Fail!
- Join Lowcountry RWA - Halfway there! Joined the national organization...

- Join Air B&B - Win!
- Reduce my personal carbon footprint - Fail!

So, that's it for this week... Hope you are all reaching a successful conclusion to your Round of Words, and best wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Warm regards,

Saturday, December 21, 2013

New Short Fiction!

Dear Readers - I'm thrilled to announce that a new short story is finally available on Amazon... Set in the skies and streets of Hanoi, it seamlessly melds the past and future, fact and fiction into a poignant tale of ennui, terror, life and death in Vietnam.

It's currently 99 cents on Amazon, so if you'd like to support your favorite independent author, pop over and grab a copy today! (if you're wallet's been drained by the holiday shopping, don't worry, a "Free Promotion" should be coming along presently!

If some serious non-fiction writing is more your thing, check out my latest post on the Marine Corps Gazette's blog...

More short fiction is in the pipeline, as well as new chapters of The Perfidious Mister Wickham - so, stay tuned as there will be lots more to read in the New Year!

Hope you're having a wonderful day,


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Facebook Promotion Payoff and a #ROW80 Update!

Adopting a Napoleonesque pose
at the Marine Corps Ball
A busy week gone by, and the little checklists have so far paid dubious dividends… Even the simple things, like “Drink 2 liters of water” are going undone, often as not. Of course, it was an odd week, what with an impromptu send-off party for a fellow officer headed to Afghanistan and my squadron’s Marine Corps Birthday Ball on Thursday night, but even so!

That said, I did get a good bit of writing done, so salvaged that end of things… I also did a little experiment, putting $5.00 of promotional money toward the Facebook post on Chapter 34 of The Perfidious Mister Wickham… The result? So far, with only about $2.50 spent, over 1000 people have seen the Facebook post, and over 100 have visited the book page – an all-time high!

With the book running an estimated 45-50 chapters, about $50 should theoretically bring in quite a lot of potential readers and future customers. Worth the price of admission? I think so, but does anyone else have experience with this feature on Facebook?

- Posted Chapter 34 of The Perfidious Mister Wickham
- Posted this ROW80 Update!
- Put up a new post on my GypsyDangerously blog…
- Wrote most of Chapter 35 of The Perfidious Mister Wickham.
- Wrote about a third of a non-fiction piece for Foreign Affairs.

- Attended yoga class on Saturday
- Tracked down a local rugby club to play for.

- Well, old economic – put in an offer on a pair of little rental condos in Hilton Head!
- Reduce my personal carbon footprint – I got the electric motor and battery for my little dinghy, and took her out for a spin – read the wholestory here!

So, another somewhat useful week, but lots to do still – will put the little checklists to the test this coming week, where my big goal is to get Ho B-52 published and promoted!

Wish me luck!


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Another Sunday #ROW80 Update!

One of the medals for an award
that I wrote up this week...
So, it’s been a week or more since my last update… Bad author! Bad!

But I’ve accomplished a few things while I’ve been running silent, running deep…

- Posted Chapter 33 of The Perfidious Mister Wickham
- Posted this ROW80 Update!
- Put up a new post on my GypsyDangerously blog…

I’ve also been accepted as a contributor to the blog for The Marine Corps Gazette (the professional journal of the United States Marine Corps) and my sister has asked me to help co-author an article for Foreign Affairs.

On top of all that, I’ve been busy writing at work – a Meritorious Service Medal nomination (3 pages) and a Legion of Merit nomination (4 pages) – an author’s work is never done!

- Pulled off a bucket list adventure racing NASCAR’s around the short track up in Myrtle Beach (pictures to follow one of these days!)

- Joined the national Romance Writers of America (RWA) – now I just need to join the local chapter… If this seems like an odd move, it’s because The Perfidious Mister Wickham has elements that will appeal to the same readers that RWA authors generally cater to…

- Join Air B&B – complete! Now I just need to get my little vessel ship-shape so I can start bringing in guests from time to time!
- Reduce my personal carbon footprint – I found a lovely little dinghy that comes with a sail, oars, and the mounting block for a little solar-powered electric motor that I plan to install – so, for the cost of about 8 tanks of gas, I should have carbon-free waterborne transportation to work here very shortly!

So, a vaguely productive period of time, but there’s still a lot more to be done in the last 6 weeks of this Round of Words. I’ll be quite honest that I’ve been having difficulty meeting some of my goals, so to ensure they don’t fall through the cracks, I’ll be creating 6 weeks worth of little checklists and making sure that I’m marking something relevant off every day!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday #ROW80 Update

What’s new this week?

A little progress on the writing front – I’ve finished 2 Chapters of The Perfidious Mister Wickham, and will probably get this week’s chapter posted either tomorrow or Tuesday... This counts as my ROW80 update, and I actually got a good bit of editing done on my critique of Steven Pressfield’s The Warrior Ethos.

I also got in my yoga class for the week, and though I’m not teaching language (yet) I did study both Russian and French, and in fact I found a neat, free tool for anyone learning a Romance language - French, Italian, Spanish, etc. - - so far I've done the basic course (4 lessons) for French, and I really like it!

As for dating, I think I’m going to take that one a bit slow... The gene pool seems to be a little shallow around here, but who knows, perhaps I’ll be happily surprised.

No bucket list adventures to report, but I did have a good time up in Charleston with my little brother, playing Dominant Species and watching the UFC fight...

And I got nothing much done  in terms of networking or the new economy, but I listened to some greatTED Talks on a playlist featuring conversations about the open-source future.

A short update, but it is what it is... In the coming week I’ll focus on:
- Posting Chapter 32 of The Perfidious Mister Wickham,
- Posting on GypsyDangerously
- Final edits and e-publishing of Ho B-52 (short story)

I’ll have to squeeze in one weekday yoga class so that I can get up early to Charleston next Saturday to run in the rUndead 5K, and try to make sure I get around to:
-  Scheduling language classes for my Marines
- Joining Lowcountry RWA
- Joining AirBNB

- Reducing my personal carbon footprint by getting a kayak and paddling to work...

But all that requires some rest, so off to bed I go!

Wishing everyone a happy and productive week,