La Riposte

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Rainy Sunday #ROW80 Update from Afghanistan

The weather forecast here calls for “lightning, hail, torrential rain, and localized flooding. Severe downbursts and sudden wind shifts with heavy dust fronts may exist in the vicinity of thunderstorms.”

Ahh, the joys of life in the Afghan desert. But as long as rain and hail are the only things falling from the sky, I’m quite content here! Another busy week, and again, I’ve missed the Wednesday update, but shall endeavor to make up for it here.

The Wi-Fi provided by the base has been almost non-functioning this week, but my Marines are working to put up a satellite connection that will be under our control, and not only much more reliable, but also located closer to where we spend most of our time. Once that’s up and running, I should be able to do a better job of social networking – in the meantime, what little free time I have is devoted to writing.

My military duties keep me quite busy, but I’ve been managing to eat healthy, drink my 3 liters of water per day, and logged 9 miles of running this week. I also read a few rather interesting books – Steven Pressfield’s The Warrior Ethos and Joshua Ramos’ The Age of the Unthinkable. In fact, my reading led directly to another writing project – I was so annoyed by the questionable logic and conclusions found in Pressfield’s book that I felt obliged to write a book-length critique and counterpoint – so the majority of my non-fiction writing this week has gone into that endeavour, which has yielded 16,000 words so far, and encouraged literary expeditions into the works of Herodotus and the epic Indian saga the Bhagavad-Gita.

For that reason, no progress to report on Learning Indonesian or the Parasol Books imprint, but I did manage to get a little networking done! Final edits on the book review for the Air Force Research Institute got moved to the back burner as well, but hopefully I’ll knock those out next week.

- Posted a new chapter of The Perfidious Mister Wickham

- Wrote 16,000 words of Stephen Pressfield’s “The Warrior Ethos”: One Marine Officer’s Critique and Counterpoint

- Put out the 13th issue of the Squadron newsletter – 9 pages of print & pictures!

- Added 5 lbs to my Bench Press… - Bodyfat back to 16% - this is a bit annoying, but I’ll continue once-a-week measurements and see what happens…

- Completed my requisite 5 hours of language study, mais, je suis encore un idiote!

- Visited my friend Nicole Basaraba’s new webpage – it’s lovely, do check it out!

- Still looking for 2 people to join my “Core Group” this week – anyone who does will get free books and advance copies of new material in exchange for reviews and critique… Are you interested? If so, leave a note here, or drop me a line directly to

So, that’s it for my goals! How did you do with yours? I hope everyone has had a great weekend, and is all set for another productive week!

Bonne chance!


  1. I'm checking in from ROW80 and see amazing progress on your goals. I'm glad your writing is going well. You've captured the 18th Century social mores effectively, even with an airhead for the female character and a less than empathetic protag (but I've only read one chapter; I could so easily be wrong). Write on!

    1. Thanks, Beth!

      Which chapter did you read, the latest one?

      I do work hard to get the details right, which I find to be half the fun of writing historical fiction with a twist!

      Have a great day,

  2. Hello, just checking in with you from ROW80 as well.

    I've read Steven Pressfield's books, namely "The Legend of Baggar Vance" (quite a bit different from the film) and "Gates of Fire" and "Last of the Amazons". I'll have to check out "The Warrior Ethos" and see what it's like.

    Congrats on all the achievements this week - not easy when the wifi isn't working properly - gets in the way of research and keeping in touch with people.

    Felicitations encore, and je vous souhaite une bonne semaine. A la prochaine!