La Riposte

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Final Countdown in Afghanistan - a #ROW80 Update

It's the Final Countdown...
So, I missed last two week’s ROW80 updates, and missed publishing chapters of The Perfidious Mister Wickham. I’m behind on finishing up Steven Pressfield’s “The Warrior Ethos”: One Marine Officer’s Critique & Counterpoint, and as for my other various writing goals – nothing! It would be easy to throw up my hands and say “Such is life in a combat zone,” but believe it or not, I’ve actually been doing a very great deal of writing, it’s just that not all of it aligns with my personal goals. 

Much of it is work-related – it’s important to recognize superior performance, and since my last check-in I’ve written up three Meritorious Service Medals, six Navy Achievement Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, and ghost-written a Bronze Star Medal. I’ve also drafted a 2000-word op-ed on diversity in the Marine Corps, published 3 issues of the squadron newsletter, and done a bit of work on my ROW80 goals, as listed below…

So why the retro-hair-metal picture? Well, besides the fact that Europe rocks, it's official - we're counting down the weeks (soon to be days) before redeploying back to the States - which is great, but it just means there will be that much more work to do. Thus, I have to be realistic about how much I'll be able to do as a writer - the answer? Probably not that much. 

Before the goals update, I do have some other exciting news to report; I’ve been asked to co-author a screenplay on a most interesting Victorian character, and am now planning to release the first volume of The Perfidious Mister Wickham as a novella in early August, while I finish the book in its current online-serial format and re-release the whole novel next year.
And now for a very brief goals update:

- Wrote 1500 words on my critique of Pressfield’s The Warrior Ethos.
- Wrote an Op-Ed: The Marine Corps's Diversity Task Force: Looking for the Right Answers, Asking the Wrong Questions. Now to find a publisher... Thinking the New York Times "At War" blog, or possibly the Opinion page. Any suggestions?

- Did 225 lbs on the squat, and 275 lbs on the deadlift in a recent weightlifting competition – adding 80 lbs to my previous score from just 6 weeks ago!
- Bodyfat is down to 11% - so I'm doing well in that department.

- Got in 5 solid hours of French study this week… Je suis un bien eleve!

- Still looking for more – anyone joins 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

With just 11 days left in this ROW, how am I looking for the original goal set? I’ve failed to make any progress in short story writing or publishing, or to advance with my Learning Indonesian book. I haven’t started the “Parasol Books imprint” or gotten much done in networking. I’m probably averaging closer to 4 hours of French study per week than 5, but I am on track for my bodyfat goals, (16% -->11%) and I have added an average of 13 lbs per week to my bench press – the goal was only five!

I'd like to say that a big push in these final weeks of the ROW will put me over the top, but... No. I'm practical enough to realize that it's unlikely to happen. That said, I hope everyone has had a great weekend, is all set for another productive week, and is doing better than I am at attaining their goals this round.

A la prochaine!