Tag Archive for goals

You’ll Believe a Fat Man Can Fly

I tell people I like karate because there is a lot less high kicking and jumping than in an art like taekwondo.

Then I made black belt, and last week I learned this kata:

We run this one slightly different, but there’s still a 360° jump and a jump kick into a 180° turn with a four-point landing. Swell.

I’m not giving up, though. I’ve said “I can’t” in karate before, and before long, I could. This is why I’m still doing leg day this morning, even though my publisher is on his way down for a meeting. This is why I’m thinking about investing in a solid stand for box jumps. This is why I’m looking at tweaking my stretching routine.

I may not be as graceful with kicks and jumps as some of my instructors and fellow black belts, but I will be able to do this.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

2013 Reboot

It’s been a long year already. Most of my plans have been derailed, but now it’s time for a fresh start.

Here’s the deal:

Late last year, my karate instructors told me they wanted to put me up for black belt in March. Two other candidates and I put together our attack team and we started training on Sundays. This also meant attending more classes, practicing and studying more often at home, and following the New Year the three of us started additional weekly training separate from our team.

Writing karate papers today

My writing and studying through the first quarter of the year looked like this

Training soon trumped everything, including writing. If I were a full-time writer, it wouldn’t have been an issue. However, I still have obligations to a day gig and I have a family, so something had to give. For the time being, unfortunately, that meant the writing.

I didn’t want to mention it here because I didn’t want to jinx it. See, my dojo doesn’t play games when it comes to black belts. It’s earned, no question. I felt confident I would pass the test, but there’s always a very real possibility of failure. I had to write three essays, take a 120-question written test, attempt the various physical requirements several times, and the test itself took about eight hours and covered just about everything I’d learned from white belt up to that point. I certainly didn’t want to be the guy talking up my upcoming test in public, only to turn around and have to admit I failed it.

Fortunately, I passed.

Our Kamiza

Our brown belts left on the altar following the kamiza ceremony

All three of us passed, in fact, and I scored better than I expected to. Two of us attended a seminar for our style, Shuri-ryu, the weekend following the test, and then this past weekend we had our formal promotion ceremony to receive our black belts and make things official.

It’s a huge load of pressure off, and it’s nice to finally have real free time again. My karate training will continue, but now I’ll be able to dial things back down to a sane level again. I’ll have my Sundays freed up and I’ll have more time for writing in general. I’ll be able to fiddle around with the camera again, and I can revisit my writing plans for the year once more.

Back on Track

Back on track, in more ways than one

I’ve resumed my normal fitness routine, too. I got back on the weight bench last week, and this morning I went out for my first run of the season. It was short and not near what I hoped, but I’m glad I could get back out there. I’m hoping to run the Warrior Dash again this year if my schedule allows, and I can’t let this stubborn Winter slow me down any longer.

It’s also catch-up time. I owe a few people a few different things. It’s about time I handle that, too.

So here I am with a fresh start on 2013. And it’s Spring Break, so it’s a good week to kick it all off. Stay tuned here this week for more news and updates, and thank you all for sticking around while I’ve been quiet.

Your patience will pay off!

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Resolutions Old and New

The plan worked.

Every year the primary focus for my goals are my fitness, my writing, and my photography. One year ago today, I decided on a new technique to help me stay motivated: dropping alarms in my Google Calendar throughout the year. Two or three times a month, I got a helpful little popup on my computer and my phone asking me if I worked out that day, prompting me to take a photo at a certain event, telling me to write all day during a school holiday, and so on. Writing them down helped commit them to memory, and the popup reminders worked on time, but this plan also helped keep my goals in mind at all times because I’d see the reminders when scheduling other tasks or events and I knew they were coming.

Later today, I’ll be setting up similar calendar events for this year. At least two ore three a month, scattered randomly throughout the calendar. It’s important to note these aren’t resolutions. Resolutions are too easily forgotten, as most people well know. Between the “I’ll start tomorrow” attitude and making resolutions without a plan to back them up, it’s easy to see why resolutions fail. Don’t make resolutions, set goals, plan for them, and put them somewhere you’ll see them.

Woody Guthrie's Resolutions

Woody Guthrie's New Year's resolutions

Every year around this time, Woody Guthrie’s resolutions make the rounds. These are pretty cool. I especially like “wake up and fight.” I wonder, though, how his resolutions played out. Did he write them down and forget all about them, or did he revisit this page of the notebook frequently? And with a list of 33, was he just setting himself up for failure? These are a lot of behavior changes to tackle at once.

Creating a small set of goals with a plan for each is a lot more attainable. Anyone who made a resolution after the ball dropped last night should write it down and sketch out a plan to achieve it. When the plan is done, re-read step one, then do it. Make it something you can do today. If it’s not a step that can be accomplished in a single day, then at least kick it into motion today. Take action.

If you made resolutions last year, revisit them, but don’t bask in last year’s successes or beat yourself up over last year’s failures, concentrate on moving forward.

Scan for New Opponents

Wake up and fight!

With my own plans, I did well. I succeeded in my Photo Friday 2011 project, but that doesn’t mean I’m done. It’s pushed me toward developing a habit, but now I can work more to improve technique. I succeeded in losing a little weight and I definitely feel I’m in better shape, but I will need to keep working to maintain it. I improved my karate, but I’m far from done learning. My plans from last year will evolve and help shape this year’s fitness and karate plans.

Then there’s the writing. I didn’t do near as well. However, I finished Lie with the Dead and accomplished a few things, so I’m good. Rather than sulk about it all day, I’m going to get to work on the next book and a novella I’m working on. This is my last day of Winter Break, so I’m going to take action today on my new writing goals. The tweak to the writing plan will be to pay more attention to those calendar prompts. If it tells me “Today is a school holiday and you need to write,” then I need to stick to that and not decide to play Call of Duty with my sons all day (it’s happened).

Constant goals, ever evolving. Steady improvement. January 1st isn’t a magic reset button, it’s just a convenient border in time.

Make your plan and get to work.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Sweating the Small Stuff

You know what? There’s not a damned thing to see here.

Here, check out this cool old Harley I spotted in a parking lot the other day:

Classic Bike

Check out that crazy seat!

Ooh, shiny.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Realistic Goals (in Fitness)

I’m enjoying having the weight set in my office. I don’t have to go anywhere, pay for gym memberships, deal with pinheads, or follow someone else’s schedule. I can put on my music, play with different exercises, and set my own pace. Sure, it’s only been a week, but I’m already remembering how good weight lifting felt and I feel like I can keep at it.

I already pull some workouts from Men’s Health, but a while back I picked up a copy of Muscle & Fitness on an impulse. There’s a great home workout in this particular issue, and there are a lot of great articles on specific routines and some diet strategies. Between the two, I should be able to stay motivated and put together a good routine.

However, there’s one problem with Muscle & Fitness: it’s geared toward the real musclehead. Sure, anyone can do most of the exercises in there, but many of the articles mention hypertrophy and extreme bodybuilding. I had to ask myself if that’s realistic, and more importantly, is that even what I want?

HULK OUT!

You won't like me when I'm angry.

For one thing, that’s a huge commitment, and probably more than I’d be able to accomplish with the time and equipment I have. For another, my wife doesn’t find that very attractive. The veins gross her out, and the overall look is almost inhuman.

The deal killer for me, though, is the weight lifting is supposed to supplement my karate training. I want to get stronger for judo, and utilize weight lifting to cut some fat, but if I go overboard and really bulk up, I’d lose a lot of flexibility and probably a lot of speed.

Can he shake hands with Mr Happy?

Would a guy like this be able to perform a proper side or roundhouse kick? Probably not. And forget kata; it would be a mess.

I do think it’s important to have a realistic goal in mind, though. A visual target gives one something to shoot for, and if it’s realistic, it’s more attainable. My goal is based on a simple example: Michael Chiklis.

Yeah, the guy who played Vic Mackey. And The Thing in the Fantastic Four flicks. Odd choice? Maybe. But bear with me a second. Observe Mr Chiklis in an old cop series called The Commish:

Fat guy with a little badge.

I didn’t watch the show, but my folks did, and I seem to remember him as the jolly fat guy running a police department. It ran from ’91 to ’96, and Chiklis hit 30 halfway through its run.

Six years later, he shows up on The Shield as the infamous Vic Mackey, by all accounts a huge departure from The Commish’s Tony Scali. And at nearly age 40, he looks like this:

Vic Mackey

You talkin' to me?

Older, thinner, in better shape. He’s not huge or ripped, but he looks good. He looks fit and healthy.

This, I think, is totally doable. Karate, I believe, started me on the right path. Now I’m hoping the weight lifting — and yes, some running — will help finish it off. (Hell, with the direction my hair is threatening to go, I may even go for the same haircut. Again.) I may not be able to afford personal trainers, but my karate instructors know their stuff and I’ve got the magazines to pull ideas and information from. I don’t know what Chiklis weighed before and after, but it looks like I’m going through about the same thing and I’m built about the same way.

Let’s see if I can’t make this summer count.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Same Goals, New Techiques

Every year around this time, the instructors at the Academy of Okinawan Karate talk to us about dreams, goals, and the difference between goals for the year and resolutions. Students are encouraged to bring their notebooks to start keeping track of these things, and start building plans for the new year’s goals.

I’ve been using the same notebook for some time, so as I sat there putting my plans together, I was able to look at the plans and goals from the previous two years and do some quick evaluating. Each time, I had three areas of improvement: fitness, writing, and photography. If that’s the case, then do I even need to be making resolutions?

Karate Moleskine

The karate notebook... and a picture I've been meaning to reproduce.

To an extent, yes. The key, though, is revisiting those goals. More specifically, the key is revisiting the plan for those goals. What good does writing down the plan do if I’m not going to go back to that page and see what the plan was? I had at least three steps for achieving my goals in each category, and the only one I really followed (without looking back at it) was my karate goal.

When did I lose track of my writing plans? When the shit hit the fan in the summer, or back when I closed the notebook after writing the plans down? I’m betting it was sometime closer to the latter.

Here’s what the problems boil down to: I’m not making enough time for writing or photography. It doesn’t matter how good my plan is if I’m not getting behind the keyboard or picking up the camera. And the beauty of the plans? They covered how to make that time. Too bad I let those plans fly out the window.

A common piece of advice is to post a goal somewhere prominent. Tape it up above the computer monitor, tack it to the wall, stick it to the fridge, whatever. The problem, though, is they soon blend in and are forgotten. I’ve had one of my original goals written on a chalkboard in my office since 2007. It’s a chalkboard I never use and never look at, and the goal was just written on it for a photo. When I do notice it, I say “Hmm, I should probably erase that sometime.”

Oops.

This year I’m going to try leveraging technology, starting with Google Calendar notifications. These will show up on just about all of my devices and include both pop-up windows and emails. The trick, though, is shaking things up. If I set them for weekly, they’re just going to become routine (in which case I just click and ignore them) or annoying (in which case I just delete the notification). Instead, I’m going to scatter them around the year at random.

The second step is making them more directly related to goal tracking. A goal is specific, measurable, and has a deadline, so I’m going to create questions that address each of those areas. The deadline is largely covered by the date of the notice, and of course the year goal is a given. The rest is all about how the question is worded. For example, it might ask “How many words of fiction have you produced this month?” Boom. Specific and measurable. “Did you bring the camera to karate class last week?” If I say no, chances are I haven’t been carrying the camera at all, and I haven’t been taking pictures. “How did your weight change from January 1st to today?” That one should speak for itself.

And there it is: same goals, new techniques.

I guess next year we’ll find out if it made a difference.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Bring On 2011

2010 started off just fine, but man did it go downhill fast. I’ve managed some course correction in the last month, so there’s at least hope 2011 is headed in the right direction.

In revisiting my 2010 goals, the only ones I nailed were my karate goals. That shouldn’t be surprising, though, given I spent 510.5 hours in the dojo this year. The rest of my goals sank with just about everything else in July and stayed there.

This year’s focus will be discipline in all of my goals. If I can manage the same discipline and dedication I apply to my karate to the rest of my goals, achieving them will be a given. I need to stop allowing external stresses to affect my primary goals.

Hell, I need to stop allowing external stresses to affect me, period. Ulcers are no fun.

So here we go, folks. Out with the old, in with the new. Onward and upward. So on and so forth.

And with that I think I’ll set the tone by doing a bit of work on Lie with the Dead before I crash out. Happy New Year, folks.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

A Simple Goal: Create Every Day

The problem with goals for word counts or page counts is I tend to beat myself up when I don’t make them. I start feeling like I’ve failed at something, and that makes it even tougher to go back and do it again. This is a big problem when I have so many irons in the fire that I don’t actually make it to the keyboard.

Fact is I’m a busy guy. Between the work, the family, karate classes, kids’ basketball games and concerts, trips, and other events, I have a lot going on. Every weekend this month is booked solid, and last month wasn’t a whole lot better. Cramming in an hour of writing a day is not always easy.

Instead I’ve made it a goal to create something every day.

This plan dawned on me a week ago when I grabbed my Moleskine shortly before bedtime. I had an idea rolling around in my head for a couple of days, and I didn’t get it to the computer so I decided to at least get it into the notebook. As I wrote it down, that idea led to another, and another, and yet another, all connected to the same story. In a matter of ten minutes I had four characters and a rough plot for what could easily be a novel or graphic novel.

The hard part of writing them is still ahead, but now I’ve got something to make that precious keyboard time all the more effective. I can’t afford to sit and stare at a blank page, wondering what comes next, for a half hour or so. This way if I’m working on The Pack book 2 and I’m stuck, I can shift gears to this project and bust out several pages or a few thousand words.

I’ve been working on it for the whole week, and so far it’s worked. I’ve jotted notes, I printed and edited an old short story, and I wrote responses to a couple of interviews. I’ve done some research, which in turn led to even more ideas on another project. Better yet, they were all done in short bursts. They were times I had a few minutes to kill, but not quite enough time to get lost in a page. (If I can’t get a complete thought/scene onto a page, I feel I’ve lost the thread of it when I get back to the keyboard and the narrative turns to crap.)

And I haven’t been beating myself up over note writing. I haven’t been crabby and irritable because I’m worried I’m wasting my time. It doesn’t feel like work (in either a good or bad sense), but it doesn’t feel like failure.

So if you’ll excuse me, I have a little creating to do before I crash for the night.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Revisiting Goals

We’re just about halfway through the year, so I thought I’d revisit some of the goals I’d set for myself for this year.

Goal 1: Cut 20 more pounds by October 1st.

So far not so good, but I’ve still got all summer to run. The knee is feeling better, so I may give it a shot next week after we get through this week’s karate review and the extra practice I’ve been putting in to prepare for it. I actually ran home in the rain today with a loaded backpack and didn’t feel any knee pain, so with luck the track won’t give me any more trouble than that.

Goal 2: Make Nikyu in Shuri-ryu Karate-do by Halloween.

That’s 2nd degree brown belt for those unaware, and I can say so far so good on this one. I had a setback during the previous review because I made some mistakes the first night and missed the second night due to a family incident. This week I was able to finish the process and I should receive the first of three stripes required to hit Nikyu on Thursday. If I bust my ass practicing this summer, I can still make it.

Goal 3: Complete 25 themed photos by December 31st.

Uh oh. Unless I make them all karate-themed, I’m in big trouble. Between the writing in general, the setback with the graphic novel, work, family, and of course karate, I haven’t made time to surf Flickr groups or read the snazzy photography book I bought, much less take the camera out and about. Maybe a karate theme is just that simple a solution, with portraits and pics like my Karate Moleskine (below).

Taken with my old camera, but I still dig it

Taken with my old camera, but I still dig it

I’m glad I revisited these goals now, as there’s still plenty of time for all three if I put in the effort. But that’s the whole point of goals, isn’t it? If I can still get the immediate writing commitments completed, I can also participate in National Novel Writing Month this year as I hoped. It’ll take some effort, but it’s not impossible.

Too bad I don’t have a Staples easy button.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Martial Progress

I’m coming up on two years studying Shuri-ryu with the Academy of Okinawan Karate, and I’m still surprised at how far I’ve progressed. My weight loss may have stalled out over the last year, but I’ve made huge strides in strength and flexibility.

A big part of that is my sensei has turned our advanced class on Tuesday nights into a workout class. We may work a little karate, but we focus on a mix of cardio, flexibility, and strength training. For the last few weeks we’ve done the same with Thursday night’s class; it’s not quite as intense, but we get a good workout before moving on to the night’s lesson.

Last night was a good measure of my progress: we started with 150 front kicks after our warm-up, then did 110 push-ups and 110 sit-ups in ladders. By ladders I mean we partnered up and did 1 push-up, then the partner did 1. Did 2, partner did 2, and so on, up to 10, for a total of 55 reps. We did sit-ups the same way, then counted down from 10 with the push-ups, and finally counted down with the sit-ups.

I made it all the way through without hitting failure or losing form (though I am feeling it in the abs today). I’m not so sure I could have done that a year ago, so I was very pleased with myself.

The Tuesday class has also been great for my side kicks. I’ve learned a new waza, a certain combination of techniques, that requires me to do a blocking kick immediately followed by a side kick, both above the belt. We’ve been working side kicks and stretches on Tuesday nights in preparation, and now I’m happy to report I can pull off both kicks. I don’t know how pretty it looks, especially in the transition to the technique following them, but Sensei Miller seems content so I’ll just keep practicing.

If I can perform the waza and the rest of my new material properly, I’ll be a brown belt in two weeks. I’ve been looking at sankyu, or third degree brown belt, as the next big milestone in my karate progession, and it feels great to be so close to earning it.

My first summer with karate, I was just glad to have moved beyond a few physical annoyances and cut some weight. I wasn’t really focused on black belt, or even brown belt. It was tough to see that far into the future, and I admit I was intimidated by some of the things I saw our advanced students doing. Now I’m right up there with them. Now I know what I need to do to hit the next point. Now I know how to concentrate on the things I’m lacking.

Now I am one of the advanced students, helping to teach some of the basic students. I’m thinking about what needs to be done to hit my next milestone, ikkyu (first degree brown belt), by the end of this year. I have a goal in mind for shodan (first degree black belt), and a good idea of what it’s going to take to get there. It’s starting to sink in that there are real milestones beyond that point, be it nidan and beyond or exploring other styles and arts.

I don’t look at my martial arts journey as a long road, neither in front of me nor behind me. It’s just a road.

I’m just happy I’m enjoying the trip.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

It's Good to Be In Demand

I just fired a 12-page script off to a publisher. It’s not been approved yet, but it felt good to finally accomplish something, even something so short.

In a time where most small presses are dropping titles, changing formats, facing a tougher distributor market, failing to return messages, and generally struggling to survive, it’s good to have publishers courting me for a change. The script above went to the first, and I’m working on a polish of Powerless for the other.

It’s also nice to have people asking after my work. It’s been very quiet for a while, but lately I’ve had people emailing me on and off wondering when Deadliest will be reprinted, when my next novel will be coming out, or when they kind find any of my work, period. I’d be hard pressed to label many of them fans, but nonethless, it feels pretty good.

It’s even more flattering when people are surprised I don’t write for a living. Despite the market conditions, there’s not much that would please me more than to be able to — or make that to have to — pound out a couple thousand words a day rather than wrangling stubborn computers all day. If just a few more publishers felt I should be writing for a living, maybe that would finally happen.

I can already hear a few people out there saying “But Mike, you should do it for the love of the craft!”

Keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better. My thinking is people should get paid to do what they love if they can get away with it. There are people out there who love their jobs, so why not turn something you love into your job? Bring in the money that lets you continue doing what you love.

I haven’t seen the big money yet, but for the first time in a long time I’m seeing the potential. This 12-page script is a direct lead-in to bigger and better things, and I can’t wait to see how they play out.

Good times are coming.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

The Year to Come

Was there any doubt that writing would be a huge focus this year? Didn’t think so.

I solidified a relationship with a new publisher in ’08, and our goal is to do a mix of comics and prose work. It’s still too early to announce specific projects, but I’ve written most of the script for the first graphic novel and have the outline for the first novella ready to go. We have two properties we want to develop with the prospect of a third on the horizon. I’m itching to tell you more, but I really need to get some work in the can before either the publisher or I will be confident enough to make anything public.

Last month a small press publisher contacted me about a novel. I promised to send him what I’ve written of Powerless after I clean it up, which will be this week. It will also be pitched to Otherworld Verlag, my German publisher. Wish me luck.

The Top Secret Book is back on the path to publication, so I need to finish the novella that will go along with it. The publisher had asked that I not announce the publication or publisher, which worked in our favor when certain delays appeared. We’re going to have to stick to that policy until we have a release date.

My next goal, of course, is to get to the point I can actually announce these damn things. After that, the goal is to actually have something to sell at conventions this year. Otherwise 2010 will be the year I finally start reevaluating this whole writing thing. A secondary writing goal for 2009 will be to participate in NaNoWriMo in November. A lot more than previous deadlines and commitments affect that, so I’ll have to take another look at my schedule as Fall rolls around.

On the personal side, I have the luxury of being a little more specific. We’ve been talking about the difference between dreams and goals (not to mention resolutions and goals) in karate class, and that difference includes deadlines. Dreams and resolutions don’t count for much unless you have a plan and a firm deadline, and since I can’t really apply deadlines to publishers and contracts, I may as well slap them on my personal goals:

1) Cut another 20 lbs by October 1st. To accomplish this, I’m going to continue my karate training and I will start running again this Spring. Yes, I could probably run when it’s colder, but it’s tough to say I actually like running yet so if I’m out there and miserable, chances are that goal will be toast.

2) Make Nikyu in Shuri-ryu by Halloween. This is 2nd-degree brown belt. My original goal was to make Ikkyu, or 1st-degree brown belt, by Christmas, but there may not actually be time to do so, even if I nail every review between now and then. As such, Nikyu becomes a good goal and affords some realistic flexibility. We have review next week, and if I pass I’ll be up for Sankyu, or 3rd-degree brown belt, at the end of February.

3) Complete 25 themed photos by December 31st. The 52 Weeks Flickr group project was fun, but I felt self-portraits were a little restrictive and I had a tough time keeping up. This month I’m going to find a new Flickr group to join, one with a rotating or more flexible theme, and make sure I take at least 2 pictures a month.

Finally, I’ll close with a dream: I want a bigger motorcycle. Eve is great, but she’s a bit small. This dream will solely be dictated by financial capability, so this may or may not happen and thus is not a goal. I’ll be keeping an eye on the classifieds, but I haven’t ruled out a new Shadow or V Star.

Let’s get the party started.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.