Tag Archive for new year

2015: Second Verse, Same as the First

So, 2015.

I’d say it looks about the same as 2014 so far. There’s no border here for me, no difference in the days other than having to remember to change that last digit to a 5 when I’m writing or typing dates.

I don’t need to look at last year’s goals to know I screwed up, either. In fact, I didn’t even make any last year. My routine has seen a lot of turmoil over the past year, and I’ve only just managed to get things under some semblance of control. Stepping out for several days with the family has really helped to unload a lot of mental baggage; crossing an arbitrary date border is purely coincidental.

My weight lifting routine has been going well, and my dojo attendance has been solid (and is what helped maintain my sanity. Most everything else has suffered.

No more.

I see some light at the end of the tunnel as I type this, and the next few months are full of opportunity and possibility. I’ll be taking full advantage and setting up more of the same for the summer and the remainder of the year. I hope to be able to talk about some of it soon, as one contract has been signed and another project is waiting in the production pipeline.

As order returns, so too shall routine. Including keyboard time.

So, 2015. Let’s 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.

Planning for the Year

I decided I’d best come into this year with more of a solid plan for my writing. “Write more” is too vague, and I need a clearer picture of what’s in process to better prioritize what I’m working on at any given time.

It’s no coincidence that I also have that Exit Strategy I mentioned a month ago already written.

Road Warrior

Startin' 2008 on the road in the pre-iPad days

The idea is to lay out the projects in a manner that makes sense. For example, I want to make sure I’m not overloading a given time period, and I also want to leave some flexibility for edits and proofreads and for other projects and opportunities that may appear during the year.

While I do have tasks and reminders set up in Google Calendar, I felt a simple checklist in Evernote works better for keeping everything in one place as well as keeping it always available and at hand with all of my writing notes. The desktop app includes a checkbox function, which looks like this:

Exit Strategy Screencap

The names may have been changed

This is what the entire year looks like. Some months are thinner for flexibility, others are thinner because they have a larger project lined up. I try not to get meatier than this because, again, I want this to succeed. No sense burying myself in work I’ll never get around to doing. In the Spring I’ll take a look at how many checkboxes I’ve been able to mark off and reevaluate the schedule as I go. Adapt and overcome. By Fall, I will start laying out 2013.

(Yes, there will be a 2013. I don’t care what the Mayans say. Don’t be an idiot.)

Keep it simple. Don’t jump into some organization system that takes more time to maintain than it does to think up the contents. Don’t sweat the process, just get it done. A piece of poster board tacked up next to your desk with checkboxes drawn in Sharpies will work just fine. Or jot it in the front of a paper notebook you like to carry it around.

What’s more, don’t put your list in a dedicated smartphone app. That’s too easy to ignore, and it’s 99c or $1.99 or whatever you’ve just pissed away. If you’re a smartphone app nut, use an app you already use all the time. Got a to-do list manager already? Fine, use it. Into the Notes feature on your iPhone? Knock yourself out. Me, I already get Evernote on all my devices and I use the hell out of it, so I’d be an idiot not to take advantage.

Don’t have a plan yet? Congratulations, your first checkbox is “Create my 2012 plan” and you’re going to work on it this weekend.

After that it’s all about punching the keys.

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.

The Year That Was

Personally, 2008 wasn’t so bad. On the fitness side, I started a running program over the summer and enjoyed moderate success. In the martial arts, I earned my green and then purple belts in Shuri-ryu karate, and I read some great books on the subject. I may not have lost a ton of weight like I did last year, but I do feel even better and I’ve definitely improved my strength and flexibility.

I spent the whole year on a Mac, and have become an official member of the Apple cult. I got my hands on a Canon Digital Rebel XSi to get more creative with my photography, and I have been very happy with it. I bought a motorcycle and got comfortable on it. My family is doing very well, and we took our first family vacation shortly before the Wife and I celebrated our 12th anniversary.

The writing side, however, was a bit disappointing. Despite best intentions, I didn’t finish the Muy Mal arcs as planned, largely because other projects took precedence. New Dark Voices was just re-released and Brimstone Turnpike finally saw print, but the Top Secret Book that was expected faced some unfortunate delays. New publications brought Das Tödliche Geschlecht (the German translation of Deadliest of the Species) and Jack Haringa Must Die! Beyond that I’ve had some promising leads, but they have yet to come to fruition.

I guess that’s what 2009 is for, right?

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.