Monday, December 31, 2012

The Times They Are a-Changin

2012. 

This is a year that I am looking back on as one I love to hate. I entered the year with so much optimism, I had big hopes for the future while also having personal goals I set out to achieve. I hate this year in some ways because I failed to completely round out some big ticket items in my business, spiritual, and personal life.
However, most events saw progress but it was the kind of halting progress that is frustrating and makes you feel as if vines are wrapped around your ankles each time you try to sprint. All aspects of my life suffered setbacks and delays but have ultimately moved forward. Some of the paths have been winding and I try and find reason in all of these things as I look hopefully forward towards 2013.

There is much to be thankful for in 2012, so let me recap a few:

  • My first novel, For Nothing, hit number one in its genre on Amazon 
  • My second novel Buffalo Soldiers was released 
  • I started the year at 195 pounds, got down to 160 working out twice a day and now am gaining muscle to where I weigh 171 pounds and feel much better about myself, which is what is important.
  • I have learned about the religion of Islam, read the Qu'ran twice and learned about myself on the Night of Power, had fun going through my first Ramadan with an amazing Imam as a teacher,and the guidance of a few very good Muslim friends and one more so than the rest.
  • Went to Denver, CO for the first time in my life
  • I had my first novel turned into a screenplay by Thomas Humphreys, formed a business with him, and continued with other businesses with other wonderful friends.
  • Adopted a second family of the Welsh persuasion, visited a foreign country five different times this year, had international friends visit, and found myself at a random bar in Slough in the U.K. drunk out of my mind.  Then wound up in Paddington going round to pubs and listening to charming British folk apologise for everything they did before standing up and singing songs in the pub. An amazing experience really
  • Fought off a Polar Bear attack with nothing but an ice skate (just kidding)
  • Took up martial arts and grappling again after a few years off.  I can now say I have done some form of the art for 8 years now (intermittently)
  • Lead the charge on the largest single client implementation my office has ever seen, successfully too
  • Saw what happens when people come together for a good cause this Christmas season
  • Had a wonderful holiday season and saw family I have not seen in far too long across the state
  • There is more...just some stuff is best left in my head! You know what I am talking about...you. :-P

Looking forward to in 2013

  • Seeing new places with a few familiar faces and some new faces
  • Growing my businesses to the next level, all four of them
  • Getting my third novel out
  • Getting my fourth novel out
  • Making a successful transition...
  • Growing to be a better person in all things whether that be honesty with myself and others, or just continuing to minimize the ignorant part of my mind with consistent learning and evaluating, growth is essential, always
  • Multiple weddings involving friends and family.  I think they are all getting married just to see me.  A simple weekend invitation would have worked fellas...
  • I will go from being an Uncle once over to four times over.  Speaking of, my brother sent me this video of my current niece last night proclaiming my greatness (who if you remember I tainted with ice cream):

Plus a few more personal items which again, I must keep close to the vest (it would bore most of you anyway). 

I hope all of you have a nice end to the year 2012. And as we look into 2013 I leave you with the timeless and immortal words of Bob Dylan:



Friday, December 28, 2012

First Video Blog

So my little brother suggested I get with the times and do a video blog. This is my first attempt, and the sun was in my eyes, there was background noise...

But nevertheless here it is:

video


Quick recap:


  • 2 novels are due out in the next 4 months
  • Those novels are Ashes to Ashes and God's Forgotten Son
  • New Year means new adventures
  • Happy Holidays
TTFN Denmonites!

-ND

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Business and Pleasure

Business First

My business partner and I have been putting together a web development team for a huge project we are undertaking and we have gone through about 40 bids from competing companies in the last month.  We have finally narrowed down the likely candidates to two companies, one based in the U.S. and one based in the U.K.

Previous to this, we spent a great deal of time putting together investors, business models, and researching the competition in the sector, so looking into the New Year we are excited to finally pull the pieces of the puzzle together to launch this endeavor.

Look for big things from Cross Atlantic Acquisitions throughout 2013.

Slight Change to the Blog

If you look in the upper right-hand corner you can now find easy links to my novels.  Check em out.  Also you can note that my fan page is linked a bit lower on the right-hand side, through Facebook.  If you haven't "Liked" my page please feel free to unburden that guilt now... :)

Now for Pleasure...

I will be going on a little trip to see some family that I didn't get to see this past weekend as sort of a farewell tour for 2012.  It should be fun, but it is yet another busy weekend.  After that, I will probably have lots of alone time to dedicate to finishing two novels by my self-imposed April deadline.

But I digress - sorry to have slipped back into business there for a moment.

I look forward to seeing my family and spending time with them and am happy to do my tour. Tonight I will see the movie This Is 40 and hopefully distract myself for the evening from real world issues.  I will let you all know if it is funny ;)

Here is the trailer in case you don't know the film:


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

My Christmas in 10 Pictures

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. It always seems to take forever to come, and then "poof" it's gone. I had a nice time seeing family and friends and updating an important person in my life each step of the way as I celebrated the holiday (sorry for the deluge of pictures!).  Some of the pictures I collected are a good reflection of how I spent my holiday, so in ten pictures, this is what happened!
Started the eve with a beverage and a movie (South Park Christmas)
This was the lovely tree with presents all around it -190 presents. Wow.
We made a traditional 7 course fish dinner, Lobster being clutch.
With Shrimp in butter sauces as an appetizer
An ornament I made my Dad in second grade which he brings out every year

 Then we opened presents of course, this is my niece with her new best friend.

 My Dad, ever thoughtful, bought me a guide to the city of London

 Argyle is well known as a great Nick Denmon present

Yep...

Then we watched more Christmas movies before I went to my Mom's house and did it all over again!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and spent time with loved ones.  I have at least one I didn't get to spend my holiday with so, I empathize if you missed someone this holiday season. But the New Year is right around the corner and who knows what adventures 2013 will bring; hopefully adventures filled with your family and friends, new and old!

TTFN Denmonites!

-ND

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Christmas Carol and the Final Tally For All Childrens

It is the little things in life that really make you smile.  Some of my best friends over the last year have been the international sort.  A collection of Welshmen and various other Brits to be exact.  We've kept in touch through the various social mediums, Facebook, twitter, text. 

I woke to this astounding musical rendition of a Christmas carol and it makes me smile each time I watch it. 

Just thought I would share:

video

Christmas Countdown:

Christmas is tomorrow!  It is great to say that.  Gifts have been wrapped, mailed, hopefully delivered.  I have sent things from eBay, Amazon, U.S.Post, FedEx, UPS, the Coach Factory, via U.S. Airways, and through email (thank you Groupon).

Tonight I will count my blessings as I help my family make a seven course traditional Italian Christmas fish dinner.
Maybe I will sneak an early present from under the tree...

Speaking of blessings here is the final tally on the book giveaway / All Children's Hospital benefit.

What an amazing success. Really.  Thank all of you for taking this to heart.

The Program:

New Holiday Tradition to Benefit All Children's
Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
This holiday season, Busch Gardens begins a new tradition when it hosts its biggest Christmas celebration ever. Christmas Town transforms the park into a nighttime holiday wonderland of wintry surprises and all things Christmas. And a portion of the proceeds will benefit All Children's Hospital. (Click to read more)

Those Who Participated (December 20-23):

Julio Randel
Kurt Haar
Jessie Lisenby
Loraine Bonaparte
Nelson Sandquist
Guy Lorch
Lonnie Nylander


Their Book Choices:

4 For Nothing
3 Buffalo Soldiers

Receipts Total:

$280.00

Remember even one ticket purchased, got you the book, signed. Most have purchased several and I thank you for that!

GRAND TOTALS:

Participants (since December 7th) - 57

Receipts - $2070.00

Books Given Away - 56 plus one high-five.

Days Left: 0 MERRY CHRISTMAS! (Tomorrow)

Thank you all for really making this a special Christmas season!

TTFN DEnmonites!

-ND

Saturday, December 22, 2012

My Big Brother: Father, Husband, Attorney, Python Hunter

Every now and then pictures do better to explain something than actually using words.

So I will provide just a brief introduction. 

I was on my way to see The Hobbit this evening and my attorney of a brother, the one who represents me in any and all legal battles, other than the ones my father represents me in, decides to send me a text.

This is the flurry of text messages that followed:

At this point I already know how weird this text is...

The decision has been made to immortalize this text...

 No words needed.




I will leave you with this quote...

"Going to trial with a lawyer who considers your whole life-style a Crime in Progress is not a happy prospect."

-Hunter S. Thompson



Friday, December 21, 2012

Last day of work and Christmas!

Today is the last day of work before Christmas, so fortunately I have a large block of time off.  I am very excited about the opportunity to hang out with several friends I have not seen in a while, as they trek home to pay homage to the two people that made them.

Also exciting is the opportunity to see most of my family again before the events of the New Year swallow us whole and more than likely make spending time with each other a bit more difficult. Busy lives in different locations can sometimes make the time spent with loved ones a bit more important, especially during the holiday season.  It will be nice to share gifts, a bit of spiked eggnog, and general happiness with the people who made me and the rest of the gang that somehow showed up when we lifted the rocks in the garden.

If you look closely you can see the family portrait of my siblings ;)

Many times at this point in the year, as mentioned, people take trips to see loved ones.  I just got back from my trip overseas to see my loved ones there, and am looking forward to seeing my domestic and longer-tenured loved ones. We have a tradition of each year watching the movie Die Hard, and I can't wait to continue with that epic institution (a result of my Dad being divorced and having four sons).

My extended Welsh and Spanish family.  
Looks like a sweet album cover - starring my finger doesn't it?

Anyway, I will keep everyone posted on the progress of the book giveaway and the All Children's Hospital event as we continue to receive donations.  Remember, you have until the 23rd to climb on board the giving train.

Days till Christmas!

TTFN Denmonites!

-ND

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Breaking Chairs and Bringing Christmas back Peanuts' style!


We had the office Christmas party this week and it was a good time.  We played games, got bonus checks, and ate food.  The company flew us out to Georgia so the Tampa office could partake, then my cubicle-hetero-roomie-life-mate proceeded to sit on a chair and break it to smithereens.

We think it is because we work out so much that there is a lot of dense muscle mass.  I almost broke my chair too...maybe...

But I didn't, so everyone laughed and clapped at my pal.  He took it in red-faced good fun.

Ri-Ri with his broken chair

Me sipping on champagne

Office Christmas Tree

The dessert table!


Christmas Countdown:

5 days until Christmas. How exciting!  The post office lines are so long they go out the door. The lights are out in full force and I even saw a group going around singing Christmas carols.  Not bad for a bunch of five year old children. Also adding to the season is the fact that my friend's wife has been sharing pictures of her child doing the school Christmas play etc (adorable).

I never know which year will feel like "Christmas", but this one really does for me. Part of the reason for that is because of how giving people have been to others.

By people I mean, you, the readers of this little blog corner.

So here is an update on the book giveaway / All Children's Hospital benefit. Sorry I took a week to get an update going, but I spent about five days away traveling.

The Program:

New Holiday Tradition to Benefit All Children's
Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
This holiday season, Busch Gardens begins a new tradition when it hosts its biggest Christmas celebration ever. Christmas Town transforms the park into a nighttime holiday wonderland of wintry surprises and all things Christmas. And a portion of the proceeds will benefit All Children's Hospital. (Click to read more)

Those Who Participated (December 13-20):

Gilbert Hoopes
Angelia Poitra
Lea Ellen
Ester Cerna
Brent Dubuque
Rafael Pickney
Branan
Cecile Mee
Shanna Winningham
Jocelyn Holgate
Brett Beltz
Charity Tacker
Nathaniel Herriman
Mollie Gately
Alta Maron
Rick Lindeman
Ricardo Press

Their Book Choices:

11 For Nothing
6 Buffalo Soldiers

Receipts Total:

$460.00

Remember even one ticket purchased, gets you the book, signed.  I have also decided that if you re-tweet or share the link to this blog, you get a free ebook of your choice (as long as it was an ebook written by me).

GRAND TOTALS:

Participants (since December 7th) - 50

Receipts - $1790.00

Books Given Away - 49 plus one high-five.

Days Left: 3

I was hoping to get 50 people involved and if we count my brother we are there.  I have also decided that should we not reach the $2,000.00 goal, I will close the gap (easy to do since we are so close). This has really been an amazing response and I can't thank everyone enough for what you are doing this holiday season.

And just to remember why people celebrate on this day, Christian or not, I think we can all get behind, "On earth, peace and goodwill towards men."


TTFN Denmonites!

-ND

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Countdown Book Giveaway Update


Last night I had an epic write-a-thon nailing out about 3,200 words in an evening.  That is roughly thirteen pages of writing which for me is decent after working all day.  It is amazing how I can zone in when I have a good sound track to write alongside.



See my Facebook page for some of the songs I was listening to last night.

Only thirteen days until Christmas, and my excitement is rising.  I have some amazing gifts including a really nice couple for a special woman in my life.  Sometimes I get so excited about giving a gift away that I almost just blurt out what it is.

Must. Be. Disciplined.

Quick update on the book giveaway / All Children's Hospital benefit.

The Program:

New Holiday Tradition to Benefit All Children's
Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
This holiday season, Busch Gardens begins a new tradition when it hosts its biggest Christmas celebration ever. Christmas Town transforms the park into a nighttime holiday wonderland of wintry surprises and all things Christmas. And a portion of the proceeds will benefit All Children's Hospital. (Click to read more)

Those Who Participated (December 11-12):

Tabitha
PiratesversusThieves
Sandy Schell
Blake Libien 

Their Book Choices:

4 Buffalo Soldiers

Receipts Total:

$110.00

Remember even one ticket purchased, gets you the book, signed.  I have also decided that if you re-tweet or share the link to this blog, you get a free ebook of your choice (as long as it was an ebook written by me).

GRAND TOTALS:

Participants (since December 7th) - 33

Receipts - $1330.00

Books Given Away - 32 plus one high five.

Days Left: 11

Imagine if we can get to 50 people participating.  I don't think reaching $2,000 is out of the realm of possibility.

TTFN Denmonites!

-ND

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Monkey Business

Who doesn't like a good monkey story? Apparently even monkeys enjoy shopping at Ikea for their low priced furniture and easy to assemble shelving. I once built an entire library from Ikea shelving in a previous life so I understand the allure.

Seeing as how my favorite childhood stories growing up consisted of the ones with Curious George and the Man in the Yellow Hat, anytime there is a tiny monkey in the news it catches my attention.

Thanks Mom and Dad

Here in Tampa we had a whole family of monkeys that escaped from a local wildlife facility several years back.  They became increasingly difficult to capture because after each one of their group was captured the rest learned to avoid those particular traps.  Eventually only one monkey remained, the famous Mystery Monkey of Tampa Bay who eluded capture for three years until he was finally taken down this past October.

No Man in the Yellow Hat here, just a tranquilizer dart

Imagine how exciting it was for me to learn that a monkey in a winter coat was found roaming the halls of a Toronto Ikea. Here is the video for your viewing pleasure:


TTFN Demonites!

-ND

Monday, December 10, 2012

Over $1000 contributed for All Children's Hospital

Just a quick update before I get back to work on this novel. 

As you all probably know, I have been giving away signed copies of my novels in exchange for people who can provide a receipt, as proof of purchase, to the cooperative event between Busch Gardens and All Children's Hospital below.  When I started this adventure I just wanted to share the feeling of doing something nice.  Someone brought it to my attention that there might be a better way and thus, this giveaway was spawned. Do something nice, get a free book, and join in the holiday spirit!

The Program:

New Holiday Tradition to Benefit All Children's
Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
This holiday season, Busch Gardens begins a new tradition when it hosts its biggest Christmas celebration ever. Christmas Town transforms the park into a nighttime holiday wonderland of wintry surprises and all things Christmas. And a portion of the proceeds will benefit All Children's Hospital. (Click to read more)

Those Who Participated (December 8-10):

Rachel 
LOC9132
Adizz09
Tony Deville
Danny Bremer
Glenn Schuck
Travis
Marjorie Carroll
Manuel Scholl
Daniel Silverman
Roy Fussell
Jerry Arredondo
Justin Ceja
MaryAnn Wang
Vonderman2010
Anne Gregor
Shelley Dubois
Jonathan Fecteau


Their Book Choices:

5 Buffalo Soldiers
12 For Nothing
1 high five for my brother

Receipts Total:

$320.00

Remember even one ticket purchased, gets you the book, signed.  I have also decided that if you re-tweet or share the link to this blog, you get a free ebook of your choice (as long as it was an ebook written by me).

GRAND TOTALS:

Participants (since December 7th) - 29

Receipts - $1220.00

Books Given Away - 28 plus one high five





Saturday, December 8, 2012

Tis the Season...To Give Books Away!

I recently posted about a great opportunity to help children in need.  I also said that if you provided a receipt of purchase to this program, I would provide a signed paperback copy of any of my novels of your choosing.

The Program:

New Holiday Tradition to Benefit All Children's
Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
This holiday season, Busch Gardens begins a new tradition when it hosts its biggest Christmas celebration ever. Christmas Town transforms the park into a nighttime holiday wonderland of wintry surprises and all things Christmas. And a portion of the proceeds will benefit All Children's Hospital. (Click to read more)

Those Who Participated:

Jacee241
Beth Sutton
Kyle Walsh
SamieSamie42
Riley
Ashley 
Tom McKinna
Josh
Kayla Stephens
Tammi
Matthew R.

Their Book Choices:

8 Buffalo Soldiers
3 For Nothing

Receipts Total:

$900.00

Not bad at all.  Remember this give away will roll all the way through December 23rd.  The more books defaced with my signature the better.  The eleven generous souls above accepted the challenge this holiday season, will you?


Friday, December 7, 2012

God Takes His Vengeance

They always say laugh often but don't laugh too hard or too loud.  That is good advice.

Yesterday I made a big stink about how great the weather was here in Florida.  And it was great.  So great that I was able to trek on over to the beach and get some late night writing in, rum in hand.  The cool water lapped at my toes while the night air rode along on nature's warm breath to make for a pleasant evening alone among the waves and the stars and the story dancing in my head.

I listened to music through my headphones, on low, so I could still make out the crash of the waves as they faltered against the might of the earth and rolled to sleep back beneath the gulf.  Every now and again the music you listen to as a writer syncs up with the nature around you, your mood, the vibe of the story, and you hit the "zone".

Yesterday was a good day.

However, God must have heard about my gloating because the weather has done a 180 since yesterday.  The sky clouded over.  The winds picked up. The temperature dropped by 14 degrees.


Sigh.  I promise to be a good boy.  Just let those high 70's and low 80's come back! To be honest though, I actually enjoy the cool weather this time of year.  I wish it were colder.  But I do love the sun.  That is why this is moderately depressing:

Yesterday I gloated about this:


Today I get this:


Damn. Guess I am being prepared for shitty weather, as if being from Buffalo, NY wasn't enough...

TTFN Denmonites!

UPDATE:  God seems to have forgiven me.  As of 1:20 pm we are back as it should be.

-ND


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Palm Trees and Christmas

Christmas is coming up and I have spent a lot of time shopping for people that are important to me. There is of course one person who gets most of the attention when it comes to my gift giving and this year she has tons of needs and wants so I have been a busy man on eBay.

Before this year I might have purchased one thing on eBay in my life, but now I have ratings as a customer and all this other stuff so it is very interesting to me seeing as how I am at the least a mostly-virgin eBay man.

I also recently stumbled on a great way to "give back" by looking up ways to get involved in the local Children's Hospital. I will encourage everyone to at least take a look at this concept.


New Holiday Tradition to Benefit All Children's


This holiday season, Busch Gardens begins a new tradition when it hosts its biggest Christmas celebration ever. Christmas Town transforms the park into a nighttime holiday wonderland of wintry surprises and all things Christmas. And a portion of the proceeds will benefit All Children's Hospital. (Read More).

If theme parks aren't your thing, you can buy tickets for less then ten dollars and give them to a local school to give out, or kids in your neighborhood.  It will help out the children in the hospital as well as those who want to go to a theme park for the holiday festivities. 

That is what we call...two birds...one stone.

Further, if you send me a receipt as proof of purchase, I will send you a free paperback novel of either For Nothing or Buffalo Soldiers (your choice) with a sure-to-be-value-decreasing-signature of mine enclosed on the inside of the cover.

Now that we have all the feel good helping people stuff out of the way...

...time to gloat while I still can.

My friend Thomas sent me these text pictures the last few days.  He is in the UK, Wales to be exact, and is freezing his butt off.  Let me feel sorry for him (while I still can)...



Yep that sucks.  Sorry old chap.  0 degrees in December?  Hardly a rum go though is it?  You know better than to expect different! 

Makes me chuffed to be able to show you this as it approaches 5 pm here in Florida right outside my office:


Eh.  A bit overcast though isn't it?  I miss the blue skies already.  Lovely though, palm trees for Christmas and sunshine and 70 plus degrees in December.  Though I do envy something about a white Christmas.  I guess I will have to settle for looking at all the colorful lights tomorrow and the Christmas decorations as I mentally prep for the holiday.

19 days to go?  Exciting.