Well That Was Exhausting!

After 10 days of tireless editing, proofreading and design by me and my team, the PDF version of Zen Madman's Flash Fiction Folio is finally finished. I found the actual writing of the material relatively easy and got through it very quickly. Despite numerous careful reviews, we kept finding little things that needed fixing. It didn't help that Microsoft Word and Adobe InDesign got along about as well as Oscar Madison and Felix Unger. Hopefully you'll find the final result just as entertaining as The Odd Couple.

After thinking about the comments received on the first three cover ideas, I decided to go with a fourth one. It looks like this:

January 2012

I've been a bit MIA for the past two weeks. I was lost in the Writing A Book Very Fast Zone. Now, I'm entirely capable of writing a book in under a month, but it feels a bit like holding my breath under water. If I get distracted or relax too much, I'm likely to drown.

In reviewing this first month in Germany, things have been a mix of awesome, good, and moderately frustrating. I've written and/or revised about sixteen-thousand words in the past few days, so I'll just fire out some bullet points. The awesome:

  • Thanks to friends and strangers alike, my Kickstarter was a complete success.
  • Zen Madman's Flash Fiction Folio is complete. The design is mostly done, too. Just a few adjustments here and there, and we're ready to go to print.
  • I've gotten to know a new country, home to delicious caramel soy pudding and "Happy end" toilettenpapier.
  • Reached my goal of weighing 80kg, despite my new Nirwana Noir addiction.
  • I started playing Heads Up Limit Holdem again. Man is this game fun!
The good:
  • Got set up on a few Euro poker sites.
  • Published the Poker Player Bill of Rights.
  • Made some decent cash playing HULHE.
  • Kept up with my blog for the first couple weeks.
  • Learned enough German to avoid the soup with Schweinefleisch in it.
The moderately frustrating:
  • Failed to reopen my PokerStars account. This was a mix of logistics and distraction on my part.
  • Importing a Word document into Indesign resulted in some data loss, slowing the process.
  • Still feel like an ignorant American who can only speak one language.
To review, I'm happy with the month, but I'm already working hard for a better February.

25th Hour

I’m running from the law down a too-well-lit corridor. In my hand is a magenta sheet of paper bearing my sentence – 5 years, 9 months. I can recall neither my crime nor how I got cornered in this stupid building. All I know is the fear of confinement. I must be free.

I open my eyes in a too-dark room. I can recall neither where I am nor how I got here. All I know is that I’m not running.

Germany. I’m not breaking the law, but I have run from it, from what calls itself the law and then changes its mind. I’m here to play poker, and I sleep with my computer.

The screen sears my eyes as I ask it the time. It’s almost low noon. Another six hours on my Kickstarter. I visit the page and find my project fully funded.

It’s like Christmas morning. An emotional one-eighty. At the same time, two people put me over the top – a friend and a stranger – and then there was a third.

More pledges roll in before the closing bell rings. I smile in gratitude, just before dawn in Germany.

It. Is. On.

2012 grind in full effect. I'll be playing 6 to 10 hours per day, almost every day, for the rest of the year. I'm going back to the method I used to build my game up in 2008. Two shorthanded tables or one table heads up. High focus, quality over quantity, repeated hour after hour. Warm up and review, video and study.

In other poker-related news, I've been on a video-making tear. Sledghammer and I just recorded a two-part small-blind mini-series. We covered some fundamentals and some not-so-fundamentals. I've also got four new table play videos in the queue, so look for an increase in Limit Holdem content on DragTheBar.

I'm also doing a small amount of private coaching, available for $75/hour or $300/5 hours, only through my Kickstarter for Zen Madman's Flash Fiction Folio. I'm excited about publishing my fiction for the first time, but it will be easier to focus on poker once the project is done. Only 65 hours left on the Kickstarter, so act fast if you want coaching, the book, or a postcard from online poker tour 2012!

It's About Time

I've always had a hard time with external forces structuring my time.
Apprehension shadows every minute when an appointment looms.
When there is nothing required of me, I am at peace. Relaxed.
But I've come to Germany,  to the land of structure.
You're not allowed to take a shower after 11.
You can't do the laundry after 9.
So when in Germany,
You do as the
Now it
seems that
the time is here
to make my schedule.
Each morning I'll wake up
about 10 A.M. I will start my day.
Eat some breakfast, go for a walk, stretch.
Two hours of poker, snack, yoga, then more poker.
Four days per week, it's off to the gym for serious exercise.
Kettlebells and free weights, then kick and punch the heavy bag.
Dinner, then grind more hands and words. Much work. It's about time.

Two New Cover Options

The cover vote for my Flash Fiction Folio has yielded a mixed result between Cover Number 1 and None of the Above. I've listened to the people (yes, you people*) and added two new options. Keep voting HERE. More votes means more free stuff!

* What do you mean you people?
What do you mean you people?