Archive for August 2013
I like coffee. I like coffeeshops. I like the smell and taste of good coffee, and I tolerate bad coffee when there’s nothing else to drink. I like the social aspect of coffee. I like sitting with friends and enjoying a convivial conversation on just about anything over coffee.
Today I had one of the best coffee dates of my life. It was in a little place called Richard’s Coffee Shop in Mooresville, NC. You can find their webpage here: http://welcomehomeveteran.org/
The coffee was free. The sweet treats were free. So was the conversation. My friend Bob, a Special Forces linguist and intelligence officer of the Viet Nam era took me in and introduced me around to his running buddies. I was privileged with conversation from an infantry officer who’d commanded a line company on Okinawa during WW2. A pilot who’d flown the Hump and dropped supplies to Merrill’s Marauders. An SF officer who rebuilt a C-46 and still flies it to drop paratroopers at re-enactments. A seasoned SF sniper with three grown sons who have now, after their service in Iraq, have become “not only my sons, but my brothers” through their service. A whole slew of brother paratroopers, Marines, Airmen, Navy, Coast Guard…veterans all. Enjoying coffee and company.
I was welcomed Home.
It’s a mighty fine place to be.
If you’re ever traveling in North Carolina, stop by and visit Richard’s Coffee Shop. The story’s on their web-page. If you’ve Served, come by on Thursday. Coffee’s free. So’s the conversation.
Never know who you might run into there.
I forget to mention sometimes that I write novels. And I’ve been doing so since 2001. The first three with a traditional publisher, and the following five as an independent author through e-publishing with Amazon and Smashwords.
I’m pleased to say that I’ve been offered and accepted an initial deal with Baen Books, an aggressively independent imprint under Simon & Schuster. Baen is the publisher that invented the military science-fiction genre, and continues to dominate the field with heavyweights like David Weber, Robert Heinlein, John Ringo, David Drake, and Jerry Pournelle; they also dominate the “gunfighter urban fantasy” genre with bestselling authors like Larry Correia.
So I’m proud to be among such a crowd — and feel right at home!
I was asked why I “gave up” indie publishing; for the record, I haven’t. I’ll continue to publish my crime/thriller indie titles (for the time being, Baen may take some or all of those on down the road) for my loyal readership via Amazon and Smashwords. I like the autonomy of independent publishing. But going into a new (for me) genre, even though it’s the genre I grew up reading, I thought it best to partner with a top-flight publisher and top-shelf editor, Jim Minz, who I knew from a long night of drinking many years ago when we were both young. Thanks for letting me miss the train back to DC, Jim!
The new book is a parnormal urban fantasy; the pitch line is: “Jim Butcher’s DRESDEN FILES meets Larry Correia’s MONSTER-HUNTERS.” Pretty accurate, I think, and WAY FUN to write. It’s about shamanism, demons, gunfighting, love, sex, guns, heroism, betrayal, sex, guns, paranormal military special operations, the war between Good and Evil, sex, guns…did I mention sex and guns?
Stay tuned for snippets as we go along. Since this is a “real book” it’s tentatively scheduled for sometime in Fall 2014; however, Baen, who was THE early adapter for e-books, will be releasing a “E-ARC” or electronic advanced reading copy sometime probably in the spring or early summer. Maybe earlier. It’s traditional publishing. It takes time.
I’ll be releasing some stories from the related universe through the usual channels on Amazon and Smashwords, as well as more books in the WYLDE series.
Thanks for reading and sticking with me through all the crazy ride that the last fourteen years have been!
Yes, I know it’s Labor Day weekend. My friend and brother-from-another-mother the esteemed Nick Hughes of DEADLIEST WARRIOR and the French Foreign Legion (http://nickhughescombatives.com/) asked me to come down and the two of us completely missed the holiday in our planning.
Probably because we both work so much we said, “What holiday?”
If you’ve been following my posts on training mental attributes, this is an opportunity to do the work instead of read about it. This is the first “open” two-day seminar I’ve done in the United States; the previous training courses were for military/law enforcement only, and most of those were conducted overseas.
The focus of this two-day seminar is on mental attributes for unarmed combatives (though we’ll do some knife work) and CQB. Specifically we’ll work on installing the components of situational awareness, the skill of psycho-physiological state management in close quarters fighting, and the broad skill set of mental rehearsal for rapid skill acquisition in the visual, kinesthetic and auditory modalities.
The course is designed for beginners, though a martial arts, boxing or other combatives background would be useful.
It will be mentally and physically demanding.
The course is filling rapidly through word of mouth; we have attendees coming from overseas, law enforcement, military, MMA competitors and lots of regular folks.
This is essentially the same training I’ve provided in recent years to the Norwegian National Police Academy, the Swedish National Police, the South African National Police, and a wide variety of other law enforcement and military special operations units all over the world. I’ve consulted on this material with DARPA, NASA, FLETC, and a variety of Other Government Agencies. The work’s been documented in Dave Spaulding’s HANDGUN COMBATIVES, Ed Lovette’s DEFENSIVE LIVING and a number of other publications.
This is open enrollment, though background checks will be conducted and I practice and enforce a “no assholes” rule — in other words, if you don’t play well with others and don’t have an open mind and willingness to learn, save your money and your ego and stay home. Attendance is limited and it’s first-come, first-serve for enrollments.
For information, contact Nick Hughes of Nick Hughes Combatives at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope to see you there!
ps: someone just asked me why I do so few of these — mostly because it takes a LOT out of me to teach these in person, and I have health issues; overseas I have lots of young strong military guys to carry my bags!
See you there.
While killing time today, I found myself doodling notes for an upcoming class. Here’s some random thoughts on the different components of mindset and what they add up to:
The willingness to do violence + The ability to perform violence = Combative Mindset
The willingness to do violence is based on core values:
–The value of one’s self
–The value of others
The physical and mental ability to perform violence:
–training, experience, skills
–Maintain ability to utilize all higher cognitive functions as appropriate.
–Maintain ability to utilize and manage adrenalized states and autonomic nervous system while under extreme stress.
So if you add the willingness to do violence + the ability to perform violence = capability of violence and/or capability of *effective* violence.
*A child is capable of violence. A child *may* be capable of effective violence.
*A sociopath’s core values are focused on his/her self — what his/her desires, wants are. Other people’s feelings don’t count. No empathy.
*A warrior (positive orientation) core values are focused on service to others; to protect and serve. Self-identity derives from service going in harm’s way. Doesn’t necessarily seek credit.
*A warrior (negative orientation) core values are focused on service to his/her self, his/her self-image as potent and/or dangerous; may be of service to others but primary motivation is self-aggrandizement/enhancing personal image. Requires credit/acknowledgement on some level, or at least recognition through eliciting fear/respect, etc.
The focus in the neural-based training protocols is to parse out the elements of the *mental* platform that can be trained — just as you can train attributes as well as specific techniques physically, you can do the same with necessary mental attributes.
Necessary mental attributes that add up to the “combative mindset”
*Habitual situational awareness
*Alignment with positive core values in line with the mission.
*Ability to access and utilize all higher cognitive functions while in the fight.
*Ability to manage psycho-physiological state on demand and exercise control over ANS as required while under immediate-threat-to-life stress.
And yes, I’ve found that *all* of those can be parsed out and trained.