Year of Accountability – June 28th-July 5th, 2020 – Camp NaNoWriMo Progress on the Novella!

Greetings all!

This is a combination post for both my Year of Accountability Project and my Camp NaNoWriMo Progress! I’ve been working on the novella pretty heavily over the last few days, and reached the first major milestone! 10,000 words! I’m excited to share a brief except from the short story in the novella below, but first I wanted to also share the goal for next week.

Goal for this week: Reach 10,000 words in the ‘Colonia’ book – Goal Achieved!

Goal for next week: Reach 20,000 words!

Remember that my novels are on sale for 25% off for  Smashword’s Summer Sale, going on now! Stay at home and read my books! Subscribe to the blog for more news and updates!

Read on to discover more!

Continue reading “Year of Accountability – June 28th-July 5th, 2020 – Camp NaNoWriMo Progress on the Novella!”

Year of Accountability – Weeks of June 14th & 21st

Good morning! Welcome back to another Year of Accountability post. Hopefully, with school done, I’ll be back on the right swing of things for this!

Continue reading “Year of Accountability – Weeks of June 14th & 21st”

Year of Accountability – June 1-14th

Hi all, Here’s yet another post in my Year of Accountability challenge!

gray concrete building on top of hill
Photo by Suliman Sallehi on

Continue reading “Year of Accountability – June 1-14th”

On Frustration in the time of Injustice and Covid

Hi there,

Normally, on a Sunday, I’d be doing a Year of Accountability post, but seeing as it’s been a rough week for a lot of people, it just didn’t sit right with me.

As a white male, I have privilege. Privilege I cannot always recognize and see. As a graduate of the McDaniel Equity in Excellence program, I expanded my ability to recognize my privilege and the spaces where it flexes its muscles – both literally and figuratively. I cannot sit here and simply say “I understand what my fellow black and brown citizens of the United States are going through”.

Because I can’t. I can witness it. I can empathize. I can feel frustration for them and anger at the system that willfully allows such actions to occur, time and time again. My own frustration comes from the feeling of being limited in how to respond. I am not in a place to go out and protest, and while talking and sharing facts and support online is something, it doesn’t always feel like something. It is hard to be an ally when you feel like you cannot do anything to help.

Normally, I would bring up these issues in my school’s social justice program – our Student Diversity Leadership Team – but with distance learning coming to a close, this limits my ability to work with my students in this regard. 2020 has been a solid 1-2-3 series of blows to our communities and families, to our sense of ‘normalcy.’

But if it is normal for African American men and women to be murdered in their own neighborhoods, their own cars, their own homes, by police, in situations where their white neighbors would not, is normalcy what we want?

We can either push forward, or fall back. I’m honest in saying that I don’t have answers, just some half formed ideas. I’m not an expert in community organizing or reforming the police department, but I have some thoughts that may, or may not, be useful. Starting with this one simple idea.

  • Stop letting police officers fired for misconduct get jobs in neighboring precincts.

As a teacher, if I get fired for misconduct, my teaching certificate gets yanked. No more teaching. I have to jump through hoops to get it again. I can’t roll into the county next door and get a job. Why can these officers? If places in our country continue to operate in a ‘three strikes you’re out’ – shouldn’t we hold police to a higher standard? One strike – you’re out, and obviously not fit to be a police officer.

I have other ideas. None of which will solve the problem – there’s no ‘solving’ this. There is mitigating and reducing and building community relationships.

  • Require officers to live in the jurisdiction they work in.
  • Require “walk alongs” with members of the community for all officers. Monthly.
  • Remove long-rifled and shotgun weapons from cruisers.
  • Promote foot patrols rather than armored cruisers.
  • Rotate officers through schools, neighborhoods, community centers, ERs.

Most importantly of all, I think the best idea is to listen to what others, with better ideas, have to say. Listen, follow through, listen again.

Stay safe out there, wear your mask.


Year of Accountability – May 11-18th, 2020

Here’s another Year of Accountability post! A day late, but it’s been a wonderful weekend of relaxing! Now, on to the post!

galleon ship photo under the cloudy sky
Photo by David Jakab on

Continue reading “Year of Accountability – May 11-18th, 2020”

Year of Accountability – April 27 – May 3

Hello all! It’s time for another Year of Accountability post! This week saw the publication of my latest Novella – the Last Gladiator. So I’ve reached one of the two major goals I had for the year! How else did I do this week? Read on to find out more!

Continue reading “Year of Accountability – April 27 – May 3”

Year of Accountability 4/20-4/27 – Still Looking for Blog Tour Hosts & Preview Copies of The Last Gladiator

Hi all,

The Year of Accountability continues on! Here’s some highlights from this week’s writing.

Continue reading “Year of Accountability 4/20-4/27 – Still Looking for Blog Tour Hosts & Preview Copies of The Last Gladiator”

Year Of Accountability – Happy Easter! 4/12-4/19

Hi all,

This week has been a busy week for me, even safe at home during this social distancing and Stay-At-Home orders. If you haven’t heard already, The Last Gladiator is now available on Pre-Order!

A clash of tradition versus invention drives Daniel Ottalini’s latest work – The Last Gladiator, a prequel novella in the Steam Empire Chronicles.

Lucia Rhodanus Fortem is an endangered species – one of the last graduates of the ludi, gladiator academies renowned throughout the Empire. When the Emperor orders a demonstration of his new mechanical toys – Mechagladiators – he knows just whom to fight. Fans of Gladiator and Pacific Rim alike will enjoy this prequel to the Steam Empire Chronicles – The Last Gladiator.

The Last Gladiator is due to be released May 2, 2020. Available on Kindle, Nook, and for all other e-readers through Smashwords!

I’m super pumped to share this with you all! Help out your small author pals (like me!) and pre order your copy today. Remember that my first novel – Brass Legionnaire – is still available FOR FREE on Smashwords!

Continue reading “Year Of Accountability – Happy Easter! 4/12-4/19”

Year of Accountability 4/5-4/11

Howdy everyone,

So far, the Year of Accountability has seen roughly 40,000 words written! That’s a lot, especially for me! I’m really proud, but so far I’ve only accomplished one goal – completing The Last Gladiator.

(What, you don’t know what that is? Check out my entire series – the Steam Empire Chronicles – On Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords. The first book is FREE right now on Smashwords, as part of their “Give Back” Sale, and the rest of my books are discounted!)

The next goal is to finish the rough draft of A Brief History of New Caesaria. It’s tricky, but definitely fun, as I get to play with both formatting and font in this novella. I’m also going to be making sure that my beta readers get a crack at it each time I finish a small component, so that I can see how I’m doing.

I already said that my goal for this last week was to do nothing. I did a bit more than ‘nothing’ but 5,000 words in this novella is already pretty good. My goals for this week are…

  1. Read a book I promised to read and do a review.
  2. Read a friend’s writing and give feedback.
  3. Blog every day.
  4. Write and work on A.B.H. every day!

So somewhat of a lot to do, but I’m planning on doing my ‘one hour a night’ practice tool, which has always been beneficial for me.

Hang in there folks.

Year of Accountability – 3/30-4/5

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to the formatters The Last Gladiator goes!

This week has been a whirlwind of work trying to get the Last Gladiator finished and ready. I’m excited to get it sent off, but I really want to make sure it is the best it can be. So I would say I have accomplished my goal for this week! I’m still making the last few changes and got some really good feedback from my beta readers. I’m sort of kicking myself for not giving myself a lot of time to put in their feedback, but then I remember that I control the deadlines and can slow things down as I like!

So that’s it! This week I’m going to be busy getting settled in to doing digital distance learning. I want to make sure I’m giving myself time to get familiar and comfortable with the technology, which fortunately I do have some practice with in the last few years.

Goals for the week: None.

See you next week!


%d bloggers like this: