January 3, 2017

My 2017 Resolutions

  1. Weight to 175. Currently at 191.
  2. Win a National Hardbat Title at U.S. Nationals or Open.
  3. Address the rest of the USATT issues I promised to work on when I ran for the USATT board.
  4. Put together new book, "More Table Tennis Tips" (the 150 Tips of the Week from 2014-2016), the follow-up to Table Tennis Tips (the 150 Tips of the Week from 2011-2013).
  5. Write "Parents' Guide to Table Tennis" (new book).
  6. Help Tim Boggan put out two more volumes of his "History of U.S. Table Tennis" series – Volumes 19 and 20. (He moves in with me on Jan. 10 for two weeks to do Volume 19.)  
  7. Write a new SF novel, my fifth. I plan to start on this on March 1, but will be doing a lot of planning and research in advance.
  8. Write 20 new short stories (science fiction & fantasy).

Time Spent Out of Town in 2016
Total days out of town: 78. These do not include four days coaching at ITTF Cadet Camp at MDTTC (local), or six days where I did local exhibitions or coaching outside MDTTC. They are roughly split between table tennis (coaching at major tournaments or USATT meetings) and science fiction & fantasy writing (conventions where I promoted my novels, and writing workshops).

  • Mar. 18-20, Lunacon SF Con, Rye Brook, NY
  • Apr. 29-May 1, Ravencon SF Con, Williamsburg, VA
  • May 27-28, Balticon SF Con, Baltimore, MD
  • June 17-18, USATT Board Meeting, NJ
  • July 4-10, USA Nationals, Las Vegas, NV
  • July 10-22, USATT Supercamp, LYTTC, NJ
  • July 22-30, TNEO Writing Workshop, Manchester, NH
  • July 31-Aug 4, Junior Olympics, Houston, TX
  • Sept. 23-24, Baltimore Book Festival, Baltimore, MD
  • Oct. 7-8, Capclave SF Convention, Gaithersburg, MD
  • Oct. 9-10, World Cup, Board meeting, Philadelphia, PA
  • Oct. 27-30, World Fantasy Con, Columbus, OH
  • Nov. 18-20, Philcon SF Convention, Cherry Hill, NJ
  • Nov. 25-27, NA Teams, Washington, DC
  • Dec. 5-9, Caribbean Writers Cruise, Caribbean
  • Dec. 11-18, U.S. Open, Las Vegas, NV
  • Dec. 20-25, Christmas Vacation, Eugene, OR

Books I Read in 2016
I read 46 books in 2016. The bulk of them were fiction, specifically science fiction & fantasy, including 19 by Mike Resnick, who I discovered this year. (I also read two of his "On Writing" books.)


  1. The Metaphysics of Ping-Pong, by Guido Mina di Sospiro
  2. Revelations of a Table Tennis Champion, by Dan Seemiller
  3. Handbook of Table Tennis, by Mudit Dani
  4. History of U.S. Table Tennis, Volume 17, by Tim Boggan
  5. History of U.S. Table Tennis, Volume 18, by Tim Boggan


  1. Putting It Together, by Mike Resnick
  2. The Business of Science Fiction, by Barry Malzberg and Mike Resnick


  1. The Presidents, by Frederick S. Voss
  2. Personality, Character, & Leadership in the White House, by Steven Rubenzer and Thomas Faschingbauer
  3. Numbers, by David Wells

FICTION (36) – the first 19 are by Mike Resnick (as are the two writing books above), who I discovered this year.

  1. The Outpost, by Mike Resnick
  2. The Soul Eater, by Mike Resnick
  3. The Branch, by Mike Resnick
  4. Ivory: A Legend of Past and Future, by Mike Resnick
  5. The Widowmaker, by Mike Resnick
  6. The Widowmaker Reborn, by Mike Resnick
  7. The Widowmaker Unleashed, by Mike Resnick
  8. A Gathering of Widowmakers, by Mike Resnick
  9. The Prison in Antares, by Mike Resnick
  10. The Fortress in Orion, by Mike Resnick
  11. Santiago: A Myth of the Far Future, by Mike Resnick
  12. INCI, by Mike Resnick and Tina Gower
  13. Kirinyaga, by Mike Resnick
  14. Adventures: The Chronicles of Lucifer Jones, by Mike Resnick
  15. Birthright: The Book of Man, by Mike Resnick
  16. Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge, by Mike Resnick
  17. Win Some, Lose Some, by Mike Resnick
  18. Alternate Presidents, edited by Mike Resnick
  19. Will the Last Person to Leave the Planet Please Shut Off The Sun, by Mike Resnick
  20. Quantum Night, by Robert J. Sawyer
  21. Probability Moon, by Nancy Kress
  22. Ancient Shores, by Jack McDevitt
  23. 11/22/63, by Stephen King
  24. Barsk: The Elephants Graveyard, by Lawrence Schoen
  25. Seven Eves, by Neal Stephenson
  26. Superposition, by David Walton
  27. The Einstein Prophesy, by Robert Masello
  28. Taft 2012: A Novel, by Jason Heller
  29. Bloodsuckers: A Vampire Runs for President, by Michael Ventrella
  30. A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens
  31. Magic and Murder Among the Dwarves, by Erik Bundy
  32. Proven Guilty (The Dresden Files #8), by Jim Butcher
  33. White Night (The Dresden Files #9), by Jim Butcher
  34. Small Favor (Dresden Files #10), by Jim Butcher
  35. Cats in Space, edited by Elektra Hammond
  36. After Death, edited by Eric Guignard

Devastate the Smart/Dumb Guy: Tactics for 2 Different Opponents
Here's the coaching article from Samson Dubina.

A Comprehensive Education, Jinxin Wang Provides Food for Thought
Here's the article on this Chinese player now living in the U.S.  Includes links to three technical coaching articles he's written on "The Importance of Fingers and Wrist in Table Tennis."

Adriana Díaz: Latin America’s New Sporting Sensation
Here's the article. It includes some funny cartoon pictures of her!

"Always Loop" Video Channel
Here's the new page, with links to a number of TT videos.

Dimitrij Ovtcharov Training at the Swedish Open 2016
Here's the video (3:52).

58 Smashes to Win the Point
Here's the video (72 sec) of this great lobbing point.

Insane Point
Here's the video (1:24, including slo-mo replay).

Hitting the Ball Before It Bounces
Here's the new video (1:44) from PingSkills, which covers the rules on this.

Happy New Year from Jorgen Persson
Here's the video (13 sec). (1991 World Men's Singles Champion.)

Fan Zhendong Playing with Smart Phone
Here's the video (12 sec) – check out the backhand smash!

Rallying with Three Balls, then Three Smashes
Here's the video (11 sec).

Rallying with Five Balls
Here's the video (18 sec).

Car Pong!
Here's the picture. (Here's the non-Facebook version.)

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