Day 137

Friday, May 31, 2013

I'm not sure I slept at all last night.  My mind was spinning with lines and notes and paragraphs for the last few chapters.

Went to the gym at 5:10, played three games with Tiger, Glenn and Dorian and one game left-handed with Steve. 

Started hitting the keyboard at 8:30 and have been going since 11:20 p.m.

Finished chapters 37, 38, 39 and 40.

In three months, I wrote the first draft of a 60k-word novel from scratch.  That is SWEET!

Up next, a solid week of revisions, then a 7-day cruise to Alaska with Alice.  Life is good!

Day 136

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Up at 3, wrote until 4:50, went to the gym at 5, back at 7:30, wrote until 2.  Finished only one chapter, chapter 36. 

Went to Livermore for a racquetball demo that took the entire afternoon and evening.  It was fun, but I could have used the time to write.  Oh, well.  It means tomorrow is going to be a bone crusher.


Day 135

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Woke up at 4, at the gym at 5:10, writing by 7.  Wrote all day, completing chapters 33, 34 and 35.  Dead tired.

Day 134

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Up at 4, gym at 5, 40 minutes of Insanity, Safeway at 6:30, writing by 7:30.  Wrote until 6, emailed chapters 31 and 32 to Chris.  Didn't even touch 33, so tomorrow is going to be a killer.  Talked with Chris tonight and discussed ideas for our project after Zombie Cookies.  Busy, busy, busy. 

Watched episode 7 of House of Cards during lunch.  I like this show a lot.

It's 10:15 and time for bed.

Day 133

Monday, May 27, 2013

Wrote from 7-5:30 with a couple of ten-minute power naps and one really great bowl of oatmeal.  I have 85,492 words written for Zombie Cookies.  Today I drafted chapters 31-40 so now I have at least 1,000 words for each chapter.  Tomorrow I'll shape 31-33, Wednesday I'll work on 34-36, and Thursday I'll work on 37-40.  Friday I'll work on whatever scenes haven't been written, and then I can say I wrote an entire first draft of a 40-chapter, 60,000-word novel from scratch in three months.  That's pretty cool.

Day 132

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Woke up at 5:30, arrived home by 6:30, slept another hour, then started writing at 7:45.  It's 5:52 p.m. and I'm still going.  I'm writing chapters 31, 32 and 33 while plotting out the final chapters of the book.  I'm not sure how far to take the espionage angle, but my hunch is simplest is best.  The next six days are going to be brutal, but I think I can knock the final ten chapters out by Friday night.   

Day 131

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Graduation Day for Alice's niece, Sharon, who graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in Kinesiology.

Had lunch with Alice's family afterward, then continued the celebration at Alice's sister Karen's with a wonderful dinner. 

Only two hours of writing today early in the morning, organizing notes for the first 12 chapters and preparing sections 7 and 8.

I'll head back home tomorrow and write through the weekend, holiday and all next week until the 31st.  I really want to get the first draft of the entire book done before June 1.

Day 130

Friday, May 24, 2013

Up at 4, at the gym at 5, out by 7, writing by 7:45.  Wrote until 3, sent chapters 29 and 30 to Chris, along with a new chapter from my next project...which just had to be written.  Oh, it's good.

I'll carry on with chapters 31-35 this weekend.  Off to Alice's at 4.

Day 129

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Up at 6:15 and wrote the day away.  Outlined the final ten chapters, continued with chapters 29 and 30, and looked over the first six chapters.  Not too much to change.  Stopped at 4:30 and relaxed the rest of the day.

Day 128

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Woke up at 5:05 (hit the snooze one too many times), played racquetball until 6:30, went grocery shopping, started writing at 8:15.  Sent an email to Chris about an idea we brainstormed last night.  Great idea.  Million dollar idea.  It could be the next big project, though I'd like to get Introducing Girls revised and Austin15 written first.  

Writing chapters 29 and 30...Switchblade's entrance.  These are fun chapters.  Revised chapters 3 and 4.  I plotted out what I need to do between now and June 7 and it's truly crazy.  I'm not sure I can get it all done without writing around the clock.  Still, it would be nice to have a reasonable draft of Don't Eat the Zombie Cookies by the time Alice and I leave for Alaska.

Had my first violin lesson in over 25 years today with Carla Moore, a baroque violin virtuoso who offered a free lesson at a school auction last year.  It was great.  We worked on the first movement of an A minor concerto by Vivaldi.  I learned a few basics about the baroque technique.  Baroque bows run around $400 and baroque violins run under $2,500.

After my lesson (finished at 3) I wasn't very productive.  Tomorrow should be a very good day as there's nothing on my calendar but writing.

Day 127

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

19 Days left...52 tasks remaining.

Woke up at 6, stopped at 4:30.  Sent chapters 27 and 28 to Chris.  I'll meet with him tonight.

Watched Journey of Man during dinner.  Great and fascinating DVD. 

Had an Arizmendi Chocolate Chip Zombie Cookie tonight.  So good!

Day 126

Monday, May 20, 2013

I have 20 days to complete 56 action items:

That's 14 new chapters, 40 revised chapters and a synopsis draft and revision.

That's totally insane.  And totally what I'm up for. 

So on day 20, I woke up at 4, went to the gym for an hour, starting writing at 7:30 and just kept going until 10 p.m.  I'm not sure I was all that productive after dinner, but at least I was still going. 

Day 125

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Wrote for two hours, then called it a day.  Drafting ch. 27 now.  2 1/2 sections left.  Today was a good rest day.  Perfect weather, Bay to Breakers, a nice walk with Alice.  Ready for another very productive week!

Day 124

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Woke up at 6, wrote for two hours, then got ready for the day and drove with Alice to pick up my dear friend Kathryn Kim, who was attending a conference at the Grand Hyatt in San Francisco. We had breakfast and hung out for a few hours until it was time to drive her to SFO at 12:45. 

Back at Alice's around 1:30...wrote until 5 and banged out chapters 24, 25 and 26 for Chris.  It felt great sending him these pages that include a plot point I've been wanting him to read for weeks now.  I can see a very faint light at the end of the tunnel.  Only 14 chapters left and the first draft will be on paper.  Sweet!

Ready to relax with Alice for the evening with a good movie.

Day 123

Friday, May 17, 2013

Played a few hours of my monthly neighborhood poker game last night and took home $80, really from two hands, one that needed a little luck, and one that didn't need much more than a willing caller.  So I slept in until 7 and started writing at 7:30.

A productive morning so far.  Sent chapter 23 to Chris.  Not much happens in this chapter, but there is a paragraph I like that I wrote a couple of weeks ago and found a spot to include:

     Of course, I knew what sex was, but didn’t really get why grownups got so bent out of shape over it and acted like it was such a big deal.  As I gazed at the stars that formed the constellation Pegasus just above my head, I wondered if any girl would want to do things with me when I was a grownup.  It worried me that I might end up being alone.  Back when I was in the fourth grade I watched March of the Penguins and worried that I would be one of those lone penguins who didn’t end up with anyone and had no young chick.  I worried about that for weeks and didn’t want to grow up because of it.  If I was going to be alone all my life, I had to prepare for it and not feel so bad about my fate.  Dad once told me that losing mom would always be with me and sometimes throw my confidence out of whack, but it would also bring me strength when times were tough and carry me through whatever challenge faced me.  I wanted that to be true with girls.  I didn’t want to be that lone penguin waddling off by himself because no other penguin appreciated who he was.
     I thought about Kendra, mom, space, Command and Conquer, Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup, baseball practice and the genius of Galileo before it occurred to me that it was almost one o’clock and there was still no sign of Kendra.  She wasn’t coming and I came up with a new term.  Penguined.
     I've been penguined, I said to myself on the way home...

Wrote until 3, then went over to Alice's.  Was hoping to send chapter 24, but didn't finish.  Tomorrow, perhaps.

Day 122

Thursday May 16, 2013

Woke up at 5:50 and started writing.  I had a lot of energy today.  I finished chapter 22 and organized paragraphs for chapters 23-26.  I'd love to get up to chapter 27 by Sunday. 

I have 70k words of Zombie Cookies written.  That's after 10 weeks.  Not bad.

I'm still on track to completing the first draft by June 8.  Alice has given me the weekends to do what I need to do.  She's a saint. 

Almost finished with Gone Girl.  Very very well written book.  Inspiring.  Now on 6th episode of Wallander.  Chris is reading the books now.  I'll have to pick one up.  Supposed to be great. 

I'm still in love with this photograph:

I can't stop thinking about this Hubble Extreme Deep Field shot.  To me, it provides answers to questions that have never been answered.  We're just one world in a universe of millions of worlds.  Some are just like ours and some are quite different, but the numbers suggest we are one of many.  Many, many, many.  I don't know why, but I find this so uplifting and comforting.  Billions of galaxies, trillions of stars and trillions upon trillions of planets.  If we're a one-in-a-trillion kind of planet, there are a trillion other planets just like earth.  To me, that is remarkable, and this picture suggests that.  If Galileo could only see this picture.

Day 121

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Up at 4:50, at the gym at 5:10, 40 minutes of Insanity Circuit Training, oatmeal at 7:20, into it at 7:30.  Today, I'm continuing work on 22, starting 23, revising chapters 1 and 2, and finishing Gone Girl.

Wrote until 8 p.m.  Didn't complete chapter 22 yet, but started chapter 23.

Day 120

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Up at 6:30 to finish chapter 21 and start chapter 22 and 23.  It annoys me how I have to rejuvenate myself every morning.  It always takes about 30 minutes to remind myself what I'm supposed to do and another 15 minutes to get excited about it.  Once into it, though, I'm off.

Sent chapter 22 to Chris.  Drafted a query for Zombie Cookies.  Revised chapter 1.  Started chapter 22.

Chris and I talked at 8:30 tonight.  He still likes where the story is going.

I'm two-thirds through Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.  It's fantastic. 

Day 119

Monday, May 13, 2013

Woke up at 4, drove home, made it to the gym at 5:05 and tried hitting after a week off the court.  My forehand was still sore, so I'll take another week off.  Steve, Glenn and Tiger were there.  It was good seeing them.  I hit the elliptical for 15 minutes, then took a shower and left early.

I had my oatmeal and 6:30 and started another week of writing around 7:15.  This week I'm writing chapters 21-27, all of section 5 and two chapters from section 6.  These should be fun chapters to write, as the kids at Harmony Middle School will no longer be affected by the afternoon cookies and will start to behave like normal kids, only they will not have had any practice at being normal.

3:30 p.m. -- still going...took a much-needed fifteen minute nap, which made all the difference.  Back to it...

7 - Can't write anymore.  Time for an hour or so of Wallanger. 

Day 118

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Wrote from 8-4 while Alice spent the morning and afternoon with her friend Amy.  I finished chapter 20, the last chapter in section 4, and sent it off to Chris.  I spent the rest of the day and evening with Alice. 

Looking forward to beginning section 5 tomorrow.

Day 117

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Wrote for an hour this morning, then went to the Farmer's Market down the street and bought ingredients for a soup I made for Alice and picked up some nice flowers for her for Mother's Day.  The soup was really good...I had two bowls of it.  

We hung out in the neighborhood and played cribbage at Peet's, then drove to Alice's in the Sunset District, where it was so foggy it felt like another country from the warm, clear skies of Oakland. 

We had noodles and turkey for dinner, then watched an old classic that Alice had never seen and I hadn't seen in several years, The Apartment.  It's still magnificent.  So well done and wonderfully acted.  Alice loved it.  It was a wonderful way to end and wonderful day.

Day 116

Friday, May 10, 2013

Up at 4:45, writing at 5:45, ready to finish chapter 19 and send 18 and 19 to Chris this morning.

Wrote until 4:30 then did Insanity abs, ate dinner, watched 40 minutes of Wallander, organized, then wrote some more.  Sent off 18 and 19 to Chris.  Two tough chapters.  Chapter 20 is much easier.  I have an added appreciation for spy novelists.  

I have a pile of books I'm ignoring.  I did read the first 30 pages of Gone, Girl.  Like it. 

Day 115

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Woke up at 4:50, went to gym for 40 minutes of Insanity interval training, and returned back home at 6:30 for a full day of writing.  Spent the entire day on chapter 19.  I was hoping to finish before I left for Alice's at 4:30, but still have about two hours left.  I'll finish tomorrow. 

A new twist with the ending that I came up with while driving to Alice's.  Interesting.

Alice and I finished watching Three Stars, a documentary about eight chefs of Three Star Michelin restaurants.

Day 114

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Woke up at 6:50.  I was planning to go into the gym at 5 but didn't feel good, so I slept an extra two hours.  Feel fine now.

On to chapters 17-20.  I'll give a violin lesson to Sophie at 4.  Other than that, it's a full day of writing.  Nice!

Noon - Emailed chapter 17 to Chris.  On to 18 and 19...Over 60k words written since March.

9:50 - Finished chapter 18.  Almost done with 19.  If I can complete chapter 20 by tomorrow, that would be fantastic!  Then I can get a good start on Section 5.

Finally put Dropbox on my desktop today.  Now all my zombie files are on it.  I can see all my manuscripts moving to Dropbox soon.  Why not?  It's a pretty slick program.

I actually practiced for an hour today after Sophie's lesson.

Day 113

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Woke up at 4:30.  Planned out the day.  Wrapping up chapters 16 and 17 for Chris tonight.  Another long day of writing that will go by quickly.  Lots to do on my to do list.  Finished last night's list this morning.

Wrote until 7.  I sent chapter 16 to Chris and will wrap up chapter 17 tomorrow.  Dead tired but happy with some surprises that occurred in 16.  Looking forward to writing 18 and 19 tomorrow.

Watched the first episode of Wallander with  Kenneth Branagh.  It's Prime Suspect with a male lead.  I like it. 

Day 112

Monday, May 6, 2013

Woke up at 5:30 and worked on section 4, chapters 16-20.  My new video card came today, so my HP desktop is back among the living.  I unpacked, did two loads of laundry, and got back to work.


Day 111

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Kane Waselenchuk defended his title in the Stockton Pro-Am today.  He beat Rocky Carson in three games and didn't lose a single game all weekend.  He was simply unbeatable.  It's rare to find an athlete in any sport who's an entire level better than anyone else on the planet, but Kane is that much better than everyone else.  No one can beat him.  Rocky Carson is one of the greatest racquetball players who ever lived, and he can't score more than 6 points in a game against Kane.  I've never seen anything like it.  He's so consistent and quick.  It's an amazing thing watching him play.

I left Stockton around 2, got home by 4, then headed to Alice's at 6.  I relaxed the rest of the night in preparation for a week of nonstop writing.

Day 110

Saturday, May 4, 2013

I woke up at 6:30 and wrote about 1,000 words for 90 minutes.  I arrived at the In-Shape club around 10:45 for our E-Force Player Meeting with Chris Crowther.  The new E-Force Invasion X racquets are coming out this summer.  They look similar to this year's Invasion racquets, only with thicker side boosters. 

Day 109

Friday, May 3, 2013

I woke up at 7.  No writing today.

My first racquetball match was against Steve Hale out of Sacramento.  I don't know how I won this match.  He was very good for a 23 seed player.  He hadn't played tournaments in a while.  He had great serves and made smart shows.  I was down 1-7 in the first game, then somehow managed to get things going and stole the game 15-12.  My drive serve was working and my arm felt good, so I continued drive serving.  I lost the second game 14-15, and won the tie-breaker 11-4.

I played my doubles match with Carlos Mansilla right afterward and we lost in 3, 9-11 in the tie-breaker.  That was a tough one.  My arm was starting to bother me after that match.

For the rest of the day I watched the pros play.

Rocky Carson played against local pro Bobby Horn in a tight second game before Rocky eventually rolled past him on his way to the quarter-finals.

Rocky continued to play well against Markie Rojas, who actually took one game from Rocky before succumbing to some incredible drive and z-serves.

#1 Kane Waselenchuck dominated #5 Jose Rojas in three quick games.  Kane's serves were so explosive that whenever Jose retrieved them, Kane killed the ball, ending the rally.

I went to bed around 11 or so.

Day 108

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Only about 45 minutes worth of writing today.  I ordered a new graphics card for my computer.  The fan only works when I have one monitor plugged in.

Packed for the Stockton Pro-Am.  I can't believe it's already here.

I'm staying at the Extended Stay America on March Lane.  It's clean, quiet and very comfortable.  My first match is tomorrow at 11:15 a.m.

In the afternoon, I watched the local open players qualify for IRT spots against the pros tomorrow. I also attended a sponsor doubles event in the evening and was paired up with Javier Moreno, the #6 player in the world.  He's a really nice guy.  We played against Ben Croft and Vic, Jason Manino and Craig, Rocky Carson and Jeff, Alvero Beltran and his partner.

I went to bed around 11 or so.

Day 107

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I outlined the rest of Zombie Cookies.  I have 5 sections to create this month.  That means a lot of late nights after the Pro-Am this weekend. 

I'm at Alice's today while Heather shoots a few scenes in the living room and garage.  I met Kathy Garver "Cissy" from A Family Affair today.  Very nice woman.

Looking forward to the Stockton Pro-Am tomorrow.

Day 106

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Wrote all day.  Sent chapters 11-13 to Chris at 5.

Had computer problems that took about an hour to troubleshoot.  Turns out my video card fan is done.  While my desktop is down, I'm writing on my handy hp mini, which is a tough little machine when it's working properly.  Anyway, I have a lot left to do if I want to finish this book by the first week in June.  The sooner I get it done, the better.

Day 105

Monday, April 29, 2013

Woke up at 4:10, played racquetball from 5-6:30, then wrote the rest of the day.  Worked on chapters 11-13.  Finished around 8 p.m. or so.


Day 104

Sunday, April 28, 2013

No writing today.  Spent the day with Alice, walking through the Botanical Gardens.

We then went to the de Young museum and saw the famous Vermeer painting the Girl with the Pearl Earring. 

After that we relaxed for the rest of the day.