Day 228

Friday, August 30, 2013

Up at 5:15, no gym today.

Finished my revisions to Martin Martinez and sent the manuscript to Sharon.  It's nice to have that off my desk.

Packing for a weekend in Stockton for the LPRT.

Should be a great tournament!

Day 227

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Had my match against T tonight and lost 14-15, 9-15. I totally ran out of energy at 8-8 in the final game. I'm getting old. T played great and I played so-so. I missed some opportunities and didn't put the ball down at all. Everything was too high. My serves could have been better. We have some great rallies though. I'm going to have to figure out a new approach to my game because I can't run around the court like a young kid anymore. It's sad. Anyway, it was a great match against a great competitor. Went to bed at 11.

Day 226

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Up at 4:50, racquetball from 5:15-7. 

Wrote from 7:30 - 8.  Lots of ideas for II.  I have about 20k words on paper. 

Day 225

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Woke up at 5:30 and practiced for an hour from 6:15-7:15.  If I keep my shots low, maintain good position, serve well and don't get too tired, I should give Tyrone a good match Thursday night.  We'll see how it goes!

I came home before 8 and hit the writing hard from 9-6.  I spent most of my time revising the first three chapters of Intervention Island.  Connie's voice is set.  I've given him enough head noise to worry about things before his big idea pops up.  Once his idea hits, he's off to the races and in his element. 

Watching this from the library:

...and reading this...

Day 224

Monday, August 26, 2013

Woke up at 4, went to the gym at 5, worked on a couple of serves and shots with Brian, which was very helpful.  Home at 7:30.

Had lunch with the Wendel gang from noon until 2.  Alice was there as well.  It was great seeing everyone!

Came back home and wrote until 8 or so.  Full on into Connie's world.  It's a fun book.  Also revising Martin Martinez one last time.

Day 223

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Alice and I got up at 6 and left Fairfield at 7.  We made it to Alice's Excel class at 9.  We had lunch in Chinatown at a great noodle shop next to the Hilton, then headed home. 

I wrote for a few hours in the afternoon, revising Martin Martinez and drafting a list of all the sections that are still too dry and esoteric.

We had dinner at 7 and finished Butterflies are Free, the 1972 film starring Goldie Hawn.  We liked it!  

Day 222

Saturday, August 24, 2013

No writing today.

Had coffee in the hood with Ari Young this morning.  Great chat, as always!  Alice and I then went to Fairfield and visited with Uncle Leo, Louanne, Kim, Matt, Sara, Millie, Nate and Chris, who flew in from Vancouver for the weekend.

Two Rocking Uncles:  Leo and Chris in Fairfield, CA

Hanging out at Leo & Louanne's
Alice and I stayed the night, drinking wine with the pros and talking about the meaning of the cosmos.  Good times.

Day 221

Friday, August 23, 2013

I watched Tyrone and Alex play their semi-final match and T took it in the tiebreaker.  It was a great battle.  T won the first game 15-9, lost the second 5-15, then came storming back in the tiebreaker 11-4.  He's going to be tough in the finals next week.  I'm going to have to put together a strong game plan in order to take home the hardware.

Spent the entire day on Intervenion Island, with a few breaks here and there to watch this:

Oh,'s that time again to obsess over a compelling TV show.  I love these guys from 24.  They know how to construct a story full of twists and turns, perfect inspiration for Intervention Island.

Day 220

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Made it to the gym at 6, where Alex was there, getting ready for his semi-final match against Tyrone.  We played two games and Alex looked good.  He's improved so much.  They play tomorrow morning at 6.

Met Lillian for coffee at 8 and we chatted for an hour.  Always great to hang with her. 

Got my Louie cut at 10, then wrote until 3, all Intervention Island stuff.  Learning about production companies and reading blogs by folks in the biz.  Helpful.

At 4, I visited 24 Hour Fitness in Livermore for an E-Force demo with Tracy Leever.  Tracy's such a great guy.  Steve Young showed up, too.

E-Force Demo with Steve Young and Tracy Leever

After the demo, I stopped over at the Youngs for a quick hello, which ended up being a 2.5-hour chat fest about reality television and fashions of the 70s.  Richard and I told Ari and Sophia all about shag carpeting with the rake!

Day 219

Wednesday, August 22, 2013

Woke up at 4 and got ready for my big match this morning with Glenn.  I was at the gym at 5 and warmed up for 30 minutes.  I felt good.  My game plan was to give him nothing but drive serves to the left and right corners and put everything away.  I felt strong right at the start and beat him in game one 15-5.  I had a 5-1 lead in game two when Glenn went on a nine-point run.  Down 5-10, I climbed back and took the lead at 11-10 before Glenn called a time out.  I then scored four more points and took the match in two games.  I was so relieved to have that match behind me.  Now it's on to the finals Tuesday night against the winner of Tyrone and Alex's match tonight.  In all likelihood it'll be Tyrone.

Once I was back from the gym, I worked on Connie's production company for two hours and revised Martin Martinez for five hours.  At 4, I drove to Alice's for the night.  We borrowed her sister's Teeter Inversion Table to see if it helps Alice with her back pain.   She's tried everything, so I hope this does the trick.

We watched the opening 40 minutes of Butterflies are Free, the 1972 Goldie Hawn film, shot in San Francisco.  It's fun.

Day 218

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Up at 4:45, at the gym at 5:15, practiced various shots for an hour in preparation for my semi-final match against Glenn tomorrow morning.  If my serves are on and I don't keep my shots up, I should be tough.  Glenn's been playing so well lately that I know we'll have a great battle!

Ruby tweaked her foot this morning, so we only played for about 10 minutes.  I left the gym early and started my writing day at 8.

I wrote on Connie from 8-2 with an hour for lunch and E-Force-related duties.  From 3-6 I revised Martin Martinez chapters 10-15.  From 6-7 had dinner and watched about 30 minutes of the last installment of Mildred Pierce.  I also caught up with Lisa for about 20 minutes.

From 7-8 I blogged and looked over my 2013 fantasy football team.  From 8-8:30 I went back to II and Connie's voice.  From 8:30-9:30 I talked with Chris, then talked to Alice before bed.  Another non-stop day.  I love them!

Day 217

Monday, August 19, 2013

Woke up at 4 a.m. and made it to the gym by 5:15.  Glenn and I play our match on Wednesday, so I'm cranking up the momentum.  I played well and hope to close the door Wednesday morning.  Glenn's been playing so well lately, so it will probably go down to the wire.  The key is to keep it close early and not let him rattle off too many points on his serves. 

I hit the writing hard today from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. with a bunch of breaks in between.  I organized all my notes and started to revise Martin Martinez.  I think this novel, though it's different in tone from anything else I've written.  I finished a lot of little things today, including a really fine novel I read on my kindle by Ashley Barnard called Cast of Illusions.

Day 216

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Alice had a free uncredited Excel class to attend at City College SF in Chinatown, so I joined her.  It's a beautiful building with lots of high tech classroom gear.  It was interesting watching the instructor teach Excel.  It was also a lot of fun taking a class with Alice.

After class, we went to R&G for lunch, then headed home.  I spent the rest of the afternoon jotting down notes for the week.  A very relaxing Sunday.

Day 215

Saturday, August 18, 2013

Woke up at 6, did an hour of Insanity, wrote for two hours before going to Costco with Alice to return a foam mattress that didn't help her back. 

Back home, we watched two travel DVDs, then headed out to May and Peter's for a Bike Gang dinner with Alice's crew.  13 total.  Lots of fun and great food.  We were back at 10:30 and went right to bed.

Day 214

Friday, August 18, 2013

Didn't get home until 1:00 a.m. last night, so I slept in until 7.  Wrote from 8-4, revising Connie's  first three chapters.  I also read a few chapters of books I want completed by the weekend. 

I picked up Alice at 4:50 and after dinner we went to the movies to see Woody Allen's latest, Blue Jasmine.

It was so satisfying to see a rich comedy-drama with interesting characters, interesting situations and knockout performances.  Cate does crazy to perfection. 

We were home by 9:30 and were in bed by 10. 


Day 213

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Up at 6, wrote until 9:30, then talked to Gwen for about two hours.  She's reaching her bottom and has finally asked for help.  She and Greg have a plan to contain their drinking and get back on track.  She's been here before and always bounces back and returns stronger than ever.  She hasn't been grounded for nearly three years now. 

I spent a few hours writing in the afternoon, but wasn't as focused as I wanted to be.  I have the first three chapters of Connie written out and will revise them so they make sense.  I like how the new novel sounds.  It's also nice to write an adult book with adult themes and not worry about how sophisticated the language is.  With so much material to write about, I think Intervention Island will be written quickly.

Played poker at Mark's monthly poker game and lost $29.  I played maybe two or three hands all night.  Lots of sets flopped in the evening and one set-over-set, which was brutal for Jason. 


Day 212

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Played racquetball from 5-7, then wrote for a few hours before having a very enjoyable lunch with Jackie at Bittersweet Chocolate Cafe on Broadway.  It's always great to catch up with her! 

After lunch, I wrote for another hour, then readied my apt. for our building meeting on earthquake preparedness.  We should be in pretty good shape within the month, though I hope we never have to confront the aftermath of the big one.  It's only a matter of time, unfortunately.

Went to bed at 10:30.

Day 211

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Only wrote for a few hours today.  Alice wasn't feeling well, so I picked her up from work early and drove her home.  We watched John Carter tonight.

I've never read the books or the comics and didn't know anything about the story.  All I knew was that this film was a financial disaster for Disney.

So, we watched it.  Visually, there are some amazing scenes; however, as a two-hour movie, it's a total mess.  There's nothing to hold onto and no one to really root for.  I'm sure the source material fills in the holes and allows for a more emotional storytelling experience, but as a film, this one doesn't work right from the get go.

Alice went to bed early and I finished wrapping up a few ideas I had that I plan to expand tomorrow.  I should be a lot more productive the rest of the week.

Day 210

Monday, August 11, 2013

Up at 4, at the gym from 5-6:30, breakfast at 7.  Wrote 3,500 words of Intervention Island.  The beginning is tricky on this one.  I haven't quit figured out the director's voice and personality.  Much of the direction will come from Chris and his handling of Carmela.  Lots of possibilities here.

I spent a lot of time today playing with ideas and jotting down notes on some of the reality shows Connie has produced.  A few are pretty wacky, but nothing is as strange as what has already been created.

Reviewing Martin Martinez.  Opening is good.  Making changes to chapter 5.

Wrapping up a few books I'm writing right now.  In bed by 10.

Day 209

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Spent maybe an hour taking notes for II.  No serious writing today.  Only reading and hanging out with Alice.  We walked Lands End and had brunch at the Cliff House, one of our favorite places to hang out.  Love those popovers. 

Day 208

Saturday, August 10, 2013

No writing today.  Went to a barbecue with Alice at the house of one of her walking friends.  Very nice! 

Day 207

Friday, August 9, 2013

I didn't go into today.  Instead, I slept in until 7.  Felt good.  I talked to Jill about Gwen and her trip to Europe.  Wrote for a few hours before picking up Alice at 4:50.  Taking a new novel off the ground always takes longer than I'd like.  Determining the voice for Connie is still a struggle.  I'm all over the place, but hope to find the consistent line soon.

Day 206

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Got up at 5:30, worked out for an hour.  Came home, wrote 1400 words of II and began revising Martin Martinez.  Played Tyrone in my singles league tonight and lost badly.  He played well and my timing was way off.  I'm not sure what to do about it.  Losing means I play Glenn in the semis in two weeks.  He's been playing well and I haven't been.  I hope I can turn things around.

Day 205

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Up at 5:15, made it to Club One at 5:30.  Played racquetball until 7.

Spent the day writing the opening to II and brainstorming the voice for Connie.  I haven't figured it out yet.  Not very productive today.

Day 204

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Woke up at 4:40 and made it to the gym at 5:10.  I practiced shots for an hour in preparation for my league match with Ed. After showering, I went to Safeway and bought cookie dough and chicken wings to make for our Erie Street Block party from 7-9.

After breakfast, I spent the morning drafting chapter one of Intervention Island.  Here's the first page of notes I used for this epic novel I'm writing with Chris.

First page of notes for Intervention Island

Though the novel is about reality television, it's also going to be about siblings and family dysfunction (my favorite theme!).  There will be two narratives much like Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl.  Chris is writing all of Carmela's chapters.  She's the youngest sister and very earnest and concerned for her rock star older sister Caroline.  I'm writing all the older brother chapters.  Conrad, aka, Connie, a reality tv show producer.  He is a total piece of work (my favorite characters!).

Chris and I read each other's first chapter from 2-3.  His chapter was SO GOOD!  It's really good.  This novel is going to kick ass.

From 3-4, I made cookies and broiled my wings.  I then changed and hit Club One to play Ed.  I beat him 15-11, 15-9 in a close battle until the end when my drive serves were hitting that sweet spot.

After racquetball, I came home and got ready for our Block Party!

We had about 20 folks come out and mingle for a few hours.  I met Joseph, Wendy, Brian, Daniel, Mary and also chatted with Bonnie and Justin from my building.  It was great fun.

After the block party, I talked to Alice on Face Time and hit the hay at 9:40.  I was wiped out!

Day 203

Monday, August 5, 2013

Woke up at 4:35, at the gym at 5, played racquetball until 7, showered, came home at 7:15, ate oatmeal and got to work.  I put in 12 hours today, mostly on II, plotting, ideas, the opening chapter.  Also created a poster for tomorrow's Block Party on Erie St.  That should be fun.  Read books on my Kindle and Kindle Fire.

Also finished episode 1 of Prohibition, which has been on my to-do list for ages now.

Still going at 8:15.  Should call it quits by 10.  It feels great to get back on track.

I found this the other day...

First page of Zombie Cookies Written 3/4/13
 That was the first of many pages.  What a funny thing writing is.

Day 202

Sunday, August 4, 2013

No writing today.

Hung out with Neil, Sandra and Rossana at Boot and Shoe for brunch.  Great time!

Neil and Sandra

Neil, Sandra and Rossana
Great brunch at Boot & Shoe
Great food, great company, great conversation.

After brunch, Neil and I walked around Lake Merritt, then hung out at Cana for a light lunch.  The music was playing and though it was loud, it was very good.

After lunch, we hung out at my place for another hour until I drove Neil to BART.  A really great time hanging out with an old friend.

I have about four hours to take care of some things, including a massive to-do list for the week.  Can't wait to hit the writing hard tomorrow. 

Day 201

Saturday, August 3, 2013

No writing today.

Played a little racquetball with Spike at the Mission Rec Center.  Always lots of fun.  We had lunch at a nice little Mayan place on Mission St.  Delicious, and so cheap!

Took Alice to the doctor's today at 2, then headed back to Oakland to hang out with Neil.  We had the entire late-afternoon and evening to catch up and talk about everything from our careers, lives, relationships, etc. to books, politics, the future and the stars.  Always great hanging out with Judge Basin!

Day 200

Friday, August 2, 2013

Woke up at 4:50, racquetball from 5:15-7.  

I wrote very little today, mainly because I went to San Ramon to play a little racquetball with John Ellis and a few of the Stockton phenomenons who mixed it up on the courts with Mike Lippitt and the San Ramon regulars.  It was a total blast as always.  They're amazing.  Afterward, we went to Max's for lunch.

From San Ramon, I headed back home and cleaned non-stop for about three hours in preparation for Judge Neil Basin's visit to Oakland.  It was perfect timing to see Neil as I'm between books and Sandra Bradman is leaving the Bay Area for a year to learn some special medical skill at the University of Michigan.

Alice took the bus over after work, and she, Neil, Sandra, Rossana and Daniel had dinner at the new pizza restaurant that used to be Milano called The Star.  It was very good.  We ordered two large salads, one stuffed pizza and one thin crust pizza, which ended up being the perfect amount of food.

After dinner, we had tea at my place, then I drove Alice back to her place in San Francisco.

A great day of racquetball and friends.  

Day 199

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Woke up at 4, practiced from 5-6, then wrote for about four-five hours today.  It felt good.  Got some other things done.  It's nice to get back to my routine after all the excitement of the past two weeks.