Day 256

Friday, September 27, 2013

Up at 4:40, gym, home, breakfast, then finished reading a novel by my neighbor Rex for two hours before our meeting in the afternoon.  It's a light-hearted satire on wealthy San Franciscans in Pacific Heights and very well written.  Rex's only problem is the book might not be commercial enough in this market.  It's certainly good enough.  He has a deft comedic hand and a way with language.  I was impressed.

At noon, I met with a small jury consulting company to work about 10-20 hours a week to generate some income while my books get off the ground.  This will eat away at my writing time, but if I can squeeze in a few more hours after dinner, I should be fine and stay on track.

In the evening, I played pinball with Richard and 6th grader Sophie.  There may be a novel in my future about a 6th grade pinball wizard who navigates the choppy waters of middle school. 

Loved playing Spin Out and Pin Bot!


Day 255

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Up at 4:30, at the gym at 5:15, Insanity, home at 6:45.  Wrote from 7:15 until 6.  Got a lot done today.  It's coming together, slowly but surely.  I'd really like this book finished by early November.  That may be unrealistic, but that seems to be how I roll.

Day 254

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Up at 4:40, gym from 5-6:30, writing from 7:30 until 4. Up to 30k words in True Colors.  With most of the storyline on paper, I'm filling in the empty spots and continuing with Lauren and Lani's voice.  I'm trying to keep things simple, but also keep the story moving and interesting.  I have a list of differences between the two girls:  East/West, Special power but nothing special/No special power but special, cerebral/visual, quiet/loud, plain/pretty, lyrical language/slangy language, comfortable with struggle/hates struggle, family first/individual first, lots of little things that keeps them linked but different.  There will be a lot more East/West books written that combine various cultures.  Lots of stuff to write about.

Picked up Alice in SF and attended a College Application meeting with her at 7.  She's freaking out about Austin's applications, but he has plenty of time and everything will be fine. It's no different than when I applied, only everything's online now.  The school Austin attends has organized everything nicely, so it's not too overwhelming.  Hope to read through his statement of purpose next week.

Day 253

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Up at 4:50, Insanity from 5:20-6:05, back home at 6:30.  Wrote from 7:45-7.

I spent most of my day on the first three chapters.  It's getting there, but still not quite right.  I like the differences between Lauren and Lani.  I like how the detective angle and made to seem all cute and innocent, when in reality detective stories are nothing more than walking down a path toward bad people doing ugly things.  Maybe that's why there aren't too many detective novels featuring 11-year-old detectives.  I'm trying not to make this story too outside the mainstream, but I may be failing.  It's not coming out like a normal novel.

Day 252

Monday, September 23, 2013

Up at 4, gym at 5.  Tyrone and Brian were there, so I got in some great singles games.  Back home at 7:20.

Wrote from 8-6.  Revised chapters 17-25.  I'll continued again on Wednesday. Tomorrow, I may need to work on the opening chapters and nail down the right voice.

Day 251

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A wonderful day spent with Alice.

Wrote for two hours from 2-4 pm, but that was it.

Day 250

Saturday, September 21, 2013

I woke up early this morning.  Wrote from 5-8, then cleaned my apartment.  Alice came over at 9:30 and we went to Berkeley Bowl for breakfast.  We walked and lounged the rest of the day.  I went over to Richards at 6 for his bi-annual poker fundraiser.  Stayed up until midnight, which is late for me. 

Day 249

Friday, September 21, 2013

Car issues ate up much of the afternoon.  In the end, I needed a new battery for my Mini.  It runs well now, but down the road more work will need to be done.  Later in the evening, a cable to my garage door snapped, so the car is trapped inside until a repairman can fix the door.  It's just been one of those days.

Luckily, I managed to get in a few hours of writing in the early morning.  Each novel is tackled differently and with True Colors I seem to be focusing on the middle of the book first.  My plan is to just write it and not analyze things too much.  If it works, great.  If it's too intense or dark or complicated, then on to the next story.

The characters are growing, which is nice to see. 

Day 248

Thursday, September 19, 2013

I wrote from 6-3 and 8-10, with the middle of the day gobbled up with family issues.  The voice in True Colors is coming but still not there.  I'm writing chapters in the middle of the book where action overrides everything.  If I chip away at the opening chapters every day, eventually the feel and tone of the novel will fall into place.  That's how it's worked in the past.

Right now, Jill is the only clear, grounded member of my family.  She's the only person I can really have a conversation with.  The others are simply lost in their addiction.  They have no idea how limited they are in their ability to communicate and offer any kind of thoughtful advice or counsel.  Right now, it's just Jill. 

Day 247

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I had a "tune-up" session with Zeigler today, my first in many months.  It's always so good to see him.  I'm at a place in life where I'm really good at standing on a river bank while the noise of life flows down the river.  I don't engage with it, and if any of the spray hits me in the face, I've learned how to carry on without getting derailed.  In order to reach the next level, I now have to learn how to swim in all that gunk that has formed the stressful pieces of the life I've chosen for myself.  If I can actually swim in it and still keep doing what I'm doing and stay focused, that will be a very powerful skill.  I'm not there yet, but I'm working on it.

It will be interesting to see the changes in my writing as I work toward this new level of clarity and peace.

I wrote about 1,500 words today, none of it very satisfying.  I'm getting this book written, but I'm still feeling a bit sluggish this week.  It will pass, as it always does.

Day 246

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Up at 5:30, played two very uninspired games of racquetball, then came home.  

Wrote from 9-6.  All True Colors, the opening five chapters and chapters 13-15.  The opening chapters are going to take some time until I get the voice right.  It's written in third person, so it's not coming out as quickly.

Day 245

Monday, September 16, 2013

I was sluggish today.  I woke up at 4, hit the gym at 5, worked out, then came home and crashed for an hour.  I wrote throughout the day, but didn't feel much of anything, so I went to one of my old standbys for a little inspiration.

All better now!

Day 244

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Up at 7, at Alice's Excel class from 9-11:30, where I half-listened while jotting down notes for True Colors.

At home, had lunch and finished my three Mark Burnett books so that I can turn them in today without racking up more library fines.

Spent two hours plotting True Colors and drafting more scenes.  I know what the book looks like. Now I just have to get it down on paper.

Part 2 of Halifax tonight, along with the Seahawks/49ers game.  Go Hawks!

Day 243

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Went on a really nice 5 mile walk with Alice in the morning from her house to the Cliff House and back.  We ate an order of pop overs at the Cliff House bar.  The weather was breezy and overcast but the sun came out by the time we returned home. 

The rest of the afternoon I read this helpful book in preparation for part 2 of Intervention Island:

After reading this book, I outlined my week's scenes for True Colors.

Alice made a couple of delicious gourmet dishes which were so good.  After dinner we watch this:

It's always amusing watching 20-somethings play high school students.  Emma Stone was the stand-out star in this hip, nicely detailed but weakly plotted update on the Scarlett Letter (Clueless on crack is what it felt like).  But I can see why the film succeeded.  In a word (or a name), Emma.  She's brilliant, a naturally winning protagonist.  I loved her in Zombieland and loved her in this.  Alice enjoyed it, too.

In bed early, before 10:30.

Day 242

Friday, September 13, 2013

Hit the snooze one too many time and woke up at 5:15.  Made it to the gym at 5:35, and was back home at 7:45.  Wrote from 8-4.

I have most of my major scenes for True Colors and wrote five scenes totaling 2000 words before calling it a day  All-in-all, a productive week of writing.  True Colors and II are going to take up all my time between now and January.  The trick will be to manage everything and still have a life.

Off to Alice's for the weekend.


Day 241

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Woke up at 6, no gym today, started writing at 7:15. 

What was supposed to be a one-hour rewrite of chapter 9 in Intervention Island ended up being a 5-hour revision-fest.  I lost total track of time.  I wrote notes for True Colors afterward. 

Day 240

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Up at 4:45, gym, writing at 7:30.  Spent the day on True Colors.  Up to 18,000 words.  Added a couple more plot lines.  I have a good idea what the story's about.  Now I have to put a complete first draft down, then go through from beginning to end, then do it again.  I'm estimating the job will take about six weeks, maybe more.  I'd love to have it finished by October. 

Went over to Rhonda's for dinner.  She made a spectacular series of dishes, starting with gazpacho, followed by mozzarella, basil and heirloom tomatoes with pistachios, the Panko-herb encrusted chicken with lemon parsley sauce, arugula with olive oil and meyer lemon, and finally fruit crisps for dessert.  It was all so delicious!

Came home and talked with Alice on FaceTime for 30 minutes, then finished a very disturbing but well-made film. 

I enjoy these kinds of innovative independent movies, but the subject matter here was hard to watch.  Glad I saw it though.

Day 239

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Up at 4:30, gym at 5, Insanity until 5:45, weights, back home at 6:30, breakfast, writing at 7.

Today I worked on chapters 7 and 9 of Intervention Island from 7-5:30.  Talked with Chris at 8:30.  Still have about two hours left on chapter 9.  the first section of II is on paper.  It needs a lot of work and revising, but the be essentials are there.

More on TC tomorrow.

Day 238

Monday, September 9, 2013

Up at 4, gym at 5, writing from 8-5:30.  I wrote over 10,000 words today, a personal best, all going toward middle chapters of True Colors Detective Agency.  I drafted about 14 chapters, from Lani's abduction to Lani and Lauren's reunion.  Still working out in my mind the entire scope and arch of the book, but so far it feels good.  We'll see how it plays out when it's finished.  I plan to keep at it at this pace, so perhaps by mid-to-late October a draft will be ready.

After 5:30, I watched about 45 minutes of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland while eating dinner.

What a strange interpretation.  It's a visual delight, but the story...hmmm.

Spent the last few hours of the evening organizing and reading.  I wouldn't mind writing 10,000 words of Intervention Island tomorrow.  I'd like everything up until Caroline's departure for the island writing by the end of September.  October and November can be the show.  December the finale and revisions. 

Day 237

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Alice and I attended our Excel class in the morning, then went home with R&G lunch boxes.  I wrote for a few hours in the afternoon, plotting True Colors. 

In the evening, we watched the first installment of Last Tango in Halifax.  Fun. 

Day 236

Saturday, September 7, 2013

No writing today.

Alice and I walked through Irving Street's Autumn Moon fair and festival.  We hung out at Golden Gate park and ate dumplings by a duck pond.  So nice.

We saw this movie in the evening, which we both really enjoyed.  Jessica Biel was wonderful.

Day 235

Friday, September 6, 2013

Up at 4:45, gym until 7, wrote from 7:30 until 4, then headed over to Alice's for the weekend.

Spent all day on True Colors, the middle great detective story I've been kicking around since last year.  I have the whole thing plotted out and now it's time to write all the scenes.  I have the first 5,000 words written. I'm projecting the book will be about 45,000 words or so. 

I may write the middle section first.  The main character Lani is an 11-year-old adopted girl from China living on Lakeshore Ave. in Oakland with her parents.  Her mom's a teacher and her dad's a detective with the Oakland Police Department.

Lani's best friend is Lauren, a young entrepreneur who run a business called True Colors Detective Agency.  For anywhere from $5-15, they help solve little mysteries around the neighborhood.  As long as I keep the writing lively and simple, it should be a fun book for young readers.

Headed over to Alice's after work and went out for sushi in the evening.  So good!


Day 234

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Wrote from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., chapters 7 and 9 and a bunch of research for upcoming mid-story chapters.  Wow, am I wiped out right now.  But I sure like this new book.  I was hoping to spend a few hours on True Colors this afternoon, but I was on too much of a role with II.  It's past 10 and I'm too tired to continue.  More tomorrow.

Day 233

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Woke up at 4:45, at the gym at 5:15.  I was very lethargic this morning.  It wasn't until 7:30 or so when I felt like myself and had energy.

I spent the morning on True Colors, writing from 8-9 and 10:30-noon.  From 9-10 completed an hour's worth of chores, then wrote another hour's worth of TC.

From 12:30-5, I worked on II, drafting chapter 5 and outlining chapter 7.  Thought of a couple interesting ideas for Connie's pitch to the netxec (network executive).

Had an E-Force player meeting in Fremont, so I rode with Steve B. at 6.  Back home at 9, talked to Alice, and in bed by 10.

Day 232

Tuesday, September 1, 2013

First big writing day after Labor Day.  Woke up at 3:30, left Alice's at 4 and drove over the new section of the Bay Bridge at 4:24.  It's so beautiful!  I loved driving through Treasure Island before seeing the cables lit up as I entered the new bridge.  It's spectacular!  I had the bridge to myself for about a minute, which was memorable.

Arrived at 4:45, slept for another hour, then wrote all day from 7:30 to 7:30.  Talked with Chris from 8-9, then Alice from 9-9:30 before watching the end of season 1 of The Killing.  Fell asleep at 11:15.  The day went by so quickly.

The two novels I'm writing through the end of the year are my middle grade novel True Colors Detective Agency and my adult novel Intervention Island.

Day 231

Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day.  No writing today.

Alice and I walked through Golden Gate Park, hung out at her house, played cribbage and watched TV until bed.  Very relaxing day, but ready to get a lot done starting tomorrow.

Day 230

Sunday, September 1, 2013

No writing today.

I left Stockton around 10:30 and arrived in Los Altos just after noon for a picnic at Alice's cousin Elaine's.  We were there until 7, then came home and went to bed early.  Very nice day!

Day 229

Saturday, August 31, 2013

No writing today.

Watched several matches in Stockton today, amazed at how quick the best players are and how hard everyone hits.  We had a team E-Force meeting at 11 near the pool, which was informative and enjoyable.  I played one match in the afternoon that was not very inspired.  I couldn't get my shots down and felt sluggish.  I ended up losing in two.  I had to leave the club early for my Fantasy Football draft at 6:30.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to enter the chat room because iPads can't use Adobe Flash (what a drag!), so Jeff texted me the info.  It seemed to go fine, but what a pain.  Went to bed at 11 p.m.

Mixed Doubles Open Division

#1 Player Paola Longoria receiving against Frederique Lambert

Team E-Force at the LPRT Stockton Pro-Am