Day 287

Monday, October 28, 2013

Up at 4:30, at the gym at 5:10, played three games with Steve against Glenn and Tiger and we lost all three.  Ouch.  Glenn's been playing well, hitting the weight room and making good shots.  Tiger played well, too.  Steve and I missed a lot of shots.  I'm not sure why.

I wrote from 7:30 to 10:45.  Did my part-time thing in the afternoon and hit the writing again from 5:30-8.  This will be my weekday routine for the next little while.  At least I like working for Howard, Chad and Paulette.  They're very pleasant people and the work is simple.  I also like having the office to myself from 3-5.

Day 286

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Alice and I woke up at 7:30.  We went to Starbuck's and Arizmendi before Alice left for her Excel class.  I was able to stay home and take advantage of an entire day of writing and cleaning.  I love these days.  I took care of two loads of wash, ironed shirts, and spent about four hours on True Colors. 

In the evening, I went over to Richard and Lisa's to check out the sets for Halloween and go over script stuff.  It's another cool story this year.  Richard is a man possessed! 

Gave Rossana a lift home and returned to my place by 8.  Wrote for another hour, then read, then went to bed. 

Day 285

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Today is Alice's birthday.  She came over after going to breakfast with Cecilia.  We walked around the lake for an hour, then went to see Gravity in 3-D at the IMax theater on Bay Street.

Gravity is stunning.  I loved it.  If The Artist can win Best Picture, so might this film.  It's incredible and so extremely well done.  That's what I found so amazing about The Artist a few years ago.  It was so well done.

Sandra Bullock has never been my favorite actress, but she's so good here.  She's incredible.  Simple story, poignantly told with over-the-top, jaw-dropping special effects.  Truly wonderful.

The film might have been a little too intense for Alice, but I think she was glad we saw it. 

After the move, we came back to my place and relaxed for a few hours, then went out to dinner at Commis.  Really good, fancy seven-course fair.  I loved everything, especially the dessert.

We both crashed by 10:30. It was a super day with a super incredible woman!

Day 284

Friday, October 25, 2013

I was in a funky, short mood today for really no reason.  It was weird.  It was Friday and my writing was going well, but for some reason I was off and wanted to be alone when I was at work.  I reigned in my mood, but I definitely felt short and out of sorts.  Strange.

Rather than head over to Alice's, I stayed home and cleaned my apt., which was long overdue.  Tomorrow is Alice's birthday.  It should be a wonderful day!

Day 283

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Slept in until 7:30.  Wow.

Wrote until 11:30. 


Wrote maybe 30 minutes in the evening.  The days are moving too quickly for me.  Stop this high speed nuttiness now!

Day 282

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Up at 4:45, gym, home, writing, work, dinner, writing, bed.

What a life.

Day 281

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Woke up at 6:40 and didn't go to the gym today.  Too tired, plus I'm playing racquetball tonight at Club One and putting on an informal E-Force demo.  My doubles partner for the Oakland tournament, Tracy Leever, will be there.  He's a lot of fun to play with!

Wrote for a few hours today before heading off the Emeryville.  I like the idea of writing 500-word chapters.  They make the book move.  Things really take off after the end of part 1.

Downloaded Backgammon on my iPad.  Haven't played in years.  Fun!

Day 280

Monday, October 21, 2013

Woke up at 3:30, drove home, slept for 20 minutes, then hit the courts at 5.  Steve and I played against Glenn and Tiger and we whooped some a$$.  Then Aaron Kennedy played two games, which was great to see.  He didn't miss a beat.

Went home, tidied up and hit the writing for a few hours.  Now that I'm working for Varinsky Associates for a few hours each day, my productivity has really taken a hit, but I'm determined to get True Colors on paper by November.  The story is coming along.  I'm trying to keep the thing moving quickly and kid-friendly.   I'm also eager to get the book done so I can work on Intervention Island again.

I've been thinking of a new novel for young adult readers that focuses on Hillary Clinton's presidential run in 2016.  I'm kicking around some ideas.  Martin Martinez may have been something of a background book for another novel.  Clinton's run, which I believe is inevitable, will gather momentum in the summer and fall of 2015.  It would be great to have a novel ready to go for submission by the summer of 2014.

My Brother Laser printer arrived tonight.  I love it.  I'm putting all my novels and screenplays and putting them in white binders.  I've been meaning to do that but haven't gotten around to it until now.  I don't have hard copies of anything, but it's nice to see a shelf of work.  Things like that motivate me.  I need to find it wherever I can.

Day 279

Sunday, October 20, 2013

I was able to write for a few hours in the morning.  In the afternoon, I helped Austin send out three college applications to state universities and edited his personal statement, which has improved quite a bit from last week's draft.  I think he'll be just fine next year.  He has a strong portfolio.  I know his first choice is Santa Clara University.

In the evening, Alice and I played cribbage and relaxed. 

Day 278

Saturday, October 19, 2013

I wrote in the morning, then left Oakland at 1:30 and met up with Jeff Parcher, who was participating in a leadership conference in San Francisco.  We hung for a few hours at the Hyatt Regency SFO then picked up Alice and went to dinner at Bambino's.  It was great hanging out with him.  We talked about putting together a weekly chat session with the boys to stay connected and perhaps talk stocks.

Day 277

Friday, October 18, 2013

Wrote for a few hours in the morning and evening.  My new schedule is zapping my energy, but it's far better than the schedule I had last year.

Day 276

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I slept in until 6:30, then got up and wrote until 11.   After 5, I wrote a little more but had to take care of some E-Force emails that took up too much time.  I had to deal with some passive-aggressive nonsense that frustrates me, but I think I was about to address some of the issues without actively engaging in unnecessary drama.  Watched an episode of Monk before bed.  Monk is becoming a TV influence in true colors.  It's a quirky show.  I like it.

Day 275

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Today was exactly the same as yesterday, except I played racquetball instead of 40 minutes of insanity.  I worked on two chapters and revised a couple of early chapters.  I'm doing all I can to maintain momentum, but the truth is I'm getting tired more quickly.  The daily grind of a writing life is made worse when there are no successes to report.

Day 274

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Woke up at 4:50, did my insanity at Club One, came home at 6:30, ate my oatmeal, then got to work.  Same old routine.  I wrote until 11, then headed to Emeryville until 5.  Returned home at 5:30, had dinner, and wrote a few hours more before bed.

True Colors is moving along, but progress is slower than I'd like.  The first third is taking shape.  I still have about 34k words in the draft and about 20k words in my leftover file. 

Day 273

Monday, October 14, 2013

Steve Basham is back in action on the racquetball court, so we had some fun doubles games today with Glenn, Mike Coda and Tiger.  Played until 6:30, then came home and started writing at 8.  I have about 60  chapters on paper and another 40 left to write.  The new book's taking shape.

Worked from noon - 5, then wrote another two hours.  It's 9 now and I'm about ready for bed.

 Looks like BART is going on strike tomorrow.  That really makes no sense to me, considering the four-year deal they are being offered is very reasonable.  Hmmm.


Day 272

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Alice and I got up at 7 and ate Noah's Bagels and tea at Starbuck's until 8.  Alice drove back to the city and I wrote for a few hours in the morning, then hit Costco early and filled the car with gas.  Headed back home and wrote another couple of hours until 3:30.  Drove to Alice's, picked up some books from the library, had dinner, watched 60 Minutes, then helped Austin with his personal statement for college apps for an hour.  Poor kid.  He experienced firsthand what I have to experience every day, a sheet full of scribbles, deletions, and general mayhem while searching for the right way to say something memorable.  He's on his way.  He wrote a few killer lines that make the whole piece.  With a strong beginning and ending, his application will certainly stand out.

In bed by ten and ready for another week of nonstop work.

Day 271

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Alice and I had breakfast in Santa Cruz, then drove to SF and Oakland.  We spent the afternoon in the Grand Lake neighborhood before joining a few of Alice's co-workers at a barbecue in Montclair hosted by Ethan and Sierra.  It was a very friendly gathering.

We left around 8:30 and went to bed at 10.  I cannot stay up past 10 anymore.  It's really sad.

Day 270

Friday, October 11, 2013

 Alice and I had breakfast at Irving & 9th, then drove to Santa Cruz around 10.  We walked around downtown and ate all kinds of delicious food.  We split a hot chicken and pesto sandwich from Zoccolli's Deli that was killer good! 

We stayed the night at the beautiful Hilton Santa Cruz in Scotts Valley.  We've stayed there before.  It's such a nice place to get away and relax.  We had sushi for dinner in Scotts Valley and cake and ice cream for dessert. 

It was a perfect day with Alice!

Day 269

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Alice Munro wins the Nobel Prize! So wonderful, deserving and inspiring!

I wrote in celebration for three hours this morning, then headed off to work, then to Alice's for the night.  Tomorrow, we'll spend the day in Santa Cruz, eating, relaxing and enjoying the sunshine and walks along the beach.

Day 268

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A typical racquetball/writing/work/writing/sleep kind of day.  Maybe three hours of writing, all of it grueling.  No magic today.

Day 267

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Up at 4:30, Insanity from 5:15-6, writing from 7:45-10:30.  I have 32k words written on TC.  Today, I worked on two chapters near the end of section 1.  Now that the first section is organized and on paper, I may draft section 3 next week, or at least write out all the scenes. 

I'm not sure if this storyline works.  I'll have to wait for early readers to let me know.

Ted Cruz has been getting a lot of press lately.  His behavior reminds me of classic borderline/narcissist behavior in which he's generating a lot of energy toward manufacturing chaos and conflict.  This is how folks like Ted Cruz operate.  They're all about being the center of attention and generating as much momentum and noise as possible.  He can't cooperate if his life (or career) depended on it.  That's why he has no game plan, other than to stay at the center of whatever storm he has manufactured.  It's really something to see a person like this affect so many people and shut down the federal government.  It doesn't say much about our present standing in the world when one junior senator with a personality disorder can wield so much chaos.  Pathetic!


Day 266

Monday, October 7, 2013

Up at 4, gym from 5-6:30, grocery shopping, breakfast, writing from 8-10:30.  An hour for chores/emails/etc, then off to Emeryville from noon-5 for the part-time gig I'm doing for a few months, working for trial consultants right next to Pixar Studios.  The setting is terrific and the people are friendly.  It's a no-stress job that requires little brain power (my favorite kind of job).  It takes ten minutes to drive there and twenty minutes to drive home.  With my afternoon hours no longer available for writing, I'm forced to write in the evenings, which was difficult last week, but should be much better from now on.  TC is falling in place.  The voice is growing and the pieces are taking shape.  The chapters are short, between 500-1000 words in length.  I'm really trying to make this sound like a traditional middle-grade book, though I can't seem to break away from that somewhat limited sound. I really like Lauren and Lani.  They make me laugh.

Day 265

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Woke up at 6, wrote for an hour or so, then headed to Alice's and made it by 9.  Austin and I went out for breakfast at Park Chow.  We don't get much time to hang out without Alice, so it was nice to catch up and hear all about his life.  He's such a great kid who has so much to look forward to.  Any educated Chinese-American who speaks English, Mandarin and Cantonese has the world in the palm of their hand, I'm thinking.  The next century is made for them.  Let's just hope we don't get to crazy with our religious ideologies, silly politics and longstanding grievances.  The range of goodness and badness that human beings aspire to is truly mindblowing.

Alice came home from her Excel class at 12:30 and we hung out with each other for the rest of the day.  We visited the Ortega branch of the San Francisco library.  I checked out three books by Laurence Yep (Chinatown mysteries 1, 2 and 3) and the Inquisitor's Apprentice by Chris Moriarty.  Should make for some good middle grade reading.

Day 264

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Stayed in Oakland today and wrote all day.  So nice!  Making progress slowly but surely.

Day 263

Friday, October 4, 2013

Five hours of solid writing today.  Not bad at all, considering I also worked from noon-5.

Day 262

Thursday, October 3, 2013

I wrote for three hours in the morning, then worked from noon - five.  Wrote another two hours from 6-8, then finished off what was available on Netflix from season 5 of

Breaking Bad was never my favorite show (I've never cared from drug-related stories), but the storytelling and acting are first-rate and the camera work is extraordinary.  Very creative production!

Stayed up way too late finishing episode 8, season 5 of BB.

Day 261

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Wrote from 6:45-11.  Outlined the entire novel and worked on a scene from section 1, Lauren & Lani's interview of Claudia re her rabbit.

Day 260

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Still writing section 1.  Wrote from 5-11 and 8-10.

Day 259

Monday, September 30, 2013

Wrote from 6:30-11 and 7-8.  I began part-time work for a jury consulting company.  A former co-worker of mine called about a position for a few hours in the afternoon each day.  The location, people and work involved all seem like a great fit.  It's in Emeryville right next to Pixar.  Job's a piece of cake and office is very quiet. It's a temporary gig to get through the holidays, but I won't be as productive as I've been these past few months.

Still writing section 1.

Day 258

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Wrote from 8:30-4 at Alice's

Still plotting and working on section 1.  The book has three major sections.  The first section is by far the most difficult.  The second section has already been written.  The third section hasn't been written at all, but shouldn't be too difficult.  The first section, it's a struggle.

Day 257

Saturday, September 28, 2013

No writing today.

Alice and I went to Half Moon Bay in the a.m. and walked for 4 miles, then had a great lunch at Barbara's Fishtrap (delicious!). 

In the evening, we watched Manhattan.  Alice had never seen it, and it's been a couple of decades since I'd seen this gem.  She liked it.  Very touching, thought it's weird seeing folks use pay phones to make calls.  A few scenes also felt too long.  Scenes are so much shorter and snappier these days.