Day 409

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Up at 4:30, racquetball until 7:15, writing in the morning until 11:45, then work for three hours, back home to continue more writing.  

Day 408

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Wrote all day, still working on my middle chapters.  I can see nearly all of the book now, which is always an achievement.  Once I reach that moment, it becomes a sprint to the finish.  Lots of work left, but the story is coming along.  I'm eager to move on to something new. 

Day 407

Monday, February 24, 2014

A full week of writing ahead of me.  How nice!  I'm banging out the middle chapters this week, getting them on paper and connection all my sections.  I have three major sections in the book.  Once the second part is written, I'll look over the last third.  The first third is set.  

Day 406

Sunday, February 23, 2014

I like my Sunday rituals with Alice. We get up around 6:30-7, get ready for the day, then head to 9th and Irving for Starbucks/Arizmendi's/Posh Bagel/La Boulange for drinks and morning treats while reading the day's news on our ipads.  I love it.  We then go to Sunset Super and buy vegetables for the day.

I wrote from 9:40-4 today, spending all my time on the middle sections of the book.  They're rough but on paper.  Another month or so and this book should be finished, at least the first draft.  I'm curious to see what Chris thinks.  This will be the first novel he'll read from beginning to end without having seen any chapters.  No one's seen any chapters yet.  I won't show anyone anything until the novel is done.

Washed the cars at 4, then watched an episode of Dexter on Netflix, season 7 episode 4.  It's so nice to watch this great series again.  It's always been one of my favorites.

Gold in Men's Hockey!  Gold in Women's Curling!  Gold in Women's Hockey!  Gold in Men's Curling. Canada Rules!

Day 405

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Wrote most of the day at Alice's.  Chapters A1-A27.  These are the middle chapters.  I have most of Lani's chapters on paper.  I'll take care of Lauren's next week.

We crashed around 9.  I watched two episodes of Dexter, which is on Netflix.  I started season 7, where I left off after a year.  Luckily, I have no idea what happened in season 8.  I'm into it again.  

Day 404

Friday, February 21, 2014

I was on fire this morning in racquetball, hitting the ball hard and getting everything.  I wish I always played this well.

Alice has her botox shot for her sore back today, so I'm picking her up this afternoon on Geary Street.  

Day 403

Thursday, February 20, 2014

So now I'm in the part of the novel where I'm piecing together all the various storylines and trying to come up with some coherent theme that connects everything together.  It seems as though the thematic glue in True Colors is deception.  These two kids try to uncover mysteries in a world that's largely deceptive and sometimes quite dangerous.  It's helpful to know that when working toward the completion of this draft.  It's coming along slowly, but every day I'm making progress.  Today, I continued work on Lani abduction and the middle scenes that have her inside a Chinese embassy.  I like some of the twists I came up with today that will play themselves out in the epilogue.  Jia Hui is a good character, and so is Mr. Must.  I like how his name sounds.

Meanwhile, everything else is on the back burner.  I can barely think about anything else right now.  

Day 402

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

My right palm was so sore this morning that I couldn't play racquetball.  I think it's mouse related.  I've been using my left hand now for computer-related work.

Started the middle section and Lani's abduction and imprisonment.  These include approximately 10 chapters.  Getting them on paper helps me stay organized.  Right now, I'm feeling a little scatterbrained about the whole enterprise, which is normal at this stage of the process.  Once I reach the halfway mark, all sorts of problems, questions, and anxieties come my way.  At least I'm used to it.

Day 401

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Woke up late this morning, perhaps because I was up until way past midnight watching Jimmy Fallon bring The Tonight Show back to New York.  Jimmy will be just fine.  As much as I love Dave and Conan, Jimmy seems a better fit.  Sure, Dave and Conan deserved to be host, but they're too edgy and weird for mainstream America, and I've always seen The Tonight Show as solidly mainstream.  Johnny epitomized mainstream sensibilities.  The Tonight Show is in good hands.  It all worked out in the end.

Wrote a bunch of part two chapters and scenes, the abduction sequence.  This book, True Colors, is truly weird.  Not typical at all, which may be a problem.

Day 400

Monday, February 17, 2012

Spent the entire day writing, from 8:15 to 9 pm.  It was nice doing my regular thing.  I have so much work left on True Colors.  It's coming along.  I hope to have a draft for Chris to read next month.  I'm working on the abduction sequences now.  It equals about 20-25 chapters, each maybe 500-750 words long.  These chapters are short like scenes in a movie.  I tend to write in scenes.  The first 400 days of writing have gone by so quickly.  The scary thing is the next 400 days will be by even faster. 

Day 399

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Woke up at 7 and wrote for another few hours.  Went to Starbuck's in the a.m. with Alice, then took a nice 2-mile walk in the afternoon.

Watched this engaging film on Netflix:

Day 398

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Wrote for a few hours in the morning and afternoon.  Stayed with Alice.  Relaxing.

We watched an old 1950s film in the afternoon, rented from the library:

It's dated and melodramatic, but beautifully filmed and a fascinating film to watch 60 years later.  We enjoyed it.  So much has changed in such a short amount of time.  

Day 397

Friday, February 14, 2014

Alice and I went to Mijori on Grand for Valentine's Day.  So good!  I let her choose the film she wanted to see afterward, so we saw:

Everything, and I mean everything, is AWESOME in this fabulous film.  I loved it.  Alice fell asleep.  Ha!

We drove back to San Fran where we would hang for the rest of the weekend.  I'm still thinking about the amazing Lego Movie.  So many brilliant details.  So much thought went into it.  The script was terrific.  The ending was killer.  A total winner.

Day 396

Thursday, February 13, 2014

One of the rare times I hit the gym on a Thursday.  It was actually very pleasant.  I went through my 30-30-30 routine, which consisted of 30 minutes of running with my ipad nano (Vivaldi, Wings, Elvis Costello, ELO, Handel, and Scarlatti), 30 minutes of racquetball drills, and 30 minutes in the weight room.  I hope to do more of these on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

I wrote in the morning, worked from noon-3, then continued writing after work.  Lisa's step-mom passed away yesterday, so the Young family is in Utah until Monday.  I walked Rocket today.  That's one strong dog.

I wrote a few new chapters in True Colors.  The first third is written, parts of the second third are written, and most of the ending is written.  This has been the strangest first draft I've ever written.  I'm writing it in pieces like a puzzle. I hope it comes together into something recognizable.  I guess I'll find out next month.

Day 395

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Steve and I have had some fierce games lately.  We're both getting better and better.  It's a challenge beating him these days.  I squeaked out a victory today.  He's so fast and tall.

Wrote, worked, wrote.  True Colors all the way. 

In the evening, I watched The Master.

I'm watching every Philip Seymour Hoffman film.  I mean, why not.  He's so amazing in everything he does, and this film is no exception.  I appreciate how beautifully filmed and acted The Master is, but it's not what I would call an enjoyable film.  Joaquin Phoenix is also amazing here, but his character is not sympathetic, and the ending did not do it for me at all.  Paul Thomas Anderson is an exceptional filmmaker, but his endings are about as satisfying as frogs falling from the skies.  Don't even get me started down that road.  I'm sure there's a lot of hidden brilliance and genius-level message-making going on here, but if it's not obvious enough to a simpleton like me, it won't be obvious to most moviegoers.  I did enjoy watching this film, however, the deliberate pace, camera shots, and the utter strangeness of it.  Very very different.  Very adult and sophisticated.  But $30 million to make it?  Wow, there's some deep-pocket love for Paul Thomas Anderson somewhere on planet earth.  He's a total showoff, but he knows how to frame a scene and draw great performances from his actors.  A haunting, lyrical, exceptional film.

Day 394

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I was hoping to go to the gym today, but it didn't happen.  Too lazy.  Wrote, worked, wrote, went to bed. 

Day 393

Monday, February 10, 2014

At the gym at 5, lots of racquetball, then a few hours with Judge Basin, who stayed at my place over the weekend, attending a retirement party and meeting several friends.  We had a good couple of hours to catch up.  Neil's dating again.  I wish him luck in finding the right person.  I know he's put a lot of effort into it.

After dropping Neil off at the Oakland Airport, I focused on my True Colors novel.  The book is in three parts.  The first section sets everything up and focuses on the girls' business.  The second part deals with the abduction of one of the girls for about four days.  The third part focuses on the overall mystery of the story and a scary character in the neighborhood who's killing pets for no apparent reason.  That's the structure anyway.  Each part will have a different feel, but hopefully it will all connect and flow.  You never know how it's going to come out until it's done, and even then, it's impossible to guess how others will react. 

Day 392

Sunday, February 9, 2014

A wonderful, typical Sunday with Alice, up at 7, 9th and Irving at 8, the mall at 12, and an afternoon of writing.  The best days are these!

Day 391

Saturday, February 8, 2014

I'm updating my online presence, which I've neglected the past few months.  I'm using True Colors Detective Agency to set up promotional elements within my website and on Facebook.  I'm clarifying  what I choose to put out there online and what I wish to keep under the hood.  I dislike how everything can be connected so that all my moves on Goodreads can be broadcast for everyone to read on Facebook.  It's too much.  A good online presence requires good editing, but good editing requires time, energy and something of a game plan.   I'm still developing one.  I understand the value  of an online presence, but I'm also not as narcissistic as I thought I was.  I don't need anyone to know anything about me, but I like promoting my stories and keeping tabs on my own writing and living process.

Alice celebrated Chinese New Year with her family yesterday at her house with a big dinner from 6 to 9.  I ate too much as always.  Everyone was there.  Good times.

Day 390

Friday, February 7, 2014

Day 389

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Day 388

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

I work four-to-five hours every day, and though I'm really appreciate of the job I have, I'm simply not as productive when I don't have a full day to write.  That's my reality.  I need the entire day.  Two or three hours a day does not cut it.  I need 12 hours a day.  There's no point in fighting it.  True Colors is taking twice as long to complete as I'd like it to.  Zombie Cookies took three months to write when I had the entire day.  It's frustrating not being able to write from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., but I'll have to play to conditions and tough it out.  I have my tools to get things done and I'm using them in excess right now.

Day 387

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I was hoping to run in the morning, but instead I slept in until 6:30.  I wrote and cleaned and got ready for work.  Now that the report is almost behind me, I can bring down the work load to three hours a day.

Day 386

Monday, February 3, 2014

With the Super Bowl glow slowly dimming, the tragic death of Philip Seymour Hoffman is taking over my thoughts.  He was one of the very best and loved by everyone.  It goes to show you how powerful addiction can be.  I wonder if he felt overwhelmed by everything.  I know that when I'm feeling overwhelmed, I fall apart so quickly.  He had three small kids and was so busy and in demand all the time.  That must have taken a toll, though I wouldn't know because I know next to nothing about his life.  All I know is that he was always good.  I actually have The Master checked out from the library.  I'm halfway through.  It's beautifully shot, but the storyline is not that interesting to me.  Hoffman, however, dominates the film, as he did in nearly every film he was in.  I first noticed him in The Talented Mr. Ripley, where I thought he was incredible.  So smug and entitled.  I loved it.  Happiness was shocking in its raw helpless humanity.  He was so human so much of the time.  Even in tent pole movies, he was real.  What a sad loss.  It's a James Dean kind of loss, but for completely different reasons.  He was Brando caliber without the sex appeal.  Maybe that was why he was so likeable.  He looked like us.  He was us.  In a world so full of huckster fakery, he was so unbeautifully real.

Day 385

Sunday, February 2, 2014

 It's the game every Seahawk fan has been waiting for, 36 years in the making.  I loved every single second of this Super Bowl.  It had everything, including a Safety.  That was about as satisfying a blowout as any I've ever seen. I have a few friends over and they started feeling sorry for the Broncos midway through the 3rd quarter.  I Facebooked that and friends and family told me to kick those guests out.  I thought that was funny.  The Seahawks are going to be good for a while.  It's a good reason to really get into football. 

Day 384

Saturday, February 1, 2014

 I played 18 games of racquetball today.  Steve Basham and I drove to Stockton to play in John Ellis's Superbowl Tournament.  Steve and I made it to the finals but lost to Carlos and Ramon.  We then played singles.  I lost my bracket, but Steve won his, then won his semi-final match.  He was ahead 10-7 in the tie-breaker against Kareem, but came up short and lost it 10-11.  So crushing.  He took it well, though, a lot better than I would have.  We were both sore as hell when we came home.  I great day spent with a terrific friend!