Day 472

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Another month gone.  They go so quickly.  Got a lot done today.  Wrote from 8-8.  Still organizing the final 12 chapters.  The last two big sections are coming along slowly.  

Day 471

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I listened to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver lay down the hammer on Donald Sterling just after 11 a.m. today.  It's really something to watch a billionaire lose his own team.  He's entered OJ territory as an untouchable pariah in society.  I listened to the tapes yesterday, then listened, to of all things, those Mel Gibson tapes of a few years ago.  There are several similarities between the two tapes.  They both remind me of my parents' late-night arguments as a child after they came home from a night of partying.  One thing that hasn't been mentioned about Donald Sterling is his crazy, hateful thoughts sound like they're coming from the mind of a diseased drinker.  That's what alcoholics sound like, especially powerful ones who feel they're not getting the respect they deserve.  It's all so familiar.  In the tape, Sterling turns the tables a few times, blaming his young female partner for hurting him and disrespecting him.  He's saying all this hateful racist garbage while still making himself out to be the victim.  That's classic drinker talk.  It's all about everyone else making life difficult for the poor, pitiful white male billionaire.  Mel Gibson did the same thing on his full blown drunken insanity tapes, and way back when, my dad was just as crazy, just as insane, just as hurtful and narcissistic and verbally cruel to my mom back in the 70s when he was tanked up and totally irrational.  He was a drunken monster, just like these two.  That crazy, diseased alcoholic frame of mind is all too familiar to me.  It's really quite sad, but it sure makes great drama.  Richard Yates wrote all about men like this.  I have zero pity for them, which I guess is my own issue and something I might need to work on.  Donald Sterling isn't just a big fat ugly white male billionaire racist.  He's a sick, broken man with a diseased mind.  What's scary about this crazy country is there are undoubtedly others just like him who have just as much money and wield just as much power and influence.  Today's action by Commissioner Silver was a big step in the right direction.

Day 470

Monday, April 28, 2014

Day 469

Sunday, April 27, 2014

I wrote most of the day, working on part 5, organizing the scenes I've written and outlining what still needs to be written.  I wash both cars before sunset and relaxed after 8.  I have a full week of writing to look forward to next week. 

Day 468

Saturday, April 26, 2014

No writing today.  I drove up to Santa Rosa at 6:15 a.m. to attend a one-day racquetball doubles tournament. My partner Scott is a great player and fun to play with.  We one our first match and lost our second.  I left around 3 and went to Alice's for the night.  We ordered take out and relaxed the rest of the night. 

Day 467

Friday, April 25, 2014

Neil Bason is in town for two days.  We have breakfast this morning before he headed off to SF for the day.  It's always great to see him.  I wrote all day and watched the final three episodes of Breaking Bad.  It's a brilliant series that I found difficult to watch because I just don't care about drug stories; however, it's so well made and so well told.  The writing is masterful and the final six episodes and unbelievably good.  In fact, these final episodes solidify this series as one of the very best ever made.  I've learned a lot about story telling watching this show and how to put some of it into True Colors (but not too much!).  

Day 466

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Up at 5:10, hit the gym and practiced a few shots for an hour.  I'm still on the fence about the Stockton Pro/Am next weekend (May 1-4).  I could really use the weekend to finish up True Colors, but the tournament also includes state singles honors for the winners in each division.  I've always wanted to take the A singles championship, and now is as good a time as any to claim it.  I finished second one year and haven't played up to my potential since.  I'm fairly healthy with an arm that flairs up when I play too much.  Also, I love seeing the pros go at it, and this year one of the Stockton players might actually upset Rocky or Kane. This year's poster is awesome:

After the gym, I came home and wrote drafts of chapter 100 and the epilogue.  The final line of the book is kind of nice:  "To Lani and Lauren, and the future of our world."  If I can get 0.0001% of the population of China to read True Colors Detective Agency, that would make the novel very successful.  There are lots of things I like about True Colors, but I still have a ways to go before it's right.  It's 100 chapters long and around 62k words, which is 20k words longer than I imagined.  I've been at this book since September, but had two other books that I revised and a part-time job that's kept me very busy.  It will be such a relief to have this book behind me.  Nothing was easy about it and I'm still not sure if it works. 

Day 465

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Woke up at 4:45, played singles with Brian and doubles with Brian, Glenn, Tiger and Aaron.  Good playing today.  With the big jury matrix behind me, I had the entire day to write.  I divided the novel into seven parts.  Part 5 and Part 6 are very rough, Part 4 is pretty rough, Part 1 is fine, Part 2 and Part 3 need two more revisions.  Part 7 hasn't really been written yet, but it's only two chapters long.  I'll write it tomorrow.  Talked with Chris tonight.  He's in Fairfield next week.  I may visit him and Leo on Wednesday.

Day 464

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Finally finished a very long project at work, a 38k-word document that took 60 hours to complete.  Now I can focus on True Colors for the rest of the month.

I finished watching the final three episodes of season 2 of House of Cards.  A mixed bag for me.  Some of the subplots were strange and not very interesting.  Also, I always find it hard to stay interested in a story when none of the characters are likable.  I'm not rooting for anyone in HoC.  The president is so weak in the second half of season two, and FU is so obviously villainous.  Half the time, I had to turn off my brain and try to enjoy the good parts, which are good when the show is believable.  Are elected officials really that uptight about marriage counseling?  They should be worried if they haven't had counseling.  Finding a great counselor who doesn't mess around and offers the kind of sage advice that cannot be gained on one's own is perhaps one of the greatest gifts an adult can bestow upon himself or herself.  The notion that counseling is bad or a sign of instability is such an incredible joke to me.  In fact, the opposite is true.  Someone who thinks they're beyond any kind of individual reflection is in all likelihood someone who has more hidden problems and issues than one might think.  Human beings are unbelievably complicated, and all that childhood noise never goes away, no matter how hard you try.  Like our bones, it's there for good, and any adult past the age of 40 who thinks they don't need a tuneup from an objective third party is dilutional.  You can't recover from your demons/addictions/dark side.  You can only manage it.  The lesson in House of Cards is...well, I'm not sure there's any lesson at all, other than writing and storytelling that isn't at the same level as Mad Men, Dexter, The Sopranos, and the first three seasons of Six Feet Under.  Now that Frank is president, I hope things pick up and the subplots tighten.

Day 463

Monday, April 21, 2014

Worked another six hours today, then wrote in the evening for two hours.  Tomorrow, I'll have this big job wrapped up.

Day 462

Sunday, April 20, 2014

I worked another six hours today, then drove over to Alice's for dinner.  After 60 Minutes, we filled out our travel papers for the cruise in June.  To be by 10.

Day 461

Saturday, April 19, 2014

I had to go into work today, so I came back to Oakland, then wrote for a few hours before bed.  

Day 460

Friday, April 18, 2014

Up at 4:30, racquetball in the morning, revised chapters 59 and 61 before heading to work.  Another long day, then over to Alice's for a party she's throwing for Austin's friends and their families.

Day 459

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Up at 6 and wrote until 11.  Now that I'm working on the last 25 chapters, the entire story is swirling inside my head.  All these little details are reminding me of other details that aren't yet in the book.  I'm organizing all my notes, of which there are hundreds, into a systematic means of keeping all the ideas accessible before I forget them.  Such a strange, unnatural way to go about organizing my thoughts.  The last third of the book feels like a real detective procedural.  Lots of forces at work conspiring against the kids, which is good I guess.  As long as I can maintain my spirits and keep thinking positive thoughts about my writing, I should be able to wrap up the novel before Alice and I leave in early June.  

Day 458

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Up early for racquetball.  Had a full house at Club One this morning:  Brian, Steve, Ramon, Glenn and Tiger.  It was great seeing so many terrific players in the morning.

Wrote from 8:30-10, then worked for 8 hours.  This whole week is dominated with work at Varinsky.  The only way I'll get any writing done is if I write early in the morning and late into the evening.  With the middle section wrapped up, my energy is focused on the final 20+ chapters.  I have a draft of key scenes but will have to change a lot of it.  

Day 457

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Woke up early and wrote until 10.  Worked from 10-5, then came home and wrote another 2 hours.  Long day and not much progress.

Day 456

Monday, April 14, 2014

Woke up at 4, still sore from Saturday.  Drove home and slept another two hours.  Went into work and stayed until 6, so not much writing today.  Came home around 6:30 and wrote until 9, revising chapter 4, revising chapter 64, and reading through a pile of notes I haven't looked at in months.  I'm collecting all the notes I haven't used but want to insert somewhere.  Now that the middle section is on paper and I'm moving on to the ending, I'm feeling a wave of doubt about the whole thing, which probably always happens to me at this stage of the first readable draft.  The story works for me, but there's so much going on.  I'm not sure if all the balls in the air will drop in sync.  The whole week is going to be full of work through the weekend.  I wish I were farther along on this thing.   

Day 455

Sunday, April 13, 2014

I wrote most of the afternoon, but also helped Alice with her garden and took care of a few chores.  The amount of work I have left on True Colors boggles my mind.  Why do I have so much left to do, and why are some of these chapters so awful?  I don't get it!

Day 454

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Played in our doubles tournament from 8-1.  Steve Basham and I went 5-3, losing in the semis to Tyrone and Harry 13-15.  They went on to win the tournament.  Steve and I played well, but I wasn't playing my best.  I missed shots and didn't have my usual hustle.  Too much on my mind, I'm guessing.  The lunch afterward was very good as always, and Sydney and Dorian were there, which was a treat.  Robbie runs the best tournaments!

Day 453

Friday, April 11, 2014

No racquetball today, since we have our doubles tournament tomorrow.  I had breakfast with Rhonda from 9:30-11:30, then was called into work from 1-5, so little if any writing.  Went over to Richard & Lisa's at 7 and hung out for the evening.  Very enjoyable!

Day 452

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Today I did my taxes and took care of some chores that had been neglected in my in-box.  I wrote maybe three hours tops, if that.   

Day 451

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Up at 4:45, racquetball from 5:15-7, wrote 90 minutes before work from 9-2.  Came home, had lunch, wrote again from 4-8.  Talked to Chris at 8, then called it a night with Episode 2, Season 2 of...

Day 450

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I woke up at 5 and wrote for a few hours before I left for work from 9-3.  I'm working today and tomorrow.  It's still pretty slow over there, which is nice because I need all the time I can get to finish this thing.

When I came home, I spent two hours organizing all the screenplays and novels I've written so far.  True Colors will make the 12th project I've worked on.  Funny thing is I feel as if I'm just beginning.

Day 449

Monday, April 7, 2014

Up at 4, racquetball from 5-7, then another day of writing.  I wasn't as productive today.  I'm working on chapters 51-64 and they're still very rough.  This is the most difficult section of the novel because it's outside the normal spectrum of a traditional mystery.  It's something like a story-within-a-story, and I'm not sure how it will play.

I went to the club again in the evening to play an hour of singles against some of the better evening players.  I know I'm going to pay for it tomorrow and Wednesday, but it sure was fun playing singles.

Day 448

Sunday, April 6, 2014

I sent off chapters 40-50 to Chris at 9 p.m. tonight.  I wrote and revised for about 12 hours today.  I was definitely in the zone.  I like when that happens.  I have a feeling I'll be there until the novel is finished.  I read through chapters 40-50 before sending them, and there's a nice tempo and movement to the chapters that I hope continues.  One of the goals of True Colors was to keep things moving quickly.  I'm beat.  Time for bed.

Day 447

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Up at 5:30, a few chores and writing until 4 with an hour for lunch.  I spent most of the day on two chapters, 49 and 50.  All revisions.  I'm afraid it will be that way for most of the middle chapters.  The story is on paper, but the language is dull and repetitive.  As long as I keep things interesting I have a fighting chance with this story.

Spoke with Jill for an hour on Facetime, a sort of pep talk that was very helpful.  She's doing so well.  At 4, I drove to Alice's hitting thick traffic most of the way, which I'd expected.  We had homemade pot stickers for dinner and ice cream later, then watched the latest Real Time with Bill Maher.  A good episode, thanks to sane Alex Wagner arguing with passion her perspective while filling the holes (with reason) of her Republican counterparts on the panel whose arguments left me unimpressed and annoyed.  Thanks, Supreme Court, for keeping most of us out of the election process while the Sheldon Adelsons of the country get to dump endless amounts of money into a broken political system.  Best line of the night from Bill Maher:  "Even though Clarence Thomas says nothing on the bench, what I really want to say to him is 'shut up!'"  

Day 446

Friday, April 4, 2014

Up at 4, emails, racquetball from 5:15 to 7:15, then home to write all day.  I printed off chapters 41-64 and now I'm editing the hardcopy.  They're very rough and unreadable, but a few paragraphs are decent.  I don't know about this book.  I'll be glad when it's finished.

I wrote until 4:30, then watched

which I liked.  A lot.

I received some unfortunate news about Club One.  It looks like the jacuzzi repairs for the mens' and womens' locker rooms are so expensive that they are not going to fix them.  Suddenly, my beloved Club One went from tier 1 status to tier 3.  I used that jacuzzi every morning.  We pay a premium at that Club.  Unfortunately, there are no alternatives nearby with adequate racquetball facilities.  I'm not happy about this.

Day 445

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Woke up at 6, ran a mile before starting my routine, then got to work on these middle chapters.  The entire day flew by while I sat in my chair and wrote and revised chapters 58-64.  Nothing too exciting.

Day 444

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Up at 4:50, gym at 5:10, racquetball until 7:05, writing from 8-12, 1-5, 7-8.  

Day 443

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Up at 5:45, writing from 7-12, 2-6.  Not as productive as I would have liked, but I managed to get a few scenes written and revised.  Some of this made up stuff feels too made up.  Not sure what to do about that.

Day 442

Monday, March 31, 2014

Up at 4, gym at 5, racquetball until 7, then writing for about half the day.  It always takes a day or two to transition from one project to another.  After spending a full week bringing Julia Milan back to life, I'm not back on True Colors.  It's like I can barely remember what this novel is about.  I've only been away from it for ten days or so, but it feels like months since I've worked on it.