Day 503

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Day 1 of our 7-day cruise.  We landed in Fort Lauderdale at 7:15 and arrived on The Oasis of the Seas at noon.  Our room was on the 8th deck close to Central Park.  We had lunch on Deck 16 at the Windjammer Marketplace and walked around the ship.  It's amazing!

The Oasis of the Seas

It's 17 stories high and wider than any other ship in the world.  It dwarfs all other cruise liners.  It's a monster!

At Central Park inside The Oasis of the Seas
Inside the Boardwalk on The Oasis of the Seas
We left port around 5 and had dinner at 6.

It was a great first night.  We saw Hair Spray, which was really good.  

Day 502

Friday, May 30, 2014

I played Steve this morning and took care of business 15-8, 15-12.  I mainly served drive serves to my forehand and backhand and that did the trick.  Undefeated for the regular season, and now I have to prepare myself for the playoffs when I get back.  I hope Tyrone and Steve are 2 and 3, leaving Ramon and Carlos 4 and 5.

All packed and ready to go.  Looking forward to a relaxing week!

Day 501

Thursday, May 29, 2014

I was tired the whole day.  I packed and tidied up.  Went to work from 1-6 and sent out the book to readers.  Not much else.  Sluggish and wiped out.  

Day 500

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

So I've been at this for 500 days.  That's crazy.  Thing is, I like it.  I printed out a copy of True Colors Detective Agency this morning.  I have a readable draft of that monster.  I haven't even read through the manuscript.  I'll do that next month when my eyes are fresh.  I've never been so exhausted.  What a tough story that was.  I'm glad it's done and I'm so looking forward a few days of r&r on the Oasis of the Seas.

For my first 500 days, I wrote two novels and revised two novels.  Let's see if I can do better my next 500 days.

Day 499

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I woke up at 4:45 and practiced my shots for 30 minutes.  I came home at 6:30 and got to it, revising until noon.  I worked from 2-6 at my old job (Wendel), then played my singles match against Tyrone.  I beat him in two, which is no easy task, then came home and spoke to Chris for an hour.  I then talked to Alice before bed.  I watched Monday's episode of 24, then went right to bed.  I was exhausted.

Day 498

Monday, May 26, 2014

I woke up with Alice around 6:30 and we went to Starbuck's and Noah's for breakfast.  Alice went home at 7:30 and I wrote from 7:30 until 4.  I then went over to Alice's for her family dinner.  Howie and Florence were in town, so we had a nice visit.

I went to bed around 9:30 in preparation for a busy writing day on Tuesday.

Day 497

Sunday, May 25, 2014

I woke up at 4 and came home to write.  I wrote from 5:30-1, then made chicken for Rossana's graduation party at Lisa and Richard's.  I went over at 2:45 and met Alice there.  We stayed until 10.  It was nice hanging out with everyone, but I was pretty tired and didn't have much to say.  I felt a little like a zombie.  Alice stayed with me in Oakland and we hit the hay around 11 or so.  

Day 496

Saturday, May 24, 2014

No writing today.

Today was Austin's graduation.  I drove over at 7:30 and arrived at Alice's at 8 a.m.  We drove to Sacred Heart at 9 and graduation began at 10.

Austin and Cousin Sharon

We ate at Benihana for lunch.  Very good.

We came home at 4 and relaxed the rest of the evening.  

Day 495

Friday, May 23, 2014

 I stayed home and wrote in the evening.  So busy.  Too much to do before I leave next week.

Day 494

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Worked from 2-6 and was so tired afterward.  Little writing done today.

Day 493

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Up at 3:15, wrote an hour until I left for racquetball, played 2 hours, then read Part 5 before visiting Wendel.  I'll work from 2-6 for the next week while Murry is on vacation.  I'm looking forward to reconnecting with the Wendel gang and hanging out with Lillian.  We're going to have some fun.  I hope I haven't forgotten everything.

Afterward, I came home, talked to mom on Facetime, saw Louie and got a haircut, went to the library and checked out four books, including


two books on my to-read list that I'm enjoying very much.  Ate a burrito, read a few hours while Jim did work in my apt., then came home and felt sluggish, tired, and unable to write, so I watched

which has the amazing effect of clearing a writer's mind of all fogginess.  A good night's sleep awaits.

Day 492

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Up at 5:15 and began with revisions to chapters 89-91 until 7:30, then updated my 1000 days and took a shower.  Chris sent revisions to the first 42 chapters and will have chapters 43-69 ready for me by this afternoon.  I'll send him chapters 70-100 before we talk tonight.

Day 491

Monday, May 19, 2014

Up at 4, racquetball until 7, then writing from 9-6.  I continued revising Part 5, rewriting chapters 71 and 81-83.  I revised 84-88, then called it a day.  Rewriting the Part 5 chapters took most of the day.  I ended up rewriting all 2000 words.  At least every chapter is written now and the story is complete.  All that's left is connecting the dots, taking out what isn't needed, and polishing.

Watched the latest 24, which never disappoints, and the latest Cosmos, which is so satisfying.  I like the idea of interstellar travel mirroring the strategy of a dandelion.  In bed at 10:30.

Day 490

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Woke up at 6:45 and wrote from 7-10 and 11-5.  I spent all day revising chapters in Part 5, the weakest section in the novel.  I juggled chapters around and deleted thousands of words I didn't need.  By dinner, I was done.  Alice and I watched 60 Minutes, then the last three episodes of Season 1 of Mr. Selfridge, which is light and fun and full of terrific production values.  It's not on par with Downton Abbey, but it'll do for the moment.

Day 489

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Woke up at 6:30, tidied up a bit, took a shower and started writing at 7:15.  I revised chapters 70 and 71 before heading over to Alice's, then continued revising chapters 72-75.  Part 5 is the weakest of the sections, only because I've spent the least amount of time on these chapters.  I'm really in second draft mode on all of them.  The edits are extensive.  Sometimes the entire chapter is overhauled.  I wrote until 6, then called it a day.  Alice and I will watch a few episodes of Mr. Selfridge before going to bed.  

Day 488

Friday, May 16, 2014

Played a tough match against Glenn this morning and managed to pull out a victory in two games.  Only three matches left this season.  I printed out chapters 80-100 and will make edits to them over the weekend.  I worked from 9-1, then read the final chapters and called it a day around 5.  I watched two documentaries on HBO before bed, both interesting and disturbing.

Day 487

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Woke up and organized chapters 70-80.  I'm reordering chapters and scenes.  Some scenes are still not developed.  I worked from 9-2, then wrote another hour before playing two matches in the evening, winning both.  Two more weeks of revisions before I send this manuscript out.  

Day 486

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Woke up at 3 and spent an hour catching up on my journals, then tidied up the place in anticipation of a strong writing day.

Revised, revised, revised all day until I sent the first 67 chapters to Chris before we talked at 8 tonight.

Day 485

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Very little writing today, which is not what I need when I have so much left to do, but when I'm working it totally kills time to write.  Writing is incompatible with everything and on days like today, it's impossible to find the time to even edit one small chapter.  I woke up at 5:30 and spent about two hours returning emails an taking care of E-Force issues.  I did managed to edit three chapters on paper before and during work, but when Howard arrived at the office at 11, all my time was spent creating PowerPoint slides and photocopying.  I left at 3:30, then came home and strung a racquet because all my Invasion racquets have broken strings.  Stringing a racquet takes at least an hour for me, and in this case it took 90 minutes.  I finished at 5:50, then quickly changed and raced over to Club One to play my match against Gary.  The racquet felt good and I hit well, taking care of the match in two.  Then I raced back home to talk to Chris, but he couldn't FaceTime tonight, so we're meeting tomorrow.  I made dinner and watched an hour of the latest Cosmos and an episode honoring Michael Faraday.  I went to bed at 10:06 and fell asleep almost immediately.

Day 484

Monday, May 12, 2014

I work all week from 9-2, which is prime writing time but what can I do...I need to pay the rent.  Luckily, it was slow, allowing me time to edit at work.  I came home at 2:30 and wrote another two hours.  I'm revising the last four chapters of Part 4 and looking over earlier chapters that need additional edits.  I like how the book sounds and know it will be complete eventually, but the draft I'll send to Sharon in two weeks, though readable, will have many moving parts that are still in need of a lot of tinkering.  This cruise coming up will be so enjoyable for me.  If there's one thing I do well, it's relaxing and doing nothing.

A new interview with Donald Sterling came out, and it was pretty graphic in how a mind processes and reasons from a perspective of clouded, narcissistic insanity.  The only option left for him is to quietly fade away into the sunset because he's done.  We don't need to hear another word from him; however, he is a good reminder of how impossible it is to reason with someone who is so grounded in his own certainty, self-pity, and blamelessness.  He was set up.  Right.  Did he set himself up in this latest interview?  What an ugly, sad, broken shell of a billionaire.  The vultures will circle him Scrooge-style when his day comes.  Anderson Cooper was calm and strong, commenting just enough while letting the man bury himself.

When Alice and I get back from our cruise, I'd like to really learn some of the social media tools out there, but have no interesting talking about myself, so I've been thinking of a cause to adopt, something important to me that no one else has tackled.  I've come up with one possibility that I like:  Just One Time for Real Time.  That's the slogan for the cause I want to champion.  Real Time with Bill Maher has never won an Emmy, losing out to The Daily Show and The Colbert Report every year since 2003.  It's doubtful Real Time will ever win, which is why I'm drawn to this cause.  I love hopeless causes.  At any rate, joke for joke, Bill Maher's Real Time is the funniest, smartest, wittiest, and politically coolest show on television and has been for years.  It's time the show was recognized and appropriately honored.  

Day 483

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day became with breakfast at La Boulange with my sweet Alice, who had her salmon croissant and half a morning bun.  I had half a morning bun and yogurt and granola.  Yum yum.  After breakfast, we headed back to her place where I wrote for several hours, entering edits made to Part 4.  Called mom, Gwen and Jill, wishing them all a Happy Mother's Day. I went to the library for an hour for motivation and came with with another two hours of editing time.  We watched the first episode of season 1 of Mr. Selfridge on DVD, and enjoyed the strong production values and easy-going storyline.  Alice liked it, so we'll continue watching.  In bed by 10. 

Day 482

Saturday, May 10, 2014

No writing today.  Alice had her family over for Mother's Day lunch.  Always fun.

Day 481

Friday, May 9, 2014

Worked on chapters 30-35, then printed out Part 4 and read all the chapters, some of which are still very rough.  I picked up Alice at 5 and continued revising at her house.  Brain feels scrambled.  

Day 480

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Today I was on cruise control, writing from 5 a.m. until 6:30 p.m., revising chapters 20-31, or about 7k words.  This is the first time I'm reading the story from beginning to end with all the pieces in place.  So far I'm liking it.  The plot turn at the end of chapter 25 is satisfying.  With the section titles functioning as a road map, the serpentine nature of the plot might actually work, which would be a great accomplishment, considering how crazy the story seems.  In a way, the story is really three stories, but I won't tell anyone that.

I play my second league match tonight at 8 against a very good player who will run me all over the place.  I'm going to have to dig deep to find the energy.  I'm pretty tired.

Still watching and loving Cosmos.  It's so well done.

Day 479

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Up at 4:45, racquetball from 5-7, worked on chapters 10-19 all day.  Had a very nice conversation with Rossana in the evening.  Time for bed.

Day 478

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Router issues today, which took about 90 minutes or more to troubleshoot.  Revise the first ten chapters.  Return to knock out this tough novel.  

Day 477

Monday, May 5, 2014

Up at 5, racquetball until 7, writing from 8-7.  All chapters are on paper with chapters 80-83 in need of a rewrite.  Now the fun begins.  I'll go over the book a few times, revising each section and getting things in a readable state, adding what needs to be added, removing what isn't necessary, focusing on pacing, continuity, character details, and all the little things I don't think about when assembling the first draft.  It's always a good feeling when all the chapters are on paper.  True Colors Detective Agency is 100 chapters long with a short prologue and epilogue, around 65k words right now, but I can see about 3k words removed, maybe more, so it will end up being roughly the size of Zombie Cookies.  Since February 2013, I've written two new novels and revised three older novels.  Not bad.

From 8-10, I treated myself to episodes one and two of the new 24, Live Another Day.  There are a few things the show does very well, but the commercials are ridiculous.  Is it my imagination or have they added an addition 2-3 minutes of commercials since 2004.  It's insane.  Entertainment Weekly gave the latest effort a C+, which sounds about right.  I'll give it a B, only because it's 24 and Jack Bauer still rules.

Day 476

Sunday, May 4, 2014

I spent all day writing Part 6 and some of Part 5.  It was a rare treat the be home writing all weekend long.  Thanks to Alice for allowing me time to get the final chapters on paper.  I see light at the end of the tunnel!

Day 475

Saturday, May 3, 2014

I woke up at 6, started writing at 7, and wrote until 6 p.m.  I worked on chapters in Part 6, thinking about the final sequence of events.  The day went so quickly.

Day 474

Friday, May 2, 2014

Woke up at 5 a.m. and drove from Fairfield to Oakland.  No racquetball today.  I slept another 30 minutes, then showered and started writing around 8:15.  I wrote until early evening, working on chapters in part 6.  I've rewritten every chapter I've looked at with a different series of ideas and a more detective-like ending.  Now that that's on paper I can focus on the buildup that begins around chapter 88 and continues through chapter 97.  Once part 6 is done, I'll go back to part 5 and work on what needs to be finished there.  Then I'll hit parts 2 and 3, spend at least a week on part 4, then go through the entire manuscript at least twice.  By then, I'll have a readable draft, but this novel is so big with so many little details that it'll take several more passes before I get it right.  

Day 473

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Only two hours of writing today, then five hours of work, then a visit to Fairfield to hang out with uncles Leo and Chris.  Cousin Matt also joined me.  We had a swell time eating big steaks and baked potatoes and watching the Warriors/Clippers game.  Went to bed at 11:30.