Day 564

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Up at 7, and basically did nothing but chores from 7:30-1.  Packed for our trip to Calgary this weekend.  Worked from 2-6, then headed over to Alice's.  Took two books with me, Lorrie Moore's Bark, and a children's book.  Another quick and busy day.

Day 563

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Up at 4:30, racquetball at 5, writing from 8-1, work from 2-6, racquetball at Mariner Square from 7-9:15, then home to bed.  Busy day.  Revising True Colors.  Changing many things, hopefully making improvements.  Work at Wendel is always busy.  I spent all four hours on one long real estate document.  

Day 562

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Up at 6, wrote until noon.  Worked from 2-6, then back home to continue revising.  So many changes, but they're coming along.  I have one episode left of Hannibal Season 1.  What an amazing show.  It's one of the most impressive TV shows I've ever seen.  

Day 561

Monday, July 28, 2014

Up at 4, racquetball from 5-7.  Dorian played for the first time in over a year.  Brian Rigney also showed up. Steve and I will play doubles again.  When we're on we're good, but when we're off we let game slip by us.  Tiger and Glenn were ahead 9-0 and 13-6, then we came back and tied the game at 14-14.  We couldn't close the deal though and T&G won 16-14.

I came home and outlined a new ending for True Colors.  I have all the new scenes in mind.  Now it's just a matter of reassembling all the pieces so that the story flows smoothly.

Checked out this at the library...oh yeah!

Day 560

Sunday, July 27, 2014

At Alice's for the day.  Revised all day, broke down the first six chapters.  Went from 8-5, then dinner and relaxing the rest of the night.  

Day 559

Saturday, July 26, 2014

At Alice's in the morning, where she, Austin and I visited with Austin's aunt Barbara and her daughter Frances.  Then in the evening, Rhonda and Biff came over for dinner.  We had a great time hearing about their trip to New York and eating some amazing food.  No writing today.

Day 558

Friday, July 25, 2014

Racquetball, working 9-2 then 2:30-6.  Tidied up at night, then went to bed early.

Day 557

Thursday, July 24, 2014

All work today from 8-6.  No writing today.

Day 556

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Up for racquetball, work from 9-6, no writing today.

Day 555

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Work from 9-2.  Working on revisions to True Colors, adding more definition to Lauren and Lani.  When Lani sees people's true colors, her fingers quiver, her eyes widen and her ears move up and down.  Lauren knows this.  The sights Lani sees are much more detailed and varied.  The first five chapters are completely reordered.  Lauren's mom is now the Oakland detective and Lani's father works for the FBI in the cyber crime division.  Lauren's father is the entrepreneur and Lani's mom is still a book editor for a small Berkeley publishing house.

Day 554

Monday, July 21, 2014

Up at 4, gym at 5, out by 7.  Worked from 9-2.  I began True Colors revisions today, overhauling the manuscript for the 8-12 audience.  It's a much different book from what I wrote and not as interesting as I have, but it is what it is and will satisfy hopefully satisfy those in that market.  The book will much shorter and simpler.  As a bonus, I have a new story I might be able to write quickly that might find an eager editor, based on my trip to LA last week and watching Mick the dog on Dog with a Blog.

Began two new TV shows on Amazon Prime and wow are they good:

Both Hannibal and Orphan Black are excellent.

I'm also reading a couple of new children's books:


Day 553

Sunday, July 20, 2014

I read the entire day.  We went out for breakfast in the morning, then hung around the house most of the day. It was raining outside.  I'm thinking of my revisions to True Colors.  I'll start tomorrow.

Day 552

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Alice came over to my place this morning.  We went shopping at Bay Street in the morning, then to Oakland Chinatown for noodles and soup.  We then headed over to Jamil and Vivette's place in the afternoon and hung out with a few of my racquetball buddies.  It was sweet.  Afterward, we headed back to Alice's place and watched TV before falling asleep at 10.

Day 551

Friday, July 18, 2014

Up at 5:55.  I must have hit my alarm with the snooze going off.  I'll get back into racquetball on Monday.  Spent the morning cleaning up and preparing for my True Colors rewrite.  I'd like to finish it in 6 weeks, by the end of August.

Work from 9-2, then writing the rest of the day.

Day 550

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Woke up around 7 today, even though I went to bed early. Still feeling sluggish, though went to work at 9 with lots of energy.  I worked form 9-2, then came home, cooked a pot of chili, then finished my book and began work on my revision to True Colors.  Played poker with the neighborhood gang at Mark Slater's and lost $53.  Ran into a flopped straight with two pair against an aggressive player and generally had weak cards all night.  Ray was the big winner.

Day 549

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Woke up at 4, made it to the airport at 6, flew home at 7, arrived at work at 10.  Worked until 2, then came home and crashed.  I was supposed to play racquetball tonight, but had no energy at all.  I went to bed around 9:15.

I watched the final episode of 24 tonight.  What a solid season.  Those guys are amazing storytellers.  It's a great show.  I hope they do another 12 episodes.  The shortened season works well.

Day 548

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I went back to Occidental Studios in the morning and caught one more scene of Dog with a Blog with Stan the dog blogging while Chloe looks on.  They finished the scene at 10.  I left to spend the afternoon with Ari and Connor near Santa Monica.  Traffic in LA is one of those things you can't get away from.  It's just there like smog, impacting everyone's quality of life and reminding me why I'd never want to live there.  It took over an hour to get to Ari's, even though it's only a 15 minute drive with no traffic.  We had Korean barbecue for lunch at a place near her apartment.  It's always great hanging out with Ari!  It's wild to think I first met Lisa at Ari's age.

At 3 I drove back to Neil's and slept the entire afternoon and evening.  I was exhausted.

Day 547

Monday, July 14, 2014

I woke up at 4 at left San Diego at 4:25.  It took less than two hours to drive to Neil's.  I arrived at his place a little after 6:30.  I showered, dressed, and drove to the Occidental Studios set where I met Dorian's son Hakim, who's an electrician/lighter on the Disney TV show Dog with a Blog.

Hakim showed me around the studio.  It was very cool to see so many people working to create an episode of television.  There were about seven or eight sets tucked inside the main building.  Surrounding the sets were pockets of production personnel in their cubbyholes preparing for the day.  It was like walking down a hall of college dorms with everyone setting up their small space for maximum efficiency.  Hakim's space consisted of a boarded up door with a small room that housed a desk, couch, flatscreen TV, and not much else.  It was conveniently located right next to craft services.

Shooting began at 8.  The set was prepped, then the stand-ins took their places while the four camera operators and two boom mic operators worked with the director (Joel Zwick, Director of My Big Fat Greek Wedding) to block each shot.  At 9, the real actors came on set, three girls whose character names are Avery, Lindsay and Max.

They shot two scenes in the classroom, which took about three hours to capture before they moved on.

The next scene was at the park.

These scenes took most of the afternoon.  The cast and crew broke for lunch around 2.  There were Emmy cupcakes because Dog with a Blog was just nominated for two Emmys, Outstanding Children's Program and Outstanding Character Voiceover Performance (Stephen Full for Stan the dog).

By early evening, the final few scenes were shot in the living room with Chloe and her parents.

The director Joel Zwick was a real veteran.  He's been in TV and theater for decades and knew his stuff.  Everyone on the set liked working with him and appreciated how fast he was.

I also enjoyed watching the Executive Producer Michael Kaplan and his team of producers and writers brainstorming and tweaking each scene while the actors rehearsed their lines.  The director serves as the go-between with the producers.  Joel often came up with solutions to the problems they encountered, along with better lines and smoother word choices.  It was great to watch this cast and crew work their magic!

Stan the dog was a rescue dog who was this close to being put down because he was in such bad shape, but his trainer saw something in him and three months later the dog was staring in his own TV show.  Only in Hollywood.  The story gave me an idea for another book about the memoirs of a Hollywood hound.

Thanks, Hakim for the great day on set!

Day 546

Sunday, July 13, 2014

I had Neil drive me to the airport this morning at 6.  I took a flight to San Diego to meet Steve and Judy, Matt, Brad and Rob and their families.  I picked up at rental car at 9:45 and drove 30 minutes to a very nice house the Hagans were staying at in Escondido.  I arrived around 11 and stayed the entire day.  It was great catching up with everyone and doing a little Hagan family bonding.  The place had a wonderful pool where we played ball with Parker and Lashlee.  I had a couple great conversations with Steve and Rob.  It was really nice to spend the day in a house full of Hagans.  The spirit of Jim and Isabel Hagan certainly lives on!

Day 545

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Went to Hillsdale Mall in San Mateo with Alice this morning and early afternoon.  Banana Republic had one of their semi-annual sales where they're practically giving away clothes.  I bought a new pair of pants, four shirts, two pairs of shoes, a dress, top and necklace for Alice all for about $230.  The shoes are sweet.

Restrung two racquets in the afternoon, had salmon sushi for dinner, then drove home around 9:15 in preparation for my trip tomorrow to San Diego and LA.

Day 544

Friday, July 11, 2014

Steve Basham returned to the club today after a month away in Europe.  We only played one game but it was sweet!

I worked from 9-2, then came home.  Neil Bason was in town.  He's staying at my place for a few days.  He, Alice and I tried out the new French Bistro on Lakeshore called Michel.  Very good!  We had a wonderful mean and conversation, then I drove back to Sunset with Alice.  Great day.

Day 543

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Worked from 9-2, then cleaned my apartment in preparation for the Honorable Judge Neil Bason, who will be in town tomorrow.

Day 542

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Worked from 9-2.  Picked up car from mechanic.  The MINI needed new brakes.  

Day 541

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Worked from 9-2 today, then took the car in to get new brakes.  Tired this week.  I begin rewrites next week.  Talked to Chris tonight at 8.  

Day 540

Monday, July 7, 2014

Drove Alice to the hospital for her colonoscopy.  She was woozy afterward.  I drove her home but the medicine made her sick.  We had chicken noodle soup for lunch and she was knocked out the rest of the day.

I worked at Wendel from 2-6 today.

Day 539

Sunday, July 6, 2014

I worked at home this morning and afternoon, then drove back to Sunset to take Alice in for her colonoscopy tomorrow.  The day went quickly.  Still thinking about my revisions.  

Day 538

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Day 537

Friday, July 4, 2014

I drove to Alice's at 8 a.m.  We had bagels with cream cheese for breakfast, then went downtown for the morning and afternoon.  I needed some new work clothes and found a nice pair of slacks and a comfortable shirt by Michael Kors at Nordstrom rack.  Alice bought a pair of grey Converse All-Stars sneakers at Nordstrom.  We had lunch at the Nordstrom cafe on the 4th floor, which was very nice.  We came home in the late afternoon and watched a couple of movies.

Well-acted, funny, and real.  I liked this film, though I cringed at where it was going, and when Julia LD is confronted with her self-imposed, totally unnecessary crisis, I was done with the film.  I stuck it out, but found the main character's dishonesty a little too heavy-handed for my taste.  Both James G. and Julia LD were strong and likable and the daughter subplot rang true.  The major storyline, however, felt problematic.

We also saw

Very good performances and a major bonus when Sam Seaborn arrived on screen!

Day 536

Thursday, July 3, 2014

I had a writing meeting with Sharon's colleague Ella Marie at 11 my time today.  We talked for an hour about what to do with True Colors.  Because the book is about 5th graders, she really wanted the book to target younger readers.  It's not who I typically write for, but I understand why I must writer to the market.  It will be a much different book from what I currently have, but the basic elements and Lani's special powers will stay the same.  Ella Marie liked the girls and their differences.  I'm eager to get at the revision.  I'll begin this coming week and hope to finish sometime in August.  I have so many projects to work on these days.  There won't be enough time to finish them all.

This was my last day of back-to-back work shifts at Varinsky and Wendel.  Exhausting week.

Day 535

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Slept in until 7:30 this morning.  Worked at Varinsky from 9-1:30 and Wendel from 2-6, then played racquetball at Mariner Square from 7-9:30.  In bed by 10:30.  Tired.  

Day 534

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Up at 6:30, worked at Varinsky from 9-1:30, then Wendel from 2-6.  Came home and watched the latest 24 from the previous night before crashing hard.  Wiped out!

Day 533

Monday, June 30, 2014

Up at 4, racquetball until 6, worked from 9-1:30 and 2-6, then went over to Richard and Lisa's for ice cream in the evening.  

Day 532

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Drove to Alice's with Alice in the a.m. and read all day.  A nice, relaxing day with Alice.