Day 686

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Woke up at 7:30 this morning, drove Austin to St. Mary's after breakfast, then spent the day at my place writing, reading, watching a little football and making a pot of turkey soup.  I wrote 3,000 words in Hollywood Hound, read 100 or so pages of fiction, collected some quotes in newspaper articles on Ferguson, op ed pieces and other stories dealing with the great divide between the various perspectives on race in this country, and before I knew it the day was done.  Next week includes a lot of work at both Varinsky and Wendel, which is good, but I sure do like full days at home.  

Day 685

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Woke up at 8 and wrote, read and hung out at Alice's.  Austin was home as well.  We all relaxed inside while it poured outside.  We didn't go anywhere.  I wrote approximately 1,200 words in Hollywood Hound and read about 50 pages.  It was a very enjoying Thanksgiving weekend.  

Day 684

Friday, November 28, 2014

Woke up around 8, went shopping with Alice for her family dinner tonight.  We also cracked the two crab Alice's neighbor Chris brought over the other night.  I'm making crab guacamole and some crab cake appetizers.  Alice has a full menu for tonight.  I'll need to night the gym hard next week.

My Hollywood Hound novel is going well.  I like this story.  Each novel is written differently.  This one isn't as structured as the past few, but has a more natural flow to it.  I'm hoping to write the first draft quickly.  Lots of ideas seem to be coming to me at once.  The first draft will be the easy part.  Separating the wheat from the chaff will be more time consuming, I'm guessing.  I'd adding all kinds of things in this story.  The other night, I actually dreamed I was a dog!  I'm bringing a wide range of influences, pop culture, dog details, film history and Beach Boy Surfer Culture nostalgia to the story.  We'll see what I end up with when all is said and done.

Day 683

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Woke up at 6, made two pies, cleaned up, read, then waited for Alice to come over.  We went over to Richard and Lisa's at 4 and ate, ate, ate, talked, watched the Seahawks destroy the 49ers 19-3, ate some more (delicious turkey, potatoes, appetizers, beans, dessert), then called it a night at 11, drove back to SF, prepared Alice's turkey for her Friday dinner with her family, then went to bed around 1 a.m.  A long day, but much to be thankful for.

Day 682

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Woke up at 4:45, played racquetball until 6:30, then showered and went to Safeway for pumpkin pie ingredients.  No work today, so I get to write all day.  Sweet!  Also hope to clean my apt., which needs it.

Wrote for a few hours, read for an hour, cleaned, then went to bed early.  I'll deal with the pies tomorrow.

Day 681

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I had a few conversations today about the Ferguson protests and the 150 other protests in cities across America.  Here in Oakland, protesters marched down Telegraph Avenue and broke windows, vandalized businesses, walked onto I-980 and stopped freeway traffic.  It seems we've taken several steps back in addressing the unresolved issues of race, justice, fairness and equal opportunity in this country.  The statistics speak for themselves regarding how dangerous it is to be a black man in the U.S. (49% of African American males have been arrested before their 23rd birthday; homicide is the leading cause of death for African American males ages 15-24).  Destroying buildings and burning cars doesn't help anyone, but I guess it does draw attention to how serious and intolerable the issue has become.  This isn't a black problem.  It's an American problem.  White people need to realize this, break free from their denial and address the shocking disparity we have between the haves and have nots, between the white life experience and the black life experience, between the secure middle class and the vulnerable poor.  The other day, I heard a military expert on some news channel state that had we never invaded Iraq or Afghanistan, we'd probably be much more safe and much better off today than where we currently are.  Imagine what we could have done with all those trillions of military dollars going toward educating our citizens, rebuilding our infrastructure and redirecting those from poverty and mental strife to proper healthcare, jobs and teachable skills that keep youth out of trouble, and programs that build up instead of tear down.  Unfortunately, we live with the choices we've made.  To me, last night's protests and rioting are less about the death of a young black man who may have made some very poor decisions when being confronted by a police officer, and more about the horrendous decision making our country has engaged in since 2001.  The denial we can't seem to break free from has brought us to this place.  Rather than confront reality head on, we distract ourselves with spectacle and the illusion that we're exceptional.  If we're really such an exceptional nation, I sure wish we'd start acting like it and start addressing the incredible unfairness and double standards that exist in the country. The rule of law works perfectly fine for someone like me, but if I were black, I'd probably be in prison, or dead, or more likely, living in another country.

Day 680

Monday, November 24, 2014

Up at 4, gym from 5-7, then tidied up a bit at home before going to Varinsky, then Wendel.  Left work at 5:45, heading to my car in a hurry before the grand jury announcement.  Watched the reading of the decision at home, followed by Obama's call for calm and peaceful protest.  We'll see if that happens. 

Day 679

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Spent most of the day reading after Alice and I finished our shopping and chores.  It was a perfect weekend with Alice where we stayed at home and did our thing.  I love weekends like that.  We watched

which was a very odd sort of film, definitely watchable but without the usual conflict that keeps a film moving. Things felt too easy for the protagonist, who has the ability to go back in time to redo things such as kissing a girl, reading a book, helping an actor with his lines and saving his sister from the perils of driving while under the influence.  I'd probably like it more if I hadn't seen any other Richard Curtis film.  They're somehow all the same, like mashed potatoes.  I like mashed potatoes, and this film was easygoing enough, but its purpose was lost on me in the end.  It shouldn't have been so easy for the main character to win over Rachel McAdams the second time.  I didn't like that.

Day 678

Saturday, November 22, 2014

I spent the day cranking out a few more queries, rewriting a synopsis, and reading.  That's about all I did and the day went so quickly.  It rained in the morning, then became sunny.  

Day 677

Friday, November 21, 2014

I was so sluggish this morning at the gym that I could barely hit the ball.  My legs felt heavy like bags of sand.  It was awful.  Even playing doubles, I wasn't able to move.  I hope to rectify this Monday morning.

It takes about 90 minutes to send one query to an agent.  There's so much information on each agent, especially if they keep blogs and tweet.  Knowing how to introduce and position a query takes a lot of time and varies for every agent.  The good news is there are dozens upon dozens of excellent agents for every genre.  I sent another three today.  The process helps keep me on my toes.

I finished "History of the White Race" by Nell Irvin Painter. Very interesting and thought provoking. I'd like to read her other non-fiction works.

Left Oakland at 4:30 and will stay at Alice's over the weekend. 

Day 676

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Worked at Varinsky from 9-2.  Howard brought in some delicious smoked salmon, which I saved and ate with a couple of bagels after work.  I read another chapter of The History of the White Race and edited a chapter in True Colors.  I sent out two queries and read two chapters of a novel about Hitchcock before leaving for San Francisco at 6 p.m. with Lisa, Richard and Rossana for Rodney's art exhibit.  He turns 50 today.  I haven't seen him in a year, so it was great to have the gang together for his show.  We came back at 9:30 and I was in bed by 10.  

Day 675

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I can only imagine how much denial Camille Cosby lives with, having been married to a serial rapist and sociopath like Bill Cosby for over 50 years.  Now that I've severed ties with my own personal fantasy of who Bill Cosby is, I'm finding the unraveling of this story fascinating.  Some people will not be able to distinguish between Bill Cosby the performer from Bill Cosby the actual human being.  They now seem as different as Hannibal the dinner host and Hannibal the cannibal.  It's too painful and shocking to believe, but as I discover with each passing year, nothing is really shocking when human beings are involved.  Nothing. Not a thing.  I can believe the most outrageous, inconceivable accusations when 15+ women come forward revealing the same horrific tale.  That's the kind of circumstantial evidence that I find practically impossible to dispute.  The level of denial and refusal to acknowledge reality in Camp Cosby must be at the breaking point about now.  I hope his soulless lawyers are paid well for their hack statements.  They're just doing their job, I know, but I find myself wanting more of an explanation.  Of course, that will never happen.  We're dealing with an extreme case of predatory manipulation since the 60s.  That's 40 years of addictive, controlling, crazy behavior.  He'll never admit to anything, and in all likelihood, neither will Camille.  His children?  Not while he's alive.  And yet, this is about as large a story (and grand a deception) as the Madoff scandal.  It wasn't just that he overpowered and took advantage of women.  He drugged them.  He did things to young, lifeless bodies.  He's a monster, a real sociopath if there ever was one, and he's gotten away with it for decades.  Not anymore.  The way this is going, he's about to join OJ, Madoff, and Phil Spector as another untouchable with lots of money.

Day 674

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I woke up at 7 this morning and wrote from 8-1, then went to Wendel from 2-6.  I was tired the entire day.  

Day 673

Monday, November 17, 2014

Up at 4:45, practiced an hour, then went home and wrote/read until 3 before going to Wendel until 6.  From 7:45-9:45 I had my finals match against Tyrone at Mariner Square.  T has been playing very well lately and I lost to him in my semi-final match a few weeks ago at Club One, so I wasn’t too confident about this match.  The one thing I had going for me was I tend to play well on the Mariner Square courts.  We had a ref for the match which was necessary because T turns into a crazy competitor when a match counts.  He tends to hinder certain offensive shots without realizing it.  Our match was five games to 11, win by 2.  I took an early lead and managed to win the first game 11-9.  T came back and won games two and three 11-6, 11-1.  In the third game, he was on fire and I couldn’t do much to stop him.  In the fourth game, I came out swinging and jumped to an early lead 5-0.  T came back, but I managed to hold on and take game four 11-9, sending the match to a fifth and final tie-breaker.  I had a 6-0 lead in the last game when T took a timeout.  He was anxious and nervous.  I didn’t want to win the match so much as I didn’t want T to win the match.  I wanted to take it from him.  That’s the sick part of me that rises to the occasion in competition.  He came back 6-4, then 8-7, then I closed it out in the end and beat him 11-7.  It was a sweet victory.  I don’t know how many more of those I have left.  I was wiped out afterward.

Day 672

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Up at 5:30, watched CBS Sunday Morning with Alice, up at 7, then to Irving & 9th for our bagel and tea/coffee.  I downloaded a game on my ipad that I've always loved playing:

I'm glad to see an electronic version of the game; however, I see I've been playing the game wrong all this time!  I thought that once a play controlled the island, the opponent could not place a bridge on that island.  Not true.  Once an island is controlled, an opponent's bridge is removed, but they can still place bridges on that island afterward.  When the game did that the first time, I thought my download wasn't working properly.  I guess it makes for more possibilities this way, but I'm still used to the wrong way.

I may download Pandemic next.

Back home and working/writing/reading the rest of the day.

Day 671

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Played in the State Doubles Tournament in Burlingame and didn't play great, which was fine because I had dinner plans with Alice at 6.  My partner was Ron, who's always fun to play with.  We played three matches and they were all close, even though our opponents had big leads against us in each of the matches.  We lost the first match in a tie-breaker, won the second in a tie-breaker, and lost the third 9-11, 9-11.  I tweaked my back in the second match and couldn't move properly the rest of the day.  I came home at 4:30 and rested for an hour, watching Real Time with Bill Maher with Alice, until we left for dinner at Pacific Catch at 5:30.  It was Alice's friend Cecilia's birthday yesterday, so we celebrated with Cecilia and Jay at Irving, then went to Tart & Tart for dessert.

We came home around 9:30 and went to sleep around 10:30.  

Day 670

Friday, November 14, 2014

I didn't go into the gym today because I'm playing tomorrow.  Instead, I slept in until 7:30, then got ready for work at Varinsky from 9-2.  I revised, answered phones, took care of a few things for Howard, then went home and distributed earthquake storage keys to all the residents in my building. I packed up and left my apt. at 4:30, picked up Alice, went to San Tung for chicken wings, picked up two books at the library, then had dinner, watched Shark Tank with Alice (100th episode) and called it a week.  Gearing up for a very busy week next week.  

Day 669

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Worked at Varinsky from 9-2, the took care of my Covered California health insurance for 2015. Renewals are beginning this Saturday.  I spent a few hours organizing all my notes on Hollywood Hound, which is actually a lot of fun to write.  I love rags-to-riches stories.  It also fun to inject as much current culture as I can into a piece.  It's a crazy world out there, the world that keeps on giving (in terms of ridiculousness and insanity).  Spoke with Chris for an hour and that was fun as always.  He's working on a romance of all things and it's actually very good.  He's about 15k words into it.  He's hoping to complete at 60k words.  I'm encouraging him to keep going.  So far it's excellent!

Day 668

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Up at 4:30, racquetball until 6:30 (sore today because I played last night), then a full day of writing, which felt great.  I spent time putting all my Hollywood Hound notes together in one place and blocked a few scenes that I'll write this week.  Also spent two hours reading The History of White People.  What an amazing and well-researched book!  It's a fascinating expose of white supremacy.  I was supposed to talk with Chris tonight, but we'll catch up tomorrow instead.  I went to bed around 10:30.  It was a good day of writing.  

Day 667

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I spent most of the day reading the books I'm plowing through and revising chapters in True Colors so that it's all ready for to go.  My energy wasn't as on point as I was hoping, but I still managed to get a good eight hours of work in.  I also squeezed in a load of laundry, which seems to go hand-in-hand with writing.  I don't know why, but I like folding clothes and thinking about the next scene to revise.

Had an E-Force demo at the club tonight, so I was there from 6-9.  I came home and watched a couple of episodes of The Comeback before falling asleep.  The second season is coming back this month after a ten-year hiatus.  My mom liked the show back in 2005, so I'm checking it out now.  It's a good depiction of behind-the-scene shenanigans on TV sitcoms and the delusional self-importance of certain Hollywood types. It's a good show, but I can see why it didn't attract the following it needed.  Lisa Kudrow is very good at the character she plays; however, the character is so unlikable and narcissistic.  I suspect they'll tone down certain elements of her in season 2, though maybe not.  

Day 666

Monday, November 10, 2014

My sister Gwen's 50th birthday today.  Woke up at 4:30 and played racquetball until 6:30.  Steve continues to play well and kick my butt.  What can I do to stop the onslaught?  I need to figure something out and quick!

I'm still thinking of this image:

This is a picture of earth taken in 1990 from the Voyager I space craft when it was 3.7 billion miles away and was on its way out of the Solar System.

As Carl Sagan said when the picture was first published, all of human history is contained in that pale blue dot.  It's stunning to think that we live in a universe in which there are ten times as many stars as there are grains of sand on all the beaches and sea floors on earth.  That's quite a detail to contemplate.  The problem with human life is it's far too short to appreciate how long it takes for the universe to create and move and mix its elements among the heavens.  The information we're learning about our place in the cosmos is allowing us a new genesis story from which we can solve the mysteries of our own creation.  100 years of life isn't nearly enough time to learn what we have yet to discover.  What a privilege it is to exist in the here and now and contemplate our origin from the stars.

The first round of the playoffs at Mariner Square was tonight and I faced an easy and not-so-easy double header.  In the quarters, I played Dennis, an older veteran player who's very accurate with his forehead but not so effective with his backhand.  I beat him 15-4 15-9 and waited for the result of the Ivan/Mike C. match before playing my semi-final match.  Ivan beat Mike in two games so we started playing around 8:15.  I was down 2-9, having missed several return of serves that went into the ground.  Once I settled down and made a few shots, I managed to craw back into the game, tying things at 9-9.  I closed out the first game 15-10, which gave me a big psychological advantage going into game two.  I had a 12-5 lead in the first game, but then I tightened up and let Ivan come back.  It was 14-14 when Ivan missed an easy put away, allowing me the chance to serve an ace, which I did.  On the other side of the bracket, Tyrone ended up beating Carlos in a tie-breaker, so T and I play for the Mariner Square title next Monday.  I have a lot of racquetball this week, so I hope my body holds up.  We'll see.

Day 665

Sunday, November 9, 2014

With Alice working in the city this morning, I stayed home and prepared my True Colors materials today.  I also read, watched a little football, working on my TC synopsis (they're always so hard to write), and jotted down more ideas on new projects I'm kicking around.  The day went quickly.

Day 664

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Alice and I enjoyed our weekend Irving & 9th morning ritual with coffee and Arizmendi treats for an hour or so.  I then dropped her off and went home to Oakland to write for the day and gear up for the Crocker Charity poker tournament Richard hosts each year.  We had some time together in the afternoon to catch up on our lives.  Even though I only live one block away, I don't see Richard & Lisa nearly as much as I'd like. The poker tournament ran from 7-12 with Stewart ending up as the big winner.  The cards were crazy as always with some huge hands getting knocked out.  I was home by 1 and fast asleep by 1:01.  

Day 663

Friday, November 7, 2014

Racquetball at 5, Varinsky at 9-2, then home to build our complex's Earthquake Storage Box underneath the staircase.  This is where we'll hold our earthquake supplies for the building.  I left Oakland at 4:30 and picked up Alice from work.  We went to a Vietnamese place on Noriega for dinner and relaxed the rest of the evening.  

Day 662

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Woke up at 6:30 and went for a short jog around the block to wake up.  Took a shower and started my day at 7:30.  I started reading through True Colors, which I haven't looked at since mid-September.  I don't have a lot of changes for this manuscript, but will reposition a few items that should come in earlier as setup material.  Right now these details are buried in the middle of the novel.

I ran into my neighbor Rex at the Starbuck's down the street while editing a few chapters.  We had a great conversation about writing, comedians and how the hard part starts once the manuscript's finished.  I was probably told that many years ago, but didn't believe it.  Now I do.

In the afternoon, I talked with my racquetball partner Dorian on the phone for about 90.  We've had the most amazing conversations about race, white male privilege, and the system.  Dorian feels the race issues have gotten much worse lately and it certainly feels that way.  It's as if there is no healthy means to engage in conversation the way Dorian and I can with such ease and trust.  It's a gift we have that goes beyond our natural chemistry as partners in the racquetball court.  We're brothers.  It's sweet.  I asked him to put a dollar amount on what he felt was the cost of white male privilege over the course of an 80-year life.  I wanted to hear the number that came up for him.  My number was somewhere in the tens of millions of dollars.  His number was somewhere in the hundreds of millions.  He lost out on a $400 million HUD project in 2010 in Louisiana because of his race, among other things, so that's where he's coming from.

The tentative title of my non-fiction proposal is called "The Emperor Wears No Privilege:  One White Male On Race."  Part memoir, part essay and reflections on the past 20 years of race in this country and how race has impacted my life, I'll share the story of my own white male race awakening that began in the summer of 1996 when I was featured in a PBS documentary on race relations called "Facing Racism."  I was the white male in that show and it transformed how I see myself, this country, and the problems of race, racism and white male privilege that we either confront and acknowledge or deny and reject.  I understand the perspective of the deniers because I used to be like them, walking through life with blinders bolted to my eyes.  I still don't see everything, which is why so many friends who are not white males who help me see what I miss.  The bolts on my eyes are be gone, so I see enough to acknowledge that being a white male in America protects me from having to deal with harassment, racism and obstacles on a daily basis.  It doesn't mean my life is perfect and I've been given a free ride, but there's so much nonsense out there that does not affect me at all, simply because I'm a white male.  Acknowledging this, sharing my experience and using the tools I've learned to participate in conversations about race in a healthy, functional manner is what my proposal will be about.  There's so little material about race out there by white males.  Why would there be.  Most white males have no idea how race affects them, and most have no desire to engage in a topic that brings up so much fear and anxiety.  So, so, so much of what we do in this country is governed by fear.

Tonight was the racquetball finals at my club and I enjoyed being a spectator this time while Tyrone and Steve went at it.  The first game was amazing.  Steve was down 2-8, then took a smart timeout.  He rallied back to tie the game at 8, then fell behind again 10-14.  Both guys were playing great, getting everything, hitting the ball low, playing smart and executing well.  Steve dug deep and tied the game at 14, then got the winning point to take the first game 15-14.  Steve then went on a tear and scored 15 unanswered points, taking the second game and the match 15-0.  All Tyrone could do was shake his head.  I told T after the match, "Welcome to my world."  Steve's being playing so well lately.  I'm going to have to come up with a new racquetball formula to take this guy next season.  

Day 661

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Up at 4:30, racquetball until 6:30.

I spent the day creating a list of agents to query. makes it much less difficult than it would otherwise be.  From a list of 75 possible agents, I narrowed my agent pool to 40 agents who have lots of children’s lit deals under their belt.  From those, I chose my top 20 to query first.  Once those are out, I’ll query my next 20, then my next, until eventually all 75 are out.  I’m at the point where having an agent isn’t nearly as helpful as having the right agent to get where I want to go.

I’m also putting together a non-fiction proposal and targeting another pool of agents after my fiction queries are out.  I wrote a proposal several years ago, but it wasn't ready.  I think I'm ready now.

I worked until 8:30, then treated myself to a film I hadn’t seen in years, Pulp Fiction.  It holds up so well.  It’s stunning how well the film holds up.  It’s timeless and a true masterpiece.  I remember seeing it at the California in Berkeley with Neil Bason when in came out.  I remember thinking it was a masterpiece then.  What’s interesting is in the special previews when actors are talking about the movie on set between takes, they knew even then that the film was special and brilliant.

Today was the first day in ages where I was home all day, free to do my thing.  I love days like today.  I wish I had more of them.

Day 660

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

I spent the morning filling in my absentee ballot and turned it in before work.  I was at Varinsky from 9-2, then used my afternoon researching agents.  I talked with Chris in the evening for an hour.  I went to be early, before 10.  

Day 659

Monday, November 3, 2014

Played racquetball this morning, then worked at Varinsky from 9-3.  I spent some time on querytracker looking over my options and the various literary agencies that might be a good fit for me.  I found roughly 120 agencies that represent children's lit.  Now that I have a list of agencies, I'll rank them in order from top to bottom, then choose one agent to query from each house.  This will take a couple of weeks but the time spent organizing my process will be worth it.  I'm still a bit shaken by the events of last week, but understand they were inevitable.  

Day 658

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Read at Alice's and returned to the library down the street, checking out four more books:

Seahawks won and my fantasy team is looking strong after last week's shellacking.

Day 657

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Spent the day at Alice's, reading, studying, formulating my ideas on a non-fiction proposal on white male privilege, and hitting the library in search of new children's books to read.  I found three that look interesting:

Started Hitch, which is set in San Fran in the 50s at the Fairmont Hotel and involves a murder between an 11-year-old boy and the master director himself.  Read the first paragraph of Kinda Like Brothers and knew it would be good.  Scandalous also sounds very interesting.  Too much to read and too little time to read it.

Day 656

Friday, October 31, 2014

For the past 20 years, I've spent Halloween with Richard and Lisa at their house on Erie Street. While I've grown complacent about the tradition, Richard delivers bangout brilliant stories, sets and magnificent special effects with a commitment to scaring little kiddies that is truly extraordinary. This Year's Pirate Jacque LaFeet from the gator-bait swamps of the Bayou was a  particularly successful skit, which is amazing considering how little rehearsal we had.

Halloween Cast 2014 - Gator Bait in the Bayou

The Talent - Actors in Halloween 2014 Skit

Where'd my legs run off to?

Post-Performance Party, Halloween 2014

Day 655

Thursday, October 30, 2014

I saw my guru Phil Ziegler this morning to help me deal with a major change in my life.  I let go of my agent of 15 months this week and it was gut-wrenching.  I'd made up my mind Sunday, but when I expressed my unhappiness and frustration on Tuesday, my feelings were met with shock, anger, disappointment and defensiveness.  In retrospect, I can understand how my decision came out of the blue, but that was part of the problem and why Sharon's agency wasn't the right agency for me.  She'd taken on a large contract job in NYC that had nothing to do with being an agent.  That meant her time with writers was limited.  As a result, the quick, timely response to emails was gone, as was the energy and sense of urgency with projects.  It has been a noticeable change since last spring, but I stuck with it because I like Sharon and wanted to land a sale with her.  She has a partner named Ella Marie who runs the agency fulltime and had worked with me on my present manuscript.  She's a great editor-agent who has good instincts and offered me a laundry list of ideas and suggestions, which I adopted into the revision that I turned in six weeks ago.  I was told I'd hear back within a week; however, I never heard anything.  When I sent a nudge email two weeks later, Sharon responded instead of Ella Marie, telling me my manuscript would be reviewed by an editor who was teaching a class Sharon was taking.  I said that was fine, but still requested Ella Marie's feedback.  Sharon said she wanted the editor's feedback first, so I never heard from the one person who had suggested all the changes in the first place.  That bothered the crap out of me.  Another few weeks went by without hearing anything, so I emailed Sharon again last Friday, to which she said the editor/teacher was super busy and had no time to read the manuscript (no surprise there...why on earth would a professional editor read a manuscript for free that wasn't even ready, from an actual agent representing an actual client...the whole thing made no sense at all), so instead, she sent me his lecture notes and asked that I consider each element of my story and write down how I succeeded or failed in delivering each element in my revision.  Suddenly, I was back in college taking a course on how to write a story well.  Needless to say, it was time to move on, which I did, but man, it has really been an emotional roller coaster.  Phil is a master at helping me work through my issues (guilt, insecurity, shame, etc.) and moving on to the next stage of my writing life.  It only took one session to get back in the game and recognize what I needed to do to get through this temporary setback.  I'm at a stage where having an agent isn't good enough anymore.  I need to have the right agent for me who understands the children's lit terrain, understands writers, has confidence in his/her instincts and can sustain their occupation fulltime.  I didn't have that, but I will with my next agent.

Day 654

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Game 7 of the 2014 World Series between the Giants and the Royals was the most intense baseball game I've ever watched.  I didn't think anything would out do what happened back in 2010 when the Giants beat the Phillies in the National League Championship with Brian Wilson pitching that final strike out to end the series, but tonight, was I saw was some of the most amazing athleticism, defense, pitching and nervewracking nailbiting nonstop out-of-my-skin intensity I've ever experienced.  I watched the game alone in my living room.  I was about to invite neighbors over around the 5th inning, but decided instead to experience the drama myself.  I wanted to see if Bumgarner was going to go all the way to the end of the game without allowing a run.  He did it and I feel lucky to have been on earth to witness such an historical baseball moment live while it was happening.  It was truly one of the most epic games I've ever watched.  This team is unbelievable!  Panda is unbelievable!  Hunter Pence is unbelievable!  What a team and what a World Series!

Day 653

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Today was an impossibly difficult and painful day.  It's one of those days that I will reflect upon with inevitable dread as a lose-lose situation that can only be resolved by overturning the apple cart and hoping for the best.  The details are too raw to write down here, but perhaps in a day or two I'll lay out the details of what happened.  

Day 652

Monday, October 27, 2014

I did not get much done today.  I worked at Wendel in the afternoon, then came home and didn't do much of anything.  I spoke with Chris earlier in the day to get his perspective on an issue that has come up for me involving my agent.  His perspective was helpful.  More on this later.  I went to Mariner Square tonight to play my league games, but I could barely hit the ball.  I lost two games and almost lost two more. Racquetball is such a psychological game and when you're down, you're game's totally off.

Day 651

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Alice's birthday today.  We went to La Boulange for breakfast with Austin, then went to dinner with Cecilia and Jay at a place they chose.  I did some reading during the afternoon but not much else.  It was really Alice's day and we just hung out at the house after breakfast.  

Day 650

Saturday, October 25, 2014

We spent the afternoon at Elaine and Wayman's in Los Altos in celebration of Alice's birthday, which is tomorrow.  Nathan and I played a really great game that I actually bought for Neal and his family last year:

I must own this game.  I've never played a game in which the players team up and play against the game itself.  I love it.  There are so many different variables at play that it makes playing this game lots of fun.  I think Alice and I would have fun with it.

After the barbecue, we drove home and relaxed the rest of the evening.