Words, Weights, Whatever

Sunday, November 17, 2002

Tuesday, November 5, 2002

Time’s 16:06:11.

Will warm up until 1630 to 1645.

At the coffeeshop.

What shall I write about today for my warmup exercise?

I originally scheduled to write today around 1400 but became sidetracked by going to vote, picking up my asthma medicine, and napping. And plans for today including not only working on my novel, but to work out and go back into work for my split shift.

The latter will be fairly busy tonight. Also, I’ll be starting late. I could, theoretically, go in as late as 2300 since the first activation won’t be until midnight.

But I will be going in at 2100 as planned. I always have plenty of work before activations.

Time is 16:13:51.

I cannot believe I am having problems writing. My brain is not revving. And I have been reading fiction books, too.

Time for a little “pep” talk. Specially, Joel Saltzman’s “If You Can Talk, You Can Write”.

Back. Revitalized and rejuvenated. AND listening to the Backstreet Boys’ CD, “The Hits - Chapter One”.

(NOTE: Interesting. Even at this moderately low volume I cannot hear the “tapping” of the keys on the laptop keyboard. I think it is because of the music.)

Shall I start writing on my WIP? Time’s 16:32:18. I think I’ll continue to warm up for another fifteen minutes. Change goal to a page for this session. (Current decision is to work out down at the Lake Forest gym tonight. I’m still debating about my choice, though.)

Time’s 17:11:48.

Writing went well. While I wrote only 70 words of new material, I inserted over a page of new material from previously written stuff, totally two new pages forward in my novel. I’m pleased.

Thursday, November 7, 2002

Time’s 16:16:38.

At the coffeeshop.

Will start writing at 1645.

I’ve learned I usually can’t write more than 45 to an hour at this point in my writing career. I’m going to change that using a technique first suggested to me in If You Can Talk, You Can Write by Joel Saltzman.

At every writing session, I’m going to increase the time between one to five minutes. Thus, I will write today for 55 minutes, stopping at 1735. I will then write in my journal until 1800. Of course, if I get a burst of inspiration after 1735 I will continue until 1800.

At the next write session, I’ll write for 60 minutes (an hour). At the session after that, I’ll write for 65 minutes. And so on. I eventually would like reach three hours per session. That would mean writing between 1500 to 1800 on the weekdays when I’m working a split shift and three hours any time on Saturdays and Sundays.

I love to plan. I have realized that a long time ago. Execution of my plans, though, is a different matter.

Hmmm. Why not apply the same “increase time” technique to my plans? Write a To Do list starting at the beginning of the week. Or have a finite number of To Do items per day. In the next week, increase the number of To Do items by a small amount. Maybe increase by one To Do item every other day.

The following items are my minimum regular To Do items per week:

Plan: Weekends and specifically planned weekdays.
Practice: We spend the weekend together. We’re working on scheduling time together without letting other necessary projects go to the side (which is actually quite easy).

Plan: Write for at least two hours. Sundays, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturdays. Fridays are optional.

Plan: Work out: Varies. Usually three to four times a week and usually during working hours.

Plan: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for a couple of hours each day.

Time’s 16:40:45. Time to prep up to work on my WIP.

Time’s 17:36:47.

Wrote I stopped around 1735. Total new words is 230 but it felt a lot larger since I was editing the previous session’s material to fit the current scene. I am quite pleased: I finally added one of the new hints and ended today’s session at the beginning of another (i.e., Yolan’s actions to ‘capture’ Corvel for Tamdarin.)

I had not written the full 65 minutes as planned. I snacked, for instance, for ten minutes. (This time, though, I had potato chips instead of sweets. I’m learning my lesson on the latter’s effects on me.)

Time’s 17:45:10. Time to close up. Night!

Saturday, November 9, 2002

Time’s 17:44:05.

At the coffeeshop.

Weather’s wet outside. Good. Few people are about as the crowd here (or lack of) attest too. I recognize virtually all of them as regular customers. All students, they are working on their various projects.

Time’s 17:45:24. I’ll start writing in my WIP between 1800 through 1815.

Besides the lack of customers, the music overhead is set at a low volume. Good. Won’t force me to put on my headphones. And they’re currently planning a more “modern” selection. Overall, a pleasant environment.

What shall be my writing exercise today? Planning my week always helps. Here goes:

Saturday (today):
Write for at least a couple of hours. Watch movies. Read at least a chapter before going to bed. Start Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets?

Work out. Most likely cardio. Write for at least a couple of hours. Housework for at least a couple of hours especially in preparation for the upcoming week. Hmmm. Depending on the weather, we may go check out the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum in Buena Park. Read at least a chapter in a book (any book) before going to bed.

Work 0800 - 1800. Work out between 1100 - 1300. Push exercises, working out chest, shoulders, and triceps and topping it off with ab exercises. Housework for at least a couple of hours. Watch movies, etc. for the rest of the evening. Quality time with spouse is numero uno. (Optional: Put in at least an hour into my WIP?)

Split shift at work. Hours are 0800 - 1300; 2100 - (Wednesday) 0200. Write 1430 - 1500 (longer if session is going well or decide what cardio class to attend.) Work out (cardio) at 1800 (Orange gym) or 1830 (Tustin gym) or 1900 (Lake Forest). Decide on Tuesday. Read at least a chapter in a book before going to bed.

Work 0830 - 1630 (due to morning training class). Weight training 1100 - 1300 or later depending on work activities. Work on back, biceps, and abs. Housework for at least a couple of hours, then quality time with spouse. Read at least one chapter in a book before going to sleep.

NOTE: I’m not sure yet if I’m working a split shift this day. Thus, I’ll just list the important activities this day.
Work (regardless if regular hours or split shift).
Work out (cardio). NOTE: this is optional since I may attend a cardi class on Friday. May try a new class. Check schedule at www.ballyfitness.com.
Write for at least a couple of hours.
Read at least one chapter in a book before going to bed.

NOTE: Hours at work will depend on Thursday’s schedule.
Weight training is legs and abs. Cardio class is optional at noon.
Housework for a couple of hours. Quality time with spouse for the rest of the evening. Read at least a chapter in a book.

Time is 18:12:54. Time to prep up to work on my novel.

Time’s 18:24:42. Re-inserted my old scenes into the current WIP. I wrote those scenes for this novel to use them. It’s amazing at the jump in the wordcount.

Time’s 18:53:48.
Wrote exactly one new page (250) words.

I just did a quick calculation. Based on the wordcount 10/10 when I removed extra scenes and notes and the current amount (where I reinserted all the old material) I have written nearly 90 pages.
Wow! Even I’m surprised how much I have written in so little time. That calculates approximately five pages a writing session. Me happy. .

Taking break. Will resume writing at 1915.

Time’s 19:32:50.

Stopping for the night. Wrote 460 words. More than 200 new words. I’ve pleased with tonight’s progress.


Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Time’s 15:56:32.

At the coffeeshop.

After reading Ms Viehl’s blogger (www.starlines.com) last night, I’m sorely tempted to let loose and see how many words I can write within one writing session. And I still am. But it’s warmup time: time to write mindfully in preparation to write my WIP.

Tonight will be a busy night at work. Another split shift. Fortunately it’s this rollout is coming to an end. And just in time. I spent a significant amount of time today answering e-mails for new feature requests. I foresee at least three rollouts to start by year’s end.

Time’s 16:04:36. I’ll start writing on my WIP around 1630.

I’ve discovered that I find it very hard to continue writing after 40 to 45 minutes. I usually write a page or during that time frame. I have to work in increasing that time. I would like to be able to write for a minimum of two hours before switching to the “page per day/week” method.

Let’s start today. Goal is to write for 45 minutes without a significant break. “Break” is defined as anything longer than 5 minutes. Thus, I’ll write from 1630 to 1715. That gives me plenty of time to decide which gym to go tonight to work out. There’s the 1800 step class at the Orange gym; the 1830 step class at the Tustin gym; and the 1900 step class at the Lake Forest gym. If I leave around 1715, I will be able to pick up my contact lens at home then bolt to the earliest class if I desire. Because of the workload tonight, I am strongly inclined to attend the early two classes (and, truth be told, for some variety).

Time’s 16:10:36. Amazing. I have written over 60,000 words in this journal. I’ve only written over 46,000 words in my WIP. Actually, that’s not too bad.

Time’s 17:13:23. Nearly wrote the entire planned schedule. And wrote 678 new words. Yeah! That’s more than two pages (500). I’m pleased. I also completed a chapter. Yeah!

Time to close up for the evening. Next writing session is Thursday. Night!
Wednesday, November 13, 2002
Time’s 21:09:10.

At the coffeeshop.

I’ll start writing on my WIP between 2130 to 2145.

I decided to move the originally scheduled writing day from tomorrow (Thursday) to tonight. Instead, we’ll have “quality” time tomorrow together. Which is good since we received a new DVD in the mail today. We have lots of movies to watch over the week.

Watching movies. TV. The very concept amazes me. But we have found shows that relate to us, well-written, and interesting. The only TV show I consistently watch is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I love the action, the interesting plots, and the fascinating and surprising characters. I have been surprised several times despite the fact I am well read in the comic book, science-fiction, and fantasy genres. I give the show four and three-fourths stars out of five. Most importantly, I am giving serious consideration in purchasing the DVD sets when all the seasons have been released in that format. (I am still giving thought to the mini-series, Frank Herbert’s Dune.)

(Moved from my second favorite position my favorite one in the coffeeshop. The two people finally left. They were, of course, not even using a computer.
Even the table is the correct one. Hmmm. I wonder if the staff didn’t change it since I last came in. Or is someone else moving furniture for similar reasons.)

There are not many people in the coffeeshop. I’m quite pleased but a bit surprised. Wednesday is the middle of the week. I would have thought more people would be in, especially students. Maybe most wait until Thursday night to do their homework which is usually due on Friday. Well, regardless of the reason, I’ve very pleased.

Regarding work in progress (WIP) tonight. I’ll be starting a new chapter. I am debating if I want to expand one of the prior scenes or start a new one. Or can I combine both? I’ll decide when I start the WIP. (A mixed blessing in writing the first draft is figuring out the best approach when starting a new scene. On the positive side, there are so many options. The same can be said as a negative.) And the current WIP is the first draft. I know it will change in second and subsequent ones. I am more focused at the moment on just getting the words down and garnering the writing experience. “Progress, not Perfection” as stated in the how-to-write book, If You Can Talk, You Can Write, by Joel Saltzman who first saw the simple statement on of his friend’s shirts. It’s apparently based from AA precepts.

Time’s 21:30:40. I’ll continue to warm up until 2145.

As previously mentioned in yesterday’s entry, I’m trying to slowly increase my writing time a few minutes per session. Tonight I plan to write for 50 minutes. If I start at 2145, I’ll write non-stop until 2235. During that time, I can only stop to refill my drinks and use the restroom.

Time’s 21:47:57. I’m starting late because I had problems with the scroll feature in WordPerfect™. I finally fixed it by closing the program and opening up the documents. I wonder if opening so many documents (three) caused the problem. Or that one of the documents was in rich text format (RTF). Whatever the cause, searching for the solution cost me time.

Time’s 21:50:31. I’ll write until 2245.

Let’s write!

Time’s 22:48:03.
I wrote over 450 words. Not quite two pages (500) but I’m pleased. I’m surprised how easy it was to start the new chapter, especially since I introduced a new POV. And I wrote notes on where to go during the next writing session. I’ve tentatively schedule Saturday. Maybe I’ll put some time in on Saturday as well. We’ll see.


Saturday, November 16, 2002

Time’s 18:54:01.

At the coffeeshop.

Took me a while to get comfortable. All the outlet spots had been taken: half by people who are using them; half who are not. And there are few people here tonight with most being students. Finally, one of the non-users left after I had situated myself comfortably. I immediately grabbed the spot, shifting the tables, chairs, and couches. Even now I think it looks awkward, but I can write.

Time’s 18:58:21. I’ll start writing my WIP between 1915 - 1930.

While watching VH1, I saw the band, Air Supply, briefly mentioned during the program, The Top 100 Love Songs. I remembered I used to have their top songs compendium. Thus, while we were down at the Irvine Spectrum, I purchased the CD.

I’m listening to the songs right now on my laptop. Much better than the Christmas music blaring in the shop.

Hmmm. I can see I’ll really have to focus on my writing while listening to this CD. The images and emotions invoked are...strong .

What else to write about. As I stated above, there are few people in the coffeeshop tonight. Most are students: I recognized most the regulars. There’s the gentleman who plays video games on his laptop; the foreign student and her Greek to English dictionary; one of the numerous Japanese students. There’s a semi-regular guy whom I once briefly chatted with at the long table with three other students. I think he’s surfing the World Wide Web on his laptop.

One young lady is studying at one of the “couch” corner. I see another one at the other couch corner. An older gentleman who, dressed in shorts like myself, works probably on a work-related project.

Time’s 19:14:43.

Will continue to write until 1930.
I’m planning to stay and work on my WIP until 2100 tonight unless. That’s a good hour and a half. I’m planning to write straight for an hour at least tonight; more if I’m blessed.

NOTE: No samplers tonight. Damn.

Time’s 19:20:16.

What’s the plans for the week? Tomorrow we’re meeting my sisters Jan and Joci and the latter’s family for brunch.
The big activity for the evening is to see the movie, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets at 21:35. I finished the book this morning. Enjoyable, though, in my opinion, not incredibly so.

I have no feature activations scheduled next week. That will be the first time in, I believe, in over a month. Part of me is glad though I do enjoy the more flexible schedule when it’s an activation night and day. But I’ll have to rethink my workout and writing schedules, especially the latter. I’ve usually scheduled writing sessions on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

It’s 19:27:57. I’ll give more thought to planning my schedule later. It’s time to prep up to write. Goal is write until 2030 and get a couple of pages.

Time’s 20:45:35.

Wrote more than an hour. Got more than two pages (535). Yeah! Very pleased. Also know what the next scene will be. The story continues to get written slowly but surely.

“Progress, not Perfection.”

It’s 20:47:57. I spoke with Rick earlier. (He had called me.) We’ll be meeting around 2100. Thus, I’ll write in here until then.

I’m trying to figure out my writing and workout schedules next week since I’m not working any split shifts and I’m finding it very difficult. Maybe looking at the days will help:

Sunday: see above. If I wake up early enough (around 0700), I may try to grab a cardio class down at the Lake Forest gym.
Monday: Chest, abs at 1100.
Tuesday: Write between 1100 - 1300. Back, abs at 1800; cardio at 1900 at Lake Forest. Visit Clark in evening?
Wednesday: Write between 1100 - 1300.
Thursday: Shoulders, bi’s, tri’s at 1100.
Friday: Legs, abs at 1100. Cardio at noon.
Saturday: Write for at least two hours mid-afternoon.

There. The above schedule seems to work. I’ll put it in my PDA and my on-line Blogger (www.blogspot.joela.com?) to remind me. I know I’ll still have to finagle the times for conference calls.

It’s 21:01:03. Night!


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