Words, Weights, Whatever

Saturday, November 09, 2002

Tuesday, October 15, 2002
Time’s 15:55:12.

At the coffeeshop. Sitting at my second favorite spot even though my favorite one is clear. And my laptop is sitting on a small table instead of the larger one even though one is available. Why? Didn’t want to take time to rearrange everything.

Ahhh. Didn’t want to eat the coffeeshop food for lunch. Thus, got a six-inch sandwich, chips, and a drink at the nearby Subway. Service, as usual, was less than stellar though not slow.

Time’s 15:58:14. Will start to write at 16:15.

Quiet right now. There were large crowds when I arrived but most left by the time I finished my meal. Fortunately the place won’t start to pick up for another half hour or even an hour. And the folks here are either students quietly studying or chatting friends who are only slightly louder.

My sinuses are leaking badly despite the sudafed™. For a moment I thought I was developing a cold since my throat felt sore. But I discussed the issue with Rick who pointed out the soreness was probably caused by my asthma meds. Apparently one of the effects is clearing my sinuses. Explains why I may have some cold-like symptoms but not the major ones (i.e., chills, fatigue).

Hmmm. Thinking about my WIP. Should I go back and rewrite the current scenes to the way I (currently) want or continue to add new material? Ah, these difficult decisions in creating new worlds. It’s hard to be a god .

Time’s 16:07:01. I’ll decide when I start to work on my WIP.

Hrrr. My mind’s blank. Very unusual. Am I tired? I think unfocused is the better word. I’m allowing myself to drift from conversation to conversation around me.

Time’s 16:10:08. Starting in five minutes. I think I’ll just write new material. That is, not go back and try to rewrite previous material. I have two directions in adding new material. One is to add new material to the currently written work. Another is to move the story forward.
Should I try both? Maybe write story-advancing material for the first half, take a break, then flesh out previously written material. Sounds good.

16:15:12. It’s time!

Time’s 17:08:35.
Wrote nearly an hour. 546 new words as I fleshed out chapter one. That’s more than two pages (500 words). I’m quite pleased.

Debating if I should continue. Depends if I want to grab another nap or work out before I go to work today. My workout today is a cardio class. If I decide to do a class, do I want to attend the 18:30 cardio class at the Tustin gym or the 19:00 class down at Lake Forest?

Decisions, decisions.

Time’s 17:26:00. I think I’ll attend the 19:00 class down at the Lake Forest gym. I like that gym. And I won’t do any more work tonight on my novel. Two new pages is good (though I’m still not finished with the chapter.)

Friday, October 18, 2002
Time’s 21:14:41.

At the coffeeshop.
Lots of kids here. I am quite surprised. The reason is the football game being played at the school stadium across the street. I fear the audience will come over here once the games over.

The kids continue to come in while none of the current groups have left. The crowd waiting is so large at the counter that I have yet to go there to order a drink. I will wait. Damn. I should not have skipped coming Thursday afternoon while school was still in session. The best times to be here and to write are during the afternoon. It’s one of the advantages of my split shift schedule during the weekday.

People continue to come in. I feel sorry for the staff. Fortunately I don’t feel hungry or significantly thirsty and can wait until this latest wave dissipates.

Time’s 21:24:22. I’ll probably start to write my WIP at 21:45. That will give me more than two hours of writing.

And I feel I’m going to need it. Last night’s and this morning’s shift was rough. And not because of the late hour. No more Thursday night workouts–specifically, cardio–until the rollouts at work slow down.

I barely made it in time. I see several groups waiting for chairs. And people continue to enter. The “third” wave now waits at the counter. I’ll continue to wait and warm up and flex my writing muscles.


The numbers have diminished at the counter. Time to order my drink. Be right back.


Purchased a vente iced soy chai and maple oat nut scone.

Time’s 21:39:08. Will start to write in six minutes.

The game’s over. Not that many people have come in. I’m pleased.

Time’s 21:40:43. Less than five minutes before I start to write and I don’t feel like writing.

This happens virtually every time I am preparing to write. I know part of it is my diet. But I believe much of it is mental. I know I am not as focused as I should be. That works in my favor sometimes: I don’t block (as in writer’s block) very easily. But not being focused means my scenes are not as tight as they could be. That will make the rewrite that much harder.

Another situation (I thought of writing “problem” but it doesn’t fit the definition) is deciding if I’ll work on continuing the last scene or going back and expanding previous material.

21:44:41. Yikes! Time to start writing.


Grrr. Stupid WordPerfect will not open my journal. This has happened in the past. I wonder if WordPerfect, which is supposed to be very good at long, large, documents, is having problems with the RTF format.

Ah, ha! Fixed the problem for right now. Don’t know how. I just opened the document in Wordpad, wrote the above paragraph, and saved it. I then tried WordPerfect again and it opened it.

Sigh. Computers are so strange.

Time’s 22:54:56. Wrote over two pages (560 words) in an hour. Quite pleased. New material for chapter one. I know I’m approaching the ending, though, but don’t know if I’ll finish the chapter tonight.

Time’s 22:56:55. I’ll resume writing between 23:00 - 23:15.

Time’s 23:45:00. Completed chapter one. Yeah!
The word count shrunk. That’s because I removed an old scene which was roughly a page in size. Maybe I should have left it but I felt the scene was taking up space.

But I’m happy with the material. I plan next to go back to chapter two and flesh out the scene. There’s so much I can add to it that’s relevant: interesting pieces of background, knowledge, etc. that’s would flesh out that this is a unique world. Writing a novel–feeling like a deity at that moment of creation–there’s nothing really like.

My official writing days this week were Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. I skipped Sunday and Thursday and wrote on Tuesday. Tomorrow (Saturday) is an official writing day.

I am tentatively planning to write on Sunday. Probably in the morning before all the kids come in to study. I’m giving serious thought of writing regularly Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Those seem to have the best available times to write. Goal is a minimum of ten pages (2500 words) a week. That’s barely over a page a day if I wrote every day.

Time’s 23:56:50. One of the staff announced the coffeeshop is closing. Time to start shutting down.

Saturday, October 19, 2002

Time’s 21:35:00.

At the coffeeshop.

Will be writing at 22:00.

Watched the movie, Waterboys. Filmed in Japan. Wonderful movie.

Woke early today (for us, that is.) Finally left the house around 13:00. Lunch at The Block. Wolfgang Pucks, of course. Walked around and spent a fair amount of time in the stores. I drove us out to B & N off Main Street in Tustin to find a certain book. We didn’t find it but got several firsts of the novel, The Thief Lord. Slated as (another) possible successor to the “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer Stone” phenomenon. The author is currently doing a book tour.

Not many customers tonight. Good. Unusually, the large table is being used by students. Everyone else are friends out for the night.

Time’s 21:44:37. I don’t know what to say at the moment. I’ve better start a timed writing exercise. Start at 21:45.

21:45:12. I’m twelve seconds into the timed exercise. Instead of writing for fifteen minutes, I’ll write for ten minutes. Little steps when beginning any project. And it has been a while since I’ve done such an exercise.

Hmmm. What else to write about. Time’s 21:46:14. Four more–I mean, nine minutes–to go. I already wrote there are not a lot of customers here tonight. Unlike yesterday, which continued to come in waves. Many were from the football game that was being played at the stadium across the street. Kids who were bored with the game. Their presence made the shop very noisy, very rambunous (?).

Hmmm. I don’t know how to spell that word. And I used too. Sad, eh? I really need to purchase a good dictionary program. I wonder if there’s one that will synchronize with WordPerfect™. Maybe I’ll ask on that webpage on www.corel.com. Hmmm.
Ah! Time’s 21:50:14. Wrote my ten minutes. That was not as difficult as I thought.

I’ll continue writing in this journal as I warm up. The time’s 21:52:33.

I am getting interested in working out again. I’ve set up the tentative schedule for next week:

Sunday (tomorrow): Rest or cardio(?). (NOTE: Put in a couple of hours of writing.)

Monday: weight training: chest, shoulders, triceps, abs (using weights)

Tuesday: cardio. Probably at the Tustin gym. The 18:30 step aerobics class. (NOTE: I’m most likely working split shift. Thus, I’ll be writing from 15:00 to 18:00.)

Wednesday: back, biceps, abs (using weights)

Thursday: REST. Because I’m working a split shift, I don’t want to exhaust myself before going to work. And, obviously, I’ll be writing from 15:00 to 18:00.

Friday: Legs, abs (using weights or high reps). Cardio at noon.

Saturday: REST.

Oops! It’s 21:59:16. Time to work on my novel.

Time’s 22:53:28.

Slow start for me tonight. But after an hour I wrote 353 words. That’s more than a page (250). I’m very pleased.

I’ll resume writing between 23:00 to 23:15. Gonna take a short break.

Back. It’s 23:09:18. I’ll continue on my WIP in six minutes.

Hmmm. What to write about in my journal. Time for another timed writing exercise? Nah. Just write my thoughts.

Numbers have dwindled in the shop. Good. A couple of new people have come and but the place is definitely more quiet.

Time’s 23:25:44.

Gonna stop here. Night!

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Time’s 16:28:56.

At the coffeeshop.

I’m sitting at a table near my favorite spot. Two others are already at the optimal place. If they don’t move when the battery level of my laptop drops below fifty percent and there’s still no one at the big table (and it’s before 1800), I’ll move to the table and plug in my laptop to the outlet.

Time’s 16:32:27. Because I arrived so late, I’ll start writing at 1645. I think I’m sufficiently warmed up to start work on my WIP with that limited amount of writing time.

I can’t believe it. My mind is currently blank. Why does this happen before I start to write? It happens almost every time.

Ah! I know. I have not been reading my fiction books lately. Instead, I’ve been concentrating on my comic books and my role-playing game supplements. The former just provides dialogue and the latter is non-fiction.

Ugh. I’m sore from yesterday’s weight-training. Even though I’ve severely reduced the weight, I cut the rest time between sets as well. My chest and triceps are sore; my right tricep is affected enough to impact my movements. My shoulders are fine, though. I’ll need to concentrate on them next week by increasing the weight.

One of my goals this week is to write on all my writing days and to perform all my scheduled workouts at 100%. Because of tomorrow’s afternoon activity at work (“team building”), I’ll have to give careful on when to work out. Probably in the evening after the event.

Time’s 16:40:53. I want to get at least a page today.

Time’s 17:23:00.

Hmmm. Had some difficulty starting but I eventually broke through it. 295 words; more than a page (250).

Taking a short break. I moved: from my original tiny table, then to the main table. I had planned to move to my second favorite spot but someone got there first. At least she had a laptop. I then changed directions and started to install myself at the large table when those two customers moved from my favorite spot to the couches behind me. Grrr. I decided to stay at the table.

I’m debating if I want to go to the Lake Forest gym and attend the 1900 cardio class or the Tustin gym and its 1830 class. If I attend the former, I can write until 1820. Also, I like the crowd down there more than the Tustin gym.
But I like the instructor’s music at the Tustin gym. And the class is earlier. And it’s been a while. Also, since I have a lot of work tonight, I can get to work faster. I can also get news on the upcoming Sunday class at the Lake Forest gym.
Ah, decisions.

Time’s 17:29:12. Back to writing.


Back. Over a page (347). Nearly a page and a half (375). Wrote some words on the upcoming flashback.

I need to go through my earlier writings and transfer them to this laptop. There are a couple of great scenes I can insert virtually intact into the WIP. My wordcount would increase greatly as well. Hey, I wrote the stuff .

Time’s 17:45:28. I’ll be leaving for the gym shortly. As can be determined by such news, I’ve decided to go to the Tustin gym for the reasons given in the entry above.

Oh! Before I forget, there’s a customer in here who’s been playing video games on his laptop. Noticed him over the weekend. Why is he newsworthy, especially since many folks play such games all the time? He’s using a gaming console(?) instead of the keyboard. THAT’s unusually in such a public place.

Time’s 17:48:17. Time to start closing up.

Thursday, October 24, 2002
Time’s 16:51:17.

At the coffeeshop.

I arrived later than expected. Surprisingly, there’s very few people here. I expected more. Not counting myself or the staff, there are currently six customers present. I see one table–one of the large ones–covered with the school equipment of three students.

Jazz music horns loudly from the corner squeakers. Three students across the room listen to one of their own laugh on her cell phone. A new customer waits patiently; she replaced one who just left.

My arms–specifically, my triceps–still ache. Especially the right one. It aches enough that I can barely bend it to put on my eyeglasses.

Oh! One of the three women is going over the student table and picking up her belongings. I think the customers barely outnumber the three staff members currently working.

It’s 16:58:05. I’ll start to write at 17:00.

It’s 17:49:01.
I’ve written over 45 minutes and have not written a full page (250). Word count at this time is 234. I am having problems with the scene. I think I should have taken more time to warm up. The current scene reads more like a halting journal entry than a story.

Hmmm. I wonder if it is because I’m listening to music. Currently Backstreet Boys. But I’ve never had such a problem in the past. I don’t think it is.

Reading. That’s it. I have not opened up a fiction book for more than a week. And those comic books don’t count. (See earlier entries.)

Ah, hah! The problem has been solved.

Ending for the day. I hate writing without “fuel”. It’s a waste of time.

Hmmm. Should I work on some other projects? YES. Some world-building!

Saturday, October 26, 2002
Time’s 21:32:03.

I am feeling very irritated. From the girl who wouldn’t move aside as I left my car to go into the coffeeshop to the server who seemed confused by our drink order, I’m still not fully settled down internally. And several students have taken my favorite spots (though at one of them has the courtesy to be using the outlet near her.)

I’m usually rested after a nap. Is it my sinuses? The weather? I am feeling more sensitive than usual of people’s presence.

Time’s 21:38:03. I shall start writing on my WIP around 22:00. I hope to get at least a page tonight.

To warm up, I’ll plan out my schedule next week. Maybe such work will also calm me down as well:

Sunday (tomorrow):
Work out (cardio) at 0900 at the Irvine gym. Other plans include going out for breakfast, seeing a historical site, and housework to prep up for Monday. Even some possible food shopping.
Oh! Change the clocks because of daylight savings.

Work 0800-1800. Work out from 1100-1300 (new workout program). Housework in the evening (1930-2100).

Work split shift: 0800-1400; 2100-(Wednesday) 0200. Write 1500-1800. Cardio at 1900 down at the Lake Forest gym. (NOTE: Notify them of Mark taking over the Sunday 0815 cardio class starting November 3rd.)

Work 1000-1800. Work out either 1100-1300 or 1300-1500. See Monday for schedule. Evening reserved for “snuggling” time (i.e., dinner out, movies together, etc.) or housework from 1930 to 2100.

Work 0800-1300; 2100-(Friday) 0200. Write 1500-1700. Need to get home to pass out candy. Nap before going in to work.
Work 1000-1800. Work out 1100 (legs); cardio 1200. Relax and light housework from 1930-2100. Writing from 2130 to 0000 is optional.

“Couple time.” Possible see a historical site, visit San Diego, etc. Write for at least two hours. Time is TBD. Develop next week’s schedule.

It’s 21:59:45. Time to write!


NOTE: Change in my writing goals. Instead of writing every other day, my new goal is to write ten pages a week.

I’m not having luck with my writing tonight. I know part of the problem is the fact I have not read any fiction works for more than a week. Not even a page. Instead I have been reading my comic books and role-playing game supplements. These do not provide the right “fuel” for my writing efforts.

I brainstormed with Rick a few days ago on the magic system for my novel. I have not yet written it down or actually reviewed my notes for quite some time. I will do so tonight. The change in focus may help my writing efforts. Events willing, I will resume writing my WIP tomorrow.

Time’s 23:11:51.
Wrote up the details of the magic system in my WIP. Got a cool way to show that the MC is not what he seems (even to himself!). I’m very pleased.

Now to pull up my outline. It has been a while.

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

Time’s 15:53:45.

At the coffeeshop.

I am debating if I want to work on background material this week, the outline, or write the WIP itself. While I know planning is important, I’ve learned that I discover new things about my story when I write it which loop me back to rewrite previously written material. The current WIP bears little resemblance to my original concept months ago.

How about a compromise? I will work on the outline first, then on the WIP.

Oh! Goal this week is ten new pages on my WIP. And I’ve currently scheduled three days devoted to writing (i.e., Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.)

Shall I allocate an extra day? Friday, perhaps? More time on Saturday? Hmm. I’ll see how far I go today.

Time is 16:00:05. I will start work between 1615 through 1630.

While we were cleaning yesterday, Rick found the book, If You Can Talk, You Can Write. The author is Joel Saltzman. It’s my favorite “how to write” book. I had even purchased a second copy when I couldn’t find the first one. I believe, from the condition of this book, I have the first one.

I restarted to read a few chapters last night and found my writing “muscles” re-energized. Like most writers, I find it difficult to maintain enthusiasm for the current project; it’s so easy to start work on another project. And it’s my talent to come up with new ideas.


Worked on my new outline (Outline II.rtf.) Very, very pleased of where it is going. Again, by reading fiction (e.g., Wheel of the Infinite, the Bone Doll Twin’s, Hazard’s Price), I have refueled my writing muscles. And Saltzman’s If You Can Talk, You Can Write, has buttressed my enthusiasm.

I won’t be able to make my ten page per week quota this week. But I’ll be better prepared.


Thursday, October 31, 2002

Time’s 13:35:09. At the coffeeshop.

Will start work on my WIP between 1400 through 1415. Since today is Halloween, I’ll work until 1600. Haven’t yet decided if I want to work out (cardio) tonight or stay home and rest before going back to work for activations.

Shall I write in my WIP today or work on the outline? I’m constantly torn between these two questions. I’m constantly reminded of the importance of planning but also remember that the very act of writing brings unanticipated ideas and new elements that can impact everything.

Time’s 13:45:59.

Coffeeshop’s noisy despite there are few customers. Right now the temperature is pleasantly warm: not too hot, not too cool. 73 degrees Farenheight? Can’t really tell.

Listening to the Backstreet Boys’ (BSB) The Hits - Chapter One at a volume loud enough to drown out all but the loudest people. I can’t even hear the click on the laptop keyboard as I type these entries.

Because of the volume setting and the presence of lyrics, I sense myself focusing my thoughts as I write this entry. I noted several times where I found myself “with” the words. I had forgotten I was listening to a bunch of kids singing very, very, loudly.



Read a chapter in If You Can Talk, You Can Write, by Joel Saltzman. Discussed “tinkering” with one’s first (or more!) draft. Good chapter.

Time’s 14:00:59. Time to write!


Cleaned up my WIP and started to go through the surviving chapters as I added and expanded them. Will take a short break then resume at 1500.

Saturday, November 2, 2002

Time’s 22:25:24.

At the coffeeshop.

Woke late today. Before noon. Surfed the Internet for a couple of hours looking for interesting DVDs. Grabbed lunch around 1300.

Afterwards we drove down to the Irvine Spectrum. Saw the movie, the Santa Clause 2. Overall, a fun movie.

Ate leftovers at home while watching the anime, Mirage of Blaze. Definitely enjoying that one. Great source of ideas. I enjoy the distinctly different source material (i.e., Asian myths versus European ones.)

I was debating about coming out to write tonight. I’m finding it increasingly easy not to write, especially with my current schedule. I thus forced myself to do so.

Time’s 22:30:23. I’ll return to my outline in approximately 15 minutes. If I have time (and, more importantly, the inclination), I’ll open up my WIP and do some work on it as well.

Time’s 22:32:50. What shall I write about now?

Next schedule is:

Sunday (tomorrow):
Work out (cardio) if I can get up early enough. Want to try out the cardio class down at the Lake Forest gym. Class is, of course, an early one. 0815. Ugh.

The management is out. Work 0830 to 1730. Work out (weights) either at 1100 or 1300. Two hours.
Do housework for at least a couple of hours. If have time, watch either TV (only if I find something really interesting) or DVDs.

The management is out. Work 0800-1300? (split shift due to activations in the evening). Training session between 0830-0930. Write 1500-1700. However, time may change depending if I decide to do any additional weight-training before a cardio class and which class I plan to attend. Three options: 1730 step class at the Orange gym (I can use the spa after since it’s guys’ night); 1830 class at the Tustin gym; or the 1900 class at the Lake Forest gym. Ah, such hard decisions.

Work 0830-1630 (split shift from the prior night and have to attend a training session in the first hour of the morning). Weight training around 1300 to 1400. (Got all those conference calls in the late morning and early afternoon). Hmmm. May leave even earlier if I skip lunch. Do housework in the evening and watch either TV (hah!) or DVDs

It’s 22:46:33. Time to write!

Time’s 23:35:01.

Wrote 459 new words. Very pleased. Again, that’s more than a page (250).

I’m closing up for the night. Again, it’s one more page forward. I hope to put in some time tomorrow.



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