Words, Weights, Whatever

Friday, June 24, 2005

***TEST 123***

Hello, my name is Talking Tina and I'm going to kill you....

***Tagged by Five***

I was tagged by Synaptic Discharge

5 years ago it was the year 2000 and I was still writing the wrong dates on checks.

5 months ago I was still obsessed with cars.

5 days ago it was Sunday. I was in a coffeeshop, writing.

5 snacks I enjoy include Reese Peanut butter cups, M&Ms, iced cold water, triscuts, and Hershey’s kisses.

5 songs I enjoy include Not a Girl, Not a Woman; Half-Breed; Black Cat; Stronger; and Let’s Get Rocked.

5 things I would do with $100,000,00. Pay off all our debts; pay off any of our families’ debts (mortgages, etc.); put half the remainder in funds; arrange for a world-tour (via cruise ship, of course); and get a hair transplant.

5 locations I'd like to run away to would be: San Diego, Florida, Hawaii, London, and Japan.

5 bad habits I have include procrastination; being short-tempered; too talkative; eating constantly; and being in chatrooms way too long.

5 things I like doing include reading; working out; researching; sleeping; and lots of sex.

5 things I would never wear include a tartan; hats (of any type); gloves (except work out gloves); biker shorts; and a jock strap.

I currently don’t have any 5 TV shows that I like,

5 movies I like(d) include the first three Batman movies; Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan; and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

5 famous people I'd like to meet include Stephen King; Dean Koontz; Dean Cain; Madonna; and Janet Jackson.

5 biggest joys at the moment include The Spouse (duh); my health; knowing the fact I have The Talent; my vision; and that I don’t need Viagra.

I don’t have any 5 favorite toys. (See above not needing Viagra. You figure it out.)

5 people to tag (see right side):

51313 Harbor Street
Icyblog v1.1.0
Life in the Day
Me My Muse and I

Thursday, June 23, 2005

***Do you think I’m a fantasy grrrl***

(Image found on the Internet and all rights belong to its owner.)

I’ve been working on PD for several weeks now. If you’re new to my blog, PD is my latest work-in-progress (WIP): a love story (not romance) set in modern San Diego. My unique twists for this story include the Asian community playing a prominent role (one of the love interest is Asian and roughly half the cast as well); the medical community (The Spouse has to be useful for something else besides being a bedwarmer); and role-playing games (rpgs).

Yes, I am a geek. If you have a prob with that, let’s take this outside…to a Star Trek convention, that is.

The rpg twist will be interjected throughout the novel like its own story. I envision its scenes to be in italics. There will be entire sections that read:

Dailus watched as the dragon retreated to lick its wounds. As the last remnants of its fire vanished within the cave, the warrior finally succumbed to his own injuries. Before falling unconscious, he heard his name cried out and he wondered if it was Marticul who called or the Dark Lady Herself to take him into the Underworld.

“Dailus” would be the alter-ego of one of the main characters in the novel.

My conception is not unique; I’ve read many novels that use similar techniques. However, those stories usually have the gamers transporting into the fantasy worlds of the game. There will be no such elements in PD. The game, instead, will serve as a metaphysical “battleground” where the two main characters clash and, later, reveal themselves in a warped reflection to their real lives.

It’s not strange that I add such a twist to said story. Obviously I used to play rpgs. Of more importance is the fact that I’ve been primarily writing fantasy these past few years. Here’s an opportunity to use such writing into a decidingly non-fantasy work.

Light, brighter than any sun, greeted Dailus. I'm alive, he thought. He realized he was lying down and tried to stand. A hard hand shoved him down.

"Barg's festering feces! Here's one that's still alive!" This time multiple hands grabbed him and the warrior was quickly bound. But he was barely conscious of the thick rope. He recognized the accent of the speaker.


***Marathon and the aftermath***

I want to thank everyone for all their lovely comments in support to yesterday’s endeavor. It heartened this blogger’s feelings every time he uploaded the next hourly post and saw comments on prior ones. Some of the best included bloggers promising to try their own marathon session. For y’all, I give the following words of wisdom:

Tell me so I can follow your efforts.

Be close to a computer.

Tell your editor to FO while you’re writing.

Several folks gave some excellent suggestions for future marathon sessions. One intriguing one would be to truly post what I’m doing at that particular hour: my activities, feelings, opinions, etc.

Other suggestions included increasing the wordcount to 1000 words. To that one, I answer: uh, no.

Whatever I do, I’ll let y’all know. Again, thanks for watching.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

***100 Words (Twelve) Endings and beginnings***

So how do I feel about my first blogging marathon? Not much. No, let me take that back. I’m pleased with it. I set out and accomplished a specific goal. Fate was also kind enough (?) to hurl some significant obstacles: specifically, lots of work in my direction. But I paced myself and did find time to write a minimum of a hundred words every hour over a twelve hour time period. On a sad note, I won’t be able to easily use time as an excuse not to write.

Will I try this exercise again? Most likely. I’m already debating about trying such an exercise this coming weekend, maybe posting between writing sessions on Saturday. I’m also debating about increasing the wordcount to 250 words an hour. Writers will immediately recognize such a goal as a “page” and total twelve pages (minimum).

We’ll see. Now it’s time to get back to writing. Peace.

Words: 159

(Image found on the Internet and all rights belong to its owner.)

***100 Words (Hour Eleven)***

No substance

I reviewed (but not edit) the last ten posts and noted that none of them have anything of substance. No profound thoughts, humorous observation of humanity (lots of fodder with that one!), or even a blow by blow charting of my day. (Dull, trust me.)

But that’s okay. Intent is the most important thing of any post.

Why anyone writes, regardless if it’s for a blog, a journal, a novel, or even a business letter, reveals much about that person. Like the classically cliches about snowflakes and sand, every written piece tells you something about the writer. Next time you read something, “listen” to the cadence of the sentences or even the word choices. Do they use abbreviations? Start with a verb? Are the sentences long with lots of clauses or short ? You’ll soon recognize just how alike the writer’s to your own thoughts, and how different.

One more post to go.

Count: words 158

***100 words (Hour Ten)***

Less restraint

My stint at work is done for the day.

That's the major reason why my posts have been somewhat restrainted. Was always worried if someone was looking over my shoulder or even peering into my cubicle. Also, I know they monitor one's usage of the Internet: I've received, in the past, some talks with my supe.

But I'm out of work right now. Yay! Even better, I'm at the coffeeshop where I normally write. Double yay!.

Unfortunately, I made the mistake of drinking one last cup of coffee after two o'clock. And consuming a candy bar shortly afterwards. I'm currently suffering a major hypoglycemic crash at the moment. I can barely control the trembling in my hands as my body over-produces insulin and plummetting my sugar levels below normal. I did buy a frappuccino. Hopefully the sugar in it will soon balance out my blood sugar levels. Luckily I'm not breaking into sweats.

See you in the next-to-last hour!

Count: words 164

***100 words (Hour Nine)***

It’s the ninth hour already? My god(s), can I make this?

What can I write about? Do I have anything? In the last post, my Muse (hi, y’all!) popped in and saved the day. Well, actually, it was the Editor/Low Self-esteem persona/voice but I still was able to get something out of it. Now I don’t what to write about.

Is it time to pull out the last resort and—gasp!—talk about…other bloggers!

No, no! I shouldn’t! I must resist the temptation to post what I truly, honestly, actually think about their blogs: the design, the contents, and the pics (or lack of).

Whew! Did it. It’s past one hundred words. The secrets are still safe…for now.

Count: words 121

***100 words (Hour Eight)***

Talking with myself, oh-oh…

I want to thank all those who’ve, so far, commented on my 100 words project. Thank you so very much for the encouragement and support. Partially for y’all, I dedicate this next post.

And—of course—I draw a blank.

Okay, Joel. No need to panic. You can write for something. I mean, you have an hour to do so.

Actually, you don’t, Joel. We have all that work stuff to deal with. Damn. Why didn’t you become a successful, full-time, writer when you had the chance when you were twenty-four?

What? Are you crazy? I was just starting out on writing. Heck, I never even considered it (that is, making writing a full-time career) as a goal until The Spouse offered me the opportunity.

Which you wasted….

Well, maybe. But what’d you expect? Here I was, newly graduated from college, a work-alcoholic who had been a “sugar daddy” to a lover and two children and barely out of that relationship, and suddenly I’m in love with someone who tells me, “wanna write full-time?” Even now—more the a decade later—I’m still not fully comfortable with the idea of being a full-time writer. Look at Holly and Sheila and their struggles. They started far earlier than I did, have nearly as much talent, and are better wordsmiths.

But—oops. Time’s up.

Well, that’s what you say. Now where’s that pencil and paper?

Count: words 236

***100 words (Hour Seven)***

Empty conference rooms (cont.)

…I looked around. No, I walked around the maze that was our living quarters nine hours a day. No one, I thought, returning to the conference room. I shut the door and plunged into darkness.

Ugh, I though as I sat in the nearest chair. Where’d they buy these? From a school. The next chair wasn’t much better. As I sat in it, I looked around. My eyes had by then grown accustomed to the darkness. I spotted the one lone executive chair on the other side of the room. Quietly I rolled it against the wall. (Which I needed to keep my head up.) I sat in the chair.

Ah, perfect.

Well, not absolutely perfect. I discovered the back of the chair just high enough so I couldn’t put my head against the wall without nearly bending my neck backwards. An idea struck me. I repositioned the chair sideways and discovered I could rest the side of my head against the wall without developing a crick in my neck.

Ah, I thought as sleep finally overtook me. The room—and, later, another smaller one—would now serve their purposes.

I slept, and would follow this habit every day when everyone was gone.

Count: words 210

***100 words (Hour Six)***

Empty conference rooms.

I don’t remember when I discovered them. I know it was during lunch. My department and the adjacent Marketing department personnel were gone. The workplace, normally so busy you could hear a pin drop, was now like a tomb. I wandered around the various rooms until I peered into what would be the first of two rooms I would used for my…meditation.

Both are conference rooms. Tables and chairs filled them. And their closed doors kept cool air with them. (Unlike where our cubicles were located. Several times I felt I was in sauna.)

And both rooms were dark. Only the dim glow of LCD from one of the high-tech gadgets lit the enveloping darkness.

Perfect, I thought as I slipped in. I closed the door as quietly as I could. Then….

(to be continued….)

Count: words 141

***100 words (Hour Five)***

Oh, my gods (OMGs). I so want to give up on this self-imposed ego…er…challenge right now. I’m too busy at work, I’m hungry, I’m tired, I’m over-sexed and nobody loves me.

Okay. Now that whine’s over, let’s get back to the 100, shall we?

But it is busy at work. And I am hungry. Lunch time’s less than a half-hour away. And I just realized (okay, make it an hour ago) why I’m suddenly feeling the pressure over here: it’s deadline time.

I can’t go into specific details. But suddenly my co-workers and boss are coming out of the woodwork with, well, work that they need me to do. While there’s some virtue for being needed, this is not one of those instances.

Well, gotta go back. See you in the next hour.

Count: words 136

***100 words (Hour Four)***

Ack! I’m running late. Why did it have to get busy at work today?

Work’s the second most common reason many people can’t write. (The first, of course, is writer’s block.) We’re all expected to be putting 100% of our attention, time, mental and physical energies strictly to our assigned tasks at hand.

Hmmm. How much mental and physical effort is there to waiting for the copy machine to make a single copy or set.

I read somewhere that people—at most—devote the maximum of six hours to their jobs during a regular eight-hour day. The rest of the time is spent socializing with one’s co-workers. (Where the real wheeling, dealing, and decision-making is really done.--Joel) Now obviously this is a generalization. Ask my spouse about a typical physician’s workload and you’ll get the answer, “Socialize with co-workers? Break? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!”

Ah, hmmm. Moving on.

Well, today every one suddenly decided to pile work on poor me. Thus this late post. But I did it!

Count: words 169

***100 words (Hour Three)***

Is it possible to come up with a sufficient number of topics to write about per hour? Well, maybe some folks may have trouble but I’m not one of them.

I personally believe everyone is interesting if you dig deep enough. One of my old acquaintances collect thimbles. She told me how her collection resulted in thousands(!) of dollars as she scoured antique shops and, later, ebay, to satisfy her collection.

I know another guy who holds adult parties on a regular basis. While I always found the idea to be interesting (I mean, people engaging in intense ‘public displays of affection’—or PDAs--without clothes and with other folks watching), the guy’s a major Christian church-goer. I later realized I allowed my own prejudice, though, color my view of his lifestyle: apparently you can justify anything if you look long enough at The Book (or text or whatever).

The two examples have stories to tell. No, I don’t think it’s hard to come up with topics. Selecting one, on the other hand, is a different matter entirely. (And don’t forget I have my own stories, too. This blog is about me, ultimately.)

Count: words 196

***100 words (Hour Two)***

Huh. I really haven’t come up with a format for these hourly posts. Shall I go back and edit the prior post and add ‘(Hour One)’ to the title?

Nah. The title doesn’t count anyway.

Huh. Now is that a fair thing to do, not count the title. I mean, they’re words, too. And it won’t be difficult to do. Just high-light them with the rest of my post, select (not click!) Tools…Word Count and—BAM!—two more words.

I’ll give it some thought. I’m still not sure why I didn’t even include the words in the first place.

Now where was I?

The idea of 100 words per hour first came to during last year’s National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. (Check out their site over at www.nanowrimo.org.) I read in one of the forums (like all the participants, I constantly needed reassurance to achieve the goal) that it was possible to complete the wordcount by simply writing sixty-plus words a hour over eight hours. I tried it out a few times during that month and was amazed how easy it was to not only achieve the sixty plus words, but exceed it.

And I just did right now. See you in the next hour!

Count: 208 words

***100 words***

I’m going to try a little experiment today. I’m going to write at least 100 words per hour for the next…hmmm…twelve hours (0700 PST to 1900). That’s—duh!—1200 words which is roughly equivalent to nearly five pages (250 words per page).

Why would I want to do such a thing? Well, I noticed I’ve been neglectful of late to you, my loyal readership. Yes, I can throw in the usual reason: work, family, life, too much sex, etc., (all of which I’ll elaborate in later posts. Well, okay, most I’ll elaborate about in later posts!) But the big reason is…well, yeah, I’ve noticed I’ve been neglectful.

Also I believe I have a lot to share. The Muse has been on BUZZ mode and filling my head with lots of commentary of late. And I, being a gracious bastard, want to share with y’all those comment. (Unlike Haloscan, which is still preventing me from leaving wonderful insights for those who use that system.)

Oops! I’ve gone over my 100 for this post. See you in the next hour!

Count: 181 words

Monday, June 20, 2005

***One word weekend***

Writing’s the word
That you’ve heard
It’s got groove
It’s got meaning

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were dominated by writing sessions. Friday and, especially, Sunday, were extremely productive; I finished two chapters in the former and one in the latter. Already I can see major problems but I’ll deal with them in the second and subsequent draft. I think I’ve learned from the (very common) writer’s tendency to rewrite the same scene(s) over and over again.

Saturday, though, was a quiet disaster. I allowed myself to be distracted by cars. I researched Jaguars (S-type) instead of writing. I barely had time to write in my journal by the time the coffeeshop had closed.

The Spouse (TS) had plenty of paperwork over the weekend. The only “fun” time we really had was going out to lunch on Sunday and watching a DVD together later that evening. Otherwise, it was The Word that dominated our lives.

Sunday, June 19, 2005


Now I'm stronger than yesterday
Now it's nothin' but my way
My loneliness ain't killin' me no more

I, I'm stronger

(Lyrics copyrighted by Britney Spears and all rights belong to her as per U.S. Copyright law.)

It's over.

For the past few months I had not been exactly in the right frame of mind. I've been tired, snappish, uninterested in most aspects of my life, listless, etc., emotions that any sane person would have seen a psych quickly. But being the type of person I am (stubborn) and whom I've chosen to share my life with (a physician), and the fact that there was some semblance of normancy, I continued on, partially hoping the emotions would straighten out and knowing that they would.

I've been through this cycle in the past many times. I don't handle stress effectively, tending to become extreme. I either ignore the stressor(s) or over-react to it (them), rarely allowing myself the perspective to step back and see the middle road. In either case, I make myself miserable and life a living hell for my spouse.

But that's not the topic of this post. Instead, I want to discuss what I got out of this episode.

The cliche , "what doesn't kill me makes me stronger" is appropriate to my returning sanity but with a twist. If you've been following my posts for the past couple of months, you've noticed I've been working out, working on my novels, visiting friends, engaging in what appears to be worthy activities. But that's not the case. My true reason was to distract my inner turmoil by forcing myself to focus on the external world. (Let's see your mind wander when you're bench-pressing a third of your weight or moving to beat and in sync with your cardio instructor/former hip-hop dancer.) And it worked; I can't count how many times I felt refreshed after a writing session/work-out/etc. Unfortunately it never lasted and back I was to chaos.

Second cliche: the mind's a muscle. Apparently, bit by bit, all that activity--specifically, all that focusing--began to put things in perspective. I felt less discomfort, more relaxed, a return to my "normal" pleasant but sometimes witless self. But the feeling of stability continued to elude me until this morning. I couldn't sleep, thoughts pulsing in my head like strobelights. Finally, I clicked on my beside lamp. I looked at the piles on my side of the bed for a book to distract me. For the past couple of week's I had been reading It's Not Funny If I have To explain It. Amusing at a time I wanted such light fair. Unfortunately, like whip cream, it became unsatisfactory very, very quickly. I wanted something more filling.

So I picked up my copy of A House Is Not A Home, one of the numerous books I had picked up in L.A. last weekend. I read the dust jacket, then the first chapter. By the end of the third chapter, I was hooked. By the end of the fourth, I sense my Muse working in my mind, going over scenes of my latest work-in-progress (WIP). (For those who don't know, I've dropped my fantasy novels for a while to concentrate on a love story.)

I was elated. My Muse had been sluggish for the past few weeks despite my writing efforts. But of more importance was the realization that everything was coming together: the home, the finances, writing, fitness, etc., that--while I didn't feel it at the time--everything was moving the direction I aimed it to go.

Yes, I recognize this could be just another "feel-good at the moment" blip. Yes, I may be setting myself up for another session of "moroseness". But I know I'll get out of that, too.

And I'll be stronger.

(Image found on the Internet and all rights belong to its owner.)

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