Sunday, July 30, 2006


Team in Training Winter starts next week. A few teammates from a year ago will be back, giving Honolulu another go. My leg has been sore lately, right around the break. I've backed off running. I was only going out three times a week. Now I think I'll trim that to two until the soreness passes.

I'm almost finished with my second novel outline. I just concentrate on narrative. Chapters must fit on a single, double-spaced page. That forces me to think about "what happens next." Not much room for character growth, but it does help me focus on story.

I've been reading more horror fiction. The book I'm into now has an 80-year-old narrator who reminds you how old he is about every other page. In my own work, I should make a general note not to annoy the reader.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Hot Times

Lots of driving in 100 degree heat. Last Thursday, I headed out to Riverside County to visit my cousin. (About an hour and a half drive.) She has no air conditioning, just a swamp cooler on the roof of her apartment unit. We didn't linger long over family photos. Jump in the car and eat lunch where the air conditioning was mighty.

On Friday, I started to attend Comic-Con in San Diego. Ten years ago, my friend Paul and I drove down there in two hours, did a "Freakazoid panal," and drove back home in about the same time. Due to living in the past, I don't think I was out of Orange County in two hours. I would never arrive in time for the event I was seeking to attend. So that got scrubbed. Saturday morning I met up with TNT alumni for a run. (The coaches perscribed exercises to build up my still-atrophied right leg.) We circled the Rose Bowl at a modest pace and finished drenched in sweat. I felt like I was back in Cambodia.

On Saturday evening, my wife threw a party for her blogger friends. Even in the foothills, temperatures remained over 100. The only cool room in the house was downstairs. So that's where the party lived.

In fact, that's where I live until this heat wave passes.

More book news soon.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Security Guard of the Gods

Hiked up into the foothills this morning. It's been so hot and humid lately I wanted to get an early start. I actually climbed high enough to get rained on: a brief splatter of fat drops. On my way back down, I saw a rainbow. Rounding a switchback, I saw two more, all flowing out of the same huge cloud. As the gold, yellow, and green of the first rainbow faded, I saw a violet band at the bottom.

I was reminded of Norse mythology and the Bifrost Bridge. Made of rainbow, the bridge connected Midgard, the realm of Man, with Asgard, the realm of the gods. Since evil giants could use Bifrost to attack Asgard, the bridge was guarded by Heimdall, the watchman of the gods. I image Heimdall with a large key ring and a half-pint of bourbon in his lunch box. He often calls in sick, particularly on payday weekends.

In any case, quite a colorful sight in the hills above the Jet Propulsion Labs.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Booked Up

Writing up a blizzard. Had to finish a script for my paying gig. Then got notes back from my agent on a Young Adult book outline. She wanted younger protagonists, some peripheral roles expanded, and a set piece scene dropped. Other than that, she loved everything about it. I said I'd take a look at the story with these notes in mind.

I didn't. Stories aren't like Lego toys. You can't snap in a new piece without disrupting the whole. I may need to find another way to market this outline.

Running proceeds slowly. My right leg and ankle are gradually strengthening. No distances longer than three miles. Come August, I'll add a 4 and 5 mile loop. For now, I'm content to inch along.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Back On My Feet

Today's almost three months since I rolled my foot during a 5K. That was the last time I ran until this afternoon. Logged three miles around the Rose Bowl. (Broiling in the late afternoon.) I'd run for a minute, then walk for two. No pain.

My orthopedist said I'm 95 percent healed. In six months, I'll be 99 percent. But that last little bit of new bone filling in will take almost a year.

Despite cross-training the last six weeks, there's soreness in my calves and quads.

But it's good to begin again.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Run Threshold

Met with TNT teammates yesterday for the last official Summer Team workout. A small cadre plan to continue meeting at the Rose Bowl on Saturdays. They aim to train for the Long Beach half-marathon (13.1 miles) in October. Afterwards, they'll rejoin TNT for the Spring 2007 Team's LA Marathon run.

I walked 4 miles yesterday. Felt fine. I'm ready to run again. This coming Wednesday, I meet with the orthopedist. If he clears me, I'll start running again on Thursday.

But I don't think I'll be training for any distance events soon. My plan was to start again in August with TNT Winter and run the Phoenix Marathon in January. But now I'm not sure. It feels like I should start from scratch. First establish a training base, gradually increasing my weekly mileage. That might take two months.

As of now, I'd rather go too slow than too fast.

It beats not going at all.