Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Chemo Buddhas

Last night, several Teammates and I dropped in on the pediatric cancer ward at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. We visited the kids with leukemia and lymphoma. Their floor featured brightly painted walls with murals and fun modular designs; nurses dressed in colorful smocks; face masks in boxes outside some of the rooms.

The kids ranged in age from infants to teens. Some children were sad, others beamed huge smiles, others ignored us, eyes flicking to "Sponge Bob" on the television. Many of the kids had that bloated chemo-Buddha look. Sometimes wisps of hair still curled off the back of their young bald heads. A seventeen-year old girl with a retainer wore a kerchief even in bed. She missed her friends. All had family visiting. We dropped off coloring books and Rice Krispie treats and stayed when welcome and split when not.

I was glad to leave.

These cancers are a terrible burden on the whole family. But money from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has gone to develop drugs like Gleevac that help arrest the disease.

Sometimes I only think about my running injuries and goals, forgetting that I'm raising money to fight blood cancers.

I won't forget this visit.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Ten Miles

Up into the hills. Most of my teammates ran 11 or 12 miles. I did ten. Felt fine; no unusual pains or aches.

Fundraising is a different matter. I'm burned out from back-to-back seasons, plus I've hit up everybody I know. I need a really good idea to raise a lot of money legally.

Ideas? Anyone? Bueller?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Hills Are Alive

with the sound of labored breathing. Hill training began last night as the San Gabriel Valley Team ran a deceptive rise near the Rose Bowl. A gradual grade lulls the runner into feeling too much has been made about strenuous hill repeats. But then you round a curve and the grade rises sharply. The last forty yards have your heart trip-hammering.

Then you walk down to the bottom and start again.

No pain in my foot. Plus I think strength training is paying off as I still had gas at the end.

More animation writing jobs looming all about. Also, I rewrote a section of horror novel "Apple Dan" as a short story and sent it out to fiction contests at Zoetrope, Storyglossia, and the Black Warrior Review. Each offer a cash prize and publication.

And one of them is mine!

Also, Coach Jimmy Freeman finished running 100 miles last Sunday in 26 hours. Amazing what will, determination, tough training, and being 29 will do for you.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

100 Miles

run over mountains in less than 24 hours. Such is the goal of Jimmy Freeman, Team in Training coach and unofficial spokesman for Peete's Coffee. Jimmy is out today in the Angeles National Forest competing in the Angeles Crest 100. If he can stay on track, he'll finish around 5:00 AM somewhere north of the Rose Bowl.

Plus he's making a documentary out of the whole thing called "Above the Clouds."

My best to him on this quest.

Eight Miles is Enough

At least for today as I ran eight miles with the Team. Afterwards we had a barbecue and played various picnic games ala the balloon toss. Quite fun and very different from drinking all night then going bowling.

I'm up for another foreign job. This time a Korean company will send me a story board and I will have to craft a tale out of the artwork. It's so backwards and freaky that I'm intrigued. At least enough to attempt one. I must elevate my feet.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

No 5k for Me

This time by choice. Not feeling up to the 5K this Sunday, so I'm taking a break.

Rewriting proceeds on "Apple Dan." I want to send it out to a couple of contests early next week. Prize money is Okay, but I'd love to get something published this year.

Back to work.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

TNT Hot Six Miles

Because of a UCLA football game our team moved from the Rose Bowl to a park in nearby La CaƱada. Many TNTers had trouble finding parking. As a result, we didn't start running until almost 8:00 AM. Mr. Sun was well risen and the temperature was sultry. We ran on loose dirt over horse trails. Very little shade.

I went 6 miles and felt fine.

Next week is our first training run: a 5K out in Studio City.

I may try and run the whole thing without stopping, just to note my time.

On the brink of 3,000 visits to "Write Enough."

Thanks to all who stop by.

Friday, September 01, 2006

No Monsters or Water Need Apply

My wife asked me about the new direction of my foreign writing gig. I explained that the largest investors wanted to switch the show from a comedy to an action-adventure. Our young protagonists would now be placed in more peril. Target audience for this show is kids 8 - 11 (I think).

But problems have arisen.

The show is computer-generated animation — CGI. The production crew have informed the writing staff that, due to budgetary considerations, they would not generate new characters. In other words the "peril" now required in scripts cannot come from new villains, monsters, people or animals. Also, since water is difficult and time-consuming to render, we've been asked to avoid aquatic scenes. So no storms or floods or drowning in large buckets.

I have attempted one script with geological hazards (not including water or lava), and another with home-made traps. No word back on either.

Of course there is always illness, disease, accidents. However the station that will air the episodes here in the U.S. has expressed discomfort in the past when such elements were introduced — even in broad jest.

No flirting, hand-holding, or longing looks.

The above U.S. station also doesn't approve of sarcasm or name-calling which they consider "inappropriate."

Our choices narrow.

Forced to please a variety of masters, unable to drum up new peril, we may end up scripting dense psychological episodes. Think "Gaslight" for kids. Or "The Seventh Seal." If we're not careful, we could end up with the bleakest children's show ever aired.

Outside Scandinavia.