Monday, December 31, 2007

Weary, Weary Me

For the last 48 hours I've been writing a story to submit to a horror anthology. Right now, New Year's Eve, my darling wife is proofing the last draft. Submission deadline closes at midnight. I wrote from noon to 11:00 last night. Eight o'clock to 1:10 today, went to the gym, then wrote from 4:30 to 10:20. MDW assures me I'm getting the rapid proof that will merely nip the worst grammatical offenders.

This story actually started out as something called Behind the Scenes. But over three weeks, it's changed, changed again and finally become Tyto Alba, the tale of a slacker who pays a price for "going with the flow."

All pressure is self-imposed. I must return to my young adult novel and didn't want this almost-finished story lounging around, up to no good.

And so, as I await changes on my final story for 2007, I say to one and all:

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Predicting Sub 4 Hours at Eugene Marathon


Ice all over the hills yesterday as I ran a pleasant seven miles. Puddles from the recent rain were glazed over and frost covered the foliage. Spring Team in Training slogged along, doing a 20 mile run. I wished them well in passing.

Ha! There! It's done! I've officially signed up for the Eugene Marathon I'm building up base mileage and will begin training in late January. Having overtrained my way to injury last year, I figure to avoid that pitfall and, this May, break four hours.

Wrapping up last-minute Christmas chores. Now I need to send out cards. I've been so buried writing that short story that time has drifted past like a real good metaphor. Last night I hung the lights. I think I overdid it.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Blogged Down

Not many new entries as Christmas arrives on merry feet. This Monday I had breakfast with my agent, the lovely and financially-astute JKR. I learned that animation buyers now want writing samples that consist of original, live-action, sit-com scripts. It makes no sense.
Sit-com writers excel at funny dialogue. Their scripts are little more than a series of character names followed by set-ups and punch-lines. That's what the medium calls for. Animation writers must sling their jokes while rendering a blueprint that artists can board. In any case, I must now create a free, half-hour calling card for a medium in which I have bales of produced material.

As James Donald said at the end of Bridge on the River Kwai:

"Madness!"

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

His Brain's Overloading

Freakazoid! was the most fun I've had writing animation. A DVD of the first season will be released soon. Not that I'll see a cent, but it sure was a blast.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Break

The first five chapters of Dummy Fever percolates in a second-draft stew. Next week I'll tidy it up and start my beta test process. So far I have a book club agreeing to give me feed back. As the story features a 13-year-old protagonist, I'm trying to line up a pair of high-school, freshman English classes. Given my general level of immmaturity, I find it quite easy writing as a teenager.

In the meantime, I'm blasting through a short story called Behind the Scenes. A rewrite of something I started two years ago, Scenes has Hollywood meet Washington, D.C. in a genetic engineering experiment gone wrong. There's nothing like crafting a light-hearted romp about massive fraud, incompetence and bio-engineered monsters to take my mind off holiday stress.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Coach

Me? It looks that way. I've agreed to be an assistant running coach for the San Gabriel Valley Team in Training. I'll find out more about my job this Friday at a meeting for mentors, captains, coaches, and commodores. (I threw in the "commodores." To my knowledge, TNT does not have a naval arm.) Hopefully, I can transmit my enjoyment of the sport to new runners.

I'll tell 'em about the injuries later.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Pearl Harbor: The Real McCoy


"A day of infamy," said President Franklin Roosevelt about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. (On a documentary, a surviving sailor recalled his feelings less poetically: "Holy smokes! Those are Japs! This is the real McCoy!") Reams have been written about what FDR knew and when he knew it. As the United States had broken the Japanese diplomatic code, there was speculation that the president deliberately withheld knowledge of impending attack from the military so as to use the bombing as an excuse to enter World War II.

But we were already fighting German U-boats in the Atlantic. Not to mention that a Japanese mini-sub was sunk inside Pearl Harbor by one of our ships hours before the aerial assault. Mostly we battled a mindset that said, despite two years of war all around us, we'd be just fine.

December 7th changed all that.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Be the Ball, Danny.

Joined TNT folk for their track workout tonight. Coach Katie suggested 200 meter repeats where I just concentrate on form. Odd feeling, running on a track and not keeping time. But that's the sort of workout I'll do for awhile. This year I turned running into a job and resented it. Maybe when it's fun again, I'll check my watch.

So I got that going for me.

Ken Burns Burned in Video

If you like parodies of Ken Burns, this mockumentary is a honey.