Saturday, December 30, 2006

Frosty Final Runs Before Phoenix Marathon


Yes, indeed. The Rose Bowl is in a canyon. This canyon is colder than the surrounding hills. Car windshields are frosted over in this canyon.

In other words, practice was stinking cold. Once we left the canyon and ran up into the hills, it was cold there as well. Frost on the grass with a blinding sun in skies swept clear by recent storms.

Last year, my final practice runs were in similar chilly temperatures. Not as cold as today, but brisk nonetheless. Then I went off to steamy Hawaii and broiled out at mile 19. If I ever run Honolulu again, I'm going to practice starting in August wearing double layers of clothes and a plastic-lined jacket with a built-in heater. Then I'll go home and sit before a fire.

Two weeks to Phoenix. I'm excited, fired up, stoked. I wish it were tomorrow.

Then again, I"m glad it's not. I would have to start packing.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Thanks, LMA

A tip of the old barbarian hat to blogger Little Miss Attila for plugging my upcoming marathon.

I'm inching toward my fund-raising goal and every wee bit helps.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas!!



Last 12 Mile Run


The P.F. Chang runners are all that remain from 2006 Winter Team. Because of Christmas, many people weren't at practice. Four or five others were injured and worked out in the pool. The handful that actually ran were folded in with the Spring Team. This was their first 12 miler and our last.

Cold morning but sunny. I ran a new ratio of six minutes running to one minute walking. Coach(es) Kate think I can finish the marathon in 4 hours and 30 minutes. So I ran at a slightly faster pace.

Cesar ran the last 9 miles with me. His knee is healing well and he should be fine in time for Phoenix. Coach Jimmy will be running the marathon also. He hopes to break three hours.

Lots of Christmas stuff to do.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Now We're Cooking!

Finally got my TNT website updated. A new page look was recently introduced that is incompatible with my web browser. And while the website folk couldn't actually fix the problem, the most noble Luis inputted my changes and tweaks.

I'm now ready to close out the Winter 2006/07 season with a thunderous big sound!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Lonely 20 Mile Run

Honolulu veterans stopped by practice yesterday morning to show off their medals. The Honolulu Marathon is a tough race for first-timers, but they all made it across the finish line.

Meanwhile, a small band of Team members prepared to run 20 miles. There were only about a dozen of us on a chilly, wet morning, split up among different pace groups. I ran the first nine miles with teammate Cesar, who was nursing an injury. He turned back so as not to stress his knee. As the rain picked up, I continued on alone into the hills.

Fortunately, I brought along two key items. Item number one was a plastic garbage bag. Not only did it offer rain protection, but the plastic kept me warm. Item number two were Gummy Bears. I ate them around mile 16 when my energy flagged. I finished on marathon pace: a bit under 3 hours and 40 minutes. Within a half-hour, the sky opened up and it really poured. The coaches, aid station mentors, and other runners must've gotten drenched. I thought of them as I turned up the heat in my car.

Twenty is my longest run in over a year.

Now we taper down our mileage as we prepare for P.F. Chang's Rock 'N Roll Marathon in Phoenix. There is a rock band every mile, giving the whole event a festive air. Plus the course is run on flat level streets in 60 degree weather.

A far cry from steamy, volcano-riddled, Honolulu.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant


Yesterday, Melanie Fastrup's memorial service took place. Among songs and remembrances, there was a photo montage that included her picture as a youngster.

The smile of the child never left the adult.

Diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, Melanie spent the last four years on the hard end of life: 15 blood transfusions, spleen removal, chemo, experimental treatments.

Which makes her smile all the more remarkable.

Her life revolved around family, faith and teaching. And even during those last rough years, Melanie still reached out to be of service to others. Now only the glow remains after the light has faded.

Judging from the testimonies and tears, that glow reaches far.

Thanks to Melanie's teaching colleagues who contacted me with stories.

A special salute to TNT Coach Kiley. The memorial service for his father was Saturday night. Yet on Sunday, he showed up to honor Melanie. That's leadership and heart in full measure.

Former TNT Coach Amber and her fiance drove up to Azusa from distant Huntington Beach to support Dan Fastrup and the girls.

And while the Pastor prayed and a soloist sang "How Great Thou Art," my Team in Training comrades struggled in the humidity to finish the Honolulu Marathon, running to fund a cure for the disease that took Melanie Fastrup.


Our lives are raindrop ripples on a vast sea.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

City of Angels Half Marathon

Met two fellow Team mates at the City of Angels Half-Marathon. The start line was near Travel Town in Griffith Park. Predawn temperatures hovered around 38 degrees. It must've taken me 4 miles to warm up.

Much of the Griffith Park course followed my old running routes. Very nostalgic. Leaving the park, we followed the L.A. River to the Hyperion Bridge, then up into Silver Lake, down Sunset Blvd. to Echo Park, and finally into downtown for the finish. Jerry and Caesar kicked it at the end. I loped in, still basking in my Santa Barbara PR from last month.

I felt tired and stiff most of the run. Still, we all finished in the 2:07 range.

This will be my last race before the marathon in January.

Right now I think I'll nap.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

So Long, Melanie Fastrup


Today Melanie Fastrup lost her battle with lymphoma. She died in the hospital, surrounded by family and friends. Melanie was mom to three girls, a former teacher, and wife of my teammate, Dan Fastrup. She suffered from Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia.

This mouthful of words simply means that lymphoma cells in the bone marrow crowd out normal blood-producing cells. As a result, Melanie needed a lot of blood transfusions. She had one yesterday afternoon and caught a bacterial infection. Dan found her unconscious on the living room floor. At the hospital, all her systems began shutting down. Melanie went on life support. She perished this afternoon.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training was a big deal to Melanie. She participated as a walker with the San Gabriel Valley team. She got Dan off the couch and into running with TNT. And this season, Melanie served as our Honored Teammate. Honored Teammates are leukemia/lymphoma survivors that we salute in spirit whenever we run.

I remember Melanie cheering on TNT at mile 12 of the Santa Barbara Half-Marathon. She had a big smile and word of encouragement for me as I headed to the finish line. In fact, rarely did Melanie not have a big smile. Perhaps it was living under threat of death for so long that gave her a deep inner joy. She used to ask me how my broken foot was mending. This in the midst of bone marrow transplants, blood transfusions, and chemo to the 10th power. Melanie had discarded much of the baggage we think is important and found a peace and a courage that I greatly admired.

Our Coach Katie McCollom sent around a poem by author Raymond Carver. He also fought cancer and this is what he thought shortly before his death.

"Late Fragment"

"And did you get what you wanted
from this life? Even so,
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth."

Melanie passed away beloved by many. She will always be my Honored Teammate.

I run the City of Angels Half-Marathon this Sunday in her memory.

And come January, I will run the Phoenix Marathon for Melanie as well.

And if you could, please click on my Team in Training button and make a donation.

Melanie's fight is finished. But there are other beloved out there who may still be saved.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Southern California Cold


As the years pass, I find it difficult to believe I once unloaded trucks in sub-zero temperatures for the post office. This was back in Chicago during a series of winters so furious that the national media assured us we faced global cooling. A new ice age was a'coming. All the science agreed.

Here in greater Los Angeles, anything below 60 degrees is a sign of global cooling. At track practice last night I would run 880 repeats, then put on my jacket and stretch vigorously until time to go again. (Temperatures were in the 40s, but this is considered Hawaiian-shirt weather for a Midwestern winter.)

Speaking of Hawaiian shirts, my Teammates running the Honolulu Marathon will be feted tomorrow night at a San Gabriel Valley pizza parlor. (A humble but sincere gesture.) They are less than two weeks away from their event. I remember my excitement last year, preparing to go.

Now I've went.

So I'll wear my sea shell chain finishers medal and bask in the ever warmth of friends.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Bay Area T-Day

Up to the San Francisco Bay area for turkey with the in-laws. My wife and I drove up Tuesday and got back Friday. Smooth traffic sailing all the way. We stayed with an aunt-in-law. She listens to NPR 24/7 and has the TV going as well. Electronic voice overdose. I don't think I turned on the car radio all the way home.

Yesterday I ran ten miles with the Team. A light practice turnout with many folk gone for the holidays. I experimented with my marathon pace. Hills made it difficult to maintain even splits. But I managed a respectable average.

Today, my wife cooks a turkey for our private dining pleasure.

Work has pretty much dried up. Nothing in sight for the new year. But I'm grateful to be alive and healthy.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

SB Half Marathon Final Time

Master Time Keeper from Santa Barbara contacted me. A unique series of events involving my chip and a faulty mat led to a two-week delay in recording my finish: 2 hours, 4 minutes and 52 seconds.

I thanked him for his diligence.

K, we are now official.

Ran 18 miles today with the Team. Took an ice bath afterwards. I should be walking around fine tomorrow.

To work now on a script for my overseas client.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Santa Barbarians and Race Results


A final twelve names were added to the finsher's roster for the Santa Barbara Half-Marathon.

I was not among them.

I had fun and got a nice finisher's medal.

Plus a knock in my engine turned out to be a failing water pump. It held up on the two-hour ride home and didn't strand me in some desolate valley on a Saturday afternoon.

But I never officially ran the race.

I have already registered for the inaugeral City of Angels Half-Marathon. The mostly downhill course begins in Griffith Park and ends in downtown Los Angeles, passing the Silver Lake Reservoir and Echo Park lagoon.

Here's hoping for a good, officially recorded, finish time.

And no engine problems.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Happy Anniversary!

Today marks my first year on the web.

3,398 visits.

5, 770 page views.

Many thanks to my fine regulars.

I hope to add sound and video files in the coming year.

Hoo-ray for cyberspace.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A Mere Ten Mile Run

EZ Saturday. We ran a brief ten miles in preparation for the next intense phase of training.

No final results yet from the Santa Barbara half-marathon. But I received the promise of some from the Master Time Smith.

Back writing on my foreign animated show after a two-month hiatus. (It takes a long time for outlines and scripts to be approved as they must pass among different authorities on three continents.) But income will be useful as we just had new gutters installed and are in the midst of exterior painting.

We're broke but looking good.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

SB Half Marathon Time Woes

All the half-marathon chips were tabulated and matched with tags torn off each runner's number bib. The revised final results for the Santa Barbara News Press Half Marathon are in!

Eighteen more runners were added to the official finisher's list.

I wasn't one.

I sent another email to the Santa Barbara Athletic Association's master tabulator. I asked if there wasn't anywhere else he could check for my chip. As the race was my best half-marathon effort, I said I'd really like an official time.

So far, no word back.

Perhaps they're waiting to count the absentee chips.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

SB Half Marathon Photos and Update

No news on my missing stats. How vexing! I paid to enter their race. The least they can do is list my finishing time. Every event where I ran awful, from Pacific Shoreline to the Santa Anita 5K, managed to zip my pathetic results right up onto the web that very day.

Come on, Santa Barbara. Don't let me down.

Thanks to teammate Sharla for the photos. That's me pictured above at mile 6. Below we have the San Gabriel Valley participants in chipper pre-race mode.

Monday, November 06, 2006

K's Run

Re. my last post, I should run for K more often. I set a personal record of 2 hours, three minutes and various seconds for 13.1 miles. The only reason I don't have a more precise finishing time is because I was left off the official results. (I emailed some nice person associated with the race and they're taking care of that.)

A beautiful course that mostly followed the ocean, the race started and ended at Leadbetter Beach near the campus of Santa Barbara City College. I liked that fact that there was a small field of around 1400 half-marathoners. However the residents of Santa Barbara didn't seem 100 percent behind the race. Cars were often lined up, impatiently waiting to slice through the pack and get on with their day. Bicycle riders, especially along the beach, attempted to share the pathway with a horde of runners eager to finish strong. It seemed a collective decision had been made on the part of many to simply pretend there was no race.

But they failed and, if certain motorists were any indication, there was a great wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Meanwhile the racers had a blast. TNT was out in force. Teams from the San Fernando Valley, South Bay, Santa Barbara and my own San Gabriel Valley Team talked and encouraged each other the length of the run. Beginning around mile 6, I played hopscotch with a young TNTer from the San Fernando Valley. We supported each other, one passing the other over the next seven miles. Afterwards we shook hands. (She also posted a good finishing time.) That's part of why I enjoy Team in Training. There's running, then there's the company of runners, then there's the special camaraderie of TNT runners.

Anyway, K, you picked a great race. We did just fine. Here's a photo of the San Gabriel Valley Team from our 10k . ( I'm the gray-haired one in the back.)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Enroute to Santa Barbara Marathon


Off today to Santa Barbara. Tomorrow morning is the SB Half-Marathon. This will be my first half since Pacific Shoreline back in February. (Where I began Injury Fest '06.)

My friend K asked me to run for her. We've known each other almost 30 years and she recently hurt her foot and can't get around. K suffers from a variety of exotic and mundane aliments including allergic reactions to most everything. Nevertheless, one could learn grace under pressure from her as she keeps a clear head and good sense of humor while dealing with health issues that would break many.

K's wide-ranging blog examines a wealth of topics from orchids and zoological dung studies to live-blogging hurricanes.

I will be honored to run for K this Saturday.

Her example inspires me.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Sweet Sixteen

Well, more like an Okay sixteen miles. This is the longest I've run since last October, training for Honolulu. Once again Shannon and I ran together. Pace was erratic because we couldn't start from our usual Rose Bowl spot because of a UCLA football game. Thus, I wasn't sure where the mile markers were. But we managed to do just fine.

Next week, the Santa Barbara half-marathon!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Running Ten Again

Dinged my heel working out, so I didn't run all week. Today we did ten miles. For whatever reason, turnout was rather sparse. I ran with the 11-minute pace group. To be precise, my teammate Shannon and I ran solo most of the way. A beautiful autumn day, mild temperatures, great running weather.

This afternoon, former teammates Nick and PJ tie the knot. They've known each other since grammar school and have decided to travel the rest of the journey together. I wish them the very best.

And so say all of us.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Racing a High School Girl

Bought new, light-weight running shoes for track practice and shorter races. They weigh considerably less than the heavy honkers I wear for long distance and marathons.

This afternoon I was trying them out around the Rose Bowl. I'm running a moderate pace, on my fourth mile, when I pass a teenage girl. I hear her speed up, so I speed up. She keeps pace behind me and speeds up some more. I up the pace ante yet again.

Suddenly other teenage girls start cheering. Apparently they are her teammates. "Come on, Nikki! You can beat him!" I realize I'm in a race with some kid on a high school cross-country team.

For a few seconds, things went my way. I held the lead as we zipped toward a pack of walkers and joggers. I cut around a mom with a stroller, but Nickki looped around two oncoming joggers and zoomed ahead. A teammate with a clipboard and a stop watch cheered as she crossed her finish line.

Nikki shook my hand as I ran past.

I kept good form and pace until I passed over a small hill out-of-sight. Then I sucked in air like they weren't making any more and finished my last mile at a reduced gait.

But man, those shoes! I felt so speeeeeedy!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Damp 14 Mile Run

First sprinkles of the year showed up at mile 6 of a 14 mile run. Just enough to wet the rocks on the hills we had to climb. But the weather remained cool — a perfect distance climate.

I finished strong but felt rather stiff the rest of the day. After our upcoming 16 mile practice, I'll be heading home to soak in an ice bath. This ghastly practice actually speeds recovery.

Fourteen miles is the furthest I've run since spring. I'm slowly making my way back up the marathon ladder.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Lost Runners of the Foothills

Once again a UCLA football game forced our Team to redeploy. We met at a nearby park and ran from there. Joining us were the Korean-American Running Team, the Pasadena Pacers, Run With Us running store team and every other harrier group that usually assembles at the Rose Bowl early Saturday mornings. Our normal routes had been taken away. We were compelled to improvise. Runners scattered into the hills and trails above the Jet Propulsion Laboratories, passing each other like commuters on a busy street.

Here is a quick shirt breakdown:

Team in Training - green and purple lettering on white, Cool Dry fabric.

Pasadena Pacers - red cotton with a running shoe logo.

KART - day-glo lime green.

Run With Us - a shirt that says, "Run With Us."

Participants in the Santa Barbara Half-Marathon ran nine miles. Phoenix Rock 'N' Roll Marathon (me) ran 12. And the Honolulu Marathoners, 14.

Thanks to an early start, we had an early finish.

And away we went to our weekends.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Bonelli 10K

Pleasant rolling hills around a duck-filled lake. That pretty much describes the terrain of the Bonelli Scenic 10K. This 6.2 mile race was a San Gabriel Valley Team in Training "road" event. In fact, were it not for Team in Training, this inaugural race would've been seriously underpopulated. As it was, the low numbers made for an enjoyable dash around Puddingstone Lake.

Of the three 10Ks I've run, this was my best time. A pleasing surprise since I merely wanted to finish my first race since April's accident.

Afterwards we went out to a local IHOP. But they had given away the table we reserved. So we went to Red Robin instead.

Fine carbs were had by all.

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.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Weighting

Three days a week I hit the gym and build up my legs. Coach "Mel," in her physical therapist capacity, designed me a workout that incorporates balance, weight lifting, and regular old sweaty exercises. After a few weeks, I want the right leg to equal the left and both to be powerful pistons of muscle and tendon.

Instant gratification. It's why I get injured.

Writing has been much like living in a dryer — there are moments when everything tumbles. My foreign gig decided to redirect the show down a new avenue. In the middle of a production run this is like deciding to repaint your car while speeding down the highway. But onward we go.

The Nick job boils with political intrigue on a level several tiers above me. But the fallout filters down. I've got a rewrite due for them next week.

My agent is sending the outline for my young adult horror novel, "The Whompago," to a publisher. We'll see if they are interested.

For me, the only thing worse than overwork is underwork.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Four Miles

Ran the above distance with the team on Saturday. That's the longest I've gone since March. Felt Okay.

Blogspot has an interesting approach to trouble shooting. Their "Help" section has a list of common problems. Anything outside that and you're referred to a Google group in the same boat as you.

In other words, they won't solve the problem, but they'll send you to a support group.

Kind of like the court system after a DUI.

Something less vague would be helpful.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Firefox to the Rescue

Safari kept crashing every time I tried to upload images. Someone on a support group suggested a Firefox browser. And so I downloaded a nice free one. Lots of cool things including bold and italic controls that add all that HTML code for you.

Forward with Firefox!

And I've added an image just because it was easy to do.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Rebuilding


One more go with Team in Training. The coaches convinced me to at least train until the end of October. They feel they can restore the strength in my leg. An assistant coach, Melissa, works as a physical therapist. She crafted me a workout that builds leg strength, concentrating on the diminished right.

If nothing else, it's good to be with other runners once a week. Several guys, ala Ernesto and CJ, ran with me in Honolulu last year. Now they are mentors and captains for new team members.

Buried under work. I have three scripts in various stages for my foreign gig. Plus I picked up a script for a new Nickelodeon show. And I must rewrite the outline for "Apple Dan," the adult horror novel.

"The Whompago," my young adult horror novel outline is being read by two agents - both taking their sweet time.

Assistant coach Mark headed back to Maryland. A good guy, he doubled as team photographer. I wish him all the best.

Sometimes I feel like I'm writing a company newletter.

Friday, August 11, 2006

August 10: Another Chance

I always say a "thank you" prayer every year on this date. Back in 1972, I was badly injured while serving overseas and could've been killed. A few weeks later, a guy in my outfit died in a jeep accident. His name was Steve. He was a basketball player from Davenport, Iowa.

Steve remains 19 years-old forever. He never got life's ups and downs. He'll never know the middle-age blues as arthritis sets in and hair falls out and nothing seems as easy as it once was. But I'll bet he'd have liked the chance to find out.

Thirty-four years have passed since those August days. I think of the decades I was granted and how much time I've wasted in selfish pursuits and self-destructive behaviour. And I think of the times I rose above myself and did a good act for someone or accomplished a feat I'd always dreamed of — like the marathon last year.

I try not to waste any more days.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Broken Bone Recovery

More paying work than I've had in awhile. Two animated shows, no waiting.

Plus a new agent has agreed to look at one of my book outlines.

I ran again on Saturday. No pain in the foot. I think as part of my injury recovery plan, I'll stop bringing my watch on runs. I notice that clock watching makes me push myself and I'm just not ready for pushing.

So time stays behind. All I'll know is distance.

Who knows? I may actually pay more attention to my body.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Just Swell


My ankle's swollen. I'm taking a week off from running until it's back down to roughly normal size.

Finished my second horror novel outline.

The first outline, "Apple Dan," explores themes of appeasement and personal redemption, while the new outline, "The Whompago," deals with moral indifference and accepting responsibility.

There may not be a very wide market for these books.

But they're sure fun to work on.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Various

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.