Sunday, January 31, 2010

It's the end of the month, which means I'm freaking out about money again. Well, not so much this month, but by spring I'll be in full-on panic mode. With unemployment running out and no job prospects in sight, I'm going to have to hope I get lucky or find someone who sees the potential to make money with the new series. I looked at web sites today and secured I'm thinking of ways to promote the book before the book's even in bookstores. The more buzz the better. I wonder how many copies the story will sell? I'm thinking of 30-minute talks I can give to students at schools throughout California and Washington. I'm thinking of the stage presence I'll have. Gwen's helping me already. That's good, because she's full of great ideas.

I'm reading lots of young adult fiction and web blogs. Time and EW. Watched three episodes of Big Love last night at Rossana's. Not my favorite show, but certainly interesting. Lots of chaos. Started season 2 of Damages and love it! Now that's a show I can get into. 24 tomorrow night. The season's off to a great start.

Poker...I played very little in January. Too busy getting back into the writing swing of things and organizing all my belongings. There's something very therapeutic about organizing my stuff. I never get tired of it.

Agents blogs. They're great. What a wonderful resource. I've been working on my query letter. I wish I had more to say about myself. There's isn't much to brag about, unfortunately.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Moving Forward

I'm wrapping up a final round of additions, deletions, and revisions to the book. I gave the manuscript to about thirty readers from ages 8 to 70. The feedback was very helpful. The book feels solid and sets up several cliffhangers for book 2. Of the first four books in the series, the second book is going to be the one that blows things wide open. Life is good. I've never been happier and more at ease with things. I keep a low profile and low overhead, and that works for me. I'm excited about the future and cultivating a personality in the young adult world. I've jotted down a few 30-minute talks to elementary and middle school kids that I think they'll enjoy. The next few years are going to be a lot of fun!

Today I had lunch with Mike K., Jim W., and Tracey, three members of the screenwriting group I used to belong to. We first got together eight years ago through a UC Extension course. I can't believe it's been eight years. The spec market for scripts seems a bit impenetrable. We'll see if my longterm strategy pays off. It was wonderful spending a few hours with the old gang. No one's written anything new. Jim's sending out scripts this year, hoping for an option from someone in LA. It's a tough business. Rochelle mentioned she's no longer writing but instead raising two children. It was nice hearing from her.

Almost the end of January. I'm beginning to feel the pressure of having no money. It's a drag, but what am I gonna do. When the rewrite's done and the queries are out, I'll hit my poker studies for a month.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Another Day

I always liked Paul McCartney's Another Day. Read a friend's book and sent off my thoughts. I spent way too much time on it but wanted to be thorough. I can't believe it's already 10:45. I have a match tomorrow morning at 5. Ugh. I watched some quarter final video of Ben Croft and Rocky Carson playing and it was fabulous. Some great shots and good ideas on how to play and hopefully beat Tom tomorrow. He's an awesome player. I'll need to play my best.

Rewrites tomorrow on Julia and a financial plan, which I've been dreading. I'm at a point where distractions are not what I need, and yet I'm so vulnerable to them. I wish I were more disciplined. I'm my biggest weakness.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Off to a Good Start

This month has been busy, and every hour feels as though it's filled up with writing, reading, poker and racquetball, all at the same time. Well, maybe not at the same time, but it sometimes feels that way. I have SO much I want to accomplish this year. I'm revising Chapel and feeling pretty good about the first book. I enjoy writing about Julia and her family, and can't wait to begin book 2.

Yesterday, I watched both NFL playoff games and was heartbroken to see Favre and the Vikings lose to the Saints. So close! The Vikings had their chances and blew it. Sports is such an emotional test of focus and discipline. Anway, go Saints for the Superbowl. I hope they can pull it off.

Lady Gaga...I thought I'd check out all the fuss before dismissing her act as hyped publicity without any content. Expecting to find shock-gimmickry and no talent, imagine my jaw-dropping surprise when el Gaga turned out to be an avant-garde glam genius with as much raw talent as David Bowie and Freddie Mercury. I was stunned. Okay, so I'm a year behind the mainstream; now I'm on the bandwagon. Go, Gaga, Go!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Today I organized my mosh pile of music in my bedroom, a pile that has been collecting dust in a corner since mid-November when the AT&T guy came to install my cable. I'd cleared my TV center of stuff, and finally, today, zoned it. That felt good, but it took most of the afternoon. I also paid a visit to my friend neighborhood Office Depot store and bought 20 bankers boxes, hundreds of rubber bands, stacking boxes to keep supplies in, two small boxes for stamps and coins, and some ties to bind cables together. I'm in a full-on organization mode so look out.

I also finished watching one of Tom's documentaries, "A Dream in Hanoi," which I really enjoyed (especially the east-west clashes between the two directors), and "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly." I enjoyed this film very much...very poetic and beautifully told. I read about 30 pages and cleaned. Tomorrow, I will begin revisions to Chapel. Looking forward to it.

Monday, January 4, 2010

First Monday in 2010

Today I worked out for two hours, wrote emails, walked the dog, looked at agent blogs, worked on my query, played three poker tournaments, watched four videos on PokerXFactor, mailed some bills and went grocery shopping. Just another day here in Oakland.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A new year, a new, more than ever, I need to prioritize and use some good time management skills. I have so much I want to accomplish this year, beginning first with representation for Julia Milan. I've received some wonderful feedback from friends and family. I'll create a list of edits to fix and revise, then send a query to some of the agents whose names I have. I also plan to play a lot of poker this year as a means of bringing in some income. The job market is still very tight out there.

I worked out at the club this morning and plan to run, stretch and and play a few racquetball games tomorrow. The league begins and I play Aaron K. for our singles ladder on Thursday. I'm reading several books at once right now and have a large stack of films and TV shows to view. Very busy. I like it that way.