Archive for the ‘Walking’ Category

Day 21 total: 3,041 words      Total: 64,682/~23,500 (in progress)

Two big goals yesterday: working on the first two chapters of Act II, and reworking the outline for the last half of the novel. When I made some big decisions about the character arc, it ended up more or less invalidating the original climax of the story. At the time, I decided not to worry too much about mapping that out in detail. I just tried to finish whipping Act I into shape and get an idea of how Act II would progress.

Now I think I have an equally dramatic, less byzantine, and somewhat more satisfying conclusion outlined. In addition, I think that the plot twists I discarded for this manuscript can serve as the heart of a sequel. You know, just in case. 🙂

On a lesser note, I went back into a couple earlier chapters and added or replaced a few paragraphs of setting-oriented material. This had the effect of hopefully making several scenes both less generic descriptively and more exciting. This is a process I plan to continue throughout the drafting stage. For other writers, it might work better to lay out the setting in exhaustive detail before beginning to write. For me, all I ended up with in the past was large setting documents full of details that were interesting to me as facts but not tied clearly to characters or stories. So I’ve gone with a broader picture that I’m filling in as things suggest themselves to me. The risk with that approach, I’m guessing, is inconsistencies in the manuscript.

So far, Scrivener has been very helpful in tracking this process. I’m hopeful that by using meta-tags, I’ll be able to  identify all the instances where I’ve referenced a key character, location, or concept. My current plan is to review the manuscript on a weekly basis and do some book-keeping to keep those tags as up-to-date as possible while highlighting or resolving discrepancies that arise (depending upon how readily a solution presents itself).  I always have some days where I feel blocked on the story front and that would give me a useful task to pursue while staying engaged with the story as a whole.

Hopefully these posts are remaining somewhat lucid as I plow forward. It’s amazing how tiring this whole manuscript process is. I hope that one builds up endurance with writing the way you can build up physical endurance.


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First Week of Walking

Started wearing my pedometer again (it got washed in the laundry and was not working for a month or so until I ensure that it was completely dried out, then I forgot to bring it on our summer trip) starting in the morning when I wake up until the evening when I go to bed. This tracks both everyday steps (taken during activities like mowing the lawn, grocery shopping vacuuming, walking up and down the stairs to do laundry, etc.) and “focused” steps (taken during hikes, walks to the library, running, morning cardio routines, and so forth).

My results for the first week were, in steps(total miles) format:

14,411 (6.82), 10,779(5.1), 13,357(6.32), 10.060(4.76), 15,380 (7.28), 10,049(4.75), 10,545(4.99)

For averages of 12,083 steps and 5.76 miles per day.

I’ll admit that on at least one occasion I looked at my pedometer before bedtime, realized I was a few hundred steps short, and decided to walk up and down the stairs for a few minutes to get my count past 10,000 for the day! Pretty silly from one perspective.

On the other hand, hitting a minimum of 10,000 steps a day does give me a small but meaningful sense of accomplishment. And in the two weeks since I started doing this in addition to my regular workouts, I have managed to lose about 4 pounds, which may be correlation rather than causation, but still feels good.

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My new pedometer (an Omron HJ-112) arrived yesterday and today I put it to use on a long hike with Lisa and Will at Hull’s Gulch in the Boise Foothills, as well as wearing it around while I did my mowing and cleaning.

The walk was great, as the weather warmed up enough to wear a t-shirt and shorts.

For the day (I took the pedometer off in the evening) I ended up with 11,015 steps (about 7,000 of which were apparently “aerobic,” which means more than a 60 steps per minute pace, which isn’t really a lot) and 5.56 miles of distance.

The pedometer was very easy and convenient and is supposedly quite accurate. It was interesting measuring my stride length to calibrate the pedometer; I think I have a very short stride for someone of my height due to my short legs. Even for someone with legs my length, I think my stride is kind of short. But my legs churn like a hamster.

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Day 24 Walking

This morning after dropping off the kids I walked at Veteran’s Memorial Park. I went on the northwest trail, which I’ve never done before. The Boise River is unusually high right now and I kept my headphones off, just looking at the water rushing close to the shore and listening to that bubbly whooshing sound moving water makes.

Walked about 3 miles in 41 minutes. Tried consciously to speed up my pace, which was fairly effective. The arch of my right foot is a bit sore right now.

I read today, after the walk, that some people feel the methods advised in Chi Walking (slight pelvic tilt combined with a forward lean while walking) work well for jogging but are detrimental when walking, because there isn’t enough forward momentum to let the body glide forward naturally, so the feet and knees end up absorbing more shock than they should.

So I ordered a book on Walking (which seems a little funny, cause I thought I knew how to walk, but perhaps not walk fast in an efficient way) and a pedometer. Looking forward to both of these and maybe this will help me ease some of the strain on my feeble joints. 🙂

Oh, and I’ve been walking every day, but I don’t have time or inclination every day to record the walks, particularly if they are just a stroll through the neighborhood.

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Day 23 Walking

We did the solar system walk again, heading from the big model Sun at the Discovery Center and touching each of the planetary markers from Mercury to Pluto. It’s a fun walk and really gives you a sense of the relative distances in the solar system; you blow through Mercury, Venus, and Earth in short succession, Mars is pretty close to Earth, and from Mars you can’t even see Jupiter. By the time you get to Pluto (yes, it is now officially a dwarf planet, but they’ve left the markers in place, so in Boise, at least, Pluto still gets some love) it’s a bit of a hike.

I spent time talking to Will about managing his temper and how I could work on the tone of my voice so that my corrective comments (please pick up your shoes, put away your books, have you started your homework yet, etc.) wouldn’t upset him (I had already worked on the wording. I’m also going to try tapping him gently on the arm or shoulder rather than raising my voice to get his attention when he is absorbed in reading or watching something.  (Edit: To my great pleasure, on Monday he actually put this into effect, pausing to breath deeply rather than complain when we asked him to get started on his spelling. And he got a very large assignment done and let me check it without griping. He did an excellent job on it as well, I might add.)

Anna and I talked about some things that I believe she would prefer remained private. Suffice it to say, these are the sorts of growing pain issues that she and I have in common, so it is pretty easy to relate, though I’m not always sure that my advice helps much in the short term, because I just had to wait some of those things out myself.

Sunny weather and a great time with my wife and kids.

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Day Eighteen Walking

Today I stopped down by the Boise River after dropping off the kids at school and walked for 35 minutes, doing a loop down to the bridge by Ann Morrison park and back across the Friendship bridge by the Boise State campus. Not a lot of deep pondering today, but it was good to beat the rain that hit in the afternoon.

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Day Seventeen Walking

Walked the dog down to the park and around the spot where the new community garden is being built, all in a howling wind. The weather has not been the most congenial for walking lately. And it’s supposed to snow in a couple days!

But the walk was okay and I got in 30 minutes.

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