Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Scant Progress, But Progress Nonetheless

First off, thanks to Adam, Benjamin, and Tess for joining the cause. The cause being, of course, total Webospheric domination. You can't dominate without true believers. (Unless you have a well organized and ruthless militia to do your bidding, that is.)

The title of this post refers to both my revising, which is still coming along slowly, and the weight loss, which is coming along both slowly and painfully.

Shall we discuss the writing first? The novel is 147 pages long. Two days ago I revised the first 80 and I'm happy with them. Then there's a sticky part in the middle that I can't figure out how to fix. To bore you, it involves two characters who need to become friends, the passage of about a month and half's worth of time, and some other stuff that isn't all that interesting but needs to be in there for purposes of the rest of the story. Secret Asian Man and his minions believe this is an important part of the book because a number of transformative things occur. I attempted to summarize these transformations because I didn't want the story to bog down. For the record, I summarized them rather cleverly. However, SAM thinks more weight should be given to this part of the book, so now I'm stuck. The last 40 pages are in pretty good shape, which means that if I can figure out the bloody middle, the rest should go quite smoothly.

And now the weight loss. First, I'm not that fat. I'm not going to tell you how not-fat I am, but you can review the video at the bottom of this post and get a pretty accurate assessment. I'm fatter than I wish to be. About twenty pounds so.

Second, I did buy new shoes. Got 'em at Kohl's. Asics. 50 bucks. Now I know some of you are shaking your heads and thinking something like, Fifty bucks! Must be crappy shoes. I have no idea whether they're crappy or not. What I know is this: I walk and jog in them for no more than forty-five minutes at a time. They'll do. My legs are already feeling better.

So, the numbers. I started this weight loss thing on Sunday, June 7. I then consumed a massive amount of calories while on a golf trip that weekend. So I think it's fair to say that I really started on Sunday, June 14. As of right now, I have exercized on ten of those eleven days. ("Exercize" is defined here as either a 2.5 mile run/walk outside or a forty-five minute run/walk on the treadmill.) I have also been starving myself. Results? Two lousy, good-for-nothing pounds. Two.

I poop two pounds. Seriously.


This is completely irrelevant, but...

Dear waitresses,

I really appreciate everything you do*, but two things: One, could you at least try to wait until I've swallowed to ask me how everthing is? Two, when you ask how everything is, could you please refrain from saying, "How's everything tasting?" Food cannot taste. It is, presumably, dead. It can't really do much of anything except sit there waiting to be consumed. I, however, am alive and have taste buds on my tongue. I can taste.

Suggested Alternatives:

"How does your food taste?"
"How is the food?"

(Of course, this part of the post has nothing to do with any recent dinner out. I don't do that anymore. On a diet and all, remember?)

*For example, refilling my Coke when it's still half full so that I feel obligated to drink way more than I should; bringing my entree mere seconds after the appetizer so that I have to make an excruciating decision between continuing to eat the (delicious, appetizers are always delicious) appetizer and letting my meal get cold or abandoning the appetizer, which is almost always overpriced, so that I can enjoy my dinner before the cheese starts doing that funky, congealing thing that's really not so appealing; and tempting me with dessert even though I just stuffed down both a delicious appetizer and an entire cheesy meal, not to mention the seventy-two ounces of Coke that someone just could not stop pouring into my glass.

(I'll have the cheesecake, thank you.)


Anita said...

Regarding writing: I think you should watch the movie JUNO...there's all this stuff in the middle that could've been left out, but wasn't, and the stuff made the story stronger.

Regarding weight loss: You should not be eating at restaurants. And Asics are fine if the distance between just under your pinky toe to just under your big toe is wide.

Paul Michael Murphy said...

I have seen JUNO. Funny stuff.

And the distance between those two toes is a little more than three toes.

Tracy Edward Wymer said...

Middle parts. The middle parts of things are usually the best. Burgers. Oreos. You get the point.

I just bought Asics too. My heel was slipping while running, probably because of the slick socks I bought for the cause, so I looked on Runners and found a simple shoe tying solution with video demonstration and all. Now I can tighten the lace part close to the ankles to keep my heels down while leaving the rest comfy and not-so-tight. Glad there are nerds who are so into running that they post things like this online, otherwise my heel would still be slipping and my lower legs still aching. Thanks running!

Grand Weirdinian said...

Thanks for the nod!
The middle is always the tough part. It has to be as interesting as the beginning and the end, but is generally not as fun to write. In my work at least it shows (in the fact that I usually don't have a middle, leaving my stories way too short and jumpy).
Good luck.
And a postscript about shoes. Starbury's are $20 new all the time and are some of the most comfortable, stylin, supportive shoes I've ever owned.

Monica said...

remember that 'eye of the duck' thing. Is this middle part that? As you know, i've been communicating with Mr. James Kennedy, author of The Order of Odd Fish, as part of that contest that i won on your site. (name dropping authors only works in a few places. This is one of them. When i do it at work, i get a puzzled look on people's faces.)

He talked about over explaining, and giving the reader credit and things like that. (which i tend to do. i don't like to leave things out) i don't exactly know where this is going. I just really wanted to say that i've been emailing James Kennedy. and he actually replies. anyway.

i wish i could give you some tips on running and weight loss and stuff. I got nothing. Tho i do wear New Balance shoes. Love them. they make my feet feel nice. I'm not a runner, tho, more of a walker. Just hang in there, PMM. Be more stubborn than your fat.

also, can i just say, Juno is a canadian movie? loooooooooove that movie, ven the slow part in the middle. I agree with Anita, it was definitely important.

Tess said...

Thanks for the shout out.

Middles: can you break that middle down into scenes? You should be able to..then take each individual scene and figure out how you can ratchet up the tension or connection of friends or whatever you're going for. Sometimes that helps me when I have sagging middles.

honestly, though, I turned 40 last year so most of my sagging is more towards the rear :D

Tina Lee said...

You have some great commenters, probably because you are a great commenter yourself. I want to say, like Monica, remember that 'eye of the duck' thing,it seems important.
And keep up the good work, both revising and weight loss are two of the more difficult things in the world to do.

Kelly said...

Good luck fattening up your (book) middle and decreasing your other middle. (which I'm trying to do as well. I exercise but forget to eat less...). My dad is also on a regime and lost 7 pounds in three days (7 pounds is my goal for the summer). It isn't fair!

Alice said...

Asics shoes at only 50 bucks sounds great.!! I will visit Kohl's to take a look and get one pair.