The Journal: A Non-Productive Personal Day

In today’s Journal

* Quote of the Day
* A Non-Productive Personal Day
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

Quote of the Day

“It’s dialogue that gives your cast their voices, and is crucial in defining their characters.” Stephen King

A Non-Productive Personal Day

Hey there. I did a lot yesterday, but almost no writing. Just over 1000 words.

I’m mentioning all of the following because my schedule might be up in the air for a few days while I figure out my new routine and get started with it. This is more important than writing on my current story, though I certainly won’t set either it or the Journal aside if I can help it. I just need to figure out a few things, and I wanted to give you advance warning.

As a few of you know personally, I’m uncomfortably overweight. This is more than disconcerting to me, because I’m not the typical American male. I didn’t go from high school to a few months flipping burgers to college and then into a cubicle somewhere.

I turned 18 in USMC boot camp, then embarked on a 21 year Civilian-Appreciation Course. When I started, you could pretty much light a match on any part of my body, and when I finished, the match might bog down a bit but it would still light.

When I got back out into civilian life, I was dismayed to see men half my age with a paunch twice the size of mine. That was a real shocker.

(Not that there’s anything wrong with it, and I’m not being critical. I’m just saying that was neither what I was used to nor what I expected.)
Like most people, I’ve gained and lost weight a few times since then.

A few years ago (some of you will remember) I was walking 6-8, 8-10, and 10-12 miles per day, alternating on short, medium, and long days. During that time, I lost about 30 pounds and felt great. (Even at only 5’8″ on a good day, my “fit” weight is around 165.)

Then a few years ago I developed a problem in my lower back that precludes running (at all) or walking more than about a half-mile. Ugh. Getting older sucks. If you’ve ever had sciatica, it’s like that times two.

So my go-to method of losing weight (walking distance) is pretty much out the window. But I have to lose weight. As I said, I’m uncomfortable.

So yesterday morning I looked up Noom online, filled in all the blanks and hit Send. They would help me hit my target weight by eary November. Sounded good.

But they don’t have a desktop app. I don’t know why, and I didn’t check before I signed up. You can access your Noom app only through your iPhone or Android device.

Only 1, my Android phone couldn’t connect with the app for whatever reason, probably because 2, I use my phone for, you know, phone calls. I think I might have used the camera thingy once, maybe twice. But that’s it.

So I went through all the stuff to cancel Noom and get a refund. Which I have to say worked fine and was almost effortless. I only had to find their Support folks and explain in a live chat what was going on. And I was able to do that on my computer.

If Noom ever comes out with a regular computer app, I’ll jump at the chance to join it again. But for now….

I got my bicycle out and cleaned it up. Maybe I can ride my bike without making my back ache. I also have a thing in the house that hikes the rear tire off the floor to turn it into a stationery bike. And then my eating. I have a little work to do there, but my eating’s pretty much under control. So we’ll see.

But I hardly ever read Dean’s posts on his walking and running and other efforts to lose weight, so I promise I won’t bore you with details. You come here (I hope) for writing and publishing advice, so that’s what you’ll continue to get. As I said at the top, I just wanted to let you know what’s going on as a kind of advance warning. (grin)

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See “Decade Ahead Classes” at

See “Creating Likeable Villains” at Read this, glean what you can, and then forget it and just write what the characters, good and bad, give you.

See “June 10, 1942: The Lidice Massacre” at The horrors of humanity, and story ideas.

The Numbers

The Journal…………………………………… 760 words

Writing of WCGN: Assignment: Brownsville (novel)

Day 1…… 2890 words. Total words to date…… 2890
Day 2…… 3178 words. Total words to date…… 6068
Day 3…… 3124 words. Total words to date…… 9192
Day 4…… 2977 words. Total words to date…… 12169
Day 5…… 1001 words. Total words to date…… 13170

Total fiction words for June……… 22753
Total fiction words for the year………… 477242
Total nonfiction words for June… 5980
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 112210
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 589452

Calendar Year 2021 Novels to Date…………………… 9
Calendar Year 2021 Novellas to Date……………… 1
Calendar Year 2021 Short Stories to Date… 3
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 62
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 217
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

Disclaimer: In this blog, I provide advice on writing fiction. I advocate a technique called Writing Into the Dark. To be crystal clear, WITD is not “the only way” to write, nor will I ever say it is. However, as I am the only writer who advocates WITD both publicly and regularly, I will continue to do so, among myriad other topics.

4 thoughts on “The Journal: A Non-Productive Personal Day”

  1. Getting Old does indeed suck. I’m in a similar situation with my knees and back in that running is right out, and walking only short distance with a good amount of Advil prior to heading out.

    I’ve gotten a recumbent bike in the garage that does help me get my miles in and also changing my diet. Being a desk sitter for a few decades has given me a figure that is quite unlike my Navy days.

    Good luck on that part of your journey!

    • Thanks, JR, or as I might have referred to you in the old days, “transport staff.” (grin) Semper fi and Semper Fortis.

  2. Growing old may suck but it’s still better than the alternative.
    Regarding weight loss, I have been able to lose pounds and then maintain my weight by fasting. Several years ago I was closing in on 220 lbs (I’m about 6 ft, formerly 6′ 1″). My son-in-law’s parents had lost considerable weight fasting and suggested it. So I started fasting two days a week – Mondays and Thursdays, but it was not a true fast. I consumed no more than 600 calories (500 for women). Found that on a fasting website. I ate two boiled eggs and a piece of dry toast on fasting days. Other than that I drank water and black coffee. It really wasn’t that hard to do as long as I kept busy. On the other five days I ate whatever I wanted though I tried to eat healthy and not pig out. It took many months, but I melted down to 185. I learned that after a month or two, my body would adjust to the fasting, and the weight would barely come off. So I’d stop fasting for a week or two to let my body reset and then go back to it. Currently, I weigh myself every Monday morning. If I am over 190 lbs, even a tenth of a pound over, I fast that day. I’ve managed to keep the weight off for several years now.
    I never had the benefit of Marine Corps discipline. I played hockey, ran track and cross country in high school and the first two years of college. Wrecked my knee in my late 30s, which ended the running. Gave up hockey in my early 40s. Too expensive and injury potential was high. I was able to switch to swimming and biking. I am still able to swim despite two shoulder surgeries, neither caused by swimming. I also peddle a stationary bike. While I can’t run, I can still walk. Not sure how long I can keep doing any of it. Seems like the rate at which stuff goes wrong in your body accelerates as you age.
    There’s nothing complicated about losing weight. You don’t need to take classes or get an app on your phone or read a thick book. Losing weight is as simple as WITD. Eat less, exercise more and you’ll lose weight. Easier said than done though. As with WITD, the world is full of complicated, and often bad advice, on how to lose weight. You just have to find a way to eat less and exercise more that works for you. And I ain’t saying that’s necessarily easy for guys our age.

Comments are closed.