Sunday, September 16, 2012
Friday, September 14, 2012
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
There was so much light that maybe some sort of photosynthesis filled those legs, sped up that old rhythm. You came to a stop at the ocean because that's what everyone else did, too: stood and stared at the thick volley of white crests. A respectful vigil.
And for once, you allow yourself the credit of making a good decision. Of being in the right place.
Monday, August 27, 2012
1) Embark on a full court press to
2) obtain an agent;
3) if the second doesn't pan out, I will at least know that 1) did the most that it could;
4) be established with life plans for the subsequent year (PhD or job, or both, knowing me);
5) in order to do so, apply to those entities (1 PhD in the bag, but how about the rest? And that expired GRE & damnable critical essay, taunting me when I just want to run around in fall sunshine);
6) and relax a little, maybe, sometimes.
Friday, August 17, 2012
Saturday, July 21, 2012
As my emotions have calmed down in recent months, years, even, we haven't met much, Word is Bond. But I always come back for you.
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Friday, June 08, 2012
We might as well accept now that for all my efforts to be a "real person who maintains the schedule of such a personage,” I will always prefer to run in the evening and write in the night. Two a.m., and this is the best I've felt all day.
Friday, May 25, 2012
The sky’s brooding over something that it’s not ready to talk about. It’s done this all week. I won’t prod, though the night is windless and I dangle one leg up into the air to keep it from sticking to the other.
“You’re good with people,” one of my gymnasts told me tonight.
“Why do you say that?” I asked.
She shrugged. “You just are.”
I appreciated that, especially on a day when I felt like the sky: sometimes a crack of light, other moments eyes squinted shut.
Monday, May 21, 2012
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Friday, April 27, 2012
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Monday, April 16, 2012
Sunday, April 15, 2012
This space, up on the second shelf, will remain what it was always intended for: life, in whatever form.
Thursday, April 05, 2012
- Driving through a missile range
- Frolicking in the dunes of White Sands
- Seeing a camel, a roadrunner, and a vulture
- Inadvertently running through a triathlon
- Hiking a mountain
- Visiting a beautiful gym
- Eating delicious sour cream ("Las altos mexicanos," as Tony would say)
- Finishing Game of Thrones and hovering in the local Barnes & Noble, reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone at a kiddie table hidden behind a fake tree
- Finding time for blog posts with Flo
- Sporting a sweet sunburn on one arm post-White Sands
- Stepping on cactus while hiking
- Falling down trail
- Breaking camera while falling
I'll take the mountains.
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Monday, March 19, 2012
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Last night, I came home from work a little cranky. In the mood to hide out. You know those nights. The query and writing blues kicked in, which of course led to, “And what am I doing with my life?”
Thanks to the power of social media, I learned that my favorite collegiate gymnastics team was streaming its competition online.
As I watched, continuing to feel glum, a girl from the opposing team fell off of beam. She was clearly rattled and climbed back up, only to straddle the beam on her next skill.
Suddenly, my night didn’t seem so bad.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
I know how to flip out of the boat. No, no, thanks. Sudden change of plans. Different order of operations than anticipated. So sorry. I roll into the water and swim for the shore.
I can tell when others will do it. I hear the splash before they've made a move for the side. I imagine the hasty excuses.
But lately I want to take that waterlogged vessel out farther. Sit with bare feet as water rises over my ankles, over the bench. Take my chances.
Friday, March 09, 2012
In terms of new material, though, I'm stepping back to the screenplay. That old chestnut. We've made it to Act III and now the two men are in the same room, and one has murder on his mind.
I write it one line at a time, very carefully.
I know that I can go back and take out all of the stupid stuff, revise the heck out of it, make it shine. I don't have to get it right on the first try. But I want to. As close as I can. The words might change, but I want the tone and the tension to be just right.
Read: Kayak Morning, Roger Rosenblatt
Thursday, March 08, 2012
When those eyes and the nation to which they stood witness were gone at last with their dignity back into their origins there would perhaps be other fires and other witnesses and other worlds otherwise beheld. But they would not be this one.
One thing I admire about Cormac McCarthy: he writes on his own terms. Punctuation, dialogue tags, sudden large words--they're all used at his discretion. It doesn't matter what everyone else is writing. It doesn't matter what's trendy. He writes the way he chooses to.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
Today’s revision goals: Turn up the heat.
There’s sideways love in the YA nov. “Sideways” in the sense that it’s not in the driver’s seat, but it’s certainly in the backseat leaning forward. Though the character has a hot streak that’s crucial to the story’s climax, he’s fairly laidback.
And so he should be. I don’t want him running the show. But I’d like him to be a little saucier. Make moments a little more tense.
Connor McDermott, help me to channel your unending hots.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Editing is not merely the elimination of words. I tend to do that: strip down until the sentences are clear and bare. But I have to not be afraid of expansion, though I worry it will appear meandering and fluffy.
The story begins to feel like a body patched together. A snip here, a new layer of skin there. Blazing pink lines and soft white scars.
Additional note to self: putting in thirteen miles over two days after weeks of not a whole lot leaves one’s legs tender. Very tender.
Friday, February 17, 2012
The only way to better the odds is to give yourself enough options. Within two days, I had entered five different lotteries: a writing contest, two movie premieres, a marathon, a concert. The first was most important. The marathon, well, I could live without gaining entry. In fact, I probably have a better chance of living if I don't participate.
I tend to lurk. Not in the back alley way. More like quiet reading and research without raising my voice. Or without saying anything at all. I wait. And wait.
Thursday, February 09, 2012
I have to accept that some days (and, sadly, weeks), I am not going to run. I will try to wake up early, but it won’t be enough. There will be something else that I need to do. The voices of so many children who all need something immediately, hands reaching for me.
Soon, though. A time for black and electric blue sneakers. The hiss of cold air on surprised legs. The old slow way of rebuilding.
Thursday, February 02, 2012
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
We sat the kids down today for an inspirational talk. At one point, my fellow coach compared the practice and time required to be a successful gymnast to the preparations needed in school to attend a good college. “In fact,” he said, “gymnastics is harder. Fear, pain, injuries.”
I used that same logic when I had to make a long drive by myself at night several years ago. I was afraid that my Internet maps and mix CDs and ice cream that I promptly spilled on the seat wouldn’t be enough. I’d wind up lost or struck by another car or just…I didn’t know, but just worse off than I’d be if I’d stayed put.
When I sat in the driver’s seat, I thought back to practice. Anyone can drive. Not everyone can do aerials on beam, I told myself, and turned the ignition.
After the talk today, I thought about my present fears. About how reluctant I am to press “send” on an email and receive no, thanks, not right for us or silence.
Anyone can click a mouse. Not everyone can turn upside down and back up again.
Here we go, February.
Friday, January 27, 2012
Sunday, January 22, 2012
I entered the problem-solving zone. Noise became too much. I could hold conversations, but I didn't contribute much. I could sense where the soft areas were and had to figure out the way to navigate through them.
I wouldn't sleep until I did it.
Read: Divergent, Veronica Roth; Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Monday, January 16, 2012
Yesterday, between sessions of coaching, I walked through a mall both with purpose and no plan. Nobody bumped into me. Nobody looked at me. I didn't want either. I walked into one store, thought it was too hot, and circled back out.
Some things cause sensations, like the fall of a single snowflake on a bare foot. The cold metal chair on a colder night. A high score, yes, we'll take it.
Back on the highway, I wonder how to make these things last.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Read: Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton
Sunday, January 08, 2012
I run for time, not distance, and at fifty-seven minutes, I inexplicably began to run the way I would to finish a race. There were twenty-three minutes left. I don't know why, but I followed it. I followed myself over the roots with rapid steps like football players pummeling through tires in training and around this bend and that bend and it felt like it never really slowed, the feeling, until the clock hit twenty and I ran an extra ten seconds and stopped.
I steady myself with music. No, I am not ready to leave this world yet.
So does a good writing partner.
Lena encouraged me last night to dust off the old screenplay. I have 53 pages and the journey plotted out. I just need to get there...which I've yet to do in two years.
I've had a few excellent friends over the years with whom I have collaborated. We understand each other's beats and build off of each other's rhythms. Lena is no exception. Moments after reading, she was already roasting the main character in a Michael Scott fashion. We threw a few ideas around. She understood the heart of the story and her suggestions reflected such.
Now, I just might finish it.
Friday, January 06, 2012
"Why?" I say.
"We have trust issues," she says.
I've gained a certain kind of resolve since the beginning of November. No need for a new year. In my mind, there's an estimate of how many days per week I should run. Sometimes I meet it and sometimes I don't. No matter. The bigger matter is that each time I run, I do no less than four miles.
For as long as I've been running, I've been the queen of small runs between the tougher workouts. Twenty minutes, thirty minutes. Break a small sweat and call it a day, hit the showers. But I realized in November that instead of saving my body for those longer runs that happened sometimes, the small runs were just boring.
There's a difference between three and four miles. Three miles is just about a 5K, a distance most people can show up and run. Four miles requires a bit more concentration. A little more commitment. It's a look toward longer races.
I figure: four miles becomes the new twenty minutes, six miles becomes the new thirty minutes, and now we're building to something.
Wednesday, January 04, 2012
I think we make a good team, you and I. I think we have the right kind of magic.
Read: Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
Monday, January 02, 2012
A new year, a new lack of resistance for a list.
Read: The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman; Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy Kaling; High Fidelity, Nick Hornby; Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick. Many rhetorical questions to be answered in these titles.
Seen: Winter's Bone; The Kids Are All Right