Sunday, April 17, 2011

Help with the Hills

It's 36 degrees out there. Thirty-six?! Rly? Spring is acting like my brother who nearly had to be induced when my mom was a few weeks past the due date. (That's a question: who past the due date, mom or baby?) How does one induce spring artificially, and what are the potential consequences?

Anyway, I'm just about to go on out for a long run, and it has me thinking about the race I did last week. The run itself was fine, but even more interesting were the conversations along the way. Most of the time, I prefer to run the same way I prefer to fly on an airplane--without talking to the strangers around me. But long-distance running can get awfully boring, so runners often move from conversational partner to conversational partner depending on gait and goal time.

One woman was from Canada, but given that we were on Whidbey Island at the time, she was closer to home than I was. We chatted for awhile, she was a runner at about my pace and strength level, so it was reasonably comfortable. All of a sudden, half-way up one of the bigger hills, she said, "Talk to me. I want to walk."

So we talked. About nothing in particular except that we were doing fine, all was well, no one needed to walk, we could see the crest of the hill (never mind that there was snow on it, and Mallory's remains), etc. etc. We got to the top just fine and then got separated at the next water stop.

Many runners invest a lot of ego in being runners: I know I do. So asking for help and admitting you want to walk is a big deal. And she was running really strong at that point; I was surprised when she said she was thinking about walking.

I looked for her at the finish line, but I couldn't find her, so I don't know the end of her story. I'm sure she did well.

This little tale has neither punch line nor happy ending (nor ending at all, really), but it made me wonder if I'd ever be brave enough and strong enough to do what she did and reach out, ego and all, for help getting up the hill.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Clipped, a modern-day fairy tale

What do you do when you hate your stupid temp job, and an animated--if deeply creepy--icon on your desktop offers to give you the world? Read the story after the jump.

Eat your heart out, Virginia Woolf

I'd like to think Virgina Woolf would be proud, and maybe a little envious. I have a room of my own. (And I'm gaining 5 pounds a year, but I don't think that's what she meant by "have five pounds a year.") I am ensconced. There's no other word for it.

The room is nice. It's downstairs in our house and peeks out from under the balcony of the second floor. My bird (squirrel) feeders are outside this window, and once the birds have adjusted, they'll be back. Right now there's one soggy house finch looking miserable and cranky in the bottom branches of the plum tree. It's been a long, wet winter.

My room has, at the moment, two cats (one on my lap, the other staring out the window), two computers and one human. And for writing, that's about the perfect configuration. Toastie, my partner, has set up the computer for me so it gets WiFi. There's an odd-looking thing doing the backstroke on my shelves which he tells me is the antenna.

This is my writing space. My staring-into-space space. I am fortunate, I know, to have this space, so here's my promise not to waste it, squander it, twist, fold or multilate it.

Join me?

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Free books to libraries, schools

Now Marietta has found her way to Kindle, I reckon I can reduce the stock of physical books in my parents' basement. If any school teacher or librarian would like some books, I'm happy to pass them along and get them in the hands of readers. All you pay is postage. If interested, please add a comment below so we can get in touch.

To review the book in advance,

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Kindle vs Kindling

Marietta and the Creeping Nasties is now available on the Kindle! Woot and such! You can buy this "utterly delightful romp of a story" (as Truman Capote once never said) for $3.99 and download it here.

The next book in the series, Marietta and the Giant Mistake, will be trundling along after its older sibling soon, so keep an eye out for that.

While you're waiting for Marietta and the Creeping Nasties to download, here are some more reviews to entertain you:

"Whimsical and wonderful" Kirkusdidn'thappen Reviews

"Marvelous. A tour de force" The New York not in the this lifeTimes Book Review

"I laughed, I cried, I blew my nose and laughed some more." Ohhowyouwishprah Winfrey