Friday, June 27, 2008

Clarity Lite

All of you know that I recently ran a big crazy race (because I won't stop talking about it). I think I hurt my waist (if one can hurt one's waist, then I did), but that's not what I want to write about. No, I want to write about the general sense of happiness and well-being that has come over me since the race. Actually, I think it started with the third leg of the race. I went into it with the attitude of well, this is the last one, how bad can it be? because soon it will be over. But I have to say that the third leg was my favorite.
First, because it was the third leg, I didn't feel like I had to run fast. I just settled into a rhythm and stuck with it. It helped that my rhythm also allowed me to pass a few people.
Second, the leg started at Rockport State Park in the dark. But not in the real middle-of-the-night dark. It was more the sun's-about-to-come-up dark. So I ran into the sunrise, farm land on each side. Horses, grass, barns. Wow. It was beautiful. And I just felt happy to be running in the morning in such a beautiful place. If not for the race, would I ever have run exactly there at that time? No.
Third, and maybe this is the endorphins talking, but since I got back (well, to be honest I'd have to say that it's really since I woke up Sunday morning after a good night's sleep) I've felt a little more calm about most things. I don't worry so much about not writing, I don't worry so much about the future or the past.
There's nothing like a big crazy race to help you live (or run) in the present moment. It's still difficult, of course, but I have to say I haven't been plagued by the self-doubt that is usually my constant companion. I haven't worried that I'm a total fraud (until I typed it just now. Now I'm worried about it).
In any case, my general level of anxiety about most things (including exercise) has subsided. I'm loving riding my bike around and swimming.
Peace out!

Monday, June 23, 2008

New Bicycle

Middlebrow got me a new bike for our anniversary. If you want to see my actual bike click on "Daisy 3" (the orange and yellow one). Mine has a sweet basket too. Middlebrow has promised to take a picture of me on it, hopefully with a baguette in the basket. And I'll be wearing a skirt, looking all French and shit.
Since I got my bike (on Saturday), I've taken to riding around the neighborhood in the evening. Son likes to ride too, and he's getting pretty good about watching for cars and being safe.
But what I love most is riding around the neighborhood without a helmet. And wearing a skirt! Now, I know I'm supposed to be safe, but really. I'm only riding on side streets. And riding down the street with the wind in your hair at night. Well, it really reminds me of being a kid. I'm not going anywhere. I'm just riding my bike up and down the street. And around the block. I even rode my bike to a reading in my neighborhood tonight. I've also promised Son that we'll ride our bikes to the gelato place in our hood some evening.
I think the Cruiser, as a bicycle type, might help restore the fun in exercise. I've ridden quite a bit in the last few days, just toodling around.
I think toodling is my new favorite form of exercise.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Done. And done.

I have a million hilarious quips about the Wasatch Back relay, but suffice it to say that I finished. It has got to be one of the friendlier races I've run, with participants spraying water on hot runners and cheering each other on. I love my fellow runners (go Van 1!) and we really had lots of fun. So the two words to describe the Wasatch Back: fun and torturous. Even the relaxing parts (showers, sleeping on wrestling mats with 100s of other runners in a high school gym) had their torturous aspects. Such as lying there not really sleeping knowing I had to get up and run in 3 hours. 2 hours. 1 hour. Etc.
My hardest leg was 8.5 miles of some uphill and mostly downhill. On pavement. Totally exposed. At 6 pm. I ran about 19 miles total in the course of 23 hours. My fastest pace was 9 minute miles for the first leg of the race and my slowest was 10:54 for my last leg of the race.
I would love to tell you all about it, except I must eat some chips and salsa (or "dinner"), drink a beer and go to bed. It will be the first night I've slept in my own bed in three nights.
We finished the 180 mile race in 32 hours 36 minutes 38 seconds. We like symmetry. We rock!!
And I'm still alive. So it's all good.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Recent Obsessions

  1. Robyn: Swedish pop star. Why? Unknown. I heard about her on Fresh Air, and then I downloaded her music for running. My favorite is "Be Mine!" She swears a lot. As in "I should have seen it comin'/ I should have F*@%in' known." But somehow it's more powerful when I'm sitting on the couch, drinking white wine, surfing the net while Son plays with the neighbors.
  2. Bald Men: Is it just me getting older or are bald men getting sexier? Or is that sexy men are getting balder? Witness one Michael Chiklis, who has been sexy for awhile. Bruce Willis is sexy when bald. But isn't he just sexy? (Don't think about his politics! which may be suspect!) I know there are others, but mind has just gone blank. I'll get back to you on this one.
  3. Wasatch Back Relay: Why the fuck am I doing this? Okay, I know why. Because one agrees to be part of a team, and then one has to. I haven't been training enough and I've been drinking too much wine and eating too much, but what the hell. I'll finish. I know I will, because I have to, and, if nothing else, I have a strong sense of obligation. And also, I have learned in the years I have been me, I'm mentally strong even if I am weak of the flesh.
  4. My unwritten novel: I think I'll write a book called The Novel I'm Not Writing. Then at least I'd be writing. But Sleepy E is in town, and he of the hypographia gave me a bit of a pep talk (spurred on by Middlebrow). I also got some inspiration from Walter Mosley's book This Year You Write Your Novel. In general, I just need someone to tell me, with infuriating regularity, You can do it. Just do it, you stupid fuckhead. But maybe in a nicer way.
  5. Chris Noth: this picture. Enough said.
  6. Plot: I like mysteries. I want to write a lyrical novel. Who the fuck am I? And why am I swearing so much?
  7. Other people's sex lives: Do other people have more sex than me? Probably. Do they also have house cleaners and no children or at least nannies and are they having sex with the nanny? Maybe. Are they less neurotic about their non-wage earning "work"? Definitely. Let the dust bunnies reproduce. I'm in the basement "writing."
  8. Writing: is the same as number 4? Yes. See number 7 under neurotic.
  9. Not deserving all the wonderful great fantastic awesome gifts of the universe: do I need to go to therapy again? I haven't got time! See number 7.
  10. Summer: hiking. going to the pool. not writing. Whatever. It's summer!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Author Photos: Good, Bad & Hilarious

I've seen some bad author photos. And I do not want to be the subject of those. I was going to post some (of other people, of course), but then I thought that was too mean. So here, for my small blogging universe, I offer some candidates with tag lines. Judge for yourself.

Dr. Write is grainy and maybe sleepy? Her eyes are not exactly focused. But she remains in good humor. Her hair looks good for once! She is grateful for her friend's skill with the camera. She doesn't really look like this. In any case, this is just her head. She has a body too, but she doesn't want you to see that.

Dr. Write looks dreamily into the future. In the original of this photo, there was a huge bottle of wine that had to be cropped out. Is her bra showing? Well, at least it's not a nipple. She's looking across the table at a book editor, sending subliminal messages such as "publish my book" and "don't eat the duck pate."

This is Dr. Write's usual pose: mouth open. But usually her eyes are also closed. Where is she? She doesn't even know the people who own this house, she just climbed over the fence to use this chair and the deck. And maybe to steal some beverages. Can you see her tonsils? This might have been right before the police showed up.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Waiting: Over!

I received two pieces of good news this week. An embarrassment of riches.
#1: I was selected to go to London next May with the Study Abroad program.
#2: My collection of short stories was accepted by a publisher. I received an email, so it feels slightly unreal, but I trust the author of said email, so I believe in it. But it will feel more real when I get a letter or a contract.
Now I will drink coffee and steep in my good news.

Monday, June 02, 2008


Most of our lives is probably spent waiting, and while we wait, we do things like read. Or surf the internets.
I only mention it because I'm in a colossal bout of waiting right now. Dup-de-doo. (Imagine me twiddling my thumbs.)
Also, I've been really impatient lately at the additional waiting that accompanies life, like waiting in line to pay for things, waiting to get a card, waiting at stop lights, etc etc etc.
I also wanted a new post, because that book one was confusing. The upshot was, I've read some things for school, and some things I started and didn't finish, and other things I haven't read at all.Actually that's most things. If you ever see a book and think, "I wonder if Dr. Write has read this..." the answer is probably no. Middlebrow is on this "read really, really, really long books" kick (which he is just about to start...any day now).
Meanwhile, I think I'll watch a movie.

Sunday, June 01, 2008


Since all I seem to be doing is reading or making lists, this meme from Otterbutt, who is somewhere close by, but whom I haven't seen in at least a week!!
Some of these wouldn't let me bold & underline, so you have to take what you can get.
So, I bolded ones I read, underlined ones read for school, and italicized ones I started but did not finish. Some I question why I read in the first place. Memoirs of a Geisha? Though I know why. I told people that I thought it was bad, then I got taken to task for saying that because I hadn't read it. So I read it. And you know what? It was bad. Some books you just know are bad without reading them. Why read them and waste your time?

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi : a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian : a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible
Angels & Demons
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion is this
There is Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield