June 2011 Archive

Heavy Legs are Better than Jelly Legs

I trail run.

Trail Running

Yup, that’s what I look like when I run trails, nice and smooth.  Totally kidding.  That’s Anton Krupicka – he is one of the better ultra runners out there.  Anton runs, on average, 14 miles in the morning and 6-8 at night, his week ranges from 180 miles to 200.  Crazy?  Yeah, I know.

And no, that’s not what I do, but do you want to know what the most crazy part is?  That’s what Cale wants to do.  Cale’s an ultra runner.

When I say I’m a trail runner, really, I just mean that I go to the trails with him and hike/run around while he’s doing his thing, putting in his miles.  I get some excersie and some awesome time to let my muse run around in my head, and he gets my support on the trails.  I figure it’s my way of saying thank you for putting up with the hours I spend writing.

If you’re interested in running trails, here are a few tips:

  1. Let your eyes fall a few feet in front of you and be prepared to put the brakes on.  It’s pretty typical for snakes to come slithering across the trail in front of you.
  2. Either know the trails really well, have a map or bring a compass.  Yes, it’s easy to get lost out there.
  3. Don’t expect running on trails to be like running on the road.  It is much, much more difficult, but oh so worth it.
  4. Have your hands ready for A) brushing away spider webs or B) for falling.
  5. Always leave a note or let someone know where you’re going.
  6. (This one is from Cale) Just do it.  The more you do it, the easier it will be.

Mostly, have fun, running trails and being around nature is incredible.  Yeah, you have to expect to walk up the hills, run the rest and yeah, sometimes you fall, or lose your shoes in mud puddles, but in the end, you feel like you’ve accomplished something, you feel free, apart of something much bigger, and that totally makes it worth it.

Crazy Dreams

Cale has the funniest dreams.  Many times, I’ll wake up and he’ll be saying something about soccer or directing his team around the field (he played in college).  But a few days ago, when I went to see if he was waking up, he was in the midst of a dream I couldn’t stop laughing about…

Married Dogs

I doggone do

Me: Are you waking up?
Cale: Yes, do I need to get dressed up?
Me: For what?
Cale: For Piggy’s [dog’s] wedding.
Me: She’s getting married today?
Cale: Yes.
Me: Is she wearing a white dress?
Cale: Yes.
Me: Is she marrying a Pitt Bull?
Cale: No.
Me: Is she marrying a German Shepherd?
Cale: Yes.
(Piglet comes into the room)
Me: Do you want to see Pig?
Cale: No, I just saw her and told her I was mad at her.
Me: Why are you mad?
Cale: Because she’s leaving me.
Me: Why is she leaving you?
Cale: Because she’s getting married.

Seriously, it was hilarious and I couldn’t stop laughing.  Eventually, dream Cale got mad at my laughing and finally woke up. Hilarious.

Sentence Sundays!

I will be the first to admit, I am not the best writer.  Now, I may not be a great writer but I am dedicated, I work hard, I study and learn, and I want to be the best writer I can be.  And the first place to look to improve my writing is starting at the beginning: the sentence.  Thus, Sentence Sundays!  From here on out (or until I decide either I have nothing else to learn…right…or everybody votes Sentence Sundays stink), I will be posting what I learn about sentences.

As there are usually four Sundays per month, each Sunday will be designated to a different aspect of sentences.

  1. Sentence Variation
  2. Respect to the Greats
  3. Punctuation
  4. Word Choice

Since this technically is the second Sunday of the month, I’m going to leave you with one of my very favorite suspensive sentences:

“He drove the car carefully, his shaggy hair whipped by the wind, his eyes hidden behind wraparound mirror shades, his mouth set in a grim smile, a .38 Police Special on the seat beside him, the corpse stuffed in the trunk.”

(If any of you know who wrote this, let me know because I can’t find it anywhere. ) Now that is a great sentence.

Keep in mind, I will be learning as I post things here.  If you see any mistakes, please let me know!

So, I’ll see you all next Sunday for a lesson on punctuation!

As a side note, I’ve had three of you take me up on my offer (for a critique partner or just to have a new set of eyes read your WIP) and a few of you say you were interested.  If you’re still interested, or are anytime in the next couple months, let me know!  The offer is still standing 🙂

Note: in light of Kristen Lamb’s, (who wrote We Are Not Alone (#MyWANA on Twitter)), post on why writers blogging about writing is bad, Sentence Sundays will be the days of the week I blog on writing.  Tuesdays and Fridays will be my other blogging days, for other fun things. 🙂

Writing is Like…

K.V. Briar tagged me in a meme and I am in love with this one!  The meme is to think of a metaphor for writing.  KV likened her writing to blowing on dandelion fluff, which I think is a beautiful metaphor.

For me, writing is like a mesmerizing tapestry.

Tapestry

Tapestries weave together colorful strands of yarn and twine to tell a story.  Weavers spend years on their work, crafting a flawless tale and perfectly placing each strand next to the others.  For me, writing is like this.  There are hundreds of strands to each story I write, and placing them together takes focus, courage, and deep love for the craft.  And hopefully, the end product is beautiful and whole, just like the picture above 🙂

And the people I’m tagging are…

  1. L. Carroll
  2. Ash
  3. Robyn
  4. Jack Flacco

I can’t wait to see what you guys write!  (Even if I didn’t tag you, you should post on this because it’s awesome!)

#YAsaves

I assume all of you have seen the #YAsaves trend on Twitter, but if not, check it out.  I’ve read a few hauntingly powerful posts in reflection of the @wsj article and have been inspired to add my voice to the mix.

The most important thing I’ve noticed from all the tweets are the many people who have written that they wish they would have had access to the YA books that teenagers have today.  I was lucky to have grown up when YA books were becoming popular, though not as they are today.

Depite having a wide group of friends, several best friends, and always having something to do on weekends, I grew up a very lonely girl.  My close family saved me from expressing my sadness and loneliness in negative ways, but it wasn’t until the end of college that I finally understood that lonely was just a part of me.  Once I accepted that, it became okay and it no longer hurts me like it once did.

While I don’t have a story like many of those I have read, I still connect and understand that it was books that saved me.  I spent enormous amounts of time at the library, feeling the bindings of books, wanting to jump between their pages.  Concocting stories of my own is what carried me from day to day.  When I didn’t know how to express what I felt, books did.  This is why I write – I want to give that to another person who needs it.  In books, there is always a safe place to escape to when the real world doesn’t provide that.

YA isn’t too dark, it reflects reality and educates teenagers on aspects of life they need to know about.  More often than not, kids don’t become aware of issues like anorexia, cutting, suicide, and rape until it confronts them in real life.  This should not be the case.  Kids need a safe place they can learn about these things and know how to react when they happen in life.  I say there needs to be more YA and absolutely, never in any way, should there be censorship of the written word.

Thank you to everyone out there for helping put to words why I write and read, and why YAsaves.