Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Life is Whizzing by...and a reading coming up...Free Press article about Terry

Reading from Girl Meets Boy: Because There are Two Sides to Every Story on Tuesday, March 22, at Mankato Barnes and Noble.
Since my story, "Mars at Night,"  is paired with "Mouths of the Ganges" by Terry Davis, we will be reading together that night.
Lots of people in this world think it's very weird to be good friends with an ex-husband. I'm glad to be an exception to that attitude.
Terry and I are great friends..far better friends than marriage partners.http://mankatofreepress.com/local/x952193352/After-writer-Terry-Davis-fall-a-rising

Friday, February 24, 2012

Gray February day

Snowy, little fuzzy scattered flakes this morning. Feb. 24 sounds like it should be some significant specific holiday or something, but I have no idea what it is. 
Wednesday, when the daily Writer's Almanac arrived, it bore this tidbit of information:

Today is the birthday of George Washington, born in Westmoreland County, Virginia (1732). His favorite foods were mashed sweet potatoes with coconut, string beans with mushrooms, cream of peanut soup, salt cod, and pineapples. He lost all of his teeth except for one by — according to second president John Adams — cracking Brazilian nuts between his jaws. He got dentures made out of a hippopotamus tusk, designed especially to fit over his one remaining real tooth. But the hippo dentures were constantly rubbing against that real tooth so that he was constantly in pain. He used opium to alleviate the pain.

That was the impetus for my writing a poem entitled "How to be George Washington" since my Creative Writing class's assignment for the week was to write a Gary Snyder list poem of "how to..." starting each line with a verb. So I did it. It turned out so cynical and full of rant against white supremacists in power that I dare not even post it here. It was fun to write, however. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sooo good and why I HAVE to bike

So good to have my cast off. So good to have permission to live without my splint except when I'm on my bike. So good to be working out and feel like a human being again. The last two days, after my sessions on the trainer, I could wring out the liner of my splint; it was soaked with sweat. Feels good.

I have good cycling goals for the first part of the riding season:
1. The Ironman ride in Lakeville, first Sunday in May: 100 miles
2. The Senior Games in Rapidan(!!), first weekend in June: two short road races and two time trials in two days
3. The primary reason for getting in shape this year: the Jackson County Brevet near Atlanta, Georgia, with my son-in-law Tom McCaslin, to raise money for and awareness of Aplastic Anemia. Tom is a survivor of AA, and he's the FIRST survivor to ride this 100-mile ride. I'm so excited for the weekend of June 16 for this event. Nikki and Alec will be there to cheer us on. I get to stay with Daniel and Tessa, which is another huge boon for the event.
4. Do the local time trials regularly and get faster as the summer progresses. And to be the fastest woman over 50 in the local peleton; hahahaha

It's good to have goals. And so many friends have already generously contributed to the Aplastic Anemia cause and the Jackson County ride. Thank you!

I have a weird sense of drive: I can refuse that extra helping of food or stay away from sweets if I have an event in front of me. I want to be lighter and faster on the hills.  But to look okay in jeans or fit into a dress? It doesn't even faze my ability to eat right. I like to eat too much.

Another thing about cycling goals: I can't control how I do competitively--who knows who else will be faster or stronger--but I can control what I do. I can work hard and get faster and stronger, yes, even at this age. I think that's why I need to ride so much.

I can't control what happens in the publishing world. I can control how I write. I can force myself to be disciplined and write, and I am in control of if my story is any good--but I can't control public reception or how much my books sell. I can't always be in control of how much time I get to write, but I can control the quality that comes out of that time.

Letting go is more than a cliche. It's real. Cycling helps that.

One more thing: I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis 32 years ago. It's a "cronic" disease that supposedly never goes away. I've been in remission, without being on medication for nearly 20 of those years. If I quit working out and eat a lot of crap, I can feel it creeping up on me. If I eat well and most importantly work out, to take the stress out of my body, which is a CLEAR CORRELATION, I can stay symptom free. It's so important to be active.
Sometimes I want to scream it from the rooftops. MOVE!

Right now: shut up on the blog and WRITE.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Stravinsky's Rite of Spring

Getting ready for my Humanities Class.
Looking for a bit more information about the first performance of Stravinksy's Rite of Spring, which I knew was performed in 1913 and NOT to an appreciative or receptive audience (supposedly the Ballet-goers rioted and trashed the theater), I found this bit from NPR.
Fascinating stuff.
And from what I understand, the audiences of Paris in 1913 weren't ready to watch a young girl dance herself to death in a sacrificial dance to the pagan gods who might grant a good growing season. And they weren't ready for the "jagged rhythms, crunching discord, and the strange jerking of the dancers on stage."  After Surviving the Great War--WWI-- however, such a concept wasn't quite as appalling as the atrocities that had been seen in war...and so the revolutionary ballet made its mark as a new style, a creative break from tradition, and threw open the door for innovations in 20th century music. Thanks, Igor.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Springfield, here I come!

Crazy busy week. Taking Terry's dogs to a fostering family today (thank you, Melissa!!!).

School is always there, and FRIDAY, I'm going to Springfield, MN to be guest author at the elementary school for the morning. I'm looking forward to that. I just hope I'm not to tired to remember what I plan to say!  Talking about "Prairie-Dogging Your Way to a Story." Subtitled: "From Here to There by Way of the Zoo: Animal imagery for writing to completion."

Creative Writing class is fun.  I'm actually working on a poem for the first time in ages. Will post it if I finish it in some form that I like. Title: "I Speak Bike."

Friday, February 3, 2012

Sick of us yet? More GIRL MEETS BOY Blog Tour stuff!

I screwed up. Maybe royally. I guess it's not the end of the world, but last Saturday, Jan. 28th, I was supposed to be the host blogger for our GIRL MEETS BOY Blog Tour. With everything going on with Terry Davis, I FORGOT completely.

When I first agreed to host a day of the tour, I was planning to have a conversation with Terry Davis about our experience writing shared stories...but with him in St. Marys in Rochester, that didn't happen. I had plenty of conversations with him there, but none that you'd want to read about here.

One of the things I wanted to talk was how it's OKAY to be FRIENDS with your EX.  If you live long enough and perhaps a certain way, you do collect an ex or two. The kids who are characters in GIRL MEETS BOY most likely will all have an ex or two (some already do) by the time they reach 30 or 40 or 50.

I learned more about writing from Terry Davis than from any other single human being on the planet. Getting to write a shared story with him was an honor.

I talked about this process in an interview on The Book Cellar that's up and running today. Kelly Milner Halls, the illustrious, prolific, and crazy-delightful editor (and one of the contributing authors) of GIRL MEETS BOY interviewed me. This sums up lots of what I wanted to say about the experience of writing this story.
Check out the entire BLOG TOUR through the schedule HERE on Kelly's page.