Monday, June 20, 2022

Warming Up

Second week of summer, ready set go.

Time to get serious about all manner of things, including Sophie and George, the main characters of my fourth novel. I mean, I hope it's my fourth novel. It's iteration #3 of novel four, so this is manuscript 4.3, I guess.

Except that I wrote another partial book before Minor Dramas, so maybe it's 5.3? Whatever, I think it's best not to think too hard about the numbering system.

I have a good feeling about Sophie and George, anyway. I think they're going to have a good story and fall in love while solving a crime together. Doesn't that sound utterly delightful? There will be some bumps along the way and plenty of quirks.

One of the quirks is that Sophie strongly believes in fate and omens. I have a running list of omens that will appear in the book. I'm excited about those. I'm writing with my crystals by my side, after all.

To be honest, I wish we could fast forward a little bit to the part where I have most of the details worked out and I could just be cranking out chapters in some sort of more-or-less order, but we're not there. We're never going to get there. We just have do things organically as we always have and that's that.


Tuesday, June 14, 2022

I've Got a New Way

Everyone knows I've been enjoying running since I was eleven years old. I've always had unconventional running form, the kind that prompts comments like, "I could never mistake your gait!" or, "I guess you can't tell how fast someone is by looking!" 

Do I wish I had a gazelle-like stride? I mean, sure. But, we can't get too hung up about these things and let other people's judgments steal our joy. 

Or something. 

Anyway. I had an alarming running-related pain recently and visited a physical therapist named Betsy. She has fixes for most of my problems and last week she said what she'd really like to do is "tweak" my running form. It turns out that by "tweak," she means completely remake it, a process that requires constant thought and effort.

I have to think about leaning forward, increasing the frequency with which my feet hit the ground, changing the relative locations of the forefoot strikes, exaggerating the push off, tensing my abs, but not my superficial abs!

Whereas I used to think about all manner of exciting and important things while I ran, now I think about whether I'm adhering to Betsy's compex and multi-step directions. We'll see how this goes.

Monday, June 13, 2022

A New Leaf

 I'm always turning them over, but that seems okay, doesn't it? A sort of perpetual hope? 

Today's new leaf is about a summer routine. We buffered the school year schedule and the summer schedule with a period of intensity that has been perhaps unmatched in West family life. We did:

  • Section track meet, a two-day affair
  • Mac's 8th-grade graduation
  • My final grades and comments
  • Shef's graduation from high school
  • Shef's state track meet, a two-day affair where he won the two-mile and finished third in the mile. This was also his final high-school competition, and we all knew while we watched him race that he will no longer wear the blue and green.
  • Shef's graduation party
  • Mac's birthday! That kid is 14 and "celebrated" his milestone by watching Shef race and also going to a party for Shef and his friends. He was a good sport, but come on. That sucked a little.
  • Lots and lots of other graduation parties for kids I have taught and liked forever
  • A visit to a book club that read Are We There Yet? It was a little awkward because when I arrived, I thought they'd read Home or Away. Luckily, even in my near delirium, I managed to remember the names of the characters in my second novel.
So, now is the leaf-turning. I have a planner with checkboxes. I have a keyboard and a computer. I have coffee in a mug with a refill planned already. I have reasonable, habit-forming goals. I have a new jazzy focus playlist on Spotify. I spent ten hours in bed last night.

We're going to do this. I'm warmed up now.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Warm Up

My grades are turned in and my senior mom moment is over for the day (We did the college athlete recognition this morning. Shef is about to be a college athlete), and now I'm supposed to be sitting here at the kitchen table doing my other job.

Which is to be a novelist.

Frankly, it seems virtually impossible at the moment that I could be capable of producing a novel-length work. It seems impossible that I could even make it through the day without tripping over myself and forgetting the name of the current vice president.

We're at approximately, "Man, woman, person, camera, TV" over here.

Nevertheless, I'm more than 400 days behind on my fourth novel. It's summer. I have to make myself work on it. There's simply no choice and no more wiggle room. This blog post is the warm-up. 

I'm going to tell you about the fight the dogs got into last night:

Generally, the three (3) dogs peacefully co-exist with some good-natured and energy-sapping rough housing mixed into their pleasant daily routine of lying on the couch in sunny spots.

But last night, something mysterious happened that upset the canine balance, and a spirited tussle turned frantic. Skip's yelps became screamish. I had to yank Ripper off of his neck. Teddy's toenails slid precariously on the wood floor. I might have kicked him.

The whole thing was slightly traumatizing, especially when we found chunks of Skip's hair on Ripper's jowls. Skip, we realized, was also bleeding in two places. He refused to leave my lap for the rest of the evening. We didn't know that a cockapoo could be so vicious, but I'm not sure that any of us were particularly surprised. Ripper does Ripper. And we named her that.

That's the whole story.

I'd prefer it's the end of this dog drama. I don't really need it in my life right now.