April 15, 2012 § 3 Comments
The final chapters of Mockingjay were my running companions for today’s six miler.
A I made my way to the grassy path along busy Falls of Neuse I listened to the war raging around Katniss, the beautifully written heroine whose inner thoughts are so strikingly real it’s hard to believe she is not.
The story of the war propelled my feet onward. The death of friends being left without goodbye’s, the destruction of human life, the hunt for the way out.
And then without warning came the description of a familiar girl with a long blonde braid rushing in as a medic to help the children who’d been fire bombed by falling parachutes they thought were sent to help.
Who is she? Who could she be?
Before my brain could work it out came the description of her duck tailed shirt, and I knew it was Prim; the sweet and bright younger sister of Katniss.
As happens in the very best novels my heart sped up and I inhaled with surprise.
Since I was running, my pace quickened and my focus on the words and the anticipation of what was to come filled my brain and hung around in there trying to make sense.
I cruised through the Wells Fargo parking lot and around the corner to the safer place to cross the road. I hopped up on the sidewalk next to the gas station when I realized I was crying.
Running and crying is a funny sensation. Your feet keep moving and your heart beats faster, your eyes are misty and had I not been so focused on the narrator I would have probably heard the sighs and deep breathing coming from out of my very own mouth.
I sucked in my breath as I got a hold of myself, mostly out of embarrassment, as I was only feet away from a gas pumping customer who would have definitely deemed me crazy had he been given more time to look me over.
I kept on and climbed up and down the ladder of emotions as the story progressed and neared to its close.
The power that a novelist has to move someone’s soul in this way is as astonishing and inspiring to me as the words themselves.
It is the thing that keeps me reading. It’s the reason I prefer novel’s over most any other kind of written work.
I ended my run feeling re-charged both physically and mentally.
My body feels good and strong and my desire to get moving on my own book is deep.
It’s a scary prospect and not something new to my list of goals. The hope that I can one day wield the same kind of power over a reader is so all encompassing, palpable and surging through my fingers as I sit here to type.
It’s in me to try.
The next step is to find the courage to let it come out.
February 10, 2012 § 6 Comments
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what to do with the blog once I cross the finish line on March 18th. Running in Mommyland has turned into such an important aspect of my life for so many reasons, most of which have been documented here. I don’t want it to end, yet I know that it must (in its current form), as the finish line is just five weeks away.
Yesterday for no logical reason, I started a Running in Mommyland facebook page, even though I’d been busily tossing around its future. It was an interesting process, a frustrating process, as I am not a computer programmer. HTML code and iFrame and App development? I was using a part of my brain that doesn’t get stretched very often and I was reminded of my frustration with Physics in high school; one of the two reasons I didn’t graduate with my class. Is it a surprise that a boy was the other? I was oblivious, the true nature of youth.
As I worked on the page I made a decision.
Running in Mommyland will continue to be written, but with a brand new focus.
I want to get published!
I don’t know how it’s going to happen or what is going to be written. Will it be more blog posts that turn into something bigger? Maybe I’ll write a fun young adult novel as my first book out of the gate. It feels like the right decision. The two other books that are waiting in my soul (Maine and Sister) are too important and I’m not ready to give them the complete focus that they deserve. Plus they require research, which always takes time.
In some ways blogging has been easy, because there is a never-ending array of stories and experiences that happen in real life. True novel-writing is taking it to another level where character study and relationships, plot and problem, make it what it is; real, but not really, page turning and memorable (if it’s good). That, I consider a challenge.
For now, the challenge at hand is tomorrow’s nineteen miler. Though writing has helped keep me sane, I’ve become a little superstitious about documenting my feelings in regard to the biggies. So I’ll leave it there; the dangling nineteen.
As one personal challenge wraps itself up, another one has revealed its purpose.
Everyone have a purpose.
January 19, 2012 § 6 Comments
I’ve been thinking a lot about my book; the novel I’m going to begin sometime within this year.
I want to write a joint memoir, the story of my sister and me, but I’m not sure that we are ready. The story of our bond, of our separation through adoption, and the healing that came when she found me is complicated and painful and joyous.
But the story is not just ours. There are others who may be hurt by what they read. While it will not be my intention to do so, the truth can sting, especially when it reveals itself to those who don’t want to hear it; to those who don’t want to believe it. I don’t know that I am ready to cross a bridge that’s lined with people I love; some of whom I’ve only just met.
If I know anything, it’s that timing is everything. My sister found me when the timing was right. Any sooner and I may not have been receptive. Any later and I wouldn’t have had a chance to speak to my dying birth mother.
My marathon is now eight weeks away. As my training amps up and the clock ticks closer to March 18th I realize that I must have a plan for where to go once it’s over.
I have contemplated another marathon, in fact I put my name in the pot for NYC 2012 and have pondered the idea of running San Francisco. With my body already begging for a rest, the “whole me” knows that the next challenge will have to be less physically taxing. My mind needs to set itself upon the next challenge, so that I can remain focused on the now. It’s just how I operate.
I’ve begun to imagine a story and (at night when it’s quiet) it’s begun to flesh itself out.
There is a heroine, though her name hasn’t yet appeared. Her story will not be mine. She’ll be a person all her own, but will come from the place that I have always considered home: a place called Maine.
A booky wook. The next chapter in my own life’s adventure.