Ode to a Treadmill

When you’re stuck on a treadmill

In winter to run,

Your view is at standstill—

Not quite that much fun.

But at least as a writer

I find an escape.

While my hamstrings get tighter,

New plot twists take shape.

I may not cross bridges,

Or run trails lined with trees,

Jump over dirt ridges,

See birds, gnats, or bees.

But I hear voices, see people, in my head they move.

With patience (and luck) my speed will improve.


If You Were Given A Free Gift (of Time)

If you were given an (all expenses paid) extra week sometime this year, what would you do with it?

Take the kids back to Disney World the week of the Disney Princess Half Marathon and be sure to include one full day of writing at the resort where I will create the next Disney Princess—Willa Baker, the only chubby princess who wears chucks and has a smart mouth and a dream to be a cake decorator who’s pretentious mother proved through a DNA test that they are descendants of royalty. Cool, huh?

If you were given an extra day what would you do?

After running the “Extra Day 10K,” I’d have a pancake brunch at IHOP with the family, of course. Then take the kids hiking on some nature trail that includes ruins of some sort (gotta love ruins), and afterward sit on a picnic table with a notebook and pen and write a short story that incorporates the ruins in some mysterious or creepy sort of way, then out to eat again—anywhere that features ridiculously large cocktails that basically taste like fruit juice, but make me feel warm inside.  And, knowing me, I’d still like to go to bed on time because I know I won’t get any extra time the next day—that’s just unreasonable.

If you were given an extra hour?

On work days, that would give me 12 extra minutes with each patient—wow, how I love that idea. I know for sure I’d be walking the ones who could walk and have a meaningful conversation about something other than medication side effects and recent lab work.

On a non-work day, I’d tune into a (FREE!) writing lecture, like the ones hosted by Michigan State (http://cls.matrix.msu.edu/celebrity-lectures/). I’d start with John Irving, then Margaret Atwood, then Maya Angelou, then Kurt Vonnegut, then Terry McMillan; oh my, there are 31 writers to choose from, I need more than an hour!

An extra 10 minutes?

I’d stretch after running. I normally skip it to save precious time which is probably why my hamstrings and calves like to throw hissy fits.

One free minute?

Breathe and meditate. I almost typed medicate—huh, that’s weird.

One free second?

Wink at my husband. Of course then I have to explain for 600 seconds why that spontaneous gesture occurred.

C’mon readers, what about you? What if you were given a free gift of time? BTW, you are not allowed to say sleep, let’s assume that you are either well-rested or buzzing on caffeine.

Personality Speculation

I was looking up some information on Type A personalities because I might very well fall into that category. I came across a study conducted in 1976 that asked the following questions, which I will attempt to answer honestly.

Do you feel guilty if you use spare time to relax? Yes, in fact, instead of resting with my kids last night when we rented The Emperor’s New Groove, I had a notebook and pen in my lap so I could take notes on story structure and plot development.

Do you need to win in order to derive enjoyment from games and sports? Well, I got pretty upset that I missed out on winning a pie in a 5-mile race last summer when the over-all winner counted against the age group wins, and the bitch beat me by 4 full minutes before getting on a plane to travel to another race in Washington D.C. C’mon, lady, give us normal people a chance, will ya? (I do hope she enjoyed the pie.)

Do you generally move, walk and eat rapidly? I learned how to eat an entire meal in 8 minutes at Field Training in the Air Force. Can you blame me for holding onto this talent?

Do you often try to do more than one thing at a time? I don’t know. I suppose I tend to prep dinner, do dishes, pack kids lunches, direct homework, and ask the kids about their day all at once, but who doesn’t?

I think for my next leg of research, I need to focus on how Type A’s can develop the gift of patience and ability to break from multi-tasking. In the meantime, I have to post this blog, pick up the mail, get Carolyn off the bus while reading a paragraph of my book, and then prep dinner while talking to Hannah before I pick up Sarah.

Hey readers, where do you fall on the spectrum?