So it turns out I’m not an extrovert. All my life I’ve thought that people tend to give me energy, not sap it. But today, after a short test and a little discussion, I’ve learned that I have exactly 1% more extroversion in me than I do introversion.

Suddenly certain things make sense. Like why I would sometimes choose to write rather than have a conversation. Why I am drawn to words and the many ways they can be used. Why I feel a constant pull between people and what is going on in my mind.

Sometimes I choose the people, sometimes I choose what is going on in my mind. But I’m surprised.

I thought I was a purebred extrovert.
I’m not.

I’m an extrinvert.
Or an intrexvert.

Or whatever.

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At Chautauqua this year, Yolanda Leroy…her name is prounounced LEE-roy. I’d always flaired it up in my mind, having never actually said it out loud and just having read it in market guides and mind-pronounced it as luh-ROY…anyway, Yolanda LEE-roy of Charlesbridge Publishing said that writing is a lot like training for a marathon. There are the training runs, which you don’t really have to be proficient in, you just have to do them. They help you build up the resistance to go the 26.2 miles on race day.

I ran the Chicago marathon in 2002 so Yolanda LEE-roy was speaking my language. One of main things running through my mind during the marathon was “I did what it takes to finish.” I had trained well. I had done the tough stuff. I had slogged away by myself for hours in the blazing sun, just staying on my feet to finish numerous training runs. When I crossed the line in Chicago, I was more proud that I had done what it takes to get there than the fact that I had endured the marathon itself.

I’m training again now. Training to run the Disney marathon in 2006. For some reason, I feel less prepared. In a little worse shape. I keep trying to remind myself that it just comes down to these daily runs. Just staying on my feet for the duration of each individual run. Just teaching the muscles what they are in for. Then on race day, the endurance will be there.

It is kind of like writing in a way. It all comes down to those daily “runs” on the computer. Just putting it down on paper. BIC for the duration. And when it comes time for the marathon itself…the final revision…the strength/endurance/knowledge will be there. The writing muscles will work.

So here’s to my butt on the road and my butt in the chair for the next 4 months. I’ll keep you posted on the training (and the results) of both.

Summer Snow

I ache the day, the summer day,
the too-warm, slick and sweaty day,
a day too hot for even rain,
a day laid low, that hovered
close, that fell in drifts
and choked my soul.

It smothered him then slipped away,
away from heart and labored breath,
away from me to snowy death,
away, away,

I ache that day.

wrote: At the top of a piece of paper, write the words: “I’m sorry.” Free write for five minutes (or more if you are on a roll). Go with whatever comes to mind, and don’t worry if your thoughts shift mid-sentence. Let stream of consciousness guide you. Make a list, write a paragraph, do whatever feels right. If you don’t feel like getting personal, try the exercise from you main character’s pov. He or she might surprise you!

This is vaguely in the voice of the mc of one of my novels:


I’m sorry.

Sort of sorry, anyway. I mean, I can’t be completely sorry for something that isn’t my fault. I’m sorry it all happened but what can I do about it now? Other than tell you I’m sorry? I hate that word sometimes. Sorry. What does it really mean? No one really means it. You don’t. Ever. You say it sometimes but then nothing changes. Mabye that’s why I can’t mean it either. If you really meant it, it would change you. It would force you into action over the thing that went wrong, even if you’d had no control over it in the first place. But you’re not sorry. You’re never truly sorry. When do you ever try to make things right? I don’t think you’re ever sorry at all. Deep down you’re happy things went wrong, wanting it all to somehow make me grow up, make me a man. “Life’s tough,” you say. “Gotta face it or run,” you say. Well, when did you ever face it, tough guy? When did you ever look it square in the jaw and try to lick it? ‘Cause if you had, you’d know sorry. You’d be sorry for what’s happened now. Not just helpless. Not just pathetic.

Sorry? Yeah, I’m sorry. Sorry you can’t let yourself be sorry.


Greener still

Youth was green
like tender shoots sprayed
with chartreuse,
limed with strokes of light,
reaching toward the hope of sun.

Innocence waned
then turned its face,
casting knowing eyes toward
cooling clay, growing more
at its core,
its hoping ever
greener still.