Monday, April 25, 2016

Springtime Reality

Two weeks ago I joined 7000 cyclists for the Emerald City bike ride. The attraction? An opportunity to cross the new SR-520 bridge - the world's longest floating bridge - before it opened to traffic. Perhaps cars would have been safer to navigate than 7000 men, women, and kids. Lots of kids. 7000 cyclists at vastly different skill levels.

The first half mile the crowd was so thick, the pace so slow, only the best cyclists  were able to ride - those you see at stoplights balancing the bike at a standstill without unclipping from the pedals. The rest of us walked our bikes from the University of Washington parking lot, across the Montlake Bridge, and there began to ride.

The 21-mile ride included not only the SR-520 bridge, but also the I-5 Express lanes, and the I-90 tunnel. Definitely a unique ride worth the crowds.
Last Saturday I rode alone. 32.7 miles from University Village along the Burke Gilman trail to the Sammamish River trail and on toward Red Hook Brewery. But no beers for me. I had to retrace those 16+ miles and I knew I couldn't do it with beer, cider, or anything else weighing me down.

32 miles isn't much. It isn't a century, my goal for this summer. But then, it's still April. Seattle biking season doesn't usually kick in this early. At least not for me.
I judge spring by the lilacs. My only child was born with the lilacs. As I grew bigger and bigger, as the days dragged beyond my due date I watched the lilacs in the large yard surrounding our tiny rental cottage. When Erin finally made her appearance on May 17th, my husband cased not only our yard, but the entire neighborhood, arriving to my hospital room his arms full of fading lilacs for the two of us.

When we bought our home, we dug up that lilac bush from the side yard of the rental property and transplanted it in our own new yard. Each year it blooms bright and fragrant beside our small table in the front yard.

This year our daughter will be twenty-seven and already the lilacs are in bloom. Spring arrived early. Yet I remind myself it won't last, I mustn't let the return of the gray drizzle depress me, I must get outdoors when the sun shines because its return is unpredictable.
The weather dictates my use of time. While time is still limited by my spring quarter teaching assignment, I ride in the sun and write when it rains. I suppose one could argue that makes me neither a dedicated writer nor cyclist. Perhaps. But such is my springtime reality.

Friday, April 22, 2016

April Fools?

On the first of April friend and writing partner, Pamela Hobart Carter, sent me an email with a link to a literary magazine seeking submissions.

"Interesting. 3,500 words. What could I submit?" I keyed back.

"Combine a few posts?" she suggested.

I landed on a series titled Finding Home I'd posted between March and July 2015. After combining all sixteen posts, I had 9,090 words. I slash it to 5,713 before sending it to Pam in frustration. She masterfully trimmed it to 3,242 words. 

On Wednesday, April 27th I'll be reading this new piece at C& P Coffee Company in West Seattle.

If you're in the area, I invite you to join us. Bring something of your own to share at open mic.

Monday, April 11, 2016

What Fun!

Thanks to Third Place Books ~ Ravenna for hosting the National Siblings Day reading last night. My first public reading - at open mic - was here in 2003. What a pleasure to return to such a welcoming venue.

Thanks to the talented G. Elizabeth Kretchmer for organizing the event and keeping us on track throughout the evening with her warm humor. Check out her books. Write a review. Make an author happy.

Thanks to the enthusiastic audience and all the wonderful readers. It was a pleasure to hear your words.

Thanks to Jerry Jaz for snapping and sharing these photographs. Check out the monthly Writer's Read Out Jerry hosts and share five minutes of your unpublished work. Next up May 15th.