Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Final Authentic Look

After six and a half hours of riding, this is my “Exhausted Bewilderment” look.

You be the judge as to which of these author photos would be best for the back of a book. In the meantime, I will continue to write and recover from my exhausted bewilderment.

Authentic Look Number Four

At five and a half hours, this is my “I Need More Oxygen . . . Much More Oxygen” look.

Authentic Look Number Three

At three and a half hours, this is my “Maybe I’ve Swallowed Some Dirt, But I’m Going to Keep Going” look.

Authentic Look Number Two

Two and a half hours later, this is my “I Broke My Chain and Spend Half an Hour Trying to Fix it While Being Attacked by Mosquitoes!” look. Excruciatingly authentic.

Look Number One

This is my “Brimming With Happy Thoughts and Overflowing With Optimism” look as the race is about to begin.

Authentic Author Photos

Ever noticed how author photos at the back of a book are mostly quite polished, staged, and posed? You never have a photo of an author at 6:00 a.m. only fifteen seconds after they’ve rolled out of bed. And you never see a picture of an author right after spending an hour or two in the dentist’s chair having a root canal. Yes, they are all so polished and refined.

I’m afraid I’m somewhat guilty of this myself. My photo in Klutzhood and Tabloidology was taken by my son, Ben, when we were out snowshoeing one Boxing Day. It’s the, “Hey, I’m in the Wilderness Under a Snow-covered Tree” look. No studio, no special lighting, but still, it was staged and posed.

May I present to you in the following posts a much more authentic set of author photos. These were taken spontaneously during the course of a six hour mountain bike race in Williams Lake called the Pedal by the Puddle.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Riding and Writing

What do these two activities have to do with each other?

Nothing and everything. (By the way, I wouldn’t recommend doing them at the same time, however, the mind works in strange ways regardless of what the body is doing.)

If you’re stuck for that killer ending to make your reader gasp in amazement, go for a bike ride.

Looking for a great opening line? Go for a cross-country ski. Or a run. Or a paddle in a kayak. Whatever works.

For me, it’s time to be out there, in the woods or on the water, all on my own, simply moving. This combination immerses the mind in a relaxed, creative mood when revelations suddenly flash forth whether you want them to or not.

I have to admit to carrying a notebook, and on occasion, stop to jot down a note or two. But usually, the revelation is enough to be remembered and applied to whatever I’m writing later that night.

So, riding and writing go hand in hand, along with skiing and writing, paddling and writing, and running and writing. Maybe I should buy a pogo stick!