>Pit Stops

>After being glued to the Olympic Triathalon on television yesterday morning, I was amazed at how few pit stops those athletes made… their swift transitions from water to bike to running were amazing. And even while running, they never slowed down for water breaks. They pressed on towards their goals…. But I need frequent pit stops in the race I’m running. Maybe my goals aren’t as lofty—publishing at least three books before I die, and one before I’m sixty. I took heart from 41-year-old Olympic swimmer, Dara Torres, who says, “Wake up every morning with a plan and a dream. If you do, like me, dreams do still come true in your 40s and beyond!”

Well, I’m in the “beyond” part, like these lovely ladies so I also take heart from my monthly dose of reality inspiration from AARP the Magazine.

I appreciated their fitness article, “Save Your Back,” because these exercise are similar to what I’m continuing to learn in Pilates, and although I’ve still got pain from working muscles that haven’t been worked in a while, I’m hanging in there!

But I really enjoyed the Q & A with Marilynne Robinson, Pulitzer prize-winning author of Gilead. She’s got a new novel coming out September 2, Home, which tells the story of a conservative cleric whose beliefs are tested when his alcoholic son returns home after 20 years. The interview isn’t available at AARP’s online site, so I’ll quote just one of the questions and answers:

Q: Why do you think so many people become more interested in spirituality or religion as they get older?
A: You’ve seen the whole art of life—babies baptized, people married, the old pass away. Religion articulates the beauty of it all. People have come to a place where their lives acquire the authority of meaning.

The authority of meaning. I like that. I hope my life is moving in that direction.

The next “fuel” on my pit stop is my monthly issue of Writer’s Digest Magazine. It’s always full of goodies, but I’ll highlight just one for today: “The Healing Truth: An aspiring fiction writer realizes her story is better told as a memoir.” Sound familiar? Gail Konop Baker wrote two fiction novels before being diagnosed with cancer, which motivated her to tell her story in memoir form, Cancer is a Bitch: Or, I’d Rather be Having a Midlife Crisis.

Here’s a short excerpt from the interview:

“I was really nervous about the fact that my first book is this intimate look inside my life. When you write fiction, you can hide behind it. This felt different. Iwas reliving a very painful, scary time, but I’m totally grateful for the opportunity. I love writing from my life. It’s amazing what happens when you open your eyes and mind.”

Now that was a great pit stop!

My monthly does of juice from Real Simple Magazine also helped, but today I’ll only share a tiny gem—a punch-out bookmark in the back with this great photo and “thought” from clothing designer Yves Saint Laureant.

And finally, there’s the serious pit stop… the bedside table.

Yes, those are all books that I am currently reading or waiting to be read next!


But oh, how yummy!
Currently reading:

Iodine by Haven Kimmel (going to hear Haven read at Square Books on September 8!)
His Lovely Wife by Elizabeth Dewberry
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Waiting for April by Scott Morris
House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III

But I’m dreaming of the ultimate pit stop—the beach! (more on that in October….)

Today I’ll have to settle for a hair cut. And maybe a latte at Starbucks so I can work on that stack of books! I just finished critiquing my fellow writers’ submissions for our monthly writers group meeting this coming Saturday in Oxford, so maybe I’ll just take the rest of the week for reading. Refueling. Sounds good to me!

Please share!