Friday, August 8, 2008

only one way to go: up

Since the Olympics start today... 08/08/08... More on hills and running (and a bit about writing) and what great training they are—The New York Times did a fascinating article on one in particular. Such a hill is it, that the Olympians of all sports train on it. See that thing reaching up in the distance? That's just the halfway mark.

“It’s the one workout where people truly have to face something that is unbeatable,” the speedskater Apolo Ohno said. “It is you against yourself.”

Sounds a bit like writing, to me. Half the battle, as far as I can tell, is getting yourself out of the way to let the story through.

Read more: here.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

running and writing: hills

Photo shows Cat Hill. A portion of the park (Central Park) that slopes up hill nastily and half way up there is this glorious cat sculpture looking down at you, ready to pounce on you like you're a mouse. Unfortunately I only ever see this cat when I'm sweating, gasping for air and feel like I might die. (Actually, exactly how a mouse must feel.) They (The Running Experts) say, "Hills are speed work in disguise." And, fortunately—or unfortunately—depending on how you look at it, Central park is full of them (hills, that is—although definitely Running Experts, as well. I often see Bob Glover running in the park). So Cat Hill is speed work—even though you're going the slowest pace ever and it feels like the exact opposite—despite all appearances, you are in fact training to go faster. To run more efficiently. To be a better runner. You're sprinting. You just don't see it. Sometimes you're writing and it is all up hill. But lately I've been thinking. Maybe that's just part of your training regimen, how you're becoming a stronger writer. The hard days are training to go longer, further, faster. The challenges, the uphill days are not obstacles. They are spring boards. They are speed work in disguise. Because the thing that slows you down may just be what makes you faster.

Monday, August 4, 2008

at home with their books

The New York Times has an interesting article today: "Famous Writers and Their Work Spaces Come Together in a Mural." You get to see where famous writers wrote.

Edith Wharton wrote on her bed.

Elena Climent has painted a large trompe-l’oeil mural in New York University’s Languages and Literature building that depicts works and workplaces of six writers, using authentic details. This one's Edith's. (Apparently she threw her papers all over the floor. Love that.)

love also that you get to see their books and their imagined worlds floating up there. Check out Washington Irving's, too.

Very cool.

Now I better go. I have some important papers to throw on the carpet.

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