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Busting through my Blogging Identity Crisis

IMG_6331bThere’s a spot on my running route that always gets me.

It’s just a small hill about a quarter-mile in, one that’s hardly epic, nothing to break a big sweat over, but for some reason, I’m always a breathless, gasping mess by the top, every single time. It doesn’t matter if I’m only out for a quick three-miler or a weekend long run. Breathless by the top. Every. Single. Time.

Now, about ten strides later? I feel fully recovered as though it never happened, ready to charge ahead. Still. The fact that this hill leaves me so tired and wheezy bothered me for the longest time. I’ve tried extending my warm-up, running at a slower pace, shortening my stride, lengthening my stride, what have you, it doesn’t matter.

Breathless. Every. Single. Time.

So rather than fight it, I’ve learned that the best way to deal with this hill is to slow to a walk if only for .05 miles, allowing myself to catch my breath and save my strength before charging ahead at the peak.

I tried doing the same with this blog.

Posting over the summer felt too much like a fight, one I was sorely losing. Between the stress of work, finishing a novel, and some family issues, I just didn’t have the energy to charge ahead, slapping up some haphazard posts that–quite frankly–would only suck. So I decided to take a break, slow to a walk, save my strength for other battles before jumping back into things.

Now I’m back.

Kind of.

I don’t know.

IMG_7020bSee, here’s the problem. I’ve been having another identity crisis with this blog, trying to figure out what it represents and who I’m writing for. Writers? Runners? Readers? Disney World and runDisney addicts such as myself? I mean, OH MY GOSH, I could write at least ten entries about my awesome, amazing, wonderfully fantastic Tower of Terror 10-Miler All Girls’ Vacation I returned from last week. (We got chosen to be Grand Marshals of the Festival of Fantasy Parade and Magic Kingdom, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!!)

However, I don’t think many writers want to read my rambles about running a race dressed like Gaston. (Wow, that was a lot of R’s!) And runners might not want to learn how to get the most from a writer’s conference.

So like I said.

Serious identity crisis.

Creating a separate blog again just ain’t happening. I tried that once before with my Run. Write. Rejoice spin-off and I just couldn’t keep up. Besides. There’s so many other awesome blogs that I’ve listed here that do such a kick-butt job covering the running/runDisney scene that I enjoy reading them more than trying to keep up!

I even tossed around the idea of going back to my website’s original title, Writing Without Reins, that I changed in … what, 2010? 2011? But I don’t ride horses any more and–oh please–I’ve hardly been writing freely without reins on this blog for quite some time. I used to, though, a long, long time ago. I loved blogging about anything and everything, from the weird random thoughts that keep me up at night, or my predictions on who is going to win Project Runway.

KiniFor the record? My boy Kini has it in the bag this season!! Love, love, LOVE Kini. Don’t you just want to hug him?

So long blog post short, I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way for me to figure out what to do with this blog is to stop with the walk break and keep charging ahead, posting whatever my little heart desires–whether it’s about writing or running or my favorite snacks at Disney World, what have you–until the answer is revealed to me.

And you can bet I’m going to talk about this:


Break over. Time to get back to work!


Coffee & Conversation with David Teague

Cross posted on As The Eraser Burns.

With only six more weeks until the On the Road to Sparkling Literature Conference on September 20-21, you know what that means, right? Another series of awesome speaker interviews! We’re kicking things off with David Teague joining us in the cyber café and he’s brought along one of our best “favorite place to work photo” so far.

santoteague-author-photo-color-277x300David is the author of the picture book Franklin’s Big Dreams and the forthcoming Henry Cicada’s Anything But Ordinary Adventure. He lives in Wilmington, Delaware with his wife Marisa de los Santos and their two children, Annabel and Charles. Marisa is the author of the New York Times bestselling adult novel Love Walked In, which is also a perennial staple on YA fiction lists, as well as Belong to Me, Falling Together, and the forthcoming The Precious One. Saving Lucas Biggs is David and Marisa’s first middle-grade novel, and their first collaborative project. [click to continue…]


When It’s Not Your Writing Season

Things I’ve learned while training for my first marathon:

1. “I’ll do my work first and then run later” usually translates to “I’ll most likely miss my run today and then feel like crap about it later.”

2. Ice baths are awful.

IMG_62013. It’s not a good idea to tuck a Gu Energy Gel under my running belt, thinking it will stay. Especially the salted caramel kind with the Yeti on the front because the stuff tastes like liquid gold candy and shouldn’t be wasted. (Lost this one two steps into a hot six miler. I’m sorry, Yeti.)

4. If I forget to bring tissues, either my sleeves or shirt tail will get very dirty as a result because I refuse to snot rocket. Re. Fuse.

5. Accidentally swallowing a bug and then imagining it trying to crawl up my throat to freedom really messes with my mind. (Huh. That would make for a cool picture book, right? No? Okay, forget I asked.) [click to continue…]


2014 Baltimore Women’s Classic 5k Recap

Oh, how I love the Baltimore Women’s Classic 5k, the largest women’s race in the Mid-Atlantic area and one of the oldest 5k’s in the country that benefits Cancerve, Inc. which raises funds to provide direct support services for female cancer patients and their families across the state of Maryland.

I loved it in 2013 and I loved it in 2011! (My blog was seriously inactive that year so no recap for that one. But it was awesome, I can remember that.)

BWC 2011 - my kind of first 5k!

From the 2011 BWC 5k!

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Lessons to learn from Author Anonymous: Read what you love

Have you seen Authors Anonymous? I’ve never heard about it until I saw it at a Red Box.

When a dysfunctional group of unpublished writers accept Hannah into their fold, the last thing they expect is her overnight success. Can these lovable misfits achieve their artistic dreams and avoid killing one another in the process?

It looked cute and–come on–it’s about writers, so I rented it  despite my husband raising an eyebrow in his you’re really going to make me watch that kind of way. (For the record, I didn’t make him watch it. He’s not a big fan of mockumentary type movies, especially those with no car chases, explosions, or fight scenes.)

While this movie has been slammed by critics and was a tad slow at times, I still really enjoyed it! Chris Klein is adorable as John, the earnest Fitzgerald devotee who’s in love with Hannah, played by Kelly Cuoco. But mostly, I liked it because as an author, there was so much I could relate to!

  • The jealousy you feel when a friend is more successful.
  • The guilt you feel from being jealous of said friend.
  • How easy it is to allow personal issues to stifle your creative energy.
  • The pain of rejection.
  • The anxiety of success.
  • The humiliation of sitting through a book signing where absolutely no one has any interest in your book. (For me, this happened at 2007’s ALA, where Judy Bloom’s table was in the row beside me and her long, long line hooked all the way down my row with folks doing everything they can to avoid eye contact with me. Most. Uncomfortable. Hour. Ever.)

Lessons to learn from Author Anonymous: Read what you love

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Yesterday, I barely worked, barely wrote, barely did anything productive at all.

And I wore a tiara all day.

Nano bulletNot that I’ve been slacking lately, lounging around in faux diamonds. I’m keeping up with my training for the Baltimore Marathon, and I’m doing July’s Camp NaNoWriMo, where you write an entire novel in a month. (Unlike November’s NaNoWriMo, you can pick your own word count but I’m still going for 50,000.) So far, I’m at 15,964 words on my mid-grade, roughly about 25%. I love seeing the arrow move on my dartboard!

But about yesterday. Why was I a tiara-wearing slacker?

Because it was early registration day for the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend for DVC owners and annual passholders, woo-HOO! Since I pretty much wrap my entire year around this event by keeping journals and making goals like I did for PHM 2013, PHM 2014, and PHM 2015, needless to say, I was pretty excited. [click to continue…]