Friday, August 12, 2011

Stalling, Cycling, Storytelling

I warned you that my early morning productivity on Wednesday was a fluke, right? Don’t worry; yesterday I was back to my usual self. 
  • Rolled out of bed around 9 after ignoring my alarm and the loud birds for quite some time.
  • Puttered around the house and on the internet until noon
  • Realized it was noon and decided I needed to get out of the house pronto
  • Took the long way to the post office (that’s code for “got lost, again,” but don’t tell Kyle)
  • Made it to the library and returned my books, then wandered into the YA section because I just couldn’t help myself. Thirteen Reasons Why and Catalyst called to me. I believe they said “You promised to read more contemporary YA books about important teen problems and you know you’ve heard great things about us.”
  • Finally, finally found a table, set up my laptop, and opened my manuscript
  • Discovered I had a bunch of phone, chat, and email messages. SURPRISE! Friends of a friend who are finishing up their own cross-country bike trip needed a place to stay. I was really excited because we love hosting cyclists, but it meant I had to rush back home to get food and make the house/me presentable.
My word count for the day, I kid you not, was 8. But of course it was worth it. Meeting new people usually is. These three awesome girls have been cycling across the country and connecting with Girl Scout troops to promote active lifestyles and local farms. Cool, right? Unfortunately I forgot to ask if they had any Thin Mints with them...

They didn’t even know that we’d also done a cross-country cycling trip until we started talking. Suddenly we were all swapping questions and stories a mile a minute. “Did you meet the cookie lady?” “Did Grandma at the diner actually have pie when you visited?” “Goathead thorns – I hate goathead thorns!” “You saw your cougar in the middle of the day?” “You saw yours in the middle of the night?”

I love telling stories from our trip, to anyone; I love answering questions from people who know nothing about touring or comparing detailed route plans with those who do. And I love listening to other people’s cycling stories, both the ones that cross over with my experiences and the ones that are totally alien to me. 

And those are two of the seemingly contradictory things we want from the stories we read, right?

~ We want to learn something new, escape into completely unfamiliar experiences.

~ We want to read about someone who reminds us of ourselves, who shares our interests and experiences and emotions.

~ And in the stories that really grab us, we get both. 

We’re hosting more cyclists in a few days, this time a retired couple from New Zealand that we met by chance in Virginia when we were still living in Maryland. I love how life works, and how it creates and connects so many new stories.

1 comment:

  1. I'm thinking this is all telling you to write that honeymoon on a bike book.