I attended my fifth Writers League of Texas panel event in as many months on Thursday evening. This was held a week before their 38th Annual Agents & Editors Conference. Although I signed up to volunteer and attend some sessions, currently I am on a wait list. Regular readers know I’m a struggling unpaid blogger and author of a memoir about two years of biking 10,000 miles. But it’s a book in progress with no advance from a publisher. I’d sure like to go, so keep reading and learn how you can help!
April showers may bring May flowers, and it was the wettest fourth month ever in recorded history for Austin, Texas. But that wasn’t the only number that increased in my life: it turns out that you, the wonderful viewers of this blog made it rain big time! Thank you, and keep reading for the details.
Jeff Goins is a successful blogger, podcaster, coach and author of five books including The Way of Art. In Real Artists Don’t Starve, he draws numerous examples from history and modern times to illustrate his points. You can read all about Jeff at his web site: https://goinswriter.com. Also, this book has its own site: https://dontstarve.com.
This book came to my attention due to a note from Nori Rose, the Bluebonnet Witch. Thanks, Nori! As a temporarily unpaid writer, I checked it out for free from the Austin Public Library. What a socialist institution if I ever heard of one! Free books that you take home, read and return? Outrageous! But I digress, as I’m wont to do. Here are some of my thoughts on his book.
It’s the opposite of my last post about being inspired by creative people. The recent Melissa McCarthy movie “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” paints a bleak picture of a lonely, struggling writer who turns to forgery to pay her bills. McCarthy was nominated for a Golden Globe for her moving portrayal of one author’s quest for respect and success. It’s difficult to write about a movie without spoilers, but I’ll try. This isn’t a review so much as some thoughts about the difficulties for writers to be creative and stay true to their vision while dealing with the realities of commerce. This is a theme I often struggle with as I continue to blog and write my book without any compensation in sight. A review in Town and Country was titled “Can You Ever Forgive Me Is the Funny-Smart-Sad Crime Caper You’ve Been Waiting For” . By the way, it’s based on a true story.
As long as I’m reviewing my year, may as well hit the other highlights. In case you missed it, Part Une was about the bikin’ and the hikin’ (ok, walks). Here’s the link to check out that post about my 5,143 Miles in 2018, As for the rest, well, let’s skip the pleasantries and get right to the review.
Lacking some inspiration I looked back at the last week in photos. They tell a tale of my ongoing journey cycling through Austin.
Tonight I went to Yellow Bike Project again to work on Sophie. For the first time, I left with something that wasn’t better than went I arrived. Disc brakes can be tricky and for some reason my rear one on the Fairdale isn’t working right. I’ll need to return Monday when a coordinator more familiar with the brakes is there, but more likely I’ll head by a bike shop. It’s it’s important to be able to stop!
I don’t mention my diet much these days, but below is one brunch I prepared. Also, I worked nine days of early voting and the final election day. Compared to the recent mid-terms with many questions on the ballot, only five races had runoffs, so turnout was very low. It gave me time to do some reading. A David Baldacci thriller The Fix, and parts of Napoleon Hill’s classic Think and Grow Rich. I also got more into Tim Ferris’s The Four-Hour Work Week and the Austin Chronicle. I do not fare well at crosswords.
A brunch of eggs, turkey sausage, avocado, red and sweet potato, cheese, onion, salsa, and blue Powerade Zero. Blue’s a flavor, but unnatural.
I’m still doing my daily walking. One way I make sure to get in my 30 minutes is to walk on my way somewhere and then bike the rest. Or if I’m in a hurry and it’s close by, I bike there and then walk home. It’s a handy trick and I often see something cool, like the above bike rack. I don’t always put all the pictures here, though. For that, you will need to follow me on Strava, the fitness app. That link will take you to my profile.
Chanukah at the house of two friends involved a number of brightly lit menorahs, a variety of foods, and hanging out and talking. I missed the candle lighting and if there were any prayers, but it was not an orthodox religious event. It’s nice to connect with that part of my heritage (which I wrote about in the post Bicyclists & Jews: Both Are Targets (But They Should Not Be) and hang out with others who may not be traditionally observant but who identify ethnically. As one comedian put it, “(he’s) not a Jew, he’s Jew-ish.” Joking aside, I think one can be both. But speaking of that uniquely Jewish sensibility of humor, one person punned, “Some people light a ninth candle on Chanukah, but they’re in the menorah-ty.” (For the goyem out there, there are only eight days of Chanukah.)
I snapped these two covers of books at Book People, the largest independent bookstore in Texas that’s in downtown Austin. One speaks to the hope of what bicycles could do, the other reflects my ambivalence about why I am riding my bicycle an average of over 80 miles per week so far this year. (See 4,000 Miles Biked This Year! + 3,000 Miles Total on Sophie the Fairdale.)
Nearby the book store is the international headquarters of a natural grocery chain. They don’t need any press from me but friends and I have long called it the “food hole” or “whole paycheck.” But they do have some cool stuff like an ice skating rink on the roof in the winter and this sign abbreviating Austin, Texas, which changes colors. I had never snapped any pictures, so for your edification, here is a nice series.
The awesome, fun and inspirational monthly gathering of authors of all kinds who read called One Page Salon, hosted by Owen Egerton, had a huge turnout this month. This was thanks to the Texas Writers League. Shown with Owen is director Michael Nowlin, a nice guy, author and nice guy who encouraged me not to give up on the possibility of getting published. It was cool to see a packed house although I only really talked to a few people I already knew. The TWL is an organization I need to get involved with as I get closer to finishing the first draft of my memoir of two years of cycling quite a few miles. (4,714 Miles Bicycled in 2017 = 10,000 in 2 Years! A Recap of My “Epic Velocimania” (Day 1)
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Sometimes (like now) when I find myself lacking a topic, I’ll peruse other blogs on WordPress for ideas. There’s Biking in LAwho does a very regular coverage of all things bike (including way too many accidents) in, you guessed it! — Los Angeles. Jack Akehurst, Life Behind Bars (as in handlebars – clever!) just wrote about his riding and use of Strava over in Nottingham, England. Half-fast Cycling Club from Washington State I think is almost done with a very impressive cross-country cycling tour. Pam LeBlanc,Fit City is here in Austin, Texas (ATX); she just covered the arrival of the Texas 4000, a ride to Alaska for cancer awareness and fundraising. Sheree, View from the Back over in France wrote about her trip to watch a bike race in the Basque Country. I’m sure I’ve left a few out (let me know!), but they’re all interesting when I get time to look. You’re encouraged to go check them out!