Writers’ League of Texas Summer Writing Retreat

For those new here, I’ve written a manuscript. It’s about the period covered by the first two years of this blog. It took a year to write the book, alternating days that I write this blog. Another year passed while I edited it. I was sitting in a virtual drawer for a while, then I found a couple of people to do beta reading. While that process continues, this opportunity came along after I recently joined the Writers League of Texas. Membership has its privileges, and one of them is discounts on programs like this class on revision. (Many are free.) Although not cheap, I realized it’s a bargain and that I couldn’t really afford NOT to take the class. Although the goal — to write a book — was accomplished, if I ever want to get this book done and out into the world somehow, it’s going to take a lot more work. After all, as they say, writing IS revising. I’m thinking of it as an investment. Who knows? Maybe it’ll make me some money some day. (Unlikely, but possible).

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The Writers League of Texas: Membership Has Its Privileges

After a number of years of hearing about WLT, attending some of their pre-pandemic Third Thursday events at Book People (the largest independent book store in Texas), and meeting some folks at Owen Egerton’s One Page Salon, I finally joined up. I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner. I suppose it had to do a bit with the Wayne’s World motto: “We’re not worthy!” When actor-director Tate Donovan asked me at a OPS if I was a writer, I said yes for the first time. Hey, that makes me one degree of separation from Jennifer Aniston, whom he dated after playing her boyfriend on Friends. As we all know, she’s well known for her books. Strike that, reverse it. I mean looks! Humunuh humunuh! No, it’s her mad acting skillzl OK, that’s tangential, but it was diversionary. Mmm, more big wordz!

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Three Decades Since A Dude First Landed, Bikeless, in Austin

March 3, 1991. The first Gulf War had just ended. I was out of college a few years and had been traveling and moving around a bit. I grew weary of that, so I did the logical thing and went home. After a year slinging Southern cooking and helping out dear ma a bit, I bought a lightly used car. I went to one last steak night with my dad and brother, and moved in with a friend in Austin, Texas. Today her eldest turned 22, so I stopped by for a COVID-safe outdoor birthday. People trickled by, and I told one about the mom,“She’s my oldest friend in Austin. Looks pretty good for 85, don’t she?” (She’s much less.) With that history and my anniversary percolating in my brain the last two weeks, I figured it’s time for a little trip down memory lane.

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My Book Report: It’s Beta Reader Time, Baby

It’s taken me a good while to get to this point, but I’ve finally done it: I printed out Chapter 1 of my book to give to a beta reader. Of course they weren’t there went I went to drop it off, so I’ll do that tomorrow. And I’m working out getting an electronic copy to my first victim I mean volunteer who is out of town. Just today, a third person offered to read it. So the ball is rolling, wheels are in motion, the train is leaving the station… insert other clichés (which a good writer knows to avoid). Anyway, Sorryless wanted updates, and as my steadfastest reader and mostest commenter, I want to keep him happy.

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Book Review: HEFT ON WHEELS by Mike Magnuson

Courage is a word you could use to describe bicycling, especially the urban kind I do wherein one risks one’s life while several-ton killing machines blow by at high speeds mere inches away. Or bike racing, BMX riding with the ramps and jumps and tricks, or screaming down a mountain on a bike: all take some degree of courage. But writing? It doesn’t take any courage at all to sit down at a laptop and start hammering away, right? Well, that’s easy to say if you haven’t tried to write a book. And when it comes to memoir, laying your soul bare to people you never have, and never will meet, takes a big chunk of gumption.

I should know, because I’ve been writing this blog for over five years, albeit with far less courage since I use a nom de plume / velo. I have also written a book — a memoir. I have yet to find the courage to even show it to others to read. (I’m getting close to sharing with beta readers, once I figure out the details, having finally just found two awesome volunteers.) But in Heft on Wheels: A Field Guide to Doing a 180, his 2005 memoir (I know, I’m very late to the party), author, creative writing professor, magazine article writer, and cyclist Mike Magnuson has courage in spades. (Heft is a follow-up to his previous memoir, Lummox.) As quoted in a speech he gave, I’d even go so far as to say he has “sixteen suitcases full of courage.”

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The University of Texas at Austin and Me: A Short Autobiography

Living in Austin, the Capital of Texas as A Dude does, I regularly pass through this leading educational institution on my bicycle. I also tend to take it for granted. Now that I’ll be living closer to it, I expect to be seeing more of the sprawling place, especially on my daily walks. But my ties to UT (you tee) go back many years, before I was even born. I’ve been musing about this and if you don’t mind, I’ll share some thoughts with you here. Or even if you do mind. Go Longhorns!

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Book ‘Em Dude-O! I Completed Editing My Bike Memoir. Now What?

Just a little over 11 months ago, I wrote a post titled I Finished My Book, but It’s Far from Over. Now, I’ve finished editing it. Well, you’re never really finished editing until it’s published. Even then, there may be future editions. Point is, I’ve come to a place where I need to find some other eyeballs. For my collection of eyeballs. Just kidding! I mean having other people read it. Particularly an editor. Therein lies the rub. Because editors are like unicorns – a few people claim to have seen them, but they’re extremely rare. And they possess some powerful magic:  they’re able to get your book published — or not. So I’m looking for my unicorn. Or eyeballs. Or unicorns with eyeballs. I mean magical unicorns with eyeballs. Yeah, let’s go with that last one.

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500 Followers on My Blog: An Occasional Blog About This Blog

Since starting ADudeAbikes.com on WordPress January 1, 2016, I had no clue what I was getting myself into. At the end of 2015 I had just obtained a cell phone and biked about 3,000 miles. It began as a way to document my journey — both figurative and literal. And I suppose I’ve accomplished a few things. Sometimes I like to look at those statistics and reflect upon it all.

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I Finished My Book, but It’s Far from Over

It’s true, I have completed the first draft of my bicycling memoir. It covers the period wherein I rode 10,000 miles in two years. A quick comment at the end of my recent post about comedian Jake Johannsen went largely unnoticed, but I completed Chapter 24 (one for each month) and added an afterword and epilogue. Now I’m going back and editing it before I start showing it to other people. With the positive reception to The Bike Rider and the Farmer, my first fiction piece, I feel like the year of writing effort is beginning to pay off, and I wanted to share that with A Dude Abikes readers. Lastly, since Sorryless, who frequently comments (and who writes an entertaining blog you should check out, after mine, of course!) has requested the occasional update, here it is. Is four links in the opener three too many? If so, I am not sorry.

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Some of the Bike Blogs I Follow and Update on A Dude Abikes – The Book

Sometimes (like now) when I find myself lacking a topic, I’ll peruse other blogs on WordPress for ideas.  There’s Biking in LA who 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!

Meanwhile, here’s what I’ve landed on to blog about… Continue reading