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.”

Continue reading

Wow! I Met Author Walter Mosley at a Book Reading and Signing Event! (+ 12-Mile Trainer Ride)

Coincidence is a funny thing. When two disconnected but interrelated things happen for no clear reason, we search for answers. Religious people would say it’s the will of the one(s) they worship. Agnostic athiests and secular humanists like A Dude would chalk it up to chance. The spiritual might say it’s the butterfly effect, or intentions coming back to you. Scientists would say something… sciencey.

I don’t know what Walter Mosley would say about me writing a blog about one of his books just a few days ago, and then him coming to town from a reading and book signing. Well, I think he may have said thanks.  I wasn’t starstruck as much as feeling like “Wow!  That’s Walter Mosley!  Did I somehow summon him to Austin?”  I wish I had that superpower.  But anyway, what I’d say about this coincidence, fate, destiny, kismet, stupid luck, good fortune, or whatever — it was freaking awesome! Thanks to my host for reading my review and cluing me in. Continue reading

Rubbing Shoulders with Bloggers Around the World and Writers at One Page Salon in Austin, Texas

Over the last few weeks I’ve been interacting a bit more with other bloggers.  It’s been really interesting to see what other people are doing around the world.  It’s also very nice that people are liking and commenting on A Dude’s work, so I’m trying to step up my game and return the favor as I’m able, which takes more time than one would expect.

Also, last night, I again attended the monthly event where writers read one page from a work in progress that’s held in my town.  Not only did I find more inspiration there, some fairly well-known folks were in attendance.  So here’s a blog about blogging and writing and all that jazz. Continue reading