I couldn’t tell you why, but I think the rowing machine (also known as an ergometer or erg for short) is the coolest thing ever. It seems that not that many patrons of the gym I use share my view as most of the time I seem to be the only one using it. Last Friday, I was doing my thing, trying to keep the calorie burn consistently above 400 per hour and feeling like I could take on the world when an elderly gentleman sat down on the one next to me. I was a little concerned. He had to be at least 85 and didn’t appear to be all that steady on his feet. It took him a while to get his feet under the straps and when he reached for the pulley his hands shook. I couldn’t help thinking of all the medical maladies that could befall this overly-ambitious, elderly man and hoped that the gym employees were CPR certified.
But he started off pretty good so I went back to minding my own business. For a while. Then I realized that he was keeping up with me. At first I was impressed. Then I got a little bit pissed. He was an old man for Chrissake!!! So I stepped it up a little. I figured it was a good thing that he brought out this latent competitive spirit in my personality. I tend to not be very competitive, unless it’s Scrabble, and a little competition can be good. It makes you try harder. Right? He must have thought so too, ’cause he was right up there with me again and I’m ashamed to admit that all I could think was ‘This is not going to happen!’
This went on for a while before it occurred to me that if he had a heart attack from overexertion, it would be my fault. Even though I was petty enough to think it was all about winning, I was completely mortified by my behavior. But not mortified enough to stop. Thank God he did, because I’m not sure either one of us would have lasted much longer and there wasn’t anyone working at the front desk that I wanted to perform CPR on me. When he got up to leave, I looked up and smiled at him. And he GLARED at me. It’s a shame. Some people just don’t know how to be a good sport.
All that sculling at the Olympics gave him an advantage. Otherwise, I’ve would have blown him out of the water.
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I’ve been in a mood lately. I’m pretty sure I write like crap. My characters are walking, talking clichés. My plots aren’t strong enough, my black moments aren’t black enough and who the hell do I think I am trying to write novels that someone else might actually want to read?
This self-deprecating funk isn’t anything new. I always get this way when things get difficult and since I’m trying to get The Bewitching Hour finished so I can publish it along with its sequel The Devil’s Own Luck (notice how cleverly I slipped those titles in?) I am completely FREAKING OUT. What if NOBODY likes them? What if my covers SUCK? Wouldn’t life would be easier if I tossed my computers in the swimming pool and got a REAL JOB? But easier isn’t necessarily better, so I’ll just drink another pot of coffee and keep plugging away.
Even Charles Dickens had bad days.
Words for every writer to live by.
“Writing is easy. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.” – Red Smith (1905-1982)
“A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” – Thomas Mann (1875-1955)
LET ME HEAR FROM YOU!
HAVE A GREAT WEEK!