April Reflection and Next Steps

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1. Camp NANOWRIMO

Camp NANOWRIMO is a month long challenge to tackle a writing project in a month. For Camp you set your own word count goals. Regular NANOWRIMO is hosted in November where the goal is to write 50,000 words.

I did not win CAMP this year. It was my first go around with CAMP. Regular NANOWRIMO in November was successful but I discovered through writing and gathering my research to write my professional teaching book I need more time. The format still doesn’t seem quite right. The next step is to use the content as blog posts. It will serve the purpose better at the present time. I am still moving forward with the project but it will look different. I am wondering if I should start a separate blog just for the teaching/coaching pieces of my life and keep the writing and reading blog.

2018StoryADaySidebar500.pngI am not gearing up for STORYADAY May and am super excited to have joined the SUPERSTARS group. I am hoping to make some real connections to some other short story writers. I have been collecting story sparks – as always and thinking about the excitement of having a stack of short story drafts by the end of the month.

 

2. Mindset Matters

Winter is still here in Northwest Indiana. I had to shift my mindset when it came to running this month. I kept getting myself excited about running outside and then the weather would not cooperate. Finally, I had to decide that my running routine will be sprints and HIIT workouts on the treadmill. If the weather is pleasant then I would run outside, but I would look at it as a surprise or a treat rather than the expectation. This has led to much more pleasant gym visits and the workouts are consistent rather than all over the place and me being angry about it.

 

3. Reading RunDown with Links!

The Hazelwood

The Hazel Wood: A Novel by [Albert, Melissa]

Written on the Body

Ghost

Long Way Down

The Rules Do Not Apply

The Year of Less

Betwixt and Between Essays

Lillian Boxfish Goes for a Walk

On Being a Writer

Stranger in the Woods

 

4. New Podcasts with Links!

Real Talk Radio

Don’t Keep Your Day Job

Earn Your Happy

Being Boss

That What She Said

5. Favorite Podcasts with Links!

Emily P Freeman’s The Next Right Thing

Julie Duffy’s Story A Day

Rachael Herron’s How Do You Write?

Looking Ahead:

There has been a lot of planning for PD and formats for next school year. All the planning makes me excited to get started…but I have to wait. I finally had to break down and start a 2018-2019 notebook to make notes for next school year. It is going to be a great year!

Boston Strong

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The 122nd Boston Marathon is today. True to form for Spring marathons the weather is unpredictable. Today Boston’s weather is full of heavy rain and extreme wind.

Boston is the oldest marathon. As a runner, you are transported by bus to Hopkinton and run the 26.2 mile route to the Boylston Street finish line.

I will watch it online this year. I will not be there.

A yellow banner hangs in my sitting room in my house 965 miles away from the city. My 2012 medal hangs on the same nail. I looked at it this morning as I left for work.

This song reminds me of the race. I have made it my ringtone more times than I can remember. I will listen to it several times today.

In 2012 while on the bus, I was trying to make conversation to calm my own nerves. My year it was unseasonably hot.

During the race, I heard: “Did you run St Charles marathon?” This question was posed right before Heartbreak Hill. Another runner recognized my tattooed wings.

My thoughts throughout the marathon centered around how this could be the last marathon I ever ran and how I ok with that.

Boston was the best and worst race of my life.

My memories are bittersweet.

Sweet: It was an accomplishment to qualify repeatedly. I know many runners who never get close.

Bitter: Part of my support was standing at the mailbox that blew up the year after.

Bitter: After the finish, the chute seemed a mile long. My thoughts were, “Just give me my medal.” The water was not cold and I needed it to be cold.

Sweet: I proudly ran up Heartbreak Hill and enjoyed it!

Bitter: It felt so hot. I had come from 30-degree temps in Indiana. I had not adjusted for the change in temp when it came to moisturizer and the sweat made it run into my eyes and burned.

Sweet: I still have the shoes I ran the race in Brooks

Bitter: There was too much wait time before the race.

Sweet: I ate at the Whiskey Priest pub on the water that Sunday.

Sweet!: I enjoyed Sam Adams brew when I was there.

Sweet: Wicked is a word you hear often!

Sweet: Wellesley College screamers! You could hear them at least 1/2 mile away. Funny signage too!

 

Bitter: Reprimanded for being in Boston during a bereavement leave when my Opa [German grandfather] died.

Bitter: Watching a friend collapse

Sweet and Bitter: Dinner with my team and runner friends and still felt wrong and like I didn’t belong at Maggianos there with them.

Bitter: Driving to Boston and unable to avoid the Ohio Turnpike!

Sweet: Walking at the expo where everything was orange – the perfect year for me to be there – the jacket I love to wear!

Bitter: I ruined my official blue race shirt with white paint.

I continue to run but with different goals now. I may race again but only when I am ready. I have always run for me, and me alone even though many eyes watch!

I will watch today with my heart full of memories and remember why I love to run. Will you watch?