Thursday, August 29, 2013

KGNU Interview

Thank you so much to Maeve Conran for the interview about Training on Empty on KGNU.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


Life happens. Recovery doesn't mean that everything comes up roses, rainbows blot out the sky and pots of gold are deposited at your doorstep. No, shit still happens. That's one of the hardest things to face about living in the world and being present. You think that after going through the worst hell imaginable (more than once), things magically improve, but life still fucking hurts now and then. After numbing out your feelings for so long, managing them when you do start to wake up can turn into a real struggle, especially while you're also trying to avoid losing your footing in all the slippery crap that gets spread around.

I feel about as solid as a dimensional Lichtenstein painting. I'm not quite here lately, but I'm trying to get grounded again. Some techniques to get back to yourself include: crying, writing, singing, punching a pillow, dancing, talking, talking some more and feeling, fucking feeling. Mostly I'm trying to do shit that MATTERS, attempting to find myself in giving back, because I can be pretty selfish when I'm hurting, both emotionally and physically hurting. I've been attempting a bit of everything actually -- minus the dancing, as I'm not all that coordinated -- in an effort to get some perspective on everything going on in my life lately. But my urge is to sleep for weeks, just turn off everything and everyone.

God, I look in the mirror, and I looked so pained. It's written all over me, no matter how much I try to get around it. But just like getting through anything -- a race, a project or a hectic day -- the best way to get over it is to plow right through it. I sometimes wish I were the type who lets go easily and moves right along without looking back and with no regrets, jumping into new situations without a care. I'm too in my head for that.

As challenging as it may be, I'm attempting to face the way I feel, something that is very difficult for me, as my tendency is to run, just fucking flee, when I'm hurting, facing conflict or unable to control events in my life, but I'm also trying to avoid letting my feelings engulf me. Sometimes I feel like my emotions are going to swallow me whole. I can easily get so upset that I start shaking, especially with conflict, and that has happened several times in the last few months. I have to remind myself that it's temporary. The emotions will eventually pass. Things will change. I will breathe again.

While I may not know the outcome or the near future, change is inevitable. Whatever feelings are pouring out of me or attempting to drown me right now, I can't get to the point where I'm risking overwhelming myself or others around me, but I also can't stuff anything down and pretend everything is fine when it's not. The risk is too great, and I'm still trying to stay one step ahead of or at least toe to toe with my bigger issues. Jeez, my life feels like a fucking Shakespearean tragedy, minus eyes being plucked out, suicides or violent murders, of course. Internally it feels that way, though- fucking drama -- but no audience is going to pay much attention to my soliloquy.

Life with its ups and its deep, cavernous depressions... What do you do?

Yeah, I'm "too" emotional. I care too much and all that crap, but I'm not alone in being sensitive, maybe overly so. I love too hard, get hurt too easily and become conflicted and confused by how I act, react and interpret my experiences. My biggest goal right now is to stop trying to think I could have done things differently, even if I feel like I should have. Sometimes it's impossible to do what you WANT, because emotions can fuck up any right action.

I've had many vivid dreams lately, mostly unsettling ones that leave me in a state of confusion when I wake. Sometimes I wish I could turn off my dreams. Last night I had a dream about a giant bear. This thing wasn't just big, it was enormous, as big as a fucking mountain. I felt like it might eat me, but it first lingered, watching me as the fear trickled up my spine and through my body, and then the animal made its way down the street. Bears can symbolize anything from power and healing to courage in going it alone. Let's hope this strange dream was a sign that I'm regaining some strength and confidence in attempting to return to myself. I'm both craving space and companionship, an odd combination that is ultimately unattainable, so I lean toward the space.

My hormones are a fucking mess lately. After a month of having my period, I got two weeks off followed by another period. No wonder my emotions are running a little wild lately.

If all else fails, turn to God.
Oh come on, it's funny.

Don't forget that You Can't Use Your Cell Phone in Here is available as an ebook that can be downloaded in pretty much any format (even if you don't have an electronic reading device) on Smashwords:

And in the printable version on

Please consider a purchase to help out a struggling writer. Thank you.

Now Available in Print: You Can't Use Your Cell Phone in Here

Monday, August 19, 2013

Wa wa wa wHat?

I'm a million miles away and have been the last few weeks. I rode an ugly emotional roller coaster and got spit out on the pavement. Fortunately, I skidded and eventually landed at the feet of a few friends who helped me up and are trying to point me in the right direction.

I'm thinking out loud today, nothing more.

If all goes well, I should be able to get the short story book available in print form. I'd like to do that for my own book as well and will as soon as I can move forward with this other one.

I'm appalled that I can't always make my actions agree with my heart or even my head. I have a stubborn, shut-down response to intense, emotionally-charged situations, and it can come off as cold, even when everything in me is screaming to act differently. I usually don't, unfortunately. I'm no different than anyone else, though, and admit that Bukowski was right. This is what I need to address in my life lately:
"We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing." 

But nothing is relative, so is everything. If you've got an itch, it's your itch and nobody can tell you that it doesn't itch or that their itch is worse. Some of us have been hurt more than others, and it makes walking thorough life without reacting on a strictly emotional level more difficult. Sure, give it a week or three, and most of us are able to take off the denial blinders and see things for what they are, but in the moment, that's difficult to do. The result is that we cling and cry and throw fits. And then we get over it and wonder what the fuck it was all about anyway. In the end it's probably all really just trivial bullshit, but it can FEEL so REAL, until you sit back and think about the bloodshed in Egypt or contemplate the immensity of the universe and feel stupid for moaning about the little things. But who am I kidding? We are emotional, feeling beings, so it's natural to get a little self absorbed from time to time. Some people never get out of that state and live in a ME ME ME, fucking ME world.

Life shifts are never easy. We all experience them. Some of us go numb. Some of us fall apart, and some of us adapt more successfully. I do a little of each. During these difficult times, It helps to have friends who can be honest. Most people aren't honest. I think about that a lot. They tell others what they think they want to hear, are afraid to say NO and tiptoe around the issue. I know I don't like to risk hurting anyone, so I have done it too, mostly in the form of withholding information, never outright lying. It still doesn't feel good, though. On the other hand, sometimes it's just not my place to dump information on someone else, no matter how much I wish the other person could know, really know.

But it's silly, because intuition usually comes into play... or maybe that's wishful thinking on my part; I don't know. Most people (I think), except those who are really good about pushing their weight around in life or those who insist on living in a fantasy, have some sense of what is reality. I guess I'm lucky that the people in my circle are pretty straight shooters, even when being honest can't be all that easy. Right now I'm clinging to that. I needed a large dose of reality, and some oxycodone wouldn't be so bad either. Joking...sort of.

My biggest lessons lately are:

1. You can never truly know what another person thinks or feels. It's pointless to guess, and guessing or assuming leads to a tremendous amount of conflict. It's also easy to assume the wrong thing based on past experiences and self esteem or lack thereof.
2. Take everything with a shaker of salt. People say shit all the time. Pay attention to your gut in all situations. And trust it.
3. Even when you feel like curling up in the fetal position and crying the rest of you life away, get out and DO STUFF. It will make you feel better, much better.
4. When your mind has taken a trip while your body stumbles around on Earth, return to yourself as soon as possible, because you are the only one in the world who will be there for you in the end.

I just watched Orange is the New Black. I loved this scene, and -- as someone who focuses on my past faults, as if I should have been super human and always reacted calmly, lovingly and compassionately no matter what the circumstance -- it's important for me to acknowledge that everyone makes mistakes. More importantly, does it really matter, especially if we don't KNOW what the right action SHOULD be? Does my emotional reaction to a situation (that always seems to become the focus and eventually the main problem) change the ultimate outcome? Probably not, but I'm good at pretending it does:

The running.

Still in pain, but what else is new? I can't afford the MRI that my PT recommended, so I'm just staying the course. This is the type of injury that heals VERY SLOWLY. It's up and down and all over the place, much like everything else in my life right now. But today I ran, and the super sharp stabbing pains were a tiny bit less. I think that is progress. I have forgotten what it's like to really run, but I am glad I can walk with a lot less pain. That is huge. I miss the idea of racing, but I realize how crazy it was that I was racing even last year given how fucked my body was. Right now I just want some sigh... I don't even know.

What a big weekend of races in Colorado. I saw that for the first time ever, Pikes did some random drug testing. I was very glad to see that, though I'm not happy that the sport has gotten to this point, and also not happy about the assumptions that have been made about dirty runners. That's no good at all.

Wheww. I feel better.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Price Correction

Whoops. The price on the book is $4.99.

This is a book of short stories that another writer and I completed recently. Spread the word!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

New Book

I know I have neglected my blog lately. My efforts to be better about updating this thing failed, but it's not like I've been a compete slacker. In fact, my editor and I just finished writing a book of short stories that is now available on Smashwords at the following link:

This has been a really fun, challenging and rewarding project. I can't even begin to explain how lucky I feel to have been part of it. I'm sure some of you loyal readers probably already know how talented Kevin Beck is when it comes to writing and running, among many other things, so working on this book with him was a real treat for me. Kevin is someone who has pushed me, inspired me and had faith in me as a writer, even when I hesitate calling myself one. I always tell him that I would give a body part, even one of the uninjured ones, to write like he does.

Rather than muck up this post with running-related (or injury-related) topics, I will keep it short and focused on the topic at hand.

I learned a great deal working on my contributions to this book. I have said this many times before, but a good editor elevates writing and adds richness. Such was the case here. Some stories flowed for me, and others tormented me. I always talk about how it's best to get out of your own way, and I'm finding out that it's absolutely essential with writing. You have to get the story out there first. Rewriting is the equivalent of decorating the cake after you have baked it, frosted it and made sure it's even and set. It's the fun part, but you can't jump there without a good base. (Sound familiar runners?) I'm often impatient, so I'm learning to spend the time I need to write, rewrite and then creatively rewrite...and then let my editor fix it.

Anyway, take a look and let me know what you think. Spread the word if you can, and don't freak out about the fact that I attempted something with some adult content in one of the stories. Just be sure to read that one to the end.