May 21st, 2012


please start thinking that this is a good time now

When I was in college, I had a very close group of friends, and a small handful of us did annual ski trips together. One of these friends was on the ski team, and various places we went to ski, we would wind up seeing skiing buddies of his from the serious skiing world. In 2000, we went to Utah, and while we were there, we had dinner at the house of one of his former coaches, who was still coaching young outstanding skiiers.

The coach talked about a current student of his, who he was hoping to get to the Olympics, and about this student's hesitation, his insistence that he would try out next year, when he was better. But it was always next year, next year, and the coach exclaimed his frustration to us at the dinner table, saying, "Would you please start thinking that this is a good time NOW?"

It struck me then, in a way that has (obviously) stuck with me, because I so strongly understand the urge to put things off until I can do them better, until the time is exactly right, and I also understand that most of the time, there is no time that's exactly right, and the best time to do that thing is when I can, even if it's not perfect or I don't feel totally ready.

If life is what happens when you're making other plans, then this is a good time. Now.

no, really, just try stealing these bikes

As a vaguely-related followup to my post about people "stealing" the chocolate I keep on my desk for people to take (here), a story:

After Burning Man 2008, we planned to drop our bikes off at the roadside bike stand where we had purchased them. The person who runs this business takes bikes at the end of each festival, stores them, does a modicum of upkeep on them, and sells them to Burners at the beginning of the next year's event for $40. This is a genius business plan as long as space is cheap. It works well for burners, who effectively rent a bike for $40 for 3-10 days, and for the businessperson, who doesn't really have to do much except deal with a fuckload of bikes, which, I'll grant, is probably a pretty big job.

Anyway, we had picked up a bunch of these bikes on our way in, and planned to drop them off as we left, but the sign at the dropoff point said, "NO MORE BIKES!"

WHAT?? What were we going to do with 5 dusty crappy bikes? We certainly didn't want to fly them back to Boston.

Then someone had the brilliant idea to post them on Craigslist as giveaways in Las Vegas once we arrived. Perfect!

So, we got to our hotel, unloaded the bikes from the RV, parked them in a prominent spot in the parking lot, and posted to CL. Then, after hours of dusty RV cleaning, a bunch of transcendent showers, and dinner, we went to sleep. In the morning, the bikes were gone! Hooray!

I got back to Boston and told this story to one of my colleagues, who said in horror, "But how do you know the bikes weren't stolen??"
iris portrait

dyscalculia/dyslexia resources

An authorial friend of mine is looking for some assistance, detailed below:
I am actively seeking – or, I will be soon – people with dyscalculia and/or dyslexia, or who are highly knowledgeable about either, who would be willing to read a to-be-published work of YA contemporary realistic fiction, approximately 63,000 words (250 manuscript pages) long, and give me feedback on whether my representation of characters with the same is accurate and respectful. I am willing to pay any appropriate candidates for this work. If you know anyone who might be eligible/interested, would you please let me know? Regarding timing: the manuscript isn't ready for reading now, nor will it be until I'm done with another revision. Not sure when that will be, but hopefully this summer. I will provide more information about timing as soon as I have it myself.

If you are or know someone who might be able to help, please respond and I will put her in touch with you. Feel free to forward this to other people or venues who might be relevant.