Jenn: Running and Writing
Hi all, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Summer was crazy with teaching, then my daughter, parents, and I spent 3 weeks in very remote coastal Maine and New Brunswick. No phones, no internet, no tv, bliss. Now I’m back in the swing of things, and the textbook is progressing rapidly. I have 20 chapters total, and have submitted 10 of them in final draft form to the publisher. The next 10 are transitioning quickly from rough to final, and I anticipate getting the whole thing in by the end of the year. Yay! It’s been so much fun to write this book, and I feel like it’s made me a better teacher as well.
The frustrating thing is that I don’t feel like my publishing company and editors have been giving the book enough time and attention. The editors keep saying they’re going to be sending along comments soon, but nothing ever comes. I am trying to be patient, as my rough draft deadline isn’t until July 09. They may not have budgeted time this soon to spend on my project. But the other concern I have is that this company doesn’t do the promoting that some of the big companies do. When I told my representative at a big company I do a lot of business with that I am writing this book, she just about killed me for not asking her company to publish it. I think it would sell MUCH more with that firm, but I’ve already signed a contract. Does anyone have any idea how to navigate these waters? Can one get out of a contract?
Also, I’m still running like crazy, last weekend I ran a 5K on Sat and a 1/2 marathon on Sunday. I don’t usually do 5K’s, because my rule is to never run a race it takes longer to get to than it does to run. But this one was sponsored by the University where I’m employed, and it was very close to my house. I ran it too fast, which made the run the next day quite painful. But it is the 1/2 marathon I wanted to write about here. It was the Maine Coast 1/2 Marathon, and only women are allowed to enter. There’s a “significant other 5K” and one man, chosen from a lottery, got to run with us.
It was a spectacular race, highlighted by the fact that Kathrine Switzer was the emcee. She has the distinction of being the first woman registered for the Boston Marathon, and many people recall the photos of Jock Semple (race director) attempting to physically yank her off the course once he found out a “girl” was running his race. She’s since ran several marathons, and now organized races and does a lot of event speaking. She’s written three books, and was signing and selling books at this race. I purchased “Marathon Woman,” which was a great book for the first two thirds. By the end, it started to read like the acknowledgements section… too many names, dates, places, and races that stopped being as riveting as the first half of the book.
But Kathrine Switzer is a great example of a sort-of mom (a stepson entered her life fairly late in his teenage years) who is able to balance work, writing, running, and family magnificently. She’s 62 years old and looks about 45. She’s slim, solid, and exudes happiness and grace. She also wrote “Running and Walking for Women Over 40,” which is a great starting book for those wanting to get into the sport. I find that my best ideas are hatched while running, and my best actual writing is done immediately after running… all that oxygen in the brain. If I’m ever stuck on something, even a quick 2-miler is guaranteed to free up any writer’s block.