My First New Year’s Resolution: Write A Book

I have never set a New Year’s resolution before. If the start of a new year is the only thing motivating you to change something in your life, then it’s probably not going to last very long. The best way to set yourself up to succeed with a resolution is to be as specific as possible. Don’t just plan to eat healthier, be happier, or lose a certain number of pounds. Focus on the positive side of what you are doing and make your resolution the exact activity that is going to help you achieve your goal. Make your resolution to go on a run three times a week or cut out soda from your diet to be healthier.

Like many people, my resolution is something that I’ve been meaning to start for a while now. But also like many writers, I need pressure. I won’t complete something unless there is a strict deadline, and I like to think that’s when I do my best work. So, here it is. My resolution is to write a book. Don’t worry, I have a plan. Normally I wouldn’t announce something like this, but I need the pressure of public knowledge to keep me going. The average novel is between 80,000 and 100,000 words. The lower end for a first book is usually better because it costs publishers less to print. That means I will have to write around 1,700 words per week to achieve that word count by the end of 2012. Who knows, it may not even take the whole year if I really get on a roll.

You’re probably wondering what my book idea is. I don’t want to give too much away because I can already tell I’m one of those weird protective/secretive writers. I will tell you I’ve always dreamed of writing historical fiction, and it will be set in Victorian Scotland around the 1850s. The story is based on historical events and real people, with a dash of mystery and a smidge of romance.

Broomielaw Bridge. Glasgow, Scotland.

That’s all for now 🙂 Happy New Year!

True Life: I’m Still Trying To Be A Runner

Here's a super grainy photobooth picture of me pre-run.

It’s been a month or so since I first posted about my new running endeavor. The truth is I haven’t had much progress. My endurance is still pretty limited. I have to run a few minutes on and then a few walking to recover, with some inhaler puffs mixed in. But I have noticed an improvement in my circulation and cardiovascular ability to keep going. Now the only thing that’s stopping me from running longer distances (and by longer distances, I mean more than one mile…ha) is my breathing. My heart rate seems more steady while I’m running, and it’s a great feeling. Now only if my lungs would catch up! I know my first mistake is expecting results too quickly. It will take more time to get used to it. My goal is to reach a point where my body craves and needs exercise out of habit.

I haven’t gone on too many runs with Drew–it’s a little discouraging when his breathing pattern while running a mile is literally the same as if he was sitting on the couch or taking a leisurely stroll. Speaking of Drew, he has set his sights on another ambitious goal, climbing Mt. Hood this spring. As far as mountains go, Mt. Hood is supposed to be a good one for beginners. The climb starts at midnight, and they hike through the night when the ice and snow is more frozen and secure, and then reach the peak at sunrise. The second Drew suggested doing this, I had visions of us taking an epic picture at the top together with the amazing view.

Reality check: someone who’s 4 foot 11 and 90 pounds with asthma probably isn’t going to do well trying to climb high altitudes at freezing temperatures. I guess I’ll just have to wait for Drew at slightly above sea level worrying about disastrous avalanches and icy cliffs. Feel free to join my pity party.

Anyway, back to running. I haven’t been as consistent as I wanted to be. Sometimes I only run once a week, other times I go three times a week. I refuse to run on a treadmill, and the rain isn’t helping. But maybe I’ll just embrace the rain.

True Life: I want to be a runner

Earlier this week I decided that I want to become a runner. I’ve always been terrified of running, and I’ve never even run a full mile in my entire life. The first time I attempted (ahem, was forced…) was one year during high school cheer camp training, and I ended up having to walk half the time. I’ve just always been better at physical technique and dance types of exercise.

Not that I’m about to make excuses, but having asthma doesn’t make things any easier. The last time I tried to run was a couple years ago in my parent’s neighborhood. A huge mistake, considering we live on a giant hill and it was the height of allergy season. It’s so frustrating when I feel like my muscles can do more but my lungs just can’t support it.

Yesterday, I went on the first run of my new endeavor. With my inhaler in hand, I was ready to go. Of course my husband Drew, who has run the Portland marathon, Eugene half-marathon and a few 5k’s here and there (nbd), decided to come with me. This may be a good thing because I need someone to force me to do things like this, otherwise I will just take a nap instead.

I read on (at Drew’s insistence, he doesn’t take running advice from anywhere else, apparently) that beginners and people who have asthma should alternate between a few minutes of running, and then like 1-2 minutes of walking to recover your breathing. All in all, the first run was fairly successful. It wasn’t too cold out so that helped my breathing. Drew says we probably went a little under a mile (I know he was attempting to hold back the laughter at this point). He literally didn’t break a sweat, and he hasn’t even run at all for a few weeks either. Maybe one day I will get to that point! Stay tuned.