Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday Meeting, Here's an Orange!

So, today is Marathon Monday, in Boston, and the marathon runs right past my street.  We live within shouting distance of the halfway mark, and we spend a couple of hours yelling and handing out oranges to the runners.  I love being able to walk out my door, and down the street to the marathon, but my favorite place to cheer is closer to the finish line--Heartbreak Hill.  The two times that my brother ran, I stationed myself there.  I just love being able to cheer on the runners at the hardest part of the race.

I'm excited to be handing out oranges today.  And, I'm digging the marathon analogy.  Because writing is nothing if not a marathon.  Sprinting off the starting  line, getting a second wind, hitting the wall, struggling up Heartbreak Hill, and finally arriving at the finish line in Boston, exhausted.  I'm eating plenty of oranges.

And, hopefully, I'm handing out lots of oranges to people in various stages of this writing race.  And, I want to ask you--what is it that people give you that energizes you for the rest of the marathon--or just that next mile.  What gets you through?  What are your oranges?

My goals this week include working forward on the revisions on the end of my MG, and soaking up the feedback that others have given me.  Figure out how to get to the next level.  To grab some oranges, and run the next mile of this marathon.

And, I'm excited to unplug with Tina in her fantastic Practice Room at 12:00 EST today.  And excited to introduce Shannon O'Donnell, picture book and chapter book author to this week's Friday Feature interview!  Visit her blog, and get ready to ask her some fantastic questions.

So, what are you oranges--what keeps you going when your energy wanes during your marathon?  What are your goals for the week?

Jets just flew over my house, which signifies the beginning of the race!  The marathon is on!


  1. What a fun and energizing way to spend your day!!

    Some of my oranges are the give and take with other writers. And the kids I've worked with over the years.

    My goal. I want to see if this new idea I have is going to turn into a novel.

  2. Big city ppl and their big city events...

    I get energy from big city ppl with their big city personalties AKA you.

  3. What a perfect analogy!! It IS like running a marathon!

    My orange, believe it or not, is joining you and Tina in the Practice Room. I've never thought of the first attempt at writing a scene as "practice" ... and trying to get scenes right the first time around made me want to quit running, grab orange slices and water, and join the spectators while all the runners move past me.

    Now that I think of my first scene attempts as "practice" it is so easy to fill a blank page and move my characters forward. :D

  4. What FUN! I haven't done Boston yet and likely won't since you have to qualify and I am slow as cold molasses but I can tell you the big marathons with lots of crowd support are the most enjoyable.

    In Chicago the latin segment of the city was handing out shots of tequila! At mile twenty or so! A few runners actually accepted. I was not one of them. In San Diego the local Parrothead club had a huge RV and passed out frozen margaritas to runners at mile 21. I didn't take one of those, either. But orange slices are always well received.

    A major marathon is the best way to see a city. The residents are always proud of their city and so supportive. You get to see the best they have to offer in both hospitality and local flavor.

    And you are so right. I draw the analogy between writing and distance running all the time. The reason most people never complete either a novel or a marathon is because you have to want to finish more than you want to quit.

  5. I love watching marathons. Minneapolis has a very beautiful one in the fall. And I've seen my husband run when I had infants in tow. It felt like I was running a marathon too! As always I love the anology. Hope you are having a good time! Can't wait to unplug!

    And, Marisa, that is so cool!!!!!

  6. That's cool when an analogy runs right by your door. For me, just knowing that there are other writers that understand exactly what I'm going through - keeps me running to the finish line.

  7. Great analogy, Heather! Have fun handing out oranges and good luck with some major unplugged productivity.

    Thanks for the early shout-out! :-)

  8. I like how hilly and treey your neighborhood is, btw. It's way different than I thought it would be.

  9. Love the photos! Yay. And let me just tell you how many oranges I get. Energy galore comes from your personage!

  10. That is awesome! So do they peel the oranges and eat them while they run?? (I am obviously not a marathon runner...;)
    That sounds like a fun day!

  11. How fun! When I lived in Brighton, the marathon would go right past our apartment. Watching the runners would always make me feel so motivated - if they can run 26 miles, I can do anything! I'm trying to make that my motto for the week. :-)

  12. Hi Friend!

    An extremely apt comparison.

    My oranges are LITERALLY oranges - just like my fabulous clock which you've added to your blog. Now why did you use an orange to represent me?
    Well, of course oranges go with my ouzo and many other alcoholic beverages.
    Apart from that, my oranges are people like you and Tina who offer support and friendship unconditionally to, sorry it sounds a bit corny and a trifle gooey, but you ASKED!...Now, talking about trifle and corn and oranges...I'm off to grab a bite to eat and drink! Just came home after teaching 9 HOURS!!!!!! AAAAHHHHHhh

  13. You are a total metaphorical orange passer outter. It's why I love to stop by your Monday meetings. First brownies and now oranges. Happy writing this week and may you get lots of oranges from others!

  14. Hello everyone! I have been spending so many wonderful hours with my kids, that I have lamely been ignoring the blogging! I promise I'll be back next week, when vacation week is over!

    Paul--I'm excited to hear that you are flushing out a new idea. It's always good to have one of those in the works!

    J--awww, shucks! thanks, and right back at ya!

    Marisa--Woo-hoo about the Practice Room--that's so great! I feel that way, too!

    Laurel--plenty of people without numbers jump in. I couldn't qualify for it either, I don't think--it's been a while since I've clocked that kind of mileage. Kudos to you for doing marathons--so awesome!! I never considered the sightseeing aspects of doing a marathon. Fun!!

    Laura--I agree, knowing that you aren't alone is pretty key, in the writing game!

    Shannon--I'm very excited for Friday! And the orange giving was inspirational for me in ways that I hadn't originally considered--in the past I've let my kids do it, but this year, my kids fizzled out early, and I ended up handing a lot of the oranges out. The looks in the runners eyes as they zero-ed in on the oranges, and their gratitude for one small slice of orange was something that will fuel me for a while to come!

  15. Tina--how cool to cheer your husband on--that's so much fun! What an achievement it is to race that distance, and how much support it takes to get to that level of running! I know that your support was far beyond cheering for him at the actual race! And thanks for your kind words! I love being in your support group!!

    J--There are tons of great hilly, tree filled places around here! I'll have to show you more pictures to dispel the big city myth!

    Kelly--I cut them into 'smilies' for the runners-- pie wedges with the rind still on. Then they eat, and throw the rinds on the road. And the day was so much fun!!

    Anna--I feel the exact same way! Anything is possible!! Let's see how long we can keep up that mantra!

    Ann Marie--HELLOOO! That was not corny at all! I feel the exact same way. I'm sure I would have given up this marathon were it not for all the friends cheering me on. Thanks for being one of them!!

    Margaret--It was a ton of fun. And I excluded the picture of my daughter when she burst into tears when nobody took her offered orange. The fast runners just don't have time to slow up and grab one. But, my daughter feeling that sad is one of the parts of the analogy that rings true, too. Definitely ups and downs. Not just for the ones running the race--but for the ones handing out the oranges too!

    Lori--Thanks! I'm so glad that you get oranges here! I'm blessed with tons of oranges, from all of you! Thanks for passing them to me! And, happy writing to you, too!!

  16. H.- I love that part about your daughter feeling sad. It is so true. We have to remember the pendulum in writing. It swings one way and then swings back.