Hedgebrook (!!)

While some of my writing friends are at the AWP conference, I’m on Whidbey Island on my Hedgebrook Writing Residency, holed up in the cutest cabin and writing my ass off.

The Internet is limited so I am copying and pasting this from a word document–hope it all the pics come through.

Here is the view from my window seat–isn’t it wonerful and peaceful?

The drive up to Anchorage before my flight was great. I dropped the dog off at “Uncle” David’s and then I went to Target. I couldn’t resist. I had discount shopping withdrawal. I didn’t buy anything except 90 percent chocolate and a pair of running socks, but just walking through the store made me blissfully happy.

After that, I got to visit and spend the night with my friend Sarana. I forgot to take a picture, though, so here’s one from her FB page:

Sorry I swiped your photo, Sarana, and thanks for your couch!

 I slept on Sarana’s couch and one of her cats kept crawling under the blankets, curling against my legs and then jumping up my stomach, over and over all night, hee, hee.

Early in the morning (and bless Sarana’s heart for waking me in time), I drove my snow covered car to the airport, and checked into my flight minutes before the cut-off.

Standing in line to board, I suddenly realized that I had forgotten my lucky writing sweater back in the car in long-term parking a few miles from the airport. I thought: I can either go without it or I can cough up $25 and catch the next flight to Seattle.

I coughed up the money.

I HAD to have my lucky writing sweater at Hedgebrook. It was That important.

My ratty lucky writing sweater

The crappy thing was that there weren’t any storage lockers available at the terminal so I had to lug my suitcase and heavily-loaded backpack back down to baggage claim and wait for the shuttle to the parking lot.

I lied to the shuttle driver and said I had forgotten my laptop cord, hee, hee, and he rushed me back. (I left him a nice tip for his effort and to appease my lie.)

Then I escaped through the boarding line the second time with my too-heavy suitcase. The guy in front of me wasn’t so lucky. He was pulled out of line and his suitcase weighed, and I took the opportunity to scurry, fast, to the agent, hand over my boarding pass and practically sprint on the plane.

Then we flew and oh, the blue, blue sky. How nice it must be to be a bird, can you imagine the wonder and glory of flying?

I took a run today (of course). In fact, I brought almost no regular clothes but a pair of jeans and my lucky sweater. Everything else is running gear, hee, hee.

I learned fast that it’s HILLY on Whidbey Island. Now, I’m used to running hills as in running up mountains, which is running extremely uphill on the way and extremely downhill on the way back. I’m not used to rolling hills, over and over, miles and miles of nothing but rolling hills.

The first four miles I felt strong. Then I turned around and ran a slight downhill grade for about two miles. I was feeling great, I was in the groove, I was loving it. Until I hit the first steep hill and my legs poofed out. They were jelly. They were mush. Granted, the hill was steep, but last week I was running up Lost Lake, which is a mountain and SO much bigger than a wimpy steep hill.

I gritted my teeth, I trudged. That’s when I realized that my legs aren’t used to running downhill and then back up again, over and over and over. I”m not sure why this would be but it must have to do with muscle formation. My downhill to uphill transitional muscles must be weak–is there even such a thing?. Whatever the case,. my heart sank when I came to another hill, and another. (The worst was when the school bus passed and I could feel all of those eyes on my poor struggling ass.)

The last half mile the hills were gentler and I picked up the pace. But I truly need to start running more rolling hills and not just steep mountain trails.

Back to writing, writing, writing all night, night, night. Hope everyone is having a great day, and to those of you in Alaska, there’s no snow here, hee, hee, and warm enough for shirt sleeves when I run.

Running: 9 grueling miles

Reading: Short story collections

Writing: Oh my, yes!

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