It’s been awhile since I’ve just let you know what’s going on, so here are the headlines:
Peru in 3 Days!
I’m surprisingly chill about my first visit to the southern hemisphere and 5-day trek at altitude in the Peruvian wilderness. I’ve done very little packing or preparation. Later today (written Saturday), I’m headed to REI to make some purchases, but I’m fairly unconcerned about the whole thing.
Here’s the plan: Leaving Friday, flying all over the place, then eventually arriving in Lima, where I will have Starbucks. One of my greatest joys in international travel is taking advantage of the exquisite quality control Starbucks exhibits… my Iced Grande, 3-pump, non-fat, no-whip white mocha tastes remarkably the same no matter where it’s purchased, which absolutely blows my mind.
Next, I will continue on to Cuzco and Amy the dentist will pick me up at the airport. Steve and Lori will arrive a bit after I do and we will acclimate to the altitude for a few days, by hanging out in Cuzco. Maybe we’ll eat a guinea pig and see some old churches.
Then, all four of us will leave for a really long hike (40 ish miles). Day 2 of the hike is the terrifying one because it’s far and uphill. Also, I’m concerned about sleeping because it’s going to be cold and the air will be thin. Sometimes, I get panic attacks in Flagstaff, so I’d bet I’ll feel some physical effects of the ultra-high elevation at the top of Peruvian mountains.
At the end of our hike, we’ll reach Machu Picchu, where I promise not to streak, even if there are a ton of tourists doing so nowadays.
I’ve committed to taking at least one photograph a day during the trip, but I don’t promise they’ll be any good or that I’ll share them here.
Also, note: I’m not going to post much while gone. I haven’t died.
Church and Jesus
Pastor Andy has been doing his job, preaching good sermons and trying to get me to talk more at Surge. He asked me to read the scripture in front of everyone thies Sunday, and while I can’t help the hesitation I feel about handing myself over to the church, I’m trying to try. Midtown church is a good one, and I’m encouraged (and even surprised) that I haven’t found any noteworthy flaws. 🙂 People are people, of course, and imperfect, but it is what I believe a church ought to be.
My affections for the wrong dude aren’t quite so strong in the shadow of Machu Picchu, which is nice, but I still want him and am still trying not to want him. My anger at that boy is stronger than ever, mostly because my heart won’t allow me to give in and go after the dude I want, while that boy already gave in. I want him to love God enough to sacrifice his own desires, which is also what I want for myself. I see us as living parallel stories, and I’m pissed at every moment he doesn’t chose Jesus.
I’m doing a revision of my manuscript before I send it out to readers for critique. It’s nice to have a full draft, and I’m constantly thinking about querying it, but I’m also treasuring this last bit of time when the story doesn’t belong to anyone except for me.
During revision, I’ve discovered that I have a pacing problem. In writing it the way I wrote it, I created a relentless onslaught of crises. Therefore, I’m adding in a chapter here and a chapter there in an attempt to let the reader breathe. Also, conflict isn’t interesting unless there are good moments worth protecting. The bad must be off-set with good, otherwise, why the hell do my characters even exist?
In addition to my current revisions, I’m looking forward to being finished with this manuscript so I can move onto a new project. I’m re-reading Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 to prep myself, because I think it might be fun to write an absurd Heller-esque tragic comedy about the state of education. I’m not currently working on it, because I’ll poke myself in the eye if I don’t make a real go at publishing something soon, but I am thinking and paying attention to all of the crazy things that happen on a daily basis in my line of work. I evidently have a social commentary leaning in what I write. Who knew?
In spite of the inspirational running quotes I’ve been posting here, I’m really not feeling up to training for a full marathon anymore. I have recovered a love of running, which I’m afraid to lose. For this reason, pushing myself seems counter-productive right now.
On the athletic front, I’ve got the hike to Machu Picchu this month. Next month, I’m running Ragnar Trail, which is super exciting because it’s my third Ragnar of the year, and I get a special medal because of the specific combo of Ragnar races I’ve run this year. In December, I may run the Tucson Half Marathon. January might be the Rock ‘n’ Roll half or full (depending upon how far I push myself in the next few weeks). February I’ve got Ragnar del Sol. March I’ve got the Distance Classic, which is a half marathon. So I’m pretty well-booked athletically for the time-being. 🙂
In a month or so, we’ll be getting a third roommate.
Everything has gone better than I could have expected with Kendra. She and I are equally independent and disengaged from home, so we’ve had no conflicts that I’m aware of… keep your fingers crossed. We come and go, without worrying too much about our relationship. It’s peaceful and restful. When we do cross paths, we watch The West Wing and give little life updates.
Third roommate is Sara – Ashly’s sis. I’ve known her for a long time, and even spent the holidays with her for several years. She’s pretty different from me or Kendra, but I suspect the independent, not worrying about the relationships things are part of her personality as well, so maybe we’ll be fine.
I’m enthused to have the extra income that comes with another roommate, and that allows me to make the rent colossally low for both roommates, while still having nearly all of my mortgage paid by others. Maybe I’ll save up to buy a car.
That’s pretty much all that’s going on nowadays. I’m getting over a slight cold, and I’m canvassing for school board candidates when I have free time, which is rare. I hope all is well with my readers. Thanks for sticking with me. Some of you have been reading STILL GROWING since its inception, which is crazy because that was quite a long time ago. 🙂