More exciting news -- my friend and partner in Thai food, Julie Cross, (author of the amazing YA time-travel TEMPEST, has invited me to participate in her teamTeenauthor group! Once a month, I'll be blogging on the same topic as the rest of the members, as opposed to my usual Doctor Who-centric rambling and talk of CSAs. Even better, once every three months, I'll be participating in a truth-or-dare situation. The next one is coming up in October, I believe, and you'll have ample opportunity for mockery, I assure you.
This month, the topic at hand is Olympic Dreams, since the Games just wound up and we're all feeling inspired, and perhaps a little flames-of-rage-ish at NBC's coverage. I didn't watch a ton of coverage -- mostly the late-night events, which exposed me to two events I've never seen before. Track bicycling, which takes place indoor, in a building called the Velodrome, and is both insanely cool and insane. They ride bikes with no brakes at 40 mph, with about 4 inches between riders. I also watched the Steeplechase, which is a track event involving leaping over three regular hurdles and one hurdle in a puddle. No lie. They run through water. Why? I don't know, but it was fun. It also led to the most hideous victory dance I've ever seen. Even the announcers were horrified. "That's...oh, wow. That's really...wow. Just...yeah."
(I will point out here that, in his home country, the gold medalist is accused of stabbing a woman. And while I am in favor of the "innocent until proven otherwise" approach, I have some issues with his presence at the Games. Nevertheless, the Steeplechase itself is fun to watch.)
As for my own dreams, I have never really aspired to Olympic greatness. I am neither coordinated enough nor disciplined enough to be a competetive athlete. On the other hand, there are some things I am really, really good at. Where my drive and my talent combine to make me a contender for some sort of medal. Witness:
- I can fold a t-shirt worthy of a Gap display without a clipboard to guide me.
- I can sleep anywhere at any time, regardless of noise, location, or position.
- I can organize closets and filing cabinets so beautifully, even Martha Stewart would approve.
- I am an expert furniture assembler. Give me an allan wrench and a Phillips-head screwdriver, and I am pretty much unstoppable.
These days, of course, my dreams are more writing-focused than anything else, and while I think it's a stretch to say that writing a novel is like training for the Olympics, I think achieving your dreams in any field comes down to this:
Know your strengths. (Very short athletes are better suited for gymnastics than the long jump. Writers who write dark, edgy stories should probably steer clear of chapter books.)
Know exactly what you want. (Swimming fast vs. Swimming 100 meters in less than a minute. Being a writer vs. finishing a manuscript.)
Practice, practice, practice. (Even when you don't feel like it. Especially when you don't feel like it.)
Nobody's guaranteed a gold medal, and nobody's guaranteed a career in publishing. The best you can do is exactly that: your best. So get to work!
Other Olympic Dream Posts: