This blog introduces you to my special brand of BIKE. I show you how to find your Best self, access your Inner strength, tune in to your Killer instincts, and use your Expressive voice. It's inspiring, spiritual, quirky, and it's all in your head. It's about ATTITUDE, not exercise, though that might be a side benefit.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Switching gears

Enough about the travel guide. Enough about the Good Mood blogger contest. I have no idea where I'm at on that. We'll see.

At any rate, I've been cleaning clutter in my office and ran across my BIKE book proposal. The four-year-old copy was stuffed in a file turned around the other way so I couldn't see it--not until I pulled the file out. Pleased to discover it at this time, I thought I'd share a bit of the sample chapter with you and see what you thought. It never hurts to get input from your readers to see if the writing needs some oomph. So what do you think?

Tentative book title: LESSONS FROM THE SEAT OF MY BIKE

Sample Chapter

My mind was racing in the early morning hours of November 6, 2002, and I did what I always did when the thoughts wouldn't stop. I wrote them down.

Pulling a yellow legal pad of paper out from underneath the coffee table in front of me, I sat down with it in my usual spot--on the left end of our green crushed velvet sectional. Any other time, I would have been sitting there because it was the perfect spot to view both the fireplace and the big screen TV. It would have kept my thoughts away from the pile of dirty dishes in the kitchen sink behind me. And it faced a window where, if the beige blinds were open, I could watch the hummingbirds flit around my next door neighbor's palo verde tree.

In the spring, when that tree bloomed, I'd let my mind absorb the mass of yellow flowers against the contrasting blue sky. I wouldn't think about the carpet of yellow the flowers would leave on my gravel yard. Instead, that tree inspired me to write poetry or compile my to-do lists. I would sit there, looking out the open window, listening to music, and daydream.

But on this day, the blinds were closed; I hadn't opened them since my husband's confession five days earlier. And I didn't have any dirty dishes in the sink; my thoughts were going a million different places, but not anywhere near anything that would have created them. I was surviving on coffee, if I could stomach it.

Seconds after I sat down, my dog Clooney, a black, gray and white schnauzer, jumped up on the couch beside me and stared into my face. It took me a few seconds to notice her increasingly loud growl. She was like a child. If you didn't pay attention to her, she'd whine until you did. Pulling her up onto my lap, she climbed over to the arm of the couch--her favorite spot--and plopped down. She snorted as I adjusted a pillow on my lap. I set the pad on top of it, and with a black Bic pen in my left hand wrote in all-capital letters at the top of the first lined page:

WAR LOG--2002

And then I did what I never do...left the rest of the page blank.

Something else I never did? Write my personal thoughts down on a legal pad. I always used those black and white Mead composition books. But on this day, things were not the same. I didn't even date my journal entry correctly. I flipped the page over and deliberately backdated the second page. My mind was racing--backwards--as I wrote:

October 29, 2002--I am at war with my husband, only I don't know it yet. In a few days, my life is going to take a fall, and I won't even be able to imagine how to get back up. In a few days, I'll discover that he walked into a jewelry store on October 28 and purchased a $150 ring--a gift for a woman who is not me. But I don't know any of this yet. Today, I only know that we went to see my therapist--separately.


Jennifer Fink said...

I want to hear more!

BIKE LADY said...

That's great to hear. I retyped all of that into my blog here. I didn't copy and paste. Did that on purpose to see if I could connect to the words again. Yep. It's going to be difficult to write this, even now. But that's a good thing. That means it'll be the story I want to tell, the one that will touch lives, I hope.

Sheryl Kraft said...

I like the diary entry. It's powerful and dramatic - and I might open with that. At any rate, it got me hooked. Good luck writing more!~

BIKE LADY said...

Oh, Sheryl, I like that. It might have occurred to me before, but I surely don't remember. Good. I'm glad I posted this.

I think I have three chapters written, all of it comes from the journals I kept while going through my divorce. I have several dozen, enough to write a series of books, I think.

I am anxious to begin work on this again. It's been so long! But I wanted the distance.

Lorrie said...

Wow Jackie. I want to hear more, too. That was so profound. Having been through a divorce myself, that feeling that nothing would ever be the same, the sense of betrayal... everything is raw, powerful. Almost as if all of your senses are enhanced, yet numb at the same time. Glad that you shared this.

Anonymous said...

Yes, please--more!

Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell said...

I'll echo what everyone else said: More

Sharon Lippincott said...

I especially like the idea of starting with the journal entry -- like a shot fired into the void.

But whatever you use to get going (and you can change your mind later), you have my attention and I do want to read more. Perhaps you've said earlier, but I'm not clear on whether this is memoir or fiction...

BIKE LADY said...

Thanks, Kerri.

Sharon, this is memoir. I have two things in mind to write: the memoir and a prescriptive title, based on my BIKE work. It's the story that leads up to why I ride the physical bike and how I came up with the mental BIKE.

Anonymous said...

I think what's missing for me is any connection with the title. I don't know how this connects to bike riding in anyway and it makes me scratch my head. That being said, lots of people are going to relate and be interested in your struggle through divorce. I hope to read more!

Vera Marie Badertscher said...

Yes, the journal entry is a real grabber, and I think you can jump into the action and then take some time to set the stage after you have our attention. But like everyone else said--I want to hear more--and if you jump on a bike somewhere in the first chapter, that might help, too. Get to work, lady.

BIKE LADY said...

I was on the bike by then, Vera. I have to dig out my journals again. I put them away while working on the travel guide. Time for the next book now.