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Uncontrollable Burn [Covencraft # 5] – status update!

You guys! I am THISCLOSE to finishing primary writing on book 5. My first draft is usually pretty close to my end draft [which is good or bad – take your pick!]. I’m just about to start chapter 17 [as it is numbered right now] and I think I need about 5000 more words to wrap it up. Then we’ll see what gets added/deleted during edits.

As I posted earlier, I have clinical depression and I just changed meds. Me finishing this book couldn’t have happened without it. Or rather, I could have done it, but a June release? Dude. IDK. I was working all of January and February to be on time and I’m a little behind, but I’ll make it! But if I hadn’t felt better? I would have still been back at 250 words a day, which is how I wrote book 4. Like, it can be done. But it sucks. Writing a book like that feels like chiseling out of marble with a teeny-tiny chisel. You can do it. Your exhausted and defeated most of the time, but it can be done.

But! I’m AM feeling good, and writing faster so that didn’t happen!

I’m happy with where the book has gone, emotionally and action-wise. It’s always a nailbiter to see if other people like it, but at least if they don’t, I know that I like it. [and if you don’t like it, I hope you tell me GENTLY why so I can review and learn! But if you post a review, you should know I make my sisters read them for me, lol. See my page on reviewing for why]

I will be in contact with the cover artist shortly and hope to post that as soon as it’s ready! I’m EXCITED. I don’t have the back blurb written yet, but will post as soon as I do. This book, generally, is a straight continuation of book 4, Dry Spells. Jade is continuing to deal with Lily being her own person, her feelings about her past, and her feelings for Paris. And then while she’s working on that, a Forest Fire happens! DUN DUN DUN.  Stay tuned!

 

 

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Dry Spells [Covencraft #4] releases June 7!

Dry Spells will be released June 7! It’s up for pre-order at the moment and will be ready to download on June 7th! I’m very excited [as always!]

DrySpells_Cvr_MED
I struggle with each book in its own way and then when I get to the end I’m like, ‘huh. Why was that so hard?’ I didn’t know the ’emotional heart’ of this book for a long time, and then when I did figure it out, it was SO OBVIOUS I wondered if I had purposely been blind to it for some ‘as yet still unknown to me’ reason.

I’m always proud of my work. *pats self on back*.  Maybe it’s egotistical or narcissistic, but I work hard at my writing and hope I get better with each book. I’m always grateful I have the opportunity to write and that I finished another story – getting it out of my head and into the computer. The transition from brain to fingers to keyboard to actual-readable-book is a tumultuous one, but I find it rewarding.

I’m already working on the next installment of Covencraft, Uncontrollable Burn. I just don’t know yet if it will be a novella or a full length book. We’ll see how Jade and Paris [and Lily and Bruce and everyone else!] feels about it!

 

 

 

Dry Spells [Covencraft #4] – update

So, I complained to my sister a few months ago that book 4 of Covencraft (Dry Spells) was the hardest book I’d written.

SISTER: “you say that about all your books”

Me: I DO NOT

SISTER: Yep. You do.

Me: *thinks about it. grumbles because it might be true* “BUT THIS TIME I MEAN IT.”

The thing is, I do mean it every time. Each book has a clear plot to me and a clear emotional feel AFTER I’VE FINISHED IT. but before,  I’m kind of fumbling around in the dark. I thought I’d done enough pre-planning on book 4 that I knew what it was about. And I did, on the surface. But I hadn’t explored what it was underneath. I knew the plot points I wanted to hit, but I didn’t know or understand how I wanted it to emotionally resonate.

It may be that no one but me ever feels those deeper emotions in my books, but I NEED THAT connection to understand the plot. Book 1 was about belonging for Jade. Book 1 for Paris was about learning more about his Coven. Book 2 was about both Paris and Jade learning what belonging meant and how they both responded to that emotionally – how far will you go in response to a feeling of belonging? for Jade it meant she’d be willing to protect the Coven even if she didn’t’ feel she truly belonged.  Book 3 was about recognizing your past and trying to come to terms with it – both with Jade with respect to Lily and Paris with respect to the Coven and his mother. Book 4… I only recently realized book 4 is a continuation of that – recognizing your past and OWNING it. How do you come to terms with things you didn’t want to know? Or wished you didn’t know? or things you knew but wanted to ignore?

I thought I knew what book 4 was about but as I started working through it, it became clear I didn’t until recently. I finally feel I know where I want to go with Jade and Paris emotionally. That doesn’t mean that the reader will see it or that I’m even adept at conveying it or I know exactly what plot points I want to hit. But, I feel I know what I want Jade and Paris to FEEL when I work on this book. I feel like my ‘craft’ as a writer is uncovering these things and trying to convey it. I might not be successful. People might read books 1-4 and not see any of the deeper emotions I’m working toward. but…. I know they’re there and I’m trying.

Patience, Padawan – Cello and Writing

I often think and draw parallels between my cello lessons and my writing progress. I feel like I’m a constant student – I never want to think I’m THERE because I feel like there’s so much to be said for always being on the journey.

In cello, I’ve FINALLY progressed enough to learn one of the Bach Cello Suites. I’ve chosen Suite 2

Oh, I love this one so much. I listen to it a lot and I put my ipod on repeat to hear it over and over again. I would probably have started this earlier IF I PRACTICED, but as it is, I don’t practice very much and I have the BEST CELLO TEACHER ever, and she’s fine with how much I do or don’t practice and just works with me where I am. We FINALLY started working on this and I was SO EXCITED. I said to her, “I’ve told people I’m working on it and they want to hear it!” and she nodded with excitement and said, “Yeah, in a couple of years, you’ll be ready to play this!”

RECORD SCRATCH – WHUT. A COUPLE OF YEARS???

Ah, yes. Such is the cello, such is Bach, such is the way of things. I will be able to play the notes, and indeed can do so moderately now [okay, moderately is generous. I can hit the notes. Mostly. Some of the time.].

But yes. YEARS. That’s how long it will take for me to ‘work’ on Bach and play the Prelude of Suite No.2.

And that’s… well. that’s okay actually. I mean, what else am I doing? Don’t’ get me wrong, it sucks that it will take two years, but… it’s a journey, you know?

I feel that way about my writing. I’m happy with each work as I finish it but as I look back on things I think, well, this could be tweaked or that could have been better. But I’m still a work in progress as a writer, and I hope I always am. I hope to always be learning and growing. Although it can be hard at times feeling like you never GET TO THE END, there’s also a sense of freedom in never GETTING TO THE END. It’s like… if I don’t get it exactly perfect, I get to try again on the next round! That’s kind of liberating and frees from this feeling of.. if I don’t get it right, it’s all over. Now, if I don’t get it right, I just try again.

So, Patience, Padawan. We must learn to love the process.

Everything I Needed to Know About Writing, I Learned from my Cello

I love analogies.

If you teach me a thing or tell me something, I’m already searching through my brain like a giant rolodex trying to find a logical match for it – something I can relate it to. My most often used analogy is that writing is like learning to play an instrument. I started taking cello lessons about two and half years ago and like most new things, I took to it with vigor and passion – practicing every day! Reading books! More practicing! Researching online about cellos and bows!

Since I like to match up things I do, learn and see, I started thinking about how I was learning the cello: my sessions with my teacher, my reading of books about it, my sometimes disastrous practice sessions, my occasional stumbling into glory by hitting a row of notes previously missed. I realized – writing and learning to play an instrument are incredibly and intimately similar.

Practice
The first time I tried to play a song on my cello it sounded like a chorus of dying swans – honking, hulking swans with no pitch or tune. For a beginner, it wasn’t bad! But listening to it with my adult ears, it was sad and a little embarrassing. In a way, this reminds me of my first, earliest stories, written as a child and seen through adult eyes. Bad character development. Plot holes. Deus ex Machina. Stilted dialogue. Overwrought emotions.

What if I had stopped writing then? What if I had seen my work through adult eyes, the same way I hear my cello playing through adult ears and just… given up?

Luckily, I can be a persistent terrier when I want and I didn’t give up. I loved telling stories and loved the finished product of a complete, comprehensive piece of work that I created. So, I kept at it. Writing more stories, longer works, shorter pieces. I tried new techniques – maybe a new point of view or a different tone, working on smaller scenes and snapshots instead of bigger works. Each of these stories can be seen as practice. I’m practicing my craft. I think the key thing is, I’m always hoping and trying to get better – and how do I do that? I keep writing.

One of the quotes I’ve read that sticks with me the most was something like, “Nobody gets to the Philharmonic Orchestra by thinking about playing the violin.” That quote turned itself around in my brain for several days while I practiced my cello. I’m certainly not expecting to ever make it as a professional musician, but I do realize that to get better, I have to practice. I then made the connection with writing again. Nobody gets better at writing by thinking about writing. You have to do it. Thinkers think. Writers write. If I want to get better at writing, I’ve got to keep doing it. Working my way through a difficult scene or a patchy area is the same as going over and over a hard phrase of music or a complicate set of fingering for some notes. That’s not to say that I sit there and write lines of the same words over and over again! But rather, the act of sitting down and working is its own reward. Over the years, I’ve amassed a large volume of work and when I sit down and review it, I can see my growth. Sometimes in earlier works I can see hints of the writer I will become, much like sometimes with my cello I manage to stumble through a difficult passage expertly the first time. It’s very exciting when this happens! It’s like a glimpse into the future of what I’m aiming for. Mostly, however, what I see and what I’m proud of is the hard work and dedication my writing shows. It shows I stick with it. I keep trying. I may not always get it right, but I show up and do the work.

It’s an important distinction to make that you generally don’t sit down to write a final draft when you first start. I don’t sit down in front of a new sheet of music and expect to play it proficiently, certainly not at my beginner level! Nor should I sit down to write and expect the words to come out of my fingers and brain perfectly. They will need to be fine tuned and worked over – edited several times. The key is that they are out on the page to work with because I did the initial step – I wrote. Say it with me, “Writers write!”

Focus
Of course, the ‘thinking’ piece is important too! I find I write best when I think out what I’m going to do before hand – settling the plot and the sequence before I put fingers to keyboard. In a sense, I do the same thing with my cello – thinking about what I will practice before I sit down with my cello. Then, just as when I practice my cello, when I write I try to stay focused on the task at hand. I don’t think about the grocery shopping. Or the laundry. Or that report that I’m trying to compile at work. Or Tumblr, Facebook, LiveJournal, iTunes… I focus on what I’m doing. I’m writing. At the same time, I can’t get too focused on the mechanics or I lose the narrative. With the cello, I can’t always focus on tune or pitch. Sometimes I have to focus on the fluidity of the music, or the movement of my bow. Tune and pitch will come as I work on the other items. It’s the same with writing. I tell the story I want to tell. Later on, I can go through my work and polish it – editing for grammar, word choice and further narrative clarity. Just like when I play, I learn the notes first and then work on fine tuning later.

Regularity
Just like my instrument practice, my writing practice needs to be regular. Long stretches or breaks of too long and I’m losing my ‘touch.’ I took three weeks off playing the cello and when I went back, my string crossings were sloppy. My tuning was a little off. I couldn’t remember that note in the second bar is a b-flat [ALWAYS B-FLAT, why do I keep forgetting?!]. It’s the same with writing. Write regularly and you keep the skills you gain. Take long, indeterminate breaks and you start to get sloppy. Poor word choices, bad metaphors, awkward and stilted dialogue. Also, I find when working on a larger work, regular and consistent writing keeps the flow of the narrative moving along well. I don’t have to wonder, “Now, where did I leave those characters last time. Has Jade realized she may have feelings for Paris yet? Did I get that far?” When I write often, daily if I can manage it, I keep the narrative tighter in my head and don’t have to keep going back and reviewing what I’ve already written to keep the story straight.

Self-Editing, Awareness and Analytical Thinking
If you want to get better at an instrument, you can’t just ‘sit down and play.’ You have to listen to good playing. Listen to bad playing. Think about why you liked something and why you didn’t like something else. Compare your playing to others. I feel the same is true for writing. In the case of writers, we have to read. A lot. I read in and out of my preferred genres and I try to keep notes on what I liked and what I didn’t. There have been times I’ve read a book in which I couldn’t stand the main characters but I simply had to know what happened next. So, I went back and analyzed why that was. How were these marginal characters keeping me invested? A lot of it had to do with the pace of the story. It was so fast, I could forgive the characters. I’ve read other books in which the writing was gorgeous and yet, I had to stop half way through because I just didn’t care. Again, I go back and think carefully about why I’m not engaged. Is the language too cumbersome for me? Do I just ‘not like it’? Do I not identify with any of the characters?

Of course, I quite often just read for enjoyment too! I don’t just read profound or literary works and I feel no shame about the books I choose to read. I read horror, romance, urban fantasy, some non-fiction. On vacation, I only want ‘easy reads.’ But that doesn’t mean that I can’t stop and think about why I find those books ‘easy’ or ‘comfortable.’ There’s a certain sense of familiarity about some of the genres I read and by recognizing that, I’m better able to plot and/or structure my own works – whether that means I set out to follow a ‘formula’ or I set out to completely buck the norm and try something different. The key here, I believe, is knowing what the norm is.

Variety
Yes, it is the spice of life. When I play my cello, I have some contemporary pieces, some classical pieces and some studies. Each of the pieces I work on helps me in a different way – style, tone, fingering, dexterity. Multiple pieces also keeps me from getting bored or frustrated. If one isn’t working for me that day, I move to the next. I try to do the same with my writing. I generally have three projects always on on the go – usually two short ones and one long one. The longer piece tends to be novel length [min 80,000 words]. These works take planning, focus and consistency. I’ve got to keep my world building straight, my characterizations solid and my plot arcs smooth. Then I have my smaller pieces – usually a couple of short stories or some snippets of things that may end up being longer pieces someday, but not right now. I’m a bit more free to play around here. Shiny new ideas! Trying out new POVs! Playing around with different tones and nuances. Some days I simply don’t want to work with certain storylines or characters, so it’s nice to have a choice. It’s also a good motivational tool when I don’t feel like writing at all. I tell myself, surely you can find something in these three works that you’d like to work on. If I can’t, I have to wonder if I’m being deliberately stubborn just trying to get out of writing that day.

Prodigies
Now, if you’re like me, you’ve started thinking about the connections between music and writing and you’re probably wondering, “Yeah, but what about those people who are just GOOD at it automatically?” Ah yes, the prodigies. To be sure, there are prodigies in every walk of life. Some people are naturally gifted. There are some writers whose first kick at the can is stunning and they’ll tell you they’ve never written a thing before, or that they just sort of toyed around with writing and it worked out. Prodigies are rare, but they sure do muck up how I feel about my hard work! I discussed this with my cello teacher the other day. I regularly discuss the similarities between writing and our lessons with her and I wanted to know her thoughts on prodigies. She has taught some over the years – students who were able to pick up the instrument and had a gift. I was surprised by what she told me. I expected her to agree with my thoughts – there are some prodigies out there in every field and the rest of us must simply come to terms with the fact that we will never be them. But, what she told me instead was this – Yes, prodigies exist, but what she has seen is that while initially they are able to reach higher states of achievement and performance very quickly, their accelerated progress tapers off. She said that for example, say you have a prodigy and someone like me – an average person learning the cello. I can reach an intermediate level in three years; the prodigy can reach an intermediate level in three months. However, once we’re both at that level, the prodigy’s speed of advancement starts to slow down, while mine remains the same. All is not lost! I could be as good as a prodigy if I dedicated myself and put the time into the music!

This was profound to me. I had somewhat ‘given up’ on ever being considered a ‘master’ at writing. I thought I was okay at ‘being good’ perhaps even ‘being pretty darn good’ but that was where I was going to peak. I was resigned to this, consoling myself by noting that some of the most renowned authors/writers in popular fiction weren’t actually that good, so I was in respectable company. But now! Now I feel as though the sky is the limit again! As long as I keep working, keep refining my product and stick with it, I could be great! Which leads me to…

Persistence
Another key element with writing, I believe, is persistence. Sticking to it. I think we all have a kind of Elysian Fields in our mind with respect to writing – a place where the words flow free under a cloudless sky and everything is chapter after chapter of wonderful prose, thoughtful insights and compelling character development.

What writers generally get instead is hours staring at a computer screen [or a blank notebook], wanting to bash our heads into our desk and wail, ‘WRITING IS HARD!! WHAT IS THIS PLOT? WHO ARE THESE CHARACTERS???’

Let’s be frank – if it was easy, everyone would do it. It’s not easy. Take heart! If you are sitting at a keyboard and thinking that it may be easier to get blood from a stone than to finish your current Work in Progress – you are not alone! What will separate writers from would-be-writers is persistence.

Time Off!
If I play the cello too much in a week, I get sore spots on my fingers from the strings. My bow hand gets this weird cramp. I keep making the same mistake over and over and instead of fixing it, I think I’m actually making it more likely to keep happening. Time for a break! There’s no shame in taking scheduled time off, as long as it’s not too often nor for too long. I slate certain days to be writing free – usually because I’ve got other regular commitments. These ‘Write-Free’ days give my brain time to rest and recharge and also help me on other days when I feel like it’s too hard to keep going. I remind myself that I have some Write-Free days coming up and I’ll get my break then.

As a final note [oh! The puns!] I leave you with this: At 90 years old, a famous cellist Pablo Cassals, still practiced for four or five hours every day. When asked why he still worked so hard, he said, “Because I think I am making some progress.”

May you also always be making progress.

 

I wrote this piece over a year ago for the All Author’s Magazine and completely forgot to cross-post!

A new year?

I know it’s a downer, but I can’t help but think that the New Year is just an artificial construct that we have as a result of our kind of awkward Gregorian Calendar.

I know, bummer right? Don’t even get me started on how we should revamp our calendar to follow the lunar cycles, thus breaking up all months into 28 days [SO HANDY! SO EVENLY PROPORTIONED! SO GLORIOUSLY STRUCTURED AND REGULAR!!!!] and how we should celebrate more astronomical events like the equinoxes and solstices. THEY MAKE MORE SENSE PHYSICALLY AND MATHEMATICALLY, what??

Anyway, despite all this, I STILL find myself getting caught up in New Year frenzy – making plans and feeling … refreshed? Or maybe it’s just all the wine I’ve had over my vacation and now I’ve got delusions of grandeur. Still! I have GOALS, people. GOALS. And I’m putting them in writing.

1. This year, my mantra, motto, raison d’etre is “I release” – I go to a great yoga class taught by a fantastic yogi. I just love her. At the beginning of class, we are encouraged to set an intention. Last week, my intention started out as “JFC I wish my hips were more flexible” but this wasn’t yoga-y enough so I worked on it and it  morphed into “I let my hips release” and then just “I release.” I realized that I needed this in my life for more than my hips (and my hamstrings – it’s like I’m a cyborg sometimes, there’s no give). During the yoga practice, I thought about other areas in my life where I could release things – long held ideas that held me back, long held fears that limited me, expectations that were unrealistic or maybe, not ambitious enough.

As a side note, I lost a lot of weight this year and it’s had be thinking – where else can I ‘release weight’ from my life? Are there things I’m holding onto, physical and spiritual that I can let go of?

So this has all culminated in my 2015 mantra – I RELEASE

2. Get book 3 of Covencraft [Double Sided Witch] edited and out there. Get book 4 [untitled] started AND FINISHED. YES, FINISHED.

3. Get another book done in 2015 – be it my werewolf gothic romance or the shiny new idea I have now for a bionic/cybernetic cop, I’ve got to WRITE MORE. Writing is like playing the cello – I don’t get better thinking about it. I get better by DOING. So far, I’ve done a book a year and I feel like I can do more than that. I actually think 3 books a year would be a good fit for me, but I’m going to shoot for 2 this year and see how I do.
Although, if I go with my werewolf gothic romance, I’ve an idea to turn it into a trilogy with book 2 being a vampire gothic romance and book 3 being a ghostly gothic romance.

4. Stick with my Spin, Barre and Yoga. I am really enjoying spin and no one is more surprised than me. I HATE the stationary bike, but I really like spin! It’s probably because I like the ladies at my spin place so much.

Let’s do this.

Double Sided Witch Update!

 

Yikes! I’m just over 80000 words on Double Sided Witch, book 3 in my Covencraft Urban Fantasy series. I’m hoping to get this story wrapped by 100000 words (upped from my previous estimate of 90000).

I’ve been ‘doing’ Nanowrimo, so aiming for 1667 words a day (to get 50000 words this month). NGL, it’s been tough, but I’ve been sticking to it and clearly, it’s been working! I’ve gotten 28000 words in November! Not to mention, I started early, the last week of of October, and that upped my word count as well!!

Today I have to work through a plot issue before I can get to my words tonight after cello lessons. It’s not so much an issue as… logistics? I need some ‘extra’ bodies to help out with a sitch, but at the same time, don’t want anyone else but my main players to know what’s going on. Must think on this today!

Covencraft Update – Book 3 Double Sided Witch

Another status update on book 3 of my Urban Fantasy Series, Covencraft!

I’m almost half way!

I attended an online webinar on Scrivener the other day, hosted by Joseph Michael and Joanna Penn and I learned how to import my existing WIP into Scrivener and I’m SUPER EXCITED to start working in the program! I’d had it installed on my machine for a while but didn’t know what to do, so the webinar REALLY HELPED and showed me some awesome tips and tricks. One of the things I was worried about is that I shift POV in the Covencraft series from Jade to Paris, but I always want to ensure that it’s more weighted on Jade since it’s HER story. With Scrivener I can COLOR CODE THE SCENES SO I KNOW WHOSE POV I’M USING AND SEE IF I’M DOING OKAY AT A GLANCE.

I’ll stop capslocking you now. OR WILL I?

Seriously, I’m ridiculously excited about this.

Although, with the progress I’m making on book 3, I think I may have to shift some of what I wanted to do to Book 4 [as yet untitled]. Book 3 is mostly about Jade and Lily [and we’ll find out all about who she is and her backstory] and I was going to try to put in another subplot as well, but since I’m almost halfway into the book and haven’t gotten ANYTHING I would need for the subplot yet, it might have to wait until book 4. We’ll see.

The Plot Thickens….

I’m in plotting mode right now for Book 3 of my Covencraft Series. I admit, I’ve been resting a big on my laurels [such as they are] since I completed the first draft of Book 2 – Counter Hex in December. The Counter-Hex had to go through edits and I wrote about 8000 more words and then edits again. And more edits. GOD THE EDITING. And then I was just happy to be done and decided to take a break!

The problem with doing nothing is it’s hard to tell when you’re done!

I’ve been futzing around with a fanfic as well that’s at 40000 words and NEEDS TO BE FINISHED.

So! LE PLAN!

I’m off on vacation for just under a week and the goals are:

1. 5000 words on the fanfic [More would be GREAT but 5000 is a very realistic goal for me and I can attain that]

2. Plot out the first half of book 3, tentatively titled Double-Sided Witch. I have my ideas but the problem is when they live in my brain they are swirly and round, like clouds and I need to write them out linearly to ensure everything makes sense and sadly, I think once I do that, I may have to get rid of my gorgon idea. IDK, we’ll see. There may still be room for a gorgon. I also have a scene in my brain that I tried to put in Trial by Fire [and I couldn’t fit it in] and I tried to put it in Counter Hex [and I couldn’t fit it in] and it’s already down on my notes for Double-Sided Witch. aaaaaand I’m starting to think it won’t fit in there either BUT DAMMIT. I WANT IT.

For reals, yo. If I never manage to get this scene in one of these books, I’m just going to write it anyway and toss it up on the blog. CONTINUITY BE DAMNED

3. Get a solid 5000 words out on book 3.

 

So! Goal for the week is 10000 words, so that means I have to write ~2000 words a day while I’m away which is doable. I also want to get some reading in and the kindle is all loaded up!

Luckily, Riding a bike is just like Riding a bike!

I signed up for a sprint triathlon that runs Sept 6.

IKR? LIKE WHAT WAS I THINKING.

Consequently, I need to get in shape. Heidi invited me biking this weekend. Heidi is also the EVIL MASTERMIND behind signing up for the sprint triathlon.

She is petite, but mighty.

So, I managed to stuff my bike into my Honda Civic and meet Heidi for a ride. In the five years I’ve had that car, it’s the first time I’ve ever had to put a bike in it. Which means I’ve not taken my bike ANYWHERE. Riding or otherwise.

Luckily, riding a bike is like riding a bike – despite the LENGTHY TIME it has been since I was last on one, I picked it up quickly enough! A few rough spots where I was a little wobbly, a few times my chain and gears locked up [my bike needs to be serviced] but I did it!

Heidi took it pretty easy on me, just biking around Didsbury. Although there were a few times that I was thinking “OH MY GOD, HOW CAN THIS BE UPHILL?? IT DOESN’T LOOK UPHILL AND YET I’M GIVIN’ HER ALL SHE’S GOT, CAPTAIN!”

Heidi was able to keep up the conversation while I only managed some breathless, “Yeahs,” “Uh-huhs” and “No, no, I’m okay! I always look red like this and all sweaty SWEET MOTHER I ALMOST GOT A BUG IN MY MOUTH”

What can I say? I’m not very outdoorsy!

But the seal has been broken and I hope to get the bike out more!

yanno, as soon as my butt stops hurting from this ride!