Wednesday, October 30


I'm calling a temporary hiatus from the blog so I can focus on my book project in the coming weeks.  Check out the link to the right if you're interested in following my progress.  I may give periodic updates if there is anything relevant to report, otherwise I plan on focusing my creative energies on the book.

Last year I attempted to write a novel for NaNoWriMo.  The National Novel Writing Month challenge is to write a novel of 50,000 words between November 1 and November 30.  NaNoWriMo defines novel as “a lengthy work of fiction,” but they’re pretty tolerant to other types of writing as long as you define your work as a novel and are writing.
Last year I took up the challenge and did well until Thanksgiving vacation when we visited Kentucky, and I had my interview for the position I’m in now.  After the chaos of that week had settled I realized I’d forgotten all about my story and the month was over.  I’ve never gone back to the story, partly because I lost steam and the last year has been ridiculously insane, and partly because as I got deeper into the story I felt like I could take it a different direction with even more success.  I just never got started on the rewrite.
I won’t be revisiting it in a couple of days.  My NaNoWriMo 2013 project is not a lengthy work of fiction.  It’s my story though.  It’s a story I’ve been writing for over three years.
The title is simply Leadville or Bust.
This is something I need to do.  My intent was to have a lot of this book written before I went to Colorado this past August.  I have stolen a lot of material from the blog and will be adapting it to the greater work.  When I got back to Kentucky from finishing the Leadville 100 I tried right away to crank out the book.  I told Mandy I needed to get it written as soon as possible.
It didn’t happen.  Life happened, and I trailed off in my efforts, and the book hit the floor.  A few weeks ago I panicked when I discovered I didn’t even really care.  I’d missed my window of opportunity.  I’d let too much time pass.  No, I was being melodramatic.
I’ve got some of the book roughed in.  I’m taking my “An Apprentice No More” post and adapting it as a full chapter near the end.  The chapter’s going to be a little deeper than the post.  
Technically I’m breaking NaNoWriMo rules by doing this, but I’m not writing this book to win NaNoWriMo.  I’m doing this as a part of NNWM because I had good success last year in getting a lot of material written each day.  I’m utilizing NNWM only because I need the motivation to write each day so I can make significant progress toward a completed rough draft.
As is evidenced in my period of ambivalence toward all things Leadville it seems as if my creative clock is ticking.  Apparently my mind has gone into full defense mode against a potential recurrence of any kind of Leadville obsession.  Yesterday as I was taking down some notes for this book I made the wistfulcomment that I’ll be 40 in 2014; what better chronological milestone than to get my Leadville belt buckle at 40 years old.
All along I’ve been insisting to myself and others that I’m done with the race for a while.  Maybe I’ll go back in a few years.  Maybe I won’t.  Whatever.  I have a feeling in January I may start selling plasma to come up with the entry fee.  


  1. When I read your account from the race and you mentioned 45 minutes to go at Carter I cringed. The volunteer I talked to there told me what my finish time would be, and it was an hour later than I was already at. He was pretty close to being correct. All that freaking climbing in the last 15 miles. Ugh!

    1. In theory 45 minutes to ride 10 miles is cake. Its just a little higher than a 13 mph average (I think). So my hopes weren't instantly dashed. But I knew if I could make it that it wouldn't be easy with the climbing I had left to do. It was close enough that I knew it would be a fight, but too short a time for it to be in the bag. I think that last ten miles and my effort to get to the finish line on time is why I'm okay with having not finished in under 12 hours. I really gave it everything I had. I mean, I didn't go so hard I passed out, but I think I was probably not too far behind you in that effort ;) My body was wrecked for a long time after the race.

    2. I was surprised how long it took to recover from the race. I went rafting on Wednesday after the race and by the time I was done I was convinced I had the flu. I was shaking, fevered, and weak. No flu, just tired.

      At dinner Friday night Elden told me. "You need to know there is more climbing after Carter. Its not a lot, and its not steep, but you need to be ready for it." I am calling BS on that. And from the comments of the guys I was riding, they would call BS on that too. After 94 miles that last bit up St. Kevans is miserable.