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Jun 26 / jrw

Minimalist Running

Well, this is a slight departure from usual fare here, but I want to talk about my running habits. And so you shall listen. Why? Because I brought you into this world, Humphrey, and I can take you out of it and make another blog that looks just like you, that’s why.

I bought me some Vibram FiveFingers Bikilas about six weeks back, and jumped into the minimalist running fad with both feet. It’s been really interesting, and gloriously successful, and fun. So far. Today is the first time I feel like I am truly ‘back’ to my old running habits, as I’ve run 6+ miles both Saturday and Sunday this weekend. Feeling good. Feeling like calling it a successful experiment.

Of course, my results are not typical as far as I know. From the ‘experts’ at EMS, I was told I’d be only running a half-mile or so to start out…and the first night I got the damn shoes home I took off for 2.5 miles, then got up in the morning and felt so good that I went ahead tacked on 2 more miles. (The third day I was admittedly a little sore.)

Over the course of the first month I did end up over-extending myself and suffering some fairly exquisite tweaks to my calves and the tops of my feet. (Note: no plantar fascitis to speak of, thank jeebus.) However, as I said, I did 12.2 miles in the ol’ Bikilas this weekend and am feeling great about where I am with them now.

I could probably ramble on about this quite a bit more, but for now let’s keep it brief(-ish). Here’s the lowdown, from my POV: running with minimalist shoes is fun, because it’s a new challenge and works some different sets of muscles. (I can move all my toes now! Not just flippers at the end of my feet!) Not only does it work those new muscles, but it makes you conscious that they exist. Learning something new that your body is capable of doing is a cool feeling, and not one that happens everyday. Further, feeling the ground that’s under your feet is a stimulating phenomenon, and if you do it right, makes the whole running event less boring. No more clodding along.

The bad? The shoes still give me blisters even once they’re broken in (60 miles); and they’ve begun to show lots of wear in the toes; and who knows what the long-term wear and tear on my joints is (better or worse). For now, I’m willing to keep going down this road, and researching it. I anticipate a ‘Part II’ to this entry which will be more interesting and thoughtful. But for now: go bikilas!

Jun 18 / jrw

Not Really Back

I’m not here right now, so don’t tell anyone you saw me, but I wanted to stop in and say hello. I miss writing, and I miss it fiercely; and it feels like when the dust settles after this job ends, I’ll have so time to do just that. Why? Because I’ll be in the same position I was in before I began: looking for a place to live and a place to work and trying to find a stable configuration upon which to build a foundation. We’re one week and change away from the one year anniversary of this quest — and it’s gonna slide on, little noted nor long remembered. There are other things happening that are more worth celebrating, and it pays to focus on those.

Jun 11 / jrw

Quo Vadimus?

I know no one reads this anymore, if they ever did. As prophesied by the generic template from which rough clay Humphrey is molded: this is ‘Just Another WordPress Blog’; and it must be counted among the casualties of my current employment situation. Still: at least momentarily I have resurrected him. There is a proper medium for a certain message, and this is the proper medium for this one, because I feel that at some point in the future I might want to recall today. Not because anything momentous has happened. But because it might be the precise and totally ordinary moment which could prove to be the pivot point for any number of possible futures ahead of me:

The first experience I ever had with craft service / catering was in Yonkers on a Baz Luhrmann commercial for La Boheme, sitting outside on a grey summer day eating salmon. Today, ten years later, I am sitting 24 floors above Canal Street, working on another Baz Luhrmann project and eating catered salmon on a grey summer day.

I will be done in a week, and it very much appears I will continue my misadventure of sublets, wanderings, and all the rest. I have absolutely no idea where I’ll be at the end of the Summer. But you can be sure if anything interesting happens, you’ll hear about it. Unless you don’t.

(Oh, and if you’re confused about the title, look to the final episode of Sports Night: a show for which I have a substantial amount of affection, which flagged and failed towards the end, but proved memorable and instructive–especially in the character who asks the question: “Quo Vadimus?”)

Apr 26 / jrw

Your Mixed Metaphor of the Day

Well, Humphrey, things are mad right now and I owe you a couple chapters of LOTM, but that’ll have to wait for a little bit. I’ve just popped in for 30 seconds to say hello. I’d love to tell you everything about what I’m doing, but it’ll have to wait for a better time / avoid violating an NDA / etc. Suffice to say:

Sometimes you seize the day; sometimes the day seizes you.

And that’s your mixed metaphor of the day.

Apr 7 / jrw

Writing: LOTM update

Well, Humphrey, I’ve forgotten to note that Chapter Five is live, and now Chapter Six is as well.

HOWEVER! If you are still into it after 5 chapters: first, good on you. I heart you very, very much. Second: I’m changing the password up cause I’m a little paranoid, and you’re gonna have to ask me for it if you want to keep reading. Think of it like the ‘free preview’ you get with a Kindle e-book: first bit is available to anyone; after that, you have to pay. This is EXACTLY like that, except that you don’t have to pay. Ever. You just have to drop me a line and BE COUNTED!

I am doing this experiment mostly because I am interested in your feedback, and while I remain interested in it, I’m losing my optimism that it’ll be useful to me in my revision process. The reason I’m continuing the experiment is more because I don’t want to tease the people who’ve been game enough to read along so far. To those people (and you know who you are): I send sloppy Humphrey kisses out to you.

Mar 24 / jrw

Writing: Now What Happens?

Finished up a draft of my pilot a few hours ago and promptly lost the ability to marshal any sort of mental discipline. I am, instead, suffering from bouts of giddy excitement about it. It happens, and it’s nice when it does, but it doesn’t necessarily reflect reality. In other words: gotta maintain.

So I’ma take my good feeling and escape from the belly of the beast for a few hours. (Yes, I know you you won’t really miss me, Humphrey.)

Until I return.

Mar 22 / jrw

New Story: Life on the Mississippi Chapter 4

I’m posting Chapter 4 today, though I will be honest: I’m far from sure I’ll continue to do this. It’s not that I don’t have the material; I’m actually about 10 chapters ahead right now and can mete them out over the next few weeks without working ahead at all. BUT. I’m reluctant to do that if no one is reading / giving feedback. I don’t need the information to be out there on the Internet in that situation, you know? Just inviting something to go wrong.

Anyway, Chapter 4.

NOTE: this is part of a stream of posts. If you are new to it and want to learn more, go here.

Mar 21 / jrw

FilmCatcher: New Interview

Hey there. I’ve got a new interview up on FilmCatcher today, via ChicagoNow. An interview of WIN WIN’s co-star Alex Shaffer. Hope you enjoy!

Mar 11 / jrw

New Story: LOTM updated!

For those following along, I’ve just posted chapters 2 and 3 today. (Ch 2 is really short, hence 2 today.)

A little teaser from the beginning of Chapter 2 for you:

The Mississippi is well worth reading about. That is how this book was meant to start. I would discuss its depth at various points along its route from Cincinnati to New Orleans. The amazing mutability of its course. How a town along its banks might discover its fortunes have turned overnight from riches to ruin as the river redrew its course. How the river trade evolved, flourished, and died again. The short, romantic tenure of the great steamboats.

But that’s not this book anymore. Events beyond my control have transformed the river that I knew and loved, as they have transformed me, and as they transformed the New World. This book has become a different sort of tale.

READ ON. Hey, also, if you’re reading along…would you like it if I emailed a note when a new chapter is posted? Please reply [ Y / N ] and it shall be done.

Mar 9 / jrw

New Story: A Cautious Proposal

I’m working on a novel these days, and I saw another writer do something I thought was very interesting. Namely: as she wrote them, she posted each chapter of her WIP on her site as password-protected entries.Which I thought was a very intriguing idea, and might be a great one.

So I’m gonna give that a try myself. It would be so great if you helped me out with this–but remember, these are raw drafts you’ll be reading. For more info: go here.