This may be the end.
Well, of the whole National Blog Post Month is over for me. Whew. I tried this a couple of years ago and it may be a couple more years hence before I do it again. Maybe! You never know.
In the meantime, I’ll be hanging out at the roller rink because that is what I do.There was a time when I thought the strangest place I’d ever written was in the car, sitting with my laptop on the way to Thanksgiving dinner. Now, I write at the roller rink while my son skates.
The first time he put on a pair of roller skates was at a birthday party. We rented the quad skates (you know, traditional skates), and he got on the rink and fell. He fell. He fell. He fell. He cried. He fell.
He wanted to go back. We went back, and eventually he managed to stay up all the way around the rink. Then he saw Rollerblades. We rented Rollerblades. He didn’t fall so much. He got faster. He began participating in the open session races–the races during regular public skates times, races that are just for fun, and where most participants stumble along and barely stay up. He began winning all those races–until speed skaters showed up.
“Mom, can I do that?”
I saw how fast the teenage speed skaters went around the rink. “You don’t really want to do that, do you?”
Mr. Rollerskates (yes, that’s what all the kids call him and he gives skate lessons) encouraged my son to talk to the speed skate coach. The coach said he’d seen him skating during open session, and sure, he could come watch a practice any time.
I rather hoped that the first time my son saw a serious spill, he’d change his mind.
The coach lent us a pair of speed skates (because they are insanely expensive and you want to be sure you’re going to stick with it before spending that kind of money).
My son goes to every practice–4 days a week. Usually two hours at a time. Practices are boys, girls, women, and men. Ages 5 to 50. At meets you only get a medal if you place. Lots of kids and grownups go home without medals. They don’t give ribbons or anything for showing or participating or for being a good sport. If you win, you get your medal (sometimes trophy!). If you lose, then practice more.
He has fallen and lost skin. He has fallen on his face. He has been kicked by skates. He has seen other skaters lose skin to the floor. Bloody patches the size of a baseball. Bruises. Twisted ankles. Pile ups. Crashes into walls.
My son is 8.
My nerves are getting stronger.
Speed skating is not a popular sport around here and most people have no idea what we’re talking about. My son is the only kid at his school who speed skates. Roller skate, sure. Other parents look at me as if I’m nuts. And there is no skate season. Skate practice is all year round.
But you can see the writing metaphor here, can’t you?
You start writing. Stories fail. You keep writing. You practice regularly! You might win–publication! You might (most likely) get nothing. Practice more! And other people will look at you as if you’re nuts. You may not literally bleed (should hope not!), but metaphorically you will. And it’s all year round.
What isn’t all year round (thank the merciful heavens) is Story-a-Day May. But that crazy month is over and I’ve written story 31! This doesn’t mean I’m done writing stories, of course. (Of course!) But tomorrow starts The Summer of Submission.
Write. Edit. Submit. Write. Edit. Submit. Write. Edit. Submit. Around and around we go.
What are you submitting these days? Come on. Put on your crash helmet and go!