Summer Goals

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I was lucky enough to be able to return to the Eagle and Child with Clare during our trip to England this spring.

When I was fourteen years old, my family moved to England for a few months. We bashed around London, Cambridge, Worthing, Hereford, and Wales, but my favorite place we went was Oxford. Oxford, with its honey colored stone, its air of history and academia, home to writers such as J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Lewis Carroll. Oxford was magic. One day my family walked to the Eagle and Child Pub, where the Inklings, a writing group that included greats like Tolkien and Lewis, met once a week. I was straggling behind my family, taking in the sights.

That was when I saw a big white van with “Evan Evans & Sons” painted on the side. I remember thinking, “Huh. That sounds like a superhero alias. Clark Kent, Peter Parker, Evan Evans…” That was the day I first met Evan. In the seven years that I have known him, he has been one of my closest friends. Evan is great, but there is a slight hitch in our relationship– he lives inside my head.

I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. That summer in England was the first time that I truly felt compelled to write a character’s story. I tried writing Evan’s story five times before things started to fall into place last summer, thanks to, among others, Joseph Conrad, Hans Zimmer, and Michael Chabon. If everything goes according to plan I will complete my first draft of a novel about Evan in less than two weeks.

One of my greatest joys in the past year has been getting to know Evan and the other characters that inhabit his world. One of these characters is a friend of Evan’s named Jenna. Jenna is a runner. She needs to run each day as much as she needs to breathe, running is a part of her and makes her who she is.

Now, I am not much of a runner. I run to exercise and stay healthy, but I don’t necessarily enjoy it. Which has made it difficult in some ways to write about Jenna, who sees it as one of her primary joys. So this summer, I have a list of goals:

  1. Finish the first draft of my Evan story.
  2. Edit my Evan story and start drafting a query letter.
  3. Train for a half marathon.

I am not a runner, as I said. But I am a firm believer in research– hands on research if possible. Which means I have taken up urban exploring thanks to Evan (though that is another story entirely). And, thanks to Jenna, I am going to start training today for the Baltimore Running Festival Half Marathon, which is on October 12. I have some previous injuries that may hinder me from reaching this goal, but I hope that even if I am not able to run all 13.1 miles, I learn more about Jenna and her passion through this experience. I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going!

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We found a chocolate festival in Oxford. I’m telling you, this place is magic.

Does anyone else have some crazy goals for the summer?

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10 thoughts on “Summer Goals

    • This is a story I’ve been writing since last July, so it’s not as crazy as it sounds! I have nine more chapters to write and I have it all outlined, so hopefully I will reach my goal! Good luck with your novel!

  1. I can’t wait to read your novel when you are ready to share it!

    I want to learn to Slack Line with the girls this summer. And to be able to do Double Unders for CrossFit( rope jump training).

    I hope you enjoy your running! You might be surprised, once you dive in, that you love it. And if not, you’ll learn greatly from the perseverance it takes to see you through to the 1/2 marathon. Perseverance you’ll greatly need in your life as an artist.

    Bon chance!

    • Thank you so much, Tawny, I would love your feedback when I’m done!

      I hope that you and the girls accomplish your goals for the summer! I am really looking forward to training. I think I will learn a lot through it, and hopefully about my characters as well.

  2. I have a pretty interesting idea for a story, but I have a lot of research to do before I begin it.

    Good luck with your half marathon training! I hope to run in the Navy Air Force Half Marathon in September or the Baltimore Half Marathon as well. We’ll see when I get ready.

    • That’s exciting! I hope you have a good time researching, it can be a lot of fun.

      Thank you, you too! Let me know if you decide to run in the Baltimore Half, maybe I’ll see you there!

  3. First a by-the-way-comment: when we first moved to Santa Barbara in 1987, we attended Grace Church along with some other current CPC families and many folks who loved to read. There was a book club called Inklings!

    This summer I want to get a used sewing machine and rediscover sewing. That is it!

    • Wow, that sounds like a wonderful book club! I hope you enjoy rediscovering sewing this summer! Sewing has always been something I’ve wanted to learn to do.

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