Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Last minute art submission

In addition to being a writer, I’m also an artist.  Although, I’m a bit like Justin Timberlake in that I only focus on one domain at a time.

Justin either acts – or creates music. I either write or create art – but never at the same time; or never really well at the same time.  Don’t ask me why. It’s just the way it works out.  Maybe one day my brain will multi-task my talents so I can be amazing at everything at once, but whatever.

Anyway, I have this art sitting around my apartment that only my friends have seen. I’ve never bothered putting it in a show just in case I sucked, and really, the last thing I want to hear is that I have no talent. It would be like Grade 6 all over again.

So when a friend mentioned this exotic art show coming up at the Alwun House in Phoenix, I figured it was about time I faced my art-rejection fear and submitted something.  Besides the show promised to be "the nation’s longest running exhibit of erotic and exotic art."  It could be cool...or at least the artists submitting would be interesting.

I'm making it sound like I had been planning this for weeks, but actually it was a little more spontaneous than that.

On Sunday, I checked website just to see when the show started. At this time, I hadn't thought about submitting -- only attending. Then I noticed the art submission link. 

On a whim, I called up the organizers and asked them if there was still time to submit.  They said yes, but I needed to have it to them by 6 p.m. that day.  (aahhh!!) They would tell me on the spot whether they would accept or reject my piece for the show. (double-aahhh!!!)

I looked at the clock. It was already 3:30 p.m.  

Thankfully the piece I had was already framed. I immediately wrapped it bubble wrap, drove down to the gallery and handed it in. There really wasn’t any time to worry about if they would think the piece sucked or else I would have backed out…again.

They did accept it. The gala opening is Feb 8 with the show running Feb 12 to March 8.

If only getting my next book published was that easy.

Monday, January 21, 2013

To do list: Complete a half marathon

It’s 2013 and time to start crossing more things off my bucket list.  First on the list: run a half marathon.

Considering all the fitness things I do, it’s hard to believe that I’ve never run a half marathon (or a full marathon). I’ve done 5 km races, 15 km runs, mud runs, color runs and chocolate runs.  I’ve even done a Ragnar Relay (doing another one this February – yay!). But an actual half marathon? Nope.  I had not done one….until now.

I signed up for the Phoenix Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon on December 15 thinking I would have tons of time to work up to running the 13.1 miles. Ha!! There were the Christmas holidays, then I got sick and then it got cold in Phoenix. 

Needless to say I never made it up to the full 13.1 miles in practice.  I did do one 12 mile run two weeks before the race and figured I could probably fake my way through the rest.  Little did I know those last 1.1 miles would be killer.

Let me tell you something about the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. It’s fricken big.

A couple of weeks before the race, I started getting these emails from the organizers asking if I wanted to pay extra for the “warm zone” or “closer parking.” It was then I started to worry.  Just how big was this thing?  Naturally, I’m a sucker for sleep and warm potties so I signed up and paid extra for everything.  

Turns out there were approximately 40,000 runners in the various events.   I didn’t expect to come in first, but my personal goal (that I pulled out of the air and has no scientific backing or research) was to come in the top 100 in my class of women between 40 and 44 – and to complete the 13.1 miles in less than 2 hours. However, when I made up these imaginary goals, I had no idea there would be 2,000 women just in that class running the half marathon with me.   

Proof that I ran, but haven't bought the photos yet.
Now I’m going to tell you something that you should not do before running a big race. Never, ever attend a wine and cheese party the night before. It's a bad idea.
Yup…instead of sleeping early and carbing up the night before like real runners, I attended this fabulous wine party.  I’m not saying I would have done better in the race if I didn’t attend, but I probably won’t do that again the night before a long run.  I did cut myself off at two glasses, but still...

So how did I do? I made it…barely. I completed my 13.1 miles in 1:54:54 (just under 2 hours) and came in 97th in my class.   
Completing a half marathon is officially done. So what other things should I cross off the list this year? 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Mescal Trail Rave Run - right this minute

Photo from Runner's World - not me running
One of my sister shows at E.W. Scripps is called “Right This Minute.”  While the show has nothing to do with me, except that their social media person and I are planning to share ideas sometime soon, the name of the show is kind of how I live my life.

Yup, I’m the “Right This Minute” girl – especially now that I have a car.

 Last night, I was looking through the January issue of Runner’s World and saw this amazing photo.  It’s their Rave Run of the month. Gorgeous, right? And check out the caption “Snow-capped cacti and the red hue from the nearby sandstone mesa make for a fleeting yet dramatic spectacle as daylight hits the Mescal Trail.”

Now normal people would look at this, think it’s nice and turn the page. Me? I’m not normal. There is no page turning for this chick. Remember…”I’m the “Right This Minute Girl.”

In seconds, I’m on Google thinking, “Cacti? I just moved to Arizona – the land of Cacti. Where is this heavenly place with snow-capped stuff?”

A couple Google searches later, I find it. It’s in Sedona.

For those of you who haven’t been to Phoenix, that’s a little less than 2 hours away.  I sketch out the route to the trail in case my GPS fails me, dig out my gloves and warm running hat, fill my camel pack with water, and set my alarm for 5:30 a.m.

My goal is to be in Sedona by 7:30 the next morning. Forget just looking at the Mescal Trail in the magazine, I was going to check it out in person.


If you are planning to go, there is a hard way and an easy way to get to the trail. The easy way is to go to Sedona and look for Dead Man’s pass. The hard way is to follow the instructions I found on the internet that say: “From the "Y", proceed west on State Route 89A three miles and make a right turn on Dry Creek Road. Follow Dry Creek Road to the end (about 3 miles). Turn right on Long Canyon Road and proceed 0.6 miles to the parking on the left." I took the hard way.

I found the parking area okay, but there were no signs for the Mescal Trail. Thinking I was lost, I parked and started walking the trail to Dead Man’s Pass for the fun of it. At 7:30 a.m. I was the only person in the parking lot and the trail was covered with frost -- exactly like the magazine promised.

About a half mile along Dead Man’s Pass I saw a little sign leading up a hill that read, “Mescal Trail.” Happy day! I accidentally found it.

Compared to the “Dead Man’s Pass” trail, the Mescal route was much less traveled – but there was a vague path. Following the 2.6 mile path, all I heard was my crunching shoes on the frost.

Total peace and quiet (except for me). And so worth the drive – right this minute.