Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Reverse Hibernating and the Tour

by C.L. Phillips

Did you know novel writing is like the Tour de France?  For those of you that don't spend the month of July reverse hibernating on the couch, let me explain.

From Wikipedia, the definition of reverse hibernating:

"In warmer climes, the human reverse hibernates when temperatures exceed one hundred degrees Fahrenheit.  Advanced practitioners venture forth from their nests in the early morning hours (before seven a.m.) or in the late evening (after nine p.m.) and spend the remainder of their day huddled over air conditioning vents, preferably with their hands wrapped around an insulated glass filled with a local beverage called, Sweet Tea.  Do not attempt to dislodge the human from its air conditioning or interrupt the flow of Sweet Team.  Doing so has been known to provoke severe attacks."

So during July, when the heat is at its worst, I watch the Tour de France bicycle race.  Why?  Because it's the only place where I can see someone sweating more than I am. Misery loves company, and to quote the commentators of the race, "These boys are suffering."

Which brings me to my final point.  The Tour de France is like Novel Writing.  Some folks excel at the first draft, like the sprinters.  Others scale impossible heights, climbing the Pyrenees and Alps, like the novelist that perseveres through the ugly middle, connecting the flats to the finish line.  But it's the all-rounders, those writers who carry both the sweet balance of strength, agility and speed that win the race.

The Tour de France is a three-week bicycle race.  Over two thousand miles.  Twenty one stages.  And at the end, the participants are separated by mere seconds.  Yes, this sport reminds me of novel writing and publishing.  Each participant, extremely talented, attempting something a mere mortal knows to avoid.  The epic human struggle played out on the race course inspires me to write.  The suffering inspires me to take chances.  The stories of the men who race gives me a window into the soul of mankind.

All this while reverse hibernating, clutching the insulated glass, as my sweat slowly drips into the air conditioning vent.

May you be inspired to write today.


Annette said...

And also to brew up a batch of sweet tea.

Joyce said...

Nice post, Cindy! I've been doing a lot of that reverse hibernation this summer, although at times I trade the iced tea (no sugar) for a cold Sam Adams Summer Ale. Ahhh.

Jenna said...

Very nice! I reverse hibernate too. After almost twenty years here, you'd think I'd have gotten used to it, but I much prefer the colder months. You can always put more clothes on. You can only take so many off and still be decent.