Daily Archives: November 19, 2011

Running fast -Day 7, Yucky…

Yucky, green-brown goo to be exact. That is what I ended up with when I tried to blend my own vegetable juice out of my wife’s left-over salad. I decided yesterday to switch to a juice fast and almost everywhere I turned, people were saying it was healthier to blend your own. It must take some practice, because what I produced was barely edible, even to a guy whose is going on seven full days without food. You know when you cut damp grass with a lawnmower and it gets all clumped up under the mower? Throw in a little mud for coloring and that’s what I had for dinner last night and breakfast this morning. Granted, it was only a few bites, but that was all it took for me to decide I would accompany my wife to the grocery store and find some better alternative, or at least better ingredients.

To back-up a little- I ran shortly after I woke up this morning, partly to determine what affect the banana was having on my ability to run. It was 24 degrees and cloudy; a cold sun peaked through a layer of clouds thick enough to hold back any feeling of warmth.  Snow had fallen overnight, but the wind had eased a little. The first step was hard and the subsequent ones didn’t get any easier. This was my slowest run of the fast and I got a bit of a headache during it. I’m not sure, though, that it was the lack of banana that was the cause, because I recovered some energy after my shower, got a lot of work done and then went grocery shopping (two different stores!) with my wife later that morning.

We bought lots of healthy stuff that I thought might work in vegetable juice; zucchini, beets, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli and other stuff. But I also got a bottle of low-salt V-8 as an extra ingredient, or just a complete emergency substitute. I wasn’t in the mood for experimenting when I got home, so I had a tiny glass of V-8 for lunch. It was one thousand times better than my grass drink.

I am looking forward to tomorrow now. Besides a run, my wife and I are also going to either hike or snowshoe, depending on conditions up at Happy Jack. I’m hoping that the energy level I have now will continue.

I said I was going to blog about the history of fasting, but there just isn’t enough time in the day! But here is a little bit-

Fasting has been used as a form of protest for thousands of years; it was referred to in early India in the Valmiki Ramayana. In medieval Ireland, if someone had wronged you, lying in the offenders doorway and refusing to eat was an accepted way of protesting that offense. The offender would be greatly dishonored if the protester died in his doorway because of the immense value placed upon hospitality that existed in the Irish culture. Mohandas Ghandi was without question the most famous and most successful person to fast as political protest. His efforts directly impacted the independence of India. In 1981, ten Irish prisoners died while on hunger strike. The longest made it seventy-three days before succumbing.

Most people probably think that it would be difficult for someone to intentionally starve themselves to death, especially when food is readily available.  I’m not so sure. Even though cravings have been pretty strong at times, it isn’t really like hunger anymore and they are getting weaker and less frequent. When we were in the grocery store, they weren’t that hard to ignore. I suspect that the longer a fast goes on, the less you feel the need for food. Strange, but true. It is one of the reasons that one has to be careful coming off of a long fast. It takes your body a bit to become re-accustomed to food, or solid food in the case of a juice fast.

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Filed under Fasting and Health, Running

Does the editing ever end?

Is there such a thing as a perfect book? I’m not talking about the quality of the content or the fluid beauty of the prose but the nuts and bolts accuracy of the punctuation, spelling and grammar, as well as the consistency of information within the story. I’m reading a book by a NY Times best-selling author; one who has had numerous books published. Less than fifty pages into the book, the author has his character stand up and begin pacing. Two paragraphs later, he has her get up from her seat again. I read the passage three times, to make sure I wasn’t missing something. I wasn’t. How did that mistake get through the many layers of people responsible for catching errors such as that?

On Thursday, I received the digital proof of “Harvest of the Heart”. The excitement of the occasion was already muted by the fact that I wouldn’t be able to just breeze through it and zip it right back like I had hoped to do. Three publishing/editing professionals had read the manuscript before it was submitted, in addition to the countless times I’ve worked through it. Despite all this, my son Phil found several errors that I simply could not leave in place. Now the digital proof will need to be revised and that will delay my release date at least five to seven days. Once, I had high hopes of having the book “out there” in time for the Christmas season. That hope is definitely at risk.

When he e-mailed me, I thought “No way!” I was disappointed when I found he was right about those mistakes and devastated when I realized that I was, once again, required to go through my story with a fine tooth comb. This time I had to pray that the comb wasn’t missing some teeth, as it obviously had on so many previous read-throughs. I discovered sixty-two errors or places where I felt my prose was lacking the smoothness and quality of the rest of the writing. But a major problem is, even though I wrote it and have read it dozens of times, I still find myself caught up in the story. From one point of view, this is probably a good thing, but it sure doesn’t help when I’m trying to edit. And, apparently, the same thing happened to professionals who should know better.

Even now, I am scared to death that I’ll get an e-mail someday after the release that reads “Do you know that on page — you really messed up!” It is even worse that this manuscript is the one that went to numerous reviewers in order to have some reviews available for my launch. I wonder if any have started reading it yet?

The only consolation I have is that I’m beginning to believe that the perfect book does not exist. It is hubris of the highest degree to think that I could achieve this in my first time out of the blocks.

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Filed under Publishing and Marketing, Writing