Everything hurts

Turns out I held my own at Thursday's spinning class, although my ass was killing me by about 10 minutes in. I seemed to be the only person having rear discomfort as no one else was shifting and wiggling around in their seat quite as much as I was -- which seems strange because I have, by far, the most padding in that area and you'd think it would make life easier. It does not. It's a good thing I survived it so that Chris and I could attend a Stretch & Tone class on Friday that completely kicked my ass and all the other parts of me. Definitely more toning than stretching. I worked out parts of me that I hadn't moved since last doing the Jane Fonda workout circa 1988 (which is reponsible for the fact that any time I hear REO Speedwagon's "Keep the Fire Burning," I compulsively take my arms for wide circles).

Looking on the bright side, it turns out I do have ab muscles somewhere in there. I know, because they ache.

I've been running around like the proverbial chicken today as Fara and I are leaving for Iowa City tomorrow morning. We're each taking a week-long workshop at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. I had hoped to be organized and send in my short story in advance of the class, but then I remembered I was me, waited until the last minute to do a final edit/polish and got it printed and copied late this afternoon.

Also in there, I worked frantically on my second stab at sewing a summer top for myself (not counting "recons" of too-big tees, etc.). Turns out I'm just not getting it. Clothing is so finicky and so difficult to fit properly. A smart person would give up now and realize she could have just bought several tops for the amount she's spent on unwearable disasters thus far (other attempts include a disastrous sundress that wound up being a too-small, lopsided skirt). But I am not a smart person. I am frustrated and confused and challenged and plan to keep on throwing away money in the pursuit of getting just one damn wearable item out of all of this.

It's either that or every single person I know gets a tote bag for Christmas this year. And none of us wants that.

Anyway, the new shirt will not be accompanying me to Iowa...or anywhere outside of the house. But that's okay, because it's always damn hot in Iowa City, so who needs shirts anyway? Woo hoo! Actually, it's supposed to be 96 degrees here tomorrow and I'm abandoning Chris to a hot house while I bask in the cool A/C of the lovely Brown Street Inn, where Fara and I are booked.

Speaking of the lovely husband, Chris tucked a few surprises inside the Kinko's box containing the copies of my story for handing out to my classmates. In addition to a couple of trashy mags and a chocolate bar (does the man know me or what?), he bought me a lovely book called How I Write: The Secret Lives of Authors. I haven't had a chance to do much more than glance through it, but it's a collection of pragmatic advice from a range of writers (including Athony Bourdain, Douglas Coupland, Jonathan Franzen, A.M. Homes and Rick Moody) about how they write -- where, when they go about the most difficult part of this writer's life, the actual act of writing.

Isn't that the most thoughtful gift? "Go write," my husband said as he gave it to me. "Go do what you're meant to do." I'm the luckiest woman alive. I swear, I am.

Speaking of said husband, I meant to mention last week that he was interviewed by a lovely reporter for Wired Magazine who flew into town for the occasion. Don't know when the piece is coming out, but it may be the first Sharesleuth.com article that actually focuses on Chris' work and the journalism rather than bickering about the business model. About time, I say.

Anyway, I've still to finish packing -- as tossing things on an armchair doesn't quite do it -- so I'll dash off. I'm trying to keep my expectations in check. This is my third year in a row going to Iowa for a week and I always set such high expectations for myself -- that I'll write a novel, have an epiphany, lose 30 pounds. This time I'm going to try to focus on being in the present, doing what's in front of me, enjoying the time without pressure. That should be a piece of cake, no?