Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

You can have your Super Bowl and Pro Bowl … racing season is about to begin!

Admitting you have a problem is the first step, right? Hello, my name is Tammy, and I’m a racing addict. Why that should be the case, I haven’t the faintest idea. But I really love racing.

What I like the most is sportscar racing, particularly the endurance races. Because those races feature three to five drivers sharing a single car and driving around a track for as much as 24 hours. The car has to turn on and off every hour or so while it’s fueled (usually), but otherwise, it has to run the entire time. Fast. At the limit of its capabilities. And one of the drivers has to be in there the whole time. Focusing on driving fast. At the limit of his (or her) capabilities. Honestly, I think it’s a freaking miracle that cars and humans are still functioning at all at the end of that.

So while football fanatics are watching their all-star game this weekend, I’ll be watching one of my own. The 24 Hours of Daytona isn’t really an all-star race, but almost all the stars are going to be there, because it’s a race that everyone wants to win. Teams from every corner of the racing world (OK, except Formula 1) field entries and Grand-Am series regulars recruit extra drivers—so you’ll see NASCAR stars sharing cars with Indy champions and sportscar legends, as well as pro-am or “gentlemen” drivers. You’ll even catch a glimpse of McDreamy himself, who runs a team in the series.

Next Saturday to Sunday (the 29th to 30th), noon to noon, you know where I’ll be for the 14 hours of coverage that SPEED promises. I’ll be glued to the team drama, the mechanical failures, the tired drivers, the crew sleeping in the pits at 5 a.m., and the final triumph of two teams (one in each class). Plus I’ll be ignoring the disgusted looks my husband gives me by about Sunday morning at 10 a.m.

I can quit anytime. Really.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tickle Me … What’s That Name?

I finished watching something educational last night with my husband (really, it was a show on Egypt), and, as is my habit, I turned the live channel to SPEED instead of whatever it had defaulted to—because really, I don’t need to watch even a second of “My Strange Addiction.” Ever.

Twenty minutes later my husband says to me, “We’re watching *Supercross* … this is motorcycle racing. We don’t have to do that.” We kept watching. Him, because he can’t turn away from a TV that’s on. Me, because I couldn’t stop thinking, “these guys are crazy.”

But that’s not what I wanted to discuss.

A guy who took second in a race last night had a name I just couldn’t believe: Broc Tickle. For the life of me, all I could think about was Tina Sparkle, a character from the movie Strictly Ballroom. I mean … neither one of those is a real name! (No offense to Mr. Tickle or his family.) But come on. That’s a character name out of outrageous, madcap, over-the-top fiction, right? (Paging Nancy Martin or Janet Evanovich….)

No, Broc Tickle is the name of a talented, athletic motocross competitor (if you don’t know what motocross is, think dirtbikes over a course of jumps, bumps, and turns). Wild. And Broc Tickle taught me something—a lesson you’d think I’d have learned by now: Truth … still stranger than fiction.

Any other good names you’ve come across?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

It begins again …

I couldn’t write this first thing today, because something else had to come first. That old, creaky door sound you heard? That was my writing laptop being opened for the first time in a month.

That may not seem like a big deal—just a month! But look at it this way: I’d painfully built up a new writing habit or “muscle” in November (thanks to NaNoWriMo and other committed fools who egged me on), and then I stopped cold-turkey. Didn’t write anything for a month. The muscle atrophied. I was afraid I wouldn’t remember how to use it at all. Then came today.

You see, today is a big day. NaNoWriMo worked out so well for me and another friend/gifted writer (crazy person), Debbie Arora, that we decided a mere 30 days of writing was wimpy. We were going to do 100 days! OK, we amended that to something more realistic … and though “100 days of something” doesn’t have the same panache, we’re going with that.

Me? I’ve committed to 100 straight days of doing something to further my fiction writing career. That could be working on the draft of book two that I started during NaNoWriMo (one of my goals is to finish said draft in said days). It could also be researching, blogging, tweeting, or making arrangements for book tours in the second half of this year. But I’ve got to do SOMETHING every day. For 100 days.

Maybe it’s a case of “begin as I mean to go on.” Because today, not only did I have to actually do some work before bleating far and wide about *planning* to do some work, but also, I had to dive back into that unfinished draft I’d blasted out in November. Hence, the creaky door sound. Hence the creaky mind sounds. But I did it. The words weren’t pretty, and there weren’t thousands of them. But I did something.

Because I know that muscle is buried in here somewhere….