July 30, 2009


"Writing is rewriting. A writer must learn to deepen characters, trim writing, intensify scenes. To fall in love with the first draft to the point where one cannot change it is to greatly enhance the prospects of never publishing." - Richard North Patterson

Nuff said.

July 06, 2009


The Tour de France is three days underway and the big story, of course, is the return to the peleton of its undisputed champion, Lance Armstrong. I followed the tour religiously during his reign, not entirely because of him, but because of the stories - nay legends - associated with it. By the sheer scope and magnitude of the race itself, and the physical prowess and mental fortitude required to surivive it, much less win.

Like many fans I've had a falling out with professional cycling in recent years, due in large part to the doping controversies it's embroiled in. Lance has always managed to skirt those controversies without ever being snagged. He is supposedly the most tested athlete in the bunch, yet has never come up with a positive result while nearly all of his contemporaries and rivals have.

Whatever the case, there is no denying that Lance is the protagonist of the great saga that is his life. He's currently in third place, forty seconds behind the race leader, Fabian Cancellara. The story could break either way. But if he goes up the mountains like he has in the storied days of his seven-win run, another chapter will be written.


In the first real mountain stage of the tour Lance's twenty-six year old teammate, Alberto Contador, went up the mountain like a gull soaring on a thermal. He gained 21 seconds on all the race favorites, enough to place him second in the overall classification two seconds ahead of Armstrong.

So as far as story goes, what's more compelling, a young up-and-comer rivaling the reigning patron of the race to reclaim victory (maillot juane in 2007), or a long-in-the-tooth seven-time champion making yet another career comeback after a three-year retirement? Lance has the heart of the people, while Contador has the scrap of an underdog.

My money's always on the underdog.