Wheeler: The Course of True Love Never Did Run Smooth

Wheeler is currently being re-edited and will be relaunching soon. 

Follow me on WordPress, or @SaraZalesky on Twitter for updates.

‘Wind, rain, and thunder, remember earthly man
is but a substance that must yield to you.’
Pericles, Act 2, Scene 1

Loren Mackenzie has held herself apart, honing her body and her mind to overcome self-doubt and the physical challenges that go with being a professional cyclist in the European peloton. An accident at the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic brings the chance for Loren to lead her teammates to victory. However, she has spent a lifetime hiding from the spotlight, burying her feelings and concealing secrets of her past from those closest to her, and from herself.

While a chance meeting with a famous actor brings a love she could never have imagined, the whirlwind romance threatens to unravel her tightly wound life. As their relationship intensifies, so does the media attention, dredging up Loren’s fears that her life isn’t as idyllic as it seems.

As the Women’s World Tour continues with races across Europe, Loren and her cycling team face defeat and achieve victory together. But, intimidation and jealousy stalk her, conspiring to put not only her chances at the World Championship in jeopardy but also force her to confront the phantoms buried in her past.

Can Loren face the trauma of her past and vanquish the demons within, or will betrayal and obsession ultimately defeat her?

 

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What’s this thing, “Functional” Threshold Power

blown

I’ve been thinking about FTP more and more as I gear up for a century next weekend. I’m not saying anyone is wrong, just some food for thought

I teach indoor cycling at a big box gym. I have several certifications, most notably training with watts. I am not an aerobics instructor. I don’t teach at SoulCycle or any of that ilk. I teach using sound cycling principles, not push-ups on the handlebars.
 
The past two weeks I’ve taken my classes through 20-minute functional threshold tests. I’ve done this myself using Trainer Road and Sufferfest and both apps have increased my FTP based on my virtual watts. I’ve also watched many in my virtual communities go as hard as they can for 20 minutes and the apps call it their FTP.  In my education, this is incorrect.
 
FTP means ‘functional’ threshold power, an estimation of what you can function at for 60 minutes, not 20. It’s not balls to the wall, hard as you can, throw up at the end effort. One of my group called it her ‘forever pace.’ The rate of perceived exertion is 6-7 out of 10 – you’re breathing hard; you can recite a line of Mary Had a Little Lamb but need to take a breath. Train at too high an effort consistently and you will feel the effects of overtraining.
 
I have this problem myself – I get all jacked up about the numbers and go hard, hard, hard, but only end up feeling like complete carp halfway through the season. I was training at too high an effort when I should be at my ‘forever’ pace.
 
My FTP on both Trainer Road and Sufferfest is 220w. My indoor FTP on the Keisers at the gym is 240w. Which is right?
 
It doesn’t matter. 220w on my bike on the trainer feels the same as 240w at the gym: sustainable (rpe 7) for one hour. What matters is that I have a concrete number to work with, just like that evil number on the scale.

#amediting #authorproblems

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I’m neck deep now in editing, and I have two new betas reading #wheelernovel. I’ll tell you, not hearing from either of them since I sent a copy is burning a hole in my stomach.

Do they like it? Has the change of direction completely f-ed the story? How can it be longer now!? What do I cut without sacrificing storyline? What little fluff remains is in the relationship, I can’t cut that! Why did I chain myself to an actual calendar!

Am I nuts for still wanting to do this? 

The litany goes on and on and on.

And yet, I look to the next few months and think about relaunching.  What do I do? HOW do I do it?  Do I look for more reviews? (It was hard enough to get the new betas.)

Fuck – why does this have to be so hard! 

At least training for the century on April 29th is right on cue.  Thirty-two miles into headwind felt like 100 this weekend.

Physically, I’m as ready as I’ve been for an end-of-the-season century, thanks to my winter spent on rollers.

Mentally, I’m looking forward to not thinking for 6+ hours while riding.

Head Hopping – It’s not about beer

When I first heard the phrase ‘head hopping,’ I’ll admit, I had no idea what it meant. To me, head hopping was hearing both (or all) of the characters’ inner thoughts in a scene, not necessarily what they were seeing or even feeling to a certain extent. Thing is, I’m not wrong but I’m also not right.

According to many, many articles and blog posts I’ve read, there is no hard and fast rule, only the elusive ‘guideline.’ Some famous novelists head-hop all over the place. Some are a bit, um, vehement about not doing it.

The Editor’s Blog says: ‘Head-hopping is what happens to the reader when a writer suddenly changes the viewpoint of a character or POV. Switching from one viewpoint character to another, experiencing the mind and heart of one character for a moment only to be forced to switch focus to another character a paragraph or two later, is disconcerting.’

When I read Randy Ingermanson’s blog on the subject, I became even more confused.

“Randy sez:  Let’s define terms. “Head-hopping” is the practice of switching point-of-view characters within a single scene. This is not the same as the omniscient point-of-view, which would allow your narrator to know things that none of the characters know.”

Then the points being made by Randy were eclipsed by what was being said in the comments, specifically:

“If it’s about a person, don’t head hop, if it’s about the relationship or bigger picture, head hop.”

And then:

“Skilled writers don’t need it (head hopping) to convey the other person’s emotions through showing.”

I then found Ciara Ballintyne‘s post on the subject, and this is probably the clearest explanation, along with a great flowchart:

  • First – I gave a small shrug. That was of no matter at the moment.
  • Third – Isaiah gave a small shrug. That is of no matter at the moment.
  • Omniscient – Isaiah gave a small shrug. He thought it was of no matter at the moment

Image result for head hopping

And that’s when my brain exploded.

What say you WordPress?

 

‘Never apologize for your passion’

 

“Never apologize for your passion, Loren.”  I wrote this line for Graham, in response to Loren apologizing for her tendency to over-explain her sport, like I do.

Never apologize for your passion, whatever it is.

As I write this, I am currently hip deep in editing #WheelerNovel for the um, third time… however, it hasn’t been my own pathetic editing skills that have suggested the changes.  It was because of two people who came within my sphere.

The first, Brian, JB (whatever), is an inspiring triathlete. He also possesses a creative mind and sense of humor that even when he nitpicks, he does it in a way that I laugh first. His excitement about reading the story of pro cyclist, Loren Mackenzie has reignited my mind.

The second, Brenda at @storyperfected, challenged me. She pushed me to own my writing style. I’m grateful to her for that, and while we are no longer working together, her push to the first cut has fanned the spark of my creativity. The spirit of her editing whispers in my ear: “Who’s POV is that?” It’s MINE dammit!

The changes, specifically within the first few chapters, has (I hope) honed what was deemed ‘fan fiction’ and romance novelesque into a story that wholly steps into women’s fiction with a romantic bent. Still the smattering of Shakespeare to endear the lovers, the racing is even more exciting, and the drama has ticked up a notch or two.

The tale is fully about Loren and her challenges as a cycling team leader; but also, her spiral into the darkness of her mind. How someone who believes they are broken can open their eyes to find kindred spirits waiting for them, in the outstretched hand of an anam cara, and the embrace of a lover.

I’m not done, but the cutting and rewriting have become easier now that I am not so emotionally entangled with my Muse. I needed the slap in the face only the first bloody kill of a darling can bring. Damn you for being so real, Pretend English Boyfriend! 

Follow me on WordPress or on Twitter (@sarazalesky) for updates on my posting of the revised First Chapter, when Wheeler might be back on Kindle and possibly, when and where I could be leading an indoor cycling class based on the final race in my book: the World Championship Time Trial held in Richmond, VA.

Don’t be afraid of your passion. 

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P.S. Wanna be a Beta Reader?

A Cyclist’s Review of #WheelerNovel

“First you shave your legs, and now you’re reading romantic fiction? What has happened to you?” My fiancée politely asks. “It’s about cycling really, the romance bit is just… erm a bit of it” I protest. I’m reading Wheeler, a fictitious tale about an elite female cyclist’s racing season. Or more accurately it’s about her […]

via Book Review – Wheeler by Sara Butler Zalesky — anothercyclist

Thank you so much James!

I also want to point out that #WheelerNovel is undergoing some major remodeling to focus more on the women’s fiction/suspense while keeping the romance aspect. Please check back to see when the novel will be re-released, hopefully toward the end of Spring, early Summer, 2017.

 

Anywhere But Here @Safetysuit #Soundtrackoflife

“Anywhere But Here”
Safetysuit

Is this the end of the moment or just a beautiful unfolding
Of a love that will never be or maybe be
Everything that I never thought could happen or ever come to pass and I wonder
If maybe, maybe I could be all you ever dreamed, cause you areBeautiful inside, so lovely and I can’t see why I’d do anything without you, you are
And when I’m not with you, I know that it’s true
That I’d rather be anywhere but here without you

Is this a natural feeling or is it just me bleeding
All my thoughts and dreams in hope that you will be with me or
Is this a moment to remember or just a cold day in December, I wonder
If maybe, maybe I could be all you ever dreamed cause you are

Beautiful inside, so lovely and I can’t see why I’d do anything without you, you are
And when I’m not with you, I know that it’s true
That I’d rather be anywhere but here without you

Is this the end of the moment or just a beautiful unfolding of a love that will never be for you and me
Cause you are

You’re beautiful inside, you’re so lovely and I can’t see why I’d do anything without you, you are
And when I’m not with you, I know that it’s true
That I’d rather be anywhere but here without you