When I started writing what would become “A Love Story Starring my Dead Best Friend,” I knew I was writing about a girl trying to outrun her sorrow on a twenty-one-speed bicycle because that was what I knew – the Fuji commuter bike that I bought the week I broke up with my boyfriend. That breakup, and that bicycle, defined the years I was in grad school in North Carolina. On so many days I got on my bike feeling furious and desperate, only to find that by the time I got to school, I had burned off my anger in the rhythm of pedaling and the force of concentrating on traffic. When I was writing, I turned over plot problems while I rode, or stumbled onto inspiration on the back roads of Chapel Hill.
The other day my hard drive had a meltdown. I was facing losing a month of work; I was disconsolate. When I was going to work that afternoon, my bus didn’t show up. At first this seemed like just another even in a horrible day. But I started walking. I reached the library sweaty and tired – and calm. The bells had stopped ringing “Disaster!” in my head.
People all have differing levels of physical ability, and being able to find solace in an exhausting walk or bike ride is a privilege not everyone shares, so I don’t want to push that on everyone. But what I want to say is this: there is a wisdom in your body. When your mind is racing around panicking like a hamster in a wheel, when you’re chewing over a problem that doesn’t seem to have any solution, listen to what that wisdom tells you. Listen to the things that can’t be silenced, but only burned off in motion.
A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend was released on June 10th! You can buy A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend at Book Depository or Barnes & Noble or Amazon or at the bookstore nearest to you.