Friday, May 14, 2010

Let's hear it for Chuckie P!

If you weren't able to get to Grub Street's Muse & the Marketplace writing conference this year (and really what else were you going to do the weekend of May 1 & 2stay home and boil water?), I'm bringing the key note to you. Or rather, a link to the keynote.

Clear an hour.



Without further ado, Chuckie P:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Tortured Limerick

For my very next running and lit trick,
I'm having a go at the limerick.
   If tomorrow's ten miles,
   rob me of my smiles,
this poem may bring them back right quick.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Running Haiku: A Poetic War Cry

Yesterday's realization that marathon training may not inspire the last twenty pounds I'm trying to lose to beat a fearful retreat inspired me to declare war...through what I hope is sufficiently bellicose haiku.*

Stubborn belly fat,
you clinging (but shrunken) rolls,
oh, how you mock me!
(Un)dearest fat cells:
You're no longer welcome here!
Flee my gut at once!
Fat, you've been sentenced:
Death by interval training!
Hill's? Sprints? You're soooo dead.

Three miles today, fat.
Up and down the same damn hill
Didn't I warn you?

The fat laughs last, though.
Legs are rubbery puddles.
Hill work is no joke.

*It's worth noting that these
"poems" are best enjoyed in the spirit of the worst of the beat poetry from So I Married an Axe Murderer:

Catherine Elcik is running her first marathon to raise money for a scholarship fund for Grub Street, Inc, and independent writing center in Boston, MA. Sponsor the run at

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Crap No One Tells You About Running: #7

Are you sitting down? I hope you're sitting down. Because I just found out the crappiest of crappy things nobody told me about running: Training for a marathon may actually be a lousy way to lose weight.

Quick question. Can you actually hear my belly fat cackling or is it just me?

Now, I'm no nutritionist (and quite frankly while reading the offending article I got vertigo and my ears started to ring), but here's the problem as I understand it: all those long runs I was hoping would help whittle my middle straight down to my goal weight may actually just turn my body into an efficient machine. Or to put it another way: if I want to lose those last twenty pounds, my body needs to burn through calories like a Hummer tears through gas, but heavy training may make a Prius out of me.

So what have we learned this week? Training may cost me my toe nails, but the spare tire I can keep? This just keeps getting better and better.*

Catherine Elcik is running her first marathon to raise money for a scholarship fund for Grub Street, Inc, and independent writing center in Boston, MA. Sponsor the run at

* Complaining aside, I have to say that even if I run the hundreds of miles in store for me and stay at the exact same weight I am today, the training actually DOES keep getting better and better. This weekend the fundraising efforts of the friends of Run for Grub reached a total that will lock in two of the four scholarships we're aiming to fund. Suddenly lost toe nails and a little retained belly flab seem like such small prices to pay.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Grub Tale: Michael Schiavone

Michael Schiavone has been published in Glimmer Train, Narrative Magazine, Carve, and Crab Orchard Review, among others. His debut novel, Call Me When You Land, is forthcoming from Permanent Press in September 2011. For more information about Michael, please visit:

RUN FOR GRUB: How did you learn about Grub Street?
I learned about Grub Street while surfing the net in 1999, a much more limited Net than we have now. I was living in San Francisco and was about to move to Boston and was trying to locate a workshop of some sort. Having ignored all creative pursuits in San Francisco due to my time-consuming corporate job and proclivity for getting smashed, I sought to start off in Boston on the right foot. I signed up for a short story class with Tom McNeely and it changed my writing life. He was the perfect instructor for me at this time: unapologetically critical, honest, and insightful. Plus, I met people in there that I continue to work with today, ten years later. It's been a treat watching Grub's growth since its salad days. Living in Boston is worth it for Grub alone.

RUN FOR GRUB: So Grub helped you break the ignoring-your-writing habit?
OH, YES! Grub helped me break the ignoring habit. And it taught me the true meaning of revision.

RUN FOR GRUB: And what about the getting smashed habit?
MICHAEL SCHIAVONE: OH, NO! We partied after every Grub class! Work was brutal the next day. But I was young and thought you had to be drunk to be a writer.