two great loves of my life are writing and riding .  .  . writing whatever it is my heart tells me to, and riding my bicycle.

I am fairly new to cycling, having not become a regular until about 7 years ago.  as an adult I’d had a mountain bike, but was usually too busy working or parenting or both to get out on it much.  living high on a hillside was another deterrent:  no matter where I went, I’d have to climb back up to my house when I was done.  I rode seldom to never.

then my bike got stolen, my children grew up a bit, and I suddenly decided it was time to ride.  I bought a new mountain bike and started riding, but mainly on roads.  after nine months of that I finally bought my first road bike.  took an indoor winter cycling class, met some friends, started riding outside when the weather cleared . . . and now I figure I have ridden close to 40,000 miles on my road bike.  well, bikes, as I’m now on my third.

I’ve learned a lot along the way, and I’ve had a few spills and cracked a few helmets.  but the thrill of riding my bike is immeasurable and almost inexplicable.  I love it.  love it.

and then ten days ago I crashed, a more severe crash than others I’ve had.  this one broke my scapula, separated my shoulder, and broke 5 ribs.  thankfully I am recovering, and each day brings me a bit more mobility and energy and soon, hopefully, more lung capacity.  but during these past five or six days–once I got off the narcotic-type drugs and onto the simpler over-the-counter types–I’ve had lots of time to sit and read.  read books.  finish ones I’d been working on, and start new ones.  it’s been the perfect time for some lightweight, no-brainer fiction.

this genre has its place.  it helps me disengage from what might be bothering me or causing anxiety, and it helps pass the time.  it moves quickly and superficially enough that I don’t have to think too much.  I can skim paragraphs that are of no interest without losing the storyline.  it’s entertaining in a way that demands little from me.  which, when you’re recovering from an accident, is just about perfect.

I’m also working my way through a few serious non-fiction books, and I find I can only read so much at a time before I have to take a break.  (my excuse for this and other forgetfullnesses and silly comments is “I hit my head.”)  back to the no-brainer during the pause, skimming and filling time and caring just enough about it to keep going.

I have no desire to create no-brainer fiction.  nor do I want to write dense tomes that take enormous effort to read and understand.  I want my readers to think, but I also want them to be transported, to be enlightened, to be validated and encouraged and empowered.

some days I want to be challenged by what I read.  I always want to be encouraged and empowered.  I like to learn, I like to be entertained.  and some days I want to think as little as possible–like these current days–and am immensely grateful for those who write fiction that I lovingly call no-brainer.