Sunday, March 3, 2013

Three Questions for the writers of RIDE 2

The editor, publisher and contributor of Ride 2, Keith Snyder, described it as "The second collection of short fiction about bicycles." And it is that. It is also a varied, diverse entertaining assortment of stories which include bicycles but may not be about bicycles.

The website for Ride 2 also offers readers and potential readers a chance to look behind the curtain and hear from the writers who contributed to the collection. It's called the The RIDE 2 “Three Questions” Game (click for a link) and it goes like this:

  • In story order, each RIDE 2 author asks the next RIDE 2 author three questions about anything, bikey or not.
  • The answers go on the the answerer’s blog and on the RIDE blog.
  • Keith take the opportunity to say something about that author’s story.
 The collection of interviews has become its own good bit of reading. Atypical questions beget atypical answers and we get to see an ongoing interview of writers by writers.

Here's a sample:

Jan: Have you ridden continuously since you were a child on your first bi- or tricycle?

Nigel: Continuously? Hmmm. My first “ride” was a Big Wheel. I L.O.V.E.D. the Big Wheel. I’m pretty sure I still do. I was the right age at the right time and it was the right ride. The power slide with the hand brake. The furious pedaling of young legs. I wore holes in that wheel.
I have ridden continuously since then but not always under my own power.
After riding a bike through my teens, I rode a motorcycle for years—a 1972 BMW twin-cylinder that I rescued, rebuilt, then rode across country and then into Mexico.

Then, when life became adult and the motorcycle had sat unridden for so long that it and I were no longer in the same place, I rediscovered the bicycle. Its subtlety, range of experience and variety spoke to me in words that I could hear and appreciate in the moments between thoughts. Its limits were my limits and on it, I could seek both.

Jan: How do poems occur to you? A word or phrase first that gradually accretes? All in a not-fell swoop? A picture looking for its caption? Or….?

Nigel: My piece in RIDE 2 is a “poem” but I am no poet. I just write stuff down and try to say it honestly. Typically, it’s all one fell swoop. I write my blog under the influence of the thing about which I am writing, be it a ride or whatever. I write about rides while my legs are still aching and before I have recovered so that one day when I look back on it, the words mean something because they arose from the thing itself.

Jan: Two parts to question 3: What is a question you would like to answer that I haven’t asked you, and what is your answer to it?

Nigel: Why do you blog about randonneuring?
I blog about randonneuring because every rando-ride is a once in a lifetime experience. It is big enough and bold enough and odd enough to merit a memory and a post. Try it—you’ll see what I mean.

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