Merry Christmas Runners and Friends

Dec 24
Posted by Cami Ostman Filed in Read This, Reflections, Writing

So, last week my grandmother had hip surgery. Be kind to your joints, friends, and don’t take them for granted. Grandma is 85 and she’ll heal slowly, but even when she does heal, she’ll have to be careful. No crossing her legs, no bending over at the waist to touch her toes. I’m going to do both of these things everyday with mindfulness from now on.

The surgery was fast and easy, but getting her there at 85 wasn’t. We had to have her assessed by a cardiologist, a hematologist, and a pulmonary specialist before they would give her the go-ahead to have the surgery. My poor Gram had so many tests and blood draws, it’s a miracle she decided to push through it all and to go through with the hip replacement. I think it must be a testament to how much pain she was in with the old hip. She reported immediate decrease in pain after the surgery!

Yesterday was the first day in a week I didn’t speak to either Gram or Grandpa. No news is good news, as they say. Thanks to all of you who sent your positive thoughts and prayers.

Merry Christmas to all of you who have followed my blog this year! I appreciate being in relationship with you even if we don’t know one another’s faces. Every comment, facebook message, and personal email is gift to me. As a writer, one spends a lot of time alone in front of a screen. It’s nice to know someone is engaged. Thank you, especially, to those who participated in the 2012 Challenge to run your first full or half marathon. As a runner, life can also be lonely at times. Most of us spend an awful lot of time solo (with our headphones) or with our dogs. So it was lovely for me to know what other runners were up to and how they were progressing toward their goals. I’m a big fan of each of you!

If you did participate in the 2012 challenge, I’d love for you to update me on your running AND I have something for you, so I’ll need your address. Shoot me a personal email (

All my best wishes to those of you for whom Christmas is a sacred day. May you connect with Mystery in ways that are peaceful and meaningful.

Joy and Love to all of you,



Nov 15
Posted by Cami Ostman Filed in Writing

November is always a quiet month for my running blog. It’s not that I have nothing to say or that I’m not running through the month of November (had a great time in both the Padden Mud Fest and in the Fowl Fun Run). The issue is that I’m NaNoWriMo-ing. National Novel Writing Month happens every November. The idea is that novel writers complete a draft of their novels (50,000 words) in thirty days. I participated last year and finished my fifty thou’ without too much trouble. I worked on a novel I started in 1999. I’m working on the same novel again this year.

The story is about a woman who goes to Mozambique, Africa as a missionary and loses her religion while she’s there. She meets another woman who has a complicated history both in Mozambique and in Brazil and is looking for her family, which she lost during Mozambique’s civil war when families were exiled into neighboring countries. I have no idea what I’m doing in writing a novel. I’ve easily written enough words to complete this thing several times over, but I haven’t mastered it yet. My storyline has flaws, empty spaces, and too many factual errors to count. My characters don’t always show up in my head. I think they might be mad at me for leaving them in the computer all year. And I’ve forgotten what Mozambique smells like (I was there in 1996 for six weeks as, you guessed it, a missionary).

Writing has always come easy to me. I was the student who had her essays written in her head for days before she sat down to get them onto the page–in one draft (and almost always for an A). I can crank out a blog post lickety split. And I wrote my memoir over the course of a year and half of hard, focused work. But this novel is still in its infancy after 14 years of thinking about it, dreaming about it, and picking away at it.

I feel about my novel the way I felt for the first few years of running marathons: inadequate, slow, in bad form, but totally determined. Don’t count me out; I may be at the back of the pack on this one, but by the end of 2013, I’m going to cross the finish line (i.e., deliver this book to my very patient agent) and order a pizza to celebrate!


BTW, to follow the NaNoWriMo collective novel I’m working one, click here.