…on the train.
I’ve always had a love-hate-relation towards running. In high school, I used to love to sprint, and I was actually quite good at it, too. Jogging, however, destroyed me. I didn’t know what it was, but I just couldn’t do it. No matter how hard I tried, after about a kilometer I just got so tired I had to stop.
Only years later did I realize it wasn’t fatigue. It was boredom.
Face it – jogging is the most boring thing there is. Sure, some people might find the whole “I am one with my breath” thing a zenlike meditative experience, but not me. Jogging leaves my brain unoccupied, and leaving my brain unoccupied is like switching the TV off on a five year-old during its favourite show. While in a porcelain store. Made out of crystal.
Shame, really, because I am a writer, I sit on my ass all day and snack frustratedly while I stare at an empty sheet of virtual paper. My kind tends to expand horizontally. Jogging is something you can do on a whim – no planning required, no gym membership needed, just put on your running shoes and off you go.
I was doomed.
Or I wasn’t, because one day I got an App called Zombies, run! It tracks your runs and makes nifty spreadsheets and yaddayadda. But – and this is the ticker – it’s also an audiobook. In which you, slightly out of shape jogger, take on the role of Runner Five, whose job it is to go on supply runs for a British town after the zombie apocalypse happened.
Yes. You read that right. This is a game in which you run. From zombies. It took me 10 months to admit to you, faithful reader, that I listen to this stuff every week. Because let me tell you, while the premise sounds silly, it is a well-written and well-produced story, performed by great actors. Some of the plot twists shocked me, one of the jokes made me laugh out loud while running and one episode moved me to bits.
So here’s a little checklist:
- Are you out of shape?
- Do you have a pair of running shoes?
- Do you have a two euros and a smartphone?
- Are you ever-so-slightly geeky?
Then try out this App. You might just get healthy and have fun at the same time.
So, confession time. When I was an angsty fifteen year-old, I started writing a fantasy manuscript about an angsty fifteen year-old. Over the course of more than a year, it grew into a 200-page, Times New Roman 10 mastodon.
That mastodon is currently in my hands. It is filled to the brim with horrible cliches, terrible dialogue and plot twists I stole from random anime series.
Have a gander:
„Maarten? Are you awake?“
Slowly he opened his eyes. The first thing he saw was Angela, who was looking at him right above his head. In a flash she kissed him.
Maarten was startled, and got tense. She pulled her lips away again, and look at him full of regret. „Sorry…“
He looked at her, confused and frightened. „O-okay…“
She stood up, and reached her hand out to him. He didn’t accept, and got up on his own. „I don’t need your help anymore. I’m perfectly capable of handling things on my own.“ He sounded painfully apathetic.
Angela looked away. „I understand…“ after that, she looked back into his eyes and laughed.
„No. No! Don’t say anything. I know what you will say next will be a lie.“
Angela looked at him confusedly. „What do you mean.“
„You’re running away Angela. Away from yourself, away from the outside world, just away!“ Maarten turned around and started running into the forest. Away.
The above scene is a quote from chapter 8, where the two lovers meet again for the first time since chapter 2 (which, in a stroke of artist’s brilliance, is actually the first chapter). They cannot be together because he is a part of a prophecy that will get her killed or something. Also, teenage angst.
Now the thing is: I cannot let something this gloriously awful go to waste. But what should I do with it? Dramatic reading? Translate the whole thing and look for an editor who’s actively looking for trash?
P.S.: against all logic, I’m not going to burn it