I was in Chicago for BEA, just a few miles from where I attended college, and found myself telling this story:
In college, I ran for fitness, something that was fairly new to me. (Running, fitness.) I trained for a 10K, aiming for nothing better than a nine-minute mile. But I found the psychology of running very difficult. For example, if I decided to run to the Bahai Temple and back — a lovely landmark about two miles from where I lived — the first half seemed almost impossible because I was so conscious of having to retrace my steps.
Then I happened on the idea of running one-way: I’d put a dollar in my sock and head to the paths along Lake Michigan and run south, telling myself I would go as long as I could and then take the ‘el home. Running that way, I could do five, six miles. I guess I needed my journeys to be open-ended.
I think I write novels the same way, which is why I was telling this story at BEA.