Happy news, and In Praise of Domestiques

Happy publication news!  I will have a short story published in the Circlet Press anthology Like a Veil.  The story is called “The Eater of Stories”, and though it starts out as my very best impersonation of Neil Gaiman, I think I started to find my voice near the end, and I’m really proud of it.  It’s very special to me, too, because it’s the first story I’ve written in longhand in ages, and was almost entirely scrawled down while sitting in the sun at the Hay Festival.  So, very many happy memories in that.  More info to come as I get publication dates and other goodies!

(This is unrelated to last week’s mystery clue, incidentally…)

***

In between getting happy e-mails like the one announcing the above and being wayyy too knackered to write*, I’m following the Tour de France for the first time…well, ever, seriously, but as Dad is a huge cycling buff, I’ve always sort of grown up with it.  Seriously, we had posters of Greg LeMond on the basement wall while growing up.  And this has led to the reminder of one of the many wonderful elements of the team cycling world — the domestique.

See, you’ve got your stars.  Your Armstrongs, Cancellaras, Merckxs, LeMonds and so forth.  The guys who win the maillot jaune and get to kiss the pretty ladies on a podium somewhere in the arse end of France and likely in Paris as well.  And then you have their other team members, who are men devoted to seeing that guy from their team on the podium.  They give up wheels, bikes, ride in the front to act as a windbreak, or create a kind of roving barrier to hold back the rest of the peloton.  I love the domestiques and their selflessness, and the way ego is set aside so that the best on the team has the best chance of winning.  There’s got to be a story in the domestiques, but for now, I think I’ll just keep loving them for the way they typify teamwork, and supporting the best riders, and using their especial skills to keep the rest of the team going.

In conclusion, I really love the Tour.

*This is due to my own little personal cycling challenge.  It’s 16 miles round-trip to work and back, and I’ve been managing it four days a week.  I think I’ll have to stop at three this week, because I’m starting to get in some genuine pain, but so far I’ve done 176 miles in three weeks, just in commuting!

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