"Running takes me out of the city and into nature, which does something to me that most man-made stuff can't. I pass the Brazilian transsexuals, wave, pass the mean forest cops on their big horses, salute, pass that one old guy with the terry-cloth headband, wave. I stop next to that pond with those two nasty swans and I hang upside down and stretch until my head feels as alive and as heavy as an electric watermelon. I go home (everything in the city now looks like a concrete cartoon), shower, put on ugly clothes made of soft material, stretch my hands to the higher, hidden deities of the unknown universe, bow to them, wait for them to bow back, then I open my computer. Sometimes I feel like a big zero a-hole loser with nothing to say and that is when I put on some Irish music—anything with fiddles and flutes—or some Chinese stuff and this music says yes you are an a-hole but so what and sometimes I buckle down in silence and get as close to my characters as I can and these are beautiful moments that make me really tired. When things are bad, I get up and walk around talking to myself; when things are worse, I stop everything and put my head on my knees, close my eyes, watch the darkness inside my head swirling around, and wait until the feeling passes. Writing isn't easy for me."
—Nicola Keegan, author of Swimming (Knopf, 2009)