Skip to main content

Run to 'The Sea of Tranquility’

“People who have never been through any sort of shit always assume that they know how you should react to having your life destroyed.”  ~The Sea of Tranquility, by Katja Millay

 The Sea of Tranquility is considered a YA novel and is my favorite read of late. It’s a wonderful novel about reaction to trauma, and a main character who uses running as one of her modes of survival.  I had no idea the running scenes were coming when I started the novel, but the author clearly gets it when it comes to both running and writing. 

Characters were multi-dimensional. The prose was fluid, the dialogue witty, the surprises sprinkled in perfect moments along the way. The author never mentions a gun without firing it brilliantly down the line. (Chekhov's Gun: "If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off.") 

All the guns go off blazing in this book, down to the last word. 

In my never developed but should have been developed list of books that made me cry, this book would be in the top three. Yeah, I cried most of the last 10% of this one.

Here’s some snippets of running scenes from “The Sea of Tranquility” that I had to highlight:

“The first night I ever ran, I ended up throwing up all over my shoes. It was one of the best nights of my life.”

“…giddy with the thought of running out the past few days, pounding my aggression into the sidewalk”

“I want to tear down the road until I can’t breathe, until there is not enough oxygen left in the world to keep me from suffocating."

“…I have to run. It’s the only thing that keeps the frayed edges of my sanity intact.” 

Finally, this quote really tore me up with its implications and I’ve been thinking about it ever since

 “..the running helps. It gives me something, or maybe more accurately, it takes something away. I don’t care. I know I depend on it too much but it’s one of the only things I can depend on. Exercise, notebooks, hate. The things that do not let me down. I know my way around the streets now. I can pay attention without paying attention. I’ve memorized the ambient sound. I know what belongs and what doesn’t. I know where the sidewalks are uneven, where the pavement has been pushed up by the roots of an angry tree. My mind has learned what to expect from the night I run in.” 

I’ve always felt running gave me something I needed, but the idea of it taking something away from me, and it becoming addition by subtraction, has stuck in my head on many a run since reading this gem.


Popular posts from this blog


I put out a call for guest blog posts, particularly from writers who may have been touched by addiction. Huge thanks to writer Christa Carmen who responded by sticking a knife in her heart and spilling it all over the page. Christa has stories splattered about the book world, and one has landed in Year'sBest Hardcore Horror, Volume 2.She's been a tireless advocate for addiction awareness and treatment, and has written a truly touching and personal blog post. Check it out:

You’ll probably agree with me when I say that the word ‘epic’ is an overused one. ‘That was an epic party last night, man.’ ‘The cupcakes Betsie made for Jess’s party were epic!’ ‘Whoa, Claire just delivered the most epic of epic burns!’ Despite the propensity for ‘epic’ to be thrown around like a Frisbee at a frat house, I’ve never shied from attributing the term to certain works of fiction, or from feeling more connected to those works because of it.

When I was in middle school, I was always primed for the …

BODY OF CHRIST is on the Preliminary Ballot of the Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Awards.

Happy to announce that my novella BODY OF CHRIST is on the Preliminary Ballot of the Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Awards.


Thanks to everyone who voted.

BODY OF CHRIST is the story of a young boy who secretly builds his own Jesus out of communion wavers and the flesh of his dead father. (Of course, his Jesus will rise, like Christ-figures tend to do. )

HWA members who want a copy (and of course you do) I've got PDF, Mobi, limited number of paperbacks and audio-book vouchers. Also look to this space for another amazon FREEBIE.

..or I'll simply read it to you bedside and you'll have a spiritual awakening.

Message me at:

Want to think some fine folks who helped with this piece, John FD Taff, Andi and Charlene, Julie Hutchings, and the gang of Corpus Press.

Many of my favorite titles on this list below, and I hope to read as many of those I haven't in the short window.

See y'all in Grand Rapids.

2018 Bra…

Lullabies for Suffering: Tales of Addiction Horror

Lullabies for Suffering:  Tales of Addiction Horror, with stories by: Caroline Kepnes Gabino Iglesias John FD Taff Mercedes M Yardley Mark Matthews Kealan Patrick Burke
coming January 2020