A few weeks ago, flush from my triumph in the triathlon (and by “my triumph” I mean “surviving,”) I decided to attempt another feat of athleticism and endurance: kayaking from Truro to Provincetown.

I recruited my sister and one of my brothers to join me. I packed a picnic that could have sustained the three of us through an entire season of “Survivor,” loaded my Camelback with sports drink and lathered up with sunblock, and set off across the bay.

I have no idea how far the actual distance was – by car, it’s a ten-mile trip, and I figured it was maybe three miles across the water. We paddled out toward Pilgrim Monument, skimming over the little wavelets underneath a cloudless sky. We passed sailboats and motorboats and a few big, terrifying, whale-watching boats. We saw schools of silvery fish swimming underneath us and, once, came within an oar’s length of a big, black seal as it swam along beside us. For long stretches of time, the only thing we could hear was the sound of our blades dipping in the water, and the waves slapping the sides of our boats, and my sister, asking if we were there yet. It was a perfect summer adventure.

By 11:30 we were having sandwiches, and swatting at greenheads, on the deserted beaches at Long Point. We swam, and sunbathed, and then another hour’s paddle brought us into shore.

Exhilerated, flush with triumph and sunburn, we hauled our boats up onto the sand and waited for my mother. Eventually, she drove up in the minivan and squinted out at the water. “Just three hours, huh?” she said, and tugged on her lifejacket. “Maybe I’ll just paddle home.”

Note to self: feats of athleticism and endurance are considerably less impressive when your sixty-four-year-old mother turns around and replicates them.

In literary news, a reader writes: how about updating that Advice to Writers thing?

And I thought, yes! Because I believe that Advice to Writers thing is still telling people that a good way to become a novelist is to get a job at the local newspaper! While this may have been viable advice in 2002, I would not recommend it at present.

So: updates coming soon.

In the meantime, here is a long profile of old-school agent Molly Friedrich...and bad things can happen if you take a publisher's money and then don't turn in your book.

Jen