March 2, 2009
It’s been quite a while since I did any serious blogging, despite my January goal to do more, but it’s not my fault. Really! My laptop betrayed me right after I listed my goals, and it limped along for almost two months before it finally died in February.
Insert moment of silence.
I had someone look at it to see if it was fixable, but, alas, it was not. I’m just relieved that I backed everything up two hours before the computer froze on me for the last time.
So I spent about two weeks running up to my husband’s office at church to do my editing on his computer. Needless to say, all other online stuff had to wait.
But we have a new laptop now so I’m back! And I thought I’d catch up on a few things that have been banging around in my head for the last month.
1. You all might want to thank my laptop for dying when it did – the day before the news about A-Rod’s flunked steroid test came out. I did several mental blog rants in my head since I couldn’t get to a computer. Lucky you. But I feel better now. And I caught a White Sox preseason game yesterday which they won in the ninth inning. Go Sox.
2. Shelf Life, the story that finaled in the ‘07 Genesis contest, has been simmering and deepening in my mind for the last couple of years. I’ve got a pretty thorough outline, but there was one important bit of info that I couldn’t figure out — why the heroine’s husband had failed as a major league closer. I didn’t want it to be the whole steroid issue (see #1), and I already knew how the book would end, but I couldn’t figure out for the life of me what the guy’s problem was.
I figured it out! And in the weirdest place. My husband gets ESPN the magazine, and I skim through it for whatever looks interesting. There was an article in there about a month ago on fans heckling players, and bam — my answer was right there. What excited me the most was that what happened to one pro player was something I already had as a major issue in my story. So the answer fit perfectly into the story and deepened so much of the novel. I know that’s vague, but I’m pumped.
I really want to enter the Genesis contest again, but I think our two mortgages are going to prevent that. Which stinks because I’d love the feedback on Shelf Life and two other stories. But I’m getting okay with that.
Still . . . rats.
3. I’d love to hear what you all feel about novels that make you read the next book to find out what happens. On my last post, Tina Forkner, who’s a published novelist, left her thoughts on Daisy Chain and its ending. From the reviews I’ve seen, it almost seems like people who are more readers than writers don’t like to be left hanging while people who are writers are fine with it.
I know I’m a writer so I’m not even in line with what I think I’m seeing, but right now I’m looking at it as a reader. I want to get from beginning to end in that book I’m holding because I’m reading for fun. And getting to the end and not finding out what happened isn’t fun. I wonder if we writers sometimes get caught up in our work as art and forget that our readers are into it for fun, escape, relaxation, etc.
What do you think?
March 31, 2008
It’s that wonderful time of year again, that personal national holiday of mine — opening day for my baseball team, the Chicago White Sox.
This year it feels a lot different. First of all, where’s spring? Second, we don’t live in Chi-town anymore. So I’ve heard almost zero about how good — or bad — my team is supposed to be. But we’ll have the DVR going tomorrow to tape the game. That’ll be a whole family thing in our house tonight.
Yesterday I caught Baseball Tonight on TV. That’s like the first robin for me, that night you happen to catch them doing one of their first shows, and you know winter’s almost over. Anyway, I soaked up the guys’ takes on who would win the divisions, and the baseball superfan in me just can’t resist giving you my predictions for the season.
Just remember you heard it here first.
AL — Red Sox, Indians, Angels; Wildcard — Tigers
NL — Mets, Scrubs (our pet name for the Cubs; my dad, who’s actually a Cubs fan, came up with that one), Diamondbacks; Wildcard — Braves
So there it is. May the White Sox prove me wrong.
July 9, 2007
Yep, it’s Home Run Derby time, and I’ll admit I enjoy watching major league sluggers hit baseballs out of the park. I mean, that’s what we go to baseball games for, right? The action, the scoring, the homers.
I’ve been a faithful watcher of this event for the past five or six years, ever since I started working on my own baseball-related series. So I have a few Derbys that stand out in my mind.
My least favorite Derby was the one from two years ago (I think) when they had it divided up by country. Eight guys from eight different countries tried to hit ball after ball out of the park. In my opinion, it was the most boring Home Run Derby ever — names you didn’t know and all country-oriented. I mean, come on. Outside of the World Series and the playoffs, this is America’s big baseball event. We don’t need a mini-Olympics.
My favorite Derby was in ‘02 or ‘03 when White Sox Paul Konerko was robbed by Giambi Juice of a chance to make it to the final round and win the whole thing. (Okay, it wasn’t my favorite because he got robbed, but because a White Sox player did well. It’s always nice to see one of our own players in the national spotlight.)
This year, there’ll be no White Sox player in the derby, but I’ll still be watching. It’s in San Francisco’s very cool ballpark. I’m hoping they get most of the best home run hitters in the thing. And if they do, we’ll be watching ball after ball splashdown in the bay, listening to Chris Berman saying, “Back back back back back — gone!”
April 19, 2007
White Sox baseball fan that I am, I just can’t go without mentioning White Sox’ Mark Buehrle pitching a no-hitter last night (and you’ve no idea how many times I told myself I really shouldn’t blog about this!).
I actually saw only the final two outs of the game. My husband got home from church last night and turned on the game. The crowd was going nuts which I thought was a little odd. Sure, the Sox haven’t had a great season so far, but why the intensity of the crowd? I mentioned to DH that it sounded like a playoff game. Then the last guy ground out, catcher A.J. Pierzynski rushed Buehrle, and that’s when we realized we’d just missed a no-hitter.
But that’s okay. The encore presentation starts shortly. If you’ll excuse me, I must go make popcorn. Go, Sox!
March 19, 2007
Late March and early April — even a spring blizzard couldn’t ruin this time of year.
Why’s that? Because it’s March Madness with Major League Baseball (go, White Sox!) right around the corner!
I’m sure you heard it yesterday at church and everywhere else you went, people comparing the sad state of their brackets. I must take a moment and brag on myself (since by the end of next week I may have nothing to brag about!), but as of right now my brackets are — big grin — beating my husband’s brackets!
In our house that’s huge because there’s a trophy up for grabs. Yep, that’s it there in my sad attempt at photography.
Each year whoever picks the most wins in the Final Four tournament gets their name put on plaques on the base of the trophy, and the loser has to take it to the trophy shop to get it updated.
I’m sure hoping this is my year to win.
So ‘fess up, blog readers! How many of you are into the Final Four? Baseball? Sports in general? This sports nut would love to hear your about your favorite sports memory, moment, or team — even if it is that baseball team from Chicago’s north side!