Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Cleaning

From the Speakers: GONE by Jack Johnson
Just Read: THEODORE BOONE, KID LAWYER by John Grisham--A very fun read. At times it was a thinly disguised manual about how courts work (directed toward kids), but I didn't mind. I certainly learned a thing or two!
Reading Now: CITY OF BONES by Cassandra Clare

Spring is here--in NC it's like 80 degrees, sunny, and the air smells like a coming summer of fun and endless possibilities. Time to change up the music station on Pandora to something springy, check out a book I can read in the sun, and open the window and let the breeze blow in while I write. Who knows, maybe it'll carry a few ideas with it.

I played baseball all my life, every spring from ages 5 to 17. There's something about these evenings, this time of year--I don't know if it's the temperature, the pressure, the position of the stars in the sky--that makes me long for those days, being out on the field, smell of fresh cut grass hovering just above the ground, mixing with sweat and leather from your glove and dirt from the side of your leg where you slid into second.

I'm 22 now, and can no longer play baseball every spring, but there's nothing I love more than revisiting the field for a catch with old teammates, or taking some cuts and laughing whenever I swing and miss, or bragging when I send one into right-center. I miss those days.

It's the paramount nostalgic feeling, writing a story about baseball. The images come back so vividly and strongly that it almost hurts. I have 13 years' worth of characters on my teams to draw from, so any story is just barely fiction. But as much as it makes me long for those days, it's a pleasure every time I write a baseball story. I wouldn't be surprised if I write one every spring for the rest of my life.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Book Lover's Dream

From the Speakers: BROKEN by Seether
Just Read: ONE DAY by David Nicholls--Great writing, and admirably witty, but REALLY? Did it HAVE to end that way? Gah . . . .
Reading Now: THEODORE BOONE, KID LAWYER by John Grisham

A couple times a year, I travel up to Baltimore for a martial arts seminar with some friends from school. We always make a good time of it, and one of the hot spots we love to hit is the beautiful Barnes and Noble that's taken over the old power plant down on the Inner Harbor. It's a wonderful, sprawling two-story brick building, with all the newest hardcovers and best-sellers, a great view of the water from the upstairs Starbucks, a hypnotic transparent escalator, and the best part: tables and tables of SALES!

Being a self-proclaimed book lover, I made a bee-line for the sales tables, pausing only to read the entire display copy of GO THE F**K TO SLEEP, which I highly recommend (I had tears of laughter leaking from my eyeballs). I had recently seen the newest Sherlock Holmes movie, so when I spied a hardcover copy of the entire collected stories of the great detective for $7.00, I jumped at the deal.

I mean, it was a bit like offering a dime bag to a pothead for $2.50. What was I supposed to say? No?

It gets better. As I had allocated $20 to this venture (I already had zero space on my shelf for new books), I went on to find the story of King Arthur and his Knights--legend and lore that I love--for $10.00. It was one of those hardcover copies with the golden pages and the fancy, unique-to-B&N covers. Always fun.

I can feel your jealousy right now as clearly as Palpatine felt Luke's anger.

And I had a friend of mine, who's big into King Arthur and taking an Arthurian Lore class, skim through the book and tell me it looks legit. I'm stoked to dive in.

The Sherlock Holmes stories ought to be good inspiration during Write1Sub1. I mean, talk about a deep well of imagination--how could Sir Doyle keep coming up with such amazing stories with twists and originality? Hopefully, by the time I retire as a writer (dare I hope for sooner?), I'll have the answer for you.