writing daze

For some reason, I woke up early yesterday–the last of my five day Thanksgiving break–to grade. And lesson plan. All that fun stuff that I missed in the previous four days. I finished shortly before 11 a.m. and told myself that any kind of workout was simply out of the question. To distract myself, I decided I should write.

Nine hours of writing later, my head was swimming. I didn’t even really want to stop. But I thought I should get some sleep before Monday morning’s classes. 

I fell asleep without a problem, only to awake at 4 a.m. Thinking about my characters. Or one character in particular. I had left her in a not-sogood situation, and I started to wonder if she would get fired. That wonder turned into worry about what she would do if she were to get fired.

So sympathetic of me, I know.

Except for the fact that I know she doesn’t get fired. And even if she were to get fired, I could easily write it away and write away my worry in the process. For the next two hours, I replayed the last scene over and over again.

Maybe I should add this…I should write that she says this…I forgot to write…

All I have to say is that if it’s going to be like this until this fourth draft is done then I hope that end is sooner rather than later.

 

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on writing & baseball: research

This is half a post about my failure to research prior to writing the first novel last time and half a post about my first experience at a minor league baseball game.

When I started writing last time, it was more about something I had to do to get my head and my psyche in order. Because I told myself (and still believe) that was the primary purpose, I did little in the way of actual research for this book. I had maybe a 3-page outline (compared to the 29-page one I did for my current draft) and some random character sketches.

I still don’t think the story is bad. I really don’t, and one of my major goals for this summer is to rewrite it (how that’s going to occur, I’m not really sure that I’ve thought out too well).

The primary comment that a friend made after reading that draft was “I never felt like I was there.” That made me aware of how much I had skipped in terms of setting. All senses of setting. In short, the book is about minor league baseball. It’s pure fiction, but still could use some of the little details that would make one feel that I have some clue about minor league baseball.

The worst part of this story is that there are several minor league teams within driving distance of me, and one of those belongs to the Dodgers.

So, I finally made the trek out to the Epicenter, home of the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, the Dodgers Single-A affiliate.

It was quite an experience. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Blake Hawksworth was making a rehab start.  (I think it was his second 1-inning rehab start.)

Overall, it was fun, and a major deal compared to the price gouging I’m used to at Dodger Stadium. Parking was $4, my ticket behind home plate was $8, and my food was a whopping $12 (nachos, bottle of water, root beer float). All in all, I was quite happy with the price.

What I didn’t expect was the veritable three-ring circus that surrounded the game. Never have I heard music played during an at-bat. There were constant games and promotions. It was very family friendly. But apart from the three scouts sitting behind me, I don’t think many people were there to really watch baseball. The other major discovery that I made is that Single-A baseball looks absolutely nothing like major league baseball. (The rewrites that will need to happen to reflect that were swirling in my head.)

I don’t think I was too far off in terms of the stadium and facilities (I’ve visited the Dodgers spring training home, which also serves as a minor league stadium). But I definitely have my work cut out for me in conveying the atmosphere.

baseball: keeping score (K-ForCE Lite)

Baseball is back!

I guess it’s been back for over a week, but I took a short trip and missed opening week. I did return, though, just in time for the Dodgers Home Opener and the Dodgers first two home wins.

There was a time in my life when I kept score of a massive amount of games (massive = 162 in the 1997 season). I have all of the scorecards stored away. I’ve tried in the past couple of years on occasion to keep score, but it has seemed more of a hindrance than the fun it used to be.

I got talking with some folks about an app for scorekeeping, and sure enough it’s already been invented. ImageI read a couple of reviews and decided upon K-ForCE Lite for the iPhone. I figured if it was exceptional I could buy the full version, and if it was awful I could dump it.

Pros:

  • You can import all of the major league rosters (although I figured this out after the game).
  • You can keep a pitch count in each at bat.
  • You can actually chart the hits (if you want to).
  • Player substitution was pretty easy once I got the hang of it (of course, I chose to do it in a game where the Pittsburgh Pirates did a triple substitution in one inning and ended up with five pitchers in the game. So, it was definitely tested out.)
  • Before you close out the game, it asks you to clear up any discrepancies.
  • You get awesome options to export the scoresheet or boxscore into html format of a pdf. (I’m super excited about the pdf.)

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Cons:

  • It’s a battery-drainer. That’s probably not a big deal at home, but at the stadium, it was a little rough. Will it stop me from doing it? Probably not. I’ll just make sure I have a full charge before I leave.
  • It’s a little difficult to change plays. (I guessed an error that was ruled a hit, and had a hard time figuring out how to change it.) I was able to change within the same inning, but I’m not sure how that works out if scoring changes are made later in the game.

All in all, this is awesome for a free app and baseball fan.

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fantasy baseball draft

Every year for the past four years, I have participated in Fantasy Baseball, but you wouldn’t really know it. I don’t even know it. And last year I won!

However, I think this year may be a little different because we switched from Yahoo to ESPN. Even more importantly, I downloaded the app for my iPhone. And EVEN more importantly than that, I have a good pitching staff this year. (Not quite as good as Joe Blanton and those four guys–as the Little One refers to them–but decent, I think.)

We switched this year from a traditional draft to an auction draft. (And by “we” I mean the Little One decided.) And as The Wrestler said, “this could cause a family to break up.”

My team for 2011:

C Carlos Santana
C Geovany Soto
1B James Loney
2B Blake DeWitt
3B Adrian Beltre
SS Jose Reyes
LF Juan Pierre
CF Andrew McCutchen
RF Jayson Werth
OF Carlos Lee
DH Vladimir Guerrero
SP Clayton Kershaw
SP Roy Halladay
SP Zack Greinke
SP Cole Hamels
SP Chris Carpenter
RP Blake Hawksworth
RP Joakim Soria
RP Huston Street
RP Kenley Jansen
BE Jose Bautista
BE Francisco Liriano
BE Casey McGehee
BE Ted Lilly
BE Adam LaRoche

I think it’s pretty easy to tell where my loyalties lie.

wandering thoughts

I don’t really know why they’re wandering. Maybe they’re more like scattered.

I’m really excited for baseball. Like hopping around my apartment excited. I’m even excited for the Phillies’ rotation. Really.

Ever since that day, I’ve led a completed charmed life. I’m not even afraid to jinx it because the opportunity just keeps coming.

I had to sit through a presentation on 4 Loko today. When I told my mom what’s in it, she said, and I quote “That sounds exactly like you.”  (I was going to post it as a whole conversation, but my brain is really tired right now. I’ve churned out way too many words today.)

Funny how my solution to my tired brain is to write more.

I learned yesterday that you can register the outline of a literary work. So, the story of professional baseball’s first female manager officially belongs to me for the next five years.

My extended outline is redone. Yay! And turned in just an hour before deadline time.

Two words: bottle. rockets.

I miss calling you a creep every week.

My mom knows what Wiz Khalifa sings. Just saying.

I learned how to Dougie with a 1-year-old.

Someone said that to take joy in your work is the greatest thing you can accomplish. And I do. And I’m grateful.

And lastly, I’m so proud to be loved by you.

 

 

The Problem with the 2010 MLB Playoffs

Bitterness aside, and yes it’s aside. It usually takes me a week, but I can get over it and move on and enjoy the remaining days of major league baseball like the good fan that I am. Unfortunately, this year we’ve gone from eight teams with a pool of four teams I can’t stand and four teams that were in way over their heads to a pool of the four aforementioned hated teams.

Since “hate” is such a strong word, I don’t throw it around willy-nilly. So, I feel compelled to explain.

The ALCS: Yankees vs. Rangers.

The Yankees. There’s really not a lot to explain here. No self-respecting baseball fan could actually like the Yankees. Unless, of course, you were born into your fandom. That, I will excuse. Completely understandable. It’s like being born into a religion. Not much you can do about it. With the rare exceptions of people like Mariano Rivera (who is just so classy and so talented that you can’t fault him) and Curtis Granderson (who will be a Tiger in my eyes till the day he retires), there’s not a single redeeming thing about the Yankees.

The Rangers. George. W. Bush. Sits. In. An. Owner’s. Box. Again, not a lot to explain here. The former leader of the free world who defiled the Constitution and is guilty of multiple crimes against humanity. He owned the team. Let me get behind that one. I think not.

The NLCS: Giants vs. Phillies.

Umm. Yea. This one is personal.

The Giants. Not a lot to say here either. No self-respecting Dodger fan could ever root for the Giants. Just draw a line from Tim Lincecum all the way down to Juan Marichal. It’s a rivalry. And rivalry clouds statistics and that “young phenom” quality every time. Nothing I can do about that one either.

The Phillies. Two words: Chase Utley. Add in two seasons of watching the Dodgers get eliminated at the hands of the Phillies, and there’s just no way. There’s no lesser of two evils on this one. One is a deep-rooted rivalry, and the other is current rivalry. They do get one exception–Halladay. He’s a delight, and I love him to death. And I hope he wins tomorrow, but after that…

I hope there’s a work stoppage.