Monday, November 15, 2010

An update, baseball, and a WOW . . .

Jeez! I turn around for what seems like a moment, and suddenly nearly two months have gone by with no posts! However I have good reasons . . .

Well, semi-good reasons . . .

To start with, I haven't been able to get much writing done lately. Work, my family, and other obligations have been taking away what little writing time I have. Then there's the fact that I got yet another rejection of a short story I had submitted about a month ago. What made this one so hard was not only the particular story that got rejected, but that I had received some confirmation of the manuscript's receipt and I mistook it as a possible acceptance. I obviously WON'T be making that mistake again. Then I had my picture book critiqued, and I was disappointed in that . . .

Basically, I was not feeling very optimistic about my writing life.

This is where baseball comes in . . .

Baseball is one of my passions. I became a baseball fan when I was about 12 and my Dad took me to Dodgers Stadium for the first time. Then I saw an exhibition game there during the 1984 Olympics. When I started dating my husband when I was 16, I became a SF Giants fan. And have been ever since.

Now if you've spent any time following baseball lately, you'd know the Giants won the World Series this year (on my birthday - November 1st - to boot!), so this past month I have been glued to the TV or the radio listening to all the playoff games (not that I wouldn't have even if the Giants hadn't been there, but obviously I was a little more interested than in past years). So there you go.

Now, time for WOW . . .

I know I'm shifting days, but I wanted to use this last week and couldn't get myself together enough to get it done. So the WOW for the week is . . .

SOURCE : The point or place of which something originates.

Now when I looked up the definition, there were some six different ones, but this one applies best to this post.

All my stories have a source. They come from people and experiences I've had either as a kid, or as a grown-up. But recently I sent the first 250 words of one of my novels to a YA pitch contest and the source of the book came from a familiar place . . . baseball.

When I started seriously writing, I wrote down a half-page story of what it was like to be at the NLCS in 1989 when the Giants beat the Cubs for the pennant and chance to go to the World Series. I wrote down the sights, sounds, and my feelings about what it was like to be in Candlestick Park on October 9th, 1989. Even though we lost the series, that was one of the most memorable games I've ever experienced.

Then in 2002 the Giants went to the World Series. I saw game 5, but we lost the series . . . again.

But during that time, the little bud of an idea started. A year later I told my niece the story of a girl, Cat, who had a passion for baseball but because of a series of conincedences and situations, was dangling between playing baseball and softball. The first thing she told be when I finished the story was , "When is it getting published?" My response was, "I have to write it first Katie."

And so I did.

It took me nearly a year and a half to write the first draft. Then I talked to a writing coach about my concerns about the character development of Cat, and she gave me 3 pieces of advice. The biggest one was for my to write it in Cat's voice.

And so I did.

When I finally finished the "second" first draft, I thought about that short story I ahd written all those years ago and realized, I had written about Cat before . . . in my recollections of that baseball game.

I am grateful for (and to) all the sources of my stories. But I hope this year Cat finally catches someone's eye and will some day get into the hands of some girl or boy who has the same passion as I do.

Until next time . . . have a good week.


  1. I enjoyed this post and like to hear how other authors find their inspiration. I also could relate to what it's like to feel close to a "yes" only to get the dreaded letter and then it's like sinking down into a deep lake. But I guess the desire to create is what always pulls me out and back to the keyboard.
    I'm looking forward to future posts. Write on!

  2. Thanks so much Natalie! I look forward to following your blog as well. I'm glad you found me! :)