March 16, 2008KR BlogUncategorized

Random Notes from the Past Week

Let’s start a Fantasy Novel League: Baseball season’s just around the corner. Though I love baseball, I don’t follow it closely. I’m just a sucker for dime-a-dog nights, double headers, and Topps cards on a summer afternoon. Every year, I think I’ll join one of those fantasy leagues and that will force me to keep up with players and stats and all like that. Usually, I get those thoughts at the end of a season, but not this time. This time, I was ahead of the game, so to speak, and my team, The Chargers, are in a Yahoo! Sports league. So, here’s the way this goes: I have a standard team of random, real-life players (I think I missed the draft). The real-life players play the game and, based on their performance during real-life games and the magic of mathematics I don’t understand, my team wins or loses games in the fantasy league. Here’s the challenge: what would a fantasy novel league look like?

(This would work for poets, too, I’m sure.) Say you could choose a writer who had great opening lines, one who had solid description, one who had strong plot, one who offered memorable characters, and one who had a way with endings. (I argue that you can’t find perfection in all of these categories in one author, hence the need for a team.) Let’s say they create Novel X. Another member in our fantasy league would choose different people and create Novel Y, and so on. Once we had the teams set up, then we’d have to cook up some outside influences–change of editors, publishing houses folding, fluctuations in the marketplace, movie deals, interviews, alcoholism, drug abuse, lies about authenticity–and then see which team’s novel sold the most copies in, say, a year’s time. Hmm. Sounds complicated but fun. I’ll work out the bugs and get back to you.

Newspapers are in trouble. Again. Or are they?

An open invitation to my detractors: My last blog entry created a bit of a stir, with words like “neopotism” and comparisons to George Bush being bantered about. To those readers, I say thanks for reading and thanks for writing comments. As for that crack about being pushed ahead through connections, in case you care, I’ve been writing for 33 years, nearly every day, and I, too, have a backlog of work that, frankly, I hope never sees the light of day because those are stories and poems that have taught me the craft of writing. But before you dismiss my work or my ability to write a publishable story, email me and I’ll send you a copy of ???Sandlot.’ You can judge for yourself.

Have a good week.