How baseball made me a better writer…

Way back in 2008 I finished “Blaze of Glory“, a NaNoWriMo project and started wrestling with the edits. A few months later I shipped it off to Samhain Publishing, praying it’d be up to their standards.

I get back a R&R – request to revise and resubmit. Needless to say I’m thrilled, terrified and throw myself back at the keyboard in order to rework this into something Samhain would want.

Enter my mother. Sweet senior who loves baseball. Loves as in *loves* her Toronto Blue Jays to the point of being able to quote RBI’s and other vital statistics along with spirited discussions on any “bums” you’d care to mention.

Early in the year I find that the Blue Jays are coming to Pittsburgh to play the Pirates in an inter-league game. And I, being a good daughter, procure tickets for the two of us since it’s happening during one of my mother’s annual visits.

The game was great. No-hitter until the 13th inning when the Pirates bloop one off and win the game. Mom’s happy and I’m… ah…

I’m nursing a broken finger. To be precise, the little pinky finger on my left hand thanks to a fly ball racing towards our section in the 10th inning. The damned ball smacks me in the upper arm and bounces off my forearm before crushing my pinky.

And no, I didn’t get the ball. It went to some poor kid behind me whose father had spent the entire game screaming at to get any fly balls in our section. At least it shut the loudmouth up.

I stumbled up to the first aid station and get an icepack, thinking it’s not *that* bad.

The next morning we stumble out of the hotel we’d spent the night in and right to the dr’s office where an X-ray shows that it’s broken.

Now I’m trying to type with a finger cast on my pinky finger – the one that handles a lot of letters, as most of us know.

Slow going? Oh, yes. For six weeks and even after taking the brace off I slowed down to a crawl during the rewriting and winced every time I ht the keys.

But… “Blaze of Glory” was accepted the next time I sent it in. And I think a major reason why was because I *had* to slow down. I *had* to go over every sentence, every paragraph with a slower, more discerning eye because of my broken finger. I couldn’t race through this new set of edits because I physically couldn’t. If I went too fast my finger would ache and I’d have to pop painkillers and swear and rant at the insanity that dumped a fly ball in my face.

But the book sold.

My finger still aches now, years later. It throbs when the weather changes and when it’s a bad morning and it’s a bit arthritic. But I look at it as a self-imposed slowdown device, something to remind me that speed can and does kill good writing.

Slow and steady wins the race.



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