Tag Archives: Baseball

Happy Wednesday

I’ve been slacking off on the blog, because I’ve been doing a lot of things that don’t relate to the author’s life. When I do, they aren’t the sexy things. One of the things I’ve always done is share this life – warts and all, so that’s what today is about.

I spent the last week in a trade conference for my paycheck job. There weren’t a lot of extra hours available. Next week, I’m going to Texas for a conference that is more directly related to what I do. All part of the job.

This week was my week to catch up… except… we scheduled job interviews. This is because all of us on the interview team have been in and out for a month. The other two members are tied up for the next two weeks.

There is an outside chance that I can make some real progress on Friday, so I have my fingers crossed.

On the writing front, this was my flex day, and I spent it working on the stuff nobody ever talks about. It’s part of the writing life, and it has to get done too.

I wrote a post for Story Empire that will go live next week. I also assembled and scheduled a Lisa Burton Radio interview. I mention this, because this stuff takes time. It has value, so I forge ahead. It has value to me, and it helps other authors too. If you haven’t checked out Story Empire, you might want to cruise over. There is a wealth of information authors can take advantage of.

I dedicated a big part of this morning to finishing up a book I’ve been reading. I fiddled around with this for far too long, and I needed to finish it. I even resorted to reading one chapter on my 30 minute lunch breaks. At least I got four chapters per week that way. It was a wonderful story, and I gave the author a five star review on three different sites.

Time. It’s all about time, which seems to be in short supply these days.

I like to read on airplanes, but I like to find things I don’t necessarily have to finish. This time, I have a couple of craft books saved that I might dive into. Other flight, I’ve chosen short story collections, or even novellae, because I can finish them. (I made that word up, but novellae seems like it should be right.)

On Tuesday, I got another Lisa Burton poster via email. (It looks really cool too.) That means I have the Lanternfish cover, plus two promotional posters. I ordered the last one, and it looks like I’ll be able to meet my winter publication deadline pretty easily.

To round out my day off, I worked through nine chapters of Lanternfish. I found a few things to correct, even though this is about my third pass. Good news is that I’m really enjoying the story still. I think that bodes well for my future readers.

I nearly wrote that I worked through nine innings of my book. Can you tell I’ve been watching the baseball playoffs? I don’t have a dog in this fight, but the games have been very good. (I’m not cheering for any specific team, but I’m glad the National League will go back to Front Row Amy’s ballpark.) There’s one on right now, and I’d better get back to it.

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Go… somebody Rah Rah Rah

I got the last interview checked off my list. This makes the weekend a success. I didn’t really hit it very hard today. I have a three day weekend coming up, and will make a more substantial list for that.

I tried to watch some sports this weekend, but didn’t see all of anything. It wasn’t a good weekend at the Boyack house for sports. The following teams all lost:

  • Boise State
  • Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Arizona Diamondbacks (Twice)
  • I know some of you follow sports, but this was kind of a bummer weekend for it. If you’re into it, I hope you fared better than I did.
  • I never started my last micro-fiction piece, but I know what I want out of it. The ending line is solid, but there are a million ways to start it. Maybe I’ll gain some clarity during the commutes this week. Sometimes the Muse hitches a ride downtown with me.
  • A short weekend deserves a short post, so I’ll wrap this one right here.
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    Not quite a wrap

    I slept in this morning. I never even got started until after 7:30. I have my morning routine to attend to, and bulldogs need fed, etc.

    After I surfed through a few kinds of social media, I started reading my previous efforts. I caught a couple of word echos, but I’m sure there are more to deal with later.

    The plan was to work through until the end, and it still is. That day was not today though.

    However, I did get the issue with multiple ships resolved, and worked through the big finale. My new monster made his appearance and had his big scene. Part of the denouement happened during the big battle, but there is more to come.

    I honestly wrote something just shy of 10,000 words. I would have surpassed that number, but my wife called. She was on her way home from work, and that signals the end of my writing time.

    I am not complaining. This was a great day on the writing front, and I don’t get many like this. There are two more days in my weekend, so it’s likely I’ll finish my draft before I have to return to the office.

    In a perfect world this will happen. I have to call my parents tomorrow morning, and that takes an hour. They’re also coming to visit next weekend, so there won’t be any writing time. If I get it all done this weekend, it won’t matter.

    Now my wife has some film festival on that involves multiple headed sharks. They’re up to five right now, with six heads promised later tonight. These fall into the category of bad science fiction that I enjoy once in a while, but they aren’t good enough to really enjoy.

    It almost makes me embarrassed to be writing a book with sea monsters in it… almost. My monsters are much cooler.

    In other news, we learned that the woo-hoo song from Kill Bill makes Frankie crazy. She ran through the house like an insane dog, wrestled Otto to the ground, and made a loop around the backs of the couch. It was almost like one of those Las Vegas shows where the motorcycle drives around in a cage.

    I may talk Old What’s Her Face into watching baseball after this posts. Last night’s game was so bad I went to bed before it ended. Still, it didn’t have a five headed shark in it.

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    A fair writing day

    I didn’t hit it with a vengeance today. My crew is in a new country, and I needed to get some of the flavor on the page.

    To do this, I used one of the unexplored supporting characters and weaved in a bit of his backstory. I think it worked out pretty well. He’s from this continent, and has proven useful.

    The advantage is to have built fences. Now I have to live within those parameters, and I find it helpful. I could go back and change everything, but I usually find this to be a positive step.

    There was a fight with the enemy sailors, but not in a way that would get them destroyed by the locals. (It wasn’t a dance off either.)

    I’ve decided to let them tour outside the city while the foundry prepares their order. I’m thinking something do do with wine production, maybe stomp a few grapes. I think I’ll include some bee keeping, which could lead to some mead drinking as well.

    It only seems logical that people who spend months on a ship would want to do things off the ship when the chance presents itself.

    Maybe I should buy a good bottle of mead for inspiration. I’ve done stranger things.

    Somehow, they should have a new problem to face when they get done playing in the countryside. It doesn’t have to be major, but I think the story would benefit from that. It’s time to do some more daydreaming about this issue.

    Writing took me up until noon, but it was enough. I broke the 70,000 word barrier, and there is a lot of story to write yet. I usually suffer trying to stretch something to novel length, but that won’t be a problem here.

    I dabbled with Lisa Burton Radio, but that didn’t take much time. Most of my afternoon was spent watching a baseball game. They won this time, so maybe my curse is broken. I hope so. It’s a lot more fun watching your team win.

    Tomorrow is the day I call my parents, and my wife is driving home too. I don’t expect to get much done, but you never know.

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    Extra Innings, on #LisaBurtonRadio

    Lisa Burton

    Welcome all you time travelers and baseball fanatics. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you interviews with the characters you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and today my very special guest is Joe McLean. Joe has a bit of a problem, and is hoping that talking about it will give him some clarity. “Welcome to the show, Joe.”

    “Hello Lisa. I’m glad to be here, although these days, I’m not sure exactly where here is.”

    “Tell us a little about yourself.”

    “Well, I’m from Langerton, Pennsylvania. I am currently an accountant at a family business, just not my family. I’m divorced and a bit out of sorts these days. Thank goodness for baseball. Without it, I’m not sure what I would do.”

    “Lot of baseball fans around here, Joe. You’re certainly among friends.”

    “That’s great to hear. It’s a sad day in my town for baseball. They’ve torn down Maxwell Stadium. It’s been around since the 1940s. Generation of McLeans have had season tickets for every Langerton Chiefs game. It just won’t be the same in the new stadium.”

    “That’s sad. There is so much history in those old stadiums. It isn’t just the events on the field, it’s the marriage proposals, the first dates, the last time with parents.”

    “I couldn’t agree with you more, Lisa. That’s why I decided I wanted to buy some piece of memorabilia from the old place before it was demolished. I spent way too much money on an old stadium seat. My older brother gave me a hard time about it, but, deep down, I think he understands. My brother Mike helped me mount it on a carpeted platform right in front of my TV in my apartment. Now I can watch games from a treasured piece of furniture from my childhood. Of course, I found out that the seat was much more than a place to sit..”

    “How’s that, Joe?”

    “Well…I mean…I can go places. If I want to go back to a game, I just grab a program book and I’m there.”

    “I mean we talk to all kinds of people on this show, but are you sure?”

    “I know it sounds crazy, but I’m sure. I tested it out by going back to save a boy that was hit by a foul ball in a game about ten years ago. It worked, I was able to save him. In the original timeline, he ended up having disabilities from a skull fracture. All I did was buy him a helmet as a souvenir and he came out unscathed…mostly.”

    “You helped that young man live a different life. A better life. That has to be an awesome feeling.”

    “You would think so. I’ve found, however, that you can’t change the past without unforeseen changes in the present. The boy grew up to be a successful, sought after, high school athlete. As it turned out, one coach was interested in more than his talents. He also had an affair with the boy’s mother and broke up the family.”

    “Okay, but you couldn’t foresee that. You still helped him.”

    “I know. It’s just made me cautious before I try anything further. There are things about my own life. I just…I just don’t know..”

    “This is kind of like the lottery game. You know, if you won the lottery what would you do? In this case, if you could go back and change something, what would it be?”

    “There are three things, Lisa. First, my job. I work in a family business and do the lion’s share of the complicated work for no credit and no advancement. Second, my marriage failed. My wife and I were both obsessed with our careers. I think, if I had put in more effort, it might have turned out differently. Then, there’s my family. My mom and dad both died from easily avoidable situations. They were taken from us too young..”

    “So, have you tried it yet?”

    “Well, I have. I’ve tried a few times, but the best I could do was fixing one or two things. I actually tried going back to a game that took place before I was born. I looked in the mirror and I was my own grandfather. You haven’t experienced strange until a younger version of your grandmother tries getting frisky with you..”

    “It’s great that you get that kind of chance. It would be wonderful if you could work it all out.”

    “Well, so far. It’s just not working. I’ve been successful, rich, homeless, happy, unhappy. As I said, I can’t get all of the pieces to come together correctly. I’ll just have to keep trying.”

    “Maybe it’s kind of like Tetris. You have to twist them all together to fill all the holes.”

    “That’s a good comparison. Although, sometimes it feels more like Whack a Mole.”

    “Joe, you have to know that we’re all cheering for you. We want you to figure it out and find your ultimate happiness. Any last thoughts for our listeners today?”

    “I appreciate it, Lisa. For any of you out there that think your life is hopeless, when you have an opportunity to make a positive change, go for it. I plan on continuing to go for it for as long as it takes.

    “You can learn all about Joe in the new book, Extra Innings, by Don Massenzio. I’ll post all the stats after I go off the air today. Baseball… stats… get it. Whatever.

    “Don’t forget to help me pay the bills around here. Use those sharing buttons and help Don and Joe spread the word. Don has always been a strong supporter of this show, and has reblogged many of these interviews on his own site. Today would be a good time to say thanks by returning the favor.

    ***

    Extra Innings – Joe McLean hates his life. A lonely, divorced, middle-aged man, stuck in a cramped apartment, the only bright spot in Joe’s life is cheering on his hometown baseball team. Now, the local stadium, the place of many childhood and adult memories is being replaced. Joe desperately wants a piece of this iconic venue to preserve his memories and have some memorabilia from his happier past. That’s when unusual things begin to happen, and Joe begins to rethink the direction his life has taken. Can Joe take a different path in life? Can he use the special ability that he has acquired to change the course of his life? Will he realize the truth about old adage, you can never go home again? Follow the twists and turns in this supernatural story, Extra Innings, to find out.

    Bio

    Don Massenzio was born in Syracuse, New York to first generation Italian American parents. He is an avid reader. Some of his favorite authors are Harlan Coben, David Morrell, Stephen King, Jonathan Kellerman, John Grisham, Hugh Howey, and C.S. Boyack. His favorite book of all time is To Kill a Mockingbird.

    He started writing as a way to combat the long hours of travel and numerous hotel stays that are part of the ‘glamorous’ world of corporate life. He uses writing as a therapeutic outlet to combat my homesickness.

    His first published book, Frankly Speaking, was the first in a series of books focused on the character, Frank Rozzani, a Florida private detective. The series is a throwback to the days of pulp detective novels with a tip of the hat to Jim Rockford from the 70’s television show, The Rockford Files.

    He moved to Jacksonville, Florida 23 years ago where he currently lives with his wife, daughter, and three dogs.

    Link for Extra Innings:

    http://mybook.to/ExtraInnings

    This is a universal link that will bring the user to the appropriate Amazon site in whatever country they’re clicking it from.

    Social Media/Web Site:

    www.donmassenzio.com – Blog

    https://www.facebook.com/authordonmassenzio/

    https://twitter.com/dmassenzio

    https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00JJVN0UI

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    Saturday, for what it’s worth

    I really slept in this morning. I mean more than ever happens. Part of this is because I stayed up watching baseball last night. In fact, I have today’s game on right now.

    My wife and daughter were both off today, so productivity ended when I didn’t get up early. My only goals this weekend were to schedule a future interview, and to write shticks for two more. I never got any of it done.

    I appreciate Rosie’s Book Review Team for another great review of The Hat. This one seems to be doing well with its readers. In fact someone grabbed a copy from Netgalley, and I received an additional five star review.

    I never accomplished much today, but I can’t complain about the good things that happened.

    Old What’s Her Face wants some sourdough rolls to go with dinner tomorrow. She bought a replacement bag of flour for me, and I just finished mixing them up. They probably won’t get really sour, but they’ll still be nice rolls.

    There are a few hours left to get your copy of The Enhanced League while it’s still free. I saw it get as high as 28 on the sports stories chart. I only take photos now if something gets on a top ten list.

    Those who read Enhanced League, seemed to enjoy it. You don’t have to be a baseball fan to understand the human interest stories in this collection.

    Next week, my workplace is sending me to a convention in NOLA. Great place to go, but work won’t allow tons of time to have fun. I may have to write some of my shticks on the airplane, but at least I’ll have that time available.

    I’ll share a photo or two if I see something cool while I’m there.

    PS: Grab a copy of Enhanced League.

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    How about some free days?

    Once upon a time, I wrote this book called The Enhanced League. It’s my take on a baseball league where performance enhancing drugs are not banned. It’s a little bit science fiction, and a bit human drama.

    I wrote it as a collection of short stories and micros. My personal growth plan was to have these stories all set in the same environment, and to tell an overarching story from cover to cover.

    It seems like I’m always trying something new, and this book has a few pieces that I called Anthems. These are short bits in second person point of view. They were well received by the reviewers, so I wrote a new one for this post. (Personal theory: second person is best in small segments.)

    I thought it deserved a bit of music, and video clips seem to be the simple way to add that in WordPress. This may be my favorite movie scene of all time.

    Spring is in the Air

    It’s been a long winter. The series ended in spectacular fashion, but that was back in November. Sure, you tried to get into football, maybe checked out the Winter Olympics, but it wasn’t the same.

    You listened to the Hot Stove reports on the radio. There were some good free agents this year, and you earmarked a couple for your team. You knew they were long shots, but like all baseball fans, you live on hope and faith.

    This year was different. Teams refused to pony up those ridiculous contracts like in the past. Guess they finally figured out super-stars aren’t so super, seven years into a contract for mega-millions.

    Passive fans always want the team to spend money and buy all the free agents, but you know better. This is because the business side is every bit as interesting as the game on the field. There’s only so much money, and you have to keep an eye on the future. It’s hard to extend the contract of your ace pitcher next year when you spent it all on some hotshot this year.

    When it all shook out, your team settled for an import pitcher from Japan, and a few minor league guys that might come up late this year. For the most part, you’re fielding the same team.

    That isn’t bad in some ways. They made a run and got into the playoffs. They might have done better if it weren’t for the injuries. All you need is just a bit of luck and… we’re back to hope once more. Maybe those minor league guys can cover the spots if an injured player has to take some time off. There’s always hope.

    You watched the trucks pulling in to the stadium. You imagined they delivered sports apparel and the newest bobble-head dolls of the popular players. It’s too early for hotdogs and other perishables. Still, it’s getting close.

    The grass is green, not like it will be in May or June, but all the dead thatch is gone. You watched them testing the lights over the stadium, and Spring Training is underway five states away.

    Kids always put a lot of faith in Spring games. You know they don’t mean a thing, and you’re just hoping to get through without somebody getting hurt. Players get their work in and get ready for the big show, that’s what it’s all about.

    The radio guys are looking for stories, so they come up with things for you to worry about. So-and-so seems to have lost some velocity on his fastball, or such-and-such seems to be swinging and missing more. You know they’re trying things out in Spring Training, and working up to their full skill set. They’ll be ready, have a little faith.

    Hope and faith, they fuel the baseball fan’s world. It’s almost time to take the field and welcome summer in the best way possible. Grab your cap, ice the beer, turn on the game, and let’s watch some baseball.

    ***

    Those who read Enhanced League seemed to like it. It never seemed to get enough readers to make a splash. Now here we are at the end of Spring Training, and the beginning of the Major League Baseball season. What better time to trot it back out and do a small push.

    Today through Saturday I’m holding free days for The Enhanced League. I’d appreciate it if you’d pick up a copy, maybe add it on Goodreads. In it’s debut, I had Lisa making the rounds. Here is the poster that came out the best from her promotional efforts.

    Lisa Burton

    I added it, because images draw attention, but also for some of you to use. I’m not going to spend a lot of money on a free promotion. If you want to reblog this one, I’d be grateful. Some of you may prefer to assemble your own post. You can clip the Anthem, cover, umpire Lisa, however much or little you want. And thanks for considering The Enhanced League.

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