Tag Archives: performance enhancing drugs

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.


Filed under Short Stories & Vignettes, Writing

More Muse teaching

Lorelei* surprised me this time. I backed out of my garage in my usual morning fog to get ready for the commute. She stepped up and rapped on my window as the overhead door closed.

“Hey, give a lady a ride downtown?”

Lorelei has a way of getting what she wants, and a ride was probably the last thing she wanted. I’ve learned to simply go with the flow at this stage of my career. I hit the button and unlocked the passenger door. She walked around the front of the truck in her cutoffs and non-committal baseball tee-shirt, her raven hair pulled through an equally non-team specific baseball cap. She even had little baseballs painted on her nails.

If nothing else, she was always nice to look at.

“So what’s on your mind these days?” she asked.

“Short fiction.”

“Ah, the next Experimental Notebook.”

“I’ve run into a snag. I finished a micro-fiction piece this week that I really like. I like it so much that I think it deserves a second story.”

“I’ve kept track of the ideas I’ve sent your way. Which one is it?”

“I called it The Enhanced League. It’s science fiction about a future baseball league. Do you think I could pull off a second story in that environment?”

She turned toward me and batted her eyes. I realized I ‘d been played. The outfit, the cap, even the sneakers. “Why stop there?”

“Come again?”

“Why stop at two stories?”

“I don’t know, because a cluster of them doesn’t seem right for a collection.”

“Why not?”

“Experimental Notebook covers a broad spectrum. It’s all about my experimenting with new things, and sharing them. It would almost have to be its own collection of stories.”

“Uh huh.”

“Are you saying I should write a book of stories about The Enhanced League?”

“Why not?”

“Why not! Because I’m neck deep into other projects. There’s The Yak Guy and I’m not going to rush him. Then there is the next Experimental Notebook, and I’d like to do Macabre Macaroni on my blog again in October.”

“So do them.”

“And just shoehorn in The Enhanced League in my spare time?”

“No. Pull the story about the damaged pitcher and put it in a different file. Start making a list for that book.”

“It would be fun to have one about umpires, sportscasters, various teams, and players. I could explore the long term effects of performance enhancing drugs and computers calling pitches. Maybe change the whole game in small degrees like metal bats. Change the leagues to North and South, instead of East, Central, and West.”

“That’s my writer. You’re starting to get inspired.”

“I could cover an entire season by skipping from event to event. Then the book tells an overall story too. Baseball is full of triumph and tragedy, so it makes a good environment–”

“Don’t miss your turn.”

“Oh yeah.” I pulled into the parking lot. “Did you need me to drop you anywhere specific?”

“No, this is fine.” She reached over and kissed my cheek.

“What’s that for?”

“You’ve just been kissed by a Muse. It’s kind of traditional. Have a nice day at work.” She got out and headed toward the back of the truck. I looked in my mirror, because Lorelei is always attractive. She had simply disappeared.

*Lorelei is a genuine Greek Muse, my Muse. She’s been with me since before I started blogging, and keeps me pretty busy. My commute is where she does some of her best work.


Filed under Muse