On Saturday, I awoke late in the morning and thought about getting up, but I didn’t. And when the drill sergeant in the head began shouting orders at me, I said, “Would you please just shut the f*ck up. It’s Labor Day weekend. (Or Labour Day weekend, if you use the UK spelling.) Even writers deserve a break, right?”
So, I just laid there and drifted off. Then I woke up again, but I still didn’t get up. And two cats came in and laid down on the bed — one on each side of me — so I was pinned under the blanket and couldn’t move. And the cats began purring. The purring was mesmerizing. I went into a trance at that point. Time crawled by. Suddenly, it was afternoon.
Then, I said to myself, “Hey, lazybones. You’re going to a baseball game tonight. You have to get up at some point, okay?”
With a sigh, I shoved the covers aside (annoying the cats, no doubt), hoisted myself out of bed, trudged downstairs and finally ate breakfast (waffles, OJ and cappuccino). Have I mentioned that breakfast is my favorite meal? I could eat breakfast anytime of the day. I could have breakfast for lunch or dinner. Or every hour for that matter.
Oh, then I ate some leftover salad, so breakfast ended up becoming brunch, which is just as good, if not better.
Then, I spent time looking at the hummingbirds, which I think I’ve mentioned is a favorite pastime in a previous post.
Did you know that hummingbirds are the most amazing creatures? They’re tiny little birds, but they’re sturdy and quite resourceful. Their migration routes take them very far and they go quite fast. They need lots of food and expend lots of energy all the time. So, they need to stay well fed in order to survive every day and during the long migration trip. You can read more about that here, if you like. In my part of the world, we see a lot of ruby-throated hummingbirds. And they’re awesome.
So … I took a shower. And we went to the baseball game, which was between the Washington Nationals (or Nats, for short) and the New York Mets. Now, I was suffering from a case of divided loyalties this whole time.
You have to understand that I’m from Queens, NY. I remember when the Mets were the, um, stinkiest team in all of baseball. And the Yankees were the biggest and bestest around. When I was a kid, I had a Mets crying towel and I was ALWAYS on their side. And I swore that I would always, always, ALWAYS be on their side. Because I believe in loyalty.
So … now I’ve been living in the DC (well, Baltimore-DC) area for … forever. Hey, who’s counting, right? And the Nats are also an underdog team and DC is kind of like my new hometown, so they deserve my support, don’t they? Ack! Baseball ethics dilemma!!! :-O
In any case, we drove to the park and met up with our friends, a lawyer I used to work with at EPA and her husband. It was so awesome to see them.
But first, I should tell you that when we got there, we saw Johnny Holliday (a local radio broadcaster, who’s been around forever). We walked by the broadcasting booth and Johnny stepped out from behind the barricade and greeted some people that he obviously knew. And it took every bit of restraint on my part to keep from rushing over to him and grabbing his hand and saying, “Hi. My name is Debbi Mack. I’m a local mystery author. I write a series set right here in the DC area. I’m a self-published author, and my books have become Kindle bestsellers both here and in the UK. Oh, and BTW, I’m also a New York Times bestselling author. And I did all that without a publisher.
Plus I’m sort of a gimp. How about that?”
But I figured that would be so wrong. So, I just kept walking.
Then, we met our friends and bought sausages from Senator Sausages to eat. And, man, they were the best! Italian sausages smothered in fried onions and sweet peppers on a bun! Yum! Let me tell you, that beat the living hell out of Ben’s Chili Bowl. (Sorry, George Pelecanos, but it’s true! I’ll argue that one, until I’m blue in the face. And I think Marissa Payne at The Anti DC would agree, am I right?)
So, after we got to our seats, I explained my baseball ethics dilemma to my friend. I mentioned that both teams had struggled a bit at various times during the season, and she said, “Well, so they’re about even then. Who won last night?” And I said, “The Mets.” And she said, “Then the Nats deserve to win tonight. To even it up.” And I said, “Yeah! Thank you, counselor. That’s an excellent point. Baseball karma absolutely demands that the Nats win this one!”
We had kind of a laugh about that, but I felt better about rooting for the Nats. Really!
Have I mentioned that I really like baseball? Baseball is a lot like life or writing. I think the most important part is to keep showing up. You can’t always expect to hit one out of the park. But, in fact, miracles do happen sometimes. And, in this game, our pitcher did hit one out of the park! It’s rare, but it does happen. And it got the crowd on its feet in the most awesome way!
But then, slowly but surely, the Mets began scoring. And, the next thing I knew, the Nats were trailing. Although I couldn’t say exactly how or when things happened. You see, I used to score each game on a scoresheet, meticulously. Now, I just sit and watch the game. And gaze out at the crowd. Listen to them murmur. Feel the warm summer air. Look at the field and be amazed at how green it is. Enjoy every minute of life. Because that’s what counts in the grand scheme.
Anyhow, the Nats were trailing. But you should never say die. Especially when baseball karma demands that a certain team get a win. And they show a motivational video on the JumboTron that includes this scene from a popular movie:
I did mention that success is about showing up, right? Because sometimes, to win the game, all it takes is a single …
The Nats went on to win! And baseball karma was as it should be. All was well.
Then on Sunday, I caught up with all the tweets I missed from being offline for an entire day, and learned the most AWESOME thing ever! You know how I donated a bunch of copies of IDENTITY CRISIS to the Essex County library system in England? Well, my contact Paul Downie tells me that the Brentwood Library is ordering LEAST WANTED (or LEAST WANTED in the UK) for their collection!!! OMG! A library in England is ordering a PRINT copy of my book! This is SO awesome, I could just die! Thank you, Paul, for helping me make this whole thing possible.
Hmm … did I just bury the lead? I suppose that depends on how you look at it in the grand scheme of things.
FWIW, on Sunday evening, I enjoyed a dessert of two red velvet cupcakes, while watching one of the greatest spy shows EVER with one of the GREATEST actors EVER.
PS: While I was at the game, I updated my friend on everything that had happened over the past year, since I hadn’t seen her since last summer. She didn’t know about the Kindle Top 100 or the New York Times list or anything. She was pretty blown away. But then I told her about my latest project, the YA novel, and how I heard this kid’s voice just talking to me one day, so I wrote it down. I hadn’t even planned on writing a YA. The voice and the idea just came out of left field (baseball again! ha ha!). Then, I started thinking about it, and a story began to suggest itself. My friend seemed to be most impressed. She said, “That’s really significant. You have to write that story. That’s your muse talking to you.”
And I just laughed, because I’ve never believed much in muses. I’ve always thought writing was a matter of sitting your ass down in a chair and applying your fingers to the keyboard and getting to freaking work on a regular basis until you get the job done.
And I said, “My muse, huh?” And she said, “Yeah. It means you’re a real writer.”
Wow! A real writer. And here I thought I already was …