Friday, April 30, 2010

My Week (and welcome to it)

Fun and interesting week. Went to my first game at Tropicana Field on Tuesday night and saw the best-in-baseball Tampa Bay Rays beat the best-in-the-west Oakland Athletics 8-6 in a terrifically exciting and back and forth game. The win made the Rays 15-5 overall, the best start in baseball since the 2003 Yankees.

Of course, problem is, I was one of only 10,800 or so who saw the game in the mostly empty Trop. The newspapers had a field day with the low attendance, ammunition to move the team from St. Pete to Tampa or frankly, anywhere else.

So, I decided on the spur of the moment to go to the next night's game (it's in walking distance and tickets are cheap) and saw the best-in-baseball Rays defeat the Athletics again to go 16-5, the most wins of any Rays team in their history and . . . there were even fewer people at this game, a mere 10,691, the lowest attendance of the season.

Didn't go last night, but the Rays beat the Royals 11-1 to go 17-5, and the paper reported a slight uptick in attendance, to around 12,500 or so. But still, I just don't get it.

Something truly special is happening here, they've got the cheapest seats in baseball, and though folks from Tampa whine about coming to St. Pete ("I have to go over a bridge!") the Trop is not that bad a stadium, nor is it hard to get in and out of.

Beginning to think that St. Pete (if not Tampa Bay) just can't support a major league baseball team.

In other news, St. Pete was the focus of the political world last night, as Governor Charlie Crist announced here in St. Pete that he would switch from Republican to Independent and continue his senate run (he was getting trounced in the Republican primary by tea party hero Marco Rubio). He made his announcement in a park about two blocks away (he's a native of St. Pete) so I walked down and took it all in.

In writing news, work continues on the pirate thing, though I hit some troublesome plot snags which slowed things down a bit. Thing is (and it's easy to say, harder to do) that you've got to just keep writing, even when you know its crap, or the coincidence you just inserted makes no sense, or whatever. It's too easy to give up and leave something half-finished, as I've already done once with this thing.

At any rate, just shy of the 40,000 word barrier which leaves me probably at about the halfway point. All downhill from here, right?

I figure the first draft of this will be done by the end of May, and after that I'll let it percolate a bit before sending out a few copies to friends and family to hear what they have to say. Not looking forward to the query process at all, but I'm gonna exhaust every traditional route I can with this. Think it may be unique or offbeat enough to garner somebody's interest. Time will tell.

Interesting to see seventy-four people have downloaded my free short story "Telegraph Hill" from SmashWords. If you have any interest, you can grab a copy here.

I've mentioned before it was simply gathering dust on my hard drive (not to mention, the pop culture it references is probably already a little stale). But I love the main character, a clueless gumshoe named Dick Londergan.

Like him so much, in fact, that a few years ago I got 6,000 words or so into a novel about him before concluding that I suck and abandoning it. But that's what I'm gonna move onto after I've finished this one. Maybe parlay the free story into folks shelling out, you know, actual cash for the new one.

Nah. Never happen. (:>)

In conclusion, here's today's totally draft and probably senseless excerpt of what I'm working on:

Chris was surprised to see there were so many of them. Seventeen or eighteen, at least. Maybe twenty. He'd personally only shepherded a dozen or so out of the sand, or water, or wherever the hell it was they had all come from, so a few must have had to fend for themselves. Or maybe, the others had helped them make the transition.

However it happened, most looked as if they still wore clothes from the donation bin, but it also appeared as though some of them had gone back and chosen something more . . . appropriate. To Chris, their outfits now looked less ridiculous somehow. More threatening.

Of course, they could all be wearing clown noses and floppy shoes and what was going on in this room would still look threatening.

The Captain was standing on a wooden chair in the center of the room, surrounded by his formerly loyal crew. His hands were bound behind his back. Sykes was the only other man standing. He had turned around when Chris entered the room, and his leg was still lifted off the ground, frozen in that moment of time just before he was about to kick the chair out from beneath the Captain's legs.

One end of the noose was tied securely around a beam about ten feet off the ground. Its other end was tied around the Captain's neck.

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