credit – jpmath
It’s September and the Baltimore Orioles matter.
I’ll admit it. It’s true. I’m a new fan. I wasn’t there for the last 15 years, keeping my head held high while another season fell away, many times miserably. No, I wasn’t among those Baltimore fans who never lost hope, because I never had any to begin with. I wasn’t a fan of the Orioles, but I wasn’t a fan of anybody. I didn’t watch baseball. I didn’t care about baseball. Heck, I didn’t care about sports.
Now, to be clear, I’ve always enjoyed a night out at the ballpark. But it was for the atmosphere, the crowds, the cheering and oh most certainly for the hotdogs. Before this season I’d been to six O’s games in my 8 years in Baltimore, and in all but 1 of those games they lost. But it was a great time anyway.
But then something happened. Two years ago, my friend Peter introduced me to football. It took one season of watching the Baltimore Ravens for me to realize just what I had been missing. The thrill! The disappointment! The close calls! The living room exploding in cheers when Flacco throws that perfect ball to Boldin. What’s this? Watching sports is fun!
So, after that devastating moment when the city watched our Super Bowl hopes fly wide left, I found myself craving more sports. I figured, let’s see if I can get this amped up about baseball.
Boy did I pick the perfect season to do that. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve startled Nathalie because I’ve leaped out of my seat cheering. I’ve watched Manny Machado’s third base fake throw to first highlight video at least twenty times. I find myself looking forward to every game, and have been all season. Never before did I see myself having baseball on the tv every night, and missing it on their off days.
Well, they’ve just swept the Mariners to stay tied with the Yankees. Every game counts here. Every inning matters.
This Is Birdland, and I’m proud to say that I’m a fan.
Doctor Who: the show about a lonely time traveling alien who’s body changes every few seasons and takes young ladies on galaxy spanning adventures through time and space! I’ve been wanting to watch this show for a long time, and every time I went onto Netflix to begin, I’d see the gigantic catalog of episodes and feel overwhelmed. How was I going to possibly catch up on this show? I wanted to know what it was all about! I wanted in on the awesomeness that is Doctor Who.
Well, in a recent blog post, author Joe Hill did people like me a huge favor. He listed his “Joe’s Guaranteed Good-Time 10-Best”.
I saw this post and decided to finally take the plunge into the blue police box. How could I not? A show I’ve been putting off watching for far too long, and a list of top ten from an author who I greatly admire? It’s win-win!
I’ve made it through 7 of the listed 10 so far and I am in heaven. The show has witty writing, engaging plots, lovable characters, and a great blend of sci-fi and horror all at once. Above all, what I’ve discovered from Joe Hill’s list is that this show has heart.
There’s more to The Doctor than crazy adventures and saving the earth or time itself. At the core he’s a lonely man, the last of his kind, who’s just doing what he was born to do, he’s a Time Lord after all. But, despite how unwilling he is to discuss it, he’s lonely and his situation is dreadfully tragic. I’ll admit, I’ve teared up at least once in each of those top ten (but then again, maybe that’s why they were in his top ten).
His tragic nature is explored really well in the two-parter Human Nature & The Family of Blood (oh, and Harry Lloyd is in these episodes too!). For new comers like myself I wont spoil anything, but the climax showcases both the acting chops of David Tennant and really hammers home the conflict that must rage inside of the Doctor in every episode.
I’m excited to finish off Joe Hill’s list of ten, and then start cruising through all the episodes in between. I’ve got a lot to see.
There’s a fabulous collection of short stories out in the wild now called Shadow Show, edited by Sam Weller and Mort Castle. Several authors were invited to write stories inspired by Ray Bradbury, as well as share a bit about their own experiences with the man himself and his work. The result is one unbelievable story after another. Each story has a unique beating heart, simple yet powerful prose, and calls up that weird little feeling one gets when sitting down to enjoy a Bradbury classic.
Three of the many stories I enjoyed in this collection are:
The Girl in the Funeral Parlor – Sam Weller
By The Silver Water of Lake Champlain – Joe Hill
The Phone Call – John McNally
If you love short fiction, or love the work of Ray Bradbury, pick up a copy of this collection.
I’ve been submitting short fiction regularly, but am still working toward my first published piece. (Which will be exciting, as it will be the first work of fiction I link to on this site). I’m proud of where the work is, but am not unaware of where it’s falling short. The challenge is exciting, and I’ve made some great progress towards where I’d like my writing to go.
I’m in the process of finishing the third draft of my newest short story. It’s in the hands of a few readers, as well as under the microscope of my wife. She’s brutal, but in the best possible way. The story has really taken off in the 2nd and 3rd drafts, thanks to her honest notes, and backbreaking editing. This is the first new story I’ve written that’s made me this confident, and I can’t wait to add it to my growing list of “Submitted Stories.”