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Archive for July 19th, 2008

I have a confession to make.

I’m behind my own personal writing gun and feeling a bit overwhelmed with an itchy trigger finger.

When I first started this here blog, my intention was to feature links to my weekly work while starting to detail the process of starting to write a book (or manuscript I should say). I called it my “standing resume”, always hoping to maybe draw the eye of a future employer. But a funny thing happened on the way to blogville.

It became blog city…..the busyness, the noise, the hustle and bustle.

So since I’m a country boy at heart – although I do love the city – being born and raised in Nebraska by way of Corvallis, Oregon – Beemer, Nebraska – Portland, Oregon – New York City – and now back to Portland,  it’s time I returned to my rural roots.

Time to get back by taking a step back.

Having said that, it was a busy week at HOOPSWORLD and also on the baseball/research/writing front. With NBA summer league in full-swing, deadlines have been crazy. The rest of my week was filled with a story on Blazers General Manager Kevin Pritchard who shared his insights on summer league, and with no surprise Pritchard finds the heart of this youngfella training period in Las Vegas is as much about the people as the product on the floor. Having come to know Kevin over the past three years those words weren’t a shocker. That’s Kevin. He’s people first.

But while covering basketball has smothered my writing time of late, my heart continues to drift to baseball. My featured story on Satchel Paige’s stint with the 1961 Portland Beavers at the age of 55, which was to run in the Northwest Examiner (along with a sidebar on William “Skinnylegs” Blair, who barnstormed in the Negro leagues back in the mid-to-late ‘40’s) this month got pushed back to next month. Guess you could call it a brushback pitch. It happens. I’ve worn an editors hat before. So as I wait to see that story/stories in print, I’m plugging back into my project on the 1946 West Coast Baseball Association.

Having conducted three interviews – two with former players who are both in their late 80’s, and one with the wife of a former player who has a heart of gold and priceless memories to share from that era – and edited while adding some additional research materials along the way, the manuscript has reached 23,000 words and sits at 47 pages. It’s far from over. But that’s a good chunk.

I imagine that number is more than double once in book print form.

The beat goes on.

The trick is balancing family life, taking care of my little one, fulfilling my responsibilities to HOOPSWORLD, while chasing the dream of writing this book, all in one day. It can be done. I’ve been doing it. Aside from my faith and family, publishing this book – telling the story of these incredible men and Negro league baseball players at the time Jackie Robison broke the color barrier – is my everything right now.

I have to remind myself of that when I get overwhelmed by life and writing.

This is bigger than me.

Consider this my reminder.

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