Thursday, April 5, 2012

Work in Progress: Play Ball! My Baseball Story Is Reprinted

In honor of Opening Day (that’s baseball-speak, for any non-sports fans), I’m pleased to announce that my short story “What We All Want” is included in the new, expanded edition of Baseball’s Best Short Stories, edited by Paul D. Staudohar.

I know that when people write or say “not to brag,” they immediately start bragging, but not to brag…this book includes stories by some real heavy-hitters:

--P.G. Wodehouse
--Ring Lardner
--T.C. Boyle
--Michael Chabon
--James Thurber
--Tobias Wolff
--Robert Penn Warren

And me!

Here’s the beginning of my story:

“We came here because of Fernando. Everyone knew what had happened to Fernando Valenzuela, how he’d pitched for the L.A. Dodgers in the 1980s until his wondrous arm collapsed.  Then he disappeared.  Several years later a scout from the Baltimore Orioles found him pitching here in Mexico, striking out batters like it was as easy as drinking water.  Want to try it again? the scout asked him.  He did.  The arm was back.  In ’93 he was a starting pitcher for the Orioles.

“If it could happen to Fernando…I sat in the stands and watched them each think it.  Luis Torres, Manual Ramirez, all the rest, and especially my husband, Lee.  During batting practice, during warm-ups, during a game, the words rose from the dusty field:  Then it could happen to me.

“Why not? In baseball it’s a way of life, not a question.”

As a secret insider note on the writing process, I remember that when I wrote this story, I was stuck on how to end it…so I took my own advice I often give my classes and tried to think of the least expected way the story might end, and that took me to the only possible ending, IMHO.

Read more about the book here and on Amazon.


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.