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Nearing the end of the semester...

It's That Time!

Tomorrow, pitchers and catchers report to Lakeland, FL. It's Spring Training time everyone. Today I hung my new Tiger flag out on the porch. My flag of the last three years was wonderful, it had the old Tiger logo on it, but sadly it's original beautiful orange color has faded badly. I just couldn't have a pastel Tiger flag hanging outside my door. It simply would not be right. The new flag is a giant Tiger "D" on a navy blue field, with a bright orange border. It's pretty spiff.

 

We bought the old flag from a shop on Brush Street in Detroit, after having seen it in the window on the way over to the ballpark one night. After the game, we stopped in and snatched it up. I'm thinking about what I can make out of it, and the one it replaced, too. Some kind of outdoor cushion perhaps? I'll come up with something.

 

It's also time for ramping up promotions for the baseball book. Last week I spoke to the High Country Writers group over in Boone. It was great fun. I wore my new Tiger "D" shoes, and sold a few books, too. Next week I'll be meeting up with contributor Caroline Kane Kenna in Charlotte to go over the April event we're planning for the Charlotte Writers Club North. And there's more to come.

 

So, it's OK to start dreaming about the green, green ball fields now my friends. Tomorrow pitchers and catchers report.

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Talking Love and Craft with Brendan

What fun! Wednesday morning I had a great talk with The Creative Nonfiction Podcast guy, Brendan O'Meara. He puts together podcast conversations with writers about craft and their passions and their favorite books and just everything words.

Click on the link to the left of this column to hear the podcast that I'm on. All of my writer friends should definitely be subscribers!

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Talking with my man, DG Martin

Listen to my talk with DG Martin on his Chapel Hill radio station show!

http://chapelboro.com/wchl/weekend-shows/whos-talking/october-14-2017-6
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Having a Wonderful Time!

I am having a wonderful time with the baseball book -- seeing friends, going to great bookstores, getting great pictures taken. What could be more fun? I get to go to great bookstores like Scuppernong in Greensboro and yak with baseball fans. I get to talk with friends on the radio like D.G.Martin (I'll post the link from his Chapel Hill radio station soon), and next week I'll be in DC seeing friends and signing books at Mike Fraioli and Carol Eickert's house. YAY!  Read More 
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Events coming up

Here's the events coming soon, friends!

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 -- Pittsburgh Release Party. City Books, Northside, 908 Galveston, Pittsburgh, PA. Time is TBA. Join Editor Diana Nelson Jones and Pittsburgh area contributors.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 -- Olivet College, Homecoming Saturday, 12 noon - 2:00 p.m. Klock Commons. Editor Chris Arvidson will be there to sign and sell books.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7 -- Scuppernong Books and Cafe, Greensboro, NC. 3-5:00 p.m. It's a wonderful downtown bookshop. Join Editor Chris Arvidson and area contributors for a reading and signing.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21 -- Home of Carol Eickert & Michael Fraioli, Chevy Chase, MD. 2-5:00 p.m. RSVP to Chris Arvidson (chrisarvidson.com). Books, food and fun with area contributors. Read More 
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Lots Already Going On!

We've already got some great book signing and reading events set up for The Love of Baseball. Here they are so far:

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 7 -- the big local premiere! 5-7:00 p.m. at the Ashe County Arts Council. Reading, signing, wine and snacks -- don't miss it!

NEW! Saturday, September 16 - 6:30 p.m. EST -- I will be on KNBR in the Bay Area, the flagship station for the San Francisco Giants. (KNBR.com)

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 -- Pittsburgh Release Party. City Books, Northside, 908 Galveston, Pittsburgh, PA. Time is TBA. Join Editor Diana Nelson Jones and Pittsburgh area contributors.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 -- Olivet College, Homecoming Saturday, 12 noon - 2:00 p.m. Klock Commons. Editor Chris Arvidson will be there to sign and sell books.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7 -- Scuppernong Books and Cafe, Greensboro, NC. 3-5:00 p.m. It's a wonderful downtown bookshop. Join Editor Chris Arvidson and area contributors for a reading and signing.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21 -- Home of Carol Eickert & Michael Fraioli, Chevy Chase, MD. 2-5:00 p.m. RSVP to Chris Arvidson (chrisarvidson.com). Books, food and fun with area contributors. Read More 
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Earlier than Expected - Looks Gorgeous!

It's here, it's here! I got home from a meeting on Thursday and there were books on my front porch! I wasn't expecting them until mid-September, so now I'm off on a tear to get readings/signings scheduled. If you preordered the book from the publisher (see the link on the right) you can expect to see it momentarily on your own doorstep. Amazon still has a mid-September date on their site, but I expect that will be changing soon.

Buckle in, friends. "The Love of Baseball" is here! Read More 
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We have TITLE! We have COVER!

We have a gorgeous cover for the upcoming baseball book, friends. And the title I LOVE, especially with the image of a baseball in the letters.

We're looking at a $19.99 cover price, which is excellent. And a sometime this fall publish date.

Now the fun can begin in earnest. I'll be talking to bookstores in select baseball towns, since we've so many contributors from so many places.

I'm so excited! Read More 
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Done. For Now. Yay!

On Tuesday this week I turned in the baseball anthology that Diana Nelson Jones and I have been working on for the last year. (I should like it to be noted that it was delivered one day ahead of schedule.) And then I promptly went down with a heinous cold/flu crap and lay around in bed and on the couch for the next couple of days. But I'm back in the saddle again and looking forward to sharing news of the book with everyone as we work through the publishing process.

Once we have a title from the publisher (McFarland & Company), I'll set up a separate book website, but for now, I'll keep everyone posted here on my own blog page. And, to get you ready to be excited, here's just a small, tiny, smidgen, of what you'll be able to see in the coming 8-10 months or so. Hope it makes you want to get the book!

EXCERPT from the essay "Nothing Else Like It"

The regular season powered to a close and the Tigers continued their record-breaking ways. Things were also heating up at work -- big elections, late nights, crazy times. But the Tigers were never off my mind. In mid-September, with the pennant clinched, I was anticipating the World Series. I thought “Oh my god. It is really going to happen.”

And remember, in 1984, you couldn’t just flip a cable channel on or subscribe to MLB TV. You had to do this thing called reading the box scores in newspapers the next day. Maybe sometimes, if you got lucky and the wind and atmosphere were right, you could pick up a late night few minutes of Ernie Harwell on AM radio from WJR in Detroit. I was looking forward to seeing my Tigers on television for the World Series.

Then the unthinkable happened. A few days before the series was to begin my boss gave me some potentially thrilling news. Our chairman would, naturally, have access to World Series tickets. And while the California tickets would be quickly dispersed since that was his home state, there might, possibly, small chance, be a possibility that there wouldn’t be enough “important people” who wanted to go to Detroit, and if that might, possibly, small chance did in fact happen, I, Chris Arvidson, would get the tickets.

But I still had problems to fix -- I needed to see if I could get myself, last minute, to Detroit on my own. The game tickets were free, but not the plane, and I wouldn’t know if I had the tickets until the day before. Did I want to take dibs on this maybe, possibly, small chance deal? Oh hell yes.
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On Baseball Love

Here is the piece I read at Night of the Spoken Word here at the Ashe County Arts Center. Keep in mind when you're reading that it was written to be READ, and so excuse quirks of punctuation and grammar designed to help me in the performance. The truth is that by the time I finished writing this essay, I had to spend most of my editing and "tarting up" time cutting it, so it would fit into my 5-minute time limit. It seems I have a lot to say on this topic. And yes, I did wear my Tiger jersey to the event, the home jersey, the one with "Sparky" patch on the sleeve.

On Baseball Love

A few weeks ago, a friend asked me “Why do you love baseball so much?” Now, a lot of times people ask me a version of this question in a kind of snooty way. What they’re really saying is: “Really, baseball is so boring.” Or “Oh, baseball, that appeals to the tobacco-chewing sort, right?” But his was a serious question. He was honestly trying to figure it out.

So I’ve been thinking a lot about how to answer this baseball love question… I talked to one of my baseball-loving friends about it. He told me he always reminds his snobby writer friends of all the truly great writing about baseball. Ah ha. He was on to something there…  Read More 
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