Monday, March 24, 2008

Mr. E (Not Jose Offerman)

My mom and I are almost done writing our book, which will be out this summer. Details on the exact date to follow. It will be called Dirty Water: A Red Sox Mystery. (Click here to see my mom's back catalog.)

I've been down here in CT this weekend, working with her on finishing it up. It's cool to work together and get writing tips from a master. If you're ever gonna co-write something with someone, make sure you can get together in reality and not just over the internet or phone. That's my advice....

Something so incredible happened the other day. It was Wednesday, and I had put aside the whole day to work on the book, knowing I'd be meeting up with my mom this weekend. The main plot surrounds something very serious happening at Fenway Park. At one point, Remy and Orsillo have to announce the "serious" news on the air during a game. (Don't worry, I'm not giving anything away. I'd have to be really stupid to ruin my own book for you.) So, I get up on Wednesday thinking, I'll write all day, and the Red Sox game is on TV, but it's only spring training, so I can have it on mute. I can't let myself get caught up in it. Must write book. One of the things I'm writing is the scene I described above, from the point of view of the "blogger" character in our book. So that day I'm fine-tuning this fake blog entry about Don and Jerry being all serious and talking about non-baseball stuff. I even mention how "it's so weird" to hear them talking about "real" news instead of just the ballgame.

Then it gets close to game time and I do a quick internet check and see "Red Sox may boycott Japan trip." Then NESN comes on, and there are Don and Jerry, and what are they doing? Not talking about that day's meaningless game against the Blue Jays, but talking about this "real life" incident. And as the telecast goes on, with no players on the field and the game in jeopardy, they're throwing it down to the dugout for live reports on the "situation," even joking about how they always wanted to do something like this. Remy said he was hoping a storm would come up so he could say to the field reporter, "get inside, be safe now!"

So there I was, fixated on Remy and Orsillo dealing with a serious situation, when I was supposed to be writing a fictional story of what Remy and Orsillo would do were they forced to deal with a serious situation.

Usually, when I say "that's ironic," some smartass tells me why what I'm saying is not exactly ironic. But this is it, right? Come on.

Adding to the irony (or not), I got to learn what they're really like in that situation. So now I can put that stuff in the book. It's now a precedented situation. You can't say "they'd never say that...."

I'd also like to point out that our book is a story of an alternate universe 2007. Not the real 2007. Everything that happens could have happened in 2007. So when you read the book, don't think, Hey, the Red Sox didn't play that team after that team! Believe me, I am going over everything so closely and making sure that it all could have happened the way we have it happening. Like, the gates are gonna open at the right time and the players will wear white at home and gray on the road, but if we need to have the team have a day off on a day when they didn't *really* have one, to make our storyline work, we are at liberty to do so. But we wouldn't have the team have two scheduled days off in a row or bat first at home because that wouldn't happen in baseball.

But it's still fiction. We can have Dice-K pitch a no-hitter in 2007 in this book just like we can have a tornado interrupt a game if we wanted to. It's all stuff that could happen.

It's like when Gary Larson drew the cartoon of the female mosquito and the male mosquito having a conversation after the male got home from "work," biting people all day. He got scores of letters saying, "Your cartoon is wrong, the female mosquito does the biting, not the male!" Larson noted the fact that these mosquitos wore clothes and spoke English was perfectly fine with these people.

However, if you are "that type" of person, and you need to vent about all the things you find in our book that don't go exactly like they did in the real 2007, go ahead and email me. I am one of your kind and I can sympathize. But remember, if you're gonna be mad over the Red Sox schedule being a little off, you have to be equally mad at the dead body that wasn't really there either. And really, why are you getting mad at the plot of a mystery book?

Last day to get into the Manny contest! The winner gets a signed copy of our book. One day and five hours til Opening Pitch!

I'm really psyched for you about this.
My dad was involved in writing a book about his experiences in World War II. He was not even the author of the book, but was given major credit as a contributor and collaborator. (gratuitous plug - "A Mighty Fortress" by Chuck Ailing).
Still, the feeling of holding that book in your hands, an actual published product that you have written, well I can't imagine. I know how special how it was for me, and that wasn't even mine. It was just one that my dad only helped on.
Of course, it sounds like this is old hat for your mom, so you might not get quite as giddy, but enjoy it! Most of us will never know the feeling.
Shoot, Jere, I didn't know your book with your mom was going to be a mystery! I'm working on a mystery right now, too - work was kind enough to lay me off to really get to work on it, too. Can't wait to read the Sox mystery.
I'm gonna want to get a signed copy even if I don't end up winning the Manny contest.
Sosock, thanks. It will be awesome to have my name on an actual book. (Even though my mom's pre-existing fame made this one all possible. The first one I get published on my own will be really sweet.)

Jeremiah, nice job on the layoff. Now you get to the real work... good luck with yours.

AJM: sure thing.
Sosock, thanks. It will be awesome to have my name on an actual book. (Even though my mom's pre-existing fame made this one all possible. The first one I get published on my own will be really sweet.)

Jeremiah, nice job on the layoff. Now you get to the real work... good luck with yours.

AJM: sure thing.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States