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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Wherever I Wind Up

I loved this interview with Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey about his new memoir, Wherever I Wind Up. Dickey has survived an incredible life – a dismal family life, sexual abuse, and a depressing tour through the minor leagues – and he’s fascinating to listen to. His story about surviving a near death experience inspired me because it changed his entire outlook in life and propelled him to succeed professionally. He talks about the challenges of learning to throw a knuckleball, how it impacts his catchers and why umpires might give him the benefit of the doubt when calling strikes. Dickey is currently the only professional knuckleball pitcher in the major leagues, and he hopes that others will follow in his footsteps. That’s the great baseball nerd stuff… the life stuff is even more interesting.

Side view of a knuckleball grip.

Side view of a knuckleball grip. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For Dickey, learning to throw this tricky pitch was a survival choice, the difference between a baseball career and the end of his dreams. He’s had a lot of practice with survival, starting with a childhood that included abandonment by his father, neglect by his alcoholic mother, molestation from a female babysitter, and rape by a teenage male. In our tough guy culture, few men talk openly about their struggles and their experience seeking therapy but Dickey’s conversation with Dave Davies sounded engaging and honest.

Dickey credits therapy for making him a better human being and living more authentically, thus improving his professional performance as well.

I can’t wait to read this book.

Same Blog, New Address

http://dancingbackwardsinheels.wordpress.com/

just moved here…

I’ve still got a few details to work out but I hope you’ll follow me at my new home. The reason for the move was merely to make my life easier; at one point I thought I’d curate several blogs with different themes but I’ve discovered I’d rather keep all my navel-gazing in one place.

April Fool’s Quest

April is National Poetry Month and while there is certainly plenty of poetry in the world, many poets celebrate this occasion by writing more. Daily poem writing challenges abound, offering prompts and forums for poets to share their work. Two good ones are NaPoWriMo.net and Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic Asides, a Writer’s Digest blog. I’m planning to write daily, but I may alternate between the sites depending on my whims… and how hard the prompts are! Whatever I do I’ll share a draft here, and draft is a key word because there’s no way to promise perfection and quantity. Even so, I welcome your comments about what works for you or doesn’t. And I promise to cheer you on when you commit to doing something crazy for 30 days.

This one came from Poetic Asides, and it’s already changed twice since I posted my initial response.

For today’s prompt, write a communication poem. The communication could be dialogue between two (or more people); a postcard correspondence; a letter; a voicemail; a text message; a series of tweets; or whatever. Heck, I guess a poem is a form of communication–so there’s really no way to screw up today’s prompt (outside of writing nothing at all). Let’s get this party started!

Missing the Note

listening but not hearing
as the cantor sings, our choir swings
standing with the sopranos
striving to make the perfect sound
my ears fill, my nose twitches,
and right before we start the descant
I sneeze.

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