Sunday, September 30, 2007

How Many Innings?

For some reason known only to the force of sheer cussedness in the universe that some people think of foolishly as "inspiration," a character in a book of mine currently on the great playing field called revision, decided to play baseball. In 1935. No, 1937. No, I'm not that old. It's when the story in the book takes place. When I started writing it, I didn't know the first thing about baseball. But she's playing, and I'm still revising, and learning, slowly and laboriously.

For some other reason I can't quite fathom, when people learn about my ignorance of the sport they say, "Ah, you must know all about cricket, then." Er-no. Yes, I know. I'm a disgrace to the countries of my birth and residence. The truth is, I was a blissfully unsporty kid and have grown into a sports-ignorant adult. This was never a problem, until this book came along. But here, for the record, is Justine Larbalestier who does know a duck from a tailender. And is the author of the Magic or Madness trilogy, all three books now available in the US.

So--two innings or nine? Take your pick, but don't expect answers from me. I'm only the writer, and in those baseball scenes, I'm in the outfield, running as hard as I can.


  1. How refreshing to read that you don't like baseball or cricket! I hate both with a passion, so I too am a disgrace to the countries of my birth and residence. I was a miserably unsporty child, and resented the notion that a person had to enjoy and appreciate baseball to be American.

    I've always loved the novels and short stories of Bernard Malamud, who wrote The Natural, which, as you probably know, has a great deal to do with baseball. I tried to read this, given that it was written by Malamud, but the baseball just ruined it for me.

  2. Mary how funny. I don't hate baseball and cricket (or football, or any other spectator sport). I'm just not particularly interested in them. Which is why I was quite surprised when this character showed up in my story. I kept trying to make her do other things but nothing else worked. I must confess that I read The Natural only recently, as part of my campaign to make my mind focus on baseball. It's been work, I'll tell you.