Writing is a solitary act — of course — but today, I had the chance to step away from pitching, writing, and the desk to be a part of a community of writers. At the Elysian Valley Recreational Center, Black Clock, Slake, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rattling Wall, and Red Hen Press participated in one hell of a softball tournament. Slake and LARB ended up joining forces to engineer a super team more epic than the current Lakers’ Big 4 and, somewhat unfairly, take the LA Litball Crown, which was not actually a crown, or anything at all.
I helped organize the event, and honestly, I was a bit nervous about the turnout because of the heat. But all my worries dissolved when I arrived at the field thirty minutes early and saw Red Hen Press already practicing in their fresh uniforms. Plus, my buddy, David Gonzalez from Miami, showed up in some boat shoes and umped the game.
There were so many memorable moments. Eric from Red Hen Press smashed a homer up the power alley. It was a bomb and landed in someone’s yard. A Pit Bull popped out behind the fence, and no one was going after that ball. Then there was Joe Donnelly at short stop. He tracked down a pop fly, climbed the fence, and screamed “I’m 49” as he threw the ball back towards the pitcher. And finally, the match between Black Clock and The Rattling Wall kept us on the edge of our seats. Eventually, Black Clock won 11 to 10.
But most of all, I loved seeing everybody around the picnic tables, scarfing down some food from the pot luck, and hanging out. Maybe I’m a sucker, but I think part of being a writer, the part that keeps us sane, is having a hell of a community. And it must make the writing sweeter, too. Could you imagine hanging out with the Beats at City Lights or eating breakfast at a diner with Denis Johnson and Raymond Carver, right before they dashed out of the door?
Well, playing softball isn’t anything close to hanging out at the White-Horse Tavern or living in Paris during the 20s, but it was an amazing time anyway. And as I begin this writing journey, it was helpful to talk to writers who are successful or trying to make it and everything in between.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post. I received a very exciting e-mail from an agent in regards to my novel. Might need some opinions. Thanks for reading my blog.