It’s been a busy couple of months, as I’ve been dealing with a heavy workload in teaching as well as my writing projects.
In the last couple of weeks, I put a couple of projects on hold – it just worked out that way because I’ve been waiting to hear back from some key people in those projects – so that I could devote more time on the 1992-93 Montreal Canadiens book.
I always knew the submission deadline was June 30th, but I’d put it off since sometime in March, thinking I had a lot of time left. Of course, days became weeks, and weeks became… well, mid-June. At that point, I got more serious and spent time re-reading, revising, adding more content, and finalizing various things (such as photos, the acknowledgment, introduction, and bibliography)… and, the word count was important too. I was also doing a lot of cutting.
By June 25th, I was done. That meant I had five days left before the deadline, but I chose to submit the manuscript then instead of tinkering with it any further for the last five days.
So, that part of it is done. As far as when the book will be launched, well, it won’t happen for months, so there is nothing more I can do at this point.
Yes, I know the timing is weird. When I wrote the 1988 Dodgers book, I did so between April 2017 and late October 2017, wanting it to be published by sometime in 2018. That one finally came out in August 2018 when I submitted the manuscript in November 2017 (after the World Series was completed, because I needed to wait until the outcome of the Dodgers-Astros series was determined as I needed to edit part of the book if Los Angeles won to break their World Series drought).
For this hockey book, it just took longer. Longer to write. Longer to research. Longer for everything. That’s part of life. That’s part of writing. But I’ll be very proud when this one comes out.
Now, time to work on the next projects – one of which will involve another championship team from the past.
Friday. I had a couple of things added to my itinerary last-minute. Well, sort of.
On Thursday afternoon, I was asked by my boss to go in on Friday morning and work some OT – some course planning that suddenly fell on my lap. I accepted.
I also received a text from Charles Harris, a former sports executive now teaching sports management courses at the university level in Southern California. I had previously reached out to him to see if he could be an interview subject for my next book. He texted me Thursday afternoon to set up a time for Friday at 9 a.m.
So, I used the local Blenz as my “home office” to call Mr. Harris – and then after that, I showed up for work. Turned out to be a long, exhausting Friday indeed. But – that’s the life of a writer. … well, a part-time writer anyway.
Just the other day, I was commenting on sportswriters from Toronto being unresponsive and unhelpful. Thankfully, not everybody is like that.
On Tuesday, I reached out to sportswriter and author Jeff Pearlman to see if he was interested in being interviewed for an upcoming book that I am writing, and Jeff was gracious enough to say he would definitely help out. Hopefully, we will be speaking in the coming weeks.
As for Wednesday, well, I had a call set up with Darryl Dunn, the CEO/GM of the Rose Bowl Operating Company, for 10 a.m. That was perfect, because I then had a work lunch at noon. So, the plan was to make the call from home and then head out for the work lunch. But alas, early in the week, the lunch got moved up to 11:30, so I figured I would make the 10 a.m. call on the way to the lunch venue – in case the call took much longer than expected. (I mean, you try to plan some extra time just in case.)
Fortunately, it worked out as I did the call en route. And Mr. Dunn’s responses during the interview will be used in that future book. Of course, I arrived at the lunch venue on time – actually, a few minutes early and I was there before the others.
Glad that that part of it worked out – and then it’s time to keep pushing!
This past week, a local sportswriter abruptly passed away – at a relatively young age – and many people expressed sadness about it on social media.
From the looks of it, this sportswriter was a mentor to aspiring sportswriters too, so, good for him.
I never interacted with this gentleman at all, so I didn’t know him. However, my past experiences with sportswriters from other cities haven’t been great.
Now, I should say that there have been a few who have been gracious and responded to my emails, such as the legendary Bob Ryan (who responded to me on three separate projects I was working on), L.A. sportswriter J.P. Hoornstra, and a couple other writers from the Boston area. There were a couple other national writers, Bob Nightengale and Mel Antonen. There was even a historian/author by the name of Todd Denault who responded to me.
I certainly appreciated the fact that these writers took time out to correspond with me and give me quotes for the books I was writing.
Then, there were those who couldn’t be bothered to respond back – and, interestingly, they’re writers from Toronto.
When I was writing the Tom Candiotti biography, I emailed several writers from Toronto who were around when Candiotti pitched for the Blue Jays (and those writers are still active today). Not one of them bothered even to respond back.
Then, when I was writing about the Boston-Montreal NHL rivalry book, it was the same. Now, I received replies from the Boston reporters I reached out to, including the aforementioned Ryan. But nothing from the writers in Toronto who covered Pat Burns.
That’s disgraceful. A Hall of Famer like Bob Ryan reaches out to me – and he’s a legend – and yet lesser likes couldn’t be bothered.
So, I mean, just like many athletes, I’m leery when it comes to sportswriters. None of those Toronto-based writers ever reached out or cared about what I was doing.
Not even a “Sorry, I am unable to assist you.” Just no response.
I’ll tell you what. If I became a successful writer, I wouldn’t be like those Toronto-based guys. Those guys are no role models. They’re not like the sportswriter who passed away this past week.