Play Ball!

These two little words are a big deal where I’m from, and the Major League Baseball season officially starts the day pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training. Despite the fact we’re in the dead of Winter here at home, interest in the sport heats up immediately once the boys of Summer get to Florida and start throwing that little cowhide wrapped ball around.

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Though I’m not the avid fan I was in my younger days, it’s tough not to feel a thrill when Spring Training begins. I played baseball as a kid, up into my high school years. I wasn’t good enough to compete at high levels without putting in all the extra work it takes, so I drifted away from the fields, but you could always talk me into a quick game of catch.

Going to ball games was an integral part of growing up, and while it can still be fun, having kids of my own completely changed my perspective and enjoyment of the game. When your kids see their first game, their sense of wonder is palpable, and mostly the reason I had fun, but the reality today is that it’s such a huge monetary commitment to take your family to the stadium that we simply can’t it more than maybe once a year. Kids in the house can also change the way you allocate your time, and with games nearly every night, it’s tough for me to watch them as often anymore.

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The game moves a bit too slowly for my taste these days. Starting right on the heels of hockey season, baseball struggles to hold my attention, at least for the first month or so. My favorite team boasts the second most World Series victories of all-time, but I was put off the game for years by my hometown team having a manger I just couldn’t stand. He kind of ruined baseball for me for a while there. He’s since been fired and moved on, and I’ve been trying to rekindle my love for the game and the team. Heck, I’m still drunk on the excitement of our hockey team winning the Stanley Cup! That’s stiff competition for my time and attention.

 

But again, those two little words, Play ball! are quite powerful in conjuring memories, nostalgia, and emotion, for a guy who grew up with the game. Cheating scandals aside, I’m looking forward to the new season and definitely plan to watch a few games with my kids. Those words may even be enough to convince me to dig out my old glove.

 

This post was inspired by the Can of Corn Challenge over at the blog, A ‘lil HooHaa. It runs February through October in concordance with the baseball season. click on the link to visit the challenge page to read other entries, or even join up!

100 Word Challenge: Lost

LOST

All semblance of my humanity is gone, lost to the dark, icy waters of the lagoon. From a towering height I glare down upon the feeble defenses of the city as I cut a swath of destruction through their ranks. Wickedly taloned feet the size of tanks smash their barricades and emergency response vehicles. I care little for lives lost as a result.

Bullhorn enhanced shouts to “Halt!” are lost in the din created as I slam elephantine fists into buildings lining the streets. A hail of debris rains down as they retreat, realizing their resistance futile, the battle lost.

 

Using “lost” for inspiration, write 100 Words – 100 exactly – no more, no less. You can either use the word – or any form of the word – as one of your 100, or it can be implied. Include a link in your post back to Thin Spiral Notebook, and add your story to the Mister Linky list there. If you don’t have a blog, you can leave your submission in the comment section, or as a Facebook status post. Remember to keep spreading the love with supportive comments for your fellow Wordsters.

100 WORD CHALLENGE: COLD

I cannot feel my fingers or toes. Stumbling through the blowing, blinding blizzard, woefully ill-dressed for such weather, wishing I’d heeded the warnings as I ventured out alone into the woods. Limbs and trunks creaking as the temperature drops, trees shiver and snap as I brush hastily past. Ice clings to my beard and lashes as frosted, labored breath painfully plumes from my mouth, lips already dry and chapped..

Faltering, my hips and ankles seizing, I slump to my knees and fall woodenly to the ground in a puff of powdery snow. I wonder, how long until my bones freeze?

 

This week’s word is:

Cold

What to do:

Using “Cold” for inspiration, write 100 Words – 100 exactly – no more, no less. You can either use the word – or any form of the word – as one of your 100, or it can be implied. Link back to Thin Spiral Notebook to share. If you don’t have a blog, you can leave your submission in the comment section, or as a Facebook status post. Remember to keep spreading the love with supportive comments for your fellow Wordsters.

One-word Prompt: Storm

This one is almost too easy considering a beast of a storm ripped through the St. Louis area just last night. While we did get crazy high winds at home that tried to rearrange all the flowers and plants on our front porch we didn’t lose power, unlike nearly 100,000 people in and around the St. Louis area.

Large swaths of destruction could be seen both on my evening commute yesterday and my morning one today primarily comprised downed branches and piles of leaves, sticks and trash but there were some major incidents of property damage as well. Some trees snapped nearly in half and one fell over this house only a few blocks north of mine.

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There were several HUGE old trees downed in and near Forest Park. Sad to see such majesty felled so easily. And the property damage continued as some unfortunate citizen had gambled on a parking spot and lost.

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Storms are always prevalent during the Summer months in the Midwest but it sure seems they’ve grown in intensity over the last year. Thankfully my friends and family are all safe today after Mother Nature’s wrath but She’ll be back. She always comes back.

This post was in response to The Daily Prompt.

Storm

100 Word Challenge: Dream

The suits milled about, oddly calm, the rumbling sounds of thunder and a mild tremor underfoot creating only a low murmur of concerned voices. The bank of windows, darkened by night and driving rain lit up with intermittent streaks of lightning casting erratic, jerking shadows across the floor.

As pairs began to form, a ladder carrier with a rope holder, and the suits streamed up to the roof for rescue, I began to panic. Every pairing seemed to come together slightly faster than I could move. Every suit made it out of the now crumbling building but me. I died.

 

100 Word Challenge

Using “dream” for inspiration, write 100 Words, no more, no less, then link back to this post, or leave your submission in the comment section. Remember to keep spreading the love with supportive comments for your fellow wordsters.

Musing Mondays (July 20) Bluenotebacker Style

MusingMondays-ADailyRhythmThis is my response to a weekly prompt I found at A Daily Rythm. Be sure click through. Play along if you’re so inclined.

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Are you able to read while in a vehicle (in motion)? Have you always been this way?

First things first, I’m currently reading the “Fate of the Jedi” series of Star Wars novels. It began about a month ago with the first book, Outcast, by Aaron Allston. It was okay, but at the time I wasn’t sure I planned to continue reading the series. For reasons I cannot pinpoint, I’ve never been a big “Science Fiction” reader, though I’ve always been a huge Star Wars fan. I’ve also never been big on plot when choosing my favorite fiction, and while there were certainly familiar characters in the book I just couldn’t sink my teeth into what they were doing. It happens to me often when trying to read Sci-Fi and unless the characters are extraordinary I usually lose interest.

Not surprisingly, knowing many of these Star Wars characters (and the fact there were Jedi and lightsabers involved) drew me back strongly enough to give the second book, Omen, by Christie Golden, a try and the rest has been fantastic. Allston, Golden and Troy Denning alternate writing each book and I just today finished Allies, by Golden, which is number six in what became a series of NINE consecutive novels.

If you know anything about Star Wars you’ll recognize many of the characters, places, races and historical tidbits in these books but I’ll wager you will not know them all or be able to picture them anyway. On many occasions I’m prompted to look up a particular alien race online, to “put a face” with the name, so to speak. It certainly helps to visualize when you have such a widely diverse cast, even within one group- the Jedi, for example- much less the entire universe.

To put the setting into perspective for other fans, the “Fate of the Jedi” takes place an estimated 40 years after the events of what we know as Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. I urge every reader though, Star Wars fan or not, to give the books a go. They’re for the most part well-written fiction, and good, fun Summer reading. I *am* a big fan though, and they’re definitely whetting my appetite for the new Star Wars movie coming this December.

RANDOM QUESTION ANSWER: I cannot read in a moving vehicle. I don’t know if I did as a kid but I know as an adult, I can’t even ride in a car without feeling a little dizzy and sick. I have to be driving to avoid being uncomfortable.

Thanks for reading!

This Just Stinks

Standing now, shaking flecks of plaster and brick from his hair, Max walked tentatively toward the gaping hole where once the elevator doors stood, mindful of the rubble strewn across the hallway. There was no sign of Ralphie, or the cop, or the dark, hooded figures…

Did he remember that correctly? Had there truly been dark, hooded figures in the hallway? The last day or so melted in his memory like so much rainwater streaming down the windowpanes of his friend’s apartment building. A ringing persisted in his left ear, bothersome that.

A crowd of startled faces appeared from Ralphie’s open doorway behind Max. Various neighbors on the floor began filing out, a quiet rumble of questions and exclamations emanating from them as they gathered, transfixed by the aftermath of what seemingly was some kind of explosion. Was it terrorists? A gas leak?

Though Max hadn’t invited him, the elderly gentleman from 9A was suddenly at his elbow, peering down the ruined shaft. The scent of oil and burning electrical wires assaulted their senses. The old man muttered, “how positively noisome.”

Max looked at him, blinking.

(This excerpt was prompted by Studio30 Plus. Click through and join us!)

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