“To win the game is great, to play the game is greater, but to love the game is the greatest of all.” Last week, when I hit this quote in the middle of The Prodigy: A Novel by award-winning sportswriter John Feinstein, I thought, Yes! You could say the same about writing! And I went looking for the source.
Thanks to Feinstein, I found it right away at the Palestra, the University of Pennsylvania’s fabulous basketball stadium. This is a photo of the plaque that greets visitors just past the ticket booth.
Every month I search for blog topics related to writing, and this month—March—how serendipitous that I happened to be reading a sportswriter’s novel! Basketball lovers everywhere are celebrating March Madness.
And the Palestra? Tug on my heartstrings. I grew up outside Phillie and my brother was a starter on our high school team (back then, the Spectrum was the arena where high school basketball championships were played). But I’m getting off track…
Feinstein’s novel is about a teen golfer, not a b-ball player.
And I don’t play golf.
But here’s the thing: Feinstein has crafted a sympathetic protagonist, a difficult dad, and a compelling plot. And I’m hooked. Continue reading
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Tagged antagonist, basketball, golf, John Feinstein, kid lit, March Madness, Palestra, Penn, plot, protagonist, Spectrum, The Prodigy, University of Pennsylvania, VCU, writing
I’m a girl who struggles to write girl characters, so what’s the deal, huh? I’ve asked this question for a long time, sometimes touching on it in other blog posts. This month I’m hitting it head-on.
When I was growing up, no one talked about gender identity, or if they did, I didn’t tune in. But I remember wishing I’d been born a boy. I remember wanting the freedoms that boys seemed to have. Now looking back, I think my wishes stemmed from not liking the expectations society put on girls. Wear dresses. Learn to use make-up. Enjoy cooking and shopping. Bleh. I tried but couldn’t bring myself to care about that stuff. (Still don’t.)
By 6th grade I was taller than all the boys except three. In 7th grade I tried out for cheerleading and didn’t make it. Chorus and didn’t make it. Basketball and made second string. Or third. Somehow I ended up as team manager, which meant that before each game I’d cut up oranges and put them in clear plastic bags. Continue reading
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Tagged authenticity, back-story, basketball, books, boys, character, craft, emotional truth, fiction, gender, gender identity, girls, Ira Levin, math, middle school, middle-grade, process, revision, Stepford Wives, writing, YA