Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Golf?!? Pity Party

I think I’m taking up golf. I only think so because I’ve gone golfing exactly one time, and for only nine holes – and my partner and the other two gentlemen we were golfing with allowed me to pick up my ball and throw it on occasion, because I was holding up the game. Or when we were crossing a creek. I was pretty good at putting, because I’ve played miniature golf for years. But going up the fairway? Not so much.
So twice since then I’ve gone to a driving range and hit a bucket of balls. My range rarely exceeds fifty yards, and is often much less than that. But you know something? I’m going to go again.
But there’s something about the game. I’ve always loved to watch it on television, though I’ve heard that many sports fans think it’s more exciting to watch paint dry. One thing pro golf tours on television don’t seem to show: there are some hills on those courses! I’m not in great physical shape and some of the hills on the course we played were pretty steep! And those pros make it look so easy. They take a swing and the ball just flies. Me? I swing and miss. Or swing and it dribbles a few yards.
My favorite Tiger Woods story, one I saw for myself: He was playing on a rainy day and the green he was coming up to had a distinct tilt toward the fairway. He hit his ball too hard and it went over the green and down a grass-covered, cliff-like slope that was about eight feet high, landing in a shallow puddle in tall grass. The two commentators watched as he came around behind and studied his lay. They noted that the hole on the green was near the top, which would make it very hard to land near from behind. They discussed first, whether Tiger could get up on top in one stroke, and then how far down the green the ball would roll. And then how many spectators, who were crowding around, would get splashed when Tiger swung. The answer was: a lot! Grass and mud and water flew in all directions as Tiger took a mighty swing. But the ball rose beautifully to the top of the little cliff, landed just barely on the green – and stopped. I don’t think it was more than fourteen inches from the hole. There was an incredulous silence, then one of the commentators said, "I think some of Tiger’s shots are animated."
I remember when I was struggling to get published, many years ago, and managed to get into a writers’ group. One member was regularly published. At one meeting she told of some problems she was having with her editor about her covers, about her deadlines, about some difficulty over the plot of her latest book. I sat there trying hard to keep a sympathetic look on my face, but all the while I was eaten with envy. Oh, how I wished I had her problems!
Well, be careful what you wish for . . .! My editor didn’t like the direction Thai Die was taking and made me do a massive re-write. I groaned and grumbled and complained, but I did it. Now, both she and my editor ganged up on me about the synopsis of Blackwork I submitted. We actually held a three-way conference call over it. I won a point or two, but I’ve been groaning and grumbling and complaining to anyone who’ll listen about the points they won. I’d be more specific about their complaints but I don’t want to let everyone know that I wasn’t being very bright about the plot points – and they were right to make me change some things. It helps when I remember we all three want the same things: a good story that sells lots of books. So boo-hoo, poor me – okay, pity party’s over.


Camille Minichino said...

Well now it's official.
If Monica can lure me into reading about golf, she's the best I've met!

Monica Ferris said...

Camille, you are wonderful!

Anonymous said...

When will Thai Dye hit the bookshops ... I devour your books, reading each one in a day [or two, at the most] and then have to wait on tenterhooks till the next comes out. Well, actually I do re-read the series from time to time ... even though I know "whodunit", the characters are so attractive and engaging, re-reading remains a pleasure ... rather like returning to a favorite vacation spot. Pleased to hear that I also have Blackwork to look forward to as well ... it just happens to be one of my favorite forms of embroidery.