The things we do...
I recently went out to Utah to visit my son at his school. It was a Parent's Weekend sort of thing and at one point they decided it would be nifty if we all went out and did dangerous stuff. Part of this included walking on wire, which is tough on the tootsies if you're wearing sneakers like I was. Also, walking on wire is hard!
The worst bit, however, was when my son climbed 55 feet up a tree, stood on a dinky platform, and jumped off. Oh, he had a harness on, but the harness was held by a woman who looked way too small for the job. Needless to say, my son, being a teenager, figures he's indestructible and loved every second.
Then it was my turn. My chance to bond with my son and show I could something that goes against my nature. Did I mention that I have vertigo? Did I mention I've never climbed a tree in my life? Heights are hard! As the picture of me and my butt clearly shows, I did make the climb:
And here's me hugging the hell out of the tree once I got on the platform:
What you don't see, just above the top center of the picture, is an iron ring. I was supposed to stand on the platform, think of a goal I wanted to accomplish, and then hurl myself out to grab the ring.
It's been more than two weeks now, and I still don't have the words to explain how I felt, standing there staring at that ring. I've never had that feeling before and I'm pretty sure I don't want to have it again. Maybe it was plain ol' raw fear. It was some kind of powerful, as they say around here.
Despite that, I lurched off the platform, flew for a dozen feet or so, and snagged the ring. Then the harness thing malfunctioned and I plummeted for a bit before it finally kicked in. I have a picture of that too, but I'm saving it for my autobiography.
The important bit was that my son and I shared a moment of magic, and once I hit the ground and got myself untangled from the harness, he gave me a big hug and said he was proud of me. It made me cry.
Oh, and the bruises are just now fading.
On the way home from Utah, I did a little shopping. Here's the receipt:
If you don't see anything interesting, you're not looking hard enough.
Sue Corbett's MG novel, Free Baseball, is now available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Buy.com and at your favorite local bookstore. Or even a local bookstore that you loathe, a bookstore so heinous that it keeps you up at night, lying in a cold sweat as you gnash your teeth and swear vengeance. A bookstore whose very existence drains the life force from your soul and--
Okay, you get the idea. Free Baseball is available darned near anywhere, and Sue writes real good, so if you love baseball, rush out now in a buying frenzy and get yourself some Free Baseball. Even if you hate baseball, and lie awake at night in a cold sweat as you gnash your teeth and swear vengeance--dangit, I'm doing it again. Okay, the thing is, you don't have to love baseball to love this story. It's not one of those gawdawful Chip Hilton things from the '60s where people are always spitting and adjusting their cups way too much if you know what I mean and I think you do. Corbett has written herself a real good story.
Look at these reviews:
“Corbett deftly weaves a moving coming-of-age story with a sweet, satisfying conclusion.” --Kirkus Reviews
“(A) solid and satisfying story . . . readers will want to stick with the tale till the last pitch is thrown.” --Publishers Weekly
"I'm gonna read it, and I'm still the only guy in the history of baseball named Mookie." --Mookie Wilson, coach for the NY Mets
"I'm gonna read it too, and I'm still the only guy in the history of baseball named Boog." --Boog Powell, former Baltimore Oriole
"Yeah, I know my name sounds like a stripper but I'm still gonna read Free Baseball." --Coco LaBoy, former Montreal Expo and not a stripper
So there you have it. Free Baseball has entered the building. Now I'm going to go lie in bed in a cold sweat and swear vengeance, etc. etc. because I'm bitter that my book, Discount Curling, has been rejected 213 times. The fools.