From the Sunshine State

Beyond the ‘Ides of March’, St. Pat’s, and another birthday–the big 70!–is another month in SW Florida.

Since my arrival here in December, I’ve written a novel (rough draft), walked miles of beaches, biked about 600 miles, done some exploring of the area, and reconnected with the Twins–the 2012 version of my team.  This morning I’ll touch on each . . .

My next novel is titled Doppelganger.  A German word describing. . . no, I’ll let you look it up.  And when you do, email me through this site.  I’ve passed the draft along to my first reader-critiquers: Rich Dinter and Jim Otterbeck.  Both will give me feedback so I can begin a series of editing and rewriting that will take additional months.  Believe me, the first writing of a story, the creative part with character and plot development, is the easiest.  Everything afterwards is tedious and, I hate to say it, boring.  Doppelganger took seven weeks to write.  With my first rewrite, 11000 words were painfully cut from the manuscript leaving 71000 words still in play.  My readers will let me know the issues with story flow and flaws that will require repair.  (I’ve found two minor matters that need repair since sending off the copies.)  I’ll try to be more diligent in reporting the progress of this story at it passes from one stage to the next.  I’m hoping to have it published and on the market by Thanksgiving.

The Gulf Coast beaches of Naples are wide with sugar sand and truly awesome!  I’m living about a mile west of the shoreline and bicycle to any one of several accesses almost daily.  This winter has been record-breaking warm–like back home in Minnesota–and the water temps have been in the seventies.  Naples is biker-friendly with countless miles of bike lanes along the Gulf and through meticulously landscaped neighborhoods.  If you ‘Google Earth’ Old Naples you’ll see an incredible network of canals, bays and marinas, parks and playgrounds . . . a variety of  trees I can’t begin to describe, and flowers blooming year around.  The Everglades are an easy drive half-hour drive from my place, Ave Maria about the same, and Miami about ninety minutes on Alligator Alley across south Florida.

About 40 minutes north of here on Interstate 75 is Ft. Myers.  It’s ‘spring break’ now and the beaches there are magnetic.  But, I forgo the bikini scene for the Lee County Sports complex and Hammond Stadium where the Twins conduct their spring training. I have seen two games so far and made two visits to the workout and training regimen where some eighty hopefuls compete for a spot on the twenty-five man roster. I’ve had two baseballs autographed so far–Brian Dozier (a solid prospect) and Chris Parmelee who played so well last September.  Being it’s less than three weeks until opening day, I’ll have to draft my list of optimistic predictions for the new season.

Have a great day.


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