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Saturday, April 20, 2013

For The Love of Baseball

By Elley Arden

I can pinpoint years of my life by baseball memories. I grew up in a dirt pile off the first base line while my father played city rec league in an extension of a promising baseball career that went array during the Vietnam War. He played well into my teen years, often being asked to join teams filled with younger guys, and I saw every game—mostly because I loved my dad, but also because there’s no better aphrodisiac for a sixteen-year-old girl than a summer baseball league made up of home-on-break college guys.


Elley Arden
With formative years like that it’s no wonder I fell in love with a baseball player. I remember watching him play for our high school. I also remember surprising him with a baseball-related graduation present—a weekend trip to see his favorite team. And I remember when he left to play baseball in college, hundreds of miles away. I hated baseball then.

But I got over it, and I stopped blaming baseball for keeping him away from me, and eventually we were together again, married, and I was pregnant, rubbing what we called the Buddha-belly as a sort of good luck charm during games. I remember palming my swollen stomach and whispering to my unborn child, “Help Daddy hit it hard,” whenever my husband was up to bat. I also remember it didn’t really work.

Years later, I remember living in Wisconsin with two kids and missing more games than I wanted to because mosquitos were epidemic, and they ate the new baby alive during night games. Day games weren’t much better, because the baby needing nursing and changing, and my three-year-old talked incessantly, asking me questions about why Dad was doing this, why Dad wasn’t doing that, and I was too tired to think straight let alone answer. I hated baseball…again.

And then life threw us a curve, and my husband stopped playing, and we grew up faster in those next several years than we ever imagined we could. And we both missed baseball. Terribly. Until the day our oldest, then eight years old, stepped up to home plate for his first official at bat, having never played t-ball or organized ball of any sort, because we’d moved too much to know the luxury of that. One swing of the bat, and baseball was back.


Eventually, my husband returned to baseball, too, as a team physician. These days, the sport sets the pace of our lives, and I’m (usually) fine with that. I’m especially fine with it this season, because I have my own baseball-related things to tend to.

Save My Soul: Book One in the Kemmons Brothers Baseball Series is my debut novel from Crimson Romance. In the book, a struggling psychotherapist who still lives at home falls for a bitter, divorced baseball agent. You can read more about the book and me by visiting my website: http://elleyarden.com and following me on twitter: @elleywrites. 

13 comments:

Robyn Neeley said...

Excellent post, Elley! It's always fun to get a little insight on why an author chose to incorporate a certain setting, job occupation for their characters, etc based on their real-life experience.

Monica Tillery said...

I'm fascinated by your love of baseball! I can't even imagine...
It comes through in your writing. I loved Save My Soul, and I am sure that readers will see how much you care about the game.

Sarah Raplee said...

Welcome to RTG, Elley. You obviously have the background to write this series! Your little blurb has me intrigued. I need to buy SAVE MY SOUL to find out the answer to all the questions your one-liner inspired!

Your passion for the game shines through.

Debra Kayn said...

I enjoyed reading about your love of baseball, and how it fits into your life...and writing. Save My Soul sounds great!

Christine S. Feldman said...

Nice post! I enjoyed the way you described the way baseball has been such an important influence throughout your life and the way it's tied together different generations.

Selena Laurence said...

How fun to learn a little about your life! And, you are definitely qualified to write about the sport! Thanks so much for sharing with us :)

Elley Arden said...

Hi, Everyone! Thanks to Romancing the Genres for having me and my blog mates from RomancingtheJock.com. And thank you all so much for reading my post and commenting. I don't always write about baseball, but it sure does seem fitting my first published book is about baseball, doesn't it? :)

Elley

Judith Ashley said...

So glad you could join us at RTG, Elley. And, how fitting your baseball post is up now at the beginning of the pro-ball season! It was fun and interesting to read how this sport has been an important thread in the fabric of your life. And, Save My Soul looks to be a home run for you!

Terri Herman-Ponce said...

Oh, I gotta check out this series. I'm a HUGE baseball fan. H-U-G-E. I gotta check out this book. Loved the post, and best of luck with the new release!!!

M.J. Schiller, Romance Author said...

I loved your post, Elley! I've grown up with a love for baseball, too. My dad was a St.Louis b-ball fan when they were still The Browns! He used to be part of the "Knothole Gang" and would spend a few coins to ride the bus to the game and then watch through the fence. My dad is gone now, but I still think of him whenever the Cards have a good season or make the World Series. My husband, too, loves his baseball and my son is playing for his high school team this year. I've always loved watching our boys play ball and even learned how to keep a score book last year. This book sounds really wonderful and I can't wait to read it. Thanks for sharing your talents and passion with us!

Nancy Weeks said...

Hi Elley,
I just love your story about your own baseball love affair. My husband and I celebrate our anniversary at the National's Park in D.C. We watch every game together...or at least he watches the whole game while I go from the laptop to the television.
I wish you all the luck on your debut novel. I can't wait to read it.

Liv said...

Your timing is perfect, Elley. The Mariner's are back on the field, and somewhere in my life there needs to be a baseball story with a happy ending!! With Save My Soul on my kindle, I know there will be.
;)

Elley Arden said...

Once again, thanks to Romancing the Genres for hosting the RomancingtheJock.com crew, and thank you all for visiting, commenting and being interested in Save My Soul. I hope you read it, and let me know what you think. Enjoy the baseball season! Elley