Monday, June 8, 2009

Headlocks and smackdowns

You probably wouldn't expect me to be drinking my morning green tea out of this

these days but I am. The mug is a gift from a wonderful young National Reservist named Matt that I met in Egypt. If I mentioned him before, forgive me. But I love his story: he's an accountant who was unhappy behind a desk. So, come October when he returns from his current deployment, he's going to work for the IRS in the division that goes after bad guys.

Now, when you think of accountants, you may think of 3-piece-suits, sharpened pencils and pocket protectors. Their hobbies include mowing their lawns wearing black socks with their shorts and figuring out their share of a dinner bill to the penny. (I can say all these things because I'm married to an accountant and none of these stereotypes are true. Well, except for the dark socks thing.)

My new friend, Matt, has a hobby you'd never guess in a million years. Back home in Ohio, he's a professional wrestler. Yep. This young man who spent several evenings discussing books and history and art with us loves to wrestle! It's been his dream since he was a kid.

I learned so much from him, about how each wrestling match is a story, complete with hero and bad-guy and plot and happy ending. We had such lively conversations, in fact, that he sent me one of his favorite all-time books, wrestler Mick Foley's autobiography:

He did forewarn me that some of the language could be a bit rough, but I've already read the first few pages and it's hard to put down. This book, and Matt, have reminded me that some stories are so compelling that they can take us places -- like a wrestling ring -- that we would normally never go.

But mostly, in light of Holly and Jolie's Summer Smackdown challenge, I wanted to share Mick Foley's explanation of why he didn't hire a ghost writer to write his autobiography: "Hey, if this book stinks, I want it to stink because of me."

You gotta love that attitude.

I dunno -- it inspired me to loosen myself up a bit and be a little gutsier on the page this morning so I thought it might do the same for you!


  1. what a great line. "...if this book stinks..." now there's taking responsibility for yourself. i DO love that attitude!

  2. I don't know...if my book stinks, I want it to be because it's scratch-n-sniff. :-)

  3. This is not related to wrestling. I just wanted you to know that two writing friends and I gather to analyze historical novels for juveniles and young adults (we are both trying to write same) and we chose your Hattie Big Sky to discuss. We all liked it so much and are hoping for a sequel.

    Elizabeth Varadan

  4. My daughter Adrienne read Hattie Big Sky this year in school. It actually became a family "event," each of us taking turns reading it out loud. Now you need to understand that Adrienne does not often initiate reading. But in the case of your book, well, it was a totally different story. She, too, is hoping for a sequel. She was delighted to find out about the new book about the 2 animal friend and Hurricane Katrina. We are going out this weekend to find it. Thanks