M Thomas Apple Author Page

Science fiction, actual science, history, and personal ranting about life, the universe, and everything

Blast from the Spring Past

March 30, 2015
MThomas

img008With only one week to go before the regular MLB season begins, I thought I’d go back and take a look at my old baseball pictures.

Only it turned out that I only had one: a tiny black and white picture of me standing at third base that appeared in my high school yearbook. Proud baseball Poppa to the rescue!

My father dug up about eight photos of me as a gangly 16 year old, doing what I did best that year: protecting the left bench from foul balls.

I also got really good at keeping score. When I wasn’t standing in right field while it snowed. Spring in the Adirondacks: we never played any of our scheduled games the first week of April, and even during the second and third week games typically featured flurries, sub-freezing temperatures, and rock-hard dirt surfaces to bounce on…ah, slide on when stealing second. Even now in my hometown, there are three feet of snow on the field, and I’m sure the players are tired of practicing inside the gym (the parking lot is also a favorite for ground-ball drills). Continue Reading

I like stats. Go figure.

March 16, 2015
MThomas

I like stats. There. I said it. I’m a stats geek.

This past Sunday, I was invited to give a presentation/workshop in Kyoto called “Basic Statistics for Language Teachers.” That’s what I do: educational statistics. Writing about statistics is usually not as interesting as writing fiction. I think that probably goes without saying.

But actually, the history of sports, and of baseball in particular, is exactly that: writing about statistics. Continue Reading

High school baseball here costs how much??

March 3, 2015
MThomas

Big news from my university’s affiliated high school this year: the high school baseball team was chosen to enter the national Spring Invitational Tournament. This is the first time in five years, and the fifth time since the university bought the failing school two decades ago and turned it into a regional powerhouse for international studies.

All they need is 40,000,000 yen. Continue Reading

High school or college? Regardless…

March 1, 2015
MThomas

One criticism that came early in the workshopping of what turned into Approaching Twi-Night was the fact that several of the players went to college. “Everyone knows that baseball guys go straight from high school,” was a typical comment (not an exact quote, mind you; this was something like 18 years ago). “Athletes wouldn’t use this kind of sophisticated language” was another. (This was in regard to descriptions in some of the alternating chapters that don’t use quotation marks for dialogue and call the main character “John” instead of “Ditch.”) So, uh, athletes are dumb? Pardon me for breaking the (undeserved, insulting) stereotype. Continue Reading

On the romance of baseball

February 23, 2015
MThomas

Over the weekend, I decided to make the ebook version of Approaching Twi-Night free, in celebration of the beginning of spring training. Just for a couple days. The book slowly crept up to number 3, then 2, then late last night hit the top spot in free baseball ebooks….in non-fiction.

Hm.

I guess it’s so realistic a novel that it’s non-fiction, insofar as, yes, there was a baseball strike in 1994 and there are Class A teams in New York.

Continue Reading

“Pitchers and catchers report,” and I thought…

February 19, 2015
MThomas

Spring training is here at last! Well, for pitchers and catchers, anyway. The full teams won’t show for another week. But the phrase “pitchers and catchers report” still has a special meaning for baseball players, and fans, too.

I started Approaching Twi-Night in a spring training setting partly because of my personal experience with spring training. I played baseball in high school for four years and only once did I attempt to attend the early spring training session for pitchers and catchers. I say “tried” because, quite obviously, I was not successful. Continue Reading

Batter Up!

February 16, 2015
MThomas

IMG_3341Welcome to my personal author web page! Actually, I have at two additional web sites to this one. One is devoted to my blog, Taking Leave (which is scheduled to be published in late 2015 as a book by the same name. Another is my academic page which includes courses taught at Ritsumeikan University as well as my CV (academic presentations, papers, books, and so forth).

But my passion is and has been baseball. I played baseball as a high school student — not a terribly outstanding player, as my high school classmates will be happy to tell you — and eagerly follow the minute details of any game I come across.

Approaching Twi-Night is my first foray into published fiction, and although I have varied writing interests ranging from historical fiction to science fiction, I thought there was no better way to start than to return to baseball. I’ll be blogging here in the upcoming weeks about where the story of “Ditch” Klein and his teammates came from, what literary and historical debts are owed by certain elements of the story, and, of course, about baseball in general.

Good reading!

Blog at WordPress.com.
History Myths Debunked

The Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth

Alien Resort

A Website that is Actually a Story

Learning to write

Just your average PhD student using the internet to enhance their CV

Matt Feast Online-dot-Com

Are You Interested In Daily Passive Income Working From Home?

The Wee Writing Lassie

The Musings of a Writer / Freelance Editor in Training

spydersden

Curmudgeonly diatribes, insights, poems, photos, and other interesting and pertinent postings

Mr. Rhapsodist

Your Guide for SF&F Reviews and Reflections on Writing

Tips from Sharvi

Tips to make your daily life easier!

renegade7x

Natalia's space

karmenclair.wordpress.com/

Lifestyle blog dedicated to travel, food, nature and other ramblings

Everydayhero

life & travel / vida & viajes

Book by Book Publicity

Book Reviews, Author Interviews, Literary Awards - One Stop for All Your Publicity Needs

Science News

Daily science news, event and discoveries

M.A. Lossl

An author's life, books, and historical research

Bittersweet turns

Deep Down Inside...

An Historian Goes to the Movies

Exploring history on the screen

%d bloggers like this: