Tag Archives: football

Believe Me by Harry Margulies

I used to believe everything I read (with the exception of book reviews and comments on AOL).1AOLLogo I always figured if someone went to the trouble of writing something, it must be true.

abstract background of blue smoke on a black backgroundThen my whole belief system went up in a pffft of smoke when I realized I sometimes write stuff too. I don’t believe anything I say, so how could I believe anything I write?

Panicked, I decided to reread some of the books, men with laptoparticles, and comic strips that I’d considered indisputably credible, just to validate my newfound hunch. There was my favorite book about talking cookies, and an intensely deep cartoon about a daisy who realized she could ride a bike because she was good with pedals – or maybe it was petals. I also remembered reading an inspiring magazine article about how writers are the smartest, coolest people in the world. I remember this distinctly because that was the moment I decided I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. IGlass of beer went online today to find the article, since the magazine was published two weeks ago and was already in the recycle trash. I was not about to start pawing through my recycle trash, as it smells like a spoiled casserole of newsprint, diet coke, and beer. Anyway, I reread the article online, and sure enough it still rang true.

So does that mean I should start believing everything I read again? I’m not sure. It would make life so much easier if I didn’t have to question all the news American football.stories, fashion articles, or college football pundits who are certain life begins and ends with the Southeastern Conference. And I’d really like to start opening 6SECLogomy spam emails again. The people who write and send those seem genuinely interested in helping humanity prosper, and I feel bad ignoring their rarely coherent but always altruistic messages.

Maybe writers should be required to label their work. You know, with a big T atop anything that’s true, or a big N atop anything that’s nonsense. Everything
7FamilyCircusLogoelse, like editorial pages, or the Family Circus cartoon for instance, would have to be labeled with a ?8QuestionMark so we’d know up front not to believe, probably, what we were reading. Hmm. Maybe I’ll post this idea in a random comments section online. I look forward to receiving a page full of honest feedback.


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Harry Margulies is the author of The Knowledge Holder and the to-be-released The Weight of the Moon. When he’s not writing about romance, money, women and other subjects he thoroughly enjoys but knows nothing about, he’s frittering his precious time as a cartoonist.




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The Girl Who Couldn’t Learn Football

I’ve never been a football fan. Truth be told, I’ve never understood the sport at all. Keep in mind that despite cheering for the sport for a number of years in my youth, I’ve never been able to learn more than what a first down is and a hand signal or two. Basically, I know the sign for ‘holding’ and ‘touchdown.’

I know, sad.

Over the holiday break, I drove to Massachusetts to visit my family. During my vacation, I spent a couple of days visiting my sister in New Hampshire. One night, the Patriots game was on the television and I made the mistake of thinking my sister and I were spending quality time with each other. Imagine my surprise when she looked at the screen and hollared, “YOU GOTTA CATCH THOSE!!!”

Shortly after that, she began to scream at the ref in much the same manner as any man might do when watching the game with his buddies. I said to her what I’ve said to those men: “You do realize they can’t hear you, right?”

And yes, I received the same look of exasperation from her that I’ve received from men in the past.

In all fairness, I have tried on several occasions to learn the sport. I would ask questions while watching the game but soon realized that my questions that sounded something like, “So the guy in the blue shirt is the quarterback, right?” or “Which direction are they going in?” or “Why are they playing in the rain? Aren’t they cold?” were not as well received as I would have liked.

So why, despite my trying to learn the sport, am I unable to do so? I am a fairly intelligent person. I’m college educated and have been able to hold down a job since graduation. I speak grammatically correct, can make change without a calculator and can read instructions in order to assemble any number of household items. Why, I ask, does this football thing escape me? Why do I find it nearly impossible to keep track of who’s in what place or who is trying to get to which goal? And never mind which player ran so many yards in a game in 1973. Do we really care about this? Yeah, yeah, I know some of you do.

The thing is; football is great! If i were to watch any sport, football would be it. I love the crashing into one another, the die hard play-in-any-type-of-weather mentality, and let’s face it, the tight pants aren’t all that bad either.

So here is my New Year’s resolution: This is the year I will learn the fundamentals of football. I will learn the proper way to tackle someone without getting a penalty, I will learn what causes a penalty and perhaps even a play or two. I will learn all the positions as well as the qualities that are best suited for those positions. (Currently, I only know that typically, a big, burly guy is the center and a quick, smaller guy is a running back. But that’s two positions down! How many to go?)

In addition, I will follow a team through the season and cheer them on. I will make an effort to watch every game they play, even if it means I miss an outing with a girlfriend.

Now, who’s going to teach me the game?

Donna Small is the author of two novels: Just Between Friends and A Ripple in the Water. Both are from Second Wind Publishing.


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In the Zone by Sherrie Hansen

I thought being in the zone was an appropriate topic since it’s Superbowl weekend and everyone is thinking about End Zones.

While I’m not quite in the end zone of Waterlily, the second book in my Maple Valley trilogy, I’m deep into revisions, writing new scenes, getting to know my characters better and making great progress – in the zone.

A writer I greatly admire from my just Cherry Writers critique group, Robin LaFevers, once led an online workshop where she asked us to identify our character’s greatest fears. What is he or she afraid of? Then, what is he or she really afraid of. Then, what is he or she REALLY, REALLY afraid of? Discovering these often hidden truths about your characters speaks to their motivation, helps you understand what they might do or how they might respond to situations, and can lead to the black moment, when they come face to face with their biggest fear. (Forgive me, Robin, if I’m misquoting you.)

This morning, while laying in bed thinking, then later, talking to my husband, I finally put my finger on what Michelle’s greatest fear is. Now, I hope to make the black moment reflect her deepest insecurity. Waterlily will be a better book because of it.

I also wrote a scene last night that I think is one of my best ever – clear protagonist, antagonist, goals, value change – it meets all the criterion, and it’s funny, too. I read it out loud to my husband last night and we were both cracking up so hard I couldn’t continue.

Is writing seasonal, like winter, spring, summer and fall – like football, baseball, or basketball seasons? Are there times when the words flow, when a flood of new ideas washes over you, and conversely, are there times when the well seems completely dry?

Whatever the triggers might be for me (I’m not sure I fully know or understand why this varies so much for me), I’m certainly glad I’m in THE ZONE. And for what it’s worth, I’ll probably be typing the whole time the Superbowl is on TV.

Here’s hoping your team wins!

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