Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Writing, Tennis, & Aging like a fine wine


My fiction and sports writing are typically intended for separate audiences. But since I have a passion both for athletic games and for the telling of stories, I have found opportunity to merge them on occasion. In the past I have incorporated my appreciation of basketball and boxing as major themes in short stories. I also penned a short story that focuses on a tennis match. Who knows? Perhaps I can do for tennis what Ernest Hemingway did for bull fighting.

Three of my idols are pictured above. Hemingway's succinct pen strokes were brilliantly effective in telling his stories, much as Serena Williams' mastery with a tennis racquet puts her multiple levels beyond the reach of her peers and Roger Federer similarly defies the aging process when working the various angles of a court.

I took up the sport of tennis far too late to dare dream of elite status. Yet I stubbornly persist in trying to become as good and consistent a player as possible. My daughter has already mastered the Serena Williams grunt and fist pump so I'm hoping to be as good at coaching and inspiring as Serena's father Richard. As for me writing with the skill of Mr. Hemingway, I haven't given up on that dream yet. Unlike tennis and sports in general, entering my 40's does not place me beyond my prime and incapable of progressing to top ten territory. When it comes to writing I'd like to think that I'm just beginning to hit my stride, with plenty of literary aces left to serve.

- Roy L. Pickering Jr.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Women Versus Men Debate Settled

It has been proven beyond the shadow of doubt, at least to me, that women are way tougher and stronger than men. Throw biceps and triceps and bench press poundages out the window.  They mean next to nothing when it comes to monitoring true strength. I was given enough evidence of the superiority of women when my daughter was going through her colicky period. More often than not she would reach my breaking point as she cried uncontrollably and refused the sweet mercy of slumber. Inevitably the strain would grow too much for me to bear and I would be forced to make a hand-off. But my wife never faltered in such moments. The fact that she was able to slug through months of sleep deprivation and continue responding to Ava's call to arms provided yet more proof. Night after night my body stubbornly refused to give up its stranglehold on our bed at some ungodly hour as our daughter summoned through her baby monitor. Erin has always been able to patiently and lovingly respond. Yet in spite of all this, I still probably would have said if asked that men are inherently stronger than women, up until today when I stumbled upon a sports article online. It informed me that - [Five hours after giving birth to her first child, coach Carol Russell was back on the bench and encouraging her players in the North Central Region basketball tournament]. This would have to rank as the greatest motivational ploy of all time. Talk about not allowing your players any excuses to loaf on defense. The fairer sex continues to astound me. Who knows what wonders Ava will have in store for us in the years to come. She is baby girl, eventually to be woman, hear her roar.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

It's official - I am an eBay seller!

"Tiger Emerging" (as seen in my original post) is officially listed for sale on eBay as of today. The latest hurdle has been cleared! Each small step feels like a huge accomplishment. It's amazing what I can do when Ava naps. If you get a chance, stop by and take a peak.

  • Tiger Emerging at ebay