Decisions, Decisions, and Rationalizations

L&L

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Fluor Field. (Monte Dutton photos)

Fluor Field. (Monte Dutton photos)

Clinton, South Carolina, Saturday, May 28, 2016, 10:24 a.m.

I’m thinking about going to see Furman play Samford in the Southern Conference Baseball Tournament at Fluor Field in Greenville.

By Monte Dutton

By Monte Dutton

I’ve been thinking about going up to watch the Paladins for four days now. I also thought about going to see Presbyterian play in the Big South Tournament in Lexington, but the Blue Hose went two and out, and school is done so the team is scattering out to points unknown now.

The Paladins won, 15-10, last night against UNC Greensboro, and the game didn’t end until after midnight, so, in retrospect, staying home was a good decision. The first four innings took more than two hours. I watched a PBS tribute to Willie Nelson that I really dug.

I've been to Fluor FIeld Senior quite a few times.

I’ve been to Fluor FIeld Senior quite a few times.

At the moment, Maryland is playing Iowa in the Big 10 tournament, which, I think, is in Nebraska in addition to on my TV. The SEC is in Hoover, Alabama, and the ACC is in Durham, North Carolina, and the Big South, which isn’t nearly as big as the 10 or the 12, neither of which actually have the number they claim, has its finals on ESPU at noon.

The world flashing in front of me on TV, and the guitar leaning against the couch to my left, and the refrigerator are all in the way of me getting in the car and eventually reaching the sun-splashed and friendly confines of Fluor Field.

Did I mention that Clemson and Wake Forest are about to start on Fox Sports South?

College is complicated. Even the sports are complicated. Keeping up with who’s in a conference, who isn’t anymore, and who might be next year, might as well be organic chemistry.

Al Pearce and I, oh, about 10 years ago at Atlanta Motor Speedway. I have no idea who took this photo.

Al Pearce and I, oh, about 10 years ago at Atlanta Motor Speedway. I have no idea who took this photo.

I got away from it all Friday afternoon. First I met Al Pearce, my old NASCAR-writing friend uptown at Steamers for lunch. Al still travels with the gypsies, though not as much as he once did, and Friday is almost always a nothing day at Charlotte Motor Speedway, so something possessed him to drive all the way to Clinton just for a club sandwich. Al graduated from PC, though, so he likes the occasional Clinton visit.

I had the chicken caesar salad, but mainly we talked, and we talked, and we talked some more, and had numerous refills of iced tea.

Then I walked around the corner and down the Hill to Yo’ Cup, where I set up this very same laptop and sipped coffee for two and a half hours, writing the 33rd chapter of my next novel, Cowboys Come Home.

Then I went home. I probably wrote better without the TV on and the plink of aluminum Clemson bats banging Virginia fastballs. I may try this again on Tuesday. Maybe even Monday afternoon once I get my Bleacher Report column done and if I decide not to cut the grass.

Lately I’ve been not doing more things than I’ve done. I let excuses get in the way. On Thursday, I decided I’d drive up to Greenville if an old friend wanted to go, but I sent him a text, and he is somewhere at a beach, so, even though I would undoubtedly bump into other acquaintances of my alma mater, I just stayed home and watched the Red Sox again.

High school sports have played out. I wrote about a spring football game on Monday and went to an awards ceremony on Tuesday, so, on the one hand, I probably won’t have as much free lancing to do until the fall, but, on the other, I’ve got aspirations now of finishing the Cowboys Come Home manuscript by the end of June. I don’t know exactly how I’ll get it published. I’ve never written a western before.

Memphis in April, on the Texas trip.

Memphis in April, on the Texas trip.

The purpose of this column was to somehow make me decide to shave and shower and get my ass up to Greenville because it might be Furman’s last game, and I like Ron Smith, the head coach, a lot, and I missed the Paladins a little over a month ago when they visited PC because I was on the way to Texas, and driving to Texas and back constituted enough travel to satisfy me for a while.

Birmingham

Birmingham

Then assignments — baseball games here and there, the occasional softball tilt, a track meet — were enough to get me out of the house for human interaction and spending money both.

For most of the spring, I was working on the layout and design of three print editions — Longer Songs, Crazy of Natural Causes and Forgive Us Our Trespasses — and the Kindle release of the latter. Maybe I can get Cowboys Come Home out by the fall.

If I go to Greenville, undoubtedly you’ll know about it, because what am I going to write tomorrow morning? Some self-serving pap like this?

Possibly.

The only obstacles are the Grand Prix of Monaco, the Indianapolis 500, and the Coca-Cola 600.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

Most of my books can be found on Amazon here. Three are available — and signed — here in Clinton at L&L Office Supply, 114 North Main Street. The links below are all for the print versions.

Denny Frawley is an ambitious prosecutor whose ambition, private life, and family are all spiraling out of control. Hal Kinley knows he must be stopped in Forgive Us Our Trespasses.

(Crystal Lynn cover photo)

(Crystal Lynn cover photo)

I’ve written lots of songs. Over time, I turned eleven of them into short stories. That’s how my collection, Longer Songs, came to be.

(Cover design by Jennifer Skutelsky)

(Cover design by Jennifer Skutelsky)

Chance Benford is crazy at the beginning of aptly titled Crazy of Natural Causes. He learns to cope with the world’s absurdity in a variety of ways.

(Melanie Ryon cover design)

(Melanie Ryon cover design)

The Intangibles was inspired by growing up during the tumultuous sixties and seventies. It’s a tale of civil rights, bigotry, cultural exchange, and, most importantly, high school football.

Riley Mansfield is the most likable character I’ve created. He’s a pot-smoking songwriter with a stubborn streak and the hero of The Audacity of Dope.

Look me up on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and other painstaking means of circulation that don’t occur to me now. I’m easy to find.

About Monte

For 20 seasons, I mostly wrote about NASCAR. I'm still paying attention, but I'm spending more of my time these days writing novels and songs. I try to blog regularly on whatever happens to strike my fancy.
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