About Tennis

The real one
US Open 1987 has been out and available for several years now, in its CreateSpace edition. As I began preparing the first Nostalgistudio edition for publication later this summer, I remembered that several people who read the book had told me they'd been a little lost at points because they don't know anything about tennis. For a tennis fan like me to hear this is shocking and sad, of course. I don't like to think of people being deprived of such an enjoyment--watching and being able to follow a good competitive tennis match is one of the higher pleasures in life, I think. As for the novel, the first chapter concerns a single fateful tennis match described in some detail. Those kind readers felt lost right away, this was the problem.

So I wrote some more text, a few pages to insert quite near the opening. If you've read the book and didn't get the tennis part, please accept this new material with my sincere and apologetic thanks. For newcomers, maybe people with some know-how about the game, I offer it for discussion. Did I miss too much again?

(The new excerpt is here.)


What a Wimbledon

Here I am spending hours and hours this fleeting summer in the preparation of new editions for Nostalgistudio of all three FAMEPUNK novels so far, immersed once again in women's tennis as a subject while simultaneously scanning its current state for promotional opportunities, ways to ride some surge in fandom into wider view. And what I see is so very far from promising anything of the sort, it might as well be a cloud of antitheses, when all but the seventh of the top ten ladies' singles seeds goes out in the first week. It's disgraceful and won't win fans--quite the contrary. Overpraised princesses wilting under a single round of pressure: no one wants to applaud that. To my personal horror, women's tennis has become the New York Mets. One loss, then two, then two others; they achieve something lemming-like, these super athletes in mostly identical dresses swatting forehands long.

via Gfycat


Another new clay season

A little scare just now when I sat down to write a fresh entry and found myself signed out of my Blogger account after two years away. I could see my two little old sites still reading "me" but couldn't enter to refresh them, this one and Reading Les Miserables at Work out of my control only drifted there, like junked space stations, relics. I sat bewildered. Then I thought, Would it matter? What if What is Famepunk? ended randomly, years out of date, out of carelessness? Couldn't it go on that way, an old attachment, always linked? Old and dead, yes--but would it matter? With a lynch-pin of my creative life (even if it hasn't looked like one lately) not just threatened but gone, snatched away, rationalizing like crazy, I kept calm. My mind formed ideas for going on without it, unencumbered by women's tennis blogging. But I was self-disgusted. I felt the loss I'd brought on myself through inattention. In the end I tried another sign-in, the right one. I'm grateful to be back.



Ostapenko versus Kasatkina. These are the outsidery finalists in this year's Charleston green clay tournament. Neither player seeded, none of the top ten seeds made it to the semifinals. Women's tennis continues down the path it's set itself.
Paying too much for not playing, paying too much attention to "storylines" over substance. And pampering, primping, pimping, party-dressing its "stars" for consumption--by whom? Who is even watching the WTA now? They haven't got a broadcast contract, they'd rather pay their executives than shell out for coverage. Who would want to watch? The outfits are all alike and all equally horrible. Meanwhile a virtually all-male coaching galaxy hovers over the enterprise sucking up cash and leaving blasted confidence.
As an outsider myself, I salute the young players (and the older over-the-hill but not players) who are looking at this situation as the opportunity it is. Good for Ostapenko! Good for Kasatkina! Good for Mirjana Lucic and Jo Konta and Elena Vesnina, good for the underdogs, all the "ovas" the others might mistake for nonentities. I'm not watching them either, but that don't mean a damn thing.
Sales update: All Famepunk books are now $2.99 each across all digital platforms. Writing update: I'm in year four of a book that takes place in the Soviet Union around the time of World War II; it isn't a tennis novel. But it will be good! Stay tuned for more about it.


Extended Quadruple Doubles Sale

In celebration of the world's greatest player, her doubles partners and the rest, the sale continues at Smashwords.


On Super Grand Slam Sale

For the duration of the 2015 US Open ALL THREE volumes of Famepunk are ON SALE FOR HALF PRICE at Smashwords. Will there be another calendar year Grand Slam winner in women's tennis--the first in 27 years? While you wait to find out, you can relive the last time with a strong dose of fiction in Part 2: Middlemarch. It takes place on The Tour in 1988.
Congratulations to the winners I watched on-line tonight--Nicole Gibbs (USA! USA), Kurumi Nara and the divine Petra Kvitova in her first night match in New York.