An Extra Month of Baseball Makes the Players Tired? You F—ing Kidding Me?

Jared Diamond, in the Wall Street Journal, writing about “The World Series Hangover.” The Red Sox asked former manager Tony La Russa, whose teams won three World Series, to unlock the secret of doing it again. La Russa talked with former manager Jim Leyland, among other. From the WSJ story:

“There isn’t a team championship in whatever sport where the next season the frame of mind is not an issue that you have to overcome,” La Russa said. “That’s the major reason why repeating is so tough.”

“Mental Health Professionals Are Talking a Lot About Headline Stress Disorder”

“Mental health professionals are talking a lot about a new disorder that has been showing up in their practices. It’s called Headline Stress Disorder, or HSD, and is defined as ‘an increase in general anxiety, worry, intolerance and lowered frustration activation.’ The 24/7 news cycle constantly bombarding our senses with negative news seems to be the chief culprit. A 2017 study by the American Psychological Association found that two-thirds of Americans report they’re stressed out over the future of the country, and constant news consumption was tapped as a likely trigger.”

—Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Evangelical Seminary.

Creating Moments: The Peanuts Way of Attracting Readers

First posted December 31, 2014.

By Jack Limpert

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 10.35.22 AMOne of my favorite books read this year was Schulz and Peanuts, by David Michaelis; it’s the life story of Charles Schulz, a shy kid from Minneapolis who created the nation’s most popular comic strip.

Here’s Schulz talking about how to attract readers:  “You must give the audience moments. You must give them laughter, you must give them a little poignancy…”

How does a writer create moments?

Getting laughter is hard. But any writer who does great reporting can create moments of poignancy, moments that get the reader to say wow.

Writing Advice From Snoopy: Be Yourself in the Face of Both Failure and Success

From an essay, “Snoopy taught me how to be a writer,” by Ann Patchett; it was adapted by the Washington Post Outlook section from an essay that will appear in “The Peanut Papers,” to be published in October by the Library of America.

Having ventured fearlessly into the world, he [Snoopy] could come back to the roof of his doghouse and sit straight-backed in front of his typewriter, to tap out the words that began so many of his stories: “It was a dark and stormy night.”

Wait, am I seriously discussing Snoopy, a cartoon dog, as a writer?

The Phone Call That Changed a Writer’s Fate

“The Chain,” a kidnapping thriller being marketed as “Jaws for parents,” is emerging as one of publishing’s biggest bets of the summer beach-read season. . . .

It’s a remarkable turn of fortune for 51-year-old author Adrian McKinty. Early in 2017, the Northern Ireland native had given up writing after years of trying to make it as a crime novelist. He was working in a bar and driving an Uber in Melbourne, Australia, to help support his wife and two kids after they had been evicted from their home there.

Do You Enjoy Writing?

I like the writing very much. I often ask my writing friends if they like to write and they always say that they don’t. They love the research, perhaps the fun after a book is published, but not the task of writing. I think that it is the glory of the work. You have assembled all of this information. You have thought about it. You have dreamed about it. You’re ready. You are bursting with all of this and then you have this meticulous, but somehow not entirely rational, process of organizing it so that you communicate it transparently to other human beings. That is great fun.

Maureen Dowd Gives Nancy Pelosi a Little Box of Chocolates: “Now We’re Talking,” Pelosi Says. . .

SAN FRANCISCO — Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump have a lot in common.

Neither one drinks, yet they have family vineyards. They both love big bowls of ice cream. . . .

“If he could be president, this glass of water could be president!” Madam Speaker exclaimed disgustedly, as we ate omelets in a restaurant by the bay after she mingled with adoring constituents in last Sunday’s glittery, feathery Pride parade. . . .

She regarded the little box of chocolates I brought her with delight and said, “Now we’re talking,” popping one in her mouth as I asked about something less sweet. . . .

Ruth Reichl Wonders What It’ll Be Like to Be the Boss of a Magazine

Ruth Reichl on leaving her job as restaurant critic of the New York Times to become editor of Gourmet magazine. This is from her book Save Me the Plums; in this excerpt she is thinking about what it’ll be like to be the boss of an editorial staff.

Gourmet would be different: Nobody wants to gossip with the boss. It must be unpleasant, I thought, to be surrounded by people who are afraid of you.

Art Buchwald on Paris and DC: He Missed the Sidewalk Cafes Where You Could Sit and Girl-Watch

In the Washingtonian’s first issue, in October 1965, Art Buchwald wrote about “My Home Towns”—Paris and Washington. From 1950 to 1962 he had written about Paris for the New York Herald Tribunehe then came back to Washington to write his syndicated column.

The lede of that “Home Towns” piece:

The main difference between living in Paris and Washington, as far as I am concerned, is that when I lived in Paris I always knew I was protected by my passport and the American government. No matter what happened to me, I could always count on the backing of the United States 6th Fleet or the United States Air Force Fighter Command….It said so in my passport.

Life Lessons From Baseball

How to Sacrifice
by Mick Cochrane

Pivot in the box. Square up.
Surrender to the pitcher.

Slide your top hand up the barrel,
don’t squeeze, keep your hands

soft, bend your knees.
You need to keep your balance.

Let the ball come to you––
be patient. Don’t stab at it.

Point your bat, absorb the shock,
and hope the ball stays fair.

Afterwards expect no high-fives,
no headlines, no contract

extension. No one bunts
himself onto an all-star team.

You do it because that runner
on first, he needs to come home.