Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A to Z Challenge: M is for Marijuana (and April Moore and "Moneyball" by Michael Lewis)

M. Does this mean we're halfway home on this cursed Blogging from A to Z April Challenge?

Why do I sign up for this thing every year?

There are reasons. It gets me back in the habit of regular posting (although definitely not six times a week). I re-connect with old blogging friends and make some new ones. And I always learn something by reading all the extra posts I somehow find the time for (usually in the evening).

So here's my contribution for Day M.

Featured Author:  April Moore

April is a Colorado writer I met back at the end of 2003 when we ended up in the same novel-writing class. Shortly after, she and a couple more classmates started a critique group which I was thrilled to join. We are the only two original members still writing, but Raintree Writers has survived.

April's nonfiction book Folsom's 93: The Lives and Crimes of Folsom Prison's Executed Men was published in 2013. She has a website and blog devoted to information related to her research.

 She has also completed a novel of women's fiction (with lots of humor) and is currently working on a YA/NA story. Learn more about April at her website and her Epicurean Vegan blog.

Featured Book:  Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis

I'm not the most dedicated sports fan in the world, especially when it comes to baseball which I find a tedious game that always turns into a hot dog and beer marathon with a side of sunburn.

I do like football....but prefer to watch it on television.

Reading sports stories, however, is a whole different ballgame. I read the sports section of my local paper (admittedly searching mostly for the human interest stories), and I love books and movies about sports--nonfiction (especially biographies) and fiction.

Moneyball is one of the books I loved, and the movie was excellent too.

I'll send you to Michael's blog for his photo and videos of interviews and talks.

Word of the Day:  Marijuana

If you know what's been going on in Colorado with the new pot laws, you probably guessed I'd at least mention the subject during the challenge.

The new laws don't affect me much because I won't smoke anything (quitting nicotine back in 1982 was hard enough--I've seen the effects of lung cancer in my own family). And I'm already high on life so I don't need drops or edibles or infusions or whatever else is available out there.

However, I don't like the remote possibility a little smoke will blow my way. I've smelled pot, and to me it reeks worse than skunk. And I didn't much care for the inconvenience at Denver International Airport on my last trip when we had to line up single file to approach the Concourse A security station so TSA agents with drug-sniffing dogs could walk up and down the line and let the dogs check us out.

And that's all I have to say about that....for now.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've never smoked or taken anything illegal. Hot Tamales are my worst addiction.

Margot Kinberg said...

Pat - So glad you mentioned Moneyball. It's a great story and the film version was nicely done too. Just a whole new way to look at putting together a winning team.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I read once that the sports pages are great places to find strong, powerful action words/verbs for use in our own writing.

Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption
Minion, Capt. Alex's Ninja Minion Army
The 2014 Blogging from A-Z Challenge

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

My boys loved the movie Moneyball. Never let a bit of smoke pass my lips either, tobacco or otherwise. I like my own moods, grumpy or happy, and never use anything artificial to change them. Colorado has put itself in the news with its law.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Alex, your lungs are grateful.

Good morning, Margot. I guess Michael Lewis has a new book out about called "The Wall Street Revolt" that's getting a lot of attention. Adding it to my TBR list, too.

Excellent idea, Madeline. Sometimes our reporters go a little overboard, though. And the title writers get right down silly. My editor would go nuts!

It's almost embarrassing, Susan. All the hoopla at the airport to make sure no one carries pot out of the state by air is comical. It's like arresting someone for spitting on the sidewalk while folks are getting mugged on every street corner.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Patricia, I am so much into yoga and deep breathing exercises that I can never think of illegal substances.

Mary Aalgaard said...

Great post. The authors sound great. That must have been very interesting research about Folsom prison and its inmates. It would be sad to discover that they might have been innocent, and yet, executed, or in for life.
Play off the Page

Patricia Stoltey said...

Rachna, I took yoga when I was much younger, but the only part I've kept up is the deep breathing. I wish I'd done more while I was still agile.

Mary, April is in my critique group so I know the time and effort she spent meticulously researching the cases described in Folsom's 93. She even took a tour through the prison.

Dean K Miller said...

I know April (awesome!) and liked Moneyball and I have to admit I never saw the Marijuana coming on your blog!

Patricia Stoltey said...

I didn't either, Dean! :D

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Pat! And yes, Mary, I did believe a few of the Folsom men were innocent. I also wasn't expecting marijuana to be your word of day--always keeping us on our toes, Pat. Thanks again!

Crystal Collier said...

That's awesome--that you're high on life, and thank you for having the courage to call this challenge "cursed." LOL. It's a love/hate relationship, eh? ;)

True Heroes from A to Z

Lady Jai said...

I'm with you on the marijuana front...I straddle the fence about legalizing it. However, I don't mind if they could produce a THC pill for medicinal. Smoking it...I don't like cigarette smoke...nor it's affects on the lungs! My father suffered lung cancer so I completely understand. :)

Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
My A to Z
Caring for My Veteran

Patricia Stoltey said...

You're very welcome, April. (I know you all were expecting an M word like "murder" or "mayhem.")

Hi Crystal -- yes, cursed is the right word. I am cursed because I keep coming back to do A to Z over and over again. Someone put a spell on me.

Hi Janie, thanks for stopping by. Medicinal uses in pill form (as for nausea during chemo) are great if they work. There seem to be a lot of opinions pro and con on that issue.

Rhonda Blackhurst said...

For those of us working in the law enforcement/legal field, the whole marijuana issue has been a complete nightmare. :(

GSMarlene said...

I live in CO too and this has definitely posed some interesting situations. I don't/won't smoke anything, but I'm not adverse to the idea of a tasty brownie or some other edible in the comfort of my own home. But my husband doesn't react well-he gets the spins bad. I'm weird, I like the spins, but this is becoming a spectator sport for us. Just don't want to see car accidents from MJ any more than drunk driving, so I hope those that imbibe, do it with care.
Marlene at On Writing and Riding

Arlee Bird said...

I'm wondering why I do 4 blogs in the Challenge. This year I didn't do much prep and I'm barely keeping up now. Add to that some funky computer problems that have been slowing me down severely and I'm about to go bonkers.

Colorado is one of the test markets for legal pot. If they reap big taxes and there aren't too many problems I think we'll see it legalized across the country. That would free up law enforcement to fight actual crime--maybe.

Wrote By Rote
An A to Z Co-host blog

simple girl..... said...

I haven't smoked pot..I fear any kind of addiction..
April Moore's research subject seems interesting ...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Patricia .. yes - we are half-way through .. and yes you did sign up and yes you agreed to smile as beautifully as your well-mannered guest author is doing today and appropriately named April!

Fulsom Prison - must be an interesting subject .. I loved the film with Johnny Cash helping out there ...

It's interesting the Marijuana happening in Colorado - I blanch now when I walk past someone with a cigarette in their mouth, or puffing out smoke -

Cheers Hilary