Richard Raney image / EG / Equine Sculpture

One of my favorite paintings from the Richard Raney show. He had a nice write-up in the art section of the Kansas City Star today. He’ll get a feature tomorrow. My assistant’s going to shoot me for posting this image without cropping, etc., but I don’t do the photo magic. She does.

I said I was going to discuss fiction tonight. Can’t. We have a function taking place, and I have to jot down these words between introductions, the shaking of hands, etc. Discussing fiction takes more thought than I have time for just now.

So let’s discuss Everybody’s Game. Why did I write it? Because there was a need. Children’s sports are at a crisis point nationally–not because of kids, but because of the overwrought expectations, and barbaric behavior, of a minority of the adults. The situation has become so negative, hyper-competitive, and poorly managed–with all the wrong goals in place–that kids are leaving sports in droves, if they sign up at all. During this time of increasing obesity, depression and lowering levels of self-esteem, that is a serious problem. And of course it carries over into adulthood, especially for men.

Many great people are trying to correct this issue. But it really won’t be corrected until there is a work, or series of works, that they can rally around and use as a focal point. I wrote EG to provide that focal point, and to help institute real change. Can I honestly make that difference? Get me a decent publisher, and you bet I can. I don’t want to go with a small Midwestern press again, despite the offers I’ve received, so I’m holding out for something more substantial. Besides, it’s no more a sports book than Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was about bikes. My book’s about life–in relation to both kids and adults–and I tell the necessary stories to make it sing. According to the feedback I’m getting from authorities on the subject (Doug Abrams, for one), it does. Doug was interviewed on this very subject in Parade Magazine in August. The name of the article was “Who’s Killing Kids’ Sports?”

You might think I’m nuts to not go with a small contract now. Well I would, if I didn’t sense something of greater potential building. I intend to ride that potential. Without it, I can’t help implement real change, which is just what I aim to do.

Regarding art, I finished a consultation yesterday on a sculpture project for a developer who wants some large equine pieces. Had to redesign the original concept as presented by the architect; or rather Erik Bier redesigned, with feedback and a few ideas from me. Client ecstatic with changes, which are dramatic. We’ll start in Jan. Yeah, Erik’s freaking brilliant–in a slightly Teutonic way.

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