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If a tree falls in the forest ... should it be used to make the paper for my novel?

I’ve been working on a novel for the past year and a half, a process which has made doing any kind of creative writing here in this space more and more difficult. I’ve kept up with my book-to-movie blog at Chapter1-Take1.com but that’s a very different kind of writing. When giving out factual information, I don’t require inspiration. 

Now I’ve finished the book and I’ve begun reaching out, searching for an agent. An easy sentence to write, a horrifying, intimidating, paralyzing process to undertake. The first chapter, one I was happy with before, now strikes me as sophomoric, tedious, garbage and any number of cliche criticisms. Is it? Or is that my fear talking? I don’t know. I’m in a place where I can’t imagine my novel is worth the paper it’s written on—about 1/3 of your typical paper-suitable tree. Which is why I still can’t find the energy to get back to memoir pieces. My writing brain needs a break. 

So in lieu of a writerly post, I’m posting photos instead. If you follow me on In…

Sam Querrey: My interview with the man of the moment

Early summer means Wimbledon when millions of us—our rackets long outdated, zipped into cases, stuffed into hall closets—tune back into the game of tennis. I used to love tennis, or the idea of it anyway. Tennis whites bringing out the brown on arms and legs, the players and their idiosynchratic grunts and groans. The 70's were the heyday of my tennis ardor, Breakfast at Wimbledon a yearly tradition. The romantic possibilities of Chris Evert and Jimmy Connors. Billy Jean King and Martina Navrátilová. The sex appeal of Ilya Nastase. Arthur Ashe followed by the long-haired Bjorn Borg looking like Peter Frampton. McEnroe and his anger management problems. Those were the days I played it too, poorly, the sweet spot of victory ever elusive. 

Eventually I let it go, but still Wimbledon calls every year. The names familiar with year after year of victories, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer, the Williams sisters, Novak Djokovic. This year the name on everyone's lips is the California tennis player Sam Querrey. Querrey who shocked the tennis world by knocking out Djokovic—the winner of this year's French Open—in the early rounds. Hearing the news I did a double take. 

I interviewed Sam Querrey back in 2008 when he was living out in the exurbs of L.A. and I was writing freelance pieces monthly for the Westlake Village based 805 Living magazine.

The interview was for a regular back page item called P.S. where I asked local celebs a few puff piece questions. Querrey had just turned pro and, no surprise here, it was clear from our conversation that his passion for the game exceeded anything else, although he did say if he could do anything he'd "be in an awesome rock band". 

Querrey was particularly stoked over a game he'd played against James Blake, telling me his Most Memorable Day was playing 'James Blake—one of the top ten players in the world—on the center court at the Pacific Life Open at Indian Wells.' 

Just a hunch but I'm thinking that Most Memorable Day has been lobbed into oblivion.

A bit more of the Q&A ...

What would surprise people about you? 
I'm a whiz when I get a karaoke microphone in my hand

Pet peeve? Right-handed people who wear their watch on their right hand and slow golfers.

Book on your nightstand? The World is Flat (Thomas L. Friedman, The Winner's Mind (Allen Fox)

Dream Day: Playing tennis in front of 50,000 people and loving it. Then afterward, go golfing or hang out at the beach with my friends.

Congratulations Sam, it looks like your Dream Day has come true in aces! Except for the part about golfing or hanging out with friends at the beach later. But that's ok. I have a hunch that golf and the beach are the last things on your mind right at this moment, and that you'd put a whole new spin on that Most Memorable Day question.

You're in the sweet spot! Enjoy it.


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