It's been an exciting year so far, although some of the excitement veers into the scary-crazy. It's the fiftieth anniversary of The Contender and the first time in my life that the President of the United States makes me feel unsafe. I've lived through Nixon and Bush, after all, and as a school kid I had to "duck and cover" in atomic bomb drills. I've interviewed Donald Trump a few times through the years and thought he was an amiable and unreliable blowhard, but was grateful that he was such an easy subject. In those days, the media treated him too nicely. Our bad.
It's hard to concentrate on much besides Trump and his chumps right now, but I'm trying.
Rutgers University Press will be publishing a new edition of SportsWorld: An American Dreamland, my 1975 farewell to sports (I came back) and I'm waiting for the release of the film version of One Fat Summer, my 1977 Young Adult novel, starring Donald Sutherland, Blake Cooper, Luke Wilson, and Judy Greer. The movie, which I like, is titled MEASURE OF A MAN. It was written by the gifted screenwriter David Searce ( A Single Man) and directed by Jim Loach.
I'll be teaching at Wake Forest University in the Communications, Education and Documentary Film departments this spring semester and speaking at the University of Iowa.
I'm still writing my monthly column for the Shelter Island Reporter, my hometown newspaper. It's called CODGER.
Last year was a great one. In may, my wife, Lois, and I had our maiden voyage on the Queen Mary 2 (I gave lectures on sports during gale force winds over the Atlantic, hardly noticeable) and there was a visit to Wales afterward.
In August, our usual visit to Arch Cape, Oregon, to the beach house of Lois' brother, Gene, and sister-in-law Layton included a drop-in by my daughter, Susannah, with her husband, Ben, and 4-year-old Daniel, the youngest of my three grandchildren. (Sam and Ceridwen's kids, Sylvia, 9, is blossoming into a wonderful comic personality and artist, and the dynamic Alfred, 12 1/2, grows as a dancer with the American Ballet Theater - he plays hoops, too.)
We had a glorious Thanksgiving with all of the above plus my sister, Gale, and Lois's intrepid niece, Alexa Borkan, who is setting off on an Asian tour.
And Lois' hometown Cubs won the World Series!
Of books on the shelf, there's Sam Lipsyte's latest volume of short stories, "The Fun Parts," which got rave reviews. Janet Maslin in the New York Times called him a "literary rock star." (And I remember when he fronted a noise punk band, Dung Beetle.) and, of course, Sam's latest novel, "The Ask," published by FSG, a New York Times best-seller and one of its best books of 2010.
My memoir, "An Accidental Sportswriter," published seven years ago by Ecco/HarperCollins, is still in paperback and Kindle.
Don't forget another great read, "Along the Roaring River: My Wild Ride from Mao to the Met" by Hao Jiang Tian with Lois B. Morris.
I'll be using THE LIPSITE page for articles you might enjoy and whatever is currently on my mind about my novel writing life. In the JOCK CULTURE section you'll find pieces about my take on sports. Right now, there's a terrific piece about me by Bryan Curtis, the ace Grantland writer.
Don't forget to go to the website of my wife, Lois B. Morris, and take the free personality test. I did. Learned a lot about myself. Gotta be a book in it!
And then there is Milo, who arrived from a shelter almost eight years ago. He's about 12 years old, a beautiful tri-color (black, white, brown) Cocker Spaniel mixture from Last Chance Animal Rescue. He was named for the protagonist in "The Ask." He's sweet and funny and doesn't eat grandchildren. He might write his own book someday.
There's always time to answer your e-mails. So don't forget to drop me a line. If I don't answer immediately, I'm probably writing.