I'm looking forward to the new year, although - with one major exception - last year was a pretty great one.
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.)
The Cubs won the World Series!
And 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.
But in 2017, I'm looking forward to visits to Wake Forest, Iowa, and Southern Virginia. Details to come. I'm waiting for the release of ONE FAT SUMMER, starring Donald Sutherland, Blake Cooper, Luke Wilson, and Judy Greer. The movie will be titled MEASURE OF A MAN. It was written by the gifted screenwriter ( A Single Man) David Scearce and directed by Jim Loach.
2017 will also be the fiftieth anniversary of THE CONTENDER. Any ideas?
And a new edition of SPORTSWORLD: AN AMERICAN DREAMLAND will be published.
As for 2016's one major disappointment - the election of Donald J. Trump - we'll just have to wait and see. Maybe we will be happily surprised. For what I wrote about that, check the LIPSITE site - it's one of my monthly Codger columns for the Shelter Island Reporter, my new journalism home.
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 seven 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 "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.