"They say 'write what you know'," I said.
"That's what they say," said Jon. He peered from the dugout. We were in rain delay and if things didn't clear up soon, the umps were going to call it. I bounced a ball off the back of my hand. We were down by two runs, but I knew if we resumed we stood a chance. Keltner, their leftie had started throwing nothing but junk.
"If I wrote what I knew, I wouldn't write. I've tried. I think what works best for me is when I incorporate true elements of myself in my work. For instance, if I write a story set in the eighties in Montana, I obviously don't know squat about Montana and not a whole lot about the life of mountain men at that time."
"Stands to reason," said Jon.
"So, I research the state and the life of those individuals and I write about it. But the things they feel, the loneliness, the closeness to nature---I can write about that by drawing from my own experience."
The manager walked by and gave me an evil look.
"If you're gonna keep hittin' like you've been, try holding the bat by the other end."
Some of the players chuckled. Jon smiled. "Don't let him bother you," he said.
The manager snorted. "Yeah, good advice, Zech. This coming from the 'Error King'."
"Me? I write more from experience," said Jon. "When I wrote my 'Buck and Tangee' thing, that was more closely related to my life. I have trouble writing crazy stuff like you. I like taking this person, then that person, and putting them in a quiet, ordinary setting and seeing what happens. I like spending time on description and detail. Painting a picture."
I nodded. "Again, I don't think it matters if you write about real life so long as you're writing about real people."
Zech looked at me. "I like that. Say it again."
"It don't matter if you write about real life so long as you are writing about real people."
The umps called for the managers and we could tell by looking at the ground crew that they were getting ready to pull the tarp from the field. The sky looked menacing, but it had stopped raining.