That pride is recursive because Inward-Facing Writers is really just one Inward-Facing Writer: John Lindholm.
Regardless, “Last of the Third” has been released in both Kindle and paperback versions. Below is the blurb. (A secret…Even though it sounds like somebody else wrote it, it was really me):
Twenty-two year old Shawn McMaster hasn’t been seen since the last time he played baseball four years ago. But when a chance meeting with Quail Township’s eccentric lures him out of hiding, he learns how much he’s missed, and the shocking truth of how little time he has to save his family’s — and his hometown’s — way of life.
In his debut novel, John Lindholm investigates and reflects upon love, loss, and the clash between contemporary, suburban living and simple, small-town life.
Oh, and baseball…While football may have taken over as America’s national pastime, in some parts of the country, baseball still reigns supreme. Lindholm’s fictional hamlet of Quail is no exception. Readers of “Last of the Third” will experience the game both from the front row as a fan and also from inside the head of the player.
Like the participants in the Milwaukee Brewers’ Sausage Race, the story arcs in “Last of the Third” charge to their conclusions with all the twists and turns of Game 7 of a playoff series.
The time stamps provided by the novel’s chapters indicate that it’s been three years in the making, but I have to say it’s been much longer than that. More than twenty years longer.
Back in college, I took a correspondence writing course. This was before the internet, so I did some writing, mailed it off to the teacher. He would critique it, and send it back.
One of the assignments gave flight to a short story about an eighteen-year old kid whose very last baseball game is rained out, never to be made up. Crushed, but not dissuaded, he suits up and heads to the ball field. In the rain and on the muddy field, he pantomimes the entire seven innings, culminating with the game-winning hit.
The character’s name was Jack Armstrong, which my teacher said was too stereotypically American, like, the all-American boy. But…that’s what I was going for.
A few years later, I started playing men’s fast pitch softball in Lancaster, PA. The league, the field, the pregame prayer, even the concession stand all smacked of a time gone by. A slice of Americana wedged between encroaching suburban developments.
Change the sport from softball to baseball, sprinkle on a love story, fold in a mystery, shake in some crazy, and even dab on a bit of magic… et voila, “Last of the Third.”