For a long time, I was a creature of habit. For all but the holiday season, I was working when most people were off and off when most were working.
I’d warm up for NASCAR – full-time, 1993-2012 – by spending most of a week at preseason media functions, then spend half of February in Daytona Beach, Florida, for Speedweeks. Then the grind was, with mild adjustments: (1.) leave on Thursday, (2.) go to the track and write about what happens there, (3.) return on Monday, and (4.) spend Tuesday and Wednesday unpacking, paying bills, washing clothes, cutting grass, and packing.
For the first time since early 2013, I now live in something of a regular pattern that has grown until it is finally in place.
As life has evolved, sportswriting has occupied, at last, its proper place. I’ve become quite happy. From Friday night through the following Tuesday, I mostly write about sports. I write NASCAR columns for websites on Monday and Tuesday. I spend most of Tuesday completing newspaper assignments on local sports. From there till another Friday night, I write fiction, among less exciting pastimes such as the aforementioned bills, wash, lawn care, and, hey, this morning I even washed the dishes.
On Friday night, I describe football games and will do so for quite a while. I also describe a volleyball match last week. Later on, the kids at the county high schools and Presbyterian College will be playing other sports. Football season has a predictability that most sports lack. One game a week. Write a preview. Go to the game. Write wide open on deadline. Watch something really boring on TV in order to wind down and go to sleep.
The names and numbers change / But it’s like a rolling stone / Go out there, boys, and win one of your own, Lord, Lord.
This is the beginning of fiction time. This is a means of warming up for it. I’ve already performed such inspirational duties as checking email and social media, eliminating spam from my website(s), prepared and consumed breakfast, and enjoyed a mug of coffee.
Also, I checked in with a local coach who’s trying to change the date of a game, and now I’m checking again in an hour, which is another reason to write this blog because I can fill that hour with it, and then I won’t have to get all engrossed in the fiction again.
My schedule, like colonies of worms, must allow for some wiggle room.
I’ve written four novels and a collection of short stories. I’ve also written a number of books about sports, mostly about NASCAR. You can find most of them here.
The Kindle versions of my books, where available, can be found above. Links below are to print editions.
I’ve written a crime novel about the corrosive effects of patronage and the rise and fall of a powerful politician and his dysfunctional family, Forgive Us Our Trespasses.
I’ve written about what happens to a football coach when he loses everything, Crazy of Natural Causes.
I’ve written a tale of the Sixties in the South, centered on school integration and a high school football team, The Intangibles.
I’ve written a rollicking yarn about the feds trying to track down and manipulate a national hero who just happens to be a pot-smoking songwriter, The Audacity of Dope.
I’ve written a collection of 11 short stories, all derived from songs I wrote, Longer Songs.
Most of my sports columns are at montedutton.com.
Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing), and/or @wastedpilgrim (more opinionated and irreverent). I’m on Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Instagram (TUG50), and Google-Plus (MonteDuttonWriter).
Coming soon: My fifth novel, a modern western, Cowboys Come Home. If you’d like to sample it, and, perhaps, nominate it for publication in Amazon’s KindleScout program, try this link. If you nominate it, and it is published, you’ll receive a free download in advance.