Royal November

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This article previous appeared at Confabulator Cafe.

Kansas City Royals baseball is over for 2015.

The parade has come and the crowds have gone.

A championship was won. Memories were made. My home, my city came together in a way like I’ve never experienced.

In 2014, the Kansas City Royals lost the World Series in Game 7 against the San Francisco Giants on October 29th. I know it was October 29th because I was in Augusta, Georgia for work and two other huge things were going on: The World Series and NaNoWriMo Prep. In between meetings and at bars after work, I scribbled my NaNoWriMo outline notes on napkins (cliched, I know) and on post-its. And during Games 5, 6 and 7 of the Fall Classic, I sat at a table at Buffalo Wild Wings with a crowd that barely noticed the World Series was happening. I was nervous for the impending November because I didn’t feel ready. I felt consumed by October fall ball.

In a city I didn’t love, with a few colleagues I barely knew, I watched my team fall heart-breakingly short of a world championship we’d yearned for in 29 years of [mostly] bad baseball. We wanted the crown, and we watched another city take it from us.

I finished NaNoWriMo 2014 with just over 50k words. It was my third NaNoWriMo and my third win, but I was heartbroken during most of November. I did get a full November, though. I may have scribbled frantic notes for a mostly useless outline in a notebook I wouldn’t know where to find now, but I was able to start writing my novel on November 1st without many distractions. I threw myself into that novel because there was nothing else to throw myself into.

This year, the Royals WON THE WORLD SERIES! In Game 5, down by 2 runs against the New York Mets. In the top of the 9th we scored two miraculous runs to tie it up, and in the twelfth we scored five more to take the crown we knew we deserved. The one we missed last year.

That was on November 1st.

It almost seems like a lifetime ago. It was a week from the time I’m writing this.

We’ve had late night watch parties, parades, celebrations that are, potentially, once-in-a-lifetime events take place in Kansas City. Excuses are excuses in my book, but I am willing to concede that Royals baseball has made it an extremely hard first few days of NaNoWriMo (in Kansas City…)

I wouldn’t trade it for the world, of course.

I guess the point of all of this is that this October and November has been one of the most exciting, gut-wrenching, heart-pounding falls of my entire life. And then NaNo started. If I could set up life in a perfect bubble, the Fall Classic and NaNoWriMo would not coincide. Perfect is relative, though, and I’m not sure I want a perfect life. Perfection makes boring writing, and a perfect life gives me no inspiration.

What I’m taking from the experience is a lesson the Royals taught me:

Be relentless.

Fight!

Never give up, never back down, never look away when you’re backed into a corner.

Believe.

Do work and make it hard work.

It’s day 10. I’m behind in my word count. But I’m from Kansas City, a Royal town. I’m a comeback kid who’s learned from the best comeback kids in all of baseball, maybe all of time. I do my best work when I’m behind, and you can never count me out.

I’ll win this Fall Classic. I’ll take that halo.

❤ Sarah and the Wordwraiths.

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