I’m a big believer in stories, and I feel pretty lucky I get to tell them at a place like Notre Dame as editor of Grotto Network. I write and edit for the details that tell a story—for the little thing that gives us the big thing. Here’s an example: A man in Hawaii suddenly realizes he can’t feel his feet, even though he has placed them in a basin of scalding water—and that’s when he realizes he has contracted leprosy from the people he went there to serve. There’s a whole story in that one moment, isn’t there?
Or check out this picture of Jimmie Foxx—isn’t there a story happening right here, in this split second? The details are full of drama if you look closely: the tensed muscles in his forearm, the left foot raised just a hair, the pitcher’s arm spent in a follow-through, the ball tumbling through the air somewhere between competitors, the second baseman sliding into position at the last possible second to conceal the velocity of the pitch, the shadow of the catcher’s glove juuust beginning to extend behind the plate to snatch the curve or slider or heater…
So—does he catch it? Or does he watch the ball carry to the outfield after the crack of lumber on leather? And if Jimmie here stretches the hit into a double, will he make it home?
Isn’t that where we’re all running?
Like baseball, writing is a craft. I’m just trying to make contact to advance the runners—put the bat on the ball and put words on the page.