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“What about the children?”

Disappointed All-Star team

A disappointed Little League All-Star team (photo: Cindy Yaminaka, Orange County Register)

Our local Little League district has been in the news a lot lately, but not for happy reasons. At the start of the season, a league was suspended for a rule violation. Recently, another league had its All-Star team disqualified from a tournament, also because of a rule violation.

To most people, this is just the case of meddling/vindictive/incompetent/glory-seeking parents interfering in a children’s game. “Let ‘em play!” the commenters post. Why should children suffer because of the actions of adults? We hear the cry, “What about the children?”

It’s time for some perspective.

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Write who you are

Should writers really “write what you know”? This Mark Twain quote is often misinterpreted. I think better advice is to “write who you are.”

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I Got Germanized, all right…

Selfie in a German soccer uniformI went on another business trip to Freiburg, Germany. This second time around, I was able to explore more of the city, experience more of the culture, and learn more about the history. I tried this time, to borrow the name of a popular YouTube channel, to Get Germanized. Doing this was more challenging than I expected.

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I’m not John Green, and I’m OK with that

John Green from Crash Ccurse

Mr. Stern! Mr. Stern! You were 16 when I was born? Man, you’re old! (Image capture from YouTube.)

John Green is living the life all writers dream of. This week, he attended the red carpet (or in his case, blue carpet) premiere of the major motion picture based on his award-winning, best-selling novel. He has been profiled on TV, hailed as a voice of a generation, and has millions of adoring fans around the world.

As a writer, I am proud of him. Writing has always been a tough gig, especially with all the changes going on in the publishing business. To see a fellow writer break out to achieve global superstardom makes me happy. It gives our field more public attention, and it creates opportunities for other writers.

But I must also admit that I am a little bit jealous of him.

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Let’s talk about the World Cup

My daughter playing soccer at age 4

See, Americans play soccer. Including my daughter.

I’m going on a business trip to a part of the world that cares a great deal about what is happening in Brazil. I’m not talking about the destruction of the Amazon rain forest or the civil unrest. I’m talking about the World Cup (although it is a source of that civil unrest).

Why don’t more Americans get into the World Cup, even though we now qualify for it fairly regularly? And why isn’t soccer more popular here, even though the MLS is growing in popularity and global reputation and a large number of children play youth soccer? It’s not for the reasons people think.

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