Books Magazine

An Excerpt from “Baseball Girl”

By Steph's Scribe @stephverni

baseballgirlHear me clearly.

I am writing.

Honestly, I am.

To prove it, I decided to share the following scene as I make my way through National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), to validate that I am actually working on finishing this novel. In this part, the main character, Francesca, has an honest discussion with Gus, a reporter she is just getting to know (still rethinking the name Gus, but for now it stays). They have met in the Press Lounge at the ballpark during a game to have a bite to eat. They are just getting to know one another. He is a reporter, she is the community relations director for the baseball team. Clarkson is an outfielder.

Here’s the scene:

* * *

“So where does someone our age go out and have fun in this town?” Gus asked.

“Honestly, I’m the wrong person to ask. I think I’ve been out three times since January, and they were so unimpressionable, I can’t remember where I went. You’ll have to ask some of the assistants. They go out a lot more than I do.”

“What, are you not invited to their outings?”

“Yes, they invite me, but it can be uncomfortable because I’m the boss; I don’t want to compromise my position by becoming too familiar, you know?”

“I can see that,” he said, “but you’ve got to live a little.”

Francesca knew he was right, but he hardly knew her and was offering advice.

“What makes you such an expert on social lives?” she asked.

“Oh, God. I’m not an expert at all. In fact, I have little to no social life, except for the one I share with other writers who travel with the team. I usually end up spending so much time with them that I’m surprised they don’t buy me chocolates and flowers.”

“Very funny,” she said. “You can have a social life, you just need to make time for it, not find time for it.”

“That’s a good quote,” he said. “You should probably heed its brilliant advice yourself.”

“Tried it, but it didn’t work,” she said.

“What? With Clarkson?”

She was mortified. Gus Thompson knew about it? And if he knew about it, then everyone knew about it. She suspected news of it was being plastered all over the clubhouse or churning through the rumor mill. She was rendered speechless, just like that, and was pretty sure her face turned a deep shade of red.

He put his hand on her forearm. “It’s okay. You don’t have to be embarrassed…”

“Oh my God!” she said, as she stood up. “How did you know? Who told you? I can’t have this conversation with you. How did we get here?”

She turned on her heels, her body taking over for her mind as she marched over to the trash can, tossed her beer into the garbage, and headed out the door from whence she came, cognizant that she was being watched.

And that was the end of that.

–copyright, Stephanie Verni, November 2013

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