The website of Dorothy Jane Mills

The website of Dorothy Jane Mills

Blog: July 1, 2014


A writer is a writer, even if that person isn't writing on his or her usual subject. I love writing about baseball history. But that isn't my only interest, so I write on other subjects, too.

Right now I am involved in the development of three different book-length manuscripts, only one relating to baseball. Each manuscript is in a different state of development.

My cat book is at the publisher's right now. This is a short book for grownups about a cat that became my house pet back in the ‘90s. I took on this pet when I was living alone, with the idea that he would offer me some entertainment and companionship. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the it was the cat who expected me to furnish his entertainment and companionship.

How do I know this? From his facial expressions and body language. In fact, to accompany the photos of this cat in action, I have written captions revealing what he thinking. The title of the book is I Know What My Cat Is Thinking, and It's Not Complimentary.

Barringer Press is preparing the book, and the editor says it will be ready within a couple of months, so I expect to be able to show it in November as a possibility for a solution to part of your Christmas gift list. Surely there are some cat people on that list. There are on mine.

The second manuscript that has been occupying my time is for a book with the working title Heroes in Dresses; How Girls and Women Overcame Barriers to Playing Baseball, which reveals what girls went through in order to play the game they loved. They were scorned, laughed at, spat at, and underwent many other forms of rejection, just because of being female. In overcoming this rejection, they were truly heroic.

This manuscript has gone through more than one incarnation. My agent believes that its current version has a good chance in the market with a New York or Boston publisher.

The third manuscript, the first draft of which I have just completed, has not even reached my agent yet. I'm still printing it out. Writing it has given me so much pleasure that while recording the antics of the characters, I often laughed aloud.

It's a satire about a senior community like the one I live in now, inspired by what it is like to reside in Assisted Living, a style of life many seniors have chosen, despite its oddities.

Do you think you'd choose to live in a building full of apartments occupied by oldies, some of whom need canes or walkers or even power chairs? Better give it some consideration, because seniors are flocking to these places and enjoying themselves. (Yes, we have Happy Hour.)  The working title here is A Kiss Is Still a Kiss: Life and Death at Locksley Glen, based on characters and events I've created but who have been inspired by my neighbors and what they do here at the similar institution where I live.

My agent is delighted with the idea of this book, since it could appeal to the new wave of Baby Boomers just reaching retirement age who are about to consider where and how they will live when in their 80s and 90s. Of course, they never believed they would ever reach such an advanced age, and yet, by golly, it's happening, isn't it? The folks who scorned retirement ("that's for old people") are finally realizing that they are weakening, losing their powers, and wondering how to deal with everything that's happening to them. Assisted Living is one answer, especially if you are open to laughing at the Human Condition.  

I have other ideas for books I want to write, but since I am already in my 80s, I'm not sure that I will get to more than a couple of them. I've never really retired (that's for old people), and I still like to research and write baseball history. 

Peter Mancuso, the baseball historian who is the head of SABR's Nineteenth Century Baseball Committee, has referred to me in his latest newsletter as "the Grand Dame of baseball history research," but I'd like to become known as a writer and researcher who loves to write and perform research. I'm just plain having fun. I hope you do, too, when you reach this advanced age.

 
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