Friday, September 4, 2015

When life influences art

As a sports fan, I generally root for the underdog. If my favorite team is not playing in a game or in the hunt for a playoff spot, I side with a lowly team that is.

Earlier this week, I was set to root for the Chicago Cubs. With my Seattle Mariners going nowhere in the American League West, I was ready to adopt a usually hapless team that is suddenly a favorite to make the National League playoffs.

I saw no downside to siding with baseball’s lovable losers.

Then I remembered I was in the final stages of writing a time-travel novel where three Chicago women from 2016 go back to 1938 and do something that no baseball fan has (presumably) done since 1945: watch the Cubs play in the World Series.

Should the Cubs reach the World Series next month, Mercer Street, a novel slated for publication next month, will have to undergo emergency surgery. I will have to acknowledge 2015.

I should have known I was in trouble when I read a news article in March that refreshed my memory of a favorite movie. In Back to the Future Part II, a hologram informs time-traveling Marty McFly in 2015 that the Cubs have won the World Series.

The lessons are clear: Don't ignore Michael J. Fox movies, don't put eggs in one basket, and don't assume anything. Nothing in sports is a stone-cold lock. Not even the Chicago Cubs missing the World Series for the seventieth-consecutive year.

Fortunately for me, the part of Mercer Street that deals with the Cubs is minor. Whether Chicago goes on a roll and reaches the Series or fades in the playoffs, I will be ready to give the story an appropriate spin. Thank God for alternate histories.

One way or the other, Mercer Street, the second novel in the American Journey series, will be out in October. Until then, I am more than content to root for the boys in blue. Go Cubs!

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