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Teamwork and the Writer

We like to think writing is a solitary, confined activity. However, with a toddler on one arm, someone talking in another ear, and a Cheshire cat on the keyboard tapping 45,835 pages of the letter ‘M,’ writing is hectic. And then the teamwork begins. Growing up, I was a runner. I loved the solitude of jogging South Dakota’s endless country roads, sometimes 10 or 15 miles. A skinny kid with speed, I did okay zooming past strong farmer boys in cross country and track. My college life began in Iowa. If someone wants to jog in Iowa winters, they lengthen shoes so long they called it cross-country skiing. Meh. So, I was surprised to land on an intermural basketball team. Yay. I was faster than everyone else. Every play, I dribbled past the first dude, weaved through the next two, spun around the tall defender, leapt high for a layup, and missed. The coach, Donahue (name changed to protect Larry), was verbose and gentle. “Idiot. Don’t shoot,” he kindly explained. “Pass. Or I’ll stuff you in a snowbank.” He removed his fingers from around my neck. I dribbled the ball past people, then threw it to someone else with the same shirt color who, while slower, knew how to get the round, bouncy thing through iron hoop

that held a useless net thing. Yay. Points. The Writer’s Life When I received my first edits and rejections, many were as kind as Larry, and I felt some resentment.

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