25 October 2010

My Bowling Name is "Neil"

Thanks for weighing in on my decision last week! I ended up sitting down and writing a little bit on my newest story... discovered some initial plot discrepancies (which are always good to catch at the beginning!) and now am thinking through that. Why is it that every novel I write hurts? And why do I hope it would be any different each time? What's that quote about writing being like bleeding all over the page/computer screen? Seriously!

Also, thanks to T.Anne and Susan Reinhardt, who suggested I send my newsletter via email. I wasn't sure how to do that with the new program I've been using, then I learned a nifty trick last week. Thanks, Y'all! I hope to get it out soon. The newsletter is actually finished, but I have had serious issues with printers this week. I haven't been this frustrated since the last time I did a newsletter! Ha! Anywho, if anyone would like to receive the pdf form, let me know!

Last week, a bunch of people from work went bowling together at the end of the day. There were eight of us in all, so we were on two lanes. This was the first time I'd been bowling in years. When I was in college, I was halfway decent (for someone who has no interest in bowling)... solid scores 100-130, at least. One time I got a 181 and a turkey. Back then, a group of us would go bowling at midnight and do the laser thing. We all had bowling names we made up for each other... someone named me the "Black Widow" and that name stuck until we stopped doing the laser thing a month later (it was a youth group phase).

So, back to this week. I don't know what it was... the fact that I hadn't bowled in forever, the slippery shoes, the fact that I'm not used to wearing shoes (I wear sandals pretty much year round), etc., but I scored extremely low the first game-even with one strike to my credit. I mean, an 8-year-old beat me (granted, he had bumpers, but still). Sad.

Half way through the next game, two of the guys had to leave. So we took over their spots. I decided to bowl for "Neil". My first turn to bowl for him, I tossed the ball down the lane.


Then I stepped up to bowl for me. Strike.

Back to Neil: 6 pins.
Back to me: 3 pins.
Neil: Strike
Me: 4 pins
Neil: Strike

Do we see a pattern here?

For the rest of the game, whenever I bowled for me, it was extremely low. Whenever I bowled for Neil, it was high. In all, I scored 4 strikes that game, but they were for two different people (and on two different lanes). Part of me was relieved to prove that I wasn't that bad at bowling (not so much because I love bowling but because I'm so competitive). Part of me was annoyed that I couldn't bowl well for myself. Part of me thought it was hilarious, especially when the people behind me started chanting, "We want Neil! Bring back Neil!"

My final score was 76.
Neil's was 109, and over 60 of those points I scored for him. Each time with a different ball.

Some things are just random and funny. But I felt more comfortable on Neil's lane. It was all the way on the end, so I felt like I had room to breathe, instead of being crowded. It was a "sweet spot" of sorts. And my "voice" came out - sounding just like me.

So that's how I went from being the Black Widow to Neil.


  1. I am a horrible, horrible bowler. I don't think becoming Neil would help me one bit. :)

    I love this line: Why is it that every novel I write hurts?

    Oh, man, it's SO true! Every novel hurts for me too! You're not alone Kristen!

  2. So funny. I'm a Neil bowler, except I'm usually Wendy. ;)

    Glad you found some resolution to your questions.
    ~ Wendy

  3. Then Neil it is!!! Cute story. :O)

  4. I stink at bowling and I'm married to a man who used to be pretty good on a league. Oh well, some things just aren't made for us. Glad you had a good week!

  5. I'm horrible at bowling, but it's still fun. I know what you mean about every novel hurting. Ouch.

  6. Hi Kristen -

    I like bowling, but I'm not very good at it.

    Perhaps you scored well as Neil because you didn't have any pressure. The whole competition thing might have made you nervous.

    Susan :)

  7. Chin up Neil I'm a pretty bad bowler too. Bad bowler's untie! And yay me and Susan! I can't wait to get an email newsletter from you girl!

    whiteplatonicdreams at yahoo dot com

  8. Maybe next time I go bowling I'll choose the name Neil. Either way, it won't hurt my bowling game:)

  9. That's a funny store Neil. Can I borrow the name the next time I go bowling. It couldn't hurt.

  10. No wonder you did ratty for yourself, with a name like Black Widow. Hello!

    Neil, on the other hand, is a fine name. A playwrite, an astronaut, and a hit singer all have that name.

    I think names count. Perhaps I shall write a book with the pen name of Neil Bowler.

  11. Go for it, Jeanette!

    Rick and Karen, it's all yours! Ha!

    Thanks, T.Anne!

    Glad to know I'm not alone!

  12. LOL. My husband's name is Neil. :-)

    I think the best writing does take a lot out of us. If we aren't pouring our heart and soul into it, how can we expect the reader to invest time and $$ into it? Sounds like you've got what it takes to make it!

  13. Neil works. The only way I can get points bowling is on Wii. :-)