French Open:Gorges Serena Williams to play Maria Sharapova in fourth round

The match between two of the sport’s biggest stars – with 28 Grand Slam titles between them, plus personalities and marketability which have helped them transcend tennis – was one of the most eye-catching permutations when the Roland Garros draw was made last week.

Source: French Open 2018: Serena Williams to play Maria Sharapova in fourth round – BBC Sport

What a surprise, I’m in a minority on Facebook in that I watch tennis matches, including the one this afternoon between Williams and Gorges. Williams seems to be getting stronger as the tournament goes on, but Sharapova is a tough competitor.

The older I get, the more I favor players who are “ancient” and still playing. Yet, when she entered the French Open, I thought Serena’s chances of winning the whole thing were a long shot. She’d been away a long time. But she looks good so far.


Sunday Clatterings: magic to tennis to spring

When stuff falls on the floor, it (the stuff) clatters. This is what happens when people try to spring forward into daylight savings time when they first wake up. Florida’s trying to stay on daylight savings time. I’d rather see the whole country standardize on standard time instead of the “extra sunshine” nonsense. I love the sound of clocks hitting the floor: doesn’t everyone?

The day before the hard freeze.

  • Several days ago, I was convinced spring had arrived. Rain had jump-started this year’s crop of weeds in the yard. The buds on the Japanese Magnolia were about to zap into full bloom. Then we had a hard freeze and flowers everywhere got ruined. Then it rained again. At least we’re not living in East Glacier or Browning, Montana where February was a record snowy month.
  • Better vision today after going back to the ophthalmologist Wednesday so he could use his lase to get rid of the cloudiness in my right eye and, while I was there, touch up a few missed spots in my left eye.
  • For reasons unknown, everyone’s eyes glaze over on Facebook whenever I mention I’ve been watching tennis and/or that I’m happy that the Williams sisters won their matches at the tournament in Indian Wells, California. I guess most people don’t like tennis or are unaware that the Williams sisters have dominated women’s tennis for a quarter of a century. I thought I’d mention this in today’s post so your eyes would glaze over, too.
  • I pre-ordered my Scots language copy of the first book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stane. Amazon was proud of itself for saving me 5 cents because pre-orders lock in the price; then they had to apologize for delivering it late. It was supposed to arrive on the 8th and it’s still not here. If th’ book isnae ‘ere by Tuesday, a’m aff tae speil bagpipes in th’ amazon affice.
  • It’s comfort food week compliments of my wife’s dentist. He extracted a compacted molar several weeks ago. Things seemed to be going well with her gum healing up until the bone spurs appeared. (Think of chewing food with a cactus in your mouth.) So, we were back to the dentist two days ago so he could make another incision and grind down the spurs. That means soft food: mac & cheese, ravioli, ice cream.
  • I’ve been thinking about Angi Sullins’ comment in the introduction to her book Doorways and Dreams. She (and I agree) doesn’t see real magic as the stuff out of Harry Potter. Instead she says that it’s a “more-ness shimmering behind our everyday reality.” It shimmers in our dreams and meditations and sometimes in things one sees out of the corner of his eye. I figure that has long as it’s there, it’s a practical energy we can use to better understand and create the reality going on around us. If you’ve read my books, you’ve seen how it works.
  • If you like mystery/thrillers, see my review of Jane Harper’s Force of Nature. If you like satire, see my latest Jock Stewart post about hoodoo workers hexing Congress.

Have a great week.


Taking time out for breakfast at Wimbledon

“Deprived of a record-tying 22nd grand slam title in the Australian Open and French Open finals this year, Williams got to No. 22 Saturday by defeating Angelique Kerber 7-5 6-3 in a high-quality Wimbledon final.” – CNN in Serena Williams wins Wimbledon for historic 22nd grand slam title

Yes, I watch FSU football and. depending on the teams, selected games from the World Series. Otherwise, I’m more interested in tennis. Not because I’m any good at it. It’s fun to watch. Recently, I wrote a post about aging authors who are still writing, saying that that gave the rest of us hope. Watching Serena and Venus Williams, at 34 and 36 years of age, playing in a game that requires a lot of stamina and athleticism and favors youth, makes me feel amazed at what people can do who keep in shape and spend many hours a day practicing.

Wikipedia photo

Wikipedia photo

I’ve watched three of Serena William’s Wimbledon matches this week and, while balls hit into the net or just outside the line tempt me to yell at the television set, taking time out for breakfast at Wimbledon serves as a good antidote to my driven approach to my writing. I felt driven earlier this week to work through a hard-to-write section of my work in progress and also to post a blog here about 85-year-old author Edna O’Brien’s stunning new novel The Little Red Chairs (which I’m currently reading).

Time off for tennis has been a better use of my time because–had I asked one–it’s probably just what a psychologist would recommend. Both players in today’s Wimbledon final showed moments of frustration; Kerber rushed her game (and displayed brief moments of panic) on some points and that might have been one reason she didn’t beat Williams this time out. Frustration and panic are bad for a writer, for all of us. Goodness knows, the news this week hasn’t helped.

Time off might look like goofing off, but it’s controlled goofing off that takes one away from a constant focus on work and/or the news rather than turning into a 24/7 habit. Now I can look toward the afternoon feeling like I drank some magic tonic.


Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of “Emily’s Stories,” “Sarabande,” “At Sea,” and “Conjure Woman’s Cat,” all of which you can learn more about on his website here.