Novel Idea

(Courtesy of Ralph Strangis)

Advance warning: THIS IS A ME COLUMN! You ain’t interested in Ralph Strangis, what Ralph Strangis likes to do when he’s not doing hockey games, or are just now annoyed that Ralph Strangis opted to refer to himself in the third person, then stop reading.

OK – for the few brave souls then. Welcome. Good to have you here. Might get a little weird…  I actually say that a lot to people who are curious about getting to know me beyond Ralph the hockey announcer. Went to Lady Gaga last week. What a crazy display of humanity that was. Other thing though – she says – in the  middle of the show she says – “I’m not sure where I’m headed exactly but the more that life challenges me  probably the more f—ed up this s—‘s gonna get. Sounds right.

I act in plays on stage and I’ve always loved to write and read and do things. Read something one time about why people do art. Can’t remember who said it and what the quote is exactly but the gist of the thing is we do it because we have no choice.

So in addition to everything else I’ve been working on a novel for about 7 years. If “Pinto” from Animal House suggested to me that it must be pretty good since I’ve been working on it so long I’d hack up the same retort Dave Jennings gave him.

But I’m going to finish it. This month. I’ve rented a place a block from the beach in California. For the month. To finish it. Even if it is a piece of …

Strange history with this thing. It started as a biographical project for a treatment center. You know – the sordid tale of a boozer and cocaine addict and how he sobered up and became a respected hockey announcer and blah blah blah blah. Right. Because when I was about finished with it it sounded like so much blah blah blah blah. I didn’t like it. Neither did they. Which actually worked out good for everybody.

So I keep piddling with it and can’t find the thread or the point or the point of view or whatever until something hits me one day and I sort of figure it out.  So long story short it’s only sorta-biographical. Which is great because there’s enough of me in there to be personal but I get the freedom to go wherever I want.

I may never publish it or even let anybody read it. But I’m gonna finish the damned thing. This month. For me. And that’s the point.

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Ralph Strangis is the play-by-play voice of the Dallas Stars and is entering his 25th year with the team. Ralph is also a writer, actor and corporate motivational speaker. His opinions here are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Dallas Stars or this publication.


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