No Extra Words

one person's search for story



Special Episode #11: Baseball Opening Day 2017

Special Episode

A literary celebration of a national pastime.

Come with Shawn Aveningo Sanders for “One Final Inning in St. Louis.” Copyright 2011, used with permission. Visit Shawn’s website.

Susan Vollenweider was with us back on Special Episode #3. She is back with a special guest telling us how she came to know “Baseball: My Way.” Copyright 2016, used with permission. Visit Susan’s website.

Niles Reddick’s famous name has him throwing out a “First Pitch.” Copyright 2016, used with permission. Visit Niles’s website.

In a brand-new segment, we are diving into the archives to bring back Angela Lombardo’s story from last year’s baseball opening day special…a gift for you Cubs fans. Copyright 2016, used with permission. Read Angela’s bio.

Most of us had someone who helped us learn to love the game. In Bill McStowe’s story, it’s “Astrid from Sweden.” Copyright 2017, used with permission. Check out Bill’s previous contribution to No Extra Words and visit his website.

You never know what will help you in this game. Carolyn Martin tells us why “It’s Good I’m Slow.” Copyright 2011, used with permission. Read Carolyn’s bio.

Stay tuned to the end of this episode to hear about Attagirl: your women and girls in baseball podcast. Visit the website or find Attagirl in your favorite podcast app.

Happy baseball season!


Meet the Special Episode Storytellers Part 2

For us here in Seattle, baseball opening day is Monday. I am hoping to have this special episode out by tomorrow, which is the official start of Major League Baseball. For our friends over at the high school, baseball season has been going strong for a month now. However you are celebrating (as a friend of mine says, Baseball Opening Day should be a national holiday,) here are three more of the fabulous storytellers bringing us this week’s baseball special.

noah and susan 2017Susan Vollenweider has been with us on a special episode before and as she primarily writes nonfiction I am glad to have this opportunity to welcome her back. She is a columnist for The Kansas City Star and one half of the women’s history podcast and writing team, The History Chicks. A Special Events Planner turned Portrait Studio Manager turned stay-at-home mom, she thinks her current professional incarnation is pretty damn delightful. She was New England raised, southern educated and currently calls a small house on a quiet street in a tiny Midwest town “home.” To listen to her podcast or read more of her writing go to: (or download a show from your favorite podcast app), The Kansas City Star at or her personal site,; she is available for banter @EssephVee. She’s shown here with a favorite baseball player.

Niles Reddick fishing pic head shot (2)Niles Reddick’s newest novel Drifting too far from the Shore has been nominated for a Pulitzer. Previously, his collection Road Kill Art and Other Oddities was a finalist for an Eppie award and his first novella Lead Me Home was a national finalist for a Foreword award. His work has appeared in anthologies Southern Voices in Every Direction, Unusual Circumstances, Getting Old, and Happy Holidays. Author of nearly one hundred stories, Reddick has been featured in many literary magazines and journals including The Arkansas Review: a Journal of Delta Studies, Southern Reader, Like the Dew, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, The Pomanok Review, Corner Club Press, Slice of Life, Faircloth Review, and many others. Reddick works for the University of Memphis, Lambuth, in Jackson, Tennessee. His website is

FullSizeRenderWe are delighted to welcome Angela Lombardo and her story back on our first ever “From the Archives” segment. Angie is active in her writing community and has read her stories at Live Lit events sponsored by the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago.  She was awarded an Honorable Mention in the 2015 First Quarter “America’s Funniest Humor” contest sponsored by for her entry “Middle-aged Memory”.  Her short story, “Janet Was the Girl” was published by Flash Fiction Magazine on December 29, 2015. She’s shown here where her fandom began.

Baseball Opening Day 2016: Special Episode #5

Special Episode

A celebration of the National Pastime, flash fiction style.

In “The Game of His Life,” the life of a ballplayer turns on this one important game. By Jeff Dupuis, copyright 2016, used with permission. Read Jeff’s bio or hear his previous contribution to the show.

As with all our April episodes, this one contains a poem. “Minors”  is a great tribute to minor league baseball in all its glory. By Francis DiClemente, copyright 2012, used with permission. This piece was originally published in his poetry chapbook Pursuit of Infinity (Finishing Line Press.) Visit Francis’ website or hear his previous contribution to the show.

There is a special pleasure and a special pain to being a Cubs fan. Angela Lombardo has been there in “1969 All Over Again.” Copyright 2016, used with permission. Visit Angela’s website, where she shares her fabulous work as a cartoonist.

“Spring Tryouts” is the story of one baseball player with more heart than talent. By Eddie Snipes, copyright 2009, used with permission. Visit Eddie’s website.

This episode also introduces the podcast “Attagirl: women and girls in baseball.” Find Attagirl in iTunes, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast app or check out the community on Facebook.

It was a real pleasure to put together this special episode to commemorate a special day. I hope you enjoy it!

Happy listening and happy baseball season,



Meet the Special Episode Storytellers

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, we have 21 contributors lined up for April, so putting together bios for all of them in a way you want to read is a fun and creative challenge for me this week. Four of them are forthcoming on our special Baseball Opening Day Episode, on its way to you tomorrow. You do not want to miss this one.

Photo credit: Susan Khan

Francis DiClemente is making his second appearance here on the show. His short story appeared in Episode 39. He and I first bonded about baseball when I learned the pronunciation of his name is like one of my dad’s idols, Roberto Clemente.

Francis DiClemente lives in Syracuse, New York, where he works as a video producer. He writes in his spare time and is the author of three poetry chapbooks. His blog can be found at

Also making his second appearance on the show is author Jeff Dupuis, whose short story Jeff Dupuisappeared all the way back on Episode 17.

Jeff Dupuis writes fiction, poetry and satire. He is madly in love with baseball and still daydreams that he can become a world-class athlete from the comfort of his basement. His work has been published on The Barnstormer and in magazines and journals such as Valve, Foliate Oak Magazine and University of Toronto Magazine.

We were delighted to receive a submission from Angela Lombardo on life as a Cubs fan. FullSizeRenderShe appears here when her fandom began…

Angie is a lifelong Cub fan.  Her story, “Middle Aged Memory” won an Honorable Mention in the 2015 first/second quarter contest sponsored by  Her piece “Janet Was the Girl” was Flash Fiction Magazine’s featured story on December 29, 2015.  Angie has also read at Anam Cara Live Lit events held at the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago.

Rounding out this very special bit of storytelling is blogger and storyteller Eddie Snipes.eddie2012

Eddie is the author of several books, including I Called Him Dancer. This book was nominated for the Georgia Author of the Year. He has several award winning short stories.

Happy listening,


Writing Prompt: Tell Me Your Baseball Stories


I thought the arrival of baseball season was a big event in my life, but it turns out I have nothing on the fandom of my toddler. He has been waiting for this. He may not know about pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training last week, but he does know about sunshine and that it’s time to go outside and play “Bat-Ball.”

In his honor and also because I love it, we would like to release a baseball opening day special episode and we thought that you, the listeners, might have some baseball stories to share. So send them and let’s get this season started!

Here’s the way this works:

  • Send your 1,000 word or less fiction or nonfiction baseball stories (will also accept poetry)
  • Make sure they are your own work (plagiarism is bad karma)
  • Email them to or leave them on the listener feedback line at (425) 686-9495
  • Be sure to include your name and indicate how to pronounce it if it’s a tricky one.
  • Deadline: Friday, March 18

Happy baseball season,


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