Writer's corner: A 'Dream Season' to wish for
By Kristine Diederich / News Staff Writer
Sunday, October 17, 2004Editor's note: This occasional column features writers from MetroWest who have recently self published a book.
Some therapists say to deal with grief, do something positive.
Like just about every Boston Red Sox fan, Framingham resident Matt Osber was devastated when his beloved team lost the seventh game of the American League Championship series against the Yankees in 2003.
Unlike most Sox fans, however, Osber decided to do something constructive with his anguish: He wrote a book.
"Dream Season: Kevin, the Babe, and the 2004 Red Sox" is a fantasy about what a 10-year-old boy might do if he had a magical tool to alter the outcome of a Red Sox game. Deceased baseball greats have a part in it from their viewpoint in heaven, including Babe Ruth -- who, it turns out, is really a Red Sox fan after all. Well, in Osber's "Dream," anyway.
"There are definitely some autobiographical threads in (the story)," said Osber -- like the opening chapter, in which the dad character, Jake, wakes his son, Kevin, to tearfully tell him of the Sox' 2003 Game 7 loss.
In creating the story, Osber mused on this question: What if Babe is tired of seeing the Yankees win all the time? The book grew from what might happen "if the stars are aligned" in the Red Sox' favor.
"Dream Season" takes the Red Sox through the 2004 playoff season, with Kevin having a hand in the outcome with his magical tool, the oober knob, a gift from the Babe himself. With it, Kevin can dial up a home run, a strike out and/or a wild card play once per game.
Osber thought writing a book would be a creative and fun thing to do, and entertaining -- he hoped -- for a small group. With no big hopes of it being a best seller, he chose Cafe Press, a self-publisher, to print it. A friend in the business publishing field -- also a big Red Sox fan -- helped with the editing.
The book is very timely with the Sox and Yankees back at it in the playoffs. But in "Dream Season," both Lou Merloni and Nomar Garciaparra are still part of the team. That doesn't bother Osber, though.
"It was written at a point when you just didn't know (who would be in the line-up)," he said. The fact that they're in the book as members of the Red Sox doesn't alter the story much. "Once the season started, everything (in the book) is fictitious."
Osber and his wife, Joan Fenster, have two daughters, Jennifer, 11, and Stephanie, 9. Like the mom in "Dream Season," Fenster isn't a big fan of baseball, and is strict with TV time for her girls. However, Osber said, Fenster did get somewhat engaged during the playoffs last year. Osber is undecided about whether he will let his girls stay up late watching the series; on the weekend maybe.
Jennifer Osber is partly the inspiration for Kevin, the hero in "Dream Season," and she helped her dad with the story. She gave him ideas, such as the persona of the angels who visit Kevin. She came up with their personalities and named them.
Osber donated copies of his book to the Brophy School, where many fifth-graders have read it. He has gotten good feedback from the students, and found, with no big surprise, that kids who were really into baseball were more interested in the story than non-fans. The book is appropriate for children in grades 4 to 6.
Osber started a Red Sox fan Web site a few years ago. It's a hobby, and he adds to it as he has time and inclination. It includes a diary that he keeps up when he can and an animated baseball game to play.
The Web site, www.osber.net, is also where "Dream Season" can be ordered for $12, or contact Osber by e-mail at email@example.com. Larger orders will reduce the price per copy.
Without giving too much of the story away, here's hoping that Osber's "Dream Season" mirrors the real life dream season playing out right now.
If you are a MetroWest author and have recently self published a book, let us know and we may feature you in a future Writer's Corner. Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with information about your book and yourself, including the town you live in. If you have an upcoming book-signing or event, please be sure to contact us at least three weeks in advance of the event.