Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for December 2010

State of the Elfyverse: End of the Year Edition

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Folks, since we’re two days away from the New Year, it’s about time I updated the state of the Elfyverse.  (I think it’s been two months, maybe three, since I last did this.  How time does fly.)

We start off with the in-progress short story, tentatively titled “Boys Night In.”  I estimate this as about 60% complete; I have the framework for this story, and some of the jokes, but there’s something just not right as of yet.  (I shall, of course, keep working on it.)  Story will be, approximately, 10K words in length.

AN ELFY ABROAD — part 45 is in progress.  Part 44 has been revised.  Part 46 has been tentatively sketched out, in prose only . . . no detailing or jokes.  (This means I’ve probably written five, maybe six thousand words since the last check-in.)  Story stands at an unwieldy and perhaps excessive 255,000 words . . . very good possibility this book is going to end up being split as it’s at least fifteen chapters from the end.

ELFY — I tried twenty agents this year; two bit on sample pages.  Both passed after I sent the sample pages.   Two small-press publishers have shown interest; one believes ELFY, which stands at 240,000 words, needs to be split in thirds.  (I’m still mulling this over.)  The other believes ELFY should stand as-is, but there are other things (not of my making) that are perhaps an impediment to its release at the second small-press publisher.

Needless to say, I am not giving up on ELFY.

KEISHA’S VOW — This is an ELFY prequel, set in 1954 . . . I’ve done some editing here, and perhaps have added 1500 words since October.  I’m still working out part 23, and have realized a few possible problems, but haven’t had much time for this work in particular due to working on the collaborative effort with Piotr Mierzejewski.  KEISHA’S VOW continues to stand at just over 35,000 words; this novel should finish somewhere between 95K and 115K if all goes well.

Now, the state of the non-Elfyverse stuff . . . .

CHANGING FACES, a spiritual, paranormal romance set in the present day, has been re-started, and about 2500 words have been added.  This work now stands at 105,000 words, and should finish by 130K.

THE GIFT, a spiritual, paranormal romance novella set in the present day, has been re-started, and about 1500 words have been added.  This work now stands at 24,000 words, and I hope will finish at 40K.

Novella in progress with Piotr Mierzejewski — currently untitled, formerly titled IRON FALLS — we have about 20K words of an unformed story.  A very rough first draft, IMO . . . some chapters are more finished than others, which I suppose is a saving grace.   This novella is near-future military suspense, set in 2047 in Russia.

10K word story sent to Writers of the Future in September (can’t give out the title), which is fantasy/adventure.  Can’t imagine this story will do well if my/Michael’s collaboration “Joey Maverick: On Westmount Station” didn’t even get an honorable mention, but I suppose it counts.

Word count for the year stands at 235,000.  Not including this blog, various book reviews, writing e-mails, or anything save actual writing on projects.

I have no idea how to count all the editing of projects I’ve done for and for various friends, so I won’t . . . I’ll just say, “a lot,” and be done with it.

Happy New Year, everyone.   (Oh, and my New Year’s resolutions?  Finish CHANGING FACES at long last.   Figure out why AN ELFY ABROAD is going so long and get a plan as to how to split it up.  Finish THE GIFT at long last.  And finish KEISHA’S VOW at long last, too.  Plus find ELFY a publisher!  Please?)

Written by Barb Caffrey

December 30, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Posted in Elfyverse, Writing

More about the Story behind Lee and Miller’s FLEDGLING and SALTATION

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Folks, I rarely get to have as much fun as I did today in writing a joint review for the first two books about Sharon Lee and Steve Miller’s excellent character, Theo Waitley, for Shiny Book Review.

Before I forget, here’s the link to the review:

Now, let me tell you a bit more about Lee and Miller’s excellent Liaden Universe.  These two writers put out three excellent novels in the late 1980s — they are called AGENT OF CHANGE, CONFLICT OF HONORS, and CARPE DIEM — and they had a following, but their publisher apparently didn’t realize how well the books were actually selling.  (This was slightly pre-Internet, or at least previous to the pervasiveness of the Internet.)  So they were dropped by their publisher.

Normally, with writers, this forces them to try something else.  Or it forces them completely out of publishing for a while, or for good.  And in Lee and Miller’s case (they are married, and are co-writers), they took jobs but continued to work on the Liaden Universe because it interested them.

Then, as they have said in many places, came the Internet . . . and then, they found out how many people loved their three Liaden books.

At that point, they found publisher Stephen Pagel of Meisha Merlin Publishing, and he re-issued the first three Liaden books as PARTNERS IN NECESSITY, also contracting for several new books in the series — these were, not necessarily in the order written, PLAN B, I DARE, LOCAL CUSTOM, and SCOUT’S PROGRESS.  After that came CRYSTAL DRAGON, CRYSTAL SOLDIER, and BALANCE OF TRADE.  All of these were excellent books — truly outstanding — and I read and devoured them as quickly as I possibly could.

But then, something awful happened.  Meisha Merlin went bankrupt, and suddenly, Lee and Miller were sitting there without a publisher, and needing to get the rights to their own work back before they could try any of those successful books with any other publisher.

Once again, many writers would have folded here — they would’ve seen the universe as against them, or perhaps just that their work had run its course, or maybe that no matter what they did, things just weren’t going to work.

Fortunately, Lee and Miller are made of sterner stuff than this, and continued to work on the Liaden Universe.   They started writing FLEDGLING online and set up a unique way to fund it — they speak of this at the end of FLEDGLING, so I’m not “talking out of school” in any way — and finished a strong first draft of FLEDGLING that was paid for by subscription from their online friends and supporters.

At this point, Toni Weisskopf, publisher of Baen Books, entered the picture.  She wanted more Liaden Universe novels (bless her) and was in a position to do something about it, so she contracted with Miller and Lee for three novels about Theo Waitley, the first two being FLEDGLING and SALTATION, the third the hotly-awaited GHOST SHIP.  And when all the rights to the other Liaden Universe novels reverted to Lee and Miller, Baen Books decided to republish them in omnibus issues (this has already commenced, with THE DRAGON VARIATION, an omnibus that combines LOCAL CUSTOM, SCOUT’S PROGRESS, and CONFLICT OF HONORS; more of these omnibuses will follow in 2011), then bought a sequel to SCOUT’S PROGRESS, the recent, and outstanding, MOUSE AND DRAGON.

Best yet, all of the novels — every single last one of them that’s currently extant, that is — are available through Baen’s Webscriptions e-book program, or will be available through Webscriptions once finished (GHOST SHIP, I’m looking squarely at you).  Plus there’s an excellent short-story collection available called “Liaden Unibus I and II” available at Webscriptions, in case you just can’t wait to read any more stories from Lee and Miller.  (I highly recommend it; I got it as a birthday present for myself this past August.)

In short, we writers who are sitting on the outside looking in need to look at the persistence of Sharon Lee and Steve Miller.  They have talent, yes — oodles and oodles of talent — but what is the most striking thing about them, aside from how well they write and how enjoyable every single last story I’ve ever read from either one of them (singly or together) is, is their persistence,  their stalwart refusal to give up.

I know that persistence is the name of the game; I can’t create luck for myself, nor for my fellow writers like Loren Jones or Jason Cordova or Kate Paulk who are very good writers just waiting for their big breaks.  But providing I can stay alive to write another day, and providing I can hold a positive thought, I can persist.

And I will.

Because I believe in the Elfyverse; I believe in what I’m doing.  I believe what I write makes sense, and that if I can just get it before someone who will appreciate it in the publishing world, maybe I can have a small sliver of the success that Lee and Miller have enjoyed.  I realize writing is not likely to be extremely remunerative — Lee and Miller, for all their popularity, can’t stay financially afloat on their writing earnings alone, nor can the excellent writer Dave Freer (who’s come out and said so on his blog; Sharon Lee has spoken of her day job, and how it helps to pay the bills, on her blog).  But I believe it’s worth my time and effort to pursue.

It takes me longer without Michael to figure out how to get out of plot problems, but I can do it.  I can finish what he left behind in his “Joey Maverick” SF universe.  I can finish what he left behind in his alternate history/fantasy “Columba” universe.  But most importantly, I can finish what I started — the three novels that (so far) comprise the Elfyverse (along with one complete short story and three others in progress).  My non-Elfyverse novel CHANGING FACES.    Many other short stories and at least one novella, all in various stages of development (or are out at magazines or publishers).

I refuse to give up on myself.  That is not the winning strategy, and as seen from the example of Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, if you persist, and get any sort of shot at all, you can succeed in publishing.

So I will persist.

Michael would expect no less.

Written by Barb Caffrey

December 29, 2010 at 11:03 pm

Posted a review at SBR for “Poisoning the Press”

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Folks, if you haven’t read Mark Feldstein’s excellent POISONING THE PRESS: JACK ANDERSON, RICHARD NIXON, AND THE RISE OF WASHINGTON’S SCANDAL CULTURE, go out and grab it, right now.  It is an outstanding piece of history and is possibly the most riveting, exceptional book I’ve read all year (it’ll easily make my ten-best list).

But in case you need a little bit more information, here’s my review:

Written by Barb Caffrey

December 28, 2010 at 12:47 am

My Holiday Prayers

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The other day, one of my FB friends had something up that, boiled down, read like this:

“My holiday prayer: I hope those who need cures will get them, for those children awaiting adoption to be adopted, then loved deeply, and for everyone else to never have to worry about food, shelter or heat. Amen.”

I’d also like to add that dogs, cats, and other innocent animals are always in my prayers — I hope they find good homes where they’ll be appreciated and loved, during the holidays and all the days after.

Another good saying: may your days be free of care, and may your life be as long, and as happy, as you wish it to be. (That’s adapted from an old Irish saying.)

In other words, though the holidays are always problematic for me at best, I wish my friends, family and colleagues the best, during the holidays, and all the other days, too.

Written by Barb Caffrey

December 22, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

The Holidays are here: Reflections on Grief.

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Grieving people are often wholly misunderstood, even by friends and family members.  And when holidays come around, that misunderstanding tends to become magnified tenfold, if not hundred-fold . . . simply put, oft-times the “advice” you get from the well-meaning is not worth the time to listen to it.

A case in point being the saying, “You need to move on” from your grief.

Move on to what, exactly?

I mean, here I am — I loved my husband with all my soul and all my strength, and I still love him to this day.  I will always love him, and I don’t see anything wrong with that — the only difference between me and another grieving widow is that it’s been six years and three months (plus a day) since my husband died, and by this time most widows don’t say anything about how much they still miss their husbands.  (Widowers, either, about their wives.)

Well, I’m tired of that unwritten rule, and here’s why.

When you love someone, you tell them.  Often.  You do good things for them.  Often.  You let others know that you care about your loved ones, as often as you can get away with it, and without pushing your relationship in someone else’s face, you do whatever you can to keep that relationship alive — a living, breathing thing.  And everyone understands that, so long as your spouse, or your family member, or your friend, or even your beloved pet, is still alive.

But once that person (or pet) is dead, all bets are off.  Suddenly, you’re not supposed to talk about the person any more, because he or she is dead.  Even though you love him or her  just as much as you did yesterday, and you appreciate his or her presence in your life for as long as he or she was able to stay, you’re now supposed to say nothing because “it’s not done.”

In fact, as a widow or widower, you’re supposed to take your wedding ring off, and prepare to date someone else, or there’s something wrong with you.  (Like Hell there is, but that’s another issue entirely.)

So now, you’re not only not supposed to talk about the person you love so much, but you’re also supposed to surrender your most prized possession — your wedding ring — because “it’s not done” to keep wearing it.

I have news for anyone who thinks this way: you are being ridiculous. 

I can’t make your decisions for you about how you grieve, nor whether you date again, nor how soon you date again, or anything else, because that’s all up to you.  (As it should be.)  But I categorically refuse to let anyone make my decisions for me.

My husband Michael was the most important, most valuable person in my entire life.  Bar none.  I refuse to stop talking about him — about his influence on me as a writer.  As a person.  As an editor.  As anything — because what we had together was priceless.  Invaluable.  And well worth remembering and honoring.

Holidays are extremely difficult.  I miss my husband with every breath I take.   And I want him back . . . oh, how I want him back.

But all I can do is continue on.  Keep trying.  Keep creating.  Keep his work alive, along with my own, and of course along with anything we started together.

Holidays, to me at least, are not entirely about spending time with family, though I do a good bit of that.  And they aren’t all about gift-giving (financially, that’s out), though I do think a great deal about those less fortunate than me and pray for the best outcomes possible.


Holidays, to me, are about remembrance.  Are about love.  Are about honor, and shared sacrifice, and about dreams becoming the truth — because, you see, Michael and I made our commitments to each other around this time eight years ago today.

And I would never, ever, wish to “move on” from remembering that.

Written by Barb Caffrey

December 22, 2010 at 3:24 am

Brewers get Greinke, Betancourt . . . .

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And finally, folks, for my third post of the night, I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about the Milwaukee Brewers recent trade for RHP Zack Greinke.

Yesterday afternoon, the Brewers traded SS Alcides Escobar, CF Lorenzo Cain, and two minor league RHP, Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress, to the Kansas City Royals for Greinke and SS Yuniesky Betancourt.  Greinke is a former American League Cy Young winner (he won in ’09 with a 16-8 record), and is considered one of the best pitchers in the major leagues despite having an off-year in 2010 with a 10-14 record and a 4.19 ERA.

I’m pleased the Brewers went out and got Greinke, because this is the second pitcher the Brewers have acquired in the off season (the Brewers got Shaun Marcum from the Blue Jays a few weeks ago, trading minor league 2B Brett Lawrie for him straight up).   He’s an excellent pitcher and should really help the Brewers’ rotation — and as all know, the Brewers’ main problem the last few years has been pitching.  Especially starting pitching.  (When the Brewers lost C.C. Sabathia and Ben Sheets to free agency, they took a major step down despite all their good hitters — Corey Hart, Casey McGehee, and of course Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder.  Hitters can’t do much when the starters keep giving up around 5 ERs a game.)

But I’m not happy the Brewers parted with Lorenzo Cain; Cain had shown some power and a great deal of speed to go along with his excellent defensive skills in centerfield in his brief stint in the majors last year, hitting .308 with a robust OBP of .348 — pretty good for his first 147 at-bats.

The others — eh.  I liked what I saw of Jeffress, and I’m sure he’ll have a good career if he can stay away from the illegal substances (he’s been busted twice under MLB’s anti-drug policy for marijuana use), but to get Greinke I have no problem with him leaving.  Ditto for Jake Odorizzi, who seemed like a good prospect thus far — possibly the Brewers best pitcher in the minors (certainly the most-hyped), though he was still in A ball this past year.

To be perfectly honest, though, I was glad to see Alcides Escobar go; I felt his defensive play was at best overhyped (Escobar makes great plays, then muffs easy ones), especially compared to the SS who came before him, JJ Hardy (who is an outstanding defensive shortstop, possibly the best in the major leagues, and certainly in the top five when healthy), and his offense was, well, anemic at .235 with a .288 OBP and 10 stolen bases.

When I went to Brewers games last year, everyone I spoke with used the same words to describe Escobar:  “Overhyped.”  “Flash in the pan.”  “Melvin’s an idiot — can we please have JJ Hardy back?”  And I agreed — Escobar was described as “the real deal,” or “everything, and the bag of chips besides” — and he just wasn’t.  (Perhaps no one could live up to that billing.)

Betancourt would appear to be a step up offensively, as he batted .259 with 16 HRs (to Escobar’s 4) and 78 RBIs (to Escobar’s 41), though he also has a very low OBP at .288.  As for his defense, I’d describe it as adequate — he’s another guy who won’t make anyone forget JJ Hardy anytime soon — though as he’s not been labeled a “can’t-miss” prospect, maybe he’ll be less encumbered by expectations than was Escobar.

At any rate, this is a trade that looks very good on paper and I hope it works out well for the Brewers.  I know that as a fan, I’m for it.

Brett Favre to start tonight for the Vikings — UPDATED

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UPDATE:  Brett Favre took a hard hit on his left shoulder (not his throwing shoulder) from DE Corey Wooten of the Bears, and has sustained a head injury.   It is unlikely he’ll return to this game; as for next week, I guess we’ll all see.

Here’s the most recent story at ESPN:

And here’s another one that amused me from Bleacher Report about how to finally get Brett Favre into retirement (written before this game started):

**** Now back to the original post. ****

Brett Favre started tonight for the Minnesota Vikings in their Monday Night Football game against the Chicago Bears.

I mention this for three reasons:

1) I really admire Favre as a player.

2) It’s amazing that Favre would try to play with a hand that, at last check-up, was still swollen to twice its normal size and looked like raw hamburger.

3) If the Vikings win tonight, Favre will be indirectly helping his old team, the Green Bay Packers, because the Packers lost last night to the Patriots (in a gutty, inspired performance from Packers backup Matt Flynn), 31-27.  The Packers are now 8-6 and need all the help they can get to make the playoffs; if the Bears lose tonight, that will help the Packers (as the Bears are currently ahead of the Packers in the standings; the Bears’ record currently stands at 9-4, while the Vikings are at 5-8.  The Packers want to stay only one game back in the loss column and have a shot at the NFC North title (the Bears can lock it up tonight if they win, or so the Milwaukee announcers said), so in a probable first, Aaron Rodgers (who sat out last night with a concussion) and the rest of the Packers will most likely be cheering on Favre and the Vikings.

Who said fact is stranger than fiction, huh?

Written by Barb Caffrey

December 20, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Reviewed Jason Cordova’s “Corruptor” for Amazon and Barnes and Noble

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Folks, just wanted y’all to be aware of my new review for Jason Cordova’s CORRUPTOR.   I posted it at and Barnes and Noble’s Web site also . . . here’s what I wrote, in its entirety:

******* REVIEW FOLLOWS ********

Jason Cordova’s CORRUPTOR has an interesting premise that ties games theory, computers, advanced virtual reality interfacing, the problems of soldiering, and one tough gal together and never lets go.

I read CORRUPTOR over a year ago and recently re-read it in ARC form. It has excellent plot twists, a heroine in Victoria (Tori) Adams that’s almost impossible to describe — she’s tough, as I said before, but she’s also a typical teenager doing her best to get used to friendship and dating. And because her father has moved around a great deal due to his job, she hasn’t really been able to make many friends in real life — all of her friends play the same game she does, a game-world called “Crisis” that’s part of the mega-corporate WarpSoft, the ultimate in computer games where every possible talent the gamer in question has is used.

Because Tori is such a strong gamer, she’s both hated and feared in this game, yet she has some good friends — Raul, Stephanie, and Dylan, among others — who will not betray her. Which is just as well, as Crisis has been hijacked, and no one’s getting out alive unless Tori (on the inside) can beat the game, while her father (one of WarpSoft’s major players) figures out the identity of the hijackers and stops them on the outside.

This is an excellent plotline with some good characterization, and I enjoyed it heartily.

So with all this being said, you might be wondering why I didn’t give this book a five for “excellent” rather than a “four” for very good. The reason for that is mostly that I can’t consider this book an “instant classic,” nor can I give it quite enough to round it up to five stars for Amazon’s purposes, either. I didn’t quite believe the romance between Tori’s father and one of the WarpSoft personnel trying to figure out the identity of the hijackers, either, and thought there wasn’t enough there for more than a flirtation (especially the end of the book, where the love-interest stands there and says nothing). But these are minor quibbles.

This is a very good first novel that’s interesting, that has some really fine interplay between the in-game characters, and some believable interplay with the WarpSoft personnel, particularly the chief of security (a big, tough, former football player named Mike).

I enjoyed CORRUPTOR, and believe if you read it, you will, too.

Four stars. Recommended.


Then I signed my name (as is my wont).

So why are you still sitting here?  Go get it, and read it, and enjoy it!  (Just in time for Xmas, even.)

Written by Barb Caffrey

December 20, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Brett Favre’s Consecutive Games Streak Ends

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Brett Favre sat out this past Monday night for the first time in nineteen years, and his consecutive games started/played streak ended at 297.  Favre has been troubled with many injuries this year, including a broken ankle, a knee issue (maybe related to having to run about on the broken ankle), shoulder problems, and now he’s unable to grip the football without feeling numbness, tingling or pain.  (He’s not talking much about the pain, but if for some reason he’s dodged physical pain with this issue — unlikely — assuredly he has mental pain regarding his current inability to use his primary talent.)

A brief comparison with the “Iron Man” of professional baseball, Cal Ripken, is in order.  Favre’s streak started in 1992 and continued until nearly the end of 2010, spanning nineteen years.  (Favre has played twenty years in the National Football League, but in his first year he was a little-used backup QB in Atlanta.)  Whereas Cal Ripken, Jr.’s 2632 games played streak in baseball was over sixteen years — both are considered “Iron Men,” incredibly tough, gifted individuals who refused to take days off, who refused to give up on their teams, and who are revered because of everything they were as players, and for everything they’ve given to their sports.

Some have argued that because there are three current QBs with an active streak (Philip Rivers has 78, Eli Manning has 100, and Peyton Manning has 205 games played in a row), plus two more active QBs with long streaks (Tom Brady had 111 straight, I believe, before he got injured and missed most of 2008, while Drew Brees had a streak of 79 games played in a row that ended in December of ’09) that perhaps it doesn’t really mean as much in football to start all these games in a row as it does in baseball.

Au contraire, mon frére — it’s an interesting statisical anomaly, yes, that there are now six QBs in history with 100 or more starts in a row.  But Favre’s streak — which, when added to his playoff games, was actually 321 games in a row — is exceptional for two reasons.

1) He holds the consecutive games played streak for ALL NFL PLAYERS, not just quarterbacks **


2) Over the years he continued to play despite a busted thumb on his throwing hand, a broken ankle, a number of concussions (he was always taken promptly out of games as soon as someone knew there was a problem, fortunately for him), and more than a few injuries to his throwing shoulder and elbow.  Any of these injuries, even the least of them, could easily have kept him out of action for a week or more, ending his streak far sooner . . . yet somehow, Favre always found a way to recover in time for next week’s game.

It is extremely unusual that Favre has been able to overcome all that just to keep playing; that for the most part he’s played brilliantly, exceptionally, and has been one of the top quarterbacks in football for at least the last 15 years (save this year) just goes to show how special a player Favre has been over time.  He’s combined longevity, toughness, intelligence and heart in a unique way and has exemplified the best aspects of his sport over a long period of time.  We definitely will not see his like again even if, by some remote chance, Peyton Manning or someone else equals or surpasses Favre’s streak down the line.

The guy who’s second in the NFL behind Favre in consecutive games played/started is former Viking defensive end Jim Marshall — Marshall had 270 games played with an additional nineteen playoff games, bringing his consecutive games streak total to 289 overall.  Marshall had the overall NFL record for over thirty years before handing it off to Favre, and it was thought for many years that Marshall’s streak would never be broken, or tied, or equalled.  (And it hasn’t been, by a defensive end.)

Granted, quarterbacks have an offensive line that’s paid to protect them, but they also are the most vulnerable player on the field for many reasons, far too many to list here.  It’s almost miraculous that Favre was able to play for so long and overcome so many injuries; it’s fitting, in a way, that it took a triple-pronged attack of injuries — a broken foot, shoulder problems, and an aching hand with numbness and tingling — in order to end Favre’s streak.

So please, do not let the “argument” that there are six quarterbacks who’ve played 100 games straight or more, two of them with active streaks (the Manning brothers), stop you for appreciating Brett Favre’s historic accomplishment.

A very good Time magazine article asks the question, “Why did we take Brett Favre’s streak for granted?”  A relevant quote follows, with the link following that (as is apparently Time magazine’s preference):

Cal Ripken played 2,632 straight games for the Baltimore Orioles. That streak is revered; the night Ripken passed Gehrig back in 1995 became a national celebration – even the President showed up. But wasn’t Favre’s streak much more difficult to pull off? What’s harder: standing on a baseball field for an hour or two, everyday, playing shortstop, or lining up under center once a week in football, where very large men are paid very large sums of money to knock you out of the game? Favre’s body got buried in the turf every game, but he kept bouncing back up. He played with broken bones. He took a mental pounding too: Favre played one of the best games of his career, back in 2003, the day after learning that his father had died.

No disrespect to Ripken: in a daily endeavor like baseball, there’s certainly more opportunities for a freak accident that could stall such a streak. But baseball has always been a sport that overvalues its numbers. Since it is played at a slower pace than other games, there’s more time to ruminate on individual feats. So let’s give Favre his due; he’s the ultimate Iron Man in pro sports history.

Read more:

*** End quote ***

When at his best, Brett Favre could elevate an entire team and carry them on his back, willing them to play better — we saw it for seventeen seasons in Green Bay, we saw it in New York when he was with the Jets (until he had arm issues later in the season), and we’ve seen it now for two years in Minnesota.

So now, Favre’s streak is over; his team, the Vikings, will not make the playoffs this year.  He may not be able to play again with his injuries, as they are extensive and painful, which is a real shame.  This will undoubtedly be his last year as a professional football player — he’s just too injured now, and he knows it.

What’s really sad is that the Vikings backup QB, Tarvaris Jackson, was placed on the injured reserve list (meaning he can’t play again this season) earlier today.  Favre most likely will not play this week, either; right now he’s helping the coaches with the third-string QB Joe Webb and getting NFL veteran QB Patrick Ramsay (signed earlier this week for depth purposes) up to speed on the offense.  That’s a good thing — Favre, according to retired QBs Trent Dilfer and Steve Young (the latter a Hall of Famer), has, in their parlance, “forgotten more football than other people know.”  Favre has already said that he’ll be glad to help Webb, Ramsay or anyone else who gets in there while he’s unable to play, which is a classy move, one that goes strongly against his image as a “prima donna” or “diva.”  (I’ve always wondered how much of that was overblown, especially as most of the teammates he’s ever been around have had nothing but good things to say about him as a player.)

I will miss seeing Brett Favre’s infectious enthusiasm on the field, and will miss seeing Favre’s scrambling plays that most of the time hit their target — something very, very few QBs in the history of the NFL could ever do — even though once in a while it did result in a costly interception (or two).

The NFL will not be the same without Brett Favre as an active player, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.


** Jeff Feagles, a punter, holds the special teams record for consecutive games played and actually has more years of service and more games of service than Brett Favre, but because punters are never in the starting line-up these days, and because punters sometimes are active for the game and get credit for being available for the game if there’s no need for punting (it’s rare, but it happens), he is not considered the “Iron Man” of professional football.  (He is, however, appreciated mightily by folks like me, who recognize excellence and perseverence when we see it whether it’s Feagles, the punter, or Favre, the quarterback or Marshall, the DE.)

Written by Barb Caffrey

December 17, 2010 at 4:58 am has some ‘splainin’ to do.

with 2 comments

I wanted to update my publication history in my brief profile at (I have one because I’m an Amazon Vine reviewer), and it wouldn’t let me — it said my update contained “profanity.”

Well, here’s what I was trying to do — you tell me if there’s any hidden profanity here, OK?

Current publication history:

November 2010 — “No Rest” (poem), to Midwest Literary Magazine. Also forthcoming in the DUE NORTH anthology.

October 2010 — “The Fair at South Farallon” to e-Quill Publishing, a small yet reputable publishing house in Australia.

September 2010 — “Trouble with Elfs: A Story from the Elfyverse,” with Michael B. Caffrey, to e-Quill Publishing (reprint sale — originally published at the Written Word online magazine in February 2007).

“A Dark and Stormy Night: A Joey Maverick Adventure,” Michael B. Caffrey with Barb Caffrey, to e-Quill Publishing (reprint; originally appeared in the Written Word online magazine in May 2005).

Editor for “Columba and the Cat,” “Columba and the Committee” and “Columba and the Crossing”, three of my late husband Michael B. Caffrey’s original stories, to e-Quill Publishing, September 2010.

December 2009 — “Break the Dark Lens” (poem), to Joyful! Online magazine.

“Trouble with Elfs,” to the Written Word online magazine, February 2007.

“A Love Eternal” (poem), September 2006, to the Written Word online magazine.

“A Dark and Stormy Night,” to the Written Word online magazine, May 2005.

The BEDLAM’S EDGE anthology (Baen, 2005), “Bright as Diamonds,” with Michael B. Caffrey.

“On Collaboration” (nonfiction), to Vision Online magazine, July 2004.

Editor, (an occasional, yet real, gig), mid-2010 to the present.

Editor, Masterpiece Comics, 2005-2008.

Editor, the Written Word online magazine, November 2007 to January 2009 (when the WW went on hiatus).


It was at this point I also tried to add that I am reviewing books for ShinyBookReview here at WordPress, and it kicked out. (I know also is holding my review for Connie Willis’s book ALL CLEAR because I’d said my review was a shortened version of the same review I’d done for SBR.)

I would really like to know what, if anything, was profane in my update, because I would like to know why refused to update my profile, or at least have some justification for why they were so very stupid this evening.

Written by Barb Caffrey

December 12, 2010 at 4:33 am