Saturday, March 24, 2012

‘Character Happens!’ Revised Blog…


Now that the Character Happens! book has been revised, maybe it’s time to redo this blog to reflect all the changes.

First of all, the books cover color has changed from red to yellow. The artwork has changed as well from a picture of an angel to one of 18th Century golfers, (sitting on rock), speaking with the young caddie. The subtitle is now: How Golf Teaches You (and your children) About – Honesty, Integrity, Courage, Compassion, Humility. This change was made to target the ‘inspirational readers,’ of the golf population. Yes, Amazon really has one.

The entire narrative of the book has been edited more closely with improved developmental structure, while revisions in grammar, spelling and word omission were corrected. Making the tome more palatable, perhaps.

The Amazon link, for the new version, has been inserted into the blogs upper right location. Also, I’ve ridded the blog of extraneous matter hoping to simplify the blogs look.

The old blog posts remain for those who desire a more complete history of the book, of me, and this blog.

Please take a moment and ‘follow’ the blog. You can do that by the ‘Email Feed’ selection, located top, upper right. OR, below the Amazon book link, where it says: ‘Subscribe to This Blog.’ Further down on the right are other pictured ‘joining’ sections, please join if you like.

Yet to be modified is the introduction section (near the bottom). That will be revised shortly.

Thanks for your support; for the book and the blog. And me.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

'Missing Person -- Returns!'

  Yes, I've been missing from this blog for awhile (thanks for putting out those 'missing-person' posters). Computer problems! Thinking it couldn't happen to me, it did. The dreaded blue screen.

  I suffered with it for awhile, trying all my tricks, remedy's and screaming at it while making lewd gestures. Nothing I had -- worked. So...packing the magic box up I was convinced some other expert needed to work their genius on this, now, piece-of-crap.

  35 days later, picking up the POC, while plunking down my $200, the young guru gushed from across the sales counter, 'I think I got it fixed.' No, no...he may have thought he had it fixed, but no...he didn't. So now it's at the neighbor lady's house, whose day job is heading the IT department of a humongous engineering firm. Hopefully my computer will be back in perfect form within the not too distant future. I love and miss that computer. It's my friend. Except. When it seems to have a brain of it's own, then, there's a problem.

  Using Linda's computer cramps me. It's small, a laptop. At my age (and size), things, all things, need to be bigger. The screen is too small, can't see it. The keys are too close together, allowing my fat fingers to pound more than one at a time. Her chair is terrible. Her work space is miserable...looking out the window at all those leaves. Makes me tired.

  Anyway, that's why you haven't heard from me in a while. BTW, am thinking of creating another, separate, blog containing information about the books I've written, and will write. Having all this information together, I believe, will be much better than separate, stand-alone blogs for each book. I'll let you know when that all inclusive blog is up and running.

  All for now. Thanks for following my escapades in this writing venture. The latest book, 'Bloody Omaha,' is selling a respectable 250-300 ebooks per month. Not bad, I guess. Could always be better. Also, I'm happy to help, advise, or converse with anyone, who thinks they might be interested in doing some writing, themselves. Just drop me a note, here:
garry m graves at gmail dot com.
Regards, --gg
PS -- Do me a favor. Share this blog post with your friends and family. And, if you do, let me know and I'll send you a free PDF version of 'Bloody Omaha' for your own reading or sharing. Thanks.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Character Happens! Amazon's #4 in 'Inspiration' Category

  It pleases me that Amazon has thought to include Character Happens in the category ‘Sports-Golf-Inspiration.’ The unfortunate thing is they don’t list the ‘Inspiration’ category under the bestsellers ranking on the books sell page. That sucks!
  Yes, its ranked 36 and 50 in two other categories… but having it ranked 4th in any category is much, much better. Am wondering why even have the ‘Inspiration’ category if you’re not going to list it with the other two. Geeish!
  Amazon rankings are critical to any books success. They, along with reviews, give the potential reader additional input regarding their purchase decision. Who doesn’t want that?
  Nevertheless, it is always nice to see your book continue to be bought and read by so many people. People who play golf and those who don’t. Remember, this is a book about ‘Character,’ and not necessarily about golf. The five stories are written around the game of golf because, its; A) a fascinating game the whole family can enjoy, B) its a game where you are the referee (so to speak), whereby golfers call penalties on themselves (a real character revealer) and C) the stories are funny, simple, complex, compelling, loving, respectful, joyful, teaching…along with a myriad of other ‘good things’ about golf, life, and decision making.

  You might enjoy Character Happens.  You might even want to recommend it to your teenager. (Its an ebook so they can read it on their gadget – pc, Kindle, Nook, iPad, smartphone, etc…)
‘Character Happens - The 5 Most Important--But Fleeting Virtues,’ by Garry M. Graves

  Thank You, enjoy. And don’t forget to post an Amazon review when you’re done.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Character Happens! 17th in ‘Responsibility’


  Here’s a Amazon ranking category that gives me pause. How so? It’s the sub category; Parenting Morels & Responsibility. This category seems, to me at least, to capture what I believe to be the most important aspect of the book.

  Sometimes the real essence or premise of Character Happens! is blurred. Blurred because the storyline is written using a golf setting…and even though I provided a glossary of golf terms, some readers still stumble when reading about golf, or sports for that matter. Actually, using the game of golf to convey the importance of ‘a virtuous decision,’ along with ‘good character development and awareness’ – was my intention from the beginning. There was great method in my madness, I thought.

  Golf is different from other sports because of who enforces the rules of the game. Unlike baseball, football, or basketball, with separate individuals serving as umpires, referees, etcetera…golf is officiated by the player of the game. Most unique! Naturally, this golf-playing environment is a hotbed of character revelation…and perhaps, character development.

  So…this ‘responsibility’ category is meaningful to me, perhaps readers too. It makes me proud that the book is in this group with hundreds of others, now rising to the position of 17th best selling. Even ahead of Dr. Laura, who would’a thought?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Scott Nicholson Interview…


  It’s always nice when you get a big name author/writer to come by and Scott Nicholson qualifies in every regard.

Bio:   Author Scott Nicholson has written 12 thrillers, 60 short stories, four comics series, and six screenplays. He's also a freelance editor and journalist. Nicholson has written hundreds of songs and poems and was a musician in a former life. As a newspaper reporter, he's won three North Carolina Press Association awards. Nicholson also won the grand prize in the international Writers of the Future contest in 1999. That same year, he was first runner-up for the Darrell Award. He studied Creative Writing at Appalachian State University and UNC-Chapel Hill. He has been an officer of Mystery Writers of America and Horror Writers Association. He's had the usual collection of odd jobs: dishwasher, carpenter, painter, paranormal investigator, baseball card dealer, and radio announcer. He lives in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, where he tends an organic garden, successfully eludes stalkers, and generally lives the dream. He's online at

  Aside from several thriller, paranormal, horror books…too many to list, Scott aids the writer as well with offerings such as: Self-publish or Perish, Seven Bad Habits of Highly Unsuccessful Writers and Why You Need An Agent (Except When You Don't). Spend some time (not much required), and review these articles, some real pearls of wisdom from someone whose been in the business for awhile. Scotts’ gift to you.

  Okay, let’s get to it.

Garry: You’re an accomplished did you get that way?

Scott: I don’t feel all that accomplished. I’m just a student of the game who has been around long enough to pile up a bunch of stuff. I think I’ve finally figured out how to write a sentence. Ten more years and maybe I’ll master the paragraph. In the meantime, it’s fun to be able to tell these stories.

Garry: Scott, I’m gonna do a one-eighty on you here because writers, particularly self-pubber’s, are always concerned with ‘how best to get the word out,’ and the various vehicles to use, etc., can you speak to that?

Scott: Well, you actually need to be doing that as part of your apprenticeship. As you develop your writing skills, you can be learning about the business and your audience at the same time. That means reading widely, not only in the types of books you want to write, but writer and industry websites. If you hang out in only one or two places, you’ll get a skewed view of things, so sample broadly and don’t fall into the trap of trying to please a few people instead of the big world.

By the time you’ve matured enough to have a novel or book ready to go, you should know enough to get by. At that point, you will need to employ everything in your promotional toolkit—that mailing list or newsletter you’ve been building, the friends in the forums, good old-fashioned advertising and sponsorships, and general visibility. Some of it is traditional—library events and store signings if you’re in paper—and the rest is invention and creativity. It takes more creativity and persistence to sell a book than to write a book. And I don’t mean sell a book to a New York publisher. I mean selling a book to a reader, who in some ways is more discriminating than an agent or publisher. While people in New York merely want to make money off of you, readers want their money’s worth and a good return on the time they invest.

If you are in the self-publishing business, your reader is your customer, and the customer is always right. That one-star review you got? You deserved it, because the customer was right. Think about your reader as an actual human, with all the regular pressing demands of life, and ask why they should spend their valuable time with you. Then deliver.

Garry: Interesting...I, as well as many others appreciate your, before you go, I want to tap that insight thingy again and ask you for some could be whatever you think is important, you know; about the publishing business, trad publishers, distributors like Amazon, B&N, others...whatever you’d like us watch for?

Scott: I’ve gotten out of the prediction business because they all seem stupid and outdated about five minutes later. This is an entirely new thing, a cosmic shift in communication, and it’s out of everyone’s control. I love it. The more radical and freely I approach it, the better I do, and the more fun I have. So I’d say try not to get locked into a certain way things should be, or the advice of people who think they know what they’re talking about, because nobody does. Fortune favors the bold.

Garry: Great...thanks for coming Scott.

For those of you who have commented or have asked Scott questions, he will be back intermittently the next couple days to answer. Alternatively, here is a link to Scott’s contact page on his site with an explanation on how to contact him privately.

the red church web image 100 speeddating100 LiquidFear300

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Scott Nicholson visits Wednesday, March 30.


  Please mark your calendar—Wednesday, March 30, 2011. This date signifies a visit to this blog-space of an accomplished and exciting author, Mr. Scott Nicholoson, speaking about his latest work, perhaps some things currently in progress…along with some general comments about the book publishing industry.

  Interested persons to include; published and non-published writers, existing authors and publishers, as well as mystery/thriller/horror readers. All are invited to this open event, 3/30/11. Don’t miss it – pass this event info on to others you know.

  Scott will answer your most thought-out questions so bring your inquisitiveness and scholar. Thanks, –gg

Free excerpts from Scott. ‘Speed Dating with the Dead’ (An urban fantasy thriller by Scott Nicholson) ‘Red Church’ (Horror)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Baylor study emulates Mr. Obvious…

Mr. Obvious

  This article title caught my eye this morning, ‘Honest, Humble Workers Associated with Higher Job Performance.’ I wondered what a heavily-researched scientific study might contribute in promoting my book further, Character Happens! Always on the lookout for supporting studies, white papers, et al, I figured this might aid marketing efforts.

Think I’ll look a little further.

Writer, Laura Walter, EHS Today, said this…

“While honesty and humility might be good attributes to have in a friend, they also could have positive implications in the workplace. According to a recent Baylor University study, the honesty-humility personality trait is a unique predictor of job performance.”

Ya think?

A Dr. Wade Rowatt, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience (sounds to be a heavy-hitter, but???), at Baylor, who helped lead the study, said this…

“Researchers already know that integrity can predict job performance, and what we are saying here is that humility and honesty are also major components in that…This study shows that those who possess the combination of honesty and humility have better job performance…In fact, we found that humility and honesty not only correspond with job performance, but … predicted job performance above and beyond any of the other five personality traits like agreeableness and conscientiousness.”

Baylor researchers found individuals who scaled as being more honest and who possess humility scored significantly higher in their job performance…defining honesty and humility as those who exhibit high levels of fairness, greed-avoidance, sincerity and modesty.

The study, they agreed, had implications for hiring personnel by suggesting that more attention should be paid to those applicants who tested high in possessing these particular character attributes, saying…

“Honest and humble people could be a good fit for occupations and organizations that require special attention and care for products or clients. Narcissists, on the other hand, who generally lack humility and are exploitative and selfish, would probably be better at jobs that require self-promotion.”


Not the study. The study is not incredible, it’s the fact that a this learned professor, this monolith of a university, thinks they have discovered something…something we all knew. Peeshaw.

What are "The 5 Most Important--But Fleeting Virtures?"

Honesty, Integrity, Courage, Compassion and Humility.

.....this is a portion of the "introduction" or prologue to the book (not yet completed) with your comments.

The books title; Character Happens! The 5 Most Important—But Fleeting Virtues, describes my belief these five important virtues (Honesty, Integrity, Courage, Compassion, Humility), are sporadic in use and diminishing in personal character. The books message is in recognizing this “fleeting” nature and from that reinstitute a more virtuous choice in your decision making.

The paradox of the two words; Character Happens, with another two words: “S### Happens”* (decorum prevents use of actual word) is not without merit. My belief is that observed human character is much like, well...s###! This kind of observation can be disconcerting at times. So confusing that society can hardly make the distinction between the two words and there obvious different meaning. Individuals make virtuous and un-virtuous choices/decisions for innumerable reasons, both consciously and without deep thought. If we postulate; can an individual make a 'more' virtuous choice in life’s decisions should they want to do so? Answer—perhaps. How does one 'reinstitute a more virtuous choice' into their personal makeup...making the response more automatic? Answer—practice. With a concerted effort at 'practice' I individual might just develop a more 'repetitive' decent response...much like grooving a golf swing.

I love golf. I think the game is like no other. The five stories that make up Character Happens! have a golf storyline. Some readers may not be able to relate to the game of golf or its vernacular or for that matter, why people...a large number of golf. Too bad! You should try it sometime...because it’s more than a can be a life experience. The golf course environment alone is enough to put most people at ease.

Golf is a game played by the individual as opposed to being a member of a team, like baseball. Baseball has umpires who enforce the rules of the game. In golf you are the umpire. Because of this unique method of enforcing the games rules—golf is a “hotbed” for testing the players character...their honesty, their integrity, their courage and sometimes their compassion. And, because all golfers started from knowing nothing about the game; like how to swing, how to putt or chip... they also learn of humility. Now doesn’t it make perfect sense that a book about character would juxtaposition a storyline with the game of golf? Anyway, I thought so.

There are five stories, one for each virtue. The book has six main characters that make up a group of what I call 'golf buddies.' The storyteller, Spencer Madison, in reality is me. Well, somewhat like I have a better golf game than Spencer. The five others vary in age, gender, education, religious beliefs and definitely personality. The 'binder' of the group or what brings them together; golf.

The reader will hopefully discover in their own lives a similar incident with one of the story’s in Character Happens! If not, that’s okay the stories are earnest while humorous, carefree yet compelling. And, I believe each chapter or story makes a 'point' in this wonderful, wacky, dynamic world in the 21st century.

The stories are fictional as are the characters. Names, personalities or incidents are fictional and in no way resemble or refer to a living person. I’ve used paraphrasing of many authors’ ideas and concepts and have referenced them in a special section. Because of these references and the specific genre where the book is to be found, it’s categorized as a non-fictional, personal development book.

for the language but this word best describes the thought I want to convey. In Forrest Gump the term was used to describe situations that happen to all people for no particular reason.