Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
A friend of mine...a long ago friend, is dying of cancer this very moment. Years’ passed since we’ve talked face to face, his then image fresh in my mind today. Thoughts of his last conversations with family and friends quench my anxiety. My friends resolve comforts me.
Most of us can look back on our conquests...pointing to a few which stand as testament of our being. Whatever we want that to be. Some will acclaim industry; some, giving to others...most will note setting a good example for the family.
Even though my friend was accomplished...he would note this good example as his legacy. All of us should strive for this one.
Monday, December 7, 2009
9/22/09: [My tentative schedule is to finish and final edit the book by the middle of November, 2009. The word tentative is not my “out” so to speak...from my pronounced delivery date of “Before Christmas.” It is only the reality of this (like any other) business...whereby numerous events (beyond my control) can cause delay in its being printed, bound and shipped to me in early December...for shipping to purchasers prior to Christmas, 2009.]
It would be easy for me to say “through no fault of my own,” but that’s not the case. Personal factors causing the delay, not given greater consideration on my part are: anxiety, editing, formatting, anxiety, completing last chapter, more editing, anxiety...more anxiety.
Why anxiety? Simply...a personal character flaw that has cursed my life from the beginning. Particularly when a writing project is the mission. Substituting a full blown class with added time and expense instead of doing the masters thesis...my anxiety with writing projects continued. Completing the entire coursework and comprehensive exams...minus the dissertation, caused the DBA designation to be missing from my educational credentials. This writing-project anxiety DNA continues today making the book project stretch from an early 2004 to present day.
When will the book be completed and shipped? January? Maybe. February, March...sometime in the first quarter? Hopefully. It’s like giving birth I can only surmise. Contractions should start soon...I’m hoping.
Thanks for your patience and understanding.
Sincerely, Garry M. Graves
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Bottom line...any author not looking at the ebook marketing channel may not be selling all the books they could. Let’s not forget abooks (audio) and of course there will still be “some” pbooks (printed), around, at least until the bookstores run out of money (Amazon probably takes about half the market of pbooks sold now...so it won’t be long).
What drives ebook sales? Price...plain and simple. Most ebooks are $9.99 (Amazon for Kindle) and now (Kindle for PC). The industry says Amazon is losing money because of the high costs from publishers. That will change too. How long before authors cut deals directly etailers like Amazon, B&N, Borders and others coming on board everyday, like Smashwords. Not only can you get many books from these sources for a buck ninety-nine, you can get some “free.”
Take a look at the sales of iphones, Blackberry’s, Droid’s, etc., and the many app’s created for them. It’s phenomenal! There are plenty of people reading ebooks with these devices...more than with the Amazon Kindle, or the recent addition the new B&N “Nook” ereader (with the ebook sharing feature). The publishing industry is changing rapidly. Are you ready? And...yes my book Character Happens! will have an ebook edition...how could it not.
Here’s a few links to further your knowledge:
http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/ (a thriller writer who also writes on “writing”)
Kindle for PC (to get free software from Amazon to download books to your PC)
http://www.smashwords.com/ (ebook publisher and etailer, take a look)
Thursday, November 12, 2009
· first cut
· short grass
Now...I suppose you could find all the definitions to these words, given the vastness of information resources in present day. However, cheating to receive a book about “Character” even though ironic would be an appropriate gift for someone to begin their new way of making decisions.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
...here's a direct link to the blog.... http://characterhappens.blogspot.com/ should you need it.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Additionally, a good “old” friend of mine who serves as a “reader” for me suggested that the verbiage in the first chapter might be somewhat foreign to those individual's who do not play golf. I asked if he thought a “glossary of terms” might be useful in the book. He said “No.” Now what?
Any advise you care to pass along...email me. Garry M. Graves
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
The above icon is a link to the Character Happens! book website. I have created this link for those individuals who asked for a link to paste into their sites and blogs. Should you want to place this icon into your sites/blogs (or know someone who might be interested), then by all means you not only have my permission, but my blessing. Thank You, Garry M. Graves
I have posted this "link code" on an invisible page on the books site:
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Because I know you to be "of character", I want to share with you a soon-to-be-published book that I think you would enjoy. The writer, Garry M. Graves, is a long time business associate and dear friend who is not only "a character" but is one "of character". Garry has a wit that allows him to make non-offensive (sometimes) points and observations about how one should conduct himself within social and Christian disciplines. I invite you to click the link below in order to gain some insight about Garry and his book. If you agree that it will be, not only a good read, but an important reminder as to how we should live and interact with others, I hope you will share this and the website link with your friends of character (and maybe some who need a character boost).
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
The expression of compassion is a thin-line to draw and should be recognized as a distinctive and honorable character trait. Nevertheless there are limits. The building of an individual’s self-worth is very much dependent of their dispatch of compassion...to others and to themselves. It’s a difficult lessen to learn for many individuals but one certainly advantageous in knowing. Do you know someone? Are you that someone?
I look forward to your reading the complete story of Mark Hightower and his episode in dealing with the virtue...compassion.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
...sorry Garry, but I read mindless mystery novels and spy fiction, and I quit playing golf 25 years ago. Why you ask; I found my best friends had played all their lives and while they were most kind, I perceived my golfing prowess kept them from enjoying their game...so I quit.
My son Matt who is now 35 years old loves to fish. When Matt was eight he had no patience whatsoever, and a temper to match. However, after spending hours upon hours fishing and wandering the lakes edge as well as many ponds, streams and rivers we’d fish, his patience developed. I wanted to encourage this "patience and quiet" he enjoyed while fishing. Soon my daughter Leigh and wife Ann (of 39 years), joined our patient and quiet fishing. The water has a calming effect on me and has done wonders for my son and entire family. We love the "patience, calm and quiet" in our lives while fishing the waters of Northern Missouri. You should try it too.
Mom’s funeral was three weeks ago. While there, the family decided we should go to Kellogg Lake one evening. The only fish caught was by Leigh’s daughter, my granddaughter. I cried when all of my kids and their kids gathered around her, congratulating her on a fine catch. Don G., Missouri
Now that's what life is all about...thanks Don. friend, --gg
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
It is always difficult (like now), to write in brevity...remembering the old shoe... “brevity is the soul of wit!” Being brief in ones speech is not any easier...but writing has to be the most difficult task...particularly when you’re wit-less (lacking in wit), like me. So...when a person (me, specifically), tries to be brief AND convey his “life’s message,” it is refreshing and humbling to know...that someone (more than one, many) are picking-up on what indeed it is you’re trying to say. I’m honored to have the many friends and relatives...take the time, to respond with such kindness in their comments...and particularly their “understanding.” Thank You. --gg
(I'll let you know when this "Comments" page is up).
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
My tentative schedule is to finish and final edit the book by the middle of November, 2009. The word tentative is not my “out” so to speak...from my pronounced delivery date of “Before Christmas.” It is only the reality of this (like any other) business...whereby numerous events (beyond my control) can cause delay in its being printed, bound and shipped to me in early December...for shipping to purchasers prior to Christmas, 2009.
Many of the book purchasers have commented about the topic of the book and “The 5 Most Important—But Fleeting Virtues.” They are in agreement the time is right for “a book” to discuss the topic of fleeting virtues. Naturally this makes me happy...also...many of you have stated you agree with the topic or premise of book. Great! And, I hope the stories convey the message of the virtue in a way many readers can empathize with, perhaps reflect...and aid their personal understanding of making a “more virtuous” decision in life.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Still working diligently on Chapter 4, I still believe I'm on schedule to submit to the digital printer (self-publishing), late November with an early December delivery. I'm excited.
Monday, April 20, 2009
A successful business man was growing old and
knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business.
Instead of choosing one of his Directors or his children,
he decided to do something different. He called all the young
executives in his company together.
He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO.
I have decided to choose one of you. "The young executives were
shocked, but the boss continued. "I am going to give each one
of you a SEED today - one very special SEED. I want you to plant
the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with
what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then
judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be
the next CEO."
One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others,
received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his wife the
story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted
the seed. Everyday, he would water it and watch to see if it had
grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began
to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.
Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew.
Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing.
By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn't have
a plant and he felt like a failure.
Six months went by -- still nothing in Jim's
pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall
plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn't say anything to his colleagues, however.
He just kept watering and fertilizing the soil - He so wanted the seed to grow.
A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company
brought their plants to the CEO for inspection.
Jim told his wife that he wasn't going to take an empty pot.
But she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick
to his stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment
of his life, but he knew his wife was right. He took his empty pot
to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety
of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful --
in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and
many of his colleagues laughed, a few felt sorry for him!
When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives.
Jim just tried to hide in the back.
"My, what great plants, trees,
and flowers you have grown," said the CEO. "Today one of you will
be appointed the next CEO!"
All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with
his empty pot. He ordered the Financial Director to bring him to
the front. Jim was terrified. He thought, "The CEO knows I'm a
failure! Maybe he will have me fired!"
When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened
to his seed - Jim told him the story.
The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim,
and then announced to the young executives, "Behold your next
Chief Executive Officer!
His name is Jim!" Jim couldn't believe it. Jim couldn't even grow
"How could he be the new CEO?" the others said.
Then the CEO said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone in this
room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it,
and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds;
they were dead - it was not possible for them to grow.
All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and
flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you
substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the
only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with
my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new
Chief Executive Officer!"
* If you plant honesty, you will reap trust
* If you plant goodness, you will reap friends
* If you plant humility, you will reap greatness
* If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment
* If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective
* If you plant hard work, you will reap success
* If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation
* If you plant faith, you will reap a harvest
So, be careful what you plant now; as it
will determine what you will reap later.
"Whatever You Give To Life, Life Gives You Back"
What are "The 5 Most Important--But Fleeting Virtures?"
.....this is a portion of the "introduction" or prologue to the book (not yet completed)...email 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 believe...an 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 people...love golf. Too bad! You should try it sometime...because it’s more than a game...it 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 me...as 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 too...as 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.
*...sorry 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.