Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Character? Golf? What’s the big deal?

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What if I put this ‘Warning’ sign on my book’s front cover? The sign would serve two purposes: One – to warn potential readers that the book contains ‘sports’ stories, and Two – it might just capture the attention of the many golfers who read. I know what you’re thinking so let’s move on. To some of you this change might seem like a desperate move on my part to gain more readers/buyers of the book. You would be right! I didn’t write the book to have it not read. And, I believe the book’s message is timely and focused on what may be a gigantic issue present day – the fleeting nature of decent character.

More than once someone commented ‘it was hard to follow the story, I don’t play golf.’

Our group decided long ago that we didn't give a hoot
one way or the other about anyone in our group’s politics,
religious beliefs or sexual preferences. We agreed however
that it wouldn’t prevent us from incredible slander, name-calling
and harassment to aid our golf competitiveness.
Most of the time, we spoke only of golf not much else.
Anything regarding work life, personal life, hobbies,
problems, likes or dislikes we avoided. Golf conversation
prevailed and we tried real hard to keep it that way.

See anything wrong with this passage? Is it too golfie? Sure the storyline is written around the game of golf. It was done that way purposefully. The game of golf is different than other games – in golf you are your own rules enforcer. That single fact makes golf a hotbed for character revelation. Ever wonder why so many businessmen play golf? They play to see how other businessmen react, respond and interpret the rules of golf.

Having decided to not apologize anymore for writing and titling a ‘Character Book’ with a golf storyline (a mere vehicle to distinctively convey a important message, ie, …the moral of the story is…), this post ends any further explanation I care to give.

Character Happens! is a book about the 5 most important virtues and how we must challenge ourselves each day to ‘do better’ by our decision making. You can buy both print and eBook versions from me personally (with a signature and personalization), or from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million. You can get a free eBook from me for your review posted on either Amazon or Smashwords. If interested in receiving a free eBook and writing a review, please email me here.

Vote in poll for changing book cover. Thanks for following my blog, tell your family and friends. --gg

Monday, May 3, 2010


I’ve often wondered why people say and do the things they do. Guess we all have moments where something or someone causes us to question the person’s judgment, perhaps their motive, maybe even their sanity. Don’t get me wrong, 90% of the time I’m questioning my own judgment – thinking my understanding is incomplete of the person’s circumstance or situation, thus biasing my thinking about what the person has said or done. Bookplate

My book Character Happens! takes a firm stance on this…ugh…ur, fleeting nature of a *best decision* coming from a persons encounter or situation. The books stories illustrate that we *all* are vulnerable in our decision-making by not considering the decision’s effect beyond our own interest. Sure, there are those individuals who throughout their entire lives made decisions benefitting only them. But that is not what you’re about, is it?

Twitter me @garrymgraves about your *fleeting encounters* and how you responded. Thanks for following my blog, my followers are a blessing. --gg

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.