Tag Archives: golf

Writing a Novel is Like a Good Game of Golf, Both are in a Genre of Their Own

I’d have to say I’m passionate when it comes to writing, especially in the science fiction, fantasy and action adventure genres. I’ve published four novels, soon to finish the fifth and will return to number six, which has been patiently waiting for completion to come its way.

I’ve penned numerous short stories, write a weekly blog and a monthly newsletter. After all this work, the one thing I’ve never written about is golf.

Now I know that my last statement, in and of itself, seems a bit off kilter. You may even be thinking, what’s this guy talking about? This is where I need you to trust me and follow my logic; however, illogical it may seem.

I used to play this so-called, game of kings, though found it to be more of a throw your club, along with a cuss word or two. Hit an errant shot, followed by a cuss word or two. Reach the green in two and then four putt, followed by a string of cuss words and finally spending entirely too much time searching for lost golf balls with an occasional cuss word.

What you must remember, is all this fun comes after spending a small fortune on equipment and dozens upon dozens of little white balls.

What you really need to purchase, and so far I’ve been unable to find, is a golf swing.

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How Many Times Must I Tell You? When You’re Reading, Keep Your Head Down, Keep Your Head Down, Keep Your Head Down and Eyes on the Ball

foreplayI’ve read bad books, fair books, good books, excellent books and exceptionally great books. The literary world is certainly all over the place. Bad books get published and exceptionally great books don’t. In fact, books of every genre no matter their position on the good to bad scale are published every day. The last time I ran across the numbers, there were several thousand books published each day, which meant over a million each year.

I was taught to believe half of what I see and none of what I hear. The numbers I had gathered just a few years ago said 800 books a day and a quarter of a million a year. I don’t know whose putting together these figures, but I’m going out on a limb and confirming there are a lot books published each year.

I have to equate it to playing golf. In the nineties it seemed as though everyone decided they’d pick up a set of clubs and hit the links. Now I realize everyone must start somewhere, but the game went from a four hour pleasurable jaunt around a beautifully groomed course, to a six hour wait-a-thon.

I heard a multitude of balls hit trees with that famous four letter word to follow. I spent more time ducking than most mallards. I played one course in a city that shall remain nameless where they allowed men to play with their shirts off. Fortunately, there was only one, but certainly not following golf etiquette.

I guess what I’m trying to say is to get your ducks in a row…or your books in the hands of those who wish to read them. It’s a monumental task, but one that I think is worth the work.

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Have the Sense to Come in Out of the Rain Especially When Accompanied By Crackles of White Light and Big Booms

stormy-weatherHow does this grab ya? “It was a dark and stormy night”…Not your kettle of fish? How ‘bout this? “The sky exploded in a blinding light, while thunder shook the window panes to the near point of shattering”…Still not to your liking?

Try this. “The pounding rain soon turned to a river of mud devastating everything in its path”…Better but still not it, huh? Okay. I think this will do it for you. “The gentle rain concluded…yawn…and the clouds parted, allowing the sun to bring forth the first petunias of the year.

That does it for ya? So I gather from this idea exchange, you don’t care for thunderstorms.

Well, suck it up, Peaches, cause this post ain’t for you.

Have you ever noticed the beginning of some novels start with tempestuous weather such as, “It was a dark and stormy night?” It could be the first line sets a sense of foreboding for the entire novel. Or maybe the author just likes thunderstorms.

When you think about it, (and thinking is something I strongly attempt to avoid), what are the pros and cons of the everyday summertime thunderstorms, beginning with the pros.

1) It brings rain to sometimes parched crops.
2) It leaves a wonderful smell after the storm has passed.
3) When accompanied with a cold front, it tends to drop the temperature and humidity.
4) Provides a certain amount of excitement when the blast of thunder is so loud it causes your hairline to recede. (In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m really having to stretch for these.)
5) It waters the part of my lawn that doesn’t wash away.
6) It provides humor watching people escape the downpour and the soaking received by passing vehicles.
7) And last, but certainly not least, the calming effect of the rain bouncing off your roof and the distant thunder lulling you to sleep with Gods’ fireworks.

Now, for the cons.

1) Tornadoes.
2) Micro bursts and down drafts (straight line winds that can cause as much damage as number 1).
3) Flash floods.
4) Lightening: can cause power outages, fires and produce thunder that scares the bejeesus out of children and pets alike. (Not to mention many adults) At its’ absolute worse, lightening can kill trees and sadly enough, people.
5) Just the sight of a rotating storm (aka a mesocyclone) especially with a rotating wall cloud will send fear into the heart of the bravest man.
6) High winds can wreak havoc with outdoor furniture, plants and on a larger scale, most anything that’s not tied down.
7) Trailer park. Nuff said.
8) Increased accidents caused in part by individuals who haven’t the sense of a five pound bag of stupid to slow down.
9) And finally, and I say this with all my heart; please don’t stand under a tree, on a golf course, during a thunderstorm with a lightning rod in your hand.

If you happen to be walking along during a thunderstorm and feel your skin start to tingle, hit the ground immediately. If you’re still struck by lightning…well…sue me.

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Swinging Sticks at Little White Balls Confuses the Writing Process. There, I Said It!

I’m working on the fourth book in a series I’ve entitled, “Rising Tide.” I discovered that by the time you’ve reached this deep into a particular work and previousgolf books have been published, idiosyncrasies begin to surface.

Now, it’s important to mention that most of these quirky little problems bother no one but me and, in my mind, should be corrected to maintain continuity throughout the series. Of course, it’s almost impossible to do. I mean, how many publishers are going to re-release a book because the author believes changing two sentences will enhance the series by leaps and bounds?

That being a rhetorical question, I’ll continue on to the “stuff” portion of this post, which answers the question, “why?” When an author wants to change stuff in the novels earlier in the series, it could be because of continuity or to a lesser degree, related to his eccentricities. This is just a nice way of saying he has OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder.)

This also could simply be a case where the author wants his readers to stand in awe at his ability to look into the future as he pens his first novel of the series. The reader would say something on the order of “how could he have known the incident in the fourth book would coincide with the incident in the first book and be reinforced by the incident carryover between the second and third books?.… Wow!”

This brings about another possibility. Perhaps your publisher requests that you rewrite portions of your first novel in order to revamp the entire series. If you’ve never played golf, this is referred to as a Mulligan, a term that means, “second chance.” Now, as I mull over the last paragraph I can’t help but remember my days spent on the links…

You’d think there’d be nothing more relaxing than enjoying a warm sunny day in a lush green setting among beautiful scenery with a group of friends. Well, let me tell you, there’s nothing further from the truth. I am firmly convinced that the game of golf was conceived for the sole purpose of the downfall of mankind. It can be the most maddening, frustrating, serial killer developing sport ever devised. You’re competing against no one but yourself. If half of you is really good and the other half really bad, you have the makings of an internal conflict to begin with. This so-called game will cause you to throw metal clubs, beat inanimate objects with metal clubs and bend or break these weapons of mass destruction over your knee.You will utter words (from the same mouth you kiss your mother) that you didn’t realize were in your vocabulary. Then after a relaxing five hours of bad behavior and high blood pressure, you schedule a time to do it all over again.

I don’t know what makes us do the things we do. I’ll let you figure it out. Right now I need a couple Valium and someplace to stretch out. If the good Lord’s willing and the creek don’t rise, I’ll be talkin atcha next week.

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Fore!!!

Ever consider stepping outside of your comfort zone as far as your writing is concerned? I enjoy sneaking in little tidbits of sideways information; a lot of which end up in my blog. I’ve always ascribed to the saying, “a bad golf in stormday on the golf course is better than a good day at work.” The more I think about this popular saying; the more I must question my blind following of this bastion of golfdom.

Item one:

Your initial cost to participate in the sport of golf could run into the thousands, taking into account, equipment, attire and lessons.

Your initial cost to participate in work, “a signed check made out to you.”

Item two:

In the game of golf, be it a good or bad day, there’s those pesky green and cart fees.

In the world of work, there are no fees, only “a signed check made out to you.”

Item three:

You’re actually playing a round of golf now. Being a bad day on the golf course, you avoid the fairway in favor of the woods, water, tall grass and goose turds.

Back at work, you‘re taking a break and still drawing, “a signed check made out to you.”

Item four:

On hole twelve, you’ve just lost your ninth ball. Wrap club around ball washer. No matter; couldn’t hit the driver anyway. Blood pressure up 30 points; one step closer to stroke.

Sure must be a good day at work; you just got a raise and a promotion. Wadda ya know, there’s “a signed check made out to you” only, this time, there are more zeros.

Item five:

Seek shelter under tree during thunderstorm.

Back at work, you’re worried about friend playing golf in thunderstorm.

Item six:

Price per round of golf now inflated due to $8000 funeral.

Condolences fly around office along with new mandate–play golf; get fired.

Next day, sell clubs, take up whack-a-mole.

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