Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Heisman Trophy is No Guarantee of Success in the NFL

Last week marked an important occasion for all fans of the National Football League. College players from across the country gathered to hear their name called as part of the annual draft. No one was surprised that Matthew Stafford from the University of Georgia was selected by the Detroit Lions as the number one draft pick. The Lions are hoping to improve on last season, which should not be too difficult considering they didn’t win a single game. Besides watching to see who gets selected early and what unexpected and controversial trades are made, fans of draft day are also curious to see what happens to that year’s winner of the Heisman Trophy. There is no doubt that there have been some busts in the past.

In the 1990 draft, the University of Houston’s Andre Ware was drafted in the first round by the Lions and was supposed to be the next great quarterback, following in the footsteps of Joe Montana and Dan Marino. He spent most of the time on the bench. How about Eric Crouch? He won the Heisman in 2001 but was not drafted until the third round the following year and retired from the game before even playing a down. The past two winners, Tim Tebow and Sam Bradford, have yet to finish their college careers. So, we will have to wait to witness the draft fate of these two amazing quarterbacks.
In my latest novel, Tuey's Course, the title character (whose full name is WeWildapheet Ulisees O'Tweety) is also a winner of the coveted Heisman Trophy. Like the examples I mentioned above, he also never had the opportunity to see his name in lights on Super Bowl Sunday or fly to Hawaii as a Pro Bowl selection. Instead, his life and eventual fate are more tragic than those who simply did not succeed at the professional game. I hope you will read about Tuey and his life’s struggles. I believe he is a character that you will find hard to forget.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Is the Bad Economy Affecting Fictional Golf Course Employees?

The economy has found the idea of higher education one that has both merits and drawbacks for many Americans. On one hand, the rising tuition that is becoming a necessity on many campuses in the face of serious education budget cuts has parents concerned that the dream college for which their son or daughter has long desired may not be possible. Then again, there are a record number of people who are either returning to school after losing their jobs or staying in school for a graduate or professional degree in order to avoid facing the harsh job market. Already, the nightly news shows are running stories about what the current recession will mean for the class of 2009.

In my series of books that take place at the Prairie Winds Golf Course, my readers are introduced to a character that may not be living her dream job in light of the environment she faces every day. Julie is the bookkeeper for the golf course, as well as a graduate of the local junior college. While her work is impeccable in its professionalism and thoroughness, and she has a great relationship with her supervisors, some of the other regulars in the club house leave something to be desired. Julie shows a great strength of character in the way that she handles the members who drink a bit too much while enjoying a day on the course as well as those who find it appropriate to make advances on her as she tries to handle the office finances. Men and women alike will appreciate Julie’s confidence and spirit.

Is Julie a good candidate to return to school and further her education with the many others who are trying to get a leg up in this difficult economy? Or, should she be happy to have a job at Prairie Winds, despite its drawbacks, and keep her current position until the overall market improves? I hope you will read Lifetime Loser, Finish Line, and Tuey’s Course and let me know what you think about Julie and other characters that come to life on the pages.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Every Great Story Needs a Loyal Dog

There are certain images that come to mind when I picture the all-American male. Naturally, I picture a group of good friends spending time on a golf course on a sunny Saturday morning. I also think of cruising down the back roads of a small town in a bright red convertible. And, of course, what guy is not complete without a loyal dog by his side? With this in mind, I certainly had to include man’s best friend in my series of books that take place at the Prairie Winds Golf Course. My readers will have the pleasure of meeting Bogey, whose dedication to his owner and his kind heart will be familiar to everyone who has a beloved pet in their own family.

Bogey is a bull terrier. For those not familiar with the breed, perhaps you will recall the fifteen minutes of fame earned by the dog Spuds McKenzie in those Budweiser commercials from the late 1980s. While Bogey certainly never led the party life experienced by his same-species counterpart, perhaps this comparison will give you the appropriate visual image as you picture this dog bounding around the golf course eager for attention and approval. Bogey was already ready to provide companionship first thing in the morning and made sure that all was well with the humans he adored before falling asleep at night.

Without revealing too much, I will share that Bogey’s story becomes interwoven with the other drama that unfolds on the golf course. I hope that you will read my three novels that have been published to this point—Lifetime Loser, Finish Line, and Tuey’s Course—and then contact me and let me know if you have had any experiences similar to the ones the characters had with the irreplaceable Bogey. He is certainly an important part of my all-American story!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Quick Question to my Followers

I have created a poll on the right side of my blog to see if anyone would be interested to be able to purchase my books created in a Kindle format. I am not sure what the demand would be for my books in this format, so I am leaving the decision up to all of you. If I see that this is an option people want to have, then I will setup my books in this format.

Thanks All!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Selfish Individuals Prey When Economy is Hurting

Our economy has not offered many indicators recently to offer hope that our country may be pulling out of its recession anytime soon. Unemployment figures continue to rise, with the most recent information from our government showing the unemployment rate in March moving up to 8.5%, which is a 0.4% increase just from the previous month. The stock market shows glimmers of improvement every now and again, but the numbers still are not at a level that gives investors much confidence. One area of our economy that has been hit particularly hard for the past couple of years is the housing and building industry. Every segment of this piece of our economy, from new home construction to business remodeling to the purchase of existing of existing homes, is struggling. As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, I have spent some time working in real estate and have seen first-hand that it is not an enviable profession right now.

Nationally, foreclosures increased by 24% in the first three months of 2009. This figure accounts for 804,000 affected families just this year, bringing the national total to nearly two million households since this crisis began. It’s not only houses that are remaining vacant for months or being sold at ridiculously low prices at auction. Businesses both large and small are shutting their doors because owners simply are not making the profit needed to pay the rent and their employees and to maintain inventory. Shopping malls are operating at half capacity or closing altogether once the “anchor” stores pull out due to sagging sales. I know we are all waiting for the inevitable improvement in both residential and commercial building, as this reversal will be a clear indication that better days are ahead for all components of our economy.

In my first novel, Lifetime Loser, I introduce some unsavory characters who are determined to get their hands on some profitable land no matter the cost. Fraud, identity theft, and even violence are not beyond their capabilities. I imagine that these men would jump at the opportunity to take advantage of the misfortune that is affecting their neighbors in today’s difficult economy. Will the criminals succeed in their mission, or will the honest occupants of Prairie Winds Golf Course and their innocent neighbors hold onto their property? I hope you will buy my book and find out for yourselves!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Determination and Positive Attitude Make a Difference in Fighting Cancer

Every cancer survivor story offers points of inspiration and reminds all of us that determination and a positive attitude can go a long way in healing our bodies. High-profile celebrities, due to their fan base and their access to the media, can play a magnified role in educating people about the early signs of cancer and what we can do to improve our chances of staying healthy. Who can forget when Katie Couric had her colon examined on live television after the death of her husband? The number of such tests done in doctors’ offices across the country skyrocketed. Celebrities such as Christina Applegate, Elizabeth Edwards, and Sheryl Crow have used their own battles with breast cancer to advocate the need for early exams. And, speaking of Sheryl Crow, her former fiancĂ© also provides a great testament to the power to overcome cancer.

As a fan of sports and the impressive stature of professional athletes, I am amazed at Lance Armstrong’s life story. Just after celebrating his twenty-fifth birthday, Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer that had spread to his abdomen, lungs, and brain. Even after drastic surgeries and treatments to remove parts of his organs, doctors gave Armstrong less than a fifty percent chance of survival. Obviously, he did make a full recovery and went on to win the Tour de France for a record-breaking seven consecutive years, from 1999 to 2005. A broken collarbone may have provided his most recent setback, but I am confident he will be back on the winner’s podium soon.

In my novel Finish Line, main character Curt Schroeder is diagnosed with cancer while in the prime of his life. Despite this devastating news, he forges ahead with the same unparalleled work ethic and confident attitude that he has always brought to his work managing the Prairie Winds Golf Course. Along the way, he inspires two teenage boys who have been put under his charge both to work off a debt and perhaps grow up a little along the way. While Curt Schroeder may not have the notoriety of Lance Armstrong, he certainly makes a difference to those who know him.

I hope you will read Finish Line and let me know what you think, particularly if you are a cancer survivor. I am sure your personal story is inspiring as well!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sorry I have not updated my blog in awhile...

I have been busy, here are just a few things that have been going on:

New review at Ladies on the Tee....

Have had radio spots in Milwaukee, Toronto, New York & week is Abilene & Columbus.....with four coming after that hopefully

Was contacted last week by ESPN, The Golf Channel, Titleist, the ESPY's and Flagstick Golf magazine in Canada will probably be doing a feature story (still discussing that or a review).

Will keep you all updated and begin again posting to this blog.

Thank you to all of my followers!