Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Game Day!

...I'm taking a break from touting The Fall & South of Charm this week in order to gear up for my son's tournament on the ball court.  Big game on Saturday vs. my alma mater, and a game on Sunday afternoon that will make or break our season.  

Therefore, in honor of his upcoming competition, I'm re-posting "Game Day," a short that I penned a year ago, stealing a few minutes that I shared with my son just prior to tip off.  

(Blogger has a tendency to misbehave when I republish past stories, so let's keep our fingers crossed ;)


...Saturday afternoon. On the road. Game day.

Despite the sun's distant grin, the recent freeze has resulted in an ice-packed layer of crust holding firm to our corner of the world. But the roads are clear, the traffic steady, the car's heater keeping the frost at bay.

Aside from the purr of tires, the world has offered us a moment of peace.

Glancing into the rear view mirror, I spot my son in the back seat, head tilted, eyes focused on the passing scenery. But yet, not really.

His gaze seems to follow a row of naked elms as we cruise by, but if I were to ask him which one stood the tallest, he could offer me no more than a shrug. For while his eyes are aimed at the snow-covered landscape, his thoughts rest elsewhere.

Afterall, its game day.

I continue to watch him, an eleven year old now, a dusty blond, still wiry as a twig, but gifted with a burst that can't be taught. A set of thin fingers drum upon his thigh, as if feigning the play of an imaginary instrument. And if studied closely, one may catch the movement of his lips...thinking through the plays, the various scenarios he will surely face in less than an hour, when he steps onto the court.

I study his focus, the flush of his cheeks, and smile to the passing traffic, remembering my days in the game, so long ago.

The intensity of game day, of sweaty palms and twitching muscles. Pent up excitement, and those bursts of adrenaline. The magical sound of a leather ball slipping unscathed through an iron hoop. Swish!

Such fun that was, those days of competition. And yet, more than two decades later, the real fun is about to begin...

We pull into the parking lot. The engine settles to a hum. I twist around in my seat. "It's time, Son.  You ready?"

A pair of eyes, green like the sea, lift their gaze from the pair of scuffed Reebok's on the floor, and offer me a twinkle.

"Let's do this."

El ;)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

...a pick me up ;)'s tough not to complain about the new year, when every day there seems to be yet another blow dealt below the waist.  While I'd consider the penning of a woeful list as being trite, if not laborious to read through on a Sunday evening, the lineup of rotten luck, six weeks into 2013, would be lengthy.  

Therefore, when I opened my email this afternoon and read a personal letter from a young lady who'd recently finished my novel, South of Charm, the timing was impeccable. 

...Mr. Grace, my aunt let me borrow your book when my husband and I were visiting.  I am an avid reader, but it usually takes quite a book to hold my attention, so I was surprised to finish your story in two days.  I just want to say, wow!, what an amazing book.  I believe that some of the story is indeed a memoir, which made it so haunting for me.

Thank you for shedding such an honest and raw light on mental illness.  After reading this book, I was reminded that mental illness does not discriminate against age, gender, religion, or ethnicity.  It can truly affect people at any time in their life, be them a spouse, parent, friend, or co-worker.

I am looking forward to reading many more novels by you!  

...I don't believe in coincidence.  Never have.  However, the timing of this letter urges one to consider those signs that we're quietly offered from a higher power, often showing themselves during a period turmoil.  

It's a showing of hope.  A promise of better days to come.  A warm hand upon one's shoulder, urging them onward.

I emailed her back, thanked her for the letter, and included the link to The Fall, currently available on Kindle, just in case she was serious about reading more of my work ;)

Thanks everyone for reading!


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

On the Twitter ;)

...first, and of most importance, just another of those special moments of fatherhood worth sharing.

While sliding into our shoes en route to a quick run to Walmart, my twelve year old, him of utter innocence, (if not ignorance) asks, "Hey Dad, is it mean to call someone a douche-bag?"

From across the room, the sixteen year old releases a sound similar to the croak of an irritable bullfrog, leading to an all out burst of laughter.

I maintained my composure.  "Um...well, have you already called someone a douche-bag?"

"Well, not yet, but almost.  And I keep hearing it at school."

"Hmm...maybe try and avoid using it if you can."

"Is it worse than calling someone a moron, or a dumb ass?"

"Well, calling someone a dumb ass will get you grounded, but so will douche-bag.  I'm not fond of moron either, but in a pinch, I guess that would be the favorable choice if the moment calls for it.  But I'm hoping it doesn't, don't you?"

The twelve year old considers this while looping his laces.  I manage to shush the teenager with a scowl.  Then, "Yeah, but it can be tough at recess."

"Okay, I understand." 

...such lasting memories ;)

Just a few quick updates...I've been lured into the Tweeter.  ( Yeah, yeah, I know what it's really called.)  

Track me down @elliot_grace

My latest tweet, you ask?  Earlier this evening I shared my current read, "Remembering You," by Robynne Rand.  You may not recognize the name, but you'll surely feel at home when you visit that Piedmont Writer from Carolina Blue ;)  

And you can check out Remembering You here...

As for my newest release, hop over to, The Fall, here...

It's a heart stopper that one can gobble up during an evening by the fire.  It's new to the race, and desperate for some reviews, be them good or bad.  After all, for us writers, it's all about boasting a thick skin ;)