Tag Archives: writing

SMALL ADJUSTMENT CHANGED MY GAME

I’ve heard that life without a little bit of humor and a dash of fantasy can be boring! Sometimes we must dare to explore the outer fringes of reality in order to find enjoyment with things we do. With that in mind, please proceed with caution.

I actually made a resolution this year, which is something I don’t normally do. It wasn’t anything noble such as saving the whales or helping bring peace in the world. It was simply for me to find a way to experience some success playing a game I love—used to love is probably more appropriate in recent years.

You see, I’ve been playing golf for about fifty years, which amounts to over five thousand rounds chasing a little white ball around in the great outdoors. I started each round with the goal of scoring par (72) or lower. I think I have succeeded two times in my life, which gives a paltry success rate of 0.04%. Obviously, that’s not very good. In fact, it’s downright disgusting, frustrating, and borders on a level of insanity no one should endure.

Why would anyone want to continue doing something when the odds of failure are a whopping 99.96% that they will? Crazy, right? I certainly wouldn’t gamble in a Vegas casino with those odds. Heck, I probably wouldn’t try to walk across a street if the odds were 99.96% that I wouldn’t reach the other side safely.

Therefore, I reached a time in life when I had to do something to improve my less than 1% success rate with golf or quit playing. I decided it was time for me to get some help for my depressingly horrible golf game because I didn’t want to quit.

No, I didn’t seek advice from a psychiatrist, although that would probably be a good idea too. I simply presented my problem to a local golfing guru, Slice Woods. After spending ten minutes watching me hit a few shots, Slice told me all I needed to do was make one small adjustment—anyone can do it, he said. Really?

I was doubtful at first, but I did as Slice suggested. I even joined a local league and my results have been amazing! I now score 72 or lower every time I play. That’s almost a 100% success rate! Unbelievable, right? I wish I had made this small change fifty years ago. I’m so excited that I’m considering trying to qualify for the senior tour next year. What? Seriously?!?

So, what small change did Slice suggest I make? He said it was time for me to start using the one-hand-three-finger grip. At first, I thought he had lost his mind. I couldn’t image how that would help me. I had serious reservations about Slice’s abilities as an instructor until he showed me exactly how easy it was to do.

I admit, on my first dozen or so attempts, the ball still had a mind of its own and didn’t go exactly in the direction I was aiming. I was discouraged, but Slice encouraged me to keep trying. After several more attempts, the one-hand-three-finger grip actually started working perfectly—I even hit a pin.

Yay! I had discovered, with Slice’s help of course, a secret method for scoring well in golf—just about every time! It’s great being able to enjoy the fruits of my new grip!

The great part about this simple change is I only had to sacrifice a few things. I no longer walk around in the clean-fresh air on neatly trimmed grass, chase tiny-white balls around in the snake-infested woods, or look at scenery like this:

Because of my one-hand-three-finger grip, I now have the pleasure of walking around indoors on hardwood floors. The ball returns to me automatically and there are no beautiful landscapes to distract me from my game. In addition, I get to play on the same fairway the entire round. How cool is that?

This is now my new view for the entire match:

In order to help make my transition go a little smoother, I actually use a bowling ball that looks just like a golf ball, only it’s much larger—much, much larger and weighs 15 pounds!

My game is now awesome! Oh, what crazy things frustrated golfers will do to score a smooth 72! I even use a golf scorecard to record my bowling scores and that makes me feel a whole lot better about my golf game.

The best part comes when I’m sitting around the table after a match talking to the guys. I can’t help but chuckle to myself. They actually think their bowling scores of 260 or higher are good, but I know better. My score is usually 72 or lower, and they have no idea how happy it makes me. I proudly yell, “I shot a 72 today! Yay!”

I can’t wait to tell my golfing buddies about scoring 72 or lower just about every time I play. They are going to be so jealous! Unfortunately, there are two huge downsides—I can’t tell them what game or where I’ve been playing. Now, that’s a bummer of gigantic proportions! Oops! I think I just told them.

Oh, there’s another bonus because of my grip change. Unlike golf, bowling allows me to play every day of the year—rain, shine, sleet, snow, and even at night! Who needs all that good-fresh air and the beautiful sights of the great outdoors to enjoy life when you can do it in a bowling alley where the weather is always perfect? Right? Right? I can’t hear you!

If you think about it, there really are some similarities between golfing and bowling:

Both have pins that are your targets

Both are best played down the middle

Both require controlled hooks and slices

Both are played using spherical balls

Both have birdies: eagles in golf and turkeys in bowling

Both require good hand eye coordination

I could go on and on, but I’m sure you know I’m joking about all this. Please forgive me if my little golf-bowling juxtaposition offended any avid bowlers out there. That was certainly not my intent. Although I’m not worth a flying-zip-a-dee-doo-dah at golf or bowling, I simply prefer playing golf to bowling and no other sport allowed me to make the juxtaposition effectively.

Yes, I know bowling a 72 is a horrible score, but it’s certainly a great score for a duffer in golf. If you enjoy bowling over golf, that’s super! Bowling is also a great sport that requires lots of skill and concentration.

I have also found that people bowling in the lane next to me don’t appreciate me yelling, “FORE!” when my ball jumps the gutter into their lane, which happens often. I’m not sure if they’re getting mad at me for yelling fore or because I occasionally knock down a couple of their pins. Hey, I’m trying my best.

On a serious note, use your spare time doing things that make you happy, even if you have to use a juxtaposition to do so. Life is too short to do otherwise!

Enjoy your game no matter what it is, and remember, you can always juxtapose it when your game goes south.

Looking forward to seeing you at the bowling alley—I mean the golf course.

Tom Tatum – Author – 2018

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor  LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

WHO COULD HE BE?

 

WhoCouldHeBe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Passing by a store window today,

I saw a strange man looking at me.

Old and gray, he had nothing to say.

I thought to myself, “Who could he be?

 

He was dressed like me from head to toe.

It shocked me to see him standing there.

I raised my arms to see what he’d do.

He did likewise with a chilling stare.

 

Each movement I made, he did the same.

Why was this old man toying with me?

Was he just playing a silly game?

I thought to myself, “Who could he be?

 

I moved to and fro and turned around.

Each time I looked at the window there,

He was mocking me without a sound.

I grew tired of his stare and gray hair.

 

Then I felt something so very odd,

As if I had been stung by a bee.

It was then I gave him a slight nod,

For I saw clearly, he was just me.

 

I walked away feeling somewhat sad,

For no longer am I a young man.

Years have drifted past, but I’m not mad.

I’ll keep on doing the best I can.

 

Yes, my days are numbered, that’s for sure!

Some things were not meant for me to do.

But through all I have had to endure,

There is nothing I wish to undo.

 

Before I leave, here’s some thoughts for you.

You may be young at this point in time,

But some day your hair will be gray too.

Give your best in life while in your prime.

 

For those who have danced through life like me,

Have no fear for there’s much you can do.

Keep pushing hard and you will soon see,

Some have been blessed by just knowing you.

 

Tom Tatum – Author – 2016

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor  LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

 

What Was The Author Thinking?

I remember “A Time In Life” about a gazillion years ago when I was sitting in English/writing classes wishing “Scotty would beam me up” to a better place. I was more into math/science, so English/writing classes weren’t exactly high on my list of favorites. In fact, I couldn’t wait for the bell to ring so I could dash out of the classroom.

The reason I didn’t like English/writing classes is simple. My mind seemed to dance to a different tune from that of my teachers. When we were assigned to read books/poems, we would then have discussions about them in class. The WhatWasAuthorThinkingreading part was actually enjoyable, but the discussion sessions never went very well for me. The teachers would always ask the question, “What was the author thinking when he wrote this?” I honestly didn’t give a flying zippity-do-da what the author was thinking.

While many of my classmates waved their hands begging for permission to answer the question, I always tried to hide behind the person sitting in front of me. I became very adept at sliding my six-foot-plus frame down in my desk trying to become invisible to the teacher. I remember my heart racing as beads of perspiration formed on my brow in anticipation of the teacher calling on me. I knew what would happen no matter how I answered the question.

Unfortunately, my method to become invisible wasn’t very successful, and I had to share my thoughts on many occasions. When I did, the teachers would look at me as if I had just come from another planet. They responded to my brilliant answer by saying, “Tommy, that’s not what the author was thinking.”

I never understood how my opinion, which I shared reluctantly, could be wrong. I probably didn’t endear myself to the teachers when I told them they didn’t know the author any better than I did, nor could they possibly have a better idea about the author’s thoughts. Unfortunately, the teachers made the rules for the class and had the last word. Somehow, my “Twilight Zone” way of thinking didn’t keep me from passing those courses. Yay!

A lot of water has passed under the bridge since those uncomfortable classroom moments, and I’ve had time to reflect on those days. Could it be my teachers actually knew what they were doing? Were they just trying to awaken some unutilized-creative segment of my brain? Did they see something in me that I didn’t? I don’t know exactly what they were trying to do, but they must have done something right. Not only do I now enjoy writing, I have authored two books.

I can’t help but wonder what would happen if I could visit those teachers today to discuss my own books. I know I would no longer try to hide or fear the question, “What was the author thinking when he wrote this?” However, I bet I know what those teachers would say in response to my answer.

“Tom, that’s not what the author was thinking.” Really!?! Beam me up, Scotty! Now!!!

Yep, I’m still visiting earth from another planet and have no idea why my teachers asked that particular question. Neither have I ever answered the question in a way that satisfied any of my teachers.

Okay, now it’s your turn to be on the receiving end of the questions. I know you’re sitting there waving your hands just like my classmates did when they were so eager to answer the question. Do you know what I was thinking when I wrote this? Do you even care what an author was thinking when they wrote a book? Do readers need to know? Does not knowing diminish the quality of the story? Share your thoughts and help solve the mystery.

Feeling blessed for having had teachers who cared enough to encourage me to think and do things I never dreamed I could—or would.

Tom Tatum – Author

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

Author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Lifting Me Up

      LiftingMeUp1  

 

Lifting Me Up

My life is full of both ups and downs,

As God filled my mind with things so clear.

He said I have something you can do,

Then called me to write; I don’t know why.

 

Tis an odd task He’s asked me to do.

Sometimes I wonder why He chose me.

My words do not come easy each day,

But the dark path He lights, I will tread.

 

Though I was busy writing this day,

I paused to thank Him for blessing me.

Should He have more thoughts for me to share,

He will give me time to write those words.

 

But if I should pass before I wake,

I am thankful He led me His way.

For when some folks sneered the things I wrote,

He was always there lifting me up.

Tom Tatum -2015

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

Author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum