Monday, October 28, 2013

A Balancing Act....

Disclaimer: I acknowledge that no one has asked me about this.... ;-)

As my third novel is developing I look for patterns. The novels are all so different. But I know they can't be at some skeletal level. My inclinations always play out in a pattern at some point. Not formulaic - don't worry. Just human. As always, please bear with me and follow me through this current narcissistic avoidance of real writing. This thing I call... the Blog Update.

The plot ideas that come to me are so large - or grow large in scope of ideas, time, and geography. I enjoy digging out depth in character development...but in such a way as to complement the story as it progresses. That is the idea at any rate.

Balance, the hope of it and the work of it. The realness of it. It feels to me in the writing of the longer narrative that anything less or more than balance (in these general concepts of character and plot) would be insipid.

For me, character and plot are the context. And the cultural/physical landscape is a prominent feature. The landscape in the way it works to inform the characters lives and is impacted by those same lives...this exchange between the character and his place and time can lead to change in either. Or simply as a character and his reflection in the stream of his world.

I tend to like to bring cultures together subtly and violently. I like them to clash or mix, and to learn.

The best result for me is not writing a good story. Or even an amazing and incredible story. But writing a good-enough story - no more or less. Anything else, for me, is true mediocrity. You see, my hope is to captivate and engage the reader. That the reader always has enough...not too little or too much. Because each reader creates a whole new novel - particular to their experiences and inclinations and imagination. Isn't that cool? My novel Unseen is only one story, especially visually. Your reading of it changes it - makes it new and different in ways I cannot.

The story is incomplete in potential without the engaged creative reader. The paradox, the sublime goal of 'good-enough'.


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Coincidence? Maybe....

Have you read UNSEEN by Mark Graham? Mark - not Heather and not Jack;-) I had no idea so many Unseen novels would be written by Grahams. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

FRONT PAGE!

OH YEAH! Front Page - FREE Download! Unssen. Grab it and pass it on please. Thanks all! http://www.getfreeebooks.com/


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Updated: FREE Copy of Unseen - Pass It On


The moment I've been waiting for:

If you have just a moment please 'pin' or 'like' these updates at Google+ here and/or Pinterest or Facebook, etc. - anywhere convenient to you.

Just email to bhistaff@bumblebeehouseink.com with how you would like the eBook sent to you - KINDLE or ePub.

That's it! That easy.

ALSO - feel free to share the eBook you receive with friends 

AND any Adoptive Families you think might benefit (they can be allowed to sell it to their supporters on their blogs)!

(this will be available for a while)

Thanks to all (future) participants and I hope you enjoy the story....a lot!

More information about the novel can be seen on Amazon, Kobo, and all those kind of places.

Mark



Saturday, July 6, 2013

OPEN LETTER For Adoptive Families- A Novel Idea

Hello Adoption Blogger!

Thank you for taking a moment to read about this new fundraising project for adoptive families!

My name is Mark Graham and I have written and published my second novel entitled Unseen. This novel really is my best effort because it is very personal to me in setting and circumstance. Though it is not our story, it carries the inspiration of our time in Ukraine adopting our daughter. I have a dream for it to be a vehicle of ministry for adoptive families. Because of this goal, I have self-published this particular novel and have taken two years with Unseen to insure the highest quality result.
                        
The idea is to provide the eBooks (Kindle, Nook, and IPad) to adoptive families or organizations as a fundraiser for them.  This is a product that they can offer on their blogs free when supporters donate to them. Or they can sell it themselves as a fundraiser if they like.

This is truly a captivating and compelling read. Something supporters would readily tell their friends about and point others to the place where they received it. And so on.

I imagine that through the entertainment of this novel, Unseen, readers will get a fresh and real feel of Ukraine. The reader will gain a deeper empathy for the children there (or anywhere) and their parent’s journey to adopt them.

If you are interested, I would love to send you a free copy of Unseen to review in whichever ebook format you prefer. Just email me at bhistaff@bumblebeehouseink.com or mark@bumblebeehouseink.com for your copy or to answer any questions you may have.

Please tell anyone who you think could benefit from this project.

We would love to be a small participant of bringing together as many families as possible.
Thank you again for your time.

Sincerely,

Mark Graham
919-622-8284

UNSEEN story synopsis:
Martin and Jenny Johnson chose to do something different with their vacation and traveled to an orphanage in Southern Ukraine with a team. Once there, the childless couple fell in love with a little girl, Oksana, and made steps to adopt her. But they soon met with mysterious resistance to the adoption and the child went missing for the rest of their time there. Martin remained in Ukraine to pursue Oksana while Jenny worked from America. Days turned to weeks, and then months. With the help of his taxi driver Dima and Dima's friend Sasha, Martin learned more than he expected.  Neither could have imagined the strange twists and turns that would soon arise. Martin would come to find the depths of a father's love he had never known hidden within himself.




Monday, May 27, 2013

Making Friends

A laid back day in the USA on Memorial Day. Hope you all are enjoying your day as well.



Sunday, May 26, 2013

KINDLE - UNSEEN - REVIEWS

Hey Readers!

Just a quick status note. Thank you for checking out UNSEEN on Amazon. And both Bumblebee House Ink offerings.

New websites for UNSEEN and BHI are under contruction. Exciting times!

If you get a chance - please pop a review up on Amazon.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend. Take a moment to remember them - they are why we can do all this stuff we do. And if you have ever lived anywhere else - you know exactly what I am talking about ;-) Enjoy and appreciate our freedoms.

AMAZON BHI OFFERINGS (click this link)


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

OKAY - An Update I Have Waited a LONG Tine to Post!

Bumblebee House Ink is 'in process' of new web design. Stay tuned.

Also - BHI has these two first novels available at a GREAT price (something that can be done now that the contract is ended with the last publisher....just saying ;-)

If you are in Western Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Eastern Europe I really think you will enjoy this new novel - UNSEEN. Purchase on KOBO. Just search MARK GRAHAM (Land Run has a new cover).

If America - I still recommend KOBO to support your local bookstores but AMAZON is a great place for the Kindle. Or SMASHWORDS for any other format - epub, etc.

fyi - can click on above underlined links for your preference. (Also, more interesting and normal posts will appear soon.)

Have a great day, Readers!

Mark



Sunday, April 21, 2013

SOON...VERY SOON

Hey Folks!

This business stuff is taking a little longer than I anticipated. But I honestly expect that the new novel  UNSEEN and the new re-release of LAND RUN is just 2 weeks from now.

I have the copyrights and ISBN, etc. completed and just some site construction and business type stuff left for BUMBLEBEE HOUSE INK.

The vision for the future is to assist new writers and produce more (great read ;-) eBook novels (unhindered by ANY restrictions of formula requirements and such that is sometimes common to the general publishing industry).

Pass the creative quality on to you! :-)

Anyhow, please stay tuned in.

Thanks,

Bumblebee House Ink




Tuesday, April 9, 2013

ALL GOOD THINGS....

All Good Things must come to an end...but this is not one of them ;-)


Thank you everyone who downloaded the free novel Land Run. I hope you enjoyed the story. The free version period is ending (but there will be promotions in the future)


LAND RUN will soon (very soon) be re-released via a new Publisher - Bumblebee House Ink


The new novel - UNSEEN - will be released at the same time!

Both novels will be available everywhere and at a VERY good price.

Intial release will be eBook formats. (EPUB and MOBI for Kindle).


Please note that if you ever have any problems with the file or need a different format - just email Bumblebee House Ink and the team will be right on it.


Thanks again. And please continue to check back. Bumblebee House Ink (BBH) is in its final phase of requirements before the release of the two novels.

Have a great day!

Mark

Monday, March 11, 2013

THANKS!

Hey Readers!

Just want to thank everyone who downloaded their FREE copy of Land Run!

I hope you all enjoy the read. If you have time - please send feedback here or Amazon. That would be great.

Also - In final edits of the new novel UNSEEN (I really mean it this time - so stay tuned ;-)

UNSEEN is very different and I think you will really enjoy the read.

I am going to keep the FREE copy of Land Run open longer - so please feel free to pass the links on to your friends.

(See update below to link to your FREE copy)

Thanks again,
Mark

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bumblebees and Reviews....

Hey all,

Bumblebee House Ink - received the first testimonial for the site. I appreciate all the great reviews from readers on Amazon and elsewhere. This review really hit the heart of the intent of the novel and so fun to read (a very good writer).

Bumble bee House Ink is a copywriting site (and future publishing house...if all goes right. Stay tuned.)

LINK:
http://www.bumblebeehouseink.com/Announcements.html


Read Land Run! Here author Mark Graham took me somewhere I did not know I wanted to go and introduced me to a town of people with whom I was taken aback to find so intriguing. Through Land Run I felt the town. I grasped the people-- I mean truly got them. That is because Graham not only let me inside of their heads but drew me to their hearts, their motives. And that made me root for some I might have disdained otherwise. You read Land Run with an anticipation of the "rising above" moments. Those moments are there, mixed with the grief , the aches, the injustices and the glimpses of fulfillment. Shady business dealings and an offbeat old man lure you to the story because Graham makes it all real and sometimes raw. Such is great fiction, and this is why Land Run works.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Shack....Before

I finally got around to emptying this old shack behind our house. The original structure is about 200 years old. It  sat on the property of our neighbor who has the 1803 plantation house. When I think about it - at one time just about everything as far as you could see sat on their property ;-)

The last owner was in our house for 50 years (the house is 1936). He used this shack to reload shotgun shells and collect whiskey bottles stored in the cabinet.

Anyhow, this is the future 'writing cottage'. I'll update some posts as the work on it progresses. Have a photo of the cleaning crew below...amazing what some people will do for a milkshake. :-)

Have a great day and please check back for updates.





Wednesday, April 25, 2012

FREE BOOK - In OKC and TULSA


A quick thanks to the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Library System and Tulsa City-County Library System!

LAND RUN is now on the shelves - please come by these links and check it out...literally! :-)

Have a great day!

OKC Libraries


TULSA Libraries


Friday, April 13, 2012

This Is Life......

Thanks everyone for your interest in Land Run. The novel seems to be really catching on out there!

I want to update for fans of Land Run that the next novel is completed! Fully edited and all that. Man, it was fun to write.

Right now I am shopping it around to literary agents. I will update when it lands somewhere. :-)

The new novel title is 'This Is Life' (formally it was called Borderland).

You can get a peek at the novel on this blog link above - 'Fun Short Story'. It is basically Chapter Two of the novel This Is Life.

Next update will be more than just a news-flash...promise. :-)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Art After Hours - FUN and DISCOUNTS!

I want to invite everone out to vist me at this (terrific) bookstore Friday.


The city of Wake Forest is hosting - Wake Forest Art After Hours.

I will be there from 6:00 - 8:00 with copies of Land Run. I think all my children will make it there as well.Something I think the owner, Drew, did not consider when he invited me out. ;-)

Hope to see you there!

Featured Event: Grand Opening Celebration

The Storyteller's Book Store


Wake Forest's Independent Book Store

The Storyteller's Book Store is Wake Forest's premier independent book store supporting local authors, hosting author readings and writing workshops, and partnering with other art and literary organizations!

158 S. White Street, Wake Forest

Friday, February 10, 2012
6:00-8:00pm

Come, celebrate and visit us in our new location!! The Storyteller's Book Store is excited to invite you to our grand opening event during Wake Forest Art After Hours. 20% discount all books. Raffles and refreshments. Meet the staff of the store and Storyteller's Partner's including Threads of Grace. For more information, call 919-554- 9146.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Perspectives and Expectations....

A couple days ago I was walking the dog with my 12 year old daughter. The dog is a very large puppy - just 9 months old. He is full of energy and the fastest of his all the hound breed - Redbone Coonhound. But again, just a pup. 

So I told my daughter, "Okay, let's just see what he can do!"

I am pretty fast, as older men go. So I took the leash and sprinted full out. I was flying (knowing full well I would pay for it later). But it was worth it to complete the experiment.

At the top of my speed I looked down to the dog - to check out his top-speed form.

Um,...he was trotting, a medium trot,....looking about at this and that. As if out for a stroll. :-)

Oh well. We got a laugh out of it.

What was I thinking?!  Wait...this might be an analogy for other times in life...in some way...maybe.

BTW - I am editing the next novel. Please click above at an excerpt of it (chapter two - turned into a stand-alone short story).

Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I heard this from 4 of my 5 children a few days ago -. 4 days until Christmas!

I remember that excitement - don't you? It was great. I am determined to catch some of that from them. Recapture it.

You know - I have discussed my faith with so many over the years (as it comes up). And what is most stunning to me is the total logic of God coming as a baby. Growing up to become a man tempted in all ways like us. Blowing his nose, excusing himself to go to the restroom. Being tired, frustrated. That is the God of my faith. How cool is that? He gets me.

Then he offers his perfect life as payment for all my failures now and in the future. God came to man...to reconcile their relationship.

Why logical - reasonable? Well, all (all) other religions and non-religions work from a premise of man somehow managing to reconcile himself...by some personal or system of efforts. That is a cool idea, too. And I would never want to derail anyone from their hopes and goals, no matter how lofty they are. But for me, I don't even know where my car keys are half the time...you know? And I am pretty certain that I am not too different from the rest of the human race. Just saying - this faith is something to consider (realistically). If no other reason than it is so wildly different...and logical. And a pretty solid safe place to put your hope.

But whether in the Christian faith or out of it..enjoy the season, your family, friends, and faith. :-)

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

OUR TIMES...

Land Run is many things (fun but serious, too). The novel covers many aspects of American culture. Land Run delves into a specific culture in a small community in Oklahoma - but with universal application. In our recent times we have seen some results of banks, government, and corporations working together to the benefit of themselves above those of the common man. Character Hint: Cort (bank), Rusty (business), Ted (government). ;-)

Land Run walks though this, our times. And points to the value system that has eroded over time. These values are the foundation of what used to drive every American community and the nation as a whole. The stabilizing factor.

In a sense, the novel is a call to a an awareness of this and to a return to the better values. This is to our good news - unlike Rome, we have something for which we can return to. A foundation (a faith).

America is so unique that most of the world can never know what we have experienced. Why? Simply put - the ingredients necessary ingredients are very specific.

1) Independence was fought against a power that resided across a vast ocean.
2) We killed the former land-owners
3) We had a large collection of white-haired policy-makers that sacrificed all for the notion of freedom and protection of the common man. They did this with the good of subsequent generations in mind (truly these men were freaks of nature)
4) We built the foundations of the nation upon the Bible. Human rights (Life, Liberty, and pursuit of happiness) were the focus of law. Rule of law was then secured.
5) The constitution was then understood by the populous as akin to the Bible. That is, like us, they may not have known the constitution but they knew it stood for what was 'right'. So as the the nation grew - the people could know to get their government in line (by their faith). Slaves should be free, women should vote, good education and opportunities should be available to all people (civil rights), etc.

This was never perfect - treatment of American Indians, Japanese Americans, etc.


The ingredients are what they are. And aspects of them are just unacceptable to most of the world. Or if some are acceptable, their enemy is unfortunately in their own capitol city an in charge of the military.

I have seen and experienced other cultures on the planet. All have a history of just the power of a few over many. The result is very ugly. (one place, Ukraine, is the setting of my second novel).

This just to say - take a moment to wonder at our incredible imperfect country. It is surely a miracle in all of human history. This is not 'jingoism'...it is just the truth.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving! (video)

It's early - but heading to grandmas house tomorrow. Internet access is sketchy.

SO much to be thankful for this year. Well, like landing a plane...any year you can can walk away from is a good year.

Enjoy video and Happy Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Unshackled Creativity...

Today I read a good quote from Mark Twain.  - "A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds."

You ever get a sense of this?  Man, I have. And when you promote the idea around you can get so much affirmation and encouragement and discouragement from the widest circles in your life. Then when you start to execute the idea that circle begins to tighten. Eventually it can become so tight you can reach the extent of its radius with your outstretched arm. ;-)

If you succeed - your satisfaction can pour over the earliest and widest circles. I think that is called...revenge? (kidding:-) But this concept is poured out in Land Run.

But what is interesting to me is that the circles are created by the one with the idea. The desire for man's approval comes from the one who has the idea. He has put himself in bondage to the 'good opinion' of man. And draws abuse to himself like a lightening rod. He tethers himself to an others opinion of him and his actions. But if he gains the approval he desires...it is still slavery.

I know some folks who hold their cards close to them. They can do this for fear of a lack of approval they desire. The fear of being called a crank. They hold out for the successful results. This too is bondage, self-inflicted slavery.

Say what you want to whom you want and when you want to. Or say nothing at all. But don't desire the approval of man. There is freedom available in this. And much needed clarity of thought and purpose in whatever your idea and resulting project might be.

The second novel, Borderland, is at the editor (no publisher or editor as yet) - and I am working through the ideas of my 3rd novel project. A happy crank having a good time. :-)

This one is going to require even more research for me and maybe more time. But I expect I will be talking a little bit about it in the coming months. The motive being to share...like pulling out my wallet to show you a picture of my 2-year old. I hope folks enjoy it..but at some level, it just about me showing off my 2-year old. :-)

Anyhow... Land Run is available as eBook and Paperback on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, Lifeway -anywhere books are sold. :-)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

VETERAN STORIES

Hope everyone had a great Veterans Day weekend.


Land Run and the new novel both include characters with military history. In Land Run some of the characters have interesting back-stories in WWII and Desert Storm. For the new novel – a Ukrainian character has a back-story of Afghanistan (his Soviet days).

Today I am watching a Weather Channel show that is covering the Coast Guard station in Kodiak Alaska. It’s a lot better than much of my memories of there ;-) But there was something in this show I had forgotten about the military. These guys were running rescue drills in the pool while their Chief yelled at them about this or that. Then the Chief pulls them all aside to describe the mistakes they had made. After that he asked them, “how many mistakes are we allowed to make?”
“Zero, Chief!” they said.
“That’s right! Drop and give me twenty!”


1 in 5 will graduate from that school. Even in basic training we started with 100 and graduated with 36.

No mistakes. That is so impossible. But it really is the mind-set we all had in the field…every day and for every task. And we did make few mistakes.

Even though it is so unrealistic a demand of people…the pure belief in this saves lives and wins battles. In their tasks – there really is little room for mistakes.

I would have to say that this mind-set I had for 5 years informed and impacted my working life, and real life, for the following 20 years. Failure in task never seems to enter in to my thinking. In fact, probably any success that is found in my life – I can mostly give credit, for my part, to my short-sightedness. :-) (but I am working on lightening up nowadays)


There are so many stories, you know. Here is one I love. When I was 10 years old my uncle Bob got in the local paper. This is what happened:

He had spent 4 solid years in the Pacific fighting from island to island. After the war he came back home and became an electrician. Then 30 years later the Pentagon was going over their records and found that they owed him 36 medals. These included multiple purple hearts, two bronze stars, a silver star, and on and on. But included in this package was a bill for $80.

It seems that on whatever island he was on at the time – when he heard that the war was over he walked to the beach and through his M-1 rifle into the ocean. Someone had seen him do it and reported him. So the Pentagon wanted their $80 back for the rifle (I guess the 1945 price?) Crazy stuff.

If you have stories – please add them to comments.

Happy Veterans Day!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

THANKS Readers! Happy Anniversary!

It is the 6 month anniversary since the release of Land Run today!


Time flies when you’re having fun. Thank you to all who have read Land Run, chosen it for their book clubs, placed great reviews out on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, and professional and personal book review sites.

And thanks to all the bookstores and coffee shops that had me over for book-signings and readings. And the libraries that are already including it into their collections.

Thanks for following this blog as well. This connection to readers has been the most fun of all.

You all have made this venture an exciting adventure!

Please stay tuned for more… :-)

For folks new to this journey – please swing by these links for updated info…and welcome here!

AUTHOR BIO and MORE

BOOK WEBSITE

Friday, November 4, 2011

OKLAHOMA and UKRAINE

I have had a lot of questions about the settings of both novels.

For Land Run - simply, Oklahoma is home. I grew up there and no matter how long I have lived in North Carolina or anywhere else - I call it home. In these days when it is so easy or necessary to be mobile - I think we all have a place we consider home. For me, Oklahoma is where I discovered a love of reading and writing. I discovered how large man and his problems are. And where I was a private pilot - getting to see how small we all really are in this vast world. It is where I left for the Coast Guard - setting out on the ocean to find how small I am in this world I was. Oklahoma was the environment from which I branched out - only to come back to it with a better understanding and an enhanced respect.

For the new novel (Borderland - presently unpublished) - Our family made 3 trips there over 3 years. The final trip had me living there in an apartment for 2 months. This gave me a good feel for the people and language (I took a year of Russian in college...but I can tell you that doesn't count ;-). It gave me inclination and time to delve into their literature (classics and contemporary) and history as well. And our family fight to bring back a child we hosted in the States gave me a template to develop a compelling story. It is not our family story in any way - there just is no way to make that believable :-).

Well, that's some insight into the choice of setting. I love to start a story with 'place' in mind first. Not sure where the next novel will be located...please stay tuned.

Note: Land Run now also on Kindle and Nook.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dog Lessons...

Hi! Just a note about a recent experience and some thoughts.

My neighbor was walking his dog in the woods out back of our place. A very cool dog,Lab-Pointer mix. My neighbor created trails through 80 acres for this purpose. A few days ago on a morning walk the dog, Maggie, chased after some some stray dogs. He thought nothing of it as she always returned home after these ventures. But then a day went by, then two, and then three.

Out here in the country, during hunting season, it seems impossible that she would return. Dogs get stolen regularly, shot, or ran over. He still did all he could do with postings in the area, online, and word of mouth in the community. And many friends of his were praying for him in this.

Late last night I felt compelled to walked to the furthest part of my property and yell for her.  I yelled her name across another neighbor's vast field and the name echoed into the woods beyond. I prayed that God would supernaturally carry these calls as far as they needed to go to reach her. That they be a beacon for her somehow.

As I walked back to my house I thought about this prayer. About belief. Here is this person that even some who do not believe - but understand the concept of him is..big. That should God exist he would be...big. For believers he is known as the Lord of Hosts, Almighty, Alpha and Omega, Lord of Lords, King of Kings. And much more. Big.

But then I looked to my own faith and found how little I had in such a person to simply...return a dog home? I determined with all I could manage to believe him for this simple task. I refused to enter my house until I had settled this with him at least to my satisfaction. 

This morning I woke to a call from my neighbor telling me that a man, a pastor, had found Maggie and was bringing her home. He lived just on the other side of that field I yelled across.

I truly don't know anything or understand anything. I keep coming back to that lesson...you know what I mean?

Have a great weekend.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Bigger than a Breadbox...

I had a great time last night speaking to the North Wake Homeschool Honor Society. They all stayed awake! ;-) And the questions were so good. We talked about the novel Land Run but also about creativity in general.

There is a scene in the novel when one of the older characters asks a younger character - 'is man a machine or a creature?'.  The answer is 'creature'.

Much hinges on this understanding because the message of society is 'machine' and that is contrary to the reality. So we talked some about this and other places it might be appropriate to adopt counter-cultural views today. We also discussed the importance of the arts in the development of our creativity. Much of the important matters of life are managed by 'flying by the seat of our pants'...so it is good to get hold of an understanding of who we are as people and where we stand - literature, history, philosophy, and the arts all help us to do this.

This got me thinking today about some very strong themes in Land Run.

Racism
Cultural clashes
Multi-Cultural community
Infidelity
Teenage pregnancy
Aging
Corporate Statism
Greed
Power
Faith

Research that provided descriptiveness:

Oklahoma history
American Indian history (Seminole and Creek)
Construction (home developments)
Banking
Eminent domain policy
Military

Experience that provided descriptiveness:

Having lived in the region (understanding their specific challenges)
44 years of looking at people ;-)
Volunteer work in a nursing home

Monday, October 17, 2011

VERY FUN Interview tonight

Just want to post a big thank you to the book club of McAlester public library in McAlester Oklahoma. I was invited to call in and speak with them towards the end of their meeting about Land Run. Great questions by the way!

This coming Thursday evening, Oct. 20, I will be the guest speaker at the North Wake Home School Honor Society in Raleigh, NC. I am looking forward to that as well. My daughter Caitlin will be in attendance so I hope to spice it up a bit to avoid the perception of dad just giving another lecture. ;-)

Have a great day!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

WOW - KINDLE AVAILABLE NOW!

Hey folks! Okay, I am a little excited. I just found out that Land Run is on KINDLE!

So many people have asked me about this since Land Run was released in May. There were some things the publisher had to square away with Amazon.

But It's here!

Click here to check it out --- LAND RUN KINDLE

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Hard or Easy...

I know it is not wise to speak in good company (and you all are) about religion or politics. But on one level the novel Land Run does seek to bring them together. Not to offend, but only to observe.

I have started to watch the news again (busy with new novel of the American in Ukraine - possible title is Borderland).

Wall Street protests and the Tea Party...agree and meet over the problem of Corporate Statism. That is, the deep ties between the corporations and government seems to have come to a head. First, the Tea Party has been upset over their retirement plans (for the most part). And the Wall Street protesters are very concerned about their working future (rightly so).

But what seems to be missing from both camps (to a high degree - but not completely, of course) is a concern and discussion of their common values. I would contend that would force a very real reversal of the state and direction of the country.

LAND RUN addresses this on the local level. The bank, government, and business work together to manipulate local opportunities for their shared gain (via eminent domain).

Personally, I believe we will all be okay in the end. That is, we can go hard or easy...but ultimately we will have to come back together on our shared values. That is something that corporations and governments cannot stand against. Example: child labor, women's right to vote, slavery, civil rights, etc.

These values always happen to be in line with the constitution and gets things back in line. Hard...or easy ;-)

Note:
Money and the desire of it are not values. And are likely not to be found or supported by the constitution. The Tea Party and Wall Street Occupy groups seem to have this as their focus. So that is just fighting the corruption of corporate-statism...with the same corruption. They need to come together over better and real values...like freedom, privacy, responsible and accountable government and corporations, etc. Seriously, if the Tea Party knew what has happened to their food supply, land-use, and global job exports...and the Wall Street Occupy folks knew what really results from big government and their checks (see American Indian reservations).

Anyhow - back to writing novels... ;-)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

FREE Short Story - Pulled From New Novel

I won't take up too much time on this blog for my new novel. But it is currently in a pretty good state. It still has some stages to get through. First, my best (and best looking) editor will be reviewing it (see the dedication of Land Run for her name :-) Then I will have another copy-editor check it out and test my knowledge of basic grammar, etc.

Eventually I will have to spend some time to decide how to best shop it around. With Land Run, I have gone the route of a great literary agent which was very cool. But in the end I chose to go directly with a mainline publisher located where the novel's setting was, Oklahoma. That just seemed appropriate - and I am very glad that I did. :-)

For now, the title of the new novel is 'Borderland'. It is of the adventures of an American in Ukraine who stayed much longer than he ever intended to. One of the main characters, a taxi driver, is developed early in the novel, including a section of 8 pages that also works as a short story. I want to point you to the link at the top of this blog called 'Fun Short Story'. It is a straight section ripped from the novel Borderland but can stand alone as a short story. The short story has also been featured in Goodreads and Authorsden and in England at Lost In Fiction.

An interesting thing about Land Run is that in some ways the novel is experimental - there is no direct protagonist. I wanted to write the most realistic novel possible, where everyone at some level is an antagonist. I hope I succeeded. Let me know. :-)

Borderland, though very realistic, will have a very definite protagonist and antagonist. And it is infused with certain Russian and Ukrainian literary influences. That is, there are twists and turns and unexpected events - but the realism includes some very interesting supernatural and spiritual phenomenon. I believe readers will have a great time reading it. You know, whenever and however I manage to have it dispensed.to readers :-)

Please check out the Short Story and tell me what you think. Oh, the title of the short story is 'The Patriot'. But it is really just 8 pages ripped from the new novel.

Click links below:

Authors Den - short story

Goodreads - short story

Lost In Fiction (Britain) - short story

Monday, October 3, 2011

WOW - Power of the Pen

Well, a farmer/builder in our area happens to own a great cabin in the Mountains near Ashville, NC.  (See Ashville photos in earlier post). My wife and I really wanted to get away and knew that they sometimes rented their cabin to folks. When asked how much it would be the man told her he needed to think about it and would get back to her. 

When he called back with the answer it was this, "ask Mark to please add us in his newspaper article about the Eastern Triangle Farm Tour event. I have some new solar panels." That was the rental price! :-)

Well, we went to and returned from the long weekend in the mountains. The next weekend I went to interview him about this new project of his and then went home that night to write the 350 word article for our county newspaper.  Here is the interesting results:

- The article came out just before the annual county farm tour and even though it was raining, his farm got more business than ever.

- The Emmy award winning TV news station then came out and did an interview and segment on their nightly newscast.  WRAL News of Raleigh, NC.

- Our county newspaper did a full front page follow-up article with photos and State government officials present for the interview. Written by a real journalist - not just a fiction guy wanting to rock on a mountain porch and stare at trees. ;-)

- Now I hear that members of the Obama administration is visiting his farm. I will update you if this thing keeps growing.

So I know this man is an entrepreneur. But wow, now I know just how much creativity goes into business decisions. Someone like me would have just listed the cabin for $20 a night to cover power and whatever.

Click here to see RAY FAMILY FARMS

Clean Renewable Energy in Franklin County


I had the opportunity to start my discussion with Chad Ray of Ray Family Farms while he unloaded Snap Pea leaves where the chickens congregated. "Nothing wasted," he told me. I learned of his new plans to install a solar panel PV system atop his barn while riding with him as he tilled different areas of his farm. It would seem that Mr. Ray considers time as among the things not to be wasted.

Ray Family Farms is known locally for their many teaching programs. Interested folks learn to start with simple things such as fixing drafty houses, purchasing local food from where they live, minimizing short car trips into a few highly productive ones, having your own backyard chicken flock, and much more.

Recently the USDA, Farm Bureau, and the NC Tobacco trust fund worked together to make this dream of energy conservation a reality. He feels blessed to be living in North Carolina where grants are available for local farmers. He believes these improvements will not just help in his goals to maintain a local farm. It will also invest in the future of his community; creating local jobs, reinvesting in the local economy, creating clean renewable energy for the grid, and supporting a smaller environmental imprint for his farm within his community.

Ray said that he knows that his chosen direction in farming is not for everyone. He noted that at this time his unconventional farming incurs additional risk in an already risky business. But that makes his efforts so much more important for him. He wants others to know sustainable farming as a real viable option for them. And in his business every success is celebrated. That is one reason why they can’t wait for the installation of the new solar panels. And why they keep an open invitation for folks to come by the farm anytime. So if you come out for the Eastern Triangle Farm Tour, Sept. 17-18, be sure to stop by Ray Family Farms. He will sit still for crowds…I think.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Adventure in Writing

I am on a short respite from book-signing events.  But should have a new schedule soon.  But in this time is offering an ability to some specific reflection on since Land Run was released in May.  I have seen some interesting things occur.  Just want to put out a note to share some of them.

ALL book reviews were great (Thanks!)

ALL Book-signings fun (Thanks!)

Main libraries in Oklahoma City and Tulsa reviewing Land Run for inclusion in their catalouges.

Book Clubs choosing Land Run for discussion (I get to join one via telephone in October!)

Googling Land Run has introduced me to a 'Land Run Brewery' and 'Land Run Winery' business

I am nearly finished with the first draft narrative of the next novel (pretty wild stuff in it ;-)

Folks in India are reading Land Run - and loved it.  Would really like to know if other people outside the States have checked it out yet.

I have learned more than I set out to...as usual :-)

Publisher worked out kinks with Amazon on the KINDLE and has an ETA of 6-7 weeks.  (NOOK still always available though)

Will have an update to new schedule soon.  Have a great day!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

KINDLE and SIGNING

Hey everyone!  I received word from my publisher that LAND RUN will be on Kindle in 6 to 7 weeks (finally)!  So when people ask you can give them an ETA.  The novel available on NOOK if they have one of those.  And of course the paperback is at AMAZON and where ever books are sold.  Personally, I like a book in the hand since I stare at a computer screen so much.

Thanks to the folks at the Coffeehound Bookshop and Its-A-Grind Coffeehouse in Raleigh.  Had a lot of fun at both events.  I got an invite to return to Its-A-Grind.  May be since I had the whole clan with me and kept the hot chocolate coming. :-)

Also making progress on next novel set in Ukraine.  A friend from Kiev sent me this.  Now the new novel is a thriller but with depth of character and landscape as you found in Land Run.  There is some humor as with Land Run.  But maybe not this funny.  A friend from Kiev shared this with me today (link below).  Enjoy!  And have a great weekend!

Click Below:
SERIOUS MEN

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

BEST COFFEE EVER - And a Good Read to Boot


LAND RUN Book Signing Event

You are invited to attend a book signing for author

Mark Graham



September 17 – Saturday 12:00-3:00
It’s A Grind
5001 Falls of Neuse Rd
Raleigh, NC 27609
(919) 239-4612

Please join Mark for this special event

and invite a friend!

If you already have a copy of LAND RUN

buy one for a friend – this book makes a great gift!

We hope to see you there!

For more information, please email author Mark at grahammark67@gmail.com


and

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lifeway Live

Just heard about this and wanted to update.  A lot of people I know really like to purchase their books from the Lifeway bookstore.  Well, they now have stocked LAND RUN!  It looks like the same price as Amazon...worth every penny by the way ;-)

If a Lifeway fan click below.  Have a great day!

LAND RUN at LIFEWAY

On Writing Stuff

Somehow things have just opened up in the first draft of the new novel.  You never know where you are in the process of completing a narrative - not really.  But I estimate it is 2/3 complete.  And a whole lot of fun to write.  The creative part is really just enjoyable work and problem-solving.  And the draft of writing is a mixed bag of good and bad.  But to keep moving ahead, in this phase, is always good.

The real 'fun' part is coming back to it from a readers perspective - because that is who I am writing to.  And man, as with Land Run, I believe you guys are going to have some fun! :-)  Also, with some twists and turns, depth, drama, and humor.  While the 'culture-clash' in Land Run plays out in a current-day local community - the next novel is international in scope.  And if you enjoyed the use of history to inform the story of Land Run - well, there is some of that in the next novel as relates to the Cold War.

BTW - if anyone has questions about Land Run or anything really please feel free to post in the comment section.

Just a quick reminder if anyone is available - I will be at the Tar River Festival this weekend.  The town park will have all kinds of events for the whole family.  And the shops spill out into Main Street.

SEPTEMBER 10, 2001 12:00- 3:00


Coffee Hound Bookshop
103 W. Nash St.
Louisburg, NC 27549
(919) 496-6030

Monday, September 5, 2011

Waiting for Tom to come home....

Happy Labor Day!

You ever do something cool you just had to tell folks about?  Yeah - I had one of those.  This weekend we got away for the weekend to a very (very) remote cabin way up on a mountain in Bat Cave, NC.  Near Black Mountain...near Ashville, NC.  So we took one day to walk around Ashville and to see the home and neighborhood where Thomas Wolfe grew up.  I think he was an incredibly descriptive writer.  And he was never uninterested in the human condition, the deeper parts of the mind of people.

It was so interesting to find out little facts from the experts there.  In reference to his novel 'You Can't Go Home Again' - I have to title the photo below - 'Waiting for Tom to come home....still waiting..." ;-)

Have a great day!



Thursday, September 1, 2011

There's No Place Like Home!

Happy September!  Just a note about a book-signing event that is coming up soon.  This is in my hometown.  Well, my hometown is in Oklahoma - but it is the place where I live (and really enjoy living).  This event reminded me of an article I wrote for Orion Magazine some time ago.  I remember it was a great exercise because it was limited to 300 words.  I think I actually did exactly 300 words.  Not sure what that means...but does not sound normal as I write here about it.   ;-)

Please take a moment and click on the below links to the COFFEE HOUND BOOKSHOP to check out the location - this is a really cool old town.  Also the link to the ORION MAGAZINE article that gives a bit of the feel of where I live.

SEPTEMBER 10, 2001 12:00- 3:00

Coffee Hound Bookshop 


103 W. Nash St.
Louisburg, NC 27549
(919) 496-6030


ORION MAGAZINE ESSAY

Thanks.  I hope to see some of you folks out there.  Oh, and it is also the day our town celebrates the TAR RIVER FESTIVAL!  I will add more on that next week as I find out about other events to come out for that day - and of course, swing by the store for a signed copy of Land Run.  As a favorite radio host of mine says (Steve Brown), "it won't be the same without you!"

Have a great holiday weekend!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Goodnight Irene!

Okay, that was bad.  But it had to be said. :-)

It passed through here in North Carolina - very weak as those storms go here.  But I now have hundreds of black walnuts on the ground.  They were blown off their limbs before their time.  I think I am going to have some very upset squirls here.  Hopefully the chestnuts and pecans will come out in force for them.

The extensive news coverage of this storm is interesting to many here.  I guess the size and path of the storm draws us close together?  Or maybe her NY destination made for importance?  I don't know - but I hope it isn't the case that something major is happening in the world 'they' don't want us to know about. ;-)

I hope all readers affected by the storm have their areas recover quickly, knowing it was still a big storm and caused much random flooding and power outages.

There will be new posts and photos this week on book-signings and reviews.  Please stay tuned!

Goodnight...all.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

THANK YOU!

A big thanks to Josef and John of Stevens Bookshop!  You guys are great hosts!

And thanks to all who came out.  I hope you really enjoy the read! :-)

If you could not make it out but interested - you can get the book quickly, click here - AMAZON

Funny thing - I got into a couple cool conversations there and led two people to buy a Schaeffer book and an economics book by Archer (in the awesome rare book section they have).  Just want to mention this to Josef - in case I need a new job some day. ;-)

Click here to see the (huge) bookstore and a trailer of Land Run  -   STEVENS BOOKSHOP


Friday, August 19, 2011

The MAIN EVENT!

I want to extend a special invitation - especially if you are in North Carolina this weekend.  The owner of Stevens Bookstore is giving a special discount to all who come to this event.  Hope to see you there!

(and of course - there will be cookies)

Click Below:

Stevens Book Shop


August 20 – Saturday

12:00-3:00p.m.
Stevens Book Shop
6700 Old Wake Forest Road
Raleigh, NC 27616
Phone: 919-872-5995

"A compelling story written in a unique and powerful voice. Characters you will never forget and unexpected events that will cause you to both think and hope."





Thursday, August 18, 2011

PERSPECTIVE

A recent (so far all good :) review of the novel got me thinking.  Something maybe a little unique about Land Run is the wide range of perspective.  The point of view from the characters will cross age, gender, race, religion, politics, and social conditions.  As the reviewer mentioned, it also does this into an incredible depth.

Now looking at that list above it could sound very boring or very explosive.  But the approach to writing this story was also not without perspective.  That is, these character perspectives simply arise from the people.  So they are neither boring or explosive...just real.  Their point of view is not allowed to flow outside the context of who they are (their life experience), where they live or in what influences and informs their lives.

And as with all our real life day-to-day interactions with our world - sometimes that will result in something explosive, uncomfortable, enjoyable, or informative.  But never (never) boring. ;-)

Monday, August 15, 2011

10% OFF - and FREE cookies

Hey folks!  I know I joked that signed copies are cheaper than not...but it's true! ;-)

I guess it's like those textbooks in college we bought...but in this case the marked up book is new!

If you can pencil this event in this week - know that the free cookies are the BEST in North Carolina.



LAND RUN Book Signing Event

You are invited to attend a book signing for author

MARK GRAHAM:

August 20 – Saturday

12:00-3:00p.m.
Stevens Book Shop
6700 Old Wake Forest Road
Raleigh, NC 27616
Phone: 919-872-5995


Please join Mark Graham for this special event
and invite a friend!

If you already have a copy of LAND RUN,
buy one for a friend – this book makes a great gift!

We hope to see you there!

For more information about author Mark Graham CLICK below at:

Authorsden

Author Website



Can’t make the event? Click here to get a copy!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

NEW REVIEW - Land Run

New Professional review:
This has carried over to Amazon, Goodreads, and Barnes&Noble (Nook folks)

TRACY RIVA


Land Run


By Mark Graham

Published by Tate Publishing & Enterprises, LLC

ISBN 978-1-61777-011-1 $14.99


Land Run by Mark Graham is a classic example of the average man becoming a victim of the system that is supposed to protect his rights, but with an unforeseen twist or two.

When aged landowner Elijah Montgomery refuses to sell his land to developer Rusty Watson things get downright dirty. Watson has a sleazy lawyer and connections in all the right places so he sets in motion a series of events designed to take Elijah’s land away from him via eminent domain – the right of the government to take away your property to put it to higher and better use.

Elijah doesn’t care one way or the other about the outcome; he just knows God told him not to sell the land. No, Elijah isn’t crazy; he just has a deep faith and believes God is leading him to hold onto the land. Rusty would like to believe Elijah is a crazy old coot, after all he lives in the nursing home, but everyone who knows Elijah knows he is completely aware of what he’s doing, and of the large amount of money he’s passing up by keeping his land.

Rusty has lost everything that mattered to him and sees in this land deal, and subsequent building project a redemption of sorts for himself. It becomes his obsession and nothing is going to stand in his way, not Elijah and certainly not some banker who refuses to tow the line and fall in with everyone else to vote to take away Elijah’s land.

Mark Graham weaves a powerful story of faith, greed and power in the middle of a small town in Oklahoma. His writing is vivid, his style easy to read. The story draws you in and makes you care about the characters peppering its pages. Land Run is full of a cross-section of society, the good and the bad and it is bound to keep you reading. At times philosophical and poetic Graham’s prose is sure to leave you wondering what is next for this new writer.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

SUCCINCT COMMENTARY

I have to post this.  I ran across this and found it to be SO accurate...at least, in the preparations and intentions behind this novel.  If this is an interest for you - then even I would recommend this novel ;-)  Because intention is half the battle....

"A compelling story written in a unique and powerful voice. Characters you will never forget and unexpected events that will cause you to both think and hope."

Disclaimer:
If for any reason you find the novel Land Run falls short of this - please note that the next novel will knock your socks off. :-)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Special Invitation! Signed Copies are Discounted....kidding ;-)

Publisher Evite


LAND RUN Book Signing Event

You are invited to attend a book signing for author

MARK GRAHAM:



August 20 – Saturday

12:00-3:00p.m.

Stevens Book Shop

6700 Old Wake Forest Road

Raleigh, NC 27616

Phone: 919-872-5995



Please join Mark Graham for this special event

and invite a friend!

If you already have a copy of LAND RUN,

buy one for a friend – this book makes a great gift!

We hope to see you there!

For more information about author Mark Graham CLICK below at:



Can’t make the event? Click here to get a copy!





Wednesday, August 3, 2011

INSPIRED! Just never know where that stuff comes from....

NEWS:
Excited about being considered for inclusion of the library systems for Oklahoma (OKC) and Tulsa counties.
If featured - I hope to get out there for a book event.  Well, I hope to get out that way regardless ;-)

FUN:For folks that have finished reading Land Run especially - I want to place some images (among a million) that helped to inspire the next project I am working on.  Um, I better get back to working on it, huh. ;-)

(See short story here and also click here at AUTHORSDEN to get a feel of one of the characters - Dima)

video



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

OKLAHOMA - New Favorite Blog

Just got word this week that Land Run is now featured here.  It is a very good site to discover the writing scene in that region of the country.  Please come by and check it out.

Also, be looking for this site to publish a review of Land Run very soon!

Click Link Below:

OK WRITERS

Saturday, July 23, 2011

DEFIES EXPLANATION - Photos

Want everyone to know they can see these new updates by clicking here on AUTHORSDEN.

- Addition to the Short Story
- Two news items (Author Interview video and Book Trailer)
- Addition of Author biography

On another note ;-)

I was struck this week by how much nature can inform our lives.  For me this isn't very often.  I tend towards ideas, people, and buildings (their art and history).  But once in awhile I take notice (I have to think that some force outside of me makes this happen - because I am pretty obstinate.) 

Anyhow, we were given a very sickly little Marigold plant last year.  We planted it but there was just no hope for it.  It was free so not too great a loss.  But apparently this spring a seed remained.  It grew into what you see below.  This incredible bush like I have never seen before - not for this kind of little plant.  So I asked my daughter to sit beside it to give the size some perspective.  After I took the photo - I looked at the camera display...I saw my daughter sitting next to this incredible plant.

Now we fought for 3.5 years to get her free from a Ukrainian orphanage two years ago.  12 years of institutional living there has presented some challenges - and coming to a new and different language, culture, and into a family.  But like this plant...she is who you see here.  Beautiful, growing and blossoming in so many amazing ways.  There they were...two of a kind.

Good soil, water, and sun help any plant.  But for these results, defying explanation, coming from such a difficult beginning - there has to have been extra care coming from somewhere, you know.  Just saying. :-)

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

KINDLE Options

Hey folks!  I just got word from the publisher that they are working out some problems with Amazon in getting the Kindle uploaded.  But it should not take much longer.

UNTIL THEN:

Please check out this location - the eBook is available here!  And compatible with the KINDLE and anything else.  If you have a NOOK - that is always available at -

Click here for NOOK:

Barnes and Noble

click here for KINDLE:
KINDLE file

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

MORE Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Me

Hey Land Run readers!  I want to update you about a new site that features my novel and recent short story.  I plan to add (much revised) excerpts from my new novel project as well.

It really is a great site!

Also, in other news, Land Run will soon be available in the Oklahoma Metropolitan Library System.  Tulsa is reviewing the novel as well - I am hoping for a positive result there as well.  Choctaw Library is considering the novel for a special feature.

Check this out:

LAND RUN in AUTHORSDEN

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Rock Star!

I had a great time doing book-signings this past week.  I was at the Via Cappaccino in Rocky Mount, NC.  I am soon closing in on middle-age and had a college student ask me to sign her arm.  That might be, no - that will be, as close to a 'Rock Star' experience I will ever see. ;-)   After which, of course, I had to leave my make-shift bookstand to keep my two-year old from throwing puzzle pieces at their customers.

Will have another book-signing in Raleigh in August - if in the area please come on out. 

http://www.stevensbks.com/

Have a GREAT weekend!