Monday, May 1, 2023

A Little to the Left

Can you imagine going to a surgeon and while in recovery, he states, “Sorry, but I was a little too far to the left when I repaired your knee.” Not very comforting, right? You wonder what else is missing? Or you go to the eye doc and the measurements are, “Oh, somewhere here and there.” Hmmm …

You need certain occupations to be absolutely precise in what they do. Someone fixing your brakes decides, “Well, that’s close enough.” Kind of scary, right? Or if NASA decides that the coordinates for landing back on earth are “Well, in the vicinity …” the astronaut might have some issues with that, don’t you think?

It is amazing how precise athletes need to be.

For instance, a golfer can start the day at the top of the leader board, but if he misses a putt on one hole, he can drop several spots down and never regain the lead. A bowler? Same thing, really. The hardest split in bowling is known to be the Greek Church. It’s where pins 4, 6, 7, 9, and 10 are left standing after your first throw. Even professional bowlers have trouble picking up this split, and I’m no professional bowler, so I might as well aim down the middle to get what I get. 

I like baseball, but not as much as other sports. But take a pitcher. He needs to throw precisely, or else! I cannot imagine a reliever. He trots in from the bullpen, facing no outs and runners at the corners. Can you imagine the pressure? He throws one strike but in reach of the batter, and one or more runs score. He “fails” at his job- to secure the out or the win. 

Aaron Rodgers, one of my favorite players- no matter that he is now a Jet- threw several Hail Mary’s to win games. He can throw darts sixty or more yards down the field. The throw to Richard Rodgers (no relation) at the end of the Packers-Lions game was a masterpiece by any description. But as last year went, fighting injuries and without trusted receivers, he was near the bottom as far as quarterbacks rate. 

Yet, as I pointed out earlier, how often will a reliever or a quarterback or a golfer miss? Mostly, I am willing to bet. Michael Jordan, as great a player as he was, stated, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Henry Ford said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intellintly.”

I think the important thing is that while precision is important and necessary in sports or in life, the lack of it might not be the end of the world. It means we go back and do again “more intelligently” as Ford would say. We go back and try again, and we succeed because we learned. 

Each step is learning. Each failure is learning. And, each success if learning.

We can never stop learning, nor should we. We can never learn too much. Learning is a joy, a discovery. It is what we were meant to do. Imagine if our ancestors, the caveman, decided that cold is all there is to know. What would have become of them … of us? If Columbus wouldn’t have traveled to see what was beyond the horizon, where would we be?

Precision and accuracy are important in life. We need to be able to depend on various people to be accurate in what they do and in how they do it. But sometimes, where a lack of precision isn’t life-threatening, it is okay to be imprecise. As I wrote in a previous post, mistakes and failure are merely stepping stones to success. In essence, in those instances where a life isn’t in jeopardy, it is okay to make a mistake and to be a little to the left. Something to think about …

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Fan Mail: New Release! A Maxy Award Finalist and a Literary Titan Silver Book Award Winner!  

A barrage of threatening letters, a car bomb, and a heart attack rip apart what was once a close-knit family of adopted brothers. Randy and Bobby, along with fellow band member and best friend, Danny, receive fan mail that turns menacing. They ignore it, but to their detriment. The sender turns up the heat. Violence upends their world. It rocks the relationship between the boys and ripples through their family, nearly killing their dad.

As these boys turn on each other, adopted brother Brian flashes back to that event in Arizona where he nearly lost his life saving his brothers. The scars on his face and arms healed, but not his heart.  

Would he once again have to put himself in harm’s way to save them? And if faced with that choice, will he? 

Blaze In, Blaze Out: Best Action Crime Thriller of 2022 by Best Thrillers! A Literary Titan Gold Book Award Winner! A Readers’ Favorite Award Winner! A Reader’s Ready Recommended Read! A BestThriller’s Editor’s Pick!

Eiselmann and O’Connor thought the conviction of Dmitry Andruko, the head of a Ukrainian crime family, meant the end. It was only the beginning. They forgot that revenge knows no boundaries, vindictiveness knows no restraints, and ruthlessness never worries about collateral damage. Andruko hired contract killers to go after and kill O’Connor and Eiselmann.

The killers can be anyone and be anywhere. They can strike at any time. They care nothing of collateral damage. Andruko believes a target is a target, and in the end, the target must die. 

Betrayed: Two Top Shelf Awards: 1st Place Fiction-Mystery; and Runner-Up Fiction-Crime; A PenCraft 1st Place Winner for Thriller-Fiction! A Maxy Award Runner-Up for Mystery/Suspense! A Literary Titan Silver Book Award Winner! A Reader’s Ready Recommended Read Award Winner! A Reader’s Favorite Honorable Mention Award Winner for Fiction-Crime-Mystery!  

Betrayed is Now Available in Audio Book, Kindle and Paperback! 

A late-night phone call, a missing kid, a murdered family, but no one is talking. A promise is made and kept, but it could mean the death of a fifteen-year-old boy. Greed can be all-consuming, and seeing is not believing. No one can be trusted, and the hunters become the hunted.

Spiral Into Darkness: Named a Recommended Read in the Author Shout Reader Awards!

He blends in. He is successful, intelligent, and methodical. So far, he has murdered eight people. There is no discernible pattern. There are no clues. There are no leads. The only thing the FBI and local police have to go on is the method of death: two bullets to the face- gruesome and meant to send a message. But it’s difficult to understand any message coming from a dark and damaged mind. Two adopted boys, struggling in their own world, do not know they are the next targets. Neither does their family. And neither does local law enforcement. 

Caught in a Web: A PenCraft Literary Award Winner! Named “One of the Best Thrillers of 2018!” by 

Caught in a Web is also available in Audio Book, Kindle and Paperback!

They found the bodies of high school and middle school kids dead from an overdose of heroin and fentanyl. A violent gang, MS-13, controls the drug trade along the I-94 and I-43 corridors. They send Ricardo Fuentes to find out who is cutting in on their business, shut it down and teach them a lesson. But he has an ulterior motive: find and kill a fifteen-year-old boy, George Tokay. 

Detectives Jamie Graff, Pat O’Connor and Paul Eiselmann race to find the source of the drugs, shut down the ring, and find Fuentes before he kills anyone else.  
The Lives Trilogy Prequel, Taking Lives:

FBI Agent Pete Kelliher and his partner search for the clues behind the bodies of six boys left in various and remote parts of the country. Even though they live in separate parts of the country, the lives of Kelliher, 11-year-old Brett McGovern, and 11-year-old George Tokay are separate pieces of a puzzle. The two boys become interwoven with the same thread Kelliher holds in his hand. The three of them are on a collision course and when that happens, their futures grow dark as each search for a way out. 

Book One, Stolen Lives: Editor’s Pick by BestThrillers! Literary Titan Gold Book Award Winner! A Crime Thriller finalist in the 2021 Best Thriller Book Awards!

Two thirteen-year-old boys are abducted off a safe suburban street. Kelliher and his team of FBI agents have 24 hours to find them or they will end up like the other kids they found- dead! They have no leads, no clues, and nothing to go on. To make the investigation that much tougher, Kelliher suspects that one of his team members might be involved.  

Book Two of the Lives Trilogy, Shattered Lives:

The boys are home, but now they have to fit back in with their families and friends. Their parents and the FBI thought the boys were safe. They were until people began dying. Now the hunt is on for six dangerous and desperate men who vow revenge. With no leads and nothing to go on, the FBI can only sit back and wait. A dangerous game that threatens not only the boys, but their families. 
Book Three of the Lives Trilogy, Splintered Lives:

Three dangerous men with nothing to lose offer a handsome reward to anyone willing to kill fourteen-year-old Brett McGovern. He does not know that he, his younger brother, and a friend are targets. More than anyone, these three men vow to kill George, whom they blame for forcing them to run and hide. A fun vacation turns into a nightmare and ends where it started, back on the Navajo Nation Reservation, high on a mesa held sacred by George and his grandfather. Outnumbered and outgunned, George will make the ultimate sacrifice to protect his adoptive father and his adoptive brothers- but can he? Without knowing who these men are? Or where they are? Without knowing whom to trust? Is he prepared for betrayal that leads to his heartbreak and death?    

Photo courtesy of Matt Seymour and Unsplash


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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe