Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Lewis Grizzard: The Dawg That Did Not Hunt Kindle Edition by Peter Stoddard (Author)

Okay, that is not a very imaginative title. I just like to look at it. 

Kinda like looking at this.

I just published my first book, a biography of my humor writing hero, Lewis Grizzard. Paperback soon to go live at 480 pages.

It began only in November with casual inquiries. That led to more serious research, which led to a book. 480 pages written, edited and published in under 90 days.

Because the book kept me busy I did not blog often. Now Amazon says my Author Page looks shabby due to a neglected blog. So I will write this shabby blog because maybe shabby is better than neglected. There is no end to unpaid work for a new author.

Along the way I launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $30,000. That resulted in solicitations from consultants who can tell idiots like me how to make a Kickstarter campaign work. If I could afford consultants I would not need Kickstarter.

There are a lot of consultant rabbit holes when you write your first book. Consultants want to tell you how to write, edit, publish, sell and get reviews for a book you have yet to write. It is vital to avoid consultant rabbit holes and just do each step when you come to it.

Unless of course you skipped a step that you should have completed before the step you are on. Like do not try to edit a book before you write it. If you are doing things like that you probably need a consultant.

Okay, I gotta run. 

Time to go solicit reviews for the next book I have yet to write.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Lewis Grizzard and the Death of Newspapers

I dedicate this and all future Grizzard related work to Kevin and Ben, my two hilarious sons who have only begun to experience Lewis Grizzard's ingenious work.

(Please pardon if this "courier" font does not look quite right. It is as close as I can come to what Lewis Grizzard’s trusty Remington would have cranked out.)

Lewis Grizzard has been my writing hero since I first began reading newspaper content beyond the comics. For hundreds of thousands of readers, he brought a daily smile with their AM coffee or PM beverage of choice.

In 2011 one noted columnist said this to fellow members of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists:

Why papers are dying: Lewis Grizzard died first

I wholeheartedly concur with Dave Lieber. I disagree with Mr. Lieber on the minor issue of Erma Bombeck, who I also read daily. Lewis gets my vote as 
"the most popular American columnist of the last half of the 20th century."

Since Lewis died I have found no compelling reason to read any major metropolitan newspaper.

Some described Lewis as "The Mark Twain of the South". Lewis was not the anything of anywhere. He was a pure original.

Even northerners he disparaged as "Yankees" confess that Lewis introduced them to the southern way of life. This was the case if they moved south or never even lived below the Mason-Dixon line.

Despite some detractors, Lewis appealed to readers across North America. At his peak his column was syndicated in 450+ newspapers. He went on to greater fame as a talk show guest, stand up comedian, actor and recording artist. He even enjoyed success as a somewhat half-baked songwriter and vocalist.

Weeks ago I began to wonder what happened to Lewis Grizzard stuff. I did rapid and extensive research and am still doing it. Most of that stuff is in storage where no one but archivists can see it.

I asked myself if this would be true of Mark Twain. I asked the same to others who knew Lewis casually or intimately. All agreed it is time to resurrect Lewis's legacy and honor him as the man who entertained so many for so long.

Lewis Grizzard left us far too early. This book will be for readers who miss him and others who perhaps have never seen his work.

This will be the most fun challenge I have ever undertaken. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Peter Stoddard
November 2018

Saturday, November 10, 2018

University of Georgia Terry Magazine Analytics Rock Stars

In September 2017 the brand new Stoddard Media reached out to the founder's alma mater seeking to write for Terry Magazine, UGA's business school publication. In August 2018 that wish was granted.

The Terry Magazine editor asked if Stoddard Media could write articles about analytics. Stoddard Media's immediate response was,"Of course. We eat analytics for breakfast."

Upon accepting the project Stoddard Media's founder asked himself, "What the heck are analytics?"

This is the result, published November 8, 2018.

Paula Davis (BBA '08, MBA '09) Senior Analytics Leader, Deloitte Washington, D.C.

Lucas Puente (BBA’ 10, AB ’10) Lead Economist, Thumbtack, San Francisco

Diane Bloodworth (BBA ’82) President and CEO, Competitive Sports Analysis, Atlanta

Rory Partalis (BBA ’04) Product Manager, A9/Amazon, San Francisco

Stoddard Media and its founder are in the eternal debt of Analytics Tycoons Paula, Lucas, Diane and Rory. They could have made the author feel like an analytics buffoon. But they did not.

Go You Hairy UGA Analytics Rock Star Dawgs!!!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Larry, Lewis & My Dream Last Night

A wise man once said chili dogs always bark at night. But I didn’t eat a chili dog.

I am sitting in a black and white room. It is not that only the room is black and white. The world is black and white.

I am not doing much. Just sitting.

Looking around, I see two other black and white guys sitting in the same room. This is not about anyone’s ethnicity. Again, the world is black and white. As is the room.

“Lewis, who is this guy?”

“I don’t know Larry. Never met him.”

“Wanna go to a movie? I’m joining a few young ladies there. The motion picture might even be in color."

“If Kathy Sue Loudermilk will be there, sure. If Cordie Mae Poovey is joining you I’ll just stay here and sit with this guy.”

Some time passes. We sit in comfortable silence.

“Larry, Lewis, what do you think of this? Mohamed Massaquoi viewed my profile.”

“Not sure what you mean. You are not sitting sideways.”

“I’m not sure what I mean either. This might only be a dream. But I like it.”

“What is your name? Are you from around here?”

“I'm Peter. I grew up in Atlanta. I went to UGA. Lived a few years in Chicago and elsewhere. Just moved back to Georgia.”

“Lewis, whaddya got about this guy who lived in Chicago?

“The only good thing that ever came out of Chicago was I-65 South.”

“Ouch. That’s kinda harsh Lewis. I came out of Georgia and went to Chicago. Then I came back to Georgia.”

“Well all right then. So did I. You just might be okay. Take my advice. Now that you’re back, nail your feet to the ground.”

“Hey Peter. Why are you quoting so much Lewis stuff and none of my stuff.”

“Larry, I quoted you a whole lot when you called the 2018 Rose Bowl. I quoted Lewis only a little when I wrote about a favorite BBQ place. I am trying to make up for it and give Lewis equal billing.”

“I called the 2018 Rose Bowl?”

“Not exactly. But I imagined the whole thing like you did and told the world about it. A lot of people wished you were there to call it. I’ll show you in a minute.”

“Did you mention BBQ? I’m interested in that as long as Cordie Mae Poovey isn’t nearby. And it better be pork or chicken. Beef is not BBQ.”

Image result for lewis grizzard bbq

“I know Lewis. I wrote about that too. The place is Smokey Q. The owner does everything well. If you don’t want me to call his beef stuff BBQ I won’t. I try to follow your BBQ rules. I’ll show you in a minute.”

“You sure seem to write a lot. Lewis does too. I don’t write so much. I talk.”

“I know Larry. You and Lewis are my heroes. You are a lot of people’s heroes.”

“Lewis, I am trying to figure out how to make a living writing like you do. There are plenty of writers. There will never be another one who writes like you. By that I don’t mean I want to copy how you write. I want to copy how you make a living.”

Image result for lewis grizzard typewriter

“Larry, I’d love to make a living talking like you. But Scott Howard now has your job and isn’t going anywhere soon.”

“Lewis and Larry, this is kinda complicated, but you are no longer with us.”

“Uh, Peter, get the picture. We are sitting here talking with you.”

“Well not really Larry. Like I said, it’s complicated. I need to go get a seltzer. I hear a chili dog barking even though I did not eat one.”

“Peter, you are confused. It is 11 AM. Chili dogs always bark at night.”

“I know Lewis. I may need to continue this conversation with you and Larry another time. Georgia is playing Florida today, and I want to go meet Rudy at Smokey Q.”

“Man is there gonna be some property destroyed tonight.”

Image result for larry munson property destroyed

“I know Larry. But only if Georgia wins. Then you, Lewis and I can come back and talk some more.”

“I’ve enjoyed this guys. I hope we can do it again.”

I depart the room and close the door behind me. I stick my ear to the door.

“Lewis, what do you think about that Peter character?”

“Not sure, Larry. At first I thought he was a Yankee draft dodger type with that Chicago talk. But there may be hope for the man.”

~ ~ ~ To Be Continued ~ ~ ~

"Okay Larry and Lewis, Georgia did beat Florida. While people are damaging Jekyll Island property in our absence I want to pop back in for a sec to continue this dream."

 Image may contain: 4 people, including Peter Stoddard, people smiling, people sitting and indoor

"I recognize the guy sitting down. And that guy from Chicago. Who are those kids?"

"Larry, I am not from Chicago. I lived there for a while. I am from Georgia."

"You better keep reminding us of that."

"I will Lewis. The kids are my sons Kevin and Ben. They never got a chance to read what you wrote or hear what Larry said. I plan to fix that. That chili dog is barking again. I gotta go."

"Go do what you have to do. Bring those kids next time. They look okay."

"I will Larry. And thanks. They are pretty great. See you guys."

~ ~ ~ To Be Continued ~ ~ ~

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Holbrook ~ A Family of Active Adult Communities Whose Time Has Come

As baby boomers age, many have parted with oversized residences in favor of simpler abodes. In coming years still more will wish to rid themselves of ownership in any home. They will opt for freedom, comfort - and a passionate lifestyle.

Atlanta's Solomon Development Services and Speak Life Management are the first to meet this demand with creation of The Holbrook.

Holbrook communities are slated for Decatur, Acworth and Woodstock in Georgia, Greenville and Charleston, South Carolina and Nashville. The Holbrook Decatur is well underway, scheduled to open in Spring 2019. Other communities will follow in 2019 and 2020.

Each Holbrook will feature an unmatched combination of upscale amenities, lifestyle offerings and environmental health and wellness enhancements that inspire and enable residents to live life to maximum capacity.

The Holbrook sums it up as "attitude and outlook." Rooted in each community will be "a multitude of clubs, programs, activities and expeditions that tap passions from all walks."

Solomon Development has extensive experience in active adult living design and development. Its Dogwood Forest properties set the standard for enriched and inspired living environments.

The Holbrook will appeal to fully active adults with graduated levels of enhanced care offered on an as needed basis.

Facilities themselves will be constructed to hospital grade standards. Architecture will be distinctive to each, with Choate Construction as general contractor for all. Choate is the most reputable commercial and general builder in the southeast US. 

    Each Holbrook community will feature: 

    The list goes on.

    Each community will bear a unique and distinctive personality.

    The Holbrook stands apart from other active living communities.

    If you seek like-minded, energetic and exuberant neighbors to live, love and share with, The Holbook is indeed a family of communities whose time has come.


    The Holbrook

    Saturday, October 13, 2018

    Ode to the Business Card

    Early in my professional corporate events career I coveted my business cards. They reminded me every day who I was - or at least what I did for a living - in case I forgot.

    More important, my business card was the only medium by which people would have a way to reach me. Professionals kept card files in their briefcase and a Rolodex on their desk. Few had any electronic file, much less a contact management system.

    Fast forward to 2001 and my new real estate career in Northwest Florida. Yes, I was the new agent in town who knew only a handful of neighbors. But this was the laid back and relaxed Redneck Riviera. I soon discovered a business card was almost offensive.

    In 2001 Northwest Florida people did business via handshake and remembered you after meeting only once. A business card was for "city people" who Northwest Florida people preferred would stay away from Northwest Florida.

    By the time I left Northwest Florida in 2016 all that had changed. The real estate business card had somewhat come back into vogue, depending on if I was dealing with an old timer or new arrival. It was almost a source of anxiety whether or not to offer my card.

    Fast forward again to the present. With Stoddard Media I write public relations. With Stoddard Realty Network I introduce people to superior real estate agents. I attend weekly networking events for both. The business card is crucial for each enterprise. Oh my. Which card do I offer?

    (Ignore the grid and red lines. These are template screen shots.)


    Without getting too far into the weeds, as I have a tendency to do, I wish to make some key recommendations to fellow networking event attendees.
    • Carry business cards.
    • Clearly express what you do on those cards.
    • Make text on those cards legible without reading glasses.

    Those three basics will get you off to a good start. 

    I often meet people I want to contact later. If they carry no card I can not do that. If their card conveys some lofty obscure message I will likely forget what they do. If I do not have my readers, small dark text against a dark background render the card useless.

    Do not make it difficult for people to find you, particularly those who really want to find you. Make it easy even for old school fading vision people. Just make the dang card clear and easy. 

    Go here if you want to read lofty concepts on the business card. Then ignore those lofty concepts. Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett do not need a business card. You are likely not them. 

    If you are, hi guys, and thanks for reading. Please call me.

    Assuming your name is not Bezos, Gates or Buffet, read this again.