I Wonder

Bill Chitwood

Billy Ray Chitwood 

I Wonder

Many years ago, on my way home from a ‘boy’s night out’, after a delightful evening and after planting one more goodnight kiss on the lovely lips of my fair lady, the incurable romantic within me possessed my heart and mind. Still feeling the mild vapors from a few drinks, I began to sing, the words coming from some source I’ve yet to adequately and poetically identify. A soft ballad it was, words and music all, and it stayed with me. Arriving at my bachelor apartment I set up my recording device and sang the song into the mike…later on I would have my cabaret piano friend write the sheet music based on that taping – I feel music but cannot write the sweet symbols on those ‘key’ lines…through the years I would write a number of songs in the same fashion.

Having reached the golden years, I still occasionally sing my songs while showering, while driving along on a trip. The songs are important to me as they convey some pivotal moments in my life, and I still occasionally write them. With today’s knowledge exploding, with technology reaching its golden years as well, there comes a reckoning point for me, a point of irrelevance, a dinosaur among the SEO and APPS experts of the worldwide web. I feel so frustrated most of the time I’m on my laptop, convinced there is so much more I could be doing to enhance and promote my BRAND – I assume this means me and my books… Anyway, I sing ‘I Wonder’ quite often these days.

With all events and hard news delivered with such rapidity and urgency in this new age of technology, it is so easy to feel anxiety and confusion about the world, about our nation and its direction. Like so many others, ‘I Wonder’ why so many people can have gaping differences of opinion, why there is so much anger and hate, why ‘common sense’ seems to be absent from important decision making, why greed and special interests infect our politicians, why we the people are blatantly fed the political soup of the day, why barbarians want to chop off heads and burn people alive, why we bargain with people who hate us, on and on.

Perhaps it is simply the romantic me, the me who remembers calmer news days, people caring for people, problems, yes, but more decisive action to fix the negative issues. I don’t hear too many ballads these days, just the jarring sounds of musical instruments drowning out the singers. Then, again, I don’t hear so well anymore. Come to think of it, there is not much I can do well anymore…

But I can still write my books and my songs, my books getting a fair share of 5-Star reviews. So I can find reason to awake in the morning, work on my writing and try to find out about those SEOs and APPs that might make one or more of my twelve books go viral.

‘I Wonder’? Maybe history just keeps repeating itself. Maybe I’m a malcontent! ‘I Wonder’? My wife loves me! I love my wife! Things are not so bad!

I Wonder?

(Here’s the song I wrote all those years ago…think soft ballad!)

I Wonder

I see trees with green leaves in winter

I see the moon where the sun should stand

I see a lake where there should be a meadow

A forest where there should be sand.

And, with all this, I Wonder:

Can life be merely a dream?

A dream that can build

A love that is real…

A love to last eternally?

I Wonder!

I Wonder!

Oh, how I Wonder!


I hear a song with soft words of silence

I see a lark when there is no bird

There’s a horn when there should be no music

A sound that should not be heard.

And, with all this, I Wonder:

Can life be merely a dream?

A dream that can build

A love that is real…

A Love to last eternally?

I Wonder!

I Wonder!

Oh, how I Wonder!

                                                                                (©Billy Ray Chitwood)      

 Billy Ray Chitwood – April, 2015

Some links:


http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com (Bio and my 12 books)

http://twitter.com/brchitwood (@brchitwood)

https://thefinalcurtain1.wordpress.com (My blog)


Nine Blog Awards, including:

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An Interview With John Dolan – Author of “Everyone Burns”


John Dolan

This is a ‘Don’t Miss’ combo for you: an interview with a quality author and a partial review of his 5-Star book, “Everyone Burns.” If you have not had the pleasure of reading John Dolan you’ve missed a great experience from a writer extraordinaire. JD is truly a wordsmith for his times. He is also the man who introduced me and countless others to the word, ‘Galericulate’ — that’s the name of his website/blog. (See end of interview/review.) He’s the man hidden under the hat and he’s roaming around some continent or another. At last report, he was in Amsterdam. Meet John Dolan.

everyone burns
Amazon US goo.gl/nvGmne
 Amazon UK:  goo.gl/wpwjfC
‘Burning’ John Dolan, Writer Extraordinaire – An Interview (Sort of!)’
(Billy Ray Chitwood=BR) (John Dolan= JD)
BR: Okay, Filbert, take off the blindfold!
JD: Hey, not so rough! You just don’t take ‘no’ for an answer, do you?
BR: Why should I? You can leave us now, Filbert, and take Salome with you.
JD: You kidding me? ‘Salome!’ ‘Filbert!’ They’re ‘junkies…’
BR: Had no money…they grabbed you for the ‘grass.’
JD: Are you mocking me? Are you stealing my interview ideas?
BR: Show me a legal document!
JD: At least my chair is comfortable, and my straps are pure leather, not this cord crap!
BR: You left me no choice, JD, you broke your promise to take my books viral and…
JD: Correction! I said your books were vile and pretentious…
BR: Okay, okay, I understand you’re a bit angry…just some tit for tat, that’s all. I really like
your book, “Everyone Burns,” and I’m thinking ‘movie,’ ‘TV series,’ something really big.
Can we just relax and talk about the book?
JD: Can you at least put a cushion on this orange crate? You’re not helping my hemmies.
BR: How’s that? Better? Good…Now tell me about “Everyone Burns” and how you came
to write it.
JD: Guess I got no choice, but you gotta promise me you’re not going to make a habit of
this kind of interview. This is my idea, not yours. Do we have a deal?
BR: Yes, we have a deal…Hell, I thought you would be pleased!
JD: Well, I am, sort of, but this is intellectual property, not something you mess with, BR.
Plus I only get one original idea per decade.
BR: Okay, no more kidnaps for interviews! Got it! Can we proceed?
JD: The events in “Everyone Burns” take place over seventeen days while Thailand is still
numb from the giant tsunami of December, 2004. Like everyone of sane mind this great
catastrophe made my emotions run wild, made me think of life like I had never really
thought about it. “Everyone Burns” gave me some escape from the reality all around me.
BR: Really?
JD: No, not really. I wrote it for the money and the groupies.
BR: And how’s that working out?
JD: Probably about as well as it’s working out for you, I’d guess. Well … looking at you,
probably slightly better with the groupies.
BR: Here’s a quote from ‘Everyone Burns, just after a bar fracas:
To summarise, my life is one of split personality. I am in two minds about it myself.
Nevertheless, down these narrow streets a man must walk, even if it is in flip-flops.
But I am no Philip Marlowe, and Koh Samui is not film-noir USA. There is nothing
of Hollywood’s black and white morality on this most colourful of Thailand’s
Islands. And long overcoats just make you sweat in the sun. Here The Postman
Never Rings Twice, simply because he never rings at all. He has better things to
do. Lamai’s and Chaweng’s adventurers generally pack a condom, not a gun.”
You open the book with a broken cue stick inflicting injury to your protagonist and it’s like
the excitement and action just never stops after that. I picked this quote because it’s one
of my favorites but also because it gives the reader a sample of your splendid writing…
Do you have any disagreement with my assessment here, JD?
JD: Take these cords off and I’ll kiss you. The passage is also a favorite of mine. Aside
from the style thing in my writing, it is just basically who I am. But I’m NOT David
Braddock, by the way. I want to make that clear in case my wife Fiona is reading this! A
book of this genre for me has to move at a rapid pace, the action mostly non-stop. A lot of
what I write about in “Everyone Burns” has some factual similarities, the people, the
places, the time certainly. And, of course, you know my English is rather precise, proper,
as it was intended to be! WHY are you smiling and shaking your head?
BR: Never mind, just me being me! It’s a great book, JD. Wish we had more time
because I’d like to mention “People With Real Lives Don’t Need Landscapes,” a book of
poetry you wrote in 2003. You certainly have a way with words, JD, and I happen to love
poetry. As Amazon puts it, “This big bouncy collection of contemporary poetry draws on
both popular and high culture. The poems have energy, imagination, humor, and lively
speech rhythms. They are light, weighty, topical, intellectual, gory, sad, wild, and tender
all at once.”
JD: I didn’t write that.
BR: What?
JD: I didn’t write that collection of poetry. That was a different John Dolan.
BR: Are you sure?
JD: What do you mean, “Am I sure”? I’m not likely to forget a thing like that, am I?
Sheesh! It’s scary how your brain can live in such a small space.
BR: That hurts, JD. Well,regardless, I loved your book “Everyone Burns” and can’t wait
for the sequel. People should really take a long look at you, my friend…
JD: ‘My friend!’ My butt is sore here, BR!
BR: Filbert and Salome are napping right now. I’ll untie you, but, please, no fracas here.
Tit for tat, remember? Be gentle.
Please follow John Dolan on twitter – @JohnDolanAuthor
Visit his website/blog (‘Galericulate’):
Also visit JD’s amazon site: goo.gl/nElP1
(Really, follow him and read him. He’s ugly mean: it took two junkies and me to get
him here for thisChaosinterview/review!)
One final word: Since this interview John Dolan has written three more novels: Hungry
Ghosts  –  A Poison Tree  – Chaos is Come Again (written with author Fiona
Quinn) Find these great reads on Amazon US – UK.

Sunday On The Sea Of Cortez


Sunday on the Sea of Cortez

The day is starting with patches of blue in a cloudy sky. Soon the clouds will be gone and a full canopy of soft blue will replace them. There will be ski jets on the deep green sea along with banana boats, motor boats, multi-colored sails. Hawkers of serapes, jewelry, and other trinkets will be strolling the long beach through throngs of people under palapas or umbrellas, walking along water’s edge, or sunbathing. The pools of the many resorts along the beach will be busy with laughing children, and condo/villa homeowners will be walking their dogs and getting their daily exercise.

One thing that is near constant at this lovely latitude is that the sun is constant like the sea. There is humidity, not as bad as farther south toward the more tropical Matzatlan and Puerto Vallarta, but there is also a prevailing breeze that keeps the palms swaying and the conditions pleasant. The views are spectacular: the old port juts out into the sea, adding more to the curving shoreline; the new Malecon at the old port has restaurants and shops along its palmed walkways and its rocky section along the coastline.

Rocky Point is coming of age. Tourism is much bigger this year. Viper Jet, an aerospace company (AeroMxII) is hiring hundreds of people for their ‘flight simulation’ and ‘global positioning systems’ (GPS) projects. It means growth for our sleepy fishing village, and it likely means that our international airport will bbegin sooner than later to add regular US flights…now, there are only charters. Looming in the near future is a home cruise port which will, when completed, add exponentially to Rocky Point’s growth. With Rocky Point’s proximity to Arizona (one hour’s drive to the border) and the US, it is time.

There will be some who will cling to the media hype that Mexico is not safe. For me, this town has been part of my history as I’ve been coming here since the seventies. It is safe, and the people are friendly, supportive, and welcome us to their desert/sea paradise. People with common sense will already know that our US cities have pockets of drugs and crime where most of us would not venture. Bad things happen everywhere, of course, but when using common sense, we can usually avoid problems. In point of fact, safety is never a concern for me here in Rocky Point.

Why do I write this post? Because I love this old port city of Rocky Point. There is a large contingent of ex-pats who live here full-time who will tell you the same thing. They love it here and they tire of the negative media blitzes that are directed toward this beautiful area.

The other reason I write this post is, for the most part I live and write here along this lovely coastline of the Sea of Cortez. It is here where my creative impulses are most active. It is here where I’ve been inspired to write some books. I’m still inspired and I’m still writing. The United States and Mexico are friends for the long term, and, in many ways, there is some catching up for Mexico to get up to speed with some of our technological advances. They are getting there, faster than many might realize.

If you have a nostalgic and romantic sense of old Mexico as I’ve always had, come on down. You won’t be ‘wasting away in Margaritaville’ unless that’s your desire.

Billy Ray Chitwood


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The Final Curtain1 by Billy Ray Chitwood

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“The Final Curtain1″ 

        I’ve always been a Frank Sinatra guy and “My Way” has accompanied me on many romantic adventures. “My Way” has been one of those ‘etchings’ to enjoy with someone special at the end of a candlelight and wine dinner, a song that can be parsed and qualified in so many ways…guess that’s my best reason for the blog title.
        It isn’t so much that those lines in the song, “The Final Curtain,” need to conjure up morbid thoughts and ‘let’s all be sentimental’ thoughts. In fact,”The Final Curtain” can conjure up benign thoughts, those that lift the spirit and put an extra swagger in our strides.
        I’m pretty much a ‘romantic’ with some life dreams realized and some that still wish to be. Mostly, these days, my writing speaks to me in so many ways, telling me so many truths about myself. Through the characters pecked out on the laptop, in their actions, reactions, interactions, there are glimpses of me, mini-portraits never seen before. Some are scary. Some are strangely uplifting and gratifying. Some glimpses make me sad. Some make me happy. Some make me confident. Some make me doubt myself.
        There is this ‘thing’ that always keeps me rooted to some true genetic spot: we can be no more in life than what we are intended to be.
        So, what’s with all the gibberish about “The Final Curtain” and the writing and the glimpses? Truth is, I’m aging with a great deal of reluctance, going through the ‘pages’ past, present, and future, still searching for the elusive and the unattainable, trying very hard to make up for some wasted moments in this passage. I’m here in the ‘wings’ and the curtain has not closed and I’m wanting to know about you, how you differ so much from me, how we are so much alike, how we can somehow better know each other.
        One of my favorite poet/writers is an ex-priest named James Kavanaugh. Among all his work, he has written two beautiful books of poetry: “There Are Men Too Gentle To Walk Among Wolves” and “Will You Be My Friend?” There is so much of his verse with which I identify. His words speak to me with the most marvelous clarity. With my Appalachian bible-belt roots, there is little wonder.
        Sinatra and Kavanaugh are my two favorite ‘etchings’ with some Kahlil Gibran thrown in, each of them fodder for the romantic and soulful parts of me. There is of course nothing wrong with the different tastes in music. There are those who like the brassy groups, the rappers, and the new gents and ladies of song — most of my soul dances favor the ballads. We can’t all like the same music. And, yes, of course, age, time, and place carry our predictable favorites.
        Now, ‘will you be my friend?’ Are you a ‘romantic’ – dreamer – pragmatist – young adult – baby boomer – timid – out-going… How do you approach the page on which you are about to spill your guts — or, your character’s guts? How much of you do you leave on the written pages of your books? You tell me, and I’ll tell you.
        If this kind of soulful musing is not your thing, pass me by…’thirty-one flavors’ you know. If you do like to muse and don’t mind sharing, jump on in. I’ll be lurking around the ‘curtain’ to see if someone shows up on stage. There’s a lot of time before the final curtain.
Billy Ray Chitwood
CrackedMirror Nook Size
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Some Links:
http://www.goo.gl/fuxUA (IAN – Independent Author Network)
http://asmsg.com (Authors Social Media Support Group)

Insane Leadership – Enough is Enough

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Insane Leadership

 -Enough is Enough-

The ‘politically correct’ crowd and those who crave civility and diplomacy can turn your heads, take a potty break, or, stay locked in your progressive liberal mind-sets. For me, I’ve had enough of this ISIS insanity and so very tired of an insane leadership that devalues life and is likely doing exactly what the president and his ideology have programmed.

If human life in other parts of the world can mean so little to this inept president and his crew, it signifies an end to our democracy, our freedom and our liberty. When burning people alive, cutting off heads, and killing defenseless children and women become just another insipid news conference and photo op, we are up to our` asses in alligators. My God! Don’t we know these bugs of butchery are coming to our shores? That is their freaking ‘religious beliefs’ – to conquer the world and have one huge caliphate. If we had a competent commander in chief, we would have killed off much of this group one year ago while they were in a vast isolated desert in Iraq having just crossed over the Syrian border…when they were a ‘JV’ team!

We are a country made up of immigrants who have for the most part assimilated and are very proud to be Americans. They came here to have better lives, a chance to become whatever it was they wanted to be. They learned quickly that the United States had a document called the Constitution, that we were a country of freedom and liberty but also a nation of laws… I was born in Appalachian poverty and a broken home and know that our system of government works…equal opportunity, freedom to speak your mind and protest peacefully, freedom to worship the religion of our choice. It is fine to have a large contingent of the Islamic faith, but it is not okay, in my opinion, to have them not assimilate into the American culture, to demand divisive changes and privileges that are not part of our way of life. They claim they are peaceful and separate from the Jihadist elements, but we don’t hear much from them condemning the extremists who are marching across the globe killing in horrible and terrifying ways – and openly recruiting on the internet.

I’m reminded of the movie classic, Network, the guy sticks his head out the window and says, ‘I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.’ Then, I realize what the hell can an old geezer like me do in the scheme of things? But, dammit, America, wake up! Don’t let this incompetent liberal leadership take us down the road to socialistic oblivion.

These leftist loons have built their careers on the backs of minorities, keeping them disenfranchised, taking away their dignity but their desires to have pieces of the great American pie, by race-baiting and ‘poor versus rich’ tactics. The liberal democrats want the minorities, particularly the Blacks and Hispanics, to see the conservatives as ogres who deprive them of equal opportunities for success…poppycock! It has been under conservative leadership that economic growth has come, jobs have been created, and our value to other nations have been the highest. It is the liberal side of the aisle through their penchant for entitlement programs that has brought our country into multi-trillion dollar deficits.

Yes, there are things these eyes don’t see and there might be some naiveté in the mix, but I do try to stay informed on how the taxpayer dollars are being spent by the people we elect to run our nation. From where I sit, there needs to be some programs deleted from our menu of options…like Obamacare, ‘pork’ projects like the mating of tsetse flies or some other dumb, needless activities. We need to merge and/or dismantle other agencies of government that are redundant, over-staffed, and account for much of our wasted money.

We need after all the years to put together a meaningful immigration law and immediately secure our southern border. We need to pass a law that automatically sends to prison a returning deported felon involved in yet another felony – where is the common sense that allows an illegal alien once deported from our country for serious crime to return and commit another serious crime? ‘Kate’s Law’ should be a ‘no-brainer’. We also need to defund ‘Sanctuary Cities’.

While defunding, we need to save hundreds of millions by not writing more taxpayer-paid checks to ‘Planned Parenthood’. Oh, yeah, the IRS? Let’s poke a hole in their big fat balloon and create a ‘flat tax’ system.

We need to allow the states to handle their educational needs, their entitlement issues, tax hikes and/or cuts, and many other issues which will allow the federal government to do its Constitutional job of protecting our shores, our highways, bridges, and taking care of ISIS and other radical terrorist groups. We need now to vote against the ‘Iran Nuclear’ deal, and, while we’re at it, we need to carry a ‘bigger stick’ while we practice our diplomacy. From my perspective, it is well past time that we develop and carry out a well-planned military policy for defeating the radical Islamic Terrorists.

Regarding the first-class tickets our politicians carry – medical care programs that go far beyond those of their tax-payer bosses and retirement plans that hold golden nuggets – can we close those doors? Can we limit the terms our representatives and senators can hold their offices? Perhaps, like the president: two terms. Even with some goodies taken away the pocket change is still fairly viable. These people have important jobs and they should be paid well if doing those jobs without all the ‘owe me’ and quid pro quo. They get lots of hits from the lobbyists and K Street, and I can understand the temptations can become sometimes too great. But I would sure like to see some really honest and wise people handling our country’s affairs.

There are of course other needs our citizenry have in mind…I have only scratched the surface… I have also worked out some of my anger. I have only written what I believe. If it is too brash, arrogant, whatever, I’m thinking of my kids, grandkids, and great grandkids, the world they will find at my age.

Billy Ray Chitwood – July 24, 2015

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Member: #asmsg and #IAN

Mayberry Madness



Mayberry Madness

Flash Fiction by Billy Ray Chitwood

In retrospect, it all sounds so improbable, like a tale out of some book of odd occurrences, but I had to tell the story because the world is what it is today. Unless you’ve had your head buried in a Nelson DeMille book or a Bruce Willis movie, you know ‘the times are changing’…lots of bad things are happening in the world, like Islamic terrorists spreading throughout the globe, recruiting on the internet, trying to take over the planet with their radical Jihad junk, cutting off heads, burning folks alive who don’t accept their idiocy…

Well, anyhow, I live on ten acres in Small Town, Virginia, USA, and I’m figuring that all this bad, evil, stuff cannot touch me and my family, that our government must have a plan to rid the earth of this vermin.

My good friend and neighbor, David, and I are sitting on the back porch with two ice-cold Coronas, looking out over the meadows at the grazing cows, sipping and talking about some story ideas for a book…

You see, I’m a writer, and David thinks I’m famous – it’s wrong, I know, but I let him continue thinking that thought. I mentioned to David that I’m always looking for story ideas, and this really pumps him up…he tells me about this ‘demon-oriented’ story he conjured up, a demon only the central character can see terrorizing the make-believe city.

“That sounds like a great idea for a book, David. Why don’t you write it?” I tell him.

“No, no, I’m not a writer,” he says, “but I sure would like you to write it.”

“We can collaborate and write it together, David…might be fun.”

“No, it would be great just to see the ideas come to life on the pages of a book…”

So David gives me a sense of the action scenes he perceives for the book. By now, the sun is just about to hit that western drop-off point, and David leaves. I’m about to go into the house and check in with Becky, my wife, when I see three guys at the end of my long driveway. Two of the strangers peel off into a copse of trees while the third one keeps walking up the drive toward me.

When he gets nearer I stand and walk off the porch toward the dark bewhiskered young man. He’s short and looks like a cross between an Amish and one of those Middle-East terrorists. He looks surly and his smell carries the ten feet to me.

“Did you not see the sign at the end of the driveway?” I ask.

“I saw it,” he says bluntly and offensively.

“And, you know what ‘PRIVATE DRIVE’ means?”

He just gives me an ugly yellow teeth smile. As I start to move closer, a gunshot pops in my ear and I go down to the ground. There is a sharp stinging pain on my right side where my fat has accumulated.

Looking up at the dark-bearded one, he is pulling a knife from his waistband. He has no gun, so from where did the gunshot come? The two men in the trees, I’m thinking, as the wound throbs intensify.

I try to get up, but the pain forces me back to the ground. My eyes are blurred but I see the stranger approaching me…my thoughts suddenly go to my wife inside the house. Is she hearing any of this, or, is she in the front part of the house where the sounds would be muffled to the point of unnoticeable…she’s also deaf in one ear.

The bearded one kneels, has a sadistic smile on his face, poised with a knife to inflict bodily damage. In the blur and pain I lift my arms in defense of the oncoming attack.

Another shot rings out! The bearded one collapses on top of me, and my hands collect his bloody head and shove him away. He is dead, and I am bewildered, near the swooning stage, trying to raise myself.

From the corner of the house, David runs to me, his automatic rifle at the ready. He looks toward the trees where the two other men disappeared.

“Charlie, you’re okay,” David says. “You’re losing blood but stay with me. The bullet hit no vital area… I’ve called 911 and I hear the sirens in the distance. An ambulance is on the way. The highway patrol will catch the other two guys. They know their location… Just hang on, Charlie…”

David bangs on the back door until my wife finally hears the pounding.

Then, Becky is hovering over me, her tears like raindrops falling on my head. “I’m fine, sweetheart,” I lied. “It’s not critical…”

What I definitely find most critical is the Islamic Terrorist World Jihad!

I survived my injury, and the three terrorists that invaded our peaceful ‘Mayberry’ community are now dead – the two in the trees preferred death and a virgin reward to the confines of Gitmo. They were victims of a deadly and radical world ideology, a predator intent on owning our minds and souls.

As I close my laptop, I cannot help but wonder what our world is to look like in the next fifty years. If a small heartland community like mine can be invaded by these denizens of destruction, what does it say to the sanity of our world leaders?

Billy Ray Chitwood – July 17, 2015

This week I’m promoting my Book 6 of ‘The Bailey Crane Mystery Series’ – A Common Evil. This book is actually inspired by an incident in Mexico at a resort where I lived for over three years – on the beautiful Sea of Cortez. It’s a novel that will blow you away with its action and dynamic ending… Hope you will grab a copy, read and enjoy… Happy if you leave an Amazon review… The other books in the series are easy and fun reads as well, some of them inspired by true events… GOOD READING!

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Member: #asmsg and #IAN

Proud receiver of nine blog nominations!

The storm


The Storm

This could be about the ISIS storm, or, the political debate storm, or, a domestic storm…and, it is about all of these storms – plus, the weather witch is soaking our rolling hills with rain, lightning, and thunder…


Now, I don’t know about you (if you care enough to be informed on matters facing our Republic), but I’m really, REALLY, tired of the barbarians in the Middle East cutting off heads of children and adults for not believing in their stupid ideology which tells them to kill everyone who does not believe what they believe because destiny has them occupying the throne of the world…a side thought makes me wonder, should that happen, what the hell would they do for fun? Play Russian Roulette, or, design a parlor game of ‘Spin the Bottle’, the object being chopping off the head of ill-fated players whose misfortune it was to have the coca cola bottle neck pointing their way. Actually, what difference would it make? Death is good to these ugly bastards – they get a virgin in their heaven. I’m just saying, all lives have importance to someone no matter what part of the world they live. I’m just saying, we ought to care and be doing more, urgently and faster, as a world power to eliminate these bugs of brutality.

Where has ‘common sense’ been hiding? A Secretary of State and/or one of his loony aides cannot negotiate with madness. My common sense tells me this: before I let these idiots get to my country and start killing off my family and friends, I’m taking them out any way I can – by non-stop bombing attacks and a few ground troops (which we should have done over a year ago when they crossed Syria’s border into Iraq…they were in a vast open desert, easy prey for our mighty forces). Good people of any religion, no matter where they live, should not be arbitrarily killed by brazen idiotic ideologues. My common sense tells me this is not JV bullying. These mad men and women want us dead. Can we be so blind as not to see this? If we really and truly love this nation of ours, we need to get leadership that knows their history, knows that when good folks don’t see the ‘Hitlers of the world’ coming, doom is not far ahead. My common sense tells me that life is precious, even for those in a foreign land we don’t know. Life is a gift from God, or, for some people, a gift from an anonymous source. My common sense tells me not to mention ‘the Crusades’, Rome, Russia, Korea, Iran, any country that decided to let a few dictate to the many…how did that work out?

I am more a ‘dove’ than a ‘hawk’ but senseless killing by an Islamic terrorist group must not be on life’s menu of activities. Diplomacy is not an option with these monsters of mankind… We would be wise to remember that Neville Chamberlain and France in 1939 pursued a policy of appeasement in the hopes that Hitler would not bring Europe into war…again, how did that work out? If you hold an ‘Isolationist’ view, I likely infuriate and speak to empty air… We should not need reminding that our shores are indeed reachable. We recently celebrated our Independence… We should not need reminding that our Independence, our freedom, our liberty, came at a very high cost – millions of courageous men and women gave their lives during wars in foreign lands to preserve our way of life.

Our tiny orb in the universe holds eight billion people, and Science/Technology are putting the squeeze on all of us to find ways of living peacefully in a global society…so many different cultures and languages interfacing on a worldwide web creating complex social issues, dispensing some sincerity of purpose along with hatred and vitriol. We can hope Scientists, Micro-biologists, Brain Surgeons, and the Nano-Tech people can come up with microscopic implants or miracle pills that can make communication and global unity a real possibility. In the meantime, we need to face current realities…there are monsters of the midway heading in our direction, and we need to eradicate them.


The greatest political show of possibly any century is unfolding before us, with so many points and counter-points to make us dizzy. On one side of that political show, we have a group running for President of the United States that changes the face of our Republic even more drastically than it has been changed in the past six a half years. On the other side we have a large group who will likely squabble and squander a chance to elect someone who will stem the rush toward Socialism (that’s the ‘ism’ that sounds relatively good until it is in practice, until the power brokers and the elite take over, centralize, and give the reins of ruling the many to a few – for reference, see your history books!) I love this country, its Constitution, its Freedom for any of us to be what it is we wish, without a large bureaucratic government becoming too intrusive in our lives. That’s what my common sense tells me.


Domestically, my wife is taking the ‘liberty’ to nap while I’m typing this important piece of rant and rave… She will, however, awaken and find that I have again written a blog that will alienate me even further from the people I wish to buy my books. However, she loves me, knows that I speak not with a forked tongue. But, then, she will remind me again that what I write on the web is out there forever, and, if the heat becomes less than bearable, she might have to consider divorce…

Nah! She would not do that!!!

Billy Ray Chitwood – July 10, 2015

For those I have not alienated, there is a book that I wrote that admittedly is not politically scholarly, but it does take my views as a citizen a bit farther. If you read it and don’t like it, use the back cover for your dart boards – the front cover has a picture of one of my sons…

Joe Public’s Political Perspective



Amazon UShttp://www.goo.gl/WPweKh

Amazon UK: http://www.goo.gl/CGp7bm

Amazon Worldwide: http://authl.it/1u9





http://twitter.com/brchitwood (@brchitwood)





Member: asmsg and IAN

Honored and proud to have received these Blog Award nominations:

liebsteraward booker-award most-influential-blogger-e1364230844577 (1) beautiful-blogger-award reality blog award very-inspiring-blogger-award11-1 one-lovely-blog inner-peace-award the-wordpress-family-award

AN ARIZONA TRAGEDY – Book 1 of The Bailey Crane Mystery Series (6)


Buy Sites:

Amazon US: http://www.goo.gl/fMt82R

Amazon UK: http://www.goo.gl/HTQGo

Amazon Worldwide: http://www.authl.it/1sv

An Arizona Tragedy

The year was 1967. There was exciting news on radio, television, and in the daily papers. Some of the news was reasonably good, some very bad.

Vladimir Komarov, a Russian cosmonaut, died as his descending spacecraft got entangled in its parachute cords.

Congress was fighting about taxes … okay, not so tantalizing!


n May of 1967, the United States Marines took ‘Hill 881′ (the ‘forbidding twin peaks’) just below the DMZ in Vietnam, and there were many casualties.

A huge segment of the world’s population was all atwitter with the fact that Mr. and Mrs. Elvis Presley were on their honeymoon in Palm Springs, California.

Joey Bishop was trying very hard to make it on late night television.

There was a national deficit of some twenty-four billion dollars … could this year have been part of ‘the good old days?’

A. J. Foyt continued to sell a lot of STP by winning his third Indianapolis Five Hundred race.

Bacon was sixty-nine cents a pound.

Ice cream was fifty-nine cents per half-gallon.

Peanut Butter was eighty-nine cents for a two and one-half pound jar.

Instant coffee was eighty-nine cents for a ten-ounce can.

Mass murderer Richard Speck was sentenced to death row for the July, 1966 murders of eight student nurses from South Chicago Community Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. This very ugly man broke into their townhouse dormitory on the evening of July 13 and methodically, systematically tortured, stabbed and/or strangled his victims, one by one. He also raped his final victim before strangling her. A ninth student nurse, spending the night with her eight friends, managed to hide under a bed during one of the killings. She stayed hidden until dawn, then crawled out of a window onto a roof ledge, screaming: “They’re all dead! All my friends are dead!”

Carl Sandburg, poetic voice of the Midwest, died on July 22, 1967.

Basil Rathbone died at age seventy-five in August of that year.

There were riots in Detroit.

In Selmer, Tennessee, on August 12, Sheriff Buford Prusser was ambushed and wounded. His wife was killed.

In Las Vegas, Nevada, Frank Sinatra was at the Sands Hotel, became angry and threw some chips in the face of Carl Cohen, age fifty-four. Mr. Cohen retaliated, giving the world famous crooner a hardy haymaker.

On May 24 in Washington, D. C. a young and lovely twenty-five year old secretary was found beaten beyond recognition. The coroner stated in his report that the young lady had died as a result of multiple blows of force to the head and face, and, strangulation.

On July 19, 1967, after midnight, a young and lovely twenty-six year old secretary and model disappeared in Phoenix, Arizona. Her body was found on August 12, 1967, in the desert northeast of Phoenix. The young divorcee, mother of two children, had died of multiple rock blows to the head and face.


The ‘Preface’ data above set the stage for An Arizona Tragedy – A Bailey Crane Mystery – Book 1. This book was inspired by two actual homicides in Phoenix, Arizona and Washington, DC. While the book is fiction I do use actual newspaper accounts and police documents. The Phoenix homicide was particularly close to me as I was a friend of the victim – she was a legal secretary to two of my attorney friends. She was mother to a daughter and a son, while also pursuing an actress and modeling career. She had many dreams for all her tomorrows, taken away on a late Wednesday night in July of 1967 by an evil son of Satan. For the better part of a month her body was not found, ravaged by August heat and denizens of the desert.

An Arizona Tragedy introduces Bailey Crane, a different kind of sleuth, a man who muses about his life and loves while chasing the bad guys. ‘The Bailey Crane Mystery Series’ consists of six books – hope you can check them out. Each book stands alone. Here are the six ‘Bailey Crane Mysteries': 


* An Arizona Tragedy – Book 1 — AVAILABLE Amazon WW http://www.authl.it/1sv

Satan’s Song – Book 2 — AVAILABLE Amazon WW http;//www.authl.it/1sw

The Brutus Gate – Book 3 — AVAILABLE Amazon WW http://www.authl.it/1sx

Murder in Pueblo del Mar – Book 4 — AVAILABLE Amazon WW http://www.authl.it/1sy  
A Soul Defiled – Book 5 — AVAILABLE Amazon WW http://www.authl.it/1sz

A Common Evil – Book 6 — AVAILABLE Amazon WW http://www.authl.it/1r2

(The asterisk in front of the title denotes book is inspired by true events.)

I leave you with a few excerpts from An Arizona Tragedy and links to some of my sites.

 Excerpts –

Running late, Cathy gave her daughter and son a kiss goodbye, embraced her mom, and hurried out the door of the apartment. She dropped her purse while fumbling for keys and mumbled a mild obscenity under her breath. She finally made it to the car and headed for work.

Going west on Osborn Road she passed the northern boundary of the Phoenix Country Club. The golf course was hidden by a long row of eucalyptus trees but early morning golfers could be seen through a break in the hedgerow. Later, when the heat reached the one hundred plus mark, there would be very few players on the course.

The temperature was already in the early nineties and promised to reach one hundred ten degrees by mid-afternoon. This was the norm for Phoenix in July. The cloudless sky was sapphire deep and wide, with a slight shimmering haze on the far off western horizon.

People either hated Phoenix or they loved it. There seemed to be no middle ground opinions. For Catherine Gibbs, Phoenix and the desert was her Shangri-La. She did not mind the heat. She loved the constancy of sun and clear skies, found the daily regimen strangely soothing and somnolent. The Southwest climate better suited her senses than the dreary days of clouds, rain, and snow that came to the plains of Kansas. Besides, there were memories she would just as soon forget. As she looked at the hot earth and the various types of cacti, she felt close to some subtle and mysterious awareness of life. The saguaro, cholla, ocotillo, barrel, all the spiny plants of this arid mini-world held a fascination for her, somehow speaking to her in some arcane way of some nebulous truths that she might one day know…


After Midnight on Wednesday, July 19

She seemed strangely out of her body, off in a wispy connecting chamber, floating through a kaleidoscope of sight and sound … lights flashing … and motion.

She was in a car, moving fast, then slow, stopping, starting … she could see the night sky filled with a million bouncing stars, but she couldn’t be sure if her eyes were really open … car slowing down, stopping again, motor shut down, door opening … heavy breathing, cursing, mixed with cricket chirps, all coming through a fog horn of slow motion sound and movement … fingers, hands, arms on her body … tugging at her, pulling her from the car … a soft tinge of fear, anesthetized but it was so far away, this fear, and there was an eerie peace within the connecting chamber, an almost rhapsodic bending and twisting of the past, present, and an inescapable but caressing future …

There came a cacophony of cymbal sounds, a further muting within the connecting chamber, and a light that had begun so dimly now becoming greater … pain was palpable but peripheral, and, while the light grew brighter, micro seconds lingered on the desert air, in her connecting chamber, and she recounted her life … kids, family, school, jobs, friends, loves, hates, joys, disappointments, all coalescing into the awesome, wonderful, totality that was her being …

The scraping sounds … her body dropped yet again to the desert floor, once more the cursing, the heavy breathing …

The final cacophony splintered the light into a dazzling crystal brilliance …

She felt the connecting chamber, her body, her last thoughts of betrayal, beauty, and forgiveness all merging into the warm and timeless cosmos of light.


Sunday, August 13, 1967

It was Sunday, and my hound dog face glared back at me through the bathroom mirror … “Another round, Sam!” my lips wryly opened and muttered, mocking me with a stupid smile. My eyes were not glaring … they were looking like two very weak and damaged headlights on an ugly foggy morning, The cold water splashes were supposed to help, but the desert heat had the liquid running timidly tepid through the pipes.

Somehow, I managed the bathroom chores, got dressed in easy clothes, gray shorts and a red golf shirt, went barefooted to the kitchen, and began the world famous, obligatory coffee phase to a hangover. Outside the front door was my rolled-up, rubber-banded newspaper, its weight feeling like a twenty-five pound barbell … Ah, the awesome heft of advertising!

Before opening the newspaper, smiling smugly, my mind went to some good news already known to me. There was a beautiful house guest sleeping in the very bed from which I just arose. Her name was Connie, a lovely blonde from Los Angeles. A talented singer, Connie had just last night finished her ‘gig,’ her engagement, at ‘The Islands,’ Phoenix’s version of ‘Trader Vic’s.’ Along with the talent, she was a fun lady, and this country boy from the Tennessee hills was just a touch smitten with the lass.

The warm thoughts of Connie were curling around in my head as I sipped my coffee, the rolled up newspaper there on the sofa side table. Connie was not only lushly gifted in the looks and the lovemaking departments, she had a compelling sensitivity and could articulate her thoughts well. We had known each other a few weeks, and she had been my house guest since we met. Her musical performance at ‘The Islands’ ended, she was spending a few extra days with me before returning to Los Angeles.

Connie had been one of my most promising conquests, and, as previously stated, I could get serious over this one. She had already made it known to me that she was serious about our relationship going forward. In our talks we had spoken of our lives, our mistakes, our love affairs, our ambitions, and our dreams. She knew about the torch I still carried for Pam, a lady with whom I had lived at different stages in our long and tempestuous affair.

Finishing my second cup of coffee, I stopped my Connie thoughts, reached for the newspaper, pulled away the rubber band, and found the front section.

Cathy Gibbs picture was on the front page, with a large bold headline: Battered Body of Model Found. Underneath that headline was a less bold sub-heading: Victim of Brutal Slayer.

Numbing is likely the best word to describe my initial feelings. My God! She’s gone! What a horrible way to go! The terror and agony she was forced to endure! My eyes became misty as the image of her came to me, that image of her on the day we last were together. My simple solitary grief was so real, yet, so inadequate, somehow.

We, her friends, had become reconciled over the three weeks of her missing that she would be found dead. Now, our subliminal thoughts had been realized. Now, it was real and final. Only her mother had visibly and vocally held out hope that she would be found alive. Perhaps that hope at such a moment kept mothers from emotionally imploding. Cathy’s two children were too young to fully realize what was happening … or, were they? Did all the emotions that were around them somehow leave psychological marks so profound that they would follow them the rest of their lives? Rani Gibbs was six years old. Her brother, Spike, was four years old. They simply wanted their mom back.

“Christ!” I blurted aloud, “this happens to people I don’t know!”


It was 8:55 AM when I left the apartment for a 9:30 appointment with one of my neglected suppliers. As a multi-line rep and my own boss it behooved me to keep suppliers happy. In return, they furnished me with ‘lay-down’ leads and a comfortable income. Really, there should be only one mood for me: thankful, happy, positive! It was the best of all worlds … working with attorneys, legitimately playing part-time detective, golfing, and lucky in love. My attitude, mood, had gotten a lot better after that shower, and I was ready to tackle and enjoy the day.

In the car, Tony Bennett was singing Rags to Riches. Turned the car onto a palm tree lined section of 32nd Street. Too relaxed, too inattentive to my known surroundings, hardly noticed the car to the left of me, moving in dangerously close. Finally forced me to jerk my wheel sharply to the right. Hardly noticed the window shattering and a sharp thorn-prick near my left temple. Hardly noticed the palm tree as it came toward me in a mighty rush. Hardly noticed how quickly the unity of hands, feet, and partially dazed mind worked so well in slowing the car, yet not avoiding the inevitable crunch of metal and tree.

Shaken quite thoroughly but still among the living, there was a tingling all over my body and a sticky wetness on the left side of my face. As my dazed head lolled on the back of the driver’s seat, the events around me appeared in seeming slow motion. People peered in at me, their lips moving in incomprehensible gibberish. The car shook as someone tugged at a door that did not want to open. Hands gently touched my forehead, my face, my neck. The loud voices became comprehensible, asking the same dull questions: “Is he okay? Is he dead? What happened?” Then, the siren sounds got closer and closer. The ambulance. The police. The Emergency Room and St. Luke’s.

— End of Excerpts —

The Bailey Crane Mystery Series’ (6 books) are intended to be easy and fun reads while addressing serious crime issues. It is my hope you can read and enjoy some of the titles  Each book stands alone, but Bailey ages, tackles other crimes of mystery, suspense, and personal issues in his life. Please enjoy and, if so inclined, write an Amazon review. My best wishes to all.

All twelve of my books are listed on some of the following links – mystery, romance, memoir, et al.

Billy Ray Chitwood – May 29, 2015

Some Links:



https://thefinalcurtain1.wordpress.com (My blog)

http://www.goo.gl/fuxUA (IAN – Independent Author Network)

http://twitter.com/brchitwood – (@brchitwood) – Please follow me.



Linkedin.com profile – http://www.goo.gl/317AtX



I am flattered and honored to have received nine blog nominations. 

most-influential-blogger-e1364230844577 (1) reality blog award inner-peace-awardbooker-award beautiful-blogger-award very-inspiring-blogger-award11-1 one-lovely-blog the-wordpress-family-award liebsteraward

Becky and a Text Message

                                                                                         images (4)Becky and a Text Message             

She smiled as she read the text message from husband David… Tonight’s the night, my angelic beauty! The calendar says so, and I say so… Her left hand was poised to type a reply, but she thought better of the idea…

Becky Flowers knew something her husband did not know and she wanted to save the secret until she got home… Becky saw the family doctor that early afternoon and was given the golden news that she and David were to be parents. She was so excited it was difficult to contain herself…Becky becoming pregnant was a top priority since their wedding night.

Yet, in her ecstatic state, she had to share the news with someone and she began texting her best friend, Lily. She took a quick look at the road in front of her, saw no immediate traffic coming, and resumed her texting, made some mistakes in spelling, corrected and continued. The County Road was still virtually void of traffic when she glanced again. She decided against pulling over to the shoulder and finishing her text message…she was anxious to get home to David.

Becky put the last few words to the message when the car bounced abruptly. She had strayed to the gravel shoulder and fear hit her just as her right front tire went into a deep pot-hole. Her speed was fifty-miles per hour but in her mind seemed much faster. She over corrected for the pot-hole which caused the car to swerve sharply down a short embankment and smash into a telephone pole, even as she applied the brake and accelerator simultaneously. The driver-side air bag did not deploy and the car/pole impact whipped Becky’s head backward and forward concurrently, slamming her head into the steering wheel.

Butterflies were everywhere, beautiful butterflies, all colors represented, and there was a man in pale blue coveralls standing near her with a knife in his hand…what was he doing? She tried to struggle, get away from this man, but she was unable to move. Then she saw a calf being delivered with the help of the man in the coveralls. The man looked gently at her and smiled…he looked familiar to her. From some hidden place within her mind, she remembered a church service when the minister said caterpillars could only become beautiful flying butterflies but for God’s design.

She was in a meadow of the loveliest green she had ever seen. Cows were lazily grazing, taking great chunks of the green grass into their maws. Some of the cows raised their heads to the sky and mooed…but she couldn’t hear the moos, just knew they were mooing, paying forward thanks to Saint Francis for the beauty of their world. This was all so strange to her, and the sunlight was so bright it made the meadow brilliantly sparkle.

Becky slowly opened her eyes and saw David standing over her. He was holding her hand. “Hey, you, how do you feel?” He bent and kissed her on the cheek.

She looked around the room, suddenly aware she was in a hospital. “Oh, David, I’m so sorry!” she softly murmured.

“Don’t be sorry, sweetheart…you just got a bad bump on the head. You’re going to be fine… Hey, I’ve got great news for you: we’re going to have a baby!”

Becky’s eyes widened and tears began to fall down her cheeks… “Ah, David, I wanted to be the one to tell you that news… I saw our doctor today… The baby? She’s okay?” She squeezed David’s hand and grinned.

“Oh, yeah, the baby’s fine, honey…” he hesitated, “but you’re getting bad information from somewhere. The baby is a boy!” He grinned back…he wanted a boy – she wanted a girl.

Becky’s head sank happily and deeper into the pillows. She sighed, “Dear Love, I promise you I will never text-message again while driving…”

“Not unless you want a spanking!” David bent and gave Becky a long, gentle hug, and, to further lighten the moment, said, “And your car is in the shop being repaired – insurance covering the damage, both to you and the car.”

Billy Ray Chitwood – July 4, 2015

Do you read love and romance novels? Here is a love/romance novel that is not your typical romance… This book has all you will want, PLUS some dramatic and tense moments that will keep you on the proverbial edge of your seat. There is love, murder, romance, sibling rivalry, and a matriarch’s secret. The setting is Phoenix, Arizona, and, well, it’s a great book! Dig in!



Amazon US: goo.gl/ymEVgb

Amazon UK: goo.gl/nQ5ceF

Amazon Worldwide: http://authl.it/1st

Some Author Links:



http://twitter.com/brchitwood (@brchitwood)






#asmsg and #!AN

NOTE: I’ve been honored with nine Blog Award nominations… I do not list them here for brevity’s sake. Good reading!

A Speck of Dust

images (3)

A Speck of Dust

In the Aeonic repetition

Of night enveloping day,

A tiny universal speck

Of dust contemplates

The great mystery of

Endless orbits and


The insanity of war and

Fragile unstable peace…

The beauty of a sunrise,

Sunset, love’s wondrous

Bliss confused by anomalous


The speck of dust mingles

With all other specks

And awaits an ordained

Anonymity in the darkness

Of eternal oblivion – or the

Healing light of Salvation…

(Billy Ray Chitwood – June 27, 2015) 

So much of that ‘Speck of Dust’ contemplation is dispensed in my fictional memoir which is 90% true…it is titled, The Cracked Mirror – Reflections of an Appalachian Son.  The book is an account of a boy/man chasing his past and finding some of his dreams along with the despair from mistakes made along the way…it also has a bit of history that you might find interesting…



Amazon US: http://www.goo.gl/x459WR

Amazon UK: http://www.goo.gl/oyc499

Amazon Worldwide: http://authl.it/1su

Some Links: