Music’s Message


Music’s Message 

Do you feel lonesome and sad?

Play Vivaldi! Or, play some songs by Tim McGraw.

Do you feel angry, mad as hell, and not going to take it anymore?

Play Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony. Or, play some songs by Toby Keith.

Do you feel contemplative, pensive?

Play Bach or Haydn. Or, play some songs by ‘Ole Blue Eyes’ Frank Sinatra.

Do you feel happy and full of life?

Play Mozart. Or, play some songs  by Taylor Swift.

Do you feel sleepy and tired?

Play Brahms. Or, play some songs by R and B ‘The Floaters’.

When the land is blanketed with snow do you feel the need to have soft background music when you work, write, or enjoy a fire in the fireplace?

Play ‘New Age’ or light classical.

It’s difficult for me to imagine a world without music. Our movies build their scenes of drama and mirth with music. Long drives are made a bit easier by the music one enjoys. A romantic evening with your special love is heightened by a ballad that sings the words your heart sends through the eyes.

All through our civilized history, music has been an international language that connects people with their senses.

On this day when commerce is stalled by the snow, I write on my laptop while my ‘Georgie Boy’ is curled and napping on my Lazy Boy leg rest. In this tiny spot of the world, ‘God’s in his heaven and all’s right with the world’.

Oh, were it so across the planet!

Billy Ray Chitwood – February, 2015

Do you like your murder mystery/suspense mixed with romance? Here’s one of my novels I think you will like…The Reluctant Savage has a love triangle plus a lot of evil and intrigue. Give it a read and write an amazon review…authors live by the reviews their books receive. Thank you in advance.



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Some Links: (bio and links) (my bio and books) (IAN – Independent Author Network – bio and books) (Main FB page) (My books and ‘like’ page)


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When Did it Get This Late?


When did it get this late?


When did it get this late?

Why are there no leaves on the trees?

No marigolds and lilies in the garden!

Where did the day go?

In the remembering, I forgot its passing.

Time does not forgive the wandering mind.

Why the world of hate?

There was a time when youth gave promise.

When eyes glowed with love and wonder.

Who am I here in shadows?

A man who cannot forget a cluttered past,

The smiles mixing with the flow of tears.

How to reconcile now and then?

With words scribbled on borrowed time

And the dreams yet lingering on the pen.


Billy Ray Chitwood – February, 2015

Some links to my Bio, Books and Networks: (Independent Author Network – IAN) (Main FB page) (My books and ‘like’ page)

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Remembering ‘The Rock’


Remembering ‘The Rock’

‘You Are Now Entering – and Leaving Adak National Forest’

The trees were eighteen inches high when planted on the tough tundra plot. The young men were pleased with their efforts. They made a special trip to Kodiak for the saplings – I forget the number of trees that they bought, but they covered less than an acre of the island’s land.

The island of Adak in the Aleutian Islands was (is) a barren and cold wasteland with the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Bering Sea on the other. There were a lot of pet names for the island but ‘The Rock’ was perhaps the most favored. Beauty of course was in the eye of the beholder, and I suppose there was some beauty to behold in watching the Pacific waves crash into the rocks along the islands’ eastern flank. I suppose as well that the Bering Sea conjured up images of Russia, and, after all, the city of Vladivostok was visible from Attu, the last island on the Aleutian Chain. There was beauty in the sun that made an all too infrequent appearance. For those few precious moments, moods shifted and there seemed a palpable cheerfulness in the air.

I was in Section Three of the three sections that governed our small piece of paradise we called ‘Radio City’. Radio City housed 150 men and was isolated and some miles from the Naval Operations Base (NOB), a much bigger facility with dependents quarters and many more activities…where we only had beer, NOB had any drink order anyone would want – in relatively fancy and lush surroundings.  Each section at Radio City worked three shifts and took a couple of days off – an evening shift 4:00PM to Midnight, a morning shift 8:00AM to 4:00PM, and a night shift Midnight to 8:00AM. Each section had its bar – or, Gedunk – manager and its snack bar manager. There was an arts and leather crafts hobby room, a small library, and a photography room.

Some of my Navy School buddies arrived on ‘The Rock’ prior to my arrival so they got the ego trips of showing me the ropes and getting me drunk on green beer my first night aboard…my great upheaval of which caused quite a stir later in our barracks. Being the popular fellow that I was, I was appointed to the beer bar management team – well, more or less…I bartended and got to stay after closing hours, helped clean up the joint, and stayed in the ‘hideaway bar office’ all night drinking with my buddies, telling jokes, pausing, getting a little sad when we talked about home, our girlfriends and/or wives.

So, you get the drift of the routine… The radio work – the ‘di-da-ditting’ and other prime duties – was interesting and kept us busy during our work shifts. It was during those days off when we got a little crazy – as in drunk and rowdy, creating issues that didn’t really exist, then fighting about them – just temporary insanities that were fabricated and fleeting. Actually, there was a camaraderie that came during that Naval tour of duty, and, years later, I’m finding myself at times thinking about Mel Smunk, Billy Oaks, Billy Barrett, and so many other of my drinking pals whose images are locked in my memory vault. We forged an alliance that saw us through some tough days, weeks, and months. We saw the withering will of many take them to the edge of some awful darkness. ‘The Rock’ could do that to you, and maybe some of that wasteland dreariness and loneliness made us less or more of what we became later in life.

As much as ‘The Rock’ left its bitter green beer taste I can still look back with a fond recall of some chaps who made my life bearable. And I wonder where they are now. Are they still among the living? Do they remember as I do those long nights of drinking, of consoling one another, of the dreams we shared, and the long walks back to the barracks and a fitful sleep? Do they remember some of the made-up incidents just to get our juices flowing – like, the time the story was made-up that a group of naughty girls were flying in from the states to give us special service? We even began to believe our own made-up story. Do they remember how many times we wrote in a letter home that ‘There’s a girl behind every tree’ on Adak?

Okay, no girls, no trees (except for the planted saplings that have maybe grown tall by now), just tundra, cold gray skies, and a small piece of an island called ‘Radio City’ that either added to our growth as men, or, took a piece of us to which we cannot put words. We saw no real war on Adak, but we did some play acting and maneuvers. And, we did see a little bit of hell in the uncaring snows, tundra, williwaws, and in the unrelenting repetition of days…just one hundred fifty men emotionally counting the days when they would leave ‘The Rock’ for home.

If you’re still around, guys, I’m thinking of you here in ‘Twilight’…

Billy Ray Chitwood – February 14, 2015

Thought I might mention one of my titles which in some ways is shameful, and, hopefully, in other ways, soul cleansing. The title, What Happens Next? A Life’s True Tale looks back on my days of romance and my search for a deepening faith. It is honest, true to my memory, and perhaps touches on some important parts of each life. Hopefully, you will give it a read and an amazon review.

What Happens Next - 9


Amazon US: http://www.

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My Links: (My bio and books) (Bio and links) (Independent Author Network – IAN – Bio/Books) (@brchitwood) (Main FB page) (My FB ‘Books & Like’ page)  (My books for ‘free preview’)

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NOTE: My other six blog awards of which I’m very proud do not appear in this post in consideration of space.

‘Variety is the Spice’


Variety is the Spice!

(Aah, he’s at it again!)

Our DNAs and experiential yardsticks give us our make of the world in which we live. The disparity of views is Amazing, Bewildering, and Comical – the ABC Syndrome, if you will, opens wide the doors for our many amusements and biased conversations, polemic and otherwise. Somewhere in the ancient history of our country, we came up with the phrases, ‘Freedom of Speech’, ‘Equality for All’, ‘Free Enterprise’, and ‘We, The People’.

Okay, where is he going with this gibberish, you ask?

However we got there, each of us holds to some beliefs about our world – how we choose a faith, how we choose which political party’s platform to accept, how we choose the friends we have, how we choose the movies and sports events we want to see, the books we read, on and on.

A simple man, with not the brightest light to shine, all my life I’ve been, well, amazed, bewildered, and comically amused about all the disparities of thought in our country. It is difficult for me to understand how I can believe as strongly as I do about certain matters while others believe just as strongly another way. Really, I want a fair, good, and just country, like most people seem to want. The ways of getting to that fair, good, and just country, depending on which side you are on, can sometimes appear so condescendingly wrong and without good historical rationale.

So, we have Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, fundamentalists, atheists, the majority, the minority, all verbally slugging it out while we go to hell in a proverbial hand basket. The mad people across the oceans and seas in the Middle East have been fighting forever, and now we have the Islamic Terrorists factions chopping off heads, burning people alive, and threatening our own shores…to be sure, they have already been here and left their deathly calling cards. It is simple for me, people want to kill me, chop my head off, we kill them – not in the name of anything holy, but just because it is the only way to stop the ideological idiots that say ‘their way or the highway’.

Like I say, I am a simple man and my mind purveys simple truths. What do so many people in the high offices know that I do not know? When does the madness I perceive end? If variety is the spice of life, it seems to me we’ve gone to the outer edges…

We elect/hire people for our various governments – local, state, federal – and we expect them to always have ‘we the people’ interests in every decision they make. In one way or another some of these people we elect/hire get some sort of power ‘kick’ and veer off into greed and incompetency…that’s when it becomes politics and not good management. Some of these people we elect/hire to work for us make their jobs about them – delivering perks to themselves that we do not have and lose what noble ideology they might have initially embraced.

These are the outer edges where temptations come calling, where the people we elect/hire forget that there are limits to spending ‘we the people’ dollars, that there is just so much they can do to equal the playing field for all of us…there must be programs to help those who truly need, and there should be fail-safe systems in place to preclude fraud and manipulation. The United States has a Constitution that is the blueprint for a free society. Some believe that Constitution is being taken apart by those who want not ‘we the people’ but a massive system of bureaucracies to control our lives.

There are games we can buy to amuse ourselves. Our freedom and liberty comes at a high price and are not games – they are guarantees. The people we elect/hire should not take them to the outer edges for their own grandiose socialistic theories. Change can be good. Change can also be bad…therein lies the conundrum. Some of our people go to their jobs and enjoy their social activities with very little factual knowledge about the great country in which they live. The time is past due to overhaul a unionized Education system and allow ‘choices’ for the families who want the best for their children.

Politicians can be good. Politicians can be bad. In our world today where we fight a new kind of war, ‘Islamic Terrorism’, we seem to forget the meaning of the word, ‘illegal’, as in ‘illegal immigrants’, and our borders are porous and in dire need of being made secure. Yet, it’s a political football tossed around in so many directions by so many of those we elect/hire to handle such business. Security should be the number one priority for elected/hired people – along with Education, Economy and Jobs, a strong Military, Intelligence Gathering…

Is it not imperative that we move back from the ‘outer edges’ of political thought and return to our fundamental ideals and values?

It seems I have given a sophomoric lecture about the state of our union, about the politicians who play at the ‘outer edges’, perhaps merely a rant and rave with little substance and short on answers. What if I could be wrong about all of which I have written here? What if what I so stubbornly hold to be the truth is not the truth? My life’s experiences, the words of history, force me to believe so. Words can be empty and without any force, but they are here in Twilight my freedom of expression.

It is my hope that these words do not offend anyone… It is just that our country, in my thinking, is at a critical juncture in history. I truly believe we need new leaders who can manage the people’s affairs, have a great sense of history’s lessons, and a sincere desire to constitutionally act with transparency and truth.

It should be apparent to even ‘dinosaurs’ like me that change can be good, but let the change not repeat the mistakes of historical records. Who among us wish to live without our freedom and liberty?

Billy Ray Chitwood – February 7, 2015

Joe Public’s Political Perspective is the book I’m featuring this week. It has not the pundit’s words, the political analyst’s words, simply the thoughts of a citizen who is concerned about the future of his country – for his children, grandchildren, his friends and neighbors. Some will perhaps enjoy the simple musings. Others will not. But here it is for your consideration.



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SOME LINKS: (Independent Author Network – My Bio/Books) (My personal website) (@brchitwood)


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A Night in the Life of An Author


A Night in the Life of an Author

Tired, weary from another day of grocery shopping with the wife and working on his new book as much as possible, the man time and again turns his body on the big firm bed seeking the best position for sleep. He moves a small pillow between his knees to protect his joints. He curls his right arm around his head, his left arm straight to his side, then turns and does it all again. In spite of himself, he smiles in the dark at the idiocy of his routine for settling in bed. Finally he settles into a position he believes will work for him.

Then, his mind begins its replay of the day’s short session of writing. He is at a critical section in the book where he needs some action to enliven the narrative. He has two undercover sheriff’s deputies sitting with a Mexican informant at a table in a Mexican cantina on the Arizona border. The cantina is on the Mexican side of the border, and the object of their surveillance is a middle-aged rotund Mexican with a moustache, sitting just a few tables away with bodyguards and presumably coyote runners.

His mind dilemma? Does he start the action inside the cantina or wait out the mark and his bodyguards until they exit the smelly joint? The deputies and informant are drinking beer and telling jokes, acting out so as to fit in the milieu. His mind is alive with ideas. He must choose the most believable and the most exciting scenario for the action.

The man is settled on his right side and he now looks out the large window and sees the full moon shining through. The moon is bright, sharply outlined in the big pane of glass. He has always heard about ‘the man in the moon’ and he finds himself staring, trying to make out the ‘man’, but he cannot see the image. He gets out of bed and goes to the alcove window, repositions a stuffed chair and sits and covers every visible area on the moon. He cannot see ‘the man in the moon’. He sits there for some thirty minutes trying to see an image that apparently no one has any trouble seeing – he’s heard about ‘the man in the moon’ all his life. Why the hell can’t he see it?

Now, the man is irked. He’s thinking all the people who have mentioned ‘the man in the moon’ have put one over on him…there really isn’t an image of a man in the stupid moon.  He puts the chair back in its normal position in the alcove and goes back to bed, goes through his routine of getting settled…away from the moon.

The man is back to his book, back with his characters in the cantina in the Mexican border town, deciding just how he wants the action to play out. He thinks that he finally has a good piece of narrative for the action scene and now he’s got to tinkle. He gets up, goes to the bathroom, and he’s standing over the porcelain hole when he sees the moon again out the window. So, he’s studying the moon, looking for ‘the man’ and still can’t find him.

When he looks down he discovers he has dribbled his urine all over the freaking floor. He rolls off a big wad of toilet paper and wipes it all up. He rolls off another big wad of paper, goes to the sink and wets it down at the faucet, goes back and wipes again. Okay, so now he’s got the floor wet with the water and he rolls another big wad of toilet paper and wipes until the area is dry. He throws all the wads of paper in the toilet and flushes.

He’s walking out of the bathroom when he hears the water overflowing the toilet bowl and onto the tiled floor. Now, he says a few choice words and hopes he hasn’t awakened his wife. He finds the plunger and does the plunging until the water settles back to where it’s supposed to be.

Now, he’s got to clean the floor again so he tiptoes to the kitchen, grabs a full roll of paper towels, and goes tiptoeing back to the bathroom. It takes him some thirty minutes and six trips back to the kitchen garbage compactor to get the job done.

Finally, breathing heavily, he’s back in bed doing his settling routine. A few minutes later he’s about to fall off to sleep and the damned cat starts meowing, gets up on the bed, walks on the man’s legs and body, gets down, gets back up, and his wife is a sound sleeper but getting aroused. When the cat jumps off the bed like the fourth time the man gets up to chase him out of the room and lock him out, but he trips over the damned animal and falls on his keister.

The man involuntarily lets out a squeal as his foot hits a chair leg. He lies there on the carpet while the wife softly moans and never wakes up. He sighs, gets up, now doesn’t know where the cat is and very carefully slides his feet forward little by little toward the bedroom door. He sees the cat out in the hallway outside the door and rushes to get the door closed before he can get back in. He quickly closes the door but the bottom corner whacks him on the big toe. He involuntarily squeals again…his wife softly snorts but remains asleep.

He gets the door closed, carefully in the dark limps his way back to bed and goes once more through his settling routine. No more book business. It is time for sleep. His bed turning wakes his wife.

“You just getting to bed, honey? Could you get me a glass of water while you’re up?”

Have some misery! You know it loves company!

Billy Ray Chitwood – January 31, 2015

(Incidentally, the book referenced above will be out hopefully sometime this spring or summer… Some years ago, in a house move, I lost the manuscript to this book so I’m rewriting it…at that time the working title was “Stranger Abduction” – it will likely stay the same.)

The book I’m touting this week is Mama’s Madness. It was a tough book to write because of the subject matter, inspired by a California case many years ago…a mother from hell who tortured her kids and murdered two of her ex-husbands. It was a book with some embellishment but many of the scenes in the book actually happened. It is difficult to believe such evil exists… Give it a read and a review!

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Snow on the Bluegrass

snow scene

Snow on the Bluegrass

Our land of Lincoln has a four-inch blanket of snow this morning under a pale blue sunny sky. With the snow comes a palpable silence as though the land needs its inhabitants to quietly study their lives before the thaw comes. The trees point their long white leafless fingers in all directions in seemingly some ancient act of purification, an invitation to all to consider new possibilities for change and abstention of prior misdeeds…a glorification of perhaps life’s ultimate meanings and purpose, yet one more way to speak the words of Ecclesiastes…simply a time to reassess our belief systems and allow that just maybe there is a greater source and sustenance of our humble existence.

Billy Ray Chitwood – January 24, 2015 (Bio and Books)

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The Bear Cub and Baby Doe

babydoe-120x150 bear cub

The Bear Cub and Baby Doe

Steady drops fell from the melting icicles along the eaves with a monotonous sound which finally brought irritation to Miles Barrett. He was self-possessed with finishing the manuscript…so very close to the end of his mystery novel and having trouble with the ending. After the fourth correction in the last minute he was getting angry with the dripping sound. The arrival of sun this morning had renewed his energy for editing, re-writing, and possibly completing his manuscript.

A tall handsome man with a three-day beard and disheveled brown hair stopped and slapped his right hand on the desk, ran both hands through his unruly hair and cursed when he touched the cow-lick that had been with him all his life. In his instant pique he was aware that he was being silly with this behavior. He smiled and muttered softly, ‘You’re losing it, buddy!’

Miles quickly rose and left the loft office, descended the stairs, grabbed a broom, and went out the front door. For the next ten minutes he walked around the deck and knocked the icicles from the eaves. ‘Ah, no more drips!’ he said aloud and walked toward the front door. The weather report reported 50 degrees but it seemed much warmer, and he was comfortable in his jeans and pullover sweater.

As he approached the front door entry Miles noticed movement and noise down by the cabin’s propane tank. Woods surrounded the property and opened to a canyon at the back of the cabin. The tank was on the edge of the bluff and five acres of surrounding forest at the southern portion of the cabin. Other cabins were nearby but could not be seen through the trees.

Again, Miles noticed movement of brush and noise on the far side of the tank and decided to walk cautiously closer. Instinctively he picked up a dead three-foot tree branch that had fallen during one of the recent storms…the branch would afford modest protection from an unknown animal and predator. Miles pressed his body against the rounded bluff-end of the tank and prepared to peer around it when a loud baying sound erupted and made him involuntarily quake in his short boots. He could run for the cabin, or, he could look around the tank and see the commotion… He looked around the tank…

Miles’ eyes did some wild blinking…there in front of him was a bear cub and baby doe. The baby doe scampered some twenty feet, stopped, looked back, and wavered, to run deeper into the forest of trees or to stay. The bear cub eyed the strange man standing in front of him, eyed the baby doe, and ran to join the doe. Now, both the bear cub and the baby doe eyed Miles, as if to say, ‘What is it you want? We’re just playing here!’

Miles found himself talking to the animals. “Hey, guys, I mean you no harm. Go ahead and play… You’re both so beautiful!” He smiled and felt inane.

Then, a funny thing happened… They ignored Miles and began joyfully playing, the cub giving a feint growling sound and gently pawing the flanks of the doe, while the doe pawed back playfully and occasionally rubbed its head in an affectionate way against the rough fur of the bear cub.

Miles stood, fascinated by the interplay of the two animals. He had received e-mails from people showing animals of different kinds playing or cuddling with each other in the wild. Now, he could believe those magnificent displays of nature.

As he stood there, his mind churned and spilled out metaphors for human behavior. This display in front of him was one of the most beautiful scenes he had ever experienced. He leaned there against the propane tank and watched, spell-bound by the lovely creatures at play. He could not say how long he stood and watched the animals.

Suddenly, there was a mighty roar from somewhere in the woods. It sounded to Miles like an impatient bear roar.

The small cub in front of Miles jumped with the sound and cutely scurried through the trees. The baby doe gave Miles one last look and gracefully bound away.

All became quiet in the forest. Miles walked back to the cabin, up to writing loft, and deleted the entire last chapter of his manuscript. What he had just seen would be embellished and serve as his ending.

To think, inspiration for writing could be all around us.

Miles would have a beautiful story to tell his wife when she returned from shopping… If he had only captured those scenes with his camera! But then, in retrieving the camera, he could have lost all that beauty.

Billy Ray Chitwood – January 17, 2015

If you like romance, love, and murder in combustible pages, you might want to read my novel, The Reluctant Savage, a noir-type fast-paced romp that includes a love triangle mixed with some dark and evil business. The characters have 3-D dimension, are portrayed well, and the action is set in Phoenix, Arizona. I could tell you that the book has some 5-Star reviews on Amazon, but it is likely much better that you determine a rating after you read it. So, dig in, read it, have some fun, and leave your own Amazon Review… I had a ball writing it!



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