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!

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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://www.about.me/brchitwood

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

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

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

http://amazon.com/author/billyraychitwood

Nine Blog Awards, including:

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Do You Know This Man?

Do You Know This Man?

No?

I knew him, not so well, some forty years ago…he was a devotee of the Phoenix neon night life, searching for parts of himself he lost along the emotional road from Appalachia: lost in an abusive and disoriented childhood; lost in a flawed and impetuous marriage; lost in the glittering promise of booze and lovely ladies. Yes, I knew him, not so well, as he made all his stumbles along the way, losing not only himself but the connections to family and friends, to the people who loved him.

Yes, of course, I’m the man in the photo, and there’s a lot more to the story…hope you’ll read THE CRACKED MIRROR, Reflections of an Appalachian Son, by Billy Ray Chitwood.

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Amazon US: goo.gl/x459WR

 Amazon UK: goo.gl/oyc499

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

*** Continue reading

The Magic of Words

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The Magic of Words

Has it happened to you? A heated argument with the co-worker, the spouse, or a political debate with someone of a different persuasion? When the argument is over and you sit alone still stewing about the words that were exchanged, does your mind then tease you with what you should have said during those moments of verbal intensity? There in that stillness of solitude, just you and your alter ego, do you conjure up all the magical words and phrases that would have established your dominance in the situation?

Well, of course, there are people of confidence and conviction who accept the finality of a discourse and waste not their time in the waffling of details.

So, where is it I’m going with this?

Well, I guess I’m one of those guys who does not think too well on his feet. It is usually after the argument in my quiet place that I find much better responses than were offered in the heat of ‘battle’.

So it is when I write a book, short story, flash fiction. There in my solitude a subtle magic comes to me and words flow smoothly in those rare moments. No, it is not a constant magic that stays with me through an entire writing project. There are times when I struggle to find the right words and phrases to fit my stories. To whatever degree my words find their way to an appreciative audience, I can only precipitate that with establishing my ‘brand’ and marketing to the best of my ability. Some authors market their books better than others, not to say their products are not deserving. As in any endeavor there are those who become masters of their trade. There are those who are working on becoming very good. There are those who love to write but cannot seem to find that ‘magic’ of which I speak. My books are not masterpieces but they are easy, fun, good reads…I would love to write a techno-thriller but it’s doubtful my mind could stay the convoluted course of such books – I do envy the great writers who do pen them.

It is my belief that we become writers because of the magic of words. In my case, when I pen a phrase that conveys a thought so exquisitely I’m like a kid with a new toy. When an entire chapter becomes in my mind cohesive and well structured, I’m silly with delight. And, finally, when all the edits, proofreading are done, there is pure ecstasy…oh, there will still be careless mistakes, noun-verb disagreements, typos, and a missing quotation mark. I’m stubborn and want the entire writing project – re-writes, edits, proofreading – to fall on me…not too professional, I know, but I want to be the one-man publishing house. The point, however, is the magic that occurs in those sessions of solitude, the words and phrases that come from a divine source.

The point is finding some pieces of me in that writing place of solitude…many of the pieces I like…others, not so much!

Billy Ray Chitwood – May 16, 2015

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            http://authl.it/1sv                http://authl.it/1r2               http://authl.it/1SQ

Three of my twelve books are listed above – all inspired by true events. An Arizona Tragedy is book one of six in the ‘Bailey Crane Mystery Series’. The Arizona actress brutally murdered in this book was a personal friend of the author. A Common Evil is Book six of the series. Each book in the series stands alone and four of the books were inspired by true events. The’Bailey Crane Mysteries’ are fast, fun reads with a different kind of musing ‘Sherlock’. Mama’s Madness (not part of the ‘Bailey Crane Series) is a riveting story inspired by true crimes of a California mother…a mother from hell! Try one or all. If so inclined, please leave an amazon review…the author’s life blood. Thank you. My other books can be previewed at http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com

Some Links:

http://www.about.me/brchitwood

http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com

http://amazon.com/author/billyraychitwood

http://facebook.com/billyray.chitwood

http://facebook.com/billyrayscorner (books)

https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard

https://www.linkedin.com

http://askdavid.com/books/11070

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

I’ve been honored and privileged to receive nine ‘Blog Award Nominations’, which I normally show in my posts…in the interest of space, they are are not shown here.

Young Woman on the Grass

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Young Woman on the Grass

The young woman in lavender pants and top outfit walked along the gravel road toward an old red barn. Her steps were slow and her head was down, walking without sense of purpose, her face forlorn, lost in the prison of her mind with an undeniable sadness that softly crunched the gravel on each short step she took. She was a pretty girl with long brown hair, and her soft blue eyes only embellished the anguish she conveyed in these few moments.

Ross and Penny Goodwin sat reading in their ‘sun room’ near the gravel road. The road was on their property, but that was of no concern to them. “There’s a girl walking up the road toward the barn,” he announced.

The wife put her book down and looked out the window. “Does it bother you that she’s on our property?”

“No, that doesn’t bother me…but look at her, the slow steps with her head down. The girl is in misery about something…broke up with a boyfriend, going through a divorce, death in the family…”

The man and wife spent a few moments watching the girl’s slow walk up the rise to the barn. Then, she was out of sight. The couple spent several minutes conjuring up the possible reasons for the girl’s dismay, then went back to their reading.

In a few minutes, the girl reappeared and was sitting on the grass near the couple’s lily pond. The man thought he saw her crying…”I’m going down and see if I can help”, the man said. “This is depressing me!”

As the girl watched the man approach she began to rise. “This your property?” she asked.

“Yes, but you don’t have to leave. Is there anything my wife and I can do to help you? Obviously, you’re in some kind of pain.”

“You’re a kind man… No there is nothing you can do,” the girl muttered.

“I’m sorry, I don’t hear so well. What did you say?”

“Thank you for your concern, sir…”

Then, she was gone, back on the gravel road slow-walking back the way she came.

Back inside the sunroom, the wife asked: “What did she have to say?”

“Nothing, except, ‘Thanks for your concern’. She may not be telling us but that girl is going through something really bad…”

Ross Goodwin could not get the young woman out of his mind, and his wife began feeling annoyance with his constant observations. “My goodness, Ross, you sound like a man possessed. Was she so pretty that you felt some youthful stirrings? Should I be jealous? It sounds like you fell in love with the girl.”

“Don’t be silly, Penny! There was just something eerie about that girl that sticks in my craw. Eat your dinner… I’ll be quiet about it.”

A few weeks passed, and Ross Goodwin spoke no more to Penny about the strange encounter with the young woman. The girl, however, never left his mind…there was an itch he could not scratch and each time he looked at the gravel road and the pond, she came alive in his mind.

One evening while visiting close neighbors for dinner the men sat in the den enjoying cocktails while the women were kitchen-bound with meal preparations. At a lull in the men’s conversation Ross told his neighbor about the young woman and how she had haunted his mind since that day. Ross spent a lengthy time describing the girl and how sad and pitiful she looked, how she was dressed, and how she so soon wandered away.

“Darn, Ross, sounds like you’re describing to a tee Adalee McPhail, right down to her clothes. Her parents were our good friends and lived in the area for years before going to Arizona. Adalee stayed behind, married a man much older, and Adalee gave birth to a premature Mongoloid baby boy. You will never find a more devoted mother than Adalee…she doted on the kid and truly loved the boy. The husband, Eugene, was on the road a lot – insurance sales – and Adalee carried the whole load. The barn road and pond was her favorite spot in the whole area…”

“Was? Sounds like we’re talking about different people. The girl I saw and talked to at the pond was just a month ago.”

The neighbor snapped his fingers… “Wait just a minute. I’ve got an album I want you to see.”

The neighbor placed the album on Ross’ lap and flipped to a few pages near the back of the album. “This is the McPhail family,” and, pointing to a couple, “and this is Adalee and the man she married. This is not the girl you saw, correct?”

Ross Goodwin was stunned. His face suddenly paled. Then, stumbling with his words, he spoke: “Yes, that is the girl I saw… When were these pictures taken?” Ross asked.

“Fifteen, twenty years ago.”

“My God! I’m going crazy! I saw her, Whitley, up close, even talked to her! Penny saw her. This young woman could not have been more than twenty-two, twenty-three years old. But that picture is her!” The men exchanged puzzled stares, and Ross spoke again, “Do you know where Adalee is today?”

“Yes, I’m sorry, Ross, but she’s dead! The awful stress was ultimately too much for the poor woman. She committed suicide…jumped from a bridge into the river below.”

A palpable silence fell over the room, and, for a moment, both men shivered as a cool breeze passed by them.

The two men looked at each other, their faces blanched. When warmth returned to the room, Whitley carefully replaced the album, then sat next to his neighbor. Each man drank in silence, emptying their highball glasses.

“Damn, Ross, that’s just plain creepy!”

Flash Fiction by Billy Ray Chitwood – May 8, 2015

If you like mystery, suspense, crime, romance, thrillers, you would like one of my books – my twelve books are really ‘fun’ reads…some are inspired by true crimes and events…hope you will give them a try, maybe leave a review on Amazon. It is a fact that reviews are an author’s life blood…I’m just saying! You can find my books on http://www.amazon.com/author/billyraychitwood, or, on my personal website – http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com – just scan down the ‘home’ page after a short bio sketch.

Some links to my sites:

http://www.about.me/brchitwood

http://www.goo.gl/fuxUA

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

http://askdavid.com/books/11070

http://facebook.com/billyray.chitwood (Main page)

http://facebook.com/billyrayscorner (Books)

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

https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard

Love Summit

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Love Summit

She was going to die!

John was going to die! He was twenty feet above her, and she could hear him weakly calling her name, “Maria,” he threw his head back, mouth agape, willing more air to come. “Maria, we’re almost there…please try…try for me!” He fell from his knees onto his back in the snow, looking skyward, his goggles covered in snow dust, uttering a silent prayer. My God! What have I done? Please help us! His body was in agony but he slowly turned and inched his way down to Maria.

Maria’s mind teased her with contradictory thoughts of warmth, all the many yesterdays of family and love, only to gasp, to remember to breathe the raw, short swooning wisps of air. With some robotic memory tap, she remembered her husband and forced her head to turn up the blinding mountain of snow. She could see a fuzzy gray shadowy figure wriggling snake-like down the slope toward her. Soon she heard the raspy muted voice calling out her name and she knew it was John… Was he just getting home from the office? She should pour their cocktails… She would tell him about Karl and Kristie’s first day at school, the cute ‘grown-up’ expressions the twins used in describing their day… Most of all, Maria wanted John’s lingering embrace and kisses… But, wait! The snow! The white blinding snow of the slope! Remembering to breathe! The Gasping for the thin and uncaring air. She tried to call out his name but no sound would come, only the greedy grasping for another breath of thin air.

Then they were together, side by side, gazing without trying to speak all the words they wanted to say – words of love and ‘forever yours’. Even as their bodies were near the end their nearly frozen lips formed endearing smiles for each other… Their chance meeting at a church social had brought them that rare storybook romance, a union seldom interrupted by harsh words… Family vacations that filled their albums with laughs, loving moments, and discovery… Their dream home where weekends were filled with backyard barbecues, games, movies in the theatre room and all the popcorn the kids could eat… The love making and cuddling when the hectic but wonderful days ended, when they talked about the events shaping their world, until sleep claimed them in sweet embrace…

Now, here on this steep slope, they somehow embraced as the cold and snow was about to claim them, their near-frozen lips almost touching and their half-closed eyes locked in some eternal union…

It was in these final moments that a sound came to John and Maria, low and cavernous like an insect buzz or a lawn tractor mowing the grass on their acre lot. The sound got louder and suddenly stopped. Voices! They heard voices, getting louder, and, in some unknowable place within their beings there came a faint glimmer of hope. Their bodies wanted to move, to greet this possible miracle…yet, they had read and knew the tricks the mind could play – perhaps this was another dimension they were entering, God’s kingdom, that biblical paradise to which they had pledged their faith. They continued to gaze into the other’s benign eyes until their lids could no longer bear the weight of so many thoughts.

As the snow’s bright whiteness filled the space behind their closed lids, they felt their bodies gently lifted and borne away…

Flash fiction by Billy Ray Chitwood – May 1, 2015

Should you care to read my novels of mystery, romance, suspense, many of which inspired by true events, please visit my website: http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com – With Amazon buy sites.

Your reviews on Amazon are greatly appreciated — reviews are authors’ life blood.

Please follow my blog… I try to post at least once a week… Eye surgery has made me a little tardy, but I’m back on track. Thank you for following. I’m honored and proud to have been nominated for nine blog awards, including:

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Some Links:

http://www.about.me/brchitwood

http://twitter.com (@brchitwood – Please follow me if so inclined!)

http://www.amazon.com/Billy-Ray-Chitwood/e/B00502520Q

http://askdavid.com/books/11070

http://amazon.com/author/billy-ray-chitwood

http://facebook.com/billyray.chitwood

http://facebook.com/billyrayscorner

http://linkedin.com/dashboard/author/billy-ray-chitwood

You Are Home

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You Are Home

Time and again the thunder ball rolled through the gray cloud cluster that covered the world. Streaks of lightning pierced the darkening sky. Winds raced fifty miles an hour, creating ominous whistle sounds. Flashes of light and fire came with a sharp crack as trees were targeted by the storm. Then the whole earth shook! Objects and people fell where they stood. Great fissures came loudly rippling, tearing up the ground, splitting hills and boulders.

Families gathered in their homes, frightened by the ferocity of Nature, wondering if this was truly the end of the world. Was this the predestined Apocalypse mentioned in one of the great books of history?

Armies were positioned throughout the world to do battle but were now confused and in disarray. The strange storm raged across the globe. Nations’ leaders were unable to communicate, fail safe systems not performing.

Apprehension, fear of terrorism came quickly to the masses. Those of Faith prayed to their God. The Non-believers were held in a mind paralysis, now mute in their own self-doubt.

When the noisy shaky orbiting of earth fell calm and silent, high in the sky came countless white doves, spreading across the sky, chanting in wondrous cadence – Going Home! Over and over, the chant was heard across the world, and, in a blink of an eye and a flash people began to vanish.

When the chant stopped, when the doves disappeared from the sky, the people of malice and war still on earth picked up their weapons of destruction and spewed their venom of hate until the cacophony of their evil shattered their mass and they were no more.

The earth suddenly morphed into a lovely golden hue, streets lined with perfectly formed trees and walkways. Lakes and meadows appeared where there once were battlefields. Everywhere the air was sweet-smelling with intoxicating freedom, good will, and peace.

Then, the good people of the earth returned, preceded by the white doves chanting – You Are Home!

Billy Ray Chitwood – April, 2015

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Amazon Buy Sites:

Amazon US: http://www.goo.gl/I6g88L

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

Amazon Worldwide: http://authl.it/1u8

Each life has a story to tell. Each of us in so many ways tell that story. This piece of Non-Fiction, What Happens Next? A Life’s True Tale, even with some of the shame that comes with it, tells my story…actually, it’s the brother of my fictional memoir, The Cracked Mirror – Reflections of an Appalachian Son…ninety per cent true. The aforementioned book is one hundred per cent true. Even within the books of fiction, mystery, suspense, romance I have written, my story is told – on and between the lines. Hope you have an opportunity to read What Happens Next? A Life’s True Tale and other books of mine. Of course, an amazon review is most welcome.

My Links:

http://www.about.me/brchitwood

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

http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com (Bio/books – My website)

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

http://facebook.com/billyray.chitwood (Main FB page)

http://facebook.com/billyrayscorner (Books by Billy Ray)

https://goodreads.com/author/dashboard

http://www.goo.gl/LwhLCG (linkedin.com) 

(Also on Tumblr and StumbleOn

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PLUS EIGHT OTHER BLOG AWARDS!

History Teaches

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History Teaches

History teaches us so much but it cannot keep pace with our arrogance and ignorance!

Each generation carries with it the movers and the shakers, those simply living clean wholesome lives, obeying the laws, looking to survive, and the Jerry Springer witless wonders, robotic brewers of brawn and monosyllabic tantrums. With the world’s multi-billion people-mix of colors, creeds, languages, political, and religious persuasions it might be rather remarkable that we have not imploded by now, or, perhaps more apt, exploded. Our geniuses have given us all the once unimaginable tools for Armageddon. Each nation appears to separate its populations into politically diverse groups with leaders, some chosen by the people, some by coups, others by anarchy and revolution.

Now, with generations of anger and hatred fueling their actions, Islamic terrorists by the tens of thousands come to show us barbaric ways to kill, to threaten openly for all the world to know that their deity proclaims their way the only way… The infidels who dare challenge or do not submit to their new world order will die in hideous ways.

So, if ever the entire world needed to come together to form a massive coalition to destroy these defiant monsters of morality, it is now. It does not take an IQ in the genius range to understand that the world is most definitely at a crucial crossroad in the history of humankind. It will take the sane and sensible leaders of the world to combine their forces and their machinery of destruction to clear the planet of this terrorism scourge. And, it must be the United States that takes up this noble effort to unify nations, to commit every option of its military forces in leading this great coalition. It is well past the time for ‘aiming’. It is time to fire!

Yes, there is hope still for a world that has been hijacked for some years by the forces of Satan. Leaders must forsake the greed and power that come with leadership and think only of the people for whom they work.

Billy Ray Chitwood – March, 2015

Now, might I interest you in Book Two of ‘The Bailey Crane Mystery Series’ – with each book in the six-book series standing alone but showing the progression of the central character. In Satan’s Song, a distraught mother seeks out Bailey Crane after her lovely young daughter is brutally murdered. The police cannot give her the closure she needs, and Bailey cannot turn the nice lady down. This story is inspired by a Phoenix, Arizona murder some years ago, and my imagination drifted here and there to come up with this story. The killer has a penchant for classical music, and the ending will blow you away… Hope you can read it and perhaps give it an Amazon review.

Satan's Song Nook Size`

BUY SITES:

Amazon US: http://www.goo.gl/ko2AW8

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

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

Some links to my network:

http://www.about.me/brchitwood (Bio)

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

http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com (My website)

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

http://facebook.com/billyray.chitwood

http://facebook.com/billyrayscorner

http://www.goo.gl/LwhLCG (linkedin.com)