Wicked Marcie

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Wicked Marcie

“You’re a filthy beast!” she spoke as tears fell down her cheeks.

“And, what kind of beast, would you say?” his face squinted in a soft strange sadness.

The woman did not understand the expression, read it as a ‘mocking’ of the situation. She appeared cautiously in conflict with her emotions. She spoke again.

“Oh, go ahead with your ugly passion, Willard. I can’t stop you, but you can know this: I’ve never hated you more than at this moment.”

Willard stopped mid-stride and stared at the woman in the wheelchair, his brow wrinkled, his tired face showing an anguish she could not comprehend. His steps were measured and slow as he neared the wheelchair. The woman quavered and showed a fear she sought to hide. She hunched as much as she was physically able, and spoke: “Please Willard, don’t slap me again, and don’t do the other thing…please! If I ever meant anything to you, please, please, don’t go in there tonight!”

For some terrible seconds, Willard stopped, stood erect, and appeared to consider what the woman was saying. With reticence, he looked wearily into her sad eyes before responding. “It was you, Bella!” He spoke in a soft voice with a hint of some sort of pity. “You put yourself in that wheelchair when you tried to kill me. You do remember that night, don’t you, Bella?”

“I didn’t try to kill you, Willard. I only wanted to keep you away from Marcie, just trying to scare you, that’s all. I could never kill anyone. Marcie did something bad that one night, and you’ve been making her pay for it ever since. For pity’s sake, she’s only fourteen years old. You said you loved her as your own. What you’re doing is criminal and sinful.”

“You rushed me. I dodged. You went flying into the coffee table and damaged your back. I’ve gone all these weeks caring for you, Bella, while Marcie kept flaunting her blossoming body at me, smiling and inviting. You never saw any of that, Bella. Yes, it’s criminal and sinful, what you’re thinking, and I’m also a man who has needs – needs you can’t satisfy until you mend.”

“Can you so easily justify your actions against our daughter, Willard?”

“Our adopted daughter, Bella, fourteen years, going on twenty-four. I’m justifying nothing! You believe what she tells you. You don’t see her coming on to me every night. She’s insatiable in her own sexual needs, a nymphet right out of a Nabakov novel. She must be. I avoid her. I tell her it is all wrong, both legally and morally what she wants from me. That doesn’t stop her from coming to my bed each night. I never harbored a sexual need for her. It never entered my mind and still does not. You remember that night when she came out to the den in only her panties and bra. You went to bed. I was drinking and half-drunk. She tried to seduce me with her eyes, with her swinging hips, with her sitting on my lap and tormenting me with her moves.

“You came out and saw it all, Bella, and knew that it must be my fault, not Marcie’s fault, the little girl we brought home when she was six years old. You didn’t notice me trying to disengage from her that night, struggling to get her off my lap. Whether she learned about sex from her many ‘night-stay-overs’ with ‘school friends’, or, watched porno movies, she tried to seduce me with her knowledge of every move in the sexual manual. She showed me filthy pictures to seduce me. She…”

“Stop, Willard! Please, stop! I Can’t listen to your vile comments any longer.” Bella started to move her wheelchair toward her bedroom, but he stopped her.

“Just one last thing, Bella, and you can go to bed… I will say no more after these last comments. Please, hear me out.”

Bella looked down at her hands, intertwined on her lap and remained silent.

“Yes, I slapped you a few times, not hard, just enough to stop your rants about Marcie and me. You would never let me tell you what I’m saying tonight, and I’m sure you will never believe me. I’ve tried to tell you before tonight but you always get so angry – and that gets me angry, and I don’t tell you. That changes tonight…

“I have never had sex with Marcie, Bella…not that night you saw her on my lap in her panties, not any night. Yes, she comes to my room, and, in my anger, I sometimes slap her, warn her about losing her home, having her put in some squalid detention center, and come short from really strapping her, finally getting her back to her own room.

“What you saw weeks ago is all that happened, Bella. I repeat, I have never had sex with Marcie. AND, it would not have happened when you saw her on my lap. Yes, I had liquor working in my system, but I would never lose sight of my moral integrity altogether.

“I don’t know what Marcie is telling you, what kind of lurid tales she is spinning, but this I do know. She is an evil young lady, and I have spent all the time I care to spend on trying to straighten her out, talking to her in matter of fact terms, paternally and with caring feelings. AND, you need to know that, today, late this afternoon, after using up all my clear thinking in trying to save Marcie, I visited state officials and alerted them that the situation was no better than when I first reported it to them weeks ago. Yes, I reported Marcie to state officials and followed up with them on several occasions to keep them informed.

“They will be picking her up tomorrow morning. The officials are my friends, Bella, and they believe what I’ve told them. They believe me because what I’ve told them is true…they even did background checks on her former life before us, on her sinister parents.”

“My God, Willard! She’s our daughter.”

“Bella, do you not believe the words I’m telling you? Marcie is evil! I’ve tried to save her! Can’t you see that? She is telling you unsavory lies, working against us. She cannot stay any longer in this house. I truly can say, I’ve done all I can do… She now belongs to the state.

“I know this is difficult for you, but you have not seen Marcie as I’ve seen her. You have been wheelchair-bound, unable to lend your maternal counsel to her. You must know I would not lie to you about this. You know how I’ve loved you over the years…that has not changed. I still love you and long for the day you’re out of that wheelchair. Marcie is a victim of her previous parents, a ‘bad seed’, and I’ve come to know she cannot be here any longer. She is trying to hurt us, Bella. PLEASE! Understand that.”

Tears rushed down Bella’s face, and she could see the tears on Willard’s face as well.

With some effort, she reached a hand upward to her husband. Willard caressed the hand, kissed it, held it against his cheek for some seconds, and smiled gently down at his wife.

“Now, you must go to bed and get your rest…”

Bella tried to speak, to give one last attempt at saving Marcie, but she knew, now, without any doubt, that Willard had spoken the truth to her. Her voice rendered incapable of speech by the tears, she sighed deeply, slowly shook her head as Willard wheeled his distraught wife to the bedroom.

Willard pulled the bed cover up to her chin, and, as he took a sleep capsule from a pill bottle on the bedside table, he spoke gently and with love.

“Take the pill, dear Bella. You need aid to get you to sleep and away from the thoughts. Take also my love and know that, tomorrow begins the first day of the rest of our lives. All our days will be happy and good after this darkness leaves us.”

Bella took the sleeping pill, wiped her eyes with a soft tissue and allowed Willard a kiss goodnight.

***

When three state officials arrived the next morning, no one answered their front door ring.

Concerned because the dire circumstance of their visit, they jimmied the door and entered.

An odd odor greeted them, along with splattered blood on the tiled floors and walls of the master bedroom.

A portion of the big king-sized bed was covered with the blood of Bella, half-covered on the bed, her face oddly peaceful as though still sleeping.

Stretched across Bella’s lower body was Willard, his own blood oozing out of the multiple stab wounds to his now mutilated pajama top.

The officials searched the other rooms of the house but could not find Marcie.

“Oh, my God!” cried the lone lady in the group. “It must be obvious that Marcie murdered her adoptive parents. We need to alert the Sheriff’s office and the State Police.”

Flash Fiction by Billy Ray Chitwood – June 7, 2017

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Custard-Filled Doughnuts and Sunsets

Custard-filled Doughnuts and Sunsets

Dreamers and Romantics have a keen sensitivity to life, some mysterious alchemy within their souls that mark their steps through time and dimension.

They see the sun pausing, creating a great palette of lucent magic as it makes its final descent into the morning on the other side of the world. Something stirs within the Dreamers and Romantics, and they must somehow celebrate this mystique that sight can only present. They cannot embrace this beauty they behold, cannot feel the orgasmic wonder that comes with the climactic end of two joined in making love.

There is an intense urge to capture this supreme moment of sunset, so the Dreamer and Romantic compose their lines of verse, their songs of longing and love. Words will come but they must be noble, virtuous, and worthy of this scene that has aroused   their souls.

It is so as well with the novelist, short story, and flash fiction writer. There is a need to express some inner desire, some exposition of a great notion or theory.

Are these Dreamers and Romantics special people among the masses?

Perhaps they are to those who like to read, who like the singular turning of a phrase, a poem, story – those who have other talents, those who design and build our great structures, our bridges, our roads, those who fly our planes, drive our buses and trains, those who sweep our streets, clean our houses.

I’m a Dreamer and Romantic! I love that sunset and a lovely woman with whom to share it. As Lord David Prosser might say, I want to hug that sunset! What I believe David is saying (if he were to say it),  The sunset is so beautiful that spoken words fail to express the exalted feeling…you want to hug it, make love to it, more than just say, it’s beautiful!

That is why we have Dreamers and Romantics writing, painting, composing music – and, at times, being real pains in the arses. Some can be rascals, malcontents, arrogant, pompous, perhaps thinking they are a special breed…well, actually, they are! Otherwise, no dancing, no reading, no sculpting, no painting – well, you get the idea.

Can you believe it? All of this came from eating a custard-filled doughnut this morning – I saw the sunset in my ‘pictures’ file.

Billy Ray Chitwood – March 17, 2016

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Mindsets and Regrets

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Mindsets and Regrets

As many will know I have used at times my blog as a podium for Faith and Political venting, and, yes, I know, these are personal subjects that would be better left to political pundits and our religious leaders. My only excuse is that I care about the direction of our country, whether it is to be a nation where freedom and liberty give each individual equal opportunities to become whatever he and she desires, or, it is to be a nation based on some form of Socialism where history appears to tell us that the power elite government controls the people in this ‘ism’ and it ultimately spirals into anarchy. Here, I admit that my views of a capitalist society dominate…based on my life’s experiences. ‘Give me Liberty or give me…’

But, wait, I have begun this post with a ‘digression’. What I really wish to express in this post is why my mindset is to write most of my books in the genres of ‘Mystery’ and ‘Suspense’, while I would prefer to write about the heart and soul of man, uplifting and humble stories about the heroic deeds, the unselfish desires by so many to help other folks rather than themselves.

For instance, I would prefer to write an inspirational book about the three young men from the US and one young man from France, who, on a train from Amsterdam to Paris, charged and subdued a Moroccan terrorist intent on killing many people. These young men had only their natural instincts, no weapons, in charging this evil wacko from some subterranean nihilist world of thought. These young men embody the character of our country and our ideals. I would prefer to trace their lives through childhood and parental guidance, to find what lessons from which society might benefit.

God Bless and hats off to: Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, and Mark Moogalian… Perhaps your courage and special spirit will ignite the military powers of the freedom loving countries of the world to eradicate the barbarians from hell.

Crime and evil fascinate me.

The fascination began many years ago when an actress friend of mine was brutally murdered in Phoenix, Arizona. She was a lovely young lady with two children and a lot of dreams. Her body was found in the desert northeast of Phoenix six weeks after her car was found near an elementary school – just across the road from her apartment she shared with the children and her mother. The case was moved to the ‘Cold Case’ file after all leads were exhausted and the people who knew her were interviewed. Some were polygraphed. Her good friends had a definite idea of whom the perpetrator was.

Finally, I wrote a fictional book on this crime, using some of the gathered data, the evidence (what she was wearing and what was found in the desert) and locations. In my book the case is solved…to use a much over-used word, the ending gave me some modest ‘closure’. The book is called, “An Arizona Tragedy – A Bailey Crane Mystery” (Book One of a six-book ‘Bailey Crane Mystery Series’). Anyone interested in reading the novel can find it on Amazon Worldwide http://authl.it/1sv. Bailey is a bit different from most sleuths – he muses about his life, loves, his golf game, and all the bad people in the world. He gets the job done…plus, Bailey gives me a platform for expression.

So, I write my novels, some inspired by the true crimes committed across the country… I can muse and vent some anger and rage that these fiends co-exist among us. Sure, most of us know anger and rage, can even say things we regret, but we have some morality, some inner automatic turnoff valve within us.

It would please me greatly to sustain my laptop pecking through a virtuous and compelling novel about those young men who acted so bravely and heroically on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, paragons of all that is so truly great about our wonderful country.

Perhaps there is time yet in my life that I can write such a book.

Billy Ray Chitwood – August 28, 2015

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I’ve been honored with nine blog award nominations, including these two: 

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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:

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Nine Blog Awards, including:

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

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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… OOPS – UPDATE: that was

2012…he was just recently released from Foxes aHounds Tranquility Center!  He’s much better now, I’m told! I do

so hope my information is accurate… But, be gone, my foolishness! Here’s a re-blog of my 2012 interview with this

important literary figure and an update on his writing…

.everyone burns

 BUY SITES:
 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 tenderall 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.
End of Interview…
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Amazon US goo.gl/dyunVU                     Amazon US goo.gl/A6t512               Amazon US goo.gl/eTp0UC
Amazon UK goo.gl/gpzxXU                     Amazon UK goo.gl/1NK3ok               Amazon UK goo.gl/ISsHAl
You want good reading? Check out the books above…you will not be disappointed. John Dolan is destined for literary
greatness! YOU HEARD IT HERE!
Visit his website/blog (‘Galericulate’): http://johndolanwriter.blogspot.com 
http://johndolanwriter.blogspot.com/search/label/Home  (You do not want to miss his posts!)
Also visit JD’s amazon site: goo.gl/nElP1
(Really, follow on him and read him. He’s ugly mean: it took two junkies and me to get him here for this ‘Orange Crate’ interview!)

Sunday On The Sea Of Cortez

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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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BUY SITE: Amazon Worldwide – http://www.goo.gl/1sy

Some Links:

http://www.about.me/brchitwood

http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com

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

http://amazon.com/author/billyraychitwood

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

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The Last Laugh

(Flash Fiction by Billy Ray Chitwood)

 Hi, my name is Hymie Ludicrus and feel free to laugh. I love laughter directed at me.

At parties, people would break up when I gave them my name.

What’s in a name, right?

Laughter.

Those party folks gave impetus to my being as funny as I possibly could. The ‘life of the party’, that was me (or, ‘I’, if you want me to show I know a bit about grammar). I didn’t leave the party with a girl – I had this crazy looking nose: it went down so far, then dipped and went further down almost to my upper lip…made eating and drinking some interesting experiences, particularly at a classy joint.

I remember as a kid, I didn’t get a lot of laughs with my name because the other kids didn’t have the vocabulary to connect my last name. Of course, my first name ‘Hymie’ would get a laugh now and then. Hey, it’s true, some people have very strange names one can use for comedy.  

One kid on the varsity football team had the last name, Chitwood. I played with that name in my mind for quite a while until I came up with something. Chitwood was a pal so I knew he wouldn’t deck me or anything – probably, just laugh along with me and our other buddies. So, our little group came out of Assembly one morning, walking to our next class, and I say to Chitwood: I’ve got you figured out, Chitwood. He says with a smile: Okay, wise guy, how am I figured? I make sure the group is tuned in to what’s being said, so I say: Is it true, Chitwood, that you eat sawdust and shit 2×4’s?

All in the group laughed, but Chitwood chased me all the way to my next class…which just happened to be English. I wondered if our attractive old maid English teacher would enjoy the question I asked of Chitwood. Anyway, it wasn’t long before the entire football team was razzing my buddy, Chitwood, with my little mind quip. (Incidentally, you folks reading this, sorry for using the word, ‘shit’, but ‘crap’ just didn’t have the alliteration I needed…)

Well, let the record show I tried to become a real-life comic, worked on routines days and nights and finally got my shot at the Scottsdale Comedy Club. There was not a time in my life when I was so excited, and those ‘butterflies’ were giving me fits long before my Saturday night ‘gig’ – I was so proud I could now use a word (‘gig’) other comics, singers, and groups used.

My entry on stage I worked on relentlessly before the big night came. With a large crowd in the audience, I heard my name booming from the microphone. I swallowed hard, took a deep breath, brushed the backstage curtain aside, and walked on stage. People were cheering and applauding though they didn’t even know me.

Halfway toward the mike, in full view of the audience, I stumbled and fell (the routine I had worked on). The crowd was mixed with ‘oohs’ and laughter. When I got back on my feet, I gave them my grimaces, my head jerks, my crazy gyrations – all of which I worked on for weeks. When I grabbed the mike, I said: Is there a doctor in the house? A very pretty lady will work fine, as long as I can see her credentials… Only modest, likely, courteous laughter.

That entrance was to break my opening jitters and loosen up the crowd, and, to some degree, it did. My Shtick went over very well, got some good laughs, even used my crooked nose and a girlfriend I didn’t have in many of my routines,

Management invited me back. I started making a few bucks, hired an agent, Gail Pepper, fell in love with her, and, oddly, she with me. Her nose was a bit like mine, only smaller…kissing was a bit of a chore. (Laugh cue card, please!)

I started every comedy performance with the same joke – mostly for the new people in the crowd, but the ‘regulars’ loved it and roared every time I told it. It became my ‘signature routine’, with all the gyrations and facial expressions…

Two good friends are playing golf at their beautiful country club course. Both players are ‘scratch golfers’ and play the first six holes with no one in front of them. Both guys hit booming drives down the middle on the long par five 560-yard seventh hole.  When they approach their second shots, they see a couple of women ahead of them some two hundred yards. The women are chopping up the fairway grass, hitting their balls maybe five or ten yards with each swing, unmindful of the players behind them. The guys are really getting fed up with the waiting… Finally, one of the guys tells his buddy, ‘Hey, I’m going to run up there and tell them to let us play through’. So, the guy runs up the fairway, gets within twenty yards of the women, stops, and runs back to his playing partner. ‘Wow, Jerry’! the guy says, ‘I almost made a terrible mistake: one of those women is my wife, and the other is my mistress’… So, the other guy says, ‘Hell, I’ll run up and tell them to let us play through’. Jerry runs up the fairway and gets within twenty yards of the women, stops, and runs back down the fairway to his playing partner. ‘My God! Freddy, small world, isn’t it’? (Laugh cue card, please!)

The small world was my ‘oyster’ for many years. Gail and I bought our dream home. We had a son (Brooks) and a daughter (Belinda). We doted on them. Thank God! they both had their mother’s smaller nose, and, with no hooks. Our life was full. Gail and I bought and ran our own comedy house. We featured some top comedians and made lots of money.

I still did my gigs but somewhere along the way lost the sharp edges to my routines. At what would become my last performance, ironically enough, at the Scottsdale Comedy Club, it was not my finest hour.

My Shtick was stuck in neutral most of the night, but the crowd loved me: they even brought me presents – I just don’t know where the hell they got them. In fact, they threw them at me, big lush juicy tomatoes…just their way of showing they loved me!

As a closing routine, I stumbled and fell going off the stage and got the longest, loudest laugh of the night.

It turned out I got the last laugh.

 Flash Fiction by Billy Ray Chitwood – June 20, 2017

Please visit my Website, read some author comments, some blog posts, some book reviews, and preview my fourteen books – mystery, suspense, romance, memoir:

https://billyraychitwood.com

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@brchitwood

A Heart Thing

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A Heart Thing

What was I doing here? It seemed a sad inertia was in control of my body.

Beautiful, yes, this sand and sun part of the world! And, it was a promise my heart compelled me to keep…after so many tears and a fragile restoration from the pain and finality of impending death. Those who have lost the warm cloak of love will know of what I write.

Before coming inside to sit on the big bed to write my thoughts of desperation and longing, I stood on the 9th floor balcony of the ‘Royal Tower’ and gazed out over the beauty that is all of Paradise Island Bahamas.

Close to my tower, people and kids watched the feeding of large Manta rays, while, in the next large pool, loud cheering came from children and their parents as brothers and sisters slid quickly down the steep, thick, clear round-tube through water where sharks swam all around them. My wan smile of acknowledgment came and lingered briefly from the shrieks of play and excitement in the large pool below.

I began my writing…

This is for you, Johnny, these words my heart and soul convey, words which I pray will give me sustenance to continue life – a tenuous blur in my mind during the past few days…

We spoke of coming here to the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort just two months ago at our most beautiful first anniversary dinner, one week before your cancer diagnosis came from your doctor. As always, you faced that awful information in your fashion, showing your acceptance and lack of concern. “Hey,” you said, “doctors make mistakes! I feel great and plan on living for many years with my lovely bride.” You kissed me softly on the lips and gave me your brave smile.

On our arrival home, I tried, too, for bravery, but failed. You saw my tears, gathered me in your arms, carried me to our bed and slowly, with moments of playful tease and tormenting delays, made spectacular love to me. You made me momentarily forget the terrible news of the diagnosis.

The days that followed were much the same. You took me with you on your business trip to Seattle, even allowed me to be present during your major appointments. You would not be without me for a moment. My love for you, always at its highest point, came near to eruption, to the degree of silly school girl antics. I clung to you, stopped on the busy sidewalks of Seattle to embrace, kiss you, in such a state of euphoria that I could almost forget the dreadful cancer news…almost! It hovered just above my consciousness, bringing deep dips of sorrow at the prospect of losing you.

Then, there came the Tuesday telephone call from doctor Dearfield’s office. You were to check into the Holy Cross Hospital at 8:00 AM the next day to start treatments. From your soft and inaudible voice while talking to the doctor, I knew the seriousness of the situation. I also saw the momentary closings of your eyes and the dropped chin.

After the phone call with the doctor, you insisted, without allowing my dissent, that night would be our last together. Your arguments were selfish, you said, that you would not allow me to see your declining days of health caused by Cancer’s newest treatments, including sessions of Chemo therapy. You made me promise not to show up at the hospital. You gave me the first-class ticket to Nassau, booked my ‘top priority’ suite at the Atlantis Bahamas for a three-week stay. You said, if the news proved good, you would be joining me at Atlantis. If the news were negative, our Tuesday night would be our last night until we met in God’s eternity. We were locked in each other’s arms all that night, me, saying silent prayers…

I stopped writing when tears began blotting my pages. I was hopelessly lost in my lassitude, laid back on the bed until feelings of anxiety hit me, got up, left the lovely suite and walked aimlessly around the grand resort.

Below ground, I walked along the thick concrete walls of the world’s largest marine exhibit, passing within three feet of all kinds of exhibits, sharks, rays, all kinds of water life, swimming up to the thick glass enclosure where families touched them safely via the glass. Even in a lethargic state, I managed to find some minimal escape from my despair.

After walking up and through the large casino, I returned to my room. It was 5:00 PM. I took a sleeping pill and soon fell asleep among the tear-blotted pages written some hours earlier.

For the next few days, it was much the same for me, ordering room service food, eating only parts of it, picking up the pen to write more thoughts on paper and giving up when the tears came. Johnny’s face I saw as an image on the glass sliding doors to the balcony, on the bathroom mirrors, in my mind when eyes were closed. The weather outside was beautiful, and, even in my grief, I could understand the popularity of this paradise.

Even with the beauty of Paradise Island, the walls closed in on me, forcing my movement, either to the pool area or the beach.

On Friday morning of my second week, I awoke with the same torpid lack of mobility, dregs from the sleeping pills, ordered room service coffee and eggs Benedict, drank the coffee, left most of the eggs Benedict. I picked up my pen to write more about Johnny, and, again, began crying.

Outside the weather was all sun and blue skies. I took off my pajamas and put on my bikini, grabbed a beach towel and noticed I was still wearing the last gift Johnny had given to me – a most elegant diamond-studded pendant with a lush heart-shaped Garnet gem. I placed the pendant on the dresser, lingered over it for a few seconds until the tears thought about returning, and walked out the door.

The sun felt strangely good on my body, adding pleasantly to my lethargy. I tried not to think, but it was impossible. Johnny was so solidly in my thoughts, and I truly wondered if I could live without him. I turned my body on the beach towel to the tummy, my back needing some sun.

As I lay there on my tummy, my face upon my folded arms, eyes closed, reliving memories, I felt something drop to the sand in front of my face, a few sprinkles of sand touching my forehead.

Impulsively, I raised my head and glanced at the sand in front of me.

My heart skipped several beats! My head and entire body was tingling with titillating thoughts.

Quickly, I turned over onto my back and sat up.

Standing above me with a wide grin on his face was Johnny!

“Oh, my God! Oh, my God!” I blurted and jumped from the beach towel and threw myself into his open arms.

“You just buried your Garnet pendant!” he said, with a mock sneer. “That cost me a few bucks, you know! And you leave it on a dresser in a resort?”

“Oh, Johnny, Johnny!” I sighed deeply, “You’re here… Are you cured?” I kissed him so much he couldn’t answer.

He finally disengaged enough to mutter: “You ever hear of ‘remission’? That’s me! The ‘Remission’ man! On a mission to re-claim my lovely, lovely bride. Shall we get a drink and celebrate?”

“Not just a drink, Johnny! I have a lot more in mind for you!” A quick thought hit me. “That is, unless…” in my stuttering way, “there are health issues.” I gave him my raised eyebrows and soft smile.

Johnny slapped me on my ‘buns’, smiled broadly, and said, “Bring it on, baby! I’m up to the task!”

“Make that, ‘tasks’, please, Johnny!”

Flash Fiction by Billy Ray Chitwood – 6/14/17

Please see comments on the author, some book reviews, blogs, and preview my books of mystery, suspense, romance, memoir at:

https://billyraychitwood.com

 Please follow me on Twitter.com – @brchitwood

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Paradise Island Bahamas

 

Howling at the Moon

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Howling at the Moon

My howl grows weaker as the Summers come and go,

And the Winter’s bitter gales bring harsh realities to my world.

My aging body grows weary in its long seasonal quest to know,

To find in my meandering search the truth unfurled.

*

Yet, some abiding glimmer of Faith bids me journey on

As I see the eager and young give rise to the next tomorrow,

To kindle old desires, awaken my mind to a new kinder dawn,

Tease me with truths-bearing wisdom I might better know.

*

Then, as years speed by steadily, and my steps limp along,

The world seems more precariously out of its orbital sync

As though some treacherous fate on wicked winds so strong

Comes to claim its ownership of an orb no longer able to think.

Poem by Billy Ray Chitwood – June 12, 2017

My books at: billyraychitwood.com       Follow me on Twitter (@brchitwood)

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Sinful Desperation

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Sinful Desperation

Flash Fiction by Billy Ray Chitwood-

“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.”

He stared at the ceiling as he reclined on the big bed, his naked body stretched straight, seeking relief from his back pain.

“It’s been years, my son, since your last confession. I hear desperation in your voice. Is the Church your last bastion of hope?”

A mournful smile of contrition and watery eyes looked upward to the ceiling. He would play both parts of this little satire from his soul, not mocking the billions of people who habitually practiced their faith in a Deity, rather, an awkward attempt at an anodyne for his pain.

“Yes, Father, on all accounts…” a back spasm interrupted his soliloquy and he sought another position on the bed. He was too tightly wound and needed to move his limbs in some exercises the cute young lady in physical therapy had insisted he practice each day.

Finally, he found some relief and continued with his conversation with the ‘Holy Father’ there in the center of his ceiling. “Yes, Father, many years, and, in conflicting ways, a lifetime ago, yet, now, here, as the filmstrip of my earthly adventure unveils itself to me, my weekly spiritual visits to your Church seems not so far away.”

The man was almost ready to hear a reply. Not to be, he continued.

“So, on to my confession, Father, one, I fear will take more than a few ‘Hail Marys’ and a heavy penitence to absolve.” The man closed his eyes and his face took on a grimace.

“I confess to one of Man’s oldest of the seven sins, Pride. All my life I’ve taken umbrage with people who sully me, sometimes, in simple remarks that attempt to jest and tease. Perhaps that sin comes from a youthful disconnect with family and a poor quality of life. This sin has cost me friends and love connections. It is also truth to say it is the least of my sins.

“I confess to an earlier life rife with excessive sensual pleasures, Lust/Debauchery of the wicked and most wild, orgy-filled, salacious kind. I sought out and experimented with life’s underworld of Bacchus-plus drug madness. There were moments of intense euphoria, gratification, and immoral depravity.

“And, when the days and nights of playing Nero’s mad fiddle ended, there were tears, self-recrimination, times for soul-wrenching and no resolutions: preparation-time, it could be said, for the next ‘big toot’.

“I confess, Father, to periods of Envy, of Sloth, of Gluttony, and of Greed.

“There remains one more sin, Father, that of Wrath. I have saved it for the final portion of my confession because there was a prelude of most, if not all, the seven virtues before its denouement… a period in my life of happiness so fulfilling, so real, that it seemed my life had found its right and true moral compass.

“Having run the gamut of my ‘fiddling’ days, I sought to find a more righteous purpose in my life. A friend of mine who had been lost in the same forest of shame as I invited me to go to church with him on a beautiful Sunday morning in June. After smiling stupidly at the idea, I decided to go…to see how the ‘moral half’ lived.

“Are you still with me, Father? Have I lost you in my recount of decadence?”

The man could almost see the Father’s smile. “How could I not? What with such an interesting life you present to me?”

“You, Father, speak with a forked tongue. You must know it’s the fires of hell I’m destined for!

“Whatever, at the beautiful church with my friend, I met Maureen, a woman of remarkable beauty I felt destiny had placed in my path. We both felt a Karmic bonding and began a long relationship which ended in marriage.

“Our love was pure and, by any standard, storybook. We danced in the moonlight and worked every day at our jobs, saved our money and became wealthy, mostly by her artistic talent and her huge following. We were together all the moments we were not working or at a painting exhibition.

“We had a baby boy who died in his sixth month of an undiagnosed tumor.

“Maureen and I were devastated by Brian’s death, but, for her, there was an emptiness she could not fill. She began drinking. She stopped painting, and fate pulled her from me into the arms of another man. She was still trying to fill the void left by Brian.

“We began to argue, our spats becoming an ugly, yet another obtrusion to our love.

“Last night, Maureen arrived home after midnight, clearly in the mood for another spat. I pleaded with her to go to bed. She became infuriated with me and began slapping me. The slaps made me angry, and I tried to wrap my arms around her to carry her off to bed. She stomped my foot with the heel of her shoe and pushed me backward. I began to fall and grabbed her wrist instinctively to secure my footing. Then, she, too, began to fall, and I let go so she could get her footing. Her head banged loudly into the granite counter in our bar area and she went down onto the carpet, blood spreading out in a profuse flow from the gash. Maureen died last night, Father.”

The man could almost hear the sorrow in the Father’s voice, see the pain on his face through a small imagined window in a small imagined confessional.

On the bed, as tears flowed from the man’s eyes, he saw a pale shadowy figure, an apparition, Maureen, her arms extended toward him, her sad tearful eyes and still beautiful face beckoning to him.

The man’s face was covered in tears, his voice gagging and pitiful gasps, as he thrust the butcher knife upward into his heart.

The bedroom was silent in its darkness as the two wraiths walked across the room to eternity.

Flash Fiction by Billy Ray Chitwood – May 25, 2017

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https://www.billyraychitwood.com

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Soul’s Odyssey

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Soul’s Odyssey

Why is it so? This mystical longing, this wanderlust, this soul odyssey?

There are so many parts that make up this mortal body: the part that takes me to moments of happiness and joy, like love’s ecstatic swoons; the part that cries in the sadness of a child’s suffering, the madness of evil-doers, the movies that convey tragedies of loss; the part that yearns for new surroundings – desert, mountain, seaside territories – while knowing the respite and serenity will be but temporary.

But, then, the question is begged. I know full-well the answer. Along with the baffling DNA, the early mobility of childhood, a displaced family, and some steady diet of emotional soup, I am what I am. The good fortune for me: I did not go too far toward the ‘dark side’…that is, crime was never an option. Something innate, a good mother’s nurturing, kept me somewhat wholesome. Well, there was some naughtiness along the way, says he, tongue in cheek.

Crime and evil do fascinate me – the serial killers, mothers who torture and/or kill their children, psychopaths, sociopaths, all those who blame everyone around them for their degenerate natures.

So, I take my unsophisticated microscope to the bizarre news accounts of the day and write fictional accounts of the abductions, homicides, and felonious natures of the willful pursuits.

The funny thing, in those lines and between those lines that I write, there is self-discovery. I see pieces of me, bits of anger, anxiety, frustration, and even my ruling romanticism. The anger and frustration is of course directed toward the evil I’m fictionally chronicling. The anxiety, plus occasional tears, come with the depiction of those unsuspecting characters who have been killed, maimed, and emotionally disabled.

Writing is my therapy, my ‘sofa time’ on the psychiatrist’s sofa. After a considered good session on the laptop, my elation shows its self. There is a sweet sense of accomplishment. In re-reading the sections I’ve written, I am often elated and sometimes mumble to myself: ‘Did I write that’? There’s a feeling that an invisible hand has taken over the keyboard…a euphoria, if you will, that a particular chapter, paragraph, phrase, can stimulate me so much.

SOUL ODYSSEY came to me as the title for this blog post, and I wanted to share it with my fellow authors. For me, I think the title fits. Perhaps it does for you as well. My best wishes to all who peck the keys and create…     

Billy Ray Chitwood – April 25, 2017

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Here are three of my fourteen books…hope you can stop by my Website and preview these and books of different genres, see some books reviews, some author comments, and read some blog posts: https://billyraychitwood.com

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Acceptance

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Acceptance

I was taken from disturbed darkness

 Out into the frantic light of life,

Taken from the safety of the womb

 And an often dark and jarring strife.

*

The humble journey I began came

with incipient turmoil and doubt,   

subtle remorse and terrible guilt

That, with me, I carried about.

*

With youth behind I wore my badges

Of courage, deceit, and self-doubt.

Tasting the beguiling fruits of Eden

And sipping from the Bacchus spout.

*

My Odyssey was not without the

Pain of guilt and sincere remorse.

Oh, no! My mind’s black closet

Choked and stifled me in due course.

*

Then came a forgotten Deity Who

Brought me to my misguided sense,

Gave me another chance at Faith,

And bade new Love to commence.

*

So, here, in the quietness of this

Meadow green, I vow to schemes

Of Worship those worthy paeans

Of Soul on these acres of dreams.

 

©Billy Ray Chitwood – April 18, 2017

 

Please visit my Website, preview my books of mystery, suspense, thriller, romance, history, memoir, read some book reviews and comments by the author. https://billyraychitwood.com

 

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The Sea and Me

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The Sea and Me

Some people are born to fret and worry… Yes, even here in this magnificent resort on the Sea of Cortez in Mexico.

So, what’s the rub?

The scene above was there each morning when I awakened – the cobalt waters, the pale blue skies, the palm trees, the villas below our penthouse, the cobblestone roads that ran through the property, and the nostalgic aromas of old Mexico. Julie Anne and I walked many days on the concha-laden sandy beach and gathered seashells. We watched the young lovers in languid repose on the beach and by the pools. We watched the multi-colored sailboats on the sea and the larger yachts farther out toward the horizon. We watched the banana boats take the squealing tourists on a bouncy ride through the waves, some falling off and gathered back by the gleeful BB operator. Single-engine hang-gliders went aloft with one or two people, dipping low, soaring up again, near the beach and the resort. Most of these happy scenes played out with the background sounds of mariachi music playing on someone’s sound equipment…

Okay, Okay! I got lost in the moments of memory.

The rub?

It came time for an HOA election of board members. Julie Anne, a few Mexican staff members, and some of our American friends/Condo neighbors at the resort thought I should run and lend some support to solving the pesky problems facing the resort…and, NO, I won’t be elaborating on those pesky problems. The truth is, all I wanted to do was write my blogs and books in this most tantalizing environment. However, the prodding of wife and friends PLUS my own stupid ego finally won out, and I put my name in the proverbial hat.

I was elected to the board and subsequently appointed President of the HOA Board. Having never been on any kind of board in my life I tried to keep my enthusiasm and pride in check.

Now, back to that beautiful scene of our resort above – and the fact that some people were born to ‘fret and worry’. The F&W part was all mine, and that beautiful resort environment changed to problem solving – or, attempts at problem solving. AND, my writing went further south toward Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco, without me enjoying the journey…you all know that trying to please hundreds of people in one neat bundle is impossible.

Well, my board did solve problems, from an economic standpoint, and took care of many other issues, The credit goes to my great Secretary (who would ultimately become President), my good Treasurer, the resort staff, and the other fully engaged and supportive members of the board. I can say with honesty and honor that there were moments of warm camaraderie, frustration, and consistent efforts to solve those ‘pesky problems’.  

Eventually, I got back to ‘sea shells at the seashore’ and my writing…

Speaking of my writing (and you knew I would be bringing my writing into this post!) the final book 6 in my ‘Bailey Crane Mystery Series, books 1-6’, A COMMON EVIL, was loosely inspired by my sojourn at that beautiful Mexican resort… It is a thriller and there are truths therein – regarding the cartel business and some of the resort’s problems. There is murder! Suspense! It’s a Thriller! (Oops! I said that!)

You should read it and leave an Amazon review…the book has several 5-Star reviews, and, of course, I would be happy to see more (honest reviews, of course!). You can preview the other 5 books in my BC series at the Website (address below) and eight other titles that bear my name.

Please contact me if you wish to know more about the resort…it’s in the state of Sonora in Mexico, an easy drive from Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona.

 Billy Ray Chitwood – April 14, 2017

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 Please visit my Website at: http://billyraychitwood.com To preview all 6 of the ‘Bailey Crane Mysteries’ and other books inspired by true events. There are also some comments by me and some reviews of my books…even some recent blog posts.

Please follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/brchitwood

 

 

 

No Longer Relevant

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No Longer Relevant

            Like lonely grains of sand transported by harsh winds and randomly rearranged into symmetrical peaks and valleys, so Time transports the hours, days, months, and years of Man into the peaks and valleys of Memory, there to dwell in Irrelevance of purpose, waiting for his ultimate destiny, moving with the wind through the joy and tears of his yesterdays, wistfully waiting, ruminating on myriad and arcane Mysteries of death’s new birth – to darkness, to another dimension, to be again without knowing if He once was.

There is so much to wish undone, so much to have accomplished, so much to cherish in those places of your life, yet, it is not lost on so many of us the now lack of relevance to our existence – inabilities, pains of the body and mind, forgetfulness, anger and self-loathing. But, then, we have still the passion to live and see another week, month, year, and we have that loved one who is the enabler, the one who smiles and dreams on into the tomorrows of life, not cowed by Time’s relentless passing…the one who brings to you soothing words that chase away for a time the demons that diminish twilight joys.

For me, there is a dear wife who loves me and caters to my needs. AND, there is my writing which keeps a young man wandering around in my body and mind…helping me to create books and characters of worth – at least, that is my consensus. Writing does something else for me. It keeps my mind active, keeps me away from the doldrums of self-pity and reviewing the past. As I’ve said many times, I still find pieces of me in and between the lines of what I write.

Although there might be times when I’m a ‘grain of sand’, irrelevant in the scheme of things, I have my devoted wife, my kids, their kids, and my Writing that keeps me a fair distance from those peaks and valleys.

One last thing, the books I write are fun in the drafting, in the editing and rewrites, and, I’m told, they’re a lot of fun to read. Many of the books are inspired by true events – mysteries, suspense, romance, memoirs, et al (14 books in all). NOW, if I only knew how to market them well, they would likely be well read. It’s my hope you will try one…each book is previewed on my website, along with some author comments and some book reviews. Please, try one of my books, read and review it on Amazon…good or bad. Readers, reviews, of course, are the life blood of authors.

Really, you Readers out there! You could keep me Relevant for a long time to come.

            Billy Ray Chitwood – April 4, 2017

Please visit my website, preview my 14 books, author comments, and some book reviews:

         https://billyraychitwood.com

                   Please follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/brchitwood                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

 

 

 

 

Meet Lady Gray

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Meet ‘Lady Gray’

           Our beloved Bengal cat, George, left us for animal heaven some months back after a twelve-year love affair. It was a sad and traumatic moment for Julie and me…we buried George under some trees on our property, and, each morning, we look out the kitchen window at his burial spot and say, “Hello, George, we love you.”

          As though George’s spirit reminds us of our time together in some peculiar ways, he finally put an exclamation point on it all…

          Before George passed away, a small gray and white kitten came several times to our house and looked through the windows. It seemed obvious to us that the two transferred some mutual affection. George was a declawed, neutered house cat and could not go outside so the two enjoyed and passed their furry feelings via empty space.

          After George died, the gray and white kitten came often to our kitchen door. Julie gave her some turkey bits, steak leftovers, and, finally included on her shopping list some cat food and treats. Julie left each food serving just outside the door.

          At some point, with soft coaxing, the kitten timidly entered the house, but left after a brief stay. Julie and I had different views on the kitten. Julie was sure the kitten had a home nearby, and we could not just arbitrarily adopt the cat…plus, Julie was still at an emotional level over George and did not think she wanted another animal pet. I took an opposite view: I didn’t think the kitten had a nearby home and genuinely felt she wanted our home as her home. Of course, we both were likely right – maybe she had a home but was cast aside…and, there were stray cats around 

          As days and weeks passed, the kitten continued her daily visits, and, with each visit, lingered around our property, came into the house on occasion and stayed a bit longer each time before Julie put her outside. Julie was also worried about the kitten having fleas or other ailments, likely having been abandoned either by her previous owners or simply had survived in the wild.

          The young cat was accompanied on occasion by a larger black and white male cat. It was apparent that the gray and white female held dominance over the bigger male, not sharing her food with him, and giving us reason to believe the female was in season.

          Julie and I had e-mailed and called neighbors to find out if they knew to whom the kitten belonged. We got no helpful information. In the meantime, there was concern that we were feeding ‘gray and white’ too much food because the cat was developing quite a girth…and, sure, we considered the fact she could be in a gestation period.

          Finally, there came the day when ‘gray and white’ entered the house and did not want to leave. It was during this time that Julie and I came together in our decision to keep the lovely feline. Her personality was so lovingly tender and timid. We would open the door for her to leave, and she would back away. In short, we fell in love with the little critter…bloated tummy and all – we felt the big tummy could be from all the food Julie was feeding her.

          We are picking her up today at 1:00 PM from the Vet Hospital, where she has been spayed, wormed, and inoculated to boost immunity. The Vet tells us ‘Lady Gray’ is likely one-year old or thereabouts.

          Julie and I are excited about having this little beauty in our lives…

          We consider ‘Lady Gray’ a gift from God…

 

Billy Ray Chitwood – March 30, 2017

 

Please visit my Website, preview my 14 books, read some book reviews and author comments.

https://billyraychitwood.com

Please follow me on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/brchitwood