The Phantom Lady

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The Phantom Lady

            Unnoticed, the lady came quietly into the store and stood in front of the counter. She had about her an ethereal quality, dressed in a soft burgundy and gold outfit. Her face professed a youthful beauty, yet, mystical and serene with a quiet mysterious attraction.

            It was some seconds before the store owner became aware of her standing directly across from him.

            When he looked up, she simply uttered one word with a stoic, “Thanks.”

            The store owner looked to his left, to his right, and spoke to the woman across from him: “How can I help you?”

            “Thanks.”

            “Yes, I heard you but I’ve yet to do anything for you.” He smiled amiably. “Are you alright?”

            The store owner squinted and stared at the woman across from him. She was beautiful! Her eyes were fixed steadily on him, and he began to get a creepy feeling, like the woman was under some sort of emotional distress. She appeared dignified along with her beauty and without any outward sign of physical injury.

            “Thanks!” This time her voice was more strident, more impatient.

            The store owner was in an unknown territory, not able to think beyond ‘weird’ and ‘odd-ball’ but was sure this lady definitely had some sort of mental condition. The owner saw ‘hop-heads’ all the time, could see their glazed over eyes and their stupid behavioral patterns. This lovely lady gave no indication of being on drugs. She was more prim and proper than most people who came into his store. There was also an inexplicable quality about the woman he could not identify.

            The owner opened a counter fridge and took a bottle of water, and spoke, “Here, lady, drink some water. You could be dehydrated. Come, sit for a spell.” He pulled a straight-back chair from behind the counter and gently guided her to a sitting position.

            “Thanks.” The lady never blinked, her eyes locked in one position. The bottle of water she loosely held fell from her hand to her lap to the floor.

“Lady, can you tell me what’s wrong with you? I don’t understand what your ‘Thanks’ is saying to me. Can you say more than ‘Thanks’?”

            “Thanks!” The lady was back to a more forceful, yet, perfect enunciation.

            The store owner shook his head, frustrated with this turn of events. ‘Yes, the woman was enunciating perfectly’ but there was no context. ‘What am I supposed to do here?’ he mumbled.

            It was afternoon slow time so the store thankfully was empty. The owner knew most of the people in the small town of Green Valley, but this lady apparently just got off the bus heading to Macon.

            “Are you hungry, lady? Can you nod your head if you are?”

            “Thanks.” She was back to the low-key ‘Thanks’. There was no nod of her head.

            “Hi, Ken,” it was the town sheriff’s deputy walking his beat. He noticed through the store window in passing that Ken was seemingly carrying a worried expression. The deputy walked into the store and asked, “Things going okay?”

            Ken sighed, “Hey, Cliff, I’m glad to see you, darn happy to see you, actually.”

            “What’s up?”

            “This nice lady, Cliff, she’s in some kind of trouble. She comes in, stands across the counter and says, ‘Thanks,’ rather matter-of-factly, and every time I try to offer help, she says the same thing, ‘Thanks’, and at times she’s a bit more forceful the way she says it. I can’t figure it out. She looks physically fine, very pretty, but must have something going on in her brain…you know her?”

            After carefully eying the woman, Cliff said, “I think I saw her get off the bus at the Drug Store Stop. A cute lady like her, you can’t miss noticing. She seems to be ‘out of it’, like walking in her sleep, or, hypnotized.”

            “Did she have any baggage? All I see is that purse she’s hanging onto.”

            “Nope, didn’t see any baggage… You have no idea what she means when she says, ‘Thanks’?”

            “Not the foggiest, Cliff… Excuse me, I have to wait on Mrs. Barnes.”

            Ken gathered a few articles for Mrs. Barnes. She gave a ‘You’re welcome’ to his “Thanks” and left. Ken ‘smiled’ at the parting exchange and went back to Cliff and the puzzling woman.

            “So, what do we do, Cliff?” Ken asked.

            The woman began to tremble and her purse fell to the floor, as though she was nudging it to fall.

            The two men looked at each other, shaking their heads with wrinkled brows

            “Maybe we need to look into her purse, Ken… I don’t know what else to do – other than take her to the Sheriff’s office and see what ‘Sheriff Goose’ has to say. I mean, this is crazy, she seems well enough within herself, more or less calm about her presence here… It’s like someone has hypnotized her to say ‘Thanks’ over and over.”

            “Maybe that’s a reasonable assumption, but, for goodness sake, why? Why would someone do that?”

            “Gee, I don’t know, Ken, just thinking off the top of my head.”

            “Thanks.” The stiffly aberrant lady spoke again the familiar word that was now cryptic and out of place. She uttered the word sternly, almost in the form of a rebuke, her face showing no strain, her body perfectly erect and proper, almost surreal in her burgundy and gold outfit.      

            “This is nuts, Ken!” said Cliff as he grabbed her purse from the floor.

            “Wait, Cliff, don’t open her purse yet. We could be opening ‘Pandora’s Box’. You know the World today. It’s got a lot of ‘Crazies’, people angry with the government, fearful, frustrated, out of work, ugly mass killings by illegal immigrants or just bad people. I’ve never seen the country with this blind kind of runaway madness. This woman could be part of a plan, like, we could be one of those ‘soft targets’ that the newscasts are always reporting. Maybe she’s been programmed or hypnotized strictly for that purpose…”

            “Ken, listen to yourself! This is quaint little Green Valley, Georgia. We know everybody in town…”

            “We don’t know her, Cliff!”

            “Well, right, Ken, but come on! Who’s going to get off a bus in Green Valley, Georgia, particularly a neat looking lady like this and just start killing people? She’s simply got a bad mental problem of some kind.”

            “Hope you’re right, good buddy.”

            “Thanks,” now a steady monotonic stream from the trance-like woman in the chair, at five-second intervals, her stare, her body in a more sustained tremble.

            “Cliff, don’t open that purse! Let’s get out of here now! I’ve got a really bad feeling!”

            Cliff dropped the purse on the lap of the chanting and robotic-like lady, allowed Ken to pull him out the front door of the store onto the sidewalk. Ken slammed closed the door behind him, took a final look through the plate glass and saw the woman’s mouth still moving in a mechanical-like way.

            Both men ran across the street to the other sidewalk.

            There were a dozen people on either side of the street but they sensed danger and all ended up near Cliff and Ken. They knew only that something was happening outside their understanding. They instinctively followed the deputy’s and store owner’s actions.

            Across the street, the crowd was growing slightly as people emerged from other stores and offices and saw the anxious deputy and store owner. They waited and no one spoke. There was a fearful anticipation of some awful event about to happen at Ken’s store. The people followed the eyes of the deputy, could see the depth of his own fear, and made it their own.

            Cars slowed near the crowd and sped away with the rapid waving of Cliff’s arms. The car people could read the distress gathered on the sidewalk and considered it their best decision to be away from that location.

            The seconds ticked away and became long minutes of stress. Cliff finally spoke to the crowd: “All of you stay where you are. I’m going across the street to assess the situation. This could be nothing more than an odd moment in our town’s history, but we have to be safe and err on the side of good judgement.”

            Cliff crossed the street and tentatively stepped to the plate glass window. The sun caused a white-out glare, and Cliff could not make out anything. Carefully, he edged to the door, slowly opened it, and stepped inside.

            There was no one in the store! The mystery woman was not there. The chair was back in its normal spot. There was no purse on the floor, no A/C or electric equipment sounds in the store at all. It was eerily still and darker than usual, even with the sun splashed all across the plate glass window.

            Cliff searched every square foot of the store, and the silence became deafening. The backdoor emergency and employee exit was key-locked by Ken, could only be opened and locked by him. There was a steel bar across the door for added security against robbery or vandalism.

            When his search was completed Cliff returned to the small crowd gathered on the opposite sidewalk.

            The crowd was sent home with the announcement that all was secure. When asked of the crowd what had happened, Cliff and Ken never told the exact nature of the alarm, only dismissing the incident as a misperception.  

            Later, Cliff and Ken re-entered the store, confident that there were no explosive devices, just the unnerving bafflement of the mystical and mysterious woman.

*

            When the dream ended, his body was covered in sweat and cold to the touch. His wife hovered over him with worried words and sympathetic frowns.

            “You were turning and tossing, honey! Are you coming down with something? You’re all sweaty!”

            A full moon from a clear night shone through the bank of windows of the master bedroom and provided light enough to show agony on his face.

            Ken shook his head several times before answering. “Just a bad dream, Dixie…a bad dream that was so very real. I’ve never had a dream so real in my life.”

            “You want to talk about it?” Her blue watery eyes showed concern and love.

            “Not now, Honey. I’ll tell you all about it in the morning. You go back to sleep. I’m going to get a glass of water and try sleep again without riding a nightmare.”

            Over coffee and pancakes the next morning, Ken told Dixie of his strange and mystifying nightmare in vivid detail. Nothing was left out of his accounting. At the finish, he was sweaty again. “I just can’t believe the reality of that dream. When I see Cliff, I’ll find out how and if his sleep was interrupted last night.”

            “Dreams can be weird, Kenny, but you can’t believe Cliff would have the same dream?”

            “Yeah, I know, Dixie, but this one…this one took a lot out of me. I’m left thinking, this one just had to mean something, and I’ve got the gnawing feeling that I need to talk to Cliff.”

            At the store in mid-morning, Cliff stopped during his ‘beat’ walk, wearing a harried expression on his face.

            “What’s up, Cliff? You have a dream last night?”

            “What? You kidding me? How would you know that, good buddy?”

            “So, you did have a dream last night?”

            “A ‘lulu’, an off the wall nightmare! Don’t tell me you had one as well?”

            “Like you said, Cliff, a ‘lulu’…”

            They were stunned! Their dreams were discussed and found to be identical!

            Thus, an ‘urban legend’ was born…and sanctified by strange occurrences in the small town of Green Valley, Georgia.

            Not only occurrences but identical mystic dreams by the citizens as well.

            Green Valley became a virtual ghost town with very little stirring of its people…most stayed closed in and did not stray very far from home.

            The most beguiling effects of the Green Valley anomaly began occurring when other small towns across the country reported disturbances of a pretty lady in a burgundy and gold dress who communicated in strange monosyllabic utterings, then disappeared not to be seen again.

            Soon, the national media picked up the story and ran a steady stream of possible scenarios…’The Phantom Lady’ is reported by ‘Space Mysteries Network’ as a robotic machine sent from an unknown planet to create chaos on earth as a prelude to an outer-space attack’.

            The prime-time TV networks ran various three-part and five-part ‘Strange Cosmic Events’ highlighting an all-women planet invading our country with identical clones’.

             Magazine and major Newspapers ran serial issues suggesting Secret Projects of the United States Supreme Court in collusion with the United States Government.

            Of course, there were some people in the political ranks issuing reports of Political Chicanery, producing elaborate and outlandish reports that staggered the mind even beyond ‘The Phantom Lady’ incident.  

            The year of 2029 was becoming an alarming amalgam of Progress and Uncertainty.

 {Short Story by Billy Ray Chitwood – March 2, 2017}

Please visit my Website: http://billyraychitwood.com Preview my 14 books, some book reviews, and author comments.

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Where The Dreams Are

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Where The Dreams Are

There on the horizon
Where the clouds
Where the Sun
Where the mountains
Bring shimmering shadows
On the placid surface
Of the deep blue sea –
Dreams live in all
These converging elements
From the melodious music
Of hungry souls,
Those who somehow
Know that the thief of night
Cannot for long defy the
Precious treasures that
Await us in that dazzling
Merger of colors out there
On the horizon

Where the dreams are.

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Billy Ray Chitwood – July 2, 2016

I’ve written thirteen books in the genres of mystery, suspense, thriller, romance, and memoir, some of which are inspired by true life events…hope you will preview the books on my website: http://www.goo.gl/nWMXm3 . My JUST RELEASED romance novel, PHOENIX FIRE, was a real joy for me to write. and I’m betting (praying, really!) that readers will enjoy this book immensely…with one caveat – keep the tissue handy. I know tissues were needed when I wrote it. So, please give it a read and leave an Amazon and Goodreads review = reviews are the life blood of authors. But, then, you’ve heard that time and again. Here are the BUY SITES for PHOENIX FIRE: 

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Amazon US: https://goo.gl/StvwLq 

Amazon UK: https://goo.gl/jq2MkS

Amazon Worldwide: https://goo.gl/wwImBq

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Blogging and Dreaming

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Blogging and Dreaming

It is what it is! A shameful declaration of a book wearing a colorful cover that is going to go on the circuit in the next couple of weeks.

What’s it about? You ask.

It’s a love story carrying the #Romance genre and it has some suspenseful moments and some pretty powerful ‘moving’ moments – that means, those with tender hearts and souls are likely going to be using lots of tissues. An entrepreneur and a lovely ad agency executive fall in love in an unusual way, but there are obstacles – sibling rivalry, gambling, murder, a matriarch’s great secret which causes chaos and mind-jarring impulses, and a long desert odyssey to reclaim a mind and soul.

Now, look, I’m an author among millions, just trying to pen some words on a laptop screen that conveys some notions I believe are important. To praise Phoenix Fire to the reading public as the next New York Times ‘Best Seller’ is not only silly but unrealistic. What I can say with some degree of civility and prudence is, Phoenix Fire is a book with many elements of the human condition and a darn good love story. It was a joy to write, and it’s my guess the book will be a joy to read.

Now, I’m admitting here that I’m a writer and not a market expert in this business – other than lots of Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google Plus, Stumble Upon, and Blog plugs. Think about it, a person sitting in a recliner all day writing, does not get enough exercise, and can procrastinate with he best…likely doesn’t get enough sympathy, as well. After all, the world is full of writers wanting fame and success.  But I have to tell you, old’Yogi Bear’ would say, if he could, and, would, Phoenix Fire is bigger than the average bear!

Okay, I’m just one of those millions of writers, but Phoenix Fire is a winner and deserves a very large readership. So, maybe you can be looking for it to emerge in the next couple of weeks, get yourself a copy and help me spread the word, flood Amazon and Goodreads with reviews, maybe re-blog this post or do the things I don’t know how to do to launch and promote a book… The pay is not so good but there is a heart with a whole lot of gratitude. ♥

Now that I’ve written this blog plea, do I post it? If I do post it, I’m letting the world know a side of me that brings me to tears.

Well, my wife has the cardboard message ready. I go now to find the best stoplight corner in town. Some days are not too bad, but, even with the beard disguise, it really is embarrassing.

Billy Ray Chitwood – June 7, 2016

I write books of mystery, suspense, action, drama, romance, and you can preview all of them at:

http://www.goo.gl/nWMXm3

Other Links:

http://www.about.me/brchitwood

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Murder in Pueblo del Mar

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Murder in Pueblo del Mar

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

Puerto Peῆasco – AKA Pueblo Del Mar.

In Arizona, Puerto Peῆasco is known by its English name – Rocky Point.

The ‘AKA Pueblo Del Mar’ is the name I used for one of my ‘Bailey Crane Mystery Books’. There are six titles in that series, and Murder in Pueblo Del Mar is the fourth book in the sextet. While fictional, this book was inspired by a true event in Rocky Point some years ago.

The ghastly murder in Rocky Point of an Arizona wife and mother happened a few hundred yards from my father-in-law’s villa. The good lady was on holiday with her husband and two children.

In writing Murder in Pueblo del Mar – A Bailey Crane Mystery, book 4, I built two of my characters from Bob Gerhandt, my father-in-law, and his wife, Diane. Bob and Diane had a beautiful villa which they had built to their architectural plans…unique for the area at that time. They gave the villa a name – La casa de las campaῆas y de las mariposas (The house of bells and butterflies). So beautiful, It became a directional marker for people having trouble finding friends in the Las Conchas subdivision. 0n one side of the villa’s great room was the master suite. On the other side were two guest bedrooms with access to a long curving veranda. The villa had three red-tiled turrets. The tiles for floors and showers were specially made for Diane – with bells and butterflies on the white facing.

From the veranda was a most glorious view of the Sea of Cortez. My wife, Julie, and I spent many happy weekends in that lovely villa…we called them ‘Bridge Weekends’ and the bridge game winners were usually Papason and his partner – me. (Papason was the nickname I gave to Bob.) Ah, the memories – cocktails on the sweeping veranda watching dolphins frolic in the sea, looking out at the far horizon, and listening to Placido Domingo and John Denver sing ‘Perhaps Love’ on a favorite CD.

Bob and Diane are now gone, and I find myself often thinking of our bridge games and wonderful soft desert treks on our three-wheelers near the estuaries. The big handsome and husky giant with the white sculpted hair played his football for the Denison ‘Big Red’ in Granson, Ohio. I wonder at times if he is playing Bridge with ‘Clarence’ and the Angel Group… I miss the big guy!

So, in writing Murder in Pueblo del Mar – A Bailey Crane Mystery, I was in a familiar atmosphere, knew well the area, knew many of the details in the actual murder case, and knew some of the personal problems Bob and Diane were having, vis a vis Diane’s alcoholic consumption. So, as Bailey Crane is wont to do, he muses about the effects of his friends’ personal lives while helping Pueblo del Mar’s Chief of Police solve the murder case.

The true details of the mother’s brutal murder, the transsexual element in the case, and the US –Mexico pre-occupation with jurisdictional matters, are for the most part accurate in the book. Even, some of the fictional elements have validity. I am of course biased but I believe Murder in Pueblo del Mar makes for a darn good read.

A number of the six ‘Bailey Crane Mysteries’ are fictionalized but inspired by actual cases and true events. You can easily find them all, plus seven other books at my website: http://goo.gl/nWMXm3

This blog is in part an ‘In Memorium’ for Bob and Diane, both now in a happy afterlife adventure – at least, that is my hope. The other part is an attempt to create a different kind of sleuth in Bailey Crane, one who stays tuned to a case but muses a lot with his alter ego about life’s many elements, his loves, his miscues, a sleuth that readers will like. I suppose the phrase is ‘cozy mystery’… For me, I get a lot off my mind. J

Actually, I just want to write serious books that have fun elements with an amusing entertainment narrative and quality. So many times the characters ‘tell’ me where to put them and what action to give them.

Each of the six ‘Bailey Crane Mysteries’ stand on its own, but there is a progression in Bailey’s development.

One last point about Murder in Pueblo del Mar – A Bailey Mystery (book four of the series), I was fortunate to live for several years in Rocky Point (Puerto Peῆasco, ‘Pueblo del Mar’) on the Sea of Cortez and enjoyed the nostalgic feel of old Mexico. That was after Bob and Diane had passed. The town is located about sixty miles from the Arizona border and a 4-hour drive from Phoenix (or, less). The people are generous with their kindness, and ‘Kiko’, the mayor, is a fine gentleman who is making great inroads for tourism. I have met him and know he intends to do good things for Puerto Peῆasco.

If you ever wish to visit, there are great rental deals on the Sea of Cortez… Google and check it out.

Oh, and buy Murder in Pueblo del Mar – A Bailey Crane Mystery (Book 4). You will enjoy the read. It’s available in paperback and Kindle – FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

Billy Ray Chitwood – April 1, 2016

OTHER LINKS:

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Spring and Summer

butterfly.jpgSpring and Summer

The boys are playing baseball – a rite of Spring, synonymous with Mom’s apple pie and Pop’s homemade vanilla ice cream.

The girls are wearing their tank tops and cut-off jeans, strutting model-straight as they pass the boys in school hallways all across the country…getting close to bikini time and raging hormones.

The high school football boys are looking for summer jobs that will build up their bodies for the fall/winter pigskin season.

Come Summer, some of the young and timid boys and girls with acne spend many hot days in the sun, hoping to hit the zits with its brutal rays. At least, by the start of school in September they have a great tan.

The private and public swimming pools with diving boards are open for the boys to get attention from the girls as they perform their half-gainers, one-and-a-half flips, and swan dives. Naturally, there are an adequate share of belly flops and bruised egos.

There are family weekends, many spent in the mountains, or, many go on a full two-week vacation to a beautiful lake or ocean resort, or, few are off to sponge off relatives or friends who live in a swankier spot on the map.

There are couples saying their nuptials, to love and honor and obey all marital pledges. There could be pre-nuptials here and there, just to be on the safe side.

There are once-happily married couples getting divorced, some with kids in troubled states of mind.

There are political primaries to elect a new president, with television debates and all the ads – ad nauseam. During this important time period, there are many private political debates as well. Some neighbors become enemies, and, in other instances, a person thought an enemy becomes a friend.

There are in our world uncivilized, unholy earthling barbarians, cutting off Christians’ heads, cutting off heads of people who will not do their bidding in building a global Caliphate, drowning people in large cages, burning folks to death, and, of course, shooting the infidels. These ogres of the innocent and oppressed are coming our way – in fact, they are already here… So, I’m thinking it might be a very good idea to wipe these bastards off the face of the earth.

Yes, our Spring and Summer come to us this year with some major events taking place. Be wary and watchful but enjoy as well you can this beautiful time of the year.

This author will continue to write his blogs, his books, and songs until the cow is back in the proverbial barn giving milk for our newly born.

Life is full of proverbial ups and down, good deals, bad deals, war, peace, love, harmony. It’s all recorded in our history books…if they are not too severely revised. Some of us feel we must be pretty dumb not to be heeding the advice given by history.

We will get back to that.

Billy Ray Chitwood – March 24, 2016

 My thirteen books of Mystery, Suspense, Romance, Memoir can be previewed at my Website:  http://www.goo.gl/nWMXm3


 

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Proud recipient of eleven blog awards  

Magical Day in February

KY house

Magical Day in February

 

Fluffy whites play in the sky

Of powder blue,

Defying the gray of winter

With its pleasant hue.

Surely an ugly mood can

Change to Hope,

Dispel for hours the woes

With which we cope.

Can such a Day void the

Voices of Doom?

Shatter dark oppressive shadows

Of gloom?

Allow miracles to alter the

Ways of Man?

Is it folly to think that such

Days fit a plan?

Of course, if bleak with snow

Where you live,

You may find my jaunty lines

Hard to forgive.

But I joyfully leave you with

These trite words

To walk the sunshine paths and

Feed the birds

 

(Billy Ray Chitwood – February 6, 2016) 

Please look over my website at goo.gl/nWMXm3 – you can PREVIEW my thirteen books in various genres…mystery, suspense, thriller, romance, memoir, government. I’m of course biased but it’s my belief you will find some great quality reads.

My newest book, Stranger Abduction, just out late 2015, is inspired by an Arizona ‘Cold Case’ about a mother and daughter disappearance- the novel presents a fictional and/or alternate scenario for the case…would love to have you read the book and give an Amazon US, UK, and Goodreads REVIEW.

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goo.gl/RgXHn2 Amazon US

goo.gl/up8gwX Amazon UK

http://authl.it/3yi Amazon Worldwide

Some Other Links:

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Awake and Asleep

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Awake and Asleep

I’m a simple man and it is not my intent to bore people with the mundane and obvious…though, at times, I’m sure I do. My attempt is to be engaging and to have something important, perhaps witty, to say – to promote one of my books and be self-conscious that those who might read the promotion will be deleting me and calling me a spammer. Now, it is possible that I’m a certified malcontent or a chronic ‘whatever’!

Like now, this moment, I’m re-reading what I just wrote in the first paragraph and saying to myself, ‘get to the point, hillbilly hotshot’. So, I shall!

I’m awake, sitting in the sunroom, looking out at the rolling hills of Lincoln’s Kentucky, and all’s really right with my world. That is, I’m not going to think about the chaos, the mind-bending killings taking place all over the world, the rosy spin our president inserts into the ‘State of the Union’ message. It’s good to pump up the people, to give them positive signs that we’re better off today than when he took office seven years ago. We buy his eloquence in delivering his ‘legacy’ message or we doubt the veracity of his emotional and passionate oratory… No, I’m not going to think about this or the other thought patterns of economy, education, jobs, freedom, liberty, security, those noble principles and values carefully and tediously recorded in the Constitution of the United States of America… No, the sky is a wondrous blue and the sun touches my face and body bringing languid moments. Why squander such beauty with negative mind-absorption?

Now, I’m asleep and in a dream…a terribly flighty, unorganized puzzle put together by my sub-conscious…that’s an assumption. I’m here! I’m there! With people I don’t recognize! I’m flying, not in a plane, me, I’m flying, using breast strokes to pull me higher into the sky where I glide over the land and buildings below. When I begin to lose altitude I use my breast stroke to regain the space I lost. With a steady sync of fall and breast stroke, I’m again on the ground and wondering why I’m lying in this ditch. Now, I’m on a real plane with people I don’t know and it’s about to crash! Suddenly, I’m not on the plane but a night bystander on terra firma some 500 feet away, watching the jet fly out of sight behind a hangar-type building and crash. I see the red flames with black tint shooting upward. The dream shifts to a parking area where I’m trying to find my car… I can’t find it, and I’m in a panic!

I’m awake again, reclined in my Lazy Boy, looking across the sunroom at my sweet Julie Anne, dividing her time between finding genealogy nuggets on the web and cat napping… Oh, and George the cat is napping as well.

Well, that’s my blog post for this week… If anyone can possibly tell me what all of this is about I shall be eternally grateful. The best I can sum it all up is by generalizing: ‘Awake and Asleep’ we fight our ‘demons’!

Billy Ray Chitwood – January 14, 2016

Okay, I’m going to spare you this week and not promote one of my books. Nope, I’m going to promote all thirteen of them by sending you to my website, goo.gl/nWMXm3. There, you will find mystery, suspense, action, thriller, romance, memoirs. Aside from a couple of non-fiction books, there are several novels that were inspired by true crimes and events. Many have 5-Star reviews. The books have entertainment value and the style of writing has clarity and a musing quality. Please take a look at the website for summaries of the books, some excerpts, and some bio information about me. Thank you very much.

Some Links:

http://www.goo.gl/nWMXm3 

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

http://www.about.me/brchitwood

http://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard/billyraychitwood  

http://facebook.com/billyray.chitwood

https://www.linkedin.com

Member: #asmsg #IAN #AHA

(Proud to have received eleven blog award nominations)

Millions Do It – Why Should I?

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Millions Do It – Why Should I?

Look at the blank pages!

I’ve looked at blank pages for many years, even managed to fill enough of them to write thirteen books, books of mystery and suspense, some inspired by true-life events, even filled some of those blank pages with romance and books about myself. You can find those thirteen books on http://goo.gl/nWMXm3. While I’m at it, I lay claim to roughly 250 blog posts, many tracking emotional events and moments, serving up comments on some of the world’s crazies. There are flash fiction goodies and short stories. My blogs and archive appear on Goodreads and on https://thefinalcurtain1.wordpress.com. I’ve been very gratified in receiving eleven blog nominations. Hopefully, some of you will find reading pleasure in these blog posts.

There are a few book sales, some great amazon and Goodreads reviews, and, humble as I am, I believe the books should be reaching more readers. One of the big problems is my ineptness in the digital world, how to extend the reach of my blogs and books to a wider audience. I rely on Twitter tweets, promos added to my posts, Amazon, and Kindle KDP. I’ve never been adept in electronics, mechanics, and have a problem keeping up with the social media flow. Another problem is I’m ‘cheap’, don’t want to spend thousands on advertising and/or a publicist. AND, with millions of writers across the globe, I’m a needle in the proverbial hay stack.

(Yeah, I know, you’ve heard all of this in previous blogs and private conversations…there are great numbers of us!)

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love to write and consider much of the social media a distraction to filling more blank pages. If truth be known, the writing is enough for me. But, there’s a small selfish part of me that would like to see some monetary rewards for my efforts. Now, notwithstanding my humility, I know my books, blogs, stories, have an entertainment value and a clarity of style. Sure, the process is long with the first draft, the editing, rewrites, the proofing, and the re-reads. Even with all involved in the writing process, I can almost guarantee, after one of my books is published, there will be a minor typo or errata. From Indie writers to traditionally published authors, one generally can find errors in some of their published pages.

Well, venting-time is over… I just wanted to share with so many of my writing friends that making money on those blank pages you fill up is wonderful – and you likely go the extra mile, spend much of your time and energy in the promotional stage…not to say you have not written a beautiful book that deserves the big payoff. Indie or traditionally published, I’m happy for you.

If this sounds self-serving, well, it is! I checked the KDP report and saw my modest sales. I would like more sales, but I’ll keep writing, regardless. It keeps me active and alive…and, when I write on those blank pages the particular phrases that bloat me with delight, well, those are the game winners for me.

Now, will all who read this start a viral event and buy my books!!!

Hope springs eternal!

Billy Ray Chitwood – November, 2015

Visit me at:

http://brchitwood.weebly.com

http://www.about.me/brchitwood

http://twitter.com/brchitwood

http://goodreads.com/author/billyraychitwoo

http://amazon.com/author/billyraychitwood

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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BUY SITES:

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

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

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

SOME LINKS:

http://www.about.me/brchitwood

http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com

http://amazon.com/author/billyraychitwood

http://twitter/brchitwood

http://facebook.com/billyray.chitwood

https://plus.google.com/+BillyRayChitwood/posts

http://facebook.com/billyrayscorner

http://goodreads.com/author/dashboard/billyraychitwood

https://linkedin.com

https://tumblr.com

Member: #asmsg and #IAN

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

most-influential-blogger-e1364230844577 (1) beautiful-blogger-award

           

Do You Know This Man?

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Do you know this man?
No?
I knew him, not so well, some forty years ago…he was a habitue, a devotee, of the Phoenix neon night life, looking for parts of himself he had lost along the long 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 women.
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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BUY SITES:
Amazon US: goo.gl/x459WR
Amazon UK: goo.gl/oyc499
Amazon Worldwide: http://authl.it/1su
***
Excerpts from:
THE CRACKED MIRROR
 ***
In the end, my story must be like so many others, a story of a simple kid who grew up eating emotional soup and spending a lifetime trying to digest it. There are no spectacular or heroic moments. I’ve been in the United States Navy, but I’ve never fought a war—except the one I’ve declared within myself. So I know not the pain of holding a bleeding comrade to my bosom as he or she gasps the final breaths. I know not the anguish of a parent losing a child in an accident, or, in war—unless losing a child to drugs can be comparable. I’ve loved and been in love, but I’ve never stepped far enough from myself to know the true and natural profundity of its happiness and joy. I’ve been born but never died—unless the demon of the past is segmented death. The prospect of dying scares the hell out of me—not so much the prospect itself, but the pitiful legacy that is left behind.
***
I’ve known insecurity and fear, along with self-confidence, loyalty, and pride. There have been the sins, small enough, I hope, to keep me at least somewhere in the thoughts of those I’ve loved. At times I’ve longed for ‘Nepenthe,’ the drug mentioned in ‘The Odyssey’ as a remedy for grief, the potion used by the ancients to induce forgetfulness of pain and sorrow. But, then, without some pain, can the soul truly seek refuge when the long journey is over?
***
The jail cell brought back sobriety and a stark reality. Sitting on a hard dirty ‘bed thing’ in the dimly lit, tiny barred enclosure, the demon thoughts came and possessed me. My world was disintegrating around me! The claustrophobic cell was my coffin of contriteness, a veritable symbol of my languishing life. There again was the ‘dark closet’ feeling within me, an anxious and suffocating hell! Grabbing at the bars I pitifully called out to the jailer, but no one came. Within the limited space I paced, stopped at the ugly stained wall, splayed my body against it, and tapped my forehead against its roughness. The jailer eventually came. He showed me a smile of compassion and told me that morning would come soon; then, I would be arraigned. The fitful night would pass.
***
It is Time that wears down the acts and deeds of man into something forgettable, heroic, historical, mundane, noble, silly, unforgettable. It is Time that leads us warily toward the greatest secret of all: That which lies beyond the dark veil!
***
There are men like you in the world, Prentice, through whatever kind of intervention, divine or otherwise, who must make us cry and laugh, who record for us the stirrings of the soul which we might otherwise never know.”
[End of Excerpts]
SOME LINKS:
Member: #asmsg and #IAN
NINE BLOG AWARDS, INCLUDING:
most-influential-blogger-e1364230844577 (1)
Billy Ray Chitwood on about.me
Billy Ray Chitwood
about.me/brchitwood