Sunrise Sonata

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Sunrise Sonata

The man’s countenance projected a sorrowful and faraway expression as his body found some measure of comfort against the boulder just below the rise of the hill. The spot was his place of meditation.

 

He came during darkness after the awful TV news of a mob’s protest turned violent killing innocents and destroying property over several city blocks.

 

In the dark quietness he lifted his tenor saxophone toward the starlit sky and filled the cool air with soft mellifluous notes, springing from a well of remembered love songs. The soft notes floated upward toward a Deity the man could never forsake, to the Omniscient and Omnipotent King of Kings, the golden instrument praying in its way for the miracle of Love and Peace.

 

Tears came to dry upon his face time and again as the agony of soul sought release. The anger and hate of hooded protesters could not stop the madness that plagued the Earth. Only the merger of kindred minds could bring the world together.

 

The man watched the sunrise from his spot of somber solitude, and a spiritual stirring came to his body, a feeling of some respite, a sense of Designed Expectation.

 

He rose, placed his saxophone in its case and walked from the hill. He was sure he could hear the rapturous sounds of his saxophone in the air behind him.

 

Billy Ray Chitwood – February 11, 2017

 

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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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A Parable of Sorts

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Because so much is happening in the world today, I thought I would get 2016 started with a short story I wrote back three years ago. It conveys the ugliness in the world but it has faith and love as well. Hope you enjoy:

It’s curious how the mind can wander off into a story.

During a ‘time out’ from working on my WIP (a new book) my mind began its wandering and somehow settled on some of the world’s more problematic issues – at least, from the perspective of someone living in the USA and being bombarded each day with unsettling news from far away places, news of Syria’s internal devastating turmoil, of Iran’s new leadership, plus a ‘new treaty’, and how it might hold little promise for relieving old angers and hatreds, news of a North Korea that seems always deleterious and scary…

I reached for my laptop and began to type this rather small piece that became a fanciful story. I decided at its conclusion that it had some ‘nuance’ here and there and decided to give it a title, “A Parable of Sorts.” I’m posting it here because I’m a writer who can hardly ever let anything I write, good or bad, go to waste. Hopefully, this little tale will not be too disconcerting to the senses. With this said, here’s the tale…

A Parable Of Sorts

Sasha begged him not to go. “You belong here with me, Leonid. The battle is within you, not with North Korea. What of us?” She tugged at his tattered coat.

He smiled benignly, “You’re a lovely and silly girl. You do not understand the reality of our time. To stay would be to defy my beliefs, my convictions, and, yes, my anger and hatred.”

“You would die for these beliefs and convictions, this anger and hatred?”

“We all must die, Sasha.”

“You brought me here to be left alone in a strange country?”

“Hong Kong is not a strange country, foolish one. We’ve been here sometime now. You know many of our native people. Go to them when your money runs out. Stay with them. Should something go wrong, I will return for you.”

“Please, Leonid, you go to die and you know it. You’ve told me of your plans. You go on a suicide mission. I’ve begged before and I beg of you, now, please stay!”

At the door of the small efficiency apartment, Leonid paused with his hand on the door knob. His dark eyes and handsome face held a strange and wistful look. He removed his hand from the door knob, returned to Sasha where she stood by the tiny dining table. “You are so beautiful, my blue-eyed wonder.” He embraced and gave her a long passionate kiss.

He then quickly twisted her head until he heard the snap. The lips were still in a half-smile as her head dangled and fell to his right shoulder, her blue eyes large and vacant in their death stare. In a whisper, he spoke, to the face he had loved, “Better you go this way, my dear Sasha, than to linger in life’s pain. You cannot know but I did love you.”

Leonid gently lowered her body onto a soiled stuffed chair just a few feet from the dining table, gazed upon her splayed form for some seconds, then slowly left the apartment. Tears welled but he willed them away, a final and essential part of his being had snapped and was forever lost to him.

*****

Night, reluctant to shed its vagueness, was slowly showing its lightened eastern clouds as the sun gave way to earth’s perpetual orbital pattern. Leonid walked in the shadows along streets leading to the Kumsusan Memorial Palace. It was still quiet in this city known as ‘Flat Land’ in its translation. In his backpack he carried explosives with timer mechanisms that he would plant at key buildings. The explosive carefully strapped to his body he would save for the KMP.

His thoughts were well focused on his morning’s mission but he could not deny the flashing memories that brought him to this point in time…

His father, mother, and brother had been ruthlessly killed here in Pyongyang in 2012 by a squad of government gangsters of the ‘People’s Republic of Korea.’ His family was shown no mercy as they were chopped to death by machetes, labeled spies against the state. Four hours later his older brother and sister were pulled from their lodgings, beaten, and then chopped to death. The government squad had no ears to listen to his family’s protests of innocence, their legitimate reason for being in the ‘Flat Land,’ their labored cries of mercy.

Pyongyang’s government never wavered from their ill-gotten information about his family. Never mind that his mother had pleasantly refused to cater a special luncheon for the squad and their friends, the sole event and motive that brought the hatred and the killings. Never mind that his sister would be raped before she was chopped. The killings were all justified, each query quashed and forgotten by the government.

His marriage to Sasha prior to the family murders made home life an hourly ebb and flow of emotions. When sleep would come there were the hellish nightmares, waking, screaming the names of his dead family, his body slick with sweat and tears, Sasha clinging to him, sobbing, trying desperately to slay the night-dragons that possessed him.

Then came the job loss and it was as though the people of Hong Kong could see the rage in his eyes, the stench of hatred from his body. He became a man avoided and feared. Sasha tried to get him help, would set an appointment for him to see someone who might be able to help him, but he would not arrive at the set time. Sasha was the only person in the large city who could give him moments of relative calm, but then those times of surcease became fewer and fewer.

He would not bathe nor shave, only when Sasha would run his bath and physically pull and push him to the tub and wash and rinse him. For those few precious moments Sasha could almost sense some warmth come to him…but it never lasted long. The strange hatred that occupied him never resulted in personal damage to her. She did the talking, asking questions of him, and he bluntly answered the questions – until the fateful day he killed her! It was only some modicum of revenge that would fulfill what was left of his putrid life…

As he walked in the shadowy stillness, a voice came to him from an alleyway just a few feet away: “Leonid, I must talk to you. Come walk with me in the alley.”

Leonid stopped, momentarily startled…no one knew his name, knew that he was here in Pyongyang. “Who speaks my name?” He braced himself against a building corner near the alley, moving his hand near a detonator that would vaporize him and much of the immediate area.

“A friend, Leonid. Please come these few steps and talk to me. There is no harm intended. We will talk, and you can do then what you will.” The voice had a calm and soft cadence, and Leonid knew that the man spoke the truth.

Leonid walked a few feet into the alley until he saw a man’s form. What struck him were the man’s eyes. They glowed in the semi-darkness, matched the tenor of the stranger’s voice. Oddly, Leonid was not afraid of the stranger and walked some fifty feet further down the alley, stopping when the stranger sat on a wooden crate. The stranger bid Leonid to sit on another wooden crate nearby.

“How is it that you know me and what do you want?”

“I’m just a man who knows the pain you carry within you and the mission that you are on.”

“How could you possibly know such things?”

“I have been with you all the way from Hong Kong, Leonid, mourning with you the loss of your beloved Sasha.”

“I killed her! With these ugly knotted hands, I killed her. How can you know this, Tell me who you are and why you are here, or, I will…”

“Leonid, just a few questions I have and you can be on your way.” The stranger’s voice was mesmerizing, measured in softness and tone. “Why is it, Leonid, that we are here on this spinning orb we call earth?”

There was rapture in the stranger’s voice that commanded a response. “We are here to live in parables and to die and be no more.”

The stranger’s eyes seemed to glow more brightly and the long beard he wore was a pellucid whiteness that seemed somehow unearthly. Leonid quickly considered whether of not he was awake or in a dream.

The stranger spoke. “So, why is it that the moon falls from the sky, the sun does not bring us daylight, and birth has no precise process to follow?”

Still taken by the stranger’s soothing voice, but a bit nonplussed, Leonid responded. “But you know that is not so. What is your motive here?”

The stranger seemed not to hear the question. “Why is there no evil and good in the world?”

“Stop confounding me with your Socratic silliness. Of course, there is evil and there is good in the world.”

“And why do you think that is so?”

“God only knows.”

“You speak His name as though you know him, Leonid. Do you know God?”

“There is no God!”

“Yet, you say He knows about evil and good.”

“Look, your aura wraps me in some kind of spell and I seem compelled to listen to your words. Please tell me what it is you wish me to know.”

“One last question, your response, and I will say my final words to you. “Did you truly love Sasha?”

“Of course, with all my heart I loved her, but my heart and soul is heavy with grief and hatred.”

“Like the hatred of Jesus’ enemies as they crucified Him on the cross? Like the hatred of the Americans for the Japanese during World War Two? Like the psychotic hatred of serial killers?”

“Yes, yes! How else can I answer such questions?”

“You can answer such questions by having Faith that there is more to come beyond this life, by believing that evil only spreads when good people are paralyzed by anger, fear, and hatred. To Love is to have Faith. To have Faith is to have Love. These noble elements of living decide our ultimate destinies. People have choices to make all their earthly lives. They will not always make the right choices, but Faith and Love will make all the wrong choices bearable and inconsequential when the last grain of sand is gathered.”

As more light came to the alley Leonid thought that he understood what the stranger was saying to him. He wanted to say something but no words would come.

The stranger lifted himself from the crate and stood in front of Leonid. “May I touch your head, Leonid, so that it might bless you?”

With tears now flowing, Leonid merely moved his head downward. The stranger touched his head. Leonid sensed warmth on his head and a coursing flutter through his body. Then, the hand left his head.

When Leonid raised his head, the stranger was gone and daylight streamed throughout the alley.

*****

When Leonid awoke, his head was on his own pillow. He was gazing at the adjoining pillow into the wondrous blue eyes of his beloved Sasha, a sweet smile upon her face.

“You look different somehow, my love. Do you still intend to carry out your vendetta against North Korea? Please say that you will not.” She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled her face to his chest.

“No, my precious love, there will be no vendetta, not ever…” Leonid tightly wound himself around Sasha and gave her a long and tender kiss. “I’m torn,” he said, “making love to you, or, bacon and eggs?” He paused only briefly, “Oh, to hell with the bacon and eggs…”

[END of ‘short story’]

Billy Ray Chitwood – January 2, 2016

Bill Chitwood

(Story was first written in June of 2013)

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The Piano Bar

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The Piano Bar

With this post I get to show not only some of my ‘warts of longing and wanderlust’ but an abiding romanticism that has tagged along with me through my life. The Piano Bar is symbolic of some younger years when I was going to live forever, a time when I could play out fantasies and dramatic ‘movie scenes’ of a lonely and desperate man, a time when the amber juices made me not so lonely and desperate…when a young lady fell prey to my somber moans of despair, often leading from The Piano Bar to my hotel or motel room. My symbolism here likely matches well with many a fellow comrade seeking nebulous new beginnings.

I’m not going to write in much detail about those hobo-like days, my boozing, my quaint poetry (also known as my etchings). Instead, I write you a song, a composition in my head and heart from some contemplative and mystic area of being I shall never fully comprehend. In some ways the song might remind some of Billy Joel’s ‘Piano Man’ song… That was never my intent to intrude on someone’s material. The reason for my balladic piece is this: we have a beautiful new house which we (my wife and I) are decorating. In our den over the fireplace mantel there is a colorful painting of a piano. As I type away on my laptop the blogs and the current book on which I’m working I constantly pause and look at that painting. At the end of the day I have one highball (usually a vodka concoction of one sort or another), and, with each sip and the loss of one more brain cell Bacchus stimulates the words as I gaze at my piano painting.

Play Me a Tune, Piano Man

Play me a tune, piano man…

Sing me a song from the years.

Play me a tune, piano man…

Bring back the joy and the tears.

*

Make all the words sad and lonely…

Sung whiskey tenor with heart.

Sing them all warm and embracing.

Keep the crowd rapt from the start.

 *

Now give the keys some gaiety…

Give the crowd reason to smile.

Play ‘til the bar room is closing,

‘Last Call’, folks, for a while.

*

Play me a tune, piano man…

Sing me a song from the years.

Play me a tune, piano man…

Bring back the joy and the tears.

Billy Ray Chitwood – October 23, 2014

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Now, if you want the full and shameful story, read What Happens Next – A Life’s True Tale.

What Happens Next - 9

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Feel free to comment.

 

Tilt

 

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Tilt

Smoking was not allowed in the dimly lit arcade but the scent of marijuana was strong, carried in by its users, the odor clinging to the clothes, mixing with body sweat, cheap perfume, after shave, and competitive fear emanating from the players’ pores. Curse words, groans, grunts, and the constant electronic sounds spewed forth from the machines…the roaring motors of race cars, bomb bursts, gun battles, beeps, and harsh monotonic whirs of games gone tilt from constant pounding and use. The big warehouse-like building held them all – the common and now highly sophisticated pinball machines, war battle machines for single or double play with hand-held remotes, car racing machines, more complicated and different versions of Pac-Man… All were there.

The big room was crowded with teenagers and adults, male and female. For me it was rather fascinating to see this different culture, this rapt attention to machines. My bored editor felt a good public interest piece could be garnered from my visit to ‘Tilt’, a relatively new enterprise begun just a month prior by two Chinese investors… The only reason for my editor’s interest, he had passed the ‘Tilt’ on the way to his bank and saw so many people and their cars filling up the parking lot – he had not known that arcades still possessed such drawing power.

Walking among the crowd I got jostled several times by the over-exuberant players, not even mindful that they had touched me…so rapt was their self-involvement. The noise was not so shatteringly loud. It was just pesky, like the steady hum of a bunch of houseflies. I found it fascinating, the taut serious faces of the crowd lost in the moments of conquest, fighting these mechanical bulks of electronic imagery.

Paused behind a large teenager, his face covered with acne and perspiration, his arms and hands frantically moving the hand-held objects to stay some ultimate course and reach a high-scoring goal, a flying elbow came at me, caught me flush on the temple, and I went down, confused and stunned by the sudden swirling of the room. I tried to get up, but my body swayed and the entire area around me began to sway and rattle madly. Bolts and metals parts came flying dangerously close by me. I closed my eyes, shook my head, sure that I must be hallucinating. When I opened again my eyes, the scene was worse.

The machines became shadowy floating objects of different colors, blue, green, red, yellow, and I was ducking out of their way as they went by me. Then I saw the floor ahead of me coming apart, ripping, becoming a gaping one-foot aperture, getting wider as it came toward me. The crowd began screaming. The machines became a cacophonous roar, their bright colors disappearing in dissonant swoons all around me.

I reached for a shiny metal wall rail which seemed unaltered by the clamor. There I clung, both hands grasping tightly the round metal, while bodies and the machines were sucked downward into the jagged fissure. I screamed but could not hear my voice. A blond lady who resembled my wife came flailing toward me, her face fixed in disbelief and horror, her hands reaching out to me for help. But I could not let go of the rail.

Then came the turbulent wind! Now I could see grotesque images of men and women, their hair seemingly drawn straight out from their scalps to become part of the landscape of terror. My body was rigid there on the rail and unaccountably not in discomfort. As my mind registered that thought the world went black and deathly silent…

The grayness slowly spread itself into light, hazy at first but growing into a purity of brightness. The brightness came with forms and sounds…beeping sounds and voices with echoic effects. My mind was initially reluctant to accept possibilities of this current reality, but slowly it made its way to a conclusion, just as the purity of brightness gained contour and completeness.

It was a hospital room, my mind suggested, not a heaven nor a hell nor an alien planet. Now from the echoic voices came the solid enunciations of some recognition. Was my wife in the room, noticing my stirring, speaking to a doctor, a nurse, to whom? I found no language clarity in the seemingly faraway words. Then, a spasm within my head made void all sound and I was being absorbed by some pleasant paralysis.

Then, the moment passed, and, again, came the clamor and din, the colors, the machines, the vortex from hell, and my body would not move to avoid once more the blackness that came to engulf me. Just before the blackness a thought came, prosaic in its numbness… Was this the end of days of which I had heard so much?

Flash Fiction by Billy Ray Chitwood

NOTE: My 12th book was just published. It was inspired by some personal experiences and some actual events in Mexico. It is set along the Sea of Cortez in a small fishing village and has kidnapping, murder, mystery, suspense, and intrigue. It has 5-Star Reviews, and I hope you enjoy the read.

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Our Crazy Wonderful World

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Our Crazy Wonderful World

Do you ever idly surf youtube.com, listen and watch the musical and singing talent that appears on the various global ‘got talent’ and ‘X-Factor’ shows? I spent a morning doing just that and felt some strong emotional stirrings bringing tears to the brim.

Musicians and singers as young as nine years old, some as wide as a small VW, female, male, all colors, shapes, and sizes, came on stage giving the judges preconceived negative notions as to their talents. When the unique and wonderful quality of their instruments and/or voices reached those doubtful ears of the judges and the audiences, eyes opened saucer-like, faces altered, and mouths were momentarily locked in a community gape of jaws.

The cameras focused on the stunned people as they slowly began to utter their words of OMG and disbelief, stood in unison to applaud and roar approval. Tears came to many eyes on the judges’ stand and in the large auditorium.

“Unbelievable!” said the judges. “This is incredible!” said the judges. “Amazing!” On and on the praise was delivered to the thrilled singers, most of whom cast their lovely humility and thanks.

My morning idling led me to search my heart, mind, and soul for appropriate digestion of what I saw…being a hopeless romantic and aging seeker of metaphysical truth. The best I can offer is this:

I saw the ‘beauty and the beast’ that abides in all of us…

A long-haired, obese and scraggly young male appears on stage with a young and pretty female. The male is shy and barely audible as he answers the questions of the judges. The petite female is more casual and open in her responses. There is a palpable awkwardness felt all the way into my great room television. Then, magically, there comes the beautifully booming operatic voice of the obese male and the accompanying female’s harmonious notes of unity, a tour de force with everyone standing and applauding.

I saw a young girl, Melissa Venema and her trumpet join the official orchestra of Holland and Andre Rieu to play magnificently ll Silenzio, a version of Taps.

I saw a handsome fourteen-year old lad from Australia sit on a stool with his guitar and bring the tears to all assembled with a voice so vibrant and clear, singing songs he himself wrote.

I saw nine-year old Amira Willighagen sing O Mio Babbino Caro with Andre Rieu’s orchestra, with outstanding beauty and clarity.

As I spent most of my morning surfing these venues on YouTube it came to me that our world is rich in beauty and talent, regardless the skins and structures our DNA dictate, regardless ages. The big question I asked myself in listening to the music of the varied many, why did it evoke tears? Were the tears a natural protocol of the aging masses? Tears of joy for the performing youth? Tears of sadness that these joyous sounds had only this momentary passage in my life already lived? Tears of remembrance for beloved comedians who made people laugh with their pieces of genius?

The only answer which satisfied me was that my soul recognized some eternal message of the ages – Love conquers the beast (the evil) that hides in all of us. The caveat that followed? It seems so much of the world in its misery cannot accept the beauty that surrounds it, and the soul cries in torment. Are the tears but another way in which God tries to reach us, to tell us that there in eternity we will find the beauty found in some idle morning of surfing?

Billy Ray Chitwood

(This post dedicated to ‘crazy and wonderful’ Robin Williams who made all of us momentarily forget pain and suffering with his frantic comic genius… Rest in Peace, Good Robin!)

***

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Julie Anne Chitwood = “The World After WW1”

Julie Author Picture 

Julie Anne Chitwood

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Julie’s book

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The lovely lady in the top picture is my wife, Julie Anne, still smiling and bubbly after all the years with me…the only real difference is her hair: it once was deep brown and reached well below her shoulders.

It occurred to me that my blog posts are so much about me and my books, some flash fiction here and there, and some ‘stir the pot’ commentary, and I have never told anyone about this wonderful woman that has endured me all the years… But, to the point…

Julie was bequeathed ‘a ton’ of historical letters written by her two great aunts, Celeste O’Donnell, Rosalie (Roe) O’Donnell, and her grandmother Anna Mae (O’Donnell) Malin. It was my pleasure to read these magnificent letters and it struck me that these epistles had historical value, the writing itself superb but the topics of which they write deal with the major issues of that era. It took some doing but I finally convinced Julie to do a compilation and the result is, The World After WW1. The compilation became a tome – some 713 pages plus an index. For history lovers, that period (September, 1918 through December, 1921) is covered thoroughly by the three sisters…the Irish question, the League of Nations, American troop return, the Black Sox Scandal, Spanish Influenza, Economic conditions, strikes, riots, release of POWs, the Red Cross, and so much more. There is even a ten-page letter from James Thurber written to ‘Roe’ (Rosalie) and two other co-workers in 1919…the three ladies had been with Thurber at the same Pensione in Paris (a small hotel/boarding house). Ohio State University now has that letter in their ‘James Thurber Museum’.

‘Roe’ is in the Red Cross overseas covering some dangerous areas, meeting some interesting and intriguing people. She is writing to her sisters, Celeste, in St. Louis, Missouri and to Anna Mae in Chicago, reporting on the sights, sounds, events as she travels the different cities of the war-torn world. Celeste and Anna Mae are responding with their news and events happening in the United States.

For anyone interested in history and particularly this time period, these inspired and intelligent letters will more than satisfy. Without any historical revisions, one will read from primary sources exactly what is happening at that time.

The jammed-packed book is available both in paperback and Kindle editions. Here is the ‘Forward’ to The World After WW1 I was privileged to write:

Forward

Generally, when people write about any era in history there is always a possible inclination toward revision, toward subjective observation as opposed to objective observation, toward embellishment of facts and events. It is perhaps a natural act by any writer to make his/her version of an historical period read as dramatically, as poignantly as possible. Essentially, the historical data has some commitment to accuracy, surely. In our political climate today there is so much speculation and doubt as to the accuracy of a writer’s sources relative to a particular time in history, apropos to personal and political bias. That aspect of historical writing will always be with us.

 

What is so refreshing to this reader is the publication of THE WORLD AFTER WWI. The author of this historical work has relied solely on one source, the primary source. THE WORLD AFTER WWI is a remarkable collection of letters by three sisters. One sister is in the Red Cross at the conclusion of World War I, stationed in remote corners of the world, writing to a sister in St. Louis, Missouri and a sister in Chicago, Illinois. The three sisters communicate with each other with minimal mundanity. Rather, they write about the events occurring at the time, like, ‘The Irish Question,’ the League of Nations, American troop returns, the ‘Black Sox’ scandal, silent picture shows, opera, Spanish Influenza, economic conditions, births, deaths, and, of course, personal issues they were facing at the time.

 

These charming and intelligent letters will give the reader perhaps a better glimpse of an era so unique and transforming than any ‘date/fact’ based tome. There is no disrespect intended for our major historical books. They are needed to tediously chronicle the lives of other generations and the events that shaped the future of all other generations. It is just that these letters carry a poignant human touch, weaving in and out of personal matters into the personalities and topics of the day, sharing their views both positive and negative.

 

The letters cover a three-year period from September of 1918 to December of 1921. These three years had some titillating days and months that became headlines of the day. For Genealogy and historical buffs, THE WORLD AFTER WORLD WAR I is a must read.

 

Billy Ray Chitwood

Julie Anne is not as active in the Social Networking world as I but she does maintain a twitter account (@juliechitwood1). Anyone with questions about The World after WW1 she will be happy to hear from you.

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Hold on! Not so fast! You do need to know I have my twelfth book JUST RELEASED and it is getting many 5-Star reviews. Hope you will pick up a copy of A Common Evil at Amazon Worldwide – http://authl.it/1r2. If you like the book write an Amazon review. It will be greatly appreciated. In the meantime, my very best wishes to you all.

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

http://www.about.me/brchitwood

http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO COMMENT.

(NOTE: for this blog post, I do not include my nine blog awards of which I am very proud.)

Meet My Main Character Blog Tour – Bailey Crane

Meet my Main Character Blog Tour – Bailey Crane

NEWLY RELEASED

BookCoverImage (3)

BUY SITES : http://www.goo.gl/d1fSnc US

http://www.goo.gl/U3pZtP UK 

I’ve been tagged by the always effervescent lady (never knew her when she ‘effervuscent’!), Eden Baylee, http://edenbaylee.com, to partake in a blog tour involving my main character.

THE RULES ARE SIMPLE: I must answer seven (7) questions about the main character in one of my novels. Then, I nominate five (5) authors to answer the same seven (7) questions about the main character in one of their novels. Mention the person who nominated you.

Here’s the link to Eden’s main character in Stranger at Sunsetwp.me/p1cWaE-4Q8  Kate Hampton – quite the lady! I’ve read the book and it’s a humdinger! (Okay, mark it up to aging!) I once dated women like Kate – minus certain qualities! Suffice, Kate is beautiful, amazing, and, well, Eden has already described her. BUY SITE for Stranger at Sunset: goo.gl/YhKSmz

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Here are the answers to the seven (7) questions about Bailey Crane, my main character in A Common Evilthe sixth and final book of my ‘Bailey Crane Mystery Series’.

1. Tell us a little about this main character. Is he fictional or a historic person?

He is fictional and controls the narrative in all six of the ‘Bailey Crane Mysteries’.

2. When and where is the story – A Common Evil – set?

The story is set in nostalgic old Mexico along the Sea of Cortez – 2014.

3. What should we know about him? 

Bailey Crane is an ex-cop, among other things. He muses about his life, loves, mistakes, successes, and, of course, the critical criminal matters at hand. He is also married to an ex-cop, Wendy, and she is his ‘port in the storm’. AND, there are some similarities to the author.

4. What is the main conflict? What messes up his life?

Bailey’s main conflict in A Common Evil has to do with the Mexican cartel, his wife’s kidnapping, and a dubious death.

5. What is his personal goal?

Bailey’s personal goal is to find his kidnapped wife, restore sanity to his fun and sun life, and to efficiently run the HOA of the resort in which Wendy and he live.

6. What are the titles of your novels, and where can we read more about them?

You can find my twelve titles at my website – http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com (Just read the bio and scan down the ‘Home Page’.)

The titles of the ‘Bailey Crane Novels’: (1) An Arizona tragedy (Brutal murder Inspired by truth!) – (2) Satan’s Song (Inspired by some truth!) – (3) The Brutus Gate – (4) Murder in Pueblo del Mar (Inspired by a true homicide of a US wife and mother from Arizona) – (5) A Soul Defiled – (6) A Common Evil (NEW! Inspired by some truth).

Aside from the ‘Bailey Crane Books’, there are these books — (7) The Cracked Mirror – Reflections of an Appalachian Son (A memoir!) – (8) Butterflies and Jellybeans – A Love Story (A romance novel with suspense!) – (9) Mama’s Madness (Inspired by true events!) – (10) The Reluctant Savage (Mystery, suspense, romance!) – (11) Joe Public’s Political Perspective (I had to open my mouth!) – (12) What Happens Next? A Life’s True Tale (An embarrassing memoir!)

7. When can we expect your next book to be published?

Sometime late this year or early 2015 – a historically accurate and fictional novel about my grandfather who migrated to the United States from Bern, Switzerland – My grandfather was a saint, but there were some ugly things (like murders and suicides) happening around his life.

*****

Now I’ll nominate (tag) five other authors. All of them are terrific writers, so please visit them and give their books a read.

John Dolan, author of A Poison Tree, book 3 of his ‘Time, Blood and Karma Series’ – http://johndolanwriter.blogspot.com and Twitter @JohnDolanAuthor

Carmen Amato, author of Diablo Nights and other ‘Emilia Cruz’ detective novels – http://carmenamato.net and Twitter @CarmenConnects

Dianne Gray, author of Soul’s Child and other most notable books – http://diannegray.wordpress.com and Twitter @Zigotide

Jeff Joseph, author of Pursued, sequel to A Novel Obsession – http://jeffjosephauthor.wordpress.com and Twitter @author_jeff

E. B. Sullivan, author of Different Hearts and Bloom Forevermore http://ebsullivan.com and Twitter @EBSullivan1

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My best wishes to all.

(NOTE: I’m the proud recipient of nine blog awards which I normally show on my blogs – as a requirement. With this post I’m foregoing their showing.)

Animal Clouds

 

 

beauty-nature-5177867

Animal Clouds

Okay, too much time on my hands, you say! Really, do we ever have enough time? It was only yesterday I was a young man ‘courting the girls’ when my ‘young man’s fancy lightly turned to thoughts of love’. Time has taken those wonderful moments away from me, yes, but it has given me a love, comfortable and serene. Or, is it that my dotage has made it so much easier for my mind to wildly ponder the unrealities of life? Or, is it that my cleverness lives only in a return to childhood? That seems an inconsistent thought when one foot is already inside the boat that gives passage to the River Styx.

Animal Clouds, indeed!

Today, I write and find a multitude of ‘fancies’ as subjects for my pen – well, the laptop, if you must! Today, as I gaze out upon a sunny day with clouds drifting by as if on parade, I make of the shapes animals of all kinds…there’s a boar kneeling in prayer…there, a heavily plumed fowl stretched full out and zipping along with the wind…above the fowl, there’s a huge turtle creeping by the lovely blue background.

Actually, I’m procrastinating! I’m writing my thirteenth book, a saga about my saintly grandfather, his family’s turbulent emigration in 1885 from the Canton of Bern, Switzerland as his fetus lay curled in the tummy of his mother. Well, perhaps it is not to be a saga – don’t know if I have a saga in me, perhaps a mini-saga if there be such a thing. Through the genealogical channels, my wife has found a very interesting life of the man I loved very much as a child. There is of course love, two lovely sisters vying for his troth, his devotion and loyalty. There is madness, literally, as my grandfather’s mother spends much of her life in a mental institution. There is murder, suicide, and all sorts of interesting turns and twists in his life, so I shall make it into a fictional novel that will contain much factual information. After all, there is much that my novel mind must create.

So, I procrastinate, take a break from the longer form of writing to hallucinate and enjoy the circuitous routes the synapses dictate.

Should you wish to form your own animals from the scudding clouds, do not use mine…be proper and original with your laptop. If there is some other wild writing trip you wish to take, turn to any page in the dictionary and pick a word with which you’re not familiar…you can then amaze us blog lovers with the profundity of your wisdom – ahem, as I have here…

‘Tongue in cheek’ time over, I’m back to my saintly grandfather.

Oh, one last thing, I do have twelve books of mystery, suspense, romance, memoir, politics that really need to be read…consider them lonely for attention, words and phrases ‘just looking for a home’. Books have ‘feelings’, too, you know!

Might I suggest one (or, all) of my six ‘Bailey Crane Mysteries’ – some inspired by true crime?

If ‘Romance’ is your staple, my Butterflies and Jellybeans – A Love Story will answer your call, plus add a dash of suspense (don’t let the title fool you).

If you want the hard reality of evil in our world, try my Mama’s Madness (fiction from truth) OR The Reluctant Savage (romance, mayhem, murder) OR my brand NEW thriller A Common Evil.

 Memoirs of my sordid and wonderful life might interest you. The Cracked Mirror – Reflections of an Appalachian Son and What Happens Next? A Life’s True Tale.

Finally, you can determine whether or not you truly hate me or like me by reading Joe Public’s Political Perspective, a ‘rant and rave’ about government – yes, I had to open my mouth, or, in this case, my laptop! Don’t know if I have it right but the thoughts come from an honest place.

All these books are on my personal website – http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com – just scan the home page after the short bio section. Really, could you just start something ‘viral’ for me? The books are entertaining and non-convoluted – I would not know how to make a book too complicated!

Now you’ve seen the begging and crass side of me after getting your attention with animals in the clouds.

Next week, I promise to behave!

http://www.about.me/brchitwood

http://twitter.com (@brchitwood)

http://goodreads.com/author/dashboard

http://facebook.com/billyray.chitwood

http://facebook.com/billyrayscorner

http://linkedin.com (Billy Ray Chitwood)

Feel free to comment. My best wishes.

very-inspirational-blogger1 reality blog award the-wordpress-family-award one-lovely-blog most-influential-blogger-e1364230844577 (1) booker-award liebsteraward inner-peace-award beautiful-blogger-award 

Flowers and Fate

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Flowers and Fate

“Red or yellow roses, Sir?” the older lady in the flower shop asked.

The young man in his early thirties smiled and raised his brow. “Now, how did you know it was to be roses, Millie?” He knew her from a name tag.

“It’s the body language, young man. Your step, your face, the happy gleam in your eyes.”

“Really! I’m that obvious?”

“You’re that obvious,” she teasingly grinned, “plus I’ve had this shop too many years not to know when love walks through the door.”

He put his hands on the counter and gently asked, “And, do you know how many roses I’ll be sending FTD today?”

“You’re a two-dozen fellow, I’m betting.” She pursed her lips.

“And, does my step, my face, and the happy gleam in my eyes tell you which color I’ll pick?”

“Red, of course! You’re obviously in love and you want the red roses to convey your love for the young lady.” She tilted her head slightly in a positive gesture.

“Why would I not choose yellow roses?” the man asked, amused by the conversation.

“Yellow roses would be fine, but you wish to make a deeper statement. Red gets the point of love across rather profoundly. They say, ‘I love you’. Yellow roses convey happiness and joy in more of a friendship fashion… My goodness, listen to me, giving you information you likely already know.”

“No, you’ve actually tagged me perfectly, and I thank you. It will be two dozen red roses, and I trust you will pick out twenty-four of your very best.”

“It will be my pleasure, plus an extra red rose to accentuate the strong statement. I shall make it a very special arrangement for you. You will wish a card sent with the roses…”

His name was Farris Stanley Ballanger. The flowers were going to Johnnie Mahannic. Stan spent some time in thought at the counter as to the words he would put on the card. Smiling, finally satisfied with his choice of words, he placed the card in the accompanying envelope, wrote ‘Dear Sweet Johnnie’ on the front, and handed it to Millie.

Stan paid for the flowers and chatted a few moments more with Millie.

As Stan was about to leave the store, he asked: “Do you mind if I hug you, Millie? You are such a great person.”

Millie obliged, and Stan left the store.

Later around midnight as Stan closed and locked his service station, he was robbed at gunpoint, marched to the ‘Men’s Room’ and shot to death at close range.

Stan’s roses arrived the next morning before news of the robbery and homicide reached Johnnie. Her heart filled with love overflowing as she read what Stan had written on the card:

Love and Time Eternal

It matters not the hours, the days, the years, the lifetime we spend together!

What matters is all the love we have gathered in our hearts

That will last eternally…

Forever, Stanley

(Flash fiction by Billy Ray Chitwood)

In Memory of my Uncle Stanley who lives forever in my heart! 

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I’ve written a novel about love called, Butterflies and Jellybeans – A Love Story 

Butterfly Jellybeans Nook Size

BUY SITES:

US: http://www.goo.gl/tvaJmv

UK: http://www.goo.gl/nQ5ceF 

This book begins with two joggers fatefully brought together on a running path when a lightning strike hits… The story that follows is about love and the obstacles that get in the way: betrayal, sibling rivalry, gambling, murder, a matriarch’s secret, a desert odyssey, and redemption. It is my hope that you will read and enjoy.

http://www.about.me/brchitwood

http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com (for a bio sketch and all my books)

http://twitter.com (@brchitwood)

http://facebook.com/billyray.chitwood

http://facebook.com/billyrayscorner 

http://linkedin.com 

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Please feel free to leave a comment below – after the blog awards I am proud to display.

most-influential-blogger-e1364230844577 (1) reality blog award booker-award one-lovely-blog inner-peace-award beautiful-blogger-award liebsteraward the-wordpress-family-award very-inspirational-blogger1