Darkness, Light, and Shadows

Darkness, Light, and Shadows

By BR Chitwood

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The visits from ‘Darkness, Lights, and Shadows’ have been often over the spread of my life, my cornbread-loving, hog-slopping, ‘hay-behind-the-ear’ yokel life, or, at least, assumed so…

What am I trying to convey here? (This question comes up quite often as I poke fingers at these typing keys!)

Divorce, broken family, and some terror insanity took me from those beautiful green hills of Tennessee, into the US Navy, and, after discharge, on the ‘GI Bill’ into the college world of learning. Those kids in the classrooms with the minds that worked orderly had some fun with the strange words and phrases that came from my countrified mind…and, shucks, I laughed right along with the professors and the kids…hey, they were learning the difference between ‘citified’ and ‘countrified’.

There came later on the ‘neon world’, the bars, restaurants, and pretty ladies, marriages, divorces, and further painful learning. I made it to the corporate world of sales and management, stayed for years. With a talent agency, I did TV commercials, some film and stage acting…my world, the ‘oyster’ – and I enjoyed every morsel…

During the ‘hayseed years’ of my past, I had enjoyed singing, writing, poetry, along with my love for cowboy movies. Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Tim Holt were some of my favorites until I went to the movie thrillers and romantic broken hearts that had to be put back together.

I’m married to a wonderful lady now for many years, and we share the love of our kids, and the ‘grands’! I have written over twenty novels, including two bios, 500 blog posts, poetry, many short stories and Flash Fiction pieces, lots of Poetry, and many songs…AND, I’m a lousy self-publisher and have done a poor job in my marketing of materials.

The main thing is, I’m old now, and I don’t want to be old… I want to do it all over again, minus those early years of gloom and uncertainty…

So, if anyone has a ‘magic pill’ or ‘time tunnel’ and you are a gracious, giving person… Okay, ‘local yokel’!  You have gone past your ‘nap time’.

BR Chitwood – May 12, 2022

If interested, the reader can find almost everything I have written at my Website below! Please visit!

https:///www.brchitwood.com

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SEE A FEW COVERS BELOW!

CAN YOU BE TITILLATED?

SEE MORE BOOKS/COVERS AT MY WEBSITE!

(WITH SYNOPSES & BUY SITES FOR ALL 20 BOOKS.) https://www.brchitwood.com

So, Now What?

So, Now What?

BR Chitwood

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Another move!

Sold our beautiful South Mountain Retreat – could not turn down the price…yeah, I know, money is not everything! Couple it, however, with home prices ‘through the roof’, a body getting older and less functional with each passing day plus a handsome payoff and a temporary move-in with our good and wise daughter, my wife doing all the work (I know, I know! I’m worthless!) and me sitting sprawled on my ‘lift chair’ already typing this short post… A lovely couple, Blake and Claudia along with their beautiful Lab, Sami, are the new owners – Blake, a Clinical Psychologist and, Claudia, a Registered Nurse – beautiful people from the far west.

Aging of course comes with strange catalysts, like, a sudden fall or short memory recall…just laying the foundation like it is, the result of a couple of falls, some aches and pains.  I can still walk and get around, have family who cater to my needs – and, wow, I use this to the greatest ‘poor me’ extent possible. Actually, the place I feel still secure within myself, still viable in my writing, is when I open this laptop gadget and start my pecking.

You can take this to the bank: I shall know when my words become too mundane and without any solid penmanship…maybe this short post will give one pause as to the viability of my writing…,

  That is when I will ‘rock you’ with a scintillating short story, flash fiction, and/or poetry. Writing has been such a strong force for so many years, it would be sacrilege not to obey its enticements.

So, no earth-shattering piece here, just some facts of my aging life for my small cadre of readers and writers.

 My wife did all the work, so why am I so damned tired?

Just saying!

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BR Chitwood – May 9, 2022

Go to Word Press for synopses of my twenty books, over 400 blog posts, short stories, flash fiction, and poetry.

https://www.brchitwood.com

On the Road Again

On the Road Again

BR Chitwood

*My great grandson, Owen, welcomes you to my post…

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Since I’ve spent a large portion of my life ‘on the road’ in either a work capacity or living in a new city or town, it came to me that it might interest some folks about possibilities of Wanderlust, Shifting Thoughts, and/or simply the Nature of the Beast…and, perhaps obvious to some ‘the Nature of the Beast’ scenario is perhaps the most accurate among the short list of selections – but, all of them play a part in this Romantic’s tale.

Well, sure, it’s a bit late for a psychiatrist’s visit, and, the truth is, much of my life I’ve thought those ladies and gentlemen with the plush offices and comfortable chairs and sofas were the people who needed some directional assistance themselves… Now, I mean no disrespect to these ‘head-working’ people. We all have to be somewhere. The bottom-line, I figured that it was I who needed to do the mind-work to figure me out, and it has come slowly, surely, and with some degree of stimulants (like alcohol, depressive thoughts, lonely bars, and cheap motels.

There are a lot of boys and girls growing up in the southern part of our country – that is, states like Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama, where some of our youth more or less get mixed signals in their growing up, although I’m suspecting Tennessee and those beautiful Appalachian hills might claim all the marbles for this shortcoming– I’m so-stating this because this is where my non-glorious life began, complete with trauma, dirt roads, parental arguments and fighting, divorce, state-run schools, and a substantial overload on one’s psyche and intellect…sufficient without further glamorous etching.

Yes, I know each of us came from somewhere and had story-book childhoods, loving parents, good education, and better than fair looks down the roads they would take in growing into whatever it was they were to be. As it would turn out, with all that swirling debris in my mind and soul, I made that long trip with some nice successes along the way, the best of which was my fourth wife, Julie Anne – a true treasure of love and sacrifice (I come with sacrifices! Just, saying!)

Julie Anne has been my reader and editor of twenty novels plus near 400 blog posts and lots of poetry. Some of the novels are taken from crimes that have not been solved to this day, on a shelf of ‘unsolved cases’ in a police station in Phoenix, Arizona and/or Bisbee, Arizona. If I must say, the writing is good and should be read by every reader: for enjoyment, of course, but to catch a few typos and/or errata along the way… There are a couple of books that tell a bit of my personal story, even some film bits of which I was a part, hopefully to make the reader buy a book – my book, that is!

I’m still writing while the clock ticks away the time and I figure to keep typing away for some years yet. At the end of this is the address of my Web site, where all my books, with synopses, some 5-star reviews, and an e-mail for anyone who would like to correspond with me.

I’m too old to be embarrassed by my words in this blog post. Thank you for reading…

BR Chitwood

https://www.brchitwood.com

Always With Love

Always With Love

BR Chitwood

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It is difficult to imagine where I would be in this life without the woman in the picture above, my wife, assuming my existence in this life at this point in time.

Sure, it is just another sentimental prosing of a hopeless ‘Romantic’, but this lady, Julie Anne, is all the trumpeting I’m doing here, and, more. She has been with me through the writing of twenty books in different genres, hundreds of blog posts, short stories, and flash fiction, reading it all, offering helpful comments along with her praise…in the meantime, preparing our meals, caring for our pets, and still managing to be a mother to our many children.

My immersion in the writing brings at times outbursts and childish behavior…she simply smiles gently and wanders off to tackle other chores.

Now, near the final years of aging, I still do some writing. Julie Anne does a lot with her genealogy efforts, communicating with people from all over the globe…Genealogy fascinates her, and her glee in finding new people who belong to her ‘tree’.

Julie has written about the pets we have owned through the years – “Animal Crackers in My Bed” (the book is on Amazon).

She has also compiled a history book – “The World After World War 1” (a ‘Tome’, really) of letters written by her grandmother and two sisters of her grandmother. One of the sisters serving overseas in the Red Cross during ‘World War One’. The letters brilliantly depict the history of the time – 1918-1921…also on Amazon. (A copy of one of the letters, written by James Thurber to the Red Cross sister, was acquired by Ohio State University for their historic documents of major importance.

Julie is a unique and beautiful lady, and, for some forty years, she has been there to help and encourage me in my writing, to love me, and a mom of the highest order… I am a most lucky man…

BRC

https://brchitwood.com

ired But Still in the Fight

Tired – But Still in the Fight

BR Chitwood

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The softness, sweetness settles within me

On this still, slumberous, summer day…

The sky above is clear and convenient

 To my aging heart and soul of wandering.

The big windows out of which I peer

Display the birds, quails and rabbits in

Their daily missions for food and play,

          Forever watchful as the coyotes are fast         

 Afoot, canny, can spring from the idle

Brush, Ironwood, and Palo Verde Trees.

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Here, in the comfort of A/C and luxury,  

My mind ponders the plurality of messages

My outside view might reveal through

This tired heart and soul that have borne

Witness to so much my Gracious God

Has so generously shared along my way…

The joy of love and family, the search

For fame and glory that has shown in

Quantities never as large as one might hope,

Never the prominence foolish pride allowed.

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So, it seems this beauty outside my windows

Is occasionally followed by rain and wind…

Perhaps, more in hope and longing, nay, in

Truth and Faithful days and nights of dark

And wistful thoughts, witnessed by the moon

And brilliant stars outside another window…

After prayer, a truth emerges, vague, tingling,

And, suddenly, my bedroom wall to the East,

 An amorphous cloud slowly passes, my eyes

Widen: an image of Jesus gently smiling…

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BR Chitwood –

https://brchitwood.com

Do You Know This Man?

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Do You Know This Man?

By BR Chitwood

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, searching for parts of himself he lost along a long emotional road from the hills of 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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Amazon Worldwide

https://www.brchitwood.com

Excerpts from “The Cracked Mirror…”

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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?

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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.

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It is Time that wears down the acts and deeds of man into something forgettable, mundane, heroic, noble, historical, and unforgettable. It is Time that leads us warily toward the greatest secret of all: That which lies beyond the dark veil!

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“…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.”

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BR Chitwood

Okay, here I am today, no longer chasing those windmills, still trying to figure out this ‘one foot in front of the other’ thing. There are times when it seems I’m pretty close to figuring out this grand production, but those times are little teaser moments to stir something in the soul — sort of like a dreaded visit to a doctor or dentist, getting the car repaired – feels great when you find out the blood pressure is normal (thanks to a little round pill taken each day), the teeth cleaning and exam present no new cavities, and the car now carries no shameful dent.

All in all, living for some years on the rolling bluegrass hills of lovely Kentucky, a good wife, an aging, lovable cat, great daughters and sons, have given me happiness and joy. Back in Arizona the past still gets in my way at times in inscrutable ways, like a misty longing for something valuable I’ve left behind. I’ve never abandoned my faith, though fragile it might be, and there are many more good days than bad,

With all this said, I’m still writing, still searching…guess that only stops when mortal time gives up on me…

 BR Chitwood – April 6, 2022

If you like books of mystery, suspense, action, romance, many of which are inspired by true events, please visit my website at  https://www.brchitwood.com – after a short bio, just scroll down the ‘home’ page to preview the books and synopses of each.

More: It’s all here: https://www.brchitwood.com

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Nine of the author’s 20 books shown below…  Go to https://www.brchitwood – Website with synopses of all 20 books, over 375 blog posts, short stories, poetry, songs, author info, and BUY SITES AT YOUR AMAZON SITE…

Please visit! You will find some good reading with ‘BUY SITES’, book reviews, et al!

BR Chitwood – Author

April 6, 2022

NOTE:

All books below have 5-STAR REVIEWS on AMAZON!

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If you like books of mystery, suspense, action, romance, many of which are inspired by true events, please visit my website at  https://www.brchitwood.com – after a short bio, just scroll down the ‘home’ page to preview the books and synopses of each.

More: It’s all here: https://www.brchitwood.com

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Nine of the author’s 20 books shown above…  Go to https://www.brchitwood – Website with synopses of all 20 books, over 375 blog posts, short stories, poetry, songs, author info, and BUY SITES…

Please visit! You will find some good reading with ‘BUY SITES’, book reviews, et al!

BR Chitwood – Author

April 6, 2022

You Are Your Moods

You Are Your Moods

BR Chitwood

You are your moods…just sharing some of mine…

My mother was a gentle, generous, and kind woman from a large loving family of four boys and four girls, the matriarch of the brood fervently involved in her Protestant Faith. The father was a quiet, gentle, corpulent man, a railroad foreman for the Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company, a most pleasant person who seldom interfered with the demands of his pious wife who each day offered a loud, long, tearful, prayer to her Father in Heaven, with all present kneeling for her long wailing wishes for blessings and forgiveness of sins committed by her and her brood. Despite the parental toughness of her ways and the seriousness of her moods, she was a kind and gentle person.

Two of the four boys would serve their country in World War Two, one ferrying our brave warriors to the shore at Omaha Beach. The youngest of the brothers was murdered as he was closing down his ‘Filling Station’ late at night in Knoxville, Tennessee. Stanley was his name and a most wonderful Uncle. Uncle Stanley saw me through some difficult times in my early life. I loved this good man and think of him often through all these years.

Uncle Stanley and my mother were so much alike, both holy of heart, soul, and honorable in their daily living…

My Mom was a boarding house cook and a Bell Telephone Operator/Supervisor. Because of economic conditions at the time my mother had to rely on the state of Tennessee and my grandparents for boarding and financial help – it was a necessary procedure for many families at the time.

My most memorable years came when my mother brought my sister and me to live in a lovely home across from a beautiful college where I played tennis with some of the students and attended elementary school. Times got better for our small family. My sister blossomed early and wanted all that went with a pretty face and desirable body…problems, yes, but the family worked through it.

Much of my life was molded from those early days, still given to thoughts of a past with too little good and a lot of ugliness. I served my country, got through college, taught writing to high school seniors, did some acting, commercials and film, married a few times, sired three beautiful kids who constantly amaze me with their goodness, settled at last with a lovely lady who is all a man could possibly want.

Oh, and I have written twenty books, many based on true crimes, mystery and romance, a couple of memoirs, some 375 blog posts, many ‘flash fiction’ pieces, short stories, and poetry.

Okay, had this quiet afternoon of reflection, felt like writing some of it down, and I feel better…and, I just felt like sharing it with people who might be reading my posts.

All of my books are on: https://brchitwood.com

Hope you can read some of my books…and perhaps leave an Amazon review if so inclined…

Too Much to Absorb

BR Chitwood

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A better person than I can parse and understandthe confounding nature of our world, how we arrive at a multitude of decisions as a disjointed group of politicians handle affairs of our nation from a position of power, personal goals, anger, and disassociation from a particular item of high importance to the people for whom they represent.

 It is my belief that our government handlers are anything but centered to their life-long political biases and hatred for their counter-parts, many so paralyzed by their animosity they would deny their nation responsible representation.

An Appalachian transplant, who am I to have such thoughts?

I saw it at recess on the grounds of my elementary and high schools, in the classrooms, in the halls stalked by bullies… Unlike today, we young people were taught ‘Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic’ so we were spared today’s wide-spread indoctrination of blame, of how and who to hate for society’s slide into racial issues, kept alive and more viable to our youth by an almighty ‘National Association of Teachers Union’.

Okay, sure, we must allow for environmental differences, low IQs, high IQs, parental inability to carefully cultivate and fine-tune tolerance and care for a multitude of beliefs. We are built in our early years and that inculcation en masse make for the world we build.

So, we migrate, spread our selective fine-tuning to other cities, other countries, and the centuries roll on with our human sacrifices, wars, famine, and ultimate destruction and re-building…until!

What?

Our ‘Religions’ speak in different tongues, views that see ‘life and death, heaven, hell’ in totally sharp contrast…

Life goes on.

Death goes on.

Zealots go on.

Will freedom and liberty go on?

Can love conquer all?

Can a ‘Cosmic Wave’ pass over the world, instilling in each of us a predominant theme for living?

Does this ‘Cosmic Wave’ erase all of the frailties of the world?

Does Jesus return to make all things right?

Does another planet in another Solar System come to create a true Eloi?

Are we a ‘Lab Experiment’ that has gone wildly awry?

There is so much good in the world – can it not be an unbreakable bond for humanity?

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BR Chitwood

https://brchitwood.com

http://twitter.com (@brchitwood)

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Really, Why Wars?

BR Chitwood

Really, Why Wars?

BR Chitwood

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Why would someone far away from the bomb bursts, flying bullets, and so much human suffering dwell on a Putin-pressed war in Ukraine…for that matter, why so many in the world dwell on this manic and corrupt event?

While pedestrian and immediately naïve, I need to put my words down because it is Sunday… Why, Sunday? A holy day for most of us, a day to dwell on our sins/transgressions, a day to pray for hope, for personal salvation, and for entire World Peace.

Of course, we have enough fret and worry of the ‘Infidel Killers’ and other groups who love to hate and kill.

With’ Putin’s War’, the ‘fret’ becomes more fierce, more difficult to calculate actions and reactions. Much of the world views Putin as a ‘Mad Man’, capable of actions leaders of nobility would never consider. The worst descriptive words for this beast of humanity have been used up by people of the world who follow his atrocities…it is difficult to imagine him long for this world. His sly eyes and demeanor, all that he is, there for the world to see. A reasonable person would assume this cold and distant Satanic collaborator could not be long for this global pool of humanity.

I pretend no great expertise on this Russian dictator and only rely on the years of ‘News Reports’ for this deeds and death tolls, like those being registered in Ukraine today and throughout his tenure in this world. I am just a man, imperfect in many ways with sins I must ultimately account for, sins far below the standards of this leader of a great nation.

So, I’m but an American Patriot who has served his country in our armed services, compelled in this modest monologue mostly by anger and by empathy and sympathy for the savagery being done to a Ukrainian nation of people of simple lives and loving families…

Shall I say, I just needed to vent my emotions and at least convey my humble and best wishes to those good and humble people subjected to this ‘Power and Ego-fed’ dictator.

I pray for the Ukrainian people a quick end to these hostilities and a return to normalcy – if it can ever be so…my heart grieves with yours.

BR Chitwood – March 7, 2022

https://brchitwood.com

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The Author’s Mission

For Me, I Write

BR Chitwood

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Since my mobile and turbulent childhood my head fills with the events and movements of the days, the emotions that come and stay with me until I write about them from some subliminal heart/mind connection the words flow onto the screen of my laptop. I accept them and allow them entry on the page – as though they were destined to be there, an outlet for the subtle joy and pain of the soul…it is my belief that all artistic endeavors come from that similar sort of tingling.

As some subscribers to my blog posts might allow, most of my writing has a ‘Romantic’ cant, from my murder mysteries (some taken from actual crimes) to genres with historical essence, love, poetry, murder, and current events. My writing heroes of the past are many – …Hemingway, Steinbeck, Crane, DeMille, Grisham, to name a few. For Poetry, my favorite is an ex-Priest named James Kavanaugh.

I have written twenty books, their ‘buy sites’, 375 blog posts written over the years, plus poetry and tribute pieces to Arnold Palmer and other notables. That Website/Blog site address is:

https://brchitwood.com

 I hope you will visit my website/blog, look over some of the book synopses, posts, poetry…perhaps you will find something you would like to read…

At least, I can hope!

Wishing all writers and readers my best wishes.

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BR Chitwood – February 28, 2022

https://brchitwood.com

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