Until the End

Until the End

BR Chitwood 

So, it seems I shall be ending this fascinating life adventure as I entered it, confounded by the sounds of jubilation and tears, yet, without a kindly grandmother slapping my rear end to bring the breath of life to a reluctant new birth in a small clapboard house in Appalachia, a saw mill hamlet of dirt roads and a railroad spur for bringing logs to the primary employer of most of its scant population of farmers, most of whom were in a prolonged ‘Great Depression’.

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As a man ready for his final destiny, a man with precious little of consequence for the reader who might chance upon these few words I write here, the words will have little historic value or any other kind of value that would perpetuate a useful understanding except for some amusing and pathetic experiences. At best, the words herein have been written by many others facing their final breaths of air on this orbital craft that ended up with the name of ‘Earth’.

So, skipping over my apathetic problems with school and teenage acne, some good buddies, and a couple of young ladies I was too dull and dim-witted to approach, and an early entry into the United States Navy, marriage to a ‘Navy Wave’ with her own confused history, college, teaching, and emotional experiences that not only paralyzed me but would put me on the path of unrighteousness…yes, alcohol and lovely women of the night – indeed, a shameful and wonderful foray into an almost every night ‘Whoop-de-do’.

Mistakes of a shameful quality?  

A ‘big time’ Uh-Huh! Years of willful neglect to career and inner peace. Still, it was fun and disaster – now, you know where the phrase came from, wait for it! ‘Honkytonk-Heaven’ or, ‘Neon Madness’.

So much time wasted?

I suppose – but it was my life for a time. Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias wrote and performed the lyrics and music For All the Girls I’ve Loved Before. It is a song I should have written. In other words, I could not have written a better epilogue for my life.

 My good wife of nearly forty years has encouraged me in my writing efforts, always steadfast and loyal. She also with her love and unselfish nature brings a smile to each new day.

Somehow, in the aging process, I found the gift of writing, much of it venting moments of my life.

Twenty books – some based on true crimes, some in different genres, give glimpses into my life…Romance, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Sci-Fi, Biography.

Short Stories,  FlashFiction., Poetry and over 375 Blog Posts!

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Perhaps, I have atoned for some of my ‘low spots’ in life… Regardless, my writing speaks ‘Truth’, and it is my hope that readers can find in my books not only the joy of reading but some essence of inspiration. All my writing can be found at: https://brchitwood.com complete with synopses and Amazon Buy Sites.

Wishing everyone a happy and frustration-free 2022, with the scourge of Covid and Omicron all in our rearview mirrors.

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In Praise of Books

Two Book based on true mysteries…

In Praise of Writing

BR Chitwood



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There has always been for me an aura of magic, an arcane sense of urgency in writing, perhaps a natural and innate inclination to share something about my life that has caused fear, joy, pain, regret, sorrow, aches that must have palliative affirmation that can be a cathartic experience and perhaps cause some soulful searching.

      So, that sense of urgency has been with me all my life but became reality on an eighty-acre ranch in southeast Arizona called ‘The Lazy Rabbit Ranch’.

There was a lovely library, fireplace, large mahogany desk, walls of books, views all the way to the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico to the South. To the East were the long stretch of the Swisshelm Mountains. To the West were the Dragoon Mountains, over which some thirty miles was the historic ‘town too tough to die’, Tombstone.

In that setting, I wrote six mystery books called the ‘Bailey Crane Mysteries – 1-6’, each book based on true elements. Many of my books (twenty in all) were written about actual crimes (two of those crimes are still unsolved today.)

In that setting, I also wrote of a mother and daughter who went missing while on a walk to a country store some three miles from their home. The title of that book is “Stranger Abduction.” The disappearance occurred years before we moved to the area, but the locals told us what they knew about the ‘still unsolved case’ which occurred in 1983.

 (My wife and I often shopped at that country store – some four miles away from our ‘Lazy Rabbit Ranch’.) The disappearance of the mother and daughter would not leave my mind, and I wrote a fictional account of the case  

      On the beautiful ‘Sea of Cortez’ I wrote of a Northern California mother who tortured and murdered two of her daughters and an ex-husband – “Mama’s Madness” – many 5-star reviews of this book are on Amazon.

There are other fictional books that deal with Romance, History, Mystery, Suspense, one Science Fiction book – “Serpent Rock” … my first effort with that genre.

Writing has been ‘my love’ since my humble beginning, and I believe I’ve written some good books over the years. My problem? I have not invested in marketing to any great extent. With that admission, I would still proudly put my books alongside any of the books in the genres I have written.

If you are interested, you can find all of my books (with synopses and ‘buy sites’) at:

https://brchitwood.com

You will also find at my website some 375 blog posts, short stories, flash fiction, and poetry.

Hope you can read and contact me. Best Wishes.

HAPPY NEW YEAR – 2022!

HAPPY READING!

brchitwood@gmail.com

Cogito Ergo Sum

What is Real?

by

BR Chitwood

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‘Cogito Ergo Sum’!

You think, therefore, you are!

Or:

‘I think, therefore, I am’!

In the day when Philosophy might have had a more urgent importance and significance, I wonder if Descartes’ singular ‘Cogito’ utterance and treatise would be one of the most recognized phrases in school rooms around the world, particularly those rooms where hungry minds were more inquisitive about their world and their existence in it.

In my Appalachian world of youth, it would never have occurred to me to question my existence…there were enough ‘negatives’ in my early life to keep my mind swirling with confusion and doubts – no intention to gain sympathy, just depicting my early life when our country was going through some ‘trying times’…well, kind of like, NOW!

I can say with certainty that my mind has no problem accepting the fact that I ‘think’ and I ‘exist’! Those days still linger, still bring occasional thought-demons and over-think. Decisions, mistakes have been made in my life, but, overall, there has been happiness and love to offset the bad stuff.

Descartes had some important influence in my college education, made me more aware of my lack of knowledge.

The tiny thesis I am putting forth in this post is that my

problem these days is that I ‘think’ too much in lieu of looking at the beautiful Arizona sky, writing, enjoying life with wife, home, and our wonderful children. So, Descartes brought back to me some simplicity to my life.

Hopefully, I can pass on some of this trivial verbiage to those who can embrace this sequitur nonsense.

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BR Chitwood – December 2, 2021

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Please read synopses of my 20 books, read my over 375 blog posts, short stories, flash fiction, and poetry…

https://www.brchitwood.com

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Also, LinkedIn and other sites…

A Stranger in My Country

By BR Chitwood

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Perhaps it’s a silly misnomer to call myself ‘A Stranger’ in the Country of my birth, but born in the Appalachian Hills of Tennessee amid Bible Belt fear, parental disunity, a wildly emotional parttime father in brutal anger beating on a tearful mother and sister I was in a neuronic and small frightened body that was terribly malfunctioning.

The years passed and life – without Dad – passed with some accomplishments…graduated from high school, joined the US Navy, got a college degree, wed the corporate world for some years, opened my own business, began to write, and, after a few ‘picket fences’, found a miracle lady who came to be all that I had needed and wanted.

Now, in the last cycle of my life, I still write an occasional book, some poetry, Flash Fiction, Short Stories, blog posts. For anyone interested, many of my novels, in most genres, the narratives embrace true crimes – some, still in ‘Cold Case’ files – with my suggested and plausible scenarios… Anyone with interest in my writing can find my books, blogs, and poetry at: https://brchitwood.com

So, why am I a stranger in my own country?

My mind swirls in desperate rotations when I see the direction our country is being taken by our current leaders – I’m almost squeamish when I use the word, ‘leaders’. The rhetoric of some government officials defies adult credulity, seemingly and tediously changing the true meaning of what our United States ‘Constitution’ so precisely lays out, written in the blood of our brave historical heroes. With ‘Covid’s evil tenure’, with ‘CRT’ (‘Critical Race Theory’) by a ‘Teacher’s Union’ wanting to replace the age-old disciplines of education (History, Reading, Math, Science, Geography, et al) with ‘race-baiting’ CRT corollaries. The NEA seems oblivious to the natural devastating progression that will come from racist nonsense. We are not a racist nation! Our history is clear, though some would deny it. It is there in the pages of our past for all to read.

Seemingly hundreds of millions of people across the planet wish to come to the United States, and our current ‘majority leadership’ is precipitating the mad flow of people across our southern borders, with tens of millions crossing in mad repetition. Some who have crossed our borders made it into seats of government and wish to change the policies and the principles of our grand Constitution.

Crime is devastatingly in an ‘open season’ in the United States – people killed on the streets, robberies of our stores in broad daylight without restraint. The murder of our youth from the ‘Wild Side’ of random disregard…

I’m through with my mini-tirade. I can almost see eyes moving upward in their sockets.

Admittedly, I’m one-sided. I have Democratic friends and Republican friends. When together, we are quick to determine how far we take our political certainties, and it’s amazing how close we come to being sane and sensible… Of course, that could simply be my friends of different persuasions just love my ‘Maker’s Mark’ bourbon.

Now, if you don’t like my political stance, you will like my books, poetry, and blog posts…hope you will go to my website/blog – http://brchitwood.com and take a look.

No matter your political persuasion, I wish you happy times with family and friends.

BR Chitwood – October 11, 2021

http://brchitwood.com

Posts and Books-

Thoughts in Time

By BR Chitwood

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Thoughts in Time

Between the ticks and tocks of passing time, the music of my life played the songs of balladeers that somehow knew how to reach my Soul with music and words to make me sad and lonely, to haunt me in my constant search for love and meaning, for the urgency of my quest.

Everyone comes from somewhere with different sets of genes, different time zones and privilege, needs fed by emotions, by disciplined pursuits, purpose and wealth. Some come from the murky depths of poverty, dark thoughts, ugly actions and deceits.

Everyone comes from somewhere!

Almost everyone reads books of different genres, see movies of Laughter, Love, Mayhem, Murder.

Some of us are ultimately destroyed by the nature of our birth and biography.

There are beautiful love stories that warm the hearts of those in love or seeking love.

There are shadowy and sinister crime thrillers where evil is the key ingredient and where the audience can regale in the death of the villain and/or the victory of good over evil.

Reading books, watching movies, writing your own story can answer the need of some nagging element of your Soul.

Everyone comes from somewhere!

Me?

I come from that ‘ugly somewhere’ many people call Appalachia during a time in our history when the world seemed to be going to hell in that proverbial hand-basket. There were enough emotional triggers in my life that, at times, I could hardly find my missing breath…family eruptions, mean fights, blood and tears, as I sat watching my mother and sister being beaten by an absentee father – himself, a product of his time.

I chose writing later on in an attempt to understand ‘where I had been’ and ‘where I was going’… Through all the years, I searched for love, the ‘picket fence’, and the meaning for it all.

After twenty books, over 375 blog posts/poetry, there have come some answers – a lovely wife (after three tries) and some wonderful kids.

You want to know if time has helped in my own mending program?

Beautiful wife? Yeah!

Wonderful kids? Yeah!

All settled? Nah!

Still searching for something that was taken from me!

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BR Chitwood – September 27, 2021

Website:

https://brchitwood.com

Twitter:

https://twitter.com @brchitwood

It’s Always Up There”

by BR Chitwood

desert_sunset-big

How often do you look up there?  That big old sky that presents all itspatterns? The clear lucent blue with old Sol hanging around? A few wisps of clouds that enhance the palette of your mind? A thick set of dark impending cumuli that carries lots of moisture, with perhaps a patch of blue just off to the west? A clear dreamer’s night of a million plus stars? How often do you look up there?

Quite often for me… You see, I’m one of those restless and rudderless romantics that cannot somehow find that magical glue that pastes me to one place. So I look up there quite often and ponder not only God’s great handiwork but the course of history and mortal confusion and doubt. Mostly, it’s my own mortal confusion and doubt, but, certainly, I would be totally blind not to see it all around me. The people of the world, peasant-types, power brokers, movers and shakers, all of us send out our queries to the universe in moments of that mortal confusion and doubt. Individual, global, it matters not, we fight our wars within these fragile bodies created during that nine-month miracle in time when we become who and what it is we are meant to be. Some of us with doubt and confusion speak in different tongues, make a wrong translation, push a wrong button, and cause a war. Some of us have been passed the torch of hate from generation to generation, will seemingly ever know only one way to relieve their confusion and doubt. Some of us, even amid our doubt and confusion, will create a masterpiece map for living in freedom with liberty and justice for all. And, some of us add to our confusion and doubt, forget the lessons of history which in the relative span of mortal time were only yesterday.

Somehow, I’ve managed to somehow understand that we all cannot come together in peace and understanding in my mortal lifetime. The efforts of good intentioned people have really become just silly simple games played among those who pursue their selfish political agendas. An accord is reached only to be broken. An ally becomes an enemy. An enemy becomes an ally… All silly power games that silly power men and women play.

When I look up there, in that sky that gives us sometime hope, sometime fear, I only ponder my simple existence and must come to some conclusion as to why I am here on this rotating sphere. The only reckoning that I can make is that no simple big bang caused all of this mortal confusion and doubt. When I look up into that sky of many faces there is but one conclusion, one truth that for me makes all the sense in this world. It is the truth that has been passed down to us from the beginning of our time, on cave walls, on papyrus, in the bible, the truth that has been maligned, reorganized, and otherwise discounted for centuries, the truth that has become debatable sport among some elites and scholars. It is the truth that a Supreme Being, God, controls all of our destinies. Otherwise, why do I and so many have our faith? Why would we contrive so much to make something so?

Our God gives us so many examples to how our mortal moments could and should be spent. He gives us so many paths our lives could take, to provide help for those who need, to forever act as peacemakers, to quell the urges of the dark essence that would possess us… Our God gives us free will to act out our choices. And, what makes God’s plan so wonderful is that we get to do it over and over again until we get it right. In His time, our mortal months and years are but fleeting seconds. There is death on the mortal plain, but you must believe, you must have faith, that you will never forego God’s ultimate plan. At some point along God’s timeline, no matter how many mortal lives it might take, you will reach that magical light of eternity.

It’s always up there. When I look up and penetrate the blue and dark of sky, that is what I see, out beyond the far dimensions of space… Family, Hope, Love, Peace, Eternity.

And, sometimes, I sing and write about it…

Please preview my Blog/Website/Short Stories/Flash Fiction on:

https://www.brchitwood.com

Please follow me on Facebook

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Memory Shadows

Memory Shadows

By BR Chitwood

“Billy, go round-up ‘Bessie’ – it’s milking time.”

Grandma gave me a hug, and I went rushing out the old rickety screen door in the side-room of the kitchen.

Grandma yelled after me, “If you’re going barefooted, you watch where you’re walking, ‘little man’.”

“I’ll be watching, Grandma. Don’t worry. I’ll stay on the lane ‘til I get to Bessie and her cow-buddies.”

I waved and was on my way.

The sunshine and clear blue sky was perfect, Grasshoppers and butterflies were flitting here and there, birds tweeting, and this was my favorite part of the day. Rounding up Bessie was the best part of my day. Truth is, I loved Bessie, and she was the nearest thing to a pet I had. We spent a lot of each day together, mornings before she went to pasture, during milking, and times not even grandma and grandpa knew about. I loved Bessie.

When I reached the pasture area Bessie now favored, she walked to me with a head wave and tacit ‘see you tomorrow, guys’ to the remaining cows. She nuzzled me gently while I put the rope around her neck with the copper bell. She bowed downward to me so I could give my own nuzzling to her blond and brown fur.

Guess my mind was too confused and young when I came to live with Grandma and Grandpa. My Dad and Mom had money problems, finally divorced, Dad taking a job out of state because jobs were not available, and my sister was sent to my Mom’s folks during that time.

When I first went up to Bessie, she lifted her head and looked at me with those beautiful brown eyes and softly ’mooed’. For reasons I could not understand in those moments, I wrapped my small arms around her big neck, kissed her, and my tears fell on her as she gently nudged me. Also, I could not understand in those precious moments, I loved Bessie.

Bessie and I walked the lane, and Grandma was waiting outside the kitchen door at our arrival home. She grinned happily when she saw the great friendship we had.

After leaving Bessie in her special area, Grandma took my hand, led me inside the clapboard farmhouse and treated me with watermelon. She spoke to me while I ate the melon pieces, trying in her way to let me know that I was loved.

After the watermelon treat, Grandma took my hand and led me to her old stuffed chair in the living room, put me on her lap, and told me stories about my Dad and the family history. She would stop occasionally to reach her spittle can on the floor to deposit some of her ‘snuff’. Her stories were told from the heart in a solemn tone, and, at times, I could see her eyes getting watery…it was like she wanted me to know the history of my family, the tough times of our history along with the good. Most likely, the tough times would beat out the good

When the time was right, we looked out the south-facing window and down the lane that led to the nearby mountain, waiting to see Grandpa walking home from his day on the railroad hauling logs from the other side of the mountain to our hamlet’s sawmill. Grandpa was the old train’s engineer.

When we saw him his metal lunch pail was swinging with each step he took, and a grin would break on his face when he saw me running down the lane to meet him…he always had a surprise for me in the lunch pail, candy bar, bubble gum, a toy.

Bessie mooed when she saw us nearing the old farm house – her milking would be coming in short order…plus, feeding hogs, Old Fred, the mule, plus spreading Chickens feed, gathering eggs from hens’ nests, and there would be acres of corn to be hoed, potatoes, turnips, and other farm jobs – not all jobs done by Grandpa but by my uncles. Even, I hoed some corn (hating it).

When dinner was finished, Grandpa turned on the floor model radio and listened to HV Kavelborn. If wintry, Grandpa would shave wood for the living room’s large ‘belly stove’ for the next morning’s heat.

When first darkness began Grandma would call me from my time with Bessie for a bath and bed. She would read me stories from the bible.

Some things in life are hard to explain. I loved a cow named Bessie, and, I know Bessie loved me. I loved my grandparents (paternal and maternal), and I know they loved me. They are connected in loving ways to my heart and mind.

I would eventually return to my mother and sister in a home setting, and it was wonderful being with my Mom and Sis. The time with my grandparents and Bessie is one of the most compellingly beautiful memories I have.

But, then, there are so many.

BR Chitwood – Feb. 5, 2021

My Books, Poems, posts, all writings:

My twenty books (mystery, suspense, romance, history, et al) PLUS over 350 Blog posts. Short Stories, Flash Fiction, Poetry – can be found on my website:

https://www.brchitwood.com

‘Books and Writings of BR Chitwood’

Please follow me on:

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#IAN1 #asmsg #RRBC

#The Writing Community

#books #short stories #flash fiction #poetry #over 359 blog posts

The Soul on a Stroll

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The Soul on a Stroll

By BR Chitwood

 The wild joy of children playing in the local park

on a sunny day…slowly becoming what it is

they will become

Screaming sirens from fire trucks speeding by,

onlookers forming thoughts of calamity

and lives in peril.

The tempo of feet on the concrete sidewalks,

haste and slow pace going hither and yon

to destinations unknown.

The Soul strolls, watches the mundanity

of masses, empirically builds the lives of those

who most draw attention.

The Soul seeks to understand the actions and

cosmic purpose of all It sees, tries to define the

what, why, and outcome.

So the Soul strolls through life’s enigmas,  hates,

lives, loves, errs along the way to an unknown hole

in the ground or a canister of ashes.

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BR Chitwood – February 2021

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Where Did That Dream Go?

Where Did That Dream Go?

(So I asked  a Shrink!)

By BR Chitwood

Where did that dream go, you ask?

Beyond your grasp, sadly…

You had it, but you let it go…

You did not pursue it to the end…

Other diversions caught your fancy…

The phrase is: ‘wine, women, song’…

Sound familiar? ‘wine, women, song’?

WWS slowed and finally ended your dream…

But they were part of the dream…

Too many working dreams spoil the broth!

You’re mixing metaphors, Doctor…

But you have no trouble grasping meaning?

Grasped, Doctor. So, you’re saying, ‘no chance for me’?

There’s always a chance, but youth is gone. Maybe your next life chances will come again…

Whoa, Doc, you believe we get to come back?

That’s not so crazy an idea. A colleague of mine, a hypnotist, has written about taking some patients back to former lives, even having some patients talk about their time while in training units between lives. He has done ‘case studies’… Go to a library, book store, and look under hypnosis, case studies, psychiatrists, former lives…you can find them if you’re interested.

Oh, I’m interested. I just find it so hard to believe.

You wouldn’t be human if you took it at face value. Remember, most of us are ‘doubting Thomas’…many did not believe we would put a man in space, go to the moon, have ‘space stations’, diseases cured, knowledge re-doubling every few months, and all of these life-changing events are being challenged, joined by nefarious rioting groups trying to destroy our cherished freedom and liberty. It is a crazy and wild time for the history of the world… I just hope our kids in the future will be able to read and know of this history… Sorry about the digression, but, in your case, from what you’ve shared with me today, you have had a comparatively good life. You have accomplished many of your goals – which a lot of folks would die for. I really cannot find any major anomalies in your life. Keep your dreams alive. That’s a good thing. The large news I would give you is: be happy in your life – you’ve got more living to do.

Thanks, Doc. You’ve got me feeling better about things… I’m going to find the book or books you were talking about. When I absorb them, I’ll call you for another session.

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BR Chitwood – August 12, 2020

Please preview my books – many inspired by true crimes:

http://billyraychitwood.com

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Follow me on Twitter: @brchitwood

CHAT: REAL-ME & ALTER-ME

CHATREAL-ME & ALTER-ME 

by BR Chitwood

REAL-ME

My good wife allows me ‘space’ for my Romantic memories – spread across a lifetime…those loves along the way that leave a special ambience of thought…and, instances of special sadness.

Damn! It’s tough being a ‘Romantic’!

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ALTER-ME

After all the years, the thought keeps hammering away at Alter-me: ‘So, what are you going to do with those romantic wishy-washy moments you carry in your knapsack’? Unless you’ve invented a ‘retrieval system’ or ‘Time Machine’ for periodic visits, what the hell good are those moments? Don’t you think your ‘non-romantic’ wife might get a bit sick of your ‘wine and wonder’ wanderings?

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REAL-ME

Okay, Alter-ass Ego, you’re off-base. You have no business of ruffling these old memory moments. You have cramped my thinking all these years about what a ‘bad-ass’ I am for remembering beautiful moments in my past…and, leave my wife out of this – she is comfortable in her own skin and loves the ‘loop-de-loop’ heart and mind of my vagabond life.

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ALTER-ME

Really! You’re going to ride that train? You really need to finally, once and for all, GROW-UP, aging-arse, live in the real world…

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REAL-ME

How the hell does one slay an ‘alter-ego’! You would think after all the years we would have bonded. You’re always doing this to me, using ‘the guilt-whip’! I’m in my ‘Real World’! This is who I am… (Geez, you would think better partnerships could be built between the actual ‘deed-doer’ and the ‘do-nothing alter’.) This is/was the real world I live(d) in, and I cannot close the doors of those ‘Real World’ people and events… I think about them, write books, short stories, songs about them. They were ‘Real’. Some, I loved and with whom I had tender and wonderful moments. I can’t throw those ‘realities’ into a trash can.

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ALTER-ME

Look, ‘Real Me’, you’re really getting worked up here… Maybe, just, maybe, some of us ‘alter-guys’ try to save their ‘Real Me’s’ the money they would spend on Shrinks. But, look at it this way, you’ve made it this far without Shrinks. Sure, we’ve been through some tough times, but you have ‘hung in there’ like a real trooper. Hey, there are some ‘Real Me’s’ that don’t get through it all – you know, different interior networks, and they can’t handle the stress. Hey, we have all kinds of people with their ‘programs’ set differently. You don’t stress as much as you once did before you began writing your books, putting down thoughts via your characters that you had experienced… This stuff does not happen JUST to you, ‘Real Me’.

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REAL-ME

Okay, I somehow feel better… Here’s what I’m thinking…

Who truly knows how all this life business starts? The loves, the memories, the realities we face, how we handle them… Everyone has her/his way of handling their emotions, their decisions, their memories, and, you’re right: I’ve made it this far, have a great wife and family, and I also have love memories I don’t wish to shed, but, put them into perspective with all the other realities…label them:

 FOND MEMORIES.

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BR Chitwood -August 6, 2020

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Please preview my books:

http://billyraychitwood.com

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