Mama’s Madness – Book Review

Here is my Favorite Amazon Review of MAMA’S MADNESS, one of many readers’ descriptive  views of a novel inspired by a real ‘Mama from Hell’ – If you have not read this book, up front, it is glaring in its fulfilling the evil displayed by a woman possessed of the devil.

In scouring ‘newspaper articles’ one lazy Sunday on the Sea of Cortez in Rocky Point, Mexico, I ran across this ‘mother’ in Northern California who totally and demonically tortured her children, particularly the three daughters – the boys, not so much. She murdered two of the daughters, transporting them to the high Sierras, placing their bodies inside cardboard boxes, and setting them afire…

The writing of the monstrocities of this mother from hell was paused from time to time for tears to drop on the laptop keys, so ugly, so far from any modern-day reality I had known, but I wrote it because the world needed to know that monsters lived among us (and, sure, I’m an author and wanted to write a ‘best seller’), that parents should be wary at all times, at the park, on school grounds, at home, anywhere their children and/or other children might play.

Of all the great reviews recorded on Amazon, the following review I single out here because it thrills me that someone likes my ‘writing’ that he would submit such an awesome book review. The reasons are obvious: the encouragement to continue my writing, that there are eager readers of well-written prose and poetry awaiting another book of comparable quality.

My endearing ‘thank you’ to John Howell, fellow author and genuine wordsmith…

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Blog posts of the author (well over 300 plus) can be found at: http://www.brchitwood.com

Here is John Howell’s 5-Star book review of the book, MAMA’S MADNESS…

  So Well Written
By John W. Howell on July 8, 2018
Format: Kindle Edition

Mama’s madness is a work of fiction, but according to the author Billy Ray Chitwood, there are some inspirations from actual criminal behavior. This is a story about the meanest, lowlife, straight razor totin’ woman named Tamatha Preen. She is the mother of six kids and the ex-wife of four husbands.
Although this seems a little abnormal in everyday life, compared to mama’s proclivities having four husbands is normal in comparison. Let’s say mama has some problems and as you can guess the children are the ones who bear the brunt of her mental issues. To describe any of the abusive behaviors would be courting spoilers, so I’m just going to summarize by saying mama is evil.

The writing in this story is so good the reader feels like a transportation into the scenes has taken place. The descriptions of people, places, and events are jaw-droppingly beautiful. Mr. Chitwood has been blessed with a golden pen (or keyboard). He can show the reader all the sights, sounds, and smells of each scene through a tapestry that only can be woven by a perfectionist literary genius. I think that pretty much describes Billy Ray Chitwood. He has honed his writing art, and there is no more exquisite example of the resulting output than this book. I would recommend Mama’s madness to anyone who enjoys a deeply disturbing story told effectively and with great taste.
*****

BR Chitwood – May 17, 2020

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Stealth of Solitude

©Stealth of Solitude

By BR Chitwood

*

These moments come

Where solitude settles

Softly, sweetly  serene

Upon  the selfless air.

 

In this quaint quietude

Along passive trails

The thoughts tumble

In silent speculation,

 

Memory peacefully pulses

With long ago reverie

Of loves and memories –

Treasures lost to time.

 

Slowly, a silent smile

Wistful in its pose

Is joined by tears in

Slow and tender descent.

 

Then, a distant doorbell ring,

Stealing these moments,

Displacing this  golden,

Tender Cache from me.

 

Time, relentless, constant,

Bringing dreams and joy,

Capriciously at its pleasure

Giving and taking away…

 

©BR Chitwood – May 13, 2020

*

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Happy Mother’s Day, Mom

 Happy Mother’s Day, Mom

By a Grateful Son

 We have not figured out this riddle down here, Mom:

The mood shifts,

The happy faces,

The lonely times,

The Haves

The Have Nots,

The Love,

The Hate,

The Good,

The Evil.

Hearkens me back to Childhood days with you, Mom:

Boarding house days,

Your home cooking,

Your long work hours,

Your difficult choices,

Your body bruises,

Your reassuring smiles,

Your devotion to God,

Your heart’s charity,

Your devotion to Family.

 *

Your Love was shown in so many ways, Mom:

Through the gentle bedtime caress,

Through the selfless hours of toil,

Through the Faith you never lost,

Through countless heart agonies,

Through days of grievous pain,

Through a tangled life and time,

Through courage and hardship,

Through unimaginable sorrow,

Through all seasons and times.

*

My wish is that you know my forever Love,

There, where you now abide with God.

There in a safe and sacred dimension,

There in the Love and Grace you sought.

There surely where you can now smile,

There where you watch in milli-seconds,

There where the good and righteous dwell,

There where Mortals can only imagine,

There where Earth’s mysteries are riddles no more,

There I wish to be with you and eternal Love.

*

In Memory of my departed Mom

By BR Chitwood – May 10, 2020

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My Writing Style & Substance

My Writing Style & Substance

by BR Chitwood

For the record: I’ve written twenty books, many of them fictional but based on actual criminal events and my intent was to use as much of the true data about the event, that is, the crime itself, forensics, police data, some author-embellished narrative pieces of media accounts of the crime(s); I’ve written stories of love and romance, mixed with mystery and suspense, some with historical backgrounds, science fiction, some that had fanciful moments; finally, I have written two memoirs that convey my life’s journey – warts and all – and some of that bio-stuff doesn’t embarrass me in the least, though it might have during the time it was occurring, with its romantic and nomadic relevance, my ‘searching period’, as it were.

For anyone who might be interested, number twenty-one’s first draft is getting closer to its second draft, and, maybe, a possible third, yet, by then I can promise myself and anyone there will be no fourth.

‘Style and Substance’ can be a heavy couple of issues to put into a blog post, daunting for the guy writing about S&S, to hold readers, and other writers rapt with some really fancy finger-tapping on the laptop with a plethora of high octane words and phrases describing what those two Esses mean to him.

Might as well add gambling to that romantic and nomadic above, ‘cause I’m going to try’…

For me, Style and Substance in my writing has a rather simple explanation that covers three areas: 1) Plot(s); 2) Pace; 3) Resonance. Mind you, I said I was going to try…what I mean is, I’m not writing a dissertation for a Master’s or a PhD … that’s way out of my league. I’m a pedestrian writer who once taught Advanced Writing to high school seniors who were on their way to college – bright kids who, in the beginning scared hell out of me with their beautiful minds. Those were the days when there was a shortage of teachers, and school district superintendents would hastily make decisions on first impressions, particularly if the ‘good-looking’ guy sitting across from them had great cum laude college credentials and an AB degree.

(Smile, your hyperbole niche is on display…)

*

Generally, I believe most writers believe they do their phrase-turning and word choices as well as authors turning out ‘best seller’ novels…several names of author-friends of mine come to mind, but I won’t dwell there. The fact is, with millions of books printed every single year, and millions of writers who join the horde – see my first sentence in this paragraph. (Talk about ‘glut’ in the market.)

Add to that the seeming aura of mysticism from the publishing world – a la, how to write a ‘query letter’, how to(s) up the grommet from the arcane council – I know, sounds rather like I’m unduly bitter.

Basically, I’ve come to the conclusion that, for me, writing is my therapy – sort of, like, writing becomes a ‘private session’ with my own personal Shrink.

Bottom line, do not stop believing in your ability as a writer. We perhaps never get published, but think about what you leave for your children, family, the few loyal followers, and, who knows, some well-known authors have found publishing homes after all their allotted orbits are complete.

Onward to my enlightening ‘3-course words of wisdom…’

Plot(s):

That parenthetical (s) means to me there are likely a number of sub-plots that will come into play when all is written and final edited…If I’m writing a ‘Mystery/Suspense’ novel inspired by actual crimes, I want to be true to all aspects of data connected to the case via local and national newspapers, special police information, evidence, forensics, television, and library microfiche.

For example, my fictional narrative, “Daddy, No!” of last summer’s true and tragic murders of a Colorado mother and her two small daughters (ages, 3 & 4) by the father/husband. That terrible reality stewed in my mind for some time, and I finally had to write about it.

The first few chapters set in motion that tragedy, those merciless and mindless homicides, but my major fictional story-line covered the ‘Life in Prison time’ that the narcissistic SOB would spend in a bleak and dark Colorado prison…time the killer had not officially started at the time I began writing the book.

So, I opened the book with what I hoped would be a vivid and truthful depiction of the vicious homicides, presumed demented reasons behind them, and the raw and awful evil of a monster.

The remainder of the book, fictional in the narrative, deals with the daily prison time and my own FICTIONAL plans for the beast that could kill so easily.

Pace:

Pace is very important and it is an almost inherent trait in a writer, an ability to keep the reader locked into your words and phrases by the tenor and tone of your narrative voice.

I believe, I hope that I’ve grown in this important aspect of writing. Going back in time and reading some of my early prose and poetry, I can in my mind see the growth in my writing pace. Whether my muse teases me with banal platitude or not, I’m reminded of Edgar Allen Poe’s assertion on the banality of awkward praise: “a passage of platitude which no critical prejudgment can force us to admire.”

*

Do I think pace can be achieved by writers who are devoted to growing and becoming better at their craft? Of course, I do, even, those Writers who will not be talked away from their lofty writing dreams, not even when acclaim and the denouement of a huge publishing house contract finally arrive.

We many writers believe in our skill to turn a phrase, to make words near-musical to readers’ ears, and many of us give-up the fight and return to other dreams. Most of us stay the course and find therapy .in our writing. I know that I do. My long bony fingers will have to be pried away from the laptop when my scheduled passage to another adventure calls me away.

Pace – Pace – Pace. Give it all you’ve got. Fill a line and paragraph with power words and images to keep the reader turning the pages of your book

Resonance:

In the background of the scenes in which you put your characters, good and bad,  are the readers’ hearing the music in their minds you’ve created with your words and images? Are your words in your lines and paragraphs building to crescendo? Are they keeping the readers eagerly turning pages to see what comes next on the ensuing pages? In the next paragraphs and chapters?

No, no, don’t leave! Tis but a ‘play on words’.

If you will, remember one of your favorite all-time classic movies, say, Gone with The Wind, or, Sound of Music. Do you remember how the music so beautifully built the scene you were watching? How it brought tears, laughter? How it resonated with you?

If the scene you are writing portrays two in love having a disagreement on some issue until it builds to an intense anger, have you turned the phrases, used your colorful word power, and created the appropriate music for the reader to get the full impact of the scene?

(C’mon, man, music is not part of the writing ‘gig’.)

 

(Okay, just give me a moment to get over my ‘hurt feelings’…okay, they’re over.)

Some kind followers of my writing have indicated there is a literary flair to my prose, and I’ve taken the remarks as a positive reinforcement meant to encourage me to go on and continue to grow as a writer. I like Classical Music with my ballads, so that might account for the ‘literary flair’.

Of the soon to be twenty-one books, over 400+blog posts, poetry, songs, some I humbly believe were worthy of traditional publishing. They are all self-published, and on Amazon and other sales channels.

Finally, I am generally a Pantser, with some Plantser leaning. After I build my good and bad characters with the attributes that come to me, I allow them to create the paths I am to follow – with options to change the course in later drafts. Always, I try to remember the music playing in the background, blaring trumpet, tenor Sax, and soft violin…and I match the words of my players with the music I hear in my mind.

What? You didn’t know?

Well, before you laugh it out of your system, give my idea of resonance a chance. Think of it as focus hocus-pocus if you must, but, be daring, try it, and watch the word count grow.

I’ve got a book to finish.

BR Chitwood – April 16, 2020

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No Big-Boy Pants

Photo by Dayne Topkin on Unsplash

 

No Big-Boy Pants

By BR Chitwood

*

After all the years, there are no ‘Big-Boy Pants’ to wear.

After all the living, there are no ‘Big-Boy Pants’ to fit me…

All the little-boy thoughts, the wakeful dreams,

All sizes I tried, searching for that pair of ‘Big-Boy Pants’ –

On the neon-lined streets of lonely people, artists, and me,

I found meaningless toys of life, romance, the shadows of hope.

*

Now, here, in the fading light, I think of all I’ve missed, or, lost,

Crying in the deep darkness of my soul for another chance…

Perhaps another, more enlightened journey through the neon –

This time, finding that missing link to a well-spent quest…

Yet, a bold bard was right about the end’s dark veil and its tears –

Regrets, sad memories of child, man, events, with no real claim…

*

So, with sagging flesh, wrinkles, and, suddenly, no vision left,

The old man rises from his tear-stained pillow, to seek modest

Sustenance from the only constant in his remaining heart ticks…

Perhaps his words can convey some semblance to his waning and Simple existence,

Never coming close to finding a pair of Big-Boy Pants

That will fit the size of his supercilious and ghostly girth.

BR Chitwood – April 1, 2020

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The Essence of Faith

The Essence of Faith

The Essence of Faith

The freshly painted clapboard church sat near a small creek, its white purity glorified by the neatly trimmed hedges surrounding it and the smell of newly mowed grass. The four big oak trees on the church property added a symmetrical elegance to the pastoral scene. Four Oaks Baptist Church, lined up in a photographer’s lens or portrayed on the painter’s canvas, would present a nostalgic and peaceful essence of faith and Americana.

It was a special Sunday morning with clear skies and a happy sun washed all that it touched with spring freshness and sparkle. There were few cars parked along the country lane as most of the congregation and visitors came on foot to Four Oaks, and today the numbers in attendance would break all records… It was indeed a very special Sunday. One member of the congregation had just returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Jimmy Chadwick was fourteen years old when he was baptized in the Four Oaks Baptist Church. He attended elementary and high school in the county school system, played his basketball and football here, married his homecoming queen sweetheart in this prosaic place of worship. Jimmy worked on his family’s farm, plowed fields for barley, wheat, hoed the endless corn rows, and worked on the side for the county’s agricultural cooperative. Jimmy sowed some of his personal oats, played some petty pranks and even tried at times some bitter brews of John Barleycorn. In the total tally of Jimmy Chadwick he was a happy kid, a generous, kind adult, and a near-wholesome human being.

Jimmy Chadwick’s real claim to county fame came not on a football field or basketball court at home but on dreary sand and scrub in the distant country of Afghanistan. Jimmy, a marine, was stationed in Helmand Province at a USMC installation where aircraft hangars housed Harrier Jets. One quiet and sweltering night, a group of Taliban fighters dressed in US military uniforms penetrated the perimeter of the camp, killed two US service men, and destroyed a number of Harrier jets with explosives and rocket-propelled grenades. With only his pistol, Jimmy led an attack against the infiltrators and eventually all of the insurgents were either killed or captured.

By the time the Sunday service began, The Four Oaks Baptist Church was filled beyond its capacity for seating. The walls were lined with the simple and sweet inhabitants of the Four Oaks hamlet plus residents of the other nearby settlements. A virtual silence fell upon all those congregated there. Only occasional sobs and soft moans were heard. The preacher stepped to the pulpit and spoke:

Today we welcome home one of our own, Jimmy Chadwick, a young fellow we knew as a freckle-faced kid pulling the pigtails of giggling girls, a handsome lad always with a smile and the rough hard hands of a farm worker. We knew him as the young fellow who usually got the touchdown to win us a football game or a final-second dunk to win the basketball game. We knew Jimmy as a prankster, a devoted son, an honest and good man… So, welcome home, Jimmy. We love you and we are proud of you.

Let me just say that here in this little corner of the world our simple ways will not match the world’s big cities’ glamour and glare, their hectic ways and their belief systems that vary from our own. We hear and read about those who don’t believe in God and in the man, Jesus, who came among us, gave us some spiritual wisdom to live by, and died a cruel death for our sins. Today we see the book of Revelations coming to pass: we have wars and rumors of wars; we have the atrocities of history repeating themselves; we have nuclear weaponry that can annihilate civilization; we have miracle machines that can do so much good but can also wreak havoc upon us; we have enough people enraged by the Satan that runs loose inside of them who are too eager to smite their brothers and sisters; we seem not to have enough time to help and provide for those who truly need our help… We live in a perilous time, a time when a man, woman, and child can only deal with the darkness of the world with the hallowed light of faith. If not faith, if not a belief that transcends these ugly truths, that these mountains we gaze upon, these prairies, these oceans, seas, and desert are there by another’s hand and not our own… If not faith, what can we conclude from the pendulum swings of our lives? That we live but for the folly of a piece of gold and the dark pleasures that can only in the end seduce and leave us wantonly scarred? If not faith, why is there the warmth of sunshine? Why the evening stars upon which to wish? Why the meticulous nine months ritual of our births? Why the love and unity of family upon which to persevere?

Today, here in our little corner of the world, we welcome home our heroic son and brother who went to a foreign land because his nation called upon him, a man who wore his faith proudly and served his country with courage and valor.

May the sobs and tears of this congregation convey not only the sadness of his passing but a joyful recognition of our faith that Jimmy Chadwick has truly gone Home.  

Let us pray…

Flash fiction by Billy Ray Chitwood – From my Archives

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‘Be Quiet, My Mind’

‘Be Quiet, My Mind’

Even as a kid, long into the night, my mind played its ‘Tag Games’, giving me heroic moments, gallant thought-episodes, knight-like and noble – always, where I ruled the day, saved the damsel, fought the bullies and monsters of the world, and, guess what? Here, in ‘Twilight’, the mind still does not let the soft zephyr of sleep settle over me for a peaceful rest. It is for the most part a grand Annoyance, a deprivation of healthful refreshment.

As the night moments tick away, the thought patterns can change to Muse Moments, where poetic clusters come to me, urging me to rise, open the laptop, and capture some of these dulcet phrases for posterity, or, for self-glorification, or, sadness, fed by memories that might also bring unbidden tears to fall.

So, I rise, splash cold water on my face, retire to my comfortable chair in the living room, and open the ‘escape hatch’, the laptop, the sometime tech-wonder that I want to bash to ‘smithereens’ with a sledge-hammer – whatever the hell ‘smithereens’ might mean…ah, a ‘fragment’ as I check my dictionary… that would have bothered me all day had I not figured out why I was using that word… 😊

All those poetic dulcet phrases for posterity have gone AWOL on me since my rising…and you would have so enjoyed them. Darn, what’s a would-be poet to do? (Another reminder to keep a writing pad on the bedside table.)

In lieu of giving ‘my few post-regulars’ a hopefully titillating ‘run-on poem’, I’m left with this droll, sportive ‘spread of words’…

 (Oh, please do not take my few ‘post-regulars’ comment offensively—I’m not visiting the blog sites I follow because of an ‘energy-factor’: by that, I mean, I’m writing another book and, hopefully, another after the present M/S is completed, and, while the juices still flow for ‘writing’, that is all I do – for as long I am allowed, and, in doing so, I’m not getting as  many visitors to my blog posts as I would like, BUT, certainly, I do understand the non-visitors…why would others visit my blog when I’m not visiting their blogs? A ‘quid pro quo’ thing, and, as it should be… AND, I do thank so much those of you who do check out my posts on a regular basis. While on this long parenthetical ‘thesis’, my book sales records are not the stuff of which I’m proud, but it is somehow important for me to write at this point in my life. The books I write are good, he says with all modesty, and should have many more readers. It is my poor attempts at marketing and my ‘penny-pinching’ ways, I dare say. Suffice it, Writing is therapy for me… Quite enough on the subject, I suspect.)

Next post, I shall make it up to you loyal followers of my writing…again, thank you so much for keeping me writing. You are so much appreciated and warmly in my thoughts.

BR Chitwood – March 16, 2020

*

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Breaking Up

Breaking Up

Jan Cowper was a bit late in her arrival at the restaurant for a dinner date with her live-in boyfriend.

“Sorry I’m late, Tony…had some things to do after work.” She sat opposite him at the table for two and placed her purse on the floor beside her.

Tony eyed her… She was a knockout! Beautiful blue eyes and face framed by golden tresses… He hated what he was thinking.

“No, you’re not!” Tony spoke, three martinis up on his dinner date and his mind working at its peak.

“No, I’m not, ‘what’?” She responded, as the waiter took her martini order.

“You’re not sorry about being late…just words.”

“Just ‘words’, huh? Got it all figured out, do you, Tony?”

“You know what they say!”

“They, being?”

“The smart people of the world…”

“And, how would you know them, Tony?”

“You do that a lot!”

“I do what a lot.”

“You put me down a lot, Jan… It’s okay. I’m used to it, but it does get old.”

“I put you down a lot?”

“You do that a lot, too… Why are you always repeating everything I say? Do I have marbles in my mouth?”

“Why do I repeat what you say?” Jan chuckled. “Yeah, guess I do…just a dumb habit. It appears I’m irritating you a lot, Tony. You have any more observations?”

“As a matter of fact, I do… Your eyes wander all over the restaurant we might be in. You stare into the cars we pass on the road.  You watch people walking along the streets. It’s like you’re always thinking and planning something when we’re together. It’s not just annoying…it’s stupid! I’m not a jealous man, and you’re not going to make me into one. So, are you just bored with our relationship or are you a short-term commitment person?”

“Where’s all this coming from, Tony? I’m the same dame you met and gave a moronic pitch at Madison Square Garden a year ago. Maybe it was the Knicks that brought us together, though I admit you got me hot and bothered with your phony come-on and your ‘bulge’…you had that black curly hair and Dean Martin look that turned me on. Everything was great until you got too controlling and possessive…”

There was a short pause as the waiter delivered Jan’s martini…and Tony ordered another.

“Me, ‘controlling and possessive’, with you. You’re nuts! I would never attempt to control a woman, or, anybody for that matter. I thought we had something going when we decided to share living space. You gave me every indication that was so – your little pecks on the upper cheeks and your hands roaming on the lower cheeks… Now, for the past six weeks or so, you’ve changed big time. What is it, Jan? You got a new lover? Got all you want from me? What? Want to trade me in? Is that it?”

“Hey, Tony, lower the decibels! The other diners are looking at us. You trying to get us kicked out of this nice joint?”

“There’s the Jan I know these days! Skirting the questions, bringing it all back on me… Tell you what! It’s all so obvious to me what you’re doing, I’m going to make it easy for you. I mean, Jeez, I’ve seen this coming for weeks – an excuse here and there, working late, or, drinks with the girl-buddies, too tired for any fooling around, all the signs were there. Old ‘Jerk-water’ Tony, too easy on the patience and not wanting to believe what I instinctively knew…”

Tony rose from the table, tossed a fifty-dollar bill on the table. “We never got to dinner so that should handle the tab. If not, you get the rest. Enjoy the martini I just ordered…one of the guys at the bar will likely have the lack of good sense and approach you. I’ll have your clothes neatly packed in boxes for you to pick up outside the apartment door… This train is leaving the station.”

With that, Tony was gone, and Jan showed a half-smile to the other staring patrons and waiters. The smile was not a ‘poor-me’ smile, but more of a ‘victory’ smile. She finished her martini, left the fifty bucks on the table and exited the restaurant.

Jan walked several blocks down Fifth Avenue and entered another upscale restaurant. She was ushered to a nearly hidden table in the rear of the large room, in an area most lovely decorated with exotic plants and special pictures of notable people.

“How did it go?” the handsome and smartly dressed man stood and pulled out her chair.

She smiled and spoke, “Just as anticipated. The doofus is packing my clothes in boxes and putting them outside the apartment door. He will be a bit shocked when he notices my clothes already gone… Hope your end is all set. He will definitely be checking his floor safe in the master bedroom closet sooner or later.”

“It’s all set…don’t worry. Tony will likely booze a bit before going home and won’t have time to think about anything. You’re sure he knows you are not aware of the safe?”

“There is no way he can know…”

The couple smiled sweetly at each other and sipped their martinis.

***

Tony stopped and had a few more drinks before going back to his plush apartment. He was in a strange mood, not eager to eyeball the pretty ladies in the bistros, just mellow and somehow content with the decision he made relative to Jan. No question he was easy going, but he knew when he was being played. He bought her some beautiful gifts but that was his way…he did not second-guess himself, and, for a while, all went very well. Now, it was over, and he was glad it was over. He might feel some remorse in the next few days, but, tonight, he was in a good mood and happy to be free again.

When he finally made it home, he was not so tight with booze that he failed to notice Jan’s clothes all gone. Perhaps she had gotten the clothes during the day or this evening. In any event he was happy that all vestiges of Jan were out of the apartment. He turned on his stereo for some soft jazz, had a nightcap, and went to bed…still fully sober and content.

It was three days later when he discovered the robbery of his safe. Jolted by the discovery, losing a major portion of his financial fortune caused a great wave of distress to settle within him… Oh, he still had funds elsewhere and he would not be forced into great hardship like so many before him. Still, the effort and time to accumulate such wealth could not be simply accepted without some anger and anxiety.

The theft brought immediate rise to thoughts about Jan and her possible involvement. He spent days trying to locate her but she no longer worked with the same company. He visited restaurants and night spots they had frequented but no one had seen her or heard anything about her.

Time moved on – three weeks passed, a month, two months…

It was in the third month that he saw her in one of New York’s finest gourmet restaurants.

She was sitting in a lush leather and gold cloth booth across the opulent room. With her were two men and another woman. They were engaged in an animated argument about something, arms and hands waving in frantic gestures. Jan’s companion appeared really irate, his voice reaching a level that brought the maître d’ to the booth and diners to stare.

Whatever the disturbance, Jan and her companion rose from the booth and left the restaurant in angry haste.

Their dinner at an end, Tony and his business associate separated, the associate moving to the piano bar, and Tony leaving the restaurant. Tony was eager to follow Jan and her angry friend if it were possible to do so…he still felt Jan was somehow the instrument used to rob him of his floor safe finances.

Outside the restaurant Tony was only able to see Jan running after her companion’s car…it was obvious that he decided to leave her behind. She quickly hailed a cab and went into pursuit mode. Tony’s guess was that Jan would not catch him. Tony stood for a moment watching the cab become a tiny twinkle in the night…he felt no urge to hail his own cab and follow her. Instead, he was close enough to walk to his own apartment where he found it difficult to fall asleep – his mind was busy reliving the entire evening. For his part, the night had been successful with a business contract which would during its course give back all the finances lost in his safe robbery.

For a few moments more he remembered some of his good times with Jan, and, in some ways, he felt sorry for her. In her own way she was trying to cope with the challenges of living in one of the most eclectic and electric cities in the world – she loved Manhattan, and as the song so beautifully proclaimed, she was ‘caught between the moon and New York City’. He was no longer angry at Jan. Aside from feeling sorry for her, he wanted her to succeed and be truly happy – without the constant manic urges from life.

Two nights later the late night TV news carried a story about the body of a female found in the East River, later identified as Janice (Jan) Cowper.

Tony Peterson felt a range of emotions with the TV announcement and allowed the tears to flow unabashedly… Sleep was again difficult to attain.

At his office the next day two NYPD detectives visited and asked many questions, indicating to Tony that he was under heavy scrutiny in Jan’s homicide, the cause of death already determined by autopsy and forensic evidence.

Tony answered honestly all of the detectives’ questions and was crushed that they were considering him as a suspect in Jan’s death. They told him not to leave town and departed his office.

For several days, Tony was unable to maintain his ongoing business dealings and stayed home to meditate on possible scenarios for Jan’s killing. He figured it had to have something to do with the night he saw the outburst at the swanky restaurant, saw Jan and her companion leave abruptly. He remembered Jan chasing after the companion, hailing a cab and giving chase. Had she caught up to him? Had the companion killed her? Had the two of them conspired to rob him? Had perhaps Jan’s new lover and killer somehow connected him to her murder?

It was late when Tony retired for the night, restless, unable to sleep, his mind relentless with its pounding observations and questions.

Just when sleep did come, through the fog Tony heard a persistent ringing noise, then loud voices…finally fully awake and aware of his doorbell and the yelling.

Tony put on his robe and answered the doorbell and shouts.

“Tony Peterson?” one of the three policemen asked.

“Yes, I’m Tony Peterson,” came the soft answer from a man who knew that fate was about to take him down some precipitous and unknown pathways.

“You’re under arrest for the murder of Jan Cowper,” said the tall handsome officer.

Handcuffed, read his Miranda Rights, Tony was taken away.

Tony’s heart sank as he was led to the patrol car. Tony suddenly noticed that the arresting officer was the man he had seen with Jan Cowper at the swanky restaurant.

Flash Fiction/Short Story by Billy Ray Chitwood – From the Archives

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If you liked the above story, please try one of my full-length novels…actually, please try one of my full-length novels even if you don’t like the above story.  I’m thinking you might like THE RELUCTANT SAVAGE. This novel is a fast-paced ‘noire-type’ read that has a lot of action, a love triangle, murder, romance, and suspense. Please give it a read and leave an amazon review – reviews can be the life blood for authors. PLUS, there are twenty of the Author’s books to choose from – Mystery, Suspense, Romance, Thriller, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Time Travel, Memoirs. Many of the fictional works are inspired by true criminal cases.

Universal BookLink for all global Amazon Stores: mybook.to/the-reluctant-savage

AND other book BUY outlets: B/N – Apple Books – Kobo

SOME AUTHOR LINKS:

http://www.billyraychitwood.com (Author Website)

http://www.brchitwood.com (Author Blogsite)

https://www.twitter.com/brchitwood

https://www.facebook.com/billyray.chitwood

http://linkedin.com

Member: #asmsg #Ian #IAN1 

Wordsmith Extraordinaire: John Dolan

From My Archives

An Interview With John Dolan – Author of:

FUN WITH DICK

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-NEW for 2020-

SYNOPSIS:

Twenty-five-year-old Richard Blackheart – geek, wage slave and Superman wannabe – seems destined for a life of dull obscurity.
Then one day he hits upon an idea for the ultimate non-self-help book, ‘How to Die Alone, Smelly and Unloved’, and things start to change …

‘Fun with Dick’ is a heart-wrenching, hilarious and harrowing tale of one man’s struggle against gravity and cats. It is not recommended for people who are easily triggered. If you do read it, keep your shrink’s phone number handy.

-Now Available on Amazon-

BUY SITES:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Fun-Dick-John-Dolan-ebook/dp/B083RW93CV/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=fun+with+dick&qid=1583519142&s=books&sr=1-2

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Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fun-Dick-John-Dolan/dp/1912361078/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=fun+with+dick&qid=1583519691&s=books&sr=1-2

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Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Fun-Dick-John-Dolan-ebook/dp/B083RW93CV/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=fun+with+dick&qid=1583519839&s=books&sr=1-2

Check these books out as well:

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JUST CLICK ON ANY COVER FOR THE BUY SITES

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AN UPDATE

NEW!

 

A Disclaimer ‘Preface’

Perhaps I’m over-stepping the ‘surly bonds’ of respectability with this archive rendering, but, nearly a decade ago, a jolly fellow from my beloved ancestral England caught my attention with his wordsmith brilliance and his hilariously creative way of interviewing fellow authors, myself included. I’m proud to say that I, in turn, escaping his threats, innuendoes, infringements and lawsuits with promises to glorify him daily with tweets, loving words, and phrases, was permitted to interview the author in question by using the same technique… Without my stale humor attempts, the author being interviewed did indeed make author interviews not only informative but so much fun to read, not to mention the good information delivered.

I’ve gone to the archives and retrieved that ‘Interview’ of some years ago, and I thank him for being here today – at least with his words of years ago – although he appears, as he did then, a bit angry by his mode of transportation.

John Dolan is the author’s name, and I’ve just read his latest ‘jewel fonts’ found in, “Fun With Dick.” In fact, I’ve read all his books – you will see some of them below. This old country-boy is an ‘easy sale’, can be sold just about any item, tech goodies, automobiles with wooden tires, and ice cream on a frigid day, but, when it comes to writing, holding readers captive for hundreds of pages, not wanting an ending, I cannot be fooled…at least, that’s what my good wife tells me.

So, while JD’s check is not in the amount agreed upon, I truly do love his writing. (John, please, don’t go nutsy on me…you’re going to break the orange crate…) I’m just kidding about the check…this time, I shall truly stop with the banal humor.

Here is my long-ago interview of John Dolan, the idea for which came after reading many of his author interviews of the same technique…indeed, HIS very own ‘intellectual property’. For me, those unique ‘John Dolan Interviews’ were ‘golden nuggets’ to treasure…okay, sorry for the trite, sophomoric bromide.  If you’ve never read them, go to John Dolan’s archives. It will be worth your trip. They were truly humorous and informative BLASTS.

Just a final few words about John Dolan’s NEW 2020 novel“Fun With Dick.” This is a book I highly recommend you read. It has elements from several genres, and, I promise, you will not be sorry you read it.

 Here is the 5-Star Review I gave “Fun With Dick” on Amazon:

Billy Ray Chitwood

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5.0 out of 5 stars – The Author-Wizardry of John Dolan: FUN WITH DICK – 5 Huge Stars

Billy Ray Chitwood

Reviewed in the United States on February 17, 2020

Format: Kindle Edition – Verified Purchase

AND, Now, 8-years old, but still relevant:

An Interview:  John Dolan – Author Extraordibnaire

This is a ‘Do Not Miss’ combo for you: an interview with a quality author and a partial review of his 5-Star book, “Everyone Burns.” If you have not the pleasure of reading John Dolan you’ve missed a ‘Wordsmith Extraordinaire’ creating his magic. JD is truly a quintessential author for his times. He is also the man who introduced me and countless others to the word, ‘Galericulate’ — that was once the name of his website/blog. (See end of interview and summary.) He’s the man hidden under the hat and he’s roaming around some continent or another. At last report, he was in Amsterdam…

OOPS – UPDATE: that was 2012…he was just recently released from Foxes and Hounds Tranquility Center! He’s much better now, I’m told! I do so hope my information is accurate…

JUST KIDDING. JD IS JUST FINE – ORNERY, BUT, FINE!

But, be gone, my foolishness! Here’s a re-blog of my 2012 interview with this important literary figure and an update on his writing and ‘book cover’ changes…

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BUY SITES FOR “Everyone Burns”:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Everyone-Burns-Time-Blood-Karma-ebook/dp/B008I6GXM2/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=everyone+burns&qid=1583442961&s=books&sr=1-1

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Everyone-Burns-Time-Blood-Karma-ebook/dp/B008I6GXM2/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=everyone+burns&qid=1583443269&s=books&sr=1-1

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Everyone-Burns-Time-Blood-Karma-ebook/dp/B008I6GXM2/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=everyone+burns&qid=1583443464&s=books&sr=1-1

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NOW – THE 2012 AUTHOR INTERVIEW

‘Burning’ John Dolan, Writer Extraordinaire – An Interview (Sort of!)”

(BR Chitwood=BR)…(John Dolan= JD)

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BR: Okay, Filbert, take off Mr. Dolan’s  blindfold…

JDHey, not so rough! You just don’t take ‘no’ for an answer, do you?

BR: Why should I? You can leave us now, Filbert, and take Salomé with you.

JD: You kidding me? ‘Salomé!’ ‘Filbert!’ They’re ‘junkies…’

BR: Had no money…they grabbed you for the ‘grass.’

JD: Are you mocking me? Are you stealing my interview ideas?

BR: Show me a legal document!

JD: At least my interview chair is comfortable, and my straps are pure leather, not this cord crap!

BR: You left me no choice, JD, you broke your promise to take my books viral and…

JD: Correction! I said your books were vile and pretentious…

BR: Okay, okay, I understand you’re a bit angry…just some tit for tat, that’s all. I really like your book, “Everyone Burns,” and I’m thinking ‘movie,’ ‘TV series,’ something really big. Can we just relax and talk about the book?

JD: Can you at least put a cushion on this orange crate? You’re not helping my hemmies.

BR: How’s that? Better? Good…Now tell me about “Everyone Burns” and how you came to write it.

JD: Guess I got no choice, but you gotta promise me you’re not going to make a habit of this kind of interview. This is my idea, not yours. Do we have a deal?

BR: Yes, we have a deal…Hell, I thought you would be pleased!

JD: Well, I am, sort of, but this is intellectual property, not something you mess with…plus, I only get one original idea per decade.

BR: Okay, no more kidnaps for interviews! Got it! Can we proceed?

JD: The events in “Everyone Burns” take place over seventeen days while Thailand is still numb from the giant tsunami of December 2004. Like everyone of sane mind this great catastrophe made my emotions run wild, made me think of life like I had never really thought about it. “Everyone Burns” gave me some escape from the reality all around me.

BR: Really?

JD: No, not really. I wrote it for the money and the groupies.

BR: And how’s that working out?

JD: Probably about as well as it’s working out for you, I’d guess. Well … looking at you, probably slightly better with the groupies.

BR: Here’s a quote from “Everyone Burns,” just after a bar fracas scene:

To summarise, my life is one of split personality. I am in two minds about it myself.

 Nevertheless, down these narrow streets a man must walk, even if it is in flip-flops.

But I am no Philip Marlowe, and Koh Samui is not film-noir USA. There is nothing

of Hollywood’s black and white morality on this most colourful of Thailand’s

Islands. And long overcoats just make you sweat in the sun. Here The Postman

Never Rings Twice, simply because he never rings at all. He has better things to do. Lamai’s and Chaweng’s adventurers generally pack a condom, not a gun.”

You open the book with a broken cue stick inflicting injury to your protagonist and it’s like the excitement and action  never lets up after that. I picked this quote because it’s one of my favorites but also because it gives the reader a sample of your splendid writing…

Do you have any disagreement with my assessment here, JD?

JD: Take these cords off and I’ll kiss you. The passage is also a favorite of mine. Aside from the style thing in my writing, it is just basically who I am. But I’m NOT David Braddock, by the way. I want to make that clear in case my wife Fiona is reading this! A book of this genre for me has to move at a rapid pace, the action mostly non-stop. A lot of what I write about in “Everyone Burns” has some factual similarities, the people, the places, the time certainly. And, of course, you know my English is rather precise, proper, as it was intended to be! WHY are you smiling and shaking your head?

BR: Never mind, just me being me! I just like the ‘snap to’ words you love coming off your lips. It’s a great book, JD. Wish we had more time because I’d like to mention “People With Real Lives Don’t Need Landscapes,” a book of poetry you wrote in 2003. You certainly have a way with words, JD, and I happen to love poetry. As Amazon puts it, “This big bouncy collection of contemporary poetry draws on both popular and high culture. The poems have energy, imagination, humor, and lively speech rhythms. They are light, weighty, topical, intellectual, gory, sad, wild, and tender all at once… Why are you vigorously shaking your head, JD?”

JD: I didn’t write that.

BR: What?

JD: I didn’t write that collection of poetry. That was a different John Dolan.

BR: Are you sure?

 JD: What do you mean, “Am I sure”? I’m not likely to forget a thing like that, am I?Sheesh! It’s scary how your brain can live in such a small space.

BR: That hurts, JD. To think, a while ago you were going to ‘kiss me’… Oh, well, regardless, I loved your book “Everyone Burns” and can’t wait for the sequel. [That would be “Hungry Ghosts.”] People should really take a long look at you, my friend…

JD: ‘My friend!’ My butt is sore here, BR!

BR: Filbert and Salome are ‘napping’ right now. I’ll untie you, but, please, no fracas here. Tit for tat, remember? Be gentle.

End of Interview… [JD: Please, no retaliation!]

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 Browse all books by John Dolan: Sign up for his Newsletter, news, articles: johndolanauthor.com

Follow JD on Twitter: twitter.com/johndolanauthor

Visit JD’s Author Website: johndolanauthor.com – you will find information about this unique and wonderful literary genius, his books, his life and times…

You want good reading? Check out the books above, and, more…you will not be disappointed. John Dolan is destined for literary greatness! YOU HEARD IT HERE!

 (Really, follow him AND read him. He’s ugly mean: it took two junkies and me to get him here for this ‘Orange Crate’ interview!)

 

 

 

 

 

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