A Heart Thing

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A Heart Thing

-Flash Fiction by BR Chitwood-

*

What was I doing here? It seemed a sad inertia was in control of my body.

Beautiful, yes, this sand and sun part of the world! And, it was a promise my heart compelled me to keep…after so many tears and a fragile restoration from the pain and finality of impending death. Those who have lost the warm cloak of love will know of what I write.

Before coming inside to sit on the big bed to write my thoughts of desperation and longing, I stood on the 9th floor balcony of the ‘Royal Tower’ and gazed out over the beauty that is all of Paradise Island Bahamas.

Close to my tower, people and kids watched the feeding of large Manta rays, while, in the next large pool, loud cheering came from children and their parents as brothers and sisters slid quickly down the steep, thick, clear round-tube through water where sharks swam all around them. My wan smile of acknowledgment came and lingered briefly from the shrieks of play and excitement in the large pool below.

I began my writing…

This is for you, Johnny, these words my heart and soul convey, words which I pray will give me sustenance to continue life – a tenuous blur in my mind during the past few days…

We spoke of coming here to the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort just two months ago at our most beautiful first anniversary dinner, one week before your cancer diagnosis came from your doctor. As always, you faced that awful information in your fashion, showing your acceptance and lack of concern. “Hey,” you said, “doctors make mistakes! I feel great and plan on living for many years with my lovely bride.” You kissed me softly on the lips and gave me your brave smile.

On our arrival home, I tried, too, for bravery, but failed. You saw my tears, gathered me in your arms, carried me to our bed and slowly, with moments of playful tease and tormenting delays, made spectacular love to me. You made me momentarily forget the terrible news of the diagnosis.

The days that followed were much the same. You took me with you on your business trip to Seattle, even allowed me to be present during your major appointments. You would not be without me for a moment. My love for you, always at its highest point, came near to eruption, to the degree of silly school girl antics. I clung to you, stopped on the busy sidewalks of Seattle to embrace, kiss you, in such a state of euphoria that I could almost forget the dreadful cancer news…almost! It hovered just above my consciousness, bringing deep dips of sorrow at the prospect of losing you.

Then, there came the Tuesday telephone call from doctor Dearfield’s office. You were to check into the Holy Cross Hospital at 8:00 AM the next day to start treatments. From your soft and inaudible voice while talking to the doctor, I knew the seriousness of the situation. I also saw the momentary closings of your eyes and the dropped chin.

After the phone call with the doctor, you insisted, without allowing my dissent, that night would be our last together. Your arguments were selfish, you said, that you would not allow me to see your declining days of health caused by Cancer’s newest treatments, including sessions of Chemo therapy. You made me promise not to show up at the hospital. You gave me the first-class ticket to Nassau, booked my ‘top priority’ suite at the Atlantis Bahamas for a three-week stay. You said, if the news proved good, you would be joining me at Atlantis. If the news were negative, our Tuesday night would be our last night until we met in God’s eternity. We were locked in each other’s arms all that night, me, saying silent prayers…

I stopped writing when tears began blurring my pages. I was hopelessly lost in my lassitude, laid back on the bed until feelings of anxiety hit me, got up, left the lovely suite and walked aimlessly around the grand resort.

Below ground, I walked along the thick concrete walls of the world’s largest marine exhibit, passing within three feet of all kinds of exhibits, sharks, rays, all kinds of water life, swimming up to the thick glass enclosure where families touched them safely via the glass. Even in a lethargic state, I managed to find some minimal escape from my despair.

After walking up and through the large casino, I returned to my room. It was 5:00 PM. I took a sleeping pill and soon fell asleep among the tear-blotted pages written some hours earlier.

For the next few days, it was much the same for me, ordering room service food, eating only parts of it, picking up the pen to write more thoughts on paper and giving up when the tears came. Johnny’s face I saw as an image on the glass sliding doors to the balcony, on the bathroom mirrors, in my mind when eyes were closed. The weather outside was beautiful, and, even in my grief, I could understand the popularity of this paradise.

Even with the beauty of Paradise Island, the walls closed in on me, forcing my movement, either to the pool area or the beach.

On Friday morning of my second week, I awoke with the same torpid lack of mobility, dregs from the sleeping pills, ordered room service coffee and eggs Benedict, drank the coffee, left most of the eggs Benedict. I picked up my pen to write more about Johnny, and, again, began crying.

Outside the weather was all sun and blue skies. I took off my pajamas and put on my bikini, grabbed a beach towel and noticed I was still wearing the last gift Johnny had given to me – an elegant diamond-studded pendant with a lush heart-shaped Garnet gem. I placed the pendant on the dresser, lingered over it for a few seconds until the tears thought about returning, and walked out the door.

The sun felt strangely good on my body, adding pleasantly to my lethargy. I tried not to think, but it was impossible. Johnny was so solidly in my thoughts, and I truly wondered if I could live without him. I turned my body on the beach towel to the tummy, my back needing some sun.

As I lay there on my tummy, my face upon my folded arms, eyes closed, reliving memories, I felt something drop to the sand in front of my face, a few sprinkles of sand touching my forehead.

Impulsively, I raised my head and glanced at the sand in front of me.

My heart skipped several beats! My head and entire body was tingling with titillating thoughts.

Quickly, I turned over onto my back and sat up.

Standing above me with a wide grin on his face was Johnny!

“Oh, my God! Oh, my God!” I blurted and jumped from the beach towel and threw myself into his open arms.

“You just buried your Garnet pendant!” he said, with a mock sneer. “That cost me a few bucks, you know! And you leave it on a dresser in a resort?”

“Oh, Johnny, Johnny!” I sighed deeply, “You’re here… Are you cured?” I kissed him so much he couldn’t answer.

He finally disengaged enough to mutter: “You ever hear of ‘remission’? That’s me! The ‘Remission’ man! On a mission to re-claim my lovely, lovely bride. Shall we get a drink and celebrate?”

“Not just a drink, Johnny! I have a lot more in mind for you!” A quick thought hit me. “That is, unless…” in my stuttering way, “there are health issues.” I gave him my raised eyebrows and soft smile.

Johnny slapped me on my ‘buns’, smiled broadly, and said, “Bring it on, baby! I’m up to the task!”

“Make that, ‘tasks’, please, Johnny!”

Flash Fiction by BR Chitwood – From My Archives

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Paradise Island Bahamas

‘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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A Gallery

[Image Art by Julien Cavondoli – Unsplash.com]

*

A  Gallery

A blue so exquisite it brings gentle pain,

A softened gallery surrounds me.

A composite clarity in this desert sky 

Around me of my life, my destiny.

A Gallery that speaks to me of a full

Awkward life of guilt and repent,

A portrait of me in many poses of guile,

A sad man-child, seeking content.

A vast space of clarity, an awesome sky,

A gallery to remind me of bad, of good.

A life, a legacy, both worthy, and, not,

A gallery, all said, I did what I could.

***

BR Chitwood – Feb. 26, 2020

***

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The Final Speciation

©The Final Speciation

-A Denouement-

By BR Chitwood

 

All humans, all animals, all still life in the verdant valleys, deserts, unrippled water below, look skyward in awe and wonder of new climactic wonders. New lovers, old lovers, would-be lovers, lovers to be or not to be, and those many beasts of prey, tangled plants of unknown qualities and quantities, they all hear the whispering sound in the air like a soft mesmerizing musical coda of a thousand hypnotic violins and the near-inaudible notes of a misty, magical piano.

In its fast and vast-spreading movement, visible as an image of some spectacular musical composition that floats by and covers all the great expanse of sky, the notes all a golden shade, each note quakes in its own turn  an ordered  totality of its mauve composition. This you will see and hear:

Those who have yearned will know…

The epochal wonders of all the years…

The scenes and signs that have come to you for all these millions of years…

Those who are weary…

Those who cry in the night…

Those who hunger and thirst…

Those who do not wish to be…

Those who seek love but do not know its meaning…

Those of all persuasions, all will be as it is to be…

Listen to the music of ages…

The final Epoch Comes…

*

The tablet of stone was found on a mantle in the home of an aged Ascetic, a man who, from reports of only two people found by  authorities were able to find who knew him, said no words were ever exchanged with the frail and pallid man with a long white beard white hair, deeply-wrinkled skin, and short, thin stature. When two people on a neighborhood walk tried to talk to him, the Ascetic simply walked down a side-yard of his modest house and disappeared. He was never seen again – by anyone…until his death.

The Ascetic’s picture was taken in death, distributed throughout the Metro area of Los Angeles, but given special coverage on local television for the attention of people within a large quadrant of Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, and Malibu, and would spread eastward and nationally. The home of the Ascetic was in Venice, next door to Santa Monica. Why the ‘spread eastward and nationally?

Shortly after the picture and article about the Ascetic and his death flowed through News wires, his body disappeared. Yes, disappeared…never found…to this day, never found.

Now, more fuel was put to the already very hot story. Suspicions, assertions, all kinds of speculation were to appear in the news. It became a media blitz. The County Coroners were shamefully, mercilessly, and too vigorously investigated, received some nasty innuendos laced with vitriol. The two people who, once, actually saw  the Ascetic  alive were found and doggedly hounded until lawsuits were filed

There was the normal volume of weirdo-replies that jammed up editorial offices in the greater Los Angeles area, both TV and newspapers, but only one cryptic and mysterious reply caught the Media’s and Public’s desire to know more about this Ascetic’s life and death, in fact, a reply with only four words… Bronson Caves – Griffith Park.

That one reply would cause a stampede of sorts. Bronson Caves after all carried an awesome ‘neon-flashing’ alias: Batman’s Cave.

Lest excitement builds in intensity, the Batman’s Cave was not where George Clooney, Val Kilmer, Michael Keating, and Christian Bale ‘Batman’ movies were shot.

The Batman TV Series in the 1960’s starring Adam West and Burt Ward were filmed with footage in Bronson Caves.

With a few deft strokes of a journalist’s pen, magical scenarios begin to appear in many newspaper editions: ‘what if the  Ascetic was somewhere in Batman’s Cave?’

In their ‘What Iffing’, some in the media ranks thought a ‘Jesus-Link’ was needed and created a ‘cave’ to entice readership and cause an alarming ‘nay’ and ‘pro’ rush to conclusions that had no merit.

Sorry, that’s all the time I have today…

*

Okay, interesting story line, but where’s the beef?

Where’s the Ascetic?

Is he, or, HE, in Batman’s Cave?

Was the Ascetic and Jesus just playing around? Wanting our attention?

How does a man, an ‘Ascetic’ live in the crazy community of Venice, California, and nobody knows him, or, HIM?

*

Okay, Okay, I’ve got the message.

Now, I could tell you this little post is part of my next book that will have all the answers you might be craving, but…

The hesitation comes from my having a new Driver’s License and Passport picture taken… Sweet Jesus, tell me that it is not me in those pictures.

The best I can do is explain it this way:

When a ‘Pantser’ writes, the reader must be patient… It will all be explained…

If I’m not around for the explanation, look upward and listen to the music.

BR Chitwood – Feb. 22, 2020

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Passport Pictures

Passport Pictures

“OMG! That’s, ME? Okay, That’s I?”

“That’s you, sweetheart.”

“Damn, lie to me, woman, don’t let me try to sleep  tonight with that ugly truth in my sub-conscious.”

“You ‘OMGed’ when you saw you new driver’s license some months ago.”

“Yeah, I know, but, at least, the Driver’s License was in vivid color. This passport picture looks more black and white than color – more gray than black… Geez, my eyes look vacant and without any show of life…”

“Come on, honey, you’re becoming obsessed. I never knew your ego to go this far out north of kilter. You know drivers’ licenses and passport pictures are always horrible.”

“Yeah, I know you’re right, but it’s still a shock seeing my face in a depressing morgue’s gray slide-out chamber… By the way, where the hell might we be going? We just got to Phoenix a few weeks ago. That’s a beastly long drive for an internationally successful and wealthy author.”

“Uh, darling, you’re spacing out again…forget who you’re talking to?”

“I believe that should be, ‘…to whom you’re talking?”

“Oh, shut up and eat your oatmeal, grammar-hog.”

“I hate oatmeal! You know, your passport is no image winner, either!”

“Okay, I’m taking your oatmeal away.”

“That was the plan, dear heart.”

“You and your passport make good companions. I’m giving your oatmeal to ‘Lady Gray’.”

“Okay, that ‘draws the line’ so I’m using my ‘Executive Privilege’. You may not torture my beautiful ‘Lady Gray’ by feeding her something that only you like… You and your new passport sleeping in the guest room tonight?”

“No, you are!”

“Ah, you win some and you lose some…um, no kiss, ‘goodnight’…”

BR Chitwood – Feb. 20, 2020

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Being Who You Are

Image Art by: Lacie Slezak – Unsplash.com

Being Who You Are

Not so tough?

Au contraire, methinks!

Some people (ahem!) go through life too calculative in their environments, measuring an action and/or response that best benefits their position in any setting – a dinner date, a business meeting, even in a close and personal family discussion.

To various degrees, I’m sure it is part of our genetic structures ,and some of our closest allies, friends and loved ones are part of this non-sinister population.

Well, in most cases, I believe this ‘non-sinister’ qualifier applies. However, make no mistake about it, the evil ones of the world are born into or grow-up in a dark and gray surrounding and learn quickly the manipulative and criminal side of this calculative phenomenon. Most good people who live long enough come to know the predators who appear before them with some tired, time-worn scam and deftly remove themselves from the petty crook’s presence.

Some are not so fortunate…

Take me, for example…

Years past, in Monterey, California, I met some clients in Salinas’ famous ‘Cannery Row’ at a gourmet restaurant of some 5-Star ranking.

‘Cannery Row’ was people and traffic busy, and I parked my car in a dark alley area between some buildings. As I stepped from the alley onto the main street where the restaurant was located, two young men stopped me to ask directions to an address I had no clue…and their car broke down and ‘could I possible take them to where they wanted to go’? After a brief chat, easily sizing them up, I walked away thinking the two young men were amateurs in their con-artist attempts, but I could easily mark them as sinister.

 Just a few doors down the sidewalk I entered the restaurant, met my clients, and forgot about the young men.

After too many cocktails and a fine dinner, I left my clients and walked back down the sidewalk to the alleyway and entered the now ‘even darker-black’ area where my car was parked.

 As I turned from the alleyway and into the parking area, two young men, one on either side of me, grabbed my arms. Both men had tight grips on my upper arms, and the man on my right was jabbing the meaty part of my bicep. I felt little pain because of the tight grip he had just below the bicep. Wearing a heavy gray suit, I was thinking that heavy cloth was keeping the pain level at a low point.

The two men demanded my wallet, all the while talking their street-smart talk and vulgar threats. The man on the left finally found my wallet in my inside suit-coat pocket.

Someone yelled. I don’t know who or from where, but the two men dashed away into the thick darkness with my wallet…that was back in the day when cash was still a payment option. There was over one-hundred dollars in the wallet…at that time, a fair amount of money.

I yelled at the men and made a feeble attempt at running in the direction they had taken. I could no longer see them when they were only twenty or thirty feet from me.

Maybe the cocktails saved me that night on ‘Cannery Row’, and, admittedly, I was a little high on booze.

As I walked down the short alleyway and onto the sidewalk, a few people rushed to me, and, somehow, I did not know why…did not know why they were concerned about me.

Then I saw the right arm of my gray suitcoat – it was saturated with blood…the hood had used a pocket-knife as he jabbed me time and again, his grip on my arm so tight I could not feel the penetration into my bicep.

The police came.

I gave them the only information I could give them, described the two men who had confronted me down the sidewalk from the restaurant.

I went back to my Monterey hotel and pondered my loss – of money and of dignity.

A couple days later my wallet was found, credit cards still in their place, but, of course, you know, no money.

So, back to the beginning…

If you have not thought about the calculative gene in your body, be aware every day in your social outings. It can even be a ‘fun gene’ to have at times when subtlety and deviousness are teasing elements.

I’m not saying, ‘live in fear’, no way. Just be aware of who you are AND with whom you may be interacting.

We all have that gene within us, so, be who you are, have fun with it, BUT ‘be aware’.

BR Chitwood – Feb. 14, 2020

-HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY-

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Too Many Gauges

Too Many Gauges

-A Dialogue, PLUS-

 

JH: “Interesting ‘Title’, Billy Ray. Why  do you use that title?”

 

BRC: “Why ‘not’ that title’, John?”

 

JH: “Well, I don’t really know. Maybe it’s nothing, but ‘gauges’ usually refer to automobiles, furnaces, machinery of some sort. Titles of topics should signify interest before the reading starts, don’t you think?”

 

BRC: “Yes, of course, but why would not someone think just looking at the title that it could be probably interesting?”

 

JH: “I said it was an interesting title. I’m just asking, ‘why’ the title?”

 

BRC: “Sure, but you’ve already shown that the title interested you. So, what you’re really asking me is to tell you the ‘dialogue’ so you don’t have to read it, correct?”

JH: “Geez Whiz, Billy Ray, I just asked, why do you use that title, and you’re acting like I broke a commandment or some sacred oath. I mean, it’s a ‘given’ I’m going to read ‘Too Many Gauges’. I’m just asking, ‘why do you use that title’?”

 

BRC: “Okay, okay. What does the word, gauges, mean to you?”

 

JH: “Gauges measure things, like a car’s gas gauge tells you if you’re about out of gas. A thermometer tells you how high your fever is…”

 

BRC: “Right, and you know I would not write something simple like that, and you want to draw me into a long chat about what ‘gauges’ means in this piece I’ve just written, and, you know my ‘gauges’ will be more of a philosophical bent than simple gas gauges and how sick someone might be. You would likely shift into a ‘funny mode’ and want to know if I would be writing about an anal or oral thermometer. It would turn out that my article would become yours. Then, I would have to hide from you and re-write a whole different article. You’re so easy to see through, John.”

 

JH: “Well, would you?”

 

BRC: “Would I, what?”

 

JH: “Would you be writing about an anal and/or oral thermometer?”

 

BRC: “John, you know I love you, but you’re beyond any possible hope…”

 

JH:“Ah, c’mon, buddy, lighten up. I’m going to read your dialogue thingy. Just give me a fast synopsis of your use of gauges in your article. Just, whet my appetite for more, okay?”

 

BRC: “Okay (sigh), I’m in bed, can’t sleep, a toss and turn night, emptying my bad kidneys every hour, and, okay, feeling sorry for myself, thinking about my life and times…why so much romancing and vagabonding instead of becoming POTUS (Yuck! Does anyone really want that job?), the greatest writer in the world, an ‘Oscar-winning’ actor, and/or, just an ordinary ‘picket fence’ guy with family and love…

 

“Yeah, I even thought about you, also like me, playing the ‘Corp Games’, about all your ’Willet Bourbon Intake’, your checking in and out of the ‘dry-out clinics’, your DUI tickets, the shame you carried after spending that time in the ‘slammer’…yeah, you had a tough go of it, John. My heart bled for you – that is, until you took one of my women, after all the lies you told about me. Funny how you’ve stayed together all these years with one of my favorite ladies and the dogs you stole out of the kennel…that really hurt, John…you knew I wanted my favorite lady and those dogs.

 

“Okay, open the fist, John. You know I’m just roasting you because you are a better writer than I, have a better blog than I, prevaricate so much more convincingly than I can (just, kidding). You, John, are  a standard bearer for all would-be ‘gentle-men’, and I love you, Man.

 

“Those were the gauges misread by me, John, those attributed here in this post, the missed opportunities, the chances at ‘greatness’ that I had and never took advantage of – those are the ‘mis-read’, or, ‘did not read’, gauges.

 

“There is some solace in the recounting. While too busy passing up my many opportunities, my life is complete now, with Julie Anne, Lady Gray, and our wonderful children and grandkids. When all is finally written I’ve had a rather fascinating life…

 

“With years left to come…”

 

JH: “You finished?”

 

BRC: “Yep, all done…”

 

JH: “Good. You will hear from my attorney tomorrow.”

 

BRC: “The gorgeous blonde? Or, the wrinkled-faced Methuselah?”

JH: “You giving odds?”

 

BR Chitwood – Feb. 11, 2020

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There

-Photo art by: Jakub Dziubak-

There

 

There in that sacred space

Where dreams lay crumbled

From all the yesterdays –

 

There where songs are sung

And stale memories play on

The soft notes of piano keys –

 

There in the unfulfilled dream

Heaps of all tomorrows amid

The rearranged bar stools –

 

There in the Bacchus mist

Among the sad souls of night

Love comes briefly to delight –

 

There in that play parlor for

Lonely souls of poetic pawns

The tortured Romantic sits.

 

Thank you, Romantics of the

World for the beauty of your

Musical notes of such sweet pain.

 

  • BR Chitwood – July 9, 2019 –

 

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And, The Beat Goes On!

And, The Beat Goes On

And, The Beat Goes On is a colloquial expression not heard so much today, and, yet, it says so much. Somewhere in all areas of the world someone’s heart will stop beating. In those same areas, a baby is born, And, The Beat Goes On…rather fundamental truth of life, so why make a blog post out of this one-time hep phrase?

In the darkness, the body splayed out for repose, and the mind is tossing out to you these nuggets of redundancy – Doctor’s appointment tomorrow, Pest Control guy coming tomorrow, ‘how do I get back on track with my new piece of writing? SciFi, no less! Am I in over my head? New genre? New characters that have noble goals? During the marathon of thoughts pounding within your brain, do you ever reach over your body, place a thumb just above the left wrist and feel for a pulse? Ah, the beat goes on.

Okay, nutty professor! Why make a blog post out of, And, The Beat Goes On?

Hey, I’m thinking of the right answer as I write. This is one of those, ‘Pick a Phrase’ and run with it. How am I doing so far? DON’T answer that!

Well, the way I had it figured, living here in Sunset, I was ahead of the curve, living maybe beyond the time I should be joining Mom and ‘Clarence’ – Heaven’s Bell Ringer – up there where angels dwell… Yes, I’m an angel in a gosh-awful earthly disguise!

Now, I must not get started on Angels because I’ve known in this long span some really beautiful women angels who made the beat faster and louder… I digress (but you don’t know for how long!).

Anyway, I figured I was way ahead of the curve, when I’m watching these beautiful 97-year old, 103-year old, World War 2 vets at the celebration of D-Day in France. On Utah Beach and Omaha Beach that fateful day, our American casualties were in the tens of thousands. For the really young ones not very likely reading this, these guys and more like them belonged to the Golden Generation. I was around as a ‘pup’ during those days, had an uncle who was a belly-gunner on a B-17 at Hickam Field in Honolulu during Japan’s surprise attack on a Sunday morning in December. Those B-17s were part of the Flying Fortress that dropped more bombs during WW2 than any other airplane… It’s my prayer that the younger generation will read of our proud history, find out how dear were the cost of lives for our freedom and liberty…And, The Beat ‘Went’ On.

The Beat Went On from WW2 to Scientific and Technological advances that make the head spin. Our human knowledge at the end of WW2 doubled every twenty-five years. Today, human knowledge doubles every twelve months, and it will soon be doubling every twelve hours. Oh, yes! The Beat Definitely Goes On!

Now, when anyone cares to know, this old author-fart – oops, heart. has gone through a hellava lot of beats. And, may I remind everyone of another major point of this fantastic post (he says with tongue pressed in tooth-gaps on either side of the jaw) – NOT both sides at once! The Reminder? I’ve written eighteen books and one shortie with my stylistic wonders – samplings of my Flash Fiction, Short Stories, Poetry, and Book Excerpt. It’s about time you readers out there buy and read a few of my books and leave some Amazon reviews – Do Not Be Embarrassed To Leave 5-Star Reviews. I’ve instructed Amazon not to accept any rating lower than 4. Just saying! Amazon is saying: “Hell, Son, you’re not getting hardly any reviews, so don’t be telling us how to do our jobs!” Okay, sorry, I spoke without thinking, Oh, Mighty OZ of the book world! Ah, what the heck, they’re nice folks over there at AMZ’s place: they let me publish my books, warts and all. Oh, and need I remind you, ‘git ta buyin an reedin’! Then, the beat will go on!

I’m now working on a SciFi novel, having fun with it, and it’s still several months out there… It’s about three young business partners who find their zeal for fishing on the Sea of Cortez yielding more that Groupers and Blue Fins, in fact, world-changing yields. I’m having fun writing it.

Well, I guess the point is made: And, The Beat Goes On…

BR Chitwood – July 2, 2019

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‘All Author’ Interview With BR Chitwood – Author

‘ALL AUTHOR’ AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Billy Ray Chitwood Interview Published on: 19, June 2019…All Author:

Crime fiction writer Billy Ray Chitwood came into the world as a ‘blue baby’ in rural Tennessee, during the aftermath of a big depression, and into a world of poverty, malaria, and broken homes. He had an abusive father, but was blessed with a hardworking and wonderful mother that did everything in her power to keep the family together. To Billy, writing is his therapy and he finds it hard to imagine good writing coming without passion. Though inspired by many English Romantic poets in college, he didn’t start writing till after the end of his first marriage. Many, but not all, of his eighteen books stem from some real life’s true crime cases. He is currently working on a book which is temporarily titled, THE SOUL DOME PROJECT, a novel about three young lifetime friends, enterprising businessmen who love to fish in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, who encounter other-worldly treasures in lieu of fish. This book is a different genre for the author, and he’s having glorious fun writing it. Hopefully, it fits in the SciFi genre. The young men are more than simply fascinated by one of their fishing adventures. They are overwhelmed in a major way. I’m working hard, trying to fuse my brand of humor into what is a first-class, supreme world shocker kind of book. Obviously, it is my hope that I can ‘pull it off’, as they say (whomever ‘they’ are supposed to be). I just wish it to be a fun read by the reading community. I’m still some months out on this ‘fishing boat’.

Here is ‘All Author’s’ Interview with author BR Chitwood:

AA Question: Tell us about your life and your struggles.

BRC Answer: Wish I could put a ‘smiley face’ on my life and struggles, but I must be truthful. I came into the world as a ‘blue baby’, born in a clapboard house up a muddy lane in a sawdust hamlet of rural Tennessee. It was the aftermath of a big depression. Poverty was everywhere as were malaria and broken homes. I’m rather fond of a phrase I used in my memoir: ‘I ate a lot of emotional soup as a kid and have been trying all my life to digest it’. The broken home, family, the times, the world were vague message carriers at the time. There were emotional and physical abuse by an itinerant father. There was a strong and hard-working mother who tried to keep the family together, working as a telephone operator by day, in war assembly plants at night, and as a boarding house cook. She was a wonderful mother.

AA Question: How passionate are you about writing?

BRC Answer: Writing is my therapy. I find pieces of me on and between the lines of what I write. Writing for me is as much about finding those loose ends of my life smack in the middle of a sentence or paragraph as it is writing a polished piece of prose that readers will enjoy reading. Nothing gives me more pleasure than grabbing a word or phrase that says exactly what I want it to say. It’s difficult for me to imagine good writing coming without passion.

AA Question: How long have you been writing and what inspired you to become a writer?

BRC Answer: Most of my life. As a kid I played around with words, writing silly poetry, mimicking the famous singers of the day – loved to sing. After a ten-year marriage came to an end, I played with the ‘lotus eaters’ for a number of years – booze, gin mills, piano bars, pretty ladies, and lonely motel rooms…wrote my maudlin poetry on bar counter napkins and motel stationery…my ‘self-pity period’… In college the English Romantic poets – Wordsworth, Lord Byron, Shelley, Keats, Coleridge – appealed to my emotional hunger, as did the group known as the ‘Naturalists’: Emile Zola, Thomas Hardy, Stephen Crane, Theodore Dreiser, Frank Norris, Jack London, et al.

AA Question: How did you get the idea for your first book?

BRC Answer: A dear actress friend of mine was brutally murdered in Phoenix, AZ. She was twenty-six years old, a mother of two small children, and had her entire life in front of her. Her body was found in the desert six weeks after her disappearance and savage murder, ravaged by the summer heat and denizens of the desert. My first book, PROBABLE CAUSE, was published and went out of print. That book became the first ‘mystery’ book out of six of the ‘Bailey Crane Mystery Series’ (Books 1-6) – AN ARIZONA TRAGEDY – A BAILEY CRANE MYSTERY (Book 1 of 6). The book was my way to say goodbye to a lovely lady whose life was cut short by an evil predator…the killer has never been caught, so far as I know, and the case remains a ‘cold case’ for the Phoenix Police Department.

AA Question: While choosing a name for your characters, what elements do you consider that will determines what you finally call them?

​BRC Answer: For me, the sound of the name, how it reads to me on the page, means a lot. Also, if a name comes to me that somehow seems to fit the character’s personality, in her/his strength or weakness, I will use it. Names are important and should be chosen with care.

AA Question: Do authors in general and you in particular plan series beforehand or do they just happen?

BRC Answer: After the Bailey Crane Book 1, there was another gruesome murder in Phoenix, a decapitation homicide of a lovely young lady. That gave rise to the Bailey Crane Mystery Series (1-6) and would become Book 2 of the ‘Series’…my fictionalized version of the crime. That homicide was a cold case for some years until just recently. The Phoenix PD finally found the killer.

AA Question: How do you choose which stories to tell?

BRC Answer: Many of my books have some basis in fact – not all, but, some. A story can come from an interesting news article – like my novel, MAMA’S MADNESS…a story of a mother in California who tortured and murdered two of her daughters and an ex-husband. The torture events and murders are related in the book, but there is also my fictional narrative.

AA Question: Do you ever get writer’s block?

BRC Answer: Not really. I just won’t allow it to happen. Usually, a line will come to me and I’m off and running. Lazy? Yes, I get a bit lazy at times…lazy in the sense of watching a football game or golf match instead of writing at a particular time. Much of the time I look over at my lovely wife and say: ‘Give me a phrase! Any phrase!’ She does, and I write a blog post based on the phrase. Crazy, I guess, but it works for me. At least one of my books came from that process…HAMMER’S HOLY GRAIL is that novel.

AA Question: Do you have a “reader” in mind while writing?

BRC Answer: Oh, sure. That’s why I rewrite, edit, rewrite, edit, over and over, in an attempt to eliminate boring sentences, spelling errors, grammatical goofs, et al. AND, guess what? I can almost assure something will be missed. That’s why an editor is part of most authors’ output…and even they can miss something now and then.

AA Question: Who is the first person to read the first draft of your books?

BRC Answer: My wife, generally, and I have a very wonderful fan and friend, Dr. Timothy Tays in Scottsdale, Arizona, who is also an author, a noted Clinical Psychologist, and he gets the first file to read and critique.

AA Question: How do you get reviews? Which was the best review you ever got?

BRC Answer: Of course, I request reviews in promotional blog posts, tweets on Twitter, Facebook, et al. You have touched on an area in which I am remiss. I really don’t know how to promote my books in the best way. I certainly like the way All Author and ‘QUOTESRAIN’ promote my books with sample chapters. Of the many great reviews I’ve gotten for MAMA’S MADNESS, this one from Amazon UK lifted me to the heights:

MAMA’S MADNESS – Amazon Review by Diogenes – Amazon UK:

“Compelling and Disturbing” 5.0 out of 5 stars By Diogenes – Amazon UK Format: Kindle Edition Billy Ray Chitwood’s novel `Mama’s Madness’ is a real find. While many Indie authors follow well-trodden paths of `popular genres’, Chitwood’s work cuts its own route through the underclass wilderness of modern America. Based on real-life events – but fictionalised in the telling – Chitwood’s story is by turns compelling and disturbing. The central character, Tamatha Preen, is a monster for our time. Inhabiting her own self-centred and embittered world she inflicts psychological and physical damage on her daughters while keeping her sons cowed by alternating violence with affection. Chitwood has an authentic voice articulating the world of the grifter and petty criminal hovering at the margins of society. The writing is gritty, laying bare the animal beneath the thin veneer of civilisation. Child abuse, theft, deception and murder all feature in a heady cocktail of corrupted morality – yet these topics are handled without sensationalism, and at times the novel has an almost journalistic feel to it. This is a brave book, swimming against the tide of literary popcorn, and it deserves a wide readership.

AA Question: What does the word “story” signify for you?

BRC Answer: a) a piece of writing (or vocal rendering) that tells of an event, experience, short or long, true or fictional… b) a floor in a building…

AA Question: Do you think an author should be bound by Genre?

BRC Answer: Readers dictate the genre – some readers like romance, some like mystery and suspense, thrillers, true crime, adventure, ‘how to’ books, et al. Of course, the writer is not bound by genre. As far as writing in different genres, I plan on writing in most before my fingers can no longer hit appropriate laptop keys.

AA Question: Are you currently working on anything?

BRC Answer: Yes… Working title is “The Soul Dome Project” – likely will be the title. The book is about three easy-going businessmen who love fishing in the Sea of Cortez in Mexico. On one of their fishing trips, they encounter some startling truths their minds cannot initially wrap around. It’s a SciFi romp for me, and, a lot of fun. Still some months away before birthing…

AA Question: Do you have a special time or place for writing?

BRC Answer: Usually during the day, after breakfast, and most of the day in the den on a Lazyboy leather recliner, I write, along with too much social media activity. Many good thoughts are lost at night when I can’t sleep and refuse to get up and put them on paper or the laptop.

AA Question: How do you promote your work? How will AllAuthor (QuotesRain) help you in your book promotion and sales, would you like to refer this platform to your author friends?

BRC Answer: Through QuotesRain/AllAuthor, Twitter, Facebook, Blog Posts, other authors, readers comments, blog posts, tweets, and referrals… As I suggested earlier, I welcome reviews of my books and suggestions for better marketing… An author can spend lots of money on promotion. I’m not a miser, but I need some assurances that the money I’m spending is leading to books being sold. Regarding referring Quotesrain and AllAuthor platform to my author friends.I’s my pleasure and no problem with that. In fact, I do some of that myself by re-tweeting some of your original tweets for my books.

AA Question: Would you like to share something with your readers and fans?

BRC Answer: I gratefully thank my fans and readers and wish them all GOOD READING. I might sheepishly ask that they write reviews of my books they read and refer me to their friends.

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Posted by: BR Chitwood – June 26, 2019

Please preview my books:

https://billyraychitwood.com

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