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.

*

BR Chitwood – August 12, 2020

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Somewhere A Lesson

Somewhere A Lesson

By BR Chitwood

By 10:00AM I was sated with Jenny’s steak and eggs  and ready for some serious beach time across the road from her sidewalk café in Santa Monica…it became a ‘ritual thing’ some six months back when I moved into Marina del Rey a few blocks east to taste the merry and often contrary life of a divorced male, still lying awake at night much too long evaluating those years brought by an insecure and troubled child and young-adult childhood. It was likely even seasoned psychiatrists would feign a ‘too busy’ schedule to ‘work me in’.

A ‘thought’ that tip-toed often into my emotional network, ‘I was loving every damned minute of my new freedom’…well, not every minute, but enough so that the ‘old me’ of my thirty years of living would not give one selfish minute to considering another legal ‘I do’ affair.

So, sated, along with some time-worn good jesting with familiar customers – mostly, over my casual attire (swim suit, jazzy tee-shirt, and white tennis shoes) – plus, some ‘life of the idle’ remarks that were good-natured and jokingly sent, I left the café.

As I crossed the street westward toward the sand and Pacific Ocean, I noticed a group of four kids in their early teens in some sort of lively debate and shoving action. When I stepped onto the sidewalk one of the youngsters accidentally crashed into me. Actually, shoved into me by one of the teens.

“Whoa,” says I, “what’s the ruckus, guys?”

I noticed the smaller kid who fell into me was the smaller of the group…it took me only a tick or two to notice the leader of this pack – you know the type: half-closed eyes, twisting his face into what he considered a menacing position, stood in a defiant stance, legs parted, hands rolled into fists, trying for all the world to look mad and mean.

I put my hand on the smaller kid’s shoulder, looked at the ‘defiant one’, and asked: “What’s your name, fellow?”

“What’s it to you? This is none of your business. Butt out.”

I took my own defiant stance. “I should slap the crap out of you, kid, so keep your mouth shut while I talk…”

The big kid started to open his mouth, and I moved forward one step closer to him. He did not speak.

“Okay, guys, what’s going on? Why is this kid being shoved around?”

The big kid started again to talk, and I moved within two feet of him with my eyes wide and glaring. He looked to the ground and did not speak.

Again, I asked, “What’s going on? Why the shoving. It looks like all three of you are against this kid. Why? Give me your names.” My cold stare reached them all.

The two smaller kids gave me their names – Danny and Sol. The shoved kid offered his name as well – Chaney.

“What’s your name, big guy?”

“I don’t have to give you my name. You’re not the police…”

“You know that for sure? Give me your name, ‘Big Shot’, or you just might find yourself in a lot of trouble.”

The big kid lowered his head, looked off toward the ocean just as a police siren was heard off in the distance.

He lowered his eyes and spoke: “My name is Oscar, okay?”

“Look, guys, I spent a lot of my childhood around bullies who liked to tell others what to do and get them into a lot of trouble. I’ve got a feeling Oscar here is a bully – he’s bigger, feels that buys him special rights, like, picking on smaller guys and being known as the ‘big wheel’. It’s a matter of time when these ‘bully-guys’ will not be around to torment others…they go on to become criminals and spend years in dark prisons, away from anyone who could or would love them.

“So, look, guys, don’t treat people like you would not like to be treated…here’s the plan: Oscar, you take off, think about what I’ve said here – it’s just as easy, Oscar, to win friends with kindness as with ‘bully behavior’. I just hope you get that sooner than later. Your life will be much better…go on, take off, but don’t bother these guys again. I live here and will be looking out for any troublemakers.”

Oscar turned and walked away, went a short way, then ran full speed southward down the sidewalk.

“You guys okay now?” I asked.

Each in turn seemed relieved and would eventually head eastward and home.

After the boys left, I stood watching them while they were still in sight, and, for some reason a memory I own from my own teenage life came to me.

*

[NOTE: one of my fictional novels – Hammer’s Holy Grail – which, like most of my fictional books, contain some factually accurate content…brought to my mind the scene below…

The scene in the book deals with an encounter where my Mom, a cousin, his sister, and I are visiting my Dad in his hotel room to tell him about my sister, age sixteen, eloping with an Army Corporal. Mom and Dad, divorced for some years, with Dad an absentee father we seldom saw for the most part… Suffice it here, but that was a scene I shall never forget. If you want to read more, the book is available on Amazon Kindle and Paperback.]

*

I did live in Marina del Rey, did have breakfast at a small café in Santa Monica, and the following aforementioned scene did occur – both, really, and in Hammer’s Holy Grail.

*

Dad’s hotel room was large but there was not enough chair-seating for all of us. My club-footed Cousin sat in a chair, and his sister sat in a matching chair next to him. Mom sat on the big king-sized bed, and I sat on an uncomfortable radiator by a window some ten feet across from my Mom.

Dad finished his phone call, walked around the room, smiling, looking us over. He knew something was amiss.

“Something’s going on, so let me in on it.”

Dad came to the big dresser and mirror across from the bed and leaned against the top.

Mom was cowed at the pillow-end of the bed, her hands wrapped into each other, her face a pitiful chalky white looking very nervous and scared…she had known a number of times of Dad’s beatings of her and my sister…

Finally, Mom spoke in a soft, terse voice: “Bobbie Jean ran off and married an Army fellow…” Tears came and poured down her face, and her lips tried to form words but could not. She bent her head to her bosom, her hands shaking with terrible stress.

All was quiet in the hotel room for some few seconds.

Dad’s eyes turned into squinted monster eyes. He walked one way, then, another, finally walked to Mom, hovered above her for some seconds, then, with an open hand slapped her so hard on her left cheek, the force of his blow throwing her into the headboard of the bed.

On my uncomfortable radiator grills I was a jumble of nerves, frightened as I had always been in those tense moments when Mom and Sis were beaten, but, not this time. Oh, there was the usual partial paralysis, but also a sudden mix of anger as I looked at my trembling mother on the bed.

As terrified as I was, something moved me, and I dashed with tears streaming from my eyes off the radiator and tackled my Dad onto the lower part of the bed, and swung my fists at him as hard as I could…

For whatever reason, my tackle and my blows had an immediate effect on Dad…surely, they could not have hurt him so very much – although I was then much bigger, playing football, and much stronger than when he beat her years before.

Dad calmed down so quickly that I thought I really might have hurt him…but it was his eyes that told me differently. He looked into my face with a sorrow I cannot describe, like, maybe he had destroyed a part of something most important in his life.

That was the ending of hostility, and I don’t remember when my breathing came back to normalcy, but I was happy that day was over and my Mom was calm again.

We all knew there would be no more rage and spousal abuse.

There were always reasons behind actions taken by someone…I loved my Mom. I loved my Dad. However, there were times when reality could place you smack in the middle of a scary and ugly movie.

Such is life – the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly!

*

BR Chitwood – August 11, 2020

*

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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’!

*

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?

*

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.

*

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…

*

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.

*

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’.

*

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.

*

BR Chitwood -August 6, 2020

*

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©Imagine

©Imagine

Imagine your day beginning with blaring

New orders and bleak sameness…

Imagine new restrictions of a totalitarian

Regime, darkly, rigidly enforced…

Imagine new demands from a deep-state, a

Pledge of allegiance to the ‘Party’…

Imagine night-time curfews with electric

Blackouts and roaming patrols…

Imagine a new History without noble

Heroes and Patriots to honor…

Imagine your country with no borders

And angry demanding mobs…

Imagine the air you breathe filled with

Pestilent and toxic fumes of death…

Imagine no Libraries, no book stores to

Honor loves and happiness of living…

Imagine no memories of our brave millions of

Fallen Heroes Who sacrificed lives in Wars…

Imagine the Bigotry and Hatred in the Minds of

Fools who killed our dreams, Our Freedom and Liberty.

©Imagine

By BR Chitwood

MEMORIAL DAY –  May25, 2020

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Mystical Moments

[Image Art by: Chad Walton – Unsplash.com\

Mystical Moments

Mystical Moments must come with age and consent from a source governed by our Deity’s  genetic wiring, with each delicate connection moving our actions and  thoughts in the direction favored by the Holy One.

How else do the memories of love, life’s failures, successes, and emotional impulses invade our present with their melancholic messages, their poignancy, their Joy, their Tenderness, their regrets and sorrows?

How many of us are blessed, or, cursed, with these Mystical Moments? Is it, after all, a Holy Contest? If so, who are deemed the victors?

For example, what are the rewards, for those who spend their lives in a  world of quandaries and romantic ballads?

Do they get to come back to another life and advance their Holy Standing? Becoming more Holy?

Or, do those who go blithely through this life with easy gaits, maybe some with criminal intent, get to come back to have more Mystical Moments and become more Holy?

But, then, why would one be favored over the other?

Is It simply a Holy Epigram, these Mystical Moments, not worthy of the space given in a blog post?

Perhaps that is the quickest way to rid the mind of any such philosophical meandering, and, for some readers of my words here: they will think this is merely all presumptuous B/S.

However, my Corp-life over and living far too much in my active mind, it is a necessary diversion that keeps me awake too long into the night until the thoughts become all too clearly the presumptuous B/S mentioned in the paragraph above.

BR Chitwood – February 5, 2020

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Synchronicity, Style, Substance

Synchronicity, Style, Substance

Okay, what is this guy writing about now? The alliteration is fine, but what are these ‘Title’ words supposed to convey?

If I saw this title occupying space on my lap-tap as a blog post, my first impression would be, “Ah, someone is about to enlighten me on ‘writing’, ‘music’, something about the world of artistic endeavors, fundamentals that might be important for those pursuing careers in those areas.

Well, whatever, I’m going to risk what  barely usable sense I have  to coordinate the title above with my writing, what I perhaps strive for when pecking on these keys…so, here goes…

‘Synchronicity’

With ‘Synchronicity’, I’m loosely using Carl Jung’s conceptual rendering  of what he called  meaningful coincidences if they occur with no causal relationship yet seem to be meaningfully related…

Don’t worry, I have neither the brain power nor the patience to delve into Jung’s Analytical Psychologist’s mind, but I do like how Jung’s concept fits into my little package here.

So, in my writing experiences, my books, my blog posts,  flash fiction, poetry, short stories,  I brazenly use Carl Jung’s concept of ‘Synchronicity’ to describe my near paranoid need to relate human exceptionalism, foibles, tragedies large and small with the first word in my above title. In building a character, I like to go as deep as my experiential history allows me in bringing out those character traits mentioned above, through the personality and events which deepen the fictional characters’ wonts and personae.

Why?

Because, I believe that most writers seek to find themselves as they pick through the traits of her/his characters. I’m fond of saying: ‘I find pieces of me on and between the lines of what I write’. That is why the first ‘S’ in my title above dips in and out of my stories, embellishing and making the narrative hopefully more readable and enjoyable. For many writers, this ‘S’ is natural and automatic.

For beginning writers, maybe this mind-wandering can help a bit.

‘Style’

‘Style’ is of course an individual thing.

For me, that ‘S’ comes out in my writing as perhaps too personal at times, too humorous, too deep and at the point of coming across too Sophist. too ‘clever’ and specious in its verbiage. I especially enjoy writing in the ‘first person’, and I can get so wrapped up in stylistic ‘cuteness’ at times that makes editing a real chore.

I’m not suggesting here that I do not like my sometimes folksy ‘Style’, my attempts at a modicum of humor, and/or my serious in-depth look at the evil doers of the world. I like my style of writing and it won’t be changing until my next Life…

Now, that’s a ‘happy thought’.

Beginning writers will find out at some point in their careers if they have the manuscript of which those main-streams publishers are searching, or, they might prefer going the self-publishing route.

‘Substance’

‘Substance’ is the liquid in my ‘bottle of wine’, my words that fill the reader’s eyes with real or fictitious occurrences that make the mind quake and the heart rise or slow in palpitations… my words that are the emotional events that cause a reader to stop momentarily in mid-paragraph, to re-read a line, a section that moved them with either smiles or tears.

‘Substance’, together with ‘Synchronicity’ and ‘Style’, if woven in a believable tapestry of drama, humor, emotions, events that give the readers’ Souls a chance to cry, to laugh, and/or rejoice, you are a writer, my friend.

Even as you read your manuscript, make your editorial changes, given it all the ‘spell-checks’, diction-checks, reality-checks, re-read again and again, and know in your own heart and mind that it is better than good, then, send it off to an agent and/or publisher only to be rejected, remember, you are but one writer of millions who must wait for your turn on the publishing ‘wheel of fortune’.

If you know your writing is good, do not give up.

Go to your next writing project.

Write for you!

One day, it could be for the world.

*

Billy Ray Chitwood – January 22, 2020

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Reflections & Projections

Reflections & Projections

Lincoln Town car garaged after its five-day high-speed drive across country, now ensconced in style on epoxy flooring in a laved and lush environment…I could almost hear it sighing as I turned off its soft purring motor. This remarkable beige metal beauty reminds me on those occasions when a ‘new car itch’ settles in for a spell, reminds me of all the miles we’ve accumulated together, from Arizona to the Sea of Cortez in Mexico where some years were spent in a most desirable latitude for Sea, Sun, and Writing, then, back across the Sonoran Desert into the US  for the long trip across country to the beautiful states of Tennessee and Kentucky where the land and its people are generous with their hospitality and caring…where more years were given to writing and allowing my Appalachian ‘back stories’ to collide with the new realities in my life PLUS gather some somber bits from my past to hopefully add sustenance and passion to my narratives.

My life for the past thirty-odd years has been an urgent call to write, to present a record of my existence, to somehow through fact and fiction delineate my segmented journey through space and time as accurately as I can… It is as much for me as it is for my good wife, our wonderful children, and for modest and nebulous book-keeping. On and between the lines my fingers have gouged into print is the essence of my life…emotions shared, many of which the heart and soul of me can still shed tears of regret, too unappealing for readers’ consumption. I have served proudly in the United States Navy, enjoyed a small college atmosphere for learning, made quality-friends, some who have been claimed by the Grim Reaper. My mother, my father, and my sister have passed, and perhaps the broken pieces of our lives can be mended in another dimension.

I have just completed my nineteenth novel, my first attempt at Science-Fiction, and I’m happy with my effort. “Serpent Rock” is an epic battle between Good and Evil, as three enterprising young businessmen find more than their love of fishing on the Sea of Cortez in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico. It was an enjoyable writing experience for me, and I can hope that readers will have fun in reading the book. If you like Science-Fiction, if you like fresh writing, if you like thrills and chills, welcome to the pages of “Serpent Rock.”

Many of my books have fictional narratives but are relevant to actual crimes. For example, An Arizona Tragedy A Bailey Crane Mystery -#1 of 6 was written in memory of an actress friend of my wife and me who was brutally murdered many years ago. The killer is still out there as Phoenix PD still works the case from its ‘cold case’ files. This young model and mother of two was missing for several weeks and finally found in the NE desert area near ‘The Mayo Clinic’s’ current location… With a fictional narrative, I wrote the book with as much as I could glean from scanty evidence – not the fault of the Phoenix PD, as the body and possibly vital evidence was taken by the torrid heat of August and the denizens of the desert. In my fictional account of the case, Bailey Crane solves the homicide, but this novel has not a clue as to whom committed this horrible crime, although the newspaper accounts of the crime were pored over for a certain amount of accuracy regarding forensics and other details.

The other ‘Bailey Crane Mysteries’ 2-6, with Book 3 an exception, are also fictionalized but taken from actual crimes.

My other thirteen books cover the genres of mystery, suspense, romance, memoir, a small dollop of fantasy and history.

BR Chitwood – December 24, 2019

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ArizonaTragedy3D

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