Enigma Of The Soul

https://brchitwood.com/2021/04/17/enigma-of-the-soul/(opens in a new tab)

***

by BR Chitwood

How often do you use the word, ‘Soul?’ How often do you think about your ‘Soul?’

Mirriam-Webster defines ‘Soul’ as:

1. the immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life

2. a: the spiritual principle embodied in human beings, all rational and spiritual beings, or the universe

So, that’s enough, right? The two definitions pretty much say it all, and there are more definitions there in the dictionary if you want more.

‘Soul’ seems to me, though, such a huge word to be so small. Writers likely get the most use out of the word than the people who really work for a living — no anger, please, just adding a little levity here. Really, it seems to me that ‘Soul’ is not in too many mundane conversations. ‘Soul’ is usually saved for the philosophers, poets, preachers, Romantics, sentimentalists, and writers.

You can almost envision the literary expatriates who gathered in Paris between the period of World War One and the onset of World War Two…wtiters like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemmingway, Sherwood Anderson, James Joyce, Ezra Pound, John Dos Passos, Samuel Beckett, Henry Miller, Anais Nin, Lawrence Durrell, Gertrude Stein to name a few — okay, okay, I’m name-dropping — but these were the people I read and studied in college and their lives got somehow interwoven with my own, with my ‘Soul.’ I can see them sitting at the sidewalk cafes talking in the afternoon about their writings, about how the devastation of war had impacted their lives. I can see them drinking the Bacchus liquids and debauching in the evenings, pausing in their fun and frivolity for serious and sober moments to discuss the condition of the ‘Soul.’ These were the people Gertrude Stein referred to as ‘the lost generation.’ Certainly, why not Paris? Why not gather in the great city of lights with so much art and beauty? It was the place to be if you were disillusioned by a world intent on war and destruction. It was the perfect place and time to discuss matters of the ‘Soul,’ and these great writers held those discussions in the finest style and with some of the most celebrated erudition prevalent in those days.

So, why do I post about ‘Soul?’

Guess it’s easy for me, an oldtimer looking back on his life, how he’s lived, somewhat of an anachronism in today’s fast moving digital world. ‘Soul’ is such an all-encompassing word. It holds such a fascination for me in these sunset years, but it has always held that fascination for me — guess ‘Soul’ for me is what writing is all about. We live, we pay taxes, and we die, but the ‘Soul’ offers us so many delectable scenarios of which to consider and ponder.

‘Soul’ is that defining part of us that we can’t pinpoint, can’t know exactly where it is, but we have to know that it is there. ‘Soul’ is everything Mirriam-Webster says it is, but so very much more. There are times when the directions we take as a world concerns me greatly. It is my hope that we can still take time, Paris or not, to discuss the implications of such an enigmatic and beautiful word.

‘Soul.’

BR Chitwood – Archives – April 17, 2021

Website and Blog

https://www.brchitwood

Taste the Writing of BR Chitwood’ – Books and Blogs

Follow me on https://www.Twitter.com/BR Chitwood

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

https://www.linkedin.com/in/billy-ray-chitwood-7b17562b/

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

Please preview my books:

https://www.billyraychitwood.com

Please follow my blog:

https://www.brchitwood.com

Please follow me on Twitter:

https://www.twitter.com/brchitwood

 

Back to the Valley of the Sun

 – Image Art by: Luiz Felipe Silva Carmo – Unsplash –

BACK TO THE VALLEY OF THE SUN

*

Back to the valley of the Sun

Where much of my life was spun,

There among the bramble bush,

The Cacti thorns and desert hush…

Back to memories both sad and true

Clashing with Salvadore’s sunset hue

*

Still, the mind’s alive with dreams

Of the morrow’s golden themes

Of endless morns of skies so clear

Een walks with a love that’s pure,

And cocktails on the back patio

While dinner awaits a hungry duo.

*

Thus, the days will pass too fast

As Time speeds on to form our past,

Yet, we have this precious hour

And minute to yield and prepare

For the most joyous voyage of fate,

That meeting at Heaven’s Gate.

*

A poem by BR Chitwood – 12/3/19

Please preview my books:

https://www.billyraychitwood.com

Please follow my Blog:

https://www.brchitwood.com

Please follow me on Twitter:

https://www.twitter.com/brchitwood 

When Dreams Collide

-Image by: Johannes Plenio – Unsplash-

When Dreams Collide

It was early AM. Darkness still ruled the night, and the dream I was having collided with an aberration, a rather obediant traitor to my sleep on occasion.

Many of my dreams are bleak and dark, depicting scenes of me trying to reach my kids, my mother, my wife for some urgent reason…an example might help me here:

My aged and infirm mother, having finished her day job for the day, is walking laboriously with bags of groceries up a sidewalk in a big city. She is also caring for my children, and I’m rushing to reach her, to help her with her bags of groceries. I’m also worried about my young children, arriving home from school and finding no one home…

So, I’m harried in a hasty rush to reach my Mom and help her with the bags of groceries, but I keep finding my way blocked by some crazy twist in the dream – I’m on the wrong street… I’m out on the outskirts of town, trying desperately to find my way back to the city, and a speeding train is coming toward space that I must cover to reach the city… There are also scenes of the kids, about to end the school day, but it is a bizarre dream laced with anxiety, fear, and desperation. 

This sort of dream comes to me here in Twilight, and I can make a certain deductive reasoning for the dreams, to remind me of something, to make me feel guilty, to mostly agonize about the grayish tone of the dreams…

So, I awake. I’m all fuzzy in my head. My cat, Lady Gray, is at my side in the darkness, obviously concerned about me, with either talking in my sleep or my movements. (I’m thinking she’s prescient, in my life her form but an embodiment of my Mom…) Okay, call me loco en la cabeza.

Anyway, I stroke Lady Gray’s soft furry back and whisper, “It’s okay, Sweetheart.” As my eyes venture in the dark toward the end of the bed, I think I see Julie’s face in the deep gray darkness. “Julie!” I yell.

I hear a weak reply. “Are you alright?” I yell.

“Yes,” she replies.

Then, it occurs to me to pat my side of our kingsize bed and I feel the lump, the lump that is Julie already back into her sleep… Julie can sleep with the best of sleepers – even, standing up, she has informed me.

A few minutes pass and I decide to get up and dressed. I want to see if I can capture this nighttime episode in a blog…you’re reading it.

While alone with my laptop I’m wondering if Julie might be worried that I’m… Well, I’m not, but I did cry a little when I read an ‘I Love You’ card she sent to me before we retired for bed last night.

Thanks for the audience. I had to get this out of my mind.

Who the hell needs ‘reminding’ they are getting older?

They know.

They feel.

Into the ‘knowing and feeling’ creeps memories and a life not all bad, but, certainly, the edges are frayed.

Life is still great here in Twilight.

BR Chitwood – November 2, 2019

Please preview my books:

https://brchitwood.com (See Menu)

Please follow me on Twitter:

Loco en La Cabeza

27216-198 

Loco en La Cabeza

(Crazy in The Head)

 

The night became a whispering madness, a maelstrom that just might take me down its tube to hell and damnation while giving me pre-glimpses of the fire and brimstone awaiting my arrival…

 

I begin this post with a sparse attention-getter!

Well, my fevered-mind lives for these little de-facto moments, but, then, that’s what I do: I embellish. I’m an author of fictional crimes that are given birth from real true-life episodes from the underbelly of human existence. Are the books of Grade-A quality? Likely not, when one looks at the sales figures. Nonetheless, that is what I do and so enjoy doing, writing, putting my embellishing style on the words and phrases, hoping to create an appropriate atmosphere for the scenes I’m writing.

It is difficult to detach oneself from his writing and his wiring. My wiring has so many complicated turns and twist I’ve spent a wary and cautionary lifetime trying to figure me out…still, trying, for that matter. If I have learned anything in this lifetime it is this: if one has no heavy baggage, like, criminal and evil activities, it is quite okay to be who the hell you reckon yourself to be, that is, only if who you are not wreaking havoc on others…

Are you sufficiently pissed at me by now? Am I not making any sense to you, or, certainly, not enough to hold your interest?

Good!

Good, if you’re sticking around to see where I’m going with this post. Hopefully, you’re in for a treat, he writes with some degree of uncertainty himself of where the hell he’s going with this post.

I can at least promise you this, we will, all two of us, be joyful at the conclusion.

Okay, where was I?

Oh, my writing and my wiring, or, in better order, my wiring and my writing!

It is my theory that anyone who presumes to be a writer, should be able to take any phrase uttered by anyone (CAUTION! duplicate word in the same sentence!) and write a comprehensive and intelligent post from that phrase.

In one of my earlier posts, I mentioned the aforementioned tip as good practice for would-be writers, giving practice to narrative stretching. It works for me – but, then, if no one likes it, maybe it does not work. But, someone (me) does like it, so that’s enough.

Writing is one of the most popular hobbies and occupations in which one can become interested…you can kill a lot of your ‘live-in demons’ with writing. Published or not published, writing is a rewarding and self-satisfying habit to get into – imagine all the diaries being kept across the world, how titillating some of those entries just might be.

About my wiring, I’ve come to accept my vagabond ways, my need to cross more mountains, my emotional edginess and wariness, those conflicting, wonderful moments of happiness and joy, my wonderful kids, my wife (okay, wives!), and the enduring heap of words I’ve piled up in my lifetime… You folks out there reading this wholesome post should be reading my books. I’ve tried to follow Ernest Hemingway’s and Andrew Joyce’s advice, write drunk, edit, sober! (Truth be known, some of my better stuff was written while a bit tipsy! That is, until my own writing began to serve as the ‘high’!)

Don’t be surprised to see the first paragraph of this post in a book I might publish in the future. I shall certainly be surprised if you are surprised and remember that opening paragraph and this rather ‘run-on’ post. But, come on now, folks, it is writing, and I am showing and telling my blog audience important tidbits.

Come on, you can give me that!

Always, my best wishes.

 

Billy Ray Chitwood – July 24, 2019

 

Please preview my books:

(Thrillers -Mysteries-Romance Novels-Memoirs)

https://billyraychitwood.com

 

Please follow my Blog:

https://brchitwood.com

 

Please follow me on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/brchitwood

Advice – Advice – Advice

Advice – Advice – Advice

By BR Chitwood

Guess it has come to this…me, making a total ass of myself. But the time comes for everyone to do just that.

What am I talking about?

Guessing again, but I suspect the title above gives some clue in answering that question.

Okay – let the record show I’m swallowing ‘hard’ because this post just might make me some enemies… However, that’s never stopped me if I put my mind to thinking about it.

‘Advice’? Let me put this ‘feeler’ out there!

Don’t you get just a bit tired of all the advice offered to you as writers? (Usually, with some fees coming with that advice!) How to this… How to that… How, how, how!

Don’t get me wrong. There are some good ‘advice channels’ out there in certain areas where you can solicit answers to gnawing questions. And, I’ll be honest here, living in ‘Twilight’, my take on ‘things’ is a bit different from some folks. But, don’t you really get tired of being blasted on the internet with all the advice – from ‘query letters’ to ‘formatting’ to ‘marketing’ (yuck! That hit a nerve!) to just about anything to do with writing.

 Here’s my advice – oops! Here’s what I think! (‘Hmmm… Getting sick of people telling us what they think’ can be fodder for yet another post’!)

At some point in our writing lives, we need to determine if we really can write. That is, do we have some simple fundamentals of the English Language – nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, the simple ability to form a sentence longer than, ‘See Rex run!’ Do we have a fertile mind to give us characters and plots? Have we read enough in our lives of the great authors to get a feel for style and substance? Do we have a burning desire to write? Has a teacher, college professor, someone we respect, suggested we might consider becoming a writer? After my play-periods in life and a career in sales and management, I reached back, pulled my college history professor’s suggestion out of the memory file, and started to write. Do we possess the tenacity to hone our skills, to do our critical self-due-diligence of our growth?

Perhaps the most important question to ask ourselves is, ‘Do we have the patience to be writers? That is, the book reviews of our first title are mixed – some good, some not so much! Can we get beyond that nasty review from some reader who got our book FREE? That first title is your initial foray into the world of book publishing, your first ‘baby’ – and, it got some abuse. We’re not happy! we’re second-guessing ourselves! Can we get over this hump? Those readers who panned our first title? Hey, they’re likely ‘bad’ readers – you know, they were given a ‘freebie’ and they’re all of a sudden experts and don’t have to worry because they’re also anonymous! Hey, again, if there are bad writers there are bad readers. It’s my belief, we can accept our writing mistakes and become good at our craft. ‘To err is human’! (Ouch, another platitude!)

Some of us fool ourselves into believing we are really the true ‘Hemingways’ and/or ‘Alcotts’ at this juncture of the long compendium of life, only eventually to accept our self-imposed dictum that, ‘Well, at least our kids might have some fun trying to decipher, ‘Wow! just who the dickens were Dad/Mom, anyhow’?

The most difficult reality to face in this self-publishing environment is the ‘humungus’ numbers of us out there in the world – millions upon millions, all competing for a spot on the ‘Best Seller’ lists. Along with that difficult reality is, yep, marketing, making sure as much as you can that you’ve provided the best routes for your writing to get noticed and bought.

Now, I’m fortunate in having people feed me enough BS that I think I’m the ‘cat’s meow’ (don’t you hate those bromides?), so I plod along. I’ve come to accept these most beautifully offered bits of praise as genuine and continue happily with my writing. You see, after a while, here in ‘Twilight’, I’m enjoying every one of my sunsets and telling anyone who’s interested that ‘writing is my therapy’, and, believe me, kids, at this age that word comes up a lot!

So, you’ve read these words. Consider them, NOT as advice but as one writer to another. If your answers to the above were pretty much in the positive light, stay on board with your writing and test as many waters as you can. Who truly knows?

‘The shadow knows’! (Shut-up, BR, no one but no one remembers ‘the shadow’!

Who to trust? NOT Dad and Mom! I suggest you Trust your siblings! They don’t like you anyhow!

Now, I had a lot of fun writing this post, and hope my stirring words did not cause anyone irritation. Just don’t label this post ‘advice’ because that would defeat its most beautiful purpose…

Can anyone advise me on a good ‘shrink’?

Write your blog posts and books with the jolly ‘God of Writing’ on your penning shoulder…and utilize the ‘God of Bacchus’ when necessary to keep a cool head. Just, don’t overdo it! like a guy in Texas I know!!!

 

Billy Ray Chitwood – July 24, 2018

Preview my books at:

https://billyraychitwood.com

Follow my blog at:

https://brchitwood.com

Follow me on:

https://twitter.com/brchitwood

%d bloggers like this: