Tag: #Writing.com

The World – According to Me!

The World – According to Me!

I came into this world as a ‘blue baby’. Now, I never took the time to figure out just what being a ‘blue baby’ was all about, never asked a doctor or my mom… I do remember my sister saying to me when we were adults that, “you know, Billy Ray, you were born a ‘blue baby’!” It seemed we were always arguing about this and that, so she was tagging me with that little piece of news out of spite.

. I asked her, “What’s a ‘blue baby’, Bobby Jean?”

She took a sip from her 24-ounce plastic glass of Pepsi, and said: “Hell, I don’t know, but you lived. So, guess it wasn’t lethal!”

“Well, you sound disappointed, Bobby Jean,” I responded.

“Well, I was the one that got all the beatings from our itinerant daddy, Billy Ray.”

“Well, I know, but you were the one doing the bad things, Bobby Jean. I suffered through those beatings, too, sitting there in a state of emotional paralysis.”

But, back to the ‘blue baby’ label. I finally googled ‘blue baby’, and here’s the information provided: a ‘blue baby’ is a baby  with a blue complexion from lack of oxygen in the blood due to a congenital defect of the heart or major blood vessels. That’s it, all I got from google. All I was ever told by my Mom was that it was my grandmother who took me from old Doc Brown, dangled me in the air by my feet and gave my backside a pretty good whack. That got me to crying, more importantly for me, it got me to breathing. There was a gathering of kinfolk and neighbors in that old clapboard house at the time, and my grandmother became a celebrity of sorts up and down those muddy lanes. Guess it’s pretty obvious that old Wooldridge sawmill camp didn’t have a lot to excite folks…except, maybe, some copperheads from all the sawdust.

Well, the rest is history, as they say – that is, up to a ‘passage’ point.

Most of my young life was spent in emotional confusion. Now, I didn’t know to call it ‘emotional confusion’ at the time, but it surely was that malady as I look back on it. Now, I’m not going to turn this into a sad story. Suffice it, I grew up after a lot of spent-emotion and a lot of moving about in East Tennessee, joined the Navy, met a ‘Wave’, married her, and spent ten years in another kind of emotional spell, had three beautiful kids, got a college degree, and taught school for short while.

Skipping over a lot of dumb mistakes and ‘searching’, I met Julie Anne, likely the best thing that ever happened to me. She got me to writing, and now, some eighteen books and 400+ blog posts later, I’m sitting here in ‘Twilight’ with still some ‘oats to sow’, my little euphemism for writing.

What have I learned about life in my sojourn here on this orbiting craft of conundrums? We’ve had plenty of philosophers writing, telling us about metaphysics, the branch that covers just about everything, being, time, space, knowing, a whole gunny-sack of abstract knowledge that my ‘Chitwood model’ is not equipped to appreciably handle with any great insight.

I’ve learned that most of the platitudes for living don’t really mean ‘squat’. Take, for an example, ‘one learns from her/his mistakes’. Well, ‘whopee’, I didn’t! I just kept on making those ‘goofers’. Of course, there are a couple of ways to look at that. Number one, maybe there’s just too much junk piled-up inside that keeps one from learning the good ABCs of living. Maybe, if one could just find what it is they’re good at and keep on doing it with someone who is compatible and loves her/him, then, maybe he/she could learn those ABCs. Number two, maybe the inconsistency and the wanderlust are too ingrained, too attached to one’s being that makes settling down and becoming something ‘permanent’ just near-impossible. Maybe Ralph Waldo Emerson was right in his essay on Self-Reliance: “Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”

Then, what do I know?

In my humble opinion, I have one salutary talent – writing! Writing is not only a ‘love’ for me. It is a necessity. Particularly now, here in Twilight , the latter is most compelling. Perhaps, my writing creations blind me to reality. Maybe I’m not as good at writing as I think. No, not viable. I am as good as I think. What is difficult is convincing readers and publishers of that fact.

In this life I’ve known the gamut of emotions – ‘the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat’. I’ve lost, and I’ve won. I’ve walked with the ‘kings’ and with the ‘common man’. I’ve played the games that keep me living and alive. I’ve never intentionally hurt anyone through covert planning. I’ve loved and won. I’ve loved and lost.

For a kid born in a clapboard house on a rainy night in Tennessee, a ‘blue baby’ (if that scores points!), fed emotional soup that was never fully digested, all the above, I’ve had a reasonably good life and times. Perhaps, I’ve had more than I deserved. Perhaps, I’ve had less.

Either way, the journey is still on. I’m going to motor right on to my next blog post and book, enjoying the life my characters give me to live – the loves, the disappointments, the victories, the defeats, the high-life and the low-life. They are there in all that I write, the foibles and the strength.

Welcome to my world.

Won’t you come on in?

I’ll do some writing.

You do some reading.

We have a deal?

Good.

Billy Ray Chitwood – January 3, 2019

https://www.billyraychitwood.com

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Desperate Days of Winter

Desperate Days of Winter

The soul of man must feel the season of death, those December days and nights when the body’s joints stiffen and the morning strides become shorter from bedroom to bathroom, when the hot-faucet’s cold water takes so long to warm – and even the ‘recirculation system’ seems reluctant to work as advertised.

Aside from the lack of body comfort, the December months can easily take mind-trips to the gray fringes of thought, can speak of death and dying, can take an old man down a snowy memory lane to a younger day when December was still cold but also a time to rejoice, to feel the warmth of friendship, love, of gift-giving to those in need, of magical gladness and good will, of a little Baby lying in a small barn-stall in Bethlehem while Wise Men made their way to his manger to rejoice in His birth, and the stars marked their way.

An old man can think of the days that were but are not so much anymore, a day when it was not just okay but natural to say, ‘Merry Christmas’, a day when it was okay for mistletoe and kissing, a day when politics took a holiday as well as the people, a day when it was not so grim and ugly to be a democrat or a republican.

An old man can think of so many things in his desperate December because the world has gone on without him, to sing new songs to new generations with a panoply of new appetites and feelings, with actions and words alien to his golden years, with surprising new wishes for the world he will be leaving behind. The old man is mired there in that remote and desperate December, still with a modicum of hope that his family and its generations to follow will have a world that offers democracy, freedom, and the liberty to fulfill their wildest dreams.

The old man can still dream, still write his stories and, while he can have times of desperation in December, there is always a January and a new beginning.

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!!

Billy Ray Chitwood – December 10, 2018

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♥♥♥

About My Writing

My love for writing began at an early age with simple poetry and words. Those words conveyed some wistful thoughts or wishes, but writing has always been, from the very beginning, my personal psychiatrist, my place for bravado, hopes, dreams, despair, loneliness. In my privacy I’ve performed for myself, emulating my favorite vocalists of the day by singing in the shower or while taking my trips in the car. I’ve play-acted scenes from some favorite movies…in short, always using words to describe my feelings, my dreams, my downs, my ups. A rather fanciful young fellow was I…when all alone.

The fictional books I write are as much about me as they are about the plot-lines found within their pages. It seems my life has been a long quixotic mystery to me. Some poems and thoughts I’ve written on bar room napkins, motel stationery, on the back of business cards, and on the StarWriter of the day or the current laptop. Some of the attributes I give to some of my characters I draw from my own, even some not so squeaky clean. Hey, it’s tough being ‘me’!

In all that I’ve written, there are pieces of me – in the characters that adorn my books, in the mysteries that hold my fascination, in the down moods, the up moods, and the in-between moods. Those pieces of me are not arcane and complicated because I likely could not write a Robert Ludlum, Nelson DeMille, or a John Grisham book, clearly authors of meticulous and thoroughly enjoyable characters and events.

As I write this post, I have penned seventeen books, some 400 blog posts, numerous ‘flash fiction’ items, short stories, and songs of love. If all my witings are coupled with my short tenure in ‘teaching’ the subject, one would think I could write. Well, surely I can, but perhaps not to the eagle eyes of publishing house editors. Of course, I allow for the crispness and excitement of the stories as well. Perhaps I’m too close to my stories and see them far more crisp and exciting than do editors.

Am I a traditionally published author? No, I’m one of the multi-million authors called INDIES. Do I think my writing is good enough to be published by a traditional publisher? With a healthy whimsy, I can quickly answer resoundingly, yes, but the question needs to be answered with honesty. Likely, I am not good enough to be traditionally published. I’ve submitted and been rejected a number of times.

So, I roll on, adding to my portfolio of writing, still ‘young of heart’ enough to dream of success and riches. Well, perhaps not so much the ‘riches’ as the success, NOT that I’m negative to wealth, heavens no! Hardly anyone I know would be adverse to riches. Perhaps, had we riches, we could help those who through no fault of their own cannot quite make it. In any case we should not deny opportunities to support those in real need.

So, now, as the wicker in my candle grows shorter, I’m still “Anchors Away” with my writing, still tapping the laptop keys, still trying to find some pieces of me hidden and unknown, some missing parts of my youth that haunt me, that beg to be found. I intend to keep on digging in the dirt and gravel of my past, and I’ll for sure let you know what I come up with. Just remember, though, I’ve got a tender heart.

It is not so esoteric as one might imagine. The easy way to be done with it all is to say, ‘I ate some emotional soup as a kid and I’m still trying to digest it’! I’m relatively certain there is no way I could be the only one wandering along in a romantic and wanderlust life. My bet is, I’ve got soul mates all over the world. If they’re not writing their own books, I’m inviting them to read my offerings. There has to be some ‘matches’ out there in this big old orbiting craft.

So, I will write until ‘Old Bessie’ comes home for milking, her brass bell tinkling with each slow step she takes, until some magical event occurs that signals me out for success in this world of writing, In my youth I rounded up ‘Old Bessie’, the cow, and herded her home for evening milking. I loved ‘Old Bessie’ and it was one job on the farm I didn’t mind. Now, I also loved my Aunt Bessie, so you ladies out there with the good name of Bessie, you bear a most noble name.

Knowing my lack of marketing skills, and, being realistic along with my nomadic and wandering soul, I suspect that magical event will just stay aloft or wherever it is and allow me to keep on writing, Once in a while my writing can turn people on. Maybe that’s enough. Well, take the ‘maybe’ away – it just might have to be enough.

How ’bout You? Wander over and take a peek on my Website –  https://billyraychitwood.com , read a synopsis or two or three or four or more and see if one of my books might turn you on. You will find books of mystery, romance, suspense, thrillers, most of which are inspired by real life situations. There are a couple of memoirs as well that cover me with a might too much accuracy… Just saying.

Billy Ray Chitwood – November 29, 2018

Please Preview My Books At:

https://billyraychitwood.com

Please Follow My Blog At:

https://brchitwood.com

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