Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – The Story Reading Ape and his Guest Billy Ray Chitwood


Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Here is the fourth post from Christopher Graham, The Story Reading Ape. He suggested that having such an extensive archive, that I share some of his guest posts. It serves another purpose apart from showcasing that guest, as it is reminder to you that Chris loves having new guest write for his blog. This week I have chosen a guest post from an author who is also in the Cafe and Bookstore over here.. Billy Ray Chitwood.

The Story Reading Ape and his Guest Billy Ray Chitwood.

My name is Billy Ray Chitwood.

Giving my name gives me away…but, then, that’s what I wish to do! That’s what one does when one writes an honest introductory article – ‘rat’ on your life, where you’ve been, the scandals, the ‘ugly rap sheets’, the fourteen books I’ve written, the 350-plus blog posts…

Okay, cute, but leave out ‘scandals’ and ‘ugly rap sheets’ from the last sentence in the preceding paragraph. There are none! Really, there are none! Unless we go way back in time to a Sunday night car wreck caused by Lambda Chi Alpha, my fraternity and its initiation rite.

Okay, not so cute and not so true on the above last line of the preceding paragraph.

Don’t leave, please! I promise to play straight from this point onward.

Here is my true story…

My name does give away my heritage. Born in poverty in an Appalachian Saw Mill Camp prior to mid-century 1900s, there was enough emotional see-saws to ride to keep this young lad confused and immeasurably displaced with all the broken family messes. It was rather common for the time with a lot of good people sick with Malaria, out of jobs, and ‘the creek was rising’…ah, stop it! you can’t put a happy face on that part of your life. It was the pits!

However, I won’t use this space to cover that period, but there is a book I wrote that captures the essence of that memorable childhood and the era (actually, two books) – Woody Guthrie and his son, Arlo, had some songs to sing about those days.

My narrative takes a quick shift as I leave high school and escape the poignancy of youth for the adult world of neon lights, lovely ladies, and too much partying. That is, after my stint in the United States Navy. The old USN corrected my path as much as it could.

After serving part of my enlistment in Adak, a tiny military island in the Aleutian Islands where tundra and whiskey either makes a man or destroys him, my new duty station was Washington, DC where I worked in a security division, feeling somehow special, helping in some small way to keep our nation safe.

Well, the island of Adak and Washington did for me all they could.

Back stateside I became a ‘lotus eater’ for a while, you know, that group Odysseus discovered in mythology who spent their days in languorous daze (another cutesy – days, daze!), eating and imbibing their way to some sort of Nirvana.

Actually, most of that wild living period came after my honorable discharge from the Navy, after 10-years of a failed marriage, after a college degree, during some acting in TV commercials, film, and modeling.

What I ask you to believe in all this is that the ladies I met, some I married, were all beautiful of body and soul, and, for the most part, sensitive to where I had been up to that point in time.

My writing was something placed inside of me by the Almighty and, I suppose, by genetic structuring. I began as a young boy playing with poetry and with songs. I mimicked great vocalists like Nat King Cole and John Gary, like my hero, Frank Sinatra, like Perry Como and legend-still, Tony Bennett. What writing talent was mine stayed ‘on hold’ during the days of WWS – Wine, Women, Song! – to be taken up again in the eighties.

Sure, I’m aware of the portrait I’m painting here but nothing sets you free as well as the truth…and that is what’s being conveyed here.

The portrait is not very attractive, perhaps, but just think of the writing ideas that come to me during those sleepless nights when my demons visit me – and, without a doubt, I know in certainty and in my introspective moments that what has made its home in my Romantic and Wanderlust heart are the meek and humble beginnings in Appalachia.

This might very well surprise you (if you don’t mind being surprised!): despite my wayward journey from the hills of Tennessee lo those many years ago, there is really nothing I would change – even the sometimes agony and angst in my demon visits. It is that fodder for the soul that connects me with the characters and with the lines that embrace the narratives of my books and blog posts.

My writing, I believe to be good if not pure. Many of my novels are inspired by true life criminal acts, gritty and raw. I’ve had this curse of curiosity about the evil in our world, the psychopaths and socio-paths that abuse our children, kill them and so many other innocents. So, I write in the mystery, suspense, and thriller genres, but also write romance novels that have a suspenseful edge, even rich love stories with a ‘time travel’ element.

Of course, I wish my books to sell, but even if there be no best sellers that I pen, it will not stop my writing.

Writing gives me my therapy, my raison d’être, a new life to explore here in ‘Twilight’.

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About The Story Reading Ape

It does not matter if you blog once a week, once a day or several times a day but it does matter that it is consistent. We all love the fact that people who have dropped in on the off chance keep coming back for more. In my opinion it is down to the quality of the posts and also the expectation that readers will find something of interest.

The Story Reading Ape has this down to a fine art and the list of subjects that adorn his enclosure is lengthy. He is certainly a huge supporter of Indie authors across all genres and stages of their career and offers articles and information that is invaluable.

Chris has also published a volume of his mother’s poetry

One of the reviews for the collection

A charming book that reflects a woman’s life and times in verse…and humour. Rosie and Willie had me chuckling, especially as I can see just where Willie is coming from! The poems are written from an Irish perspective, but there is much a Yorkshirewoman can recognise.

The verses about the Troubles made me think. I could feel the pain in the words. “What matters is the depth of God’s sighs.”

There are memories that I seem to remember through my own mother and grandmothers’ tales, of a time now gone and a world awakening before a young woman’s eyes.

And the story of the Old, Old Man had me in tears.

Published by her son as a labour of love, in tribute to his mother, Agnes Mae Graham’s work stands up all on its own.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/My-Vibrating-Vertebrae-other-poems-ebook/dp/B01HA8Q116

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Vibrating-Vertebrae-other-poems-ebook/dp/B01HA8Q116

Part of Chris’s immense enclosure is given over to The Great Hall of Fame This is where Indies can exhibit their work by penning an article talking about themselves and their work. (Talk about a writers dream!) Once posted the author is then elevated to the Hall of Fame to reside with hundreds of other authors from around the world, who have taken that exciting but challenging step of being a published author. http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/halls-of-fame/tsras-hall-of-fame/

Connect to Chris

Blog: http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/15359652-chris-the-story-reading-ape
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PromotionOfNewAuthorsAndBooks?ref=hl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Storyreadingape

My thanks to Chris for allowing me to access his archives… and I am sure he would love your feedback.. thanks Sally.

 

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – The Story Reading Ape – A selection of Guest Posts – Emily Gmitter


Welcome to the new series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

The first blogger to give me permission to delve into his files is Christopher Graham, The Story Reading Ape. He suggested that having such an extensive archive that I share some of his guest posts. It serves another purpose apart from showcasing that guest, as it is reminder to you that Chris loves having new guest write for his blog.

This first guest post from Chris’s archives is from Emily Gmitter.... and when I read it I was very moved and I think you will be too.

Image from Pixabay, Title: Broken

Who Lives Here? by Emily Gmitter

Who lives here? Everywhere I look, I see boxes. Boxes piled one on the other, against every wall. Boxes delivered but never opened. Things bought but never used. Magazines and mail, unopened, sit in unsteady piles on the coffee table, alongside odds and ends that also did not belong there, but which had no choice but to make that table their home. On every chair sit empty food containers and soda cans … guests who have long since outworn their welcome.

Who lives here? I wondered, as my teary eyes took in the disarray, as my feet wandered cautiously through the cluttered rooms. Pain ripped my heart. I thought I knew who lived here. I did know the name. I even knew the face. But I didn’t know … this.

Her home is full of things old and new; ostensibly, the house is teeming with life. But there was no life. That energy had died long ago. The sights of sadness overwhelmed my senses. Loneliness came out of the shadows, shouting from each corner of every room. But there had been nobody there to hear.

She stood in the doorway now, a brooding, silent shell of the woman I knew. Watching me, sensing my disbelief.

It was a surprise visit. Perhaps I should have called first. But then I would never have known.

I look her way, a question in my eyes, and see despair in hers. But despair could not hide her shame, for all the things she could not honor.

I reach out to her and, without a word, she enters the safety of my arms. I hold her tight and reassure her that everything is all right . . . everything will be just fine.

Who lives here? Depression lives here.

©Emily Gmitter

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sunrise_photo3-758x194I think you will agree with me that this is a very powerful and moving piece from Emily Gmitter.

About The Story Reading Ape

It does not matter if you blog once a week, once a day or several times a day but it does matter that it is consistent. We all love the fact that people who have dropped in on the off chance keep coming back for more. In my opinion it is down to the quality of the posts and also the expectation that readers will find something of interest.

The Story Reading Ape has this down to a fine art and the list of subjects that adorn his enclosure is lengthy. He is certainly a huge supporter of Indie authors across all genres and stages of their career and offers articles and information that is invaluable.

Chris has also published a volume of his mother’s poetry

One of the reviews for the collection

A charming book that reflects a woman’s life and times in verse…and humour. Rosie and Willie had me chuckling, especially as I can see just where Willie is coming from! The poems are written from an Irish perspective, but there is much a Yorkshirewoman can recognise.

The verses about the Troubles made me think. I could feel the pain in the words. “What matters is the depth of God’s sighs.”

There are memories that I seem to remember through my own mother and grandmothers’ tales, of a time now gone and a world awakening before a young woman’s eyes.

And the story of the Old, Old Man had me in tears.

Published by her son as a labour of love, in tribute to his mother, Agnes Mae Graham’s work stands up all on its own.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/My-Vibrating-Vertebrae-other-poems-ebook/dp/B01HA8Q116

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Vibrating-Vertebrae-other-poems-ebook/dp/B01HA8Q116

Part of Chris’s immense enclosure is given over to The Great Hall of Fame… This is where Indies can exhibit their work by penning an article talking about themselves and their work. (Talk about a writers dream!) Once posted the author is then elevated to the Hall of Fame to reside with hundreds of other authors from around the world, who have taken that exciting but challenging step of being a published author. http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/halls-of-fame/tsras-hall-of-fame/

Connect to Chris

Blog: http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/15359652-chris-the-story-reading-ape
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PromotionOfNewAuthorsAndBooks?ref=hl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Storyreadingape

Smorgasbord Christmas Posts from Your Archives – Elderly Road Trip and ‘Stuff’ from The Story Reading Ape.


Some more funnies from the archives of The Story Reading Ape..

Elderly Road Trip

While on a road trip, an elderly couple stopped at a roadside restaurant for lunch.
After finishing their meal, they left the restaurant, and resumed their trip.

When leaving, the elderly woman unknowingly left her glasses on the table, and she didn’t miss them until they had been driving about forty minutes.

By then, to add to the aggravation, they had to travel quite a distance before they could find a place to turn around, in order to return to the restaurant to retrieve her glasses.

All the way back, the elderly husband became the classic grouchy old man.
He fussed and complained, and scolded his wife relentlessly during the entire return drive.

The more he chided her, the more agitated he became.

He just wouldn’t let up one minute.

To her relief, they finally arrived at the restaurant.

As the woman got out of the car, and hurried inside to retrieve her glasses, the old geezer yelled to her, ‘While you’re in there, you might as well get my hat and the credit card.’
(Remind you of anyone you know?)

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©The Story Reading Ape

If that did not put you in a good mood nothing will.. thanks Chris.

About The Story Reading Ape

It does not matter if you blog once a week, once a day or several times a day but it does matter that it is consistent. We all love the fact that people who have dropped in on the off chance keep coming back for more. In my opinion it is down to the quality of the posts and also the expectation that readers will find something of interest.

The Story Reading Ape has this down to a fine art and the list of subjects that adorn his enclosure is lengthy. He is certainly a huge supporter of Indie authors across all genres and stages of their career and offers articles and information that is invaluable.

Chris has also published a volume of his mother’s poetry

One of the reviews for the collection

A charming book that reflects a woman’s life and times in verse…and humour. Rosie and Willie had me chuckling, especially as I can see just where Willie is coming from! The poems are written from an Irish perspective, but there is much a Yorkshirewoman can recognise.

The verses about the Troubles made me think. I could feel the pain in the words. “What matters is the depth of God’s sighs.”

There are memories that I seem to remember through my own mother and grandmothers’ tales, of a time now gone and a world awakening before a young woman’s eyes.

And the story of the Old, Old Man had me in tears.

Published by her son as a labour of love, in tribute to his mother, Agnes Mae Graham’s work stands up all on its own. 

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/My-Vibrating-Vertebrae-other-poems-ebook/dp/B01HA8Q116

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Vibrating-Vertebrae-other-poems-ebook/dp/B01HA8Q116

Part of Chris’s immense enclosure is given over to The Great Hall of Fame… This is where Indies can exhibit their work by penning an article talking about themselves and their work. (Talk about a writers dream!) Once posted the author is then elevated to the Hall of Fame to reside with hundreds of other authors from around the world, who have taken that exciting but challenging step of being a published author. http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/halls-of-fame/tsras-hall-of-fame/

Connect to Chris

Blog: http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/15359652-chris-the-story-reading-ape
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PromotionOfNewAuthorsAndBooks?ref=hl
https://twitter.com/Storyreadingape
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Storyreadingape

Thank you for dropping in today and Chris will be sharing some humour during the days in the run up to Christmas.. keep your eyes open.

Smorgasbord Posts from your Christmas Archives – Planet Earth from Space at Night by The Story Reading Ape


Delighted that Chris, The Story Reading Ape is going to help me out over the next couple of weeks with some of his festive posts.. This first one is fabulous and is a shot of the world from space… all lit up like a Christmas Tree decoration.

Planet Earth from Space at Night by The Story Reading Ape

Earth from Space

 

About The Story Reading Ape

It does not matter if you blog once a week, once a day or several times a day but it does matter that it is consistent. We all love the fact that people who have dropped in on the off chance keep coming back for more. In my opinion it is down to the quality of the posts and also the expectation that readers will find something of interest.

The Story Reading Ape has this down to a fine art and the list of subjects that adorn his enclosure is lengthy. He is certainly a huge supporter of Indie authors across all genres and stages of their career and offers articles and information that is invaluable.

Chris has also published a volume of his mother’s poetry

One of the reviews for the collection

A charming book that reflects a woman’s life and times in verse…and humour. Rosie and Willie had me chuckling, especially as I can see just where Willie is coming from! The poems are written from an Irish perspective, but there is much a Yorkshirewoman can recognise.

The verses about the Troubles made me think. I could feel the pain in the words. “What matters is the depth of God’s sighs.”

There are memories that I seem to remember through my own mother and grandmothers’ tales, of a time now gone and a world awakening before a young woman’s eyes.

And the story of the Old, Old Man had me in tears.

Published by her son as a labour of love, in tribute to his mother, Agnes Mae Graham’s work stands up all on its own. 

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/My-Vibrating-Vertebrae-other-poems-ebook/dp/B01HA8Q116

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Vibrating-Vertebrae-other-poems-ebook/dp/B01HA8Q116

Part of Chris’s immense enclosure is given over to The Great Hall of Fame… This is where Indies can exhibit their work by penning an article talking about themselves and their work. (Talk about a writers dream!) Once posted the author is then elevated to the Hall of Fame to reside with hundreds of other authors from around the world, who have taken that exciting but challenging step of being a published author. http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/halls-of-fame/tsras-hall-of-fame/

Connect to Chris

Blog: http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/15359652-chris-the-story-reading-ape
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PromotionOfNewAuthorsAndBooks?ref=hl
https://twitter.com/Storyreadingape
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Storyreadingape

Thank you for dropping in today and Chris will be sharing some humour during the days in the run up to Christmas.. keep your eyes open.