Tag Archives: writing

Fiction or Not Fiction?

10 Oct

I was thinking some more about Vietnam this morning.

Four U.S. Presidents intentionally lied to the American public and to Congress, about the degree of military involvement in that war.  We, the voting public, were basically fed a pile of crap for sixteen years.

Unbelievable!  And probably more unbelievable is that we eagerly ate that pile of crap.

A couple months ago I read a book by Robert McNamara about his involvement and memories of the Vietnam War.  As you may recall, McNamara was the Secretary of Defense under two of those four Presidents. I came away from the reading of that book feeling like it was terribly self-serving, that he had somehow washed himself clean of any wrongdoing during that entire fiasco.  And I read a similar book by Henry Kissinger once, and it was amazing how lily-white he managed to paint himself.

Now those two books were labeled non-fiction, but in truth, parts of them were either a) fiction or b) bald-faced lies.

And that got me to thinking about many of the non-fiction books we read.  They are all written according to the truth as the author sees the truth, but is that actually the truth?

Just something to think about!

Which brings me to my genre of choice . . . fiction!

I love being a fiction writer.  I make a deal with my readers: I’m going to completely fabricate a story, alter reality, lie my ass off, but I promise to entertain the reader while I’m doing all that . . . and that is perfectly all right and expected.  I am expected to alter the truth with my writing, and people pay me to do so, and how great is that?

The point is this:  writers of fiction are entertainers and blowers of smoke.  It is our job to release the reader from the ugliness and vileness of reality; it is our job to give them a respite from the pressures of their lives; it is our job to suspend the known world and create an unknown world.

If we do our jobs well, readers will come away from the experience feeling satiated and fulfilled.

If we do not do our jobs well, readers will come away from the experience feeling like they voted for Richard Nixon.

Just something to think about!

Have a great day of creating!

Bill

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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How Very Lucky I Am

18 Apr

REFLECTIONS

When I was eighteen, the summer before my freshman year in college, I got a great job at a fruit & produce warehouse.  The job paid $10 per hour and, please note, this was in 1966…that was great money back then and, in fact, it was more money than my dad was making at his job.

Anyway, my job consisted of unloading boxcars of produce, loading trucks, bagging potatoes for grocery stores, putting orders together . . . it was hard, physical work, but I was in good shape and like I said, the money was superb.

I came home from work one hot summer day and I was complaining because I was asked, at work, to sort through a particularly nasty load of potatoes and sort out the rotten ones.  Now I don’t know if you’ve ever encountered a rotten potato before, especially one that has sat in a hot boxcar for a few days, but trust me when I tell you the smell will gag you.  So I was not a happy boy when I sat down at dinner and commenced to complain to my parents.

That complaining went over about as well as farting in church.

My dad, who left high school his sophomore year to ride the rails looking for work during the Great Depression, was not impressed with my complaining.  In fact, he hit the roof!  He informed me, in rather colorful language, that I was getting paid damned good money, money many people would gladly take, and it was honest work and I should shut up and do what was asked of me, and I should do it well, the best I could, and I’m sure he went on telling me that people were dying of starvation around the world, and single mothers worked three jobs to feed their kids, and, well, you get the point.  It was not a pleasant meal!

But the lesson was learned!

It’s been fifty years since I had that lesson force-fed to me over dinner, and I haven’t forgotten it.  I do my jobs without complaining.  Every job is important.  I am grateful for the jobs I have. Thank you, Dad!

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“By taking the time to stop and appreciate who you are and what you’ve achieved – and perhaps learned through a few mistakes, stumbles and losses – you actually can enhance everything about you. Self-acknowledgment and appreciation are what give you the insights and awareness to move forward toward higher goals and accomplishments.” Jack Canfield
THOUGHT OF THE DAY

Here’s the thing:  comparatively speaking, in a world with over seven billion people, there is but a handful of people who can do what we do, and do it well.  I am lucky to be a writer.  I make a living doing something I love doing.  I make a living out of creating stories which entertain people.  I am paid money to touch the hearts and souls of people.

That is an important job and I never want to consider it anything less.

What I do is incredibly important, and what you do is important, and we really need to be thankful and do the best damned job we can.

End of sermon!

Bill

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

What Would You Do If I Sang Out Of Tune……

22 Feb

003“I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends”

Yes, I’m motivated by a song again.

Oddly, and I say oddly because I adored The Beatles, I loved Joe Cocker’s cover of this song more than the original, but bottom line, I loved this song.

It should be the theme song for writers everywhere.

Where in the world would I be without all of you out there, my peers and my literary brothers/sisters?

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.” Saint Augustine
Isn’t that a beautiful quote? I’m not terribly religious, but I am spiritual, and that quote speaks deeply to me.

THOUGHT OF THE DAY

I can’t buy all the books that my writer friends write.  If I were rich you bet I would, but I’m not.  My disposable income is limited at best, and I feel safe in saying I’m sure that is true for most of you.

So I can’t help all of you by buying your books.  The truth is, even if I could, it wouldn’t help your sales that much . . . an increase of what, five bucks? Ten?  No one is going to get rich because I suddenly found the funds to purchase your latest.

But I can do something that might have a greater benefit for you, and that is promote your works.

I try to do this.  I try to mention a different writer with each of these postings, and I try to remember to promote others on Facebook and Twitter (when I’m not doing one of my political rants, that is).

Maybe, by doing that, I can interest two or three other people, and they will buy your books, and then word of mouth will mean more sales, and more sales . . .

Anyway, that’s the hope I have!

AUTHOR OF THE DAY

Allow me to introduce you to Lawrence Hebb, an author and friend from New Zealand.  Lawrence is a quality human being and a pretty fair action/thriller author.  You can check out his work by following this link.

POET OF THE DAY

I’ve said it before but it is worth saying again: one of the finest poets I have read in recent years resides here.  I’m giving a shout out to Audrey.  I strongly suggest you give her a read. Take five minutes, right now, and go read one of her poems. I dare you!

RANDOM IDEAS OF THE DAY

I’ve got some good friends who started out as freelance/indie authors and ended up branching out to do other things, things like YouTube videos, podcasts, blogging, crafting videos, newspaper columns, and the like.  There are a lot of ways to make supplemental income, and the first step towards making that income is to take the first step. LOL  Seems self-evident, doesn’t it, but it’s amazing how many people can’t seem to put one foot in front of the other.

I’m getting close to releasing my first coloring book.  What is an indie writer publishing a coloring book for?  Income of course, but also curiosity, and a desire to try something different . . . so why not?

There are so many things I want to do. I just hope I have time to do them all.

For those of you not interested in reaching your full potential, I understand “The Bachelor” is riveting this season.

Bill

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Snow, and Life, Melt Away Quickly

8 Feb

003It snowed here yesterday!

It’s a big deal for us in western Washington.  We don’t get much snow here in the lowlands by Puget Sound, so six inches of snow is a treat.  It will all be gone soon enough, so I plan on enjoying it while it lasts.

Hmmm, that gives me a thought . . .

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.” Charles Darwin
THOUGHT OF THE DAY

Take that quote and think of it in the context of the talents you’ve been given as a writer.

I’ve read your work and yes, you have talents.

Are you wasting it?

Like the snow we just received, life is limited.  It will be gone soon.  Believe me, I’m painfully aware of that fact.  I still remember, clearly, much of my childhood and teen years, and I’m absolutely shocked that I am now sixty-eight with only what, ten years, fifteen, left to live?  How in the hell did that happen?  But happen it did, and the question now is how am I going to live those remaining fifteen years?  How much of that time do I plan on wasting?  How much of my remaining talent do I plan on wasting?winter in my little slice of heaven 014

It’s a question we all should ask.

We’ve been given a gift, my friends.  Very few in the world have the talent to take random words and unite them in such a way that they create a story, or a poem.  And a very, very few have the talent to write those words in such a way that they elicit emotions from the readers.

Don’t waste that talent!

THAT’S ALL I’VE GOT FOR YOU TODAY

Stop reading this and write.  It’s what you do as a writer.

And please support one another.  Share the work of others.  Give words of encouragement.  Keep the light burning for all writers.

For those who asked, I’m still devoting my time to coloring books, so the novels are still on hold.  Such is life!

Bill

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

 

The Unique You

17 Jan

003Football season is finally over for this boy.

I’m not a football fanatic.  I really just follow the Washington Huskies in college and the Seattle Seahawks in the pros. I don’t randomly watch two teams play just because they are playing football…I have far too much to do to waste my entire Saturday, or Sunday, just channel surfing in search of another game.

Anyway, both Washington and Seattle are done with their seasons, both having suffered rather embarrassing losses, so now I can turn my attention, in another month, to baseball and the Seattle Mariners.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

After the Seahawks lost their playoff game to Atlanta, I decided to read a couple sports articles about the game, looking for little tidbits or quotes that might be interesting.  I read four different articles by four different sports writers, and three were bland and one was outstanding.

This one guy, a writer for the Seattle Times, wrote about the game in such a way as to bring it to life, a game I had watched, mind you, but he managed to make it sound brand new, like I was watching it for the first time.

So, what was different in the one article that wasn’t in the other three?

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Create your own visual style… let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others.” Orson Welles
THOUGHT OF THE DAY

And that quote really is the answer to my earlier question.

The one sports writer, the really good one, had a unique style.  His voice was unique, a wonderful blend of vocabulary and rhythm, and it made his article shine, while the others fell upon the junk heap of mediocrity.  All four wrote about the exact same game, but only one managed to make that game interesting.

Get the point?

You are the only you.  Take advantage of that fact.  Make it work for you!

SHORT BUT SWEET

I’m busy with a new project.  Oh sure, I’m still writing my novels, and I still do content for a select group of customers, but I decided to try something new, and that decision has me short on time this week . . . and so I’ll say goodbye for today.

Have a spectacularly unique day!

Bill

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

On This Day in History

10 Jan

003January 10, 2017!

On this day in history, in 1964, the first Beatles album, “Introducing the Beatles,” was introduced in the United States.

On this day in history, the first vinyl record was released, in 1949.

On this day in history, in 1917, Buffalo Bill died.

On this day in history, in 1944, the G.I. Bill of Rights was signed into law.

On this day in history, in 2017, William D. Holland wrote ten more pages on his novel “Shadows Fall On Rosarito.”

GET A GRIP ON REALITY, BILL!

That’s my alter-ego speaking. He speaks to me often.  Sometimes I listen and sometimes I tell him to shut the hell up.

Like today!

So, some pretty cool things happened on this day in history, and then I toss in the latest addition to my latest novel, and where in the world is my head in doing such a thing?

My head is exactly where it should be, thank you very much.

But first…..

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“My mother always told me that as you go through life, no matter what you do, or how you do it, you leave a little footprint, and that’s your legacy.” Jan Brewer
THOUGHT OF THE DAY

One of the very cool things about being a writer, and I mean super ultra-cool, is that our words will be preserved for eternity.  Long after we are gone, let’s say one-hundred years from now, some little girl or boy will stumble across an article or a book we wrote, and they will read it, and in so doing they will be given a gift we sent to them across the expanse of time.

How cool is that?

Now I don’t know about you, but when I give a gift, I want that gift to be perfect . . . and so I write, and I try to improve my craft, so that the next gift I give will be the very best gift I could give at that moment.

My writing is part of my legacy and as such is a very important thing for sure.  It is important to me and your writings should be equally as important to you.

Forget about the naysayers. Forget about the lagging sales of your books.  Forget about the lack of support.

What you are doing is important!

Period!

End of discussion!

TIP OF THE DAY

Improve your craft!  Never stop trying to be better, because when you finish your next piece, and you wrap it up in pretty paper and a bright bow, you want it to be the very best gift possible.

LOOKING FOR AN AGENT?

I highly recommend signing up for Janet Reid’s blog.  You can find it here.  You may not get Janet to sign you up as one of her writers, but her blog is filled with great information.  She shoots from the hip, tells it like it is, and hey, it never hurts to have another contact in this business.

THAT’S ALL FOR TODAY

Remember what I said earlier.  What you are doing is important.  These are troubling times, and more than ever the world needs writers.

Bill

Writing Casserole

3 Jan

003A NEW YEAR IS UPON US

So let me wish you aHappy New Year, and then let’s get to it.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” Steve Jobs
THOUGHT OF THE DAY

And of course many out there will be making New Year’s resolutions.

I don’t do that.

I’m anal.

I have a plan and I stick with the plan.  Write, publish, repeat. That’s my plan.  I toss in some marketing, try some new things as I go, see what works, make revisions, but the basics always stay the same…write, publish, repeat.

I don’t like deadlines.  I don’t like goals.  I don’t like false expectations or unrealistic visions.  I make a plan and then, with laser-focus, I work on that plan.

Write, publish, repeat!

Five novels, one non-fiction, five novellas, over three-thousand articles . . . write, publish, repeat!

How about you?

TIP OF THE DAY

Stay focused!

I don’t think that needs explanation.

SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS OF THE DAY

Maybe you do some of these things. Maybe you don’t.  Maybe you will after reading this. Maybe you won’t.  I’m not here to give you the Bible of Writing.   I simply make suggestions.

Consider these “do’s” when using social media to promote yourself:

  • Take the time to reply to comments and questions
  • Post links to articles that will interest your followers.
  • Update regularly
  • Tell people, in moderation, about your offers and products.
  • Share good, quality images.
  • Promote businesses complimentary to your own.
  • Always offer a quality product.
  • Allow your personality to show with each post
  • Think before you post. Once you post there is no stuffing the genie back in the bottle.

CONTEST OF THE DAY

“The Writer” magazine starts a new contest called “Your Turn” on January 1st.  It calls for a 2,000 word essay about the craft of writing.  More information will be posted on January 1st and you can find that information by following this link.  I believe 1st prize is $1,000 and publication in the mag.

BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARDS

So, you’re an independent author and so, you’ve written an eBook.

Well how good is that eBook?  Would you like to find out how it stacks up against competition?untitled-8

The Independent Author’s Network is holding their annual Book of the Year Awards, and you can enter your eBook into the competition from now until August. There is a fee, of course, but hey, maybe you’re the next Steinbeck.

GO TO THE LIBRARY

Have you gone lately?  If you have a book, have you approached the library staff with it?  Libraries are wonderful for supporting local writers.  Even if you are a poet, approach the library and ask about doing a public reading.  Seriously…what do you have to lose?

THAT’S IT

I’ll see you down the road of life.

Thanks for a great 2016.

Bill

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Satisfaction in a Job Well-Done

6 Dec

003The snow is falling here in Olympia.  It’s the first sighting of snow in two years here, and it’s beautiful.

We don’t get much snow here, so I make sure I enjoy it as much as possible while it lasts.

And that just happens to be my message, to you and to me, this Monday morning.

But first, a quote.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best.” Theodore Isaac Rubi

THOUGHT OF THE DAY

I doubt seriously if I will ever be a famous writer.  Riches do not seem to be in my future.

Still, I write!  Each day I get up and do the best I can with the words, and talent, I’ve been given.  There are days I will not hear a word of praise from family or friends.  There are days I will not sell one book.  There are days when, what I write, will not affect a single human being.

Still, I write!  And because there are many days when tangible rewards do not appear, I have to find satisfaction in the fact that I am doing the best I can to add to the beauty in this world.  I am trying, hard, to perfect my craft, and in so doing to raise the bar in literature.  I try hard to support other writers and encourage them through my comments.

I have talked to countless writers who all say the same thing, that they receive very little support from family and friends, and they are discouraged.  And I say to them that happiness is an inside job, that we must learn to find satisfaction in a job well-done.

That is my message to you this morning.

That is my message to me this morning.

TAX TIP OF THE DAY

Linda, are you paying attention?

If you consider yourself to be a freelance writer, or if you have formed a writing business, you are eligible for certain tax deductions.  Do the research and benefit where possible.  A tip before you venture into this scary area:  the IRS loves documentation.  Keep all your receipts.  I’ve been using these tax deductions now for six years and not once have I been questioned, but if I am questioned in the future, I’m confident I can support my expense claims.

Documentation is the word of the day!

MARKETING TIP OF THE DAY

The best time to try and pitch your book to the public library is during June or December . . . right around budget appropriations and spending seasons.

COMMON SENSE TIP OF THE DAY

Don’t get so busy that you don’t take time to give back to your community.  If you are asked to speak for free at a writer’s group or a school, jump at the chance and say “it’s an honor.”  You may not be getting a speaker’s fee but you are still getting free publicity.town_904

FINAL TIP OF THE DAY

Get out there and promote.  Ask local businesses if you can sell your book in their store, even if they aren’t a bookstore.  What’s the worst that can happen? They’ll say no!

Call up local newspapers and radio shows, and ask for an interview. What’s the worst that can happen?  They’ll say no!

AND THAT’S IT FOR THIS WEEK

Yes, my new novel, “Shadows Over A Hangman’s Noose,” is being released this week on Amazon.  It should be out by Thursday and I’m excited by it.  It is the best thriller I’ve written to date.

And I’ve decided my next book will also be in the Shadows series.  The plot came to me this weekend and I’m eager to get started on it, so my Sixties reflective book will have to wait six months.

Such is life!

Bill

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

 

Write to the Heart of Your Reader

15 Nov

003I’m writing this on Veteran’s Day.

Naturally, my thoughts go to my dad today.

Dale Leroy Holland died three days short of this fiftieth birthday back in 1969.  I was twenty at the time, and I held him as a heart attack took him from me.

He was in the U.S. Army from 1941 to the end of the war in 1945, and he served in six campaigns in Italy during that time, including Sicily, Anzio, and Rome.

And that’s pretty much all he ever said about the war.  He simply would not speak of it, and in not speaking about it he managed to make a very loud and powerful statement about war.

Thank you, Dad!

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
― Antoine de Saint-ExupéryThe Little Prince

THOUGHT OF THE DAY

I love that quote and I love the message it says to writers.bills%20pic%202%20001

Writing should be an emotional undertaking.  Writing should grab you, shake you, and never release you.  Writing should be visceral in nature, forcing the reader to feel with all of his senses, and when the reading is done, to reflect upon it, savor it, and hope for more.

I am reminded of that when I think of my dad and his military career.  The mere fact that he wouldn’t speak of the horrors of war perfectly described, in my mind, the horrors of war.  By not speaking he said volumes.  By not speaking he forced my mind, and my heart, to grasp what he had experienced.

I hope, one day, to be able to write that powerfully.

EDITING SITES

Someone asked me in a recent Mailbag if I knew of any good editing programs.  I don’t use one myself, but Consumer Reports and a couple other rating services rate WhiteSmoke the best of the best.

Just in case you were interested, and you have an extra $300 to spend.

#STORYFRIDAY

Writer’s Digest has a fun little writing prompt/exercise every Friday on Twitter.  I’ll let them tell you about it and then you can check it out this Friday if interested:

About #StoryFriday

#StoryFriday is a fun, collaborative process that takes place every Friday on Twitter and is hosted by Writer’s Digest‘s Online Editor Brian A. Klems (@BrianKlems).

How it works:
We write the first line on Twitter, then someone adds next line on Twitter and so on. When you contribute a line to the story, place #storyfriday at the end of your tweet (i.e., He was leaving on a jet plane and never coming back. #storyfriday) so everyone can read it and follow along. To read past stories, visit the #StoryFriday Archive below.

Start time:
Around 9:30 a.m. Eastern time, Brian will post a new prompt through @WriterDigest with the #storyfridayhashtag.

And there you go!

POETRY OF THE DAY

Have I mentioned the poetry form “Tricube?” If not, let’s do it now. If I have mentioned it before, sorry about the repetition.

A Tricube is a mathematical poem made up of three syllables per line x three lines per stanza x three stanzas per poem.

Here’s an example from Tracy Davidson in a poem called “Finished.”

I put down

The gold pen

She bought me

 

My fingers

And eyes strained

With fatigue

 

At last, her

Eulogy

Is finished.

###

Try it, you just might like it!

BOOK OF THE DAY

As I’ve said before, Christmas is coming, and as I’ve also said before, wouldn’t it be nice if all writers out there bought books by indie writers for Christmas presents? Well I, for one, think it’s a lovely idea.

So there’s on such book to consider:  “Whimsical Cute Animals” coloring book by my friend Sannel Larson.  This is such a great gift for any child or an adult with a child’s heart. Seriously, please consider buying this over the holidays and, in so doing, supporting a very talented and nice human being.

ENOUGH FOR TODAY

Hang in there!  Your notoriety and fame is right around the corner.  Look, up ahead…can you see it?

I hope so!

Bill

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

 

 

Building Relationships

1 Nov

003WELCOME TO NOVEMBER

I don’t think it’s my imagination.  As you get older, time speeds up.  It’s a physics law of some sort, a little known scientific fact that many of you younger folks probably don’t understand.  Trust me, it’s true.  Now into my 68th year, I can say without hesitation that time is going at warp speed for this old man.

Well, this is a blog about writing, not time, so let’s get started.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Truth is, I’ll never know all there is to know about you just as you will never know all there is to know about me. Humans are by nature too complicated to be understood fully. So, we can choose either to approach our fellow human beings with suspicion or to approach them with an open mind, a dash of optimism and a great deal of candour.” Tom Hanks
THOUGHT OF THE DAY

As we start out on this writing journey, I think it is vital that we build relationships with our readers.  There are many blog writers who follow this blog, and I think you understand this concept.  I have always tried to respond to every comment made on my blogs and my articles.  It’s the least I can do if someone has taken the time to write to me, but more importantly, it is building a relationship that hopefully will last a lifetime.  Now, some of you may see that as self-serving, and I suppose it is to a certain extent . . . but still, writers are in the people business, and as such our job is to connect with people.  I thoroughly enjoy meeting new people.  True, some people bug the hell out of me, but for the most part, I find people fascinating, and I love having online relationships with people around the world. It is one of the true joys of my writing journey.

DO YOU REMEMBER?

Do you remember what it was like just starting out in this blogging world?  How important it was to gather new followers, and how exciting it was when someone actually committed to your blog?

Well keep that memory in place as you say hello to my friend Linda, who just started her first blog, The Creative Corner.  I invite you…I ask you as a favor…to stop by and follow her.  I guarantee you are going to learn more about cooking and other crafting endeavors than you ever knew before, and as an added bonus you are going to enjoy some quality writing.  Please follow this link.

TO ALL WOMEN READING THIS

Here’s a recent article by a friend of mine…Deb…who has an important message for all women.  Please take the time to read it and internalize it.  You are all important to me.

ANOTHER SOCIAL MEDIA SITE

I’m late to this party, but for those of you just as tardy as me, I invite you to take a look at Flipboard.  I have had good returns by downloading my articles on that site, and you just might find it worthwhile as well. Follow this link to sign up at Flipboard and thank you, Linda, for the original suggestion.

THE FIRST NOVEL BY A DEAR FRIEND

I call her my Lil Sis, but her real name is Cynthia Cahoun, and she recently published her first novel, “Marina’s Broken Grave.”  I just happen to believe it would make a great Christmas present.cyndi

FANSTORY

When I have some spare time I like to check out Fanstory.  It’s a little-known site where contests are constantly being offered to writers, kind of a laid-back site where there is little pressure and you can hang with other struggling, and successful, writers.  Check it out if you’ve got a hankerin’.

THAT’S IT FOR TODAY

My latest novel, “Shadows Over A Hangman’s Noose,” is still on schedule for release late November.  For those of you who follow the “Shadows” series, I think you’ll be happy with the results.  Here is an excerpt from that new novel:

I’m no psychiatrist or psychologist.  I don’t know a damned thing about how the human mind works, why one abuse victim will become a counselor while another will become an abuser, why serial killers snap and feel a need to destroy innocence, or why one day a soccer dad buys an AR-15 and unloads a magazine in a crowded mall.  All I know is the aftermath stains us all forever, and the whys will visit us in our dreams until the day we draw our last breath.

The second case I had as an army investigator was a child abuse case, a little nine-year old girl in the hospital for a broken arm, doctors and nurses suspicious about bruises on her upper arms.  They made the phone call that dragged me out of bed at two a.m. on a muggy night near Fort Hood, Texas.  The girl, curly blond locks pasted to her forehead, her mother holding her good hand, told me she fell down the stairs and she was so sorry she bothered everyone, and mom nodding and saying her daughter was just clumsy like her mommy, laughing with a little too much nervous energy to appease me.

I coaxed an address out of her, drove to the off-post housing and found dad, a master sergeant, sleeping the sleep of the innocent.  He wasn’t too happy, me waking him up, and he was even less happy when I mentioned the bruises on his daughter’s arms, and he was downright pissed when I asked him if he had anything to do with those bruises.  He pulled his right arm back, fixing to turn out my lights with a massive punch, and I snap-kicked his kneecap.

That was ten years ago. The master sergeant is still in prison on three counts of child abuse, a history of beating his three kids in some confusing attempt to quiet the demons only he could see and hear.

No, I’m no psychiatrist.  All I know is the stain never goes away, and rabid dogs need to be shot.

 

GOTTA GO

 

Thanks for stopping by. See you next week.  Happy Writing to all of you!

Bill

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”