Truth, As Strange As Fiction: Truth, what is it?


Truth, what is it really?  I don’t know that we would know the truth about anything anymore.
In William Bradford’s journey (William Bradford* 1590 – 1657 passenger on the Mayflower in 1620) you would find that the two groups, pilgrims and the Indians had a mutual friendship. The Indians did show them how to plant corn and after their second year pilgrims held a feast and invited their friends to it. The story that the Indian saved the pilgrims their first winter is not true, yet this has made it into the history books and is told to our children as truth.
If the movie A Few Good Men were done today, Jack Nickolson could easily say, You wouldn’t know the truth!instead of You can’t handled the it.
Whatever the truth was in the past today has become anything anyone says almost literally.
 Once there were rumors and the truth. Many people, not all of course, would have judged others on their own. How another treated them, they would do in kind.
Sure, there were always followers – there has always been those who consign their thoughts to others – those willing to have one or two people do their thinking for them.
Now it seems people just believe what they read or hear based on others opinions as if its fact and not one side of a story taking it on as the truth. I don’t find that fact-checkers on one side or another cuts it.
Then there’s condemning others. Its one thing to indict those who have been convicted of a crime in a court but condemn people with no proof using half truths and innuendo is another. To damn someone or a group on hearsay just because they don’t believe as you do or don’t agree on something you want them to would have been considered wrong not that long ago. There are those will use this tactic to cover up something they don’t want others to know about themselves or about what they believe in by ridiculing those on the other side of the argument, and the way they see it, lying is the answer. All the more if others think and repeat it for them. I seen this over and over again.
Sadly, this is where we are here in the U S of A today. What use to be decent can be made indecent in a flash. One person not agreeing with the other is a crime.
If someone says something you disagree with why not dismiss it and walk away instead of confront them? After all, not one of us is more important (or godlike) than the other.

* William Bradford, 1590 – 1657 passenger on the Mayflower in 1620. He travelled to the New World to live in religious freedom. He became the second Governor of Plymouth Colony and served for over 30 years. Bradford kept a journal of the history of the early life in Plymouth Colony. It is called Of Plymouth Plantation

The Book Report: Charlie Chan as written by Earle Derr Biggers

Image result for book collection of the charlie chan

I have finished reading the Charlie Chan books and some of the other books by Earle Derr Biggers, (August 26, 1884 - April 5, 1933,) an American novelist and playwright. I can't say enough about Author Biggers. He was a superb writer and his well structured stories have great pacing. Though many of his works were written in the early part of the Twentieth  Century, around the 1920's and 30's, and not at the time historical, today Biggers stories give the readers a great sense of the times they were written in and yet the characters could easily walk the streets today with no problems other than their old-time way of speaking. Being an old movie buff I've seen all the Charlie Chan movies and like them no matter who played Charlie, but they are nowhere as good as the books. Not even close in my opinion.
Image result for book collection cover of the charlie chan Besides his books, Earle Derr Biggers wrote plays and theatrical adaptations and short stories some of which became films. I read there might have been forty films featuring detective Charlie Chan alone.  
Charlie Chan came to being when Biggers read an article in the newspaper about a Hololulu detective named Chang Apana he decided to model his own detective character after him. He reasoned, "Sinister and wicked Chinese are old stuff... but an amiable Chinese on the side of law and order had never been used."  
Image result for books by earl derr biggers
The father of many children, 11 or more, the character Charlie Chan lives in Hawaii in his home on Punchbowl Hill. But this don't stop the character from finding his way around the world and in his own way root out killers. Charlie is sometimes treated with the lack of dignity and respect due to his race that was common to books of the era they were written in. But Charlie overcomes the prejudice by outwitting those carpers and earning respect. There is always a touch of romance between the young characters the author lines up to help Charlie foil the murderers.
Image result for books by earl derr biggersThere are six Charlie Chan original: House Without a Key, The Chinese Parrot, Behind That Curtain, The Black Camel, Charlie Chan Carries On, and The Keeper of the Keys. 
A few other books by Biggers worth mentioning are: Agony Column, Love Insurance, 7 Keys to Baldpate.  I recommend all.  
Image result for books by earl derr biggers Earle Derr Biggers suffered a heart attack in 1933 and died. He was cremated and his ashes scattered in the San Gabriel Mountains. He left for us Charlie Chan to Carry On. Biggers once said, "I am quite sure that I never intended to travel the road of the mystery writer." 

Character Quotes: from Simple Things by JD Holiday

Character Quotes: Simple Things

Simple Things cover DONE copy church in it  Kirby craned his neck as the truck drove down the street. Then the Speedy Delivery driver limped down their front stairs shouting, "Hey! Hey!"
Shaking his head, Kirby went to the front door wondering what to say to Gram. She would not believe this.
The doorbell started ringing as his grandmother came into the living room. Her cherry color hair bobbed and her bony arms outstretched while wiping her hands on a dish towel.
The bell rang again as Gram reached it. At the door, Kirby stood to one side while she opened it. The deliveryman leaned against the doorjamb and holding his head. "Someone stole my truck," he said.  Kirby winced thinking this will not end well.

A Christian, Christmas middle-grade novel.
 #books with a #Christian worldview

Truth As Strange As Fiction: A Troubled Reflection

A Troubled Reflection 

One evening when I came home for dinner after hanging out with my friends around the ten block area we called our neighborhood I found that a murder had taken place having to do with the nursing school across the street from us and my family was very disturbed about it.
The eighteen year old young woman, just four years older than me, didn't go to school there but she attending classes at the nursing school located behind the then Paterson General Hospital. It was also a dormitory where many of the girls lived while going to school there.
Alys obtOne of my mother's sisters who lived next door to us in the block of row homes on Madison Avenue stood on their front porch talking to my father who sat in one of the two Adirondack chairs on ours. My younger brothers Ike and Dave where also there, sitting on the steps while and one of my older cousins stood at their doorway, and other neighbors along the block were also outside all watching the large commotions going on at the school.
When I came around the corner of twenty-third Street onto Madison, I saw a group of car, a few double parked, in front of the school even with the usual city traffic trying to get by. Two or three of them vehicles with Police. A lot of girls, some in the nurses uniforms, others in street clothes on the wide stone bifurcated staircase leading up to the Nursing School's wide white columned porch. All appeared to be crying as they stood or sat some in pairs, a few in a group hugging one another. The next day we learned that the police flashed pictures of the dead woman at them which sent them out of the school in tears.
As I walked up the walkway to the house we rented for the last two years my younger brother Ike said, "A girl's been murdered yesterday."
Like most of my reactions in my young life to everything I heard for the first time seemed to stun me into silence. This was the first time someone in my sphere, though not someone I knew was murdered. City sounds drowned out from around me as a dumbfound silence filled my head.
Looking back on this event to me my mind froze as my brain moved along each words I heard before they jellied into one blurry image since I'd never pictured a person murder before. It still produced a hideous picture cloaking me into continued silence, almost as if I never learned to talk at all.
obit AysSo I just listened to the talk around me. My mom came out of the front door with beer for her and my dad and sat in the other chair. She joined the conversation with her sister and my dad about what happen.
For weeks the girl's murder was covered as it was big news for our area in northern Jersey, a thirteen miles drive to the George Washington Bridge. There were two local papers in Paterson, the Morning Call and The Evening news.
My parents read all about it and what was reported about it on the TV and radio. Some times the reporting would be contradictory. The story change depending on where you got your news either from the TV or print. So the facts were hard to follow.
One account saying she was beaten and raped, and others making it clear that she wasn't raped but her clothes were in disarray and that she was stabbed either eighteen times or up to sixty times. Another problem was the contradictory report that there was a dog in the house that did not bark so the dog must have known the murderer, to there was no dog in the house and still no barking. And then it was said it was a crime of passion but she could have stumbled into a home burglary of her house. Some said she told her school she was leaving early to go to a funeral for her great aunt's funeral in New York with her father and were to meet at their house for the journey, her mother having got ahead. And another account mentioned she didn't tell the school she was leaving. But a few things that reminded constant thorough out; that it was a chase and a fight thorough the house ended in the dining room in front of the French style doors to the family's back patio in her Fair Lawn home.
A fact that haunted me was that her father was the main suspect. It seemed the police questioned why the father had her cremated within days of her murder. This was unimaginable to me and frighten. I knew my Dad. And that made it clear to me, in my young mind, this had to be an impossibility. They just had to be wrong. Of course, it time I would learn that almost anything is possible with humans.
Was it her father? A stranger? Or someone else she knew? 
Alys EberhardtI waited for months for a conclusion with none coming and the girl's life slipped from many memories. For years this murder has got unsolved. It's not often but once in a while I remember this sad event.
For me I settled on that it was an intruder, possible someone she knew from somewhere or around her neighborhood, there, to rob the house. But he or she turned into a murderer when recognized and it was a vicious killing because they had to wrestling her to death.
She graduated from high school in June of that year and entered nursing school two weeks before her murder. She had an interests in music and liked to ski. Her name was Alys Jean Eberhardt.
Copyright 2018 by JD Holiday

Character Quotes: SIMPLE THINGS

jd-Simple Things ad-downsized_large“We do say our prayers at“We do say our prayers at night and the whole family goes to church on Sundays but we’ve come to think of Christmas as just a time to get gifts, kind of forgetting that it’s to remember Jesus and what HE said to do for others. You know, to help other people. People in situations where they don’t have anything at all. Some of them probably only think about having simple things that we have. And those are things that my family don't give a thought to not having. Christmas is really a time to really think about all the people in need and to remember that those of us that have everything are lucky. I forgot that stuff,” Phoebe finished and looked over at Trisha who was sound asleep. ~

Phoebe to Trisha from SIMPLE THINGS by J.D. Holiday

Simple Things by JD Holiday is
a Christian, Christmas middle-grade novel.
 #books with a #Christian worldview



This is a wonderful story which is all about family at Christmas time. I felt like I knew these characters. The story has that hope that Christmas brings. I’ve read it twice. My favorite character is Kirby who is the story’s guiding force. ~ review by A Amenta

A great read for middle school aged children. Serious issues dealt with in an age appropriate manner resolving in a happy ending. Shows children behaving responsibly and choosing to do the right thing. ~ from E. Woodhouse

My Latest Book is out for Christmas: SIMPLE THINGS

SIMPLE THINGS, written and published by JD Holiday,

is a Christian, Christmas middle-grade novel. This story is a about realizing what is truly important in the lives of others and knowing when to put those interests ahead of your own. 

Dedicated to my parents, Ira and Ruth Day,  in Simple Things the Cameron children worried they will not get the toys they asked for this Christmas because their mother is a last minute shopper. The uncle Trisha Frankel lived with most of her life has died. The only option she has is to find the father she does not know. Trisha takes her dog, Mitch to search out her father. Along the way, her dog is stolen. The most likely suspect in the dog’s disappearance is a man connected to the Cameron children Phoebe, Tucker, and Kirby. Phoebe, Kirby and Tucker Cameron are busy trying to figure out if their Christmas gifts will arrive. Helping Trisha makes them realize sometimes the problems of others are more important than their own interests.

Simple Things by JD Holiday
A Christian, Christmas middle-grade novel.

Truth, As Strange As Fiction: Betsy Wetsy - The Back story for Simple Things

The year my brother Ike crawled around the house barking was a trying one in many ways.

"What do you want to be when you grow up?" Dad asking with a chuckle to my 3 year old sibling on all fours in front of the now antiquated tube tv. Ike told everyone in that toddle outlook the job he wanted was being a dog. The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, the law and order dog with this orphan friend, Rusty racing to help the troops at Fort Apache on the twelve inch screen similar in size and shape to the very first Apple 1 monitor created years later.
The Christmas in 1956 a truck delivering gifts from the Spiegel catalog company caught fire on route to New Jersey the week before the holiday. My parents ordered the toys from it that year. Once informed by mail that the accident occurred my parents must have been in a panic. After all, they spent all the money they had alotted for Christmas on that order. But Spiegel, one of an American direct order catalog company at that time founded in 1865, assured them they would make good on their delivery, even if some of the items would not be exactly what was ordered.
 The Spiegel along with the Sears catalogs consisted of numerous pages devoted to toys for the Christmas season which us kids poured over from the time the catalogs arrived in the mail thorough the Christmas season until that wonderful Christmas morning. My parents, to make the excitement last for us, or maybe them, they liked sharing the season's enthusiastic passion with us. For the whole month of November up until my parent acquire the expected toys would take us to the 2 or 3 local toy stores several times to observe the items we fancied. They would either go back and buy what we liked or
order from either the or SEARS catalogs. I wanted the Betsy Wetsy doll that drink and wet, bottle and diapers included! The Betsy Wetsy dolls were originally issued by the Ideal Toy Company of New York in 1934. It "drink-and-wet," and was one of the most popular dolls of its kind in the Post World War II baby boom era.
We were about to get ready for bed Christmas eve when commotion began outside the single family home we rented in Totowa, New Jersey on the same block a the town cemetery. The surprise of this intrusion changed the nightly routine. The family was sitting around our living room as people did in the 1950s just to watch the beauty of our decorated and lit tree. The door bell rang to the front porch of the house. My father got up and went to look. “No one look out the window,” he commanded.
He was clearly expecting something to happen. We would learn much later that he and my mother were not so sure the toys would actually make it by truck from the companies headquarters in Chicago.
My father closed the door behind him as he went out onto the porch where muffled voices began followed by a lot of bumping and crashing sounds.
Our mother scurried to get us upstairs to our rooms and into bed leaving us children unsure of what was occurring.
Christmas morning, I was thrilled to see all the wonderful looking packages under the tree. That is until I ripped open the box to see my Betsy Wetsy doll. But it wasn't her. It was a doll I haven't seen before. I received a knockoff.
I cried throwing the baby doll to the floor, “It's not her!”
But she's a baby,” my father said, with a sympathetic facial expression for the rubber baby. He bent down and picked up the doll and rocked it while holding it tenderly.
I don't want her. I want Betsy,” I told him.
But look. I think the baby's hurt,” he said, mocking more sadness.
I looked over his arms to see the baby's face. She didn't seem to be hurt, but just so cute. I took her from him and hugged her. My Betsy. I was five.

More on mt book, Simple Things at:

The Authors Words: Deb Hockenberry, Children's Author

Deb Hockenberry

The Authors Words:     

Deb Hockenberry entertaining Children one word at a time. Where Can We Have The Party? is Deb Hockenberry’s debut children’s book. She has always wanted to write stories for children, and has taken multiple courses from The Institute of Children’s Literature and is a member of The CBI Workshop to keep with the ever-changing world of children’s writing. She has also been published in several online magazines. Deb is a Pittsburgh transplant now residing in Altoona.

Hi Deb,  Thank you so much for doing this interview with me. You and I have been in many groups together over the years and I'm so happy we have this opportunity to talk. 

Tell us a little about yourself and your background? My background is, what I think, very ordinary. I come from a large family and have always had pets. You name the type of animal and I think we’ve had it whether it barked, meowed squeaked, squawked, or swam! I’ve always loved to read. In fact, that was one of my summer activities: to go to the local branch of the Carnegie Library. I think I read every book in the children’s section.

If you’re asking about my writing information, I’ve taken multiple courses from the Institute of Children’s Literature. In fact, I’d love to take another course from them. Since the world of KidLit is always changing, I joined the CBI Clubhouse. They teach everything in this online course from writing magazine articles, picture books, middle grade and young adult books, picture book apps, to marketing. These are just some of what you’ll find in there.

When did you realize you wanted to be a storyteller? I’ve wanted to write for kids since I was a kid myself. This is going to sound silly, but in the library I mentioned above, I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted to read. Oh sure, there were many talking animal books and many birthday books, but none with the two combined.

Where do you get your stories ideas from? My ideas come from everywhere and anywhere. I often use my own childhood experiences.

Why did you want to write for children? I really don’t know how to answer this except I’ve always been drawn to children’s writing. I knew that I’d be a children’s writer at a young age.

When writing a children’s book or story, how much does your own childhood influence it? My own childhood experiences influence my fiction stories quite a bit. Even ‘Where Can We Have The Party?’ has a little bit of my own experience in it. I didn’t realize that until it was written.

What is your book about? Where Can We Have The Party?’ is a simple little story for children ages 3-8. It’s about a giraffe who wants to have a party for his friend but can’t think of a place where to have it. He asks a few other friends for ideas and they do have some, but for one reason or another they won’t work. Will they find a place to have the party? I don’t want to give the whole story away, so you’ll have to read it to find out!

Does the book convey a theme or message? I didn’t mean for it to, but after I wrote the story I found that there’s a subtle problem-solving problem running through the background. I hope it’s subtle enough that ‘Where Can We Have The Party?’ doesn’t lose it entertainment value!

What were some of the pitfalls of writing a book? Every writer knows that you should keep your words age appropriate, watch your grammar, punctuation, and flow. In ‘Where Can We Have The Party?’ there was a bit more to it. I got the idea for the story when I was a kid. The original story was quite different. It had evil monkeys and orangutans kidnapping King Lion from his birthday party. They even had guns, knives, and ropes! I guess I watched too many cowboy and Indian shows back then. Well, society and the way we think has changed. So did books. I don’t think books are so violent as they used to be. ‘Where Can We Have The Party?’ has morphed several times through the years until it got to be the happy little story it is today.

What is the hardest thing about writing? That’s easy … marketing. Writing the book is the easy part.

What advice would you give to your younger self? Don’t let anyone influence you in any way not to follow your dream. This happened to me once and it’s my biggest regret.

What will parents like most about your new book? I think parents will like the entertainment in the book. I think my book couldn’t have come at a better time. With everything that’s going on in schools and the world, kids need some plain old entertainment.

What genres and authors do you read? I love to read so many genres. I love to read adult books as much as I love to read children’s books. I also love to read fiction as much as non-fiction. My absolute favorite to read, though, is young adult fiction. My favorite books are the Harry Potter series and anybody who knows me well, knows that! Naturally, my favorite author is J.K. Rowling. I’ve learned so much from reading the first two books of the HP series.

What is your next project? Since Christmas is my favorite holiday, my next project will be a Christmas themed story for ages 3-8. Will it be set in the jungle like “Where Can We Have The Party? Stay tuned!

Where can people find your book and you on line? There are a few places where you can find me. Here’s a list:

KidzTales (my website):
Twitter: @DebHockenberry
 My buy link for Where Can We Have The Party?”

Good luck with you books, Deb. ~JD

The Authors Words: Interview Author K.C. Sprayberry

K.C. Sprayberry  

The Authors Words: K.C. Sprayberry  

K.C. Sprayberry has been Living a dream since she first discovered the magic of books. She traveled the U.S. and Europe before finally settling in the mountains of Northwest Georgia. She’s married to her soul mate for nearly a quarter of a century and they enjoy spoiling their grandchildren along with many other activities. A multi-genre author and prolific writer, K.C. Sprayberry is always on the hunt for new stories. Inspiration strikes at the weirdest times and drives her to grab notebook and pen to jot down her ideas. Those close to her swear nothing or no one is safe if she’s smiling gently in a corner and watching those in the same room interact. Her observations have often given her ideas for her next story, set not only in the South but wherever the characters demand they settle.

 Some of her short stories have appeared in anthologies, others in magazines. Her sense of adventure now takes it turn on the pages of her computer screen as her translate a lifetime of discovery into stories for those who love her work.
Her books and stories include, Who Am I?, Darkness Within, Softly Say Goodbye, The Wrong One, Lost & Scared, Family Curse ... Times Two, Evil Eyes and Right Wrong Nothing In Between just naming a few.

Hi K.C.,   So glad you could do this interview. 

When did you decide to write your stories down?
I’ve always written down my stories, starting as a teen. There were so many in my head that I had to give them a voice. Fortunately, those early stories have vanished and the ones I work on now are far better.

Did anyone in particular inspire you to go to the next step and publish your works?
Yes, one person set me on the path to become an author… Mr. Frank Jansson, my creative writing teacher at Monrovia High School. He took me aside one day and told me I had a fabulous talent and that I should consider writing books. That encouragement stayed with me, until I finally decided it was time to go forward, after my husband said it was time to write all the stories I had percolating.
To my delight, I recently learned that my old high school is considering renaming their library after Mr. Jansson. Along with many others who are his former students, I’m pushing hard for this honor to be given in this man’s memory!

Are there parts of you in all your stories?
Absolutely. Every book I’ve ever written has a bit of me in them.
Does your work usually convey a theme or message?
Most do as I write for middle school and teens. Some are for pure enjoyment and fun, though.

What was your ambitions for your writing career to start with and have you reached it?
In the beginning, I thought being part of the Big 5 was the only choice for my writing career. Over the years, I learned that there are many, many authors out there who have done well without these publishers. I did know from the beginning I wanted the comfort of being associated with a publisher and found a wonderful indie company in 2011 in Solstice Publishing.

What genres have you written in?
Young Adult, Psychological Thriller, Paranormal, Historical, Western, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Military Romance, Romance, and Mystery.

What author or authors influenced you?
There are many authors that have influenced me. All of the fantastic authors who are part of the Star Wars universe, Robert Heinlein, Robert Jordan, and Steven King are just a few.

Can you share something about yourself you want your readers to know?
I love my puppy, Socks, cooking, discovering new places, and photography. Of course, reading and writing are at the top of my list!

 Who do you read?
Robert Heinlein, Robert Jordan, Steven King, Lisa Gardner, and Tom Clancy are my current preferred authors. I’m always on the lookout for great indie authors to discover!
Tell us a bit about your latest work?
Blaze is a psychological thriller that introduces a new kind of Superhero, a group of Elementals. They all have “day” jobs but their primary mission is to keep humanity safe through the use of certain elements. At this point, Blaze is in the early stages but I’m hoping the kick will happen soon and I can bring this story to the plotted conclusion. Anyone who knows me will tell you that my plotted conclusions rarely happen. Once the characters take over, anything goes!

What advice would you give to your younger self?
Never give up on your dreams. Keep fighting for them, no matter what anyone tells you.

Where online can people find you and your books?
I can be found online on Facebook

Thank you, K.C. for talking with me for this interview. I appreciate it.  ~JD

Find K.C. Sprayberry on this sites too:

On Amazon

Most of her books are here:

Animal Lovers here!