Archive for the ‘History’ Category

BLACK IRON MERCY  TO BE LAUNCHED IN JUNE

I’m so very happy and proud to announce that I’ve signed a contract with Deeds Publishing of Athens, Georgia, to publish my novel, Black Iron Mercy.  Final edits have been applied to the manuscript and it’s on its way to the creative director for the layout process.

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Whew!  It’s been four and a half years since I started the research for this project.  Nine months of research, two years of writing, a lifetime of editing, and five long months of querying and rejection have culminated in success.  It’s been a long road, but could have been so much longer if not for the help and support of my family and friends.

Thank you to all of YOU, my friends and followers, for your continued support through your words of kindness and encouragement, assessment and criticism.  So many of you have said the right words at just the right moment, providing motivation and inspiration to continue this voyage.  I’m grateful!

THE WORDS HE NEVER SAID HAVE STAYED WITH ME

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JOHN LENNON’S BLOOD-STAINED GLASSES

A long time ago I was watching a piece on television about the assassination of John Lennon.  The report was claiming that, after taking two bullets from Mark David Chapman’s pistol, Lennon had staggered into the lobby of his apartment building, the Dakota, and exclaimed to a nearby concierge, “They’ve shot me.”

Apparently he never said, “They’ve shot me.”  Doing a search online about the last words of John Lennon will get you a couple of different stories.  One will claim that instead of “They’ve shot me,” he uttered, “I’m shot,” before collapsing on the steps inside the lobby of his apartment building.  Another story says that he was conscious but incoherent in his last moments, answering “yeah” or “yes” to officials asking him if he’s John Lennon in the back of an ambulance.

What a stupid question.  “Are you John Lennon?”  As an EMT, I’ll have you know that — Oh hell, that’s for a different blog altogether.

No matter which story is true… no matter what his last words were… it’s all irrelevant to this post.  I’m still hung up on “They’ve shot me.”

As witnesses to history, we are (usually) provided with information after the fact that tells us how and when things occurred and the motivations behind those things.  Today, we know that Mark David Chapman was an obsessed fan of Lennon who had planned on murdering the former Beatle for more than three months.  Chapman had other celebrities in mind for termination as well, including Walter Cronkite, Johnny Carson, George C. Scott, and Elizabeth Taylor.

Chapman’s grievous act caused him instant celebrity.  Anyone who followed the career of John Lennon also knows the story behind his assassination.  Notice I’ve used that word — assassination — twice now.  Does it seem out-of-place?  Most use the word “murder” when talking about the death of John Lennon.  Assassination is usually reserved for those who hold political office.  Lennon, although often political, did not hold office.

Today, Chapman’s motives are obvious to history.  This does not mean they’re condoned.  We simply understand why, even as we can’t empathize with the why.

“They’ve shot me.”

This simple misrepresentation of Lennon’s last words are always what I go to when I think of the death of the musician.  We might understand who Chapman was and why he did what he did, but his victim will never understand anything about his own assassination.

Yes, I get the whole “afterlife” thing.  I’m a Christian myself.  To die is to gain knowledge of everything.  This post is about the here and now.

How would Archduke Franz Ferdinand look upon his own assassination?  I’m sure he’d gladly die if his death could have prevented a world war, but what about starting one?

I feel like part of Len Bias might be waiting to wake up from his first experience with cocaine.  “Man, this buzz sucks. Let’s go to IHOP.”

I’m no conspiracy theorist.  I know there was nothing more than the work of a madman at work in the death of John Lennon.  But Lennon had no way of knowing who killed him or why they did it.  “They’ve shot me,” could mean so many things.

“I’m shot,” although more basic, can mean just as many.

We’ll never know what was going through John’s mind as he lay dying in the lobby of the Dakota.  I would like to think it was about Yoko and family, but I imagine it was something like, “Who the hell shot me?  What did I do to deserve this?  Holy shit, I’m bleeding out.”

RIP John.