Friday, November 27, 2015

"FATAL ATTRACTION" by Bryce Willey (Guest Post)

by Bryce Willey
(Guest Post)

"Guest" writer, Bryce Willey,
has contributed a butt-load of
content to my site in recent
months. Typically dark, and
often disturbing, his poetry
even creeps me out — which
(I guess) is why his work is
so consistently compelling.

Am I falling or am I flying?
Trying to save your soul
for the devil will take his toll.
Putting yours before mine
you said you were mine.
I didn’t think you were for real
but I figured you lied just like last time.
I didn’t know if I was either.
Guess we found out right.

Take a sip from the pot.
Don’t take two or we'll have your head. 
One sip a night is just enough
to hold back the thoughts.
Enough to get you to bed. 
Take too little and you'll want more. 
Take too much and you'll overdose. 

Isn't it crazy how someone will do
whatever it takes to get what
they want — even if it kills them?
Fatal attraction.
Shit, sometimes what we want
IS the thing that kills us.

-Bryce Willey
(November 2015)


Do you have something to say, something to get off your chest or an amazing story to share? From pop culture views and reviews to political commentary to messages of faith, my blog is a great platform for writers to showcase their work. There are very limited criteria for submitting a post. Your views don't even have to be in line with mine — just create and contribute a compelling, well-written story. Interested? Send me and email.


Thursday, November 26, 2015

THANKSGIVING 2015: The Top 10 Things I'm Most Thankful For This Year

The Top 10 Ten Things I'm
Most Thankful For This Year

Skittles, Cap'n Crunch, Foghat,
glow-in-the-dark nail polish,
my chiseled good-looks 
the list of things for which
am constantly thankful is
endless, indeedHowever,
I'm particularly grateful to
have experienced these 10
super-sized blessings in 2015.


2015 was the landmark year when I discovered that my friendly neighborhood Publix grocer provides sub sandwiches, prepared fresh daily, in its fabulous deli department. But what makes these sandwiches particularly tasty is that they're made exclusively with Boar's Head deli meats. Yes, there is a difference when it comes to sandwich meats, and my quality of lunch has now been enhanced, nine-fold. Although Publix offers a variety of carnivorous options — chicken, ham, Italian, etc., I recommend the roast beef highly to all dedicated fellow Central Florida "sub culture" enthusiasts. DEE-LISH!


These super-crunk codgers wheeled their way out of the Miami seniors' center and into the Florida rock scene late last summer. Their newly-released, self-titled debut album is packed with infectious, high-octane. garage-style pop/punk sing-alongs reminiscent of the Ramones, circa '78. Yep, it's a "Geezer Nation," for sure. (


What's more enticing than an articulate, ticked-off, gun-toting, Froot Loop-eating, leather-clad, pro life rocker chick with a live mic? In my world — nothing! As a faithful Fox News fan, I began developing a "thing" for Dana Loesch earlier this year. And when I discovered recently that I actually possessed the pocket iTechnology to bask in the bold brilliance of her wildly popular radio program, The Dana Show, on a daily basis — well, I was completely over the moon. Simply put, I am a fan!


There I was, walking across the Starbucks parking lot one morning last spring, en route to my car, when I suddenly felt a stabbing sensation in my lower back — a sharp, piercing pain so intense that I was nearly brought to my knees. The only logical split-second conclusion I could come up with was that I'd been hit by sniper fire. I don't seem to be bleeding. Hmm! The moment I returned home and got flat on my back in bed, I called a longtime "faith" friend who was quick to diagnosis me as being under demonic possession. Uh, really? Thanks, but I think I'll seek a second opinion. Upon reaching out to a trained medical professional, it was determined in short order that I had kidney stones. "What should I do?" I asked. "Not much," she replied. "Just drink gallons of water and wait for those suckers to pass. Oh, and one other thing — start drinking Simply Lemonade, and get OFF those darn energy drinks!" I took her advice, and in no time, I was back in action. I'm now 100% Monster AND demon-free!


I've woken up early and had coffee with Amy Sweezey every Monday through Friday since we first were "introduced" last January. Hang on, it's not (quite) as romantic as it sounds. Sweezey is the morning meteorologist on Orlando, Florida's NBC affiliate, WESH. Her forecasts — typically spot on. Her level of professionalism — world-class. And her constant commitment to fashion excellence impeccable. Oh yeah — Sweezey's just-released children's book, It Never, Ever Snows in Florida, is an absolute delight.


Jule Vera is the greatest rock band in the world  bar none. Their music makes me happy to not be dead. And frontchick, Ansley Newman, is an angel sent by God to bring joy to all of mankind.

That is all.


Since just last Thanksgiving, I've read more books written by Dr. Larry Ollison than any other author during my entire life — and that's a VERY long time. Ollison knows the Bible and classic rock better than most. Hence, his ability to breakdown and explain the word of God in an engaging, conversational style is second-to-none. His book, The Practical Handbook for Christian Living, is an amazing must-have — easily the second-most important book I've ever read.


I've never really been much of a "dog person." However, in 2015, four particular canine clowns became my closest confidants. Get the scoop HERE.


I was at a spiritual crossroads in late 2014. Then, one Sunday morning last November, as I was leaving Starbucks, I spotted Central Life Church pastor, Randy Alonso. I would have known Randy anywhere, as I'd been an avid listener of his local radio show for several years. Although I could see in his eyes that he had absolutely no clue who I was as I greeted him and held open the door, he responded immediately with a friendly smile, a firm handshake, and a heartfelt invitation to visit the newly-launched beachside Central Life campus in Indialantic, Florida — just inches (practically) from my house.

Rollin' gangsta-style with Randy Alonso in 2015.
I took Randy up on his invitation, and I attended service that morning — and I've never looked back. I graduated quickly to the holy position of first-string campus coffee delivery boy — as if I really needed another reason to stop by Starbucks on Sunday mornings. Over the last year, I've also been blessed with the opportunity to plug-in with a Central Life Monday night men's Bible study group and a Thursday night "life group," as well as connecting with Central Life teens as an adult youth ministry leader on Tuesday nights. As bona fide believers, our lives should fully reflect our personal relationships with Christ, and with other believers. Central Life inspires, encourages and enhances those relationships. And I'm eternally grateful to be part of the CL fam!


Finally, I'm incredibly thankful this year to the super-savvy marketing cats at Starbucks for proving successfully, once again, that Christmas has NOTHING to do with snowmen or Santa. Kudos, for demonstrating a brave disregard for corporate gain by putting Christ back into Christmas!

There ya go — my personal Top 10 best blessings of 2015. So, what are you thankful for this year?

-Christopher Long
(November 2015)

The latest from author Christopher Long
is available NOW on Amazon.

Also from Christopher Long...
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Currently in development...

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

DOGGIE RESCUE 911: Adopt Your New Best Friend

Adopt Your New Best Friend

Truth be told, I've not
been much of a "dog
person" since losing
my beloved Sheltie,
Duchess, back in '76.

Throughout my adult life, I'd viewed dogs as being public nuisances and personal nemeses. To me, dogs were little more than offensive-smelling, flea-bitten, ever-needy, slobbering terrorists that held the lives of my various girlfriends hostage  preventing them (and me) from experiencing even one fun-filled all-nighter. Oh, BTW Chris, we have to leave the Led Zeppelin reunion concert early tonight, 'cuz I've gotta be home to let Sparky out by 10:30. Okay? ARGH!

I first recall the feeling of my anti-dog "shell" being chipped away in 2011. That year I found myself on an extended "couch tour" at Merissa's  a close friend who shared a cozy Florida apartment with her musician boyfriend, Sam and her shaggy white "rescue" dog, Riley. While Merissa and Sam slept upstairs, I spent several of those winter nights staying up late and watching Fox News, with Riley snuggled-up close to me under a comfy ol' blankie — as I was REALLY into Ann Coulter and he was seemingly a HUGE Sean Hannity fan. And a lifelong bond was formed. CHIP!

I was deeply saddened to learn that my
old friend, Riley, had passed away recently.
Catch ya later, pal. CHIP!
Navigating through life now with a slightly enhanced puppy perspective, I traveled to Nicaragua on my first missionary trip in 2012. Although I was still hardly a "dog person," I found the rampant, real life examples of canine cruelty in that country to be shocking and absolutely sickening — images so graphic, I can't even share any of my photos here. CHIP!

My high school friend, Robyn, relocated from Georgia back to our old Florida neighborhood in 2013 with her rescue dog, an older brown Lab named Rocco. By the time I began visiting Robyn's pristine beachside palace in 2014, she'd rescued doggie #2, a 10-year-old blond Lab named Boomer. The stories that Robyn revealed, regarding the lives of abuse from which Rocco and Boomer had been rescued were heartbreaking, even for a non-"dog person" like me.

Abbott and Costello. Laurel and Hardy.
Rocco and Boomer.
Rocco and Boomer proved to be totally chill, and they scored immediate high marks with me for only pooping outside. Yes, we all three became fast friends, and in no time, I might have begun taking frequent surprise breaks from O'Reilly Factor re-broadcasts while hanging out at Robyn's in order to prepare delicious late-night snacks for my new pals long after she'd gone to bed. FYI, they're both kinda partial to bacon and eggs at 1am. CHIP! CHIP! 

In addition to bacon and eggs, Rocco
is also a bit partial to cheesecake!
This past summer, Robyn rescued her third dog  a "spirited" younger black Lab named Beasley. Be sure that it's ill-advised for anyone to attempt taking away Beasley's squeaky toy — ever. But doggonit, the second he (finally) tires of tug o' war for the day, Beasley is the first to hop onto the couch with his head buried in your lap — virtually comatose throughout the entire nightly Fox News line-up  until it's time for bacon and eggs at 1am, of course. CHIP!

Black Labs matter. Blond Labs matter.
Recently, Robyn's heart was broken by an online story that she'd read about a blond Lab named Alan who was being held at a local "doggie detention" center. At age 11, Alan was perceived as being "too old" to be "desirable." Robyn thought otherwise, and within hours, he'd been "sprung." Welcome to your new beachside home, doggie #4!

Just three weeks ago, Alan was serving out a
"death row" sentence at a "pup penitentiary."
He'd been picked up by local authorities
after being discarded on the side of the road

in Palm Bay, Florida -- like yesterday's trash.
Sad and sickly-looking, Alan was severely
underweight. And at age 11, he was perceived
as "too old" -- 
his future appeared hopeless.
And just look at him now! Alan currently
enjoys "preferred member" status -- 
a pampered life of luxury at "Aunt" Robyn's.
Alan has become my newest "best pal."
And it's heartbreaking for me to consider
how his story would have played out
-- had Robyn not rescued him in time.
Then there's my longtime buddy, Devon, who lives down the street. I frequently see Devon in the morning while walking his ever-faithful canine crew — including his 12-year-old Great Dane, Zoey. What I find particularly amusing about observing this pooch parade is that Zoey is the size of a small SUV. Hence, it often looks as if she's the walker, and that Devon is the walkie! But what's heartwarming about watching Devon struggle to keep up is the fact that Zoey is also a "rescue dog" he adopted ten years ago from the Dane Rescue in Malabar, Florida.

ZOEY: A Day in the (saved) life of a "rescue!"
So what's this "rescue" jazz all about? Well, it's my general understanding that back in the olden days, unwanted, abandoned and abused dogs were relegated to facilities known as "the pound." But in today's kinder and gentler world, "the pound" is referred to in a more compassionate-sounding way — terms like "rescue missions" and "animal agencies." Look, you can "church it up" all you like, but the bottom line in my mind is that "agencies" are merely "doggie detentions" — facilities that house lovable little pups of all ages  temporarily. Temporarily? Hey, what if nobody adopts "Sparky?" Uh, do the math, dude.

It's not my intention to shame, guilt or condemn anyone for where they get their dogs. ALL dogs deserve good homes. I merely want to remind my readers that there are incredible options when it comes to picking out a pooch — options other than the neighborhood pet store. And I encourage anyone who's considering  adding a new "family member" to first Google "dog rescue" for their local area.

Me and Duchess, back in '75.
(We were both 13 at the time.)
I've now learned first-hand that the wonderful personal relationships we share with our four-legged friends are unique, honest and pure. Our dogs don't lie to us, they don't judge us and they make excellent couch companions for Monday Night Football. In short, they just want to give and receive unconditional love.

That was really a "close one," Alan.
I'm SO glad we're friends!
These days, I start each morning with my daily Bible study at my local Starbucks, around 5:00. By 7:00, I usually stop off at Robyn's to bring her a hot, fresh coffee and to help feed her growing pack of hungry hounds. And sometimes I'm still there at 9:00, playing ball in her backyard with Alan which is really weird, 'cuz like I said, I'm not much of a "dog person."

-Christopher Long
(November 2015)

For further info on Central Florida dog rescue...

The latest from author Christopher Long
is available NOW on Amazon.

Also from Christopher Long...
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Currently in development...

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

FORGIVENESS: Dropping the Ultimate F-Bomb!

Dropping the Ultimate F-Bomb!

I will confess openly that
I drop choice F-Bombs
on a daily basis — faith,
family, Foghat — the list
goes on. But the mightiest,
most effective "bomb" in
my arsenal is, forgiveness.

Sunrise, 6:00-ish, and there I was  like every other Sunday. The surf was rolling out, the early birds were rolling in, and I was positioned near the end of the bar at my neighborhood beachside Starbucks location. With a "holiday-themed" full coffee cup in one hand, I devoured a tasty pastry from the other, while perusing the red ink found within my pink Bible. But on this particular summer-like November Florida morning I also was devouring (along with the aforementioned pastry) a few pages from The Practical Handbook for Christian Living, the must-have life-guide by Dr. Larry Ollison. And as is often the case, the ever-wise Dr. Ollison just happened to hit upon the very subject that for various personal reasons had been weighing heavily on my heart recently. In fact, right at the top of page 176, in BIG bold print, he too dropped the ultimate F-Bomb  FORGIVENESS.

My daily weapons of choice.
We see it every day, and it troubles me to the nth degree. At the workplace, on the street corner, in the media — sometimes even in our own homes and churches (OUCH!)  we see volatile relationships between people who should be loving each other most. And oft times, these splintered relationships between friends and family, husbands and wives, believers and non-believers aren't even the result of the offense itself, but the result of the hard-hearted unwillingness to man-up and offer forgiveness for said offenses. That's right, kids, there's NO vindication in unforgiveness, In fact, unforgiveness is a cancer that eats away at the soul of the offendie, NOT the offender.

"Holding on to unforgiveness is
like drinking poison and expecting
the other person to die."
-Dr. Larry Ollison

At this moment, you might find yourself hopping mad — hopping up and hollering, "Hey, you don't know what 'so-and-so' did to me. You just don't understand!" Really? Well, actually, I understand plenty.

Without dredging up too much junk from the past, let me say that several years ago I lost everything — my family, my pristine home (with an authentic white picket fence), my financial security, my most-cherished KISS memorabilia I mean EVERYTHING! Because of my hard-heart, I just wouldn't let go of what she did. But truth be told, had I simply offered forgiveness and focused on moving forward instead of moving out, I wouldn't have still been ordering from the "Value Menu" at age 40+, I wouldn't have missed any of my son's milestone celebrations, and I certainly would NOT have ever been in the position of partnering with a subsequent girlfriend, flushing our "accident" down the toilet at the ol' clinic! FYI, today, our child (probably a beautiful blond beach girl with braces) would be the same age as most of the teens with whom I now enjoy wonderful personal relationships via my church youth ministry.

Conversely, I was DJ-ing in a Florida nightclub recently when an obviously "impaired" customer managed to pour his entire beer into my DJ booth — just inches from my valuable and expensive electronics — my mixing board, amp and laptop. Regrettably, even as a Christian, my knee-jerk response was offering the guy an entirely different F-Bomb. But as I quickly began sopping-up the unsavory swill with the nearest available bar rags, I was reminded of the perfect examples of unconditional forgiveness offered to us by Jesus. Immediately, I motioned the guy back over to my booth, where I assured him that, "all was forgiven," as I also offered him a big hug. I don't think he saw that one coming. I mentioned the incident to the guy's buddy at closing time, later that night. "Uh-oh," he replied with a sense of genuine concern. "Yeah, 'Bob' hasn't been the same lately since his wife blew her brains out on their driveway last summer." Suffice it to say, I'm truly grateful to God for now being someone who offers forgiveness.

Excerpt from Larry Ollison's
The Practical Handbook
for Christian Living

(Harrison House Publishing)
You might be asking, "Just, how many times am I supposed to forgive somebody who's continually a complete douche?" Well, Apostle Peter asked Jesus that very same question (kinda). Jesus' response was short, sweet, simple and — amazing.

Then Peter came to him (Jesus) and asked,
"Lord, how often should I forgive someone
who sins against me? Seven times?"

"No, not seven times," Jesus replied, 
"but seventy times seven!"
Matthew 18:21-22
(New Living Translation)

You can accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, or you can reject him — I ain't gonna condemn anyone for choosing the latter — we all have free will, although you might want to take a peek-see at John 3:18. However, whether you choose to accept or reject Him, Jesus did once walk the earth and his testimony was perfect. He spoke truth. He spoke unwavering faith. And he ALWAYS walked in love, kindness, compassion and — FORGIVENESS. Heck, even as he was being crucified, Jesus himself dropped the ultimate F-Bomb — "Father, FORGIVE them, for they don't know what they're doing." (Luke 23:34 / New Living Translation) BTW, I would suggest strongly that anyone who runs around like a hate-filled lunatic, killing people, protesting funerals, bombing buildings and spewing venom is NOT representing the real Jesus. 

In sum, let it go, dude. Free yourself of the bondage. Forgive. Forgive big. Forgive always.

-Christopher Long
(November 2015)

The latest from author Christopher Long
is available NOW on Amazon.

Also from Christopher Long...
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Currently in development...

Thursday, November 5, 2015

WE HAVE LIFT-OFF: Author Amy Sweezey Launches Children's Debut!

(Photos courtesy of James Freeman)
Author Amy Sweezey
Launches Children's Debut!

I had just three questions
upon being invited to
author Amy Sweezey's
recent VIP book launch.
What day? What time?
And what thrill park?

Children's author Amy Sweezey
It was promoted privately as a small media event to be held in the Sky Diner located at Central Florida's famed Fun Spot thrill park. However, in reality, the November 1st launching of author Amy Sweezey's debut children's book, It Never, Ever Snows In Florida, was a full-blown party  a super-sized celebration filled with family and friends, food and fun.

While waiting patiently in line for our author
autographs, I shared some personal space with
WESH morning news anchor, Michelle Imperato.
A Michigan native, Amy Sweezey has been one of the most popular and recognizable personalities on the Orlando scene since joining the WESH Channel 2 team as the morning meteorologist back in 2002. And given Sweezey's Central Florida TV news background, it was fun for an old-timer like me to spot some rather familiar faces while attending her event. Hey, that dude looks kinda like Marc Middleton!

Sweezey with WESH morning news
anchor Stewart Moore and his wife Shari.
More than ever before, authors are now exploring tremendous publishing options and enjoying incredible opportunities. And as the saying goes, if you want something done right, (often) you've gotta do it yourself, Hence, many authors, even those with enormous existing platforms are currently opting to go indie.

I could have hung out all day at Amy Sweezey's party,
talking shop with Grass Roots bassist Mark Dawson.
In Sweezey's case, going indie was the smart play. Beautiful-looking and fun-to-read, It Never, Ever Snows in Florida tells an engaging story of a boy named AJ who just happens to live with his TV meteorologist mom in Florida, where, you guessed it — it never, ever snows. He dreams of a day when he can build a snowman, or wear warm boots in the winter like other kids. AJ soon learns that he can't say "never" when it comes to weather.

Sweezey's book launch was really about
kids and connection, families and fun.
For me, Amy Sweezey's event was about much more than merely celebrating the release of her book. It was about people — family and friends of all ages, coming together, sharing some stories and showing some love. Even Sweezey's high school English teacher from Michigan was in attendance to cheer on her star former student. What's not to love about that?

As a fellow writer, I wanted to congratulate 
Sweezey on her official book launch. But
as an uber-perfervid fan, all that came out
of my mouth was, "Book good! I like!" 
Fortunately, for her other many faithful followers, Sweezey's author appearance at the International Community School Bizarre Bazaar on Saturday November 14th will be open to the public. And just in time for the upcoming holiday season, copies of It Never, Ever Snows in Florida will be available for purchase at the daylong event. So buy a book, get it signed, and rock on, dude!

-Christopher Long
(November 2015)


It Never, Ever Snows in Florida

The latest from author Christopher Long
is available NOW on Amazon.

Also from Christopher Long...
Get it on Amazon.

Currently in development...