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  • Writer's pictureCJ Murphy

Time for a Mulligan

The beginning of the new year brings certain things without fail. A great deal of the advertisements on TV and sale papers that offer memberships and equipment that tells us we should be changing the things about ourselves that are perceived as undesirable. We all do it, make lists we call our new year's resolutions. Things we’ll do, or sometimes not do, in order to be better. We’ll make our lives better and reach a higher level of fulfillment. In golf, that’s called a Mulligan. It’s also a phrase used to mean taking a do-over. I’ll be honest, there are definitely things I want an opportunity to change. Some here are a few positive CJ thoughts PCT's

to start your year.

Like many people, my weight is one of the things that has to change. Now some of you may see pictures of me on social media and say, you don’t need to lose weight. Others may say, she's out of shape. It's all about perspective.

So, here is Mulligan number one.

I am heavier than I need to be. My doctor, my back and my clothes tell me that much. I promise I'm not putting myself down or have some unrealistic view of what I should look like. I'm too old for that nonsense. Here's my reality. I’ve had two back surgeries and have spent nearly a year in therapy to try and fix something that, if I drop some weight, will get better.

My job has always been one that made me stay fairly in shape, but now that I ride a desk and a computer more than I do a firetruck, I need to get it under control. I need to get back on track which includes working out, eating healthier, and increasing my core strength.

Mulligan number two.

This one is probably just as important, BE KIND! I try my very best to be kind as much as possible. It doesn’t mean I’m not passionate about things, I am. What it means is that I try not to let my passionate responses lose sight of the fact that how I say something could hurt someone else. We all have opinions of our likes and dislikes but when we get so exclusionary that we fail to consider others, we perpetuate the marginalization of those who may already barely holding on. So, I challenge you to do the same, BE KIND. It doesn’t cost a thing.

Mulligan number three.

It's time to get serious about a career change. For nearly twenty-seven years, my professional life has revolved around three letters. CFD.

That’s the department I’ve worked for over half of my adult life. I’ve had incredible experiences while working at the fire station, moments of triumph and tragedy. There are things I never want to forget and things that I wish, more than anything, I could never have seen in the first place. I’m fifty-one and at the far end of my firefighting career. In the last several years, I’ve been more involved in the training and in fire safety education portions of this occupation. Doing so has allowed me to extend that career with the compromised back that I have.

So, what’s up next? I’d love to be a full-time author, but as many other authors say, it’s a hard business to pay the bills with.

It’s not impossible, but it requires a great deal of time. Don’t forget that we still have the vegetable farm to contend with.

I have an opportunity with a state agency whose main purpose is in life safety and reducing the number of fire fatalities in my home state. Sounds like a match made in heaven, right?

It’s going to require job change and that’s scary. I’ll be working for someone I truly believe in and believes in me. Maybe it’s time.

Mulligan number four.

I want to try to put out at least three full-length novels and at least one short story/novella a year. Sounds like a piece of cake, right? With as busy as our life is, it’s already difficult to get two full-length novels written, edited and, out there. Some have asked why I don’t go indie. The answer is I’m happy to be with a publishing house that does a great deal of that for me.

My main job is to write the story and work through the edits with a great editor that I am so thankful for. I do a great deal of the marketing of my work and that takes time. At GCLS, Karin Kallmaker said something so prophetic in one of her author reading question and answer sessions. She said you must have "butt in seat." Writing for me requires me to sit in my recliner, at the kitchen bar, or on the deck and have my laptop in place, fingers on the keys, with ideas pouring out.

That’s time that there are a dozen other things that need done. My wife handles a great deal of the things around the house while I’m working a full-time job. She’s supportive of my writing. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t need help cleaning the ditch lines on our driveway, or mowing, or cutting wood.

She does and I try to help. We also try to have some kind of social life with our friends- OH, then there is that adorable but VERY active Border Collie we now have in our lives. Jaxx is not so supportive of my writing.

Can you feel the smile in my words? Trust me, it’s there. I couldn’t imagine her not being in our lives now, but she wants to play and take a walk---frequently.

Mulligan number five.

Always try to live my best life. This encompasses so many things and some of them are not even about me. I plan to continue watching my niece and nephews grow and be truly engaged in their lives. They will only be young once and we want to build the relationship that will last well into when they are grown. The only way that happens is we have to be in it. Basketball games, softball games, baseball games, soccer, school projects, sleepovers, summer camps, and whatever else comes up are all on the list.

Enjoying the home we built and the land around it with our friends and family. I'll take our sunsets over anywhere else.

I live in what some would consider vacation land, it’s time to truly take advantage of it. That thought has led me to another storyline that I want to write. A sort of mountain resort that specializes in an LGTBQ clientele. Keep an eye out for the adventures of Wolf Creek Mountain Retreat in the horizon. We also want to travel occasionally with our best friends. We rarely take vacations. Our friend Chris taught us that life is short, and it was a tough lesson. So, there’s fun and more craft beer in our future. There is a true belief that there will be a conclusion to my wife’s former employment issues. Regardless of the outcome, we’ll have fought the good fight.

As we put up a fresh new calendar and I’ll be cooking my MaMaw’s traditional meal of pork and sauerkraut today. I think we all need a Mulligan, a clean slate, and a ‘Chance’ to change what we don’t want to repeat in in the new year, I hope you’ll take the time to dust that. As an update on when my novel release schedule is, I have a Valentine’s Day short, Chocolate Covered Chance, that will be available for free on Desert Palm Press’s website on February 14th, 2020. You can use your imagination for now about that one. I’ll follow that up with book three of the Five Points Series, Redemption’s Road, in the spring of 2020. If you read Forever Chance, you’ve already had a glimpse of the very unique Pastor Rhebekka Deklan and will be able to read more no later than April 1st. Around the first part of November, we’ll be publishing book four of the series, A Sovereign Chance. Fans have been asking for more about Taylor and Penny. I promise this book will give you just that. Of course, there will likely be another short story-novella around Christmas, 2020.

I'll definitely be busy. Until then you can enjoy one of my four current offerings, 'frame by frame', The Bucket List, Gold Star Chance, or Forever Chance AND you can get them directly from the website of my publisher, Desert Palm Press.

Here is the best part about buying directly from the publisher you get them at a discount and the truth is, each author actually makes more from buying the book on our site.

All I can say is this, Happy New Year, my friends. Thank you for supporting me during another incredible year of this dream. I hope to be able to continue to write quality stories that reflect current events handled by some kick-ass characters. I appreciate each and every one of you. For every person who bought my book, for every person who reached out to tell me how it affected them, for every person who wrote a review, I am deeply in your debt. I’ll try to pay you back with more stories to read. Until the next time my friends, be kind. It doesn’t cost a thing.

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Reviews for 'frame by frame'

Absolutely Fantastic 

 I was right there in the story. It has strong characters and the individual personalities are remarkable. I love the deep family bond and Ree is someone I absolutely adore. I really am impressed with this debut novel. An outstanding and exciting romance. Read it and I’m sure you won’t regret it.- Goodreads 11/30/17



If there were 10 stars, I would choose 12

This is a happy ever after story, one we would all use, especially now. This is a debut novel for this writer and all I can say is I CAN HARDLY WAIT FOR MORE. If these were 10 stars, I would choose 12.



Beautiful Story

This is the first book I have read from this author and I loved it. I really loved taking the adventure with to strong women that both were dealing with a past.... I definitely recommend this book.



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Purchase  CJ Murphy's novel   'frame by frame'     at the following retail sites:




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