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  • The four poems I've written.
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  • It’s said that those who experience a life-threatening event see their whole life flash before their eyes.

    What if a fetus, at the moment they feel their limbs about to be torn asunder in abortion, see their whole unlived life flash before their...
    It’s said that those who experience a life-threatening event see their whole life flash before their eyes.

    What if a fetus, at the moment they feel their limbs about to be torn asunder in abortion, see their whole unlived life flash before their eyes?

    Young Marla is haunted by nightmares of being in the womb, terrified by the prospect of having her whole life—everything she’ll ever have and everything she ever will be—taken from her.

    The Girl Who Loved Cigars is my new work in progress. Below is a short excerpt from Marla's journal.



    I’m feeling buzzed. No, I’m drunk. For the first time in my life I’m drunk.

    My life has always felt as if it were a dream, a fantasy, unreal. Like I’m a ghost. Learning that my birth mother was a druggie and a prostitute makes it feel… I don’t know… more not real, no, more unreal. Maybe I’ve already lived before and this is Hell. My life feels like hell.

    The record showed there was evidence of abuse. And now Hondo (the private investigator not John Wayne) knows. I could tell by the way he looked at me he thought I was pretty. I could see it in his eyes—windows to the soul.

    Hondo, from the movie: “Her hair was black as ten feet down. Did you ever see a crow’s wing, how black and gleaming it is? That’s the way her hair shined.”

    That’s romantic. I think I’m in love with John Wayne. Sorry, PI Hondo, you’re no John Wayne. But being in love is not the same as loving someone. Mom’s wisdom.

    They felt it important to note the cigarette burns on the bottom of my foot. Why was that important to put in their journal—no, this is my journal, that was their record. And why is it important for me to write down here?

    Because I’m drunk. (Giggles) How do I write slurred words?

    She considered aborting me, my birth mother did. What if she’d gone threw with it? No, what if she’s going through with it, now, at this very moment? What if she’s lying on some bed in some clinic and while my life is being ended, while she’s having me murdered, I’m seeing my whole unlived life flash before my eyes?

    Wow, that’s deep. Maybe there’s wisdom in Jack Daniels. No friend of mine, Jack isn’t. Wait, that’s Jose Cuervo. I’ve never drank—drunk? (boy am I ever) tequila. Will it be my friend? Doesn’t tequila have a worm in the bottle? Ew!

    Robert said he thought wisdom meant having all the answers. I have no answers. Does that mean I’m not wise? I’m unwise. There’s truth in that. The truth will set you free. That’s what they say. Who are they? Who do they think they are?

    Dad: "Thinking wisdom means having all the answers isn’t wisdom, it’s youth." Or something like that.

    I still love you, Robert. Why won’t you call? Why won’t I call you? Because I’m a coward. Love isn’t for cowards. Love is for… what’s the opposite of a coward? Risk takers? Heroes? I’m neither of those. I don’t want to be either of those.

    I just want to be loved, for who I am and not because I’m pretty (I don’t think I am even if my mother tells me I am, not because I have a great body (I don’t, but I must because men stare at me and I know what they’re thinking, what they’d like to do to my body parts). Robert told me I was beautiful. He liked my legs, because they were attached to me, he said, and that was okay; but when James told me I had a great body, it wasn’t okay. Why did that make me feel like a piece of meat?

    What will Mom think if she ever reads this?

    My birth mother didn’t love me. She gave me up. Now there's an answer. Or is she, at this moment, getting rid of me? Poof, evidence gone. Like I never lived. How’s it feel, Marla, to be “evidence” to be gotten rid of? Evidence, like in one of Hondo’s cheating spouse cases. John Wayne Hondo, not PI Hondo. PI Hondo, not John Wayne Hondo. Why can’t I keep my Hondos straight?

    Robert didn't want me. He gave me up, too. Another answer: I'm unlovable.

    Wow, 21 years old and all I have are two answers to my life’s questions. That all I’ll take with me when I die, the two whole lessons I’ve learned?

    My life… it isn’t real.

    Oh, I’m not thinking straight. Can I thunk straight when I’m drunk? I don’t think straight when I’m not. Drunk.

    Shit (giggles). I think I’m going to be sick. What will I think in 20 years when I read this and see “shit?” Shit, will I remember how drunk I was? Am? Will I find it funny and laugh, or get sick again?

    Dad told me to slow down. He tried to cut me off after my second glass. But I didn’t listen.

    Sorry, Dad. You lost your drinking buddy. I don’t ever want another drink. Not ever again.

    Sorry, Mom, if you ever read this when I’m gone.

    This feels like a dream. Will I remember having this conversation tomorrow, when I’m sober?

    Silly. Of course I will—I’ve written it all down!

    The better question is will I remember having this conversation?

    Shit, I’m going to be…



    (Later, after throwing up)—Some day in April in the year, I don’t know, maybe 1978? Ohhh shit, I think I’m going to throw up again…


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  • J. Conrad Guest updated their profile cover
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  • J. Conrad Guest uploaded a new video
    A World Without Music: Book Trailer
    The Unsettling Beauty of a Perfect Chord… “Discussions of life, love, faith and the universe fuel J. Conrad Guest’s intriguing dialog-based novel A World Without Music. Music itself ‘stands half way between thought and phenomenon,’ a fascinating...
    The Unsettling Beauty of a Perfect Chord… “Discussions of life, love, faith and the universe fuel J. Conrad Guest’s intriguing dialog-based novel A World Without Music. Music itself ‘stands half way between thought and phenomenon,’ a fascinating concept that leaves the reader pondering all. But the conversation’s powerful and real, and the tale moves on; locations change, topics flow and grow, and the reader soon feels like a traveler delighting in overhearing strangers who might become friends.

    “This novel’s path through music, movies, sci-fi, baseball, politics, faith and romance is endlessly intriguing and deeply involving, even as mystery deepens and danger looms. Allusions to jazz and song lyrics are as natural as the flight of a softball into the air, smoothly delighting the reader whether they’re caught or simply catch the eye. And Reagan, born to lust, love or jazz, has choices to make, and scary consequences to navigate.

    “And the music of the common man proves as vital to our world’s symphony as that of heroes and villains throughout all time. A World Without Music reads like a masterpiece of music, culture and life and is highly recommended.” —Sheila Deeth, author of Divide by Zero and Amazon Top 1,000 Reviewer
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  • J. Conrad Guest uploaded a new video
    A Retrospect In Death: Book Trailer
    “Introspective, like a personal remembrance of life, this book is more than diary or autobiography, but less than truth perhaps because it’s viewed entirely through the eyes of the (dead) protagonist. Slowly working towards the unseen facts of...
    “Introspective, like a personal remembrance of life, this book is more than diary or autobiography, but less than truth perhaps because it’s viewed entirely through the eyes of the (dead) protagonist. Slowly working towards the unseen facts of his character’s past. A Retrospective In Death is a languid, oddly compelling tale, evoking an era with a wealth of intricate detail, creating a memorable yet achingly ordinary man, and searching for meaning and purpose in it all.

    “Song titles, movies, well-known names and places, events in sports, evocative phrases from the past and much, much more build up into a powerful retrospect of an era, all told in a voice that changes convincingly with changing enthusiasm, self-deprecating humor, and psychoanalytical hints from the higher self. It’s a pleasing, though very long tale, and the ending is beautifully worth the languorous journey.” —Sheila Deeth, author of Divide by Zero and Amazon Top 1,000 Reviewer
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  •   Michael C. Sahd reacted to this post about 2 months ago
    J. Conrad Guest uploaded a new video
    The Cobb Legacy: Book Trailer
    Cagney Nowak is writing a novel around the 1905 shooting death of baseball legend Ty Cobb’s father by his mother a week before Ty was called up by the Detroit Tigers. Although she was acquitted by an all-male jury on the grounds that the incident...
    Cagney Nowak is writing a novel around the 1905 shooting death of baseball legend Ty Cobb’s father by his mother a week before Ty was called up by the Detroit Tigers. Although she was acquitted by an all-male jury on the grounds that the incident was accidental, the townspeople of Royston, Georgia, thought otherwise. When Cagney begins to relive the night of the shooting in his dreams, more than a century later and in the guise of Amanda Cobb, he is led to discover his father’s deepest secret.

    More than a mystery, The Cobb Legacy is the story of a man’s efforts to connect with his dying father, a World War II veteran suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and to come to terms with his obsession over the Cobb legacy as well as his own adulterous affair and impending divorce, while doubting that love with an old friend can be his.
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  •   Michael C. Sahd reacted to this post about 2 months ago
    J. Conrad Guest uploaded a new video
    500 Miles to Go: Book Trailer
    “A sweet love story gives way to the love affair with speed... First loser becomes disillusioned winner, hindsight waxes philosophical, and a lonely man reminds us, ‘One doesn’t find love... Love is a choice.’” —Sheila Deeth, author of Divide by...
    “A sweet love story gives way to the love affair with speed... First loser becomes disillusioned winner, hindsight waxes philosophical, and a lonely man reminds us, ‘One doesn’t find love... Love is a choice.’” —Sheila Deeth, author of Divide by Zero and Amazon Top 1,000 Reviewer
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  •   Michael C. Sahd reacted to this post about 2 months ago
    J. Conrad Guest updated their profile picture
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  •   Michael C. Sahd reacted to this post about 2 months ago
    J. Conrad Guest uploaded a new video
    January's Paradigm: Book Trailer
    “Loaded with clever dialog and vivid characters, January’s Paradigm is a polished, calm and a well paced fantasy fiction with original premise and a dramatic climax.

    Kate Porter’s marital disloyalty leaves her husband Robert Porter devastated,...
    “Loaded with clever dialog and vivid characters, January’s Paradigm is a polished, calm and a well paced fantasy fiction with original premise and a dramatic climax.

    Kate Porter’s marital disloyalty leaves her husband Robert Porter devastated, depressed and miserable at the hands of his wonder drug—Bookers. Once the author of an International Best Seller, One Hot January, Porter finds salvation from the heart wrenching truth of life through his fictitious character — “the product of his own imagined altered ego” —detective Joe January.

    Author J. Conrad Guest’s attention to details of plot is meticulous as he keeps his novel pulsing with energy and tension skillfully woven with an entertaining combination of romance, betrayal, mystery and thrill. With storytelling mastery on full display, powered by engaging narrative and emotional intensity of individual story line, January’s Paradigm is a novel that delights its readers with a captivating premise with serious literary work of thoughtfulness, complexity and depth.

    Those looking for a fantasy with diversity may find themselves bewitched. This 5-star read is definitely worth reading for its originality. Highly recommended.” —Enas Reviews
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