People of the Street.

Just imagine …..

Just imagine that, because you feel the experience would be valuable to you, you decide to spend a night on the streets in your town. To so many people, it would be a crazy idea … but what if you really wanted to know what others are experiencing  on a daily basis?

The following verses are from “The Project”, which is part of a collection of verses in a book “Just Thinking”. Click on book cover in right column (may have to scroll) for more information.

I sit tonight on the pavement,
People watching… just to see
Who says “Hello”?
Who just walks by?
Who actually acknowledges me?

But I don’t seem to exist
In so many passing eyes.
Am I an embarrassment?
Do I make them feel uncomfortable?
Perhaps I am simply despised?

They are colder than the air
Which surrounds me this night.
For a caring and humane society,
At least as I understand it,
That’s really not right.

We’ve probably all done it at some point in our lives. We have side stepped somebody on the street; may have thought derogatory thoughts about them; wondered why they don’t get a job like the rest of us; wondered whether “that girl” was a sex trade worker; turned away from them rather than risk eye contact. In general, we have all probably disapproved as they do not fit “our standard”.

They’re wrapped up in their lives.
Fashionable; conforming; neat.
They just don’t see…
People like me…
People who live on the street.

Sadly, that tends to be the state of our society. We are so controlled by commerce, which suggests that either we “play the game” or be considered something less than normal. We struggle to buy that nice house; we want peer approval so must stay in fashion; If we don’t whiten our teeth, will we ever smile again?  So much advertising pushes the message that unless you buy/use their product, then clearly something is wrong with you. This comes often from comments like “This must be in everybody’s bathroom” … “Everybody in our survey gave us a 5 star rating” … “Do you want to be the only one without …….”  “Surely you can afford a few pennies a week?” Many companies have a psychologist on their sales team, so they know how to convince you that their product is invaluable, and that your life is incomplete without it.

When was the last time you heard that it would be humane to just acknowledge a street person? When was the last time you affirmed that a street person was, in fact, a person?

I am lucky and I know it.
I do have a home.
I do have food and friends,
And I can leave here whenever I choose.
Unlike many… l am not alone.

To live on the streets
Is in nobody’s dreams.
There are reasons behind such a move.
Reasons we may not understand but
Is life ever what it seems?

It is such a basic fact that nobody has gone through school with the dream  of living on the street! If we can accept that statement, then we must acknowledge that those people must have experienced something which put them on the street.

Say “Hello!” to the next person you see,
Sitting in their sidewalk home.
Recognize that reasons they must surely have,
To live in such a way.
Being ignored… and alone.

It would be pure fantasy to believe that we can take all those people and reintegrate them back into our society, but is it such a stretch of our imagination to actually acknowledge that they exist.  Perhaps even smile at them? Perhaps just say “Hi”, or even  go and get them a coffee?

And when you say farewell.
When you leave and go to your home.
Remember those people
Who… for whatever reasons,
Will be spending another night on the streets… cold and alone.

Just thinking.

Self Book Promoting

As most of you are no doubt aware, professional advertising is extremely expensive. This is a particular challenge for authors because the royalty on a per book sale is minimal. Using my own “Just Thinking” book as an example.  The most popular format to buy “Just Thinking” is eBook, which sells for around $4.75 – $5.00 (USD or currency equivalent).  That generates a remuneration to me of around $2.75 – $3.00. Continue reading

Home Isolation Time!

With so much  time being spent at home, what a golden opportunity is being provided to  catch up on some thought provoking (or just plain fun!) reading and (bonus) … all three books are now on sale (details below)!

The links below go to the FriesenPress Bookstore, but the books are also available world-wide from all the usual on-line book retailers.

“Who Said I was up for Adoption?”

A true story about a man (me!) who had never really liked dogs since being bitten by one when in his teens, and yet he was adopted by almost 80lbs of  German Shepherd/Rottweiler with just a bit of an “attitude”.  The first eighteen months (the basis for the book) was an emotional  roller coaster ride for so many reasons and, unlike so many other dog stories, the hero (our beloved Ray) is still alive and well!

https://books.friesenpress.com/store/title/119734000018826578/Colin-Chappell-Who-Said-I-Was-Up-For-Adoption%3F

*Note: “Who Said I was up for Adoption?” is now available direct from the FriesenPress Bookstore at discounted prices of $11.99 for the paper-back, and $19.99 for the hard-cover formats.

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“The Odessa Chronicles”

If you would prefer something lighter, how about a book of short stories suitable for children ages 4 to 104!  If you want to amuse that inner child, or perhaps a young friend or relative …….

https://books.friesenpress.com/store/title/119734000053250745/Carolyn-Shelton-and-Colin-Chappell-The-Odessa-Chronicles

*Note: “The Odessa Chronicles” is now available direct from the FriesenPress Bookstore at discounted prices of $10.99 for the paper-back, and $17.99 for the hard-cover formats.

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“Just Thinking”

Finally, if you want something that will encourage some introspective thinking, but in a poetic verse format …..

https://books.friesenpress.com/store/title/119734000032944229/Colin-Chappell-Just-Thinking

*Note: “Just Thinking” is now available direct from the FriesenPress Bookstore at discounted prices of $6.99 for the paper-back, and $15.99 for the hard-cover formats.

We keep hearing about people who are getting bored with staying at home, but that’s probably because they have yet to purchase one  or two or  three of these books! You won’t know what you have been missing until you get at least one!  The question is “Do you like dog stories books, or pure fiction fun stories, or some thought provoking verse?” Given that they are all currently on sale if purchased direct from the FriesenPress Bookstore … why not get all three?

A local interview!

We have a lady in our town that loves dogs … and photography.  She publishes a book every year that is a collection of photographs of dogs she meets as she travels around here. All the proceeds from book sales go to the Oakville & Milton Humane Society (being the organization that rescued our beloved Ray).

The book is a very popular fundraiser, but this year she wanted to go a step further in her interest in dogs. She subsequently started podcasting, which covers her interviews/talks with people from all aspects of life and from anywhere  in the world. The common denominator is man’s best friend …. dogs!

A few weeks ago, she asked me if I would be interested in participating, and the answer is below!

https://dogstories1.podbean.com/e/colin-chappell-and-ray/?fbclid=IwAR3PEjDmYew7YJatVZlo687Qw3U1dDgFU9yr-xVf89tSMXQGTv5rdIFgKo0

“A Man, a Dog, …”

“Just Thinking” is a book of simple poetry (even I could understand it!) that was published a few years ago.  The subjects covered include a dog, volunteerism, troubled relationships, people of the street, and just so many other perspectives on life. Continue reading

“A Monarch Butterfly”

I am going to unashamedly promote my “Just Thinking” book of poetic verse! To be totally honest (why not?), this was not how this Post started, but I was browsing through some old notes and came across a comment*** from a reader of “Just Thinking”. Continue reading