There are few words that are so universally noncommittal as ‘maybe’

This word, where I live, had taken on a new meaning.  We have telephone scammers who ask your name when you answer the phone, and when you say yes, they hang up.

It doesn’t take much imagination to consider how they can use that recording.

So, I now answer the phone with ‘maybe’, which confuses the real callers who want to know if it is you.

Of course, ‘maybe’ is one of those words that can have so many meaning, but the best one is to use it while you have time to think of a proper answer.

For example, did you get the potatoes?  You haven’t been out, it slipped your mind, or you just plain forgot, but run with a ‘maybe’ so you can judge the reaction.

Angry face, you know no matter what, you’re in trouble.

Genial face, you know that it didn’t really matter and all is forgiven.

Then there’s the person who doesn’t know you and comes up to you in a crowded room.  Are you [put name here]?

Maybe.  We want to know if we’re in trouble, or if it for something good, or that it is the husband or wife of the person you’ve3 just spent the last twenty minutes in animated conversation with.

Using ‘maybe’ in writing probably isn’t the best word to us, but I like defying the experts.  You can always find a ‘maybe’ or two in any of my books.

“One Last Look”, a thriller

A single event can have enormous consequences.

A single event driven by fate, after Ben told his wife Charlotte he would be late home one night, he left early, and by chance discovers his wife having dinner in their favorite restaurant with another man.

A single event where it could be said Ben was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Who was this man?  Why was she having dinner with him?

A simple truth to explain the single event was all Ben required.  Instead, Charlotte told him a lie.

A single event that forces Ben to question everything he thought he knew about his wife, and the people who are around her.

After a near death experience and forced retirement into a world he is unfamiliar with, Ben finds himself once again drawn back into that life of lies, violence, and intrigue.

From London to a small village in Tuscany, little by little Ben discovers who the woman he married is, and the real reason why fate had brought them together.


Is there a correlation between writing and running?

I can see how it is that a writer’s life can be a lonely one.

I’m often sitting in front of the computer screen, or in a large lounge chair with my trusty tablet computer, writing the words, or staring into space!

Sometimes the words don’t make any sense, sometimes the thoughts leading to those words don’t make any sense.  Sometimes the most sensible person in the room is the cat.

I’m sure his thoughts are not vague or scrambled, nor is he wrestling with the plots of several stories on the go, getting locations right, getting characters to think and do their thing with a fair degree of continuity.

The cat’s world is one of which chair to lie on, where is that elusive mouse, be it real or otherwise, and is this fool going to feed me soon, and please, please, don’t let it be the lasagna.  I am not that cat!

Unlike other professions, there is no 9 to 5, no overtime, no point where you can switch off and move into leisure time.  Not while you are writing that next bestseller.  It’s a steady, sometimes frustrating, slog where you can’t just walk away, have a great time, and come back and pick up where you left off.

Stories have to be written from beginning to end, not a bit here and a bit there.

So much so it’s a bit like running a marathon.  You are in a zone, the first few miles are the hardest, the middle is just getting into a rhythm and getting your breathing under control, and then you hope you get to the end because it can seem that you’ve been going forever and the end is never in sight.

But, when you reach the end, oh, isn’t the feeling one of pure joy and relief.

And, yes, perhaps you’ve just created another bestseller!

Conversations with my cat – 7


This is Chester.  He’s been caught almost red-handed climbing the curtains.

Of course, he is all innocence, because the evidence is circumstantial.  He was sitting on the window ledge looking out, thinking ‘if only I could get out there’.

Now he’s thinking how much trouble he’s in and whether it will be his least favorite cat food for dinner.

No, I’m not that mean.

Not unless I catch him red-handed.

It a ‘Houston, we have a problem’ moment

Our hero has survived the crash, now he’s stuck in enemy territory


This was supposed to be a milk run.  There had been no reported activity in our zone and the pilot had decided to go up just the log some more air time.

He was hoping after reaching a 1,000 hours so he might be able to move to fixed wing aircraft and then move on to becoming an airline pilot.  Unfortunately, he was not going become anything now.

That didn’t explain why we encountered a convoy out in the desert, especially one with a rocket launcher and English speaking soldier types.

Did we stumble across another outfit running a secret operation and mistook us for the enemy?  It didn’t seem the case, our helicopter was distinctively marked just so we wouldn’t be mistaken, and then there was the fact the man knew my name.

How could that happen?  It would need someone back at the base to tell someone of the fact the helicopter was going up and who was in it, and there weren’t too many people who knew that information.

And only one who knew exactly when and where we would be.  Unless, of course, the pilot had strayed into a no-fly zone.  There was only one that I knew of and it was nowhere near our flight path.  Of course, it wouldn’t take much to bamboozle me in the air because I had no sense of direction.

Unless the pilot had another agenda.  I could hardly tell where we were because desert all looked the same to me, and navigation wasn’t my strongest point.

After the first few miles of very bumpy road, I managed to get into a sitting position and look in the direction we were heading.

More desert.

Ten minutes later I could see an encampment in the distance, literally an oasis in the middle of nowhere.  A secret base camp or something else?

As we got closer I could see it was mostly covered by camouflage so it couldn’t be seen from above. Clever.  Chances were we had no idea this place was in the desert.


Who or what is waiting for him?


© Charles Heath 2019

Can we believe what we read, and what we hear, even what we see?

Information comes at us at a million miles an hour, reams and reams of it.  Some of it may be true, however, the vast majority of it might not be, but something else, conjecture.

We are all guilty of it, we read something, and then put our own slant on it.  It comes from upbringing, education, and the people around us.  There’s an awful lot of influences around us that shapes the way we interpret what we see, what we hear, and what we read.

This is, of course, literary gold for a writer, particularly if you are a journalist.

Everyone has an agenda, whether they choose to admit it or not.  Sometimes circumstances might get in the way, and then they will have to find a way to influence others to knowingly or u8nknowingly support their p[oint of view.

It sounds a lot like politics, doesn’t it?

This sort of thing not only happens in government, but it also happens in private industry.  Everyone to be successful must find a way to push their product or service, sometimes by any and all means possible.

In both cases, there’s more than just a story to be told, and if people learned the truth of how a certain product finally made it into the marketplace, they might not necessarily buy it.

Conspiracy theories abound, pharmaceutical companies rigging test results knowing their product is faulty or using questionable test subjects, shady government agencies running smear campaigns on people who may have influence in an election, leaders of government and private industry misusing statistics and quoting them as fact.

Some even say the moon landings were a hoax.  Given how advanced the magic of the movies is these days, even back then, who’s to say it’s real or not.

Someone always knows the truth.  It’s like finding a needle in a haystack.

And it will provide writers with a rich vein of plotlines until the end of time.