Category: Writing

Preview: Chapter Two

Preview: The Russian—Chapter Two, “The Russian”


The Russian: A Matt Vaughn, P.I. Novel by C.A. Bennett

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9B5E527D-5FFA-47D3-8DA3-9BCC16D3AD9B“Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees.” That’s an old saying my grandparent’s generation used when we needed to focus on the here and now and stop trying to see what’s in the future, because we can’t actually see the future. We can’t know everything, and we cannot control everything, only God can.

That can be hard on some of us humans. We can see what we want, but not how to get it. We can see what we need, but not always what needs to be done to achieve it. That’s where faith comes in. God always knows what’s in store for us, and what needs to happen to get to where we need to be. All we need to do is trust in Him.

I have all these dreams and goals in mind, and I know I want to do things in my lifetime that will last well after I leave this earth. I have five sons who are my legacy, and I am proud of them, and want the best for them. However, there are other things I would like to do, be, and achieve. When I was young, I wanted to be a teacher and an author. As an adult, I worked in the public school system for twelve years—first as a program coordinator, then as a behavior specialist. I loved working with kids, and I was good at it, but my career ended abruptly when I was injured and forced to walk with a cane for about three years.

Fun Fact: Public schools—at least in Northern California—will not allow adults who must use a cane to be employed with them because they consider it a liability, yet they do cater to disabled students. I have worked with many disabled students and they are some of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met in my life. I just don’t think it’s the nicest thing that school districts discriminate against disabled adults.

Let’s talk about my dream of being an author for a moment… I love to write. I wrote a book, (I write hard-boiled detective/crime fiction) and published it on January 22, 2020. I want to be a successful author. I would love to see my books sell in the millions and be able to reach readers the world over. I want to buy a house. For the first time in my life, I would love to own a home. I’d like to leave it to my kids and leave them an inheritance that will sustain them for years to come.

I would like to help people in need. I’ve always been one of those people who give the few dollars I have left in my wallet, to someone on a street corner. Or donate to a good cause for a sick pet, friend, or family member. I’ve given away several of my typewriters to those who express an interest in writing, or have some terrible, difficult story they want to tell even if only to themselves. My heart goes out to people who are in bad situations. If I have something to give of myself, I do it. I enjoy it.

The problem is—I can’t always see the future. I don’t always know what will happen next, or when it will happen, and that makes me very impatient sometimes. I try not to be. I try to remember to be faithful, and put my trust in The Lord, but sometimes I do have a hard time with that. What do I do in those times? I pray. I just have a simple conversation with God and ask Him what he needs from me. I ask Him to show me what He wants me to do and then I try my best to listen.

It’s funny, but when I sat down to write this post, I was feeling a little down because I had just looked at my book sales for this week and was disappointed with the fact that only four copies sold all week. I was frustrated and wanted to think about anything but that, so I sat down with the intention of working on the second book in the series in order to focus my frustrations in a productive direction.

Before I work on my books, I always do little finger exercises and just type random thoughts as they come to me in order to loosen up my fingers and get the blood flowing through my brain. That way, the words can flow easier. Then this happened. What began as a simple writing exercise born of frustration, ended up being a way for The Lord to remind me to be patient and let Him work. Sometimes the reason we can’t see the forest for the trees, is because the path hasn’t yet been cleared, and we need to wait. Just wait. It’ll happen. Have faith.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” —Proverbs 3:5–6


By the way—Just in case you’d like to read my book, the links to all the sources can be found Here    🙂

Read Any Good Books Lately?


Well, it’s true that this one is my proof copy, and you can’t have it because it’s all mine! That’s okay! You can get your very own copy online at Barnes & Noble, and on Amazon! I’m told I’m a pretty good writer and that this is a good book, but you should totally find out for yourself! Btw, after you read it, leave a review! I mean—what fun would it be to keep it all bottled up to yourself?! Come on… you know you want to 😉

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While you’re at it, you may as well follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It’ll be fun! 😁



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Pre-writing Exercise

P.S. Please forgive the unstructured error-prone nature of this, as structure and accuracy are not the point. The idea is to allow the brain and fingers to get reacquainted with one another before the work day begins. It’s like caffeine for the creative process, and what I write during these exercises is different every day. As it should be 😊

SUVs – An Inductive Essay

SUV MemeAre Sport Utility Vehicles dangerous predators of the road, or are they the hapless victim getting a bad rap for their size and power? The world it seems is made up of two kinds of drivers; those who hate the SUV, and those who love it. Their reasons differ from person to person on both sides. In the United States alone, SUV’s account for 12% of the registered vehicles on the road. That’s a 3% jump over the ever-popular Mini Van, in a country where the “Soccer Mom” is legendary. In this same country where the population is 253 million registered vehicles, that’s a difference of over 7.5 million and that’s huge. But why do so many people buy an SUV in the first place, when they are known for their ability to suck down fuel like a Hollywood actor sucks down a bottle of Jack the night before heading off to court-ordered rehab?

Here are a few points to ponder: The towing capabilities of SUV’s are outstanding for a passenger vehicle. They can easily haul up to 2500 pounds while carting dad, mom and three kiddos off to their favorite camping spot, in relative car-like comfort. If you have a trailer, dirt bikes or Quad, the SUV can’t be beat for getting where you want to go and who wouldn’t want a big, roomy space and luggage rack for hauling personal effects when going to a favorite home away from home? A sense of safety for the driver and his/her family is a popular reason for owning and driving an SUV. People have a funny way of thinking bigger is better, and like the sense of security that comes from driving a burly vehicle over the cute little sports car, even if the sports car gets much better gas mileage. The ability to sit higher up and see everything just that much better is another factor which weighs in heavily for many SUV owners. Since many SUV’s are four-wheel-drive equipped, those snowy trudges up hillsides won’t be quite so nerve-wracking as might be in the average family-size sedan as Fran Wood points out in her essay, “Attacks On SUV Owners Are Driving Me Up The Wall”. And when it comes to fun, a good old romp in the mud, all you need is your SUV and a good set of Bigfoot tires to set you right!

But what is it about the SUV that seems to get some drivers’ panties in a bunch? Writer, Paul Craig Roberts points out in his article, “Fuel Economy Laws Bite Back” the problem of being in a standard automobile at night, only to have a set of headlights blinding you from the rear-view mirror, which is caused by the higher position of the SUV’s headlights. Naturally, the problem is the same with oncoming traffic of any sort, and yet the average night time driver seems to believe only SUV’s are to blame for this phenomenon. Interestingly, many a cars are now equipped with those blazingly bright blue lights that will burn the average human retina, should he or she stare long enough. At night on a curving levee road, while deciding between going blind or wrecking our cars, most of us don’t think to ask what make and model the culprit vehicle is. Mr. Roberts also points out those SUV drivers are more inclined toward aggressive driving habits as a direct result of having a bigger, more intimidating vehicle, thus causing more damage and injury to the other, more responsible, smaller vehicle drivers on the road. Indeed, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis shows an increase in of 382 fatalities from 2014 to 2015 for accidents involving SUV’s where passenger car occupant fatalities increased by 681 in that same time period. Whether the higher incidence of passenger car fatalities is a direct result of reckless driving on the part of the SUV driver is unclear, but the data does show that most were caused by alcohol-impaired driving on the part of the standard passenger car operator, many of whom were unrestrained by a conventional seatbelt system.

Another issue many economy car owners are troubled with is the environmental impact. While there are several models of economy and hybrid cars on the road, the chances of finding an SUV with this feature is slim to none. Though the SUV’s fuel efficiency is better now than twenty years ago, the SUV is still considered a gas guzzler, and frowned upon by the environmentally conscious. For example, a 1997 Chevy Blazer SUV got about 15 mpg city/20 mpg hwy, where the same year and manufacturer sedan, the 1997 Chevy Lumina got 18 mpg city/26 mpg hwy, which all comes out to mean more fossil fuel used, more fossil fuel burned, and more pollution created by the SUV as opposed to the sedan. By comparison, the 2017 Chevy Equinox FWD SUV gets 21 city/31 hwy, and the 2017 Chevy Malibu gets 27 city/36 hwy. Fortunately in 2017, even with the obvious gap between SUV and Sedan those numbers look better on both sides of the coin, and in fact the car makers are ever working on more environmentally friendly options for all makes and models.

When and how the great divide among drivers of passenger cars and SUV’s began we may never know. As for who drives the culprit-in-question SUV, women are more likely to choose an SUV over the standard passenger vehicle or even the typical so-called “mom mobile” minivan. Statistically and historically speaking, men are the more aggressive of the sexes, (aka the hunter/protector of the species) yet men are more apt to choose big trucks or flashy sports cars. So who is at fault in the grand scheme of dangerous vehicles: the SUV or its driver? Certainly the vehicle itself is an inanimate object that can do no harm until there’s a driver behind the wheel, and a key in the ignition. Whether that driver is male, female, aggressive, passive, alcohol-impaired or a sober teetotaler, one thing is certain – the SUV is here to stay.




Wood, Fran. “Attacks On SUV Owners Are Driving Me Up The Wall”, Reading and Writing Short Arguments, edited by William Vesterman, 5th ed., McGraw-Hill, 2006, pp. 73-74

Roberts, Paul Craig. “Fuel Economy Laws Bite back” Reading and Writing Short Arguments, edited by William Vesterman, 5th ed., McGraw-Hill, 2006, pp.75-76

NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis | 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590

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