The Secrets of Clayton County Sample Chapter

You are welcome to download a free sample chapter of The Secrets of Clayton County by clicking here.

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Please feel free to download Don’s Author Interview in PDF format by clicking here…

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It is possible to have many inspirations and gifts in your life; music just happens to be one of mine.   This is a little known evening of fun and music engagement reflecting how I embrace life!

Don sings…

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Fear is My Co-Pilot: A Memoir | My Bipolar II Journey – From Survival to Thriving

AVAILABLE ON: Amazon   Kindle Barnes and Noble A high-achieving, successful mid-level manager, Don Wooldridge has done battle with Bipolar II disorder for over 40 years—and concealed the fear of having a mental illness being discovered by those who mean … Continue reading

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Yankee Settlement

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AVAILABLE ON:  Amazon Kindle Barnes and Noble Smashwords Historical fiction and the Iowa Territory – the perfect background for a beautifully written history that enlightens readers with a story of family, adventure, and love that spanned several decades. For those … Continue reading

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The Money Tree – When You Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail

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AVAILABLE ON: SCRIBD Amazon Kindle Barnes and Noble   Smashwords The Money Tree: When You Fail to Plan…You Plan to Fail. Everyone needs and deserves a financial plan, yet most people are not sure where to begin. The Money tree is … Continue reading

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Author Resources

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There is always much discussion about whether a good writer is naturally talented or skilled. If I have been blessed with talent – I certainly feel I want to “edge” it by honing my skills as a writer.  The following … Continue reading

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The Secrets of Clayton County Trilogy Reviews

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Thank you for finding your way here… As you know, reviews are the stuff of which a writer’s success is made! We write to prove ourselves to our loyal readers – to inform, educate and entertain. Without your responses, it … Continue reading

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Homecoming Comp Copy

Thank you for requesting a complimentary copy of Homecoming.  The final book of the Trilogy: The Secrets of Clayton county.  It is with sweet regret that I must wrap up this journey of bringing my readers back to their roots with myriad memories … Continue reading

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You may have thought Doc Bendenhoff of Clayton County a bit  eccentric and foolish just to satisfy this writer’s need for a small town “character.”  Well, here’s a dentist’s ad that I found in a small town newspaper I bought in west-central Texas this week.

At least Doc Bendenhoff worked five days a week when he wasn’t fishin’!

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Chats with PatThe difference between rich and poor may not always be not always be evident to us; it is primarily a perception, depending on where you stand, as the following short story reveals.

One day, the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country, with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live.

They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family. On their return from their trip the father asked his son, “How was the trip?”

“It was great, Dad.”

“Did you see how poor people live?” the father asked

“Oh yeah,” said the son.

“So, tell me, what did you learn from our trip?” asked the father.

The son answered:

“I saw that we have one dog and they have four!

We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden, and they have a creek that has no end.

We have imported lanterns in our garden, and they have the stars at night.

Our patio reaches to the front yard, and they have the whole horizon.

We have a small piece of land to live on, and they have fields that go beyond our sight.

We have servants who serve us, but they serve others.

We buy our food, but they grow theirs.

We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them.”

The boy’s father was speechless.

Then his son added, “Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are.”

Would love to read your comments about moments like this that have truly altered your perceptions of a life well-lived.


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Bible Moments – Hide and Seek

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Remember playing hide and seek saying, “Ready or not, here I come?” Ready or Not… Christ’s coming means that we must ready our lives for His coming. For we must stay alert through faithfulness reminding ourselves our Lord may come … Continue reading

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Trailing the approval of an FHA loan is sometimes an easy task; the process swift and clean. At other times – only the homeowner and the Loan Officer know of the travails. None, however, to my knowledge, has had the “tones” of this particular transaction, as an unsuspecting client got caught up in Government Red Tape!

Government Red Tape 

Government Red TapeYou have to love a lawyer who can cut through the government’s red tape. The following story of a loan approval and the correspondence between the attorney and the FHA on behalf of a client simply must be shared!

Part of rebuilding New Orleans caused residents often to be challenged with the task of tracing home titles back potentially hundreds of years. Rich with history stretching back over two centuries, houses have been passed along through generations of family, sometimes making it quite difficult to establish ownership.

A New Orleans lawyer sought an FHA loan for a client; he was told the loan would be granted if he could prove satisfactory title to a parcel of property being offered as collateral. The title on the property dated back to 1803, which took the lawyer three months to track down.  After sending the information to the FHA, he received this reply:

Note: Actual reply from FHA

 “Upon review of your letter adjoining your client’s loan application, we note that the request is supported by an Abstract of Title. While we compliment the able manner in which you have prepared and presented the application, we must point out that you have only cleared title to the proposed collateral property back to 1803. Before final approval can be accorded, it will be necessary to clear the title back to its origin.”

Annoyed, the client’s lawyer responded as follows:

Note: Actual Response

“Your letter regarding title in Case No. 189156 has been received. I note that you wish to have title extended further that the 206 years covered by the present application. I was unaware that any educated person in this country, particularly those working in the property area, would not know that Louisiana was purchased by the United States from France, in 1803.”

For the edification of uninformed FHA bureaucrats, the title to the land prior to U.S. ownership was obtained from France, which had acquired it by Right of Conquest from Spain. The land came into the possession of Spain by Right of Discovery made in the year 1492 by a sea captain named Christopher Columbus, who had been granted the privilege of seeking a new route to India by the Spanish monarch, Queen Isabella.

The good Queen Isabella, being a pious woman and almost as careful about titles as the FHA, took the precaution of securing the blessing of the Pope before she sold her jewels to finance Columbus’s expedition.  Now the Pope, as I’m sure you know, is an emissary of Jesus Christ, the Son of God… and God, it is commonly accepted, created this world. Therefore, I believe it is safe to presume that God also made that part of the world named Louisiana.

God, therefore, would be the owner of origin, and his origins date back to before the beginning of time, the world as we know it, and the FHA. I hope you find God’s original claim to be satisfactory.

Needless to say, the loan was approved immediately.

This is Pat… trusting you enjoyed and were enlightened a bit by this post, and looking forward to some titillating comments.

Image attribution:
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Accepting the Challenges of BiPolar II

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HealthlandTime recently hosted a great article, noting the treatment of Catherine Zeta-Jones for Bipolar II Disorder. Two primary things caught my eye: the first being the courage of this well-known actress to step out and share the life challenge she … Continue reading

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The Community Quilt

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Bartering, time banking, traveling without money, freelancing…  we see the impact every day. Yet, we are smothered with 60-second images of sex, speed, success and smiles, and in that smothering, and we’re taught that business is a web of commercial … Continue reading

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This short story about the Cleaning Lady is one of those life lessons that leaves us forever changed…

During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through all the questions –  until I read the last one:

“What is the name of the woman who cleans the school?”

Chats with Pat - The Cleaning LadySurely, this was some kind of joke I has seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50’s, but how would I know her name?

I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.

“Absolutely,” said the professor. “In your career, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say “hello.”

Indeed… a rose is a rose, but her name was Dorothy… I’ve never forgotten this lesson.

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Homecoming Kindle Fire HDX Giveaway

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Celebration time!   In exchange for the support (past, present and future) of my loyal readers, I am sharing in this celebration by giving away a Kindle Fire HDX to one lucky reader! Homecoming, Book 3 of the trilogy, The … Continue reading

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Growing references to bartering…

Is it just me, or is there really a growing reference to bartering?  We already know it as one of the oldest forms of trade, and we are already aware that – especially in a world that is no longer … Continue reading

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What are the secrets?

`Now that I’ve completed the writing of The Secrets of Clayton County and published the third and final novel, I sit here drinking my morning coffee reflecting on what it all means.  Why did I choose “secrets” for the title? … Continue reading

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Another interesting spin on bartering exchanges…

Interesting read today about bartering… Always interested in how technology impacts the growing use of bartering, Tech Page One hosted an article discussing a bartering exchange – built WITHOUT profit in mind. The article gives a good overview of barter … Continue reading

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