Saturday, February 15, 2020


My first teaching and coaching stint occurred in Wyoming. Goshen Hole High School, at that time, was the second smallest school in the state. 72 kids in the high school, 110 kids in grades seven through twelve. I taught social studies and was the head coach of the boys’ basketball team. Great kids, great experience. Happy I did it. Wondering sometimes how I did it.

The town I lived in was Yoder, population 101. Yes, seriously. A gas station, a post office, and a water tower. A party line I shared with three other homes. Miles and miles of, well, nothing. There was an old song by the Who, the lyrics were, “I can see for miles and miles . . .” They didn’t lie.

Growing up in the city for most of my life, I hadn’t noticed how bright stars were until I moved to Wyoming. City lights dimmed them. They weren’t as bright. In Wyoming, especially where I lived, there wasn’t a “city” and there certainly were no lights to compete with the utter blackness of the night sky.

Stars, like a sprinkling of diamonds on a black velvet drape, shown bright and clear. The sheer expanse was breathtaking. Like in a child’s fairy tale, they twinkled, sparkled, and honestly, even now twenty-four years after calling Wyoming home for three years, I can still picture it.

Darkness. Blackness. Stars.

Another thought . . .

We just had three or four days of rain. Gray. Clouds. Dark. Dreary. Think of your own synonym, your own picture. I, probably like most everyone else, felt the weight of it. Tired. Rather depressing.

This morning, nothing but bright blue sky. The sun seemed to be brighter than normal.

Happens all the time, doesn’t it?

First of all, stars against the expanse of darkness. The sun after the grayness, the darkness of rain.

Each of us experience the dark times of life. We travel through periods where darkness seems overwhelming. We feel the weight of it. Tiredness, sometimes depression sets in. We feel lonely, if not alone.

Yet, even in darkness, stars shine brightly. They seem cleaner, and somehow, clearer. Even after the darkness of a cloudy day, the sun comes out brighter than ever. Clearer than ever.

And the thing about the sun and stars . . . they are always present. They are always there. They never go away. And, they aren’t going anywhere. There are times we can’t see them clearly, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

At times, even in our darkest, bleakest days or nights, there are those we can lean on, those we can depend on, those we can count on. We might not see them readily. We might not feel their presence. Yet, like the sun and stars, they are there. They can be our own stars, our own sun.

I’m wondering . . . actually hoping and praying . . . that there can be more of us willing to be the star or sun in someone’s life. I’m wondering if, when noticing someone traveling through a dark night, a rainy day of life or of soul, someone . . . you or me, perhaps . . . can be that someone, that sun, that star. Willing to give it a try? I hope so. I pray so. Something to think about . . .

Live Your Live, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:
My new book, Betrayed, will debut Nov. 12, 2020! It is a contemporary psychological thriller using some of the same characters from my previous work. It takes place on the Navajo Nation Reservation in northeast Arizona.

Connect with me on Social Media:
Twitter at @jrlewisauthor

Spiral Into Darkness:
Named a Recommended Read in the Author Shout Reader Awards!
He blends in. He is successful, intelligent and methodical. He has a list and has murdered eight on it so far. There is no discernible pattern. There are no clues. There are no leads. The only thing the FBI and local police have to go on is the method of death: two bullets to the face- gruesome and meant to send a message. But it’s difficult to understand any message coming from a dark and damaged mind. Two adopted boys, struggling in their own world, have no idea they are the next targets. Neither does their family. And neither does local law enforcement.

Caught in a Web:
A PenCraft Literary Award Winner!
The bodies of high school and middle school kids are found dead from an overdose of heroin and fentanyl. The drug trade along the I-94 and I-43 corridors and the Milwaukee Metro area is controlled by MS-13, a violent gang originating from El Salvador. Ricardo Fuentes is sent from Chicago to Waukesha to find out who is cutting in on their business, shut it down and teach them a lesson. But he has an ulterior motive: find and kill a fifteen-year-old boy, George Tokay, who had killed his cousin the previous summer.

Detectives Jamie Graff, Pat O’Connor and Paul Eiselmann race to find the source of the drugs, shut down the ring, and find Fuentes before he kills anyone else, especially George or members of his family. The three detectives discover the ring has its roots in a high school among the students and staff.

Book One of the Lives Trilogy, Stolen Lives:
Two thirteen year old boys are abducted off a safe suburban street. Kelliher and his team of FBI agents have 24 hours to find them or they’ll end up like all the others- dead! They have no leads, no clues, and nothing to go on. And the possibility exists that one of his team members might be involved.
Book Two of the Lives Trilogy, Shattered Lives:
Six men escaped and are out for revenge. The boys, recently freed from captivity, are in danger and so are their families, but they don’t know it. The FBI has no clues, no leads, and nothing to go on and because of that, cannot protect them.
Book Three of the Lives Trilogy, Splintered Lives:
A 14 year old boy knows the end is coming. What he doesn’t know is when, where or by whom. Without that knowledge, neither he nor the FBI can protect him or his family.                                 

The Lives Trilogy Prequel, Taking Lives:
FBI Agent Pete Kelliher and his partner search for the clues behind the bodies of six boys left in various and remote parts of the country. Even though they don’t know one another, the lives of FBI Kelliher, 11 year old Brett McGovern, and 11 year old George Tokay are separate pieces of a puzzle. The two boys become interwoven with the same thread that Pete Kelliher holds in his hand. The three of them are on a collision course and when that happens, their lives are in jeopardy as each search for a way out.

Photo courtesy of Sam Goodgame and Unsplash


  1. Well written Joe! I think there are more stars than we know! At times I think we are all living in the city and can’t see them!


Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe