Novel Excerpt – Meet one of my characters “Ivy”

Below is an excerpt from my  novel, The Fourth World, for which I am looking to finish up soon. I wanted to introduce to you, another one of the next main protagonists in the story. A young woman that goes by the name of Ivy.

Soon in the days, I will introduce  you to another main character, Calvin in my novel.

I am about twenty-thousand words into my novel and hope to get to forty thousand by mid-January if not sooner. Hope you enjoy this little bit here of it.  Please keep in mind this is a rough cut introduction to her in the story and will definitely be reworked and tweaked a few more times before the novel is all said and done I’m sure. Let me know what you think of it.

Chapter 4 – Ivy’s Long Walk

Ivy kicked at a small rock on the dirt road she walked that led up to her new home off the main highway. She had started to love the walks from where the bus dropped her off daily after school to home. The walk gave her a small reprieve between both worlds, the first being school and all the people there, the other of her home and the people there as well.

Where it would take most people ten minutes to walk the drive, she took at least double that.  She had refused her parents offer of having her taken to and from school by their driver. She already stood out enough in school as it was. She just wanted to fade into the back ground while there as much as she could. A rich, imposing dark sedan pulling up at the school everyday would do exactly the opposite of not reminding the kids there, that she was just like them. Yeah, right.

She had even tried to dress down as to not make the rest of the students, especially the girls, think she was a snob for coming to school in the latest expensive fashions.  No such luck; the first morning of school she had walked down stairs wearing just a jeans and t-shirt, her mom about had an epileptic attack at the breakfast table. Apparently if the ensemble cost less than two-hundred dollars, and that was not including the shoes, it wasn’t fit to wear except for laying around the house; when no one was else around mind you. At first, Ivy had fought it every school morning, but it ended up being a draining knock down fight with her every time she went to school. She didn’t want to stand out, couldn’t they see that? They never saw the big picture, she thought bitterly.

Ivy outsmarted them though. She layered up. She started picking out all her clothes the night before. Laying first, her mom’s ensemble on the bed. Then her own ensemble she wanted to wear at school. She mostly wore her things under her  “approved apparel”, at other times she would just carefully fold up her stuff in her book bag and change on the road going out or discreetly on the bus as she was one of the first ones to be picked up in the morning. Many a time in the early morning if you had happened to be a bird sitting in a tree on that road you would see a girl doing a quick change routine, flinging off one thing then putting on another. She had it down to an art form already. Where most girls wanted to stand out and wear the nicest clothes and make-up and have there hair perfect before leaving the house. She ran from it as much as she could get away with.

These walks in their own small way were meditative. Each way, coming or going cleansed her of the previous nights or days encounters at home or school and prepared her for the transition into either.

On both sides she was flanked by tall pines, and spruce. The air smelled of them and assailed her nose fully as the wind blew through them. The sun sat low in the west this late in the fall season, but still shone brightly through the tangled mass of trees upon its track towards the horizon. Soon, day-light saving times would come, and time would fall back for them an hour, what a weird concept, almost laughable, like you could control time in such a way. She worried though,  these walks might be taken from her, at least the mornings. The time-change would make the road dark for  her morning walk to her bus stop. She feared her parents would insist on having their driver take her the distance to at least where the bus picked her up at the end of the road where it met the highway.

They can’t, she thought viciously. They just can’t take it from me. She found she needed it now. She kicked violently at another rock and bit her lip at the pain it inflicted. Serves you right, a negative for a negative as her old math teacher used to say.

Thinking of negatives, Omar, the rude boy from her English class and unfortunately her Science as well, came suddenly to mind. She tried to push him out, but he wouldn’t budge from her thoughts no matter how she tried.

“What an ass!”  she yelled at the trees as she continued to walk the road.

Calling me a bitch! Where did he get the nerve. She didn’t think she had been that rude.

But even so. She had seen his type before. Arrogant, surly,  bad news walking as her mom would have aptly put it. For the briefest of moments she had been afraid of him. She had thought she had conquered her fears. Her therapist had warned there could be triggers she might not be aware until it happened. The word “bitch” had been it for sure.  She wrapped her head around the word.

“Bitch.” she said it aloud. Her therapists said to take the power back by embracing the very thing that held it. So, she walked the road saying the word bitch over and over and over again like a mantra. She lost herself in the rhythm of the words unconsciously timing her own footsteps to the beat of the word. Left (Bitch), Right, Left  (Bitch) all the way down the road until she reached the very where dirt turned to asphalt and curved its way around to her house.

She would be ready next time if Omar or anyone said that word again. She would not show weakness ever again. She was in control of her destiny, no one dictated her course. Feelings or otherwise.

As she walked the curve of the drive to her home weight slowly lifted from her chest she knew had been there but couldn’t really define. Now she had realized what it was. Yes, the walks helped in such small ways. Her own private personal therapy. She couldn’t lose them, coming or going.

“Don’t you look determined Ms. Knight?”  a grizzled voice followed  by much more grizzled looking face popped up from behind the dark car sitting at the top of the drive as she approached it.

She smiled involuntarily at the old man, he was the only one who could catch her off guard like that and bring that out of her. He was also what made the house bearable to come home.

“Hello Max, shining up the car for the seventh time to day I see?” she said with a sly grin that wasn’t forced like with most others she talked with.

“Aha, you cheeky monkey.  If I was actually allowed to drive the Misses around I might not have to putz around this car like a car wash jockey on a daily basis now would I.” He returned the grin playfully with crinkled twinkle in his eyes for her.

“You’re to tall to be a jockey and a little to round around the middle Max,” she said.  “But don’t despair mon ami, I will need your grand chariot tonight” she said walking by and up the steps to the house.

“Or did you forget it was Thursday?” she said pausing at the door looking back at him smiling.

“Oh, I never forget an appointment Ms. Knight.”  He tipped his cap at her like he always did and smiled squinting in the sun which peeked at them both across the vast yard that was their property that the house sat on. She did like the view. Especially from her bedroom she could see forever a sea of trees as far as her green eyes could carry to the north.

“Good. Because tonight’s a special night you know. Did my parents say if they were going to make it there tonight Max?” Ivy looked at Max intently for an answer.

“I do know its a special night for more than one reason,”  He smiled up at her still squinting.  “Last I heard, they said their flight was on time. They should make it darlin’. I didn’t think you cared one way or other if they showed.” All smiles gone from his face his voice suddenly serious. Ivy knew Max was upset at what she had said to them before she had left.

She had grew to be upset with herself as well these last two days since they had left. Time and distance does funny things to feelings, she thought.

“Even I can admit to being an idiot sometimes.” she smiled shyly at him, not used to be called out by him. They usually got along so great at most times.

“Whoa, stop the presses, what’s that I be hearing? Ms. Ivy just shook the earth with that  bit of news. I wish I had thought to bring a witness for that admission.”  this time his smile returned in full force. And it warmed her deeply.

“Now be about your way lassie, oh, I almost forget. I scrimped up my pennies and bought you something. It’ll be on your bed. It’s nothing really. Just a token. Now don’t look at me that way. A girl doesn’t turn sixteen but once ya know and I’m an old man who can spend his money on anyone I please.”  he said stammering almost at the end.

Ivy smiled fondly at him. “Thank you.” she simply said and went inside not wanting to embarrass him further.

She ran up the two flights of stairs to her room. Every night was a hike to get to her room. What she wouldn’t give to live in a one room shack sometimes. Wealth, money, things, made her feel uncomfortable. For some reason, ever since she could remember she had felt this way. Like she didn’t deserve to have them. And today, on her sixteenth birthday, she felt no different. Except, she was excited. Max had given her a present! He had never given anyone a present. She could only imagine what it could be….

Ivy dropped her book bag next to her bedroom door inside her room as she always did. She slowly approached her bed, a big four poster queen sized bed  which she had always thought of as too soft. It was covered by a big white comforter with bits of yellow petaled flowers adorned  across the fabric with no discernible pattern. As she looked to the bed for her Max’s present she didn’t see it.  What she did see, was one fluffy gray haired cat with olive green eyes staring at her as it lay sprawled out in seeming decadent contentment. Ah, to be a cat.

“Well, well mister. I see you’re in about the same place I left you this morning.” Ivy walked over and crawled up on her bed. The cat didn’t move an inch in it’s leisurely pose, but only continued to stare at her approach as she laid down next to him on the bed.

Ivy reached out her hand and stroked the cats fur.  No sooner than had she finished her second  stroke did he decide to start purring loudly and flip over her on his back stretching his front and and legs out in one long stretch.

“Ah, what do we have here?” She said grabbing at a very thin box underneath her cat’s languishing body. 

“Why do cat’s always choose to find the one place on the bed that’s different than all the rest, hmmm Willy?”   she asked him. He of course did not answer. He did stand and walk across the bed to stare at her as if in question of his resting place being so disturbed as he proceeded to plomp down on her pillow for probably his tenth nap of the day.

Ivy looked at the box she held in her hands.  It measured approximately three by three inches square and only about half inch thick or so. Plain white wrapping paper covered it, tied with crisscrossing gold ribbons, along with a crushed gold bow (thanks to Willy) affixed in the center of it.

She removed the bow throwing it at her cat, who reached out with a lightening grab with one of his paws to trap it beneath him and the bed.

“Hmm, your fast when you want to be little boy.”  she smiled.

Ivy delicately pulled apart the ribbons removing each. She carefully pulled at the tape and the paper surrounding the box underneath.

A black velvety box revealed itself. She ran her hands over it’s surface just enjoying the texture under her fingertips. She eagerly pulled at the edges of the box.

Her breath caught in her throat when she saw what it contained, a Hidari Gomon.

It was beautiful. She picked it up in her hands and noticed the heaviness of the piece. It must be made of bronze, she surmised.  It was a perfectly round disc made of a yellowy dull metal about an eighth of an inch thick. The front was engraved with what looked like three black commas encircling the each other, interlocking and forming what was called a triskelion or a motif that looked like three bent curved legs. The top of the symbol was punched through with a hole for the leather cord that held it to wear as a necklace.

Hidari Gomon

Her finger felt something on the back of the disc. More etching?

She flipped it over to read three words lightly engraved on its surface.

“Courage, Loyalty, Spirit.” she read out softly.

“It’s perfect.” She whispered to herself….


Hidari Gomon


Winter Gifs for you…













Haikus – The many moods of me – by Philip Wardlow

Black wings paint the sky amongst them I fly freely No ground to hold me.
Black wings paint the sky
amongst them I fly freely
No ground to hold me.
Windows divide me from worlds I have brushed against clear and newly cleaned.
Windows divide me
from worlds I have brushed against
clear and newly cleaned.
Fuck off you fucker My middle finger gives cue to whisper screw you
Fuck off you fucker
My middle finger gives cue
to whisper screw you
Flaming red dress twirls as my world revolves around my eyes on your hips
Flaming red dress twirls
as my world revolves around
my eyes on your hips
I hand you a rose, because your beauty demands it of my lost soul.
I hand you a rose,
because your beauty demands
it of my lost soul.
Erotic mischief, from a smile, kiss, to caress A peek at my heart.
Erotic mischief,
from a smile, kiss, to caress
A peek at my heart.
Meditative space Peace in a vacuum of words Abandons the day
Meditative space
Peace in a vacuum of words
Abandons the day
Fists of fury coming A terrible tidal wave of pure savagery
Fists of fury coming
A terrible tidal wave
of pure savagery
Beauty and sorrow Intertwined, a mosaic of feelings unbound.
Beauty and sorrow
Intertwined, a mosaic
of feelings unbound.
Mister Monster gripes dismal days stretch forever as the coffee cools.
Mister Monster gripes
dismal days stretch forever
as the coffee cools.
My soul exploded dipped in the frigid waters of a  warm welcome.
My soul exploded
dipped in the frigid waters
of a warm welcome.

The Brain…my impressions..I put to paper.


They say when you see a person in your dreams and you see their face that means you MUST have seen them in real life.

The mind will NOT make up a face. Some person’s face you ran across made an impression upon your brain whether conscious or not.

They say 25% of people dream in black and white.   Another astounding fact is that they say 75% of people used to dream in black and white prior to color movies & television appearing as a norm.

What does that mean?

Our minds are so malleable it seems. Impressionable.

I look for those impressions….I seek them out.  In place, events, experiences, but mostly people.

You see, I want my writing to be REAL. As real as I can get it. The flow and rhythm of conversation. The give and take. The voice has to be right. Else, the story is ruined for me. I have to believe the character and the situation I put them in.

Yes, it  can be a fantasy and still be believable If I make you believe in it.

So I look for scenarios…places,  strange happenstances in real life… intriguing people. They may not even know they are intriguing. But they are.   I collect them all in here  (tapping the side of my skull with my finger now)  with this, my brain and catalog them for later.

So when I write.  I go to that well , that mega filing system of characters, places, things, events, and strangeness and  pull them up and out and  plop them into the story that fits. Like with most writers , it just comes. Journaling helps somewhat. It keeps the synapses firing and the memories sharper.

But mostly I just want to jump into things lately.  Experience it.  Anything new is the best…bring it on…  skinny dipping? I’m all for it.  Dancing…sign me up… Fencing with epee (sword)…I’ll take that class…more more more… I follow some of you bloggers, I have casual acquaintances on here and some I know pretty well through following and commenting and even emailing directly.

I want my brain to mingle in your flavor…taste it and get an impression of you….it’s fun to me.  I have made some friends through all this mingling of the minds I am happy to say and hope to make more.

So don’t be surprised as that almost old saying goes…be careful or you may end up in one of my novels…:)

Bad Boy Finished – A Poem by Philip Wardlow

Bad Boy FinishedBB

What is it with the female

persuasion that

clings to the

notion that


is a delicious dish?

You smile, you laugh

as you believe the stories,

the promises, and the kismet

collected in your

nightstand drawer

that you sift through every once

in awhile to tell yourself

that surely it existed,

because a fool is

something you’ve

never been.

Was your pride

greater than his,

to think you

met up to


invisible measuring

stick he never

cared to share?

Tell me.

What’s so great about this

bad boy you came to love?

What’s so great about this

fool who dared to hurt someone

such as you.

Tell me he was true.

Tell me he was everything

and I’ll shut the fuck up.

 by Philip Wardlow 2013

Making your way through this thing called Life

I gave the following advice below to a fellow blogger’s dilemma in their life that  they are currently struggling with. For what it’s worth. I hope she takes my words to heart for the coming  year and finds strength to do what she needs to do….

I have come to believe the world owes us nothing. And that it is up to us to make our own way in it. There are no guarantees of happiness but only the potential for JOY in your spirit. JOY  is  something separate from happiness. YOU are in control of your Joy in your heart. Happiness is external. Be the person you wish to be that brings out that JOY . When you do that, then the  happiness and contentment will follow. Much love.

(I have to give proper credit  because in my mind I was paraphrasing a one – Tyler Joseph of the band Twenty On Pilots  who made a similar quote somewhere else in the web sphere a while back)

Yes , its vague  advice .  But I don’t know her  whole story or her real internal struggles she lives with on a day to day basis.  I will not presume to question most beliefs but I am just stating my own. Their are many mysteries in the world  that people can KNOW they have the answers to but I don’t.  But their ARE mysteries needing answers so I will never presume the answers won’t come sooner or later to all of them.

I have peace of mind NOT knowing the answers  to the meaning of life.

I am happy with supposition and the what-ifs of it all.  To me that’s FUN.

Others do the same in the world,  whether finding it from an ancient book, their imperial logic, or through thoughtful  meditation.

I think we all do this  because  the  TRUE answer to the question might not be the answer we were looking for or even expected.

I personally think we are asking the wrong question: What is the meaning of  life? With the sometime addendum “and my place in it? seems to be the normal refrain by most humans.

Why instead don’t we ask ourselves.. What can I do in this  life that I have  been given to make someone else’s life better?

(The word, Someone,  in my mind  is defined as all species, not just us humans.)

Life as I said to my fellow blogger IN MY BELIEF is not exclusive to the individual.  It’s everywhere.  YES, it’s personal, but YOU are NOT separate and apart. YOU are part of it.

So dig in and get your hands dirty and your feet wet. Because life might be missing your part in it.

I don’t know much, but I know this…

I don’t know much, but I know this…

I failed at the NaNoWriMo challenge….my 50,000  WORDS didn’t Happen….I was about  2 weeks in and had 17,000 words done….about 1,500 Word average a day for me.  I was doing fairly well. Making good head way to really amp it up and get myself to the 50,000 by the end of November.

WHEN BLAM….my body said to me…”Hey, your doing TOO well…time to get sick, so FUCK you!”

Yep.  I am just now getting over it. I had NOT Much energy except to maybe pull myself to work and try not to fall asleep at my desk.

My voice for few a days   sounded like Kermit the Frog after chain smoking for 30yrs. (no kidding)

It sucked….I HATE HATE HATE having no energy for anything …..  like  reading, writing, sex ,movie going, work, sex again…etc….

C’mon gods of Fates and Dillusionment!   Give me a break!

So this December will be my own private NaNoWriMo……Fuck you fates you don’t own me.

The sun has set on the old day I am going to get this Novel done its a new day coming. ‘Nuff said.