“Be brave,” said Pooh to Piglet .
“But it’s not so easy to just be brave Pooh. There are so many scary things out there.”
“Oh, I know that friend, I know, so many things, but the world was meant to be a scary place for good reason,” Pooh said, smiling.
“Meant to be scary! That’s not very comforting Pooh, no not all,” Piglet whispered, frightened.
Pooh took Piglet’s hand, “Now, now don’t you worry, I am here and even when I’m not
here I am still here, ” said Pooh, touching Piglet’s chest over his heart.
“Oh!” Piglet exclaimed, surprised.
“I feel it to,” said Piglet
“Feel what?” Pooh asked, getting lost in thought as hungry Pooh bears sometimes do
“You there in my chest, it takes the place of that fear.” Piglet said.
“Well of course, why do you think I am so brave?” Pooh asked.
“Why Pooh, why?”
“Why? Because you are here, in here with me silly,” Pooh chuckled to himself.
“Oh,” Piglet said in wonder, smiling.
“My comfort from my fears will always be you, my bravery from the scary things in life
will be my friendship I found in you. That scary stuff brought us together and that’s
a good thing in the end.”
Pooh took Piglet’s hand and continued their walk down the dark forest path together.
By Philip Wardlow 2015
The following piece is an excerpt from my First full length Novel – “The Fourth World” due to be completed this year. It is a Dark Urban Fantasy Teen Novel. It’s set in modern times surrounding three teens all of whom are strangers to each other. They will come together whether they want to or not to just possibly save the world and learn something about themselves and their place in the world. This is chapter has been revised a few times but I am sure it will be revised again before its all done…:)
The Fourth World
Calvin had always believed in magic. He didn’t care what anyone else thought. They could doubt all they wanted. There was a hidden world which we could not see sitting right in front of our faces, most everyone was too busy, too blind, or too stupid to see it. Calvin saw it in the trees as the distant winds kissed the leaves which flew through its branches. He spied it dancing in the fire amidst the embers at night; little tiny sprites hopping from log to log amidst the flames playing a game of tag. He smelled it in a wild rose growing in a crowded field of jostling weeds flinging its pheromones to attract the butterflies to alight upon its silken petals. He heard it in the babbling brook as the water played upon the rocks behind his home whispering to the frogs as it traveled on downriver. He felt it in the rough stone he caressed in the palm of his hand; an ancient power from ages past unearthed from the deep bowels of the earth from the crumbling’s of a mighty stone titan long dead. It was everywhere if they only choose to see. The magic spoke to him because he chose to listen and he almost understood what it is was saying…
Chapter 1 – Reality Sets In
Calvin tasted the blood that trickled down to his upper lip which flowed from his nose. It had a sweet metallic taste. He liked the taste of his own blood. Calvin wasn’t a weird person don’t get him wrong, he wasn’t into to that kind of stuff. He just liked to sometimes pretend that he was Conan the Barbarian backed up against a wall, fighting an angry horde of ghoulish creatures hell bent on gutting him like a fish, and slowly eating his entrails as he watched. With sword in hand he would hack and slash, limbs would fly. He would be scratched all to hell and bleeding from a dozen different wounds and smiling insanely because this could be his last day alive so why not go out smiling like a true warrior would upon meeting his death well met in battle. Yeah, he liked to have his mind go to places like that rather than be anywhere than where he was right now. Continue reading The Fourth World – Chapter 1 – an Excerpt
I went to my library of books and pulled all the ones out that I thought shaped me as a writer in general. These are ones by certain authors, which I am sure, my subconcious mind draws upon when I write my own stories and poems.
The authors range from Ray Bradbury, Robert E. Howard, Julian May, Anne Rice, Magaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, Isaac Asimov, Douglas Adams, Stephen King, Fritz Leiber, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, J.K. Rowling, J.D. Salinger, Brandon Sanderson,Harry Harrison, Ayn Rand, Fred Saberhagen.
I also snuck in a picture of a Comic book as well because I have been reading those ever since I can remember, so how can they not have shaped how I write on a daily basis?
Let me know what books and authors have shaped you as a writer or even if you are reader of many books in general.
I have read much Fantasy ranging from low to high, Conan The Barbarian anyone? And ‘The Wheel of Time’ – an EPIC Series by Robert Jordan. Oh, and don’t get me started on the wonderful series of J.K. Rowling’s – Harry Potter. And there are so many more fantasy writers that drive me.
How about the beautiful poignant literary novels such as Ayn Rand’s – “The Fountainhead” , “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel, J.D. Salinger’s – “Catcher in the Rye”, or Cervante’s – “Don Quixote”
Are you a science fiction fan? How about Isaac Asimov’s – “Foundation Series”, L. Ron. Hubbard’s – “Battlefield Earth”, or Harry Harrison’s – “Stainless Steel Rat”.
Fancy some Horror?…. Stephen King, Anne Rice (even Ray Bradbury dabbled in it a little) ?
And lastly Comics…..Spiderman, X-men, Daredevil, Avengers, Hulk, X-force,Thor, Teen Titans, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, and the list goes on…:)
I am discovering new ones as I speak. To me that’s the most fun part of reading…finding that new favorite author.
What do you read…and what are your favorite stories?
I like big books and I can not lie
You other scholars can’t deny
That when a librarian walks in with an itty bitty waist
and slaps a big paged volume down in your face
You get sprung, wanna pull out your specs
‘Cause you notice that book looks stuffed
Deep in the pages the words be blaring.
I’m hooked and I can’t stop staring
Oh baby, I wanna get with you
in my lap to read the big picture
My schoolboys tried to warn me
But that big book makes me so ornery
When I rub its Rump-o’-smooth-skin
spine and I’m not allowed to read it.
Well, use me, use me
‘Cause you ain’t that average mystery
On the shelves, I’ve seen those other books dancin’
To hell with romances
I ‘m tired of magazines
Conveying to me flat books are the thing,
Take the average smart man and ask him that
The book gotta pack much back
So, fellas! (Yeah!) Fellas! (Yeah!)
Has your girlfriend got your big book? (Hell yeah!)
Tell ’em to shake it! (Shake it!) Shake it! (Shake it!)
Shake that healthy book!
And baby, baby, give me my big book back!
I knew the moment I spied you
that the devil lived behind those blues.
How long ago did you trap him, for
I see he’s itching to play.
It’s clear from our encounter,
your a girl who can handle her boomstick
when it goes off with a kick.
Your grip on the gun is tight but loose as
silver bullets fill it, along with a gleam.
You smile that smile that I could die for as the
full moon rises, and
the day descends to glorious night.
My hand takes yours as we roam
the dank castle far beneath in the catacombs.
I’ll take the hammer, you take the stake
as we take out a vampire or two on our first date.
When other monster’s wish to interlude upon
our first kiss your casual air and
sadistic flair with an axe
cannot be denied as the crimson droplets fly
in the midnight air….Oh, I think I’m in love!
Let’s not dawdle, let’s not hesitate in our fate.
For we have a rendezvous, me and you, and it involves
Frankenstein and the Wolfman’s heads
on a plate.
by Philip Wardlow
Just wanted to let my followers know I appreciate you hanging on and your support . I am writing writing writing as always…thanks for your likes and your occasional comments!
New Short story to come on here and as always working on FIRST novel that I am so TRYING to get finished for this year and ready for submission to Publishers.
So keep following, more great things to come…:)
I love a good origin story when it comes to the hero. BUT I am NOT going to bore you with the biography of my “exciting life”. I will however key you into the start of how someone like me turned to wanting to write in the first place.(so perhaps I may still bore you but I will try to keep it exciting by throwing lots pictures at you so your brain doesn’t get too tired with my ramblings.)
I will start out my “story” with a question. WHAT shapes a person in life? That brings up the next question to me, Nature or Nurture?
To me the logical answer is both…duh? –
See those guys there above in the picture? They are my brothers of which I have two of. I am the one on the left (with the cool lean going on ). They definitely shaped my life. Mainly because I was the middle kid of that trio growing up. I looked to my older brother (middle kid in pic) to guide me in what I thought was the way you should act as a boy, guy, a man, because our father died when I was twelve and he was all I had for a role model.
In the end, he only taught me how not to act, to which in itself now that I look back,was helpful. My younger brother only ever gave me a sense that I failed him somewhat because I think he looked to me, somewhat like I did to my older brother; for some direction. This time growing up with them was pivotal in my mind because it made me realize that if you want to find the answers to a problem when people are depending on you, you have to do it yourself, because no one else was going to do it for you.
The next picture above was going to be a picture of my mom. But I thought better of it, because she’s not the focus really in my little story, just a character to the side really. Instead, I wanted to show my escape that I went to in the early years before and after my dad had died. My family life was in shambles from probably the age of four. I remember the fights, the plate smashing, the bitching by my mom, in how life was never good enough or how we lived in a hell-hole. (I loved my hell-hole of a house by the way..I knew no different) . I only remember my Mom in all this because my Dad was always the quiet one. He just would sit there on the couch or at the dining room table and listen to her rants until she calmed down which always seemed to end in crying.
So I escaped ….I would watch shows like Creature Feature, Twilight Zone, Buck Rogers, Speed Racer, or Scooby Doo, ….I fell into the stories and the more the fantastic the better. The more removed from reality, the more engrossed I became and nothing could take me out of it. I was in that world while it lasted. These were worlds that I could understand more than the ones right inside my own home.
As I grew older, I’d say about ten years old, I came to love comic books. I discovered them in a little book shop across the street from our new apartment house (first of many to follow) in one of my mom’s flight to get away from my father . For 25 cents and up, you could purchase a world where anything was possible and live vicariously through the eyes of a character and see what they saw and know what they thought. Needless to say, by the pictures above, my favorite character in comics was Spiderman. But the thing is, like I am sure like many other fans did, I identfied most with Peter Parker, his alter-ego. He was smart,determined, didn’t fit in because of his awkwardness, had an Uncle Ben (father figure) who had died and they were poor. Spiderman cracked jokes all the time. So yeah, I identified with him more less. And yes, I am corny, I did believe in the phrase “With great power comes great responsibility” line. I still do to this day and it shaped many of my decisions more than than once in my life. Not saying I’m a superhero jumping off buildings trying to save people. I’m saying you could have the power of hurting someone’s feelings with the wrong word or you could instead instill in that same person a sense of something to boost their pride or keep their spirit going…everyone has value ….yeah I have always been a sensitive kid that way (to a fault at times).
The next logical progression after comic books for me was books…oh those magical books…I love the person who founded the library system and screw that YA author & actor Terry Dreary, who recently stated that libraries are not relevant anymore. I was a poor kid way back when and besides shoplifting I couldn’t have read a quarter of the books that I read in my younger years without that glorious thing called a library card. Those books saved me. Where my brothers found escape in running the streets, shoplifting, fighting, smoking, or drinking, I found it in words. They wrapped around me like a cocoon where I grew and grew inside. They helped form inside me a vocabulary, a world, and a mystery only I was privy to.
I hit my teen years where life divided me into two worlds….those of my friends who to me ,had everything I didn’t, to a family at home which was slowly disintergrating before my eyes; my brothers, my mother, and me to a degree. Where once I was kid who found possibilities, now I saw only wanting an escape. Home was not a comfort, it was a prison, a sentence to ride out until school or I visited my friends at their home. I developed a complex about everything from the gap in my teeth, to the way I would sometimes stutter when really nervous, to the clothes I wore, and the place I lived. I never had friends for a sleepover because I was embarassed about my family and home. I always felt inadequate to the task; never quite good enough for the rich kids or smart enough to fit in.
So I studied and I studied. I got smarter. I forced myself to beat back the depression with knowledge and lose myself in asking the abstract questions. To question everything and challenge myself not to be led by others. I still didnt feel like I fit in, but I had begun to have better tools to see myself as not as a joke in their eyes but more as an equal.
After a few failed girlfriends and a couple of years in college I finally met the love of my life and married her….She turned me around (even though I didnt realize it at the time) and taught me the value of what life is. She taught me the value of committment and compassion and that things mattered. No more was my story mine now it was ours and I wanted to share my life with her….
Then he came along and made my life a living hell. You know I’m kidding…. But life was a worldwind for a bit…Those years of him growing up, were fast and furious , and for some reason, writing really never entered my mind. But as I went from one job to the next job, to the next job in my career I woke up one day and realized very strongly I didnt want the path I had chosen and that I felt I was made for bigger things than the lot I had fallen into.
I wanted more than the hum drum day to day life I was leading….so I went back to college and took Creative Writing & English Lit courses. I got in with other writers and talked with them and learned from them. I started writing. I started CREATING. Then that little butterfly that had waited so long to be formed and released from its Chrysalis broke out and flew. Now I’m blogging about my journey to be the next Stephen King or the next Ray Bradbury or the next Philip Wardlow….I may have come a little late to the train station but I caught the last seat in the car….and I’m settling in for a long trip.
Shut the hell up cuz you got luck
so take it and run with it.
The suitcase I carry isn’t full
or Maneki-neko lucky cats.
It’s got more of the broken bits
of mirrors that I have collected
over the years or the dead black
cats that have called it home…
Sure your pain is yours,
own it…I don’t care,
but don’t ever think it compares
to my level of despair.
Don’t whine and don’t bitch while
your lucky number seven sits on your
back and lifts you up while my
thirteen has been nothing but mean
to me, bringing me down to depths
that hell can’t even see.
I have my magpie of sorrow
who talks to me often…he thinks
it a joke to lead to me believing
that the world works at times.
But I do care for the lucky ones, so
don’t let him catch your eye.
Take your luck and run with it,
and maybe just maybe you won’t
end up with the same luck as me.
By Philip Wardlow 2012