Tag Archives: stories

Any Takers? Need assistance on my Upcoming Collection of Stories


 

sculpturebook

I plan on Self-Publishing 10 to 13 stories in a Collection in Electronic Format such as on the Kindle and other forms of electronic media and also produce a limited number of my book in Paperback form with real paper and everything …  🙂

That’s where some of you may come in.  I am NEED of one of  two things from some of you talented people out there in the world.

Editing

First thing I am need of, are proofreaders and/or  readers/reviewers  of my stories to tighten up my grammar and my typos, and to possibly catch any blatant writing pitfalls I might fall into from time to time, and to tell give me real feedback on each story in regards to critiquing them constructively. I  will need a few people to help in this  to expedite the process so I can get my collection ready for publication in regards to good story content by mid year which is fast approaching.

ArtSketch

Second thing I am need of, are artists to provide me with small black and white sketches pertaining to each and every story.  I will then sprinkle those pieces of art throughout the pages of the book to  visually capture and entrance the eye and add a little bit of spice to the book 🙂

 

For both requests at needing your help,  I am sorry to say I cannot compensate any who might help me in my endeavor. I will most assuredly will give credit where credit is due with each picture used in the book. I will also as part of the forward cite all the help I have received on the stories in regards to the editorial process put forth by anyone who has helped guide me to get this book out to try and making it the best it can be.

So please feel to contact me directly at my  email address at  philipwardlow@gmail.com if you wish to help me with this endeavor and I would be forever in your debt…:)

I want this Book to be  something I can be proud of from the ground up and with your help I know I can make it happen. I have read many of your guys blogs and know you have much talent.

I am working diligently on finishing up a few of my stories and will be looking for help with the editing and review process as each are finished.

In regards to the Artwork needed, I will be writing a brief synopsis  of each story or a description soon to this blog of what may be actually wanted for an image.  I do want to give the artist free reign  at thinking of something appropriate to capture the eye and also the spirit of the story.  ( if the artist wishes upon request I can send them the entire story to read to really get a feel for what the piece of art might be)

So again, please feel free to contact me at philipwardlow@gmail.com if you are interested in helping me with my writing project… 🙂

Thanks again!

 

What Lurks in me….


Lurking

 

Do you wish to know what lurks and crawls in this brain of mine? Do you wish to know the avenues it takes , the good and the bad, the beautiful, the bloody, the bombastic, and the golden moments that drown?  Well welcome I say with a  devilish grin wearing my suit of pure white for we are all aspects of all the shades that color the world.

YOU are not exempt.  Perhaps in your readings of me and the stories you hear  you will see a little into yourself, filtering out all the crap that seems that so often gets in the way of the truth that is you.

So read on, to three  of my eclectic samples not quite finished  in my future collection of the macabre, to the fun, to the poignant, to the mysterious “what if” of it all… 🙂

 

I ASK YOU, MY READERS, MY FOLLOWERS, TO PICK ONE OF THE THREE STORIES FOR ME TO FINISH BASED ON THE EXCERPT OF EACH BELOW.

****

 

#1 To Take a Life

 

Sebastian saw the woman sitting in her favorite spot yet again this early Saturday night. Always the same table, the one right at the edge of the dance floor and closest to the bar. She would start the night ordering drink after drink, usually a red wine sometimes a white and just stare ahead seemingly at nothing.

Hours would pass and the club would slowly fill with people and there she would be sitting. Alone. No man had ever approached her to ask her for a dance as she sat. Perhaps they were afraid to approach her, perhaps they thought she wanted to be left alone, perhaps they thought she was out of their league. Perhaps, the word, NO, was already written on her face before they ever would have approached to pose the question in the first place.

Sebastian knew secretly, if they had asked, she probably would have said yes to every one of them. But they never had. So she would sit andvampire watch them all dance from her place at the table. Watch, as the men and women moved on the floor to the seductive beat which pulsed and coursed through the club and bodies wanting to find release from the week’s drudgery called life. Sebastian knew their every whim, their every desire as he always did. They were an open book to him. All you had to do was listen.

This night however he only had ears for the woman who had come here every Saturday night for the last three weeks. Her name was Ms. Evelyn Greer , a pale face contrasted with short shoulder length dark auburn hair, green almond shaped eyes, and full red lips. If she were to ever break a smile he was sure it would have been stunning. A beauty of a woman, majestic in a certain way she held her self. But there was a dullness to her, muted was the word that came to mind, like a dimmer switch to a light turned way down low.

She was to be his tonight. She had marked been many nights ago. She was the one and she had only but to ask him to end her.

 

 

#2 From a Dark Place

 

Joseph carefully placed the five white candles he had just purchased into the big brown suitcase amidst the other items he had already collected. He hands went to close the suitcase but instead they caressed a black leather bound book which lay inside. His eyes went wide and his pupils dilated ever so slightly as he stared at it. He traced the raised symbol on its cover emblazoned in red with his index finger. His finger ran along the entire perimeter of the symbol at all its five points where the continuous line was traced. The symbol was five lines in the form of a star where each point touched the raised circle which surrounded it,  what a lovely symbol he mused. Could there be anything more perfect he wondered. A sly smile came to his lips because for all his studies he new the true power of that symbol while others only thought they knew. He had become an adept at the mysteries of it.

“Joseph!” a woman’s voice called to him in a wail from somewhere downstairs in the house.

“Joseph, what the hell are you doing? Spaghettis all done! Christ on a crutch, move your ass!” she yelled again. Joseph could almost picture the spit flying from her mouth as she yelled at him. Fucking fat cow. He would be glad when he was done with her. Joseph couldn’tpentagram remember choosing such a bitch of a woman for a wife but he must have, for she lived in his home and occasionally wanted to have sex because of that damn ring on her finger and his own. The weight of the ring seemed to increase more everyday. He wanted to stuff it down her damn throat. It was maddening. No more, no fucking more. Tomorrow, Joseph’s life was about to change.

“Joseph!” she wailed again.

Joseph slammed the suitcase shut, secured the latches and locked them by rotating the combination on each with his thumbs all at once.

“Coming Elizabeth!…..you bitch.” Joseph said the last to himself in a whisper as he tucked the suitcase deep up under his side of the bed and quickly got up to go downstairs for dinner. He would suffer through it with the heifer just for one more night. Spaghetti was his favorite he thought idly to himself.

 

#3 The Power In Me

 

Three ping pong balls revolved in midair, each one following the other in a tight circle as they flew.

“I shouldn’t be able to be doing this Carl!” she yelled at the bald little man, sitting across the table from her in the kitchen of her house. Carl was wearing a smug little grin on his face that annoyed the hell out of her. He was always full of himself, today more than usual. He knew something he wasn’t telling her. Shit! She was losing her concentration. One of the balls slipped out of its rotation and fell.

“True and not true,” he replied back glibly to her, as he deftly caught the fallen ball with his left hand inches before it hit the table.

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” she asked, her eyes staring ahead at the two remaining balls still rotating in front of her. She thought of a figure eight, and immediately the balls begin to swirl in that configuration. It was equally cool and frightening at the same time, she thought, but Carl didn’t have to know that.

“Angela, you have taken to this extremely well. It seems you are a natural. I have to give our co-workers credit. They were betting you would do well the first time right out the gate. Not many can pull off even one ball this quickly, let alone three. Guess I will have to pay up when I get back to the office.” Carl chuckled to himself, rolling the little white ball he had caught, back and forth between his hands on the dining room table still smiling at her smugly.

Angela took her eyes from the two remaining balls which spun and looked directly at Carl.

“You mean there are others who can do this? Out with it Carl, I’m sick of the games. You’ve been playing them too long, first with my husband now with me. Be straight for once, or for god sakes I’ll shove these balls down your goddamn throat.”

Carl’s smiled slipped a little her under dark stare. Carl involuntarily swallowed when he suddenly realized the balls were still continuing to spin in their figure eight pattern without her looking at them. Damn, she is good, he thought. But she didn’t have to know that; she was arrogant enough as it was. A lot like him more or less, he thought, but still soft.

“Well.” Angela said to him, more of a command than a question.

Carl ignored her tone. “You remember that project three years ago that kept Scott away so many hours at night?”

She remembered all too well, the late nights, and all the arguments that followed, telling her he couldn’t discuss his work with her because she didn’t have the clearance. It still rankled her a little still to this day. Angela only nodded as she looked at him as the balls continued to spin, so Clark continued.

“We had found something amazing. To be more exact it found us. One of the lab geeks directed to synthesize some of the proteins from a plant brought back from Brazil accidentally combined two cultures in the synthesis we were working on with the lot. The other plant was from an older expedition we had done years ago in the Congo in Africa. Scott himself had pulled it from the incubator a few days later. Lot forty-two.”

Angela noticed Carl’s eyes dilating as his hand gestures became more animated as he spoke. This disturbed her for some reason and she didn’t know why.

“Oh, the things Lot Forty-two revealed to us Angela!” Carl found it hard to contain himself as he talked.

“We didn’t know how much until we began the human trials. You did not know this, but Scott your husband, was one of the first volunteers. The committee had been paranoid of it getting out to the general public so everything was done in house; very hush, hush.”

“I am sorry to say this Angela, but he was a fool.” Carl said flatly to her from across the table.

Angela’s eyes suddenly flared from a dull to electric green.

An invisible force compressed against Carl’s chest, to send him flying and to go slamming into the wall behind him. Plaster crumbled around his head and tumbled off his nice black suit coat he wore.

Now I am going to have to go to the dry cleaners tomorrow, Carl thought idly….

Powerinme

 

 

 

 

Gilligan you Lucky Bastard – A Commentary


GilligansIsland

September 26, 1964 – September 4, 1967    That was the time span when Gilligan’s Island first aired  in monchromatic Black and White Film all the way to when it finally ended  98 episodes later in full on color for the last two years of its run on television…

Now I wasn’t around back then when the final episodes aired but I might  have been percolating down the line in a few years later between the eyes of my mother and father….(enough with thaat thank  you…)

I only saw this program in reruns much like a lot of shows around the time as I was growing up as a youngin’.

What got me about this show…and believe me I noticed, was it’s overt sexualism. I don’t think there was  an episode where there was not flirting going on.

I only bring this up is because often in the past  I had been accused by my wife of flirting too much with the opposite sex….at first I denied it saying you must be crazy…I’m not a flirt…I’m just friendly…and a  sensitive guy.  (which I am btw…and sincere)

Then as I got older I came to be more self aware of  how I act with the opposite sex. And she was right,  I am very flirtatious…but where did this fliratiousness come from?  How did it originate…was it something innate in my DNA  makeup…was I born this way?

I analyzed my childhood growing up, thinking back to my very first kiss… to you know….you knoooow…. the deed we all (well almost all) as teenagers eventually get to experience… its sex …okay  I said it sex…you happy? Anyways moving on…

I think I have, we shall say, always had an appreciation for the opposite sex from the time my brain kicked on and I started thinking for myself  (ya know the stage where you can feed and go to the bathroom without any assistance…some guys my age now still need assistance there)

I found myself rememembering back to when I was about three years old in daycare liking that little girl with the big brown eyes and the short bob haircut who had a pretty smile.  I remember smiling whenever she smiled…I recognized her prettiness when I was three! I just had to be around her…snack time, doing a puzzle, arts & craft…, just in case she looked my way…I was there to smile back.

Then came the neighbor girls when I was about six or seven, they would play these silly games of you can’t catch me….well I was a fast runner and I usually did…one time or two I was rewarded with a  kiss behind the garage.

The thing is, I wasn’t a flirt just yet. I never made any overtures of charming platitudes thrown their way to illicit a response or gave them one of my cookies from my lunch. It wasn’t until probably in fifth or sixth grade that I felt that there was something about these things called girls…hmmm they were so different than guys who were friends…they had these big eyes, glorious smiles, and now they started to smell good…and something was growing on them…what were those bumps all about in the front on her chest…(yes my mom had them but you do not go there as a kid)

What was this wonderous creature …called girl?

Well Gilligan’s Island pointed me in a certain direction of how to attain such beauties. As I grew older watching this show with all it’s sexual inneuedo  and inferences to things best not thought on as a little kid I grew to hate Gilligan himself in certain ways…

Here were these two obviously beautiful women who constantly put him in these compromising positions, fueling his inner fires and he fought against it or was completely blind to it.

It frustrated the hell out of me!

Here you are Gilligan, you Lucky Bastard,  on this deserted island where you are the youngest of four men trapped for god knows how long and you never, if you will excuse my language, tapped that ass?  I thought at the tender age of probably twelve that it was his male imperative to do so..and he failed.

From then after that realization,  my psyche I’m thinking, promised itself not to be such a dumb ass.

So I’m a flirt and it’s all Gilligans fault…:)

Alltiedup

Crimson Skull Contest Results are Finally Fully Officially In!


the-graveHello peoples, Well it’s been awhile since the winner was announced over at the Carnage Conservatory for the Crimnson Skull Contest which had been held around Halloween Time.

Through no fault of her own – which consisted of a broken computer and a broken hand, Emily, the editor over at Carnage, was delayed in picking and posting the remaining Winning stories for Runner-Up, Second Place, and Third Place for the contest. But now she has officially posted the remaining winners and their stories on her site. So please check them out asap and give a comment or two if interested.

First I am happy to see that Emily survived and fought against the elemental forces of nature be it electrical or physical from trying to stop her progress on her blog.

And secondly, I placed SECOND in the contest! How bout them apples boooy!

Anyways go check out the other winning entries over there and mine and let me know what you think. Feel free to heap as much praise on my story as you wish and downplay the other writer’s accomplishments. I won’t begrudge you at all…:)

Thank you Emily for putting on this contest over at Carnage; which she does every year and always seems to get lots of attention and good artists involved. Please see the links below for each story that placed in the contest:

1st place Winner: Our Grave Yard by Nathanial Hightower

Runner-Up: A New Rose, A Rabid Fugue State by Peter Marra

2nd Place: Witch Hunt by Philip Wardlow

3rd Place: Wrath of Age by Len Kuntz

Letting Go


In one of my of creative writing classes, we would sometimes do 10 min writing exercises where the teacher would pick a phrase and we would have to madly write something for the next ten minutes surrounding that phrase, After the ten minutes were done “PENCILS DOWN PLEASE”  and what you got is what you got….I was proud of this very very very short story and was even prouder when my teacher at the time  decided to read it in front of the class instead of the other twenty-eight submitted stories. I will never forget his words.  “I wish to read this story  by one of your fellow students because I found something in it to be very compelling. You be the judge.”   I am not stating all this to brag just to express that I felt elated that someone liked what I had written and got what I was trying to relate and that finally my  real desire for writing had found me in that moment.

 

 Letting Go

“I’m gonna let go, but I don’t know where I’m gonna fall to?” asked the dirty faced little boy who hung limply from a clothesline in the pitch blackness over a deserted alley some four stories high.

“That’s right Michael” said the other much older boy who hung out the window with one hand in a tight knuckled grip on the window sill and the other on the clothesline from which Michael hung.  “You gotta drop straight down and let us see what you’re made of.  We’ve all had to do it, you won’t be the first,” the boy said in a matter fact tone.

Michael looked up from where he hung at the older boy who had spoken to him, his face and body were hidden in the myriad of shadows the surrounding buildings cast upon him. It seemed to Michael that the shadows spoke to him, the voice didn’t belong to anyone at all just a disembodied entity wanting him to fall to his doom. Michael looked up higher to the stars overhead, his only source of light. He gazed at the nighttime sky, the dancing twinkling night.  He had never noticed the stars twinkle as much as he did this night. It made him ponder, it made him think. It made him come to a decision.

He took one last look, time to see what he was made of he thought. He gave the shadowy boy a nod and let go. Just like that.

He fell for an eternity. His long hair was pulled upward as he heard the rush of air flow past his ears.  The beat of his heart was the only other intrusion upon his senses as he fell. The stars above were lost in a deep blackness that couldn’t be pierced, like falling down a well at night. Thump! He had landed and he was alive. Somehow he was alive.  Michael got up and stood amidst the cheering, hooting and hollering of the other boys that had waited down below. Then he simply turned from them and walked away and never looked back. He did look up though at the twinkling stars.

The End