Tag Archives: writing

Excerpt from “Everything on It” by Shel Silverstein


A spider lives inside my head
Who weaves a strange and wondrous web
Of silken thread and silver strings
To catch all sorts of flying things,
Like crumbs of thoughts and bits of smiles
And specks of dried-up tears,
And dust of dreams that catch and cling
For years, and years, and years…

To Forge


It’s not easy creating something from
nothing.
But actually,
you always start with something,
The tools in your hands,
the piece of metal before you,
and the knowledge and creativity
to wield
a whirlwind
of beautiful
possibilities with but a thought
at first strike.
The exquisite toll it takes
on your body.
As the sweat rolls,
the blood mingles
all poured into
the making.
Coming straight from
the heart and soul of you

But this cold forge
has not been stoked
in months
No immense heat emits from the
concaves of the mortar and brick.
The bellows are silent.
The bins are still full of rough stocks of metal
Waiting
Just Waiting.
To be struck
on the anvil
and for my spirit
to finally stir up from
the dust.

by Philip Wardlow 2017

My Alchemy Persists


 

 

alchemy

I’m trying to capture

a lit bit of magic.

Distill out the mundane,

filter out the impurities,

and infuse a little energy

into this tired body and brain.

You have always been that

catalyst, that additive, that chemical,

or heat to speed the reaction.

Give me just a dash of you and

I will change this lead to gold

or this chunk of coal

to a diamond that

sparkles like your

eyes do.

Your kiss may be the final

ingredient  to the elixir of life

that I have long sought.

Oh how elusive that magic is

at being caught

and wrangled like

lightning in a bottle.

But I am an alchemist, and

with my books, my bottles, my studies

my mythos, my faith, and you…

I shall wrestle with the five mysteries of life;

air, earth, fire, water, and the

elusive aether…

and condense their natures down into

a malleable creature from which

I can ride with you into the night.

 

by Philip Wardlow

The Unmarked Grave of my Father


It started out as a question from my wife.

“Can you call your mom and get picture of your Dad?” she asked me.

This question was asked by her because I had written a little something on my Facebook about him on Father’s Day,  stating I didn’t  have a picture of my father but I believed that he might look like this.  I had posted a picture of some generic older man that closely resembled him. ( see below on the picture I posted)

blackm

My wife actually called my mom enquiring about pictures. My mom told her my older brother, who lived in North Carolina,  had the only picture of him (she believed anyways),  as the rest had gotten lost for whatever reasons I  didn’t understand. Well, I don’t really talk to my older brother (another story for another day), so I called my mother  and told her it would be nice if she could tell him to scan the picture and send me the image.

Since that Father’s Day request to her,  no picture has surfaced for me to see. Surprise Surprise…  I can always rely on my family to come through for me.

Fast forward a little to last week,  we had decided to go to an Air Show south of us in our state of Michigan.  The air show just happened to be taking place in the same area where my father had died and had been buried.

So again my wife asked, “Hey, we should go and try and find his grave, since you have never been to it. You want to?”

“Sure, why not. But I have no clue what cemetery he is buried in.” I said.

So I called my mom yet again and asked her this question and her reply was,  “Hmm…I am not sure of the name at all. I don’t really remember,” she said.

“Really mom? Really…? ”  I asked.

She finally drudged up the funeral home name where the service had taken place in 1982, the year he died. The place was still around thankfully so I called them up.  A nice old lady named Barbara said she would investigate their records from that time to find out what cemetery he had been buried in.

She called me back in literally ten minutes after talking to another nice old lady I am sure , named Betty who worked at the Oakhill Cemetery where she  found he had been taken.

Through Barbara, Betty relayed great directions to the gravesite and Betty even offered to attach a cemetary Map to the front door of  the cemetery office, as she said they would not be open on a Sunday for the day we were going to be coming down.

“GREAT!”  I said and thanked her profusely for both of their efforts.

Sunday came and I drove with my wife, along with my mother-in-law who was tagging along to the air show,  ( and no, the thought of bringing my mother along to this , never crossed my mind).  For many reasons. One being, having my mother and my mother-in-law in the same car in the back seat  would have driven my wife and I insane.

Btw, here.is a picture of my mom and mother-in-law below  in the back seat behind me at one time…it wasn’t pretty that day:

muppets

 

Okay, on with my story.

We arrived at Oakhill Cemetery after a little of bit driving.  It was a cemetery  set in a semi-run down part of town bounded by an old brick and mortar walls surrounding the perimeter, wrought iron gates at various entrances and exits bid you to enter or leave as you pleased. IF YOU DARE! It was actually a very entrancing place to drive up on.  The place immediately reminded me of George A. Romero’s cemetery setting from his movie ‘Night of the Living Dead’…. awesome, I thought to myself….. 🙂

oakhillcropped

 

We drove up to the building you see before you and sure enough good as her word, Betty had attached the Cemetery Map and Burial page log for the specific plot section along with instructions on finding my father’s grave. Cool.

We got out and parked the car near the relative area and proceeded to the task like good little archeologists on a dig to try and decipher the hieroglyphics, map and instructions to where he might be buried.

The first thing I realized  regarding my father’s information about his burial site was that he was buried without a marker, meaning he had no headstone put in place when he was buried….wtf!

Okay. So that’s interesting.

According to the information he was in Plot 83, Row 7, Grave #8 , near a person with a last name of  “Swift” , it stated in the instructions, approximately  20 feet off the road.

My wife and mother-in-law  began searching diligently for “Swift”  at the beginning of the section as the map markings were too small and hard to read  for each Plot section. I ranged further down the road as it seemed intuitively, in looking at the map, to just be further away than they were looking.

It was sort of thrilling in a way to be out doing this. I had always wanted to be an archeologist or anthropologist growing up,  digging up dead bodies and sifting rocks and dirt. I just needed a good hat and whip to complete my ensemble…. 🙂

Indiana_Jones_in_Raiders_of_the_Lost_Ark

 

After a few minutes with neither of us spotting the name “Swift” I suddenly saw it, the name “Swift” etched into the stone work of a very aged and corroded marble headstone in the shape of an obelisk, ( a broken obelisk) .

I had just found one of the supposed  neighbor’s to my father’s grave. Oh ,”Swift” must have been rich to afford such a marker in their day. (See below for actual picture of it)

SwiftStone

 

I yelled to the others to stop the search in the area they were in and to come over.

We quickly referred to the burial location log and saw he should be buried in Grave #8 location between a  gravestone marker 8B with name of Dugan and  gravestone marker with name  labeled  only with the letter “J”per the entry in the log.

We quickly found this: (see images below):  It seems the “J” meant Julia.

DuganAJuliaA

 

 

 

 

 

So that means my father was buried in that non-descript space in the middle somewhere down below where I stood.

SiteNothingAStandingSite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But just looking at this patch of parched grass, you wouldn’t know it.

Here was a man who lived on this earth until the  age of  73 years  through 1909 until 1972, with him dying when I was only eleven years old.

In that time,  he had married twice (I believe) and had us three sons bearing his name, yet you wouldn’t know he existed without me telling you he existed. (btw he had married my mom when she was 29 and he was 59 years of age in the 70s, so he was already at a  “grandpa age” as I was  growing up.

He has no picture to be found (as of yet) and now no burial plot to even show his bones were some six-feet deep  below me held by the earth.

NOTHING.

I suddenly felt a little sad.  Not for me. But for him.  He died alone in his home without us in his life, separated from us. He was buried alone without us as I only remember going to the funeral home  as an eleven year old and not to his grave.  They say funerals are more for the living, but fuck that. He deserved better than this. Yes, everyone will be forgotten one day but damn at least I should remember him.

I also felt ashamed at not trying to find his grave sooner than I had on almost a whim as of now.  Had I really blocked him out from thoughts and every day life as to not care about such things as a picture of him or to possibly  visit his grave.  God, I was asshole of a son, I thought.

THAT’S gonna change.

Immediately when I got home I started looking up gravestones to buy for him.

I have decided so far that it’s going to read:

Willie Wardlow 

February 9th, 1909  to April 20th 1972  

 

I am still deciding on some one line of phrasing I’m thinking of putting on below this.

When its finally put in I will put a picture of it on here to show you guys….  🙂

 

My Progress ?


Booklight

 

Thought I would update everyone on the progress on my Book I plan on putting out this year as a collection of  Horror, Fantasy, and Science Fiction all in one.

Shooting for a Lucky 13 stories to go into the Book… Hey!  Maybe that phrase could be part of the Title of the Book. Nah,  it’s probably been over done…I will have to think on it…. 🙂

Check out my progress so far in my writing on the various titles going in the book.

BTW I still need artists for various small sketches to donate an original drawing or artwork based a story or two. Nothing big. just some original stuff would be nice to give it a little pizzazz!

OKAY see below my list of stories either done or in the work.  WISH me luck!

Go HERE for Synopsis of some of the stories below:

Finished Stories

  1. The Summoning *
  2. Witch Hunt *
  3. Bits and Pieces*
  4. Flight Through the Forest
  5. Demon in the Details*
  6. Time Stopped
  7. Roadkill (Novella)
  8. Fire Extinguished

Stories at about 90% Done**

  1. Power in Me

Stories about 25% Done***

  1. The Well
  2. Sinkhole
  3. To Take a Life

Stories at intro to 10%

  1. Alphabet Killer
  2. Thousand Years
  3. Year of the Crow
  4. The Circuit Board

 

TheReader

 

 

 

The many flavors of little girl/boy lost


 

Foot

Therapists say the core of us, from the defining moments of our youth, make up a great part of how we see ours lives throughout our whole existence through and into  our growing “adulthood”  until the day we die.

We all walk a path, and that path we walk  sprung up to meet us whether we know it or not. Some have found that magical path and place among the trees where they know peace and a solid foundation under their feet as they tread a world still alien.

Most are not so fortunate whether you think they are or not.

Some of us walk it in seeming surety, with one foot right after the other; having all the answers to life at our lips and the tips of fingertips based on what came before.  Those types outright scoff at times at those who don’t know all the answers or have it all together.  They can truly be arrogant bastards; ridiculing the “underclassmen”  saying they will never catch up.

((Secretly)) they know they do not know everything;  no matter what they say. I have to imagine, that need in itself, to have to be sure all the time; it must drive them mad when their world falls apart at not knowing the answers when push comes to shove in their lives.

I truly do feel sorry for some of them.  For I do believe that type of arrogance is needed in the world to get things done. Else many of us would be sitting on our hands saying woe is me and nothing else. But these types must pay the price at times when the chaos finds them in their own mind.  For no one must see them weak you know.

Others  of us walk in a  meandering, stumbling,  almost drunken course down a  path where our footing is anything but sure.   Always needing that tree to lean on,  or that bush off the road to vomit up our urges and failings behind.

Yet, still they walk, for their is a determination in their lives that drives their legs into motion. They are not comatose. They are not in a vegetative state. They breath, they exhale, and they bring in life and let it out in small amounts.  They evolve in their own course;  through the volitions of some inner or external force which they cannot place,  but it drives them, much like the arrogant ones above, that have already embraced a reality and be damned to anyone who stand in their way.

What else can they do in life but to try?  And besides, they can’t look weak ; not to the  arrogant ones that depend on them to prop them up from time to time when they speak.

Finally, there is that brow beaten soul. That lower than low. The one that goes home to sleep and sleep and dream and dream until the day has disappeared and night encapsulates and settles the debate of who has won that day,  life or him or her.

They will not choose to try again the next day nor the next.  Woe are they, to not even attempt. For that voice that once shouted has been muffled and thrown into a cage of the finest steel made.  Never to be let out, never to be fed or watered, but instead to let whither and die in a lonely cage bound with a strength they gave away.

All because they believed they reached some end.  Some place in their  life they could not rectify, or redeem. Never realizing life is impartial, life goes on.  So go on, life says go on, and don’t be afraid to look weak and go on.

Be that person you lied to yourself about that you told you could not be. This is a lesson for all three of you who walk the path you think you should.

See…the path before you.  Just let yourself  simply really truly see.

 

by Philip Wardlow 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Need Volunteer Artists for my Story Collection


 

ArtSketch

Need some volunteer Sketch artists, to help provide some Original simple art work drawings to accompany my collection of stories in my book I will be launching in e-book and paperback form this year.

The only thing I can offer in compensation at this time is artwork credit of any art used in the book. Please let me know if you are intrigued  in participating  in this  little self-publishing project of mine. Sketch required from you would be no bigger than about approx.  3″ x 3″ area appropriate for use in mediums like the Kindle, Nook, and  Small Paperbacks.

See below,  TEN plus Stories to Draw from for the Artwork Submission ..:) .  Contact me via EMAIL at  philipwardlow@gmail.com

HOPE TO HEAR FROM YOU GUYS!

Flight through the Forest~ Marek is irreverent, a loner, a drunk more often than not,  but most of all he knows how to fight and doesn’t mind bragging about his skills if you were to ask him about them. So when he finds himself in a dark forest of a jungle far from home on a mission for the king running for his very  life,  he wonders idly if he should retire from his warrior ways. If he survives that is.

Demon in the DetailsThere is darkness in the world. At times it is blatant and unforgiving, at other times it’s subtle and veiled. Willie has been a party to that darkness; brought up in it, contributed to it even.  Now he will run brush up against an aspect of a darkness never experienced and it may change him forever. But in what way?

The Summoning~ This fun little story has humor, suspense, magic, witches,  a demon,  a nicely mowed lawn and oh yes, an elephant in a pink tutu…:)

The Well~ Josephine knew it to be just an old dried up old well. Nothing more, nothing less.  So why was she always filled with dread every early morning when she got up to use the outhouse nearby?  Why did she imagine sounds coming from it when there surly  were none? Why indeed.

Witch Hunt~  Halloween is a time for children to get lost in fantasy, roam the streets at night begging for candy and playing tricks on others. For Mitch it was a curse, one he could not escape, one he could not put off, for she would not allow it, she owed him heart and soul and there was nothing he could do about.

Time Stopped~ Time ticks and tocks….and he has the control of that clock…forwards and backwards time and time and again..yet he is always lost.  And she may die yet again….

Fire Extinguished~ Worlds upon worlds in this vast universe harbor much life …. either good or bad…civilized or uncivilized… once such race determines who they wish to keep and who they do not keep in the grand scheme of life.

Bits and Pieces~ We all harbor secrets, little demons or large ones that we let no one else see in us. Sometimes we don’t even let ourselves see all the bits and pieces that make us up. When a man’s car breaks down in the middle of no where at night on a dirt road he will find truth at last.

Power in Me~  Angela felt the strange stirrings from within building ,  energies compelling her to find a release. Parts of  it beckoned to her to draw upon it. To let it off its leash…to play….and she grinned wickedly at the thought while she cringed in parts of her mind from it at the same time.

Roadkill~ There are things which exist in this world that we never see; terrible things.  Things with a history older than man…more intelligent than man… things to make the heart race. Things avoid at all costs if possible. But it wasn’t Adrian’s day apparently, for he ran right into on the road.

The Line Up ~ The murders seemed indiscriminate with no clear connection. But in his gut, Detective Diego felt there was  one between them all.  But he couldn’t see it.  Now they had a witness to one of them and six women in a line up.  Now he might finally find some answers before the next murder took place tonight.

Sinkhole~ Just another day in search of  a job in the big city. Taking the Redline into Chicago, Tony had no idea his day would be anything but typical as the train car he rode  in suddenly  plunged some one-hundred plus feet into the darkness of the sinkhole below the city…

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!

 

A New Direction in my blog? Or just back to where I belong…


blood-quill-pen

 

 

I started this blog back in 2012 to promote my writing. I wanted to hone my craft as a writer of stories, to entertain, to inspire, to convey a bit of my own philosophies and life  lessons ,and to also  have an outlet for all the pent up pressures of the day and prove to myself I could be a successful and  write with the best of them eventually.

This blog was not supposed to be just a distraction to my day, or a hobby, or just something to past the time or  to socialize with. This blog was created with the intention to put in real time, real blood and sweat and tears and simply write, to write stories, work on my creativity, to inspire, to show you me and let the chips fall where they may.

Gradually over the years I got away from that….I think the fear crept in, as the publisher’s rejections climbed intermingled with the very few triumphs received. So I gave up a little each day. I don’t think I knew I was giving up. But I felt the passion for the long runs going away….the putting in of the time necessary to get to the good stuff.

So I limped along on here…throwing out poems mainly….some good, some really good….some just meh.

But that was a finger in the damn of the need I felt flowing in me to produce what I KNEW needed to come up out of me.

SOOOOOOOOO…to make a long story short…I made a realization suddenly this week.

JUST STOP!  RESET…Go back to what you want and SEE WHAT HAPPENS.

So I am. So look for more stories on here  and more focused work from me.

My first project will be  a collection of short stories  new and old to be published this year.  YES THIS YEAR. YES THIS YEAR.  I must say that as a mantra to myself to make sure I do not falter.

I plan to publish these stories  in electronic and paperback book format. So hopefully you are in for  entertaining excerpts from my mix of  stories in the coming month or so.

I will still write the occasional poem but hopefully with even more thought and careful consideration and appropriate flair as can only come from  me.. 🙂

Tomorrow I shall list some of my stories in my planned book collection with a brief synopsis or possibly scene excerpt to show you what I am all about and what is crawling around in my head….  🙂

Wish me good luck!