ANGEL WITH A BROKEN WING: Inspiration and Behind the Scenes – Part 2

I decided to go back in my memory and try to remember all of the inspiring moments in my own life that helped bring this book to life. I published Part 1 last Monday, so you can check it out to gather more insight into the book. Anyway, here’s some more stuff…

Maria LaParilla: Maria as far as I can remember isn’t based on any one person. But if I’d have to say she’s like anyone I know, it would have to be my friend Maria. She has several posts written about her on Phicklephilly, and is actually the inspiration for me wanting to write this blog. But sadly, Maria LaParilla is a totally fictitious person, and all of the fun stuff that happens between Maria and Christian are completely made up.

Jeeves: He’s the English Chauffeur that drives the limo to enhance Christian’s date with Maria. His name is a poke at the internet search engine, Ask Jeeves that was on AOL in the 90’s. He’s completely made up. But I really like him. The classic, cool English driver. Maybe I’ll bring him back in the sequel, Angel Rising... (Did I just say that out loud?)

Answering Machines: Before the advent of cellular phones, everybody had an answering machine at their house. Unlike today, when everybody has access to everybody else instantly 24/7, that never existed back in the 90’s. If somebody called your home number, you had to wait until you got home that night to listen to the message they left you on a little cassette tape in a machine. It was a slower time back then, but kind of a pain. The only way anybody could reach you immediately, would have to be on your work phone, if they even had that number.

The Finance Company: Andy, Christian’s boss is based on a real guy who was my boss when I worked at a finance company in the early 90’s. He was exactly like the Andy in the book. Christian’s co-worker Paul was also a real guy I worked with in the Turnersville, NJ office. (And all of that horrible stuff really happened to the poor guy) The last I heard he was sober, and making music in Ohio. I hope he’s doing well. The story about the Banker Broker license really happened. The way it happened in the book is how it really happened to me. I did exactly what Christian did, so I loved writing that bit. Unlike Christian, I didn’t just quit with no other job lined up. I had already secured a better job as a branch manager at First Union Bank in Philadelphia for $10k more a year!

Brenda the Waitress: Brenda was a real girl who worked at Charlie Brown’s. She was my favorite waitress when I would go there with my friend. The real Brenda was exactly like the one in the book. Cute, sweet, and excellent hospitality. We loved her!

The Carousel and Sarah Turner: The Carousel is based on The Carnival Book store in Bellmawr, New Jersey. I remember I dated a girl who worked there back in the early 2000’s. I was on a rebound from a toxic relationship, and rebound girl was 20 years my junior. She was also toxic but I kept her at a distance. I remember she used to tell me all of these wild stories about working in that hell hole. Little did I know that it would be great fodder for this book years later. Is Sarah Turner based on her? Not at all. Sarah is just a character that was created for the story.

Here’s some pics I found online:

I love the scene when Christian first encounters Karl Itzky in that parking lot on that fateful rainy night!

LA stories about Celebrities: The tales Christian shares at Honest Files about his encounters with famous people in Los Angeles in the early 80’s are all mine. It’s all true, because it happened to me when I lived and worked in Santa Monica from 1982-1984.

Christian’s Family: The family Christian describes when he’s telling Jill about his life, is my life. I have 3 sisters and I just changed the names and let him describe them to her. But that’s all me.

Jill Adams: Jill is based on another girl I met at Gloucester County College back in the 90’s. We were both taking a psychology course. She was an attractive 22 year old who was engaged to be married. I developed a crush on her, and we ended up at Charlie Brown’s one night. After several drinks we closed the evening by making out in her car. (That’s were the mint game came from.) That’s all that happened that night, and I didn’t see her again. I sort of carried the torch for her for five years after that.

I was working as a manager at Commerce Bank back then and we reconnected when she called the branch. After 5 years of marriage, she was getting divorced from her husband. But, she had two young sons. I was already divorced by 2001, and we started dating. I ended up moving her and her kids into my house in Woodbury. What I didn’t know is that the real Jill had severe bi-polar disorder. If you know anything about that mental disorder, it’s only good in one room of the house, and it’s not the kitchen. Being with Jill was probably some of the best sex I’ve ever had, and I have the video to prove it.

I showered her with gifts, clothes and jewelry. I even sold my Woodbury house because she didn’t want to live in the house my ex-wife and I had bought together. Jill was crazy as a shit house rat. I paid her credit cards, bought her a GMC Yukon Denali, and had a house built in a brand new development in West Deptford, NJ. Jill was unable to hold a job and actually attempted suicide one afternoon while her sons were down for their nap.

After 3 months in the new house she started cheating on me with some scumbag she met at the local gym. Jill couldn’t hold down a job because of her mental illness, so she had a lot of free time on her hands. Idle hands…

I told her if she didn’t want to be with me she was free to go. She moved out and lived somewhere for a short period of time before moving back in with her father and his second wife. She ended up giving custody of her sons over to her ex-husband, and ran around with the scumbag guy for awhile I’m assuming.  Last I heard she had married another guy, who had two kids of his own, and I think she may have had a daughter with him. The real Jill turned out to be a terrible, selfish, wicked person. Mental illness, especially bi-polar disorder is an insidious monster.

I should write about the whole sad saga of my brief life with the real Jill, but this blog has been about my life here in Philly, not Dirty Jersey.  I may tell the story at some point but it’s a dark, shameful part of my past and I kind of want it to stay there.

I’ve been kicking around the idea of a sequel to Angel with a Broken Wing. I was thinking about calling it, Angel Rising, and having Jill in the story mirror the real Jill. Of course my man Christian would have to divorce her, or maybe I just have her killed off.

I ran the idea by my daughter. She said, kill the bitch.

Thoughts, dear readers?

 

More to come next Monday!

 

You can buy Angel with a Broken Wing right here:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

 

 

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

ANGEL WITH A BROKEN WING: Inspiration and Behind the Scenes – Part 1

The truth behind the story!

This is a 4 part mini series I wrote over the weekend as a companion to my recently published book. It will run over the next 4 weeks, every Monday morning at 8am!

Thank you!

Angel with a Broken Wing is my first work of fiction. It’s got all of my favorite elements in it. But where do these ideas come from? Well, I’m going to tell you.

I’m going to think back and try to remember some of the inspiration for this story.

I am obviously Christian Blackmore. Not anymore, but I was back in the 90’s. I was miserable in my marriage and my job, and I wished  I could just run away from the life I had created.

The Cover: I was an art major all through school. When I think about that now, it feels like a million miles away. I liked comic books growing up, and my first exposure to art was in comics. I always made art throughout my childhood, so art class was a natural progression for me in school. It was the only class that was effortless.

I loved to work in pen and ink. I liked its stark simplicity. I have several works from high school that I still retain in my collection. This one, The Angel is my favorite.

It was an incredibly cold day in February of 1980. I was in my double period, art major class. There were only two of us in the class that were any good. Me and Bill Polini.

I looked out the window as the snow came flying. I took pen in hand, and imagined a beautiful girl. In a warm place. She’s with me. We’re maybe riding horses…or camels. She turns to look at me, and the reflection of the oasis behind me reflects in her sunglasses. I long to kiss her.

“Yea. I should try to draw that.”

Uncle John: I had an uncle John on my mother’s side of the family. I share many of the same characteristics of my mom’s side of the family more than my dad. My mother had four brothers; Roland, Robert, Norman, and John. All of her brothers kept their hair and all died in their late 70’s and 80’s so maybe if my liver holds up, I’ll meet the same fate. John never left me any inheritance, but my uncle Rob left all of us kids some loot and it was substantial. He lived in Florida.

The Pinto: My grandmother, (My dad’s mom) We called her Grammy. I loved her. When everybody thought I was a piece of garbage in my early teens, she was the only one that had faith in me. So She will always have a special place in my heart. She was a cool lady, who liked a cold glass of beer and some good neighborhood gossip. Just an adorable lady. When she died, the last car she owned was a gold Ford Pinto. That car is my last memory of her. So I used it in the story. The car’s fate is based on stories I heard back in the 70’s about an engineering flaw in the vehicle.

Woodbury, New Jersey: I lived in Woodbury from 1992 to 2001. My wife and I owned a house on Barber Street. I modeled Christian Blackmore’s residence after my own house there. So when I wrote about him in his house in Woodbury, I could picture my own life there.

The Phoenix: I remember first hearing about the story of the Phoenix on an old record album. It was a collection of stories about superheroes. It was like an old radio show type collection of plays on one LP. I remember hearing about the Phoenix in one of those stories, probably back as far as 1973. When one of the characters describes the Phoenix, it is a verbatim rendition of what I heard on that record, nearly 50 years ago. I always felt like I could relate to the Phoenix in my own life. I always felt that no matter how many times I got destroyed in my life, I always came back better than what I was before. I think that’s why I have the characters make a stop over in Phoenix, Arizona on their journey to LA. There are some transforming moments for a few of them in that chapter.

Gloucester County College: When I was married back in the 90’s my then wife came from a very collegiate family. I never went to college, but had several college credits from the American Institute of Banking through courses I had taken through the bank I worked for. My wife thought I should go back to college at night and take courses to get my college degree. So I did. I took those classes at night after work, at Gloucester County Community College. I don’t feel that it was a waste of time, because it led to some interesting things. I’ll be getting to them shortly.

The Gun: Everything you read in Angel about the Bulldog .44 revolver is true. I never owned a gun, and like Christian Blackmore, I hate guns. But all of the info about that weapon is from real events. The story Christian tells Sheryl about the girl at the shore is all true. That happened to me in the summer of 1977. Funny thing is, I recently reconnected with that girl from New York on Facebook. (At 57, she’s still hot!) Oh, one last thing, I had to make a slight change in the action sequence involving that gun. During the final edits of the book I discovered that the bulldog .44 only holds 5, not 6 bullets like most revolvers! I guess because those bullets are so big!

Sheryl Stanton: Sheryl was inspired by a girl I met in one of the banking courses I took at Gloucester County College. I pretty much describe Sheryl as how this girl was in real life. We had a good friendship for a brief period and even had some romantic dalliances. She did break it off with me when she moved to California for a period of time. The real Sheryl never worked in a mental health facility. That’s completely made up for the story.

Karl Itzky: The first kid I met when I went to Frankford High School in 1978, was a guy named Karl Itzky. He was the only person I knew other than my older sister. I just liked his name. He is nothing like the Karl Itzky in the book. He was a nice guy, who I sadly lost touch with when I moved up the social ladder in high school.

Honest Files: The name of the bar/restaurant where Christian and Sheryl hang out is taken from a song by the band, Urge Overkill. There are many references in the book about music I was listening to back in the 90’s where this story takes place. It’s from their album, Exit the Dragon. Here are some of the lyrics from the song:

Hey, hey I’m dead on arrival
Hey, hey I’m distant
Crawling right back
Yes, I’m crawling right back
‘Cause I’m honesty, don’t break my heart
Honesty won’t break it
Honesty won’t break you heart
Honest it won’t
It won’t, it won’t, it won’t, it won’t, it won’t…

I thought it was a cool song, and that bar is where I hung out with the real Sheryl back then. It’s where we would spill our guts to each other about everything in our lives. I used to say we were opening the ‘Honesty Files’ about what we were experiencing at that time.

The real place is exactly the way I describe it in the book. The animal trophies on the walls, all of the real bookcases all around the room, and the fireplace. We spent many a night there pounding martinis and smoking tons of cigarettes. (Yea, you could smoke in restaurants and bars back then!) It was a welcome repose from our chaotic lives.

Exterior - Picture of Charlie Brown's Steakhouse, Woodbury ...

Here’s the real Honesty Files… It’s a place called Charlie Brown’s at 111 Broad Street, in Woodbury, NJ

 

More next week!

 

You can buy Angel with a Broken Wing on kindle and paperback right here:

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

 

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

3 Things All Driven Men Look For In A Partner

Driven Men – smart, entrepreneurial, curious, open-minded, ambitious achievers – shape our world and set trends for others to follow. They are the innovators, the creators, the influencers and the leaders.

Hence, it is crucial these driven find the perfect partner who would support and compliment them the way they need to. However, it is often very challenging for driven men to find emotionally fulfilling relationships. This is why ambitious men need to know exactly what they are looking for when seeking a romantic partner.

“AMBITION IS LIKE LOVE, IMPATIENT BOTH OF DELAYS AND RIVALS.” – SIR JOHN DENHAM

Driven men, successful men, and entrepreneurial men all have something in common…

They all yearn for an emotionally fulfilling relationship.

Sure, all people crave a highly functioning and fulfilling relationship. But in my career as a relationship coach, I have consistently seen driven, high-achieving men, to be the most love-starved.

But why would that be?

Why Driven Men Have Messy Love Lives

“A MAN WITHOUT AMBITION IS LIKE A BEAUTIFUL WORM–IT CAN CREEP, BUT IT CANNOT FLY.” – HENRY WARD BEECHER

The more time and energy that driven men put into their careers and self-optimization (fitness, education, nutrition, spiritual practice, etc.) the more they tend to delay being in intimate relationships.

Since driven men are risk-tolerant in business yet risk-averse in emotional intimacy, they tend to subscribe to the “I’ll just keep getting more and more perfect until one day I’ll just fall into the perfect relationship that’s meant for me.”

But this is akin to standing next to a golf ball and taking 400 practice swings before you actually take a shot. You can prepare all you want, but the real learning comes from the experience of breaking through your emotional barriers within a committed relationship.

Unless of course, the relationships you keep falling into are just as safe as taking your practice swings because you end up in relationships with people that aren’t a compatible match with you.

So how do you, as a driven man, know what sort of things to look for in a partner?

The 3 Things That All Driven Men Need In A Partner

“Love is not about finding the right person, but creating a right relationship. It’s not about how much love you have in the beginning but how much love you build till the end.” – Jumar

While this isn’t an exhaustive list, between all of the most highly functioning long-term relationships that I have been witness to over the past decade, these are by far the most common traits that I see embodied in the partners of driven men.

1. Someone Who Is Kind To You When You Are Wrong

In their business dealings, driven men are wizards at being stubborn and laser beaming to the core of the matter. And while this helps them in business negotiations, it doesn’t help them nearly as much in their love lives.

Having a partner that will be kind and patient with you in those moments when you forget that she isn’t your employee and you can’t make all the decisions will be invaluable to your love life’s long term success.

2. Someone Who Is A Cheerleader

Entrepreneurs have an overactive optimism bias – meaning that they assume that they have a lower risk of experiencing a negative outcome than others. As such, they need a partner who can support them in their near manic-like work sprint phases of productivity.

Not only do they need encouraging words when they are up, they especially need someone to help them with emotional support when they are down.

After great success with his first two businesses, my father (a brilliant and talented serial entrepreneur) sold them to open a third business that went bankrupt within a year. With three children under five years old, it was a tough time for my parents. My dad struggled with depression and lost confidence in his entrepreneurial abilities. Fortunately, he had the courage and strength of a strong woman behind him (my mom) to help him through those difficult years.

A less supportive partner would have looked at the current reality of “what is” and packed up and left. But his brave and loving partner was able to see “what was” and “what will be” in the future and knew that he would be able to pick himself back up again. My dad speaks positively about that early business failure. It taught him the value of having strong support in family, friends, partners, and mentors, and not hesitating to ask for help.

Driven men can’t go it alone 100% of the time. Sometimes they need someone to lean on for support. So choose a partner that will be your cheerleader through both the good times and the challenging ones.

3. Someone Who Sees Past Your Resume

If you’re used to being one of the most impressive people in the room, you likely get turned off by women that are overly impressed by you.

And it’s not your fault.

As people, we don’t value what we don’t work for.

But the moment a woman stands out for you is when they aren’t as impressed by your past accomplishments as they are impressed by your character and personal values.

Sure, maybe you had a best-selling book or smartphone app, or you flipped businesses for impressive amounts of cash, but that was never you. Those were just things that you did.

So when you meet a woman who hears your resume and listens patiently with a “What else ya got?” kind of attitude, your interest is piqued. And for good reason. We all want to be seen for who we truly are, not for the things that we’ve done or achieved.

So while having a partner that is encouraging and supportive is essential for a driven man, you also want to make sure that she isn’t fully buying into your PR/bio page/resume above who you truly are as a person.

Can Driven Men Be As Successful In Love As They Are In Life?

“DON’T WAIT FOR A PERFECT PERSON TO LOVE. LOVE A PERSON AND MAKE HIM OR HER PERFECT WITH YOUR POWER OF LOVE.” – DEBASISH MRIDHA

Absolutely.

If you spent years figuring out how to become a success in one area of your life, you can experience those same results in other areas.

If you’ve read more books about startups, investing, entrepreneurship, or business than you have about love or relationships by a ratio of more than 10:1, then you might want to reconsider your priorities.

Smart and driven men embrace and appreciate and aspirations, independence, and creativity in their women. They want their partners to stand their ground, speak their minds and do what she believes to be true. Although this can create a little bit of friction in the relationship from time to time, this will also build a fulfilling and deep connection between both partners.

Women who understand driven men will not only help their men take one bold step after another, these women will also walk their own paths and be valued as equal partners in the relationship.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

5 Changes To Expect In The Workplace After COVID-19

As a result of the coronavirus, the workplace will never be the same. Even the word “workplace” suddenly seems obsolete, as the physical location in which we now work has merged with the places in which we eat, sleep, learn, exercise, and play.

The COVID-19 crisis has created the ultimate “burning platform”—an unexpected, overnight opportunity for people to see the impact of swift and meaningful change, and to witness the negative consequences of trying to ignore this aberration from everyday life. Within organizations, the virus has been driving significant change in how their employees operate with each other, as well as with clients, customers, and vendors. Now that companies are shifting past their immediate response to the crisis, we’ve entered into a temporary “new normal.”

However, what will the long-term impacts of our new normal be on the world of work?

Winning organizations will be those that integrate and master digital work, community, and collaboration. To succeed, companies need to begin planning now for five key shifts:

1. Full digital transformation, supported by a truly virtual workforce

Companies have quickly figured out how to serve their customers and clients remotely, and there’s no going back. From telemedicine in hospitals to remote learning for public schools and streaming fitness classes, every industry has accelerated its own digital transformation. As a result, the demand for highly skilled remote workers will continue to increase.

With a surge of candidates in the market, organizations should be preparing to recruit and integrate these key individuals into the organization quickly and seamlessly, so they can capitalize on the cost savings and broader access to rockstar talent.

2. Focus on outputs versus face time

Being the first one in the office and the last one to leave is no longer a measure of commitment and performance. In a post-COVID-19 world, employees will be measured on what gets done and the value of their work rather than on the individual tasks and the time it takes to get the work done.

Leaders must provide crisp, outcome-driven expectations so that their people can deliver on goals successfully. Motivating employees to perform will require modeling and measurement of their outputs and being clear on those metrics. Companies must level-set expectations for what drives organizational priorities and goals, rather than discrete tasks.

3. Respect for work-life blend

More than ever before, companies are recognizing that working “nine to five” is unsuited to the demands of a modern workforce. If leaders can place greater emphasis on flexibility for people to accomplish their best work—when and how it meets their personal needs (as well as the needs of the company)—they can reinforce the cultural shift of measuring staff based on performance, which can result in exponential benefits for the organization.

Organizations must remove stigma and support employees’ needs to make time for self-care–including exercise, meals, and family time. Policies and procedures need to reflect these shifts, and leaders must model a true work-life blend so that it becomes part of the company culture.

4. Stronger communications

Now that companies have gone fully virtual, individuals are communicating more efficiently and more frequently across a networked environment. To do this well, everyone, at every level, must make opportunities for dialogue by employing numerous channels.

Leaders can make communication easier for their people. They can remove roadblocks, create a governance structure that pushes decision-making out and down, and provide employees with the tools and training they need to empower them for ongoing communication and local decision-making. With traditional hierarchies gone, true leaders must step up to facilitate information flow across the organization.

5. Increased trust, transparency, and empathy

We are witnessing a revolution in leadership. In a recent leadership study of Fortune 500 executives and entrepreneurs, respondents cited behaviors such as humility and listening skills as essential qualities of great change leaders. And leadership experts such as Kim Scott and Brené Brown have long proselytized about the importance of candor and vulnerability. Now, leaders and employees must understand and support each other like never before. People are sharing more about their personal situations with colleagues, and as a result, they are creating an expectation of humanity, active listening, support, and connection.

Leaders that demonstrate these qualities and publicly recognize excellence in their people will earn greater trust and loyalty from their employees. Leaders who seize this mindset now will be better prepared to engage employees for the long term, regardless of the external environment.

If there’s one thing everyone can agree on, it’s that COVID-19 is driving change in our behaviors, and the workplace is no exception. To begin shifting our idea of what’s possible in the workforce after the curve flattens, leaders must take hold of what’s working today and integrate it quickly into the everyday. Rather than waiting for reentry and being reactive, leaders need to prepare, setting expectations for the ways of working that will benefit the organization down the road, so employees can focus on the strategic business priorities of the future.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

ANGEL WITH A BROKEN WING is Now For Sale on Amazon! (kindle and paperback)

PUBLISHED!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss

 

The day is finally here, and I couldn’t be happier! This has been a long time coming and a labor of love. I’ve been working day and night to get this baby written, and I think it’s my finest work yet! I hope you enjoy it!

Please buy my book!

 

I wanted to create something new. Not a non-fiction, compilation of stories from my blog. Something new. A story. A fable. A love story that included all of the elements of all the films I liked. A thriller, road movie, romance, mystery, an action yarn, that would be full of twists and turns.

The world had gone a bit mad, and I wanted to create a world I could control. I wanted it to take place in a time before there were smart phones or social media. A story about a boy and a girl trying to fall in love, during extraordinary circumstances. Let’s put a fancy car in there. Have them drive across the country on a road trip. Let’s throw a bad guy in there. That’ll keep them on edge. Let’s make it a mystery too. Let’s ‘David Lynch’ it up a bit with some interesting, unique characters. Let’s make them all flawed in some way. They all have the potential to be good, but they’re all struggling with themselves. They all want something, but they don’t know the right way to get it. A collection of misfits all trying to find themselves. All broken in some way. They want to fly, but their wings are broken, so they choose to run.

What if you could just run away from your current life?

Christian Blackmore works as a manager at a local finance company in New Jersey. He’s burned out from all the bad loans, and making collection calls every night. He spends his days laboring at a job he hates, and his evenings drinking at a local bar with his best friend. 

When his favorite uncle dies, and leaves him a unique inheritance, he begins to question the path he’s taken in life.

He decides to take a road trip across the country with a woman he just met. She’s a mysterious beauty, who may hold a dark secret. 

What begins as a romantic journey, becomes a nightmare, when he realizes he’s being followed by an elusive stranger. What does he want? Is it Christian, the girl, or something far more sinister?

Angel with a Broken Wing, takes you on a terrifying, coast to coast thrill ride across America. Can one man fall in love, and stay one step ahead in a cat and mouse game with a killer?

You can check it out here:

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss

 

I want to first thank my daughter. Thank you for coming into my life. You are my inspiration. I love you! I can always come to you with an idea and you make it perfect.

Scott Macintosh. You’re my best friend. You’ve been with me since the beginning. Thank you for staying on the ship, even when it was sinking. 

Will Ball. Thank you for your friendship, the films, the laughs, and of course, the cocktails. I’m honored to have you in my life as a friend. 

A.M. Homes. Thank you for answering my letter with a personal note so many years ago. I was so inspired by your words, it gave me the courage to write my story the way I wanted to tell it, without fear.

Thanks to the amazing team at Amazon Kindle. Without you, I’d be lost in a sea of technology. I can write the words, but you guys help me turn them into books.

Thanks to everyone at Amazon. I became a member over 20 years ago when you were just a giant bookstore. After crawling on my hands and knees to agents and publishing houses for years, Amazon finally gave me the biggest platform on Earth to bring my literary work to the world!

A special thanks to everyone at WordPress. Without you, I couldn’t publish Phicklephilly everyday for the last four years! Now we’re a dot com and I’ve monetized the site with ads! You gave me a home to bring my work to everyone! Thank you!

Thanks to all the folks over at GoDaddy. You made the transition from just another blogger, to a dotcom look easy. Thanks for always being there when I needed you. You’re the best!

Thank you, dear readers, and subscribers for all of your support over the years I’ve been writing this little blog. I appreciate you all, and try to respond to all of your comments. I love your comments!

Please buy my new book. I assure you, you won’t be disappointed. It’s quite a ride!

This is a great book to read at the beach this summer!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

 

 

HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SUMMER, EVERYONE…EVERYWHERE!!!

 

Zoolon Forever!

Life Before Quarantine – Part 11

During quarantine I’ve been fairly productive. I get my energy from people but I really enjoy my alone time. My daughter agrees. We’re both perfectly happy being on our own. I was looking through some photos the other day and I got some great memories of when we were all allowed to come out and play. I thought I’d share some of them with you. I’ll run this series every week until I run out of photos! If you see yourself, hit me up!

I’m very fortunate to have met you all and enjoyed the times we had together. Thank you!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

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Life Before Quarantine – Part 7

During quarantine I’ve been fairly productive. I get my energy from people but I really enjoy my alone time. My daughter agrees. We’re both perfectly happy being on our own. I was looking through some photos the other day and I got some great memories of when we were all allowed to come out and play. I thought I’d share some of them with you. I’ll run this series every week until I run out of photos! If you see yourself, hit me up!

I’m very fortunate to have met you all and enjoyed the times we had together. Thank you!

Enjoy!

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Life Before Quarantine – Part 5

During quarantine I’ve been fairly productive. I get my energy from people but I really enjoy my alone time. My daughter agrees. We’re both perfectly happy being on our own. I was looking through some photos the other day and I got some great memories of when we were all allowed to come out and play. I thought I’d share some of them with you. I’ll run this series every week until I run out of photos! If you see yourself, hit me up!

I’m very fortunate to have met you all and enjoyed the times we had together. Thank you!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Cherie – Chapter 70 – Epilogue

This is my most dreaded post to write. I mean, to be honest, I’m not filled with dread, but it’s just sad I need to write another one of these.

But everything that begins… ends.

There’s no forever in this world.

Cherie and I had a decent run for a year and a half. More than I could have expected at my age.

But I think going into this one I knew it had an expiration date. I loved Cherie and still do, but this time, and probably for the first time I didn’t go into this one  ‘in love with the idea of love.’

It’s odd how our relationship ended. Normally there are words and feelings and break up words. But this time there was nothing.

That’s never happened to me.

Where someone I was in an intimate relationship with just sort of faded away. You’ve read the previous chapters and it just sort of fell apart.

I was fine with how things were, and would have done whatever necessary to preserve it, but I could feel things were falling apart for a while.

Cherie’s silly hostility towards me because she missed me was juvenile, and was a waste of time. Just be nice, and enjoy the time we have together. We both realize, we’re both busy, but when we can be together don’t squander it with your attitude.

I’m good to you, Cherie.

Unlike my relationship with Annabelle, I went into this relationship on high alert. I had to protect my heart from the devastating effects of a break up, so I went into this knowing that things may not work out.

Unlike all of my other relationships. Where I fall madly in love and then the reality hits and I’m destroyed at the end of it for the next two years. That didn’t happen this time.

I loved my time with Cherie which is so well documented here. Probably my most detailed relationship. I walked down the street with Cherie and thought, ‘wife’ she was so sweet and chill.

But was it doomed from the start or would it have even worked long-term?

She lived 40 miles away. She lives with her parents at 30 and has a 7-year-old son who has behavior and emotional issues. Cherie has her own set of health problems. She works at CHOP which is a great deal for life, but you have to fly straight. Baby mama drama with the ex-husband. Financial issues. Over run by school and trying to graduate from Temple with your BS in psychology. The problems with your car. The problems with your family.

It all seemed to overwhelm her.

It seemed from her words that she wanted things to go back to the way they were when we first met, but she mentally and physically couldn’t go back there.

To me, all she needed to do was un-fuck her attitude and just come here and I’d take care of all the love and pleasure.

That one time she came here with her head in a knot, once we had sex, she was fine.

I know sex isn’t the solution to relationship issues, but a good rogering always helps smoothing out things between couples.

But it was just a band-aid on a bigger problem.

Cherie and I come from two different worlds. Our time together met the end of each others needs.

But only temporarily.

Cherie had been broken from a bankrupt relationship she had with a woman she loved. That woman used her for money and sex, and ended up abandoning her.

She had a kid at 17 from an older white guy who already had a family.

She worked at MacDonald’s for 10 years.

If this isn’t a black woman’s guide to hard knocks I don’t know what is.

I love Cherie and I’m so proud of her. But she’s been burned and her tolerance for enduring long-term pain is low at this point.

Her friends told her to get out there and date again and she reluctantly agreed.

That’s when she met a 55-year-old white man on Tinder.

She had talked to people on that app but the only date she ever went on was with me.

I’m that convincing.

Why should she ever be with someone like me?

A solitary cat who has finally come to know himself. He loves to work and be busy. He gets his energy from people he meets every day. He writes a dating blog that publishes everyday and has failed in ever relationship he’s ever been in. He makes horrible decisions in regard to romance. He always dates young women. They love him for his charm and grace, but they all leave him for the same reason. He doesn’t want to get married again or have any more kids.

My daughter, Lorelei is plenty.

You would think this would be a perfect scenario. Hot, smart, fit black girl who loves sex and is super chill and doesn’t want any more kids. I did too. And so did my friends. I would tell them about my new girlfriend and some would say… it sounds like a booty call.

Because we hardly ever got to see each other.  I was always working and so was she with CHOP, school and her son.

I think after a period of time that distance took a toll on our relationship.

It would on anybody. When I saw her it was magic, but there was too much time on the in between with me and Cherie.

It wasn’t me, because I like distance. I like to work and be busy, and not be in a day-to-day relationship. But I think the distance and time away destroyed Cherie.

When she did come here she seemed distant and bitter, which I didn’t understand. I thought, ‘you’re here. be happy, I’ll love you and please you.’

But that didn’t happen. She would be shitty to me in my presence and then apologize for it later in text.

Sadly for Cherie, I have very low tolerance for nonsense in my life now and her behavior didn’t bode well with me.

And having gone into this relationship with her with a clear mind of what could happen I was ready for its end.

In the beginning it was sweet, but quickly became aggressively sexual on her end.

I’m honored and blessed a fit hot baby wants me to be with me. This shouldn’t even be happening between me and a girl on the right side of 30, but it is.

She seems perfect. She wants to crawl into the back seat of her Saab and get it on. I’m resisting. I want to get to know her.

I’m always that way. I love dating.

Dating is so elegant and beautiful.

It’s courtship.

Sex is sex.

We all get it. It’s the end, really.

But dating is sooo romantic. Romance is the best part of every relationship.

It’s new and feels so good.

I’ve worked in sales my whole life. Once you’ve closed. The client’s just in the system.

The sex with Cherie was glorious.

She’s probably the only woman I ever met whose brain is really directed to her libido.

That guitar goes straight to the amp.

I’ve been with all the hottest women and they have so many problems, thoughts, ideas, switches, buttons, issues with sex and it’s a sad failure. They can’t get their train into the station and it’s mostly in their heads and stuff they learned from shitty magazines and their peers.

But Cherie….

Her signal is so clear and strong, she comes 15 times during straight up sex, because she’s in tune with her body.

That is so beautiful.

I’ll miss that.

I’ll miss being the hero that brought her that level of joy.

I’m honored at my age to have been able to give a woman that level of pleasure.

But the weight of her life has cast us asunder.

 

I think we’re done.

 

I haven’t heard from her and am actually relieved I don’t have to deal with this.

I know it seems weird but I think we both saw it coming.

We could have stayed the same but I just felt like I was losing her.

Nothing can stay the same.

Relationships need to grow. My last 3 haven’t. There’s a pattern here.

I need to stop.

I don’t want to hurt anyone. Maybe I should just date.

Anyway at this moment loyal readers, I am pretty sure it’s over between Cherie and I.

That’s it. It’s finished.

I’m sad and sorry.

 

 

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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5 Types of Small Businesses Getting Hammered Right Now

With COVID-19 forcing millions of Americans into their homes on virtual lockdown, small businesses everywhere are already struggling to keep the lights on. Others, meanwhile, are being forced to close in an effort to limit COVID-19’s spread. Here are a few types of businesses that may really be feeling the pain right now.

1. Bars

Many bars have been forced to close for the time being, which means owners and employees alike face weeks on end without a paycheck. And while inventory spoilage may not be a huge concern, as liquor and wine can hold up well in storage, it’s not very helpful when there are no customers to serve and the rent comes due.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

2. Restaurants

Many restaurants across the country have been forced to limit their services to takeout and delivery only, and that’s hurting their bottom lines. Among the hardest hit are higher-end establishments that take in a lot of their revenue via liquor sales; when they can’t serve customers, they can’t serve drinks. Also, while it’s common practice to order in pizza or similarly low-priced foods, most people don’t want a $30 steak entree to go.

But even restaurants that already do a lot of takeout and delivery may be struggling, as customers are more hesitant to trust food preparers to take precautions. And waiters who rely on tips are certainly feeling the pain — with no one to serve, there’s no way to earn money.

3. Beauty salons and barber shops

The need to self-isolate has made the once simple act of getting a haircut less safe, and salons and barber shops are seeing much less foot traffic, if any at all. And given that in-person socializing is on pause, those who’d normally pay for manicures or other types of grooming are now skipping these services.

4. Event-planning companies

Event planners can do very well under normal circumstances, but when gatherings are banned nationwide, there’s not much planning to do. As such, companies that specialize in events, and the people who do so independently, face untold financial hardships in the weeks ahead.

5. Independent gyms and personal trainers

Gyms have largely been ordered to temporarily shut down across the country, and while corporate chains may have the cash reserves to withstand long-term closures, small, private training facilities most likely do not. Meanwhile, personal trainers who do a lot of in-home appointments are facing mass cancellations, leaving them stuck for the time being.

COVID-19 is, unfortunately, hurting a lot of small businesses and putting them at risk of shutting their doors permanently. Those who have already been laid off from their small business jobs can try filing for unemployment benefits in an effort to replace some of their former earnings.

Small business owners, meanwhile, should, when possible, get creative about ways to generate revenue. Bars should aggressively push gift cards that customers can order online or by mail and use later on to maintain some degree of cash flow. Restaurants with the ability to transition to takeout should consider changing their menus — and business models — to accommodate our new reality. Waiters can become food delivery personnel, and personal trainers can offer discounted remote sessions using online technology to earn some money rather than none.

It’s certainly not an easy time to own a small business. With the right strategy, however, some local establishments will hopefully manage to ride out the storm.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

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