PHICKLEPHILLY 2 is Now for Sale on Amazon and Kindle!

“He found love… but can he keep it?”

“Love is a many splintered thing” – Andrew Eldritch

Here it is! The long awaited sequel to the best selling Phicklephilly! Thanks to everyone who bought the first book, and to all of my readers and subscribers on this blog!

Without all of you, none of this would be possible!

You can get it here!

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

When I started writing Phicklephilly back in May of 2016, I never realized how much it would grow and flourish as I went forward. It began as an earnest effort to start writing again. After a few false starts through the summer, I finally decided that if I was going to start writing again, I should stop talking about it and just do it. 

It began like most creative works. Slowly. Once I published my first post, I thought; how am I going to do this every Monday? I had no followers and no exposure anywhere. Instead of worrying about that, I decided to dig in and start to tell stories from my recent past. But since then it’s grown exponentially. It’s a dot com now and has hundreds of thousands of page views. I’ve monetized the site and secured advertisers that generate revenue to support my work. It’s been a lot of fun!

In the beginning, my inspiration was a server named Maria who worked at a local restaurant. I sort of had a crush on her but it never became anything. But it was enough to get me writing again. When I met her I had already been in Philly for almost ten years.

 My first relationship with Michelle had only lasted about three years before she left me. She was approaching age thirty and the alarms were going off in her head to get married and make babies. I had already been married and divorced years before that and had a daughter. I wasn’t going down that painful and expensive road again. The odd thing about my relationship with Michelle was, it was the first time I had a girlfriend that after we broke up, stayed friends with me. We were best friends. Isn’t that the key to all successful and loving relationships? 

Michelle reconnected with her former high school boyfriend. Normally that never works but I think this time it might. I think Michelle broke up with him, left Delaware and came to Philly because the guy wasn’t on the road to success. I think Michelle needed to explore the world a bit. She did that for a while and then met me. I was new and different and we had the time of our lives together in the city. But what neither of us realized was that was all we really were. A couple of people who loved the city and it’s nightlife. The drinks flowed and the laughter ensued. But once we got an apartment and moved in together it was the beginning of the end. We didn’t know it at the time, but domestic life never suited our relationship. We were best friends who liked the social excitement of going out, and being a deadly couple in the city. Once the adventure ended it was over. 

We tried it for a while, and did all of the things that couples do. Celebrate the holidays, birthdays, family stuff, and all of the other grinding aspects of domestic life. But we just got to a point where Michelle realized I wasn’t going to marry her and give her kids. We remained friends for several years after that until she moved to California in 2013 to be with her former boyfriend. He had become the man she had hoped he’d be many years ago. She married him, and at the time of this writing has a baby daughter. So it all worked out for her. She achieved the American dream.

I on the other hand started dating Annabelle in 2013. Annabelle is a failed actress and photographer. She makes her living shooting head shots and weddings. The reason things failed with Annabelle was our obvious age difference, and absolute opposite lifestyles. I was the corporate sales guy, and she lived in a world surrounded by theater people. It was like oil and water, and the only thing we shared was our mutual attraction to each other. Annabelle served as a temporary stand-in for my friend Michelle. The relationship lasted a tumultuous nine months and ended. It was fun in the beginning, but all romantic endeavors are. Once the reality sets in that you’re not a match, normally the relationship dissolves. Both of these relationships are well documented in the first Phicklephilly book.

Michelle is long gone, but her memory continues to haunt me of what could have been.

Near the end of the book I met Cherie. When I started writing the blog I realized I had to get back in the dating game. So I did what most people do. I went on Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, and whatever else was available. I went on a bunch of crazy dates, but things clicked pretty early on with Cherie. 

I realized I had an ending to my first book. I had burned through a couple of relationships, and then met my love, Cherie. Everything was right in the world. She made me happy and we shared some wonderful times. Over the first couple of months we became close and Phicklephilly had a happy conclusion. It seemed like the perfect ending to a great story. I had reached my destination, and had found love in Philly!

Also, when I was with Michelle and Annabelle, I wasn’t writing. Their stories were told from memory, so it’s basically our greatest hits. But phicklephilly the blog was alive and well when I met Cherie. A rich history indeed!

But what happened after the end of the first book? We’re both in love with each other and things are going great. The story has to continue. I can’t just let the tale end there. There’s so much more to reveal. 

Please join me on my continuing journey.

 

You can get it 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.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

COMING SOON… PHICKLEPHILLY 2

“He found love… but can he keep it?”

Love at First Swipe! 

Phicklephilly 2 is the sequel to the best selling book, Phicklephilly: One man’s journey to find love in Philadelphia. In the first book, our hero returned to the city in search of the perfect girlfriend. It was a funny, and sometimes heart wrenching tale of a man trying to navigate the pitfalls of the modern dating world. 

After two failed relationships, he turns to online dating. He goes on several crazy dates, but finally finds a woman he really likes. She’s a bright, unique beauty, but like all relationships, they face several challenges.

Phicklephilly 2 continues his journey and shows you what it’s like being in a relationship, and the dynamics that play out living in the city. But several factors work against them both at every step. Will the couple survive the pitfalls and demands of being in an exclusive committed relationship?

He doesn’t always do what’s right, but neither does she. This is his intimate story of what that’s been like for him. Join him to see if he wins… or loses again. 

There’s always three sides to every story. His side, her side… and the truth. 

 

PHICKLEPHILLY 2 will publish on September 14th!

 

 

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

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

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 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. I assembled his name from the word, Christian. Thinking he was a good Christian. He was a good man despite his shortcomings. Blackmore comes from the darkness that lies within him. More Blackness. (As a musician, I always liked the name of Deep Purple and Rainbow founder, Ritchie Blackmore, so there’s also that.)

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

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!

 

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

 

 

The people have spoken!

 

 

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!

My New Book, ANGEL WITH A BROKEN WING is Now on Sale at Amazon! (kindle & paperback)

Get it here:

 

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

 

We’ve been in quarantine for months here in Philly. My daughter and I have been making the best of it. She’s been recording new music in our home studio, and I’ve been holed up in my office working on a book.

I like to work and be busy. But there’s been nowhere for us to go, since March 14th. Everything’s shut down. There was nothing we could do about it, but collect unemployment like the other 40 million people out of work in this country.

At first, we both slept in and enjoyed being off from work. It was a welcome repose from the daily grind of being on our feet all day, both working in restaurants in this city. I think we both had hangovers from working in a tough industry.

I remember putting in 55 hours a week at my last job, and some days thinking… “I wish this would all just stop.”

And it did.

It was like a miracle. It’s as if we rubbed a lamp and were granted just one simple wish.

I remember in the beginning, I rested and sometimes didn’t bathe because I suddenly didn’t have to be anywhere.

But after a week, I began writing like mad on my blog. I wanted to respond to what was happening with my words. I was posting up to 6 times a day just to give my readers content on ways to deal with these extraordinary circumstances.

I went to bed earlier, and woke up earlier. Most days between 7 and 8am. It was nice to want to see the day. The full day. I let my hair and beard grow. I liked that I started to resemble the Big Lebowski, or a fat Thor, from not having to be running around all the time.

I would get up early, shower, eat breakfast, run any errands needed for the house, and then write.

But something was itching at my brain. I needed to create something of value during this sudden vacation. A time where I didn’t HAVE to go to work to meet my obligations. My daughter felt the same. We both realized we couldn’t squander this gift.

Lorelei bought some special recording equipment and decided to start recording her own songs. She did a cover of a cool song by Doja Cat and she and her friend shot a video. Then she started working on an original composition. She wrote the lyrics and the music for a new song. Her song. An original composition.

I was blown away that this feat could be accomplished. Because I come from a world where I had to pay thousands of dollars to go into a studio to do the very same thing thirty years ago. But technology rocks!

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, 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.

You run away in an attempt to find yourself, but in the end, maybe you realize that what’s important, is you’ve been there the whole time.

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

So I started writing this book. I worked on it every day. 7 days a week from 10am to around 7pm everyday. Literally keeping those restaurant hours without having to be on my feet.

I wanted to create something completely original. Not a collection of stories from all of my dating adventures here in Philly. Something born from my mind. That’s how, Angel with a Broken Wing came about!

What should the cover be? A picture of an old statue from ancient Rome with one of it’s wings broken off? No. A photo of a fallen angel? Please.

Then it struck me. How about a pen and ink drawing of the female lead wearing a white pashmina on her head and a cool pair of sunglasses? There she is, fresh from a sumptuous dinner with her romantic suitor in Palm Springs. It’s dusk in the California desert, and she looks at the horizon. The palm trees reflected in her sunglasses, she turns to him and allows him a kiss. Has she made a mistake?  Will she yield to him? Probably not… but maybe.

That could work for the cover. That could be the very essence of the book. So I decided to create the artwork for the cover myself.

But I drew that back in 1980, when I was 17 years old,and an art major in high school.

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?

Get it here:

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.

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is available now on AMAZON!

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

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Angel with a Broken Wing is Now on Sale at AMAZON

“What if you could just run away from your present life?”

I’ve been composing my first work of fiction.

It’s a romantic thriller, that takes the reader on a cross country odyssey across America.

A young gentleman meets a nice girl, and they decide to take a journey together.  Both wanting to escape their mundane lives.

What begins as an idyllic road trip, turns into a nightmare, as they discover they’re locked in a cross country, cat and mouse game with a mysterious stranger.

It’s a real corker of a story, so hopefully you’ll want to read it!

You can get it here:

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 Angel With A Broken Wing, Now on sale on Amazon!

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

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‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck’ and 5 other self-help books to help us get over ourselves

I put together the weekly USA TODAY’s Best-Selling Books list. Whenever I am asked what I do for a living, I invariably get the exact same follow-up question: “What should I read?”

But I have a secret weapon in my back pocket: The list.

Every week I see what books make the list. Some titles flash on the list briefly while others slowly simmer, building an audience over time. It’s the books that slowly simmer that resonate most with readers — emotionally, intellectually or culturally. These are some of the books I recommend.

The latest book I would recommend is a self-help title that tells it like it is.

Why you should read Mark Manson’s book

The book has sold more than 8 million copies and been translated into 43 languages. After debuting briefly at No. 29 on our list in 2016, it fell off for three months then climbed back, returning to the top 50 in March of 2017 and remaining ever since.

Originally pitched as a book for millennials, its influence has extended well beyond. “One of the really surprising things is how universally embraced it has become,” Manson told USA TODAY, “and that was very unexpected and pleasantly surprising. I think it taps into something universal.”

Manson’s approach in “Subtle Art” is direct and honest. The advice he offers is simple and critical, without being condescending. “When you read a self-help book, it is like you are reading the author’s greatest-hits album. … Nobody can relate to that,” explains Manson. “Instead of filling the book with the highest moments in my life, I wanted to fill the book with the lowest moments.”

So he wrote about his girlfriend leaving him, a close friend dying and his parents divorcing. “I wanted to make a point to leave them unresolved,” said Manson. In life “you don’t resolve that stuff. You suffer. And then, as time goes on, you suffer a little less and you learn a couple of things from it, and that’s it. There is no secret. … The whole point of the book is that you have to figure it out for yourself.”

Manson noticed that in most of the countries where the book has resonated there had also been some political crisis or controversy. “I think there are a lot of people that are identifying with that more negative viewpoint.” But he also concedes the book’s popularity could be tied to the technological state of our world.

Thanks to the internet, we live in a world where we have access to almost everything and everyone at any time. As a result, we ask ourselves “what is worth paying attention to and what is worth caring about? Those are fundamentally philosophical questions,” says Manson. “We are all online all day every day and exposed to so much stuff that we need to devote filters to know what to care about. And that fundamentally is what ‘Subtle Art’ is about. It’s how do you create that filter for yourself?”

Manson’s pragmatic and philosophical approach has been influenced by others. Not a huge self-help book fan himself, when asked what one he would recommend, Manson recommended his favorite, “The Road Less Traveled” by M. Scott Peck. Originally published in 1978, “It is all about how choosing the less comfortable path is what is healthiest for us.”

Other self-help book options

“Get Over It!” by Iyanla Vanzant. The author has appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and as host of Oprah Winfrey Network’s “Iyanla: Fix My Life.” In this book, according to the publisher, Vanzant reminds us that “anything and everything we experience is a function of what and how we think.”

“Ego Is the Enemy” by Ryan Holiday. The writer and blogger writes that while most of us think the main impediment to a successful life comes from the outside world, it is actually, more often, ourselves that get in the way.

“The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. The basic four agreements the author tackles and expands upon in his book are be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions and always do your best.

“Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl. Chronicling his life in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, the neurologist and psychiatrist focuses on how one’s mindset affects one’s future and finding meaning in almost any circumstance.

“Daring Greatly” by Brené Brown.Manson has often recommended this book to others. Subtitled “How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, , Love, Parent, and Lead” Brown writes that vulnerability is not a weakness, but perhaps our greatest strength.

 

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

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Trish – 2012 to Present – The She Wolf Meets Her Childhood Hero

“He’s always a funny approachable guy. I want to be like him. A funny approachable woman. Not to take yourself too seriously. I’m gonna meet him. That’s on a Do Before you Die Bucket List. I have had an opportunity to see his work and I must do it because he has changed my life.”

Trish is my hot neighbor. (See: Trish – 2011 to Present – The She Wolf) She’s an artist, graphic designer and even pulls a few shifts at the tanning salon. I’m a big fan. She has a heart of gold. Trish is always rooting for the underdog.  She cares for the weak, the small or the forgotten. I love that about her.

She’s even thinking of starting her own blog as a spin-off series from phicklephilly.(Which would be awesome!)

She’s also a very articulate writer that has a really natural flow with her thoughts and ideas. If you’ve ever seen her artwork, she has a wonderful ability to transfer what’s in her mind elegantly to the canvas.

She stops by my apartment the other day and hands me a 1.75 bottle of vodka for covering her 7 hour shift last Saturday. That’s a grateful neighbor and co-worker. I’ll work every Saturday for her if that’s what she wants to give me as thanks!

We chat about a few things and then get into what’s been going on in our lives.

On the Saturday I worked for her she went to Chinatown and took a Mega Bus to Manhattan. It was only $11 bucks! How do they stay afloat charging $11?

 

Trish rolled into the city and disembarked from the bus at 4:50pm. She gets her metro card refilled. She checked into the Chelsea Inn Hotel which cost her $80 bucks. Still cheap for a hotel room in New York City. She loved the room. Big TV. King sized bed. The works. Trish travels on a budget, but arrives in style.

 

She heads over to the Alchemist Kitchen to get some supplements. The Gramercy is 15 blocks away from her hotel. She’s been really looking forward to seeing this act and this is why she made the trek to Manhattan.

She walked there alone and sober. They’re all waiting like cattle to see him. She’s sad she has no weed. She’s tired of talking to people, and  cant wait to see her childhood hero and to hopefully meet her childhood hero.

“I know I’m going to meet my hero Mulder from the X Files TV show.”

Trish loves the X Files. This great hero of her life and she’s going to meet him. Trish is determined.

And when Trish is on a mission, stay out of her way.

She enters the Gramercy to see David Duchovney  perform with his band.

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Duchovny

I thought David was only an actor and author, but apparently he’s a man of many talents. I’m a big fan of his work in the cable TV series, Californication.

The Gramercy where he’s only 10 blocks away from where David grew up!

Doors opened at 7pm that night. Some violin quartet from Ireland were the warm up act before Duchovny’s band.

People are moving to get drinks. Tectonic plates are shifting. She will make it to the front. You wiggle your way to the front. Like the slow shift of the world. Like a river. Before he comes out she’s in an euphoric state. Normally she’s super annoyed, but she’s dealing with all of the idiots because Mulder is coming.

She’s waited here two hours for this moment.

When the quartet is done their set. The lights come up and David comes onstage.

“It feels like it’s not my life.” She told me when she saw the man live for the very first time.

“I was 2nd row so I could see my guy!”

She lost her shit when Mulder hits the stage. She’s 12 years old again. She’s blown away. Trish is giggling like it’s Beatlemania.  She is screaming her love her for her TV idol. She is excited beyond words.

On scale of 1 to 10 it is beyond the scale. Trish is so filled with joy.

“It was more about this magical creature and to meet him and be in the same room with the man I love.”

Trish was such a super nerd fan of the show. “I was obsessed with the series itself. The novels based on the show and the action figures. I feel the decency of who Fox Mulder was helped me build my own character.”

“He was who we should all be.” she says.

“He’s always a funny approachable guy. I want to be like him. A funny approachable woman. Not to take yourself too seriously. I’m gonna meet him. That’s on a Do Before you Die Bucket List. I have had an opportunity to see his work and I must do it because he has changed my life.”

After the show she waits another two hours and he finally comes outside the venue. She approaches him. Her childhood idol. She digs her hand into her pocket and produces a small Fox Mulder action figure she played with as a child. She places the toy and a silver sharpie marker in his hands.

He autographs her little guy.

It was so fast she had almost no time with him. But she looked into his eyes. “He’s real!”

 

Trish has an uncanny sense at picking up on all of the emotions of those around her. It gives her great empathy for the human race. She has such a good heart. She could feel through the crush of the fans that David just wanted to go home.

“He is genuinely a great guy. I felt so calm to be near him. Life is short, and it was great to meet him.  I also loved being by herself. Just me on my own self adventure.”

Trish doesn’t care to be attached to anything. She’s fine with being on her own and would like to be on her own.

“I just wanted him to go home safe.”

“They treated him like an animal.” she said regarding the pushing fans.

“All they wanted was their shit signed by him. But I really felt something.”

“It was so nice. It was like a dream but I was wide awake.”

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish Monday through Friday at 8am EST.

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