How I Became Bravewarrior

How I Became Bravewarrior

I actually wrote this as a short story. It came to me at the spur of the moment, as do all I write. I must mention, this is not fiction; it's true. Pursuant to my writing it, I asked my brother and a few select friends to read it and the response was resounding: it's not a short story, it's the prelude to a novel. This inspired me to do so, although it's going to take some time. However, I thought I'd share this and get feedback from the HubPages Community, of whom I've grown to respect and love. Please let me know your thoughts.....



Ancient trees
Ancient trees | Source
Path to Imagination
Path to Imagination | Source
She Dances With Spirit - a painting by my brother
She Dances With Spirit - a painting by my brother

The Setting

The year is 1966 and I’m 9 years old. My best friend’s name is Imagination. Up ‘til now, I was an Air Force Brat, never living in one town or one state, for that matter, long enough to make friends. When I did, it hurt too much upon parting. So I went into myself and became my own best friend.

There was an empty lot across the street from where we lived in Philly. We called it Michaud’s. Judging from the slate slab in the center of the lot and the broken pieces strewn throughout, a family named Michaud must have lived there at one time, losing their home (and perhaps their lives?) to fire. All that was left was slate, blackberry trees, honeysuckle bushes and the best tree-climbing trees I’d ever encountered.

Once a year, the carnival would come to town and park itself in our beloved Michaud’s playground. It came to life, albeit a different life, with color, laughter and carnival music, but it wasn’t as memorable as what Michaud’s was to me then, and today, in the “favorites” of my memory bank.

Michaud’s was a setting for mystery, wonder and imagination. There were concrete steps, directly across the street from our row house, leading up the hill to the mystique of Michaud’s. On either side of the steps were brambles of blackberry bushes. Directly to the left, beyond the brambles, was a huge blackberry tree, with limbs so heavy with fruit, I could reach them without standing on my tippy toes. The bramble on the left, nestled at the bottom of the hill, became a ground fort for my brother and me. More importantly, it was where I’d transform into a Cherokee warrior or a squaw, depending on who I felt that day.

My brother and I have Cherokee blood coursing through our veins – not a lot – but enough that the spirit has guided me throughout my life. And his.

Upon reaching the final ascent, the mystical world of Michaud’s opened up to a vast playground for my imagination. Directly to the right, was a chain link fence defining the property line of a vast, grassy, treed landscape at the rear of an insurance building’s property. We called it “the insurance lot”. We’d have “rumbles” there, where basically you’d tackle and be tackled - without benefit of a football, climb trees and play hide n seek. The fence was trellised with sweet, wild honeysuckle bushes, from which we drank often.

Directly in the center of Michaud’s was a huge gray slate slab, thought to have been the foundation of a once thriving home. Leading up to what I imagined to have been the kitchen, were red square pavers. On the far left of the property were huge trees where the “bad boys” of the neighborhood built a formidable tree house. You had to be invited – don’t dare let anyone catch you helping yourself to the view, or you’d pay dearly!

Adjacent to the far left of the property, and at the bottom of the hill, was a concrete wall; backdrop to the Iroquois Apartment building. It was there I spent many hours playing handball and pitching pennies.

Looking straight ahead, at the forefront of the property (or perhaps it was the rear?) was City Line Avenue, a four lane road dividing Philly from Bala Cynwyd. We once had a German Shepard lose her life on that road, but our parents never worried about us, because Michaud’s had us captivated!

So, now you can imagine the layout. Let’s go back to Michaud’s where the magic of my imagination came to life.

Characters Emerge

I was full of spirit as a young girl; mostly ornery, but spirited nonetheless. I’ve mentioned that my brother and I are part Cherokee. Although not full blood, it courses through our souls and is what guides our creativity.

Mine knew no gender. One day I’d be a warrior pounding out war paint from blackberries, onto a slab of slate. When I had a substantial amount, I’d paint my face in preparation of battling the elements as “Bravewarrior”.

On another day, I’d form a bowl out of the blackberry brambles, line it with leaves, and use a broken piece of slate to pound out the day’s meal, as a Cherokee squaw.

No matter whom I chose to be, more times than not, it entailed blackberries, slate, and the magic of Michaud’s.

Some days, I’d imagine myself to be a gold miner. I’d climb the stairs to Michaud’s, grab a piece of slate, then descend the stairs in my search for gold. It was to be found on the lower wall of our row house, surrounding the basement level. The front of the basement was hidden underground, while the rear, which was at alley level, was encased in huge textured stone to help keep the structure safe in the event of snow drifts. I don’t know what kind of stone it was, but it had flakes of gold and silver throughout. There was a set of green wrought iron stairs leading up to a landing at the kitchen door. The area underneath served as the “cave” in which I mined for gold. I’d imagine myself wearing a wide brimmed brown leather hat, a leather coat and leather pants. I’d take my piece of slate and scrape the stone, releasing metal flakes into the palm of my hand, then round the corner and head back up the stairs to my favorite spot in Michaud’s, where my imagination would and did take me on many journeys.

As a gold miner, I’d craft another bowl out of the blackberry brambles, then set about the task of carefully sifting the flakes of gold and silver from the loosened stone. Then I’d moisten the ball of my finger and separate the gold and silver into two piles. These I would offer in trade to Bravewarrior, into whom I’d once more transform.

Bravewarrior Reflects

By now you may assume I had no human friends. I did – I preferred my imagination over the bickering and jealousy that little girls seem to thrive upon. As the keeper of my imagination, I was free to be who I wanted to be and travel short distances into long ago times.

In retrospect, it must have been the peace, mystique and magic of Michaud’s that has carried me forth into adulthood, bearing the magic of writing and the power of the mind to travel as only a good writer can transcend.

To this day, in the year 2011, some 45 years later, Michaud’s still exists, untainted by Man or machine.

I don’t know if anyone really knows the story behind the mystical lot with the slate foundation, but my imagination tells me there’s a connection between the naming of Iroquois Apartments and that magical place.

Some kids were afraid of Michaud’s back in 1966, but it’s where my soul came to life.

I hope 45 years from now another inspired child is compelled to share his or her story and keep the spirit alive.

Peace, Bravewarrior!



Shauna L Bowling

Refining, Defining or Rhyming

All Rights Reserved

© 2012 Shauna L Bowling

More by this Author


Comments 118 comments

Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

Shauna, hello my friend...it's been too long, and I've thought of you just recently prior to seeing your response to Bill's family hub. This is a good read...I enjoyed learning about how Bravewarrior came to be. How exciting for you that your friend Imagination inspired the making of this novel you are immersed in. Bravo to you and the forces that be.

Many blessings to you as you continue to write and my heart is light with the crossing of our paths once again. Rated up and interesting/awesome. :)


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

Thank you so, much Denise! It has been a long time. I've not been as diligent as I'd like in posting, of late. Comments such as yours certainly kindle the fire! Too often, especially if you work outside the home full time, time slips away..... Your encouragement and praise warms my heart!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

My sentiments exactly. I'm currently balancing several projects that have deadlines this month of a legal nature and it has not been fun. That, on top of my grueling midnight shift schedule and I feel there is NO time left to write-which builds resentment b/c it is what my passion is. so, I'm happy to read right now. Take care.


John 4 years ago

All of us have memories of growing up, Really glad your's were as nice as mine...Go forward Bravewarrior and God Speed.

Auspoof


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

I agree with you Denise. I wish I could afford to quit my day job. Writing is what I want to do with the rest of my life. I'll keep working at it until I get there. That's my goal! Good luck to you in yours!


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

Very interesting, especially since it is true. Love it. One of my brothers-in-law has Cherokee blood running through him as well. Faith Reaper


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

Awesome! So tell me, should this be the prelude to a novel or leave it as a short story?


Faith Reaper 4 years ago

Prelude to a new novel for sure. In His Love, Faith Reaper


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

That seems to be the general concensus. Thanx for your input, Faith!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Shauna, how lucky you were to have Michaud's where your best friend, Imagination, could take you anywhere you wanted to go! Sadly, too many kids today don't have a clue how we "old folks" could make an "empty" lot a portal to other worlds. Or how could we could possibly have kept ourselves occupied all day without a TV or an iPhone. Well, if we had a Time Machine to transport us and them back to that time, we'd sure show 'em, wouldn't we! lol!

Voted up and awesome! ;D


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

I agree, JamaGenee. Today's kids have no idea what to do with themselves when their electronics fail. They rant and rave about "nothing to do"! Wow! My son draws, so at least he's absorbed some of his dad's and my creative imagination.

Just think: without those of us who welcomed Imagination, there would be no HubPages or books, or poems, or the wonderful sharing of the marvelous wonder of the mind!

Hopefully, we (hubbers and literary enthusiasts) can bring back Imagination. She has room for lots and lots of friends!

Thanx for spending the time with me. It means the world...


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma

I should admit right off that I **am** rather envious of the things one can do with an iPad that DO require kids to have more than a passing acquaintance with the lovely Imagination. But NOT envious enough to plunk down several hundred dollars for the current version of a device that'll be "old news" long before the touch screen wears out. lol!

When I was a kid, we didn't have a Michaud's lot, but we did have an entire block of backyards with interesting places to designate as forts or castles or clubhouses. And plenty of trees to climb and hang out in of an afternoon. But I always found time to devour books!

Being the only girl on the block, I was the designated test driver for the soap box racers the boys built (without brakes!). But I also learned a lot of skills girls usually don't - like shooting a BB gun or how to make an arrow that would fly straight - so it was all good. ;D


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

I used to hang with the boys, too. We'd ride our bicycles down the streets of Philly and call off the makes of cars by their headlights. I always aced it! Try to do that now, with all the matchbox cars on the road today! I'm so glad to be of my generation. I'm accused of hating change (and rightly so!), but being a child then and being one now, is beyond comparison!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma

You're absolutely right! I'm NOT surprised there's an epidemic of ADHD and other behavior problems now considering today's kids are bombarded with "information" and technology 24/7 and never get to just BE kids like your generation and mine did. Childhood is not meant to be structured and scheduled ad nauseum every single minute. I'm not even thrilled that kindergartners have their own cell phones "so Mom and Dad can keep track of them". To call for help in an emergency, yes, but NOT as a tracking device. Have a GPS chip implanted in the kid and let 'em be a kid. Some things children do in the course of exploring their neighborhood, parents are better off not knowing about so they can't keep 'em from doing it. ;D


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

I'm a firm believer in "what I don't know doesn't hurt me", which is why I never watch the news! It's also why I live life thru rose-colored glasses. It's worked for 55 years, why stop now when everything outside my glasses is so you-know-whated up!


unknown spy profile image

unknown spy 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

Really, a Bravewarrior you are. It's funny that when i'm still a kid I wanted to move from one place to another..because that's an adventure.I didn't know other kids out there wanted to stay in one place because parting with friends is so sad. I guess, because I really don't have so many friends.

love your story, you are such an inspiration to others.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

Thank you, unknown. Our fellow hubbers are such a special crew, don't you think? Thank you so much for your wonderful comment.

It's ironic; I've lived in Florida longer than I've lived anywhere else. I grew into an adult here. But I still have few friends. No, I take that back. I've gained some awesome friends here on HB and you are one of them. But when you think about it, HB is a haven for imagination. It ties my roots to the beginning of Bravewarrior!

Thanx for making me think and realize what has happened. This post brought me back to my beginning, as if I never left!


Ghost32 4 years ago

This sounds rather familiar....

On the ranch in western Montana where I grew up, there was more than plenty of work to do--such as getting the firewood split and carried in for both the cooking and heating stoves from the time I was 4 years old. But, especially in those earlier years, I often managed to cast myself (much as you did) into earlier times.

At around age 9, for example, I dug a cache hole out back of the house, bottle shaped, large enough for me to slip into. Rigged a wooden cover complete with the original sod on top of that, and was able to make the hole disappear entirely--either with me inside, or outside, of the hole.

No one else ever found my cache. I was careful never to go near it when Dad was around, but he was away aften enough for that to be no problem. Mom and my 2 younger sisters...never a clue had they.

After a couple of months, wishing for this to remain a lifetime secret from all and sundry, I refilled the hole. It was no more.

I did not become someone at that time, as you did--but perhaps, looking back over the long trail, my "ghosting" through "hostile territory" at that time DID have something to do with eventually creating Ghost32.

Hmm....

See? You done went and made me THINK! OW! That HURTS!

Voted Up and More.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

Love your story Ghost! And you made me laugh! I know about the brain hurt thing. I work in accounting when I'm not writing and I'll tell you what, it can be quite taxing on the few live brain cells I have left!

Glad to make your acquaintance, Ghost. I see good things coming from our imaginations.....


josh3418 profile image

josh3418 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

Shauna, I am glad I found this story, now I know where the name comes from! :) What a great story; you are very creative, i can see it in your writing! :) Voted up, awesome, interesting, beautiful, and definitely sharing! I really enjoyed this read! :)


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

I'm just tickled to death, Josh! Sharing?? Wow! Maybe I'll become famous after all...... :-)


josh3418 profile image

josh3418 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

Hehe, yes sharing, and now that I am back sharing again! :)

P.S. You should check out my Hub on KUBB, it is an awesome outdoor game for all ages, think you would enjoy it :)


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

Bravewarrior, I much enjoyed this excellent memoir essay.

A good book on creative nonfiction (also called narrative nonfiction) that I recommend is The Fourth Genre: Contemporary Writers of/on Creative Nonfiction, [edited by] Robert L. Root and Michael Steinberg. (I have the second edition, a copy from the Salvation Army.) Used copies are listed at alibris.com for 99c plus shipping, and a public or university library in your area probably has it. Part One has examples; in Part Two writers discuss the genre; in Part Three writers discuss how they created a particular work. You're good at creative nonfiction, and I look forward to seeing more by you.

Up, Useful, Interesting, Beautiful, and shared.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

Thank you so much for your advice and kind comment, B. Coming from an accomplished writer such as yourself, this means a great deal to me and further encourages me to follow the path to my dream!

Thank you for the honorable follow. I look forward to learning from and getting to know you!


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Oh what a profound introduction to my new friend.

Your writing is easy to read, it flows with a natural rhythm and a beauitful sense of remembrance. I love the idea of this leading to a published book, it has all the elements.

The comment stream show how you touch the reader. How interesting to learn more about Ghost/ his name... because of your sharing the same with us.

Voted UP & UABI. Oh, I was right... you 'are' cool! Hugs, Maria

PS... Only 4 years younger than you... we coulda bumped heads back then as I grew up on the other side of City Line Avenue in Norristown.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

Wow, Maria! Norristown???? Yeah, man! You know City Line Avenue? Lordy. Do you remember the Jerry Blavit show? I can tell a story about that. His producer was my friend's step dad. They lived on our street, Overbrook Avenue. I was given free passes to see The Monkees. OMG! That's a story and probably a hub!


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

I most certainly do remember Jerry Blavit... my brother was so very into him... (was he the Geetor with the Heater...?) Pretty sure that is who I listen to still sometimes on XPN (our Penn Public radio station) on Saturday nights.

Now I would have loved to have seen the Monkees with you. Oh how I loved them, especially Davey (RIP).

A hub would be so cool, girlfriend. I hope you consider it.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

I actually touched Davy Jones and went home screaming, "I"ll never wash this hand again!" My mother thought I was sooooo dramatic! Maybe so, but hey, how many 6th grade Catholic school girls can claim fame to that????

K. I'm making myself a note: Monkees hub!


Farmer Rachel profile image

Farmer Rachel 4 years ago from Minnesota

I really loved this hub. I actually grew up right outside SW Philly, and while in high school I worked at a big hospital on City Line Ave (not very long ago, actually!). My dad grew up in Darby in the 50s and 60s - I should ask him if he ever got out to Bala Cynwyd area. I'll have to go take a look for the lot, see if it's still there. Voted this one up etc., loved reading it!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

Let me know what you find out, Rachel. I did an address search, one of those live cam things, just before I wrote this and it looks like it's still there. I went to St. Matthias Catholic School in Bala Cynwyd.

If you get by the lot, please send me a picture! I lived right across the street at 4500 Overbrook Avenue.

Exciting! Thank you.


Simba73 profile image

Simba73 4 years ago from UK

Great write here, thanks for guiding me to it, you seem to be like the kind of girl I would want to play with when I was a kid, imagination make so much better games as a kid :)

I'll post a pic of when I was a kid on my page I was always the Indian too !!!

Simba


Simba73 profile image

Simba73 4 years ago from UK

Oh yeah I'm voting up !!!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

I'm beginning to have a crush on you, Simba! You've put a smile on my face since you first found my corner! (I haven't seen you in my followers. Is that another HP glitch?)


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

Muuuaaahhhh! That's cyber talk for blowing you a kiss, Simba!


Simba73 profile image

Simba73 4 years ago from UK

Gotta be a glitch I just checked and I'm llowing ya !! Muuahhh !!


Simba73 profile image

Simba73 4 years ago from UK

that was following ya Lol


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

Big smiles coming from my heart, Simba!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

Mmmmmmmm!


TheAveragePoet profile image

TheAveragePoet 4 years ago from Here and there.

A most engaging and empowering tale, bravewarrior. Thank you for sharing your story, I enjoyed the adventures.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

Poet, I appreciate your comment. I lived the adventures and it was the start of my emotional independence! They were good times and the first day of the rest of my life!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Hello Bravewarrior. This is marvelous. Such a touching story. Your writing flows making an easy read. I'm glad you've shared these good times. I have "blackfoot" running through my veins. The best of times is still to come.

Only one way to rate this marvelous hub. Up, across and sharing!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

Audrey, thank you so much for the comment. Those times in Philly hold wonderful memories for me. I miss the blackberry trees!


clara kish@yahoo. profile image

clara kish@yahoo. 3 years ago from Mt. Perry. Ohio

Thank you ,Bravewarrior, for ,your wonderful story,yes, it will make an interesting book and I am sure many people would enjoy it . I don't know about the young ones but at least they would know that we had a life before all of the modern gadgets came along.You know ,the ones they think they can't live without.The best to you . Clara


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Clara, thank you for reading. Yes, what would today's youth do without their gadgets?


Anna Haven profile image

Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

Hi bravewarrior, what a great story, it sounds like it should be a book. I loved how the blackberries became part of whatever role you were in. I just wish I had been there to play, I would have loved it!


DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 3 years ago

I loved your story so interesting and filled with endless adventure.Growing up during the summer until school started again we often amused ourselves walking,playing with fake guns where we made all the sound effects no bullets,Later we were lucky to have squirt and cap guns. Playing tag until you dropped,then you walked to the beach for a swim to cool off and drank water from a water bubbler because we had no money.You brought back so many memories wow what good times we had.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Anna, it was a great time. That part of Philly offered many natural tools to spark my imagination.

Dream On, we're lucky to have such wonderful chilhood memories, aren't we?


klidstone1970 profile image

klidstone1970 3 years ago from Niagara Region, Canada

Oh, Shauna. I love the nostalgia of this piece. A much simpler time it seems compared to now; I remember playing until the streetlights came on, skipping rope or hopscotch, loved listening to all the mother's calling out that it was supper time, or being so absorbed and playing with "Imagination" that the time would seem to fly by. You allowed me to revisit my childhood as well and it brought a smile to my face. Thanks.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Kim, I remember the mothers calling for the kids to come home for a meal also. What magical times they were! Now we pick up the cell phone. WTF?

I didn't even include the princess I would pretend to be with a towel wrapped around my hips and another on my head as I danced to the music in my head!

Oh, the joys of Imagination! Those who imagine become writers and artists. Life is sweet!


Anjili profile image

Anjili 3 years ago from planet earth, a humanoid

It is great to know your origin. Your life story could fill a whole novel. Keep up with the good work. Voted up and interesting


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Thank you Anjili. I'm seriously considering expanding this into a novel. I just need to figure out which direction I want it to take.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

Compelling, inspirational, full of intrigue. The reader just wonders what direction this is taking. A novel.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Flourish, that's my thinking. I just need to figure out where to start!


Mr Archer profile image

Mr Archer 3 years ago from Missouri

Cheyenne, this is a wonderful read and insight into using our imagination as children. I too had a "patch of woods" across the street from where I lived. In it lived all manner of beasties, including fish! I built forst, hunted with my homemade bow and arrows, and generally lived by the imagination. It is sad that so many of today's children seem to be lacking in that; what will become of them as adults? If one does not learn how to dream young, how will one chase dreams when older?

Peace be with you, Cheyenne. Good hunting and fair winds.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Mike, you are so right. Most kids today can't even spell imagination, let alone know how to cultivate it! You bring up a very good point that I never thought about until now. If kids can't learn to dream when they are young, what do they have to strive for as they grow older?

I'm tickled that you're rolling around my site. I've been 'tweaking' so more of my hubs make the rotation gamut.

Peace!


ocfireflies profile image

ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

bravewarrior,

I can definitely see how your piece could operate as a prelude to a novel. While my childhood was not in the same place as where your childhood took place, I feel a kindred spirit. Wishing you the time you need to write your novel.

Best Always,

Kim


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Kim, thank you so much. Hopefully I can spare some time from earning a living to do just that!


epbooks profile image

epbooks 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

I had always been meaning to ask about bravewarrior name and now I know. What an awesome story. I've always had a vivid imagination as well and would create adventures in the woods behind our house. So nice to learn this about you!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Welcome to my world, Liz! :-)


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 3 years ago from South Carolina

Shauna,

This was totally captivating and brought back so many fond memories of my own imaginative play as a young child. I was not a military brat but my family moved frequently so I knew how to keep myself entertained in between making new friends, and also played with my younger brother a lot.

Children of today aren't allowed the freedom to roam and explore their neighborhoods because the parents are too afraid for their safety but that's a terrible loss because I believe kids are meant to be explorers. It stimulates their imaginations and helps develop their brains.

Am voting this story up across the board except for funny and sharing.


CraftytotheCore profile image

CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

What an awesome story. Michaud's sounds a lot like the field by my home when I was a child. It was an empty field and every year the carnival would come. Until a plane crashed in it. From then on, it was a sad place, so the town built a park and a sports field. It's amazing now.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

Okay, where do I start? First off I guess, definitely a book! With a captivating story like this touching just a tiny spot in your life I know an autobiography would be great, or a novel if you prefer anonymity ;) Your writing style is easy to read, interesting, and just flows...all good things for a book. Your story was interesting and relate-able, at least for those of us who remember "playing outside" and "using our imaginations".

Certainly would have 'called on you' to play in that field or anywhere!

What a wonderful way you came upon your "name" here! Looking forward to learning more.

Voted all but funny, and sharing. Since your pictures aren't originals I'm pinning too.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Gail, we were fortunate to grow up in the time we did. Imagination and exploring is what it was all about. As long as I was home before dark, all was ok. And that was when we lived in Philly! Times have changed. I'm thankful for the use of my imagination. You have to know how to use it in order to become a writer, right?


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Crafty, I googled my old neighborhood not too long ago. It was one of those sites that gave you a live view and you can pan the camera around. I was pleased to see Michaud's is still as it was when I was a kid. Now I'm convinced more than ever that the area is some kind of Native American sacred ground. Either that or the spirits won't allow anyone to build on it. I'm relieved it still lives the way it did so many years ago.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Mary, who knew my experience at Michaud's would develop into my pen name as a writer! It's really pretty cool when I think about it. Had I known I would have taken my Kodak Instamatic with me into my imaginary life. But then, warriors and miners more didn't carry cameras with them, did they?

I'll have to expound on this one of these days. I've thought about it - just not sure which direction I want it to take. Then again, when I write the direction seems to take on a life of its own.

I'm glad you like this and commented. I will definitely have to revisit this story and carry it forward.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 3 years ago from Minnesota

Hi bravewarrior-what a wonderful imagination and great adventures you had at Michaud's. Times sure have changed with all the technology. I don't think kids get to use that imagination piece the way we did as kids. By the way, I never liked hanging out with gossipy girls either-you and I would have had a blast together. Thanks for sharing your story of how you became brave warrior. I could definitely see this becoming a novel. Hope you've continued the adventures.


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bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Linda, I have let this one fall by the wayside in favor of The Gifts of Faith. You can find that ongoing short story here on HP. I do hope to get back to How I Became Bravewarrior, I just don't know where I want the story to pick up from yet. It will be an autobiography. Not sure I'm ready to go there just yet.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 3 years ago from Minnesota

I understand Shauna that timing is everything, especially when writing an autobiography. You will be lead by warrior guides as to when and how. When it is time, I will be excited to read it. Hugs :-)


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bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Linda, you are so right. Will it be written in my white man's time? Hmm... something to think about. We shall see!


Made profile image

Made 2 years ago from Finland

I can relate to this hub. I used my imagination all the time as a child. In the winter I hade skiiing competition with my three imaginary friends. I loved spending time in the woods that surrounded our house...

It's very interesting to read your story and how you got your name, bravewarrior. Wonderful hub!


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bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Made, did your imaginary friends ever win the competitions? :-) I lived outside when I was a kid. Trying to keep me indoors was like putting a cat in a cage!


Made profile image

Made 2 years ago from Finland

No, they never won. Of course I was the winner, and it was always the same poor, little girl in last place. :)


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bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

You're too funny, Made. I was pulling your leg, of course! :-)


Crystal Tatum profile image

Crystal Tatum 2 years ago from Georgia

I very much understand living in the imagination as a child. And I too have Cherokee blood - you've got me thinking about exactly what that means and how it has factored in the development of my personality and spirit. Well done Brave Warrior!


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bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Crystal, I'm sure it has factored into who you are whether you realize it or not.


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

This is really interesting and "deep". As an army brat myself, I can truly relate to some of your experiences. When I was a child, I was my own best friend and my imagination was quite vivid. I wrote a lot back then. Thanks, bravewarrior, for sharing your story. I enjoyed reading it.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Marlene, I'd bet that many military brats had to go inside themselves in order to combat the loneliness. In the end, we are resilient human beings. That has served me well in my adulthood.

I'm glad you related to this and that you enjoyed the read. Thank you.


RachaelOhalloran profile image

RachaelOhalloran 2 years ago from United States

bravewarrior, this was a very interesting and compelling story. It is always interesting to me to hear how writers choose their names, or as life would have it, how names are chosen for them.

I was reading over the comments and I also have a Philly connection. I lived there in my teen years when we moved from Virginia to Philly from 1960 to 1975. We lived at F & the Blvd, then moved to Holme Ave down the street from Nazareth Hospital. My husband is from Our Lady of Angels parish around 50th & Master St in West Philly. When we married, his assignment was moved to NJ, then NYC, and the traveling never stopped. We went to Florida for 1 yr then back to Philly from 1981 to 1990. We lived at Grant & Academy near the NE Airport. I had an aunt who lived in Wynnwood, but she died 2 years ago so now there is no family left in Philly at all. In 1990 we went to Delaware and then out to CA for a few years, to Las Vegas, NV, then Santa Fe, NM. I’ll stop there. We moved a lot. My father worked for the government for a number of years before going private sector. My husband worked for a different branch of the government. Whenever the job moved them, we were offered the chance to move or stay. It was better to move the whole family.

We are moving back East at the end of this month to Virginia and will split time between there and Florida to be near our children and grandchildren. It will be our last move, we are sure. Anyway, I don’t know if you know those areas of Philly or not, they’re a little farther away from your neighborhood. I enjoyed reading your story and the comments here too. lol


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bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Rachael, I'm not familiar with those parts of Philly. But it was so long ago when I lived there, I may know them and just don't realize it. I'm glad you're finally settling down. Moving a lot takes a toll after a while. I moved a lot too, but I've been in Florida now since 1976. I don't plan on going anywhere!


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 2 years ago from Germany

What a very interesting story! I would love to continue reading when you have published this novel. It´s good to know how you became a bravewarrior. This would definitely be a prelude of your novel. Thanks for sharing.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Thank you, Thelma. Right now I'm working on The Gifts of Faith (11 chapters written so far and posted on HP). That will become a novel, although right now it's slow going.

One day I hope to get back to Bravewarrior. I'm not sure which direction I want it to take, which is another reason I haven't done anything with it. It'll hit me one day and then I'll roll with it!


prey profile image

prey 2 years ago from places you should hope we never meet

love the smile, more of us should act and write with one


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

I'm not sure what you mean, prey but thank you!


prey profile image

prey 2 years ago from places you should hope we never meet

simply, you bring light to me when you write. I however cannot bring myself to call you brave warrior


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Oh, I was wondering what the reference to smile was. Why can't you call me Bravewarrior, Prey?


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 2 years ago from West Virginia

This is a cool story of imaginable times. I loved how your story flowed in and out of the blackberries and around the slate stone. I like the name Bravewarrior.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Debra, this is a true story. It's how I spent much of my childhood when we lived in Philly. The blackberries were delicious and so were the honeysuckle. You practically had to hog-tie me to keep me indoors. Even in the winter!


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 2 years ago from West Virginia

I know it was a true story. You said that in the beginning. I have been to Philly. I grew up in Maryland and we also had blackberries and honeysuckle.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

I love Maryland crabs. We'd have them quite often when we lived in Philly. Sorry, about reiterating the true story thing. It's been a while since I've re-read this story.

Thanx for stopping by Debra!


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 2 years ago from West Virginia

Thank you, you just gave me another idea to write on my memoirs.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Cool!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Cool!


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

Sounds like a fantastic place to allow yourself to be who you are. I grew up in the woods of Maine, and later lived in Wilmington, DE, as an adult for a number of years. I had been to Philly several times--I liked the Superior Ravioli Co. and DiBruno's horseradish cheese spread. I really miss that cheese spread...


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Aviannovice, sorry to say I've never had either of those products. It's nice you grew up in the woods. Plenty of places to let your imagination run free. Thanx for stopping by!


Brite-Ideas profile image

Brite-Ideas 2 years ago from Toronto, Canada

I had to read this to find out how you chose this name. Your friend was your imagination and it's that creative mind that lead you to you to your name and being a writer who can reach people on the page and through the internet. Reading about you child play actually makes me miss those innocent times of being outdoors all day, creating, inventing, running, biking.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Barb, those were the good old days. Today's kids have no idea what they're missing!


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 22 months ago from Home Sweet Home

you sound very brave like a lion to me, nice to know you


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 22 months ago from Central Florida Author

Thank you peachpurple. I love lions!


SheGetsCreative profile image

SheGetsCreative 21 months ago from Seattle, WA

You and I could have been friends/co-conspirators as kids...truly. :)


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 21 months ago from Central Florida Author

Then let's make up for lost time and become friends now, Angela!


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 19 months ago from California

I love this narrative--it so reminds me of my own childhood--exploring on my own and sometimes with friends, but mostly on my own--I often returned with all kinds of treasures!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 19 months ago from Central Florida Author

Audrey, I find that now I'm in my twilight years, I've reverted to being on my own and resorting to my imagination. I went through a period in my early twenties where I needed lots of people around me. I think I just needed to validate who I am. However, looking back, being able to provide my own entertainment has led me to be a strong woman who can depend on herself. There's a downside, too: letting others in is not so easy.

Thank you for reading and relating. I greatly appreciate your input.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 19 months ago from Queensland Australia

I just came across this Shauna, I guess Audrey must have shared it. I thoroughly enjoyed this story from your childhood. I had a lot of make believe adventures as a child but more so in the company of others than alone. I have always enjoyed my alone time however, especially now as it gives me uninterrupted time to write. Well written and voted up. Is it still going to become the basis for a novel?


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 19 months ago from Central Florida Author

John, at first I thought it could morph into a novel. Now I'm not so sure. I'm not prepared to write an autobiography and that's what it would have to be, I think. I kinda like it as a stand alone. What do you think?


Jodah profile image

Jodah 19 months ago from Queensland Australia

Yes Shauna, I think it's fine just as it is. I was wondering what aspects you would keep as fact and what introduce as fiction...probably changing names etc.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 19 months ago from Central Florida Author

I agree, John. It would require too much to expand this into a novel. After posting it and letting time give me the answer, I've determined this piece is what it was meant to be: the explanation of how I chose my pen name.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 18 months ago from Oakley, CA

Wow, Shauna! This was an amazing trip down memory lane. You described it so well, I could imagine playing there myself!

What a great time you had in that place. I love your line of, "...travel short distances into long ago times." What a magical description!

Voted up ++


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 18 months ago from Central Florida Author

Thank you, Liz. My imagination was free to roam in the lot in front of our house. I'd go there pretty much every day. I can still see it in my mind as clear as if it were yesterday.


Akriti Mattu profile image

Akriti Mattu 18 months ago from Shimla, India

Excellent post.

Voted up.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 18 months ago from Central Florida Author

Thank you, Akriti!


word55 profile image

word55 17 months ago from Chicago

Wow, I'm learning a lot about you. I see why you care so much for the environment. Very well written and portrayed. You are quite creative. I like that in you. Keep it up and voted up!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 17 months ago from Central Florida Author

Al, your comment (and assessment) means the world to me. Hopefully I'll get back to writing soon. Right now I have a bunch of other life stuff that needs to take the front seat for a while.

Thanx for your support. Much appreciated!


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 17 months ago

Sha, I can relate to this as we my cousins, brothers and I played in the woods and used bow and arrows we found many arrow heads and I too am part Cherokee. My great, great grandmother was in the trail of tears and I found her Dawes Roll number that allowed some of my cousins to get scholarships, to universities.

I find this inspiring and interesting, I too believe in the magic from the Cherokee blood that flows in my veins, and I can understand.

thumb up, UABI and shared.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 17 months ago from Central Florida Author

Shyron, how exciting that you have access to your ancestral history! Both of my mom's parents were part Cherokee. All I know is one of my great great grandfathers was a Chief. One of my aunts tried to research and document the family tree but somewhere along the line a link was dropped and she couldn't complete it. Sad.

I'm glad you enjoyed this and can relate to it. It's really cool that you found genuine arrow heads in your youth. Do you still have any of them?


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 11 months ago from Nashville Tn.

Oh, Sha, I dearly love this short story about how you came to be 'Bravewarrior.' A courageous description of the woman you are. I have 'Blackfoot' coursing through my veins on my mother's side. What a woman she was. I didn't appreciate her as I was growing up. Sadly it took a life-time to understand her own difficult life.

Your friend, your imagination, has honored you. You not only tapped into your imagination, you have glorified this magnificent part of your mind. I hope that I will one day accomplish the 'magic' that you have applied to your wonderful writing.

Thank you Sha and a very Happy New Year to you.

Audrey


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 11 months ago from Central Florida Author

Audrey, thank you for your awesome comment! When I was young we moved alot. My imagination was my constant companion as the result. This story is absolutely true. Who knew at the time that I'd grow up to embrace writing and use Bravewarrior as my pen name? I certainly didn't!

I would imagine your mother kept the difficult aspects of her life from you, for reasons of her own. We, as children, can be so selfish. We don't think about what guides peoples actions, we only see the result.


Nadine May profile image

Nadine May 6 weeks ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

You writing skills always amazes me. To write an autobiography is often only useful to do for the author and his and her family, but to write your story as fiction, and change names and sometimes places, now that can be just as rewording. Go for it!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 6 weeks ago from Central Florida Author

Nadine, thank you for the awesome comment/compliment!

Actually, this story isn't fiction at all. Everything about the story is true. The setting, name of lot across the street from where we lived in Philly and the characters I became are all real.

Not too long ago I Google Mapped our address in Philly, panned around and found Michaud's is still there! I was thrilled to discover that special part of my childhood still exists untainted.

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