Robin Hawke

A Hike
May 31, 2011, 3:22 PM
Filed under: Emotions, Life and Stuff | Tags: ,

Why, when I’ve written for years, do I feel like I’m just beginning?

This beginning place is not foreign ground. I’ve stood here before. I know where the path in front of me leads.

But, the creek I ramble along is overflowing with last week’s rains and spring thaw. Rocks I’ve jumped on are submerged; the water is cold; the trail hasn’t been pruned. The distance I make is accompanied by doubt and scratches and not a few slips.

I know where the trail ends.

It ends in the promise of satisfaction and waterfalls of clean, clear prose. It ends in jubilation.

Expand and Contract
May 30, 2011, 2:02 PM
Filed under: Love and Romance | Tags: ,

The field, with its scrubs and cows, is like love. Open ground, sometimes fertile, sometimes not.

The forest, dense with undergrowth, is like love. A deer path seduces me to venture into shadowed seclusion on a hot summer day.

Whether expanding or contracting, love surrounds us. Branched or furled, love beats in steady rhythm. My love, my family, my friends, my country.

May 29, 2011, 1:51 PM
Filed under: Quotations | Tags:

These things will destroy the human race: politics without principle, progress without compassion, wealth without work, learning without silence, religion without fearlessness and worship without awareness.

—Anthony de Mello

Love Out of Step
May 28, 2011, 2:36 PM
Filed under: Love and Romance | Tags: , ,

There was a day, playing dodge ball, when I was the last girl inside the circle. The count increased, 6-7-8. I’ll never forget a boy named Paul. Incensed that the girls might have another turn, he threw the ball at my back with such vehemence that I landed face down on asphalt.

For those brief counts, 6-7-8, I was a heroine and valued by my playmates. During 6-7-8, I was unaware of who held the ball. I was agile, speedier than a ball, better than the boys thought. Invincible, until a boy named Paul forced the air out of my slight body with a mighty overhand.

My schoolgirl crush, I called it love, on Paul was not affected. His hero status remained and I averted my gaze when he looked at me. Even then, I knew Paul’s awareness of my presence lasted a countdown, 6-7-8; it disappeared when his craw became visible on count 9.

An adequate love is a volley of affection and reason.

A New Season—So You Think You Can Dance
May 27, 2011, 1:21 PM
Filed under: Emotions, Life and Stuff

I’m not sure when dance and athleticism merged. Or when dancers became gymnasts.

Dancers brave space. Here on earth, they throw themselves into the air, onto the ground and around another dancer. Their muscles speed up actions or slow down time until my heart jumps.

This television reality show introduces me to new forms of dance, forms that compete for a balance between startling acts, natural talent and bold timing. Attempts to dance better than the contestant before, than dancers of earlier eras, garner both my amazement and my fear for a dancer’s ligaments.

I can’t explain why, when I love these performances, and this show,  I crave for a dance without athletic, supernova moves—a dance that communicates without an explosion of superiority.

Sweet Inspiration
May 25, 2011, 9:11 PM
Filed under: Emotions, Life and Stuff | Tags: ,

I believe in junk, trash and disaster, that they are the dialects of creativity. If I sit down to write greatness, I will fail. If I sit down and begin my discourse in the rubbish pile, let out words without the interference of my private censor, I have an opportunity to find value. It’s not easy being bad. It’s not easy taking garbage and raking through it, sorting recyclables from salvageables. I’m happiest later in the writing process, after I’ve chosen my vocabulary and direction—when I have an inkling of how the sweet odor of persistence will transform the stench of compost.

May 25, 2011, 1:25 PM
Filed under: Quotations | Tags:

Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our lives.

—C. S. Lewis

Where Stories Count

This blog? Where stories count:

I share short-short stories on this blog: Three sentence stories and  flash fiction in response to writing challenges.


One by One
May 24, 2011, 11:15 PM
Filed under: Emotions, Life and Stuff | Tags:

Grief is demanding. Sitting down to work, to writing, to housework, I promise today will be productive and that I will cross off simple, for today, goals, one by one by one. Instead, grief becomes an excuse to procrastinate. Why I  favor tears over accomplishment, I have no idea. As soon as I drop my task, grief takes over until I choose another chore. I bend my head, willing myself to concentrate. And before I find success, before the bed is made, or the post is published, I find myself distracted and take another walk. I fail my simple tasks but won’t allow myself regret. Grief is demanding enough.

One Kiss
May 24, 2011, 3:03 PM
Filed under: Quotations | Tags:

A kiss is one of the most significant exchanges two people can have, serving as an unspoken language to convey our deepest feelings when words simply will not do.

—Sheril Kirshenbaum

Hound Lament
May 22, 2011, 7:56 PM
Filed under: Quotations | Tags:

Take care of all your memories. For you cannot relive them.

—Bob Dylan

I’m grieving for my old hound. It’s time for good-bye, but all I want to do is remember.

May 20, 2011, 11:39 PM
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags:

I turned off the computer during recent thunderstorms and took the opportunity to work on this drawing. I’ve spent so many months writing, I’d forgotten the joys of prismacolors. I like pressing firmly; love the waxy sheen; delight in sharpening points over and over.

Writing should be simple
May 20, 2011, 5:17 PM
Filed under: Emotions, Life and Stuff | Tags:

Writing should be simple. Idea > eruption > refinement.  Then, to achieve something worthwhile, a dance—the lead alternating between words and author.

There are writers who think in sentences. When interviewed, they use beautiful language. It comes naturally and ably. I’m sure writing is simple for them, second nature.

I think in pictures. I stumble over words. I skip important segues. I fall downstairs, pick myself up, and slowly, with bruises aplenty, climb the forbidding incline.

What keeps me going? I use to teach. I remember students with natural talent, they danced up those stairs in twos and threes, but soon slipped away, beyond sight, and left no evidence of their rich inclinations. Others would make plodding progress. They would get to the top and build a scaffold to climb higher. I learned from them.

I think in pictures, and, for now, that will have to do; it’s a sturdy platform.

Plays a Part
May 19, 2011, 6:53 PM
Filed under: Quotations | Tags:

“In a great romance, each person plays a part the other really likes.”

—Elizabeth Ashley

Note from Robin: We ought to play that part on and off stage.

I Loved You First
May 18, 2011, 5:32 PM
Filed under: Quotations | Tags:

I loved you first: but afterwards your love

Outsoaring mine, sang such a loftier song

As drowned the friendly cooings of my dove.

Which owes the other most? my love was long,

And yours one moment seemed to wax more

I loved and guessed at you, you construed me

And loved me for what might or might not be—

Nay, weights and measures do us both a wrong.

For verily love knows not ‘mine’ or ‘thine;’

With separate ‘I and ‘thou’ free love has done,

For one is both and both are one in love:

Rich love knows nought of ‘thine that is not mine;’

Both have the strength and both the length

Both of us, of the love which makes us one.

Poem by Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

“You construed me”—what a beautiful phrase. Reminds me of, “You make me want to be a better man.”

Morning Glory
May 17, 2011, 9:48 PM
Filed under: Emotions, Life and Stuff | Tags: , ,

Vines, many, many vines began growing in one of the vegetable beds. I must have planted morning glories last fall. They took over, but squash seeds have sprouted. Those aren’t morning glories. Small buds promise white, insignificant flowers. I’d better find out what those things are. The vines love this rainy weather and have escaped into the weedy lawn. Buckwheat? How in the world did buckwheat get going? And why is it relegated to that bed?

Weeds are despised by people who want virginal grass. Dandelions and violets are allowed to bloom in my yard to great delight. Unfortunately, so do plantains. And the plantains in my grass have no relationship to the slowly blackening fruit on the kitchen counter.

I gave up grass twenty years ago in favor of a devil-may-care-what-will-grow attitude. It has served me well and cut down on years of fussing and fuming about weeds. These vines threaten more than the vegetable bed with their substantive growth.

Survivor Thoughts—Last Vote
May 16, 2011, 7:20 PM
Filed under: Emotions, Life and Stuff | Tags: , ,

I love watching people and, because they are hungry, determined to win money and full of surprises, Survivor contestants become endearing over the course of a season. The last tribal council always surprises me, though. After all, the jury is fed and sleekly groomed. Last night, I was particularly disturbed with the disrespect shown Phillip.

Any game, any game, that takes a player to the end should be analyzed and appreciated. Phillip’s game was brilliant—he was the person everyone wanted to take to the end. He guaranteed himself a final spot to win the million. Rob couldn’t say the same and if he hadn’t been able to play the immunity idol, things might have been different. Regardless of idol play, Phillip was slated to stay.

Phillip should have gone to Redemption Island at the first tribal council. Instead, he outs the secrets of his supposed alliance. At the time, I thought it was a nutty thing to do. A few days later, I realized that it was an ingenious way of divorcing the small alliance in favor of the greater one. He demonstrates loyalty before called upon.

I wish Phillip had had a marketing guru telling him what to say to the final jury. With the right spin, a changed tone of voice, and a semblance of the sanity he has shown in outtakes—he could have won.

Phillip Sheppard survived. In my heart, too. I wish him the best and he deserves credit for playing an underdog who’s willing to rub salt in wounds. Most underdogs would be afraid to create chaos.

Love remix
May 15, 2011, 11:21 PM
Filed under: Quotations | Tags:

“Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” 

—Ursula K. LeGuin

Time Sink
May 15, 2011, 12:02 PM
Filed under: Emotions, Life and Stuff | Tags: ,

Solutions to writing problems and knotty issues come to me when I’m driving or showering. Places I am without a notebook. Triggers, phrases, ideas, a whole sentence—to jot them down—how ingenious that would be.

Instead, I linger under hot water. People in the know say complete relaxation is a key ingredient of incubating wisely. I’m never sure how wise I am when that clever solution flows down the drain as soon as I begin to towel off.

Implausible Poppy
May 14, 2011, 4:54 PM
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags:

It’s raining. This large orange globe isn’t bothered by the extra weight of teardrops.

A Start
May 12, 2011, 10:19 PM
Filed under: Emotions, Life and Stuff | Tags: , ,

Starting over, starting something new, starting becomes a profession all its own. I’m beginning a new career as a romance writer. I love it. I love nudging words around and celebrating love.

What is also beginning–dreaded marketing. I hate writing phrases that will entice people to read the words I slave over. It seems I’m limping. One foot is racing to get back to the story and characters I’m developing. Then, there’s that other foot, stuck in a bog of confused marketing language.