Robin Hawke

More than a Record
March 16, 2012, 12:56 PM
Filed under: All Writing Challenges

I’ve been through a lousy period. NaNoWriMo did a number on me. In October, I was writing, blogging and satisfied with my progress. In November, the baneful month, I wrote reams, splashing daily word counts across my blog. In December, distracted by holidays and travel, my goal was to maintain. I pulled out my NaNoWritings in January and began the work of providing form and structure for Judging Jade. My progress was slower than a three legged turtle before I realized why: I was writing backwards.

The discovery led me to the conviction that I should always begin with something mysterious–I can’t find the word for it. It’s the opposite of understood, but it isn’t misunderstood. Whether it is an image, an act or a word that propels me, I need something that seeps, ticks, maybe even dives. I’m not entirely sure what, but it operates on a gut level; it’s a conviction. Then, it is time to scrabble around uncovering the subneural, subconscious, subgut. (It’s a puzzle: how do I connect eating scrambled eggs with throwing popcorn and why do I want to?) The answers come slowly, but eventually the tide comes in. The result, if I’ve worked it right, has depth and layers.

During the NaNoWriMo process, I wrote an explicit record of what my characters did. There was no mystery and an alarming lack of subtext. There was nothing left for me to explore. Trying to enrich a recording of events into a reading experience is a slow path to hell. What I can’t do, maybe others can, is take a series of events and convince myself there’s something to uncover. So writing every detail down as I move characters from A to B is not part of my writing process. Feeling my way through images and flashes of phrases is what I need to explore tidepools before creating a landscape out of found sea urchins and seashells. And if my landscape pleases anyone else, it is because I have found the deepest pools of meaning.

I’m overdue—so overdue—picking up an award. And I received a second. I’ve never felt less of a Versatile Blogger, but I’m trying to get back to that place where words flow from the inside out not outside in. Please help me get back into the blog current by asking me questions on my Interview Robin page.


February 24, 2012, 2:32 PM
Filed under: All Writing Challenges | Tags: , ,

The writing on the note was plain, a jumble of capitals and lower case. The paper was perforated, a jumble of lines and holes. The ink was smeared. And I read the words of a liar. I tried correlating them to experiences and memories without success. Staring at the truncated crossings of letters t and f, the open loops of letters g and p, I noticed the haste in the letters I, I, I, the fear I would interrupt him in the gaunt y, o, u. In my search for shreds of content, meaning disintegrated into picked bones on stone.

Friday Fictioneers

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February 22, 2012, 7:38 PM
Filed under: All Writing Challenges

jonquils melt in snow

summer yellow on soft serve

sweet crowns tip off warmth

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The Bride
February 11, 2012, 3:54 PM
Filed under: All Writing Challenges, Love and Romance

The day of my wedding, mist settled and mud collected on my hem. My father held an umbrella for me. Taking his arm, I sensed the beginnings of a headache. Squeezing my eyes, I managed a smile and a kiss. I set one foot down after another. Dull pain increased with each step. Dismissing it, I let fear fold into the sheath that protected my nerves and waited for a cue.

Pain increased, localized. I rubbed my skull with a hand under the veil, trying not to disturb a hair concoction. Double doors opened. My dubious doll smile went ahead down the aisle. Music swirled. I gathered myself in that stately walk to the man I loved. If tiny velvet nubs sprouted from my head, no one noticed.

Then came that perfunctory pause. Our minister waited for reasons we should not join. I looked over the congregation. By now, everyone noticed the twin antlers growing. I thought I should speak. My mouth pursed, but words stilled.

We exchanged vows.

Each point of my horns dulled with each word of acceptance. A final pronouncement heard, music trumpeted. My new husband grabbed an elbow while I disguised hooves in the bouquet.

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Coq au Vin
February 10, 2012, 3:45 PM
Filed under: All Writing Challenges | Tags: , , ,

Choose firm, earthy-colored mushrooms. Discard those with spots or slimy gills. Brown everything in sizzling butter: floured chicken, pearl onions, mushrooms, some carrots, much garlic with a pinch of thyme. Be rash, use high heat to sear these flavors. My recipe departs from the traditional one—here—when everything caramelizes, gets crusty, pour wine in the pot. Submerge everything in wine. Add more. Open another bottle. Forget chicken stock; forget hoarding mushrooms until the last fifteen minutes of cooking; forget it all while there’s time to grab another romp through the woods. Let everything simmer while you stoke appetites.

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February 8, 2012, 9:23 PM
Filed under: All Writing Challenges | Tags:

cascading anger
horn music in dirty snow
glass souls cross at lights

Haiku Heights #105, prompt music

Love Letter
February 8, 2012, 2:43 PM
Filed under: All Writing Challenges | Tags: ,

I am missing, but not from your thoughts. Or yours from mine: I polish each of our dreams, impatient as ever to rub them into existence.

Today is one of those winter days when the sun can’t break the clouds. The sky glows like moonstone. It wouldn’t you know, if the sun went AWOL. Think of me; think of the sun. Clouds will scuttle off—break like eggshells; hot rays will wake bulbs in the ground; surrounding arms will banish those sad thoughts of yours. All I wait for is a strong wind to blow me home.

I keep, if missing, missing you.

Do not fold my jeans away. Do not fold my letters with tears.

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