Robin Hawke

A Flat Road
April 18, 2012, 11:18 AM
Filed under: Emotions, Life and Stuff, Quotations

Blogging has become my only (tenuous) link to writing. Every time I see the way clear to practice writing, something happens. I’m about to hit the road again: this road shows yield signs and unfamiliar intersections but little chance to drive the keyboard with steady rat tat tats.

To my faithful readers: It is hard to sound out how appreciative I am of your visits. I thought I’d be able to catch up with your blogs and your progress in the coming week. My world changed and I must navigate. I’ll drive myself to write the three sentence stories, knowing that grammar will slip off the page and word choices will be imprecise. Each story I manage will be my patch of tarmac. Temporary. Each is a promise to myself to stay on the write road. Thanks again for your support.

I’m hanging in there:

Chu says ‘…that because you proceed through a series of plateaus, so there’s like radical improvement up to a certain plateau and then what looks like a stall, on the plateau, with the only way to get off one of the plateaus and climb up to the next one up ahead is with a whole lot of frustrating mindless repetitive practice and patience and hanging in there.’

—from Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

February 26, 2012, 2:37 PM
Filed under: Quotations | Tags:

If the communication is perfect, the words have life, and that is all there is to good writing, putting down on the paper words which dance and weep and make love and fight and kiss and perform miracles.
―Gertrude Stein

January 24, 2012, 11:29 PM
Filed under: Quotations

You risked your life, but what else have you ever risked? Have you risked disapproval? Have you ever risked economic security? Have you ever risked a belief? I see nothing particularly courageous about risking one’s life. So you lose it, you go to your hero’s heaven and everything is milk and honey ’til the end of time. Right? You get your reward and suffer no earthly consequences. That’s not courage. Real courage is risking something that might force you to rethink your thoughts and suffer change and stretch consciousness. Real courage is risking one’s clichés.

—Tom Robbins, Another Roadside Attraction

January 18, 2012, 1:18 AM
Filed under: Quotations

“A bud is a flower-to-be. A flower in waiting. Waiting for just the right warmth and care to open up. It’s a little fist of love waiting to unfold and be seen by the world. And that’s you.”

—Christopher Paul Curtis, Bud Not Buddy

December 18, 2011, 11:48 PM
Filed under: Quotations

What the really great artists do is they’re entirely themselves. They’re entirely themselves, they’ve got their own vision, they have their own way of fracturing reality, and if it’s authentic and true, you will feel it in your nerve endings.

—David Foster Wallace

December 13, 2011, 12:10 AM
Filed under: Love and Romance, Quotations

“You are teasing now; aren’t you?”

“A little maybe; I’ve been saying it so long to you, you just wouldn’t listen. Every time you said ‘Farm boy do this’ you thought I was answering ‘As you wish’ but that’s only because you were hearing wrong. ‘I love you’ was what it was, but you never heard, and you never heard.”

― William Goldman, The Princess Bride

November 20, 2011, 4:02 PM
Filed under: Quotations | Tags: , ,

Love doesn’t mean doing extraordinary or heroic things. It means knowing how to do ordinary things with tenderness.

—Jean Vanier

This describes the relationship I want to have with my writing. I want to love the word ‘and’ as much as the word ‘fragile’; I want to craft a three word sentence with the same care as one with multiple clauses; I want to quiet the voice that says, “Get on with it.”

Thinking of NaNoWriMo
October 31, 2011, 3:21 PM
Filed under: Quotations | Tags: , , , ,

All writers are vain, selfish, and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery. Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. For all one knows that demon is simply the same instinct that makes a baby squall for attention. And yet it is also true that one can write nothing readable unless one constantly struggles to efface one’s own personality. Good prose is like a windowpane.

—George Orwell

Evaluate Motives: NaNo is a jumpstart, the end draft a beginning place.

Goal for NaNo: Write clear glass prose.

Prep for NaNo: Gesso!

(I think I’m crazy, but I’m going to start a painting. I know I’ll need to incubate–if I paint, maybe stuff will move around in my head enough so that I can write another thousand words.)

October 24, 2011, 8:21 PM
Filed under: Quotations

To have a full stomach, to daze lazily in the sunshine–such things were remuneration in full for his adors and toils, while his ardors and toils were in themselves self-remunerative. They were expressions of life, and life is always happy when it is expressing itself.

—Jack London, from White Fang

October 17, 2011, 1:07 PM
Filed under: Quotations

Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.

—Anaïs Nin

Deep Sigh (Mine)
October 9, 2011, 5:47 PM
Filed under: Quotations

“Dear Julie:
If I didn’t feel that there is some good in your story, I wouldn’t take the time to write a criticism of it. But there is some good in it, some points that make me feel that if you expend the effort (Look who’s talking about expending the effort, I couldn’t help thinking) you may well achieve your very worthy ambition.

First of all, you have an ear for cadence. Your sentences flow rather smoothly, and the continuity of your paragraphs is quite good.

Secondly, your imagery is sharp and clear-cut. I could smell that dank, rat-infested attic and I was more than a little in love with your pretty heroine by the time she emerged from her third paragraph. Furthermore, you occasionally achieve poetic effects which are pleasing.

But, my darling niece, your villains have nothing but venom in their souls, and your sympathetic characters are ready to step right off into Paradise without one spot to tarnish their purity. People aren’t like that, Julie. Take a look around you.

Again, all your colors, your moods, your nusances, are essentially feminine, and it just doesn’t ring true to be told that a man is responsible for them. No, Julie, it will be a long time before you speak and think and feel like an anguished old German musician of eighty!

And, after all, what do you know about the problems of musical composition, or the life of an impoverised German laborer such as the landlord in his nineteenth-century environment? And how much do you know about sadism and brutality?

I must talk to you about any number of points. When you get home from school tomorrow, I shall have some recommendations to make; also some assignments. I am quite excited. It well may be that I have the making of a future writer in my hands.
Uncle Haskell”

―Irene Hunt, from Up a Road Slowly

October 3, 2011, 9:31 PM
Filed under: Quotations

Love—massively destructive to hatred, selfishness and greed. Use liberally.

—Cathryn Louis

September 25, 2011, 1:57 PM
Filed under: Quotations | Tags: , ,

I hope that one day you will have the experience of doing something you do not understand for someone you love.

—Jonathan Safran Foer, from Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

September 17, 2011, 3:51 PM
Filed under: Quotations | Tags:

Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace.

—Albert Schweitzer

September 11, 2011, 1:22 PM
Filed under: Quotations

“She is a friend of my mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order.”

—Toni Morrison (Beloved)

September 1, 2011, 11:02 PM
Filed under: Quotations | Tags: ,

Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.

—Bertrand Russell

August 25, 2011, 7:10 PM
Filed under: Quotations | Tags:

Love is everything it’s cracked up to be…It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for.

—Erica Jong

August 15, 2011, 2:15 PM
Filed under: Quotations | Tags:

Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.

—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

August 5, 2011, 12:03 AM
Filed under: Quotations | Tags:

One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.

—Paolo Coelho

July 8, 2011, 12:00 AM
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We need, in love, to practice only this: letting each other go. For holding on comes easily; we do not need to learn it.

—Rainer Maria Rilke

June 15, 2011, 1:15 PM
Filed under: Quotations

Her prayer was scarcely finished when she feels

a torpor take possession of her limbs —

her supple trunk is girdled with a thin

layer of fine bark over her smooth skin;

her hair turns into foliage, her arms

grow into branches, sluggish roots adhere

to feet that were recently so swift,

her head becomes the summit of a tree;

all that remains of her is a warm glow.

   Loving her still, the god puts his right hand

against the trunk, and even now can feel

her heart as it beats under the new bark…


June 13, 2011, 4:05 PM
Filed under: Quotations

I often come across a phrase or quote that will last in my head for more than a couple of days. This one has kept me company for years:

The cure for anything is salt water—sweat, tears, or the sea.

—Isak Dinesen

I’m not sure if I read the following, or if I heard it on television; these ordinary words passed me by when I was not quite a stranger to them, but, surreptitiously, they followed me and now they stake-out my thoughts.

What are you waiting for?


Added note:

It turns out that the words that I wrote to memory have been paraphrased:

“Do you know a cure for me?” “Why yes,” he said, “I know a cure for everything. Salt water.” “Salt water?” I asked him. “Yes,” he said, “in one way or the other. Sweat, or tears, or the salt sea.”  The Deluge of Nordenay, one of Seven Gothic Tales by Isak Dinesen

Good or Bad
June 8, 2011, 3:52 PM
Filed under: Quotations | Tags:

Nothing beats the love of a good woman, but the affections of a naughty one are a close second.

I couldn’t find a source for this quotation on google–if anyone knows where it came from, drop me a line! And what is the love of a bad woman like?

When We Have Loved…
June 6, 2011, 9:16 PM
Filed under: Quotations | Tags:

When we have loved, my love,
Panting and pale from love,
Then from your cheeks, my love,
Scent of the sweat I love:
And when our bodies love
Now to relax in love
After the stress of love,
Ever still more I love
Our mingled breath of love.

—From the Sanskrit

June 3, 2011, 8:58 PM
Filed under: Quotations

We must overcome the notion that we must be regular… it robs you of the chance to be extraordinary and leads you to the mediocre.

—Uta Hagen

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

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

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.

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.