Robin Hawke


Take the Legs off Flies, Blog Awards, and Writing

I promptly forget something the minute I write it down. I looked at one of my many to-do lists and discovered Take legs off flies. It took a long while before I realized this note was a reference to the insects that fly across my blog. Since they’ve flown for six months without incident, they can wait to have their legs removed.

Graced with two blog awards this week, I can’t wait any longer to convey my appreciation, or to accept and pass them along.

I received the Liebster Award from Woman Wielding Words. Lisa has been a familiar presence on my blog, encouraging me with her support and frequent visits. Because we met through a writing challenge, I’m passing the award to blogs that offer weekly challenges. These are busy people; I don’t expect them to pick up the award, but offer these names up as sites for creative growth: Julia’s 100 Word Challenge, Inspiration Monday, Velvet Verbosity, Madison Woods, and The Writing Reader. Join in, you’ll be glad you did.

Mushy Cloud passed me the Kreativ Blogger Award. Pam has been following my blog a mere three weeks. To honor her presence, I pass this award to my most recent followers: Feliza Casano, My Words Whisper, Zombie Chimp, Kaye McCormick, Write a Book With Me.

Now that I’ve chased the newcomers off with the blogging equivalent of a chain letter (please stay), here are the pesky rules:

Liebster Rules

  1. Thank the blogger that gave you the award AND create a link back to their blog.
  2. Leave a comment on the blogs you have chosen.
  3. Post the award on your own blog.

Kreative Blogger Rules

  1. Thank the blogger that gave you the award AND create a link back to their blog.
  2. Leave a comment on the blogs you have chosen.
  3. Post the award on your own blog.
  4. Share something about yourself.

It is time for me to share more than a short story. Prepare, this may be the longest post I ever write!

Every second of every life is a story. It has a past, present and future. While many writers awe us with unique situations and fertile imagination, I try to settle plain moments into a context that lifts them out of ordinary but doesn’t necessarily make them extraordinary. I didn’t explain that well.

I believe there are no failed stories, just failed contexts. Anything can work, any idea, any choice of words. If the story isn’t working, communicating, we have to change the context. The context is: the idea before and after, the paragraph before and after, the sentence before and after, the word before and after. If the whole piece is subject to change, then aren’t I contradicting myself? No, even if I haven’t explained well.

I believe all creative offerings have value. Who are we if we think bad/good instead of discovering/sharing?

Yet, I often call my own work bad. Ahh, but I believe in plodding and pushing words around. See, I know my words won’t be bad if I can discover a successful context…

Only experience teaches. I know I can be wordy. I’ve been told. I loved, loved, loved adjectives when I wrote my first romance novella. I still love a simile. I’ve been told both adjectives and similes are weak. (Two passive sentences in one paragraph, when will I learn?)

If I don’t write words down, full of my love for them, then they can’t pass through my system to be examined. Eventually, after enough self-examination, I’ll plod up to a level of writing where I will love other words.

Every writer has an arc. We start simply, get complicated and then simplify. Right now, I embrace lots of commas and beautiful words and many phrases. At another developmental stage, I’ll have learned other complications. But I must allow myself to love my own words, even excruciatingly bad adjectives. If I dismiss adjectives, because I’ve been told, I’ll never discover how an adjective should be used, when it is the right word—given the context. By the way, if you didn’t laugh as you read excruciatingly, I did.

Tell me adjectives signal bad writing and I’ll tell you they are a sign of a maturing writer. Read past them, find what lies underneath their context. Is that worth your while? If we value tolerance, it is. I don’t think growth is possible without tolerance.

I’ve challenged myself to write two stories a day. One is six words; one has three sentences. If I plan to keep up, I can’t wait for perfection. I have to let myself stumble without worrying whether someone is watching. If you’ve been watching, you’ve seen me fall down. You’ve also helped me get up and continue my word by word progress. Thank you for your tolerance. For example, this writing needs healthy revision, but I need to cross this post off my list to do. And take legs off flies.

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The 100th Post

For years, I’ve wanted to challenge myself to do something, anything, for 365 consecutive days–besides breathing, feeding and dreaming.

Imagine 365 six word stories. How will they distinguish themselves?

I’ve never identified myself as a blogger, but here I am, 100 posts here, almost 50 posts on DIY Romance, with a grand ambition: a six word story, a three sentence story, writing challenges–writing daily stories for a year, and, if I manage that, an ambitious five years of storytelling. Well, at least three, if the power stays on, there aren’t any earthquakes or hurricanes, and I keep my appendix.

Imagine the stories. Thousands of stories. Simply put stories. Stories I’ve written. Every darn day.

I’m familiar with the creative process. I understand pushing addled I’ll-refine-it-later and regurgitating it-worked-then ideas. These always precede another stage of creation—the one I wish would visit me every day—the stage where I crack my limitations to drop something of value.

Imagine 365 days of telling stories, all the fits and starts, the mental pounding I’ll take, the mirific, stopdrous, pleajorvous eurekas.

I’ve lived my life striving to be a better person. Every darn day. If stories renew our love for life, realign our priorities, or help us feel more compassion for others—then my daily posts will stand as celebrations of that quest.



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.