Sunday, December 31, 2006

White Wine, Anyone?

Ah, the Christmas/New Years syndrome—the time when a lot (myself included) feel as though we've inadvertently stepped through Alice’s looking glass; Christmas filled with looking back and New Years filled with looking forward. With the timing of these polar opposites a mere week from each other, is it any wonder we sometimes feel as though we're at odds with ourselves?

I’ve always loved Christmas and disliked New Years for the same reason: memories. I have very fond memories of Christmas. Of the lights and the tree and the family togetherness. Of my dad’s potato dressing, and dumping water on the middle sister, at the urging of my eldest, to get her out of bed before noon. Of the spontaneous dances that broke out in the kitchen and the spontaneous singing that broke out in the living room. That my sisters are eleven and ten years older than me might have a lot to do with why those memories are so very precious. By the same token, I have no fond memories of New Years. Not a one. The family would be long gone by then, the best-laid plans fallen through, as always; New Years Day dinner the only redeeming feature of yet another buildup turned disappointment. All the wishful thinking in the world will not change one's life. Only we can do that. And the proof? Out of the bazillions of resolutions made aloud on January 1st, how many will actually come to fruition? (Here’s a hint: most, if not all, will fall through in the first month.) If you want to be a better person, loose weight, go back to school and earn that degree you‘ve wanted, laugh more or give of yourself more, then go for it, that‘s what I say; don’t wait for a special occasion.

As for me, I’ll have a nice glass of white wine and go to bed by ten. It is, after all, just another day.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Friday, December 22, 2006

"A taggin' we will go, a taggin' we will go, hi ho the dairy-o a taggin' we will go."

The following is Sylver's (One More Day) fault.

...'Tis The Season

Favorite seasonal movie? In keeping with tradition and in no particular order… A Christmas Carol (b&w w/Alastair Sim), White Christmas, Scrooged, A Christmas Story. And on New Year’s Eve, It’s A Wonderful Life.

Song you most enjoy this time of year? Jingle Bells, Walking In A Winter Wonderland.

"Holiday Greeting"? Merry Christmas.

Decorate, inside? outside? Both. But not in a “Las Vegas” sort of way.

Do you make a list? If so, how many people are on it? No, I don’t make a list.

How up to the last minute do you shop? When the stores throw me out and not one moment before! Seriously, it’s the 22nd today and I’m still not finished. I think that says it all.

When do you open your gifts? Christmas morning

Holiday food you most savor? My dad’s famous potato dressing which, unfortunately, he never wrote down. Though many have tried to duplicate it over the years, all have failed miserably, myself included.

Favorite holiday book? The Night Before Christmas. (?)

New Year Resolutions? I don’t make New Year resolutions. I just hope a lot. :)

If you have read this in whole or in part, consider yourself tagged.

How To Turn a Bed-In-A-Bag Into a Fruitcake

Remember the old fruitcake joke?--the one where everyone gets it, feigns being thrilled, then tosses it into the freezer only to give it back to the giver next Christmas? Well, the same can be said about anything, really. Even a bed-in-a-bag.

“Go into my closet, take out my never-used bed-in-a-bag and put it under the tree. It’s yours, with lots of love.”

That’s what my mother just finished telling me. And with it, I’m not at all sure if I should be concerned, miffed, or grateful. Not that my mom is having financial trouble (she isn’t). And not that I dislike the bed-in-a-bag (I do like it; I should - I was, after all, the one who gave it to her last year). I just can’t help thinking that this former-present-turned-present-again is likely going to make the proverbial fruitcake rounds for many years to come.

I wonder if it will fit in the freezer…

Too Sweet Not To Include...

Free Countdown Clocks at

(The following is an oldy but a goody.)

Little Known Christmas Fact

Not long ago and far away, Santa was getting ready for his annual
trip...but there were problems everywhere.

Four of his elves were sick and the trainee elves did not produce the
toys as fast as the regular ones, so Santa was beginning to feel the
pressure of being behind schedule.

Then Mrs. Claus told Santa that her mom was coming to visit. This
stressed Santa even more. When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two had jumped the fence and were out, heaven knows where. More Stress. Then when he began to load the sleigh, one of the boards cracked and the toy bag fell to the ground and scattered the toys. So, frustrated, Santa went into the house for a cup of coffee and a shot of whiskey. When he went to the cupboard, he found the elves had hidden the liquor and there was nothing to drink. In his frustration, he dropped the coffee pot and it broke into hundreds of little pieces all over the he kitchen floor.

He went to get the broom and found that mice had eaten the straw it was
made from.

Just then the doorbell rang and Santa cussed on his way to the door. He
opened the door and there was a little angel with a great big Christmas
tree. The angel said: "Where would you like to put this tree, Santa?"

And that, my friends, is how the little angel came to be on top of the
Christmas tree.

Monday, December 18, 2006

One Week To Go!

(Here's another fun one. Just double click the little arrow to enjoy.)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

What's In A Name?

And speaking of Christmas (weren't we?), this is kind cute, in a "Bah Humbug Pfffth!" sorta way. Try it out.

I’m just so gosh-darn Christmassy!

And for the skeptics, here’s proof! (?)

Lastly, my sister just sent this to me (thanks, Val). It's not Christmassy, but it's a hoot! Don't mind me. I'm just spreading the cheer, spreading the cheer...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Welcome to Tune Time!

On a serious note...

For the kid in all of us, there's...

Of course there‘s always...

And this one too...

Here’s a joyful one. And they are!

And finally, for the amount of time and effort it must have taken to create this, it had to be included.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Traditions (Or How To Avoid Buying Into The Commercial Christmas)

Can someone please tell me when we went from the true meaning and joy of Christmas, to commercialism and hype? When peace, love thy fellow man, “Merry Christmas” wishing, cease-firing (during wartime, no less), warm and fuzzy feelings and family and traditions were replaced with camping out in front of stores, fist fights in lineups, “Seasons Greetings” wishing (if we say anything at all) lest we offend someone, bitching each other out, paying double on e-bay, Christmas tree dismantling in airports, and walking over each other's dead bodies if necessary for a chance at that elusive, must-have-no-matter-what, whatever-the-hell-it-is piece of what’s-it at what-ever-the-hell price?

And after all that, after we've warmly and fuzzily beat some line-jumper nearly to death and/or drove ourselves into depression, the very kids we did it for (depending on their age, of course) will either play with said “must-have” once or twice and then play with the box or bow instead, or, if older, snub their noses at the (for example) $100 plus IPod as though you’ve just handed them slug guts in a box, utterly disgusted that you didn’t get them the $300 “black” number they only told you a bazillion times to get---the status symbol everyone has. Pul-ease.

And we do this...why?

The kids won’t remember everything they get (and from whom) this year, anymore than they remember everything they got (and from whom) last year.

Go ahead---ask them. I can wait.

What they will remember is the cat knocking over the Christmas tree. Or Grandpa taking out his dentures and making funny faces. Or Aunty Deb baking Nanaimo squares. Or the Christmas meal, in menu-like detail, including their first sip of wine. Or dad throwing everyone out of the kitchen to make his famous potato dressing. In other words, you can’t buy memories, but you can make them.

Gee, what a concept.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Spreading A Little Holiday Cheer

Here's a fun ditty. Just double click the tiny arrow and enjoy.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

All I Want For Christmas Is...

So I'm sitting here, thinking about the movie "A Christmas Story" and getting all nostalgic, and the one present I remember wanting more than anything else was a Slinky.

I don't remember how old I was that Christmas. But I do remember seeing a Slinky commercial on TV, the happy faces of the kids playing with them, and the waaaay catchy jingle

("What walks down stairs, alone or in pairs, and makes a slinkity sound?
A spring, a spring, a marvelous thing! Everyone knows it's Slinky.
It's Slinky, it's Slinky, it's fun, it's a wonderful toy.
It's Slinky, it's Slinky, it's fun for a girl or a boy.
Everyone wants a Slinky.
You gotta to get a Sinky!")

and I was hooked.

Slinkys were cool. They were "it," they were "wonderful," and they were...not mine. Yet. But I wasn't alone because (like the jingle said) everyone wanted a Slinky, including me. Heck, you would've had to have been blind to not see the smiles on the 'commercial kids' faces and know it was the best thing ever made - the toy Holy Grail of all Holy Grails. And - and it even walked! Well, it walked down stairs in the commercial, anyway. And it made a way-cool shhha-shhha sound, too. Oh, I didn't just want one. I had to have one. In fact, I'd die without one.

To make a long story short, I got it, flew up the stairs, set it up exactly as the 'commercial kids' had, started it off, ran back down the stairs to catch it/save it/watch it...and it stopped less than half way. After that, my mom used it as a Christmas card holder. So it goes.

What was your favorite toy, toy-want, or shattered toy illusion? Just curious.


Thursday, December 07, 2006


1. The apartment of 2 psychiatrists.
2. The lad is a diminutive percussionist.
3. Decorate the entry-ways .
4. Sir Lancelot with laryngitis.
5. A B C D E F G H I J K M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z.
6. Present me naught but dual incisors for this festive Yuletide.
7. The smog-less bewitching hour arrived.
8. Exuberation to this orb.
9. 288 Yuletide hours.
10. Do you perceive the same longitudinal pressure which stimulates my auditory sense organs.
11. The red-suited pa is due in this burg.
12. Stepping on the pad cover.
13. Uncouth dolt has his beezer in the booze and thinks he is a Dark Cloud's boyfriend.
14. Far back in a hay bin.
15. Leave and do an elevated broadcast.
16. That exiguous hamlet south of the holy city.
17. Behold! I envisioned a trio of nautical vessels.
18. Listen, the winged heavenly messengers are proclaiming tunefully.
19. A joyful song relative to hollow metallic vessels which vibrate and bring forth a ringing sound when struck.
20. As the guardians of little woolly animal's protected their charges in the shadows of the earth.
21. Frozen precipitation commence
22. Monarchial triad
23. Oh, member of the round table with missing areas
24. Boulder of the tinkling metal spheres
25. Vehicular homicide was committed on Dad's mom by a precipitous darling
26. Wanted in December: top forward incisors
27. We are Kong, Lear, and Nat Cole
28. Cup-shaped instruments fashioned of a whitish metallic element
29. Oh small Israel urban center
30. Our fervent hope is that you thoroughly enjoy your yuletide season
31. Parent was observed osculating a red-coated unshaven teamster
32. May the Deity bestow an absence of fatigue to mild male humans
33. Natal celebration devoid of color, rather albino, as a hallucinatory phenomenon for me.
34. Obese personification fabricated of compressed mounds of minute crystals.
35. Tranquiltiy upon the terrestrial sphere.
36. Have hitherward the entire assembly of those who are loyal in their belief.

And lastly. Fortunately, some people's idea of Christmas Decorating isn't the same as the rest of us.

Friday, December 01, 2006

While I Think Of It...

I'm going to drop these links here in the hope they may help someone someday.


Organized and Otherwise


My Story
(by Dayna Augilar)


Self Injury Fact Sheet
source: Deb Martinson


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Have I Mentioned How Much I Hate Winter?

You know it’s cold when the radio announcer says, “It’s freaking cold outside” and then goes on to read out the temps, leaving yours for last to prove that point. “And in ______, it’s -29 C, the wind chill making it feel more like -42. Bundle up, folks!”

Gee, ya think?

So out I go, waddling more than walking due to the many layers of clothing, all the while thinking how stupid this is, and that this must be how it would feel to gain fifty pounds overnight. The Jeep’s door groans as I open it, echoing my own groan. The Jeep’s engine groans even more as I start it, sounding too much like some torture victim from the good-ol’ Inquisition days. Let‘s Inquisition the weatherman, I think..

The snow is concrete and the clear patches are glass, and that’s only in the driveway. The roads are a different matter altogether. Here’s a question. Why is there always some jerk who believes they own the road (puddle-jumping, playing bumper tag and being a general pain in the ass) just because they have a 4X4?--a cell phone tucked between chin and ear, a Tim’s coffee in the free hand. I own a 4X4 and I’m not as ass. I know you can’t stop on a dime. I know you can have power out the yin-yang and still insert your front bumper in someone’s tail pipe. I know about the lady who died last year when her car took a nose-dive off the bridge. See, I know these things. But that’s not what I was thinking. What I was thinking was: What I wouldn’t give for a Tim’s coffee right about now. That, and: Hope you’re carrying a good picture so they have something nice to put in your obituary.

But Tim’s is not on my route and it’s way too cold to change it, even for a hot Tim’s coffee. Oddly enough, I can almost see myself walking into Tim’s and ordering a coffee, then pouring it down the front of myself to warm up. Ah, but I’ve been through worse - the month before moving here comes immediately to mind. April, it had been - the time of “The Big Snow” - when everything shut down for three days and I was out of cigarettes. But that’s another (ugly) story. In this one, I make it to work, get growled at (again) for being two minutes late (again) and make my way to the coffee machine. Wouldn’t you know it - we’re out of coffee. Well, not coffee, per se, just filters...which works out to being the same thing. Which means I should have stopped at Tim’s.

Have I mentioned how much I hate winter?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Is There Really Such A Thing As Writer’s Block?

That question came up in a friend’s blog (The Fiction Scribe, whose link can be found under My Reads). Rather than answering there, I decided to answer it here because, well, I tend to get a little long-winded.

Yes, Virginia...I mean, Jaime...there is a writer’s block. And I should know. I suffered from it for seven months. Trust me when I say it had nothing whatsoever to do with being lazy or uninspired, nor was it some a lame excuse not to write. I wanted to write. I needed to write. For some, myself included, writing is not the key to the future. It‘s me. Hmm. Maybe I’d better clarify that a little. Writing is a large part of who I am. Sometimes the only part. Certainly the best part, since I’m one of those oddballs for whom writing is akin to breathing.

So if it’s not laziness or some lame excuse, you think, then what is it? And more, is it catching?

I’m happy to report that one can’t catch it. It’s not the flu, you know. Unfortunately, most (if not all) writers will suffer from it at some point, which is why I caution those who have never experienced it to be careful when throwing around terms like “lazy” or “lame” lest others say the same about them when the affliction incapacitates. And yes, it does incapacitate. After all, what is a writer who can’t write?

I joked when it happened to me, saying, “My muse is vacationing in Tibet.” But (and trust me on this one) it was no joke. Now keep in mind that pervious to that I had worked very hard to find my voice and my style, literally tossing everything I‘d known out and starting over from scratch, which, I might add, also included my old pen name. And before you ask, no---it wasn’t for some lack of success or because I had lost the fascination. It was a way to keep the writing fresh and interesting, really---a huge experiment that could have easily blown up in my face. Of course, it did.

Call it lazy. Call it uninspired. Call it an overworked and underappreciated muse with a really bad attitude. Whatever you call it, just know that yes, there really is such a thing as writer’s block. Don’t believe me? Then I’ll call you a lucky not to have experienced it so far. Ah, but you will. Eventually.

Speaking of all that, I ran across an old and previously deleted post the other day called "The Country of Limbo." Since it goes with the whole writer’s block theme (and because tripping down memory lane can be so much fun), I thought I’d share it pretty much as it had been written back then, mainly because I’m too busy today to do more than copy/paste. Just to say, it was part of the earlier set of former posts written by yours truly when Hawke’s View was still young and I was a shade angry and feeling the need to vent (for lack of a better description). So anyway, just for kicks, here is:

The Country of Limbo

This is my eleventh entry to Hawke’s View---a name which has come to mean (in my mind, at least) a place to put a few scatterbrain musing written under my pen name. My first entry wasn’t very good; to me it barely made sense. But that’s not surprising. When it was started, Hawke’s View (me, in other words) wasn’t in what I’d call a good place; I was, in fact, in limbo. Hawke’s View was never created as a short-term band-aid; it was supposed to be my safe place, and when my muse had packed his bags and headed for parts unknown, I was surprised, hurt, and very frustrated. Limbo was not a country I’d ever visited before, nor was it in any way favorable to good writing. This time I may do a bit better.

Probably the most important thing I can say about Hawke’s View is that it became my good place---my controllable other world. Not entirely, of course; I don’t mean that it’s actually another world. Except...well...maybe it is. Another world is, after all, where writers try to take their readers, at least while they are reading, and writers are not immune from seeking...what should I call it? How does “conducive Nirvana” sound?

Anyway, Hawke’s View began its life not as another world but as a place to deal with certain aspects of my life. Then it began to change and become a catalyst in my attempt to depart the muse-less country of Limbo---my bad place, as everyone has. I began to see it as a sounding board of sorts, then an apple crate, and finally as a place to put a few of my early works which I hoped readers might like. But would it work? Would it be the key to breaking out of Limbo?

Someone once said that to blog was “cathartic.” In much the same way, my blog began to be cathartic. After all (and not after a short while, I might add), it did work. Now that it has---now that my muse is back and The Quill is up and running---it seems I’m faced with an even bigger question: How much is safe to share?

Good question. And I’ll answer by saying that (just like the feeling one gets when they’ve stayed a bit too long at a friend or family member’s home over the holidays) you’ll know. When those around you ask for more than you‘re capable of giving, trust me, you’ll know all too well. Unfortunately, that will most likely bring me full-circle---right back to the country of Limbo.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Even Though I'm Early, It's Still Beginning To Look A Lot Like...

...shopaholics dragging overly tired kids around malls in search of that most holy grail - the latest in "must haves" for the perfect commercialized Christmas. Oh what fun!

Ah, but Christmas is what you make it, isn't it? And sure it is. If you don't buy into the hype that bigger (and more expensive) is better, then you really can have a wonderful Christmas. Just remember the real meaning behind Christmas, and that it isn't the material things that mean the most, but the simple joys that do. After all, can you honestly say you remember every present you've ever received? I can't. But I do remember the little things. The mouth-watering smells of holiday baking. The hot chocolate. The bright colors. The beauty of the lights. The music. The laughter. The jokes, pranks, and dancing in the kitchen with my two sisters. The fear that Santa might see us if we happened to get up in the middle of the night. Or worse, the fear he'd miss our house altogether. I mean, my sisters and I were a handful.

So here's to Christmas. May it be filled with simple pleasures that make wonderful and lasting memories.

And an old favorite...

Saturday, October 28, 2006


And in honour of Hallowe'en, here's a little Hocus Pocus for you. Double click the arrow and enjoy!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Excuse me, but…

…where did the summer go? Feels like yesterday that the sun went down at 10pm. Now it’s 8:37 pm, and it is already dark.

Seems like it was only last week when I was a kid and going full bore all summer. Now I’m an adult and I feel like I’m at a stand-still, missing my life much like I’ve missed the summer, while all around me futures are being planned and people are moving forward. Not that I’m jealous, nor would I ever begrudge them any happiness. I just sometimes wish that I were moving forward too. Maybe that’s why I write - to play God with time.

The sun was how I judged time as a kid. No need for a watch, or mom to call out the back door. All I needed was that big ol’ globe of fire and I was off and running, leaving mom to do her customary washing and waxing the kitchen floor with an old upright buffer noisy enough to scare the dog and cat senseless, then locking the doors so I wouldn’t track through her “put-Mrs.-Cleaver-to-shame” spotless house (at least until the blindingly-shiny floor dried) and tracking two townhouse doors down to Mrs. Devaney’s for their ritual chit-a-chat and coffee. But that was her thing and I had mine. And mine rarely included shoes. It would be morning, the sun shining and the day awaiting my arrival, and I (by God) wouldn’t keep it waiting long; dressing, flying down the stairs, stuffing an apple (or whatever mom had put in a bowl on the kitchen counter so I wouldn’t starve to death) into my pocket and hollering a quick goodbye on the way out. Then it was hours-long games, followed by an afternoon dip at the Lion’s Pool - the city-run swimming centre that was smaller than most Koko Platz residence’s backyard hot tubs. Rituals. Ah, but I didn’t care. I was a kid.

Writing is a funny animal (or should that be writers are funny animals?) in that though everyone wants to write, few are writers, and fewer still make a living at it. But as for writing itself - or rather, the operations of writing - everyone is different. One author I know has to let it “come” to him. Still another forces it out. I myself have a ritual that must be followed or it spoils the continuity. First, I talk myself into it, saying that today is the day and now is the time. (Okay, so it’s more like: “For God sake, get the hell going!” But close enough.) Then I get out my large mug - the one that has coffee written on it in six different languages - and fill ‘er up. Time’s-a-wasting.

When I was a kid, a nail in the foot was a definite waste of time. I’d hobble home; attached 2X4 in tow, while every neighbourhood boy would comment that the nail they had stepped on the day before was at least twice that long. Thankfully, one girl - usually Eleanor Millard - would run ahead and herald my approach with all the subtleness of an ambulance siren. After my dad’s initial shock wore off (which pretty much amounted to lowering his momentarily raised eyebrow), he’d lift me onto the counter, make some lame quip about calling a toe truck and, while I was sympathy-laughing, yank the board lose. Two Band-Aids and a cookie later, and I was racing again. That is indestructible. Although the cookie was worth the time wasted.

Nothing really hurts a kid until they take the time to look at it. The cut (or the nail, in my case) didn’t hurt - my foot as numb as the attached board - until I saw blood. Then it hurt. Then I cried. Like the time I ducked between barbed wire strands to get into the pasture to see my horse instead of going through the gate like a normal person. Making it through was no problem. Running through the field toward her was no problem either. The problem was my shoe. It felt wetter and stickier the more I ran. Glancing down, I was astonished to see that it was red, and from a three-inch gash on the front of my ankle. Man did it hurt then! Still, I might have slowed but I didn’t stop, mostly because kids have no time for pain. It’s either full speed or stop - no gears in-between. That scar has since faded, but I don’t mind. It’s a souvenir of the good old days; a reminder that not only does no kid get out of childhood without at least a few souvenirs, but that they have all the time in the world to get them.

Things - even the operations of writing - are done out of repetition and a need to save time, whether you want them to or not. At least, it is to me. Like starting a car and turning on the radio before you put it in gear. You get “the writing nudge” around a certain time of day, need certain things to do it so you don’t have to get up once you’ve sat down (unless it’s to go to the washroom), and as you stand there in front of the counter, the Sunbeam Hotshot plugged in and your mind already tuning out the day, the rituals come back to you: Black, please. Not the good stuff, either. I want to be wired for sound, baby. Next comes the bottle of ice water from the fridge, and finally (and while I’m in there anyway), carrot sticks or a Red Delicious apple. Smart, simple and reasonable, I figure. After all, while the muse must be kept happy, I don’t really need the dreaded "author’s ass" syndrome.

By the way, writing is now my “going full bore.” I say that because as a kid I was too busy running barefoot down gravel back lanes like an Olympic sprinter being chased by a serial killer to ever stop and write. Now, it seems writing is about all I really do. Maybe it has something to do with wanting to control the things around me via stories. Maybe it’s my way of hiding from the fact that an adult can’t run down gravel roads barefoot anymore. Maybe it’s because I’m no longer as indestructible as I once was. Maybe it’s because I no longer have the luxury of time.

I’ve missed the summer.


Saturday, September 02, 2006

Review of The Bridge (aka The Money Song) by Christopher K. Miller

An entry last month titled “Dear Readers: A Remorseless Apology” didn’t mention the author or the title of the novel I was reading at the time because privacy and trust are precious things. Then along came this comment:

“Hi Hawke,

I just read your blog for the first time in a while. I can't remember when I sent you The Bridge, but I'm wondering if this isn't around the time. If this is an anonymous review of it, then I am most grateful. Of course you have my permission to use names, etc.

If you are referring to it, I'd be interested to know the parallels to your own life you refer to.


Since there is only one person who knew I was reading The Bridge - the author himself - I’ll take this as permission to chat about it (and I say chat because I don’t want to give the story away).

Before I start, and for those who don’t know me, a little background is in order. There is only one thing I’m always serious about, and that is (you guessed it) writing. That doesn’t mean I’m a miserable person. What I am is an extremely picky reader - picky in that if a work doesn’t grab me by the first page or so, it’s gone. I have a life, you know. Granted it’s not much...but what I do have is important to me and I don’t care to waste it on a work best suited to line the bottom of a birdcage. Sound mean? Perhaps. But at least I’m mean in the “equal opportunity” way - meaning that I’ll toss John Saul’s work as quickly as my own if it doesn’t grab me.

The Bridge (aka The Money Song) by Christopher K. Miller, grabbed me.

Actually, "Bridge" did more than grab me. I felt married to it. Some novels are like that. They grab you. They engross you. They are the last thing you think about at night and the first thing you reach for in the morning. Like "Bridge." But I should give a little of the beginning.

After several back-and-forth emails (and learning that Chris had written a novel), I dropped a hint. Okay, dropping a hint is lightweight and not exactly the truth. What I really did was closer to outright begging. But you see, I’d read some of Chris’ wonderful short stories and was more than curious about his novel. So I begged. And nice guy that he is, he sent it...probably so I’d leave him alone for a while. At any rate, it came in the mail - a signed copy no less - and I started reading. And yes, it passed my disgustingly tough first page test. And the second page. And before I knew it, I was at the end and as content as a fat lady after an all-you-can-eat buffet. Or an opera aficionado after meeting Pavarotti. Or a chocoholic after Halloween. You get the idea.

This is starting to sound like an Academy Awards nomination, but I really don’t care.

The finely crafted “Bridge” has yet to be published, though I sincerely doubt it will remain that way for long. Its characters are vivid and fully realized, the story emotional and genuine, the writing masterful. To read it was a great pleasure for me. I know it will be for you, as well. In other words, Dear Readers, when you run across The Bridge (aka The Money Song) on the shelf of your favourite bookstore, and I have no doubt that you will, do yourself a favour and buy it. It really is that good.

Bravo, Chris. And thank you.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

You'll notice a new addition to my Must Reads. Bear (my gal pictured above) insisted! It's called Second Chance Horse Rescue and Rehabilitation, run by knowledgeable people and dedicated to helping our equine friends. I encourage you, Dear Readers, to check the site out and help spread to word about this most noble and worthy cause.

Thank you.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Letter

Dear Readers,

Please forgive my use of this space to answer a letter. I promise to be as brief as possible. Thank you.



I ask that you please never contact me again, either directly or indirectly, no matter what the circumstance.


Monday, August 07, 2006

It's Howdy Doody Time!

Okay, so I lied.

I’m a little bummed out today, not because my muse is short-changing me on story ideas (I have four short stories on the go as we speak), but because I have zero ambition to finish them. Now that’s not to say that I don’t like them (I do), that they aren't interesting enough for me (they are), or that I don’t know where to take them (I know that as well). I just can’t seem to get past the first 1400 words. Perhaps what I need is a kick in the ass - a goal...which brings me to something I’ve been mulling over for the last few days: to sometime enter one of the many short story challenges on the writing forum.

We’ll see.

I also stared thinking about my previous flood entry today. Mainly, that someone might think I’m a pyromaniac. I’m not. What I was, was desperate. Now that’s not to say that I’ve never been in a desperate situation before. Just that I’d never thought of burning down the house before…or since. In fact, there was this one time when that had been the furthest thing from my mind, mostly because it would have been suicide to do so. Oddly enough, Mother Nature had been at fault for that one too, which is why I sometimes wonder if she really doesn’t have it out for me.

I heard on the radio the other day that Canada ranked in the top ten on the Happy Map for the happiest country to live in. I suppose that explains why one of my neighbours took an axe to my life-sized concrete deer in the front yard.

Go figure.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Dear Readers: A Remorseless Apology

This entry is going to be short and sweet and with my sincere apology though without remorse, mainly because I'm reading a novel right now and am thoroughly enjoying it.

Can one be enamoured with a novel? I believe so. It all goes back to what I said before: that reading a good novel is in a sense like having a long-term relationship. You don’t just enjoy it; you are engrossed by it. With that in mind, probably the most important thing I can say about this novel is that the author has successfully taken the reader (me) into another world. Not entirely, of course; I do not mean that it is actually another world. Except…well, it is. Another world is, after all, where fiction writers endeavour to take their readers. And writers are not immune from seeking and appreciating…what should I call it? How does “guided Nirvana” sound?

I won’t tell you the name of the novel or author unless given premission to do so. I also won’t tell you specifics of the many happenings that seem as though mini parallels of my own life. I will, however, say that I can’t remember enjoying a novel more. Now, anyone who knows me, knows that for me to say such a thing is no small shakes. But for those who don’t, let’s just say that I’m a picky reader to the point that many a novel has hit the bottom of my trash barrel long before the first few pages have been turned, no matter who wrote it. But not this one.

Definitely not this one.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A Rare Lucid Moment

This is what happened. It was Wednesday night, and I was in the middle of typing a decent paragraph - in the middle of a word, actually - when, wouldn’t you know it, the phone rang.

I knew the paragraph would never be a world beater anyway - it barely made sense, even to me. But understand that I’d just begun writing after first cleaning out my keyboard, dusting off the desk, straightening up the six sacred books on its shelf, and finally, putting in just the right background music. Sure, all of that (purposely) took the better part of two hours. No, I wasn’t going to lose my train of thought. Yes, I can multitask with the best of them - but so what? It’s one thing to waste my own time. It’s another for someone else to do it, by God, and especially after all I went through to put off writing for as long as I had. This better be important, that was what I was thinking; the house better be on fire.

Speaking of fires, I’ve never been in a house fire before, nor any kind of fire at all (and hopefully never will be). But I had been in a flood several years ago, and that was bad enough. Ah, mother nature at her finest...and my worst - I remember it like it was yesterday, mostly because that’s the closest I’ve ever come to losing my sanity. We lived in the country back then, and the morning that Manitoba turned into a scene right out of the movie Water World - the flood of ’97 - I walked downstairs at dawn, still half asleep with a mug of coffee in my hand, and stopped on the second-to-last step to watch a plastic toy float past me. Yes - float. Of course, my mind couldn’t quite wrap around that one, so I just stood there in my t-shirt and underwear, holding my mug in my hands and watching the toy, thinking: No, that isn’t a floating toy, in much the same way one witnesses a car accident and their mind refuses to accept it. But it was a toy, and it was floating. And when those two things finally registered, I dropped my coffee mug…which didn’t break, but instead joined the floating toy in an absurd game of Ring-Around-The-Family-Room. It was around the time when I started rooting for the mug that things finally started sinking in. Mainly, that I was standing in water - the same water that the room’s electrical cords were immersed. Thank goodness the power had been knocked out or my dead, floating body might have given the mug and toy a run for their money. That was when I finally thought to move the sump pump aside and, perhaps, bail the water out of the hole and into the washing machine. Now in my own defence (and under any other circumstances), that would have been a really good idea. However, the electricity was still out (thank God, or, like I said before, I would have been part of the mini armada which was by then navigating their way around my coffee table) and pounding on the washing machine didn‘t seem to be working. About the only other option left to me was to carry the water up the stairs and outside via two ten-gallon pails that just happened to be in the laundry room. So that’s exactly what I did…and the first indication that the storm was still raging came to me the moment I stepped outside. Even so, I knew I could do this - I could single-handedly save the basement and it’s contents. I could be a hero. I could do it all by myself. Besides, I won’t need to do it for long, I figured, because surely the hydro knows about the power outage and were already hard at work to fix it. By six o’clock that night I’d been reduced to a crying, soaked, cold, smelly, exhausted, shaking mess. But I was still bailing! Sure, my arms felt like rubber by then. Sure, I was only moving out of habit by then. Sure, I was struggling to carrying the two ten-gallon pails up the stairs and out into the driving rain while dying of dehydration by then. Sure, the toy and the mug were going around the room for the millionth time by then. But in the other race - the Me verses The Flood race - we were about even. And then it happened. There was a little candle, you see, and it was lit, and I’m pretty sure it was around that time that my mind started to go because all I remember is looking at it and wanting more than anything to knock it over. More, I could literally see myself knocking it over; and I remember thinking that all would take would be a little bump, a little nudge, and the problem would be solved - I could just walk away. I don’t know how long I looked at the little flame. What I do know is that it had been long enough for me to make a mental checklist of all the important things I’d have to remove from the house before the “accident.” But no, I couldn’t do that (could I?). So I went back to bailing again…until I happened to look up in time to see the hydro truck passing the house. The trouble was, it didn’t stop. Decency be damned; before I knew it I running down a gravel road in the dark, in a storm, with my hair plastered to my face, crying and waving and screaming, with nothing on but a soaking wet t-shirt and undies. For some reason, it took them a while to stop. Afterward, I put the candle away, glad that I hadn’t bumped it.

It turned out that the phone call was from a quasi friend of mine, another writer, who was finally going to take me up on one of those mysteries of life that rarely, if ever, come to fruition - the dreaded “Let’s have coffee sometime” comment, which is always followed by the obligatory smile and nod that in layman’s terms means: “As if.” Yet, there he was.

I know just what you’re thinking, ladies. Don’t think it hadn’t crossed my mind as well. I mean, a male that actually phoned? Even though he’s only a friend, that could upset the delicate balance in the universe, couldn’t it? The end of everything as we know it, perhaps…and I’d be held responsible. Oh the pressure. Oh the guilt. Chicken Little, you were right! The sky really is falling!

“How’s Sunday morning at ten sound?” he asked. “Tim Horton’s?”

“Sounds great,” I answered.

After I hung up, I had this insane notion to look out the window, just to see if everything was still where it should be. It was, but I was pretty sure he had tempted fate just enough to be stripped of his “Male” card and cast out among the shunned of this world.

Skipping ahead to Sunday…

I was twenty minutes late, and he was sitting in the curb beside his car and looking bored when I pulled up. After apologies and no problem fibs, we made our way inside, ordered, found a table away from everyone else and proceeded to brainstorm stories. Actually, he told me about his latest project while I mulled it over…until the end that is. The ending surprised me because it was predictable, cliché and boring as hell. In other words, it was not his usual at all and likely why he had broken the cardinal no-call rule.

“So, what do you think?” he asked, putting me on the spot.

Unfortunately, all I could think of was: If I only had a candle…

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Dead Like Me

Sometimes I wonder what my purpose is. I don't mean my purpose on this blog. I mean here. Not everyone is destined to change the world, and not everyone wants to.

Take me, for instance. I wake up at the same time every day, drink the same amount of coffee, do the same straightening up, get ready in the same way, drive down the same road to the same place, do the same job, and at the end of the day look at the same sites. About the only things up for grabs are what I’ll make for supper and how much (or not) I’ll write.

Watching one of my favourite show last night - a dark comedy called Dead Like Me - got me thinking about a lot of things. Mostly about this purpose thing…you know…that I’m just more or less taking up space and killing time until…


I guess that all depends on what you believe in...or don’t believe in.

Some believe that there will be nothing after the end - just a sort of “lights out“ deal where dead is dead and that’s about it. On the other hand, some believe in heaven and wonderful…well, everything. It’ll be like going home, they say. That we are put on this earth to learn whatever it is we need to learn and then we go back. Well, if we do go home, doesn’t that mean we’ve already been there and left? That living is like taking a vacation to spend with your family and loved ones - kind of like a summer holiday of sorts? And if that’s true - if life is a vacation and death is the real job - what then? Do we just go back to work?

Who knows?

Not me. And I’m not going to worry about it either. About the only thing worrying every got anyone was bad nerves and maybe an ulcer. Besides, you could be minding your own business and get run over by a bus, or choke on a piece of cheese, or a piano falls on you.

The show brought up another topic as well: last thoughts, which should not be confused with last words. Last thoughts and last words can be the same thing, or they can be two entirely different things altogether. For instance, take a drowning man. Even though his last words might be “glub, glub,” I’ll bet his last thoughts are: --


Depending on how someone goes, I think the majority of last thoughts are likely

(shoulda woulda coulda Why didn’t I… I wish I had…)

regret. Everyone has regrets. I know I do, and they likely have something to do with my mother. But anyway…

I think one of the saddest things is to someday look back on our lives and say: “I should have...” Why do we do that to ourselves? I mean, sure there are things we can’t control. But for the things we can, maybe we should. Even if we fail, it still beats looking back later and regretting that we didn’t try.

As for me, I still don’t know what my purpose is, or even what will happen in the end (no one knows that with absolute certainty, though we can hope like crazy). But I do know my regrets, and I can try to change a few of them so at least my last thoughts won’t be: I should have…

Yep - I‘ll get right on that.

Maybe tomorrow…

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


You may have noticed that I’ve removed the last post here. Just to assure you, it is not about a change of heart - oh no, not at all. Rather, it is about a change of venue.

After much deliberation, I’ve decided to keep my thoughts and my works separate (if that is at all possible). So today I created what I call The Quill - a name which means (in my mind, at least) a space to share some short stories, if you want them. The Quill has not been created as a short-term project (or as one very dear friend mentioned today, a way to not write); it is there for the long haul and, more specifically, as incentive to me to produce more works.

I think it’s just what I need.

I hope you will like The Quill, Dear Reader. I suspect you won’t like it as well as you would a blog that warehouses a novel, because (like I’ve mentioned earlier) a short story is more like a flirtation than a relationship - a different animal altogether. But they can be sweet, and can provide a little entertainment or get you through a boring plane ride, lunch hour, or your children’s nap time. By the way, you will find a link to The Quill under My Must Reads.

Okay - commercial’s over.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Late, As Usual

Yes, I'm late with my next entry to Hawke's View, but I am working on it as we speak. Until then, I'll let Bram fill in the space.

Say hello to the nice readers, Bram.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

What's Next?

I just watched something on TV that might be of interest to some of you. Played in Las Vegas, it involves Masters and athletes, domination and control, telegraphing moves early (aka The Western Union) and getting into your opponent‘s mind. And let’s not forget the money.

Ooo - eee - ahhh.

There are very specific rules, expert (?) judges, one match where you can use up to five hundred throws to win a new car and, according to the players, is a game where the matches are only as hard as an opponent’s mind. It is a contest where (they say) one must know their opponent inside and out, where one must read the eyes and body language, and where stats are everything - much like poker. Dreams of victories for one equals shattered dreams for another, and paramedics stand at the ready in case (God forbid) things get dicey. One contestant even called it spiritual, physical, and mental. (I may agree with the mental part, but not in the way she thinks.)

Caveman defended home, life and limb with rock. David took down Goliath with rock. Anyone who’s been through a divorce (or tried to get a mortgage) can attest to the awesome power of paper. And scissors? It can turn paper dreams into confetti tears an instant.

Oh the nail-biting pressure!

Oh the human drama!

Oh the physical prowess and mental agility!

Yes, you guessed it folks. I’m talking about the first ever 2006 RPS (Rock/Paper/Scissors) Tournament, or rather, the USA RPS League.

It’s mostly a joke - a child’s game taken to a whole new level. Still, it's a level where some contestants wear costumes, most drink beer, and two lucky contestants will walk away with either the keys to a new car or the grand prize of $50,000 (that’s like 25,000 slices of pizza, or 20,000 if you’re talking pepperoni). Hell, it’s even sponsored by Bud Light!


By the way, the winner of the savage battle for $50,000 was Dave McGill.

Congrats, Dave. Maybe now you can buy a life. *grin*

Friday, June 16, 2006

100 Things About Me

Consider yourself tagged. :)

1. I go by the name Hawke, though I’ve been called LadyHawke by my far-too-kind friends
2. I enjoy almost all music except rap
3. I am addicted to coffee and chocolate
4. My music addiction of the moment is Coldplay (bad timing - I know)
5. I am computer illiterate
6. I am also a technophobe
7. My passion is writing - specifically, fiction
8. I am a passive, non-violent person
9. I am Irish/Scottish
10. I love walking and quiet times
11. I smoke way too much
12. I love nature - specifically the mountains
13. I am a novelist
14. I am guilty of writing and driving at the same time
15. I was the lead singer in a band
16. I am an introvert
17. I am the youngest of three daughters
18. I'm a Virgo
19. My fav book is “The Complete Works of Shakespeare”
20. I hate pretzels with a burning passion. Same with liver
21. I can’t remember not writing
22. I have been in plays on stage
23. John Saul is one of my favorite authors
24. I was often the teacher’s pet in school because I was so quiet that they often worried about me
25. I can Sign Language
26. I can draw but not paint
27. I own two horses (Joe and Bear)
28. I've always had more male friends than female friends
29. I can box, and know self defense and CPR
30. My two favorite movies are Braveheart and Meet Joe Black
31. I can play the piano
32. I'm an excellent driver, including backing rigs (truck and horse/travel trailer combos) into any tight space
33. I have a 101 lb Golden Retriever named Bram, and two cats named Mad Max and Charlie
34. I am a “Tuesday” child
35. I am currently disheartened with one of the forums I’m on.(Or is that disillusioned?)
36. I avoid confrontation at all costs...unless my temper gets the better of me
37. Temper: Very slow to boil (and can hold a grudge forever)
38. I love to research almost everything
39. I love almost anything Egypt, mythic, medieval, paranormal
40. I have a new desk and chair. Ahhhh...
41. My favorite place that I have ever been is Banff National Park
42. I have one tattoo
43. I never eat breakfast
44. I am nothing special
45. I am an animal fanatic
46. I write to voiceless movie soundtracks
47. My fav quote is: All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.~Edgar Allan Poe
48. My grade school LA teacher said I had a vivid imagination, often daydreams, and have all the makings of a fiction author
49. I have never failed a class
50. I have never cheated on a test
51. I am my own worst critique
52. I am currently trying my hand at poetry
53. I am five feet tall
54. I am highly competitive - eg: played high school basketball and was darn good at it
55. I am deathly allergic to penicillin
56. I have never been on an airplane
57. I have never done drugs
58. I lost my dad from complications due to Alzheimer’s
59. I love bubble baths and scented candles
60. I'd take diet Coke over diet Pepsi any day
61. I prefer pencils to pens
62. I am an eclectic collector
63. I am spontaneous
64. I am listening to “Speed Of Sound” by Coldplay
65. I have never been to a musical or opera
66. I can’t believe that I have this much to say about myself
67. I prefer desktops to laptops
68. I have been played and badly hurt twice in a row, and have yet to recover from either
69. My fav perfume is Dark Vanilla
70. I am an intensely private person
71. I have gotten so wrapped in in writing that I’ve completely lost track of time, seeing plenty of sunrises
72. My favorite muffins are chocolate chip (of course)
73. I enjoy cranking the radio when I drive
74. I have almost been killed once
75. I have trained and shown five horses to success
76. I own three Sylvia Browne books
77. I collect dragons
78. I always bite a tootsie pop
79. My favorite season is spring
80. I have never had surgery
81. I get along better with animals than I do most people
82. The craziest thing I've ever done is drive without knowing or caring where I was going
83. I can shoot a bow and throw knives pretty darn good.
84. I am low-maintenance
85. I am addicted to my computer
86. I can talk the leg off a table when nervous but am generally quiet until I get to know someone
87. My dream romantic moment is...okay, never mind. *grin*
88. I am a hopeless romantic
89. I have been known to play a song I like over and over for hours. (Can you say “obsessive”? I knew you could.)
90. I am rarely serious
91. I despise being talked down to
92. I have huge trust issues (gee, I wonder why?)
93. The only TV show I watch is 24
94. I have a daughter
95. I live in Canada
96. I have only had one ticket in my life, and that was for not wearing a seatbelt
97. Because I’m terribly shy, I am often mistaken as being cold and aloof
98. I have never stolen anything in my life
99. I am easily hurt
100. I am what I am - no more and no less.

Done! So...what do I win?

Feel Free To Disagree

“For what reason(s)...

would you willingly give up your life? I don't mean suicide or being "euthanized", but, for example, would you sacrifice yourself by taking a bullet for your wife/husband/lover/partner/child/president/random stranger?


Those questions (originally posted on WF), along with various answers, really got me thinking today...mainly about an in-depth conversation I’d had with several fellow writers a little over a year and a half ago. Those who participated may remember that the question then was:--

“What is the difference between a hero and a coward?”

Before I answer, I’d like you to keep in mind the “Why?’ part.

Got it? Good, because there’ll be a test at the end of this entry. (Kidding.)

Now then, first things first. Try to picture two very terrified soldiers in the middle of a great big clusterfuck. (For those who don’t know what a clusterfuck is, a clusterfuck is military slang for a disastrous situation that results from the cumulative errors of several people or groups…also referred to in semi-polite company as a Charlie Foxtrot.) Bombs are going off, guns are blazing, orders are being barked from every direction, and soldiers - some very good friends of the two - are dying all around them. The screaming, the yelling, the blood, the utter chaos... You get the idea.

Okay, so say that the first man simply stands there as though his boots are rooted to the ground, and when he is finally able to move, he moves away from the danger. Now, opposite to the first man, the second doesn't just stand there or move away. This guy rushes forward. I know what you are thinking already. You think that the first man is the coward and the second is the hero, am I right? Well maybe he is (at least according to popular opinion), but that still doesn‘t answer the question of why. And before you do answer that, Mr/Miss/Ms/Mrs Smartypants, keep in mind that neither man is John Wayne, and both are equally as terrified.

Okay, so let’s think about it for a minute. The first man is at first frozen, his mind and body detached because of...well, everything. When he reattaches, he moves in reverse. The second had no such problem for some inexplicable reason. He moves forward. Is it because the second man is braver than the first man? That one is a gutless coward and the other is a bona fide hero? Or could it be something else? Really, what are we looking at here? What is the defining difference?

Perhaps (and feel free to disagree with me here) the difference between a hero and a coward is timing and direction.

Putting it another way, if the second man rushed forward twenty minutes early, he’d likely be called a fool, quite likely put his fellow soldiers in jeopardy by giving away their position, and even more likely would earn himself a bullet for his efforts. Worse, moving too late would place him in the category of the coward. The same with direction. To move forward makes him seem a hero. To not move, or move in reverse, pegs him as a coward. Blind panic aside, that he moved forward and at the right time is the key. So you see? Timing and direction.

So, getting back to the beginning of this entry...

Yes, I would like to think that I could and would sacrifice myself for someone. But when it comes down to that second, that moment, it’s really all up to timing and direction.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Glad To Be Back

Hard to believe it, but the time between the start of Hawke’s View and this post is almost a year.

Lots have changed in just about every aspect of my life during that time. To name just a few: I’m a lot less trusting; I’m smoking more; Bramble (my Golden Retriever) has gone from youthful-looking to a greying face; and you can’t buy a box of cereal without taking out a second mortgage.

But there is at least one constant: I am here to write about it.

I say that with confidence because I’ve worked hard to stay that way. For those of you who’ve never read earlier (deleted) entries of this blog, I should tell you some of the “stuff”: (1) I am a novelist. (2) I use a blog to get things out of my system, but post sporadically. (3) I have some issues going on in my life that I will not get into at this time. (4) This blog is not restricted or “by invitation-only,” which means I don’t care who reads it.

Okay, onward: I’ve been planning to get back to blogging for a while now, and when my life recently took a hard turn south, I didn’t realize what that would really mean.

For one thing, there was a whole new generation of reader/bloggers out there who’d been skimming through old high-school history books when last I posed anything of value, and I’d be as foreign and unknown to them as Whitesnake to a rapper. I honestly wondered what kind of response I’d get to my initial entries.

Backing way up...

In the beginning of Hawke's View, I made half-hearted entries (at best) only because I felt obligated to post something. However, as time went on, I began to need the blog. Now that was amazing on one level, but disappointing on another - one, I was surprised how much it became my little oasis in the desert, but two, catharsis through blogging was initially recommended by the very person who (it turned out) was as fake as a three dollar bill...which is why I needed the blog...which kind of makes this a vicious circle, doesn‘t it?

Yes indeed.

A large majority of my earlier entries proved to be rants, or worse, had been scatterbrained dribble. Much of these entries were from what I perceived was a muse-less Limboland and included said so-called friend who (it turned out) wasn‘t real, much less a friend. It’s disappointing to see anyone so hell-bent on taking advantage of another that they can think of nothing more disgusting than trolling sites or blogs, or (even worse) a bottom feeder who goes around manipulating and hurting people just so they can satiate the all-important ego.

I should say that much were obvious manipulations from said player playing on compassion and guilt. Hence the preponderance followed the line of ‘going-downhill-and-soon-to-be-dearly-departed,’ though with all the twists my life has taken in the last while because of her (not to mention her twisting others lives as well), I’m unsure if I wouldn‘t want to help her to depart myself. But my personal favourites were all the comments featuring that ethereal libation, drugs - these comments usually followed a relentless train of thought that went something like this: I am nothing but a dying drug addict, I crashed (during our talk) and went out and bought drugs, I can see them from where I‘m sitting right now, I can’t resist them, I’m going to go, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, I‘m back, I’m so sorry, I’ll get clean, please don‘t hate me. Can you say leech? I thought you could.

But as the weeks became months, and I worked my way through all the little “inconsistencies” and instant (and I must say quite believable) excuses, I began to see a pattern. Some of it arrived by e-mail, with the majority through live conversations via yahoo messenger, and practically everything was in some self-serving capacity. It seemed liked I would sit down every evening to chat or attempt to help solve one crises or another, and the very next evening, there would be a crop of new ones. It was mind-boggling.

When things began spiralling beyond the realm of realistic plausibility, I finally began to listen to my little voice. I had to close shop or I would never have gotten through it. The plain fact was I’d been overwhelmed by...well, everything. The then unknown “game” was separating me from those I loved most, my work was suffering, my life was falling apart, and I was holding up as well as a dead leaf in a hurricane. Something had to give, so Hawke's View was the first causality.

The major reason this became an increasingly more challenging problem? I was straddling the line between belief and disbelief, leaning heavily on the belief side - needing to believe; wanting to believe; for to not believe would negate everything - every word and every feeling, including the very existence of my then-friend. In case you didn’t realize it, that takes a lot more than just saying: “this is utterly ridiculous and you’re an idiot to believe it, so wake up.” (Actually, I did say that a few times and in no uncertain terms - only with conviction when the comments and situations became so asinine that there was no way they be so, and I could think of nothing better to say.) I should say that from the beginning to near the day of the end, I continued to provide my then-friend with as much support as I could, still straddling that damn line...until that final moment when the proof was undeniable. I should also say here that I can never thank enough nor repay the kindness and unwavering support of my dear friend Mark (journyman), who stuck by me even while he, himself, was under emotional and mental siege...which (to me at least, and contrary to popular belief) seems to be the real reason behind the game.

Are you confused yet?

Trust me, so am I, and I lived it. But no matter.

Hopefully all of this did not confuse the main reason for this entry, which is two fold: to reintroduce myself and this blog, and to give fair warning that there are consummate players out there who are ready, willing, and quite able to twist you inside out for their own perverse pleasure.

* Remember to look for all the red flags and take them seriously.

* Remember P.T. Barnum’s old saying: “If it’s too good to be true, it is.“

* Remember that predators will say anything - and I mean anything - to get you and then hold onto you, including love and threats of self harm.

* Remember to never give out personal information such as your real name, address, phone number, school name, etc., etc. (I remember a case not long ago of a girl who was killed by a predator. How did he find her? She happened to mention her school colours (not the school’s name) during an internet chat with him. He traced it to her school via the internet, found her, and the rest, as they say, is history.)

* Remember that if you do decide to meet someone from the internet, do so in a public, safe place with plenty of friends close by. People have been murdered (or worse) by not putting their safety first.

* Remember that it can and will happen to you - my friends and I (along with umpteen-dozens more) are living proof of that.

* Remember to trust your little voice and/or nagging feeling. It is instinct; primal; an internal, protective defence mechanism we all too often push aside, to our eternal chagrin.

Are you scared yet? I hope so. It’s better to be scared and overly cautious, than dead. Right. Enough said.

That’s about it. It’s time for this blog to start doing what it was intended to do. The essence of all this is pretty simple: the entries here will be what I need to get off my chest - for whatever reason. And no, I’m not about to give more details than what will be written, so don’t ask. I’d like to think I’m on the right road and that Hawke’s View is my safe haven.

I’m glad to be back. I hope you feel the same way.


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

When I'm Back on My Feet Again

by Michael Bolton

Gonna break these chains around me,
Gonna learn to fly again
May be hard, may be hard, but I'll do it
When I'm back on my feet again
Soon these tears will all be dryin'
Soon these eyes will see the sun
Might take time, might take time, but I'll see it
When I'm back on my feet again

When I'm back on my feet again
I'll walk proud down that street again
And they'll all look at me again
And they'll see that I'm strong, oh

Gonna hear the children laughing,
Gonna hear the voices sing
Won't be long, won't be long 'till I hear them
When I'm back on my feet again
I'm gonna feel the sweet light of heaven
Shining down its light on me
One sweet day, one sweet day I will feel it
When I'm back on my feet again

When I'm back on my feet again
I'll walk proud down that street again
And they'll all look at me again
And they'll see that I"m strong

And I'm not gonna crawl again
I will learn to stand tall again
No, I'm not gonna fall again
'cause I'll learn to be strong

Soon these tears will all be dryin'
Soon these eyes will see the sun
Won't be long, won't be long
'till I see it
When I'm back on my feet again
When I'm back on my feet again

I'll be back on my feet again

Friday, May 26, 2006

Sad But True

"Mad World"
by Gary Jules

All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places, worn out faces
Bright and early for their daily races
Going nowhere, going nowhere
Their tears are filling up their glasses
No expression, no expression
Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow
No tomorrow, no tomorrow

And I find it kinda funny
I find it kinda sad
The dreams in which I'm dying
Are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you
I find it hard to take
When people run in circles
It's a very, very mad world mad world

Children waiting for the day they feel good
Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday
Made to feel the way that every child should
Sit and listen, sit and listen
Went to school and I was very nervous
No one knew me, no one knew me
Hello teacher tell me what's my lesson
Look right through me, look right through me

And I find it kinda funny
I find it kinda sad
The dreams in which I'm dying
Are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you
I find it hard to take
When people run in circles
It's a very, very mad world ... world
Enlargen your world
Mad world

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Notice: Taking A Sabbatical

For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, “It might have been.”
~John Greenleaf Whittier
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