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
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