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The Craven

Gazing at an unsent query,

Long past midnight, drained yet leery,

Here I find myself with long nights' labor,

Craft of muse emplore.

My finger hovers 'fore the key,

My belly tightens, lurches, lees,

To warn me, bid me bide a little longer,

Begging, "Edit more."

I wrest and wrangle with this doubting,

Draft, redraft, and research shouting,

"Nothing else, if you have yet to say it right?

Then say no more!"

But say no more? A chill subsides me,

Pillared strength to salt inside me,

Resistances court me, sussurus

A chorus calling, "Edit more..."

Another beg for beta readers?

Lines read aloud, revising meter?

Second-guessed to second-handed

Threadbare scraps of withered lore?

What then? These choristers find silence?

Bless my tales of love and violence?

Laying down praises like feathers?

Rose petals? Nay! "Edit more!"

I tear my hair, the roots upending,

Knuckles red and ripped, fists sending

Shards of mirror glass against the walls

And ceilings, scratching doors.

And yet, I cannot send submit,

I linger, doubting faith and wit.

So here I stand, fucking about on tumblr.

Thinking, "Edit more..."

And with my muses long since parted,

Pages, links, and lives discarded.

Writ upon the epitaph of one more sinner?

"Edit more."

Prompt: An eldritch Anonymous asked me:

"Quoth the raven: 'Nevermore'."

Seriously, though. There is such a thing as too many drafts.

(c) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins. Seeking writing prompts, exposure, and cash. I really will give anything an honest try.

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No one ever asks to be the center of a meaningful story. Those who do, don't know better.

They don't know how much it hurts to travel through the sea of hard-eyed faces that represent real conflict. Settings are arenas. New people are the honored dead, or even worse, they're lions. Try it sometime. Find out what's happening just past polite. Find out who needs you. Listen.

Give it a week. You'll realize how wrong you were.

Give it a month. You'll change, whether you let yourself or not.

Give it a few more character establishing arcs. You won't even recognize what you once knew.

Then compare the pain to your progress. If you're even close to happy? Your life's a genre story.

If you don't have answers, congratulations.

Your life is literary. I hope you win a prize.

Prompt: wonderfulwritingprompts

48: A Word

It's late. I finished a manuscript draft. The opinions represented here only represent one of many of my many contradictions. My editing department is currently furloughed. (Thanks, Obama...) (c) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins. Seeking prompts, feedback, and amusingly sarcastic memes.


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Typed on Looseleaf Paper

Dear darling (or to whom it may concern):

First, please allow me to apologize for this most unusual format. Letters. Structure. Steps and stages, all of it's so old-fashioned. But so is undying love. Uncompromising good. So is easy joy.

So call me old-fashioned.

I would like to request a refund on the software that I've so recently purchased. All of the stories I can access on your system display in gray tones. I can't feel context on my fingertips. The only scent I breathe in is so much burning ozone. There's sound, sure enough, but there's no music.

I can make my own music. Please, be quiet. Just let me listen.

I would like to file a complaint regarding your customer service. I am not a customer. I do not want to be serviced. I want an old friends at the coffee shop. I want to be the new girl at the bookstore. Your online chat was helpful, though, after I ran them out of scripts.

Please stop coaching them. People can be lovely or hideous. They don't need to suppress that.

I would like to speak to your CEO. Your president. Your board of directions. Their administrative assistants and the fitness instructors that come by every Tuesday and/or Thursday. (Sandwiches are Wednesdays - too much mayo. Counter-productive.) Not to yell; I just want to meet them.

I want to know they're really there. Are you sure? When was the last time you checked?

So, in conclusion, I would like to thank you for your software. For your hardware. For your gray stories and your popular personalities. I think that what you've made is lovely,  in its way. Clearly, a lot of work went into it. Someone loves it. I've tried. But thank you, anyway. I honor the effort.

Even so, I just want my simple stories back. My human beings. My old-fashioned "feels".

So, with all my love,

To all of you,

From all of me,


A Person, Unimpersonal

P.S.: Bring back Firefly. That was the shit. Please?

Prompt: An expressive Anonymous asked me:

"Dear darling:"

(c) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins. Seeking writing prompts, feedback, reblogs, follows, and more!

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The Bard's Tongue

I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You) by John Mayer on Grooveshark

The only words that come to me, come in poetry. Yet here I am, covered in snot and tears and a shaking sack of broken lines, and I'm supposed to find this beautiful? Is this what I'm here for?

I mean, I know all the right words, or at least a few good ones. Her hair - I could just say something about her hair, about the way it used to shine in the light. Used to. No, no. Not her hair. Her eyes, then? Gods, I can't remember the color of her eyes. Her eye-shadow used to glitter, turquoise and gold sometimes. Kohl used to smoke and streak like some other culture's stolen mysteries, like something cursed. Now? The only colors I can see are red cracks and muddy, murky stains. So no. No, not her eyes. Let's just forget about her face entirely. Okay.

Okay. I can lie, I guess. I could be empathetic. I could try to understand her situation, but fuck, I'm barely surviving my own. Who came up with this scenario? You cry, I hold you. I cry, you hold me. Is that all we are? Just.. pillars on a weak foundation, holding one another up? Is the ground that bad? Is the floor that horrible? Can I even care about somebody else so very goddamned broken? Can I?

Should I? Or is this about me? Oh, yes. Of course. It's always about me. I mean, I know all the right words, or at least a few good ones. At one time or another, I've even meant them. 

They don't work on me. Still, I hope that they make you feel better.

I'm at my most honest when you beg me to lie.

Prompt: An expressive Anonymous asked me:

"Never let me go".

Yup. And I've got the notes to prove it...

(c) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins. Seeking writing prompts, reblogs, feedback, or proof you read this.

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Lie To Me, Sweetly

Lying is the proof of our human experience. Art is the art of the perfect lie.

Tumblr makes for a perfect example. It's the definition of a safe space. We receive only the content we pursue. We can flag, ignore, delete the experiences we don't want to taste. To steal a line? Here, 'everything is beautiful and nothing hurts'...unless we want it to. The pain is good.

That's why Tumblr is an art site. Tumblr itself is art, a collage of our own making. A microcosm.

We can't bear the raw data of the lives we lead. From the most privileged to the battered and beaten-down, we all struggle with our experience. We are all in the worst pain we've ever felt. We are all subject to the worst days we'll ever know. We aren't programmed for perspective. We have very little depth perception, especially for the world off-screen. It's just  too much to take.

So we filter down. We add sepia tones. We share what we know. We write what we know. We see what we know, because those are the experiences that affirm us. The pain is good. The joy is even better. Art communicates in sharp contrasts and soft edges, because we can handle that.

And why is so much art about love? Just how much of love and what comes with it can we take?

Just how much of love do we really, really look at?

Art is the art of the perfect lie, and the way that we see love is no exception.

Prompt: An aesthete of an Anonymous asked me:

How does art show the human experience? How are art and love connected?

This piece can be as uplifting or depressing as you like. How comfortable are you with escape?

(c) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins. Seeking writing prompt, questions, feedback, and more.

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The Exhausted Optimist

Don't you see? You see, wanting is the death of having. And no, it's not a pretty death.

Don't be ridiculous. Nothing's pretty until somebody makes it up. If only with their eyes.

How many dreamers have you met in life? How many romantics have you come across? How many projects, plans, and perfect days have been just across the next horizon? How many wadded-up pricks of paper line your pockets? Be honest now. None isn't as sad as several. Let me explain.

What sane kind of creature makes their fingers bleed? Who writhes and swears and throws things with real value over something half-imagined and half-overheard? Who cries at songs, for what they say, but for the words in them that they have to just pretend to understand? Do you? I'm sorry.

I'm not sorry if you don't, though. There's dying ugly, and there's dodging life. Tomorrow, will you? Today, will you buy little notebooks and a few dozen more guitar picks? Yesterday, did you go to bed with a full belly and an empty page or two? Did you set goals? Were you reasonable? Well?

Wanting and not doing is so much easier than trying and failing. This is already known.

Wanting and losing is so much easier than failing again. Again. Again. This is no surprise.

So do. And do. And do until the day you die. You may not even once, not even once manage a damned thing. But you'll die with full pockets and fingers that feel good to the raspy touch.

Want will eat you alive. It has. It will. Too bad.

Bite back while you can.

Prompt: hourlywritingprompts:

Writing prompt of the hour: desire

He said to himself, projects on the afterburner. Because it's not the block, but the silence after...

(c) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins. Send me prompts, questions, feedback, or anything. I'll be here.

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The Tomorrow People - My Thoughts on the Future of Spec Fic

Radioactive by Imagine Dragons on Grooveshark

Superman has blood on his hands. There are no Western Isles and Frodo's eyes will never cool, not even down to a simmer. We saw the hero we needed and we cheered for the villain we really deserve. Even after we let him fall.

Ours is not a naive generation. That's why we're the perfect ones to save the world.


I grew up on science fiction and fantasy. I learned right and wrong from superheroes and Martin Luther King. I was sitting in my French class when the towers fell. The dust still hasn't settled. We have grown up, not through a Depression, but through a more insidious and unresisted poverty. I have magic in my grasp. I have all the information I could ever want, one little search box away. Still, I can't stand to look at it more than a few minutes a day. I'm unusual. Most just filter out hard truths.

Dates vary, but this is my millennial generation. This is the backstage to our stories.

We still have our heroes, from Harry Potter to Katniss Everdeen, to Sam and Dean to Sherlock. That said, they aren't the heroes of our parents and our grandparents. We have more in common with T.S. Eliot and Percy Shelley than we ever will with Siegel and Shuster. We don't believe in Superman, because most of us were never lucky enough to see him in our own lives. We were born jaded. Born in doubt. 

I believe that our speculative fiction - our science fiction, fantasy, mystery, any story built outside of everyday experience - is already changing. It belongs to us, handed down from our neglectful parents. Just like everything else we got, it's a goddamned mess. So now what? Our elders don't know how to use their iPhone. But we do.

Millennial fiction is disillusioned. We know we aren't in Kansas and never were. We adapt fast. We know that there's just a dirty old man behind that curtain and we're kind of pissed off about that. The protagonists of our generation are and will be snarky, flawed, and emotionally overburdened - just like us. We know that Obi-Wan is full of it. We know that Dumbledore's got skeletons and more inside his closet. The heroes of our stories aren't going to listen long to lies; we've heard them all.

Millennial fiction is diverse, and in more ways than one. We don't want straight, white (or maybe alien) heroes. We want queer aliens of color trying to hold down a part-time gig at Macy's. We want love stories that transcend categories, dropped into all the wrong settings. We want naughty sex and we want sweet love. We want our fears and feelings affirmed. We want, for the first time in many of our troubled lives, for our heroes to look like us. Most of all? We want to take our stories out of the hands of the fools who came before us. Gods, look at what they did to them...

Last and most important - the big take-away from all of this - is that millennial fiction is determined. We don't have the time or patience for more Bella Swans or Princess Peaches. We get it. Our stories will get it. Privilege will be made obvious. Ignorance will rear its ugly head as a central, if not the only true antagonist in our stories. We will humanize our villains, but we will beat them. We will act with open eyes and compassion, but we will do ugly things. We will make the hard choices.

Millennial fiction, no matter the genre, the magic, the future mechanics, will all be stories about hope, hurt, and the consequences. That's who we are. That's what we see. That's why we'll win. And believe me, we will. We will win. We will overcome.

Wonder Woman will be powerful, sexual, intelligent and will set her own terms on what strength really means. The Age of Men in the Middle Earth will be short, replaced by an Age of Open Hands after endless wars. The Joker will keep being cool.

Ours is not a naive generation. That's why we're the perfect ones to save the world. And we will.


Prompt: An erudite Anonymous asked me:

Write an essay on any topic you wish.

(c) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins. Always seeking writing prompts, feedback, or interesting interaction.

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Imagine if you could feel it, from your bones to your balls, from your soles to your ovaries or lack thereof. Imagine sharing all the feelings of all the others that you pass by, city streets or country roads. Mingling on elevators, rolling dusty tumble weeds, rising, falling, writhing to a human tide. Would you lose your mind or find it, do you think?

I do. At least, I think I feel it, sometimes. I feel a little baby's finger grasping mine across a boulevard. I fear the white woman passing by, what she might say or do from fear of me. We're both ashamed and careful.  I see but do not see the hungry body sleeping next to me. I'd cry, if I didn't find it condescending. Is it?

Maybe. Even if I tasted every tongue and open wound around me, would I know? Can a single moment tell me more that, a moment? Can I judge them from their songs, t-shirts, or stupid comments? Would it change a thing if I could show them? If I could reblog them my perspective?

Maybe. I mean, isn't every artist crazy? Writers sketch out with misshapen characters, the characters that we observe. We even try, in our own way, to give them all what they deserve. We try to make some sense out of the slopes and curves of kindness, tragedy, and conflict. Does it work?

I doubt it. It never works in person, does it? Do you ever really know a whole story? Even if you slip into every character, lick up all their pages? Wouldn't we imagine different faces, every reader, writer,  blogger and bystander? I don't think three eyes see the same colors. Still, I try it every day. 

Still, I hope and dream to find a way to speak my mind and share it out, engage your spaces.

And, yes, one day? Get paid to make this. Is that all right?

Sure. We all pay for what sustains us.

Prompt: A passionate Anonymous asked me:

One love.

Still seeking pieces to reblog and review. If you see me, why not try me? Just e-mail me.

(c) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins. I could also use like, reblogs, prompts, questions, or commentary.

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Write about a journal. Does it have an interesting look? Who does it belong to? Is it a mystery? Does it have a lock? What types of entries are inside? Are they personal thoughts, information, or random notes? Try writing them. 

(Prompt: GTD Index + Notebook + leather cover + antique key by Patrick Ng via get-scribbling)

I want to keep a record of the real you. Not before, not after, but who you ought to be.

I'm going to scratch on dry, browning paper all the perfect words that won't get any older, any wiser, any harder from the friction of the lives we've led. It'll just be wet ink on dry wood, treated with more care than we ever really managed. I'll leave the marks I always saw in you.


But this time, I'll be so much more inspired. I'll see you through me, past me, and over me. This time, I'll describe you. I'll go down every detail like little bites along your shoulder blades - I'll make it good, I promise, make it more about you than just myself. I'll rework every unsung song, revise every half-spoken conversation. I'll do you better. I'll be better. You'll be better than...

...You know. Before.

And when I'm done? You'll know. You'll see. I hope you cry, because you haven't for too long.

And when I'm done? I'll give it all to you: a leather-bound notebook, a key, and even matches.

(c) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins

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My Astral Space

The forest was endless. Not miles, not swallowed-up horizons. Endless.

Where trees ended, trees began. Trees circled round the torus of the sky above. Trees ran far, but trees only met themselves. They just kept going. Onward. Endless. And I flew just above the branches, close enough to taste pine needles. Just above them, I was just as endless as the trees.

I was too light to fall, but far too heavy to reach the green above. I moved in three dimensions, but the world only followed certain lines. There were only certain planes. My path was limited.

Below, things were dark, heavy, and rich with the scent of falling pine needles. Memories. Fears. Shafts of light pierces through the endless shoots and little spears, just enough to reveal so little.

Above, there was only an endless green. Above was meaningless. Irrelevant. It had no context.

That is, until I saw a tower in the distance.

Then flight became movement. Along became forward. Time turned into distance traveled.

The tower, you see, gave me direction. It gave me more meaning than up and down. More than heavy, scented earth and unimaginable skies. I always had wings, but the tower gave me height.

I rushed along the surface, up and up and up. It wasn't smooth, but marked in a language too fast to comprehend with eyes in motion. They told me that I was racing, that I had speed, velocity, acceleration, but they didn't tell me where I was going. Where I'd been. Even where I was.

And at the top of the tower? There was a woman. A woman with red hair, without a face.

She wasn't a woman; women have faces. She wasn't a woman; women have names.

She was a muse. She was a reason. She was a destination.

Women are none of these. She wasn't a woman.

But I still try to find her, even now. Up and up.

She gives wings wind.


An alucinante Anonymous asked you: Write about a dream you once had.

This really is a meditative dream I've had since high school, when I fell in love with the wrong girl and never quite recovered. I just keeping putting other girl's faces on, hoping she 'fits'.

(c) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins. Seeking writing prompts, questions, review requests, or any feedback.