I was born between the horse barn and the chicken coop on a blustery winter night in Death Valley or maybe it was Somewhereville, Kansas. I get easily confused. Three hours later my mother retrieved me from the cold ground upon which she had dropped me. I believe my lifelong love of frozen tundra was born from those tender first moments.
From there, we moved around a lot while my father campaigned passionately against the manufacture of tight restrictive clothing and my mother did her best to support him in this odd pursuit. He was ultimately unsuccessful, but his drive and ambition toward insignificant goals made an impression on me.
Growing up, I spent many minutes perusing the pages of books, usually catalogs since I spent a lot of time in the outhouse. I had a lazy digestive tract in my younger years. A combination of hot sauce and caffeine has since cured me, so worry not for my intestine, dear reader!
I graduated high school at fourteen. I was a teacher’s pet of sorts. In fact, my teachers loved me so much they accelerated my academic progress and threw an enormous farewell celebration for me. Some even wept. For four years I played video games and in the process had to get my eye prescription replaced seven times. Many misguided persons started calling me bottle-eyes.
At the age of eighteen, I made the arduous three-hour tour to the Jyekak Temple and Monastery in Tibet to study under the Dalai Shamr-ock. After three months of grueling studies, I realized I would never learn anything since the monks were under a vow of silence and never spoke to me. I still see the experience as a net positive. The lasting trauma of this exciting segment of my life has proved to be a fertile source for my muse.
I returned to my home country and simultaneously attended Duke University in N. Carolina and Princeton University in New Jersey. Three months before graduation, with multiple degrees in diverse studies, I burned out and withdrew from both schools. Further education had become unnecessary at that point, since I had absorbed, by unrevealed methods, all I needed to know. I immediately took a job as a toll booth operator on the Harrison-Sherman Freeway. Why is it called a freeway when it’s not free? I never found out. Just another of life’s profound and baffling mysteries that haunts me day and night and causes me infinitesimal angst. This is but more fuel for the fires of creativity that burn like furnaces of vast and never-ending smelters in the artistic minds of some of my almost peers. I am unaffected by it, of course. They are lost souls tossed heartlessly about on the waves of motivational torment while I recline in the boat of contentment and disinterestedly watch them flounder on the unforgiving rocks of self-doubt.
I soon found I could concentrate on the weave in my paper towels for hours on end without boredom. This skill for intense concentration has given me a unique perspective and critical eye that supports my notion of notionlessness. It has given my meaninglessness a new and more intense futility, which I find personally gratifying. I’ve been accused of being deep, which is completely and utterly untrue. I am just like anyone else who finds his own shirtsleeve to be endlessly entertaining.
Sitting in a coffee house one afternoon I became aware of one constant in my life; my laptop computer. Opening a word document, I reached out three fingers and cautiously typed ‘It was a dark and stormy night’. I’ve been writing ever since.
Now for everyone without a clue, Wodke Hawkinson is the pen name PJ Hawkinson and Karen Wodke write under together. For the true bios of these fantastic writers simply read on...
PJ Hawkinson grew up in the Midwest. She is a Hutchinson Community College graduate. An avid reader since childhood she is now the published author of Half Bitten. PJ's interest include sightseeing off the beaten path, fishing, and paint-by-numbers. She admits to no favorite writer but enjoys the works of Stephen King, JRR Tolkien, Kent Conwell, and Douglas Adams. PJ envisions life of writing, both on her own and with her long-time friend and co-author, Karen.
Karen attended HCC and Kansas Wesleyan University. She grew up in the Midwest and has played in various bands off and on since childhood, writing many of the songs herself or with co-writers. She is now narrowing her focus to creative writing. She has always been an avid reader, having a wide range of literary interests. Tangerine is her first co-written novel with co-author, PJ.
Our website: http://wodke-hawkinson.com/