Robert Hamill


In Creative Writing, Fiction, Non-Fiction on March 29, 2011 at 12:58 am

Class of Uniformed Boys and Girls

Below are three stories of less than 1,000 words. They are full stories despite their brevity.


Bingo Day” A great day at St. Ambrose turns sour.


Gabby” A precocious teenager takes an extreme step to discover his place in the neighborhood.

Crazy Frazy” An eight-year-old boy finds that easy money has a cost.


Writer’s Notes

In Craft, Creative Writing, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poems on March 24, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Black pen next to journal book

Welcome to “Uncertain Ground”, the blog magazine of my efforts in Professor Ryna May’s Creative Writing course at Howard Community College in Columbia, MD taken in Spring 2011.

Here you will find ten of my coursework pieces – three stories and seven poems.   I’ll be happy to read any comments you post.

On this front page are links to the final versions of my course writings. At the bottom of each final version, there is a link to the original version, which can be read to see the improvements made as the result of constructive criticisms.

On entering the Creative Writing course, I had no academic background in writing, but I had a fair idea of what story was.  Thus short stories were not a surprise to me; however  I was surprised that the course treated non-fiction creative writing exclusively as stories from one’s life.  I expected something more like a newspaper columnist or an essayist approach.

Also on the prose side, I came with the attitude that some events are worthy of creation in words because of their revelation about character or society, but I found they would be judged, here and probably in general circulation, by the convention of stories.  So a big lesson for me was that revelations should be cast more tightly into the story mode, if I want them read.

Click for my reflections on revision in both prose and poetry.

Robert Hamill
May 10, 2011

Burning Thoughts blog

Click here for image credits


In Creative Writing, Poems on March 24, 2011 at 3:55 pm

I wrote seven poems in the course. That’s more than I’ve written in the forty years since I graduated college.

My main goal was to discover how poetry could be used to express notions that I haven’t been able to express in prose.   First I had to get a working definition of poetry.  For my purposes, I dispensed with rhyme, removed non-essential words, and aimed to use image and rhythm suited to my concept.