Robin Layne Enterprises
for writing that sings
   Home      Writing Samples

A sample from Robin's second zine,
Turtle Soup: On Finding My Voice, Issue 1,
the following poem was first published
in the Write Around Portland Anthology
See the Water Rise/Ver las Aguas Subir, Fall 2007.
The line "The Truth in My Voice" was used as a title
for a section in the book,
and a portion of the poem was quoted
in the Write Around Portland New Year's card, 2008.



a Voice

by Robin Layne


On the ministry’s wall

Was a face

Wrapped in cloths

Eyes wide, staring

Like a living mummy.

What terrorized me

Was the covered mouth

Face without a voice.

Be quiet, they taught me

Don’t interrupt

Don’t tell Mom or Dad

What we did

Don’t talk about the drinking

Don’t blare the song

For the neighbors to hear

Midnight on New Year’s

I’m running

From silence

I’m penning

My dreams

I’m reading

My words

I’m shouting

When I’m mad

In either sense of the word.

The face without a voice

Is the me I fear

Seen and not heard

I am looking for

People who will hear

And share the dreams

Echo the love

Feel the truth

In my voice

I learned to type

In eighth grade

One of the greatest investments

I’ve ever made

I got a computer

For you and for me

To amend, save, and print

Our voices


Don’t cover my mouth

Don’t stop my hands

They will write, these hands

My mouth will speak

My ears will listen

To your voice, too

And we will share

And we will give

and receive.

The following sample from Robin Layne's 2009 zine, A Character Sandwich, was inspired by supernatural experiences from her own life and others' she has met and heard about. It was written to the Writer's Digest prompt,"A man walks into a bar... only it isn't a bar."

The Unbar

by Robin Layne

            Jerry had been out of his hometown for two years. He parked his car at his favorite tavern, in bad need of a drink and some old friends. The music wafting in as he opened the door comforted him. But something was amiss. The place didn’t smell like booze and cigarette smoke. And something was different about the music. It was country still, but no wailing about lost love or cheating or beer. It was something about…Jesus.

            Jerry turned tail to run. But just then he heard a familiar voice call his name. He turned around to see his old best buddy sitting on a barstool. “Jerry, where you been keeping yourself? Man, have I missed you!”

            Brian didn’t sound the same, either. His voice wasn’t slurred. He didn’t stumble as he crossed the floor to embrace his old friend. Brian—sober? Impossible! As his friend hugged him, he felt something on his back, in Brian’s hand. When Brian stepped back, Jerry groaned. Not a Bible! No way! Jerry was speechless.

            “Welcome to our new church,” Brian said with an ear-to-ear grin. “Some folks came in here six months ago and turned this place upside down. Old Ben decided not to fold up but to convert the building, since most of us had already converted and just didn’t wanna drink anymore.”

            “Want to?” Jerry finally found his voice. “Not only can I not imagine you not wanting to, I can’t imagine you being able to help yourself.”

            “I know,” Brian said. “Funny thing, when I felt the Holy Spirit hit me that first day the new folks came, I had a high to end all highs. I mean, it’s still going on, but it’s better than anything that’ll tear up your liver and kill your brain cells.” Then Brian did a strange thing. He breathed on Jerry. For a second Jerry expected the old beer breath, but Brian’s breath now smelled like an Altoid. Jerry soon forgot that, though. He was falling over backwards on the ground as if something had hit him a painless blow on the chest. On the ground, he felt light and bubbly. He found himself laughing for joy. What the joy was about, he couldn’t say. Unless it had something to do with the music blaring: “Amazing Grace,” to the tune of “Peaceful, Easy Feeling.”

            It was the strangest bar Jerry had ever entered. And the strangest experience, lying there, unable to get up. He found that he liked it. It was the kind of drink he had really been craving all his life. He just hadn’t known it. And there would be no hangover.

This is a close-up of Brian from the cover of the zine:

This is an image of the back cover:

Note behind Brian the often-unnoticed guest! 

"The Forerunner"
(picture based on a dream)


"Me and My Shadow" is the third of the six songs on Robin's first music CD, "Faithful." And yes, I know the lyrics are ungrammatical, but when you're exploring your inner child, grammar may take a back seat. The song was inspired by the movie "Hook," starring Robin Williams as a grown-up Peter Pan who has sadly lost his identity. It takes a lot to get him back in time to save his children from Captain Hook. He must find his happy thought to be able to fly again. Was was my happy thought? Read the lyrics below.

Me and My Shadow


(Well,) I went to see a movie ‘bout a little man who flew,

And when he went to Neverland, he took me with him, too.

Like him I remembered things that I’d forgot I knew.

Me and my shadow got some catching up to do. Oo-oo-oo.

I caught her in the parking lot, we splashed in all the water,

I chased her through a field of grass and gardens with

        my daughter.

I don’t know where she’s been but now I’m glad today I got


I found you, shadow, and I’m catching up to you.


If you’re without a shadow, you’re a clock that doesn’t run.

I knew I was just marking time ‘til I got back my fun.

I talked into the night with my flying man, the Shadow


He brought back all my dreams He resurrected from the


He told me that the past is past; I shall not be an acher,

I found you, shadow, and I’m catching up to you.


If you’re without a shadow, you’re a clock that doesn’t run.

I knew I was just marking time ‘til I got back my fun.

I’m glad that I’m a mommy, that’s the happy thought I


My heart is in the heavens though my feet stay on the


The place where we’re all children’s where I live and where

               I’m bound.

Dance with me, shadow…

Cast by the Light of the World.

Read more stories on Robin Layne's 

Goodreads profile,

Posted stories:

Too Familiar for Comfort

  Writers, ever have those days when your characters seem just a little too real?
  Some of those days are more deadly than others...

Manuel Pascal

What if Jesus visited your church? Would anyone recognize him? (Would it matter?) First published in Enlarging the Tent: Poetry and Prose 
by Robin Layne, 2000.

Blood Ties

What if you found out your girlfriend was a vampire? Would you leave her? Kill her? Surrender to her? Hugh doesn't want to do any of the above; none of it fits his nature.
But when his best friend shows up with all the stuff to put her in the grave, he has to do something. Based on Robin Layne's YA novels-in-progress, AVS: The Anti-Vampirism Society, this short story won two contests.

Make sure you keep up on her Goodreads blog, 

on writing, reading, and life

and her AVS vampire stories blog, 

  • Chilling vampire interviews!
  • Teasers and information on works-in-progress!
  • Come debate about questionable subjects!
Robin also has
online articles at

  • puncutation pointers
  • poetry
  • personal experience
  • humor
  • pets
  • and more!