Unlike Mr. Hemingway, by C.W.Hime

I find myself sitting here in a labyrinth of my creation. Years of success and failure stacked precariously like ancient Greek columns rising from every available flat surface. A library of books and periodicals spreads from shelves to floor in an organized chaos that only I understand.
Here, I’m comfortable, surrounded by all that represents all of me. Every thought I ever committed to text lays before me. Every mood, cause, notion and whimsy lays here recorded. If I were to vanish from this earth, this would be my footprint.
This is where anyone who cared about me would come to touch what is left of me. Perhaps they would read through these pages and in doing so, hear my voice and feel my passion. Perhaps, the one I love the most, would sit at my desk, fingers tracing my doodles, comforted by the cologne of my scent and old leather as the arms of my chair wrap around her.
This is what I imagined it would be like ever since reading an article about Ernest Hemingway when I was fourteen years old. I think it was in National Geographic magazine and there where several black and white stills included. The one that captured me was of Mr. Hemingway wearing a house coat or robe. There he stood in a room much like I described above, frozen in time. He held a pad and pencil, appearing to stare off in thought.
The article went on to explain that this was his favorite way to write. I found this fascinating knowing in his early years he earned his bread and butter as a war correspondent. I can only guess he had some mad typing skills, something that seems to have eluded me over the years.
I’m at my best writing with a yellow legal pad and #2 pencil, Ticonderoga Wood-cased #2 HB to be exact. Unlike Mr. Hemingway, this is out of necessity rather than option. I have more than a few, “unlike Mr. Hemingway’s”.

Unlike Mr. Hemingway, I have no such room as described above. I have not amassed my life’s work in any such quantity. In fact, recently I have been going through my old writings and much to my dismay I’m afraid I can barely clutter my desk. So many starts and stops. I know there was more, between three moves and ultimately a divorce, things just seem to disappear.
It would be easy enough to run with this notion but lamenting rarely has the power to promote anything positive.
I did not start writing again to walk through barren fields.

As I stand today, what I see is tillable land with good dirt. The seed remains strong. I have never felt so free to write as do now at this stage of my life. I have never had such a partner as my wife. She is my crusader and a believer in who and what I am.
With every hour I write I’m building those columns. I own the books and like mushrooms, there always seems to be more. But unlike at fourteen, I realize those columns of notes and manuscripts exist by default. They’re the by-product of doing. My hope is for them to be read, to be published.
Words that remain sheathed and unread, serve no other purpose than to quiet the one who wrote them.

Our lives are measured in many ways and differently for each of us. Often we are measured by others. But people are a finicky thing. They come and go. And there is no uniformity to the measuring stick they use. So it falls upon those who love us and who know us. We should measure ourselves by how faithful we have been to our passion and to those we father and to those we call wife and husband.

Unlike Mr. Hemingway, I still have the opportunity to do all these things. We should not waste a day walking through barren land. This is tillable soil, the seed is strong. Unsheathe your words and go forth.

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“The Monsters of Men” by C.W. Hime, 2nd of a young readers summer series/thriller. Character introduction, “Skinner”

Rhrup…Rhrup…Rhrup..”Come on Susie!” pleads Skinner under his breath.  Rhrup..Rhrup..Rhrup….”Dammit!” Susie, ever faithful, isn’t giving Skinner anything tonight. Frustrated, Skinner settled back on the seat of his 16 foot aluminum john-boat. With a couple of heavy breaths, he stared at the old Johnson outboard. Susie, was a relic even by Louisiana standards, but she was Grand-pappy’s motor and until tonight, never failed to start.

With daylight fading fast, Skinner’s eyes trace the surrounding swamp. What was familiar, even comfortable an hour ago, wears a mask where truth hides in shadows and fear stares back. Nobody spends the night in the “Black Hole”, not even Skinner…

Assessing the Next Ten Years…

I will start this by saying I’ve been here before. I’ve done a great deal of “assessing” all along the way of my 54 years. Many paths and opportunities have come and gone such as being a Navy Seal, Deep-water welder/diver, wildlife illustrator, shipwright and captain on a tall ship.

I wanted to explore the Pacific Northwest in search of Sasquatch, not for exploitation but to satisfy the heart of a young boy’s recurring dreams of seeing this creature in the distance and it looking back at me. These dreams were always peaceful and welcomed into my sleep.

I always wanted to see a true UFO, something not of this earth. Now that I have a family I do have some reservation on this one. I think it is as likely we would find ourselves livestock in a now interstellar feedlot as to having any meaningful interchange of knowledge or peace. We are not very good at peace and I’m sure that any travelers from outside our solar system would have figured that out before arrival.

There were more of these wants, desires and notions that came and went along the way. Their specifics elude me at the moment and lend no more insight to this assessment. What I can say is that all these notions caused me to do one thing every time, to research, read everything I could find on the subject. I would seek out the people who were doing these things I considered for myself. At 54 years old, I now realize that none of this was a waste of time. I learned. This is not a conclusion I have come to during past assessments. I can thank my beautifully smart wife for this new revelation.

There are a few paths or opportunities that have been a constant. They have been secured in part because to some measure I have participated in their endeavor. I am a writer, I am a carpenter, and I am a warrior…I think this word better suits me than survivor.

I left out being a caregiver, i.e. a Respiratory Therapist, for good reason. I did not dream, wish nor aspire to be this. This is what I have done for a living for nearly 25 years. It served it’s purpose. It was picked up as a tool of war. A very selfish and deliberate act exercised by an obsessed father, a warrior, to fight on behalf of my daughter, Sarah.

Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do and I think it’s fair to say that I’m good at it, but it is no longer my war. It continues to provide my household with a reasonably secure income and will need to do so for the foreseeable future. At some point it will end and i hope that I can in some way leave a positive mark on this profession. (I hope that satisfies my co-workers.)

That leaves me with who and what I am.

I am a writer. I want to be an author generating income from that which I love. I am sitting on twelve outlines,drafts and/or synopses for short stories, novellas and epic series novels. I am prepared to pursue this with purpose and vigor.

I am a carpenter. I want to build museum quality historical ship models. I have been working on designs for one of a kind custom watch winder cabinets and humidors. All of which is on the way to becoming a reality, largely due to the support of my incredible wife.

As I said, I’ve been here before. What makes this time or it’s outcome different? I do. It starts with me, it always has. With reasonable fairness one has to attribute their current circumstances to either aiding or hindering the process as well. Things have changed. Moving through the course of your life that is a given. I do not live in the state of war I did for nineteen years. I have a wife who supports and believes in who I am. I do not have a desperate need to figure things out or force them to happen.

How do I get started…I already have. At this very moment I am writing. I will use my wordpress page to share excerpts from my manuscripts and updates to progress. I will use this blog feed to continue to document this journey.

“Eddy Bose”, 1st of a young readers summer series/Thriller

The summer’s night air was cool with a hint of honeysuckle. Crickets and tree frogs sounded off the coming of another summer night. In the distance, Peter could hear the whistle of the “Dixie Bell”, as she announced her nightly pass through the village of Gettysburg. Glancing at his bedside alarm clock, Peter noted the time, 10:51 pm. Always on time, the last of the old steam engines, the “Dixie Bell” ran freight East to West then back, across central Ohio.

Now 10:57, Peter could feel the slow increasing vibration as the trained neared his house. Peter sat up, reached under his pillow and pulled out his boy scout flashlight. He then quickly crawled to the end of his bed, leaned on the open window sill, shining his light at the tracks. Peter leaned further out window, peering down the tracks. Trees, yards and houses were but silhouettes against the low glow of the town’s night sky. Two houses down, Peter could see a light shining out the window. Like every night of summer, his best friend “Jelly Bean”, his real name “Horatio”,  had joined him. Jelly Bean directed his light at Peter. Responding in kind, the two shared a code only known to 10 year old boys.

The Dixie Bell was upon them. Crickets and tree frogs were quickly replaced with the slow thunderous, pulsing crawl of the old steam locomotive as she tried in vain, to tip toe through the sleeping town. Steel grinds and squeals as wheels clack against railroad ties and track. Dixie’s load tonight, empty boxcars returning to the Lima yard, another 50 miles East.

Peter aimed his flashlight at the open doors of the boxcars. “There they are,” Peter whispered to himself.” His light dimly crossing the faces of men riding the rails – Hobos. The count was different every night. A few were familiar and would wave. Others were lifeless and unknown. 40 cars in all, six riders he could see. A dozen more boxcars past, nothing, then there he was. Not like the others, he stared back. A menacing smile tight across his face. The hobo raised his left hand pointing at Peter then drew his thumb across his throat in a cutting motion, spitting in the boy’s direction. As quick as it happened, the last of the train disappeared from Peter’s light.