“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.

Give Me a Pencil, I’ll Give You a Manuscript

What method of transcription do you use? Type writer, word processing, pen , pencil, or voice recording with transcription?

I love a sharp #2 pencil, Ticonderoga #2 HB, to be exact. When I was a young teen, I read a biography about Ernest Hemingway. It had many black/white pictures of him writing at home in Cuba. The book described in detail how Mr. Hemingway wrote long hand with a pencil. In one picture you could see stacks of loose paper, files and notebooks all around him. I would have given anything to been able to see and feel all those notes and first draft manuscripts.

At seeing this, I thought in a very fourteen year old boy way, wow, he writes like me! Nothing egocentric there! I do use yellow legal pad paper, the shortened version. The longer standard does not fit in my worn out briefcase/ bag. Ring bound notebooks were the bane of my left-handed existence. Often, I would resort to turning them upside down and write back to front.

Typing, I can type efficiently enough, unless typing efficiently is a priority. I’m a four finger assassin of sorts, pecking away like a blind hen searching for my last meal.

So how do you do it, I’d love to hear. On a last note: I’m thinking about giving Dragon speech recognition a try. I find myself verbally working through dialogue frequently then asking my wife what I had said hours later…she usually knows ;).

At Pearl’s Tavern, an excerpt from “The Monsters of Men” by C. W. Hime, 2nd of a young readers summer series/thriller

“Walk in your humanity enough and you’ll soon discover that everybody and everything owes you something. In my book, that makes you some kind of poor son of a bitch…Try on your spirit, and you’ll find you need nothing in return.” …From a bar stool at “Pearl’s Tavern”, Darrport, Louisiana. Happy 103rd Birthday, Pearl!Image