Saturday February 22, 2020 | By Hieronymus Hawkes | Uncategorized | Leave Comments
[caption id="attachment_1771" align="alignright" width="384"] Sheila Sund[/caption] Funny how easy it is to not do something. The longer you keep from doing it the more impedance builds up. It might be working out, or keeping up a blog, or writing a piece of fiction. Or maybe you put off making a call to a close relative and then it started to become a thing because you had gone so long without calling. Last summer, I had managed to run a streak of almost four months where I posted five days a week. I knew I wouldn't be able to keep it up forever. But what surprised me was how sudden it happened and how easy it was to not post anything. I had a run of bad luck physically. Multiple doctor visits for different things. Pneumonia really knocked me on my butt. But even before that I had stopped blogging when I herniated myself. It wasn't like I had to exercise in order to blog, but the two became linked somehow. Then I ended up going to Oklahoma to work for several weeks and after I returned I got sick. But the only way to confront this kind of impedance is head on. You pick up the phone and call and try not to make a big deal about how long it's been. You get out your workout clothes and start back slow and easy. You post something to your blog and make a new commitment to doing it regularly. Maybe not five days a week. Fortunately, the impedance didn't effect my writing too much. I finished my last editing pass a few days ago and sent out the piece to a friend of mine for a beta read. It feels finished. I want to be done with it and move on to the next project. Finishing that project has brought me to a new starting line. I'm healthy again. I'm going to start exercising regularly next week and I've started working on my next project. Part of this reboot comes with some changes. If you have been following me you may have noticed a name change, both for me and for the web address. I decided on using a pen name and I bought a new domain name for the blog. I had been doing some ancestry research and discovered I had three grandfathers with the name Hieronymus. Hawkes is another family surname and I like the alliteration. I have a new Facebook page and a new Twitter persona. I've been on Twitter for almost twelve years, so starting over is a bit daunting. My new project is a piece that I started while I was working on my MFA, just for a palette cleanser in between edits. It was something that was as close to universally liked as anything I had written before. I only have about 7000 words, but the ideas are solid and the thing has some real potential. I debated throwing it all out and starting over. I'm actually still debating that, but I did some work on the opening chapter and I may keep it. I am toying with the idea of cutting some of it out and creating a short story out of it as a teaser for the novel. I would have to cut it down by about half to get where I would need for the word count. It would be a good exercise.Read More
Am I a Blogger or a Writer?
Wednesday July 31, 2019 | By Hieronymus Hawkes | Blogging | Leave Comments
Is there a big distinction between the two? I have to write to blog. My average word count for a blog post is just under 500 words, and that is over nine years. That is about two pages of a novel. Two pages of a novel or, in my current case, two pages of a short story that I could be writing to finish those stories. I enjoy both. The novel or short story has a structure, it can be lose or fairly well-outlined, but it is always there waiting on me to add more words. The blog has a different structure. It requires constant care and feeding if you are going to maintain it. The thing about writing fiction for a story is that there is no pressure to do so much in a given day or week. Unless you are on deadline. And for those of us that do not have a contract or an agent, the time is unconstrained. It doesn’t matter to the novel if I add more words today or not. Do I feel guilty? Yes. Some days very much so. Others not so much. That freedom is one of the few perks of being unpublished. I worry that once I am published that I will have to sit my butt down every day and dig those gems out of the word mine. But for now I can breathe easy. And don’t ask me why I decided to start blogging more regularly again. I can’t even give you a good reason, other than I wanted to. I follow a couple of writers that blog regularly and have managed to keep it up for a long time. One less so now, as he is having more writing success and appears to have less time or desire to blog. That is at the crux of it. I have set a daunting schedule for myself. I am trying to blog consistently five days a week. I don’t know how long I can keep it up, or if I will run out of things to talk about. But that was never really my goal when I started this. The reason is twofold. One is simply to have a place for my readers to connect with me once I am published. So there is no real agenda other than that. But the second reason is a little more esoteric. I will be fifty-five on my birthday. I feel like I have accumulated a fair amount of life knowledge or what you might consider wisdom, and at times I feel the urge to share some of it. I remember when I was in college, taking my first philosophy course, and I felt the desperate need to write down my own beliefs. My personal philosophy. I did. I have no idea what happened to those pages, but I would love to read them now and compare notes. One of the things you may struggle with as you age is reflecting on what you have accomplished, and just as importantly, was it enough? Have you made your mark on the world? If not how do you fix that? You might write a book. Or run for office. Or start a new business. Or go back to school and try something new. Or do a blog. It’s a simple thing, but it’s a little bit like a needy pet. You need to brush it and feed it and clean up after it. It requires time. I have a friend that posts twice a week, and has maintained that for almost a decade. She writes about writing. Singularly. We started at about the same time, but she has maintained that rhythm the entire time and my history is all over the map. Not only in regularity, but in topic. Having this place to bloviate on whatever topic I want is a way to move that ball forward a little. I don’t even know if there is a goal line, but it have the illusion of making some sort of progress toward some place far ahead in the mist. I can write about whatever I want. I do write about writing sometimes, because it interests me. There are a lot of things I want to write about that have nothing to do with story craft. I may actually write them someday. I’m sure there will be adjustments that have to be made going forward. I honestly don’t know If I will have the time or inclination to post five days a week forever. I’m almost certain I won’t. But for now that is my plan. The downside is it does take me away from working on novels and short stories. There is only so much time in the day. I am still working to find the balance since my quasi-retirement, for working out, spending time with my family, playing video games, drawing, and writing. Blogging is just one thing I enjoy doing. I have discovered over the last forty or so years that my attention span is often short. I throw myself into things wholeheartedly, and then, when I’ve had my fill, I push it to the side and do something else. I often come back around to the thing, but it is rarely with the same gusto as the first time. Knowing that about myself is a good thing. I try to temper my involvement in some things because of it. But so far I have managed to keep my interest heavily invested in writing. It has been fairly steady for about eleven years now. I honestly believe it will be something I court for the rest of my life. And whether it is simply writing a blog post or working on an epic fantasy, it will be time well spent. If you write, how do you approach these things?Read More
5 Things Friday: Reasons I don’t have a Blog Post
Friday July 26, 2019 | By Hieronymus Hawkes | 5 Things | Leave Comments
- I’ve had a long week and I’m tired. I have hit all my running goals this week, plus added in PIYO on the off-days.
- Trying to do too many things at one time. Couple that with not liking my options and it is easy to drop it out of my priority list.
- I have been busy at work (not really,) which has taken away some time to do other things I enjoy. Besides, it was way too nice outside this week to get anything done inside.
- It’s after 11 pm on Thursday night and I want to sleep and haven’t written the blog post yet.
- I don’t feel like writing (that is a thing that must be constantly fought against.) Hopefully, I will feel like it this weekend. I have made very little progress on my short story this week, and honestly, I should have finished it by now.
Love and Wi-fi
Wednesday July 17, 2019 | By Hieronymus Hawkes | Blogging | Leave Comments
My lovely bride found this when we were birthday shopping for her father. Life goals.Read More
Did I mean weightless? I wish
Friday June 14, 2019 | By Hieronymus Hawkes | Blogging | Leave Comments
[caption id="attachment_1352" align="alignleft" width="382"] me.me[/caption] Weight Loss actually. At the beginning of June, I went to my family doctor to set up for a colonoscopy. That’s right, I’m talking about colonoscopies. It will be okay. I promise. 50 is the magic number. So not only do you get to hit a demoralizing milestone, you also get to be probed. Yay. I’m 54 and should have done this a few years ago. I wasn’t actively avoiding it, just busy with other . . . stuff. It wasn’t high on my priority list, but I knew it needed to be done. I finally got around to it. My wife actually beat me to the punch and got it knocked out a few weeks before me in her usual style. (more…)Read More
Feeling a little Nostalgic
Wednesday June 12, 2019 | By Hieronymus Hawkes | Blogging | Leave Comments
I spent the last couple of days moving my blog over to Wordpress and updating the old pages. I am leaving a bunch of them here for historical record if nothing else. I cut a few that didn't really add any value, even for me. It has been fun reading my old posts and seeing where I was in the writing journey and life in general. When I started the blog my oldest was still in high school and my youngest was in second grade. He is now going to be a senior this fall and my two oldest are out of college. One is married. When I started the original blog I was fairly new to Twitter and hit it at just the right time for a new writer. It was the beginning of the eBook boom and self-publishing was finally becoming a viable way to make a living as a writer, so lots of writers were on Twitter sharing their journey and we made our own little community. (more…)Read More
Tuesday June 11, 2019 | By Hieronymus Hawkes | Blogging | Leave Comments
Big doins here at Fireflies & Laserbeams. I am moving the main blog to Wordpress from Blogger. It has been good to me, but I am ready for something new. [caption id="attachment_1028" align="alignright" width="332"] thierry ehrmann Alchemy LXXXIX - Alchimie _DDC2414[/caption] I've completed a new story. I call it new because it is very different from what it was, and involved a complete overhaul/rewrite. I am going to make an effort to blog more as well. It's been awhile since I posted about my writing. Truth be told I took a bit of a break. I had finished two books, along with my MFA, and then I submitted my work. Not sure if I hit a hundred "no thanks" or not. I could count, but suffice to say it was a lot, and it was demoralizing. Heartbreaking even. There is a reason so many writers are self-publishing. It's hard to break in now. I made a vow to myself that I would let failure stop me. There are no wasted words. (more…)Read More