18 June 2018

Hello, Cruel World

by Steve Hockensmith

Hi. My name is Steve, and I'm a blogaholic.

I've been blogging on my website, SteveHockensmith.com, since 2006. I got started because my first novel was about to come out, and blogging was just what one did. I'm not sure what one does as a first-time novelist these days. Post pictures of your breakfast on Snapchat? Start a podcast? Vlog about your breakfast-themed podcast on Instagram? All of the above? None of the above? Thank god I don't have to know. You can only be a "first-time novelist" once. After you get that out of the way, you're just a plain old "novelist," and no cares what you do.

When I started blogging, I had no great message to spread, except an implied "Please be so kind as to consider buying my book." I had no great wisdom to share either. (Those who know me well will quickly confirm this.) I could've blogged about how to become a first-time novelist, I suppose, but I'm not a big believer in writing advice, subscribing instead to the Capt. Kirk Method: "We learn by doing."

Irony alert #1: The actor who originally played Capt. Kirk, William Shatner, is the "author" of many "co-written" novels. So when it comes to writing, he didn't, in fact, learn by doing. He did it by hiring people who already knew how to do it and having them do it for him. But we can't all be William Shatner, can we? Civilization wouldn't survive it.

Irony alert #2: Although I'm not big on writing advice, the most-viewed blog post I ever did is called "50 Dos and Don'ts for Wannabe Writers." It still draws a few eyeballs to my site every day because it inspired a long, bitter, bile-filled thread on Reddit. (Is there any other kind?) The second most-viewed blog post I ever did, by the way, is written in the voice of one of my characters, "Big Red" Amlingmeyer, and is about him stumbling across a video called "Top 10 Spanking Scenes in Cowboy TV Shows." Which means that the Google search "spanking cowboys" now brings a few extremely disappointed web surfers to my site each day. And will now bring them here, as well. Howdy, partners! Better luck next click!

Although I figured out a long time ago that blogging wouldn't actually help me sell more books, I kept at it. Why, if there was nothing I was burning to say and no particular reason to say it anyway?

Damn. Good question. Blogging...

Perhaps for me blogging's been a sort of reverse suicide note.
Hello, Cruel World.

I still have silly little projects to work on and silly little thoughts to think.
So I'm sticking around.

Nyah nyah nyah-nyah nyah! You haven't completely crushed me yet!

Your pal,

Fortunately, there are bloggers with more to say than that. Case in point: the fine writers here at SleuthSayers. Somewhat to my surprise, they've been foolish kind enough to ask me to blog here on a regular basis. Even more to my surprise, I've said yes. I'll be popping in once a month. Which means I need to up my game, blogging-wise.

Can I do it? We'll see. I know how to get started. It's what all the hip kids are doing on social media these days, I think.


  1. (laughing) Great punch line, Steve. I'll have you know I bribed a Cricket Hotspot user for a few precious minutes to read your article and Mary's.

    Factoid #1. A girlfriend was Shatner's dresser when he appeared in something on Broadway. When asked if he wore a hairpiece, she coyly said she signed a non-disclosure agreement about his, uh, non-wig. Actually, I'm not sure that qualifies as a factoid.

    Factoid #2. I'm guessing 8 out of those 10 spanking movies starred John Wayne. Here in Gunsmoke, Arizona, the latest film seems to be 1962's How the West Was Won. Needless to say, I've been seeing quite a number of John Wayne flicks. It would be simpler to post a blog titled "Movies Where John Wayne Doesn't Spank His Co-stars".

    I enjoyed the post, Steve. Love the clever joke.

  2. I like how the spread on your ... Pop tart (?) ... is the same color as your coffee. Welcome!

  3. "After you get that out of the way, you're just a plain old "novelist," and no cares what you do." So true. So true.
    Cool post for a Monday morning.

  4. Hey, Steve!
    I have fond memories of reading the first of the "Big Red" stories early in the morning one weekend and laughing myself silly! Nice to have you here!

  5. Welcome! I will look forward to more of your blogs!

  6. Welcome to the club, Steve.

    As far as my cat is concerned, blogging is something that makes him get off the desk so I can type without his tail covering the keyboard. That's why I do so little.

    I still remember how much I enjoyed Holmes on the Range. Wow, that was ten years ago?

  7. Welcome to the asylum, Steve. Great to have you on board. I look forward to reading you blog about the next Holmes ont he Range book when it gets finished!

  8. Thanks for the welcomes, guys!

    Another Factoid for Leigh: John Wayne didn't bend his co-stars over his knee nearly as often as people think. He spanked Maureen O'Hara in "McLintock!" and "The Quiet Man," of course, as well as Joanne Dru in "Red River," Kirk Douglas in "The War Wagon" and Max Von Sydow in "The Greatest Story Ever Told." But that's it. Now Randolph Scott -- it's hard to find a movie in which he DIDN'T spank half the cast....

  9. Steve, good to see you again. And thanks for all the info you gave me years ago. Otherwise, I may not have gotten started on e-books and then subsequently been able to write my upcoming Sunday SS blog article.

  10. Hey, R.T.! I'll be looking forward to your post on e-books. It's great to hear that something I told you about them actually proved useful. (I have a hard enough time figuring out what I should do, so telling other people what to do usually gives me the heebie-jeebies!)

  11. Welcome aboard, Steve. But I'm not sure there's a cure for being a blogaholic. Maybe Blogaholics Anonymous. :-)

  12. Thanks for the welcome and the suggestion, Paul! Will you be my B.A. sponsor?

  13. I would be happy to, Steve. Now repeat after me, My name is Steve Hockensmith and I'm a Blogaholic...

  14. Steve, I blogged a lot when I first started, on my own blog and everyone else's I knew. Then, somewhere along the way, I stopped. Funny thing is, no one ever asks me why I don't blog anymore. I wonder why that is.

  15. Hold on a sec. I can't join Blogaholics Anonymous now, Paul. That would mean I'd have to quit blogging cold turkey. Pretty bad timing, considering I just agreed to blog here once a month.

    Oh my, Earl -- you're not making me feel any better about that commitment! Maybe I should quit cold turkey after all....

  16. Luv the pop tart. And your reverse suicide note!
    Looking forward to more of your posts!


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