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Chuck Hinman: IJMA. It's Just Me: My Book

Chuck Hinman: It's Just Me: My Book. 5 May 2005 WITH notes by RHS Chuck tells the story of how his book of stories got published.
Next earlier Chuck Hinman column - The Counterpane

By Chuck Hinman

It's Just Me: My Book

This is the introduction to my book entitled It's Just Me. I will probably have the initial product -- around 175 pages -- from the typesetter Joy Garland while I am recovering from cataract surgery tomorrow. Then later to a local printer and voila there it is! That may be some time away.

Everybody can write a book if I can. You are my special encouragers. How can I say thanks and most would say, what's wrong with just 'thank you.' OK -- 'thank you.' I hope you can feel the emotion that accompanies those two words!

Incidentally, the first writing is entitled 'Hogshooter U.S.A.' and is the letter that was given to each of several hundred cyclists as they stopped at our rural church for a rest stop a few years back. That is my earliest effort at writing and enjoys a special place in the book. Thanks, Brother Tom for asking me to do it! You didn't know what you started!

Love you all,

Who'd a thunk Chuck Hinman, that chubby Nebraska farm kid would have published a book in his old age. Even I have difficulty with that!

The earliest hint it might have happened, was when I took an English Composition course after the war at the University of Nebraska. I needed a 3-hour English credit so I chose English Composition 101.

Chuck is told: you should write professionally

The course required I write a weekly composition. The subject matter was left to me. I found that I liked the course better than I imagined. Even though that was 60 years ago, I remember distinctly when an anonymous student paper-grader noted on one of the compositions -- "You should consider writing professionally." I was flattered but that was all.

Several years ago when I moved to Tallgrass Estates in retirement, I decided to write a little dab to leave for my kids. That little dab turned into membership in a writing club called the ImPeruvians -- a group of writers from my alma mater, Peru State Teachers College, Peru, Nebraska. With special encouragement from them and church friends, Alsie Mae Stapleton and Orva Lee Brown, the seed was planted.

Chuck is talking into publishing his works

It matured when chat room friend, who I only knew by her moniker -- 'Bird' -- saw some of my writings, and as a professional typesetter in Asheville, North Carolina, talked me into publishing my works with her help.

Her name is Joy Garland, and without her expertise and patience, this absolutely would never have happened. My special thanks to Joy Garland, sisters Alsie Mae Stapleton and Orva Lee Brown, and my son, Paul, who offered expert help in proofreading the text and endless other ways.

A not-quite 'quote' from Julia Child

And of course, Thanks be to God, from whom all blessings flow!

'Bone aperitif' to steal a line from Julia Child, famous chef, translated 'GOOD READING!'

Chuck Hinman
Note from Robert Stone:
I have never seen the book It's Just Me. I first received the stories as emails from Chuck. After his death, Alsie Mae Stapleton sent me stories. She has keep a copy of everything Chuck ever sent her.

In an email to her and her sister Orva Lee Brown, Thursday, 5 May 2005, Chuck says:
Chuck's proof book is in his computer

...just a note to tell you what's going on -- my proof book is here in my computer -- last I heard Joy say it would be close to 300 pages (a whopper in her experience) and it will set in a 6" x 9" book when it is printed..... I sent Paul a copy... and he is going to proofread with me -- I think he is pretty good.

About my cadilac -- excuse me -- cataract -- I have an EKG at 2:30 just for safety according to Dr. J. Grisham so when I get back home I expect to read my eyes out -- gosh 300 pages -- my brother (deceased) would probably have chided me that he didn't think I knew that many words -- probably means I'm full of you know what -- SMILE -- Chuck

You guys started all this!
A litte later that day he wrote:
I was wrong -- it is 179 pages per Paul and that's plenty.
And still later that day Alsie Mae wrote:
A second book of stories proposed

Sounds like there is going to have to be Book #2. Too many good stories won't be told, otherwise.

Chuck replied, "Not counting it out," but he did not live to see a second book. His son Paul is working on that now.
It's Just Me Again

I suggested to Chuck that the second book be titled It's Just Me Again.

There is a story already on ColumbiaMagazine titled "How It All Began." It tells some of this same story but the 'facts' differ in a few places.
Written by Chuck Hinman. Emailed 5 May 2005.

This story was posted on 2014-01-05 02:54:56
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