Sunday, February 26, 2012


In April of 2008, I woke up one morning and decided to bake bread, having never baked bread before. At the same time, I started experimenting with a photographic technique that I believed to be unique. Unique is a hell of a hard thing to achieve after 45 years doing photography seriously. In December of 2008, I began writing SURFING VIETNAM, my fictionalized autobiography that is currently doing well in sales on Amazon. I am in danger of making a meagre living at writing, as I have 4 other books for sale, soon to be 5.

Last week I became obsessed with making muffins. I wonder if the muffin baking is the harbinger of a new direction in art.

I have no idea how to give advice about making art, but I can give you a couple of my favorite muffin formulae.

Cornmeal Poppyseed Muffins

Mix dry ingredients: 
1 heaping cup flour
1 heaping cup corn meal
1 tps. bakng powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup poppy seeds

Add wet ingredients:
1 large egg
about 1 cup buttermilk (to make a thickish batter)

Bake at 425 for 20 or so minutes in a (silicone) muffin pan.  Makes 6
You may double this with good results.

Oatmeal Walnut Muffins

Mix dry ingredients:
1 heaping cup flour
1 heaping cup oat flakes
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Add wet ingredients:
1 large egg
about 1 cup buttermilk
about 1/4 cup honey

Bake at 425 for 25 or so minutes in a (silicone) muffin pan.  Makes 6
You may double this with good results.

Happy baking!

Monday, February 20, 2012


No, not making a living yet, but I can see that it is possible to accomplish... Last year in May, I gave myself 10 years to make it as a writer, since by then my savings would run out no matter how carefully I used it. 

In my secret heart, I thought it would be a year and a half before I would be able to supplement my fixed income to the degree I would not have to use my savings for living expenses. I now think this second, "secret heart" goal is a distinct possibility.  Look at the chart. Those are real numbers and not wishes.

In three and a half years, at "a certain age" no less, I have transformed myself into a different and viable creature. Sure, I have worked a lot, but in my secret heart again, only about half as hard as I am capable of working. I've also had a lot of fun and met some super people. 

All that new-age crap about affirmation and positive thinking making your dreams come true is just so much hot air to sell books and DVD's to insecure and gullible people.  Hard work is the only way to accomplish anything, but I do not discount the role fortune plays. Capricious old fortune... 

I have been lucky. Born white and male in a unionized working-class family in North America, educated by a system that worked (particularly at my beloved small liberal arts college), healthy, and reasonably sane, it really is hard to fail even now during Depression #2. Almost all of my good fortune has been as a result of luck with a little hard work thrown on top. If I were not an atheist, I would thank god for the dumb good luck that came from just being born into the right time and place. "Positive thinking," "willing," "affirmation," "intent" or whatever the New Age Whacks are calling their snake oil these days, had nothing to do with my nascent success.

Monday, February 6, 2012


I guess you get the idea. I want to thank you. "You" being the 2451 people who downloaded my 60's coming-of-age novel, Surfing Vietnam yesterday, taking it to #5 on the Amazon list of Literary Fiction.

It was a hell of a thrill knowing my readership grew by that much in one day.

I hope y'all love the book. Please leave a comment and a rating on the Amazon purchase page.

Oh, in case I did not get my point across earlier, thank you all.

Jim Hockings

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Tomorrow I am offering my major novel for free on Amazon--24 hours only. If you have a group e mail list, or just know one other person who likes to read, maybe you could do them (and me!) the favor of passing along the link to my book at BOOK LINK  Feel free to post the link on Facebook or Twitter, but, remember, it is only good Sunday the 5th.

Also note that one does not need a Kindle to read an e book. There are free apps at FREE READING APPS  for android, PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, etc.

Here is the most incisive review I have had of the book: “Elegant, brutal, I loved it… This book is like reading ‘Huckleberry Finn while listening to Steely Dan.” William Logan Dewar 2011

Have fun reading. Thanks a bunch…