What was once anotherhartmanauthor.com will, henceforth, be known as chocolateandpaper.com.
Welcome to chocolateandpaper.com. Please join me as anotherhartmanauthor.com
embarks on a new journey fueled by a love for books, Pennsylvania history and chocolate.
If you own a site yourself, you’ll know full well how long it takes to find your footing. Each site has its own growing pains, and mine is absolutely no exception. When I was in high school (circa 2002), message boards, MySpace and the flash-based site Albino Blacksheep were kings of the internet. YouTube, Facebook and Twitter were merely twinkles in their founders’ eyes. Fast forward nearly twenty years and message boards are barely used and everybody’s first friend, Tom, sold MySpace. No, no – don’t get any ideas! I’m not selling off my site. It’s worth far less than all those aforementioned ones, trust me.
This site has certainly seen its fair share of concepts come and go since its conception in late 2016. I have reevaluated its existence at least once a year since then. Now, in 2021, I think I’m finally ready to make some permanent changes – and not just with the content I’m posting. I’ve decided to change course with not only my reading and writing habits, but this site’s overall purpose as well. Let’s work through these five questions and their corresponding answers one by one.
Why was my site called “anotherhartmanauthor” to begin with? Why change the name now?
For years I’ve loved both the name and concept behind “anotherhartmanauthor.” In fact, I’ve proudly shared how many published artists and talents there are in my family through a few online interviews I participated in last year. (My interview on LC Helms’ site, and my interview on David Rae’s site). I’ll be completely honest here: for a long while now I’ve felt like an imposter. I never could take my own writing seriously. As such, my drive for it suffered. So much so that I began looking for other purposes, other reasons to keep anotherhartmanauthor going.
Why not invest more thought, and redirect my reasons for having it? And why not change not only its purpose, but its name as well? That way, it can better reflect my reasons for participating in the writing community and publishing world as a whole. With the addition of chocolate, why not a bit of whimsy to go along with it? So I commissioned one of my first Twitter “tweeps” to create a new site banner to reflect all this. And I’m so glad I trusted KJ Harrowick with it! Go check her out). Graphics changes coming soon!
For years I’ve owned notebooks, pens, and all those other things writers love to further their craft. I used to think that authorship was the path for me. That one is “never too old” to become a published author. While the latter is certainly true, and many have accomplished that later in life, I’d rather not confuse anyone anymore by having the word “author” in my web address. Several members of my family are prolific writers, actors, cartoonists, filmmakers and songwriters. We all have our own voices in our work; I’m just not certain anymore that’s my path.
At one point my social media handles were all “histfichartman,” because I loved writing historical adventures. However, I found I also loved writing science fantasy as well as fairy tale retellings. Just as I changed my handles from “histfichartman” to something else to not restrict myself to any one genre, so too must I do so with anotherhartmanauthor. But why the name “chocolateandpaper”? That’s a very good question.
As much as I love exploring Pennsylvania history, that too felt too restricting for a site name. You might think that both “chocolate” and “paper” would be restricting as well. In fact, I think it’s quite the opposite. I love, still, books, DIYs and yes, even writing. All those things include the use of paper. The inclusion of chocolate was a moment of pure whimsy and thus, it stuck.
“Just as I changed my handles from “histficthartman” to something else to not restrict myself to any one genre, so too must I do so with anotherhartmanauthor. But why the name ‘chocolateandpaper?’ That’s a very good question.”
Why are you going back to physical books? Why no more Kindle ebooks?
The answer to this question is simple: I am actively distancing myself from Amazon. They have made buying books (and other things) far too easy, and I no longer wish to participate in “fast retail” or “hyper consumerism.” A long time ago I made this post titled Books vs. eReaders. Back then I found both methods of reading to have merit. However, 2021 me no longer sees it that way. As such, from now on I’ll stick with physical books only.
1: I’ve always preferred my nonfiction titles be physical books so I could mark them up if I wanted to;
2: I found I was skipping ahead far too quickly and I missed specific details thus skewing my perception of the story as a whole;
3: The Kindle kept recommending the same titles over and over and over and- well, you get the picture;
4: Finally, who can resist a great #shelfie!?
So while I may miss out on a popular new releases or chances to win eARC copies, the Kindle world needed to be nixed from my life. Along with Amazon itself. Once I finish reading these last nine ebooks, my Kindle subscription will be canceled and my Amazon account deactivated. I’m looking forward to saving myself a lot of money and a lot of wasted time with this decision.
What about writing? You said before you were taking a break. What’s the status on that?
A few short months ago I felt like an imposter in the writing community. I was blogging about writing when I wasn’t really writing anything myself. I used to look at all those folks ready with pitches for online contests or announcing representation or publication, and I’d wonder about my own inability to finish a single story.
Let’s call it out for what it was: jealousy. I was jealous and tired of putting up a front of self-confidence that did not exist.
Yes, I knew my writing needed work – lots of work. Yes, I knew bad advice existed and I willingly participated in denouncing that bad advice. But that really wasn’t me at all. I’m not some publishing mogul who knows everything there is to know about said industry. I’m a writer who needs to work on her ish and I need to grow at least *some* confidence in the skills she does have.
TL;DR – I’ve begun work on a story which combines elements from two prior failed novel attempts. I realized all those pieces could potentially fit into my current project, so brainstorming sessions here I come!
“While you’ll feel compelled to charge forward it’s often a gentle step back that will reveal to you where you and what you truly seek.”― Rasheed Ogunlaru
Why are you so invested in Pennsylvania history?
Reason Two: Even with all of Pennsylvania’s maddening politics, I can’t help but marvel at its long history. From its roots to William Penn himself to the peoples who decided to call this Commonwealth home, I want to explore every corner of my state. With all the “corners” of Pennsylvania’s borders, I can – in a very literal was – accomplish this. I am a born and bred Pittsburgher. Okay – suburbia Pittsburgh. Regardless of if I live within my city’s limits or not, I’m still of Pittsburgh. And, more broadly, of Pennsylvania. Whether it’s by book and Internet research or traveling to actual places I want to learn about, I’ll share it all here. Trust me – I’ve got plans. Loads and loads of plans.
Here are some Pennsylvania-themed blog posts!
I took an honest look at my writing journey from 2021, and I didn’t like what I saw. Did you see any of this in me? Do you see yourself in this post?
Got any items on your fictional bucket list? I have only a few, but I think they’re good ones.
I want to create a curated book collection of stories I love. Stories I didn’t feel any need to rush through just to hit my reading goal for the year.
So what’s this baking thing you’ve been alluding to this whole time?
Behold, the final piece of this rebranding puzzle: The Attempted Recipe! Only one recipe attempt is live; don’t worry – more attempt to come in the near future. It’s just rather ironic how I decide to make lifestyle changes [when it comes to both eating and buying habits] right when I look into baking more. There’s absolutely no harm in working to grow a new skill, right?
How does all that sound? I’d love to know your thoughts!
Several blog posts from May of this year dealt with the prospect of change on this site. My mind’s been in a constant state of entropy since I decided to take this plunge. Have a read of the following blog posts to see how this was, is, a logical change. I hope you’ll stick around to see all the changes coming our way. And, if you’ve ever thought of maintaining your own website, don’t be afraid to allow it to fully reflect who you are.