Monday, April 9, 2012

H: Harvey Honsinger: 1934-2012

A cowboy is man with guts and a horse. -- will james.

  The first time I met Harvey Honsinger was in a writing workshop.  I'd submitted a murder mystery for critique.  After lengthy discussion with Harvey regarding guns the killer decided he'd use a knife instead. Harvey didn't ever let you slide on details, especially when it came to firearms.
 "What happened? Nobody died." Any time I'd submit a story that didn't involve murder and mayhem--which wasn't often--Harvey would have that at the top of the page. To me it said he really read my work and considered his comments.
When trying to think of an H word to use for professionalism, Harvey kept coming  to mind.  I thought I would blog about him and he'd read it and get a good laugh.  But, three days before the challenge started Harvey passed away from cancer. So this post becomes as much of a tribute as a part of the challenge. 
When you talked to Harvey you could tell he enjoyed everything he'd done in life. He had a particular fondness for justice and fair play.  Maybe this was why he liked westerns.  Or maybe his love for the West, especially his home in Texas, gave him those ideals.  He applied them to everything he did, including work and writing.

Speak your mind, but ride a fast horse. --Cowboy saying.

Harvey made the Old West come alive with interesting characters in difficult situations. For over twenty years he wrote, always sending out his manuscripts and consistently being denied.  So, he finally took matters in his own hands and self-published. In 2011 Firehair became available on
Harvey reminds me that you can't lose your sense of fair play--in work, in writing, in life. When he critiqued stories, no matter how bad the writing, he always found something positive.  And it was always about the work, not the author. 
He also reminds me not to be discouraged in my writing.  It took him years to get his book published.  In the mean time he was doing other things:  law enforcement, the media, publishing articles and short stories.  He didn't stop living and he didn't take no as the answer.

Never miss a good chance to shut up.

Another H word for Harvey is Hope.  Never give up on the things you're most passionate about.
In workshops and in the Bayou Writer's Group Harvey will be missed.  He was a true cowboy in every sense of the word.

If you get to thinking you’re a person of some influence, try ordering somebody else’s dog around.

Firehair can be found at


  1. Love this post! I'm a cowgirl. Horses, farm and all. What an awesome guy this Harvey was. I am so sorry for your loss. What a lovely tribute! He'd be proud. :-)

    I think everyone needs a Harvey in their life!

  2. Great tribute to your friend! Love the last quote, I was a pet sitter/dog walker before my stroke in January and I had to order other peoples dogs around, some easier than others! :)

    -MJ A to Z blogger

  3. Very nice tribute to someone who made an great impression on you. Excellent idea for a H post!

    Dropping by via the A to Z posts and enjoying reading how creative people spin off the alphabet post.

  4. Ah, so sorry you lost your friend & guide! You're the 2nd blog today that is about the loss of a friend like this - a friend involved in your writing life.


    Texas Playwright Chick

  5. Sorry you lost a friend. I blogged about a friend who died last month for today's A to Z challenge.
    Nice that your friend understood that writers shouldn't compete. There's enough room for everyone and it's best to help one another.

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