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Friday, March 3, 2017

Local Man (Sad But True Stories)

High Crimes, Misdemeanors, and Other Bad Decisions. That's a long title if you put it all together. This book by Publications International, Ltd., contains some of the weirdest, funniest, and odd situations that some people get into, including dumb crimes, bad diets, ghosts and UFO's, bad parents, and just plain stupidity. It's a compilation of all the bad things that happen and watch out, you may be next.

Anything to make somebody else a buck by writing this book and relating all these bad things that happen to dumb people is all right with me. In fact, I got a big chuckle out of most of the book and overall, I thought it was a fun read and is even copyrighted. Two hundred and seventy-two pages long, it provided me with many hours of entertainment as I waited in the car for the wife to shop, etc. I give it a solid three our of five stars.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Globetrotter

The other night we watched one of the Globetrotter videos on Public Television. It wasn't a tour of Formosa or even France. No, it was a tour of the Old West, an overview of places and times like the connecting of the Trans-Continental Railroad and the Golden Spike, a short life of Thomas Parker from Circleville, Utah, also known as Butch Cassidy. And there was more on Deadwood, South Dakota, and Buffalo Bill and the Pony Express, and even more. But I don't recall anything about Texas but a mention of the Alamo. There was some on the California Gold Rush and the Silver Boom in Nevada.

Anyway, it was an entertaining program, which we (the wife and I) enjoyed watching. You never know what you'll see on Public Television. The Channel entertains the urchins most of the day and provides other stuff for the adults(?) the rest of the time with programs like Nova and Nature and that other travel guy who does Europe..

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Training

I haven't had much time for blogging because of spending time trying to learn things on various sites. I've watched hour-long videos, most not getting anything from them. I've been working on my forthcoming book and am about finished with that. I'll have to decide whether to self-publish or traditional publish, and it's weighing on me, which one?

My in-box of e-mails seems to be growing. It takes me half my time to read through them and some require a response or other work. And visitors take up some of the time. Had company from Kansas last week and just today my grandson and wife stopped in. I appreciate 'em, my grandson brought me a CASE cap to go with some other CASE items. He picked it up at the annual old tractor show at Saguaro Park in Glendale.

Jerome Increase Case started building tractors in Detroit way back and so I have a couple small replicas, one old and one new just for the heck of it. He was an ancestral relative. Somebody in the family has made good and more power to them. Now I have a cap I can wear while I play farmer.

You can see how busy I am if you read my Cattle Dust blog on Wordpress. I stopped the Comments over there because of too may spam and trash responses. If you would like to make a comment about that blog, please do so here. Thanks for your time and interest. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

More Scrivener

I don't know what happened. One day I was editing my manuscript on Scrivener, the next, it had changed to single-spaced, and the next it repeated most of the script. I had seventeen chapters on there, now I have 12 double-spaced and twelve single-spaced. What the heck is going on? Am I being hacked or what?

I'm about ready to give up with Scrivener and try another program. This is ridiculous. I copied it from my files all double-spaced and look what happened. A-A-A-RG-H!!

I'm returning to my original files and starting over. I have enough problems without this.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Station at Diablo by Roger Raffee

I liked reading this book, although I had to stop three or four times and pick it up later. It is first in a series, Station at Diablo: Tumbling Dreams Series, Book 1, by Roger Raffee. This kid in Texas (the novel takes place in and around San Antonio after the establishment of the Texas Rangers and also in parts of Old Mexico) grew up with the Rangers, his father being the doctor for the group. Aaron, the young kid about six years old, meets Sungold Craig, who was living with the Comanches, and they become friends.

Aaron wanted to be a Texas Ranger all his life, and started training for it when he reached gun-handling age. He practiced all the time and when he became mature enough to join the Rangers, he was an expert shot, faster than anyone. He became a Ranger and was assigned to find out where the Comanches buried the gold, that Chief Quanah Parker and Sungold Craig had amassed. And that is the basic plot of the novel.

Along the way he meets up with Craig in Mexico. Craig is now a high-ranking member of the Northern Mexican Army and has a large hideout in the mountains with his gang of Comancheros and Mexicans, and tries not to get mixed up in a Mexican Revolution. Arron spends some time in Nogales where he meets his first true love, Maria Angelica, but they don't get married. He tells Maria he will be back after he finishes his business. And this romance is carried through the novel, even after he meets Sarah and falls in love with her, supposedly.

The story flows from one crisis to another in fine fashion, and may get tedious to some readers in parts, but I thought it read very well. A loner called "Bones" plays a large part with his ranch where he grew up alone and stole chickens from his neighbors to survive while living in a cave. "Bones" isn't too particular about his women, he just wants someone to marry him and be happy helping him on his ranch.

Aaron, Craig, and "Bones" find a train load of American money that is being prepared for shipment to Mexico by a gang of thieves, not one from Texas, being run by the son of the railroad owner. The money is being sent to support Porfirio Diaz in the revolution. And the story goes on to a nice ending back in the San Antonio area. They never did find the buried gold. I thought it made my list of four-star Westerns, being a fun, exciting, and suspenseful story.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Scrivener

Got started with the Scrivener Program, that is, I glanced through the instructions again, loaded a chapter into it somewhere and now I'm wondering what I should do next? Maybe I'll load another chapter and see what happens. Or, maybe I'll read the instructions again. I'm sure it tells me what to do next. It says something about being a program to structure a book or something. The book is already built. I'm just rewriting it so it makes better sense.

You can see that I'm lost. I hope your program for writing is going better, if you have one.

Anyway, I'll pursue it again tomorrow or the next day and wish everyone a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Oh, Shucks Again

I sure don't know what the heck happened. I had no time to write a blog post yesterday. I'll tell you why. On the computer for about four or five hours trying to read my e-mail and barely got through it. I ordered a new program that's supposed to speed up my writing, but every time I hit the download button, up came a message telling me that there was an error. After about six times trying again, I decided to let it rest. Maybe my credit card had to be processed or something. I went back to reading mail and interrupted it to try the download again. Finally, about three-thirty PM, I tried it once more, having read my email, but still nothing but the darn error popping up.  I had to shut down the PC and do something else, thinking I would download the program in the morning.

Surprise, no download. I will have to try the support site sometime, but not today. I have too many other things to do. Maybe tomorrow morning it will work. I've done everything I'm supposed to do, even received my completed order form. Something's fishy, but I'm not going to contact Support just yet. I'll give it one more chance Saturday morning and keep my fingers crossed.

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Critique Class

So, I finally joined a critique group and it's been quite a bit of fun and entertainment. They tore my book apart with some great questions and now I'm trying to rewrite it using their suggestions. Some were even obvious to me and some not quite so obvious. I knew it needed improvement and am thankful for the critiques.  We still have a few chapters to get through, but they have pretty well covered all the errors I made, but I am anxious to hear the rest. I'm sure it is all going to make the story better than it was.

The other stories in the class have been interesting and entertaining, to say the least. There has been two non-fiction books, and I don't know if my comments are helping or not, but I offer them anyway.
The remainder are various genre fiction that includes Sci-fi, fantasy, literature-type, a modern western and general articles on the state of things in general, and some humor-type stories.

It's the variety that makes critiquing them fun and some need more lessons on basic English and spelling, and I'm sure that most comments and recommendations are helpful to some of the "writers".
I recommend a critique group for anyone writing, whether a beginner or pro. It will be of benefit in structure, plot, grammar, and English.


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Troubles

If you tried to purchase Western Stories the last few days from Amazon, you will know that it was not available. I had one typo error in it that just didn't help any, so I have been changing the manuscript to make it right. I saw the error before and made the change, but somehow, ghosts or something, put in the wrong thing. You now strange things happen once in a while using a computer.

Anyway, the new book is available now or it will be in two or three days, as soon as Amazon gets it up for sale. Sorry, the price was raised about 50 cents to $5.48 to accommodate the new size. Five pages were added even though nothing much was changed. The new Kindle version will be up in a few days, too. I still have to make the change on that one, and price may go up a few cents.

Have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING and enjoy the turkey and ham.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Oakley Hall, Author

Oakley Maxwell Hall (1920-2008), born in San Diego, CA, served in the U. S. Marines during WWII. His most famous book, Warlock, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1958. Other Westerns he wrote are The Adelita (1975), The Badlands (Legends West) (1978), The Children of the Sun (1983), The Coming of the Kid (1985), and Apaches (Legends West) (1986).

It was almost twenty years between his first Western, Warlock, and his second, The Adelita. Hall wrote Adelita and his four other Westerns from 1975 to 1986. He wrote the Ambrose Bierce series of detective novels between 1998 and 2005. His other novels, including mysteries, were published between 1949 and 2007. There were fifteen of those, including Corpus of Joe Bailey, which is the only Oakley Hall book I have read as I try to remember. It is a story of experiences (fictional or otherwise) in WWII and moves to the college years after the war. Hall also wrote under the pen names of "O. M. Hall" and "Jason Manor".

 I just watched one of his interviews on YouTube, Story Hour in the Library - Oakley Hall and Michael Chabon. In it, Hall tells how he first got interested in Westerns, which I though was quite funny. His interest came from a stranger who looked like he may be a cowboy near his family's home. The stranger turned out to be Stuart Lake, author of Wyatt Earp - Frontier Marshal. 

Warlock was made into a movie starring Henry Fonda, Richard Widmark, and Anthony Quinn. Hall also wrote the novel The Downhill Racers, which was made into a movie starring Robert Redford.

Info from Wikipedia and YouTube.