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Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Tid-bit of Utah History

News Flash:

St. George, Utah. The Black Hawk War is raging in the Territory in the year 1866 when Captain James Andrus received the call to mount an expedition for the purpose of scouting out the Indians from Hell and Back. Oh, no, he was to take his party across the Territory betwixt there and the junction of the Grand and Green Rivers  and pinpoint the camps of the Indians, if any, and report the findings to his superiors. The weather was fine, nice and sunny in the summertime and the Indians were raising havoc in the southern towns. They killed some settlers, stole their cattle, and burned their towns, absolutely terrible conduct. Captain Andrus rendevoused with his company of militia some miles east of St. George and set out on the expedition, traveling east to Pipe Springs, Arizona Territory, and north through Kanab, Utah Territory, and east again, taking notes of the Indian trails  for his report. They traveled over a hundred miles before they made camp and Lieutenant Joseph Fish showed up with his company from the town of Parowan.

Lt. Fish had an encounter with the Indians on his trek when he sent some men back to Parowan. They were set upon by Indians and Elijah Averett was killed and several of the men wounded in the battle. Twenty-five men were sent after them, but the Indians escaped into the mountains. Captain Andrus left and made his way back to St. George in September before the snows came and submitted a report describing the Indian trails and the country from top to bottom of that remote area, which is still practically vacant from bottom to top and is still just as remote.

Captain Andrus was the oldest of 57 kids in his family and he ended up with two wives and 20-odd children of his own. And I'm sure I went to school with a couple of his descendants.

Reference: The Founding of Utah by Levi Edgar Young. Scribners, 1923, 1924

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Wowee! Another Award?

I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by Patsy Collins and must tell everyone seven things about me they don't already know and pass on the nomination to FIFTEEN other bloggers.
So, all right, here's the seven things you can't possible know:

1. I used to have a cat named Guinevere.
2. I keep my fingernails short.
3. I, I, I, never tell a lie.
4. My nose has been broken at least once.
5. I've never seen the Aswan Dam, except in photos.
6. I don't plan to see the Aswan Dam.
7. I don't like fish, but I like to fish.

Here are the next nominees and they don't have to accept if they are disinclined to:

Neil Waring
Albie the Good
Ron Scheer
Houston A.W. Knight
Richard Prosch
Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin
Matthew Pizzolato
If you double this list and add one there'll be 15, but that's my nominees.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Finally, It's Out

Trouble at Sagrado Ranch is available to order from on the Kindle or in print and I am glad to finally get this offering done. It is the story of the Hawkins family in New Mexico Territory after the Civil War as seen through the eyes of Thaddeus Hawkins. Here is the back of the book:

As for pricing, I used Amazon's calculator and it came out with a price of $8.49 for the pocket book and the Kindle edition at $2.99.

The paperback is currently priced at $7.64.

Get your order in quick before they are all sold out.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Proof is in the Pudding

But the pudding isn't in the proof, at least the one I received a couple days ago. The layout of the book is fine, but wouldn't you know, as I read through it, I found some more errors that will have to be changed, so the release of the novel will be delayed, and I'm still reading it. Anyway, here is a pic of the cover:

This is a photo of one of Junior and Norita Tidwell's Black Angus bulls "bellerin'" about something, maybe me taking the picture of him. I thought it might make a fairly decent cover picture. This ranch is located in the outskirts of Altonah, Utah, which is in the northeast corner of the State and nowhere near New Mexico, where the story takes place.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Ye Olde Proverbs

Here are some olde horse proverbs for your consideration:

1. It is a good horse that never stumbles.

2. Mettle is dangerous in a blind horse.

3. A horse is neither better nor worse for his trappings.

4. One may take a horse to the water but you can't make him drink.

5. Get upon a high horse.

6. Putting money on the wrong horse.

7. Flogging a dead horse.

8. One must not look a gift horse in the mouth.

9. Putting the cart before the horse.

10. While the grass is growing the steed is starving.

11. A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse.

12. An two men ride on a horse, one must ride behind.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Go West, Young Man

This month's header sketch is Horace Greeley who received fame for saying "Go West, young man, go West and grow up with the country" as he urged people to make the trek west. Greeley was a politician, editor, founder of the New York Tribune, a Liberal Republican, among other things. He ran for President of the U.S. but died before the votes were counted. He lost, anyway, poor fellow. Two of his correspondents on the Tribune were Karl Marx and Fred Engels, the bad guys of Communism and Socialism. He also launched the New Yorker journal and a Whig weekly the Log Cabin.

Mr. Greeley was born in Amherst, New Hampshire, on Feb 3. 1811 and died in Pleasantville, New York, in 1871 on Nov 29.

(Info from Wikipedia whee you may go to find a more lengthy short bio with photos of Greeley.)

To everyone: Have a happy Fourth of July!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Yup, I Finished It

I set aside everything else, including digging trenches and blogging, but not babysitting or eating, in order to complete Trouble at Sagrado Ranch, and I just ordered a proof copy to review. If I find everything in good finish, it will be available for purchase in two or three weeks in Kindle and paperback editions at a reasonable cost.

This novel will complete the eight books I have written in the last six, eight, or ten years and I have nothing more planned at present. I will probably do a Kindle edition of some short stories and maybe start another western. I have several ideas floating around in my feeble brain that may make a good story or two. But right now, I will take a break and let the ideas swirl around until they reach a tornado pitch and have to be let out. Writing is a necessary evil that must be dealt with. The only way to deal with it is . . . . WRITE, WRITE, WRITE.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Feud at Single Shot

Luke Short's western, The Feud at Single Shot, is a gritty tale of an attempt to take over a ranch near the small town of Single Shot. Dave Turner, half-owner of the ranch with his sister, and Rosy Rand are finally freed from the Yuma prison and return to Single Shot to pick up where they left off. Mary, the sister, has been working the ranch with the assistance of a couple of no-good cowboys and her slick-garbed husband, Ted Winters, who is more interested in gambling than the ranch. On the way home from the train station, they are ambushed and Dave is shot, but not killed. Dave and Rosy thinks it was set up by a man named Hammond, who began mining below the ridge next to the ranch property, and a fellow named Crowell has offered to buy the ranch.

This story is also a mystery of sorts as Dave and Rosy work to find the person behind the shooting and the ranch offers, believing it is not really Crowell who wants the property. The cliff where the only water supply lies in a lake on the Turner ranch is blown to smithereens and the water runs out over the mine of Hammond on down the gulley to the desert floor. And the plot thickens as they find out Hammond wasn't behind either the shooting or the explosion.

And there are more twists and turns as Dave is kidnapped and tortured and made to sign over his half of the ranch to Crowell. But why does somebody want the ranch so bad? I will leave that answer for the reader to find out as Rosy and Dave and Hammond all work together to catch the unknown villain of the story. This was another of Luke Short's fine stories which took my mind away from the daily grind for a couple of hours.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

What a Sale!

What a Sale, yuk! We traveled all the way to Mesa Friday to sell some books ,at least I thought that was why were going over there. We picked out a nice hotel and made reservations for the night as the event would end at 10 PM and I didn't want to drive back that late. Hell, I'm over 80 years old and don't drive much at night any more nor any other time, either.

We signed in at 4:30 like the notice said, and set up the table and chairs, dug out the books and a sign, and an old battery-operated lantern in case we didn't have enough light. At exactly 6 PM we took our places in the l04 degree heat and waited for customers to inquire about the books. About 6:30 PM, I walked down the street to a Pizza parlor and bought a couple slices of pizza and we ate the pizza and drank a giant drink and waited for customers. I yelled at about everyone that passed the table to take a look, uh-huh, about six people so far. Around 7:30 a nice lady stopped and gazed at the books and chatted for a moment before moving on. The heat was cooling down a bit and there was a nice breeze and about 8:30 we started to pack up. A couple minutes later I dug the books out of the box to show a young lady and her son what I had and KaChing, she bought one. So we sat there a few more minutes with no action and I started putting the books back in the box  and another couple stopped to see what I had. KaChing, another sale! So we waited a few more minutes in the half-light before putting them away again. This time nobody answered our call to take a look, so we packed up and I went and got the car. I was told it was fine to double park to load and unload so there I was laboring away putting the table and chairs in the trunk and a city bus stopped, thinking he couldn't get by. I said to myself, "He'll just have to wait while I finish loading up." Another minute or two and we piled into the car and took off. I turned off that street, heading to the hotel and there was a police car following me. I  stopped for a light and the policeman turned the corner and let out a long sigh of relief.

It was Friday the 13th, what did I expect? We fell far short of meeting expenses, and besides almost having a heat stroke, I managed to enjoy the outing anyway.  Maybe I'll try it again next month.  

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Coming Along

I'm proofing the manuscript of Trouble at Sagrado Ranch. My editor, my wife, has proofread it and caught a number of typos and a couple of contextual errors. So, I'm going through it and making the changes and re-proofing the text. After this is done, I will read it again and start thinking about a cover for it that I can use at no cost. I have only about $8 in my book account and I don't think I would get much in the way of cover design for that amount. I hope to add some funds tomorrow night in Mesa at the 2nd Friday Night Out event where I will be signing and selling my novels to all the street walkers, er, er, the wonderful people walking by on the sidewalk and participating in the event.

Have a great weekend!.