Thursday, December 3, 2009

Books of the West - 2

The American Cowboy, The Myth and the Reality, by Joe B. Frantz and Julian Ernest Choate, Jr., was published in 1955 by the Universtiy of Oklahoma Press.This book gets to the bottom of the actual facts about the cowboy, starting off with Hopalong Cassidy and going from there to explain the differences between the life of the cowboy and the life of the cowboy as written in the stories and novels of the times.
It covers the trail herding days, ranching and the range, the range wars, the lawbreaking, the literature and the reality. The book is illustrated with several photographs of the cowboy at work in various places, along with the cattle and the land. A nice addition to any library of those interested in the west.

I've been drafting another novel over the last few weeks, and it was going very well for the first two-thirds, but too many roadblocks have been tossed into the mix, and it's practically at a standstill, although I manage to add a few words daily. As I plow my way through it, I can see where it will be needing revision, maybe even tossing out parts of it. I have tentatively given it a title of Murder under the Cliffs. The setting is southeast Utah around 1900, has a little romance, skullduggery, Indians, gun play, good guys, outlaws, missing gold, a smidgen of history, writers, and, of course, murder. An excerpt was posted a few blogs ago. If it works out, it should turn into a best-seller, he dreams alot.

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