Friday, September 28, 2012

A Death in Indian Wells

Lewis B. Patten's A Death in Indian Wells turned out to be a page turner. It all started with the death of a young Indian who was put on display in a window in Indian Wells. Pete Handy, the Sheriff, was out of town with his son rounding up a killer when it happened. Upon their return, Handy immediately frees the Indian and takes him to a jail cell, where he has the doctor look at his wounds. It was three buffalo hunters that captured and wounded the Indian and put him on display. Sheriff Handy arrests them and takes them to jail and when the young Indian dies of his wounds, he holds them for murder against the town's wishes. Many of the citizens have friends or relatives who were attacked by the Indians in the past and murdered.

Well, Sheriff Handy is married to an Indian and his son, Johnny, is a half-breed, and he can understand why the people are not upset about the dead young Indian, but he must uphold the law. His son, Johnny, takes the Indian to a Cheyenne village for a proper Indian burial with the Sheriff's okay. This riles up the Indians and they plan to kill Johnny and attack Indian Wells to get even with the whites and this puts Handy and his son in a tight spot between a rock and a hard place. Does he release the buffalo hunters to the Cheyennes who will kill and torture them or does he let the town be attacked? Throw in a news reporter who is going to write up the story of how the town treated the Indian and some of the leading citizens going against the law to save the town and the tension thickens.

You'll have to read the story to find out what happens and who does what to who and how it ends. I thought it was an exciting read and enjoyed it.

Lewis B. Patten (Jan 13, 1915 - May 23, 1981) wrote a lot of westerns under his own name and as Lewis Ford, Len Leighton, and Joseph Wayne. And others in cahoots with Wayne D. Overholser. (From Wikipedia.) This book was a Signet Book from the New American Library and a First Printing, February 1972.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


I'm about halfway through Story of The American West by Carol Sletten and Eric Kramer. So far, it has been only about the early settlers of Arizona and their troubles with the Indians. It is a pretty detailed history of the settlement of of the White Mountain area, including the Mormons who were sent into Arizona by Brigham Young along with the early Mexicans and uses some of the Mormon history for certain details.

Am also reading The Comical History of Montana, A Serious Story for Free People, by Jerre C. Murphy. This is an old book published in 1912 it looks like and so far (I'm on page 23) I haven't read anything comical about it. It seems to be an attack on "Big Business," as stated on the title page. Maybe it was just comical in the eyes of the author.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Man from Hanksville

I am slaving away on my next novel, The Man from Hanksville, and I think one or two more read-throughs will get 'er done. This story is MURDER, MYSTERY, and MAYHEM in the small town of Bluff, Utah, when an innocent man is thrown in the HOOSEGOW accused of MURDERING one of the elder citizens. After being released, he sets out to find the KILLER and runs into more KILLING and MISCHIEF AND a PRETTY GIRL who he takes a liking to among the other OBSTACLES put in his path to prevent him from uncovering WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON. I'm finding this project much to my liking and written with HUMOR, COMPASSION, and SINCERITY for all my CHARACTERS, even the BAD ONES. I am looking forward to its PUBLICATION.    

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Another Arizona Event Not to Miss

On Sunday, Sep 30, 2012, Jim and Bobi Jean Olson will be celebrating another Western Heritage event at 420 N. Florence Street, in Casa Grande, AZ, at the Old Paramount Theater.

This event will feature Gary Sprague, the Singing Cowboy, and his horse, Dusty, who participates in the entertainment. Gary will be singing, twirling his guns, and putting Dusty through his paces for an all-out entertainment bash fit for the whole family Tickets are CHEAP, only $15 each with a small fee of  $1.52 per ticket. I got mine this morning through Brown Paper Tickets, Very easy and simple! Get yours today and I'll see you there at the Old Paramount Theater.

There will be other acts for your pleasure with story-telling, cowboy poetry, music and singing! Come one, come all!

Yesterday, I chauffered my wife, her daughter and granddaughter to West World in Scottsdale for the "Junk in the Trunk" sale. There were a variety of antiques, hand-made articles, furniture, pictures, a few old books and lots of other stuff to look at and buy if you were so inclined. My passengers were so inclined and picked up a few small items to add to their collections of old stuff. The weather was nice, sunny, a slight breeze and enjoyable for the most part. We had a great lunch at the Desert Ridge mall and came home and everyone was happy. I had my doctor-ordered glass of wine and collapsed. Shopping is not my bag!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Upcoming Arizona Events

Upcoming events in Arizona now that the event season begins to gather steam:

Sep 14, Pickin' in the Pines Bluegrass & Acoustic Music Festival, Flagstaff

Sep 14-16, 97th Annual Santa Cruz County Fair, Sonoita

Sep 15, 11th Annual Roasted Chile Festival, Tucson

Sep 19, Arizona's Five Cs, Cottonwood (copper, cattle, cotton, citrus, and climate)

Sep 22, Annual Fiesta de San Rafael, Concho

Sep 22, Oro Valley Classics & Older Classic Car Show, Oro Valley

Sep 24, Taste of Williams, Williams

Sep 28, Standin' on the Corner Festival, Winslow

Sep 29-30, Festival of Native American Culture, Camp Verde

Sep 29-30, An Art Affair, Pinetop/Lakeside

Sep 30, Wander the Wild, Prescott

Oct 5, Grand Opry Night, Williams

 Oct 5-7, Paris Flea Market, Mesa

Oct 5-7, Rex Allen Days, Wilcox

Oct 6, Ranch House Roundup, Lake Montezuma

Oct 6-7, Old Congress Days, Congress

Oct 6-7, Earth Harmony Festival, Tumacacori

Oct 12-14, Patagonia Fall Festival, Patagonia

Oct 19-21, 83rd Annual Helldorado Days, Tombstone

Oct 20, Tubac Anza Days, Tubac

And this isn't all of them as they roll out for the Fall season of fun and celebration. Come on out and enjoy!

Thanks to Highroads, the AAA Magazine, Sep-Oct 2012.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

On Writing

"There was a time--it seems further away than childhood--when I took up my pen with eagerness; if my hand trembled it was with hope. But a hope that fooled me, for never a page of my writing deserved to live. I can say that now without bitterness. It was youthful error, and only the force of circumstance prolonged it. The world has done me no injustice; thank Heaven I have grown wise enough not to rail at it for this! And why should any man who writes, even if he writes things immortal, nurse anger at the world's neglect? Who asked him to publish? Who promised him a hearing? Who has broken faith with him? If my shoemaker turn me out an excellent pair of boots, and I, in some mood of cantankerous unreason, throw them back upon his hands, the man has just cause of complaint. But your poem, your novel, who bargained with you for it? If it is honest journeywork, yet lacks purchasers, at most you may call yourself a hapless tradesman. If it come from on high, with what decency do you fret and fume because it is not paid for in heavy cash? For the work of man's mind there is one test, and one alone, the judgment of generations yet unborn. If you have written a great book, the world to come will know of it. But you don't care for posthumous glory. You want to enjoy fame in a comfortable armchair. Ah, that is quite another thing. Have the courage of your desire. Admit yourself a merchant, and protest to gods and men that the merchandise you offer is of better quality than much which sells for a high price. You may be right, and indeed it is hard upon you that Fashion does not turn to your stall."

The above words are from The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft by George Gissing, first published in 1903, and now in the public domain at Open Library and Project Gutenberg.

Well, here it is just short of 110 years later and not much has changed in writing. Like Henry said, "(I) don't want posthumous glory. (I) want to enjoy fame in a comfortable armchair." Then again, I can wait for the "posthumous glory" if it is to come and not have much choice in the matter. And if it doesn't come, I will never know about it. Maybe my heirs and assigns will reap the benefit if "they" choose to honor me with some  "posthumous glory."

That isn't what drew my attention to this excerpt, though. It was the "trembling hand that picked up the pen" and began putting words on paper. In my case it wasn't "youthful error" but senile excuse that I should begin to write in the hopes that someday someone will actually like what is written, and if "heavy cash" should come with it, all the better. All my books are "honest journeywork", even if a couple in the beginning could have been better journeyed, it has led me to keep learning and perfecting my journeying. "Thank Heaven I have grown wise enough not to rail at it." Railing and ranting and crying and carrying on will not help me one iota in this, so I try to keep it private and minimal and not be discouraged, but be encouraged with my little successes.

Okay, I will "admit (my)self a merchant," and present my books in high "Fashion", even if they "(do) not turn to (my) stall." Since this is the age of self-merchandising, we must all do our best to push our works on the markets that are available. However, I'm not a very good salesman and tend to sit on my laurels in this matter.

By the way, I have a few friends who are "Linked-in Associates" and will accept more friends. They tell me this is a good way to sell books. Ahem, yeah, yeah. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Look at the Clouds

Here are a few pics of the monsoon clouds that came near Sun City this week:

  It's maybe the Pillsbury Doughboy swimming through the sky.

Is that Dumbo in there somewhere?

Just a few scattered clouds.

 It looks like it could rain any minute.

A man with a torch?

Almost like the hole in the rock in the header pic.

Is that an angry ape's head above my chateau?

All those threatening clouds and no rain, although Camp Verde and Sycamore Creek areas received about 3 and a half inches. Another day under Southwestern skies.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Posse Justice is Now Out!

A cover picture of Posse Justice is shown on the right side, over there, that way --------.

Sheriff Ocklund and his outnumbered posse play cat-and-mouse along the Green River after a bank robbery in the small town of High Bench.

I had an easier time publishing this than with The Bloody Gulch, which has some alignment errors and a couple of punctuation mistakes. Posse Justice came out much better.

The cover photo is a picture of my father (on the left) and his brother-in-law and can be either part of the posse in the story or part of the outlaws, as the reader may determine (or not). The photo was posted earlier on the blog, but I decided it would make a fine cover and used it here.

Even my better half says of this one: "It's the best one yet," and I have to agree with her.

Don't forget to order a copy for your own library, and it will be on Kindle before too long.

Posse Justice is the fifth and final novel in what I call the Uintah Basin series. I will now turn my attention to The Man from Hanksville, which I am proofing and rewriting parts of it.

(Note: Header photo is one of those holes in the rock in northern Arizona, Monument Valley area.)