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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.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Oakley Hall's Warlock

Warlock is a long western novel, 471 pages, and as the back cover says: "Oakley Hall's legendary Warlock revisits and reworks the traditional conventions of the Western to present a raw, funny, hypnotic, ultimately devastating picture of American unreality."

Warlock, the town, is Tombstone. It was having troubles with the San Pablo cowboys and the town committee decides to bring in Clay Blaisdell to to take over as Marshal. Threre was a list of sheriffs and deputies written on the wall of the jail as an informal memorial to those who got killed or left town in a hurry to avoid being killed. The committee hopes that Blaisdell and the new sheriff, Joe Gannon, will get rid of Abe McQuown and his cowboys. I found it interesting when Kate Dollar shows up, former girlfriend of Blaisdell and the bar owner, Morgan, the plot thickens. Then there are the miners who go on strike because their wages are lowered. General Peach comes into town with a bunch of empty wagons and couple of companies of soldiers to carry the miners out of town. McQuown gets shot and everyone thinks Joe Gannon did it. It's a long story, so this review will be short. Near the end, Gannon has to "post" Blaisdell, that is tell him he has to leave town and never come back. Does he do it? They have a duel at sunset. There is also a Gunfight at the Acme Corral earlier and lots more action.

The story deserves five stars for its wit, humor, action, and etc. My copy is a New York Review book. 
 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Happening Now

In case you haven't been reading my Wordpress blog, Cattle Dust, Western Stories IS NOW AVAILABLE in print for $4.99 at the Createspace e-store and Amazon.com. If you haven't read these stories, now is your chance to grab them all in one place. They are not your common, ordinary western-type story with gunfights, brawls, etc., although there is some of that. Butch Cassidy is in a couple of them and some fictional local folklore and the experiences (fictional) of my great-great-grandfather working for the Pawnee Indian Agency and traveling to Utah in 1847. I hope you find them interesting and entertaining.

The book is also available for $3.99 on Kindle, too. Rush right over and get yourself a copy of print or e-book. Thanks much!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Things to do until Christmas in Arizona

Thanks to the AAA magazine, Highroads, for the events listed below. Some are amazing and some are just great to attend:

Nov 11 - Bob and Bing's Road to Victory in Gilbert, AZ. A tribute to veterans, it re-creates a Bob Hope USO show, amazing! At the Higley Center, 4132 E. Pecos Road.

Nov 11-Dec 3 - Flagstaff Festival of Trees in Flagstaff. Your chance to see fully decorated Christmas trees and make a bid on raffle items. HOO-YAA! At the Arboretum at Flagstaff, 4001 S. Woody Mountain Road.

Nov 12-13 - Gem and Mineral Show, Lake Havasu City. If you like jewelry, this is it! The City Aquatic Center, 100 Park Ave. You know that place by the lake and the rental boat sites.

Nov 18-20 - Art Attack Fine Arts Festival in beautiful downtown Sahuarita. Original handrafted artwork at the Desert Diamond Casino, 1100 W. Pima Mine Road. Gamble and view fine art and have a steak and baked potato. Sounds good to me.

Nov 19 - American Heritage Festival, Queen Creek, AZ. The West's largest living history event, meet George Washington, watch battle reenactments, etc., at Schnepf Farms, 24810 S. Rittenhouse Road. Amazing!

Nov 25-26 - Old Pearce Festival, Pearce, AZ. Where zat? It's a ghost town brought back to life with bluegrass and country music and much more. A fine entertainment! 905 Ghost Town Trail.

Dec 3 - Tombstone Tour of Homes & More 2016 in Tombstone, of course. A really fun place to catch up on old homes, public buildings, churches, and the like at Wyatt's Hotel and Coffee House, 109 S. 3rd Street.

Dec 17 - Somerton Tamale Festival in Somerton, AZ. 85,000 tamales to gorge yourself with, a spicy, hot delight! Right on Main Street!

Dec 31 - New Year's Eve Boot Scootin' Bash, Kingman, AZ. Scrape a shin at 414 N. Toole Ave and have a gourmet dinner! Can't beat that!

See more in the magazine, too.

Friday, October 28, 2016

More Fine Books to Read

I've been busy submitting my short stories for publication and blog time was cut into, but I've found some more books that may be interesting to you, a couple of which I've actually read.

First up is Ferron Creek by Wanda Snow Petersen. Several relatives were born and lived here in Emery County in Central Utah, so I had to read it. It has quite the religious aspect like a lot of Utah books with their Mormon Bishops, other leaders, followers and founders, my family among them. It brought back some memories and is funny, too.


The next one, I think I read some years back, but there are several books about the main character in this one, I, Tom Horn by Will Henry. Was he unfairly found guilty of murdering the 15-year-old boy? It's still being argued. This copy was a library book and it was checked out many times as shown by the dates on the inside cover.


The Rocky Mountain Warden by Frank Calkins. Calkins relates his story of being a game warden in northeastern Utah starting as a "rookie to canny veteran" as it says on the front cover. He even worked at a fishery in suburban Salt Lake City which included the creek that ran through the Murray City park and others near where I went to high school and skinny-dipped in.

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The following four books, I haven't got around to, yet:










I almost forgot that I read this last one, Memoirs of a Lawman edited by Wilson Rockwell. The lawman is G. W. (Doc) Shores, sheriff of Gunnison County and U. S. Deputy Marshal in Colorado.
Doc Shores chases down the outlaws, sometimes traveling to different States, but he always got his man. A very interesting read.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

More Waiting to be Read

Some great reading and writing here:

           











I haven't read a L'Amour in a while, so I picked this one up at a Used Book store or a flea market. I should find the first book in the series to read first. I'll have to visit some favorite haunts and see if I can pick up the others before I start this one..

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Books Waiting to be Read

Here are four books sitting in my credenza waiting to be read:





Three hardcovers and the Matt Braun double-novel paperback.

I don't know where to begin. I like Matt Braun, a fine writer. I also like short stories and the Tony Hillerman looks great, although there may be duplication in the stories with The Mammoth Book of Westerns. I may have read some of the other two authors over the years, but I don't remember right off. Decisions, decisions!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

How is Your Writing Going?

Any new books coming out? Short stories? Other stuff?

My writing is coming along pretty good. My novel is still going through critique, halfway done. And I'll be rewriting it shortly to get in most of the corrections recommended and see how it sounds after.

My collection of short stories is progressing, too, and and should be on the market in a few days or maybe two-three weeks. I'll be settling on a cover for it next week and it will be mostly finished. It'll be available on Create Space/Amazon at a very reasonable price and you won't have to go from place to place on the net to find them. Stay tuned!

Keep on writing!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Interview With a Gunfighter by Neil A.Waring

Four-and-a-half questions, not five, because one is something that had already been asked, is the extent of the interview in this short story. I liked the interview, being short and not too complicated for the reporter. With each question, the old gunfighter relives the moment and takes some time to answer. He goes over in his mind the answer, showing his side and what he thought about at the time the event happened before he speaks.

Each answer requires him to think about it and take some time, and at one of the questions he goes outside and ruminates before answering. With the last question, he responds with a quote from Henry David Thoreau and the interviewer takes her notes and goes back to the office to finish up.

An enjoyable, well written tale this Interview With a Gunfighter, and I look forward to more stories by Mister Waring, a Wyoming resident and writer of both fiction and non-fiction..  

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Surprise or Not

Hell, it's just taking too long. My new site, Cattle Dust, is. I've been plugging away to get it on air by the first of October, but it's a horse race. That blog is a Wordpress site and will be used to publicize my novels and other things and maybe this one will be discontinued after a while. For now, I plan to keep running posts on subjects that come to mind in the Western sphere of things in this blog.

Anyway, if anyone has a comment on the title Cattle Dust,  please use this blog for now. I will let you know when the Wordpress site is ready for use. You may try looking for Cattle Dust on Wordpress or at www.oscarcasebooks.com and please let me know if you run across it. Thanks a bunch!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Short Story by James Warner Bellah

James Warner Bellah (1899-1976) wrote several western stories, including the novels, Massacre, The Apache, Ordeal at Blood River, and A Thunder of Drums. He wrote short stories about the cavalry in his Fort Starke stories of which this one is. This one is Command. John Ford was a fan of Bellah and based his movies, Fort Apache, Rio Grande, and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon from the Fort Starke stories and Bellah worked on the screenplay of several of Ford's movies.

While reading Command, John Wayne was buzzing around in my head, since he was the star of many of Ford's movies and I couldn't get him out of my mind. In Command, John Wayne - er, Nathan Brittles, the dusty, crusty, old cavalry captain and his cadre was on a mission to find Gresham's party, who had been sent to check on some Sioux. They found them and buried what was left. The Indians had cut off their feet and hands and scalped 'em. The young officer, Cohill, Brittles' second in command, didn't get along with Brittles, thinking he was cowardly and had no faith in him as captain of the group. But Cohill was taught a lesson in commanding troops and his mind was changed regarding Nathan Brittles. That is about the plot of the story as Brittles leads his men through a maneuver or two in order to catch the Indians, Apaches in this case, red-handed as they attacked Cohill's detail.

This was put into one of Wayne's movies and I remembered it too well. That's why he was on my mind as I read the story. It was really slick the way Bellah wrote it and kept me glued to the page. A fine story contained in The Mammoth Book of Westerns.  

Thursday, September 15, 2016

I Hate Formatting

That's right, I do hate formatting. I'm trying to format my short story collection so it looks nice and professional, but I'm having a heckuva time of it. I set the page numbering system, but it numbered everything, even the cover. So, what now? I deleted it and went to the design and layout pages and I did get the right numbers on the stories, but trying to number the metadata alphabetically, I haven't figured out yet. And there's more, like setting the fonts and spacing between stories on an already formatted page isn't working out too good. I will probably start all over and read the instructions again.

I want to get this collection out soon on Amazon and other sites without hiring someone to do it. That costs money!! And I don't have it right now. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. If it wasn't for these sites letting you post your stories and novels for free, it would be a hard deal to self-publish in my case. I think it's about the best thing since sliced bread, as they say, and there are some great stories and novels self-published by some authors.

I expect the book, Western Stories, A Short Story Collection, will be forthcoming before too long and I will be glad that it is finished and on the market for everybody to read.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

A Short Western Story

Old John McGinnity was getting in his morning exercise by hopping in his golf cart and cruising around on the streets of Sun City, Arizona. He pulled into the median of one of the streets and threw his dog out on the grass to do its business while holding onto the leash. He drove along with the dog trying to keep up. He stopped and watched the canine sniff the bushes and complete his daily habit of crapping in the grass. Finished, the animal hopped in the cart and Old John started off down the median to the nearest intersection. Deciding to take a shortcut home, he drove onto the cement walkway on the golf course and putted along slowly for fifty or a hundred yards and came to a sudden stop.  He had been waylaid by Cranky Fred, the golf course cop.

"Where do you think you're goin', old man? The golf course is restricted to players, so turn your car around and git the Hell off the grounds," said Cranky Fred.

"Git outta my way!" yelled Old John. "I'm goin' home!"

"Not this way, yer not. No one is allowed on the golf course unless yer playin' golf, and I ain't lettin' you go any further. Turn around and git motorin' off the course."

"I'll beat the holy crap outta you, if you don't git outta my way. Move, so I can git by!" yelled Old John, startin' to climb out of the cart.

"Come ahead, and we'll see whose goin' to beat the crap outta who," warned Cranky Fred.

Old John managed to get one foot on the ground before he was hit in the chops by Cranky Fred. Fred, in a fi now,, threw a left jab that caught Old John in the right side below the ribs and knocked the wind ouit of his sails.

Old John pulled himself the rest of the way out of the cart and fell to the ground with a swing aimed at the left eye of Fred. Of course, he missed, and Cranky Fred kicked him in the stomach while he was down.

"You'd better git back in that contraption and turn around, before I git any madder, y'ole son of a bitch," said Fred. "Go! Git in there."

"I'll kill you, you dirty pig," said Old John. He swung at Fred's head, catching him high on the cheekbone, drawing blood.

Cranky Fred was getting crankier now, and lambasted Old John several times until he fell back into his cart with a bloody nose, a black eye, and couple of bumps on his forehead.

A lady was watching the ruckus out of her rear window from her house on the side of the golf course and called 911. The cops showed up as Old John fell into his cart. One cop called the ambulance while the other checked on both men's.injuries. Cranky Fred just had the cut on his cheek, but Old John was taken to the hospital. They were each given a ticket for assault and battery and told to "Fight it out in court."

There was an actual case similar to this and it was determined that Cranky Fred was in the wrong and had to pay up. He needed some anger management and it cost him more money than it was worth.



  

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Exciting News!

As I said before, changes are coming to this blog, Stay tuned. I'm working on it and hope to be ready within a month.

Meanwhile, now that Labor Day is over and school started with all the traffic headaches means that the snowbirds will be coming back to Arizona before too long, like October with some trickling in in late September. The result is that the movies, restaurants, clubs, and sports sites will be over-run with old people and the entrepreneurs will be happy about that. You won't be able to go anywhere without bumping into old, retired, fat people talking a mile a minute in loud voices. They compete with each other to see who can laugh and talk the loudest. They want everyone to know they're from Minnesota, Michigan, Montana, Canada, New Jersey, New York, Wisconsin, and wherever else they can get away from. Ah, yes, the annual exodus. There is only one thing to do, wear earplugs like in that Dalhart, Texas, motel that issues them to everyone who checks in for the night. All night long it's trains and trucks whizzzing by within 100 feet of the motel.

Well, a person gets used to it, just like the old cowboy out on the range sitting his saddle in all that quietness. You just get used to it.     

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Short Stories Review

I return to The Mammoth Book of Westerns. In high school in the late forties, I was introduced to Oliver LaFarge. The teacher raved about him. She was a nice lady, but on the liberal side and read Newsweek instead of Time. She went on about Mister LaFarge like he was the best writer since Shakespeare, because he wrote about the Indians and their ways. He had won a Pulitzer Prize for his novel, Laughing Boy, and she recommended it as THE story to read. I started reading it at the library, but I can't remember finishing it. At the time, I thought it was pretty dull. LaFarge was an anthropologist and the President of the American Indian Affairs Association. Now, having read his short story, The Young Warrior, I understand what my teacher was getting at - realism.

In The Young Warrior, a young boy sets out on his first hunting party led by Nantai, an experienced warrior. The young Indian is full of eagerness to do his part as they head for a small town in Mexico to raid, but were able to take only a couple of horses. On the following day, they spot a group of four wagons heading west and follow them. The young Indian is impetuous and ready to attack the wagons first thing, but Nantai tells him it isn't the time. It is after much watching and scouting from their hiding places that they finally launch the raid. The build up to the raid and what happens during and after was described with the realism and intensity that my teacher had indicated that makes Oliver LaFarge one of the great writers about the Indian ways. I thought it was a fine story and I may have another look at Laughing Boy. 

 The other story I read yesterday was written by A. B. Guthrie, Jr., author of novels about the mountain men in the Far West and the Pacific Northwest, The Big Sky, The Way West, and These Thousand Hills. The story is an excerpt from The Big Sky and has the same title. It is the story of two mountain men having a meeting with Red Horn of the Piegans and two other Indians about a forthcoming attempt by a white man to cross into the land of the Black Hawks. They are all sitting in a tepee discussing the pros and cons of the two white men joining in the party. Nothing extreme happens, but it is a very realistic version of what may have actually happened years ago among Indians and Whites. Mr. Guthrie is a fine writer who lived in Montana and was familiar with the territory about which he wrote.    

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Events Coming Up in Arizona

The average temperature in the Valley of the Sun is 104 degrees. Today it is only going to hit 100 degrees, and although it is HOT, there are things going on in Arizona that you could attend. Some are inside and others outside in the higher elevations.

Sep 2-5: The Coconino County Fair in Flagstaff. All the usual fair attractions.

Sep 3-4: Pine-Strawberry Arts and Crafts Guild Labor Day Arts and Crafts Festival. An annual event that draws crowds from the valley. Held at the Pine Community Center grounds.

Sep15-17: Mohave County Fair in Kingman. All the usual fair attractions.

Sep 17: Sedona Car Club Car Show at the Sedona Airport. Exciting car show activities.

Sep 18: Antiques on the Square, Prescott. Draws huge crowds from the valley to Courthouse Plaza.

Sep 25-Oct 2:.65th Annual Rex Allen Days Rodeo, Wilcox. Classic Western events like steer wrestling - Yippee!

Oct 1-9: 35th Annual USBA World Finals, Lake Havasu. Contestants from around the world compete for the world title in watercraft racing.

The events should keep everyone amused for a while! 



Sunday, August 28, 2016

Commitment, Western Novel by Neil Waring

Commitment is a big western story, over 300 pages long, and I thought it was a bit wordy, but I didn't let that take away anything from the story. It is the story of the Superman of the West, Matthew "Blade" Holmes, who was the subject of pulp novels because he was so fast with a revolver and a knife and a rifle. He was also an expert tracker and he was on the trail of a dumb like a fox or just lucky outlaw named Luke Templeton. Templeton had been killing men and women indiscriminately while he was hunting for Holmes. He came close more than once in his attempts on Holmes, but was unsuccessful.

Holmes was spending some time with his girlfriend, Emma Marja Fick when he up and left for the West and didn't say a word to her. And didn't return until the end of the story. Holmes was born in Ohio and left home when he turned 16 years old, always planning to return, but hadn't got around to it. In school he made a particular enemy of one of his classmates who was envious of the skills of Holmes, Red Tibbs. Unbeknownst to Blade, Tibbs, a Pinkerton man, had been hired by Big Ed to kill Holmes for arresting him earlier. Luke Templeton was Big Ed's nephew and was hunting Holmes himself. They travel around Wyoming, mainly Cheyenne and Fort Laramie, trying to find each other and the Army gets involved when Templeton steals from them. And there are a couple of Sheriffs/Marshals also chasing Templeton for the murders he committed.

There is much daydreaming and night dreaming by Holmes about his situation and Emma, his friends, and others in his life, like John Ryan the Mountain Man, and other lawmen and military men which I thought was a little overdone. Overall I give Commitment four stars, being a first western novel by the author and an exciting story with plenty of suspense..

Neil Waring is a former high school history teacher now retired and writing both fiction and non-fiction and lives in Guernsey Wyoming. I wish him good luck.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

More Monsoon and Changes

The darn monsoon storms past us by yesterday evening, missing us by a half-mile or a mile. Today doesn't look as promising as that, if we get any rain at all. I was planning to watch the rain come down, but no luck. I began watching America's Got Talent and didn't even read a thing other than the local paper.

I'm doing some research still on becoming a successful writer, and will be putting it into some changes. The changes will help me sell more books, I hope, and draw more readers to my blog and elsewhere. The changes may take two or three months or even longer, but stay tuned. There will be a couple of new releases coming up also and more exciting stuff. I expect that some of the changes will occur by Christmastime, so please keep following as I attempt to bring the changes to life..

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Weather and Travel

The monsoons have been a hit or miss situation this summer. Several storms have passed through, some only leaving a trace of rain and others up to a quarter-inch. The have been pounding the east side of the valley with up to three inches and they need it. Last night we received a good inch and it helped a lot to settle the dust. A 20% chance of rain today.

We were out of town over last weekend. We drove to St. George, Utah, through Laughlin and Las Vegas. It took about nine hours and my nephew's place was a welcome sight. We left our car there and Russ, the nephew, drove on up to the foothills of the Uintas for a family reunion. The weather was absolutely perfect and the scenery was divine driving through the mountains of central Utah. The weather in my old hometown of Altonah was refreshing. That evening the wind picked up pretty good and the temperature dropped to about 55 degrees. Did I say refreshing? It was downright cold to us as we shivered through at the 8,000 foot level.

We stayed at a motel in Roosevelt. The town looked prosperous compared to the last time we were there with many new businesses and large houses added. We had a good day in the Party Pasture with about 70 relatives there celebrating our reunion with visiting, games for the kiddies, and an auction for the adults and older kids.

We traveled through Ferron, Clawson, Huntington, and Price. Many of my mother's relatives were born and lived in those areas. My cousin was Curator of the Natural History Museum in Price before he passed away. Price is a coal-mining town and several relatives worked in the mines off and on.

We took a different route back to St. George on Utah 6 highway and back to I-15. We picked up our car a couple days later and went through northern Arizona, the Kaibabs, Marble Canyon over the Colorado River and down through Flagstaff to Phoenix. We were having lunch at Cameron Station when it rained hard for about a half hour and we had sprinkles and light showers down into the Valley of the Sun. Marble Canyon is a beautiful cliff that runs for miles and is well worth seeing if you get the chance.

And a good time was had by all!!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

My Line, Genealogically Speaking

There seems to be a revival in Genealogy Research, everyone is looking for ancestors, and so I thought I would post mine for the Hell of it, at least as far back as I could find.

John Case, 1615-1704, married Sarah Spencer and had 10 kids. Came to America in 1640 on the good ship Dover along with his father, William, and brothers, Thomas, and William. There is possible one other brother, Henry, who settled on Long Island. John had dealings in a court with Henry, but that's the only connection found. Anyway, John settled in Hartford for a short while before moving to Simsbury, where he lived until his death.

Joseph, Sr., 1674-1748, married Anna Eno, whose ancestry shows one as Mayor of Vincennes, France, and prior to that Mayor of Mons, Belgium. Her father was an Army Lieutenant standing night guard when the Spanish attacked Vincennes. He fled to London.

Joseph, Jr., 1700-1782, married Hannah Humphrey.

Asahel, 1729-1800, married Dorothy Phelps, among the first settlers of Norfolk, Connecticut. Asahel served in the Revolutionary War.

Joseph, 1753-1804, married Lydia Mills, among first settlers of Austinburg, Ohio. He had a heart attack while helping some strangers across a river.

James, 1794-1858, married Hannah Wiard. Joined Brigham Young's party to Utah in 1847 while working with the Pawnee Indians in Nebraska for the Indian Agency in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Settled in Manti, Utah, when that town was established.

 Solomon C, 1825-1874, married (1) Sarah Sampson [my great-grandmother], (2) Emily Melissa Richey, (3) Elizabeth Pectol.

Solomon H., 1857-1888, married Sarah Lublin. Sol died in Springville, Utah, how or from what, I don't know.

Alma H., 1883-1951, married Maria Foote (my father and mother). He was a farmer, Stationery Engineer, deputy sheriff, and all-around fine gent.

There you have it, folks, for whatever it's worth.   


Sunday, July 31, 2016

Critique and Short Stories

I've attended two critique classes so far and received my first criticism. I can't say that it was easy hearing all the things wrong that they pointed out, but I need this to get an objective opinion about what and how I write. One comment was forthcoming from two or three of the critiquers that I should break up long paragraphs. I grinned to myself about this, because I do get carried away at times, but it is the age of Millenials and others who can't maintain a thought very long and think it is better to not have long paragraphs. The paragraphs in question to my way of thinking were not that long, being at the most three or four inches long only on the page. I may do as they say or leave it like it is. Time will tell as we go through the book.

I happened to be reading a short story by Walter van Thilburg Clark entitled The Wind and the Snow of Winter in which the paragraphs are mostly long, I mean almost full-page or three-quarters of a page or less, and one was about a page-and-a-half long..The critiquers may have had a heart attack if they had seen that. I thought, how times have changed! Clark, the son of a Nevada Governor, wrote some western stories in the first half of the twentieth century, and this story in 1944 for which he received the O. Henry Prize for shorter fiction. He is the author of The Ox-Bow Incident.

In The Wind and Snow of Winter he writes the story of an old prospector who sets out each spring to prospect for gold and returns in the fall. It is a very good description of someone in the first stages of dimentia, to me, and I liked it very much as he slowly starts losing his mind.

Ernest Haycox is another of the great western writers that was prolific in his production. I liked his story (not only this one, but others) entitled When You Carry the Star. It's about a Sheriff who has to hunt down one of his friends for murdering a storekeeper in cold blood while trying to rob the place.
Of course, he hates to go after a friend, but he must fulfill his duty as Sheriff, and he takes out on the trail. The story tells the feelings he has as he goes on the hunt and the psychology of the hunter and the hunted in the situation they are in - friend against friend.

I enjoyed both of these stories even though they both had some long paragraphs.     

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Just Watching Two

Just watching the Democratic Convention and wondered why Hillary hasn't held a press conference for over 230 days???? It is interesting to watch what goes on at these conventions. All the speakers say about the same thing. I don't have a clue what the Dem platform is other than it is the most progressive in history. Maybe Hillary will give us a clue in her speech of acceptance. I'm sure she will accept everything the speakers have said, free college tuition, forgive college debts, everyone gets what they want. They already receive free telephones, free utilities, free housing, free groceries. How about a free car, free clothing, free movie tickets, free auto service, free dining out, free money for everyone, free medical care, and on and on? Maybe she will bring all this up as her platform. O-oh, I can't wait.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Just Watching

Just watching the Republican Convention. Surprised by Ted Cruz's speech. Goes to show that Trump holds no grudges, but Cruz sure does. Looking forward to the Democrats to hear what Hillary has to say about all the lies, etc. She will probably ignore the talk.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

More Short Stories

Continuing with The Mammoth Book of Westerns, here are more stories:

Hamlin Garland won the Pulitzer Prize with Daughter of the Middle Border after he wrote Son of the Middle Border, his autobiographical books. I read Son of the Middle Border and thought it was interesting, but never got around to the other one. His short story in The Mammoth Book of Westerns is a portrayal of a destitute farmer who leaves his farm in Kansas broke andcould no longer grind out a living from the land. After a long day's travel in the wagon with wife and kids, he stops at a farmhouse to see if they could stay for the night. They are all hungry and sleepy after being turned down at other places, but Stephen Council takes them in with no strings attached.

After he hears the farmer's (Haskins) story he lets them stay and tells them about a farm nearby that is available from a local dealer in land who would let him have it at a reasonable price since it is in a rundown condition. They make a deal and the Haskins family moves into their new home. In two or three years - well, I won't tell you the whole story, but there is an interesting turn of events. There were many families in the position of the Haskins in that time period whose stories were never told, and Garland did a fine job on this one.

Zane Grey has a story in there, too, titled The Ranger, which I reviewed a couple of month's ago. I thought it was a good short story and enjoyed reading it.

Another novel I started in high school sixty-five or seventy years ago was The Virginian and I still haven't finished it. The author, Owen Wister, is said to have written the first traditional western in that story. Maybe I'll finish it one of these days, if I can find it. Anyway, At the Sign of the Last Chance is a short story by Wister that was reprinted in The Mammoth Book of Westerns, and it is a good one to my way of thinking. A man returns to this town after many years to find his old friends playing poker in the The Last Chance saloon. His friends look older and grayer than he remembered them, but it could be the same poker game still going on. The "boys" are reminiscing, talking about the cowboys they used to know like the Toothpick Kid and Buck, Chet, Duke.and Doc Barker. In the back where all the old magazines are piled up, a man is reading a story about the English naming their bars with two names like the Swan and Harp. Every once in a while, he would call out a name and ask the others what they thought about it. And they would make comments and continue gossiping about this and that. It got to be downright funny as I read. It was a very entertaining piece, and I would have finished The Virginian if it was more like this story.

Wine on the Desert by Max Brand was also an entertaining story about a man who is running from the law and stops in to see his old friend who has a small winery. This story turned out to be different than I thought, as the outlaw destroys the winery and ends up in dire straits.

There is a story by Conrad Richter titled Early Americana which is not an essay but a story of buffalo hunters on the Staked Plains and the families who live in or near the small town of Carnuel, a hide shipping point. And it is a story about Indians, too. A young man wants to become a buffalo hunter, but his plans are interrupted by a raid of the Kiowas and he falls in love with a girl that he never hardly noticed before. Not much dialogue to begin with, but turns into an exciting adventure before it is over. I liked this one, too, but I had Conrad Richter mixed up with the fellow who writes sea stories, Joseph Conrad, since I had never read anything by either one. Richter is a fine writer of westerns. Joseph Conrad wrote Lord Jim and others.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

My Project and Plans

I joined a critique group for the first time in late June. Looking forward to the group having a go at my latest book which is in draft form. They meet only twice a month, meaning it will take three or four months to get through my novel, but I'm in no hurry. After the two meetings I attended, I think it'll be a fine experience. We'll see.

Here is a short excerpt from Chapter 9:  The Merik house, which they saw from the trail was another quarter-mile set in a clearing surrounded by cedars and pinon trees on the flats. Nearing a gate, the Kid and Bobby were jolted out of their silence by shots from a rifle that whizzed by a couple of feet over their heads.

      "Hold up there and don't come any closer!" a female voice carried through the darkening night. "Who are you and what do you want?"

     "Is that you, Miss Merik? This is Kid Ferry and Bobby Chase-the-Lord," the Kid yelled. "We came to see about a cabin that we heard was empty. We need a place to stay for a while. We're coming on in."

     "Don't try any tricks or I'll let you have it with this rifle," said Daphne. "Come ahead slow and stay on your horses."

     "If you shoot, you'll kill the new sheriff of Idle Springs or his deputy," said Ferry, approaching the front of the house. "Trace Schneider said you may have a cabin we could rent, and we're desperately in need of a place to take off our boots and grab some shut-eye."

     "It's you, all right, Mister Ferry," said Daphne, rising from her position behind the bushes planted along the front next to the hitch rail. "I'm sure glad it wasn't that useless gang of thieves of Serge Castinat. Two of 'em came by here and threatened to burn us out if we didn't pack up and get out of Idle Springs. Pa told 'em we weren't going anywhere and they knocked him down, jumped on him, and hit him with bare knuckles. I don't know why anyone would want this place."

     "Why don't you put down that piece of artillery and we'll dismount and take a cup of coffee with you, said the Kid, "or if you haven't had supper, we'd sure like to join you. How's Mister Merik doin'?"

     "Pa is still in bed licking his bumps and bruises them cowards put on him, but he'll be up and around in a day or two," she said and opened the front door. "Come on in and I'll warm up some beans and throw in some bread and a cantaloupe fresh off the vine. That's about all we have to eat."

     "Sounds like a biblical feast to me the way my stomach has been growlin'," said Bobby, rubbing his midsection. He took off his hat and followed her into the cabin.

     "Can I talk to your father a minute, Miss Merik," said Kid Ferry. "Maybe he can help identify those skunks that beat him up."

     "He's probably sleepin'. His room is down that hallway there, the first door on your left. If he's awake, he'll talk to you."

     The house was an oblong, five-room affair with the front room taking up the area from wall to wall. The hall was on the right side of the house that led past three rooms and to the kitchen. The kitchen was the same size as the front room and held a wood-burning stove in one corner on which always sat the coffee pot. A large dining table and eight chairs made up the bulk of the furniture. Against one wall were the cupboard and a smaller table for food preparation or other use for which there was a need.

     Bobby followed the lady of the house to the kitchen, where she told him to take a seat at the table. She disappeared through the back door and returned carrying a cantaloupe and some raw potatoes.

     "They was the Castinat twins, Willie and Wylie. that beat me up," uttered Mister Merik from his bed. His face was white where it wasn't bruised or cut. "They both had beards covering their faces, them cowards. I was just finished milkin' my cows when they rode up, sayin' they wanted to parley. They began cussin' at me, telling me I better hightail it out of Idle Springs. Wylie yelled that his father wanted this no-good ranch for his cattle. And when I told 'em I wasn't movin' fer anyone, they both climbed off their horses and Willie knocked me to the ground. They both jumped on top of me and I couldn't do nothin' with Wylie holdin' my arms pinned to the ground and Willie hittin' me with his fists. I was about to pass out when Daphne shot at them and missed. They jumped up and shot back, but nobody hit anything, thank God. They hopped on their horses and rode away with most of my cattle. Daphne said she thought she winged one of 'em, but couldn't tell for sure. She helped me up and led me to my bed, and here I lay. That's about all there is to tell you, Sheriff."

     "Whey them dirty, rotten, low-down skunks, pickin' on an ole man," said Kid Ferry looking at the beat up face of Merik. "First thing tomorrow, me and Bobby are goin' to make a call on the Castinats. How many are they anyway? I thought we was up against only that Serge after Bobby shot his brother. We heard he went back into town with a gang. Who are they, Mister Merik?"

     "Probably Willie and Wylie and their cousins, the Barnetts. There's a passel of them, too."

     "Where is the Castinat's ranch from here? said Ferry "It must not be far if they want to take over your place."
 
     "It's only about three miles west along the trail you came up here on," said Merik, with his good eye half-closed and the other one swelled up so he couldn't open it.

     "Thanks. I'll leave you alone so you can git some rest," said the Kid, patting Merik's left shoulder and leaving the room. End of excerpt.

I'm planning to make my short stories available on Kindle or maybe even in print, and have been compiling them so I can layout the book.  Don't know how long this'll take, but they will all be in one place so you don't have to search for 'em.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Arizona Summer Events

AAA Magazine, Highroads, has a calendar of events taking place in Arizona over the long, hot, dry summer. Here are a few of them:

Jul 2-Oct 1 - The Grand Canyon Railway Steam Train in Williams, AZ. Tours to the Grand Canyon. True West includes this train engine in its review of trains that came out this month. Interesting.

Jul 8-10 - 19th Annual Prescott Indian Art Market, Prescott. Ends today. Better hurry to catch that one.

Jul 9-30 - Arizona Authors Summertime Storytelling & Craft Saturdays, Phoenix. Programs are perfect for children in pre-kindergarten through fourth grade, taking place at the Pueblo Grande Museum. Great for authors of children's stories.

Jul 16 -Stargaze Kayaking, Yuma. Age 18 and over bring your field glasses and kayak (or just yak) on the Colorado River.

Jul 23 - Payson Book Festival, Payson. Was planning on attending, but the deadline passed befsore I knew it, even though I had plenty of time to sign up. This is the second year for this event and should be exciting for authors who signed up.

Jul 22-24 - National Day of the Cowboy Celebration in Sedona. Historical re-enactments, gunfights, roping, storytelling and poetry, western music and dance. Need I say more? Okay, I will. There will also be cowboy trades and art demonstrations and children's activities. If you are a cowboy and want to be traded, this is the place!

Now is the time to visit Arizona and attend some great events!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Last of the Misprints

Here we go again with the last few errors in print that I've collected over the years.

From Parade Magazine 7-5-97. The USS STARK had just been hit by an Iraqi attack and here's the picture:


Comment: The ship is listing to STARBOARD not port! Having spent some time on one or two of these ships and others, I think I know port from starboard. My wife may disagree on that, though.
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The Arizona Republic 1/17/88:


Comment: Looks like a PIG to me! And I do know pigs from lambs no matter what my wife says..
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From the Sun City Independent 10/8/2002:


Comment: This should get the audience excited - "presenting a one-act LAY."
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The Phoenix Gazette 2/8/1979:

Headline: Organizing Time Subject Of Unusual Course

Excerpt: "Two years of studies indicate that persons utilizing Time Bank techniques increase their productivity as mjuch as 50 percent, according to Ron Huber, owner of Time Systems, Inc. of Phoenix.

     "People who manage their time more efficiently are appreciated by their employers and receive higher salaries in many cases," he added.

     "Relieving nervous tension during decision-making is another aim of the program.

     "I have been feeling much better about myself and my nob since I've been using the Time Bank techniques. Now, I have a much clearer picture about what I need to handle each day," said Dave Bos, manager of personnel administration for . . . . . . ."

Comment, if I can stop laughing long enough:  Maybe he can pass his technique on to the other employees. I would recommend he receive a raise, of course.
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And the last one that was in The Daily News-Sun July 2, 2016, last Saturday:

This was an advertisement with the headline, Do You Have Trouble Falling Asleep and Staying Asleep?

Excerpt:  "If you are Female 55 and older or Male 65 and older and have had difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep for at least l month, you may be eligible to participate in a study for a new Investigational drug for INSOMNIA."

Comment: I don't think I wouldn't need the drug if I stayed "asleep for at least 1 month." They would have a heck of a time waking me up. Who am I, Rip Van Winkle?
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That's all, folks!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

A Couple More Short Stories

Back in the 1940's, I started reading Jack London's Call of the Wild, but never finished it. It was just too boring for me, and I never read anything else by him. However, in this Mammoth Book of Westerns is a short story by him, All Gold Canyon, and I had to force myself to get through the first few pages. He took three to four pages describing how wonderful and verdant the canyon was with the stream forming a pond as it passes through the valley. He takes his time pointing out the cliff and the hillsides and the butterflies and flowers an bushes, etc., before there is any human showing up in the story.

A prospector shows up finally and the narrative takes a slightly different turn with the prospector admiring the perfect valley and deciding to dig for gold. He enjoys the hard work and the days of solitude as he digs his shovel into the ground here and there and decides on a plan to continue looking for gold. He found some small flecks by the stream and works up and down it until there is no more flecks showing in the panned earth. He starts digging up the hillside from the stream from the points where the last gold showed, his diggings making an inverted V from the top. He works from sunup to sundown, not taking lunch breaks, and falling onto his bedroll worn out at night. He then digs horizontally between the trails making the V, knowing that soon he will find the pot of gold. He is almost there when danger raises it's ugly head and leads to a fitting climax and an end to the digs. I won't give away the ending. but the story when it gets going is a fine piece of writing that I found enjoyable, changing my mind about London.

Now, we leave Alaska and head to Nebraska. Actually, I think the gold mining story was set in California, but it doesn't rhyme. Anyway, The Last Thunder Song, by John G. Neihardt, IS set in Nebraska on an Indian reservation. It's been a long spell with no rain on the hills and vales and the Indians are getting restless. The old Medicine Man, decides to do a rain dance in the hopes it will bring the badly needed rain to water the crops and end the drought. In attendance are some whites some Omahas, and some young Indian boys who have gone to the "White man's school." The Medicine Man begins dancing as the crowd watches, and he gets into the swing of it, feeling younger as he lifts his feet and legs and waves his arms, and sings for rain. He is about ready to finish, when some laughing from the young boys changes the mood and the Medicine Man knows the dance will not work. The new ways are taking over and the dancing is just for show, the old man knows and he feels older than he has ever felt before.

It was a nice story, well written, and reflected the changing world of the Indian in America.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

What Were They Thinking? Some More Misprints

The Arizona Republic May 19, 1997:


The line under the picture reads: "Bob Knauer (left) holds his infant son on his lap as they sit outside their home at Fort Benning, GA. In foreground is his son George, 2."

Comment:  Sit? Stand? What? Make up you mind. How many people are there?
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Phoenix Gazette March 27, 1982:

Headline: Puerto Rico seizes arms cache
Article reads: "SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (UPI) - A raid on the house of the leader of the Costa Rican Communist Party netted a cache of weapons in what police said Friday is the latest crackdown on an armed guerrilla comspiracy in Costa Rica."

    "Police said they raided the house of Communist leader Manuel Mora Valverde Thursday in a residential neighborhood of San Jose."

     "Thousands of rounds of bullets, 16 fragmentation grenades, a 1.55mm rocket and four homemade bombs, two packages of TNT, and 17 attack rifles, including Belgian-made Fals, Israeli Galil submachine guns, and M-1 automatic rlfles were seized, police said. Moral claimed the guns were for self-defense."

Comment: Where was he, anyway? Puerto Rico or not? And who is Moral? And the M-1 I trained on was semi-automatic as I remember.  You had to pull the trigger ever time you shot.
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Paper not identified. It has to be the Phoenix Gazette or The Arizona Republic for the next item:

Headline:  Tempe man, suspect in Utah murder, arrested

Excerpts: " SCOTTSDALE - Authorities have arrested an Idaho prison escapee for the 1981 murder of his former stepdaughter, whose body was found in a Utah Canyon."

    "Officers from the Scottsdale Police Department and Arizona Department of Public Safety picked up Charles Nichols Strain, 51, on a fugitive from justice warrant."

     "A four-year investigation by the Utah County Sheriff's Office in Provo, Utah, led to the positive identification of the body as that of Deeana Jane Dean of Garden City, Idaho. She was last seen with Strain."

    "Mindy was found in June 1984 after a woman recognized her picture on a television show about missing children and called Mesa police."

Comment:  Who is Mindy? And how did Scottsdale police get involved when Strain was picked up in Tempe where he was living under the alias of Randel Ducharme? ? ?
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Sun City Independent October 16, 2002:

Article reads: "Creating a police state [From Letters to the Opinion Column.]

     "My goodness, 9/11. I thought I was in Castro Cuba, especially when our so-called intelligence people had an idea of the impending attack. I guess our government had no other way to create a police state. I guess all those people were expandable."

Comment:  "Expandable" "Expendable" what's the difference?
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See ya next Thursday for more misprints. Have a Happy Fourth of July!!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

More Short Stories from The Mammoth Book of Westerns

Trying to recall something you maybe read sixty year's ago puts my brain on "Heat." I'm talking about the Cisco Kid and O. Henry. O. Henry invented the Kid and Hollywood went on to make several movies with the Cisco Kid as the main character. My brainwaves never connected O. Henry and the Cisco Kid, and reading The Caballero's Way didn't put them together in my cranium either. It was explained in the short author's bio preceding the story, that it was the introduction of the Kid.

In the story, the Cisco Kid is up to his old tricks of rustling, killing, and having his way with the pretty women. The Texas Rangers send Lieutenant Sandridge to the Lone Wolf Crossing of the Frio River where Cisco hangs out at his girlfriends house. Sandridge and Cisco's pretty senorita, Tonia, set a trap to catch the bad man, and I'm sure most readers know what happens. The "Ceesco Keed" was one of the worst outlaws around and enjoyed his reputation as such and his way with the women. I was entertained by this story as I read it and enjoyed it. The movies were fine entertainment, too.

Stephen Crane, author of Red Badge of Courage, wrote some western stories, too, including The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky in this anthology. His short bio states "These stories introduced realism and irony into the Western form and in some ways Crane has been the most influential Western stylist." I can't argue with that. In the story, the Sheriff of Yellow Sky, Jack Potter, takes some time off and gets married. Scratchy Wilson is known to get drunk and become belligerent. When Jack and his bride return to Yellow Sky, a drunken Wilson is itching for a fight, but no one falls for it. Everyone knows he is dangerous when in his cups and avoids him. No one else available, Wilson calls out the sheriff when he hits town after his trip not knowing of the marriage. This leads to an interesting and exciting confrontation, making a fine story.

Willa Cather also wrote western stories and everyone pretty much knows that, and On the Divide is one of them. It is a story of large Norwegian named Canute Canuteson who lives alone in his shanty with the rattlesnake skins on the front door. He is a big and tall man and drinks his alcohol straight, and I don't mean whiskey, it's pure alcohol. He tells his neighbor one day that he is going to marry the neighbor's daughter. She doesn't want any part of marrying him, but things come to pass before the story ends. I thought the story was funny to an extent, but life is so tough it makes it difficult to laugh much.

And right after that story is another about a cowboy who likes to go on a "tear" now and then. This one is by the pioneer female writer, B. M. Bower, author of many early western novels and one of the few women at that time to write westerns. The name of the story is Bad Penny. Penny is a cowboy and he is one of the ranch hands on this trail drive. His boss calls him a terrific hand on the ranch because he knows how to cowboy and handle cattle and horses, but he doesn't want Penny to get drunk again and ruin the drive. Penny has been sober for a while, but it's getting near the end of the trail and he is hankerin' for a drop to wet his whistle. What happens is a great ending to the story, making it fun to read.

In my mind, the stories in the book make great entertainment and puts me in the mood to do some writing of my own. I will be commenting on more of the stories as time goes by. The book is 531 pages long.  


Thursday, June 23, 2016

More Misprints


The Phoenix Gazette, Apr 24, 1978:




























I hope they built these condos right-side-up!

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Phoenix Gazette 11/16/81:

Headline: AFL-CIO's Kirkland Mocks The White House

Excerpt:  "Rejecting any sympathy for budget director David Stockman for his publicized scolding by the president [Reagan], Kirkland called Stockman 'the original interior decorator of this economic house of ill repute.'

'What provoked his candor one can only guess,' Kirklnd said. 'But you don't have to be an old sailor to know what it means when the smartest rat on board heads for the hawsepipe.'

"Kirkland who started his career in the maritime unions referred to the pipe on which rope or cable from a ship is wrapped to hold it to the dock."

Comment: The reporter should check his nautical terms. A hawsepipe is the iron castings in the bow through which anchor chains run. A rope or cable is wrapped around a bitt (metal post) to moor to the pier.

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Phoenxi Gazette 7/19/90:

Headline: Gunshot kills man

Excerpt: "A Phoenix man was found shot to death in his home Tuesday, police said.

"Jack Sutherland was found by his wife about 10:30 p.m., police Sgt. Kevin Robinson said. The victim had spoken to his wife on the phone about two hours."

Comment:I don't think that's any reason to shoot him, or maybe it was

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I don't know where this Want Ad was first printed:

"HEALTH CLUB
Must sell immediately
Because of illness.
Will Accept First Best Offer.
258-2405"

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That's all for today, stay tuned next Thursday..







Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Mammoth Book of Westerns

Been read reading The Mammoth Book of Westerns published by Running Press Book Publishers, a Member of the Perseus Books Group, printed and bound in the UK. It was edited by Jon E. Lewis with a Foreword by Rick Bass.

It contains a selection of short stories and novel excerpts by authors from Wister to McMurtry. I fnished reading stories by Bret Harte and Frederick Remington, and a novel excerpt by Mark Twain, in the first pages and will continue on to the end over the next weeks or months.

Bret Harte's The Outcasts of Poker Flat is a classic. I first read it in the 1940's in high school, but didn't remember exactly what I read. This reading reminded me it wasn't exactly a comedy, but a sad story of some people who were banned from the town of Poker Flat for one reason or another relating to their illegal or criminal activity. It didn't end on an upbeat note, since the outcasts were caught in a mountain snow storm and struggled to survive. I think this is the first western story written about non-heroes, but maybe not. Anyway, I enjoyed re-reading it after all these years.

I also enjoyed Mark Twain's excerpt from Roughing It. He had me laughing out loud over his description of stage coach travel, jack rabbits, mules, and the lady passenger who wouldn't stop talking. I always meant to read the book, but haven't got around to it, yet. I know it'll be a fun read.

Frederic Remington, the western painter of Indians and cowboys, also wrote quite a bit, too. This was all new to me, though, having only heard of his great artistic efforts. His story here was A Sergeant of the Orphan Troop, a dramatic telling of a couple of skirmishes with the Indians in Nebraska not far from Fort Robinson. His writing is direct and straightforward as he recounts the battles and suffering of both the Indians and the soldiers.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

More Funny Stuff

I'm happy to see that mistakes are made by someone besides me.

This is from a TV Guide probably in the 1980's, but can't say for sure:


This is about as large as I can make it. If you look at "Thriller" on the bottom row, there is a picture of  Jonathan Winters, but the caption reads "That lovable, sinister, master of horror, Boris Karloff in some of TV's eeriest hours." (Well, that could fit Jonathan Winters at times.)

Next to that is a picture of Boris Karloff (with a candle up his nostril, it looks like), but it reads "Wacky World of Jonathan Winters" and "Comedy variety with the incomparable wit and wonder of Jonathan Winters and special guest stars."
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Next is one from the Phoenix Gazette of 9/14/87, with the headline "Woman raped by man after accepting car ride".

Excerpt from article:  "The man then released her and drove away. He is described as 27-30 years old, 6 feet tall, 250-300 pounds with blue hair and brown eyes. He was driving a brown late 1970s van."

Comment: This suspect should be fairly easy to spot, being so large with BLUE hair.

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From the Arizona Republic 7/27/97, headline: "Mars rover's 'find rock' program works"

Excerpt: "On Saturday, the Sojourner rover used its alpha proton X-ray spectrometer to study the chemical composition of the rock, named for a fluffy desert [Souffle], a day after guiding itself 10 feet to reach it."

Comment: Fluffy? desert? The desert around here doesn't look "fluffy" to me, but I guess it depends on how you look at it. I think souffle is a dessert.
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More next Thursday.


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Mysteries and Legends

The title above is not complete. It is a long one, Mysteries and Legends - Utah - True Stories of the Unsolved and Unexplained, a book by Michael O'Reilly.

Being from Utah, I found the book interesting and some of the legends I never heard of while living there, like Chapter 10, The Ghosts of Heritage Park. I had never heard of Brigham Young's Farmhouse being haunted by the ghost of Anna Eliza Young, Brigham's nineteenth wife. But maybe no one talked about it back in the 1930's and '40's. Mister Young had several houses and I'm sure most of 'em were haunted looking back on it now.

Another Chapter tells about Charlie Steen, the Uranium King, and his life as a millionaire and before he hit the jackpot.

There is a chapter on aliens that are seen now and then in the area of my hometown. My niece mentioned the strange things happening on her ranch a few years back. Aliens? Maybe?

And there is the Chapter on the long hunt for Rafael Lopez, the murderer of the early 1900's at the Bingham copper mine. They, the law, never caught up with him while he was alive. Woops, I let some of it out of the bag, but you will be surprised where it comes to the end.

There is more, like on Bigfoot, the tragedy at Mountain Meadows, the handcart fiasco, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, of course, and even more.

The book is a 6"x9" paperback published by The Globe Pecquot Press in Connecticut, a part of Morris Book Publishing who holds the 2009 copyright. The author has a Master's Degree from the University of Utah and lives in Salt Lake City.

I give it a good three and a half stars for its entertainment, writing, and amount of interest it was to me..

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Funny Stuff

Back a few years and up 'til now, I've kept my eye out for miscues, misprints, mistakes in newspapers and other published material and have a few that tickled my funnybone. Will post a couple per day, here goes:

Phoenix Gazette 3/8/89:

Headline: Woman's death warrant signed.
Partial Text:
"_______ _______ Jackson is scheduled to be electrocuted in the Florida State Prison at Starke May 9. Martinez signed the death warrant, which is Jackson's first, Tuesday."

My comment:
How many death warrants do you usually receive?
_________
Arizona Republic 7/18/77:

Headline: 3 gunman steal $700 at tavern.
Partial Text:
"Everyone laid face-down on the floor. They took the mens wallets, went through the ladies' purses, and took the money from the cash register."

Police said one robber was armed with a shotgun, another with a lever-action rifle and the tird with a revolver.

 My comment:
The last guy was what?
_________
No paper referenced on this next one. It is an ad for Efferdent Denture Tablets:

Price without coupon 1.19
WITH COUPON . . . 1.49
Coupon effective: THURS. . FRI. .SAT. .12-28, 29, 30

My comment:
What? Throw away the coupon and have a Happy New Year.

More coming up on 6/16/16 (next Thursday).


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Dusty Richards' "Pray for the Dead"

Pray for the Dead is another novel in the Byrnes' family series by the wonderful story teller and writer Dusty Richards. This one was given to me by my wife while on the Kansas trip and I'm glad she did. Although I'm missing a novel or two before this one, it picks up at the Byrnes ranching empire and Chet Byrnes has been made a Deputy U. S. Marshal. The novel is generally about the progress of the ranching business and takes on another big job to provide a stage coach line across northern Arizona from Gallup, New Mexico, to the Colorado River. Chet's daily routine is frequently interrupted by someone asking for help to catch cattle rustlers, horse thieves, killers, and rapists. He takes on thse tasks with a vengeance with his two main cohorts Jesus and Cole, who work for him on the ranches and are capable gunmen. Oh, yes, his wife Liz, goes along with them whenever she can. She looks after the horses on these forays when they become dangerous.

In this story, Chet also has to track down some stage coach robbers, which requires him getting his southern border force involved to help him out in Tucson and Tombstone.  Some of these episodes are bloody and involve women who are taken advantage of.

I'll give this story four stars for all the action in it and the enjoyment I got from it. The publication was a pocket book, 376 pages long, put out by Pinnacle Books. Dusty Richards has written many westerns and they always provide great entertainment.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

A Writer's Conference and . . .

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!

I received a notice in the mail this week with information on the University of New Mexico Writer's Conference coming up Jul 24-31, 2016, in Santa Fe. There will be a Faculty and Editors, Agents & Guests to provide lots of information on writing and publishing. The cost excludes me, being  $700 for the week or $400 for the weekend. The conference used to be the Taos Summer Writers' Conference. Contact unmwritersconf.unm.edu for more information.

Along with that, the New Mexico Book Coop has a very active schedule of events with a monthly luncheon, book signings, classes, and "Cover Reads", a promotional pub that goes out once a month. They have several Awards in their writing programs for Arizona and New Mexico stories. Contact: nmbookcoop.com for more info.

Writing is a great pastime or career.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Kansas, Here We Come!

That's right, Kansas, been there and done that. It was the worst trip I ever made as for as traveling goes! The day before we left (we = my step-daughter, wife, and yours truly) I "cotched" a cold and it kept getting worse the longer we traveled. And on top of that, being the only gentleman along, I had to "rassle" luggage in and out of motel rooms, something I normally would think nothing of, but they got heavier and heavier as we went along. One motel had outside stairs to the second floor and that was a hard one.

Why Kansas? Well, it was my wife's 73rd high school reunion and I couldn't back out of it. Someone had to drive, and the daughter did most of it. I didn't have any time for book-looking or library research, museums, etc. It was visiting relatives here and there around Topeka. My wife figures it was going to be her last Kansas trip, so we made the most of it.

It rained one day in Topeka, not very hard, and one night in north central Kansas where the storm just brushed by. Nice weather, otherwise, but I was too sick to notice.

I crashed when we finally got home and it's taken me another ten days to get feeling half-way decent. I told the wife, "I'm never leaving home again." She said,"You will, your family reunion is coming up and you don't want to miss that." "We'll see, we'll see, right now I'm stayin' home!"

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Weather Report - Short Stories II

The header picture is through my windshield showing the rain. April ended with a cloudburst that left almost an inch of rain in the gauge on my front patio, although the TV news only reported .12 of an inch. We get very little rain in April, May, and June and this was appreciated.

The rest of the story about the Zane Grey short stories in The Westerners Frontier Stories from a couple posts back.

1. The Camp Robber is about a sneaky thief that sneaks onto the ranches and camps in the area and steals minor things. The ending is a good one and comes as a big surprise to the main character, a cowboy named Wingfield. I thought this was an entertaining tale and liked it very much.     

2. The Westerners was not the traditional western of the shoot 'em ups, but it's setting is Reno, Nevada, in the 1920's or '30's when it was widely known as being the divorce capital of the world. Katharine Hempstead meets a handsome cowboy, Phil Cameron, on the street and they are both trying to prevent their parents from divorcing their spouses. This story is rather long, but I found it interesting and absorbing as it works its way to a happy ending.

3. Monty Price's Nightingale - Monty Price is a stand-offish type of cowboy and a little irritating to some of the men he works with. This story of him and a forest fire I found exciting and emotional and enjoyed it, too.

4. On Location - This one is about an Arizona cowboy, who ends up as a double for an actor in a movie near the Painted Desert and and a female double. They both are stand-ins for the big stars of the movie and he gets into a knock-down, drag-out with the fellow he is standing in for. A nice, fun  story which I enjoyed.

5. Death Valley - Grey writes about a trip through Death Valley that he and a friend took and gives a good description of the area and their reaction to it. Interesting indeed, since I have never been there, and I don't think I care to go now at my age.

6. Strange Partners at Two-Fold Bay - This is the whale story I mentioned in that previous blog. I didn't know whether to believe it or not, but the story following by Loren Grey makes it pretty clear what happened. It takes place in Australia and Zane relates that some Killer whales (Orcas) helped the men to round up and kill the bigger whales they used for oil, the gray and sperm whales.

7. Of Whales and Men - Loren Grey made the trip to Eden, Australia, which is the town near Two-Fold Bay and talks to one of the old whalers who substantiates his father's story of the orcas.  There was one whale, called Old Tom, whose bones were saved and put in a museum in 1938 to commemorate the orcas who helped the whalers and tell the story to all who visit the museum. I still find it hard to believe, but some animals are smarter than we think thy are. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sites - Reading

I overlooked my Twitter site. You can also follow me on Twitter.

I've been reading and trying to absorb some of the information about indie publishing and marketing that's contained in The Indie Author Power Pack, a three-book set covering the subject of indie publishing and marketing, etc. The books are Write, Publish, Repeat by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant; Let's Get Digital (2nd Ed.) by David Gaughran; and How to Market a Book (2nd Ed.) by Joanna Penn. It also contains some Exclusive Content on the subject.

This set has taken me about a month to go through and I'm not completely finished yet. It was slow going in some areas with a lot of detail, all worthwhile to someone trying to learn about indie publishing and marketing. I haven't been able to do any writing on my novel because of this and the usual day-to-day "busy" times, violating one of the rules of the set, which is write, write, write. I've picked up some pointers which I will try out with my new book when it is finished.

This isn't a review of the set, but I can see where it is going to be very helpful in my future writing and would have been on my books already out there, if I had only known.

I purchased the set on Amazon, the Kindle edition, about a year ago.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sights on Sites

I'm on the following sites:

Facebook

Linked-in

Pinterest

Send an e-mail to "ocase at cox.net" to join my sites or just go to each and look me up and be a friend. Be careful on Facebook. There is more than one with that name.

Enjoy the Springtime!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Short Stories by Zane Grey

I read a couple of short stories by Zane Grey this week from a book entitled The Westerners Frontier Stories published in March 2000 by Five Star in Unity Maine.

The first story was The Ranger about a Texas Ranger who reminisces about life in the past and hopes for the future before he is ordered to find out what happened to Roseta Uvalde. He and others think that she either ran away or was kidnapped by the Mexican Quinela, the bandit and "friend" of Senor Uvalde. Tex Medill, the Ranger, knows Roseta and thinks at times that he could resign from the Rangers and marry her and settle down on a ranch of their own. Now, he has the task of finding her and bringing her home safely. Turns out that everyone was right about her disappearence, she did "go on a ride" with a cowboy acquaintance for fun, and she was kidnapped by the Quinela gang of outlaws while on the ride. Quinela wants her and hopes to get revenge on Uvalde for a past misdeed.

Medill is captured, too, by the gang and must use his brain and ranger experience to get free and save Roseta.   How he does this and brings Roseta back safely is a dangerous and difficult job and an exciting story by Mr. Grey. It is a fairly lengthy story, but that doesn't lessen the interest in it for me. I liked it.

The second story, Lightning, is almost as exciting as two brothers set out to capture the wild mustang that has been stealing horses from ranches. Lightning is a beautiful, grey horse with a long, white main that lives in Sevier County, Utah, in the cedars and forests of central Utah. How they go about capturing the animal makes for a fine outdoors story where they have to outsmart the animal. This story has no shoot-outs or gunfire to enliven it, but I really enjoyed reading it.

This book also contains a couple of unusual stories, one by Grey's son, Loren Grey, about whales. Not exactly western in nature, but very interesting. I will tell you about them when I get to 'em. 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

A Dusty Richards Novel, Ambush Valley

This novel has been my "waiting book", that is, it has been in my car waiting for me to read it while I wait for the wife to do her shopping. About every time she makes it back, I was caught up in the plot at an exciting place and had to put it away until the next time. It is one of the Byrnes Family Ranch   stories.

In this one, Chet Byrnes moves lock, stock, and barrel to Arizona from Texas. A year earlier he had gone to Arizona to check out the possibilities and found them pretty good. He bought a ranch in the Verde Valley and now he was ready to move in. He packed everything into wagons and took along some cowboy relatives and the family to supplement those in Arizona and settled in the Verde Valley. He was busier than a one-armed prospector digging for gold, buying a couple more ranches, chasing outlaws, and buying and selling cattle. When Chet was there before, he met Marge Stephenson and fell in love and they get married later on.

Dusty Richards paints a fine portrait of Chet Byrnes and family and all the problems that comes with running a cattle ranch, plus the other two ranches Byrnes acquires. The story moves right along with action mixed in with domestic plans. And like the other Dusty Richards stories that I have read, I enjoyed this one, too. The book is a Pinnacle pocket book in the First Edition printed in 2014.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

New Books

True West Magazine for April 2016 has some reviews of new westerns by Stuart Rosebrook. They are:

     1. A House of the Rising Sun by James Lee Burke. Fifth in a series of the Texas Ranger Hackberry Holland novels.
     2. The Grant Conspiracy: The Wake of the Civil War by Lee Martin. A mystery novel around a supposed conspiracy to assassinate President Grant.
     3.Entertaining Women - Actresses, Dancers, and Singers in the Old West by Chris Enss. Non-fiction review of some of the entertainers of the old West.


And there is an advertisement for three books "On sale now." They are:

    1. Pray for the Dead by Dusty Richards.
    2 .The Searchers by Alan LeMay
    3. Ten Guns from Texas by William W. Johnstone.

Sounds like powerful good reading there and True West Magazine is always full of good reading..





 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Not Again?

Yes, I tried it again. I rolled out my two-wheeler and pulled into position in the hallway near the closet and wrestled my box of books out of the closet and onto the two-wheeler. What a struggle that was at my old age. I don't have enough common sense to split up the books into two boxes, and I stuff the box with more books than I'll ever sell in a morning. Always the optimist, I rolled the contraption back out to the garage and parked it next to the trunk area of my car. I had already loaded two chairs into the trunk and all I had to do was put in the books and the cart.

I only dropped the box once and the books came tumbling out onto the cement floor. I coulda cussed a blue streak, but I was calm, cool, and somewhat collected and only said a few words about the design the books made there. I promptly threw the books back into the box and managed to pick it up and push it onto the chairs where it said thank you for not dropping me again. My wife and I piled in and drove the one-half mile to the church parking lot that was full, except for the one spot I saw in the next to last row.

"Good, we have only 300 yards to the spot where our table is," I said to the better half, and started unloading the trunk. The box of books seemed to gain ten pounds pulling it out and setting it on the ground where the cart was already placed. Moving it onto the cart, I unloaded the chairs and placed them on the box. Off we went, pushing the cart in front of me for the distance. I set up a chair and sat down, regaining my breath before we unloaded most of it. "Next time, we're not going to bring so damn many books," I said.

For the next three hours, we sat and ate hot dogs and donuts that we purchased at the stand and drank cold water. We were hungry, not having any breakfast. We sold enough books to pay for the trouble and a little extra, so we packed up and headed home. We then went to the Olive Garden and had lunch, spending our profit. Oh, well, a penny earned is a penny spent.

Now I'll keep a record of the income and try to figure out how much tax we'll have to pay on it. Tomorrow I'll be all stiff and sore from the heavy lifting, and the next time, I will be sure to repack the books into smaller boxes or I'll have to hire somebody to do the heavy lifting.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Best Western Shows

Among the 12 Best Western Shows per an article on Yahoo was number one Gunsmoke. I sure don't disagree with that choice. I still watch some of the series in spare moments. Number 2 was The Wild Wild West and I never cared too much for it and only watched maybe a half-dozen episodes.

Other favorites on the list were Bonanza (No. 3), Have Gun - Will Travel (No. 4), Maverick (No. 6), and The Lone Ranger (No. 9).

Others were Cheyenne (No. 7), Zorro (No. 8), and The Virginian (No. 12), that I watched a few episodes of each, Cheyenne being the one I liked best of these.

The Guns of Will Sonnett and Kung Fu (Nos. 10 & 11), I never saw much of and don't know if they were good or bad. The Kung Fu shows I saw were all right.

And then there was Rawhide (No. 5). Didn't see too many of these, but were okay in my book.

Do you agree, disagree with my selections? 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Miscellaneous items

Lately I've been studying how to write fiction stories in the hopes that I could then produce better stories. I can't say that I do now write better than before, since I'm still trying to learn how to do it. I am looking forward to some of it sinking in or rubbing off on me, but only time will tell.

I have been also studying up on marketing and selling for self-publishers or indie writers. I knew exactly zero on this subject when I began writing and over the years have picked up on a few tips, but they don't seem to be helping me much. I'm sure my reading will help me on this subject, but I'm not certain about the doing of it yet.

And, I've also been checking up on some events that maybe I could afford to attend this year. The Tucson Festival of Books is out and I don't want to travel around the country carting a trunk full of books, so maybe I will just sit this year out. I have been contacted by someone looking for writers who would enter their books in some events like the Chicago Festival of books, but I think he was just trying to make some money by selling spots that are not very cheap for a three-day event. He called me again to see if I wanted to enter my book, Blood and Blazes in Upamona, at a special price, but I can't afford what he said. I tried selling a few times as I've said once or twice before and here is proof:







You can see Blood and Blazes in Upamona is to my right in the pic. But that day was a waste of time,
since nothing was sold. I may try an event here in Arizona if I'm feeling well enough, we'll see. I'll probably sell some at the church a couple blocks away later this month.

Enjoy the Spring weather and sell lotsa books!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Wanderlust Creek and Other Stories by Elisabeth Grace Foley

I've had this book on my Kindle for PC for a few months, but hadn't got around to reading it until now. I thought Ron Scheer had written a review of it but I went back through his blog posts and couldn't find it. I knew that he could do a much better review of it than I could, because he had a really nice way with words, more formal yet not, just a great use of the English language. The book cover still shows on the front page at his Buddies in the Saddle blog. I followed him up to the end and am sure sorry he is no longer with us.

Anyway Elisabeth Grace Foley is a fine writer of short stories that she tells with grace and charm, even though some of them in this book are action-packed and bloody. She tells and show us the feminine side of life in these hard times of the West. The women had to endure much hand-wringing and worry over the men they loved and this is brought out in the final story, Wanderlust Creek. There are women in the other stories, but the woman in this one is more fully described in showing the type of life some women had to live through. This story is at the end of the lot.

The first story is Single-Handed, about a gunslinger that has a messed up gun hand from a fall that broke his wrist and must face an up and comer gun slick who challenges him. Does he live or die?

The Rush at Mattie Arnold's is a completely different type of story, being the tale of a small town cafe owned by Mattie and showing the daily routine she and her daughter goes through feeding and dealing with their clientele, both humorous and serious at the same time.

A Search for Truth is a story of cattle rustlers and ordinary men and women caught up in it. A fine story.

Another fine one is The Mustanger's Bride. Can a mustanger make a good, settled-down husband or not? Her father doesn't think so, but she ain't goin' to give 'im up.

Room Service is an interesting story of disagreement between father and son. I knew the young man was in trouble when he checked into the hotel and just had to keep reading to find out what was going on. 
 
Ms. Foley writes historical fiction and the Mrs. Meade Mysteries series. Her favorite authors she says on her profile page are O. Henry, B. M. Bower, Booth Tarkington, Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, Leo Tolstoy, Mary Stewart, P. G. Wodehouse, A. A. Milne, and Angela Thirkell. You can read her blog at www.thesecondsentence.blogspot.com.