Roadtrip Sidebar #4; or, A How-To Wyatt Earp Makeover

Wyatt Earp brought himself from pragmatic businessman/lawman/gambler/loyal brother

to epic gunfighter of the high plains.

A straight-talking, straight-shooting saint to pray to when life needs dividing into black and white.

How’d he DO that? How can we do that too, before our ending credits?

1. Accept your averageness . . . → Read More: Roadtrip Sidebar #4; or, A How-To Wyatt Earp Makeover

Roadtrip Sidebar #3; or, Tombstone’s Wyatt Earp, Pre-Makeover

It was a messy fight–short, bloody, and confusing, the way most fights are that aren’t guided by judges, rules and regulations, and a boxing ring.

Cue Frankie Laine, please…

Thanks. It’s also the epic that caused Tombstone, Arizona, to revamp itself from fading mining town to THE Wild West town, and the draw that sucks tourists from . . . → Read More: Roadtrip Sidebar #3; or, Tombstone’s Wyatt Earp, Pre-Makeover

Classic Western Setting 2; or, Tombstone, Boots, and Val Kilmer Souvenirs

The rental car rocked and shook on the narrow trail–I mean, road. Tucson and its spangly lights and hard-hearted soiled doves had been left far behind. My urban cowboy and I were heading south toward the frontier, toward adventure, toward a date with destiny and hopefully some great souvenirs.

I had high expectations of Tombstone. OK Corral. . . . → Read More: Classic Western Setting 2; or, Tombstone, Boots, and Val Kilmer Souvenirs

Roadtrip Sidebar #3; Finding Happiness with the Heroic Far-Away Stare

Today are exercises 2 and 3 of learning to apply the second principle of the Silver-Screen Western Hero Code:

Reach for the skies—the possibilities are endless.

Ever notice how often the hero in a western is silent and wish he or she would just say something already? Ever wonder why his or her . . . → Read More: Roadtrip Sidebar #3; Finding Happiness with the Heroic Far-Away Stare

Roadtrip Sidebar #2; Finding Happiness; or, Your Own Do-It-Yourself Monument Valley

This do-it-yourself landscape is for the times when you aren’t near endless skies, rugged land, and enigmatic vistas (cue that tu-wheee hawk screech from every movie that shows a stark, red southwestern landscape).

Monument Valley (and a 1964 Chevrolet), “in a class of its own, stands on its own”!

Happiness is visiting Monument Valley to get a . . . → Read More: Roadtrip Sidebar #2; Finding Happiness; or, Your Own Do-It-Yourself Monument Valley

Be in the Moment; or, Roadtrips and Real Life

On a roadtrip, when you have a plan but something else seems more fun, and you go do what seems more fun, that’s called being flexible and “in the moment.”

In the rest of life, say while making sure hyphens in a guide book are in the right place, or that a romance manuscript’s heroine’s eye color . . . → Read More: Be in the Moment; or, Roadtrips and Real Life

Classic Western Setting 1; or, Tsé Bii’ Ndzisgaii, Of Course

“I’ve been here before,” you say, and you have–in the movies.

Visiting Monument Valley,  a space of mind-blowing proportion,  30,000 acres on the Utah-Arizona border, is best seen on foot, as part of a tour, or on horseback, or even in a rental car to drive through the fine red dust of the . . . → Read More: Classic Western Setting 1; or, Tsé Bii’ Ndzisgaii, Of Course

Grab that Saddle, Bug Spray, and Whiskey; or, A Roadtrip through Classic Settings of Westerns

Roadtrip! Adventure!

Bring on the horses! The high, winding trails amidst fragrant pines! The sultry desert winds at night, with a full moon rising! And your sweet lips and thunder thighs, my love interest!

Bring the lead-soldered tin canteens and leaky leather flasks!

Bring the buffalo jerky, baked beans, and coffee beans!

Bring on mosquitos and biting flies, . . . → Read More: Grab that Saddle, Bug Spray, and Whiskey; or, A Roadtrip through Classic Settings of Westerns

Man vs. Nature Quiz Answers; or, Humans in Need of Rescue

The camera pans across a rugged landscape—sparkling white mountain tops far off, sage stirring close up, and a trail winding through pines. A rider on a horse appears, seemingly from the very earth itself: the hero, at one with the wilderness yet separate. And watching this on a crisp, high-def flat screen, we are one with . . . → Read More: Man vs. Nature Quiz Answers; or, Humans in Need of Rescue

Meet Your Destiny; or, Take a Man vs. Nature Quiz, If You Dare

The setting of a movie is as much a character as the two-legged kind that populate the scenes. Your own setting or environment can either support or be in constant conflict with you and your dreams, kind of like a many-armed kraken that spews fire and lightning and plays practical jokes.

Yes, these are defenseless kittens. . . . → Read More: Meet Your Destiny; or, Take a Man vs. Nature Quiz, If You Dare