The Drinks of Westerns; or, Wild Western Whiskey

“Gimme a whiskey.”

Straight up. The man’s man manly drink.

Not milk (which got Destry roundly mocked by Marlene Dietrich in Destry Rides Again) or “soda pop” (which got Shane a fistful of trouble in Shane). And my god–no red wine (I got mocked for that in one little town–ever since then I only drink the best the . . . → Read More: The Drinks of Westerns; or, Wild Western Whiskey

The Girls of Westerns, Part 3; or, The Wild Woman

You know you’ve seen her.

She’s the stunning beauty with the hair over her eyes, the “other woman” standing in the shadows apart from the stalwart white woman.

She is either mute or deranged or she can’t speak English. She is often a figure of fun, the buffoon. She can be Native American, or Spanish, comely or the butt . . . → Read More: The Girls of Westerns, Part 3; or, The Wild Woman

The Girls of Westerns, Part 2; or, Catherine Allen of Will Penny

No heaving bosoms. No limpid eyes filling with tears. No female stumbling after the hero in stupid high-heeled shoes. Ahhhh. Finally. A western heroine who isn’t a wilting schoolmarm or tart with heart of gold, or who doesn’t try to outshoot, outdrink, outswear, or outanything the hero. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

. . . → Read More: The Girls of Westerns, Part 2; or, Catherine Allen of Will Penny

Once Upon a Dog in the Yukon; or, Yet Another of the Worst Silver-Screen Animal Hero Westerns

Just when I thought it was safe to go back to blogging, my novel does a feint to the left, then makes a fierce uppercut to my chin and tosses me across the bar, onto a table, then out the plate-glass window. I land on my back in the mud of the road, staring up at . . . → Read More: Once Upon a Dog in the Yukon; or, Yet Another of the Worst Silver-Screen Animal Hero Westerns

To the Rescue!; or Another of the Worst Silver-Screen Animal Hero Westerns

On the heels of Republic Pictures’ 75th anniversary (I’m guessing they’ll have a cliffhanger or two roasting on their barbecue tonight), comes more of the Top Ten Worst Silver-Screen Animal Hero Westerns! Flapjack42 is making the world safe for filmgoers everywhere! Yes indeedy, Flapjack42 watches these dogs (pun intended) so YOU DON’T HAVE TO!

#7 Law of . . . → Read More: To the Rescue!; or Another of the Worst Silver-Screen Animal Hero Westerns

National Punctuation Day; or Gratuitous Steve McQueen Pic

In honor of National Punctuation Day, a day revered by comma geeks everywhere, I hereby give formal thanks herewith, in perpetuity, without exception, to the heretofore unjustly ignored stylistic convention, long forgotten and usually misunderstood, and not to be confused by the subtitle, which in itself is of great worthiness to nonfiction writers, as it allows, . . . → Read More: National Punctuation Day; or Gratuitous Steve McQueen Pic

Trying Hard to Sound like Gary Cooper; or, How to Talk Super-Dooper

The quintessential taciturn cowboy, lanky yet graceful, was branded “Gary Cooper” by the 1929 film The Virginian. The son of  a Montana rancher, the Coop could ride as soon as he could walk. Born Frank James Cooper, he changed his name per a casting director’s advice to “Gary,” which she thought would sound more rugged, like . . . → Read More: Trying Hard to Sound like Gary Cooper; or, How to Talk Super-Dooper

Novel High Noon Approaching; or, Gary Cooper as Seen Through the Eyes of…

I’m revising a novel at a sprint now, so some days will be bloggier than others! Not to worry–my famed western how-tos on achieving happiness through following the filmsteps of silver-screen western hero Gary Cooper’s Virginian will return tomorrow. Just keep practicing those squints and stares and epic pauses, y’hear?

As author Paul Green commented, when . . . → Read More: Novel High Noon Approaching; or, Gary Cooper as Seen Through the Eyes of…

Trying Hard to Look like Gary Cooper; or, How to Act Super-Dooper

What would the Virginian do?

That’s a worthy question, whether you’re seeking direction in love, life, business, or baking mac and cheese.

As I’ve said before, the Virginian’s a proven success story, whether in Owen Wister’s hundred-year-old best-seller or Gary Cooper’s first talkie (1929). The role made the Coop a star, and cemented the popular view of the . . . → Read More: Trying Hard to Look like Gary Cooper; or, How to Act Super-Dooper

Trying Hard to Look like Gary Cooper; or, The Virginian and the Average Joe

Cecil B. DeMille once said that the Virginian was the ideal American–“short on speech and  long on action.”

Owen Wister’s 1902 fictional cowboy hero and DeMille’s 1929 Coop-starring western was a classic early twentieth-century success story. He got the girl, killed the bad man, made the West safe for suburban houses, and became master of his own . . . → Read More: Trying Hard to Look like Gary Cooper; or, The Virginian and the Average Joe