Rules for a Successful Showdown; or, Staying Cool and Looking Hot

Rule #1 for a successful showdown:

You have to be cool, as in gimlet-eyed, emotions-in-check, stone-cold control. Do not speak wildly, spittle flying into everyone’s faces, and do not drag children, animals, or siblings into your altercation (as Brockie does his sister, Jessica Drummond, in Forty Guns).

Little Brockie Drummond is only throwing a tantrum here.

Note . . . → Read More: Rules for a Successful Showdown; or, Staying Cool and Looking Hot

Shoot Up the Town; or, The Establishing Six-Gun Shot

Cowboys have it good. Women swoon in close proximity to them. Gay men do, too. Boot fetishists want to lick their boot soles. Everything about them is beloved, from the ching of their spurs to their slang.

But the real-life historical cowboy wasn’t so lovable. He could be a roughneck, a gangbanger, a kind of ride-into-town-get-drunk . . . → Read More: Shoot Up the Town; or, The Establishing Six-Gun Shot

What to Do When You Shoot Up the Town; or, The Cowboy Code in Action

Cowboy accidentally fires gun in hotel.

Is this what the Wild Western World has come to? “Accidentally”?

Aren’t cowboys–the rough-riding kind that gallop through streets shooting guns in the air, whooping and hollering and making schoolmarms dive for cover behind Randolph Scott–supPOSED to fire guns in town streets, saloons, and hotels?

Oh, movies. Right. Where . . . → Read More: What to Do When You Shoot Up the Town; or, The Cowboy Code in Action

Get It On; or, Western Fetishes, from Michael Jackson to Appaloosa

Get it on! Another da bomb of a Wild Western Web find! Michael Jackson as cowboy, circa 1977. *swoon*

Even through the anemic strains of a stoopit disco arrangement, you can discern the moves that made MJ great. Taking on the butch character of a cowboy/gunslinger, Michael Jackson’s dancing transforms classic western movie clichés into fetish objects. Check . . . → Read More: Get It On; or, Western Fetishes, from Michael Jackson to Appaloosa

The Curse of the Return of; or, One More of the Worst Silver-Screen Animal Hero Westerns

The deadline hit my shoulder with the force of a bullet and the reins of the stagecoach dropped from my nerveless hands. The coach careened across the dusty road as its six horses, freed from my steady presence on the reins, bolted. The passengers–my beloved characters–shrieking, I tried in vain to pull the brake but nearly . . . → Read More: The Curse of the Return of; or, One More of the Worst Silver-Screen Animal Hero Westerns

The Good, the Bad and the Rinty; or, Another of the Worst Silver-Screen Animal Hero Westerns

The chasm yawns below me. My fingers ache from their grip on the rock; my feet kick wildly for purchase, nothing between them and novel-revision and work deadlines except dead air–and too few hours.

I feel my fingers giving and I regret the many hours I spent on Twitter rather than doing finger exercises, and I . . . → Read More: The Good, the Bad and the Rinty; or, Another of the Worst Silver-Screen Animal Hero Westerns

Wild Western Whiskey; or, How to Drink Like a Cowboy (Without Getting Tossed Through a Window)

The buzz of saloon drinkers. The plunkity plunk of a piano. The clink of coins at the card table. Then a hush falls. Silence.

Slow, heavy  footfalls sound, with a chiiing chiiing trailing each step. A pause. A creak, a thwap of the batwing doors and the gunslinger/sheriff/cowboy approaches the bar. Not a rustle is heard. The gunslinger . . . → Read More: Wild Western Whiskey; or, How to Drink Like a Cowboy (Without Getting Tossed Through a Window)

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

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