I type these very words on land I recently purchased. “Land” is the glint in the eyes of Glenn Ford in Cimarron. The glow on the faces of pioneers racing their wagons to stake their claim. It was both a glow and a glint in my heart for a year and a half–and I couldn’t stand . . . → Read More: Home on the Range; or, Prologue–Getting Western in a Homestead Cabin
“I want to be a cowboy.”
–Chin Hao, aka Shanghai Joe, played by Sessue Hayakawa, aka Chen Lee, The Fighting Fists of Shanghai Joe, 1973
I’ve always said that Silver-Screen Western Heroes come in all shapes, sizes, genders, and nationalities. Whether SSWHs are male or female, from the East or the West, they share
a certain stillness in their . . . → Read More: Reward Good, Fight Evil; or, the Western Hero Lessons of The Fighting Fists of Shanghai Joe
Huh. And I thought it was all in the camerawork.
A recent (April 2012) study at UCLA funded by the US Air Force has found that humans will perceive a man with a gun as larger than he really is. Study participants were asked to judge the size of men holding things like caulking guns, saws, drills, and . . . → Read More: Reach for the Skies; or, Study Says Guns Make People Look Bigger
Silence is golden. Combine that with a serious western hero, and you have gunpowder to burn.
(Just one of the many promos pics of Olyphant aiming a gun. Note the un-western tie.)
One of the best modern takes on the classic laconic western hero is U.S. Marshal Rayland Givens, from the master of gab, Elmore Leonard. Leonard’s dialogue–from . . . → Read More: Justified My Love; or, Elmore Leonard Updates Western Hero
I get two questions every day as I ride the high country writing a novel (don’t ask about progress, please),
as I work hard (thank you, all the editors I work for–if I could, I would buy you all cayuses),
and as I look for awesome land to purchase out west for my own little rancheroo . . . → Read More: On the Fringe; or, Wearing the West
Some Silver-Screen Western Heroes have big pecs and holsters hanging alongside their brass balls.
The Silver-Screen Western Antihero
Some have breasts that don’t sag and thighs without cellulite, even if they try to wreak vengeance in a poncho.
Gratiuitous Raquel Welch photo
All ride into town and act all aloof and lo! They get the girl and kick the . . . → Read More: A Silver-Screen Western Hero’s Journey; or, The Rough and Ready Life of an Unpublished Author
In a reckless land…In a lawless place…Sometimes one man can make all the difference. –voice-over of trailer, The Miracle Rider
The story is an old one. Clichéd even. But satisfying.
Writer’s hopes for perfect manuscript leading to speedy publication, six-figure salary, film, and several homes around the world are killed in some suitably dramatic, bloody way. The writer, . . . → Read More: The Miracle Rider; or, How Tom Mix Saved My Novel
When things get gritty–gnarly deadlines, eye-batting heroines to save, elderly cats to inject with life-saving H2O, classic whiskeys to be drunk, blog posts to write after, like, weeks–it’s time for a gritty soundtrack. I hereby invoke you…
Sometimes Roy Rogers’s warbling will not do. Sometimes Morricone’s coyote-ish howls are too . . . → Read More: Mojo Rising; or, The Red Dead Redemption Songs
Let’s see…where was I before I dropped off the face of the earth a few weeks ago? Funny how novel writing brings out the best and worst of one’s inner self. (Cue any spaghetti western theme here, as its wailing singers and off-kilter drumming is the only kind of soundtrack appropriate for the angst-ridden wackness of . . . → Read More: Run, Man, Run; or, High Plains Adventures in Novel Writing
The West has something for everyone on Valentine’s Day…
For the breast-loving bucko or buckarette (but be respectful–Hannie Caulder is primed for vengeance)
Raquel Welch in Hannie Caulder, 1971
For the beefcake-loving buckarette or bucko (but if you want him to do anything but pose, he’ll have to put . . . → Read More: How the Western Heart Is Won; or, Happy Valentine’s Day in Cowboylands