Classic Western Props; or, Saguaros Gone Wrong

There are good saguaros and bad saguaros.

Good saguaros (in films) are those that highlight the epic awesomeness of a shot.

From an otherwise cardboardish Ten Wanted Men (1955), this scene features the grand stoic himself, Randolph Scott, amid the scattered saguaros above Old Tucson Studios–I mean Ocatilla. He is of the land, by the land, and for . . . → Read More: Classic Western Props; or, Saguaros Gone Wrong

Classic Film Setting 3; or, Old Tucson and the Saguaro Pinup

Nothing says “West” like saguaro.

Leaving aside the buttes of Monument Valley, Carnegiea gigantea is the muse of Westerns. If a scene isn’t quite “Westy” enough, the director will prop up a Sonoran desert saguaro in the shot, even if the film is set in Chihuahuan desert Texas. (For you coastal elites, that would . . . → Read More: Classic Film Setting 3; or, Old Tucson and the Saguaro Pinup

Arizona’s Byways; or, Space as a State of Mind

Space. Hard to find in New York City but possible, especially if you find Space, A State of Mind, in places like a subway car or a train or an apartment’s window, per interesting discussions with fellow New York bloggers, CO (My Private Coney) and Alana (Smoke and Gaslight).

What I miss most about traveling out West . . . → Read More: Arizona’s Byways; or, Space as a State of Mind

Of Blood, Shadows, and Fort Bowie, AZ; or, A Novelist’s Own Roadtrip

Writing a novel can be a bloody business.

‘Course I would rather do it any day than spill real blood, but rarely a writing day goes by when I’m not “licking my wounds,” “battered,” or just plain depressed at my paltry efforts to put letter after letter and have them say something meaningful to more than me . . . → Read More: Of Blood, Shadows, and Fort Bowie, AZ; or, A Novelist’s Own Roadtrip

An Alien Land; or, Happy Birthday, Arizona!

Arizona was birthed by treaty and the Territory of New Mexico on February 23, 1863 (how did they have time to work this out in the middle of a disastrous Civil War?). Pretty, shiny things brought prospectors and settlers, drove out Native American tribes (again), and opened the state to a future of retirement communities, faux frontier towns, . . . → Read More: An Alien Land; or, Happy Birthday, Arizona!