Saddle Up and Move ‘Em Out; or Hello Again, My Gauchos

Whoa, buckos and buckorettes, a year? My, time flies when you’re working and developing projects that don’t, on the surface, seem to connect to westerns. But as we all know, everything that is anything actually connects–

Josey Wales: Are you gonna pull those pistols or whistle Dixie?

Right. Got it. STFU and write.

To paraphrase another Clint, Blondie in The . . . → Read More: Saddle Up and Move ‘Em Out; or Hello Again, My Gauchos

Return of Bucko; or, Now That My Saddle Sores Have Disappeared I Have to Start All Over Again

Every once in a long while, there comes a time in a cowboy/girl’s life, when he/she has to stop drifting, stop gambling and whoring and paying for expensive whiskey, and pay down some bills. Hang up the hat a while and put on a clean shirt.

After all, if Shane could do it, so could I, was . . . → Read More: Return of Bucko; or, Now That My Saddle Sores Have Disappeared I Have to Start All Over Again

Home on the Range; or, Prologue–Getting Western in a Homestead Cabin

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

Mojo Rising; or, The Red Dead Redemption Songs

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…

RED.

DEAD.

 

REDEMPTION.

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

Men Will Be Men and Women Will Be Women; or, The Sexual Frontier of Epic Westerns

Westerns = Greek drama. And shut up, Aeschylus is so not rolling in his grave.

He’d have appreciated the golden-boy good looks of John Wayne in John Ford’s Stagecoach and the film’s subtle yet sharp critique on so-called civilized society–the stagecoach journey as a vehicle for a development of a humane community  that cannot survive in . . . → Read More: Men Will Be Men and Women Will Be Women; or, The Sexual Frontier of Epic Westerns

The Way of the Novel; or, Cowboy Up and Write Already

Writing a novel is not for the common mortal. And I have been all too mortal these days. Too whiney. Too morose. Too passive. Just like the hero of my novel (or so I’ve heard from my ever-patient agent). The End. Ho hum.

Or have I been pressed to set the novel-in-progress . . . → Read More: The Way of the Novel; or, Cowboy Up and Write Already

Music and the Western; or, The New West’s Bittersweet Lesson

The stirring, swelling strains of Cimarron (1960), directed by Anthony Mann, music by Franz Waxman, make me want to chop wood and haul water and ride fast horses over wide plains and watch over cattle in the cold moonlight night and sweep a woman into my arms. It’s that insidious. This score would trick anyone into becoming . . . → Read More: Music and the Western; or, The New West’s Bittersweet Lesson

A Happy New Year from Cowboylands; or, We All Have a Flaming Star So Get Going!

May 2011 be sparkly bright, dear readers and bloggers way out in the Wild Western Web, in my hometown in western PA (and you too, WV), NYC bloggers and dear friends, and FB cyberpals and Twitter cybertrail buddies…

May it be as bright as Graceland’s crystal chandelier

As big as Graceland’s hall of . . . → Read More: A Happy New Year from Cowboylands; or, We All Have a Flaming Star So Get Going!

New Grit; or, The Coen Brothers Remake Retribution

Vengeance is mine, saith the main character of True Grit, because I hath paid good money for it. So begins the saga of a trail of revenge from so-called civilized town to wilderness, a narrative trail so often traveled in westerns that it’s become like a tame, broad, well-lit avenue with stoplights.

The players: Grizzled, troubled veteran with heart . . . → Read More: New Grit; or, The Coen Brothers Remake Retribution

The Modern Buckaroo’s Guide to Happiness; or What Else to Give the Silver-Screen Western Hero of Your Life

Two words: Special Features.

If your Silver-Screen Western Hero wanna-be has a New Year’s resolution that entails

learning to kick miscreant butt in showdowns
wearing spurs that jingle, jangle, jingle
eating calf nuts on the range in between cattle drives and drinking bad rye in shot-up saloons (whee!)

then he or she is going to need a go-to pick-me-up for those . . . → Read More: The Modern Buckaroo’s Guide to Happiness; or What Else to Give the Silver-Screen Western Hero of Your Life