Less Talk, More Action; or, The Gimlet-Eyed Beauty of Buying Cowboys

The silence of a cowboy-hatted western hero speaks volumes.

This ad for billboards–discovered on a NYC avenue–says it all: if you have to explain yourself, you might as well herd toenail fungus for a living.

So the best of the best buckos never use more words when fewer will do.

In the best of the best westerns, just unadulterated . . . → Read More: Less Talk, More Action; or, The Gimlet-Eyed Beauty of Buying Cowboys

What Would Dad Do?; or, Four Fundamental Reel-Life Lessons from My Father

I love reel-life tough, taciturn cowboy heroes, in case you haven’t guessed. But don’t try to make this into a therapy session about my real-life father figure, who was a generous, slightly nerdy guy who loved music and reading, The Muppet Show (yes, it’s true, eek), and walks in the woods. He taught me just as much as . . . → Read More: What Would Dad Do?; or, Four Fundamental Reel-Life Lessons from My Father

On the Fringe; or, Wearing the West

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

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

A Man’s Gotta Do What a Man’s Gotta Do * ; or A Handy Guide to Life’s Goals

The epically awesome goals of a Silver-Screen Western hero can be distilled down to five emulation-worthy goals, which can be mixed and matched for dramatic effect.

win a love interest
protect society
wreak revenge
get rich
know thyself

*(btw, title from George Jetson of The Jetsons, not John Wayne)

Of these, . . . → Read More: A Man’s Gotta Do What a Man’s Gotta Do * ; or A Handy Guide to Life’s Goals

Will Do; or, the Eighth Principle of the Silver-Screen Western Hero Code

Chapter 8 in Reach for the Skies: The Modern Buckaroo’s Guide to Happiness will explore the eighth principle of the silver-screen western hero code:
DO WHAT YOU NEED TO DO.

The important parts of this to consider is that “do” is a verb (and an active one at that), and “need” is different than . . . → Read More: Will Do; or, the Eighth Principle of the Silver-Screen Western Hero Code

High Noon; or, Cramer Stewart CNBC Cowboy Stamp Showdown

The New York Times isn’t above reaching for hyperbolic language like a grocery store rag. I couldn’t help discovering–OK everything even remotely related to the West gets shot to my e-mail like a .44 caliber bullet so I can read these things greedily as if they were pulp novels, of which I have over three hundred . . . → Read More: High Noon; or, Cramer Stewart CNBC Cowboy Stamp Showdown