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

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

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

There is a strong possibility that during 2 a.m. sleepless dreads or after one too many shots of rye alone, your  Silver-Screen Hero can turn into a shaking mass of insecurities.

As for my 2 a.m. dreads, they too easily take the scenario of

I am spending forever writing a novel;
A fatal flaw in me will always keeps . . . → Read More: The Buckaroo’s Guide to Writing Novel Happiness; or What Better to Give the Silver-Screen Western Hero of Your Life

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

One’s All You Need; or, Shane’s Successful Showdown Advice

Control your arsenal at all times.

Just as real-life sharpshooters should be aware of the number of bullets (think of Dirty Harry’s classic line that foiled the Scorpio Killer: “I know what you’re thinking. ‘Did he fire six shots or only five?’”), a Silver-Screen Western Hero wannabe knows the quantity and quality of his or her . . . → Read More: One’s All You Need; or, Shane’s Successful Showdown Advice

Don’t Just Be Cool, Stay Cool; or, Jimmy Ringo’s Showdown Tips

A Silver-Screen Western hero never goes off half-cocked, meaning, in a metaphorical way, that one’s hammer, or firing pin, which you had thought you’d set at half-cock to keep your metaphorical gun from firing, fails just when don’t want it to, and your misplaced or uncontrolled rage shoots you in the foot, leg, your prize-winning cow . . . → Read More: Don’t Just Be Cool, Stay Cool; or, Jimmy Ringo’s Showdown Tips

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

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)

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

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