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Monthly Archives: July 2018

Mile 9: First Line

The novel of 50,000 words begins with the first line. With apologies to Lao Tzu, writing a book is a journey, and at some point, you have to start. For most of us, staring at that blank page, or that blank screen, with not a word written, can be daunting, even overwhelming. Fight that feeling,

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Book Review: Tombstone

“I’m your Huckleberry.” That’s it, you don’t need to know anything else. Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday in the 1993 classic, “Tombstone,” is one of the greatest roles of all time. Kilmer is perfect is every scene, and while everyone in the movie does from good to great, Kilmer is spectacular. I know I’m not

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Forum Featuring Cherokee Parks

When — and why — did you first fall in love with Westerns? As a child, I fell in love with the lifestyle as much as the Westerns themselves. Why is harder to answer, and yet easier in some ways. When you grow up a cowboy, it becomes a part of you for life, something

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Guide My Hand, Precious Lord

Usually for my Thursday’s Featured Book blog post, I highlight a novel written by a single author. All of the authors I highlight on Thursdays are living, unlike Monday’s Western Review when I blog about Western books and movies, new and old. It’s my way of trying to shed a little light on some of

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Mile 8: First or Third

One of the early questions you have to answer, even before you start writing, is if you’ll be writing in first person or third person. This is known as the point of view (POV). Each offers advantages and disadvantages. First person POV is “I” based. Everything you share with the reader comes through the point

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Book Review: Badman

Full disclosure: 1957’s “Badman” was written by Clair Huffaker, who wrote one of my all-time favorite novels — not just all-time favorite Westerns, but novels of all genres — “The Cowboy and the Cossack.” That being shared, I was predisposed to like this book. The good news is — I wasn’t disappointed. “Badman” is an

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Forum Featuring Fred Staff

When — and why — did you first fall in love with Westerns? You must understand that I was raised in the middle of real life Westerns. My father’s office was next door to a saddle shop, in a very small town. I didn’t wait on him in his office; I spent many hours in the

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Double Crossing

Meg Mims 2011’s Double Crossing opens with Lily Granville, a beautiful, intelligent young woman who lives with and loves her father, trying to decide if she’ll defy him for the first time and marry a missionary bound and determined to take her to China. But before the final decision is made, her father dies of

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Mile 7: Outline?

To outline, or not to outline, that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of an unplanned novel Or to take arms against a sea of troubles By outlining them and so ending them Forgive me, but that was fun to write. Many, perhaps even most, writing

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Book Review: Rio Bravo

1959’s “Rio Bravo” is a fantastic film, a favorite of many of my Western friends. It is directed by Howard Hawks, stars John Wayne and Dean Martin (along with a great supporting cast), and has plenty of fights, good guys, bad guys and a terrific sense of humor. You even get to hear Dean Martin

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