Posts Tagged With: cowboy ethics

Heroes and Antiheroes in Westerns (Guest Post By Mathew Pizzolato)

We all have our heroes, some mystical, others superheroes, but me it was the outlaws and lawmen of the Old West. As an adult I still have those heroes, and in having them it fuels me to write at my best. Today as Matthew Pizzolato launches his book release  for Outlaw, he stops by to tell us who his heroes are, and compares heroes to anti-heroes in westerns. Welcome Matthew, thanks for dropping by.

“As you get older it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary.”
Ernest Hemingway

Western Author Matthew Pizzolato

I think that every child needs to have direction in life, something to emulate and admire and to strive to be.  Quite frankly, everyone needs heroes.  As a young man, I found my heroes by reading Westerns.

Mostly, I read Louis L’Amour but I partook of many others, from Max Brand and Zane Gray to Loren Estleman and Elmore Leonard and everything in between.  If it was a Western, I read it or watched it on the screen.  My heroes were Louis L’Amour, John Wayne and Clint Eastwood and the characters they portrayed.

The earlier Westerns told stories of right and wrong and the heroes of the genre lived by a black and white code of good and evil.  There was no middle ground, and there is nothing wrong with that kind of story.  In fact, I prefer them because it’s what I grew up reading.

However, beginning mostly with the films of Clint Eastwood, a new type of character was introduced into the Western, the antihero.

While there are still similarities to the Western hero of old, there are some vast differences.  Antiheroes are flawed characters.  They are not perfect and don’t pretend to be, but they still possess heroic qualities.

Like the hero, the antihero possesses honor and loyalty, but may on occasion step outside moral boundaries that a hero cannot.  Sometimes their integrity may be called into question, but there is always a line that the antihero will not cross.

It is that aspect that opens areas of new storytelling for writers because instead of the moral unequivocalness of telling stories in black and white, the gray areas of morality can be explored.  I think that if writers want to create fresh and exciting material for readers, it’s going to be in that gray area and not rehashing the same stories that have already been told.

That is what I have tried to do with Wesley Quaid, the antihero protagonist of Outlaw.  He is a bank robber who has killed plenty of men and done some things he’s not proud of, but he is still a man of honor and loyalty.

Heroes provide examples of the kind of people we should strive to be even though we might not be able to.  As humans, we are inherently flawed and so perhaps we can identify more with the antihero.

Perhaps in the future, we should mix a fair amount of antiheroes into our Westerns.  We still need heroes to emulate because as humans we have to be able to strive toward something, but part of the joy of reading is the escapism it provides, so we need characters that we can identify with also.

Outlaw Book Link on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009GDDGU8

BIO:

Matthew Pizzolato is a member of Western Fictioneers. His fiction has been published in various online and print magazines. He writes a weekly NASCAR column for Insider Racing News and can be contacted via his personal website:

http://www.matthew-pizzolato.com.

Contact Links:

http://www.facebook.com/authormatthewpizzolato

https://twitter.com/mattpizzolato

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5837035.Matthew_Pizzolato

OUTLAW Book Description:

The outlaw Wesley Quaid wants to put the past behind him and start his life anew in another place where no one has ever heard of him.  When a mysterious woman he once knew resurfaces, Wesley discovers that a man can’t run from his past anymore than he can run from the kind of man he has become.

To view or purchase Outlaw today visit Amazon.com.

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Categories: Western, Western Authors, Writing, Writing Technique | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Be Honest, Be Fair, and Live By a Code.

You have to have a code. It doesn’t mean you have to wear a Stetson hat, or wear a pair of dusty Justin Boots. Heck you don’t even need Wrangler Jeans, but what you do need is a set of rules for yourself to live by. It doesn’t have to be J.P. Owens Code, or even John Wayne’s Code. You can write it yourself. All you need is a set of core values, that you can live by honestly. I always say be honest, be fair, and brave. Three words, that make up a core of who you are is all it takes. Best selling author Don Bendell stops in today, sharing his code of values, Welcome Don

Don Bendell’s CODE OF THE WEST:
• Cowboys should treat women like ladies, period.
• Cowboys fight fair, and only when they have to, and when they do have to fight, they win, period.
• You know exactly where you stand with a cowboy. There are no gray areas, only black and white, but not when it comes to skin color.
• A cowboy is only as good as his word.
• A cowboy protects his family, spread, and community.
• A cowboy will fight for, and take care of orphans, widows, and those who are oppressed.
• A cowboy will go out of his way to avoid a fight and is always willing to share his grub, campfire, and water with ya.’
• And finally; A cowboy believes in his God, and he believes in America and will fight and die to protect either.

As Don shares, I would also like to share an audio clip of my code and the Cowboy’s Prayer. Once again thank you all for coming this week to honor the National Day of the Cowboy.


Transcript:
Welcome everyone this is shotgun Bo Rivers, I want to thank you all for stopping by today. Today is the 8th annual
National Day of the Cowboy, and I wanted to do a little something different, I would like to share with you a
Cowboy’s Prayer, and The code that I live by everyday, written by James.p Owen in the book Cowboy Ethics, What wall
Street can learn from the code of the west. So if I could ask you to bow your head and PreyDear Heavenly Father, as a broken ole rodeo Cowboy, I ask…
Heavenly Father, I pause at this time,
mindful of the many blessings you have bestowed upon me.
I ask, Lord, that you will be with me in the arena of life.

I as  a cowboy of ethics, do not ask for special favors.
I don’t ask to draw around the chute fighting bull or horse, the steer that won’t lay,
or to never break the barrier.

I don’t even ask for all daylight runs.

I do ask Lord, that you will help me live my life here on earth as a cowboy,
in such a manner, that when I make that last inevitable ride, to the country up there,
where the grass grows lush, green, and stirrup high, and the water runs cool, clear, and deep,
that you’ll take me by the hand and say –

“Welcome to Heaven cowboy, your entry fees are paid.”

With this prayer, you must have a code to live by a set of standards in life and the one’s that I
choose to live by are

Live each day with courage.

Take pride in your work.

Always finish what you start.

Do what has to be done.

Be tough, but fair.

When you make a promise, keep it.

Ride for the brand.

Talk less and say more.

Remember that some things aren’t for sale.

Know where to draw the line.

You don’t have to be a cowboy to live by this code either, you may be a recovering addict or a prostitute,
maybe a science fiction author, no matter what you do in life you can live by this code, as i do. Thanks again,
and happy trails.

It isn’t much, and the gravel in my voice isn’t always a good sound but just a little something for you to enjoy

The Cowboy Song

Categories: Cowboy Code, Current Events, NDOC, Western, Writing, Writing Technique | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Symbol of America: The Cowboy

While in my travels of searching for western authors to assist me in celebrating the National Day of the Cowboy, I stumbled onto a gentleman that surely knows his way around a western, not only in writing them, but starring in them as well. I would like to give a good warm welcome to Ken Farmer, or “Deputy Kyle” as in the 1983 film Silverado. Welcome Ken.

Ken Farmer

The Cowboy is just as important to our nation’s heritage as the pilgrims, the revolution and the civil war.  In fact, in many parts of the world, the Old West Cowboy IS the symbol of America. Having been born in the early ‘40s, I grew up with westerns. First the Saturday double feature matinee where we waited for the Durango Kid, Red Ryder, Hoppy serials or The Three Mesquiteers, Tim Holt, Johnny Mack Brown, Gene and Roy movies. Then later on in the ‘50s, there was that little box we called the TV. Yep, grew up with the Cowboy. Didn’t realize at the time, that those movies and TV shows were actually Hollywood’s glamorized version of the Old West.

It wasn’t until I started doing research for writing screenplays that I learned about the “real” Old West—that there weren’t tied-down gun rigs or shoot-outs in the street at high noon. Oh, sure there were gunfighters, bounty hunters mostly who would just as soon shoot you in the back as not or guns for hire. Most gunfights took place at a distance. The dime novels had a great deal to do with the Old West myths, like Wyatt Earp, who, according to actual records and newspaper accounts (excluding his own versions), never killed anyone. Did a lot of pistol-whipping, though. Carried his gun in a leather-lined pocket in his coat, not in a holster. Again, so much for Hollowood.

Deputy US Marshall James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok got a lot of dime novel play that spiced up his reputation, but there was a Deputy US Marshall in the late 1800s that far out-shown Hickok as a lawman. He killed twice as many men in the line of duty as “Wild Bill”, served over 3,000 felony warrants, was never wounded even though he had his hat shot off, his reins shot in two, his gun belt shot off and a button shot off the front of his vest. He served over 32 years as a Deputy US Marshal and is still considered to this day to be the best Deputy US Marshal in the long and storied history of the Marshal’s Service. The reason he didn’t have the notoriety at the time was…he was black. He was a former slave and the first black Deputy US Marshal appointed west of the Mississippi. His name was Bass Reeves.

My writing partner, Buck Stienke and I decided that Bass would be the focus of our first deviation from our modern-day military action series novels about the Black Eagle Force we had been writing. After three Black Eagle Force novels, we decided to do an accurate historical fiction western adapted from a screen play I had written back in the ‘80s called the Tumbleweed Wagon. We elected to title the novel, The Nations.

The synopsis is as follows:

THE NATIONS also known as “Indian Territory”, “Robber’s Roost” and “No-Man’s Land”, was regarded in the latter part

The Nations

of the 19th century as the bloodiest and most dangerous place in the world.  It was a refuge for outlaws men from all over the North American continent. There were only 200 Deputy US Marshals made up of whites, blacks and Indian to police the vast area of 74,000 square miles under Federal Judge Issac C. Parker, known as the hanging judge. The Nations is based on actual cases and is crammed full of excitement, suspense and the everyday humor that develops between men as they live and fight and sometimes die together. From the action and dialogue, the guns, wardrobe and historical authenticity, The Nations paints a story of the Old West  as it really was.

It is the year 1885. A notorious band of outlaws, known as the “Larson Gang”, has been terrorizing Arkansas, Missouri and the Nations for years. When they kill five Deputy Marshals while rescuing Ben Larson, the vicious younger brother of the leader Wes Larson—it is too much for Judge Parker. He orders an all-out concerted effort to capture the Larson Gang and bring them to justice. “If  they will not respect the law; then by God we will make them fear it.”

Black Marshal Bass Reeves, the first black marshal west of the Mississippi, and white Marshals Jack McGann, Tobe Bassett and John L. Patrick recapture the youngest member of the gang, Ben Larson, a true sociopath. Along with two Indian Police, known as Lighthorse, the lawmen begin the treacherous journey to Fort Smith with their prisoners—Preacher Budlow, a gospel quoting, whiskey running and somewhat demented old scalawag, Jed Neal, a tough, but honorable black man mistakenly accused of killing a cowboy on the trail, and Ben—shackled to the bed of the Tumbleweed Wagon.

In the small town of Checotah, the Marshals encounter the Larson gang unexpectedly. A wild gun battle ensues and when the smoke clears, all of the outlaws are dead, except Ben, who does indeed get to Fort Smith to stand trial under Judge Parker.

“It is not the severity of the punishment that is the deterrent… but the certainty of it.” – Judge Issac C. Parker.

The Nations will be released 20 July, look for it. You can order signed copies from Ken & Buck for $14.95 at

http://blackeagleforce.com/buy_now/Do we believe there should be a National Day of the Cowboy? Absolutely! Nothing is more “American” than the Cowboy. ‘Nuff said.

Short Bios of Ken Farmer and Buck Stienke.

Ken Farmer, served in the Marine Corps and graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University. Ken has been a professional actor/director/writer for over forty years with memorable roles in Silverado, Friday Night Lights and The Newton Boys, wrote and directed Rockabilly Baby. He was also the OC an VO spokesman for Wolf Brand Chili for over eight years and participated in the Ben Johnson Pro-Celebrity Rodeos until Ben’s death in ‘96.

            Buck Stienke is a former fighter pilot and retired captain from Delta Airlines. A graduate of the Air Force Academy, he was also executive producer for the award-winning film Rockabilly Baby and co-author of five novels with Ken Farmer.

http://www.facebook.com/TheNationsNovel

http://www.blackeagleforce.com

Categories: Cowboy Code, Current Events, NDOC, Western, Writing, Writing Technique | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Exploring the Romance in the Old West.

J.J. Devine

Exploring the old west, and honoring the American Cowboy heritage, certainly can not be done without romance. J.J. Devine knows a lot about the historical romance, and the romance of the old west, which is why I asked her to write about the romance of the Cowboy, welcome J.J. and thank you for this beautiful romantic insight of the American Cowboy.

I write historical romance based on a western theme. Within the pages of my Acceptance Series, you’ll find a wide range of heroines. A Cheyenne mixed blood, looking to find her true acceptance. A woman sold for her body, looking for her escape. A cowgirl unafraid to face the elements to hide-away on a cattle drive to claim her hero. A woman hell-bent to avenge her family’s death, takes off after the murders in the wilderness of the Wyoming Territory, hero in tow. The list goes on in this seven book series.
Ever since I was a young girl I’ve always had a fascination with cowboys and the women who loved them. Their lifestyles were never easy. I quickly found an admiration for these wonderful, amazing, hardworking people. Combine my captivation for cowboys with my infatuation with Native American history and the Old West and you have the stories I cannot wait to pen. My heroes are not only rugged and handsome, they love their women with possessive venom that sinks to the core. They’ll move the Laramie Mountains if that’s what it takes to prove their loyalty and love. My heroines are exquisite from the inside out. Yet, it’s not their splendor that will capture the heart of my readers, it’s their incredible ability to overcome even the utmost turmoil life has to offer. Highly flavored women who require even spicier men to hold their hearts and their passions forever.

The Cheyenne Bride

Cheyenne Bride to be available Fall of 2012 through Soul Mate Publishing
http://www.soulmatepublishing.com/

Author Bio
Reading and writing have been J.J.’s passion her whole life. Starting out with being the poet, everyone came to in high school to get that “perfect” poem for his or her boyfriend/girlfriend. She spent her weekends locked away in her room, curled up on her bed, writing short stories for only a selected few readers.
She has been happily married for 26 years to her trucker husband. She is a mother of three, grandmother of three; a lover of dogs, cats, and fish.
J.J. started to pen historical romance as a hobby when her youngest child was a year old, creating the Acceptance Series. She got serious about her writing career joining Romance Writers of America and Indiana Romance Writers of America. She penned her first paranormal romance, Into the Darkness, in 25 days, taking herself beyond her comfort zone and just giving the characters free reign of their story.
Since taking herself out of the outside working world, she has dedicated her life to her writing and her writing world and raising consciousness for Domestic Violence Awareness.

-By J.J. Devine

To contact J.J. Devine, or to read her wonderful writing, connect with her below.

You can view J.J.’s new Book trailer at  Into the Darkness

http://definingjjdevine.weebly.com/
http://definingjjdevine.weebly.com/ramblings-of-a-writer.html
http://www.facebook.com/JJDevineAuthor
jj_devine@yahoo.com
http://www.soulmatepublishing.com/

Categories: Cowboy Code, Current Events, NDOC, Western, Writing, Writing Technique | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Dear Heavenly Father, as a broken ole rodeo Cowboy, I ask…

It is said that a cowboy must have a code, and without it he is nothing, but there is one more thing that is important to me, and most all cowboy’s, and that is how we feel about the rodeo in the sky. and well… Will we make it there? is usually a question we ask ourselves all of the time.
Every evening before I would ride I always said a prayer knowing that the grand father of the rodeo would always protect me from serious injury, and luckily it always seemed to work.  My favorite prayer is the rodeo cowboy’s prayer.


Cowboy’s Prayer by Patrick Payton©

Dear Heavenly Father, as a broken ole rodeo Cowboy, I ask…
Heavenly Father, I pause at this time,
mindful of the many blessings you have bestowed upon me.
I ask, Lord, that you will be with me in the arena of life.

I as  a cowboy of ethics, do not ask for special favors.
I don’t ask to draw around the chute fighting bull or horse, the steer that won’t lay, or to never break the barrier.


I don’t even ask for all daylight runs.

I do ask Lord, that you will help me live my life here on earth as a cowboy, in such a manner, that when I make that last inevitable ride, to the country up there, where the grass grows lush, green, and stirrup high, and the water runs cool, clear, and deep, that you’ll take me by the hand and say –

“Welcome to Heaven cowboy, your entry fees are paid.”

 You see no matter how hard we are, no matter what our code, we also believe in something else, and most of the time ask for guidance in every challenge we face, even if it be a gunfight, we turn to a simple prayer that our weapon be faster than the outlaw we must face.

My only hope is that when I reach the rodeo in the sky that the heavenly father let my horse, and my best friend Apache in (My beagle I lost when I was a boy), for even though my entries fees are paid, I don’t want to go it alone up there, I just want to enjoy the rodeo with my pup, my pony, and me.

What is your favorite cowboy prayer? your code? and your last request?

I know for sure that I will be in “Amorillo by Morning”, and  then off to Cheyenne. Amen…

Categories: Cowboy Code, Western, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Cowboy’s Code, America’s Chance

“A man’s got to have a code, a creed to live by, no matter his job.” — John Wayne

   There was a time when the vast open lands of the west were yet to be tame, the mustang ran free from fences, and the cattle to graze free from barb wire. In those times there was no written law across these vast open lands, only a code, which led to a way of thinking, a way of survival, and a list of guidelines to live by. Until Zane Grey wrote his 1934 novel The Code of the West, there was no written code, just a set of rules that were set for a man to carry, and to live by.

Somewhere along the line, we forgot what that meant, and the power of greed, technology, money, and resources has taken us over. Wall street gets richer, and the government backs them up, and the heritage of the west is pushed further away. Once you seem to forget what our country was built on then we have come to an end. How many wrong’s can we do before our maker turns his back on us. in our society today it is OK to cheat, our elected government officials are attempting to change the laws our four fathers set for us, because they are afraid that we the people may just take over and fix things, however they stop us from even our basic rights.

Our nation has lost the way, and I feel that instead of forget our history, the real rich history of the western frontier, that we grasp it, and put it forth, much like Montana when they adopted  the cowboy’s code as the Montana Code. America needs to adopt this code, and we need leadership that lives by this code to the core. Only if The Duke were alive today we could elect him to office, maybe if we had a true cowboy as our leader that lives by this code we would once again stand tall, as a nation, a country, and as one. Remember 9/11/01, WWJWD What Would John Wayne Do, and what would he have done, not only would he have stomped the right people, but taught them a lesson in doing so, instead we create war over greed, oil, drugs, and religion, for one thing only sole power.
America we have lost our way, and it is time we made a stand, The cowboy code is simple, and easy to live by. What would it be like if our children were taught to live by the cowboy code, instead of garbage reality shows. In my opinion there should be twenty western channels playing John Wayne, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Tom Mix and Clint Eastwood on teaching us the cowboy code, and teaching us to live by it strong, and firm. The loyalty, trustworthiness, and integrity of the American cowboy is a legacy that still does endure today we have just began to lose sight of it and, regardless of your profession, you can be considered a cowboy, and I’ll tell you why. The Cowboy isn’t just the guy you remember with chaps, handkerchief, and a ten gallon hat. A cowboy is an iconic hero, a man or woman that stands strong in what he/she believes in. A person that digs down to his/her heart and soul to give everything  they got in whatever job is is they do. Like John Wayne said, “no matter his job.” A cowboy stands for something and lives by these simple values, which makes him/her the iconic hero we all know and love.

The man with no name told us it’s halftime America, at this years Superbowl, and it is time to come back and make a difference.

It’s Halftime America

It’s Halftime America, Chrysler, Clint Eastwood

America it is time to be the hero’s our children need us to be, show them that it is OK to live by a set core of values, and we as a country of the land of the free and the home of the brave will one day again be something worth fighting for.

The Cowboy’s Code is as follows, if you can find a way to add these ten core values in everything you do, you will be living the cowboys code.

Live each day with courage.

Take pride in your work.

Always finish what you start.

Do what has to be done.

Be tough, but fair.

When you make a promise, keep it.

Ride for the brand.

Talk less and say more.

Remember that some things aren’t for sale.

Know where to draw the line.

-James P. Owen

Categories: Western | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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