Posts Tagged With: Western Author

Launching GoFundme Campaign

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I have launched a Gofundme Campaign to raise funds needed to publish my Laramie Taylor Saga, beginning with Laramie’s Thunder. while I am well under way at finishing the rough draft. I am in need of funding to travel to conferences, and author events to find the right publishers to take on my project. I am asking you to my readers, supporters, fellow Western authors, and western enthusiasts abroad to Fund Laramie’s Thunder. visit http://www.gofundme.com/FundLaramiesThunder to give for this wonderful trilogy that I have pioneered from the beginning, and help me in my journey to becoming a successful author.

Thank you to all of my readers, and PALS.

Categories: Cowboy Code, Current Events, Laramie Taylor Series, Western, Western Authors, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Will Rogers Born 134 years ago

On this day, the cowboy philosopher and humorist Will Rogers, one of the most beloved entertainers of the early 20th century, is born on a ranch in Cherokee Indian territory.

The son of a respected mixed-blood Cherokee couple, William Penn Adair Rogers grew up riding and roping on the plains of Oklahoma. An indifferent student, he earned only average grades in school, but he was by no means the ill-educated common man that he later liked to pretend. He was, in fact, highly literate and well read. In 1898, he left his family ranch to work as a Texas cowboy, and then traveled to Argentina where he spent a few months as a gaucho. But Rogers discovered his real talent when he joined Texas Jack’s Wild West show in 1902 as a trick roper and rider under the stage name “The Cherokee Kid.” For all his skill with ropes and horses, Rogers soon realized that audiences most enjoyed his impromptu jokes and witty remarks. Eventually, Rogers began to focus on making humorous comments on world events and created a popular vaudeville act with which he traveled the country.

In 1919, Rogers’ first book, The Peace Conference, was published. In the 1920s, he achieved national fame with a series of movie appearances, radio shows, lecture tours, magazine articles, and regular newspapers columns. Amazingly prolific, Rogers eventually wrote seven books, an autobiography, almost 3,000 short commentaries called “daily telegrams,” more than 1,000 newspaper articles, and 58 magazine articles. Rogers’ warm, folksy manner and penetrating wit were hugely popular during the Depression, and his concern for the welfare of average folks was genuine. He contributed frequent charitable performances in support of the victims of floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes worldwide.

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Will Rogers, photograph taken before 1900

 

Hollywood discovered Rogers in 1918, as Samuel Goldwyn gave him the title role in Laughing Bill Hyde. A three-year contract with Goldwyn, at triple the Broadway salary, moved Rogers west. He bought a ranch in Santa Monica and set up his own production company. While Rogers enjoyed film acting, his appearances in silent movies suffered from the obvious restrictions of silence—not the strongest medium for him, having gained his fame as a commentator on stage. It helped somewhat that he wrote a good many of the title cards appearing in his films. In 1923, he began a one-year stint for Hal Roach and made 12 pictures. Among the films he made for Roach in 1924 were three directed by Rob Wagner: Two Wagons Both Covered, Going to Congress and Our Congressman. He made two other feature silents and a travelogue series in 1927, and did not return to the screen until his time in the ‘talkies‘ began in 1929.

He made 48 silent movies, but with the arrival of sound in 1929 he became a top star in that medium. His first sound film, They Had to See Paris (1929), finally gave him the chance to exercise his verbal magic. He played a homespun farmer (State Fair) in 1933, an old-fashioned doctor (Dr. Bull) in 1933, a small town banker (David Harum ) in 1934, and a rustic politician (Judge Priest) in 1934. He was also in County Chairman (1935), Steamboat ‘Round the Bend (1935), and In Old Kentucky (1935). His favorite director was John Ford.

Rogers appeared in 21 feature films alongside such noted performers as Lew Ayres, Billie Burke, Richard Cromwell, Jane Darwell, Andy Devine, Janet Gaynor, Rochelle Hudson, Boris Karloff, Myrna Loy, Joel McCrea, Hattie McDaniel, Ray Milland, Maureen O’Sullivan, ZaSu Pitts, Dick Powell, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Mickey Rooney, and Peggy Wood. He was directed three times by John Ford. He appeared in three films with his friend Stepin Fetchit (aka Lincoln T. Perry): David Harum (1934), Judge Priest (1934) and The County Chairman (1935).[15]

With his voice becoming increasingly familiar to audiences, he was able to basically play himself, without normal makeup, in each film, managing to ad-lib and even work in his familiar commentaries on politics at times. The clean moral tone of his films led to various public schools taking their classes, during the school day, to attend special showings of some of them. His most unusual role may have been in the first talking version of Mark Twain‘s novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. His popularity soared to new heights with films including Young As You Feel, Judge Priest, and Life Begins at 40 with Richard Cromwell and Rochelle Hudson.

On August 15, 1935, Rogers was on a flight to Asia with the famous pilot Wiley Post when the craft developed engine troubles and crashed near Point Barrow, Alaska. The crash killed both men. Rogers was only 55.

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

Dear William Pinkerton, It’s Me Butch Cassidy (Letter from the grave)

The facts surrounding Butch Cassidy’s death are uncertain. On November 3, 1908, near San Vicente in southern Bolivia, a courier for the Aramayo Franke and Cia Silver Mine was conveying his company’s payroll, worth about 15,000 Bolivian pesos, by mule when he was attacked and robbed by two masked American bandits who were believed to be Cassidy and Longabaugh. The bandits then proceeded to the small mining town of San Vicente where they lodged in a small boarding house owned by a local resident miner named Bonifacio Casasola. When Casasola became suspicious of his two foreign lodgers, as well as a mule they had in their possession which was from the Aramayo Mine, identifiable from the mine company logo on the mule’s left flank, Casasola left his house and notified a nearby telegraph officer who notified a small Bolivian Army cavalry unit stationed nearby, which was the Abaroa Regiment. The unit dispatched three soldiers, under the command of Captain Justa Concha, to San Vicente where they notified the local authorities. On the evening of November 6, the lodging house was surrounded by three soldiers, the police chief, the local mayor and some of his officials, who intended to arrest the Aramayo robbers.

When the three soldiers approached the house the bandits opened fire, killing one of the soldiers and wounding another. A gunfight then ensued. At around 2 a.m., during a lull in the firing, the police and soldiers heard a man screaming from inside the house. Soon, a single shot was heard from inside the house, whereupon the screaming stopped. Minutes later, another shot was heard.

The standoff continued as locals kept the place surrounded until the next morning when, cautiously entering, they found two dead bodies, both with numerous bullet wounds to the arms and legs. One of the men had a bullet wound in the forehead and the other had a bullet hole in the temple. The local police report speculated that, judging from the positions of the bodies; one bandit had probably shot his fatally wounded partner-in-crime to put him out of his misery, just before killing himself with his final bullet. Or did they?

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Dear William A. Pinkerton

Hi William Pinkerton, It’s me Robert Leroy Parker, thought I’d drop a letter to you to see how you might be. First I want to say that, I do regret robbing all them trains, but not for your sake, but for my mommas. I know, and I always knew I broke her heart becoming an outlaw, and in some ways know it’s what made her perish as well. I wanted and tried so many times to go straight and seek amnesty, yet I never found it, nor was my pardon granted that I asked for, so many times. I heard tell, that Wyoming spoke of it, however never said anything about it. Well that’s OK, in my book. Wish I had the chance to tell you that I left my boot tracks in a little side canyon along my travels back from Bolivia, near the Hole-in-the-wall. I assume by now that you know I never did succumb to a bullet in San Vicente in 1908, neither did ole Sundance. Percy Seibert, played it good for us didn’t he, telling them Bolivians that was us, just so we could live on without someone chasing us anymore. Truth is them boys laid cold from crossfire; they were just some random boys in the wrong place at the right time. We fled later that night before they came in to verify us dead, little to their knowledge we were on a pair of fresh horses, running for Mexico. I spent some time back home with my family before I traveled to the Northwest, Oregon, and Washington mostly. Heard tell you never stopped looking for us, and was convinced me and Sundance were still in South America, guess our story will live on forever, truth is I never passed till 1938, where my family buried me in an unmarked grave where my father said I could finally Rest in Peace, I wonder would you have dug me up if you knew where I was, would anybody? No matter William. Butch Cassidy, The Sundance Kid, Elzy Lay, Tall Texan, News Carver, Camila Hanks, Laura Bullion, Flat-Nose Curry, Kid Curry, Bob Meeks and the rest of The Wild Bunch will forever remain the last outlaws of the Old West. You remember that William, and tell your Pinkerton’s too for me.

Sincerely Robert Leroy Parker, “Butch Cassidy”.

Regardless of whether Butch and Sundance lived or died, their legacy will forever live on in the old west.

Readers Interaction::

Do you think that Butch Cassidy Lived as his sister revealed in her biography Butch Cassidy, My Brother? Or did he die in San Vicente, Bolivia, alongside his best friend The Sundance Kid?

I think the Outlaw lived on to see his family, and live out his days as he wanted to all along. What are your thoughts as readers?

Categories: History, Letters from the grave, Western, Western Authors, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Western Comics, to the Revisionist

Posted by: Ritchie White @shotgunborivers

DC Comics

For nearly two decades Western Pulp fiction brought us some of the greatest tales of the American frontier, but by the 1960’s it was beginning to die out with the rise of trade paperback. However the Pulp fiction era brought light to new medium, the comic book. A hybrid medium that allowed illustrations and strongly blended written words to convey the story of the illustrations. Even though the comic book era began in 1933, the western comics didn’t become popular until the 1940’s and 50’s, alongside the pulp magazines.  Due to competition of comic books, and other mediums, the aforementioned Pulp Magazine era had died out.

However the western comics would come to life for more than four decades, even after its decline in the 1960’s, western comics would move into the revisionist western. Favoring realism over the famous romanticism as western always portrayed, the western comics spun quickly into a Weird West style. A literary sub-genre that combined elements of the western genre and other literary genres such as science fiction, horror, occult, and fantasy. By the 1970’s characters such as Jonah Hex and Bat Lash were born, and  lived well into the 1990’s.
Western Comics have since stayed alive within the weird western sub-genre in the new century, and have made something of a comeback. They don’t dominate the market by a long shot.  Jonah Hex comes back to life in the All-star Western in The New 52 as late as 2011, and Bat Lash appearing as late as 2006 in comics, and converted to trade paperback in 2008.

To conclude, I have brought you the rich history of the western genre, and where it was born in the past month, to not only share the romanticism of western literature, but to also announce a huge turn in my writing career. As I have been promising the Laramie’s Series, they have taken a bit of a stall. However to my readers, and fellow western genre authors, in the last few months the gears have not stopped turning, nor have any of my ideas. I am glad to finally announce that my career will be taking me on an unexpected detour. I am planning to come forth with a ePulp mini-series magazine titled “Six-Guns and Tomahawks Magazine”  starring Lash Larue once named Akecheta (Souix for “He is Fighter”) a Native American turned outlaw. Coming in March with 6 short stories, and the wonderful art from my new illustration artist Brooke Presley-Caban.

We are also creating another ePulp series as well, which will blow you all away as I bring in a weird western under a developmental name of  “The Dark Rider” an action packed short story series starring Rex Quade, a gunslinger Cowboy brought back from the dead by Native American Indians to avenge a massacre, with a price to pay.

As a reader and writer what are your thoughts on the history of our genre, and the announcement of my changing gears? Comments are welcome.

Categories: Western, Western Authors, Writing, Writing Technique | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Dime Novels-The history of the Western

As a western writer, I have been looking back at our history, even before Zane Grey, and Louis L’Amour. What was the first western? and where did we begin?

Personally I would have to say we got our start as many genres did from the Dime Novel era, from 1860 to 1895 the dime novel served as Americas first paperback, and From gun-slinging heroes to mysteries, the dime novel is notably the beginning of genre fiction. This ideology of the dime novel was particularly apparent in Westerns, in which the heroes always won and the villains were always brutally punished.

Some scholars ahttps://i0.wp.com/www.loc.gov/exhibits/treasures/images/189.1.jpgrgue that dime novel westerns appealed most to young, and working-class men – The mythic West of the cowboy as a place where class boundaries were marked in the industrializing East and the Midwest did not prevail.

Dime novelists helped to popularize the cowboy myth, but as Richard Slotkin notes, he had earlier precedents in American literature – tales about Davy Crockett and Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales.

The cowboy figure arose out of long literary tradition of frontiersmen that informed his character. Richard Slotkin, in Regeneration through Violence, demonstrates the beginnings of the American myth by carefully tracing the early figure, focusing on the influences of John Filson’s creation of Daniel Boone in 1784 and, building on Filson, James Fenimore Cooper’s The Leatherstocking Tales (1823) (importance also noted in Milton 7-9, 84-87).

Interpretation of the dime novel western actually embodies a world in which the values and practices of the pre-industrial order are given renewed life: a place in which machines still stand in gardens and where everyone is a worker.

As Americans began to mourn the “closing of the frontier,” they simultaneously began to celebrate the cowboy, who quickly became the hero of the mythic West.

It may have been the emergence of modern America, with its urbanization and industrialization, that sparked an additional interest among its people for a past that was more direct, more simple, more easily understood

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The nation had, some held, grown too fast, had lost something in that process; and now there was a yearning to return to that fast-disappearing life, as we know the Cowboy was not always regarded as an American hero. In fact, as late as the 1880s, the were regarded as violent and uncontrollable.

However the Dime Novel was a way to revisit the frontier, and by reading you could simply slip yourself bac

k into a simpler way of life. Today as western authors we spend our time praising the outlaws, and making them hero’s, as well as creating new one’s. We write what the west was about, and bring forth the tales of Buffalo Bill Cody, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holiday, Jesse James, and others, but without the Dime Novel, I think we wouldn’t have the western’s we write today, without the creation of the Dime Novel.

 

Categories: Western, Western Authors, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Secession in the States, Lincoln Vs. Obama

Alongside the Old West, I love History, especially American History from the 1700’s to early 1900’s. Four, major war’s were fought on American soil, The Revolutionary War; The War of 1812; The Civil War and the American Indian Wars.

There are many reasons why we fought the Civil War, however two major causes come to mind, the Secession, and the election of Abraham Lincoln. I am Looking back at this information for my newest installment to the Laramie Taylor Series, as it is about the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, a battle fought in Missouri. While looking back, I can’t help but notice the similarities in present day. Today the country is separated again, economically challenged and after the reelection of Barack Obama there are 44 states that have filed secession petitions with the “We the People” program on the White House website. Containing 841,903 signatures, and asking to secede from the Union.

A threshold of 25,000 signatures must be met within 30 days for petitions to be reviewed. The Obama administration explains, “If a petition meets the signature threshold, it will be reviewed by the Administration and we will issue a response.”

With Texas in the lead having 114,969,  a half dozen other states have also made the 25,000 mark, and others are gaining.That is a whole new meaning to history repeats itself, and I am a firm believer of that. My question is will it come to pass a separate state? Will the South rise again? Will the Confederate states of America be reborn? Will Obama Administration begin listening to the nations people? Will they even comply and look at the petitions as they have stated? We all know how the government states they will do something and completely do another. Or will they invade our own country and cause the 2nd American Civil War? and most importantly should those of us that have signed the petition worry? Questions fill my mind second after second when I think about it. As a military man I have duty to god and country, however, my duty begins first with my home, and my family, they will be protected long before I stand for the Union. Does that make me a traitor? in my firm belief our government is to mixed up, and certainly not the one I fought for, and it is my declaration to fight for just cause, fight for my freedom, and for my constitution, which those in power are stripping away, with that it is my hypothesis that I am not of any kind a traitor, I am a man that believes in freedom, and will fight for it until the end.

What I want to know is will you all do the same? Will you fight for freedom, or follow a socialistic, power hungry government because you feel there is nothing left you can do? Will you stand for just cause, and for your families? Will you fight a Civil War, if it comes to pass?

As the founding fathers of the United States of America made clear in the Declaration of Independence in 1776:

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

“…Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and institute new Government…”

Here’s a list of states where residents have filed secession petitions in recent days: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, ConnecticutDelaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Categories: Civil War, Current Events, Laramie Taylor Series, Western, Western Authors | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 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 National Day of the Cowboy: An American Heritage

Today being our last guest post for the National Day of the Cowboy, I had  to save this Cowboy, for the end. J.R. Sanders is not only a western author, but he is one of many that are tied in deep in efforts to get Congress to recognize the National Day of the Cowboy throughout the United States. J.R. also hosts a Read em’ Cowboy event, which is geared towards the children. Children’s authors will do readings and other activities with kids, and a cowboy/cowgirl costume contest for the youngsters.  Along with the authors, there is live cowboy music, rodeo queens, an art display, living historians, roping demonstration, raffles, cowboy vittles in the B&N cafe, and more. Below a youngster participates in this wonderful event.

Read ’em Cowboy Participant

Thank you J.R. for all of the hard work that you put into the National Day of the Cowboy, and the American Heritage of the American Cowboy. Welcome.

There’s no other cultural or historical symbol as uniquely American as the cowboy.  In fact, if the U.S.A. could have only one symbol with which to define itself, there’s probably nothing that would represent us better.  All the things the cowboy stands for – freedom, independence, honor, hard work, pride, loyalty, patriotism – are all things that our country also stands for – or ought to, anyway.  So it makes perfect sense that there should be a day officially set aside to encourage every American to recognize and pay tribute to a vital part of our national heritage and identity.  To me, the question’s not really “Why should there be a National Day of the Cowboy?”; it’s “Why hasn’t there been one all along?”  (I mean, there’s a National Pie Day, for crying out loud – not that I have anything against pie).

Bethany Braley and the National Day of the Cowboy organization have been working tirelessly for several years now to get the day recognized permanently by the Federal government, as well as by individual states, and 2012 has been a landmark year in their efforts.  Earlier this year Wyoming became the first state to pass the NDOC resolution in perpetuity.  They were followed just last month by – wait for it – California.  Eight other states have either passed one-year resolutions or issued proclamations (Texas passed a two-year resolution) naming the fourth Saturday in July the National Day of the Cowboy.  Those states are Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri and Texas.  NDOC continues its lobbying, with the eventual goal of getting the U.S. Congress to pass a permanent resolution.  It’s an uphill battle, but NDOC and its hardy crew of volunteers are a committed bunch.

And ultimately, what NDOC is doing is what we are all doing in various ways – trying to preserve a cherished history and tradition, and a

fans of these various pursuits, we’re all in this battle together.  We all support one another’s efforts.  If nobody ever read Western books, nobody would write them.  If nobody went to Western music events, nobody would play Western music.  If nobody watched Western movies and TV shows, nobody would produce them.  Yet people do read Westerns, and so people write them.  People do go to cowboy concerts, and buy CDs, and there are some fine Western performers carrying on their rich musical tradition.  No matter how many times Hollywood suits, or book publishers, have proclaimed the death of the Western, the Western refuses to ride into the sunset.  There’s a pretty simple and clear message in that.  There’s something in the American makeup that strongly identifies, even in this ultra-modern high-tech age, with our Western heritage, and those core values that it represents.  That’s what keeps the writers writing and the readers reading.  It’s why we do what we do, and why we love it so.

J.R. Sanders

Bio:

J. R. Sanders is a native of Newton, Kansas, one of the original “wild and wooly” cowtowns.   His deep interest in Old West history dates back to childhood visits with his family to the Dalton Gang hideout, Abilene, and Dodge City.  J.R. has written feature articles for a variety of publications, among them Law & Order and Wild West.  His children’s book, The Littlest Wrangler, was released by Moonlight Mesa Associates in June, 2010, and has been adopted for use in the educational programs at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.  His next book, Some Gave All: Forgotten Old West Lawmen Who Died with Their Boots On, is due to be published by Moonlight Mesa Associates in 2013.

J.R. is a member of the Western Writers of America, Western Fictioneers and the Wild West History Association.  He lives in Southern California with his wife, Rose, and dog, Monte.

To read J.R.’s Book The Littlest Wrangler visit his  Website at: www.jrsanders.com

Categories: Cowboy Code, Current Events, NDOC, Western, Writing, Writing Technique | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

What Is A Cowboy? By D.B. Jackson

After wrangling in eight western authors, I had one ask if I would like another western author to guest post on my blog. I was in awe others wanted to get involved with what I was doing. Very grateful I emailed D.B. Jackson, and the response was awesome.  Here Dale expresses what a cowboy is, and what he does.From the Old West to the modern day cowboy. Welcome Dale, and I want to personally thank you for a great post, and a wonderful look into what a cowboy is.

Dale Jackson

You already have some idea, in your own mind, what you define as a cowboy. Most of us do. Regardless of that definition, the important thing is that we recognize the cowboy as an important and enduring part of our American heritage.

The truth is, the American cowboy started off as, and largely still is, essentially a day laborer with a very specific set of skills that does not have much purpose in other jobs. Their days are long, the pay is short, and most cowboys invest a lot of money in the tools of their trade: a good using saddle, a dependable horse, a decent bridle, spurs to their own liking, and a hat that becomes an individualized trademark unique to each man.

His knowledge includes horsemanship, but he does not engage in talk of how to post a canter, or which new supplement produces the greatest equine performance. He knows cattle and is his own veterinarian. He understands the market and knows about futures, but can’t tell you anything about a mutual fund or a bond offering. He can look at a bale of hay and give you a detailed dissertation on the merits of its feed value.

His hands are calloused, he carries a pocketknife, he’s short, tall, thin, and heavy. He can handle a rope, flank a calf, and tell you a funny story. His politics are built around the realities of working for a living and making do with what he earns. He’s not impressed with your high-paying job, Ivy League education or expensive car, but you will get his nod of approval for a good heel catch or for being where you should be when a herd-quitter breaks and threatens to set your day back several hours.

Most cowboys I know are good to their word and their handshake. They do not feel compelled to tell you something to take the heat off a problem or to redirect your disapproval. They fix problems and move on. They spend no time judging those who profess to be cowboys or present themselves as real cowboys. You either are or you are not—everyone on the crew will know where you fit within an hour of you being there.

Is the guy who shows up with a new rope, new chaps, a lot of fancy gear, and wearing gloves a real cowboy? Probably not—but, he did show up and that’s worth something. I never met a cowboy who brags, draws attention to himself or makes an issue of him being a cowboy. There is an understated, self-assuredness about a cowboy that does not require him to do so. And, for most, it’s not in their nature anyway.

So, is there any such thing as the “cowboy spirit”? I’m not sure. There definitely are “cowboy values”, but they are not exclusive to the cowboy. The cowboy image certainly exists, and there are lots of people who identify with it, and many who look to be identified with it.

They Rode Good Horses.

Most cowboys do not view themselves as special. They consider themselves lucky to be in a position to lead a lifestyle that many would like to lead. They do not look down upon the guy in the big hat adorned with feathers and wearing boots that would never hold up in the branding pen. They do not feel threatened by or insulted by those who profess to be cowboys, but have never worked cattle or drug calves to the fire.
In the end, we are all part of a special culture unique to America and admired by people all across the world. That micro-culture should be preserved and celebrated—the American cowboy may well be our last handhold on a set of values that helped make this the great country it is. A National Day Of The Cowboy is one small way to help insure we do not lose those values.

D.B. Jackson, author of the 2012 Will Rogers Medallion Award winning book, They Rode Good Horses, Goldminds Publishing, and long time cattle rancher, resides with his wife, Mary, near Oakdale, CA. His latest novel, Unbroke Horses, Goldminds Publishing, is being released July 2012, to excellent critical acclaim. A short story, Last Of The Cowboys appears this month in a ReadWest anthology. Stories Of The American West, with the legendary Elmer Kelton, the bestselling author, Steven Law, and others. Another short story, A Blood Red Moon, appears in October in the La Frontera Publishing anthology, Outlaws And Lawmen.

To Read D.B. Jackson’s books, visit his website http://www.dalebjackson.com/
Or visit his Amazon Author Central.
You can find him on facebook via: Dale Jackson

Categories: Cowboy Code, Current Events, NDOC, Western, Writing, Writing Technique | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Western Genre a New Rising.

I am a western fiction writer/author, and I spend a great deal of time just researching the western genre, and what I read about our genre is more on the dying side than on the rise. I would like to ensure that our genre has not died; in fact, I believe that it is making its new rising.

The Legend of Hell's Gate: An American Conspiracy

I read today, a blog posted last November about the western genre dying titled The Slow Death of the Western Genre (in honor of BigBlackHatMan) which you can read from the link provided. The article began to say that there were very few western genre films in the 90’s, and the western genre began to die off in the 80’s, unless it was a crossover. Disgruntled with knowing it was not very true I did some searching of my own, and in my search, I found several movies, which the blog author failed to mention, as well as the people that commented on the post as well.

I began with the big screen and yes, it starts where our blogger left off at Back to the Future III, which was a crossover western, yet many western films were not mentioned. Movies  like Dances with Wolves, Quigley Down Under, Young Guns II, The Last of the Mohicans, Unforgiven, Tombstone, Rio Diablo, Frank and Jesse, Legends of the Fall, Wyatt Earp, Desperado, Wild Bill, Riders of Purple Sage, Gunfighter, Purgatory, as well as Silverado starring actor/author, and a new found pal Ken Farmer, and this list goes on and on. Did we forget about Emilio Estevez, and his boyish looks as Billy the Kid, and certainly forgot about Kurt Russell in Tombstone, and Kevin Costner in Wyatt Earp.

Young Guns II

This is why it disgruntled me so much that so many Western films have come into the late 20th and 21st century as well and not even thought of by the author while writing this blog. Written in 2011, I was amazed that neither he nor any of the comments mentioned 3:10 to Yuma, or Jeff Bridges in an awesome performance in the remake of John Wayne’s True Grit.  Counting from 2000 to 2012, I have counted nearly a dozen westerns that were solely of the old west, which proves, the Old West is not in the grave just yet, with a new film just  released March 3oth, 2012 The Legend of Hell’s Gate: An American Conspiracy.

As a western writer, and author I wanted to include Western Fiction books, I see countless books published in the western genre all of the time, from titles like Yuma Gold by Steven Law, and The Devil in a Bottle by Carol Buchanan, as well as so many others, I could spend days just listing them . Even coming into a digital age not long ago, I can count dozens of western books available on Kindle, the IBook store, and Nooks, which brings a completely new breed of some great western genre authors.

Also noted in the blog above was the fact that the reason not many were interested in the genre anymore was the age of space, and fantasy, and yes possibly the age of space, science fiction, and fantasy has taken us by storm. Maybe if Jeff Bridges Sparkled in True Grit, we might just get the media to agree we as a genre are still on the rise.

The Pony Express

Our history is built from the Old West, and without it, there would be no Boomtowns, which led to a railroad and later Hollywood, so why not keep it alive, has the media forgotten, that media itself originated by means of The Pony Express, which has a rich history in itself in the Old West. I think they should look our way more often than they do, and notice that we are a rising genre as like any other genre. It seems we are only in the mainstream media when it is to review us as a dying entity, yet more and more westerns have come, and are coming.

Here on Shotgun Bo Rivers Blog, the Old West will never die; at least while I am alive and kickin, here at Bo’s place there will always be a spot for a good western genre story, book, or movie.

Categories: Current Events, Western, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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