Posts Tagged With: western writer

Curly Bill Kills Marshal Fred White 133 years ago.

A drunken William Brocius Graham, known better as “Curly Bill” Brocius, killed Tombstone, Arizona Territory Marshal Fred White on this date October 28th 1880, when White tried to arrest him. Marshal Fred White encountered Brocius at the East end of town, on a dark street in a vacant lot where the Birdcage Theater now stands. Brocius was intoxicated and he and his companions were firing pistols into the air. It is speculated that the pistol’s hammer was “half-cocked” over a live round (it was later found to have contained six live rounds,) and when White grabbed the barrel and pulled, the weapon, it discharged, shooting White in the groin area. Wyatt Earp, who saw the shooting and flash but could not clearly see the action in the dark. However Wyatt pistol-whipped Brocius, knocking him unconscious, and arrested him.  When the new day dawned, the rowdy makers went before the judge, were fined for violating city ordinances, and released. Brocius; however, asked for a postponement until he could get a lawyer. Later he appeared with Judge Haynes of Tucson, as his counsel, and as a lynch mob was forming in the camp to hang Brocius for the shooting of the popular marshal, whose condition had worsened and looked as if he might die, Brocius was ordered to be taken to Tucson to be held in protective custody. As Wyatt Earp and George Collins headed to Tucson with Brocius in a buggy, they were escorted out of town by Virgil and Morgan Earp.Brocius was said to have terribly regretted the shooting of White, whom he apparently liked. White lingered for two days, dying on October 30th. However, prior to his death, he gave testimony that ultimately led to Brocius being cleared of any wrongdoing. White stated that the pistol fired accidentally, and that Brocius, intoxicated, evidently did not realize his pistol was cocked. Despite his regret, Brocius did not accept being pistol-whipped by Wyatt Earp during his arrest. This was a factor that led to increasing tensions between the Earps and the Cow-boy element. Unlike recent Hollywood portrayals of White as an older man, the first Marshal of Tombstone, was only 31 or 32 when he died.

Brocius was eventually acquitted of any any wrong-doing, with Judge Nuegass commenting that the shooting was “Homocide by Misadventure” or, in other words, an accident. Brocius was released from custody and despite Wyatt’s statement that helped him to be freed, Brocius could not forgive Wyatt for the pistol whipping. This was just one more of the many incidents that increased the ever mounting tension between the Earps and the Cowboy faction.

Some claim that the Ghost of Fred White still haunts the street where he was shot. https://borivers.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/99feb-tombstoneallenstreet1882-500.jpg

The next day the Tombstone Epitaph read “About 12:30 last night a series of pistol shots startled the late goers on the streets, and visions of funerals, etc., flitted through the brain of the Epitaph local, and the result proved that his surmises were correct.  The result in a few words is as follows: A lot of Texas cow boys, as they are called, began firing at the moon and stars on Allen street near Sixth, City Marshal White, who happened to be in the neighborhood, interfered to prevent violation of the city ordinance, and was ruthlessly shot by one of the number.  Deputy Sheriff Earp, who is ever to the front when duty calls, arrived just in the nick of time.  Seeing the Marshal fall, he promptly knocked his assailant down with a six shooter and as promptly locked him up; and with the assistance of his brothers Virgil and Morgan went in pursuit of the others.  That he found them, an inventory of the City Prison this mourning will testify.  Marshal White was shot in the left groin, the ball passing nearly through, and being cut from the buttock by Dr. Matthews.  The wound is a serious though not fatal one.  Too much praise cannot be given to the Marshal for his gallant attempt to arrest the violators of the ordinance, nor to Deputy Sheriff Earp and his brothers for the energy displayed in bringing in the malefactors to arrest.  At last accounts, 3 p.m., Marshal White was sleeping, and strong hopes of his ultimate recovery were expected.”
Categories: History, Western, Western Authors | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

https://i0.wp.com/www.press.uillinois.edu/books/images/9780252033520.jpg

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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

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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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

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

Where Did All the Cowboy’s Go?

When I began asking western authors and writers to guest post on my blog to honor the National Day of the Cowboy, I had to ask western author and enthusiast Phil Dunlap. His well rounded history of western novels have a great impact on the western genre, and his knowledge of the American Heritage is well shared abroad.
Welcome Phil, and thank you for your great contribution to the National Day of the Cowboy Blogathon.

When I was in my impressionable youth, I lived for the weekends. Every Saturday was          another double-feature at the movies.  The Western movies. I’d get popcorn and a Coke and scoot down in the middle row and take up residence for the next two or three hours. All my heroes were cowboys or sheriffs or gunslingers or, well, you get the picture. As I got older, and finished high school, went to college, got my first real job, I just naturally figured I’d just move on and adopt a new set of heroes.

Problem was that it didn’t happen that way. I was somehow unable to mentally separate myself from the dusty trails and boulder-laden desert of the southwest. Oh I had other interests, of course: illustrating, flying, graphic design, all of which I immersed myself in to one degree or another. And I seemed to be sailing along quite well, until I actually went out west and walked among those very same boulders, cacti, and hot, dry sands that had held my interest for so long. And the mountains, those incredible mountains. The renewal of all those wonderful dreams of being on the streets of Tombstone or hunkered down behind a rise to await the inevitable ambush from Apaches, or riding a horse up and down the arroyos and across dry riverbeds in pursuit of outlaws. There’s even a smell of something that lingers just out of reach, it’s the smell of life and death, and it whisks you off to a time when good and evil clashed so demonstrably that you couldn’t escape the clarity of its presence. And maybe just a hint of fear that it might catch up to you.

So, today I write Western novels. Why? Is it really that I’m still just a cowboy at heart? If that’s true, I know I need to reach out to all the other cowboys to share what I love about the West. Wouldn’t I like everyone to read my books and get caught up in the excitement of the early gunfighters, Indians, ranchers, and railroaders? You bet. And that’s why I’m here. Because, while to some it may seem a stretch, I think we’re all cowboys. We all love to ride in a convertible with the top down, race along on a motorcycle, or jog on a mountain trail in the cool morning air. Just like cowboys. Therefore, In my mind, every single one of us is a cowboy at heart. I know I am.

And that brings us to the National Day of the Cowboy, which will be celebrated July 28, 2012. Yep, just around the corner. It’s a celebration of all that’s the old West, but it’s also about the spirit that lingers in us all. It’s the spirit that drove men to do marvelous things in the most dangerous conditions imaginable in an effort to accomplish a dream: to build a nation. And they did. Those hardy pioneers–the cowboys, ranchers, farmers, railroaders and merchants–all worked tirelessly together to build what we enjoy today: the greatest nation in the world. And, by golly, we’re still doing it.

***

Phil Dunlap is the author of eight published Western novels (with three more contracted for). He’s been a TV Director, free-lance journalist (Newspapers and magazines), graphic designer, professional pilot/flight instructor, and an advertising agency executive. He has two series: US Marshal Piedmont Kelly (Avalon Books,
soon to be Amazon Encore), and his latest books are in the Sheriff Cotton Burke series from
Berkley Books (PenguinUSA). To purchase Cotton’s Law click the image provided for my book on Amazon.com

I hope you’ll visit my website at: http://www.phildunlap.com and peruse my books, events, and tidbits. My blog can be accessed at: http://lureofthegun.blogspot.com.

You can also find Phil on his Amazon author central Phil Dunlap.

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

The Cowboy: An Iconic Symbol of American History

I had a chance to talk to several western genre authors, and writers about their feelings on the National day of the Cowboy, and it becoming a national day of recognition of our American heritage and the American Cowboy’s Heritage. During my interviews, and conversations with many of the authors and writers, I expressed how I would like to honor the National Day of the Cowboy by posting our personal feelings on the rich history that we know and love to write about. I feel it is important that our readers see, that we as authors want to support the movement in recognizing the Cowboy as a day we celebrate here in America.  I was able to get nine of the authors I spoke with, to guest post on my blog to honor the Day of the Cowboy. This week here on my blog, as well as my very good friend, and co-author Tim Bultman’s blog at cowboywithacause.com.  will be sharing  and honoring the true history of our country,and the true and rich history of our American Cowboy as it was when the Cowboy paved the way for America.

This Morning I would like to introduce a western wordslinger, as he is known Mathew Pizzolato. Hello Matt, What is your take on the iconic symbol of the American Cowboy.

Matthew Pizzolato

There are few things in this world that are unique to this country. The Western genre as a whole and the cowboy in particular go hand in hand as symbols that represent everything that is American.

The cowboy that rode across the American West helped to settle this country. He braved Indian attack, wild horses, stampedes, drowning and every other form of horrible death imaginable. The cowboy’s time came and went, but it was glorious while it lasted. While it was a period of danger and death, it was also one of loyalty and honor.

The cowboy often rode from can-see till can’t-see and faced death every second he was in the saddle. In fact, many of them lost their lives or suffered debilitating injuries. It was said one could tell a cowboy by his missing fingers or a gimp leg.

While he faced death every day, the cowboy was a man of honor, integrity and loyalty. He rode for the brand and was loyal until death. When he gave his word, he kept it no matter the consequences. Most of all, the cowboy was self reliant. He depended on no one but himself to get the job done.

The cowboy is a stereotype that transcended gender and ethnicity and encompassed all political affiliation. All cowboys and cowgirls adhered to a strict personal code that has quietly slipped away from popular American consciousness.

As a Western writer, I strive to keep the spirit of the cowboy and the American West alive in my work. It is my way of honoring those brave and hardy souls who made this country great. My characters, whether they are cowboys, lawmen or outlaws, exemplify the cowboy’s spirit of honor, integrity and loyalty.

Perhaps former president George W. Bush best described the meaning of the National Day of the Cowboy. “We celebrate the Cowboy as a symbol of the grand history of the American West. The Cowboy’s love of the land and love of the country are examples for all Americans.”

Modern American society has fallen away from the virtues that the cowboy held dear and would benefit from being made aware of the cowboy’s lifestyle, of his values and of his personal code. That is why the National Day of the Cowboy is so important.

It honors an icon that lives on in the hearts and minds of those who read and write Westerns and is exemplified everyday by those modern day cowboys and cowgirls who live and work on ranches in all 50 states, not to mention those who participate in rodeos all around the world.

The National Day of the Cowboy brings to the forefront the values that shaped this country and it honors a true American legend – the cowboy, who gave his blood, sweat and tears and many of them their lives, to those of us alive today and it’s something we shouldn’t forget.

By Matthew Pizzolato

Bio:
Matthew Pizzolato is a member of Western Fictioneers. His short story collection, THE WANTED MAN, is available for the Amazon Kindle and as a Barnes and Noble NOOK BOOK. His fiction has been published online and in print in such publications as: BEAT to a PULP!, The Copperfield Review, PULP MODERN, Frontier Tales Magazine, The Pink Chameleon Online, Perpetual Magazine, Long Story Short, and The Storyteller. He writes a weekly NASCAR column for Insider Racing News and is a contributing writer for Suite101.com. Matthew can be contacted via his personal website: www.matthew-pizzolato.com or he can be found on Twitter @mattpizzolato. When he’s not writing, Matthew is the Editor-in-Chief and webmaster of The Western Online.

Amazon Book Link: The Wanted Man http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006JEQM8U

My Blog: The Western Wordslinger
http://thewesternwordslinger.blogspot.com/

My Facebook Page:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Matthew-Pizzolato-Writer/144443992318861

Categories: Cowboy Code, Current Events, NDOC, Western, Writing, Writing Technique | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

National Day of the Cowboy Blogathon, and giveaway

July 28th marks the 8th Annual National Day of the Cowboy, as a western writer and author I am announcing some exciting news that I will be contributing to this great and wonderful day of preservation of  America’s Cowboy heritage by having a Ebook giveaway of two short stories. Laramie’s Thunder is coming along very well, but I want my audience to know my character, Laramie Taylor, so I am going to be giving his first adventures away all day on July 28th and 29th.
 Also Most importantly I will be guest hosting  other western authors all that week beginning July 23rd, with there story about The Old West Cowboy, and their feelings on the NDOC becoming a national Day, as well as sharing their blogs, books, and material with you. Some authors that will be attending are Ken Farmer, Tyler Brentmore, Larry Payne, J.J. Devine, Phil Dunlop, Matt Pizzolato, and Steven Law. My intention is to honor them as cowboys, and cowgirls, and honor their wonderful work and contributions to the western heritage, and the American cowboy.
I am also working hand in hand with the NDOC blog, and organization, and am hoping to come up with something very special for my readers, the American Cowboy, and my new western writer PALS above that I have become rather acquainted with in recent months. Blogs will be appearing here on shotgunborivers.com, cowboywithacause.com, and possibly http://nationaldayofthecowboy.com/wordpress/, as well as links posted at each authors blog.

Following the NDOC week I will be launching my August Blog Book tour where I will be promoting my book Rodeo Dayz, and the first two Ebooks “The First Adventures of Laramie Taylor Laramie’s Code”. So join us all in a week long celebration,  as we celebrate the heritage of the American cowboy, and honor some of the greatest men and women who pioneered the Old West.

On Saturday July28th and Sunday 29th 10 winners will be picked each day at random from comments, and reviews of the weeks blogs and given the first two Ebooks of  “The First Adventures of Laramie Taylor Laramie’s Code” a ten short story book series to begin in July.

 

We are looking forward to helping with this great celebration, and  hope to help make NDOC a national day celebrated everywhere. Until then, Happy Trails.
Categories: Current Events, Western, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Dear Pat Garret, It’s Me Billy (A Letter From the Grave)

Dear Pat Garret,

It’s me Billy, I used to call you a friend, better yet a Pal, but you shot me in the dark, unarmed. That’s right I am writing from beyond the grave to let you know I understand why you chose blood money for the price on my head. Hiding behind a badge didn’t make you right, and it sure doesn’t justify John Tunstall or Alex Mcsween’s murder. You see the Regulators and I had but one purpose and that was to expose the Sante Fe Ring, and Murphy’s bunch to President Hayes, and prove to him the corruption in government in Lincoln County, that was all. The men who took a Bullet from myself or one of the Regulators deserved it, they needed to be killed for killing John Tunstall in cold Blood. You tried once to arrest me for killing Buck Shot Roberts, one of the men we had a warrant for murdering John, He fired first so it was in self defense, and most all of the killings the Regulators were responsible for were in the same manner, so as a man who sold out to the Ring of corruption in government, how does it feel to know you killed a man that was really trying to do right by John Tunstall and Alex Mcsween. The problem with you and all of Murphy’s Men, Sheriff Pippin, and Sheriff Brady, blood money seemed better than finding the truth in the Lincoln County War, I didn’t draw first blood, I only finished it, Murphy dying should have ended it, but governor Lew Wallace was just as corrupt. I was only ever convicted of killing Sheriff Brady, but he needed killing to Pat, just as well as anyone else that was being bought by Murphy and Dolan’s outfit. The District Attorney should have pardoned me as they promised in the first place, I put most of them in a grave, and the rest I testified against, and in return I got a gallows built for myself.

You see Pat, Chavez, Doc, and the others knew what it meant to be pals, we might have killed a lot of men but we had a code, a code that John taught us, ethics  we lived by, until we were killed by you, someone who once called us a friend. we didn’t sell out on friendship Pat, why did you? We kept our promise, PALS, which was much stronger than any government, or any ring of corruption. We believed it had to be stopped, but the corruption in our government thought it be better to kill the men trying to expose it than to imprison the men that should have been paying for their debts, their murder, and  their corruption. Instead the government backed them up, and helped them come after the Regulators.  You may have your concience, but they sold you as soon as they paid you, which leaves you nothing more than a coward. Call it what you will, but in the days of the Billy the Kid and the Regulators we were judge and jury and most men just needed killing, and they reaped the whirlwind, as you will one day yourself. You know what they say about you Pat Garrett…..You killed men like you killed buffalo’s, but at least you didn’t ambush the buffalo’s in the dark.

YOUR PAL

William H. Bonney

Categories: Western | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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