Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Back in My Arizona Home...

Made the return run from Denver through some snow and ice across southern Colorado and north New Mexico. While it was an uneventful drive... it was not without its sights.

The ability of drivers in those areas has not changed in as long as I can remember. They should all still have driving limitations placed on them. As in; "NO DRIVING between the hours of six seconds past midnight and midnight."

I swear... when I in my enfeebled ability... roll an aged dually diesel over those roads without slipping a tire... while never even taking it out of 2WD... and I pass late model front wheel drive after late model front wheel drive... littering the ditches... I can only believe that those drivers are unsafe at high noon in July on dry, windless, empty roads.

My experience has taught me that those cars fight to NOT run off the road. To put one in the ditch you must exercise significant and deliberate foolishness. 

To allow such drivers out on blustery and stormy nights, as anything other than passengers on a bus is to wager against fate.

Ahhh... but I rail against the wind...

The trip ended with the loss, after 16 years, of our good friend Lily. She was struck with cancer two years ago. A surgery then gave her two more good years. It was as if she waited for me to return this one last time. Over the holiday she faded suddenly and quickly.

Our Tears Flowed a River

*Our Beloved Lily. Lost to us on the 26th of December 2014*

Now she wanders where the sun always shines the pastures are always green and the trails are all soft and grassy. Hopefully... she'll be there waiting for us with Brandy and Jed. Kodi and Brush. Georgie and Chei... Sonny and Easy...

So many voids cut into a heart. I wonder how many a man can endure?

Dogs and Horses... the spirits that could teach men to live... if they'd only listen.

I'm back in my camp on the Tonto now. Working again to finish my book. Each morning I try and take a short walk to get my head fresh and get the blood pumping. This morning a great beauty waited in the trees above the lake...

 A young Eagle warming in the sunshine.

 I've often wondered what thoughts pass through the minds of animals. I am without any doubts that it is far more than most give credit. I suspect that if we could see... we would see a life of Honesty, without the imagined superiority that men speak of. The absence of games and deception.

The simple acceptance of life and death as halves of reality... and the even simpler grasping of every breath and moment that they exist.

To live without the burdens and entrapments of the games of others. To simply breathe and live and die without the beatings of soh-sigh-uh-tee's agendas and machinations... what a joy life can be... if you throw down the useless trappings of human ego. 

yeah... but... nobody is gonna listen to the wishful cogitations of a puss gut mountain cowboy... not when he points a critical finger at all soh-sigh-uh-tee holds so dear... So I'll just smile and nod and go about spinning my yarns.

 While the northern lands suffer under sub zero temperatures and the global warming that threatens Las Vegas with snow... I'll keep to my  beloved Arizona desert... Where the flowers bloom at New Years...

Where the fishermen chase their quarry in December...

... and I can seek out the far blue mountains...

Just a puss gut buster with his heart in the Desert

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

That Time of Year Again... Isn't It?

Well... I got permission to leave the rig sitting in my campsite and hauled butt for Colorado. Truth be known I was thinking hard of just goin' solo on the desert... I'm sorta kinda a scrooge... buuuut... a family medical thing came up that pretty much required my attendance.

Less than life threatening and more than trivial... so I ran the old 210,000 mile Dodge one more run to the Front Range.

I'm getting softer in my maturity though. Decided to make the trip in two days and pamper my cowboy butt with a Motel in Santa Fe.

'Tween that, the $2.69 diesel in San Felipe and a fine ale in that motel room it was an easy trip.

Already past the medical deal I believe and now just to get past scrooge's day and it'll be back to the desert for this grumpy Ol' Cowboy.

... and finishing up the editing (which is 'bout 1/2 done now) , table of contents building, cover building... yadda yadda yadda and get that Number Five Novel Published! HooYa!

Then straight into novel number six along with the Other work I am feeling a hunger to get hard after... which is regaining my leather work.

Much to do in the coming year... I'm sorta kinda anxious to get this bronc saddled and open the gate!

It always seems like life is often like climbing a mountain. Just as you get to the peak... the slope gets the steepest! ha ha... dig in and Cowboy Up! is purty much the only option... so Let 'er Buck!

Have a good Christmas all... and we'll see you down the trail in the coming New Year


Monday, December 15, 2014

Another Storm on the Desert...

It came in with a roar... and was gone in a whistle...

 A couple of neighbors spent a little while checking out the neighborhood a day or so before... and trying to get their bearings... Not sure they agreed on which way to go. The whole family lives in the mesquites and sage and palo verde around here. You can hear them talking every evening and often on through the day.

Mid day the clouds of the storm from the coast began building...

Truly it didn't seem so awful threatening... considering what news I'd heard... and then the lightning started flashing across the sky and it got to be one of those Desert storms... I thought; Hmmmm... this might could get interesting.

 Big ol' drops the size of a small bucket started coming down and the wind started whipping... For all of six minutes ;)

... and it rolled right on past headed for the Tonto Basin over east... and the sky started clearing right behind it just before sunset.

Yeah... it's a hard life in the desert.

Solidly into editing. Funny... I don't do that the way I'm supposed to either. They say you write it... and then you should go back and cut out 25% or better.

Hmmmm... maybe they should consider the way I write it... seems to save me a lot of heartache...

I put it down and end up adding some words when I edit! The way I go about things... I keep working on a paragraph the first time I put it down, until it's purty much where I want it... and then I move on.

So... when I come back to edit... all I have is maybe a little polishing and such. Works for me... Folks keep buying the books and leaving good words in review! :) So I must be doin' something right.

Still on sort of a roll here too. Solid story lines developed and stories are even well started on the next two books. Working on those in between editing stints on the finished book and... I continue tinkering on a cover...

That all seems to kinda balance out the dreary labor of editing... with the fresh excitement of a new story.

On the Arizona Desert

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Good Light and Inspiration abounds on the Tonto

Just to the west is Four Peaks in the Mazatzal Range and Wilderness... Turn the other way and climb over that range and you drop into the Tonto Basin... Home of the Pleasant Valley War.

Like most legends... the story is one thing... the truth is often something else...

Had two days of rain... Twelve hours without letup the first night... made it a mite damp 'round here.

Which was ok... left me lil' excuse but to climb inside my head and write... which I did to the tune of something over 15,000 words in the matter of three or four days...

Odd it it... I can get locked up into a spinning storm inside my head for months... unable to form a sentence I like... and then... in the right place at the right time... they come streaming along faster than I can scribble 'em down... ok... type 'em. ;)

Somehow ths Tonto country has a good affect on me though... Probably 'cuz I'll always consider it Home.  Too bad the price of dirt round-a-bouts is more precious than gold... of which I have none!

But... it still graces me with the inspiration to spin my yarns... this one now is near complete... it'll be buttoned up before mid week I'd guess... then, I'm likely to get started on #6 while I continue to labor through the editing process of Ol' #5.

Here's just a few of the visions available to a rider hiding out on the Tonto...

*Sunrises over Roosevelt*

*Storms over the Desert*

*Western Light Over Four Peaks*

*Toward the Tonto*

*Arizona Sunsets*

It's Back to the "writing shed" for me...

P.S. Well... with another 1820 words that flew onto the page "The Horsemen" is a completed story. It's the third in the Jeb Taylor story. The editing, polish rewriting and Cover work should be done for a Publishing date sometime mid to late January I expect. If you've not read any of the story - and want to - you can collect the FREE First story; "A Matter of Honor" at Amazon or Barnes and Noble and almost every other E-book retailer.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Just Livin' and Whittling My Stories on the Tonto...

I've been fairly cabin bound since I pulled the hitch pin here... been camped on that table bangin' away solid hours on the keyboard.

While other folks might be re-tahrd ... I'm still a workin' stiff and hope to keep it that-a-way. Having that purpose is, I believe, a thing I need. 'course the difference these days is... I work for myself doing the things that toot my whistle...

I continue closing in fast on the final chapters of my latest Jeb Taylor book. This Tonto country has done for me what I was hopin' for. My Arizona has tickled those writin' parts for sure. The past three days has seen something like ten thousand words, and good ones too! hit the page.

Yes sir, the story has kinda caught fire. It's always like that though when I work my way into that last part of a story. Everything is built up and coming together into that last final climax and I'm as cranked up to see how it turns out as anyone.

I can't say for sure how many chapters are left... but things "seem" to be coming on to the close.

That's the odd part when somebody asks me; "How much more you got to do?" ... Fact is, I've no more clue than they do! I simply follow along watchin' that movie reel in my head copyin' down what I see as fast as I can.

The story is as new to me when I write it down as it is to folks when they read it. :)

To freshen my brain and uncross my eyes I generally get out once or twice a day to stretch my legs and clear the buzz in my head... that and a once a week or so supply run.

I can't say that Tonto Basin is un-inspiring western scenery...

I do believe this Arizona that'll always be my home is workin' its magic too... putting down the words yesterday I had a rather startling lil' development...  There was a part of the story where things got kinda intense between a couple of the characters... I don't know if I actually whittled out some pretty good words... or maybe I'm just gettin' a lil' mush brained... but I found my self sittin' there at the table with my eyes leakin' like I'd been slicin' onions...

Good thing I'm brushed up here all alone... it woulda been embarrassing... bwahahahaha...

I haven't had great opportunity for a lot of photography... my mind has mostly been immersed in the story I'm carving... but then... capturing the occasional pic seems to help that story shaping too... so... here's a few I have found on my brain clearing walks...

Yeah it's a pretty tough place to winter... but when you're a writer needing a special sort of environment to chase the dreams in your head... ya gotta suffer through such things. :-P