Go West Young Man, Go West!


Go West Young Man, Go West!

By Rory C. Keel

“Not a hard man to track. Leaves dead men where ever he goes.” – Outlaw Josey Wales

The Western genre is defined by a specific time and place. Most are set west of the Missouri River from Mexico to the south and as far as Alaska to the north. The stories flourish with greenhorns, gringos and cattle driving cowboys. Usually set between about 1800 and 1890, the rugged hero or heroine always endures through any adversity.

Some of the most popular authors include Louis L’Amour, Zane Grey, and Elmer Kelton.

 Western Subgenres include:

Black Cowboy (buffalo soldier) and Civil War westerns.  Bounty Hunter stories of men chasing outlaws, and Cattle Drive westerns which are set during a frontier cattle drive, such as Larry McMurtry’s novel Lonesome Dove.

Cowpunk, these tales depict all sorts of bizarre happenings on the remote frontier with slight sci-fi slant. Eurowestern, Gunfighter, Indian wars such as James Fenimore Cooper’s 1826 novel The Last of the Mohicans.

Land Rush stories usually focus on the Oklahoma land rush. Lawmen (Texas Rangers) are about the honest lawmen who brought order and justice to the wild frontier. Mexican wars (Texan independence), Outlaw westerns, and yes, most of them wear black hats.

Railroad stories connect the east with the west and Range wars are stories where ranchers are pitted against the farmer. Romance is an overlapping subgenre, which features romance relationships in a ‘western’ novel. An excellent example of romance western is the anthology Give me a Texas Ranger by Jodi Thomas, Linda Broday, Phyliss Miranda and DeWanna Pace.

Wagon Train westerns tell the historical stories of the pioneers’ struggles on their transcontinental journey on the Oregon Trail.

Just remember “Every gun makes its own tune.” – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

roryckeel.com

Go West Young Man, Go West!


Go West Young Man, Go West!

By Rory C. Keel

“Not a hard man to track. Leaves dead men where ever he goes.” – Outlaw Josey Wales

The Western genre is defined by a specific time and place. Most are set west of the Missouri River from Mexico to the south and as far as Alaska to the north. The stories flourish with greenhorns, gringos and cattle driving cowboys. Usually set between about 1800 and 1890, the rugged hero or heroine always endures through any adversity.

Some of the most popular authors include Louis L’Amour, Zane Grey, and Elmer Kelton.

 Western Subgenres include:

Black Cowboy (buffalo soldier) and Civil War westerns.  Bounty Hunter stories of men chasing outlaws, and Cattle Drive westerns which are set during a frontier cattle drive, such as Larry McMurtry’s novel Lonesome Dove.

Cowpunk, these tales depict all sorts of bizarre happenings on the remote frontier with slight sci-fi slant. Eurowestern, Gunfighter, Indian wars such as James Fenimore Cooper’s 1826 novel The Last of the Mohicans.

Land Rush stories usually focus on the Oklahoma land rush. Lawmen (Texas Rangers) are about the honest lawmen who brought order and justice to the wild frontier. Mexican wars (Texan independence), Outlaw westerns, and yes, most of them wear black hats.

Railroad stories connect the east with the west and Range wars are stories where ranchers are pitted against the farmer. Romance is an overlapping subgenre, which features romance relationships in a ‘western’ novel. An excellent example of romance western is the anthology Give me a Texas Ranger by Jodi Thomas, Linda Broday, Phyliss Miranda and DeWanna Pace.

Wagon Train westerns tell the historical stories of the pioneers’ struggles on their transcontinental journey on the Oregon Trail.

Just remember “Every gun makes its own tune.” – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Rory C. Keel

TUMBLEWEEDS


TUMBLEWEEDS

By Sharon Stevens

 

Tonight I watch as tumbleweed after tumbleweed blows across my path. Hundreds, no thousands seemed to tear themselves away from their earthly home desperately seeking a place to grab onto. Sadly they only found themselves buried against barbed wire fences with countless others of their species. The wind continues to howl and moan around me, pounding and pelting me with grit and dirt every which way I turn.

My first thought was that the world was coming to an end, but I knew this wasn’t supposed to happen until Friday. What a relief to realize that until then I am apparently safe. My second thought is that with so much darkness and desperation I would have never been able to live during the “dirty thirties” of Ken Burn’s Dust Bowl days. And I very much doubt that I could have survived as a pioneer woman living in a dugout out on the desolate plains hundreds of miles away from any neighbor.

All other thoughts turned to the tumbleweeds themselves. Several years ago I read a Louis L’Amour story about a lonely widow out on the plains that would tie notes to tumbleweeds just to try to connect to another human being. She never knew if anyone would ever see her notes. It was enough that she could put her thoughts down into something tangible, and send them on their way. “Conagher” found one of these with the writing attached, and looked for more clues to try to find the writer.

So many people predict that books are on their last legs, believing that technology will take their place.  And we are faced with the belief of the Mayans predicting that the world will be destroyed on December 21, 2012. Just like the horrific tragedy in Connecticut there will always be those who seek to drain our dreams and extinguish our passion, destroying our way of life, along with everything we believe in. Personally I prefer to hold in my heart a future that includes all that is wonderful and passionate. My thoughts are that even if we…humankind…blast to eternity in a ball of fire our ashes will remain behind to be reconstituted at a later date. There is no doubt in my mind that the message will still be there, readable and clear for future generations to follow. Like the sweet cockroach in “Wall E” I think that tumbleweeds, as books will survive any holocaust.

As writers we have to write as though our thoughts and desires will continue to survive. If we believed that our stories would never reach outside the ideas we hold in our hearts, or if we fail to find our “spark” as in Natalie Bright’s blog post, then we should never begin in the first place.

So just in case the Mayan’s are correct I want to get my Wordsmith six blog out of this plastic computer box as soon as possible. Hopefully I can get it printed onto a medium even if it is something as simple as copy paper. I hope and pray from the very bottom of my heart and soul all my words can come alive again. I so want to be reassured that it will be there for others to share for the future. At that time, how wonderful would it be if whoever controls the universe, whether it is the Good Lord or any other Higher Power, that He will see fit to rebuild a world with Hanukah as well as Christmas, and tumbleweeds as well as books.

As God and John Wayne are my witness, I know the message will be perfectly clear.

Go West Young Man, Go West!


Go West Young Man, Go West!

“Not a hard man to track. Leaves dead men where ever he goes.” – Outlaw Josey Wales

The Western genre is defined by a specific time and place. Most are set west of the Missouri River from Mexico to the south and as far as Alaska to the north. The stories flourish with greenhorns, gringos and cattle driving cowboys. Usually set between about 1800 and 1890, the rugged hero or heroine always endures through any adversity.

Some of the most popular authors include Louis L’Amour, Zane Grey, and Elmer Kelton.

 Western Subgenres include:

Black Cowboy (buffalo soldier) and Civil War westerns.  Bounty Hunter stories of men chasing outlaws, and Cattle Drive westerns which are set during a frontier cattle drive, such as Larry McMurtry’s novel Lonesome Dove.

Cowpunk, these tales depict all sorts of bizarre happenings on the remote frontier with slight sci-fi slant. Eurowestern, Gunfighter, Indian wars such as James Fenimore Cooper’s 1826 novel The Last of the Mohicans.

Land Rush stories usually focus on the Oklahoma land rush. Lawmen (Texas Rangers) are about the honest lawmen who brought order and justice to the wild frontier. Mexican wars (Texan independence), Outlaw westerns, and yes, most of them wear black hats.

Railroad stories connect the east with the west and Range wars are stories where ranchers are pitted against the farmer. Romance is an overlapping subgenre, which features romance relationships in a ‘western’ novel. An excellent example of romance western is the anthology Give me a Texas Ranger by Jodi Thomas, Linda Broday, Phyliss Miranda and DeWanna Pace.

Wagon Train westerns tell the historical stories of the pioneers’ struggles on their transcontinental journey on the Oregon Trail.

Just remember “Every gun makes its own tune.” – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Rory C. Keel