Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Reading the Old Writers

Reading is easy, writing, not so much. My reading is forever getting in the way of my writing. That and research, research gets in the way also. I keep plugging along, reading, writing and enjoying life.

Recently I have enjoyed some, well known in their day, writers. Writers whose names may not ring a bell with modern readers, but writers I found most entertaining. The first is an English writer, although he moved and wrote for years in the United States, Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse - P. G. Wodehouse. He wrote great stories with a lot of good humor. Wodehouse created two iconic characters, Reginald Jeeves, the wise valet and the man he worked for, London Lawyer, Bertie Wooster. Jeeves and Wooster are two of the longest running characters in fiction, lasting 59 years in various Wodehouse novels and short stories. These books are not westerns, not even close, but fun, fantastic reads.

A second author and one I have recently discovered is B. M Bower. B. M. for, Bertha Muzzy, was the first American women to make a big splash writing westerns. Because, both she and her publisher feared no one would read western fiction by a female, she used her initials. I am sure with the first name of Bertha, it would have given her away as a woman and as her publisher feared, drive away readers. I just finished her, Cabin Fever, an enjoyable read about two, thrown together men, searching for gold in the early days of the automobile. It is more a story of lost love and relationships than an old fashioned western. The story features no six-guns and no real action, but it still works. Not sure why.
B. M. Bower

A third writer I have enjoyed this winter is a continuation of my reading of a real old timer, James Fenimore Cooper, and his, Leatherstocking Tales. I have just started reading the fourth of these stories, The Pioneers. Can’t say that I love his writing, it seems too old-fashioned for me, but the stories are good, but I can’t read many pages at any one sitting.  If we can believe the story, Cooper became a writer after telling his wife he could write a better book than the one she was reading – and dare I say, the rest is history.

Tonight, no reading, yet, the night is still young. I’m watching my Wyoming Cowboys basketball team play Nevada as I write this. This week I went back to work, well for two and a half days anyway. Talk about slowing down my reading and writing. 
I did take the time for a quick drive in Guernsey State Park late this afternoon

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