Saturday, May 13, 2023

A Busy Writing Week

 This has been a busy week of writing - Here is what kept me busy, edits on two finished books and two new essays in my soon-to-be-finished fourth book for seniors. Interesting that I’m working on a fourth, and one of the two books I am still editing is the third. Oh Boy!


Let’s See – I believe those three books will put me at 16. At my age (rather advanced), I still see 20 or so.


Hey Mr. Older Adult - Speaking of advanced years, Grammarly did not like me using the term old man as I edited my latest Blade Holmes western mystery. It suggested I use older adult or older man instead. I don’t know, but to me, it is not disrespectful or culturally inappropriate to use old man. I have always disliked the saying, “It is what it is,” but I’m 75 – an old man. It doesn’t hurt my feelings one bit. I am happy to be alive and in good health well (mostly) and an old man at three-quarters of a century.  


It feels so good to be back writing - I don’t want to belabor the point, but when I was unable to write due to health issues (see previous posts), it felt like a new beginning as I, once again, tapped away on my laptop.


Word Count – Page Count – An excellent week of writing and rewrites pushed me to almost 2,500 words, which is not bad for me. I also edited 60+ pages.


More on Word Count – I never wrote the number of words many writers do, but most years, I wrote and published over 200,000. Some writers go a million words a year – now that’s a lot of seat time. Because of my photography and gardening habits, ok, along with walking/hiking, jeeping, and watching the backyard birds, I'm one busy guy. 😊


Writing Quote of the Day – Every year, there’s a few more things I’m not sure of. I’ve decided that a wide-ranging uncertainty is the mark of the true maturity of man.”     Lawrence Block


That’s It for today - I will be back soon. Have a great day and a super week.


Today's Photos – Were all shot this week, one in our backyard and two in the Laramie Range west of town.


Tuesday, May 2, 2023

To say it has been a while since I last posted on this site would be quite an understatement. But, yes, it has been a while – nearly eight months and that is a long time for a blog I consider active.

Excuses – Excuses - Poor health and surgery behind me and yes, I am getting better and once again feeling nearly like my old self. And, I am writing again, quite a bit – several hundred words each day.

Working away - I am also doing my final edit on the third of my Blade Holmes western mysteries. This one has been in the works for years. At last, I may soon, or someday, get this one published. I am also on the final edit of my, senior reader (third in the series) Walking for health book. Along with those two, I am writing a fourth senior book – this one about growing up three-quarters of a century ago. As always, I have other projects – more toward the back burner going. These projects include some Wyoming History and maybe, another in my children’s book series. Who knows, I am feeling good again.

Today’s photos - from my walks last week.

Western quote of the day –

“For West is where we all plan to go someday. It is where you go when the land gives out and the old-field pines encroach. It is where you go when you get the letter saying: Flee, all is discovered. It is where you go when you look down at the blade in your hand and the blood on it. It is where you go when you are told that you are a bubble on the tide of empire. It is where you go when you hear that thar's gold in them-thar hills. It is where you go to grow up with the country. It is where you go to spend your old age. Or it is just where you go.”

Robert Penn Warren    -- All the King’s Men

That’s it for today. I will be back soon. Have a great day and a super week.


Friday, September 16, 2022

Oregon Trail Ruts - Guernsey Wyoming

Last week we took some friends up to show them the famous Trail Ruts south of Guernsey. We have been up there dozens of times over the years, and each time I am struck by how difficult those traveling days along the Oregon Trail must have been.  

The trail itself was remarkable as it tied together the east and the west of the United States. Travel along the trail was mostly peaceful. Most tribes along the way simply allowed people to pass along what they sometimes called the Great Medicine Road. Life for the people of the plains and foothills was difficult enough without starting battles with all the passers-through.

The North Platte River runs a quarter of a mile north of the ruts pictured above. Travel would have been much easier to simply roll along a few yards from the river. The problem was - the river was big, unpredictable, and moody. The ground was likely much too soft for the heavy wagons to travel. So - they ran higher along the ridge overlooking the river. Harder but safer.

Eating on the trail was mostly the three Bs, beans, biscuits, and bacon. Throw in some rice, coffee, and dried fruit, and that was about it. Many think that the travelers dinned on wild game along the way. Some did, others tried, and most realized that would be an iffy proposition at best. 

It would have been tough, but what an adventure.

If you live in or plan to visit Wyoming, make sure you plan a trip to the ruts south of Guernsey.  

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Writing In the Hot Days of Summer


I spent a fair amount of time writing this week – pretty good for me. I no longer set daily or weekly word count goals, but 3,000+ words is a decent week. Mostly I am cleaning up two finished yet unpublished books. I also found the time to work on a newer project I started a couple of months ago. That project stands at about 7,000 words, getting close to halfway. All of my Senior books fall between 18,000 and 25,000 words. All my senior books are nonfiction life lessons and lessons learned, filled with humor and ideas to make growing old easier. I like to keep these books short enough to read in a few hours. I keep them shorter because these books have extra room between lines and nice large print. Many of my senior readers prefer books to Ebooks, and I do not want them to be so large as to be unmanageable to older readers. My arthritic hands struggle with books over an inch and a half thick - good thing I like Ebooks.


Wendover, the third in my Blade Holmes western mysteries, is almost ready. I finished the book nearly two years ago but never liked the first chapter. At last, I believe I have figured out what it needs. If I like the results – out to my first reader, and we will see.


Final Note

We watched the mini-series Dark Winds this week and loved it. (Prime TV) This series is based on the great Tony Hillerman's novels and is well worth watching. Terrific story and acting. I have read all of Hillerman's works, most more than once. If you love westerns, he is a must-read.

Meanwhile, Keep on reading, and for you writers – keep on writing.



Today's photos are from one of my favorite places – the Castle on the North Bluff at Guernsey State Park. 



Friday, August 5, 2022

Writing and Walking Into August

 I am back to taking my morning walks. They are shorter than last year, but, hey, for an old duffer like me, a couple of miles each morning is pretty good. It is nice to watch nature again as I walk in the country. Also nice to be able to take some photos from places other than through the open window of my Jeep.

My writing is starting to look up. By that, I mean pick up. I am back to working/rewriting mostly two projects I last worked on in February. This blog might start looking like my old writing site again if that happens. Hopefully, I will post more next time with lots of good news on my works-in-progress.

Today's photos – Are from this week's morning walks.

Wyoming History -  Two sites near our little town of Guernsey, Wyoming, are renowned Palio-Indian dig sites. One at Hell Gap has been an ongoing dig for years. The other in the old mining town of Sunrise, is newer but very active and now with a claim to fame as finding the oldest signs of habitation by humans in the Americas. Exciting times for history lovers.

Another Note –  (or as Columbo used to say – "Just one more thing.”)    My typing skills have diminished quite a bit since my bout with covid. The problem is that I have lost much of the feeling in my fingertips. A bit disconcerting unless I look at my fingers and the screen a little more often. Feels like it's 1964, and I am back in typing class. 

Friday, July 22, 2022

I'm Back and Hopeful

It has been four months since I last posted on this site. Long-Covid is not something I want to go through again, and I don’t wish it on anyone else. Actually, I am still suffering from fatigue and tingling numbness in my hands and feet. I started my morning walks again this week – the first since February. The walks feel good but are about half the distance I was accustomed to. I need much more rest afterward than pre-covid and have to take off a day out of every four or five.


My writing has been mostly nonexistent. Along with writing, my photography has been put on a hiatus. I do not yet have the energy to get out with any of my cameras. I have managed about 600 words over the past ten days and have taken 150 or so shots with my cameras.

 But, life goes on, and slowly and gradually, my life is starting to feel more normal.

Today’s photos - are from a trip around my backyard yesterday.

Wyoming History -  Thanks once again for Patrick Holscher’s excellent book – On This Day In Wyoming History. I am reminded of this.

On July 21, 1987, the most powerful tornado to ever hit Wyoming struck Yellowstone Park destroying over 15,00 acres of forest.

Wyoming Trivia Question of the day

What U.S President signed the bill establishing Yellowstone National Park  - Answer under the photo.

Ulysses S. Grant, our 18th President

Monday, March 21, 2022

GOAT – Writers & Books

 GOAT – Writers & Books

I often see lists, lots of lists. Most are a top ten or bottom ten of something. America's ten best or ten worst fast food items or places. The best football or basketball player of all time. The greatest writer or book of all time. Fortunately, all of these lists are fantasy. Can we compare Mickey Mantle to Babe Ruth or players in modern-day – different times and circumstances?

One of my favorites (favorites to be irritated by) is the ranking of Presidents of the United States by IQ. These are often drawn up by someone pushing a particular political party. And what IQ test did all of them take?

Lately, we have invented the acronym GOAT, or greatest of all time. Who knows? You get the point: Tom Brady, Michael Jordan, John Lennon, Joan of Arc, Catherine II., Shakespeare, Hemmingway, Twain.

But, what we can do is say who our favorites are, and here are a few of the writers that got me started reading westerns, and to this day, I still love reading and writing them.  

1. Elmer Kelton – I have read almost all of his westerns. Not sure I may have read them all. My two favorites – The Time It Never Rained and The Good Old Boys

2. Louis L'Amour – Some love him, others can't stand him. Some of his books seem a bit formulaic and flat, but others are some of my favorites. The Quick and the Dead, Hondo,  and Silver Canyon are favorites of mine. L'Amour sold over 200 million books, and they are still selling, leading me to believe there must be a lot of good reads among his works.

3. William W Johnstone – Johnstone wrote in many genres, but I have read only his westerns. I enjoyed his early works, with Preacher and Smoke Jensen, two of my all-time favorite fictional characters. The Last Mountain Man is my favorite of all the mountain men books I have read.

4. James Michener – Not everyone considers Michener a western writer, but he is one of the best to me. Centennial might be my favorite piece of fiction, and his novels Alaska and Journey are beautiful reads.  

5. Noel Gerson – This might seem an odd pick as Gerson wrote under nine different pseudonyms, including Donald Clayton Porter (the White Indian Series) and Dana Fuller Ross (The Wagons West series. When I read those two series many years ago, they were most enjoyable. The Wagons West series was continued by another terrific writer James Reasoner.


There you have it. A few writers and books to add to your reading list.

Here is a link to my books on Amazon – take a look and enjoy!

Keep on reading and keep on writing.

Photos – From our recent trip to warmer weather. 😊