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. 😊



Monday, March 14, 2022

A Time to Regroup

 Two weeks of Covid, a week or more of recovery, and then what we felt like was a well-deserved vacation. And that, my friends and readers, is what we have been up to lately.

I didn't get much writing done during the past month. It seems I spent two weeks sleeping or trying to, and then two weeks regaining my strength and enjoying a trip through New Mexico and Arizona. 

The Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe, New Mexico

I did see sites and hear some stories that could find their way into my writing at some time in the future. I wanted to spend time hiking, photographing, and experiencing the desert near Tucson.

Flicker on a Saguaro Cactus

It was all we hoped it would be – loved it. 

We spent several terrific days hiking in Saguaro National Park

Sometimes taking time away is a good thing – I hope that is my case.


A man working the river in the Gila Wilderness New Mexico

"It is a good thing for everyone who can possibly do so to get away at least once a year for a change of scene. I do not want to get into the position of not being able to see the forest because of the thickness of the trees."    Franklin Roosevelt