Western Short Stories – What A Ride

I cannot say how terrific it feels to see my book of Christmas short stories is still selling. Although the stories are set around Christmas, they are stories for any time of the year. The short tales are more of love, hope, relationships and most of all, the west.

The book did well before Christmas and is still going strong, selling a few copies, now, nearly every day. I often get notes on blog posts or by email about my books, and occasionally by mail. Recently I received a most heartwarming note about this book. It was so appreciated, as all of us that write hope that we are making a difference in our readers day, if nothing else, but to bring a bit more pleasure and happiness into someone’s life.

Take a look here, you can read the entire first story for free. Now that’s a good deal.

Interested in westerns? Read my western writing blog posts here – http://confessionsofawriterofwesterns.blogspot.com

Reading Through the Boring Stuff

I often pick up a book I think will be a great read then find it gets off to a slow start. At times I will keep reading with hopes the story will get better.  Sometimes I will put the book away for another day and never pick it up again. I have liked several of Elmore Leonard’s books over the years and have always been a fan of his 10 Rules for good Writing, especially his last one – “Leave out the parts readers tend to skip.”

As you may have guessed by now, I started an Elmore Leonard book and found most of the first chapter boring, went to the second, and then skipped ahead to see when a good Elmore Leonard story would break out. One last thought on this, what is boring and what is not, is up to the reader, other readers may find fascinating what I find boring. The old, “In the eye of the beholder,” thing.

Although Jack Kerouac is considered a genius by some writers and readers, others find him a bit too mystical to understand, count me as one of the latter. I do find much of what he wrote entertaining, just a little hard to understand such as – “It ain’t watcha write, it’s the way atcha write it.” I get it but am not sure it deserves an A+ for great use of the English language.

When I read the above, I may have said, “hummmm,” then scratched my head.

Meanwhile keep on reading and keep on writing.

Writing – 2016

Christmas is over, and now we are counting down to the New Year. Each year I make a few resolutions, and each year they seem to go quickly by the wayside. Last year I decided, for the first time, to keep track of how many words I wrote and published. I did it, but am not sure I will keep track this year, seemed to put too much pressure on me, and I started worrying about the days I didn’t write. Sometimes that causes a bit, or a whole bunch of bad writing, not worth saving. (Oh, for the record, I wrote a tad less than a quarter of a million words this year. Quite a bit for me but partly because I wrote a lot recently, trying to finish up last year’s goals)

This year my goals are simple – 2017

  1. Publish the third of my kid’s books – This book is finished but is yet to have a cover. I am sure to get this one out. The first two of the Mike, Moose, and Me series were fun and sold a good number of copies, I hope this one does as well.
  2. Publish the second, in what I hope will be a series of five, western mysteries, with Marshall Blade Holmes as the protagonist. This one is 90% written, but has some things I need to clean up. Then editing.
  3. Finish my modern day mystery, set in a Wyoming small town with murder on a golf course. This is to be a novella, and I am about the halfway Fun, especially for golfers and mystery lovers. (still in the western genre)
  4. Publish a book for gardeners, yep gardeners. This one started on a whim and now is about 2/3 complete. Gardening tips in the western high country with every fourth chapter a murder mystery.
  5. Continue research and writing of my second nonfiction book. I hope to add another 20,000 words to this one before the years is out.
  6. Keep on blogging, for the past few years I have written more than 100 blog posts each year, twice over 200, this year about 10-12 each month on my various blogs should do.

2016 – This year I published one book and one short story. I also ran a five-day reduced price, promotion on my Christmas book, which was well received. I also did a giveaway of a short story, that story is still doing well, selling for .99 cents. My newest book, Ghost of the Fawn, has enjoyed a good run on Amazon, staying in the top 200 for several weeks.

Will I Make This Year’s Goals? – Maybe I will do more than my stated resolutions in the New Year, I hope not to do less, it often depends on our travel and my love of photography and golf. Several things I am sure of. I will run a couple more promotions for my books, I will take lots of photos, I will write and edit, and put some time in at far away, but not too far, destinations.

See all of my books and my Amazon author site by clicking the link    https://www.amazon.com/Neil-Waring/e/B00XV26KLC

Published in: on December 28, 2016 at 2:38 am  Leave a Comment  
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Modern Day Western

Just finished reading, Cormac McCarthy’s, No Country for Old Men, I liked the story line, and have always enjoyed, so called, modern day western’s. The trouble I had with this book, and one other of his that I have read, is trying to figure out where dialog starts and ends, or story narration is taking place. Part of the way down each page I would figure it out and then often start that page over. But somewhere along the ling I realized I could not put it down—I really liked the story, and now I want to read another of his works. Good book, but beware of the lack of punctuation.

Published in: on January 8, 2011 at 3:21 am  Leave a Comment  
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Western Movies

In just a few days the new version of True Grit opens. Will it be a winner or just another western that today’s audiences don’t like? Fifty years ago nearly everything on Television was some kind of western series and many feature films were westerns. Did too much cowboy time on TV kill the western? Twenty-nine series westerns in 1959 –Over exposure, maybe! And maybe that is what killed the big budget westerns on the silver screen. There have been some exceptions but for the most part westerns, of today, are marginal hits at best.

Maybe westerns don’t lend themselves to enough special effects and big screen tricks to keep today’s young viewers in their seats.

Or likely we oldsters don’t go to the theater enough.

Just for fun here is a list of my favorite westerns (some well know some a little more obscure) – not in order just my top 15.

What are your favorites?

       Here is mine.

  1. Open Range

  2. 3-10 to Yuma

  3. The outlaw Josie Wales

  4. Winchester 73

  5. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

  6. The Shadow Riders

  7. Last of the Dogmen

  8. Jeremiah Johnson

  9. Dances With Wolves

10.  Stage Coach

11.  Unforgiven

12.  The Good the Bad and the Ugly

13.  Rio Bravo

14.  Treasure of the Sierra Madre

15.  Ride the High Country

Lauran Paine

Every few years a new list of greatest of all time for something comes out. Westerns are no different with a little research I was able to find, greatest western novels, greatest western short stories, TV series, mini-series and movies.
Never have I read a list of the most prolific authors. I have one particular author that I really enjoy, William W. Johnstone, who wrote what I felt was a great mountain man series. He wrote in several genres, but mostly westerns. He was published for only about twenty-five years but managed to write and impressive two-hundred books.

But that does not come close to Lauran Paine the author of Open Range Men, a novel later made into the movie “Open Range”. If you have never heard of him, how about these writers all pseudonyms for Lauran Paine: John Armour, Reg Batchelor, Kenneth Bedford, Frank Bosworth, Mark Carrel, Robert Clarke, Richard Dana, J F Drexler, Troy Howard, Jared Ingersol, John Kilgore, Hunter Liggett, J K Lucas, John Morgan.
Lauran Bosworth Paine was born February 25, 1916 in Minnesota and has written more than 900 books.

–WOW-

Have you read anything by him?

Published in: on December 12, 2010 at 7:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Wyoming in Summer

Second night in a row I am setting out on the patio enjoying another beautiful Wyoming evening. We pay for it when winter comes but summers are spectacular.  Seventy-one degrees, southwest breeze and 27 percent humidity can’t beat it. Last night we sat outside until ten-thirty, put the blankets over us about nine. Temperature went down to 48 last night but back around 80 today.

Published in: on August 12, 2010 at 1:54 am  Leave a Comment  
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Been on a short break.

When the going got tough I went on vacation. Ten states and a great time, lots of fine people and good times. Much history to see in America. I have been reading and researching most of the summer -oh- and working in the garden and playing with my grandson, he’s five and we act about the same. (According to grandma)

Hope all of you are having a great summer, I am.

Back to work for this old teacher in a few weeks–my 41st year in the classroom. For those of you who were not with me on the old blogs I teach history of Wyoming and the American West, and AP European history. I teach high school but taught college Western American History for many years also. Other than the west I have interest and have published some works on the WPA and the CCC.

I will try to get back to posting at least once a week. Will be posting one of my short fiction works soon.

Remember — don’t put a cartridge under the hammer, five should do the job.

Published in: on July 23, 2010 at 4:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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Here I am again – must be working too much

Okay, Okay I know, I have been AWOL for a few days, all right, weeks. I am working on a revision and it seems to be taking too much time.
But on a lighter note we got two inches of snow here in Wyoming – yesterday. I will be back soon, stay tuned.
-N-

Published in: on May 26, 2010 at 2:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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A New Western Mystery

Sorry I have been away so long.

I have spent most of my free time the last three weeks trying to put the finishing touches on a western novel. It is complete at a little over 70,000 words. The protagonist is a cowboy, sometimes gambler sometime lawman still trying to figure out who he really is. He rides a great horse and is better with knives and guns that just about anyone who ever lived. A dime novel hero in the making, trouble is he can’t make a commitment, not to anything. Not to the love of his life not to a job not to a place to put down roots. A modern day wanderer in the 1880’s who is befriended by a legendary mountain man works with an aging civil war hero and meets a mystical preacher along the way.

 I call it a western mystery and I think it is pretty good. I have published some shorter stuff in the past and am pretty confident that I will be able to sell it – but we will see,

I have two other novels ready for review and rewrite, a modern day western mystery and a nonfiction book.  I find writing and researching stimulating, rewriting and revising boring and hard work.

Published in: on April 10, 2010 at 2:42 am  Leave a Comment  
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