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THE COWBOY WAY

The Riders in the Sky (cowboy singers) have a saying: You can do it the Easy Way or the Cowboy Way. When I was 5, I attended my first concert—Gene Autry and band. I have been a cowboy at heart ever since. By World War 2, Gene had it made, he was a singing star and a movie star. He surrendered his movie/recording contract and joined the army. Hey, it was the Cowboy Way. At that time, he was billed as the King of the Cowboys. He is still my hero. I plan to write about cowboys. It will not be easy, but it will be the Cowboy Way.

 

Here are Gene’s rules from his many movies (they were far ahead of their time):

 

Gene Autry’s Cowboy Code

  1. The Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage.
  2. He must never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him.
  3. He must always tell the truth.
  4. He must be gentle with children, the elderly, and animals.
  5. He must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.
  6. He must help people in distress.
  7. He must be a good worker.
  8. He must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action, and personal habits.
  9. He must respect women, parents, and his nation’s laws.
  10. The Cowboy is a patriot

Laws of Thermodynamics for writers (I am a writer, not a physicist)

 

First Law of Thermodynamics is basically the Law of Conservation of Energy.

What does this mean for writers? To keep the energy level up, add energy to the story. Ramp the tension up or your story will fall flat!

 

Second Law of Thermodynamics is Entropy: For us layman, this is the tendency for matter to go from an organized state to an disorganized state.

What does this mean for writers? For me, it means that once I begin a story, I must work to make sure the plot doesn’t descend into chaotic entropy.

 

Third Law of Thermodynamics: As temperature approaches absolute zero, the entropy of a system approaches a minimum.

What does this mean for writers? If my writing gets dull and predictable, my story gets cold and lifeless. I risk putting my readers to sleep.

 

What about writers who care nothing about physics?

Some things that slow your story down and increase entropy: Unnecessary backstory. Info dumps. Diverting away from the plots. Dialogue that does not further the story.

Positive things you can do: Begin chapters with a hook, capture the reader’s interest. End chapters either with a cliff hanger or a tease to make the reader turn to the next chapter. Use strong verbs to convey action.

Use these ideas as you see fit. This is just my humble opinion. Until we meet again, happy writing to you.

old rundown house about to fall down

SLITHERING!

The sequel to Snakes on a Plane: Snakes on a library!

The Georgetown Library (Washington, DC.) closed Saturday after 4 live snakes & 1 dead snake were found in the stacks. I did not know that snakes could read. (Perhaps they were angry because the librarians would not let them check out books) Would I make something like this up? Yes, but read it for yourself. (they were garter snakes—not poisonous)

https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/snakes-stacks-put-dc-library-briefly-circulation-57103712

Pa-puck-puck-PUCK

Now I have seen everything department: I found an article about a woman who has a business selling chicken diapers. She says she sells diapers all over the country. To whom? Chicken farmers? Do people keep chickens as pets? And who changes the diapers? Not this ol’ boy. Get your chicken diapers while you can—there may be a shortage. To prove that I have not hit the bourbon recently and that I am somewhat sane, I have provided a link.

https://theoutline.com/post/5608/bury-me-in-chicken-diapers?zd=1&zi=s52xfqkr

 

On August 7, 1782 General George Washington awarded the Badge of Military Merit to 3 Revolutionary War soldiers. It is now known as the Purple Heart. Over 1.8 million wounded or killed military men & women have received this award.

Here is a partial list of my family that were either wounded or killed in war:

A great-great-great Uncle, William Sudduth, died at the Battle of Raisin River, War of 1812.

My great-great grandfather, Lucilious Pate, came home in 1865 to find out that his younger brother, Wesley, had drowned when an army steamboat caught fire, & another brother, James, had died in battle.

My great-grandfather, Thomas Gillenwaters, came home in 1865 from the Union Army, his father dead, his family starving, & a brother whose name I cannot recall had died in battle.

My great-great grandfather, Samuel Anderson, made it home it 1865 from the Union Army, but his health & lungs were ruined.

Clarence Dean, an uncle, woke up in 1945 in a European battlefield morgue. He died in his 90’s but would never talk about it.

James Fugit, an uncle, fought with Patton, had his legs crushed in Germany in 1945. Doctors told him he would never walk, but 6 months later, he walked out of a military hospital & lived another 60 years.

My list is not complete, but these men should not be forgotten.

Even worse than JAWS, PAWS are on the rampage. Giant, aquatic carnivorous bunnies are on the prowl. Keep away from all lakes & streams. If you spot them, do NOT approach them! Instead, notify the Department of Homeland Insecurity. Then run for your life! As proof, I have provided grisly photos of PAWS in action. (if you are squeamish, don’t look)

I live near the Ohio River, but I have relocated to an underground bunker until the menace has been subdued.

Today is Lammas—August 1, Loaf Day, a celebration of the wheat harvest. Lord means loaf guard, and lady means loaf-kneader. A loaf of Lammas bread is said to have magic properties to guard a barn. So, go out and cook that loaf—keep your barn safe!

The Gaelic peoples called it Lughnasa, after the Sun God. It too was a harvest festival situated between the Summer Solstice and the Fall Equinox. They celebrated with blueberries & fairs & dancing. Party on!

Greek God Hephaestus

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