Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Inhabiting the West

Virtual Stagecoach for my Western Mysteries Blog Tour
This is the final dusty stop on my blog tour to promote my new “Dime Novel”, The Case of the Deadly Desperados. It has been quite a journey but I have enjoyed it.

The first stop on my tour was a big ole Hay Festival. I did not see many Bales of Hay but I saw some International Personalities & also a passel of Authors of Dime Novels. I must have got some of that there “Hay Fever” because I shared some special secrets about my own Dime Novel. Yup, I told them all about Reading People & Writing Character.

The next day my Virtual Stagecoach took me to Bart’s. Bart’s Bookshelf, that is. It was kind of dark in there but that Darren made me & my Driver feel real welcome. We sat by the cosy fireplace sipping whiskey while I described some places I had visited to help me Write about the West.

Day Three was bully. I had been riding beside Douglas, the driver of my Virtual Stagecoach. I hopped down & I strode into the Book Bag (is it a Saddlery?) & announced my Fave Five Western Movies for Kids, and also my 5 for Adults, too. Nobody took a bullwhip to me, and the two lady proprietresses said I had “great taste” so I guess they liked my choices.

On Saturday June 4th, Douglas drove me over to the Book Zone Saloon. It was mighty dark in there, too, but as our eyes adjusted we saw lots of Child Detectives including my three Favorites. One is called “Nancy”, one is from London & one is a mite strange. The proprietor was real friendly. He was also called Darren. I suppose I will have to put a Saloon-keeper called “Darren” into my next Dime Novel...

There was no Sabbath Rest on Day Five. Our stagecoach made 12 Heroic Stops. Still, it was worth it to talk about Story Structure over at Miss Becky “Bookette” Scott’s Lending Library. Miss Becky is real cheerful & she liked my book a lot. I blush to say she called it “genius”. Aw, shucks.

On the sixth day of my trip I visited a retired Schoolmarm in a town called Serendipity. She wants to write them Dime Novels, too. I told her my 5 Favorite Places to Write. Miss Viv liked my books so much that she rushed out to the local stationer & bought a passel of ’em. Not my Dime Novel, I hasten to add. My Writers’ Notebooks.

Monday the 7th was my seventh stop and I was glad to wet my gullet at the Fiction Thirst Saloon. The proprietor Rhys was only about 15 or maybe 16 yrs old. So we drank sarsaparilla instead of whiskey. I reminisced about my childhood and I told him about The First Gunslingers I Ever Met, back in the days when things were still in black & white. One of them dressed All in Black & one of them wore Trowsers so Tight they Split & one of them was a Master of Disguise.

Well, by Day 8 I was getting tuckered out. So I stopped by Miss Jenny's Wondrous Place. It was all done up in purple velvet with stars on the roof and real pretty gals there, especially the proprietress, Jenny. I didn’t want to inquire too closely as to what sort of an establishment it was – some of those gals had real pale skin and sharp teeth – so I tried to distract them with Some Music. Some of their gentlemen and lady callers seemed to like my choice of songs.

There followed another day of relaxification - Day 9 - over at Angel's Boarding House. Funny, but that place was kind of purple, too, but with leaves this time, not stars. And here is the strange thing: I told Miss Emma AKA "Angel" about my Favorite Inspirational Music and she showed me pictures on the walls that seemed to move & play the very songs I had been describing! I guess she is some kind of Magician or maybe one of them Spiritualists.

Day Ten. After my two restful purple days, we stopped by Sheriff Karen’s Eurocrime Jail to bail out My Favourite Character from the old West. He is now riding along with us. He has 5 Christian names & 1 Silver Tooth. He wears his gun around his neck but uses belt AND braces to hold his pants up. And he just ate the cheroot I offered him. My stagecoach driver Douglas says he “stinks like a pig”, but I kind of like him. I wonder if you can guess who he is?

My "Dime Novel"
The rains came on Day 11 of our journey so that little beads of water dotted the window of Mr. Ripley’s Enchanted Books & Elixir Wagon. I told him How We Chose the Cover for my Dime Novel. He seemed pleased and said he kind of preferred the version we didn’t use. My feelings weren’t hurt none. I just hope that won’t stop him from reading it.

Miss “Book Maven” Mary runs a respectable joint. I stopped in there on Day 12. I was expecting tea in china cups, but she gave me whiskey & a plug of tobacco! Once I recovered from this shock, I told her why I am now spending more time in the Wild West than in Ancient Rome, even though I can talk Greek & Latin & some of them other Dead Languages. Miss Mary writes some mighty exciting books, too. Like a book about a young man who posed in not even his union suit for that there Italian statue called David.

My next stop was at the claim of an Old Timer name of Mr. Scottish Book Trust. They call him “Scotty” for short. I waited a while at the mouth of his tunnel & then who should appear but his daughter! I pulled Seven of my Best Writing Tips out of my Carpet Bag and traded them for a few "feet" of her mine. Heather seemed pleased with the trade, so my 13th stop turned out to be a lucky one.

Well, the end of my trail has now hove into sight. For my last stop, my stagecoach driver Douglas has said why don’t I give a lecture on “Inhabiting the West”.

I guess all those things I have been talking about over the past two weeks help me to “inhabit the west”. I talk to people & hear their stories. I listen to music & study maps & look at some of those stereoscopic photographs. And I walk around a lot, daydreaming. I reckon the best way to inhabit the west is to go there – not Virtual but Real-like – and breathe in that Sagebrush-scented Atmosphere & look at that Big Sky & maybe Ride a Horse. But if you can’t afford the fare, then the next best thing is to Read a Book.

"Douglas" (left) with Caroline
So as an added Extra Bonus I am going to tell you my Five Favorite Books for transporting you to the West, especially if You are a Kid. I am going to telegraph those choices to Prospector Zac in a place called Christ Church in New Zealand because it is too far for Douglas my Stagecoach Driver to take me and our horses might get damp. But I will also post them tomorrow on my own Notice Board.

I would like to say a big THANK YOU to all those people who hosted me on my Western Mysteries Blog Tour and especially to my stalwart Stagecoach Driver, Douglas. Nina Douglas, that is. Yes, Douglas is a Girl. (above)

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