My Work

Thursday, August 16, 2012

New Mystery Novel

I finally finished my latest genre specific novel, and have put together an outstanding query letter, and will be sending that out to potential publishers and agents over the next few weeks (Be Prepared, Oh Mighty Agents and Publishers).  It’s called “Blood of Many Nations” and my lead man should have been working in the 1930s as a hardboiled private dick, but is trapped in the 21st Century where he has to deal with such things as the Miranda rule, civil rights, and compassionate judges that re-write the constitution.  He doesn’t do well in these things, but he does solve the cases, and in his opinion, and his opinion is the only one that counts, that is the his sole job.  I named him Simon Sol Dorsey, and along with the novel, I have five Dorsey short stories that I am working to get published.

We don’t have the pleasure of the old pulp detective and mystery magazines anymore, and the market is very limited.  Mystery and Western novels sell well, but there is a very limited market today for Mystery and Western short stories.  I’ve been very lucky to get my western short stories published, in book form by Bottom of the Hill Publishing, and in  story form in Imitation Fruit and Rope and Wire, Internet magazines.

One of the stories in Rope and Wire featured a U.S. Marshal by the name of Jacob Chance that I called “Four Corners.”  It has been well received and my next big project is to create a Jacob Chance novel.  These projects pretty much keep me off the streets and out of saloons --- hey, maybe that isn’t the best thing here …

It took almost three years to write “Blood of Many Nations”, my little gem (those are my words), and I hope some day soon you will have a chance to get down to Sundance Books and buy a copy or nine.

In other news around the J-P Ranchette, we had a coyote visit the other morning.  Found him eyeing the chicken yard when I went out to feed.  I yelled at him, chased him off, threw a harmless rock at him, because that’s about all you can do.  Too many people around here, so I couldn’t shoot him.  Sure would have made a fine cape for my Mountain Man expeditions regalia.  With the rabbits and chickens we have, it’s amazing that we don’t have more of these little varmints running around.

Chickens, goat, and horses really don’t like this very hot weather we’ve been having.  Reminds me, I sent a photo off to a farm journal recently that shows my big Poco Rojo standing in the middle of a blizzard, covered in snow, with his warm, dry, open stall twenty feet behind him.  The caption reads, “You can lead a horse to water, but you sure as hell can’t make him drink.”  Haven’t heard back from the editor on that one yet.

That’s abut it for this time.  Have a great day, read good books, and stay regular.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ah, Politics!

When you’re sitting at your favorite watering hole, whether it’s a neighborhood dive or an elegant cocktail lounge, it’s best not to open discussions on politics or religion.  So, I guess I’ll break one more little rule.  While this blog is not designed to be a forum on politics, rather an opportunity for me to vent, rant, and promote, this year’s election campaigning screams for comment and commentary.

There have always been those that would rather be nasty than accurate during the election process, and often all sides carry the guilty flag, but it seems when names are not associated with accusations, the filth is rampant.  When PACs (Political Action Committees) put their advertising up, it is under a name that simply can’t be traced without help from James Bond, and these committees aren’t held responsible for what is said.  No one is.

That’s the rub, and while I am generally one of those people that condemn more and bigger government, this is a time for just a little more government.  My philosophy on new laws, new government intervention comes down to a simple question: is what’s being proposed really a function of government?  In this case, I feel the answer is a resounding yes.

Of course there is one very large problem with this.  Election law is written by those that have their jobs by way of elections, and elections today are more often won by those that have or spend the most money.  Ergo, election laws will always have major flaws benefiting the electee.

It would be easy at this point in this little tome to use the word naive, but just a few years ago if someone had told you that corporations should be treated as individuals, you probably would have scoffed.  And here come nine people, most often not referred to as being naive, that is, the Supreme Court of the United States, making that the law of the land, thus opening the door to unlimited spending by unknown people who cannot be held responsible for lies, distortions, or slander.

It’s taken us almost 250 years to get mired this deep in the slime of gutter politics.  The interesting part of the current situation is based, according to SCOTUS, on the First Amendment’s right to free speech, guaranteed by the constitution.  But that guarantee is to the citizens of the U.S., and international corporations are not citizens.  They can’t vote.  They don’t hold driver licenses.  They don’t hold Social Security cards.

At least, for those of us that take the time to read what the individual politicians have to say, and not be swayed by million dollar PACs, this election could prove to be pivotal in many respects.  It is more clear cut than in years past, partly due to the liberal wing of the democrat party and partly due to the Tea Party wing of the republican party.  In years past, liberals were led by Lyndon Johnson, the giant of arm twisting big, bigger, biggest government.  The conservatives were led by Ronald Reagan, leader of small, smaller, smallest government.

The art of politics has been tainted by religion and the rabid religious right has been trying for many years to forcefully take over the republican party.  It’s the influence of people like Ron Paul, and now Paul Ryan that is bringing more political philosophy to the table and less religion.  On the liberal side, those most considered liberal are hampered by many that are afraid of the label.  They want to be centrist.  Being centrist is what kept John McCain out of the White House.  It is not the best bet for either Mr. Obama or Mr. Romney.

Without the slime and slurry, these next few months need to be an open debate on the benefits of conservatism versus liberalism, a real political dog fight, in which the philosophy of big government is explained by one side, and the philosophy of small government is fought for by the other.  All four men, Obama, Biden, Romney, Ryan are excellent debaters, all four would hold their own in any forum, and that’s what needs to happen.  CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX and all the others need to shut the hell up and let the politicians have at it.

And the congress needs to take a long hard look at just who is a citizen of this country, individuals or corporations.  And the nine members of SCOTUS need to read the constitution, word for word for word.

Well, that’s it for this edition.  Read good books and stay regular.