More Adjusting

Part of my routine is blogging every morning. That routine got thrown off during my trip to London. It just wasn’t possible. Then I came home and was faced with an immediate deadline and heavy ‘day job’ work schedule, including a late-night gig last night. If that wasn’t enough, my laptop caught some sort of virus, a virus that prevented me from using the Internet. The evil invader wouldn’t allow me to go on-line! Torture for me, but even worse for Steve because he’s the one who spent hours over the last four days trying to pinpoint and obliterate that evil, evil virus. This morning I have access once again, but something’s still not quite right. I curse the person who created the pop-up adware what-ever-the-heck-it-is virus that has compromised my computer and daily routine as well as four days of Steve’s life that he’ll never get back. Have these people nothing better to do with their time? If I had that kind of computer knowledge I’d try to do something constructive.

Just had to get that off of my chest.

Carrying on with my Period of Adjustment theme, I find that it is a phrase that pertains to several factions of my life. With the first book and the synopsis for the second book delivered to Harlequin HQN, I am now free to put all of my creative focus on my next book due to Medallion Press. Let’s not linger on the fact that I now only have four months to write it. I’ve decided to ignore that frightening reality. More present in my mind is the fact that this book, ROMANCING THE WEST, is a historical western – strict third person, romance. THE CHAMELEON CHRONICLES is contemporary—majority first person, mainstream with strong romantic elements. Two different time periods. Two different POV approaches. My quirky voice is the same in both sub-genres as is the tone—romantic comedy with a twist of suspense, so at least I’m not vaulting from a deep, dark place to the Land of Oz. That’s something.

Still, I do need to adjust my mindset. I need to think, breathe and live as they did in 1878 – American Wild West. It’s a whole different world, including the language. I have shelves of research books on the American West, including several slang books that help with the ‘language’ of the period. I’ll rely heavily on those as I write, but just now, I want to immerse myself in the era via pleasure reads and movies. I recently re-watched Tombstone, Silverado, and Open Range. Excellent movies. Great inspiration. Currently I’m reading (for pleasure and work) Larry McMurtry’s ‘Anything For Billy’ (mainstream historical western) and Linda Lael Miller’s ‘High Country Bride’ (historical western romance). Both reads are entertaining and engrossing. I’m totally transported and inspired, and jonesing for more great Wild West flicks and novels. Any suggestions?


ElsieHogarth said…
I'm really "old school" when it comes to Westerns. I loved Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Terence Hill, The Duke, Clint Eastwood etc. Especially in movies like: Trinity, A Fistfull of Dollars, the Magnificient 7, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly(all time favorite), Rio Bravo, 7 Brides for 7 Brothers, Oklahoma etc. In Silverado, I just loved Kevin Costner and with Tombstone, I fell more in love with Val Kilmer. Great movies. Now, I will pull some of the classics out to see too.
Roni said…
my husband has been watching the DVD of the first season of Gunsmoke (A favorite show of his) and syas it's great. You might want to try it.
FeyRhi said…
While I can't say I am a big fan of western movies there are 2 I have enjoyed...That is if you can call "Blazing Saddles" a true western *G*

I do love "7 brides for 7 brothers"! Although it's been years since the last time I saw it. LOL, now I'm going to have to go down to the video store and see if they have it *G*
Beth Ciotta said…
Elsie, any Clint Eastwood western gets my thumbs up. Also big fan of Magnificent Seven. Recently saw John Wayne movie called 'Hondo' that was excellent. And, yes, Val Kilmer as Doc Holiday... awesome.

Roni, I gre up watching Gunsmoke, Bonanza, and the Virginian. Classic TV westerns. I was also a huge fan of Robert Conrad as James West in The wild Wild West. Remember that one?

FeyRhi... of course Blazing Saddles counts! Love that movie. Now... Seven Brides fro Seven Brothers, that's one I haven't seen in eons. Net Flix here I come.
Beth Ciotta said…
Gads. Nice typos on my end. Sorry gang.
Brooks said…
You can't go wrong with the Zane Gray classics. He wrote enough material on the wild west to keep you reading for a long time. Remember "Riders of the Purple Sage"; "Code of the West", etc.?

And then there is Louis L'Amour! HONDO, TAGGART, FLINT, SHALAKO, CATLOW, HOW THE WEST WAS WON ...too many to mention.

Many of these were made into films. Have Fun!
Jordan Summers said…
Dances with Wolves.
Cyn said…
I loved Tombstone, Silverado, and Dances with Wolves. Own them all. :-) I also liked The Quick & The Dead with Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman, and Leo DiC.

Any Larry McMurtry, but you are already reading him. Who else could write the line, "We don't rent pigs" ... Brooks had some great suggestions too.

Of course, any Clint Eastwood movie as you said. The Outlaw Josie Wales. Yeah.
Sam said…
Blazing Saddles.

Just had to add that one.

Anna Lucia said…
You have Tombstone? I really, really need to get that DVD... if only for Val Kilmer's performance. I'm not a huge fan of all his work, but that particular characterisation was supreme!

Glad that one wasn't another of my wierd fascinations.... other people get that, too! Yay!
Beth Ciotta said…
Wow. I forgot about some of these movies, and some I've never seen. So you all have given me much to keep me busy. Brooks, I'll be checking out that website. Thank you!

Anna, Val Kilmer was awesome in Tombstone. What was that line? "I'm your huckleberry." Something like that. I can hear his lazy accent. ;)
jamie ford said…
If you want old school, check out Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch.

As far as the non-Eastwood classics, it's one of the best and most critically acclaimed.

If you want something light. Paint Your Wagon is fun. Clint Eastwood sing!

Also you might check out Virginia City and Nevada City (Montana) on the web. Both are preserved ghost towns. Part of Lonesome Dove was shot there.

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