Archive for November 2013
My sweet sister JoDee recently gave me a gift of my initials — RLC for Rebecca Carey Lyles, the pen name I use for fiction. What you see here are Reader’s Digest condensed books that open and are still readable. (Well, some of the words are readable…) She found those letters, and many more, in a Nevada gift store. But you can make them yourself. Here’s how one woman did it: http://artteajannell.blogspot.com/2013/01/cutting-book-letters.html
Pick up some used books at your local thrift store or library sale, get out your saw, and treat a writer to a unique Christmas gift he or she can enjoy every day. Book-cover letters are almost as good as seeing one’s name on the front cover of a book. Almost.
On another note, my first novel, Winds of Wyoming, is now available in audio format. Audible members can purchase it on Amazon for $1.99 or possibly even get it free. My other three books should be available as audio books early next year.
photo courtesy of http://www.freefoto.com/
More about fencing the West from “The Cowboy Way” by David McCumber:
“Before barbed wire, certain enterprising cattlemen would take to rounding up cattle earlier than everybody else, snagging every calf in sight. Joseph Kinsey Howard relates pioneer Montana stockman Granville Stuart’s tale of one such “sooner,” in 1880: ‘Near our home ranch we discovered one rancher whose cows invariably had twin calves and frequently triplets, while the other range cows in that vicinity were nearly all barren and would persist in hanging around this man’s corral, envying his cows their numerous children and bawling and lamenting their own childless state. This state of affairs continued until we were obliged to call around that way and threaten to hang the man if his cows had any more twins.’
“… Now, despite protests from animal-rights activists, branding remains the only legal way to establish ownership, and no other system seems likely to supplant it any time soon.”
“I’ve always thought that fences are to the West what a splinter is to your thumb: foreign, painful, unsightly and an unfortunate fact of life. Fences represent limit and compromise and the closing of the range, and therefore many cowboys hate them. When line riders, who rode the rough perimeter of a spread in the old days, became fence riders instead, trading in their six-guns for wire stretchers, it marked the true closing of the frontier, and what once seemed infinite in its possibility now became circumscribed and clearly defined. Fences didn’t solve the problem of wintering cattle; to the contrary, in bad storms stock would pile up against fences and become trapped in snowdrifts. But of course the possibilities had never been infinite, and too many cattle had left the once-lush sea of northern grass in ruins. At least fences put paid to the philosophy that there was plenty of grass for all, and they made each rancher’s grazing philosophy–and responsibilities–more evident. Since the 1880s, there have been disputes in Montana about ranchers fencing others away from public lands. Now, as access to wilderness shrinks and recreational pressure increases, many sportsmen find fences emblematic of the perceived tyranny of selfish landowners. Access issues will only get worse as the West gets more crowded.”
The author, who worked on a Montana ranch for one year to “take a measure of himself,” wrote in the next paragraph: “Despite my antipathy to fences and the dire warnings I had received, I was surprised to find that I love fixing fence.”