MichaelConnelly.com Message Board
Sign up Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment   Page 5 of 5     «   Prev   2   3   4   5
Keys

Registered:
Posts: 2,047
Reply with quote  #101 
Yes, I do ...  I watch on Netflix  ...
__________________
..................................          


What's the difference between a cat and a comma ? One has claws at the end of its paws and one is a pause at the end of a clause ...
cc_in_oh

Registered:
Posts: 23
Reply with quote  #102 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Betty
I don't have Netflix so I have to wait for the DVDs. We get them at the library (actually, I beg the Director to order them). I am caught up to season five. 



Same here - I'm next on the hold list for S5. Probably late 2018 for S6 - Netflix is usually slow with DVD releases. Fortunately my library is getting tons of recently released Acorn series to keep me busy...
Keys

Registered:
Posts: 2,047
Reply with quote  #103 
Post-It: You Gotta Get Behind the Mule
 
“I don’t know if you’re gonna make it.” Standing there at the Bright Angel Lodge of Grand Canyon fame, Lillian, the Havasupai Indian at the counter, looked me up and down like a carnival barker estimating my weight. “You’re kind of tall.”
               It had all started more than a year ago when I’d announced that we were going to the Grand Canyon. Judy had been a couple of times--I never had. “Well, this is your deal, so you set it up.”
               Charged with arranging the trip, I did what all good writers do and began assembling research materials, ordering info from the National Park Service and doing my own research on-line like Roosevelt headed for the Amazon. A year in advance you can pretty much get reservations to one of the South Rim Lodges (North Rim is closed in winter) and reservations at El Tovar and The Arizona Room—but the kicker was trying to get a cabin at the bottom of the Grand Canyon at the venerable Phantom Ranch where only 1% of the millions of visitors each year dare to travel.
               “How do you get there?”
               “Um, mules.” Since 1904, the Grand Canyon has offered mule trips all the way down to the Phantom Ranch, located adjacent to the emerald green Colorado River. They have lost a few mules over the century, but never a rider, which I was quick to point out.
               “How long does it take?”
               “About six hours down and then about five and a half coming back up the next day.”
               “On a mule.”
               “Yep.” The problem came when after paying for the trip, I noticed there was a weight limit on the mules—200 pounds. I haven’t weighed 200 pounds since high school. “I’m sure they give you a little wiggle room…”
               They don’t.
               Talking on the phone with the travel desk, I tried another tack. “Can I use some of my wife’s extra weight?”
               “No, Sir. I’m afraid not.”
To make matters worse they include everything you’re wearing. Grabbing my boots, hat, jeans, underwear, socks, jacket and scarf I sat them on the scale in the bathroom and watched as the numbers climbed to 13 pounds.
               At that point I weighed 204.
               “I have to lose 17 pounds.”
               “At least.” Smiling, Judy walked away. “I guess we’re going on a diet.”
               I’d never been on a diet in my life but know that I can be a horror when I’m hungry, so Judy put me on a no-carb regimen and I began hand-splitting firewood in the back pasture every afternoon. I made arrangements with my buddy, Ry Brooks, to run a contest where readers could guess my weight at saddle time—figuring that the extra pressure of making the thing public might force me to work a little harder if my epic failure was made public.
               A month later, I was preparing to step on the industrial scale at the lobby of Bright Angel Lodge under the scrutinizing gaze of Lillian, a woman who I was sure weighed as much as my leg. “A lot of people wash out.”
               “Then you’re probably going to lose two riders, because my wife isn’t going to do this alone.”
               Glancing outside at the -9 weather, Judy chimed in behind me. “No, I’m not.”
               “I guess I would’ve had a better chance in the summer with less clothes, huh?” Watching the numbers climb, the three of us peered at the scale as it stopped at 195.
               “Looks like you made it, cowboy.” She smiled at me, writing my weight on the official form.
                “With weight to spare.”
                “Try not to gain six pounds by tomorrow.” She handed me the form. “You’ll know you’ve really made it if the wrangler gives you the mail bag, that means they don’t think you’ll fall off a cliff—it’s one thing to lose a rider, but we can’t lose the mail.”
See you on the trail,
Craig

__________________
..................................          


What's the difference between a cat and a comma ? One has claws at the end of its paws and one is a pause at the end of a clause ...
Keys

Registered:
Posts: 2,047
Reply with quote  #104 

Post-It: You Gotta Get Behind the Mule
 
I sometimes miss the old days of touring when I used to do it all from my truck, a sixteen-year-old three-quarter ton with WALT plates. I joke that I felt like I had to put his name on it since he paid for it, but I actually bought it three years before the first Longmire book, The Cold Dish, came out back in ’05. She’s got about a quarter-million miles on her, but I refuse to give her up in that she’s the last of the stick shift models with manual hubs.
            Recently, I was driving that same truck across South Dakota and Nebraska with my wife Judy (who has way less miles), and it seemed like things had come full circle. We’d just finished Longmire Days, our annual celebration with the actors from the television show, LONGMIRE, and about fifteen thousand of their closest friends. It’s every bit the joyous, spectacular disaster that you’re imagining right now, barely contained by the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce and pretty much a highlight in our year. Tiring as it is, I was enjoying driving across the plains listening to my wife’s voice reading the book for two years from now, a tradition which allows me to hear every mistake I’ve made in the first draft of each novel.
            I hadn’t made comment for a few moments and noticed she had turned and was studying me (like Vic in the books). “You’re quiet.”
            I replied with a line from both the books and the TV show. “I do that sometimes before I speak.”
            “Ha-ha.” She continued studying me as we crossed the wide Missouri River. “What?”
            “Have I changed?”
            She closed the file folder. “In what way?”
            “Over the years. I mean here we are driving across the country like we used to, but it feels different.”
            “Well, the books are more of a success.”
            “And that’s good?”
            She smiled, lodging her feet on the dash. (like Vic in the books). “You’ve touched more people.”
            I thought about it. “And that’s good?”
            “Walt’s a good guy, and I think he has a positive effect on the world as a whole, yes—but that’s not what’s had an effect on you. In the process of touching all those readers, they’ve in turn, touched you. Up until The Cold Dish came out we’d been living a somewhat isolated life, but after that you started interacting with more and more people—something you weren’t used to. People see you at these events and they think you’re animated, talkative, and sociable. They don’t know that there are entire days that you prowl around the ranch or pound on a keyboard and saying nothing.”
            “Is that hard on you?”
            “No, I’ve got my own life.” She patted the manuscript. “It’s your private world until you decide to let us in. I’m just happy being the first through the secret door.”
            “It can be a lot of weight, the touch of all those readers.”
            “You can take it; besides, it’s had a positive effect. They’ve knocked a lot of the chips off your shoulders and smoothed off some of your rough edges. In case you’ve forgotten, you used to have a lot of rough edges.”
            “You’re sure that wasn’t you?”
            “It’s been all of us; a collective effort.”
            “How’s it turning out?”
            She smiled at the bug-smeared windshield and the passing, pastoral scenery, but I’m pretty sure that wasn’t what she was seeing (like Vic in the books). “I’ll let you know.”
See you on the trail,
Craig

__________________
..................................          


What's the difference between a cat and a comma ? One has claws at the end of its paws and one is a pause at the end of a clause ...
Keys

Registered:
Posts: 2,047
Reply with quote  #105 
Post-It: Ides of November
 
Winter is coming to our little ranch on the Wyoming/Montana border, and the palm-leaf cowboy hats have been put away, the wool ones taking their place. The unfamiliar faces are gone, and it’s easier to get a seat at the Busy Bee Café on Saturday mornings. Snow shovels, rock salt, and snow blowers show up at the entrance of the Ace Hardware, and all the gas stations switch over to winter-mix diesel that doesn’t coagulate in subzero temperatures.
        I trade my autumn Carhartt that hangs by the door for the heavier barn coat and dig out my wool Stormy Kromer hat and old military scarf for those long treks down to the corral. The north doorway gets closed in the barn, and I even go so far as to string a tarp over the thing to keep errant snow from blowing in the breezeway and disturbing the horses. I plug the heaters in the water troughs, even the one in the tack shed, so that the barn cats have someplace to get a drink and then retire to the heated pads under the counter, safe from the elements.
        I use one interior stall for about five tons of hay bales, then stock a shed on the east side of the barn for another ten tons, and after doing that lift the extra up into the loft with an old 1948 8N tractor with a front-end loader.
        I put the top on the Jeep and then pull it into a special stall in the garage connected to the house, then divvy up the scrapers and put one in each vehicle along with assorted blankets, emergency flares, avalanche shovels, and bottles of water.
        I flip on the string of lights on the ranch gate that I keep burning every night with different colors to represent the season—this one, orange for the Thanksgiving harvest. I then put a snow shovel by every door and take the screens off the windows, storing them in the shop.
        The porches look like we run a commercial firewood operation with about sixteen cords stacked in every available space all of which will be empty by May. I take firewood very seriously and have an old, homemade hydraulic splitter powered by a Milwaukee V4 construction motor with an I-beam for a ram, and I wear out long before it does during wood-week.
        I get all the vehicles and trailers undercover in the shop and under the lean-to in the back, but year after year there never seems to be enough room to get Rezdawg, my ’63 three-quarter ton pickup inside, so I just pat her fender and tell her maybe next year.
        Walking through the leaves, I crunch my way around the ranch wondering if I’ve forgotten something, which I usually have, but then figure I’ll find out in the spring and head toward the house, slipping off my mud boots and leaving them on the porch where my warm feet can find them in the morning.
        After building two fires, one in the kitchen wood-burning stove and one in the breezeway one below, I climb the spiral staircase to my loft and sit on the old wooden industrial stool where a weather beaten wool, CPO jacket hangs off the back that I slip on while the fires do their work.
        I light a candle, which is my habit day or evening and spread my fingers over the keyboard preparing for the day of writing. Looking out the window at the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains stretching like a cat’s back toward the high plains of the Powder River Country, the skies are like iron with only tiny glimmers of mercury seeping between to mark the beginning of the day, I look at the wind blowing the leaves and dead grass, crating swirling shapes like waves in a forgotten sea. The buffets strike the window as a few heavy drops smack the glass in an attempt to catch my attention—but by now my eyes are on the screen where Walt Longmire awaits my next keystroke, and I smile because this is our favorite time of the year.

See you on the trail,
Craig

__________________
..................................          


What's the difference between a cat and a comma ? One has claws at the end of its paws and one is a pause at the end of a clause ...
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.