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Friday, 11 November 2016

100,000 hits

Well. Five years, over 400 posts, and my blog has just received its 100,000th hit. Perhaps some reflections are in order.

I started this in 2011 just before taking off for Nebraska, where I spent six months, mostly alone, in a hunting lodge on a cattle ranch. That was a fantastic learning experience. It satisfied my curiosity about life on the Great Plains as a pioneer might have experienced it, and yielded a book that has been very well received, The Red House on the Niobrara (amzn.to/1Pfivgx)

Right now I am waiting to receive proof pages of my novel, Cody, The Medicine and Me. I first wrote it 20-plus years ago, sold it once, had the plug pulled, shelved it, then re-wrote it completely while resident at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, New Mexico, last year. I am  also waiting for the proofs of the brewery history (provisionally titled, A Piss-Up in a Brewery - yes, it's not as dry as your average company history; it even  has cartoons). The bounty hunter manuscript is out and about, and I am now up to my neck in the life of the man who wrote Lassie (or, more correctly, Lassie, Come-Home).

When all those projects are brought to rest I plan to heave a big sigh, and have a few weeks away from the keyboard. After 12 books in seven years I think I've earned it. I'm planning to indulge myself, putting together a photo-book based on the many road trips I've taken in the American West over the past thirty years. A lot of the material is already in electronic form - I bought my first digital camera in 2004 when I was appointed Jack Kerouac Writer in Residence in Orlando, Florida. Previously to that, I used a conventional camera and collected transparencies. I have tracked down an outfit which converts them, and when they're done I shall enjoy compiling a single volume, for my own satisfaction, chronicling over a dozen journeys and some 50,000 miles.

     
On the road, Nevada, 2006