Friday, June 16, 2006

June 16, 2006
Busy days and nights in Cody. Did a dress rehearsal last night out at Trail Dust Town. Good costuming and great faces. We are doing another shoot today.

Meghan Saar and I served on an editorial panel at nine this morning on writing non-fiction. Candy Moulton ran it and she lined up ten editors. Good questions and fun answers. One of the editors is creating a series on frontier prostitution (which is a hot topic right now) and he facetiously said they were calling the series "Western Ho." Groans from the audience and one woman right in front of me was quite offended. I decided not to tell her my proposed book title, "A Caring Father Talks to His Son About Pussy."

Taped an interview for the Wyoming Tourist Board, being ramrodded by Cotton Smith out of Kansas City. Paul Hutton interviewed me and he kept cracking me up with his deadpan stares. I was asked about the landscape in Wyoming and I said, "The landscape in Wyoming is larger than life and the names are there to match the topography. From Killpecker Canyon to Ten Sleep Canyon, from Lizard Creek to Crazy Woman Creek, from the Grand Tetons to Graybull and Jackson Hole to Medicine Bow, if you are a writer and can't make drama out of that, you probably shouldn't be a writer." Hutton deadpans to me, "Could you come up with a little stronger sexual imagery?"

Ran into several heavyweights, including Elmer Kelton (perennial Spur winner and writer of "Good Old Boys" among a slew of other famous titles), Loren Estelman, Paul Hedren, Stephen Lodge (Nickle Plated Dreams) and Dusty Richards. I sat across from Dusty at today's luncheon and regaled me with stories of growing up in Phoenix and herding horses down Camelback Road and 24th Street (don't try this today, Kaboys and Kagirls). He also taught me two new phrases: "Bar ditch," as in "That ol' boy was so drunk he was driving in the bar ditch." Bar is slang for borrowed, as in, you know, the ditch they "borrowed" dirt from to make the road. Ha. The other phrase is "stangin' lizard," which is cow-boy slang for a scorpion. Funny stuff.

"What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly."
—Thomas Paine

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