Friday, October 31, 2008

October 31, 2008
As I've said before, paintings talk to me. Invariably, as I'm laying in the washes bits of dialogue come floating into my mind. Case in point:

The morning stage from Anton Chico contains three passengers: a minister, a woman and El Kid. I looked through my scrap file (named "Femme Fatale") looking for the right type of female to be on that stage. As I began the painting she was quite demure and spinsterish. But then:

But then, she turned into Angelina Jolie (or a young Pamela Anderson). And what she said to me (or more accurately, to young William Bonney), is this:

"You certainly know how to take advantage of a bumpy ride. What did you say your name was?"

"Bonnie. James Bonney."

Can't really use this, although I think Westerns could learn (and do well to borrow) a few things from James Bond.

Meanwhile, here's another image, in progress (from the same sequence):

These scenes are painfully slow to develop. My goal is a movie on paper and in a complicated scene like this with three passengers, a stage driver, two bandidos on the ground, one on a butte with a trained Winchester on El Kid, and four nervous horses in harness, well, I sure could learn to reduce things to symbols, if you know what I mean.

Got a call the day before yesterday from my Kingman Cowboy Cousin Billy Hamilton. It was great talking to him about his ranch activities and his horse operation.

Speaking of Kingman, I'm going to lunch today with one of the bandmates who saved my life. Terry Mitchell is coming out to Cave Creek to grab a bean. Mike Torres is supposed to come with him.

Which always gets me to thinking about growing up in Kingman. As much as I like to complain about—and make fun of— my hometown, I really had a pretty decent childhood. My parents were honest and hard working and I had friends among the Hualapais and the Mojaves (Moon!) and the cowboys and the cheerleaders. And all of this, on glorious Route 66 in its heyday! Yes, all in all, it was a very idyllic upbringing, and perhaps that is my problem.

"Bad childhoods are a human misfortune, but for writers they are often a stroke of luck."
—Dan Chiasson, in The New Yorker

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