by Tina Welling
When I begin writing a novel like Cowboys Never Cry, bits and pieces of information attach themselves to me almost without my notice. I feel like a magnet for odd facts, overheard conversations, funny remarks, unusual sightings. If you’re not careful what you say or do during this time, you might end up in my novel (don’t worry, I’ll change your name).
That’s how a couple stories wound up in Cowboys Never Cry. For example, the one about the French man, new to the English language, who referred to the Disney movie as being “Snow White and the Seven Midgets.”
All I need to do is stroll along the boardwalk around the town square of Jackson Hole, my hometown, and I pick up all kinds of unusual sites, like the cowboy carrying his infant in his upturned Stetson. When I ran into an old friend, his story got tucked into Cowboys Never Cry, too. He was out celebrating his son’s graduation from middle school and I encountered him outside the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. He said, “He’s my baby. The other day I was cutting his fingernails, and Roger says, ‘Come on, Dad, I’m twelve years old – I can do that myself.’ I said to him, ‘Shut up. Give me your toes.’”
Not only do I pick up funny lines from eavesdropping around town, I also gathered the words of wisdom woven into a scene in Cowboys Never Cry about loss, grieving and our purpose in life.
These nuggets of humor or interest stir my creative mind, get me started on writing a scene or filling out a character. And somehow they offer me confidence. Since I wrote these pieces down, then remembered to look them up weeks, months or years later, I recognize that they hold energy for me. I feel as though I can count on these pieces to carry my story.
Just yesterday Amber, my daughter-in-law, texted me a message about Rhett, my six-year-old grandson. He was getting a haircut, an especially short one. Rhett sat in the chair and when the barber began snipping, Rhett said, “There goes my identity!”
Guess who will make an appearance in my next writing project?
Luxury to me is a stack of books, way more than I can actually peruse at one time, sitting beside me on the porch swing. A huge Engelmann spruce sweeps its boughs around two sides of my log cabin porch, shielding me with its deep green swags. Good food and something to drink are often a part of this special occasion. There’s just something so luxurious to me about spending time in the outdoors eating and reading.
One lucky winner will receive a signed copy of Cowboys Never Cry and a bookmark, courtesy of Tina Welling!
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This giveaway is open to US residents only. Deadline to enter is midnight on March 4, 2011.
Giveaway copy is provided free of any obligation by Tina Welling. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.