Clinton, South Carolina, Tuesday, February 14, 2017, 11:45 a.m.
It’s closing in on noon, and my chief accomplishment is half-watching Polly Bergen play the first woman president in a movie made in 1964. Also, I prepared and consumed breakfast, and delved deeply into the latest doings of Twitter and Facebook.
As is the case 99 and 44/100ths percent of the time, this blog is an exercise in jump-starting my creative engine whose battery is dead.
Ruh-uhruh. Ruh-uhruh. Ruuhhhrrr, vruhn-vruhn-vrrooooommmm.
The protagonist in one of my ongoing projects is on a trip. The local basketball team is getting ready for tonight’s playoff game. Stock car racing’s best and brightest are preparing for Speedweeks. Pitchers and catchers have reported. The president’s national security adviser just resigned in the face of scandal. It’s going to rain tomorrow. Utah is featured on Aerial America in seventeen minutes.
For the past few minutes, I have been checking the highway route across Nebraska and Wyoming, en route to Reno, Nevada. This is because I have never driven these roads and am about to write about them. I have briefly been in Cheyenne, Wyoming, but, on that occasion, I drove up from the south. On that occasion, my nephew and I passed a sign that read: Wyoming – Like No Place on Earth. My nephew said it should be: Wyoming – A Place of Absolutely Nothing. Cheyenne is flat and grassy. The breathtaking mountains are to the west. I’ve never seen them.
Except on Aerial America.
By the way, aerial views of Utah might actually be helpful in this alleged next chapter. Watching it might be tax deductible if it cost anything. Not so for the Aerial Disasters episode on a plane carrying the interior minister of Mexico crashing into the financial district. Perhaps I could squeeze it into Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, one of two current fiction projects. It would be hard not to make it seem contrived, since it would be contrived. A drive west is in the other.
One doesn’t have to use everything in fiction. For instance, I seldom use the time in my living room watching The Smithsonian Channel. I save them for blogs.
If you’d like me to mail you a signed copy of Cowboys Come Home, or any of my other novels, you can find my address and instructions at montedutton.com. (montedutton.com/blog/merchandise)
I’ve written five novels and a collection of short stories. I’ve also written a number of books about sports, mostly about NASCAR. You can find most of them here.
The Kindle versions of my books, where available, can be found above. Links below are to print editions.
My new novel is a western, Cowboys Come Home. Two World War II heroes come home from the Pacific to Texas.
I’ve written a crime novel about the corrosive effects of patronage and the rise and fall of a powerful politician and his dysfunctional family, Forgive Us Our Trespasses.
I’ve written about what happens to a football coach when he loses everything, Crazy of Natural Causes. It’s a fable of life’s absurdity.
I’ve written a tale of the Sixties in the South, centered on school integration and a high school football team, The Intangibles.
I’ve written a rollicking yarn about the feds trying to track down and manipulate a national hero who just happens to be a pot-smoking songwriter, The Audacity of Dope.
I’ve written a collection of 11 short stories, all derived from songs I wrote, Longer Songs.
Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing), and/or @wastedpilgrim (more opinionated and irreverent). I’m on Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Instagram (TUG50), and Google-Plus (MonteDuttonWriter).