Robber Barons

Let me get this straight, Jay Gould was one of the coldest, calculatingest, crookedest of the Robber Barons in my opinion. He performed his prestidigitation before, during, and after the Civil War and made tons of money. He bribed Judges, Members of Congress, Bankers, and anyone else who fell for his line in the hopes of making money. Some of them did, I guess. Of course, this wasn’t unlawful at the time, so he had free rein. Gould’s struggle to get the Erie railroad and to corner the market on Gold with Jim Fisk threw the country into a financial crisis in 1869. Mister Gould was born on May 27, 1836, and died December 2, 1892, worth about $100 million. The obituary told how he took over Charles Leupp’s leather business and Charlie shot himself shortly after. Gould received accolades from some and others thought he was a really terrible man.

While Gould was raping the stockbrokers and railroad men, the people in the West were duke-ing it out on the Kansas plains for control of the cattle business, and there is still some of that going on today. A little rustling and fence cutting causes bitterness among the cattlemen and keeps the law busy. And so much for the would-be Barons of today with the stock trading and manipulation that goes on. even with all the regulations the Government has put in place.

John Audelay, English Poet

There is a lot of poetry that is “beyond my ken”, as they say somewhere in England or Scotland or Ireland, and there is a lot that I don’t care much about. That includes some of John Audelay’s scratchings, but I noticed that he was the first poet to write Christmas carols, the titles of which are unknown to me and so are the carols. John Audelay came from Shropshire, England, and passed away around 1426.  The “earliest biographical record places him in London in 1417, when he was part of the household of Richard, Seventh Baron of Strange, of Knockin.”

It was that Audelay was the chaplain for the Strange family when the Baron Strange got caught up in a brawl in St. Dunstan-in-the-East church on Easter Sunday, of all things, and Audelay accompanied him on his penance. And he seems to carry guilt for the rest of his life and tried to atone for it. He wrote two long poems, Pater Noster and The Three Dead Kings. And there are arguments going on for and against Audelay’s writmg them.

I chose to write this little piece because I found it interesting that he was the author of the first Christmas carols, but the article on Wikipedia, where I read about John Audelay  had none of the carols. If anyone knows which carols Audelay wrote, you may want to pass it on to Wikipedia for inclusion in the article.

Author Thornton Wilder

I thought this was the Wilder that writes comedy, Billy Wilder, but it isn’t. I started reading a bio of Thornton Wilder on Wikipedia and ran across the fact that he had received THREE Pulitzer Prizes. I thought, Wow, he must be some kind of writer. His Pulitzers were for the novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Our Town (the play), and The Skin of Our Teeth (also a play). Not only that he won a National Book Award for The Eighth Day, a novel.

He was basically a playwright it appears having written only seven novels, but thirty or forty plays. I saw the title The Bridge of San Luis Rey and thought that it may be a Western, but it actually takes place in Peru where a few people were crossing the bridge when it gave away. Wilder digs into the backgrounds of the people to see why they were on the bridge to begin with.

Wilder was well educated having attended Oberlin College and earned his BA from Yale. He got his Master of Arts Degree from Princeton in 1926. His preliminary schooling was in different schools, one being in China where his family lived during his younger years. He was bullied, or teased, at being overly intellectual by students at the Thacher School in Ojai, CA.

Thornton Wilder was in both World Wars, working up to corporal in WWI. In WWII he was a Lieutenant Colonel in intelligence and earned many ribbons and medals. Along with other homosexuals in the war, I assume he (and they) didn’t act like a man who liked men while they were fighting the war.

Anyway, Mister Wilder was a pretty prolific and fine writer from what I read. Personally, I haven’t read anything by him except parts of the play Our Town in high school. Our class had to out it on, and I had a small part. I’ve heard that this was practically a requirement in schools across the Nation.

Further reading: Thornton Wilder: A Life by Penelope Niven, 700 pages.




Available Now

Western Stories is available for purchase on, price 4.99. Am preparing the Kindle version which should be out this week if all goes well. It was up, but had some errors, so I’m correcting them.

Other than that, everything is going fine and will get back to my novel before too long.

Printed, Waiting

Western Stories is in the mail. I should be receiving the proof tomorrow or the net day. From there, after approval, it will be on Kindle and available to the readers at a price to be determined, in the neighborhood of $3.99, free, or a little a higher. For the printed book, the price is set at $4.99 for now, and, if everything is okay, it will be on the market next week. Here is the front cover:


I kinda like the cover. The territory or landscape looks like the area around which most of the stories are written.

Finally, About Finished

My Collection of short stories is undergoing review and should be finished tomorrow.

Whoopee! This past week was aggravating and kept me busy getting the manuscript and cover of Western Stories uploaded without too many errors. It looks to me like it will be a fair production to read. I don’t personally care for the print, but I may release a different version later if I get too many complaints.

I ask my readers to post honest reviews on Amazon after they have read the collection. It will definitely help in the sales department. Thank you!

My blog time was eaten into heavily over the last few weeks and will shortly recover, although I will be working on my novel and other things which will have an effect on blogging. I will continue to work on this log to bring it up to date, so you will be seeing some new things popping up as we go along.



I think that represents swearing. If not it should. This past week was a lost item. I still haven’t uploaded Western Stories for publication, so the launch has been postponed. Each time I attempt an uploading something happens to the manuscript that wasn’t in it before. The latest was the sections were all changed and the page numbers 10, 20, 30, etc., were anchored, throwing off the numbering. Is this a virus? No, although I had some PUPs invade one program, which were deleted.

This week I will try it again with a new PDF meeting the Standards and converted from Word doc. and see what happens.  I will be forced to start asking questions if it is changed.

Another thing that went awry was signing into WordPress. It wouldn’t accept my password several times. Each time I was assigned a new password, but it just didn’t work. I guess this is computer life. If this gets published, the password worked and the previous blog will be published so the readers will not think I haven’t been inactive completely. .

Trouble and Good News

All week I’ve had trouble uploading my short stories what with the interruptions, errands, and other stuff, but finally got it done. It is still too early in the process to take a picture of the cover or I would include it here. I still have to go through the proof copy to make sure it’s what I want and the pricing and distribution channels.

The book will be available from other channels: like Kobo, Nook, etc., if it doesn’t cost too much. That will take me longer to make it available there due to the processing requirements. I like challenges and it might be more than I can undertake. Time will tell.

I’m thinking about sending my next book to a publisher and let them hassle it out. We’ll see.

Launching Soon

Western Stories, A Short Story Collection, will be coming out in the next week or two. The stories are comedic in nature, also satiric, especially Traveling to the Rockies in 1847.  They are great for high school-age students, as well as adults. That means everyone should grab a copy and be entertained for a while, and it may even be free for a time. Hooray! In the meantime enjoy the other blog, Bloggincurly here.