In today’s Journal
* If I may share
* A Special Treat
* Of Interest
* The Numbers
If I may share something near and dear to my heart and on the edge of personal, this will pertain especially to those of you who enjoy reading or writing (or both) westerns. It will also be suitable for dreamers, like my friends Russ J, Robert S and Dan B.
In the original Wes Crowley novels, Wes rode on horseback from Amarillo Texas to Agua Perlado, a fictional fishing village in the state of Guerrero, Mexico. Although I have a detailed map of Mexico, while I was writing those novels I eyeballed the map from time to time (for Wes’ stops, etc.) but I never figured out the distances involved. I chose to ride along with Wes on my gut instincts. In the end, I had him make the trip in a vaguely defined “two months.”
Yesterday during a break, strictly as a fun exercise, I did some math.
Many towns in the west and in Mexico are situated at about 20 miles apart. That’s because back in the day, a loaded wagon could travel about 20 miles relatively comfortably in a day. (There was nothing “comfortable” about traveling in any kind of wagon, hence the modifier “relatively”.)
I don’t know for sure—I haven’t done the research—but if you’re interested I suspect water stations and stage stops were probably situated about 20 miles apart for the stage lines for the same reason. I do know of two stage stops near where I live that are about 20 miles apart.
Now, a man on a strong, healthy horse could travel as far as 40 miles in a day if he was pushing it. Of course, that would not take into account stops for any length of time. Most often, the average of an extended trip on horseback would be closer to 25 to 30 miles per day. That pace would include some galloping, but also some periods of loping and walking, so it would strain neither the rider nor the horse beyond their physical limits.
The fictional village of Agua Perlado lies right at 100 miles west-northwest along the coast of Mexico from the modern resort town of Acapulco.
From Amarillo TX to Agua Perlado on a more or less straight shot on modern roads is right at 1400 miles. So with an average of 24 miles per day, Wes made the trip in 60 days.
In the current novel, I expect Rider Jones will make a similar trek, also on horseback, from his current location, which is Reno Nevada. That distance is 2300 miles, again, on a more or less straight shot over modern roads. I can only barely wait to see what happens, and I can wait at all only because I have to.
So here’s the math I mentioned earlier:
2300 miles, Reno to Agua Perlado
92 days on horseback at 25 miles per day
76 days on horseback at 30 miles per day
1400 miles, Amarillo to Agua Perlado
46 days on horseback at 30 miles per day
60 days on horseback at 24 miles per day
Even if ol’ Wes added a mile per day to his average to bring his trek up to 25 miles per day, he would still make the trip in 56 days, which I think still counts in the vague “two months” time period. (grin)
A Special Treat
For a limited time, and in a blatant, bald-faced advertising stunt, I’m giving away a Kindle, Nook/Apple or PDF electronic copy (your choice) of the first book in the Wes Crowley saga.
There are 11 books total and soon there will be 12. When I’ve finished Book 12, this special offer will end.
Rise of a Warrior is the first book in the series. And it’s yours free in exchange for emailing me at email@example.com. Be sure to let me know which version you want.
Here’s the description:
What would you give to ride wild on a good horse in a just cause?
That’s just what you’ll do in the Wes Crowley series.
Witness the interlocking fates of three young men:
Four Crows is a rising young war chief, born of blood and battle. Young Wes Crowley and Otis “Mac” McFadden, bored teenagers in the small town of Watson in north Texas, are determined to become Texas Rangers.
Where fate will lead the three of them will leave you breathless.
The entire saga is a 12-volume tale in which the lines between right and wrong are often blurred—but never for Wes Crowley.
In Rise of a Warrior, come along to witness the advent of Wes and Mac as Texas Rangers, and the rise of a Comanche warrior, Four Crows.
Regularly $5.99, but free to you for the next few days.
Talk with you again soon.
See “THE CHASE Hit First Stretch Goal” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/the-chase-hit-first-stretch-goal/.
See “Why Bookshop.org is not the saviour the book world needs” at https://www.thepassivevoice.com/why-bookshop-org-is-not-the-saviour-the-book-world-needs/.
See “Character Descriptions – Part 2” at https://killzoneblog.com/2021/05/character-descriptions-part-2.html. I added this link only as an example of what not to do. This is, hands down, some of the worst advice I’ve ever read concerning character descriptions. In fact, I found at least two big new PQ (persistent question) topics. I’ll be covering those soon.
The Journal…………………………………… 860 words
Writing of Wes Crowley (novel, tentative title)
Day 1…… 3089 words. Total words to date…… 3089
Day 2…… 3871 words. Total words to date…… 6960
Day 3…… 5202 words. Total words to date…… 12162
Total fiction words for May……… 33824
Total fiction words for the year………… 405103
Total nonfiction words for May… 8830
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 93690
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 498793
Calendar Year 2021 Novels to Date…………………… 8
Calendar Year 2021 Novellas to Date……………… 1
Calendar Year 2021 Short Stories to Date… 3
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 61
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 217
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31
Disclaimer: In this blog, I provide advice on writing fiction. I advocate a technique called Writing Into the Dark. To be crystal clear, WITD is not “the only way” to write, nor will I ever say it is. However, as I am the only writer who advocates WITD both publicly and regularly, I will continue to do so, among myriad other topics.