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Wendigo Mountain

November 3rd, 2009

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Drinky
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Clint Harris

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November 3rd, 2009

Didn't get any writing done last night.  By the time dinner was done, the kids were in bed, and the idiot dogs fed, I was too tired.  This time change thing is rough!  What I did get done last night was almost as good.  I watched the latest episode of the Venture Bros.  This one was called "Perchance to Dean".  The episodes this season are excellent, but I wish there was more (any) of Patrick Warburton's Brock Samson.  The Sgt. Hatred pedo jokes are getting stale.  Also, there needs to be more Doc Orpheus and the Monarch.  It's like they don't have a budget to hire anyone but the three main voice actors or something.  I'm worried the show might be jumping the shark.  It's still great to watch.

After the Venture Bros., I cracked open Robert E. Howard's "Crimson Shadows" for some inspiration.  I'd like to think that the larger than life, two fisted fantasy writer from Plainview, TX is part of my menagerie of Muses.  Right there with Papa Hemingway and William Blake.  And possibly Samuel L. Jackson.  That's a whole different post.

I read his short story "The Fightinest Pair", a Steve Costigan story, in which Steve and his bulldog, Mike, are in Singapor.  Steve is approached by a man who wants to buy Mike to fight against a big brindled pit bull.  Steve refuses, saying that pit fights are low, even though Mike could lick any dog that ever lived.

These old stories would probably make a lot of people blanch and recoil in fear considering our modern sensibilities.  Dog fights, racist depictions of Asians, etc.  But at the heart of this tale is a good yarn about a flawed man.  Steve is barely literate and his note that he posts in public adds a lot of humor to the story.  The story is first person, and Howard really slips into this man's skin. A lot of it is wish fulfillment.  Steve is a ham-fisted bruiser who solves problems by breaking people's jaws and asking questions later.  He's like Popeye, if Popeye ditched the spinach and started juicing, and had a body like Bluto.  I wonder how much Popeye borrowed from Steve Costigan.  As much as you might wince at Costigan's descriptions, it's a hell of a yarn.  Wacky, even.  Wacky and bloody. 

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Howard's Steve Costigan story was no doubt based on tales REH heard from oil field roughnecks, drifters, etc., puzzled together into one brutish adventurer.  He keeps Costigan honest by throwing humor into the story, and by making this guy a little soft in the head, compared to the likes of Conan or Solomon Kane.  I actually enjoy the latter more, but mostly because of the pure escapist value.  The Costigan story was actually a better story on a human level.  The character has flaws, he has few expectations out of life other than keeping what's his and living by his own moral code.  He won't bother you if you don't bother him.

You have to respect that.
Tonight's word count:  2500.

Total for the Novel in Progress:  77k.

Going to bed now, before the story keeps me awake.
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