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Cruella de Ville of Cowboy Country

1 November 2023


One hot afternoon, during this past summer, I was seated upon my comfy couch, and the title “Cruella de Ville of Cowboy Country” popped into my head. I don’t know if the words actually POPPED into my cranium, but they emerged somewhere in my psyche.


An ominous development.


I playfully went with it, as I usually do with a funny phrase. By late October, I’d realized that another novel, perhaps part of a series of novels, had begun to materialize in my mind. My Muse has been extremely busy during the past year, coming up with The Westerns that will form The Montrose Chronicles.


One clear sign that I hadn’t really fictionally left Montrose was that I kept looking for images of the region, and then used them as laptop wallpapers.


Here’s how much in denial I can be about an unfleshed-out novel of mine on-the-prod:


There’s nothing wrong with looking at the San Juans in the spring, or the summer, or autumn, even winter. The sights are very lovely, and inspirational.


Dear Husband says that Cruella de Ville of Cowboy Country is a turn-off as the name of a novel. I quite agree. Not so much because of the dreadful Disney tie-in as the fact that a former Squeaker of the House so realistically and eerily resembled that out-of-control dog-hater and animal-abuser.


The real name shall be revealed in the fullness of time, which is a date utterly unknown to me. I’m too busy flowing with it!


The second dead give-away that I’m working on a book of fiction is the re-organization of my work space. This time, it took place in the Sewing Room.


Ostensibly, I was to review my translation of L’AUBE there, but My Muse knows that the proper writing space, always crucial to Us, has just been decided.


My review of L’AUBE is to occur, principally, at the Dining Room Table. Sunday Dinners shall, of course, still take place with ripe regularity at this vintage site of the celebration of eating fine food.



Living in a new house, one that I helped to create, abundantly did the trick for me to write those Westerns conceptualized of yore. I also penned THE LAST WALTZ, the World War II novel set in Northern France, that evolved while I wrote THE DAWN.


The good news is that I feel no feminine need, or artistic urge, to move to another house to actualize further creativity. The bad news, well, there is no bad news, at least in my precious private sphere.


And that world is the only one that matters, the only reality that will get you through the hard times, particularly the ones not of your own making, the hell-on-earth manufactured by the odious others.


In my personal domain, I am — with joyous anticipation — still getting to know this house, Larkhaven!


There’s something new every day for me to discover, such as the proper way to calibrate the gas fireplaces with the remote control (beamer). What a marvelous lesson in living the easy life!


During the windy torrents of the California rainy season, no longer must I, with suitably gloved hands, haul into the house, bundle after bundle of chopped wood from the pile outside the sunroom door. Gone is the quaint custom of lining the soaking wet logs atop the outer hearth, where the wet wood dried in front of the flickering, but dwindling, flames, in the inner hearth, aka the firebox.


The inner hearth, and the outer hearth, comprise my home. They offer lessons each and every day in living the easy life. Those pearls of wisdom have always been there for me, even amidst hard times, especially amidst hard times. Re-discovering them is part of my writer’s life; but, much more a part of my intimate life.


The third tip-off anent a novel-on-the-way, which is the most salient signal, and therefore goes absolutely unnoticed by me, is the re-arrangement and re-structuring of My Music.


During this past week, I unplugged the unpredictably but always faulty Bose from the wall in my sewing room. I marched downstairs with it and instructed Dear Husband to throw it away!


I thence wrote The Lists — The Playlists — of the digitized music I’ll be listening to as part of Composing this Western.


The me-Phone has been granted permission to play a part in my Writer’s Life beyond being used as a tea-timer, hacker-free payment method, and emergency night-phone on the dresser. I inevitably leave the thing upstairs each morning, and must later go in search of it at some point in time during the day.


As I just did right now to take these photos!


I have thus willingly consented to enter the 21st Century!


I am nonetheless aware that there’s an enormous market for the Vinyl-Freaks to blow thousands of dollars on a recording medium that was never optimal. It’s not hip to be square: It’s confiscatory and stupid.


I’ve still got my hard-copy CD backups, although I did purge a dozen or so of them from my melodic library. SMH with one or two oldies-but-baddies. What was I thinking???!


My Muse makes me suffer for my art!

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