Raymond Scully checked in to tell me he was doing the reading for the Audible Edition’s version of Hounds.

I was delighted, because Raymond had previously read for Eagle Dreams, and had done an incredible job. He studies the manuscript minutely, and asks me about any pronunciation he has doubts about. This time, he sent me some photos of the work in progress so I could understand how he did it. Here they are, and a picture of Raymond toasting me afterwards. As he said “Namaste” AND “Bismillah!” And, yes, after Central Asian custom, I’m doing the second with vodka.

New Coursing Book

To See Them Run: Great Plains Coyote Coursing, with text by Utah folklorist Eric Elaison, splendid photos by Scott Squire, and a long introductory essay by me, is finally out from the University Press of Mississipi… and about time! Our efforts have seen us, for about five years (more?) right through a couple of academic presses and out the other side, as Plains coyote coursing was seen as too retrograde for modern audiences, or, even sillier, presses demanded material on non- existent “Native American Coursing”. (A quote: “I was leading my greyhound and whippet. As I passed two Native Americans, my wife, who was following, saw them pointing at the dogs and saying ‘there goes dinner’.”

It is a really beautiful “Coffee Table Book” AND a thoughtful text– a great gift for hunters and students of dogs and the Old Ways, for Christmas or birthdays. I can truthfully say we are all proud of it as well as relieved that it is finally a book. I will add more photos later but wanted to get this post out. One complaint: Amazon will not let me list it under my name, on my page, although those who have introduced my books routinely list them on their Amazon pages. Perhaps a word to the publisher?

The Hounds

The book is done, at 44,000- plus words– I like it, very much, and hope not to have to rewrite it. As it is a very personal book it may seem quirky to some, but I hope the editors can use their judgment and let it stand, more or less as is, with its melancholy and occasional obsessiveness…

My first page has a frontispeiece, of mad Riss and silly Tavi and stout old Ghaddi dancing, and an epigram– THE epigram- from Federico Calboli, which somehow sets the mood for the whole book, for me. Other photos will simply have a separate folder, but I thought that the mysterious hounds, dancing in black and white, deserved a special place of their own. Let us see if I can reproduce the effect here…

Clark City

Russell Chatham is back in northern California, fishing, thinking, writing, getting back to his roots. I don’t have any practical info,  yet, but he is reviving Clark City Press, one step at a time .

Back in the day, he was the one publisher willing to take Querencia– the- book. Without him, this blog would not exist. He also  introduced me to Libby. Without his benign conniving, I might not be around…

The first “new” CCP book is a history of the guy who brought simple impressionistic imitation into the popular fly fishing world. I repeat, simple. Art Flick’s Streamside Guide was first published in 1947, and I don’t know a single fly fisherman of my generation in the northeast who didn’t have a battered, well- used copy.

Yes, it is a fly fishing geek’s book. But the author, the late Roger Keckeissen,  is an original and eccentric himself, so if you have the slightest interest in the subject, you get a storyteller’s perspective– it is NOT a book of fly patterns, And finally, Russ puts it all into context with a day astream with Roger and Ernest Schweibert not long before their deaths.

I shouldn’t need to say that being a Clark City book, its paper quality and cover stock are better than many limited ed art books.

No, I don’t know how to get it or how much it costs, yet. Let me know if you find out. 

UPDATE:Lucas Machias just sent a link to Mountain Press, where you can buy it for $45.

Q Cover Redux

In the home stretch  on the new  edition of  Q.  For the cover, I still favor some variety of this photo (forgive quality of my amateur efforts; I am sure a designer could do wonders with my template). The publisher favors the old cover. Any last thoughts? Here are the mockups I attempted.

The old one is wonderful but I believe in new covers for new editions. And I should add it is a lot better than this image below– I have been shifting files and couldn’t find a version so got it off Amazon!)

A new cover for Querencia- the- Book?

As my backlist comes up for reprint by Skyhorse, chances come up to change things; from wrong to right, from ugly to visually striking, or just from old to new (a new cover always catches my eye).

Querencia the book has always looked just fine, with its cover by Russ Chatham, its brilliant design, its quality paper. Most readers of this blog are happy with the esthetics of their copies, I trust. But with a whole new generation of reader, why not try something new? I collect TH White, and have first editions of almost all, but I treasure the interesting covers of the mass- market paperbacks of The Goshawk as they mix images from the 19th century up through some very odd ones in the Sixties to a near mistake on the last edition by the NYRB press, whose catalog featured Holbein’s portrait of Sir Robert Cheseman at the court of Fat Henry (VIII), with his Gyr on the fist! (This would have followed their edition of Baker’s The Peregrine with a Redtail). Luckily at least one person who knew hawks saw the mistake in an early catalog and raised the alarm. With the bit of power that came with having presented an edition once myself (in the Wilder Places line for Nick Lyons), I was able to let them know, and the edition is now graced by Liljefor’s Gos striking into a winter flock of blackgame, one of the finest paintings of predation ever done.

So I am hoping to persuade Skyhorse to do a new cover. No one is going to paint me a new one, and I wouldn’t insult Russell; the thing to go with, I am convinced, is something that evokes the melancholy and haunted beauty of our hard land, as Russell did in his painting. Here are five images, all by either me or stepson Peculiar.

The “covers” are arranged more or less from my favorite down, but please give me your votes and reasons why you prefer one to another. I may then do a post on your responses. And if this works, consider becoming my advisors on similar issues in the future.

Number three and number four courtesy of A. Jackson Frishman ; others by me. First and last on Henderson ranch a few miles out of Magdalena, where we hunt; others in town except for rainbow, taken on another big spread up in northern Socorro county, now subdivided for ranchettes not yet built. Or as Jack called it even pre- “Breaking Bad”, “Summer Storm over Meth Labs.”