Now that 600 HOURS OF EDWARD is about to be unleashed in a new edition, I have a confession to make.
But first, some backstory:
Almost four years ago, when I sat down to write what became 600 HOURS OF EDWARD, things were a lot different than they are now.
For one thing, the words 600 HOURS OF EDWARD hadn’t even entered my consciousness. The working title of the novel I wanted to write was “Six-Hundred Hours in a Life That Will Get Only 630,270, Assuming It’s a Life of Average Length, And I Don’t Like Assumptions,” as seen below on the original manuscript.
Second, as you may have gathered from the working title, I had no expectations that I would (a) finish the novel or (b) get it published.
So as I wrote about Edward Stanton and his world, I picked something I knew well–Billings, Montana, where I live–and dropped him into it precisely as I see it. His Albertsons exists. So does his Home Depot. And his golf course. And his downtown. His street address isn’t real, but the street he lives on is.
One of the places in the original version of the book, published in 2009 by Riverbend Publishing, is the Billings Gazette. It’s a crucial, feel-good part of the story.
When I was writing Edward, I gave absolutely no consideration to the fact that, a few years later, I might write a sequel. I certainly didn’t consider that there would be other books, other writing about Billings, a whole world that would take shape from my keyboard. And so I made the Billings Gazette, well, the Billings Gazette. Easy-peasy.
But here’s the problem: In the second book, which is coming out next year, the newspaper in Billings also figures into the storyline. But it’s not so feel-good. And here’s an even bigger problem: I work at the Billings Gazette. The one here in the real world, not the fictional world where Edward exists. I get paid and everything. It’s a significant factor in my daily life, to say the absolute least, and one I’d just as soon not compromise.
So here’s how I handled the delicate position I wrote myself into:
Because Amazon Publishing acquired the rights to publish a new edition of 600 HOURS, the original publisher, Riverbend, was contractually obligated to pulp the remaining copies and stop selling it. In a commercial sense, that means the original no longer exists (obviously, several thousand copies exist on people’s shelves and in readers’ heads). This represented the best chance I was ever going to have to make a material change to the book.
So, in the manuscript I submitted to my editor at Amazon, the Billings Gazette vacated the stage and a new newspaper, the Billings Herald-Gleaner, stepped in. Subsequently, I made the same change to the manuscript of EDWARD ADRIFT, which I was preparing for submission. With a few keystrokes, I changed Edward’s world — and made mine a lot more comfortable.
This also had the nice side benefit of tying together my work a little better. In my short-story collection, QUANTUM PHYSICS AND THE ART OF DEPARTURE, the story called “Paperweight” concerns an aging reporter at a newspaper called the Herald-Gleaner. That character, Kevin Gilchrist, and Edward Stanton are now connected, as are Edward and the father character from my novel THE SUMMER SON (Edward’s dad was Jim Quillen’s boss). The sum is a fictional world that has threads connecting my Montana-set stories, which blend real and imaginary places and, I hope, give depth to what I’m trying to do.
This idea was clarified for me in an elegant way several months ago when I interviewed Emily M. Danforth, the author of the wonderful debut THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST. Here’s what she had to say about using the real setting of Miles City, her hometown, in her book:
“In terms of setting, specifically, anyone who has any familiarity with Miles City will recognize some of the local attractions — the swimming hole, the Bucking Horse Sale, the Montana Theater, etc. — but each of those locations has also been fictionalized. I understand that this might be disappointing for some readers who want every street name or video rental place, whatever, to match exactly to reality — though businesses close and re-open all the time, right, so there isn’t a ‘fixed’ reality that a novel can capture and hold ever, because ‘the real world’ will always keep changing.”
I had another idea for a blog post today, but a few of my colleagues were taking a rip at this topic, so I thought I’d join the fun. There’s always tomorrow for my own idea.
Here’s the thing: No single piece of bad advice sticks out. But if I were to gather up and stack the advisories with the least merit, I think I could fit them all under the general heading of “the mechanics of writing.”
You see, I don’t want to hear orthodoxy about outlining or not outlining. Of buffing and polishing each sentence to a high sheen before moving on to the next one. Of vomitous first drafts. Of writing at nighttime. Of writing during the day. Of listening to music. Of writing immediately after a shower. If it works for you, great. But that’s as far as it goes. My patience runs thin with writers who, however well-meaning, think only their experience has merit.
In a box buried in my office sit 18 sheets of yellowing paper, the beginning and aborted end of a novel I tried to write when I was 19 years old. I purported to write about lives I didn’t know and couldn’t imagine, of experiences I hadn’t had or heard about, and I did so without a net–no notes, no outlines, just me and a word processor. In retrospect, I’m fortunate to have made it as far as I did.
There were other attempts, too, ones that I didn’t save, for whatever reason. They died of other causes: neglect, lack of hope, a wandering eye, inconsistent discipline. I wasn’t ready to finish them. A novel is a test of your ideas, your willingness to submit, your longevity, your tenacity. I wasn’t prepared to pass that test.
I can’t tell you why, at age 38, I was finally able to finish a novel–and finish it well enough to get it published. I finally tried outlining, and it served me well, but four years clear of it, I think the idea would have forced itself onto the page no matter what. I was a little older. I’d been through some shit, as they say. I was ready. I wrote my second novel with an outline, and as I look back, I think I was impeded a little by it. I’m proud of the book, yes. But I can do better. My third novel–coming next year–was stream of consciousness, baby, and I think it’s my best one yet. So am I now off outlines where once I swore by them? No. I’m off hard-and-fast rules. That’s what I’m trying to say. It ain’t the method. It’s the result.
Now, when someone asks me how to write, there are exercises I can offer and experiences I can share that might help dislodge some ideas. But I cannot take my method, whatever it happens to be, and apply it to you. I won’t insult you by saying that I can.
My advice is, simply, this: write. Keep writing. Find that reservoir within yourself that makes your ideas come alive on the page, drill deep down inside and draw on it for the rest of your life.
Here are some other posts on this topic:
My second novel, THE SUMMER SON, is the subject of a cool promotion today: It’s the Kindle Daily Deal, priced to move at just 99 cents.
It’s a one-day-only thing, so if you’ve wanted to read the book but haven’t, you’ll probably never see a better price. And please, let your friends (Facebook or otherwise) and Twitter followers know. I’d really appreciate it.
Here’s what Booklist had to say about THE SUMMER SON when it was released in January 2011: “A classic western tale of rough lives and gruff, dangerous men, of innocence betrayed and long, stumbling journeys to love.”
This is an odd bit of news to tag onto a post about a Kindle book, as it’s a casualty of the sea change marked by the emergence of e-readers like the Kindle: Thomas Books in Billings, Montana, where I live, is closing its doors in August.
It’s fair to say that I have mixed feelings about this. In the abstract, the closure saddens me greatly. I like Susan Thomas and her store, she’s always been a strong supporter of my books, and I hate like hell to see my town lose an independent bookstore. I’ve supported Susan’s store with my time and my money, and I would happily go on doing so. The same holds true for the Country Bookshelf in Bozeman, Fact & Fiction in Missoula, The Bookstore in Dillon, and on and on.
And yet, e-reading has changed everything for people who love books, and not necessarily in a way that’s a net loss. I’ve said before that buying a Kindle made me a better book consumer. I’ve gone on buying as many print books as I ever did (many of them at Thomas Books), and I’ve added dozens of electronic titles as well.
Obviously, that’s not true for everyone. As Susan notes in the story linked above, after building her revenue back up after the big-box bookstores came to town, she was swamped first by the recession and then by the incredible migration to electronic books.
(It’s also worth noting, as Susan does, that Borders (RIP) and Barnes & Noble were indie killers before Amazon came along, so it’s a little odd to see B&N now hailed in some quarters as the potential savior of bookstores.)
What’s really happening here is disruptive technology. And if you remove emotion from the equation–which, I’ll concede, is tough to do–you realize that this is a very old story. Disruptive technology is why you don’t see many horses and buggies clogging your downtown streets. Why your television set is an inch thick and weighs a tenth of what it did in 1975. Why nobody (except me) carries CDs anymore. Why there there are no record stores in shopping malls. Why newspapers, which once seemingly printed money, are being pared back to nothingness. The printing press that makes these wonderful books we all love — that, too, was disruptive technology. Rock carvers everywhere had to find a new line of work.
Disruptive technology sucks, especially in the moment when it’s being, well, disruptive.
It’s also the way we move from today to tomorrow.
In the past week or so, no big news has come down the pike — YET — but the small developments are starting to add up.
THE SUMMER SON, released in January 2011, is going to have an audiobook version released on Sept. 18. You can pre-order it here. When AmazonEncore acquired the book in 2010, one of the most exciting prospects of the deal was the chance of seeing the audio rights exercised. I’m glad to see that’s happening now.
Speaking of audio editions …
As part of the Aug. 14 re-release of 600 HOURS OF EDWARD, Brilliance Audio will also be putting out the audio version of that title on the same day. Edward has been in my head for several years now, but at last I’ll be able to actually hear him. I can’t wait. If you’re interested in getting that, it can be pre-ordered here.
There’s more news on the horizon, something I’m dying to share. Soon. Very, very soon. I promise.
Today–Tuesday, December 6th–is the official release date for my new book, a collection of short stories called Quantum Physics and the Art of Departure.
Truth be told, the book has been available in print and e-book form for a couple of weeks now, but a book needs a release date, and this is mine. It’s my third book, following the novels 600 Hours of Edward and The Summer Son, and I’m incredibly proud of it. Part of that lies in where the stories came from and the time in my life that spawned them (there will be more on this down the line). Part of it lies in the fact that this is a full production for my little publishing house, Missouri Breaks Press, and a fully realized manifestation of my artistic and professional interests, not to mention my tendency toward being an autodidact. And part of it rests in the same sense of pride and apprehension that accompanies the release of any book. Author Scott Nicholson does a nice job of explaining that here. It takes something–gall, perhaps, or bravado or delusion–to write something and decide that people not only want to read it but also will be willing pay for the privilege.
As for the money part, I’ve tried to make that as pocketbook-friendly as possible. The trade paperback version of the book retails for a competitive $14. The e-book version, available in Kindle and Nook and everything else, is set at $1.99, an eminently fair price for ten good stories.
Back in August, I wrote a series of posts highlighting the ten stories and offering some insight into how they came to be. You can see those here if you missed them the first time.
As for the book, I hope you’ll check it out. I think it’s some of the best work I’ve done.
Vacation’s over. Also, how ’bout them Cowboys? Wait … don’t answer that.
Pass it on to your friends. Also worth noting: This is the final week to get an advance print copy of the book (which releases Dec. 6) at the low, low price of $10.50. Details here.
If you’re in Montana, please check out the latest issue of Montana Magazine, which includes a feature story about my books (written by Chèrie Newman of Montana Public Radio) and a wonderful review of Ed Kemmick’s “The Big Sky, By and By,” which I published. The magazine is on newsstands now.
Finally, a travel advisory: Tuesday, I’m headed to Fort Benton, where the next morning I’ll meet with the Friends of the Library to talk about The Summer Son. Just a little more than a year ago, I was there with my first novel, 600 Hours of Edward, and it was a great group of people and a great town (my first trip there).
We continue today with the story behind the story on the eighth piece of short fiction from my upcoming collection, Quantum Physics and the Art of Departure. To read previous installments, go here.
Backstory: Long after I wrote about Ross Newbry as an adult, I came back to him, this time as an adolescent. Since family relationships seem to be the vein of fiction that I most eagerly mine, I wanted to explore the question of how the reverberations of childhood can mark us and influence our actions as adults. The result was this piece of short fiction, set in the early ’80s in Miles City, Montana. It’s another father-son story — an area that has been well-trod in my first two novels — but this one tacks a much different course.
Here’s an excerpt:
“That’s not much of a story,” the boy said, scooping the last bite of ice cream into his mouth.
“I just figured you’d want to hear it,” Dwight said, a bit too quickly, and he winced as he realized that he’d let the boy know he’d been wounded.
“No, you said it was too good a story to waste,” Ross said, staring at him. “It wasn’t good at all. It sucked.”
Dwight tugged at the napkin on the table, straightening it.
“What are you so angry about, Ross?”
“I’m not angry. I’m really glad you and Mom had a great day. That’s so awesome. Didn’t really stop you from leaving us, though, did it? You’re here, she’s at home, she doesn’t want me, I’m here, I don’t want to be with you. It really worked out for me, didn’t it?”
Dwight clasped his hands in front of him. “Ross—”
“Ross, about me and your momma—”
“Shut up!” The boy threw back his chair, crashing it against the stained-wood wall of Dwight’s trailer. He ran to his room, shaking the doublewide again with a slammed door.
For a long time, Dwight stared into his bowl, waiting for his heart to thump with less urgency. When he finally scooped out some of the melted vanilla, the sound of his spoon clinking against the bowl reverberated in a house that had gone silent.
(Copyright © 2012 Craig Lancaster)
Trivia: Jim Quillen, the violent father at the center of my novel The Summer Son, is in the heart of this story, too. It’s a few years on from the breach between Jim and the narrator of the novel, his son Mitch. Jim’s appearance was in no way planned, but I have to say, he fit perfectly into this story, and it was good to see him again.
Quantum Physics and the Art of Departure will be officially released on Dec. 6, 2011.
I’m pleased to be able to say that my second novel, The Summer Son, has been selected as a finalist for the Utah Book Award in fiction.
It joins two other novels — Sarah/Sara by Jacob Paul and Danse Macabre by Gerald Elias — as a finalist for the award, which will be presented October 15th at Westminster College in Salt Lake City as part of the Utah Humanities Book Festival.
Needless to say, I’m absolutely thrilled about this and honored that my book is in such good company.
Here’s a look at the Paul and Elias books:
Publisher: Ig Publishing
An engrossing meditation on the meaning of faith, Sarah/Sara is the story of a young Orthodox Jewish woman who undertakes a solo kayaking journey across the Arctic Ocean after her parents are killed and she is disfigured by a terrorist bomb in a Jerusalem café. Haunted by her parents’ death, and in particular by memories of her father, a 9/11 survivor whose dream was to kayak through the Arctic, Sarah embarks on her expedition unprepared for the strenuous physical and emotional trial that lies ahead. What begins as a series of diary entries on her struggle with faith ends in a fight for survival, as Sarah slowly comes to realize that she is lost in the Arctic wilderness with the ice closing in around her.
The author, Jacob Paul, is an English professor at the University of Utah and a survivor of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
Publisher: Minotaur Books
From Booklist: When internationally celebrated violin virtuoso Rene Allard is found grotesquely murdered, blind violin teacher and former concertmaster Daniel Jacobus finds himself reluctantly involved in what seems to be an open-and-shut case. For Allard’s rival, the sensational crossover violinist and former Allard student who calls himself BTower, has been observed at the scene of the crime with blood on his hands. Jacobus, the protagonist of Elias’ first novel, Devil’s Trill (2009), remains an irascible and not always likable amateur sleuth, but with the help of a formidable presence and, like a terrier, never lets go.
And, of course, if you’re interested in The Summer Son, there’s plenty of information right here.
Welcome, again, to the land of incremental progress:
The official release date of Ed Kemmick’s book, The Big Sky, By and By, is a week from today, and I now have books in hand to ensure that select bookstores around the state receive copies. I’m happy to say that pre-sales have been very brisk indeed, as I knew they would be. If you’re in Billings and/or receive The Billings Gazette, be sure to check out Sunday’s books page, which will feature a review of Ed’s book by Montana Public Radio’s Chérie Newman. (Also, it’s worth pointing out again: If you have a Kindle or a Nook, Ed’s book is also available in those formats.)
I’m continuing to plug away on a new project. It’s still far too early to say anything of substance about it, but I’m very happy that the day-in, day-out writing experiences have been brisk. For whatever it’s worth, I’m seeing the road pretty clearly as I move through the first draft.
I’ll be in Joliet, Montana, on Saturday for the Joliet Jamboree, a fundraiser for the public library. I’m looking forward to that, and to sharing a panel with fellow Billings authors Russell Rowland and Nancy Brook, among others. Details here.
Just saw the sad news about the demise of Borders. Here in my town, that means the loss of what has been a very good bookstore, and that diminishes the entire community in a cultural way. Jacob Tuka, the books manager in Billings, has been terrifically supportive of local authors and was always cheerful about lining up signings for me. We had a bit of bad timing with The Summer Son, which was released in late January, just as a book-buying moratorium kicked in at Borders. The Billings store has been a reliable seller of 600 Hours of Edward, however, and so I’ll be sorry to see it shuttered.
Five days ago, I sat in Nutter Memorial Park in Sidney, Montana, on a stunningly beautiful 70-degree day (it’s generally at least 20 degrees hotter this time of year) and did a couple of my favorite things:
- I talked with friendly people who love to read books.
- I put my books in their hands.
With January’s release of The Summer Son, I even had an only-in-Sidney pitch to make for my second novel. I could tell visitors to my table, nearly all of them from that part of the world, that a key moment in the book happens in the very park we were in.
Toward the end of the book, as the narrator, Mitch Quillen, is learning some of the context that helps explain his inscrutable, violent father, Mitch remembers something that happened in the summer of 1977, thirty years earlier:
On a day we broke early from work, Dad and some of the other drillers barbecued burgers in the park across the street from the motel where we stayed. The revelry went on for hours, and I loved seeing my father loosened from the grip of work. For most of that day and evening, he was everyone’s best friend, quick with a joke and a smile.
Then a helper for one of the other drillers brought out boxing gloves and suggested some friendly bouts, and another good time crumbled.
A boxer from his Navy days, Dad turned frolic into intense competition, chopping down each opponent, one by one, until the only willing foe was the hand who had brought the gloves out. He was long and lean, his abdomen ripped with muscle, and he was more than a match for Dad–and probably half Dad’s age.
When the fight began, the young hand bounced side to side on the periphery of Dad’s range. Dad stalked his quarry. He loaded up a right hand and sent it screaming toward the kid’s jaw. The young man slipped the punch, shuffled left, and plowed three quick jabs into Dad’s face.
Dad came at him again, still cocking the right hand. When he let it go, the punch just missed, crashing loudly against the hand’s sternum. The young man’s eyes grew wide; he knew that a couple of inches higher would have laid him out. He slid to his right, out of Dad’s reach, and offered recompense with two jabs to the face and a right cross that sent sweat flying off Dad’s head.
Dad bore in hard and paid for the strategy. Lefts and rights hit Dad, splitting his lip and leaving a welt under his left eye. Dad swung wildly and missed even more wildly. Each misstep carried a heavy toll of leather.
Dad cast off his gloves.
“Enough of this shit,” he said. “I’m too damned old.”
His opponent smiled and removed his gloves. He offered a handshake to Dad, who accepted it.
The guy never saw it coming. Dad gripped with one hand and crashed a fist into the guy’s mouth with the other, toppling him. He got in two kicks to the guy’s ribs–punctuated by “Now who’s the tough guy, motherfucker?”–before Dad’s buddies pulled him off.
I saw it all from my perch atop an old steam engine, just yards away. I watched as one of Dad’s friends walked him out of the park and back to the motel. I watched as the young man rose slowly to his feet and spit up blood.
I quaked with fear as I returned to the room, scared of who I’d find on the other side of the door. Dad said nothing when I came in. He stared at the TV set. I quietly undressed and climbed into the bed opposite his.
My father’s indestructibility left me awestruck. His ability to turn vicious draped me in fear.
Thirty years later, lying there in a bedroom adjacent to his, I found it difficult to comprehend that he no longer possessed much of either quality. The clock always winds down, whether we think of it or not.
I’ll be hitting other festivals in the weeks to come: July 23 at the Joliet Jamboree, August 5 at the Spirit of Montana Authors’ Gathering in Big Timber, August 6 at the Madison Valley Arts Festival in Ennis, August 20 at the Potato Festival in Manhattan. It’s a wonderful time of the year for any author who thrives on meeting readers. You can keep up with my schedule here.
It’s hard to believe the summer is floating away so quickly. Soon–much sooner than I think–the snow will fly and I’ll hunker down indoors with my work, waiting for the sunny days to return and bring festivals back into my life.
It’s been a light week. And, dammit, I deserved it.
A few things:
- Finally, the Ed Kemmick book, The Big Sky, By and By, is for sale in advance of its official July 26 release date. If you’d like a signed copy, please jet over to Ed’s site and make a totally safe PayPal transaction. If you love Montana and Montanans, this book will not disappoint you. I’m damned proud to have it as the second release from my little literary house, after Carol Buchanan’s Gold Under Ice.
- I’m hitting the road this week, heading up to Ronan, Montana, to talk to the Friends of the Library group there. Ronan was a great host last year when I was thumping 600 Hours of Edward, and I’m really, really looking forward to talking to my friends about my new novel, The Summer Son. This, I suppose, is the unofficial kickoff to my summer book season. Check out my calendar for the other stuff I have on tap.
- My collection of short stories, tentatively titled Quantum Physics and the Art of Departure, is in the hands of a trusted editor before I move it along to my publisher. Really, really excited about these. Really, really hoping the publisher will be, too.
And now, a personal note:
Today is the 72nd birthday of my dad, Ron Lancaster (shown above with my dogs Bodie and Zula). (By the way, them’s my legs behind him.) I’ve written some about his difficult life, and my occasionally difficult dealings with him. I’ve never shied away from the fact that The Summer Son is, on some level, both a vehicle for working out my frustrations with him and a love letter to him.
But I’ll be telling him today — as he will never see it here — that I love him very much and am blessed to have him in my life.
Happy birthday, Pops.
Still coming out of my post-New York coma, so I’ll be (relatively) brief …
- Copies of the Ed Kemmick book, The Big Sky, By and By, have been bundled up for reviewers and will go out this week. Release date is July 26.
- I’m plug, plug, plugging away at the new novel project. This is all a little inside baseball, so if that’s not your cup of tea, go here for something more interesting. … OK, still here? I’m trying something new with this book. I have a basic idea of where it’s going to go, but I’m outlining only a few scenes at a time — four or five. Once those are written, I assess where the story is and consider new threads that have emerged — those always happen — and then sketch out a few more scenes. With 600 Hours of Edward and The Summer Son, I plotted a bit more aggressively at the outset, and while I’m happy with both books, they perhaps missed a little bit of the spontaneity that I’m experiencing with this project. It’s kept the slogging — that awful point in a first draft where you’re several thousand words in and have many thousands yet to go — from being a total drag.
- I hope you’re keeping up with my weekly project, The Word. I’m having a ton of fun with that. You can also see the stories at my page on Fictionaut.
If you followed the old blog, you might remember my Missoula travelogue from a week ago, when I proved that I’m a rather lacking photojournalist. Not content to prove it once, I’ve reiterated it with a trip to Dillon this week for a reading at the University of Montana Western.
Take my hand and away we go …
When I left Billings at about 9 a.m. Monday, this was the view of the sky through the moon roof of my car. Nice, eh?
In a post preceding the trip, one of the things I asked for was a clear view of the mountains. Wish granted.
I love Bozeman so much, I can’t even tell you. I get a little shot of energy every time I drive into downtown.
Maybe it’s the awesome sugar-free latte that awaits me at Leaf and Bean …
… or perhaps it’s that I’ll be visiting the Country Bookshelf, one of my favorite bookstores. This time, I had to pick up the current issue of Montana Quarterly. I made a snap decision on the way out to read my short story “Cruelty to Animals,” which appears in this issue.
About 35 miles outside Bozeman, I stopped at the Town Pump to load up on snacks. My haul: a frozen huckleberry drink (44 ounces), a loaded hot dog (tucked away in a pizza sleeve), and Tic-Tacs to blunt the effects of the hot dog.
OK, do you remember this photo from downtown Dillon? Well, the building is still there …
I think I speak for everyone when I say “Bring back the turret!”
This is what was directly behind me when I took the picture of the now turret-less building. After reading this, I’m now sorry I didn’t go in. Next time!
I made it to Dillon just after 2 p.m. and my host for the evening, Alan Weltzien, was not going to be ready for me for a few hours. So I did the only sensible thing: I headed for the Beaverhead Golf Course.
And like the hack I am, I put up a craptastic score. Here’s the thing, though: My form is picture-perfect. Clearly, my tools are inferior.
Now then …
At this juncture, the picture-taking ends for a while. Among the things that happened as I kept my cell phone in my pocket: dinner with Alan and his lovely wife, Lynn; a stroll on campus; a reading to a very nice crowd at The Cup, the UM Western campus coffee shop; a few rounds of drinks with Alan and some of his friends. Because, hey, who wants to see that when you can look at a golf cart, right?
Tuesday morning at 10 a.m., I headed home:
The day before, on the way to Dillon, I’d noticed a closed-down campus of some sort in Twin Bridges. It’s the old Montana State Orphanage, which has been closed since 1985. I vowed to take a closer look on the way back. Here’s the sign out front, festooned with for-sale messages.
You can’t see it very well in this picture, but there’s a Victorian house on the grounds that is just haunting — and badly in need of repair.
Over the fence, here’s a view of some of the buildings on the campus. This Seattle Times story from 1995 tells what life was like at the orphanage for a couple of its former residents.
More orphanage buildings. A Bozeman Daily Chronicle story of more recent vintage tells what the owner of the property hopes to do with it.
Back on the road. The route between Dillon and Interstate 90, where I’d turn east toward home, basically runs in a long river valley between mountain ranges. Here was the view outside my passenger window.
Still more scenery. One of the things I love about driving in the mountains is that there’s such a difference between what you see on the way in and what you see as you retrace your path.
Trenchant political commentary in a restroom at the Whitehall Town Pump.
As I made my way home after lunch in Bozeman, I watched the coming weather with trepidation.
As it turned out, I just had to withstand a little rain. No problem.
Everyone should get to come home to a dachshund.