“Don’t be afraid of death so much as an inadequate life. ”

—Berthold Brecht

I’m traveling alone, covering some new ground in the West. Hot air balloons in Albuquerque, old Santa Fe with its Spanish Colonial roots still growing deep in the bright sunshine. Up I-25 through Colorado, to the old cattle town of Cheyenne, then out 23 miles to stay in a new house on an old, windswept hillside. Some wine, some good food, some talk, some herb, some sleep and coffee, in no particular order.

Then a trip to a shooting range in a day or so. It’s been years since I’ve held a gun. I grew up on a farm and guns were what I grew up with. I realized I need to do some practical research for the book, though. So off the range with several weapons my hosts have, boxes of ammo and targets. I need to feel the kick, the weight, the explosion of them. I need to hear the sounds and smell the smoke. But these are my childhood chums, too. I have to confess that what we rural kids did back before everyone got so paranoid was to shoot guns and blow stuff up, and no one batted an eye. This is about that, too. 🙂 But research can mingle with memory just fine.