This summer has been a tough one for me. Health problems for a family member, the stress and burnout that came with crashing through the wall and completing my second novel in 1/2 the time originally allotted, website updates for old customers, and the commencement of a new book during the busiest time of the year at my “day job.”
I’d had enough fun. I was lethargic, sullen, perhaps even a little depressed when you get right down to it. But that didn’t last long once I’d found Longmire on the A&E network. The show (which is awesome) is based on the books by Craig Allen Johnson. The books are even more awesome. (UPDATE: For those of you who are sensitive, the books/show are not “Christian” literature or drama. Be forewarned. To all my old sailor buddies, it’s pretty tame stuff.)
I’m a voracious reader and love me some television junk-food. Longmire fills both spots in my universe. The show isn’t junk, but it has all the nice parts of junk food like spice, sugar, a hint of something you just cannot put your finger on, a little beef jerky, some rum, a cold Rainier, and some whipped cream on the top. The characters are fairly true to the books. Little changes here and there to make stories work better in the short time of an hour. The acting is good, the scenery is breathtaking on occasion and the cast are a joy to watch.
But the books… I read one and within three days had all of them on my Kindle. Now, three weeks later, I have finished them all. I will not throw out spoilers, but they sure are humdinger books. For those of you who devoured anything that Tony Hillerman wrote, you will find Craig Johnson does it as well but with a little more humor and a little more snark. Jim Chee won’t be there, but his Cheyenne and Crow counterparts are a welcome substitution.
Johnson’s writing style is minimalist in many ways and he invites youto use your mind and envision the world he has in front of him. The dialogue is spiffy with morons being morons and smart guys being smart guys, and the reset just being themselves.
I could go on for quite a while here, but the point is my funk has left after reading these books. I’m ready to write again and enjoy it. Largely because Craig Johnson has sent Walt Longmire to rescue me from my state of ennui.