February 18, 2010

Cowboys -- What's the Appeal?

I confess. Ever since I was a little girl, I have always loved watching westerns. And the sight of a man in jeans, boots and a Stetson have always made my heart skip a beat. If that man happens to also be astride a fine horse, all the better! :)

Right now, I'm working on a couple of books with a western setting. In fact, the very first complete book I wrote was set in a small western town and featured a hero who was a successful cattle baron. And now, I'm returning to writing what I love. Stories about horses, cowboys, ladies and ranches in the west.

So, what is it about cowboys that appeals to so many of us? Why do little boys love to don the hat and boots and swing that lasso? Why do little girls get a twinkle in their eye when they see one? What about them makes ladies want to hop right on their horse and ride off into the sunset with them? What about the way they tip their hat makes you feel that all is right with the world? Why do stories of them always catch our ear or seeing them catch our eye? And what is it about the way they drawl the word, "ma'am" that can make you weak at the knees?

Perhaps it's a desire for those simpler times when a man's handshake and his word was his bond, when men treated women with a high measure of respect and courtesy, when loyalty was a highly-prized character trait, and when you had all you could ever hope for if you had a good woman, a good saddle and a good horse.

To me? It's the love of horses and the image that cowboys represent. They might be a little rough around the edges, and they might even stink if they've been riding range for days on end without the luxury of a creek or a shower. But we love them anyway! There is just something about them that has stood the test of time, and I'm sure will continue to do so for years to come.

Before I end, I'd like to share a web site another friend sent that's entitled:

True Cowboy - The Last Cowboy Stronghold

Whether you're looking to delve into the history of the cowboy or want to scope out some modern-day ones, or even if you've got a hankerin' to don the gear and become a cowboy or cowgirl yourself, this site has it all. Enjoy!

Oh! And I'd love to hear what YOU feel is the reason for the appeal of the cowboy. What about them makes YOUR heart beat faster or puts a smile on your face? Share your thoughts in the comments.

** images used from the following sites: http://www.art.com, http://domainnamenews.com, http://www.buckaroostyle.com, http://www.fineartamerica.com, and http://www.celebritycostumeshop.com.

Tiffany Amber Stockton is an author, online marketing specialist and freelance web site designer who lives with her husband and fellow author in Colorado. They have 1 daughter and a border collie. She has sold eight books so far to Barbour Publishing, is a columnist for the ACFW e-zine and writes other articles as well. Read more about her at her web site: http://www.amberstockton.com/.


Casey said...

I live in a small town in the west (just about as far as you can get) where cattle outnumber the people in our town. For me, I love a good, clean cut cowboy. The wide brim hat, wild rag and tinkling spurs.

My ideal cowboy would love the back of horse and NOT have a cell phone. I tell you those things just destroy the image of the range, when you see a cowboy riding the range with those things glued to his ear. :)

And have I mentioned I LOVE wild rags and wide brim hats??? Oh, Lord provide me my cowboy.... :D

Crystal Laine Miller said...

I adore cowboys! LOL. I'm so glad you're working on writing a western. Those were always my favorite movies and I'm with you on that.

Can't wait to read your new stories.

BK said...

My love of cowboys came from reading western novels and watching westerns on television. Didn't have much exposure to western movies so can't speak for them.

Anybody who gets to make their living from the back of a horse has my undying adoration. The life I wish I could have lived. The cowboys I grew up reading about/watching had a great sense of humor, strong sense of who they were and what their morals were with a good strong dose of stubborn mixed in. When I read/see those cowboys, I get a strong sense of hope, that there's a future for mankind if we stick closer to our roots. And they always seemed to resemble freedom to me---wide open spaces, and certainly a line of work that, unlike those of us in the modern era, got to work in relatively people-free conditions--something I also yearn for, instead of the million people per square acre feel of the modern age.

That sense of hopefulness is the one thing that is completely missing from modern western films. Instead of being full of hope, they are generally black and bleak affairs. Makes me walk away feeling hopeless instead of hopeful.

I hope I live to one day see an original western film that captures that hope, that positive outlook again.

Deborah Vogts said...

Hi Tiff, I enjoyed your post this morning. Ah, cowboys. What would we do without them??!! Glad to see that you're writing about them. I look forward to reading your new books. ;)

bigguysmama said...

Wow, there are so many reasons to love the idea of a Cowboy.

*They seem so rugged & the strength they exude with that ruggedess
*Aren't afraid of hard work and getting dirty
*Salt of the earth
*What man doesn't look good in a Stetson, Wranglers, and on the back of a horse
*Watching them work their herds is awe inspiring
*Something about a working cowboy just makes me sigh...

~Mimi @ Woven by Words

Edna said...

I always loved cowboys also, my favorite was Clint Walker that played as Chayanne, you young folks will not remember him, he came along with Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Rawhide etc,


Crystal Laine Miller said...

Edna, I remember...LOL. I loved all those shows, too. Happy Trails to you!

brendalottakamaggiebrendan said...

Love your post, Tiff. My favorite cowboy is Sam Elliott! In fact I based my first book, No Place for a Lady in the character of Luke Weber. Sam's way of looking at you and his voice sends me completely over the edge!!

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

Hmm, seems we're all in agreement on the way a cowboy looks at you or that drawl in his voice. Plus, the appearance of blue jeans, boots and a Stetson. Shirts are optional. LOL!

We'll see if I can find a publisher who wants this western and if it will mean a slight shift for me from my previous books. I know I'm going to love it if I can write western-style stories. Always fun to include humor and romance too. Ahh, the stuff great books are made of. :)

For His Glory said...

enjoying your blog posts and the comments i've read. true cowboys seem to have that "something" that draws us toward them; but beware and avoid the scheming, crooked ones who don't live what has been identified as an honorable code of the west. i've enjoyed the old west type of days since childhood through books, movies and the old western tv shows (i remember the rifleman, big valley, bonanza, etc). they seem to carry me away to seemingly more carefree days although i know they, too, had difficulties honor, courage, commitment and treating a lady with respect; difficult, though not impossible to find in today's society. oh, the days gone bye.