Ten Shoes Up by Gary Stuart
Angus is an 1880s cowboy riding and hiding on Ten Shoes Up, a 10,000 foot mountain straddling the border between New Mexico and Colorado. With a slack rein, he rides straight-legged, always on the lookout. Angus doesn't talk much except to Tucson, his bay gelding. Men admire the way he sits a saddle, and women wonder if he's going to dismount. As he rides into a new town, any fool can see he’s well-armed, confident, and riding a fine horse. He’s often taken for a scout or a trapper, or an outlaw. Some say his coming down off "his" mountain was reluctant. Others say it's about time. Town folk still mull their all too human problems, but Angus depends on the horse he rides, the trails he follows, and the rivers he crosses. His code—Hold true to nature, hide your misery, stay out of sight. In his early twenties, Angus is on a mission and struggles to resolve issues he thought were buried with his young wife.
His life bears little likeness to today’s frenetic culture. Still, what happens to him parallels choices made by many young people today. While the West is no longer wild, today's culture owes much of its footing to men like Angus. Angus and Tucson are the same story—the onrush of civilization and its fated codes that clash with deeply held beliefs.
I earned degrees in business and law at the University of Arizona, and practiced law in Phoenix Arizona for a long time. In the 1990s, I started writing long form, outside the office. I grew up in Gallup New Mexico and always “hankered” to write a book about rural life in the southwest.
I currently teach creative writing to law students at Arizona State University. I write every day. My stack includes hundreds of short stories, articles, monologs, op-eds and blogs about writing and writers. I got back to my cowboy roots in the nineteen-eighties, which might explain why I’m now writing about life out west in the eighteen-eighties. Gallup, Tucson and Darlene are my horses; they’ve taught me a good deal about who I am over the last thirty years. Ten Shoes Up is the first of a three-book series set in the 1880s along the New Mexico Colorado border. These books can’t be booted down into the traditional western genre. They chronicle the challenges that young men and women faced at the turn of the 19th Century. From Angus’s point of view, as portrayed on my blog, not all that much has changed.
Gary’s Website: http://garylstuart.com/