Essay — The Trail Ahead

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Last night I watched a replay of a Clint Eastwood classic called The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. The plot revolved around hangings, gunfights, and Civil War chaos, plus other adventures, including the search for buried gold.

When the movie came out in 1966, I thought it was great. Well actually, I thought Clint Eastwood was great. But then, who didn’t?

I cringed when Clint suffered a sunburn that nearly peeled the skin off his face. Yet he healed beautifully—without a scar, a blemish or a hint of pain.

What a man!

I held my breath as he swam across a river to blow up a bridge. Then I chuckled as he stepped onto the bank, and walked away with his clothes only slightly damp.

Who else but Clint could get away with that?

The first time I saw the movie, the man with no name was lean, mean, and handsome. Yesterday, when I watched the re-run, he was still lean, mean, and handsome.

In films, Clint will be forever young—just like the hero in Carpenter Country’s new novella, Jack and The Fountain of Youth—except Jack doesn’t think being young until the end of time is so wonderful.

Why not? You’ll have to read the first installment in this newsletter and follow along in future issues to find out—or you can buy a copy of the complete novella on Amazon, or through our website.

Jack’s not the only thing new around here, as you’ve probably noticed. We’ve updated the site, and this newsletter, which will now be going out weekly. In addition, we’ll be changing the focus of our articles to reflect the stories we’re working on. We believe that will be a triple win—interesting topics (as usual), free research for other authors, and a peek into our current projects.

Here’s what you can expect in the weekly updates: an article in the new format once a month or so, interspersed with Carpenter Country essays like this one and the occasional satire. We’ll also continue to post our publishing news, and are happy to share yours as well.

There will be more changes in the coming weeks. If you have comments or suggestions, send an email to hl_carpenter -at- We look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for continuing to share our journey. Like Clint, we’ll ride off into the sunset now—but we’ll “see” you again next week.


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