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June 17, 2005

Stephen Bodio Blogs

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Stephen Bodio is a beyond-excellent nature writer who manages the distinctive -- and too-rare -- feat of fusing the lyrical and rhapsodic with the harshly down-to-earth. (I especially loved his collection of essays "On the Edge of the Wild: Passions and Pleasures of a Naturalist.") Based in New Mexico, he's accessible yet sophisticated, full of curiosity and interests, and has a good sense of rueful humor about the ultimate absurdity (and beauty) Of It All. He also has a special affinity for raptor birds.

So it's a real pleasure to welcome Stephen to the blogosphere. Here's his general website, where you can explore a lot of freebies and links. Here's his blog.

As a blogger, Stephen's off and running with good stuff about nifty topics like fashions in Kazakhstan and the greatness of Frederick Turner. It's always interesting to see how pro writers handle it when they start blogging. Blogging simply isn't like traditional writing, and many accomplished traditional writers never quite find the rhythm. Stephen, though, is having fun with links, quick observations, and humor. He shows mucho evidence of having the blogging gene.

BTW, if I write about Stephen in ever-so-slightly-familiar tones, it's because he was an early visitor to 2Blowhards. I even coaxed a Guest Posting out of him, a terrific set of thoughts and observations about what it's like to be a book-publishin' writer. You can read Stephen's Guest Posting here.



posted by Michael at June 17, 2005


I heard first of Stephen Bodio about half a year ago from Odious, who [mistakenly, but I wish it was true] took me for a friend of Stephen or Peculiar (and a falconer...alas!); reading Amazon reviews of Eagle dreams I selfishly wished the author had a blog of his own.

Also: Kazakh women ARE beautiful (as far as I can recall from my living in Bukhtarma on Irtysh at the mature age of 6 y.o.), but you wouldn't think so from that fashion show Nathan featured at Registan (Stephen links to it)

OT: Odious, if you read this: Alice is blogging again!

Posted by: Tatyana on June 17, 2005 3:24 PM

Stephen Bodio writes out of a tradition not well-known outside the Southwest -- desert writing. If anyone is interested, the "grandfather" of this tradition is Edward Abbey whose book Desert Solitaire has inspired, and calmed, countless nature lovers ... like me.

I can't wait to read Bodio's stuff. Thanks for the heads up.


Posted by: kris on June 17, 2005 8:14 PM

Tatyana -- We count on you for the most amazing information. We never know what it'll be, but we're always pretty sure it'll be amazing.

Kris -- Count me as another "Desert Solitaire" fan. Great stuff. Very sad how unaware northeasterners are of west coast and desert writing, isn't it? As far as they're concerned, "literature" happens in and around NYC. Not that I know much about the western writing scene, but at least I know it's there. Are you an Abbey fan generally? I read maybe a half-dozen of his books and came away liking his nonfiction a lot more than his fiction. Not that I didn't like the fiction fine, but the nonfiction had some added ... I don't know what. Poetry, intensity, rampagingness ... Something. Less strain. I wonder if maybe he wasn't less of a natural where fiction was concerned. Reminds me some of D.H. Lawrence, who I also love. The fiction's great, but the nonfiction is great and it's economical and to the point. Far less huffing and puffing, far more dancing and jabbing. And he loved the SW too.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on June 17, 2005 8:28 PM

Damn, I did it again.
Apologies for my uncontrollable yakking; and right after I picked up a hint [elsewhere] and resolved to "keep my mouth shut in public"!

Posted by: Tatyana on June 17, 2005 11:06 PM

Hey, that wasn't a scold. You overestimate my irony quotient. We love Tatyana and only want more. Don't hold back, girl.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on June 17, 2005 11:15 PM

“Count me as another "Desert Solitaire" fan. Great stuff. Very sad how unaware northeasterners are of west coast and desert writing, isn't it?”

I am so pleased you like Desert Solitaire. For a long time I’ve felt there must be a commonality between those who read this blog and you, the blog’s authors. Perhaps my commonality with you is the love of nature and nature writing? Not sure. I do enjoy what you write and check into the blog every couple days, looking for interesting comments and new postings.

I’m not surprised that northeasterners don’t read western literature, by the way. Few people read widely anymore. Niche interests and authors seem the rage. And much literature really does come from NYC, at least agented literature. NYC is the hub – the west is merely spoke.

“Are you an Abbey fan generally? I read maybe a half-dozen of his books and came away liking his nonfiction a lot more than his fiction.”

I never knew he wrote fiction! (Hangs head low with embarrassment).

Posted by: Kris on June 19, 2005 2:35 AM

Kris-- for fiction, try Abbey's The Brave Cowboy-- which later was well- adapted as the cult movie Lonely are the Brave-- or Fire on the Mountain. They were written before his status sometimes affected his public stances. I agree about his best non- fiction, like Desert Solitaire, being his best, but the early novels were pretty fine.

And: Abbey was never P.C.on anything! He remained an interesting immigration skeptic-- wanted to arm the Mexicans and turn them back at the border to deal with their "masters"-- and kept up a friendship until his last days with the paleoconservative writer Chilton Williamson, as well as thorny non- P. C. lefties like Chuck Bowden (both decent "desert writers").

Posted by: Steve Bodio on June 22, 2005 9:59 PM

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