HOME RANGE: Notes on Literature, Nature, Working Dogs, History, Other Obsessions and Sundry Annoyances by Henry Chappell

Come See Us in Dallas on November 10!

August 10, 2016

Tags: Books, San Antonio Viejo Ranch, Horses to Ride, Cattle to Cut, Event, Bush Library


This promises to be a fun event - our first signing of Horses to Ride Cattle to Cut: The San Antonio Viejo Ranch of Texas in the Dallas area, November 10, 6 - 8 p.m., at the Bush Library.

A Little Teaser ...

July 22, 2016

Tags: Books, San Antonio Viejo Ranch, Horses to Ride, Cattle to Cut

From page 52:

"On April 29, 1862, at Rancho Santa Gertrudis,
Richard and Henrietta King welcomed their fourth
child, a daughter named Alice Gertrudis. Her
name seems fitting. She was born on ground she
served the rest of her life. And through her eventual
marriage to Robert Justus Kleberg the King
Ranch empire would continue and grow. From
that King-Kleberg union came another baby girl,
one who would grow rooted in another place in the
Wild Horse Desert: San Antonio Viejo."


H.C.

Closing the File: Horses to Ride, Cattle to Cut

July 21, 2016

Tags: Books, San Antonio Viejo Ranch, Horses to Ride, Cattle to Cut


Day before yesterday, after a one last email on a proposed word change, we brought the design/editorial phase of Horses to Ride, Cattle to Cut: The San Antonio Viejo Ranch of Texas to a close. By now, the files should've gone out to the printer. The book will be available in October. This afternoon, after two years of work, I gathered up the mess of folders, drafts, and proofs from my desk and the floor and piled them into a big file box. I have one or more of these boxes for all nine of my books. You can accumulate a lot of material over the course of a long project.

The last item to go in, a worn Moleskine notebook, contains all of my notes and the first draft of the book, written in fragments of a few paragraphs or pages at a time among the notes. When I felt I had the makings of a book, I typed and organized these fragments, polishing as I went, into a pretty good second draft. After another four drafts, the manuscript was ready for submission.

Although I usually do magazine articles and columns entirely on my laptop, I've always written first drafts of my most challenging works - long essays and books - longhand. Friends and family obsessed with efficiency find this appalling, but I've found it far easier to finish a first draft longhand because I'm less likely to stop and re-read my own scrawl and therefore less likely to lose confidence, which builds as the pages accumulate.

Just before I put the lid on the box, I opened the notebook at random to the beginning of a section entitled "La Madama." It's dated 10/31/15. Amazing. It feels like I wrote those paragraphs a couple weeks ago.

I always expect to feel relief if not euphoria at this point, but I never do. Mostly I'm tired, unfocused and loathe to think about that next magazine deadline.

Cover - Horses to Ride, Cattle to Cut

June 2, 2016

Tags: Books, San Antonio Viejo Ranch, Horses to Ride, Cattle to Cut


Here's the likely cover. Layout is nearly done. Wyman and I are about to start a photo captioning marathon. Wyman shot some 33,000 photos for this project. We're down to a couple hundred plus my 20,000-word essay.

New Book - Horses to Ride, Cattle to Cut

April 21, 2016

Tags: Books, San Antonio Viejo Ranch



We’ve kept it under wraps for the past three years. At last we can talk about it. My newest book, with the great Wyman Meinzer, Horses to Ride, Cattle to Cut: The San Antonio Viejo Ranch of Texas, will be out late this summer. This has been the most challenging and satisfying non-fiction project of my career, and our most ambitious collaboration yet. San Antonio Viejo, one of the world’s greatest ranches, has been closed to outsiders for generations. The East Foundation gave Wyman and me full access to the ranch and the family archive. What a privilege and blessing to introduce this great ranch to the world. Currently the book is in the design phase. I’ll post updates and short passages in the coming weeks. Of course I can’t wait to share the cover. For now, I’ll send you to Wyman’s site for more info. Just click on the photo. Thanks!

Selected Work

Novels
"I regard Silent We Stood as being among the finest Civil War novels I have ever read"
  • David Madden, Civil War Book Review
  • "Blood Kin is historical fiction at its best."
  • Bruce Winders, Historian and Curator, The Alamo
  • "The finest book on buffalo hunting and the resulting conflict with the Comanches that I have ever read."
  • Doris R. Meredith, Roundup
  • Non-fiction Books
    "Sharp and colorful also describe the economical prose of sports and wildlife writer Henry Chappell"
  • Elaine Wolff, San Antonio Current
  • Magazine Work
    Articles and Reviews
    Feature Articles
    Columns and Feature Articles