Friday, July 11, 2014

Why I Chose Wyoming


As the State of Wyoming celebrates her 124th birthday this July, thought I would  briefly share a few of my reasons for choosing this place of extraordinary natural beauty, fascinating people and compelling history as the central setting for The Liberty & Property Legends, my saga of The West & Gilded Age.
The fundamental theme of The Liberty & Property Legends is freedom.
Everything hangs off this. I wanted a Western setting because in The West people were looking to be free of the constraints that were stifling their adventurous spirits, their strong desire to be independent, their religious and cultural freedoms, and the need to get ahead both financially and personally.
A strong platform for women.
In The West, there is a strong emphasis on the significance of women and their contribution. As I wanted to give my female characters a firm base to strut their stuff, I chose Wyoming, where women had the franchise since the Territory of Wyoming  was created in 1868. Women were integral to Wyoming - the first US state or territory to give women the vote.

Women's suffrage in Cheyenne, Wyoming -
I am very fond of this famous image!

Wyoming is called the Cowboy state.
There is no greater embodiment of the spirit of freedom and independence  than the cowboy.  When you read The Liberty & Property Legends you see this borne out in Luke.

Bucking horse & Cowboy sculpture -
Capitol Building, Cheyenne

If you study the seals of The Liberty & Property Legends you will see two of the motifs which will never change: 
1. the train, which symbolizes the Gilded Age of capitalism and progress;
2. the bucking horse and cowboy, which symbolizes Luke, who embodies Liberty & Property; it is also the symbol of Wyoming and her cultural history, the central setting of the saga to this point.

Happy Statehood, Wyoming,
Land of Dreams, Stuff of Legends!


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