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Tim Sandlin

Novelist and Screenwriter

Tim Sandlin is the author of ten books including <em>Honey Don't</em> and <em>Jimi Hendrix Turns Eighty</em>. He is director of the Jackson Hole Writers Conference.
How to Milk a

How to Milk a Moose

Clyde tossed the loop over the moose's head where it slipped down onto her neck and then he took off south. The moose reared up on her hind legs in a Hi Ho Silver maneuver. Folks back on the lodge deck reached for their cell phones. That's the American way to handle a crisis nowadays. Grab a phone, first.
02/24/2014 03:16 EST
How Education Works in the United

How Education Works in the United States

A student, a teacher, a principal and the governor of North Carolina were lost in the southwest desert for three days and nights. The food ran out, then the water ran out. They had no internet service. They knew that without water they would surely die....
02/15/2014 07:35 EST
Watching Shane (and 99 Other Ways to Beat the

Watching Shane (and 99 Other Ways to Beat the Blues)

After a few days of sitting there like an African violet in need of sunlight, I get up and fix a pot of Kenya AA coffee. Then I pop <em>Shane</em> into the DVD player. It's a scientific fact that a person cannot remain in the dumps throughout a full viewing of <em>Shane</em>.
02/10/2014 06:52 EST
Suicide and Reviews: Part

Suicide and Reviews: Part II

Jim Harrison has a list of writers who committed suicide within a month of finishing a novel. Last I heard, he had 35 names. It goes along with the postpartum metaphor. You've been holding the universe and your body together by sheer will for so long, that when you allow yourself to let go, you tend to let go of everything at once and the results can be messy.
01/31/2014 04:17 EST
Proust and the

Proust and the Hernia

I knew for certain I would never die in the middle of a book. Others may, but I'm not about to bite the big one until I read The End of whichever story I'm consuming at the moment. <em>Remembrance of Things Past</em> comes in seven volumes and I figured, with time out for recreational reading, it would take a year to read each volume, so I had just given myself seven more years to live.
01/20/2014 12:04 EST
You, Too, Can Buy an Oscar

You, Too, Can Buy an Oscar Nomination

Did you ever wonder why certain mid-major to major studios seem to receive so many more Oscar nominations than others? The answer in some -- but God knows not all -- cases is that they pay for them. Not directly, of course. Oscar voters cannot be bribed. But Golden Globe voters can. And Golden Globe winners often win Oscar nominations.
12/16/2013 02:55 EST
Chicken Soup for the Arrogant

Chicken Soup for the Arrogant Soul

If you go on a book tour, I would advise against behaving like a jerk. The media escorts gossip. With a minimum of prodding, they dish the dirt. Jeffrey Archer is a legend for his bad behaviour. Next most arrogant, rude and demanding are the editors from the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Think about that.
12/09/2013 01:13 EST
Truth, Lies and

Truth, Lies and Styrofoam

Fiction writers write a series of lies that add up to Truth. Capital T. Nonfiction writers write a series of facts that add up to a point of view, if you are kind, and a lie, if you are tacky. I write novels, which means my lies are Truth. Bill O'Reilly's lies are lies. Your sanity depends on your ability to tell the difference.
12/02/2013 01:50 EST
Angels and

Angels and Colons

I know you are all on virtual tenterhooks about the state of my colon, so here is the report: As I was lying on the skinny hospital bed on wheels, slowly rising out of the anesthesia, the curtain parted and in floated the angel of the Lord. The angel saith (in a New Orleans accent): "Your doctor messed up. He ripped you a new anal cavity."
11/24/2013 11:30 EST

Rejection, Hollywood-Style

If you plan to work in the movie business you must accept that everyone lies and it's normal behaviour and your job is to figure out what they really mean. Richard Price once said, " 'Thank you,' in Hollywood, means 'You're fired'." It is my experience, the studios said "Thank you," but the producers said nothing.
11/18/2013 04:38 EST
Lessons Learned From Brad Pitt's Fan

Lessons Learned From Brad Pitt's Fan Mail

If I'd known where Brad Pitt lived I could have boxed up his mail and taken it to him. It would have made a nice icebreaker with Jennifer Aniston. (This was ten years ago.) But I didn't know and I didn't think they wanted the mail anyway, so I did what any other normal American would have done with a pile of unsolicited mail addressed to Brad Pitt -- I opened it.
11/11/2013 11:36 EST
Spare any Change for a Double Ristretto

Spare any Change for a Double Ristretto Macchiato?

For much of my youth, I lived outdoors. I figured that's the price you pay for chasing your own dream instead of someone else's. Lord knows, I'd rather write than pee indoors. Nowadays, it's called being homeless but back then it was living outside and was a perfectly respectable way to make time for doing what you loved to do.
11/04/2013 02:07 EST
How to Write a (Literary) Sex

How to Write a (Literary) Sex Scene

I'm at the stage in my career where public shunning might do me good, so here is my take on literary copulation. I would advise skipping the thrusting manhood or angry urethras and going with emotions. Make the sentences read as poetry -- man on top, iambic, woman on top, trochaic or even serpentine free verse.
10/28/2013 02:31 EDT
Why I Left Hollywood (Part

Why I Left Hollywood (Part 1)

I wrote five novels about my problems and then I ran out of problems. I have always thought a novelist with nothing to say should shut up, so I did, waiting patiently for new problems to appear. In the meantime, I wrote screenplays because you don't have to have anything to say to write a movie. You just have to be able to give good meeting.
10/22/2013 11:01 EDT
Bear Spray and Mosquito Spray Are Not the Same

Bear Spray and Mosquito Spray Are Not the Same Thing

On our way to Yellowstone the other day, before it closed because of stupidity, we came upon a major bear jam up around Pacific Creek. The token idiot from Utah wandered out in the field for a close-up. Suddenly, the interesting nature lesson became one of those Darwin Award deals.
10/14/2013 08:54 EDT
One Cowboy's Self-Evident

One Cowboy's Self-Evident Truths

These self-evident truths were written by Rowdy Talbot, who was the narrator of a book I wrote called <em>Rowdy in Paris</em>. The book is about a cowboy -- Rowdy -- who goes to Paris to retrieve his stolen belt buckle and ends up making France safe for Starbucks.
10/07/2013 11:42 EDT
Avoiding Dating

Avoiding Dating Disasters

Do not date a woman whose mother is named after food -- Brownie, Sugar, Honey, Cupcake -- or whose father is named Bubba, Butch, Dutch, or Killer. Consider it a red flag if she sleeps in shoes, curlers, or a car. Or if she has more prescriptions than you.
09/30/2013 07:15 EDT
Why I Write

Why I Write Books

There are four things I keep nearby at all times, generally in my pocket. 1) A photo of my now six-year-old daughter taken when she was one and in a Chinese orphanage. 2) My Food Stamp card from 1973. 3) A card Julie Sheppard from Wichita, Kansas, gave me after a reading. And 4) this letter.
09/26/2013 10:26 EDT