Sunday, April 19, 2009

My man Travis


For many years, I’ve had it bad for a tall, tan, sandy-haired guy with pale grey eyes. His name is Travis McGee and just thinking about him makes me smile….a mischievous, world weary, be-still-my-heart smile.

Travis is an intelligent, introspective man. One of the things I like best about him is that he loves – and respects – women. You know you would be safe with him. He works as a salvage consultant, which is similar to a bounty hunter, except he finds things instead of people.

Typically that work puts him in direct contact with mean folks who like to bully, swindle and cheat already down trodden people. So what fuels Travis is honor, obligation and outrage.

Unfortunately Travis is a work of fiction. He came from the imagination of John D. MacDonald. But fortunately, that allowed me to have a satisfying relationship with McGee for over twenty years. I probably couldn’t say that if he was flesh and blood.


MacDonald is also a hero to me -- a legend in writing circles. Respected, honored, copied, critically-acclaimed and successful. His career spanned decades, including 21 McGee novels, and his work elevated the genre of crime novels. He’s known to have influenced admirers from Elmore Leonard to Stephen King to Jimmy Buffet. And his books challenged the changing landscape of Florida long before the general public was conversant with the concept of environmentalism.

As my contribution to Mellow Yellow Monday, I’m featuring the cover of MacDonald’s novel, “One Fearful Yellow Eye”. All of the McGee novels contain a color and I’m happy to say, I have every color published.

Additionally, I dedicate this post to my fellow blogger and crime writer, Cormac. He doesn’t list MacDonald on his blog and I want to change that.


……………
A short excerpt from “One Fearful Yellow Eye”:

I have to keep remembering at all times that sweet little old lady on the veranda in Charleston, South Carolina, the one who told me the story of her life in a sighing little voice, story so sad that my eyes were misty and my voice thick by the time she shot at me with the Luger she was holding in her lap under the corner of her shawl. The slug took a little bit out of the side of the collar of my white shirt and exposed a dime-sized piece of blue necktie.

23 comments:

ms toast burner said...

Interesting post!

The Explorer said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. And I appreciate your blog I learned something for a few minutes.

ds said...

I remember reading some of John D. Mac Donald's short stories in "Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine" as a kid. Great stuff. But I was always a Perry Mason girl. They made those old paperback covers pretty racy, didn't they?

2sweetnsaxy said...

Sounds interesting. I'm going to have to look for this fella the next time I'm in the book store.

Gail said...

It is heaven when we find a character or an author we enjoy.

Drowsey Monkey said...

I've never read him, sounds interesting tho. Definitely like the artwork.

kayleen said...

Very interesting post. Don't believe I have ever read any of his books. Sigh. So much to do, so little time. Very interesting discussion downstream about prayer.

Cynthia said...

Pyzahn,
I should have known that there was a catch when he was handsome, nice,intelligent, hard-working, AND respected women. :^)
You really had me there for a brief second, even though I'm always looking for the "catch" in something that sounds too good to be true.
Your post made me smile and THAT will melt cynicism. :^)
Thank you!
"Travis, nice to meet you! Would you like to go for a cup of tea?".... "Oh, why yes, of course Pyzahn can come along!" ;^)

(And what do you mean, "poor grammar and no technical savvy"?)....your story drew me right in from sentence one. They tell me the technical term for that is "hook". Good job.
:^)
C

Sally in WA said...

Thanks for a bit of education. I'll have to add this to my future reading list.

Frank said...

I too enjoyed John D's McGee novels and wondered if the rumor of a final story with black in the title was true. His wife informed us, after his death, that there was no final book where McGee's story ends. In many ways Travis McGee was Mr. MacDonald. At one time I believe I had all of his books but I left California with just what I could fit in a very small car and had to leave most of them behind. His power of description was so well developed that, in a book titled: "Slam the Big Door" he described a head-on car wreck so intensely I still remember it forty years later.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

I've heard of Travis McGee but never read any of his tales - I'll keep an eye out for MacDonald's work!

Tess said...

I should share this with hubby, he is a reader. Its really nice if you know the author like you do, you appreciate his books more. He seemed to be a great guy and good writer too.

Hope you have a wonderful week!
Tess

caribou32 said...

can i borrow a color soon, pyzhan?

the secret wheelchair word is railov

Lover of Life said...

I may have to give Travis a shot - that excerpt was a good hook!

Lola said...

If I weren't this sleepy, I'd go to Amazon and buy me some Travis McGee right now.
It was a big first day at work today and I'm pooped, but I really wanted to check in on my favorite bloggy friends before getting some shut eye. ciao darling

distracted by shiny objects said...

So Travis has been two-timing me with you:>) I truly adore that man.

ds said...

Hi, Pyzahn!
I left you an award on my blog. Stop by anytime to pick it up, ok?
http://thirdstoreywindow.blogspot.com

♥peachkins♥ said...

Hmmnn. this is interesting and it makes me wanna read that book.

Hmmnn..I'll have to look for it in the local bookstore.Thanks for sharing...

earthtoholly said...

Hi Pyzahn and thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Such an interesting post for MMMonday. I love hearing about others' collectionss and the meaning behind them. And this sounds like a good book! :o)

Kathleen said...

Well, well, well...I believe I need to meet this Mr. McGee...thank you for the blind date 8-)...

Robin said...

Great to find a niche of people that love detective stories. I am currently writing a story for the Ellery Queen/Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine company. And the she-blogger pic was great!

boliyou said...

Nice excerpt. An interesting take on the prompt. Great work!

Cormac Brown said...

You know what? You've sold me just on that little except alone.