THIS UNNAMED GEOLOGICAL formation is the likely result of wind, rain and time eroading away surface material to expose what at one time would have lava (magma) that had cooled and solidified. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
COMING INTO OR out of the Chisos Mountains, this is the northwest view and is several miles south of Panther Junction and the headquarters for Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
THE CLARET CUP is covered in barbed spines and blooms a reddish, cup-shaped flower from about April to June or July in Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
THIS VIEW FROM a formation called, “The Window,” looks out from the westside of the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
INDIAN HEAD MOUNTAIN and its southern region offers this “leaning” wall of geology at the western boundary of Big Bend National Park. The rocks of the foreground are boulders ranging from man-sized on up. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
MASSIVE AND TOWERING, this wall of the geology is at least a couple of hundrend feet high and situated in the Indian Head area of Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
WIDE-OPEN PANORAMAS and mountainous terrain such as this are routine along roadside in Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
THE SOUTHWEST SIDE of the Chisos Mountains, also known as the Chisos Mountain Basin and home to the lodge in Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2011 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
A FALLEN TREE is an impassable barrier in an otherwise debris-free dry riverbed in Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
INDIGENOUS TO TEXAS, New Mexico and Arizona, Javelinas in Big Bend National Park genetically differ from swine. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
LOST MINE TRAIL in Big Bend National Park, looking southward over Juniper Canyon, the Chisos Mountain’s Northeast Rim and into Mexico. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
A TREE SILHOUETTED against the night sky as seen from Chisos Basin in Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
THIS VIEW EAST of a volcano is an illusion of the setting sun streaming through the Chisos Basin area behind Casa Grande Peak in Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
WRIGHT MOUNTAIN in background at Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
A VIEW WESTWARD after sundown from the Indian Head area of Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
A CAMERA COMPENSATION for the limited light after sundown provides this view westward from the Indian Head area of Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson/Camera One. All Rights Reserved.
SANTA ELENA CANYON after sunset, as seen from the Chimneys in Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson/Camera One. All Rights Reserved.


Author, Photographer, Researcher, Artist, Adventurer and Buccaneer Extraordinaire

“Or at least that’s the plan each morning after coffee.”

Publication History: 2016 Archived Blog. Copyright © 2016 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved. Excerpts from this work are permissible if author attribution is included. However, beyond this no part of this material may be reproduced in any form or by any means without written permission from the author.

Commentary: Some or all of these blog entries may have been revised and/or updated as stand-alone topics available via the Compendium. Any such revised and/or updated topic may reflect a title differing from the original entry archived on this page. This will be noted in a Commentary atop any such revision and/or updated topic, along with a reference to the original entry archived on this page.

—DL Tolleson

The Great American Novel Blog


• Editions, News and an Iconic Author Review

In March of 2016 The Lighthouse Press, LLC published the 4th edition of my novel, The Gray Stopgap.

The novel has faced some difficult editorial issues and resolving those has taken us into a third revised print. That is now the most recent publication of the novel.

Copies of the 3rd revised print have replaced previously stocked versions—or so I was informed. But I also know of at least one person who ordered through amazon and didn’t get the third revised print. My advice is order at or through your local bookstore for now.

But just to CYA myself: when you pick-up or order the novel, be it in a bookstore or online, only take delivery of a book in which the copyright page reflects “March 2016” followed by, “3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 • 20 19 18 17 16.” (The e-book at has also been updated.)

If you don’t get what you want, send it back!

And just to be clear, the initial March release of the 4th edition was not only a revision of the 3rd edition, but also a reconstruction. Yes, it is the same story with the same content. But it is also improved. For more about this see the book’s expanded “Note from the Author” or read The Lighthouse Press News Release.

To find out which Lighthouse Press volume you own review the novel’s Edition History.

I am just short of giddy about a review of the novel done by an author who is an icon in literature. But before I get to that, here’s a heads up for those of you wanting an e-book version of the novel. It is available only as a Kindle version from Do not be fooled by Internet offers of a free PDF: The novel is not available in any other e-book format. That includes not being available as a PDF. To learn more about this read the publisher’s Security Advisory.

Now, about that iconic author...

The author, Piers Anthony, has posted his own review of the The Gray Stopgap.

Yes, by God, Piers Anthony! He picked-up a copy of the first e-book conversion. He is overwhelming praiseworthy in spite of proofing issues that he mentions (the correction of which is what had all ready prompted the 3rd revised printing).

I mean really, Piers Anthony! Wow... Just Wow.

Mr. Anthony’s review got me to thinking. Here is a man who is an icon in science fiction: a very busy man. He is a man with whom I have corresponded only a few times—and all through the intermediary of his assistant. And yet he volunteered that he was purchasing the e-book. And then, after that, I was notified that he read the novel and wrote a review!

He was under no obligation or pressure to do these things. Professional courtesy? I doubt it. For one thing, I would not presume to be in the same league as Mr. Anthony. But, kindness and integrity? Definitely. If you read through some of his online musings you’ll see that he is very kind to struggling writers.

The point is that I know a number of people who failed on promises to do the very thing that Mr. Anthony has actually done. That makes Mr. Anthony not only iconic, but pleasantly surprising.

I’m not sure what that says about people in general, but it certainly says a lot about Piers Anthony.

Anyway, to read his review look for the second paragraph in his newsletter on the web site of Piers Anthony.

More news coming very soon...

MARCH 23, 2016

• It's all yours Now

March 1st has come and gone, and with it the hardcover release of my novel, The Gray Stopgap. Due to my own bumbling it was what the publisher calls a, “limited release,” which was basically an “under-proofed” advanced reading copy. That was immediately followed by a corrected, “subsequent finalized” release available now—or it will be available any day now.

Yesterday saw the release of the novel as an E-book through’s kindle platform. The Kindle version offers a preview by way of a, “look inside,” via the Amazon web site. Personally, I don’t have a lot of affection for e-books: Their formatting is so restrictive that a preview isn’t what I would call the best presentation of a novel.

For example, since e-books “flow” to fit the screen of the reading device, the novels have no set right margin. So, it is fine if—in the middle of your narrative—you have centered text. But it is not fine if you have justified lines of text in the middle of your narrative. To preserve that formatting, you must convert that particular portion of text into an image file. And the image file has to be pretty blunt force simple because image quality for the Kindle isn’t exactly superior. E-reader devices also automatically indent text and if you want the first paragraph of every chapter opening to not indent, you must assign those paragraphs, every single one of them, an indentation of 0.01—that being indistinguishable from having no indention at all. (Side note: I know I often use unusual words, but did you know that a word I use all the time, that being “indention,” is an archaic term for the word, “indentation?” Yeah, I just looked it up. Weird.)

Those are a few samples of the many problems facing e-book manuscripts. Regardless of whether you do it or someone does it for you, it’s a pain that requires constant quality checks. And if you’re a perfectionist, whew!

At any rate, I am done. I do love The Gray Stopgap. It has occupied most of my life and it really is a multi-layered tapestry. For someone interested in a fun read, it will fit the bill. But for someone wanting a little more depth, it will fit that bill, too. I had a lot to say with the novel and I said it. But I am happy to finally be at rest from my labor. Now I just want to sit back and hear from folks who enjoy it in the way for which I originally intended. (No, I’m not really just sitting back doing nothing.)

There’s other news about the novel, too: Well, potential greater news about what could be on the horizon. But cautious optimism bars me from saying more than what I’ve already expressed to a select few (and you know who are).

I’m really pleased with where things are now and I hope you, the reading public, are pleased as well. The novel is all yours, now...

FEBRUARY 8, 2016

• Living in The Lighthouse

Welcome to Whether you’re a returning friend or a new visitor, you’ve arrived at brand-spanking new digs: My new address on the web.

That’s right, I’ve moved into The Lighthouse.

Well, not literally. Rather, the website has migrated to a sub-domain of my publisher’s web site, Just look at the web site address above and you’ll see what I mean.

Why and how did this happen? The abbreviated story involves my prior web hosting service losing their ICANN status and an adversarial relationship with a company that essentially barred my domain renewal.

But I did, finally, renew the domain. Shortly thereafter, I hit upon discussing the matter with my publisher. That discussion culminated with the migration of my web site to where it is now.

All the pages are here (and all previous links on the web should still work). And all just in time for the upcoming March 1st release of The Gray Stopgap in hard cover.

Yepper, it is finally happening. After a number of years being absent (for reasons detailed by explanatory notes in the upcoming novel), The Gray Stopgap will again be available to the public.

With my publisher now establishing a social media presence (via Facebook) and taking on my web site as a sub-domain, I’m really looking forward to increased exposure of the novel.

Of course, the only entity smaller than The Lighthouse Press, is me—and thus all these things I just mentioned depend on you, don’t they? No, really! None of this would be possible without you.

I am a writer/photographer because that’s what I am—that’s what I do. But without you, neither my work nor the great things that The Lighthouse Press does on my behalf, happens. Once a manuscript leaves my hands, whatever happens is for you—the reader, the fan, the customer.

In an age of reality TV, where people achieve overnight success for nothing more than beauty or outlandishness, it is progressively difficult to intellectually engage and entertain large numbers of people. You will rarely-ever see a hyped public media storm swirling around a novelist. For that reason alone it is an author’s readers who are more important than entertainment coverage is to vapid people promoting reality TV and web-based media.

In short, you are my marketing. You are the promotion of my work.

So, if you’ve bought a copy of my novel in the past, thank you. If you are looking forward to buying the novel re-release, thank you. If you enjoy this web site, thank you. And if you are pleased enough to spread the word regarding my work (this web site or the upcoming novel re-release), thank you very much.

At any rate, enjoy the web site and check back later for more news that is coming soon.