Ready for Rain

by Lori Dann Promising, almost teasing, gray clouds hang low over the Davis Supply Company on Central Street, but so far only a few drops of rain have dotted the hoods of the half dozen pickup trucks parked in front. Inside, a middle-aged man in a dingy green cap takes a long sip out of…

Last Round-Ups: The Decline and Fall of the Texas Family Rancher

With corporations (and dilettante millionaires) taking over cattleraising, the family-owned ranch may soon ride into the sunset by J.K. Nickell Jan. 28, 2013 Published on time.com http://nation.time.com/2013/01/28/last-round-ups-the-decline-and-fall-of-the-texas-family-rancher/#ixzz2hLdtpGrN   While most people his age are kicking back on retirement, Alvin Parrish, 70, still gets up for work just as the sun peeks over the horizon in…

On Skinny Dipping in the West

by JK Nickell In the summer of 2011, I landed in Archer City, filled with more uncertainty and emotional turmoil than a 12 year old teenager. I’d recently quit my job as a teacher, a stable gig that I enjoyed, to do something else. I wasn’t really sure what. I wanted to become a writer,…

McMurtry in Twilight

McMurtry Opens Up to the Writer’s Workshop Introduction by Bill Marvel There was some irony in the occasion. Just months before, this had been the setting in which Larry McMurtry’s big dream, to turn Archer City into a book town, gave way to reality in what amounted to a gigantic going-out-of-business sale. After the final bang of…

How the Hell Did I Get Here?

by Alicia Auping Dust swirls. It’s a staring contest, and I’m losing. My opponent’s eyes are pools of black bulging from his head. His head is the size of my entire body, and he lowers it, swinging it back and forth. Never mind the horns. How the hell did I get here? Even though I…

Adventures in McMurtryland

A Writer Looks for Inspiration in Archer City, Texas by Lowell Brown The dusty pickup plunges into the July night, and soon the lights of this tiny West Texas town are gone, replaced by a serene darkness unknown to the urbanites packed side by side in the truck bed. The truck wobbles over the gravel roads,…

Gravestone POV

by Amy Burgess You must be Carol. I wondered when we would meet. I’ve been here since May and I figured you’d be by to see me before long. See how well I turned out? Just as you’d imagined that day in March when you picked out each detail with your sisters. Stately and strong,…

Spirited State of Decay

by Brooke Nottingham On the evening of the hottest day of the hottest month, in the hottest city of the hottest state, there is a dinner party inthe Archer City cemetery. A brigade of berry-sized ants, driven mad by the heat, tickles the graves awake.The party’s guests begin to climb out, and the cemetery comes…

Lona’s Prayer and other poems

“Everyday is Thanksgiving day So many blessings come my way. All my burdens on the Lord I lay. When each day I kneel to pray Peace comes into my heart to stay.” Lona didn’t always go to the arena to watch her sons, Jim and Bob, ride in the rodeo. She was too afraid to…