The Love Song of Larry J. McMurtry: The Last Picture Show

by Greg Giddings, Midwestern State University (Originally published in JASAT) In 1966, Larry McMurtry (in)famously dedicated his third novel with these words: “The Last Picture Show is lovingly dedicated to my home town.”  Both readers and commentators through the years have assumed that McMurtry was speaking ironically in that dedication, as McMurtry’s description of Thalia,…

Notes from the Auction Ring

July 24, 2013 A group of Archer City writers embarked on an eye-opening adventure: to check out a nearby cattle auction barn.  They came home with stories of the day that sent them traveling back in time, to memories of their own lives dealing with livestock.     ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Blackie By Lori Dann She must…

Cowboy Down

by Eric Nishimoto I hate cattle auctions. The last time I attended one was when I had to liquidate our thoroughbred longhorns. They were just several head, not enough to call a herd. I call them “a handful” because they were.  We bought them in 2005, right before we moved to Texas from California. Some…

On the Farm

by Harry Hall “Did you ever look at a cow or a pig? They’re ugly. We’re doing them a favor by eating them. It saves them from having to look at each other. But a horse is a noble beast.” This paraphrased quote from Col. Potter of M*A*S*H came to mind when I heard Lori Dann speak of how the cows’ day was disrupted and…

What Dialogue Can Do That No Other Literary Device Can

  Literary nonfiction writers employ all kinds of literary devices to create stories: exposition, scene setting, description, characterization, foreshadowing, points of view, pacing, spacing, and on and on. But perhaps the most valuable tool employed in the service of the literary nonfiction writer is dialogue. Dialogue is a conversation between two or more people, reproduced…

Bananas

by Kensy Hutt Inside Plain Jane’s beauty parlor, a one bedroom apartment where women of Archer City let their hair down and then backcomb it up. “Well, I’m gonna go,” says McQuitta, as she steps her foot out the beauty salon door. “I got to go ladies.” Before McQuitta steps out the door into the…