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

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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

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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…

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…