A green light to greatness.®

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Two Larrys and I

It was after I moved to Texas that I truly discovered myself as a writer. I’ve drawn from the energy in the literary community to be sure. But beyond that, those Texas writers who write about Texas and certain elements of Texas society have shown me how to write about my own back pages.

Lessons from Archer City

But if you’re a writer, you can’t pick up the phone and call for help. You wait. You stick out your thumb. You feel a nervous excitement mixed with uncertainty. Will I get there? How long will it take? What if I get stuck?

Ten Spurs 2013

There’s a dog barking in the distance. I can hear the neighborhood kids playing outside, enjoying a temperate summer evening, an anomaly in North Texas. I want to talk to my fiancée. Or go for a walk. Or play with the dog. I’m tempted to check Facebook, Twitter, email, text messages, the scores of four or five different games. There are so many great stories to read.

Fear and Loathing in a New Mexico Cabin

Eighteen hundred miles east from where I sit, shivering at my cluttered plywood desk, and eight thousand feet below down the long continental slope, I believe I have a home, though I have not set foot in it for 11 months. And I am fairly certain I have a wife, residing in that home, who goes about her business without me, at least until the Florida legislative season ends in June, when she will head my way again. It will of course be lovely to see her, though not so wonderful to watch her eyebrows raise as she asks, Well?–meaning, Is the book I’ve been working on since 2002 finished?– and sort through my menu of responses–Leave me alone. Quit nagging. What do you want from me? Can’t you see I’m losing my mind? How are you fixed for cash?–until I sigh and answer, simply, No.

Hampton’s Place

Hampton Sides likes to say he was born to tell the story of Martin Luther King Jr. and his assassin, James Earl Ray. He was 6 when his hometown snapped. Hampton’s father worked for the Memphis law firm that represented King when the civil rights leader led protesters down Beale Street in support of the city’s striking sanitation workers, most of them black. As King’s march grew violent, riots broke out. Tanks and troops moved in to quell the roiling racial tension.

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