Tag: Texas

  • The Heartlands Best Reads of 2021 –#10 On Juneteenth

    The Heartlands Best Reads of 2021 –#10 On Juneteenth

    The end of the year is approaching quickly so it must be time for the Heartlands Best Reads list. It’s been a good year for reading, even with a move and shift in environment. This is the fifth year for this list. A quick reminder of the criteria for making this list: writing with a […]

  • Very Dusty, Windy, Mean – Lessons from the Dust Bowl

    Very Dusty, Windy, Mean – Lessons from the Dust Bowl

    “On those days when the wind stops blowing across the face of the southern plains, the land falls into a silence that scares people in the way that a big house can haunt after the lights go out and no one else is there.” An opening sentence like that sets up high expectations for a […]

  • Going West With Wiman

    Going West With Wiman

    A few more words for Christian Wiman. As if my words for Joy, (an edited collection of poems), and He Held Radical Light, (a memoir), and Survival is a Style, (a personal collection of poems), have not been enough to convince you that he’s a writer worth savoring. Seeking more I went back to his […]

  • #8-North Toward Home-Heartlands 2020 Best Reads

    #8-North Toward Home-Heartlands 2020 Best Reads

    Another memoir at #8–Willie Morris’s North Toward Home, written in 1967. I read this in the summer of Black Lives Matter and there are plenty of jarring moments as Morris describes growing up white in segregated Mississippi. But he makes it out, first to Texas and then to New York City, and when he does […]

  • The Heartlands Best Reads for 2020! #10—Nothing Happened

    The Heartlands Best Reads for 2020! #10—Nothing Happened

    For the last four years, I’ve been producing a list of Best Reads to end the year on Heartlands. It’s an eclectic collection and should not be mistaken for one of those Top Ten lists of books that actually appeared in print during the current year. Especially this year when the pandemic sent me back […]

  • The Enduring Myth of the Texas Rangers

    The Enduring Myth of the Texas Rangers

    While the Washington football team and the Cleveland baseball team were both undergoing public struggles about the appropriateness of their nicknames, my own favorite baseball team, the Texas Rangers,was called out by several national columnistsfor a similar soul-searching. Theodore Roosevelt, (yes, THAT Teddy Roosevelt) made the case for both sides back before there was even […]

  • Belated Reviews: Willie Morris’s North Toward Home

    Belated Reviews: Willie Morris’s North Toward Home

    “I think he got parvo. I think he picked it up out the dirt.” …”Maybe he just sick, Skeet.” “What if it’s in the dirt? What if the rest of them get infected?” —Salvage the Bones, Jesmyn Ward It took some chutzpah for Willie Morris, at the age of roughly 33, to believe that his […]

  • What’s It Going to Take to Fix and Free the UMC?

    What’s It Going to Take to Fix and Free the UMC?

    Warning: United Methodist inside baseball ahead. One of the strongest selling points for the One Church Plan, (and one that I’ve made), is that it takes off the table the contentious, divisive debate over LGBTQ inclusion and allows us to focus on making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world—the stated mission […]

  • #1 (& a Recap) Heartlands Best Reads of 2018: The Which-Way Tree

    #1 (& a Recap) Heartlands Best Reads of 2018: The Which-Way Tree

    It’s difficult to choose the best ‘best read.’ One of my criteria, (to add once again to the list I outlined at the beginning of this countdown), is that if the book sticks with me in ways that feed my imagination and my own writing…if my world feels larger for having read the book…it has […]

  • The Longoria’s BBQ: The Long-Awaited Heartlands Review

    The Longoria’s BBQ: The Long-Awaited Heartlands Review

    I was just getting ready to test out the brisket sausage when David Longoria sat down across the table from me as if we had known each other forever.  It was a slow Saturday in Everman on the southern fringes of Fort Worth.  The temperature hovered around 100 outside.  Inside the small restaurant with the […]