Monday, September 25, 2017

Digging in the Spurs at the Paragraph Ranch

Y'know, it's always a strange experience coming back from a convention. Kind of feels like going home from Hogwarts for the summer. There was this magical place, full of fantastic people and all the most delightful conversations... and now I'm back here in the real world, belatedly plugging back into the news, the inbox, and the Face-feed, and y'all - I'm not sure who started what, but absolutely EVERYONE is pissed off about something. I swear this happens every time.

They call it a 'hard return' - and boy, is it ever.

There's a pattern to the readjustment, too. First you're annoyed that the 24/7 Internet slap-fight has made no allowances for your lingering literary wizard-buzz. Then you feel guilty for getting to run off to La-La Land in the first place, even and especially while things were getting real on the six o'clock news. Sometimes you just feel like everything you're doing with your life is some kind of first-world frivolous... or at least I do. It's hard to feel like writing daring new adventures for your story-barbies is all that important or helpful when the doomsday clock perpetually reads one minute to midnight.

But you know what else? We are sharing a planet with some incredibly sharp, talented, big-hearted ambitious doers - and if you put your own self out there often and enthusiastically enough, sometimes you can catch one of them on their way past, like the Little Prince netting a comet.

Sometimes, if you are really lucky, you can catch two.

I'm still not sure exactly how it happened, but I seem to have roped a pair of shooting stars called Kay Ellington and Barbara Brannon. You might already know Kay as the editor of Lone Star Literary Life, and Barbara as the director of the Texas Historical Commission's panhandle region. Writing plus Texas history. Hold that in your memory buffer - it's about to get radically relevant.

And so is this place right here.
Because guys. Kay and Barbara have cracked the code. They have figured out how to harness writing-energy and turn it into something that makes a positive, real-world impact before you ever publish a single word. Are you ready? Here's their secret.

Step 1: Find a historic West Texas town that has been losing population to the big cities - one that has modern infrastructure and conveniences, but needs a new economic engine to survive.

Step 2: Move there. Buy a big plot of land with a storied house and outbuildings. Work like a twenty-mule team to completely update and remodel it from top to toe.

Step 3. Invite scriveners of all stripes to come out for a writers retreat like no other - in a place where you can perfect your craft in perfect rustic splendor, while your presence helps keep small-town Texas living sustainable for generations to come.

It's called the Paragraph Ranch - in a little place called Spur, Texas. And if you are up for the adventure, I'll meet you there. Here's what we're doing:


WHEN: December 1st-3rd

WHERE: In Spur at the historic Back Door Inn (we are making our home base at this fantastic B&B for the first year, while Kay and Barbara finish their renovations).

WHAT: Come and write! And while you're there, let's talk about your work. Send me your current project - whether it's 800 words or 80,000 - by November 27th. (Yes, you can send me your entire novel. No, I'm not scared!) I'll read it and come ready to have a one-on-one conversation tailored to your specific goals and concerns. Kay and Barbara will also open up the treasure trove of their knowledge as successful working authors, and we'll have opportunities for you to share some of your writing with the group.

HOW MUCH: $250 for the weekend. That includes your room and board, and all of the expertise on offer - everything but your gas and road-trip snack supply!

We're keeping it simple this first time out, and giving it 100% - all you have to do is get there. Here is the thing, though: we have to make our minimum head count by November 1st in order to hold our space at the Back Door Inn. (I hope this won't be hard to do: we have eight beds, and two are already spoken for.)

So. If you like the idea of racking up good keyboard karma - if you want to get in one last big burst of word-slinging before the holidays eat your life - if you're willing to pack up your laptop and hit the road to help keep small-town living going strong - please sign up as soon as you can. (If you have questions about it, hit us up - lonestarliterary at gmail.com , tex at thetexfiles.com - and we'll be happy to tell you more!)

Regardless: you know this isn't your only chance to catch a comet, y'all. You know you don't have to wait for a moonshot to make good things happen for yourself, or to put your goodness out into the world. I'm just saying: if you've been feeling a little short on light in your life, there is a twelve-gigawatt bright idea passing right overhead - and you never know where it might take you.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Writers in the Field: Your Hogwarts Letter Has Arrived...!

Okay, so you know that whole thing about karma: whatever it is you dump out into the cosmic ocean on a daily basis will eventually wash back up at your front door. I can't say for sure that it's true, but I have been striving (however imperfectly) to pour out Exxon-Valdez quantities of love and realness and radical generosity. Helps cut down on water weight, if nothing else.

Of course, you never know exactly whether or how your moral exports will come back to you – but a few months back, a bona-fide unicorn beached itself at my feet. Only this is a marine metaphor, so like... maybe a narwhal or something. His name is Shane.

He's basically Mead Hall Dumbledore.
Anyway, so you know that thing, when somebody just randomly says to you, "Hey, so my wife and I own sixteen acres down south of the airport, and we've been running this big-ass awesome steampunk ren-faire for a few years now, and I'm not a writer or anything, but I'm a huge reader, and... how do I say this... is there some way I could help you guys like, not screw up your fight scenes?  And period clothing and such? Like, if I got some of my sword guys down here, and a poisons expert, and the WWII artillery crew, and some folks who could show you how to pick locks and sew Victorian underwear and make real-life herbal remedies and stuff... do you think writers would be interested in a thing like that? We can throw in a wine-tasting too, by the way. Do writers like wine?"

And y'all... when a dapper pipe-smoking karma-narwhal asks you a thing like that, there is really only one thing to say.

Writers in the Field: a hands-on, gloves-off, first-of-its-kind research experience for writers! Handle authentic weaponry, clothing, tools, and more - Interview nationally-renowned field experts - Explore thirteen acres of live demonstrations, special exhibits, and rare displays - October 14th and 15th in Mansfield, Texas. Featuring wonders medieval to modern - outdoor venue with shade and seating - wine-tasting by prior reservation - live music and evening performances - tickets starting at $30! Register now at www.writersinthefield.com

It's called Writers in the Field. It is going to be PHENOMENAL. And I am asking for your help in making it an unforgettable smash hit.

Shane and his crew have thrown themselves into building this event. They've been hammering away at the pavilions and the booths for weeks now.



They've brought in a slew of experts from their huge arcane Rolodex, for every kind of hands-on tutorial and demonstration you can think of.

A small sampling of the faculty. Anybody know a good potions professor?

They've got first aid, security, parking, concessions, restrooms, vendors, electricity, and wifi all taken care of – and kept the ticket price for the entire glorious weekend to only $45. Yes, really.

This is it, guys. This is your Hogwarts.
This is going to be an incredible event, y'all. It's built - it's happening - and the only thing we need now is you.

And let me be clear: even if you live a thousand miles away, we still need you. 

If the logistics don't work out for you to attend this year – we still need you.

If this isn't exactly up your genre alley, or your writing is on the back-burner right now, or you've already given your bottom dollar for worthy causes and don't have a penny to spare – we still need you. 

Because damn it, the fun's not going to have itself!

If you're thinking "man, this is such a cool idea - why hasn't anybody done this before?", let me tell you: it's because an event like this is a five-leafed clover. Because nailing down the venue AND the outdoor-event-management know-how AND the talent AND the community connections AND still keeping the cost down to something the humble striving scrivener can afford... is damn near impossible. You can't do all this when you are hiring for each of those positions. You can't create something like this as a strictly transactional enterprise.

Which means that something like Writers in the Field can only happen under the most perfect and unlikely conditions – when you have *exactly* the right balance of passion, talent, generosity, and one-in-a-million golden opportunity. We just-so-happen to have lucked our way into the perfect primordial alchemy here - and you are the lightning that is going to bring it to life.

Your playground awaits...
So. If you like the idea of making hands-on education and research opportunities accessible to writers from every walk of life – if you want tentpole writing events that go beyond the ballroom of the airport Hyatt - if you want to see this event come back next year with even more variety of activities, for even more kinds of writers – if you want to help us establish a strong precedent for one day having something like this in YOUR neck of the woods – then we need you to come out of the gate *roaring*, as fierce and enthusiastically as you ever have. We need mentions. We need shares. We need good old-fashioned buzz. More than anything, we need 'proof of concept' - and that means tickets sold.

...and so does your saloon.
And of course, I wouldn't ask you to do anything without putting my own skin in the game. So let me make you a deal.

1.    If we can sell 150 two-day tickets between now and midnight on Sunday (three days from today) I will personally read 5,000 words of your work - any format, any genre, any combination - and you and I will have half an hour of undivided real-time conversation about it. Phone or Skype or whatever you want to do. Once we hit the 150-mark, you forward me your ticket receipt and attach your doc file and we will make us a date.

2.    If you can't attend Writers in the Field but want to get in on the critique deal – or again, want to vote with your dollars for more events like this one – we can totally do that. Just buy a ticket and use promo code GIFT when you check out. We will give the ticket to a local writer who couldn't otherwise afford to go - and you will get the critique, even if we don't hit the 150 mark. Like I said, y'all – this is about love and realness and radical acts of generosity. And, you know, learning how to hit people with swords.

This is how we do it, guys. This is how first-evers become first-annuals, how we know more and do better, how we give ourselves something fantastic and special to be proud of, even when it feels like the whole rest of the world is going all to hell. This is how game-changing greatness begins.

It is also how legends begin.
Epic, unforgettable, totally-worth-the-hangover legends.

Are you pumped? Are you ready? Then pick out a job below and go!
Set your watches now, y'all: in one month exactly, we make literary-adventure-field-trip history!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Announcing Tex Thompson's Tornado Alley Tour!

Listen, y'all. I can get down with left-coast libertines. I love the weather - the food - the public transit - the weather - the creative scene - and the weather's not bad either.

But it's time to get back to my roots. My people. My time zone. And that's why we're hitting the road and doing it: a two-week beat-the-heat red-state road-trip - with a different writers' event around every corner, and a good time to be had by all!

Will I see you there?


Click the titles below for time and venue specifics
unless otherwise noted, all events are free or pass-the-hat!

hosted by the Cisco Writers Club


It's a truth every interviewee knows: there's nothing more tragic than missing out on your dream job because the interviewer can't see past the stain on your collar. In this class, we'll tackle the grammar and style mistakes that even experienced writers make, and highlight winning strategies for scrubbing them out of your manuscript. Don't give your reader even one easy reason to toss your work aside: come learn how to put the "pro" in your prose!




Sat, 8/19 - Amarillo, TX - Word Alchemy Lab (Micro-Level)
hosted by the Texas High Plains Writers


If your book were a movie, it would be an instant classic. A stellar premise. Unforgettable characters. Mind-blowing plot turns. But somehow the words on the page aren't fully conveying the tension of the tight parts, or the loveliness of the pretty parts, or the shocking-ness of the shocking parts. Never fear!  In this class, we'll study the art of adapting your writing style to suit any purpose, refining each page and paragraph, and fine-tuning every line until it sings.


Sun, 8/20 - Lubbock, TX - The Plate Tectonics Theory of Dialogue

When it comes to dialogue, a good scene is a 'geologically active' one. Like pieces of the Earth's crust, characters clash, fold, and buckle as they interact (and yes, sometimes even bump and grind!) In this high-energy, interactive workshop, we'll analyze the features of real human speech, and how to amplify and manipulate them to suit your purpose. Whether your current scene is as subtle as a tremor or as explosive as an earthquake, we'll craft dialogue guaranteed to keep your plot moving, your pages turning, and your readers on their toes.


Mon, 8/21 - Kansas City, KS - The Seven Deadly First-Page Sins
 hosted by Lynette M. Burrows


There's no one right way to begin your story – but there are plenty of wrong ones. In this class, we'll take you on a cautionary tour through the pits of page-one hell, complete with agent pet peeves, reader turn-offs, and "thanks but no thanks" editorial dealbreakers. Don't let your manuscript suffer in form-rejection torment: let us guide you through the slush-pile inferno and lead your story toward the light!





Weds, 8/23 - Lincoln, NE - Quasi-Fictional: An Evening with Patricia Scott and Tex Thompson
hosted by Francie and Fitch independent bookstore

Shakespeare's Coriolanus becomes a high school baseball drama. American colonialism is reimagined in a world of cowboys, fishmen, and "culture magic". And authors Patricia Scott and Tex Thompson invite you to join in for a rousing roundtable conversation, in which we ask: how much fact makes for first-rate fiction - and when does fiction actually change the facts?





Thurs, 8/24 - Tulsa, OK - Dialect to Die For
hosted by Nevermore Edits

When it comes to dialect, we often hear that 'less is more'. So how do you render a good Scottish brogue, or Southern drawl – and for that matter, how can you give a non-English-speaking character a voice that's distinct but still readable?  In this class, we'll examine how to represent accents and speakers of other languages in a way that captures their voices without reducing them to verbal tics, gimmicks, or stereotypes.




Sat, 8/26 - Oklahoma City, OK - Worlds Apart: Worldbuilding From the Inside Out



It’s a hard truth every writer knows: a good story needs a great setting, and many a diligent storyteller has gotten lost in the details. But doesn’t have to be that way! Whether you’re adapting the past, delving into distant regions of the present day, or conjuring other worlds altogether, some principles of good story-grounding are universal – and you can start applying them right away. Come learn the secrets of crafting immersive, dynamic settings – real or imaginary! – that your fans will want to explore for years to come.


Sun, 8/27 - Ardmore, OK - The Plate Tectonics Theory of Dialogue
hosted by Arbuckle Creative Writers

When it comes to dialogue, a good scene is a 'geologically active' one. Like pieces of the Earth's crust, characters clash, fold, and buckle as they interact (and yes, sometimes even bump and grind!) In this high-energy, interactive workshop, we'll analyze the features of real human speech, and how to amplify and manipulate them to suit your purpose. Whether your current scene is as subtle as a tremor or as explosive as an earthquake, we'll craft dialogue guaranteed to keep your plot moving, your pages turning, and your readers on their toes.


Sat, 9/2 - Roanoke, TX - The Plate Tectonics Theory of Dialogue 
hosted by the Roanoke Public Library

When it comes to dialogue, a good scene is a 'geologically active' one. Like pieces of the Earth's crust, characters clash, fold, and buckle as they interact (and yes, sometimes even bump and grind!) In this high-energy, interactive workshop, we'll analyze the features of real human speech, and how to amplify and manipulate them to suit your purpose. Whether your current scene is as subtle as a tremor or as explosive as an earthquake, we'll craft dialogue guaranteed to keep your plot moving, your pages turning, and your readers on their toes.

Want to see one of these in your home town? Email me at tex at thetexfiles.com - have Powerpoint, will travel!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Sharing the Work

Y'all. Realness. It is 9:15AM on January 1st, and I am used UP. I've had about twelve hours of sleep in the past three days, I'm still all raw and leaky from going serotonin supersaiyan yesterday, and there is a toxic, pit-of-my-stomach sickening amount of work waiting for me. I seriously do not know how it is all going to get done.

But if you are like me, and if today feels less like a fresh start than a really messy middle - take heart, y'all. Have courage, and some protein. Today is traditionally about resolving to do things better and differently, to make positive changes – but maybe it would also be healthy to make it a day of forgiving yourself and letting go of some old ambitions that don't fit right now.
Maybe you are not the person who will sit down and make that perfect Pinterest-worthy scrapbook of family memories. Wouldn't it feel good to put that project back in the water and let it float on downstream - give someone else a chance to find it and pick it up? Would it be enough to keep on taking the pictures, without feeling obliged to curate and arrange them?

Maybe you are not currently in a place to start a fantastic new eating plan and take up a gym habit, even though you really want to capture the traditional New Year's momentum to start getting down to a healthy weight. Would it be okay to return that vision to the ocean of possibilities and be ready to receive it again when it washes back up on shore? Is there a smaller, more sustainable way you can start doing a daily kindness for your body in the meantime?

Donald Maass said a really excellent thing at the Writer Unboxed conference I attended in November. It was the morning after the election, and a lot of us were feeling terribly raw and anxious. He said, "We have work to do – all of us. And we will do that work."

I've thought about that a lot in the past two months. And to me the operative word is "we". Sometimes it feels like we are stuffing our shirts with these work-stones, these task-eggs, until we're so overfull that two fall out for every one we bend over to pick up. We are the first and often only person we delegate to. We see a thing that needs to be done and automatically stoop to undertake it, without necessarily asking whether we are really the best person for the job. We take so much on ourselves, because we either don't trust or can't bring ourselves to impose upon the people around us. We hoard the eggs until they rot, not trusting our fellow-humans to keep from trampling them otherwise.

And I think we would be a whole lot happier if we got better at choosing and sorting our eggs. Some to keep and incubate ourselves - some to give away or trade with a neighbor - some to put back down on the ground and walk away from, trusting their place in the order of creation.

So before I load my nest with one more "I really seriously have to", I hereby resolve to ask:
1. Is this really, objectively a thing that needs to be done? Who will be hurt if it isn't done?
2. Am I the best person to do it? Who is better-equipped to tackle this?
3. Do I need to do it right now? What is the consequence if I put this away and re-examine it next week, next month, next year?

I would really like to get better at answering those questions - because if I weren't so busy trying to keep my own eggs from dropping or spoiling, I would have more time to help other people hatch theirs. That would free them up to help me and others too. We might expend just as much effort as we did before - but we could do it so much more joyfully. We could enjoy each other's company during the work we do together, and relish the special tasks we dive into alone.

The man is right, y'all. We have WORK to do. But more importantly, WE have work to do.

So if you've got as dauntingly long a row to hoe as we do, please make it your resolution to speak up: a mule and a plow can do wonderful things together – but first you have to get them the same side of the fence.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A Dream Realized

Ah, friendly friends. Today is a strange kind of book-birthday. Amazon is apparently out of stock, and there's no resolution for that while both the publisher and the distributor are closed for the holidays. (My author-copies are similarly AWOL, or I would offer up something from that supply.) There is no fanfare on the blogosphere, because holidays, but also because I have been behind on writing guest blogs. At this rate, we may or may not have copies for the party on Saturday - it is in the gods' hands now.

But you know what? It is still a really, really good book-birthday. Dreams of the Eaten is still a damn fine book, given life and shape by damn fine people. My Twitter feed is blowing up with love from all quarters. Saturday is going to be a baller time, no matter what. And more than that... like, today marks the day when the end of the story is officially made real. You can download the e-book right now and put it in your face (and I would love it if you did!) And that can't be undone. It is safe. It exists. Even if the physical copies all get burned up in a warehouse fire. Even if the book tanks and goes out of print. Finally, after 17 years, the whole entire story is written and made available to the world, and if I get hit by a bus today, there will still be a piece of me out there living its own little life - complete and unkillable - and I will have paid my Earthly rent.

I am so proud of this book, y'all - this series, this story-world. And while I reserve the right to collapse back into fits of author-angst the next time I get a shitty depressing royalty statement, please feel free to remind me that I wrote every word of this post and meant it. And that I would never have had such wonderful problems without first having such wonderful people.

Thanks for seeing me through, y'all. It wouldn't mean a thing without you.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

ANNOUNCING: The Great Pre-Apocalyptic New Year's Eve Launch Party, Book Bazaar, and Fruitcake Amnesty of 2016!

Y'all. It is only seven days - one magical, fleeting week - until Dreams of the Eaten takes flight into the world. And it is no good having a book launch without a book launch party!

ANNOUNCING the Great Pre-Apocalyptic New Year's Eve Launch Party, Book Bazaar, and Fruitcake Amnesty of 2016! Local author and notorious ruckus-raiser TEX THOMPSON is celebrating the launch of DREAMS OF THE EATEN, the final book in her epic fantasy Western series. Join us for a release party like no other!  SEE a smorgasbord of local authors showcasing their work. BRING your finished books and unwanted holiday treats for the swap table. (Win a prize for the "best" fruitcake!) ENJOY refreshments, giveaways, and a booktacular good time!  SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31st from 11AM to 1PM at the Irving Public Library, South Branch (601 Schulze Drive in Irving). RSVP and find out more at www.TheTexFiles.com
Click to embiggen!

It's going to be a barnstormer of a time, y'all. We got a book-swap table, where you can swap out your old books and pick up some new ones. We got a goodie gulag, where you can bring your leftover holiday treats (and snack on other people's) before you start that Jan 1 diet. (And yes, I'm giving a special prize for the most egregious fruitcake. Give me your worst. I ain't scared.) Most excitingly, we have suckered sweet-talked no less than FIFTEEN local authors into coming out to showcase their freshest, finest work. If you don't leave this party with a full belly and an even fuller bookbag, I will eat my hat.

SO. We're throwing down at the South Irving Public Library. The party starts at 11AM on Saturday, December 31st. Bring your unwanted books, leftover sweets, and all your favorite friends - and be sure to RSVP on Facebook or the official events page  so we can fete and feed you in fine style. Be there or be missed!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Stealing Fire: An Ask, and an Offer

EDIT: The DFW Writers Workshop is currently reviewing funding for its programs. The Writers Bloc will continue uninterrupted, but this Patreon drive is on hold for now. (I'm leaving the post up, because I'm proud of it.)


Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiven

Y'know, back when my grandparents were living, we made the four-hour drive to Houston to visit them for all the big holidays. I have vivid memories of Game Boys and apple-juice boxes in the backseat, and waving to the big statue of Sam Houston as we passed, and a dog or two that always woke up and whined whenever we got off the freeway.

But I also remember Mom and Dad explaining that there were some things we talked about at home that we weren't going to talk about in Houston, because it would upset Nana and Pawpaw. I'm sure my sister and I messed that up a few times, but overall it was the most natural thing, the understanding we had through our whole lives: our parents were liberal, and our grandparents were conservative, and that meant that there were some things we wouldn't agree on. It never kept us from playing gin rummy or making flapjacks or watching Nana cry when we played Leontyne Price's "O Holy Night" on Christmas Eve. (EVERY time, y'all. Every time.)

It was only later, as a teenager, that I realized that what our family did was not universal - that lots of families couldn't enjoy each other's company at all - and only MUCH later, as an adult, that I realized that there were legitimate reasons for that - that some people just can not control their emotions or behavior, and are not safe to be around. So I will never question or criticize anyone who chooses not to visit their family.

But y'all - this year, of all years, I am more grateful than ever that our parents went the extra mile to make sure we did not miss out on having grandparents. I am so, so glad that they made sure we spoke thoughtfulness as a first language. And for all you guys who are doing that same work this weekend - choosing your words carefully, focusing on the things you CAN do and discuss together, taking care to make the time enjoyable for everyone at the table - you have my deepest appreciation. We need you now, maybe more than ever before. And the values you're living right now will last longer and reach farther than you know.

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Edge

This is a crosspost of the newsletter that I write for my friend Kristen.

You know, it’s funny what travelling does to you. You understand intellectually that there are billions of people in the world and no two exactly alike – and yet it’s not until you actually walk in to the Super 8 motel on the south side of Toledo and actually meet the young man behind the counter that he stops being a hypothetical person and becomes Justin W., your bespectacled, soft-bodied, keycard-programming fellow human. He’s still a stranger, but now you have to save him if there’s a fire.

Kristen and I thought about what we would like to say in this newsletter. It’s the last one before the US election, which absolutely everyone is sick of. So we would like to have a different kind of discourse here.


You know that we have strong feelings about the failures of the workers’ compensation system here in Texas. That large businesses and insurance companies have used the Texas legislature to sew up the system so tightly that it’s almost impossible for wounded workers to access fair treatment and compensation. You can probably guess that that pits us firmly against our state’s status quo.

Unfortunately, we have to vote on candidates, not individual issues – and this is far from the only issue on the table.

So let’s step back and picture the table itself for a minute.

It’s big and round, glass-bottomed, and there are a bunch of little people on it. All of them can look down through the glass and see how awful it would be to fall off, what a long drop there is between them and the floor – but some of them are closer to the edge than others. Some are so close that one jostle, one bump, will push them right over.

That’s not so bad, most of the time. There’s enough room for all of them, and for the most part they can be neighborly. But sometimes the table gets bumped by a huge unseen thing far below, and that scares everyone. They push and shove to get closer to the center of the table, where it’s safe – and the people in the center start pushing back.

The bump was bad, but the fighting that follows it is tremendously worse. Everyone is so focused on who does or doesn’t deserve to be in the center that they stop looking outward. They don’t notice the people who are getting pushed off the edge in the chaos, maliciously or by accident. People fall off, and they aren’t missed. Nobody ever saw them slip. (This is something Kristen frequently remarks on. “Before my injury, I had no idea that this could happen to people. I had no idea that the system had gotten so bad.”)

And what’s really unfortunate is that most of it is preventable. Bumps will always happen. Some tablefolk will always be closer to the center than others. But if they stopped pushing and started pulling – if every one of them took hold of just one person who was dangerously close to the edge – it would be so much harder for anyone to fall... and downright impossible for it to happen unnoticed.

So that is our wish for you, our fellow denizens of Floorland. We are bigger than the Tabletopians. We can make better choices. And even though our media urges our attention relentlessly toward the center – to the politicians, athletes, celebrities, and headline-writers who live and die according to our attention span – it is our moral imperative to look back to the edge. Look to the edge, where we have always found the best in ourselves. Look to the edge, where everything truly exceptional about our country was born. Vote with one hand, and give the other to someone who’s standing at the brink of the abyss, and you will never wonder whether you made the right choice – because you will have chosen more than yourself.

-Tex

P.S. If you're wondering who this Kristen person is, start here.