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My descent into journalism was hastened, I suppose, the evening I agreed to work as a reporter for the San Marcos News. I recall now what struck me as strange at the time — the editor had called me at home and offered me the job. I hadn’t applied for it. I remember being flattered, thinking that the editor must have been impressed by my earlier work for an alternative magazine in town. Little did I know that my name had been the last one on a long list...


My "author tour” in support of a book about bad boy "outlaw" writers from the 1960s kicked off with an appearance before some 300 second-graders in the gymnasium of a local elementary school. While the audience was enthusiastic, I didn’t sell a single book. No one, it seems, was willing to sacrifice his or her lunch money for the sake of literature. This pattern would also hold true in the larger world...


I grew up in the self-proclaimed “Pee-Wee Football Capital of the World”—otherwise known as Mesquite, Texas, and like many children I became an early conscript into the world of youth sports. It was a good life, at least in the beginning. We paraded to our games in cars decorated with streamers and shoe polish, the stands were full of cheering parents, and the girls did a halftime show in our honor. We felt like young heroes, as though the whole world depended on how well we performed...