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Author: Leesa Cross-Smith

FNL & Texas Forever

“Texas forever.”_Tim Riggins, #33 Well, deep inside we all knew Tim Riggins would end up in prison, am I right? But no worries! We’ll get there. First, we have some other ground to cover. This is the second half of my Friday Night Lights discussion. The first is here, written about two years ago. As I watched through the third, fourth and fifth seasons of FNL again, I couldn’t help ruminating on the dude friendships involved…how well-written they are. Tim Riggins and Jason Street, Matt Saracen and Landry Clarke, Saracen and Smash’s relationship before Smash left Dillon, Tim and...

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US Open & Revisions

“Beauty is not the goal of competitive sports, but high-level sports are a prime venue for the expression of human beauty. The relation is roughly that of courage to war.”_David Foster Wallace. DAY ONE: Monday, August 31, 2015 Novak Djokovic (SRB) v. Joao Souza (BRA) Serena Williams (USA) v. Vitalia Diatchenko (RUS) Rafael Nadal (ESP) v. Borna Coric (CRO) Marin Cilic (CRO) v. Guido Pella (ARG) I love sports because I love sports but I also love sports because they are comforting to me in ways I maybe can’t fully explain but I will try. Growing up, during the...

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Gilmore Girls & In Defense of Jess Mariano

“What makes you think I care about you?” —Jess Mariano [This is my last Line Drive post for a couple months! I am taking the summer off! Quickly, I want to say thank you so much to Adam and Amy for asking me to do this. This was my first dive into writing a column like this every week and I wasn’t quite sure what it would look like, but I will say that I LOVE it and thank you so much for reading even when all I talk about are my celeb crushes and knitting and the ’90s.]...

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Writing Some Stuff & Keeping On Keeping On

“Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.” _Anne Lamott My husband was the one who told me to stop reading/buying how-to-write books. He told me to stop reading craft books. He told me this so I would stop reading and start writing. I was waiting for someone to give me permission to call myself a writer, permission to put together a short story collection. I didn’t feel like I had as much or enough of FILL IN THE BLANK. I don’t even know what it was. Can’t explain it. But I’m one of...

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Books Are My Love Language & How To Treat Yo Self

 “Treat Yo Self 2011!”_Tom Haverford & Donna Meagle. For prettymuch my entire reading life, books have been my treats. My Treat Yo Self. When I was five years old in kindergarten, I read Ten Apples Up On Top! to my classmates. I was a pretty solid reader (#kindergartenbrag) and my teacher asked me to read the book to the class. I went up to the front and sat on her stool and held the book with the pictures facing out so everyone could see. I remember being nervous, but I also remember being confident. I mean, I could read and I...

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Kentucky Decadent & Derby Depraved

“The Kentucky Derby is decadent and depraved.”_Hunter S. Thompson, 1970. I’ll start off by saying the quotes I use in this, they’re all from Hunter S. Thompson’s piece in Scanlan’s Monthly, vol. 1, no. 4, June 1970, called “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved.” And in the piece, Thompson uses the N-word twice which came as absolutely no surprise to me because I have found that when I read about half of the things I read, the author has a found a way to use that word. Be it for “shock” value or general nastiness. Or simply because...

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Who Will Run The Frog Hospital? & Girlfriendships

“We tiptoed back to my room, trying not to squeak the floorboards and bring one of my parents down to lecture us for staying out late and being generally inconsiderate what was it with us girls.”_Lorrie Moore, Who Will Run The Frog Hospital? Who Will Run The Frog Hospital? is a novel about girlfriendship by Lorrie Moore. One of my best and very favorite girlfriends Lindsey Gates-Markel wrote a story called “But Nobody Did” and it was published over @ one of my favorite little spots for fiction called Little Fiction. (LF is run by one of my favorite...

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WhiskeyPaper Press & Don’t Ask Me To Spell It Out by Robert James Russell

My husband Loran and I run a litmag called WhiskeyPaper and we’ve recently started making chapbooks…WhiskeyPaper Press. Our first chapbook is called DON’T ASK ME TO SPELL IT OUT by Robert James Russell. We loved his work already, so jumping off with a collection of his was a real treat and we were stoked. We still are! I asked Robert some questions about how he put the collection together and then afterwards, I discuss our chapbook-making process. (Next up…later this year and early next, we have chapbooks coming from Lindsey Gates-Markel and Robyn Ryle!) —Leesa Cross-Smith Robert, one of...

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Broken Friendships & Knowing All Too Well

“I left my scarf there at your sister’s house and you’ve still got it in your drawer even now.”_Taylor Swift I’ve been spared a lot of heartbreak re: romantic relationships with men in my life. I just have. Maybe this makes me rare in terms of like…being a human but I never had that romantic One Who Got Away. There isn’t someone out there (aside from the MASSIVE celebrity crushes I will never let go, no) who I desperately want to be with romantically…who has broken my heart. I am blessed enough to be with the person I want to...

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Outlander & Aye

“A tall, straight-bodied, and by no means ill-favored young Highlander at close range is breath-taking.”_Diana Gabaldon, Outlander. My husband got his DNA results around the same time as me and he’s pretty flippin’ Scottish. He already knew some of this, knows the name of his family’s clan on his grandfather’s side: Macgregor. Cool for him and cool for me because I do so love a Scottish boy. That accent tho. Like, don’t even. Guh. Diana Gabaldon has written about a billion pages about an English woman (a Sassenach) called Claire and a Scottish man called Jamie Fraser in the...

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MLB Opening Day & Yay Baseball

“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” _Rogers Hornsby Couple months ago, I wrote about how cute baseball is. And it IS. Very cute. And in the winter when baseball disappears, I hang on to that stuff. But now. NOW. BASEBALL IS BACK. God bless us everyone. Opening Day is here and there will be baseball glorious girls hit yo hallelujahs Praise Jesus baseball almost everysingle day until there’s not. I look forward to a lot of things every baseball season....

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A Love Song & Some Stubbornness

“So girl leave your boots by the bed, we ain’t leavin’ this room ’til someone needs medical help or the magnolias bloom.”_Jason Isbell, “Cover Me Up.” The New York Times called “Cover Me Up” a flat-out love song and I agree. I love a flat-out love song. “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran? Flat-out love song and I love it. “I Will Always Love You” by Dolly Parton. “Baby Love” by The Supremes and “I Hear A Symphony” too. “I Hear A Symphony” is one of my favorites. So dreamy. Whenever I hear that song, no matter where I...

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One Direction & Other Boy Bands

“I don’t know what it is, but I need that one thing. You’ve got that one thing.”_One Direction First I’ll confess I’ve been listening to nothing but Four for the past two weeks because I love that album so much I can’t even. FACT: Harry Styles is such an effing rock star, period. EVERYTHING. His hella good hair, his dimples, his clothes, his voice. How he’s an adorable, kind person! The Haylor that was (and hopefully will be!) And Zayn is Zayn. Zayn has such a pretty voice and literally looks like an angel sent down from Heaven to remind...

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First Tastes & Endeavors

“I do not struggle in your web because it was my aim to get caught.”_Fiona Apple One thing I love so much about Fiona Apple is that she doesn’t seem entirely tied to the traditional idea of what a song is, what a song can be. Once I was listening to “Fuel” by Ani Difranco in the car and my kid goes “is this a song?” And I loved that he asked that. “Fuel” sounded different to him, not like something he’d hear on PBS Kids or the radio. I feel the same way about some Ani songs and...

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Friday Nights & Lights

“All right.”_Coach Eric Taylor. I won’t really talk to you about Julie Taylor. Julie Taylor is The Worst and I won’t bend on this. My BFF told me there was an interview somewhere with Kyle Chandler (Coach Taylor) and in it, even he talks about how Julie is The Worst. I haven’t seen this interview, but my BFF has never steered me wrong on fangirly things. Julie is The Worst because every decision she makes is the wrong one and her parents are ERIC AND TAMI TAYLOR and yet, that’s still not good enough for her. I was a...

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Ancestry & DNA

“Back where I come from, where I’ll be when its said and done. I’m proud as anyone. That’s where I come from.”_Kenny Chesney My family is from Kentucky and Alabama. I have always considered myself as simply a black girl from Kentucky. A brown girl from Kentucky. A brown-eyed Kentucky girl. I knew I had some black, some brown, some white, some question mark. When I was a little, my dad and I traveled around to libraries in the tri-state area, researching his family tree. We found some of our family, slaves, listed alongside the livestock. I’ll never forget using my...

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Vikings & Ragnar Lothbrok

“Gyda, I have come to say goodbye to you properly. I have been thinking about you, about when you were small. You were so lively. You could run as swiftly as the wind. You were like quicksilver. But then, before I knew it, you stopped running here and there and everywhere, and you became still.”_Ragnar Lothbrok, Vikings. Lemme tell how madly I’m in love with the History Channel show Vikings, which returns this week for its third season. A LOT. A lot madly. You guys I love it so much. And I loved it even before I recently found out...

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Red & Lipstick

“Heels and red lipstick will put the fear of God into people.”_Dita Von Teese, New York Times, 2012. “She wore Revlon’s Cherries In The Snow lipstick on her very full lips—her red lip was in sync with the beauty trends of the day. One 1950s survey showed that 98 percent of women used lipstick whereas only 96 percent brushed their teeth.”_Elizabeth Winder re: Sylvia Plath in Pain, Parties, Work. Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953. In Pain, Parties, Work. Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953 by Elizabeth Winder, she writes that red lipstick quote, then follows it with...

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Jax Teller & Poison, Wine

“You’re loyal, decent…you love the right things.”_Piney Winston, Sons of Anarchy. “A good father and a good outlaw can’t settle inside the same man.”_Jax Teller. Hold on tight because I’m going to dive into my favorite TV characters. Kinda. First up, Jax Teller. I never really had issues with falling for the wrong man in real life, but my TV life makes up for it. Jax Teller is an outlaw, a motorcycle-riding cowboy. He is a dark, twisted, tormented and at times horrifically evil fictional character on the recently-completed FX show about a motorcycle club called Sons of Anarchy....

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Other Boys & High School Hearts

“She was a really cool kisser and she wasn’t all that strict of a Christian. She was a damn good dancer but she wasn’t all that great of a girlfriend.”_The Hold Steady, “Stuck Between Stations.” There is a book by Ben Tanzer called You Can Make Him Like You. I will tell you first that Ben is my friend. But I didn’t really know him when I read the book. I read four or five Ben Tanzer books last summer because that’s kinda what I do; I find a book by an author I like and then I go...

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