How You Leave Texas is a volume of three short stories and a novella about four young women who leave Midland, Austin, Fort Worth and Mayville, Texas for New York, California, Jakarta, and in one instance, jail. The young women seek escape from boredom and sorrow and they find it. Hilarious, tragic, and revelatory, the stories are about extraordinary women with ordinary lives
Synopsis of individual stories:
Dam Broke – On the night of their high school graduation, Annabelle and Mickey ride a scooter in pouring rain as they reveal closely held secrets. (6 pages).
In sixth grade, I abandoned the reading glasses for a blond wig and a fake mole above my top lip. Mickey started wearing sunglasses indoors and carrying business cards.
Camille’s Net Worth – On the day she turns 40, Camille’s life goes from bored to worse in uncontrolled demolition. She accepts an exciting job opportunity and travels back and forth to Indonesia. The job isn’t what is appears, but the irony of how things turn out causes Camille to laugh until she has tears rolling down her face. (42 pages).
“I’m not going to spend much time repeating myself,” Camille said, “I want you to remove whatever you want to keep from this house. You can store your stuff in a rental truck if you need to until you find a new home, but you will be gone from here by midnight and never return.”
“You can’t do that!”
“If you are not gone by midnight, I will set fire to the house.”
Krystal’s Wedding – Krystal leaves her seriously flawed family in Midland, heading for New York City, where she takes a few slippery steps. Krystal’s mother encourages her to find a husband in order to escape her loud roommate in Hell’s Kitchen and her boring job. However, Krystal actually gets her footing in New York and in life when she is offered a new, fulfilling direction (21 pages).
Krystal felt safer with Hudson there, but it must be as clear to him and his family as it was to her that theirs was a match of china and paper plates. As Krystal faked a sip of the champagne with a name she couldn’t read because it was printed in twirly letters in French, she wondered how hard his mother would try to prevent Hudson from getting too serious …
Frying Your Burger – Nicky and three irreverent friends spend mornings at a coffee shop tossing repartee on love, sex, and religion. For a short while, Nicky is caught up with a sexy Hollywood player, becoming a pawn in the battle of egos between two movie directors trying to ruin each others careers. The affair flares, then fizzles, but Nicky lands on her feet (108 pages).
I went into the room marked Cashier and got into a long line. And there he was. Grinning that grin. He should have had a license for it. It was that bright. I stood next to him in my white t-shirt and white pants looking like someone straight out of the “hospital orderly fashion catalogue.” It was all I had clean that day.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alana Cash is an adventurer. She’s been on ride-alongs in New York City patrol cars. She’s kissed a man inside Norman Bates’ Psycho house. She trekked alone through war-torn Serbia. She’s used her experiences as inspiration for her work as an acclaimed writer and filmmaker. Some of her favorite accolades are:
- She was one of 60 US teachers profiled on the PBS series, “A Writer’s Exchange,” for her talent as a teacher at the University of Texas Informal Classes
- Her feature film, “Tom’s Wife,” based on her novel of the same name, won awards all over the world
- Her documentary “Anna Freud: Under Analysis,” part of documentary trilogy on women in science, was translated into German for broadcast in Austria, Germany & Switzerland
She’s a native Texan and makes great chili.