Patrick Stockwell is a native of Houston, Texas living and working in the Texas Hill Country. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing-Fiction from New Mexico State University. His novella,
The Light Here Changes Everything, winner of the 2018 Clay Reynolds Novella Prize, was recently published by Texas Review Press.
Photo credit: Jesse Garcia 2019
Sophie has managed to keep herself clean for a full year. Now, against her sponsor’s advice, she’s agreed to a road trip with her boyfriend Sid, who sees the journey a chance to recapture their past. As they make their way from Houston across Texas and the deserts of New Mexico and Arizona, Sophie quickly learns that it’s not easy being sober and trapped in a car with someone who’s living the life you’re fighting to leave behind. Bar brawls, automatic weapons, and hidden stashes of liquor complicate things even further as Sophie struggles to discover who she’s supposed to be in this new beginning. As they move farther from home, the few lifelines she has left become strained, and even phone calls to her sponsor don’t seem to be enough to squelch the chaos. Sophie’s new life is in danger of collapse, and with Sid around to pour gas on the fire there doesn’t seem to be anything she can do to stop it—unless she can learn what it means to get better. The Light Here Changes Everything is a story of addiction—to alcohol, to people, to patterns—that, at its heart, seeks to understand why we stay in situations that no longer serve our needs.