Lyrics for Rock Stars is a collection of seventeen stories―some historical, some contemporary—all set in the West. Involving skiers, ranchers, cyclists, suffragettes, tourists, super models, dead pigs, burro racers, religious beet farmers, immigrant miners, scorned lovers, penitent centenarians, and musicians, they are as varied as the region’s landscape. Some involve kids surviving the choices of the adults around them. Some involve those adults. Three of the stories are humorous. In one story, a fourteen-year-old girl’s sexual awakening takes form in a crush on an older cowboy as she starts to understand her parents’ rocky history. In another, an eight-year-old girl is forced to comfort her pregnant mother on the night her father has left for another woman. In the title story, a very pregnant gold-digger understands the error of her ways and, spurred by a meeting with a singing hippie, tries to start a new life. All of the stories explore how society’s values clash with our individual desires, and the ways we weave our lives through these opposing forces, often creating not of a lifeline, but a noose.