Come Out of Hiding

We used to have this squirrel near our house. Did I ever tell you about him? We named him something long, like Cornelius. Or Socrates. Something regal. Anyway, this squirrel was crazy–he would literally jump from tree to tree over a couple feet of pure air. If I heard a sudden rustle of leaves, I knew the squirrel was up to something.

He’d shake the trees so much that the pinecones would fall. It was like he collected them. He kept them all piled under the left tree. When I’d go outside, I would just watch him for a while. One time I tried to feed him grapes. He didn’t eat them. I even left them on the porch. He was basically like, nah, try again.

I don’t know where he is right now. I blame the snow. Do squirrels hibernate? I really hope they do. I hope our squirrel is curled up safe and sound inside a tree right now, just waiting for the scent of Spring.

I thought Spring was near, since everything had gone from freezing to dripping over the weekend. I could even kind of smell it. Yesterday, I walked outside to a snow storm again. It made me so mad. I did think, for one second, that I’d see the squirrel sooner than I thought. But no. Snow. And even though it’s melted away now, there’s supposed to be more coming next week.

This all to say….nothing really.

EXCEPT, if you, like my squirrel friend, are hiding in a hole this winter, come out tomorrow night for Helicon West. The writing makes the world alive again. You feel things. You feel new. It’s worth it.

Hopefully we’ll see you there. Hopefully I’ll see the squirrel soon too.

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The Slip

The other day I slipped on the ice very badly. And just so you know, for my whole career at Utah State University, I have never slipped and fell, and I am very proud of that. But the other day, I parked and walked towards the shuttle, and as I turned a corner, I fell hard on my butt. A girl in front of me turned around and said, “Are you okay?”

The wind was knocked out of me. I wheezed. I finally said, “Yes.” She seemed like she didn’t know if she should come help me or not, but I stood up on my own and kept walking, very carefully. I continued to try and talk to her as we walked. “Just the first of the season,” I said, and laughed to try and alleviate the embarrassment and pain. “I’m sure it will happen again.”

She just didn’t really respond. When I got to the shuttle stop I asked a different girl if there was snow on the back of me.

“I mean, yeah,” she said, “but it’s fine.”

First of all, what does that mean? It’s fine that there’s snow on the back of me? Second of all, what kind of an answer is that? I don’t know. It just felt weird to me. It’s not fine. It’s wet and gross and dirty. Help me.

I haven’t slipped since. Only, today my foot surged forward on some slush so I almost lost my balance, but caught myself. A boy walked swiftly by me and said, “Be careful.”

Thanks, man. I’ll keep that in mind.

Anyway, what YOU should keep in mind is HELICON WEST TOMORROW! We would love to see you all, and if you’ve slipped and fallen on the way in, we will surround you with love.

 

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It’s Been a While

We all know it’s snowing like crazy. Luckily, at this moment, the snow is wet and thus, not sticking. But here’s the problem, since there is always a problem:

My car is in the shop. The car we have left over is a Dodge Charger with a weak engine, and it is terrible in the snow.

This morning, my husband woke me up so I could drive him to work. I was very disoriented and threw on a pink, fluffy robe and sweats. I pin back my bangs with bobby pins at night, so the pins were sticking out at all sorts of angles that I didn’t care about. My glasses fogged up in the freezing air. Husband was slightly afraid to talk to me.

Have I mentioned my weird landlord? Yeah, he doesn’t pay for snow removal. So we tread carefully on the way out of my complex, make the turn, and another car is heading right for us. I swerved into a snow bank to let them pass. When I tried to drive forward, we were stuck.

My husband got out of the car to push and after several minutes he stood straight, defeated. Just then, a girl in a teal coat came with a shovel and asked if she could help dig us out. She did so, and we left in peace. Except I was still groggy.

“Was she an angel?” I asked my husband.

To this day (the same day) I still do not know.

Anyway, hopefully the snow won’t stop you from coming to Helicon West tomorrow! As usual, it will take place in the Bridger Room of the Logan City Library and 7pm. Good luck!

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A Little Bit of Baking

The other day I made lemon bars. But, full disclosure: I was very distracted and ruined them.

To give you a peek into my life, I’ve got this husband. He’s a really sweet guy. He forgets everything. And by everything, I mean, everything important. I can understand if he forgets his lunch one day. Everyone does that. But on Friday, as I walked out the door I said, “Will you please call our landlord to come pick up the rent?” (Our landlord is strange. He makes rent very difficult.) My husband said yes.

Later that day, I’m sitting in my Fiction class and I think, husband probably didn’t call the landlord. So I text my husband. Sure enough, he’d forgotten about the rent.

So I’m at Walmart, picking up stuff for lemon bars, fuming away, and I grab yellow cake mix instead of lemon cake mix. I realize this when I get home. I think, it’s too late now. So I pour a bunch of lemon juice in the mix. The batter ends up gooey and unspreadable. The pan shows no mercy.

However, the lemon bars turn out fine. They taste lemon-y. Dare I say…they taste GOOD. In fact, I do believe I’ve created my own recipe.

Which, of course, brings me to writing…because what doesn’t bring me to writing? There is no recipe for writing. You can throw together whatever you want, as long as you’re getting the central idea, nay, the central question to come together in the end. Sure I didn’t have the correct ingredients, but I got a good result. My point is, don’t give up on that recipe (writing) you’re trying out. It’s going somewhere.

Is it just me or are these posts making less and less sense?

Anyway, come to Helicon West on Thursday! It’s been TOO long, people. And it’ll be a good one. We’ve got Ken Brewer and Will Pitkin, as well as guest readers Star Coulbrooke, Paul Crumbley, Jerry Fuhriman, and Bill Strong. Let’s see what they’ve been cooking up.

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Current Events

So something happened last night. I’ll be vague about it, but also up front: Donald Trump was elected as the new President of the United States.

In my Advanced Non-Fiction class, my teacher, Jennifer Sinor, opened up a discussion about how we all felt knowing the election results. She told us that this election would go down in history no matter who was elected, and we’re part of that history.

Of course, this made me think of writing. Of course. I mean, what else do I do? But think about the world–this messed up, warped, beautiful place we live, where we’re all learning together how to live in harmony. That’s like writing. We try to connect the pieces of our lives that make us feel. We share with others so they can connect, too. Through this process, we discover. And hopefully find our own center, where we can exist in peace.

That being said, I know quite a few of the featured readers this week: Ben Gunsberg’s poetry class! I am so excited for the poems they’ll share. I’m excited for us to all join together to listen and understand and feel. It keeps us sane.

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See you tomorrow!

Haunted Helicon (Not Really)

So, Halloween. Ghost stories. Urban legends. Clowns. Helicon West.

If you need something interesting to do during this week of spookiness, try legend tripping. In the cemetery in Logan on 12th East, there is a grave with a statue of a woman. Apparently, during a night with a full moon, if you hold hands with friends, circle the grave three times, and say, “Weep, woman, weep!” over and over–the statue should develop tears.

So Halloween isn’t a full moon. It’s a new moon. Maybe that’s even better! Darker. Scarier. Try it. And if you get in trouble, I was never here.

Meanwhile, we’ve got Helicon West TOMORROW. I can’t promise it will be spooky, but I can promise that it will be good. Come enjoy. There’s usually free coffee.

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The Large Rock

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The other day, my husband and I hiked (and I use that term lightly–it’s probably more of a walk) to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. The path curves around the mountain and allows for the best views through the canyon. Leaves fell around us from wind and age, orange and red flurries. We went past the old Concrete Jungle, where people used to be able to go and spray paint pictures and words and expressions of Logan. Now security cameras watch every move. The water from First Dam reflected the sky, all dark trees and orange sunset.

Since the sun started to tuck behind the mountains, we headed back to our car. On the way down the short switchback, we came across two men rummaging through rocks. One man held a large rock in his hand, speckled and worn.

I felt strange. We decided to hurry past them and not draw too much attention. What if the men planned to bash our heads with the rock? And also, why is that our first thought?

The man stopped us and said, “I’m collecting rocks that look like this.”

“Wow,” we said. “You’ll probably find a lot.”

We kept walking, and quickly, and I pictured the rock hurtling through the air to bash the back of my head. My husband said he pictured the same thing.

But the rock never flew. And we made it safely to our car.

Maybe some people really do just like to search for big rocks when it’s almost completely dark outside. Maybe. We all have our stuff.

And we all know Helicon West’s stuff is writing and reading and joining together for stories just like this–no definitive ending, but instead one that leaves reader’s wondering.