Helena Writes

Helena Writes #24: On traveling distances

They are migrants. Their lives were saved. They came to a new place and added such beauty, a yellow different from the broom plants, the evening primrose, the Gloriosa lilies, Stella D’oros, the pale yellow lilies, names unknown to me, and the tiny yellow flowering ground cover, another gift of this place to me—its name also unknown. A shimmering time of yellows, the beginning of July...

Helena Writes #20: On play as a universal experience, and in writing

I saw a red-tailed hawk last week, camouflaged in winter white, no red tail flashing—playing on the wind! I stopped my car on that country road where I rarely meet another traveler. The hawk tumbled like a crow. I’ve seen crows play on the wind. This hawk wasn’t hunting. It was having a wonderful time!...

Helena Writes #1: On intended audience

When I write, I really do want it to come from deep within me. Once the writing is on the page, I look at it. Then I ask, who is this for? What’s the voice? I assess where I want to coax the piece. So when writing began to come to me with older picture book voices, I was surprised, and I went with it...

Helena Writes #4: On forcing the arc

Fall is late in coming this year. Our leaves, here in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, are usually blazing reds, yellows and oranges by September— two, sometimes three weeks in. Branches are bare by mid-October. But the trees in my woods are as full and green as summer, even after first frost three nights ago...

Helena Writes #6: On watching, and traveling through story-telling

The bears are asleep now that the temperature has dipped into the single digits, nights in these foothills of the Catskill Mountains. So, I’ve put out the bird feeders. I acquired this wisdom soon after coming here 23 years ago, when my sturdy feeder, made so that squirrels couldn’t chew it through, disappeared...
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