Sarah Hepola
Blog: Page 1 of 5

October 1, 2019

Five short stories about ‘Hustlers’

I'm surprised how much I liked this movie I didn't even want to see

I I didn’t want to see Hustlers, but my friend gave me two options: Hustlers, or some movie called Peanut Butter Falcon*, so you see I had no real choices. The theater was packed, mostly women in their twenties and thirties, but a fair number of men. A lot of couples, or guys with female . . . Read More

September 8, 2019

Burn cigarettes

On a habit I do not miss, except every once in a while when I do

This morning I saw two people smoking on a back patio. The image startled me. Of course millions of people smoke old-fashioned cigarettes, I know this. But the ritual of the stolen smoke, the camaraderie of the picnic table — at 9:30am, no less — was like a frame lifted from an earlier era. As . . . Read More

August 21, 2019

Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom

A cabin, a canyon, a cat. Part 2 of a Panhandle road trip.

I drove to Palo Duro Canyon, because I had to go somewhere, but I couldn’t go far. I was on deadline for my book, due in September, and the more extravagant trip I had envisioned — out to the northern rim of the Grand Canyon, the quieter and more profound side of the great gash . . . Read More

June 18, 2019

The Big Texan

Where heroes are made, and no one leaves hungry: Part 1 of a Panhandle road trip

I’m seated in a wooden booth with a vinyl tablecloth in a cow-hide pattern, and as my eyes trace the perimeter of the enormous banquet hall, I count twenty-six animal heads.    “What can I get ya?” My waitress wears a straw cowboy hat and a plaid Western snap shirt. “I’ll have the chicken-fried steak,” . . . Read More

March 11, 2019

Uncertain, Texas

My cabin in the woods experience

A few years ago, I threw my clothes in the bright green suitcase with the broken zipper, slung my guitar in the back seat, and drove to Uncertain, Texas. I had searched for cabin get-aways within a few hours’ drive from my home in Dallas, places like Broken Bow and Beavers Bend and Turner Falls, . . . Read More

February 6, 2019

Modern Romances

What do women want?

I was wandering around an antiques store in Checotah, Oklahoma (home of Carrie Underwood) when I came across this magazine. $10,000 in cash prizes. Love at 40. OK, I’m listening. I’d never heard of Modern Romances magazine, but I picked up the copy, which was sheathed in protective plastic, and I searched for the issue . . . Read More

January 17, 2019

A hideaway in the mists of cyberspace

Introducing the new and improved sarahhepola.com

In the spring of 2001, I decided to start my own website. Actually, I decided to quit my job at the Austin paper, travel to Ecuador to learn Spanish, and also start my own website, where I planned to share stories of my adventures. I didn’t like the idea of spamming my friend circle with . . . Read More

December 31, 2018

Change

Thoughts on holidays blues and New Year's resolutions

I started getting low around the holidays in my 20s, probably. Something about feeling spat out from the optimism of childhood. It’s almost charming to me now, how early I started feeling old. I liked holidays parties, of course, with their cranberry-colored cocktails, one endless glass of red wine, a little dose of amnesia to . . . Read More

December 27, 2018

The slow and uncertain process of filling it in

A trip to the Penny Grave

The road back from a road trip can be a drag. I’d taken three luxurious days to drive out to West Texas, drawing a crooked line to the left corner of the state, but I was returning to Dallas in one long afternoon, a mostly straight line along the bright blue vein of an interstate. . . . Read More

December 2, 2018

You were right about the stars. Each one is a setting sun.*

Deep in the left arm of Texas

Last July, Texas Highways magazine asked if I had anything to write about, well, Texas highways. Oooh, I did. At least, I had an idea for a trip I’d like to take — out west, where the stars burn so brightly in the sky they look like pinholes punched in black velvet. (A line I . . . Read More