Sarah Hepola
Blog: Page 2 of 6

May 17, 2020

#2 The Things They Carried

Tim O'Brien's Vietnam novel is so real even a 20-year-old girl in Nineties flannel could see herself in it

part 2 of a 10-part series In my junior year of college, I took a literature of war class. I’d been drawn in by the late-80s/early-90s Vietnam movies, Oliver Stone and Stanley Kubrick, and “war” sounded exciting, high drama. I didn’t know the class would be all boys, but that was a nice bonus. We . . . Read More

May 17, 2020

Ten books that changed me, starting with this one

The power of Stephen King, and the escapes that bring you back to yourself

Over on Facebook, a friend tagged me in one of those games where you post your favorite books for ten days. I figured I’d share the posts here, too, in case anyone is interested, and since I can’t seem to write a simple short post like a normal human but end up writing mini-essays like . . . Read More

May 12, 2020

Adventure awaits, and awaits, and awaits

Rock-climbing and a photo shoot in West Texas, back when we moved around the world

Last October, I went rock climbing in Hueco Tanks, an hour north of El Paso in West Texas. I’d never been rock climbing, but it looked fun. This is the kind of questionable analysis that has lead to worlds of trouble, and oceans of fun. My guide was a guy named Jacob. We spent the . . . Read More

May 7, 2020

The Moon, She Refuses to Be Captured

A morning ritual disrupted and a few of them kept

I woke up at 4:30am, cat in a C-shape beside me. Last night I finished edits on a magazine story, and I can never sleep long after that. My brain stays in hyper-vigilant mode, too much adrenaline I suspect. As I lay under the covers, I could see rivers of text on the galley proof . . . Read More

May 4, 2020

All My Friends Are Gonna Be Strangers

I visited NorthPark Mall the weekend Texas started opening up. It was weird.

On Saturday I went to the most popular mall in Dallas, and I wrote this piece. I hadn’t planned to report on my state’s controversial re-opening, but I was overwhelmed by the oddness of the spectacle and the unprecedented nature of the moment. When I posted the story to Facebook, my college best friend commented, . . . Read More

April 6, 2020

Someone to Love

On Fountains of Wayne, coronavirus, and the kick drum of the human heart

I was driving the long solitary highway to Alaska when the guy in the passenger seat asked if I knew Fountains of Wayne. Was that a statue? Was that a waterfall? It was a band, he explained, named after a store in New Jersey. That guy was not my boyfriend, but I hadn’t given up . . . Read More

March 26, 2020

Drinking in a global pandemic

Apocalypse is a great reason to get drunk, but it's also a very good reason to stay sober

A few years ago, I was talking with a couple female writers about what we’d do during a zombie apocalypse. One claimed she’d be good with a sword, and she clasped her hands and pantomimed slicing through the air. The other said she could forage. She could scour the cabinets and make dinner from any . . . Read More

January 17, 2020

A personal history of Taco Cabana

When a little piece of your landscape disappears

The lights inside Taco Cabana had gone dark. It wasn’t even 7pm, and the neon of Lower Greenville was in high throb, Christmas lights still wrapped around trees in early January, so the darkness of that restaurant was conspicuous, like the street was missing a tooth. I slowed down just enough to make out the . . . Read More

January 3, 2020

The warp of beauty

On Texas women, the shifting sands of plastic surgery, and a complicated relationship to our own bodies

A young woman named Vickie Lynn Hogan went to high school about seventy miles away from me in a small town called Mexia, Texas. She was seven years older, though I like to imagine I passed her at the mall one day,  or that we stood side by side at the makeup counter of Dillard’s, . . . Read More

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