AuthorHeidi Van Heel

The last thing a good dog does is break your heart.

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And that’s exactly what he did. After 14 years together, he died in my arms on a Saturday afternoon in March. Then I had to hand him over to someone else to take care of his final arrangements. That had almost been the hardest part – putting the furry little body that I knew so well into someone else’s car. For 14 years taking care of him had been my responsibility, and I’d been completely...

A Touch of Purple

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A gray-haired old man cradled a gray-haired old dog as he shuffled down a gray cement sidewalk on a gray overcast day.
The gray-haired old man stooped to examine a purple flower forcing its way up through a crack in the gray cement sidewalk.

Celebrating Milestones

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I’m celebrating a milestone birthday this year. I’m told that it’s a milestone because it has a zero in it, but it doesn’t feel especially extraordinary to me. According to my family and friends, this magical milestone means that my vision will soon deteriorate along with my confidence in driving at night followed unceremoniously by hearing loss (which I suspect my husband will secretly look...

Why Do Writers Write?

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What compels us to sit down with a pencil in hand and stare at a blank page until words slowly start to come? Why do we agonize over each letter and syllable, reading sentences over and over again until they feel “just right”? Why do we struggle to create things that we know others are dying to tear down? Because we love to. We love the rhythm of words that have been carefully arranged. We love...

A Lady of Leisure

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Desmond threw open the heavy curtains covering the window. “Good lord!” A woman cried from her sofa, raising her arms to shield her eyes. “What is that burning light in the sky?!” “That, my lady, is called The Sun,” the manservant responded in a flat voice. “But, my god, Desmond, it’s so… bright!” The woman said. “Be a dear and turn it down just a touch, would you?” He raised an eyebrow...

A Game of Cat & Squirrel

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The cat stares and licks its lips. A fat, gray ground squirrel moves slowly through the grass towards the feeder.
Step, step – wait.
Step, step – wait.
Its small black eyes shine as it looks from left to right, sensing danger but unable to find it.

A Visit to St. Croix State Park

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Our first camping trip as adults was at St. Croix State Park in 2006. One of the most popular state parks in Minnesota, it was a favorite camping destination for my family when I was a kid. A relatively short drive from home with lots of hiking, bike and canoe rentals, and interpretive activities, they also had a little store in case you forgot anything. We decided this was the perfect location...

Heidi Van Heel

Heidi Van Heel

Writer, freelancer, and believer in magic living in Minneapolis. In my free time, I love reading, exploring the great outdoors, and experimenting in the kitchen.

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