I always look forward to the Devils Kitchen Literary Festival, hosted by Southern Illinois University Carbondale undergraduate creative writing students. Since I live near the Devils Kitchen Lake for which the festival is named, I decided to go take an early evening paddle and do my own wee Devils Kitchen reading.

The lake is a dammed river, as many lakes in So Ill are. This one is narrow and wind-y, just begging me to keep on going around the next bend and the next and the next one too. I try to remember that as far out as I paddle, I have that same distance to return.

Drowned trees are a big feature on this lake. I suspect if I worked at it a little bit, it wouldn’t be impossible to get some eerie images.

But nothing eerie today. Just me reading a story from The Slag Review, “Way Down Deep Inside.”