Welcome to StoriesEtc, a place where University of Wisconsin students can share their original works of creative writing with the community, whether it be poetry, short stories or anything in between. As a section dealing with the arts, it feels only natural to create an opportunity for students to share their creative talents.

With that being said, let’s meet this week’s contributor, and The Badger Herald’s ArtsEtc. Editor: Celeste Benzschawel.

The Badger Herald: Tell us about yourself. What’s your major? Year in school?

This is my junior year at UW, and I am majoring in journalism. This is also my second semester as an ArtsEtc. editor, and my fourth semester as a writer at The Badger Herald. I take pride in being part of a local dad-chic indie rock band, as well as my impressive British accent.

BH: Define your writing, authorship and perspective.

The characteristics of my writing tend to depend on the outlet I am writing for. With The Badger Herald, it is my absolute favorite thing to converse with musicians, construct their story into a narrative and then share their themes and messages with the world. When writing for myself, I tend to let go a little bit; silliness and sarcasm are some of my favorite writing techniques. But no matter what the writing is for or what it’s about, I hope to project a voice that reflects who I am as a person without detracting from the piece’s ultimate message.

BH: When did you start writing creatively?

I started writing creatively when I was in elementary school. I had a notebook dedicated to short, fantastical stories about unicorns, dragons and who knows what else. My writing really took fire in high school, though. I submitted poetry to a local contest for three years, and I also began keeping journals freshman year. Since then I have stuffed 11, going on 12, “books” full of dreams, lists, “Brain Dumps” (an entry of my own invention), poems, songs, photos, clips, ticket stubs, etc.

BH: Talk about your creative process. What inspires you, and how do you get from an idea to a finished product?

My creative process mostly consists of me either writing lists of ideas or just starting something without even planning what it will be or what it will be about. I guess you can say I just let my mind run wild and my hands follow suit. I’ve often found that I get a lot of inspiration from listening to music while I write, especially when writing poetry. I like to let the tone and feeling of the song sink in, and then I try to translate that mood into the piece that I am writing. Aside from applying seriousness and care to academic pieces or newspaper articles (because I am a responsible, reliable, mature adult), I might dabble in a few alcoholic beverages to free the mind.

StoriesEtc: ‘Six’ presents an unsettling story of a mother’s worst fearWelcome to StoriesEtc, a place where University of Wisconsin students can share their original works of creative writing with the Read…

Here is a sample of Celeste’s work:

“Desert Dream”

I got lost in desert dreams

In nights darker than ever seen

I got lost in dusty cracks

I just got lost, no coming back


In Utah nights, Utopian nights

I felt it for a moment, swallowing sights

Fleeting, bleeding, freeing sights

In jarring, starry, bleeding nights


Feeling bleeding from me

Like never before

Over layered rocks, on desert floors


Came out of my feet

Came out of my hands

Came out of my heart

And out of my glands


Feeling from beauty

Feeling from awe

So much feeling, you can’t feel at all


And I just don’t know

How it is it could be

That it’s partly you

Giving this feeling to me


I felt you in each step

I felt you deep in the sand

I felt you in each bush

That brushed against my hand


And I became the mountain

And you the wind

Chipping away at me

But not quite getting in


Trying to unravel, unveil, unreel

Yet never getting close to knowing how I feel

To know me, learn me, feel me

To hold me, love me, steal me


To be the star in my desert sky

To be the breath of my desert high


And the wind is warm

Against naked skin

It whispers, “When do I get to see you again?”


And all you can do is let it take you

Push you, break you, snake you, make you


It pushes you through its desert maze

It weaves you through its dusty haze


And all you want to do is FUCKING SCREAM!

What does it want?! What does it mean?!


And you feel those feelings

Bleed again,

Dripping, oozing, freed again


Yet you itch for it

Its taste is sweet

It saves you from that desert heat


And yet, deep down, you know

you can’t follow

And the pain from that is hard to swallow


Because the wind is quick

It’s quick to go

Its destination

You will never know


And then you realize

The feeling is real

That desert feeling

Is so hard to feel


And you disappear

Into desert skies

Cause its easier than saying goodbye


And in the end, that’s all you can say

Cause in desert wind

Love’s blown away