Steep Thoughts

Featured Author

Sarah Ann Noel


Sarah Ann Noel is a freelance writer and editor, as well as a wife to Trevor and a
mom to Iris, Edith and Thomas, the Australian Shepherd. She is an MFA candidate at NYU’s Writers Workshop Paris, which means she only has time for eating, sleeping and reading. You can reach Sarah at


One Last Steep Thought

Hopefully, this is not my last steep thought, but it is, in fact, my last Steep Thoughts. This space has been special to me, as I’ve attempted a transformation from big city girl to wizened mountain woman. You’ve all humored me as I’ve tried to be funny about high...

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Things I Didn’t Think to Be Thankful For

I didn’t think to be thankful for the inky dark mornings, when the alarm jolts me awake and it feels impossible to get out of bed. But then my husband was traveling for a few days, and the responsibility was all on me. As I flipped the light switch in the dark kitchen...

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What’s Mine, What’s Yours

It struck me the other day, how when something becomes familiar, we tend to minimize it. I was thinking about a recent trip “down the hill,” about the first time I heard that expression after moving up here. It’s like the opposite of exaggeration, normalizing...

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Falling Away From the Informational Age

Fall, to me, more than any other season, stirs up a sense of renewal. I recognize the obvious contradiction. While the world passes into dormancy, I’m dreaming of coming back to life, but if there’s one thing that working with Zadie Smith taught me, it’s that irony is...

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Let Nature Take Its Course

I’m in the back-to-school rat race, which is different from the school year rat race because none of it is lasting. This two-week period, as most parents know, is a jam-packed mixture of squeezing out every last drop of summer fun while simultaneously reintroducing...

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The Lazy Days of Summer

Does anyone else experience summertime lethargy? I have been staring at my blinking cursor for 30 minutes, and until I wrote that first sentence, the page was blank. My mind is blank. It’s as if I have fewer thoughts—steep or not—in the summer. I used to blame the...

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AI and the Olden Days

At my daughters’ spring concert the other night, someone remarked that at least AI can’t touch music—can’t touch singing. And I smirked, recalling just that day the video I’d seen of someone programing AI to sing one musical artist’s song in the voice of another...

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Writers These Days

Twice in the last couple of months, I’ve had readers reach out to me in response to my other column, On That Note, to share some musical projects and ideas with me. Both writers have said, “I hope this doesn’t offend you,” as they proceed to explain their personal...

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Spring Symphony

April is so noisy, full of sound. Nature wants you to know she’s waking up. Nature would especially like the new neighbors to know she’s waking up, and that keeping your trash cans out on the neighborhood easement is not great for hungry bears. The birds are...

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Spring Fever

When cold air and warm air meet in a weather pattern, they will not mix. This feels like a phenomenon because, say you pour a warm glass of water into a cold glass of water, eventually the temperature of the water will average between the two. But meteorology tells us...

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Cartoon Love and Valentine’s Day

“This spirit of love  lives at the grocery store, where the lady at the self-checkout is never without a genuine smile.” February: this itty-bitty month packs a punch with Valentine’s Day as the center of the target. It is the month of love. For weeks leading up...

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A Hibernating Bear Goes to Paris

By the time you are reading this, I will be in Paris. It is my last residency to finish my five-residency MFA program, and thanks to Covid, it’s the first in-person January residency I’ve attended. Yes, yes, I’m excited. I love Europe in the winter, and city living in...

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