I’m Jennifer Overholser. I’m just starting to volunteer at Calyx and will be doing an internship through Oregon State University this winter. I was excited to have an opportunity come up that would allow me to be involved in working behind the scenes in a publishing organization. I see it as a chance to develop new skills and practice skills that I already have. It will allow me to combine my interests in art and language together. I’m a fine arts major and I have experience with writing and editing for the community college student newspaper. I am looking forward to learning more about marketing and publication development and being involved with creative projects.

I think that literature is such an important form of expression and words have an amazing ability to help you think of things in a different way. Some of my most inspired moments have come from reading fiction, when the writer has struck at an incredible truth. In our everyday lives it is so easy to forget important things that help us to feel connected to others or that uncover something essential about the human condition and I think that literature plays an important role in reminding us of those things. Reading also sparks my imagination in ways that allow me to come up with ideas that seem like they have been dormant. Often you don’t know what your mind is capable of until something unlocks it and it is hard to know where to find that key sometimes. A thought-provoking book or short story is so often that quiet thing that sits and waits for you to take a few moments out of your hurried life. Sometimes it seems like there’s not enough time to read or I ask myself how can I possibly rein in my scattered thoughts and focus on something calmly, but I think it is too easy to forget how much meaning can be reclaimed in life by making the decision to take that time.

Being involved in the process of people telling stories and people helping to make those stories accessible to others helps to remind me of the creativity and thoughtfulness that can be a part of life.