Inversion Diversions 

Two weeks. As of this writing, that's about how long Boise has been blanketed in the dull gray of one of its famous wintertime inversions. We're starting to feel the effects: sun-starved, edgy, given to thousand-yard stares.

Something had to give. I was lucky; I spent Jan. 23-26 in San Francisco, attending an Association of Alternative Newsmedia conference on all things digital. There, it was a miraculous 70 degrees and cloudless. Back home, most of the Boise Weekly staff hit the road for McCall and its Winter Carnival.

Outside the Treasure Valley and high in the Payette National Forest, the skies cleared and the sun shared a dose of its mood-altering Vitamin D. Grateful BWers happily went from ice sculptures, to parade, to snowbike races and polar plunge, snapping pictures and interviewing equally happy carnival-goers.

You'll find a photo essay of the trip, and on boiseweekly.com, scroll through a slideshow of images from the weekend and read some short profiles on a few other carnival events. The pictures themselves are great, but for Boiseans who haven't been able to escape the cloud layer yet, those little spots of blue sky we managed to capture are probably the prettiest sights they've seen in awhile.

And speaking of community events, we're coming up on Boise Weekly's annual celebration of short fiction. Mark your calendars for First Thursday, Feb. 6, when BW and Rediscovered Bookshop will host a party in honor of this year's winners of the Fiction 101 contest, which published in our Jan. 1 edition.

The event takes place at Rediscovered, 180 N. Eighth St., downtown, at 7:30 p.m. Winners will read their stories and take part in a question-and-answer session in which they'll talk about the process they underwent to craft their winning entries, where they got their (sometimes) twisted ideas and whatever other writerly tidbits the audience wants them to share.

The shindig is open to the public and beverages will be available. Fine fiction and something to toast it with--all we need now is a little sunshine to feel civilized again.

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