In Print Professional Writers is a group based in the Rockford area that is affiliated with the Chicago Writers Association, of which I am now a member. They have come up with an interesting idea called Word of Art. Writers submit short stories, poems or non-fiction that is 200 words or less and then artists can look through them and select one to be the inspiration for a work of art.
On September 5 there will be a reception to showcase the art, the stories, and their creators. Art and story/poem will also be compiled in a book which will be sold at the reception.
I am excited to announce that even though the stories just went live a couple of days ago, my story, An Autumn Afternoon, has already been chosen by an artist named Kathy Baker. Kathy has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in photography.
I’ll keep you informed as the event gets closer in the hope that some of you can attend and participate. I know I plan to be there to sign copies and meet and greet. (PLEASE NOTE: The image posted above is NOT the image created for the story. That won’t happen until later this summer.)
Here’s the story that will be transformed into art:
AN AUTUMN AFTERNOON
The orchard smells of apples. I stretch out to grab a red globe that dangles within reach. The stem snaps; leaves float down around me. More apples tempt me just out of range, begging to be picked. Each so smooth and perfect, I wish I were two feet taller.
I shine the fruit to a deep maroon on the thigh of my jeans. Not a flaw in it. My teeth crunch through the red-skinned, white flesh. The juice, sweet and tart, puckers my cheeks. The framework of branches above me stretches like a stairway waiting for an adventurous child. But there is no child to climb today.
Or is there? I step into the crotch of the tree and hoist myself up. Left foot, right foot, then—I stop. What is it about adulthood that makes us so cautious?
I sit on a likely looking limb and take another bite. The aroma of ripening fruit mingles with a whiff of burning leaves. Through the tracing of branches, I glimpse my neighbor in a red and black checked shirt. He leans on his rake, flames rising from a pile of brown and gold and red, looking my way.