A Perfect Moment

by Andrew Reynolds

“He doesn’t have long, miss. I’m sorry.”

Ellese waved her hand, seeing with her own eyes that things were bad for Mark. A strong, vibrant man when they’d been in high school, he was gaunt and confined to a hospital bed, wires and tubes connected to him everywhere. She walked to his bedside, saw his eyes open and begin to track her. Then he smiled, and her heart melted like it had all those years ago.

InPrintBlog_HoldingHands“Ell…Ellese, I’m glad you made it. I wasn’t sure you would.”

His voice was so weak she could barely hear it, but it still moved her. He took her hand, and suddenly she saw….

A stretch of what she knew was tundra.

Rainforest as far as she could see.

Then she stood on a hillside, looking at a bay under a beautiful sunset sky, and realized Mark was standing next to her.


“I remember seeing this and thinking how much you were with me to share it. I love you, Ellese, and I always have, and I wish we could have shared this perfect moment. Goodbye.”

Then the scene was gone, and so was Mark, and love left her heart.


Andrew Reynolds is a writer of fact and fiction. His published work includes three years op-ed columnist with “The Weekly Observer”, writer, editor and chief bottle washer for “The Spacer’s Digest” and various letters to local newspapers. He is currently engaged in the never-ending struggle to complete his first novel.


Caryl Barnes to be in Word of Art 2

Congratulations to all the authors whose work has been selected by artists for the Word of Art 2 exhibition and publication! The authors include Caryl Barnes! Caryl is a retired professional writer of research reports, articles, proposals, and newsletters. She now writes short stories and book reviews and is well into a novel, Helping the Dead.

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Shannon Anderson to be in Word of Art 2

Congratulations to author Shannon Anderson! Her work has been selected to be in the Word of Art 2 exhibition and publication! Shannon is an aspiring novelist and teacher. She has written one novel and is at work on two others, as well as short stories and some poetry. She teaches English in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. When she’s not teaching, she is writing or gardening with Stella, her silver Labrador, by her side.

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By James Simmons

I’m always lonely where you aren’t
Happiness hidden beyond shadows
Cast on the soul where I lay weary
Head upon pillow one breath from death
Photo_BrokenBroken the way toil breaks a man
Wet with sweat yet parched
Raspy throated cries of despair
Keeps what is left of my sanity


Practicing presence and expression in different forms, James loves the melody of a well spoken line. His highest goal in writing is to foster a sense of play and wonder in all things. He is inspired by simple things, like nature, discovery, people, daydreams, and irony.

Shannon Russell to be in Word of Art 2

Congratulations to all the authors whose work has been selected by artists for the Word of Art 2 exhibition and publication! The authors include Shannon Russell! Shannon Russell loves to write, but is also passionate about music and history. A highlight of her life was studying for a year in Scotland. She’s worn many hats, including librarian, but now she prefers looking after her boyfriend and elderly cat when she isn’t working on her fantasy novel.

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My Day Begins

by Kristin Oakley

My day begins at four a.m. I leave my high-rise apartment with a pack over my left shoulder and start for the all-night coffee shop. InPrintBlog_Chicago2The sidewalk is empty of people but full of cigarette butts, discarded Chicago Tribunes, and the occasional broken Budweiser bottle. My footfalls echo off skyscraper walls as I walk through a cloud steam from Green Dry Cleaners, the chemicals making my eyes water. A Windy City Taxi parked by the curb has its availability light shut off. The driver is hunched behind the wheel, sleeping.

Only three blocks then I open the diner’s glass door ringing the bell. Smells of cinnamon buns and sizzling bacon comfort me. Annie, the owner, greets me with a cup of coffee, black, a gooey hot roll, and a sleepy smile. I take my breakfast to the corner booth, the one with the rip in the red vinyl seat and the chip in the Formica countertop, then dig in my pack for a yellow writing pad and my favorite fountain pen and get to work.

In cursive only my mother would love, I write: “My day begins at four a.m.”


Kristin Oakley is a founding member and current president of In Print, a Chicago Writers Association board member, and a writing instructor at UW-Madison Division of Continuing Studies. Kristin’s debut novel, Carpe Diem, Illinois, won the Chicago Writers Association 2014 Book of the Year Award for non-traditionally published fiction.

Writers as Readers Review – Animal Dreams


by Linda Kleczkowski

The first Tuesday in June was a perfect spring evening, sunny skies and balmy temperatures. No wonder nearly half of our WaR group was MIA. Despite the lower than normal attendance, discussion of our June book selection, Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver was lively and insightful.

Animal Dreams, published in 1990, is a stunning ride in visual imagery. Set in the 1980s against a backdrop of questionable corporate mining practices in the southwest and the US backed unrest in Nicaragua, the story takes place in a fictional mining town called Grace, Arizona. The protagonist Cosima “Codi” Noline reluctantly returns to her hometown to care for her father who is beginning to show signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

The one person in the world who Codi feels truly connected to, her younger sister Halimeda “Hallie”, has left Tucson, where they lived, to help the people of Nicaragua with crop cultivation, which leaves Codi to have to deal with their distant father by herself.

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Lisa Roettger to be in Word of Art 2

Congratulations to all the authors whose work has been selected by artists for the Word of Art 2 exhibition and publication! The authors include Lisa Roettger. Lisa has been writing since childhood. Her work begins from personal experience – with family, from twenty plus years in Africa, from her faith – but expands to touch on themes common to all. Though poetry is her first love, her writing includes essays, short stories, and nonfiction.

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