by Chris Cacciatore

I create stories because that’s who I am.

Ever since I can remember, I have been writing.  A high school English teacher once took a creative writing paragraph I wrote as an assignment and put it on the board after reading it in front of the class and giving it an A.  To me, that was validation that I had a way with words that the majority of my classmates did not.

After that, I had self confidence enough to submit several stories for the Wildcat Review, a collection of stories put out at the end of the year, and every single story I submitted was chosen.

That was not what kept me writing, however.  It was a burning desire to keep going, keep entertaining, and keep honing what I now considered a craft.  I wrote to amuse my sister and my mother, and impress my best friend, who was depressed and needed funny stories to help with her moods.  I wrote to amuse myself.

I created stories then because they, in turn, created laughter, sighs of contentment, wonderment, or delight for me.  And if I did share them, sent them to someone else to read,  my joy increased tenfold, because words I thought about, pulled out of the air around me made someone else’s day better for a little while, even if it was just my day.

I create stories now because I must.  It took me a very long time to realize that the best part of having a creative mind is actually forming that creativity into a product and releasing it into the world.

I create stories because that’s who I am.

Chris is one of several In Print members to have her work featured at the Allegory Project, an art space and exhibition co-sponsored by the Art Matters Artist Coop and the Rockford Area Arts Council. The Allegory Project plans to have a theme that is explored in various art forms: painting and sculpture, photography, repurposed objects, and the spoken and written word.

Chris’s piece and the others have been framed at the gallery and are available for viewing from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The show space is on the northwest corner of Madison and Prairie Streets in Rockford.

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